Northeast Asia a sub-region of Asia that covers an area of 4,571,092 square miles bounded by the Pacific Ocean. In the past, this region was a cradle for numerous ancient civilizations stretching over Korea, China, Japan and Mongolia. For several centuries, the ancient Chinese civilization influenced all the neighboring countries of Northeast Asia due to its massive prestige. Also, the Mongol Empire had a significant impact on the culture, customs, lifestyle and traditions of this region.
With a population of 1.641 billion people, Northeast Asia is a major economic as well as the political centre of the world because of its focal influence on international affairs. Such a large population account for the great religious as well as cultural diversity. From Mahayana Buddhism to Christianity, Islam, Chinese folk religion, Taoism, Sindoism, Shamanism, Shintoism and Confucianism, people of all the major religions of the world reside in Northeast Asia.
Fundamentally, Northeast Asia comprises of China, the Korean Peninsula (both South Korea and North Korea), Japan, Taiwan and Mongolia.
Travel Guide To Northeast Asia Countries
The Zeya-Bureya Depression, Amur and Sungari lowlands, Manchurian-Korean highlands, mountainous ranges of Bureya, Xiao Hinggan, Da Hinggan, Sikhote-Alin, Khanka Lake, Liao River basin, Manchurian and North China Plains, mountainous peninsula of Kamchatka, active volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, Yellow Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk and East China, lush temperate forests, exquisite grasslands, impeccable streams, serene lakes, stunning rivers, astonishing mountain-island arcs and strikingly beautiful islands of Kuril, Ryukyu, Sakhalin, as well as Japan, are the jewels in the crown of Northeast Asia.
This region is home to the chief metropolises of the world including Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei and Macau. Northeast Asia is the hub of tourism, cultural diversity, ancient history and advanced technology that prompts the economic welfare of the region’s republics.
1. China, Northeast Asia
The People’s Republic of China is the largest country of Northeast Asia that stretches over 9,600,000 km2 area. With a population of 1.428 billion, it is the most populous country in the world. China has its coasts on the East China Sea, South China Sea, Yellow Sea, and Korea Bay. It is bordered by 14 countries including Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Vietnam.
History of China
Modern China was a cradle of one of the world’s oldest civilizations that is almost 5000 years old. Through years of effort, it is now one of the leading republics of the world buoyed by its natural resources, industrialization, progressive technology and extremely hardworking people.
Famous Tourist Places in China
China is a geographically diverse country comprising of huge mountains, hills, deserts, grasslands, plains, deltas, plateaus, river gorges, vast forests, and seas. It has been divided into various regions. Specifically, Southwest China is considered as the backpacker havens. For the tourists, all the major cities of the country such as; Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Xi’an and Yangzhou grants rich travel experiences. Also, the main tourist attractions including the Great Wall of China, Hainan Island, Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve, Leshan, Mount Everest, Mount Tai, Tibet as well as Turpan serve as the traveler’s reverie.
Communication in China
The official language of China is Mandarin. The majority of the Chinese neither understand nor speak English. Its official currency is renminbi, the base unit of which is yuan.
Expenses to stay in China
China is fairly affordable. About $28-$45 per day are enough for all expenditures. The transport, food and accommodations are particularly cheap.
Visa Policy and Cost to Obtain Chinese Visa
Receiving a tourist visa in China is fairly easy. It costs from USD22-USD140 depending upon the visitor’s nationality. The citizens of Japan, Brunei, Bahamas, Qatar, Serbia, Singapore, Ecuador, Fiji, UAE, Barbados, Mauritius, Bosnia, and San Marino etcetera DO NOT need a visa to visit China for 15-90 days. Moreover, the residents of Pakistan, Turkey, Georgia, Vietnam, North Korea, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Armenia can only enter the country visa-free if their passports are validated by the government as “For public affairs”.
The best time to travel to China
The best time to travel to China is from April-May and September-October.
2. Japan, Northeast Asia
Japan or “Land of the Rising Sun” is the 4th largest island country of the world where the past convenes into the future. Situated beside the Pacific Ocean, it comprises of 6,852 islands that spread over from the Philippine Sea in the south to the Okhotsk Sea in the north. Japan has a population of 126 million people, the majority of which reside in the cities. It was the first Asian country to go under the modernization, therefore, it continues to embrace the most advanced technology. However, the new technology, infrastructure, cultural practices and traditions are just encrusted alongside old things. This layered aesthetics makes Japan one of the most surprising countries for tourists.
Top Tour Destination of Japan
The most popular destinations of Japan are the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto and Nara, Tokugawa mausoleums, Cherry Blossom spots, Dewa Sanzan, Shiretoko National Park, Japan Alps, Mount Fuji, Mount Koya, Hokkaido National Park, Nikko islands, Yomiuri Shimbun, Miyajima, Sado, Daisetsuzan, Yaeyama, Yakushima, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Niseko ski resorts, Okinawa, Yokohama, Kamakura, Himeji, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Kobe international port, Sapporo, and Sendai. According to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report released in 2017, Japan ranks 4th out of 141 nations. It is famous for its historical heritage, delicious cuisine, innovative art, influential cinema, anime, manga, powerful music, video gaming, advanced transport system, highly skilled workforce and its major contributions to modern technology.
Visa Policy for Japan
As of 2019, the citizens of Japan can enter visa-free to 189 territories/countries. Also, its passport ranks 1st in the world along with the Singaporean passport. Residents of EEA, EU, Argentina, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Macau, Mexico, Singapore, Poland, South Korea, New Zealand, Switzerland, Thailand, US, Uruguay and Chile etcetera can enter Japan visa-free for up to 15-90 days. The Chinese citizens visiting the country via cruise ships do not require a visa. The fee is USD7 for a transit visa, USD28 for a single-entry visa and USD52 for a multiple-entry visa. All the information regarding Japanese visa can be obtained from Guide to Japanese Visas.
Language of Japan
Even though Japan has no official language, its National language is Japanese. The currency is the Japanese Yen. Usually, the foreign debit and credit cards do not work in most Japanese ATMs except in ATMs of 7-Eleven stores, Family Mart or Lawson’s.
Cost to Visit Japan
Traveling in Japan is quite expensive. At least USD46 per day is required for expenditures.
Every season of the country has its own perks, therefore, there is not a specific “best time” to visit Japan.
3. Mongolia, Northeast Asia
Mongolia is a landlocked region between China and Russia. It spreads over an area of 1,564,116 km2 and has a population of only 3 million people. Mongolia has the lowest population density in the world. Almost 30% of its population has a semi-nomadic or nomadic lifestyle. The regal emptiness Mongolia appeal to the tourists who wish to be in close intimacy with nature or nomadic lifestyle.
Main Tourists Destinations Of Mongolia
Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, Khustain Nuruu National Park, Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, Uvs Nuur Lake, Khovsgol Lake, Ulaanbaatar, Hovd, River Tuul, Khentii Mountain Range, Chinggis Tourist Base Camp, Erdenet’s open copper mine, Galuut Nature Reserve, Xar Xorin (Kharkorum), Darhad Valley, Gobi desert, Khongoryn Els (sand dunes), Yol Canyon, Bayanzag-Red Flaming Cliffs and Khermen Tsav are the main tourists destinations of Mongolia.
How to Obtain Visa of Mongolia
Citizens of Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Macau SAR, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, US, Turkey, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR and Thailand can have a visa-free entry in Mongolia from 14 to 90 days. The visa for tourists are valid only for 30 days. It cost from almost USD23 TO USD270.
Expenses to Staying in Mongolia
Generally, USD50 per day is required for the expenses in Mongolia. The best time to visit Mongolia is from March till November.
4. North Korea, Northeast Asia
Attention! Some countries have restricted the travel of their citizens to North Korea because of the ambiguous security situation prompted by the nuclear weapons development program of the country. Also, the tourist must visit North Korea with a tour guide.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or North Korea covers the northern region of the Korean Peninsula that extends from the East China Sea and Korea Bay. It shares borders with South Korea, China and Russia. North Korea covers an area of 120,540 km2 and has a population of 25,549,604 people. Pyongyang is the capital city. The official language of the country is Korean.
Best Destination for Travellers
The tourist must visit the mountains of Chilbosan, Kumgangsan, Myohyangsan, and Paektusan, Panmunjom outpost, Rason SEZ, Pyongyang, Hamhung, Chongjin, Kaesong, Wonsan, Nampho while visiting North Korea.
Visa Policy of North Korea
For tourists, visiting North Korea might be challenging since they will not have the full freedom to explore the country. Generally, South Korean citizens are not issued the visa. Moreover, Americans, Japanese and Israelis also face difficulties regarding their travel to North Korea. Residents of all the countries require a visa for entry into the country which is only allotted after the tour is booked via a travel agency, the payments are done and the visa is approved by the authorities.
Expenses to visit North Korea
The cost of a group tour starts from USD1,000 for 5 days which includes meals, transport and accommodation. But this cost can increasingly go higher if you wish to solo travel North Korea.
5. South Korea, Northeast Asia
The Republic of Korea or South Korea constitutes the southern region of the Korean Peninsula. It covers an area of 100,363 km2 and is adjoined by North Korea, China as well as Japan. The population of the republic comprises more than 51,709,098 people.
South Korea is the 11th largest economy in the world. Its capital city Seoul is considered as a global city. Almost half of the South Korean citizens reside in Seoul which is ranked as the 4th largest metropolitan of the world. South Korea is renowned for its healthcare system, yummy food, fastest online shopping and delivery services, high-speed internet connections, innovations in technology, creative cinema and pop culture (K-pop), a phenomenon that is famously regarded as the “Korean Wave” by the west. From 2014 till 2019, the Bloomberg Innovation Index has named South Korea as the most innovative country in the world.
Most Popular Destinations Of South Korea
The most popular destinations of South Korea include Korean Demilitarized Zone, Seoul, Suwon, Seoraksan National Park, Jirisan National Park, Incheon port, Chuncheon, Daegu, Sokcho, Daejeon, Donghae, Guinsa, Danyang, Cheongju, Panmunjeom, Gongju, Boseong, Boryeong, Andong, Gyeongju, Ulleungdo islands, Busan, Geoje, Yeosu, Jinhae, Haeinsa Temple, Jinju, Jeonju, Gwangju, Boseong, Yeosu, and Jeju Island.
Language of South Korea
The official language of South Korea is Korean (Pyojun-eo). Although learning English is considered important, still, the majority of citizens do not understand or speak it. Its currency is called Won. ATMs usually do not accept foreign cards except that of Citibank.
Visa Policy of South Korea
Citizens of EU, Argentina, Bosnia, Egypt, Fiji, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Palau, Portugal, Russia, Paraguay, Macau, Switzerland, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Mexico, Qatar, US, Thailand, Turkey, and Panama etcetera can have visa-free entry into South Korea from 30 to 90 days. However, Canadians are allowed to stay for up to 180 days without the visa. Citizens of all the countries except Ghana, Afghanistan, Iraq, Cuba, Iran, Syria, Kosovo, Nigeria, Macedonia, Palestine, and Sudan can visit Jeju Island visa-free for 30 days. The South Korean visa costs US$30 to US$80 depending upon the type of visa.
Best Time To Visit South Korea
The best time to visit South Korea is during spring and autumn. Specifically, April to June is perfect for tourists to visit the country.
6. Taiwan, Northeast Asia
Taiwan stretches over 36,197 km2 that is surrounded by the Philippines, China and Japan. It is one of the most densely populated island states with 23 million population. Taipei is the capital city. Taiwan has the 21st largest economy in the world which is orientated on industries and exports. It is not a member of the United Nations. Mandarin is the lingua franca but the local people speak Taiwanese Minnan, Hakka, Austronesian languages or other Asian. The currency of Taiwan is the New Taiwan dollar.
Famous Tourist Places in Taiwan
Hsinchu, Taipei, Yangmingshan National Park, Kenting National Park, Shei-pa National Park, Taoyuan County, Changhua County, Miaoli County, Hualien County, Taitung County, Nantou County, Yilan County, Sun Moon Lake, Green Island, Orchid Island, Hsinchu Science Park, Kinmen, Puli, Matsu, Tainan, Penghu, Alishan forests, Taipingshan, Taroko Gorge, Yushan, , Lalashan, Jiufen are the most famous tourist places in Taiwan.
Visa Policy and Cost to Obtain Visa of Taiwan
Citizens of EU, Australia, Japan, Chile, Malaysia and Singapore. Monaco, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Iceland, Switzerland, US, Thailand, Malaysia, Russia, Brunei, Singapore can enter Taiwan visa-free from 14-90 days. The visa costs from USD36 to USD70.
Budget needed to Visit Taiwan
Taiwan is comparatively cheaper than Japan but marginally expensive as compared to China. At least USD33 per day is required to cover all the expenses of food, transport and accommodations.