Kampung Warna Warni Jodipan, Indonesia
Not far from Mount Bromo in Java, this little village has one heck of a story. Once a run-down slum on the verge of demolition, it is now an Instagram sensation. Local university students put together a plan to save the village by attracting both publicity and tourists. The plan? Paint the town all of the colors of the rainbow. Genius. It worked like a dream and many visitors to Java now make a special detour to Warna Warni – or Rainbow Village.
Little India, Singapore
If you’re planning a stopover in Singapore, don’t just stick to the shopping arcades along Orchard Road. If you can tear yourself away from rooftop infinity pools and glitzy bars, head for Little India and prepared to be bowled over. This district is a rainbow jumble of street sellers, bright balconies and chaotic intersections. It’s worlds away from the modern, ultra-efficient Singapore.
Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal
Getting here demands considerably more effort than most places on this list, but the reward is well worth the wobbly legs. On arrival at Annapurna Base Camp, a whopping 4,130 meters above sea level, you’ll be greeted by a reception of rainbow player flags fluttering amidst the snow-capped Himalayas. The classic Annapurna Base Camp trek (or ABC trek for aficionados) is an 8-day loop beginning and ending in Pokhara.
Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An is all about lanterns. Lots and lots of lanterns, in every color of the rainbow. As dusk falls over the cobbled ancient town, the streets light up in a kaleidoscope of colored lanterns that dangle from shopfronts and riverside restaurants. Atmospheric doesn’t even begin to cover it. These days, Hoi An is part of a well-trodden tourist path in Vietnam, but by the evening, the day-trippers have cleared out, leaving just a handful of travelers and a million lanterns.
Rainbow Village, Taichung, Taiwan
Rainbow Village or Caihongjuan Village is another of Taichung’s most popular tourist attractions. Located in Nantun District, it’s a former military village that had deteriorated over time and was set to be demolished. Huang Yung-Fu, a former soldier of the Nationalist Kuomintang Army, refused to leave even after he was the village’s last remaining resident. He started painting colorful figures and patterns around his village which ultimately led to it being saved from demolition. Today, it receives over one million visitors annually.
Madurai is a soulful city in Tamil Nadu scattered with psychedelic temples. A thronging Hindu stronghold, it’s somewhere often overlooked and under-visited. The jewel in Madurai’s crown is the Meenakshi Amman Temple, a 17th-century temple complex that beggars belief. It’s South India’s answer to the Taj Mahal. In total, the complex is home to a whopping 14 gopurams (gateway towers), two golden sculptured vimanas and 33,000 sculptures of gods and demons, painted in every colour of the rainbow.