Breathe in culture, explore sights and cuisines, and feel the beat of the music happening all around the continent
It’s no surprise that fans will go out of their way to travel to destinations to see live concerts and festivals. As countries slowly lift their border restrictions and musicians announce their world tour dates, we are seeing a resurgence in live performances and fetês in different parts of Asia.
With the revival of international performances this year, prepare for a comeback to traveling with your passport at the ready, your festival garb in a suitcase, and a credit card to book your flights like the new BDO American Express® Explorer™ Credit Card. But more than just traveling around the continent to experience festivals and events, feel free to indulge in the heritage, cuisines, and way of life of different countries.
Here are eight destinations where you can experience music through a combination of culture, history, and beautiful landscapes.
A city bursting with culture and history, Singapore also offers a peaceful escape from the central district. At the tip of Sentosa Island is Tanjong Rimau, an untouched part of the country with coastal cliffs that you can head to before partying at Siloso Beach for ZoukOut and Sundown Festival.
In Chinatown, find yourself on a food tour among traditional fares such as laksa, satay, and Hainanese chicken. Discover colorful temples like the Buddha Tooth Relic and Sri Mariamman before heading to Marina Bay Coastal where It’s The Ship, a three-day electronic festival cruise, is docked.
Popular music festivals: It’s The Ship (March), Sundown Festival (August), ZoukOut (December)
From mountainous backdrops to neon-lit cities, famous music festivals in Japan often happen in picturesque summer destinations. Whether you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path option or something more central, each festival has something special.
More than its local culture and well-loved cuisine, planning a hike in nearby Mount Sennokura during the Fuji Rock Festival weekend or strolling through Naritasan Park a day before heading to Summer Sonic can energize your music-filled trip.
Popular music festivals: Fuji Rock Festival (July), Summer Sonic (August), and Ultra Japan (September)
The Fragrant Harbor has always been known for its bustling nightlife, diverse Cantonese food, and a thriving music scene that will suit any taste. It’s home to an eclectic mix of musicians and artists in a cosmopolitan area where East meets West.
One of the hallmark events in the country, Clockenflap Music Festival, has returned after a three-year hiatus with a distinct lineup of local and international bands in the electronic, indie, and rock genres. The event was also accompanied by street artists offering a unique audiovisual atmosphere with artworks against the scenic backdrops along Central Harbourfront.
Popular music festivals: Clockenflap Music and Arts Festival (March), Sónar Music Festival (March), and Creamfields (April)
Known for its pristine beaches, exotic wildlife, and sought-after street food, The Land of Smiles is home to more than a dozen international music festivals, including some of the best electronic carnivals on the continent.
While Pattaya may be known as a party destination, its towering golden Buddha statue and intricately designed Wat Yansangwararam temple are must-visits while you’re there for Rolling Loud or Wonderfruit Festival.
Cycle your way around the ancient capital of Siam through Ayutthaya’s ruins, temples, and museums. Just outside Bangkok, the scenery can be a break from the bright stage lights and bass drops from the 808 Festival or Maya Music Festival.
Popular music festivals: Rolling Loud (April), S20 Songkran Music Festival (April), Wonderfruit (December), 808 Festival (December), and Maya Music Festival (December)
In Songpa District where Seoul Jazz and Ultra Worldwide are set to please fellow melophiles, natural sites like Bukhansan National Park can offer a scenic landscape 30 minutes from the capital. If you’ve just arrived and want to get to know the area, climb to the top of Seoul Sky in Lotte World Tower for an uninterrupted panoramic view of the city.
If you’re looking for something more laid back, the anticipated return of the Woodstock Festival in Pocheon offers many natural sites to visit in the north like Jaein Falls and Sanjung Lake.
Popular music festivals: Seoul Jazz (May), Woodstock (July), Ultra Worldwide (September)
An hour away from Sepang International Circuit where Good Vibes Fest is staged, Kuala Lumpur’s city center is home to landmark mosques with Moorish-style architecture like Masjid Jamek. Across the mosque, a 5-minute walk to nearby Sultan Abdul Samad and historic Merdeka Square offers a unique insight into the country’s rich history.
As the site of the oldest British settlement in Southeast Asia, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Penang is where visual arts, music, and cultural programs meet through the George Town Festival. Immerse yourself in authentic Malaysian cuisine by going to New Lane Street.
Popular music festivals: Good Vibes Fest (July), George Town Festival (July)
When you arrive in Jakarta, a day trip to Pulau Seribu, a chain of islands on the north coast of the country’s capital could serve as your pitstop for the weekend of We The Fest and Synchronize. Enjoy an afternoon of snorkeling and finding your way around by boat in its many inlets and coves.
Take an off-the-beaten path in Bali by doing a road trip to the lush mountains of Munduk where you can spot wild monkeys on the road as you make your way to Kroya Waterfalls. The mountain village in the island destination is three hours away from Peninsula Island where Joyland is held.
Popular music festivals: Joyland (March), We The Fest (July), Synchronize (September)
Taipei in the spring offers pleasant weather and streets lined with blossoming flowers. Near Daija Riverside Park where Creamfields is organized, the banks of Keelung River have many sports activities to do outside the festival grounds from roller skating, golf, and football. A 20-minute walk from the park is the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, a minimalist modular design by Kao Er-Pan that houses contemporary pieces from local and international artists.
Just south of the capital city, Yilan County plays host to the return of Organik Festival, an electronic music fest against a mountainous backdrop with picturesque lakes nearby. Have a picnic by Lipi Lake and revel in a scenic walk amid spring foliage in Wanglongpi.
Popular music festivals: Creamfields (April) and Organik (April)
Music festivals are a great way to take a break from your busy life, meet new people, and enjoy some of the best music out there. With the new American Express Explorer Credit Card, you earn 1 air mile for every PHP 40 spend that you can redeem from 6 airline and 2 hotel loyalty program partners. This card gives you the flexibility to choose your preferred carrier and hotel. Plus, travel worry-free with up to PHP 10M complimentary travel accident and inconvenience insurance.
Apply now for a BDO-issued American Express Explorer Credit Card and earn miles for your next getaway. Visit the American Express website for more details.