With Asia being the largest and most populated continent, planning a trip there can seem pretty overwhelming. There is so much to see and do, it can seem impossible to even choose where to go, let alone plan everything else. So here is a brilliant starting point for you to plan your perfect trip to Asia.
Where do I go?
A great place to start is Thailand, and not only because they offer a one month visa for most people who fly in. There is so much to see in the capital of Bangkok, and with the low prices that Thailand offers, you should be able to afford plenty of time there. Next up is Singapore, a modern city with beautiful beaches and amazing food. Then we have some amazing tropical islands in Malaysia and Cambodia. Bali is the most popular destination in Indonesia, mostly known for it’s surfing. And finally, you can’t miss the beautiful temples and rivers in Laos.
When should I go?
The months of November to April are the most popular time to go, as it is warm but not too hot. Due to the vastly different climate, it’s important you check what the weather will be like before you go, so that you can be prepared.
How do I plan it?
If you have plenty of time and excellent organisation skills, you can spend a lot of time browsing Google to plan every detail of your trip. However, for the rest of us there are plenty of other options. You can go do the route of an organised trip, which works particularly well for students on a gap year. Alternatively, you can go full adventurer and try backpacking. Book a flight and possibly a hotel for the first couple of night and from then just find accommodation as you travel.
What do I pack?
Asia has an extremely diverse climate, due to it’s vast size, so it depends on where you’re going. If you are going to be in Southeast Asia, places like Southern India, it has a much more tropical climate, which will be very hot. So you will need to pack light, loose clothing and don’t forget a hat and sunscreen. Depending on when you go, will determine whether it is summer or monsoon season. Generally, April to May is when the weather will be hot and dry, and then until October they have monsoon season. At this point it will still be warm and humid, but very rainy, so make sure you have a light mac or umbrella.
What should I avoid?
Although there is some amazing food, be cautious about what you eat. ‘Bali Belly’ is something you don’t want to experience so a great tip is to see if there are other people eating there. Definitely avoid the water if you don’t want any chance of getting ill. Bottled water is better, but still not 100% safe. Your best bet is to take a travel water bottle that can purify your water, wherever you are. Also, be very careful with having any valuables on display, as there is a risk of them getting stolen.
What do I need to know?
There are many customs and traditions in Southeast Asia that you should be aware of, to avoid offending anyone (or getting in trouble). Most local culture dictates that you cover your legs and shoulders when visiting mosques, churches and temples. People in Southeast Asia will often approach you to talk to you, as they often do with Westerns. This may seem unusual or alarming, but they are just being friendly.