Tips and inspiration for your trip
Top 5 things to see in Asia
- The Hanami festival in Japan is a once in a life time experience of the beauty of Japan. It is the festival which celebrates the blossoming of the iconic cherry trees in springtime. The blossoms represent the fleeting nature of beauty and remind us all to appreciate life to the fullest. These blossoms are truly revered in Japanese culture and this festival is the perfect opportunity to see Japan and Japanese tradition in action.
- The stunning, twisted ruins of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia are an incredible insight into the history of the country, whilst still being immensely beautiful. You may recognise these ruins from your favourite films, such as Tomb Raider. Stroll through the vines and the bizarre shapes of these temples and feel as though you’re an explorer yourself.
- The palace complex known as The Forbidden City in Beijing is a fascinating must-see on a visit to China. See where the Chinese government was based for more than 500 years as well as learning about the Ming and Qing dynasties in this Unesco World Heritage site.
- The Taj Mahal in India isn’t one of the 7 modern wonders of the world for no reason. As one of the most beautiful architectural works in the entire world, this site is an unmissable stop for travellers in India. It is surrounded by stunning scenery on the banks of the river Yamuna.
- As one of Thailand's best Unesco World Heritage Sites, Ayutthaya National Park, is home to over a dozen ancient temple sites and what remains of the ruins of the former Siamese capital. Its a fascinating discovery of ancient Siamese life and is best seen on bicycle, since the sites are fairly spread out.
Things to know before travelling to Asia
Since Asia is huge, containing so many countries, cultures, landscapes and people, it can be immensely varied. It is important to keep this in mind, especially if you plan on visiting several different countries.
- Variety in culture and religion means variety in customs, traditions and beliefs and so its worth reading up on each country before visiting.
- When making purchases, price is not fixed and haggling can be a useful skill to learn during your trip to Asia. This skill is particularly useful in India and South-East Asia, where you can expect to be charged a higher price as a tourist.
- When visiting Japan and China, you will notice that these are cash cultures and some places will not take cards. Try to carry cash for small purchases, such as food and drink.
- Throughout Asia, (free) wifi can be hard to come by. In Southern and South-East Asia, don’t expect to find too much wifi at all, apart from in accommodations. In Northern Asia, you may find wifi but it will come at a small price.
- In terms of Vaccinations, be sure to check with your Doctor before, since these will vary hugely depending on the location you choose to visit and even on the time of year that you plan on going.
- Something to bear in mind throughout the entirety of Asia is that local beliefs are important. Having done some reading up before you visit a location, you should be able to find out what these may be, but in case you can’t its important to pay attention to what everyone around you is doing. For instance, crossing the road when you see a monk is a custom held in some place but not in others.
- For your visit to Asia, check that you have organised the relevant visas since these will be different depending on where you’re from and where you would like to go as well as the duration you plan on staying. Vietnam and China do require visas, for instance.
Asian food has so much to offer in so many different varieties and variations. Whilst you may be acquainted with dishes such as curries or Pad Thai, we guarantee they will be nothing compared to the real thing.
- For a fresh, delicious start to the day, why not try Vietnamese Pho which can be eaten at any meal. A delicious soup, which can be vegetarian, including deliciously fresh, local ingredients.
- If you fancy a quick meal to refuel while exploring Japan, try traditional Japanese Ramen. This noodle soup can be as simple or as gourmet as you like and can be found on every corner.
- Chinese dumplings are a traditional accompaniment that goes with almost any dish, fill them with meat, vegetables, tofu or whatever you like and enjoy them steamed or fried.
- Thailand is one huge culinary feast and after all the delicious noodle dishes and curry dishes, you may want a light meal of classic Thai green papaya salad to combat the humidity.
- In India, Lassi has been created for centuries to combat the heat and is a delicious yoghurt based drink. Enjoy refreshing Lassi as you explore the wonders of India.
- Enjoy the traditional taste of fresh Sri Lankan sea food, as you enjoy this incredible country. Fried salted fish is so popular here, that you’ll have no trouble finding it.
Major Cities in Asia
With so many incredible cities, you won’t be spoilt for choice, wherever you decide to visit in Asia.
- Kyoto, in Japan, otherwise known as ‘The city of Ten Thousand Shrines’ is a city filled with history and tradition. Wander from site to site and take in the beauty of the city, which is covered in spectacular architecture. The city is also surrounded by amazing landscape which you’ll be able to explore on a day trip.
- A visit to Hoi An in Vietnam will be and unforgettable experience for anyone travelling in South East Asia. Explore the many artisanal shops and stalls by day and by night, why not take a cooking class from one of the many cooking schools here? Wander the streets and enjoy the traditional Vietnamese lanterns that hang above you.
- As the capital of India, its no wonder that New Delhi has made it on to our list. Visit museums, such as the famous Red Fort, or Humayun’s tomb, a Unesco World Heritage site. Here you can enjoy a luxurious hotel or restaurant for a relatively low price, so why not live in style during your trip to Delhi?
- China’s city of Xi’an is home to the world-famous terracotta warriors, which are housed in its main museum. As one of the oldest cities in China, culture and history are abundant here as well as natural beauty. The cities lies at the foot of the Qin Mountain range and so boasts unusual views of the natural world surrounding it.
- As the Sri Lankan capital, and its largest city, Colombohas a lot to offer its visitors. See a fascinating mix of traditional Sri Lankan culture and colonial influences, particularly in the grand architecture of the city centre.