Now for the “Not Hot” List

Intrepid Travel's lists top destinations to see in 2019 without the tourists

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See Uzbekistan without the hordes.

See Uzbekistan without the hordes.


Where to travel to avoid the crowds.


THIS is the time of the year travel companies across the globe assemble their Hot List for the coming year.

The only problem is that people rush to these destinations leading to what is now referred to as overtourism.

One company has taken a different tack putting together a Not Hot List, focusing on alternatives to some of the favourite destinations in Asia.

Intrepid Travel co-founder Darrell Wade said the company developed the Not Hot List in response to concerns about overtourism. The company’s list focuses on less frequently visited destinations to support its ongoing commitment to responsible tourism.

Recently beach closures in Asia have ignited the debate over how tourism impacts communities and nature.

Maya Bay in Thailand closed for four months this year while in the Philippines, Boracay shut down for six months due to unsustainable tourism practices.

Each year 3.7 million Australians travel to Asia. But the more tourism dispersal, the better according to Mr Wade.

So here is Intrepid’s 2019 Not Hot Travel List: Asia Edition:

Komodo is the new Ubud

Once considered the adventurous alternative to Seminyak, Ubud has flourished in popularity thanks to its haven of health and healers. The day trip market means a lessened contribution to Ubud’s economy and puts pressure on local infrastructure.

Komodo is a viable alternative for those travellers who are willing to sail from Bali through the Indonesian archipelago. Komodo is a place where ancient tribes maintain their traditions in deep rainforest valleys. Travellers can snorkel coral reefs, walk across volcanic black sand beaches and watch for the legendary and fierce Komodo dragons.

Bukhara is the new Angkor Wat

Central Asia is still as remote as you can be when it comes to Asian countries. The ‘Stans offer a Silk Road experience rich with stories of migration, religion and trade.  Uzbekistan’s fifth largest city Bukhara is a UNESCO world heritage site and the entire old city centre and has more than 5000 years of human history. There are over 140 monuments and historical buildings to explore including Po-i-Kalyan Mosque that, during its 1300 years of history, even survived assault from Genghis Khan.

Ladakh is the new Everest

Whilst Nepal will always be a must-do for active travellers wanting to challenge themselves, Ladakh is rising in popularity for its hiking and breathtaking scenery of the Indian Himalayas. You can break up the hiking with river rafting, visiting remote villages, monasteries and religious sites. To really appreciate the quiet natural beauty of the Ladakh region, some travellers stay in bustling Delhi before and after their treks.

Naoshima is the new Osaka

Australians have long been lured to the future-focused cities of Japan like Osaka. Intrepid advocates that travellers discover the southern islands or ‘lost Japan’. Naoshima Island has been transformed from a sleepy fishing community to a world class art destination with a variety of sleek and stylish museums. Travellers can cycle between galleries, outdoor sculptures and modern architecture. The Southern Islands also house impressive castles and Japan’s oldest hot spring baths - Dogo Onsen.

Sumatra is the new Borneo

Sumatra is as exotic a destination as Borneo, offering national parks and endemic species. As the world’s sixth largest island, Sumatra made headlines earlier this year with the Mount Sinabung volcano eruption. Despite possible danger, these geothermal activities have created surreal landscapes such as Gunung Leuser National Park, home to one of the richest ecosystems in the world.  Sumatra is where travellers have the best chance of spotting wild orangutans in Indonesia.

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