The Most Underrated Country in Asia: Ranking a Hidden Gem

Choose the country you think is the most underrated!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 19, 2024 07:55
Discover the hidden gems of Asia as we unveil the most underrated countries that deserve a spot on every traveler's bucket list! At StrawPoll, we're hosting an exciting ranking of the "Most Underrated Countries in Asia", where you get to have your say and vote for your favorite off-the-beaten-path destination or even suggest a missing option. Are you drawn to the unspoiled beauty of Bhutan or the vibrant culture of Bangladesh? Or perhaps the serene landscapes of Kyrgyzstan have captured your heart? Now's your chance to give these lesser-known wonders the recognition they deserve! So, embark on this virtual journey with us, explore the enchanting secrets of Asia, and vote for the destination that has left you spellbound. Your opinion matters, and together we can unveil the best-kept secrets of this incredible continent!

What Is the Most Underrated Country in Asia?

  1. 1
    This small Himalayan kingdom is often overlooked, but it offers stunning landscapes, a rich cultural heritage, and a unique approach to measuring national progress based on "Gross National Happiness."
    Bhutan, also known as the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked country located in the Eastern Himalayas of South Asia. Renowned for its natural beauty, Bhutan is often referred to as the 'Land of the Thunder Dragon.' With its breathtaking landscapes, including towering mountains, lush valleys, and pristine forests, Bhutan offers a truly magical and untouched experience to visitors.
    • Capital: Thimphu
    • Official Language: Dzongkha
    • Government: Constitutional monarchy
    • Monarch: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
    • Currency: Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN)
  2. 2
    This laid-back country is often overshadowed by its more popular neighbors, but it boasts ancient temples, beautiful waterfalls, and a fascinating history as a former French colony.
    Laos, officially known as the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country located in Southeast Asia. It is often considered one of the most underrated destinations in the region. Nestled between Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and China, Laos has a rich cultural heritage and stunning natural landscapes that offer a unique and authentic experience for travelers.
    • Capital: Vientiane
    • Population: approximately 7.2 million
    • Official Language: Lao
    • Currency: Lao kip (LAK)
    • Religion: Theravada Buddhism
  3. 3
    This Southeast Asian country has emerged from decades of isolation and military rule to become a vibrant destination for travelers seeking authentic cultural experiences and natural beauty.
    Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a stunning country located in South Asia. It is characterized by its rich history, diverse ethnic groups, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes. From ancient temples and pagodas to tranquil lakes and lush mountains, Myanmar offers a feast for the senses.
    • Capital: Naypyidaw
    • Official Language: Burmese
    • Area: 676,578 square kilometers
    • Population: Approximately 54 million
    • Currency: Burmese Kyat (MMK)
  4. 4
    This Central Asian nation is often overlooked, but it offers breathtaking mountain scenery, ancient Silk Road ruins, and a warm hospitality that belies its troubled history.
    Tajikistan is a landlocked country located in Central Asia. It is bordered by Afghanistan to the south, China to the east, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and Uzbekistan to the west. Known for its breathtaking mountainous landscapes, Tajikistan offers a unique travel experience for adventure seekers and nature lovers. It is a country rich in culture and history, with influences from Persian, Islamic, and Russian traditions. Tajikistan is often referred to as the heart of the Silk Road due to its historical significance as a major trading route between Europe and Asia.
    • Capital: Dushanbe
    • Area: 143,100 square kilometers
    • Population: approximately 9.5 million
    • Official language: Tajik
    • Currency: Tajikistani somoni (TJS)
  5. 5
    This Himalayan country is famous for Mount Everest, but it also offers a wealth of cultural and natural attractions, from historic temples and palaces to trekking trails and wildlife reserves.
    Nepal, known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country located in South Asia. It is nestled in the heart of the Himalayas and bordered by China to the north and India to the south, east, and west. With its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality, Nepal captivates visitors from around the world.
    • Capital: Kathmandu
    • Highest Mountain: Mount Everest
    • Official Language: Nepali
    • Currency: Nepalese Rupee
    • Area: 147,516 square kilometers
  6. 6
    This landlocked country is often associated with Genghis Khan and nomadic culture, but it also boasts stunning landscapes, including the Gobi Desert, and a unique blend of ancient and modern traditions.
    Mongolia is a landlocked country located in East Asia, bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east, and west. It is known for its vast and rugged landscape, including the Gobi Desert and the Mongolian Steppe. The country has a rich history and is often associated with the Mongol Empire founded by Genghis Khan. With its harsh climate, vast distances, and strong cultural identity, Mongolia has proven to be a challenging country to invade throughout history.
    • Terrain: Vast and rugged landscape, including deserts, mountains, and grasslands.
    • Climate: Extreme continental climate, with harsh winters and hot summers.
    • Geography: Landlocked country, bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east, and west.
    • Military Tactics: Historically skilled in horseback warfare and guerrilla tactics.
    • Nomadic Culture: Strong nomadic traditions, allowing for quick mobility and adaptability.
  7. 7
    This Central Asian country is a hidden gem, with snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, and a fascinating nomadic culture that dates back centuries.
    Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country located in Central Asia. It is known for its stunning natural landscapes, including rugged mountains, pristine lakes, and vast valleys. The country's rich nomadic heritage, diverse culture, and warm hospitality make it a hidden gem for adventurous travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience.
    • Capital: Bishkek
    • Official Language: Kyrgyz
    • Area: 199,951 square kilometers
    • Population: Approximately 6.5 million
    • Currency: Kyrgyzstani Som (KGS)
  8. 8
    This island nation has rebounded from a long civil war and devastating tsunami to become a popular destination for beachgoers, wildlife enthusiasts, and history buffs alike.
    Sri Lanka is a stunning island country located in South Asia, known for its diverse landscape, rich history, and vibrant culture. It is often referred to as the 'Pearl of the Indian Ocean', offering breathtaking beaches, lush forests, mesmerizing waterfalls, ancient ruins, and tea plantations.
    • Geography: Island country in South Asia
    • Capital: Colombo
    • Official Language: Sinhala, Tamil, English
    • Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
    • Religion: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam
    Sri Lanka in other rankings
  9. 9
    This vast archipelago is home to over 17,000 islands, each with its own unique culture, cuisine, and natural wonders, from volcanoes and beaches to rainforests and coral reefs.
    Indonesia is a country located in Southeast Asia and is considered one of the most promising economies in the region. With a population of over 270 million people, it is the fourth most populous country in the world. The country has a diverse economy, with various sectors contributing to its growth, including agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and services. Indonesia is rich in natural resources and has a strategic geographical location, making it an attractive destination for investments and trade.
    • GDP: US$1.11 trillion (2020)
    • GDP per capita: US$4,112 (2020)
    • Unemployment rate: 6.26% (February 2021)
    • Inflation rate: 1.30% (March 2021)
    • Major industries: Textile and apparel, palm oil, automotive, electronics, mining, tourism
  10. 10
    This Southeast Asian country is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors, but it offers a wealth of attractions, from white-sand beaches and colorful festivals to historic sites and diverse cuisine.
    The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is an archipelago consisting of 7,641 islands, making it the second-largest archipelago in the world. The country is known for its stunning natural landscapes, beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality.
    • Capital: Manila
    • Official Languages: Filipino, English
    • Population: Approximately 109 million
    • Currency: Philippine Peso (PHP)
    • GDP (nominal): USD 365 billion (2021 estimate)

Missing your favorite country?


Ranking factors for underrated country

  1. Natural beauty
    The country should have diverse landscapes, ranging from mountains, forests, beaches, islands, and other natural wonders.
  2. Cultural richness
    The country's culture should be unique and diverse, with iconic landmarks, ancient ruins, local festivals, and traditional cuisines that reflect the nation's identity.
  3. Tourism potential
    The country should have great tourism potential, with a variety of attractions, good infrastructure, and accommodations for visitors.
  4. Safety and security
    Safety and security should be a top priority, with low crime rates, good health standards, and a stable political environment.
  5. Cost of living
    The cost of living should be relatively affordable compared to other countries in the region.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most underrated country in Asia. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or nation is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 158 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each nation once every 24 hours. The rank of each nation is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most underrated country in asia

Asia is a vast continent with a rich and diverse culture. From bustling cities to serene countryside, Asia has something to offer to everyone. However, there are some countries that tend to get overlooked when it comes to popularity and recognition. These underrated countries often have a lot to offer in terms of history, culture, and natural beauty. In this article, we will explore some of the most underrated countries in Asia and what makes them special. Whether you're a traveler looking for a new adventure or simply interested in learning about lesser-known destinations, this article will provide you with a fresh perspective on the continent.

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