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Top 5: Literary-Inspired Travel Destinations in Asia

by Holly Riddle

Dec 13, 2019

Kerala, India © Skouatroulio | Dreamstime

Destinations / Asia

Literature lovers have the chance to explore book settings across Asia with new itineraries available through Insight Guides. Where might your literary-inspired travels take you? Here are five designations Insight Guides recommends for literary inspiration in Asia.



In southwest India, Kerala is the setting of the award-winning The God of Small Things. While some of the places in the book are fictional, others are based on real locations near Kottayam. Insight Guides takes travelers through Kerala on its Magical Kerala itinerary, during which guests enjoy visits to spice plantations, observing the local wildlife and floating past vibrant green shores on a rice barge.



If you have a love for food that’s only surpassed by your loves for literature and travel, then you might want to visit Hanoi after reading The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb. While the book follows a soup seller and chronicles Hanoi street food in a way that’ll make your mouth water, you can see it all up close and personal with a Vietnam Culinary Discovery trip from Insight Guides.


Rural China

The novel Soul Mountain is only partially autobiographical, but its depictions of rural China are spot on, fiction or not. Read the book and follow the narrator’s travels from Beijing into the rural provinces of China, and then follow in his footsteps, hitting major Chinese destinations on the way, such as Shanghai and Xi’an.


Maya Bay

Whether you’ve read The Beach by Alex Garland or just watched the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio, you’ll still enjoy a trip to Maya Bay on Ko Phi Phi in Thailand. The beach wasn’t always this pristine, though. The book and movie at one point made it so popular it was overcrowded and had to be closed for a period to protect the environment.



Lastly, music and book lovers alike will enjoy reading A House in Bali by Colin McPhee and then visiting Bali to see how the history of the destination intersects with its music.


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