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Asia Tours & Trips

Whether you have your heart set on gazing at India's Golden Triangle , eating the best Pad Thai you've ever tasted or ticking off your bucket list at the Great Wall, an Asian vacation offers a multitude of experiences hard to find anywhere else in the world. Ride a camel in the Gobi Desert, climb the mighty Mount Everest, relax on the golden beaches of Bali and explore the incredible Korean capital, Seoul . From cultural immersions to unbeatable hiking adventure opportunities , a tour throughout Asia will not fail to delight even the toughest of critics.

250+ Asia tour packages with 73,271 reviews

9 Days Stunning Japan with Shirakawa-go (3 star hotels) Tour

  • In-depth Cultural

9 Days Stunning Japan with Shirakawa-go (3 star hotels)

My husband and I used Stunning Tours for our honeymoon and we had a wonderful experiences. We made friends with our guides and got to ask more questions and go to more places that we really wanted to see. The hotels were fantastic and transportation was easy with our guide. My husband and I can’t wait to go back to Japan and would definitely book with them again with our friends!

Bali Bucket List Original 10 Day Tour Tour

  • Active Adventure
  • Sightseeing

Bali Bucket List Original 10 Day Tour

Best 10 days you can have!!! Really awesome tour, thanks to our guide Ali who is simply the best and fantastic without even drinking Fanta! Totally recommend ?
  • €55 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

South to North - 15 days Tour

  • Christmas & New Year

South to North - 15 days

My two leaders were amazing, big shout out to Jake and Jamie! You don't have to worry about absolutely anything cause everything is figured out for you! Had the best time in Thailand, I would recommend doing the full trip :)

Southeast Asia Discovery: Seasides and Street Food Tour

Southeast Asia Discovery: Seasides and Street Food

Cheak chuom was a excellent guide to say the least. Was very helpful and thoughtful and made the whole trip go smoothly. The trip itself was very good and very fast pace however saw and did a lot of things.

Philippines One Life Adventures - 10 Days Tour

Philippines One Life Adventures - 10 Days

Currently on tour for the 10 day Philippines trip with Sheena. I wouldn't recommend this for anyone who doesn't want a great time with great people from all over the world or with an incredible, bend over backwards tour guide (Sheena). Tip: have crocs in 4wd gear because you might bust a few pluggers and you'll need swimmers for almost everyday ?

Wanderlands Bali & Lombok - 13 Days Tour

Wanderlands Bali & Lombok - 13 Days

Ich hatte eine unglaublich tolle Zeit und wuerde die Reise jedem weiterempfehlen. Wir haben so viel in so kurzer Zeit von Indonesien gesehen und hatten durch Wanderlands immer die besten Unterkuenfte, private Fuehrungen und sogar ein Privatboot - besser geht es nicht! Das lag aber auch vor allem an unserem super Tourguide Zio, er ist der Beste und hat die Reise so entspannt gemacht. Ich habe hier Freunde fuers Leben gefunden und werde Zio und die letzten Tage nie wieder vergessen. Best time eveeeer
  • €145 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Bali Experience Tour

Bali Experience

I want to express my appreciation for the tour created by TruTravels, the exceptional service provided by Ovinda, our tour guide during the recent Bali Experience tour starting on June 24th. I would like to commend her for her outstanding dedication. Throughout the 10-day tour, Ovinda demonstrated a remarkable ability to connect us with local tour guides and immerse us in the vibrant local cultures of Bali. She provided recommendations for food, bars and other locations. While it is challenging to capture the exact essence of the memories and conversations that were formed during the trip, I can confidently say that many of them will be etched in my mind forever. Ovinda's authenticity, willingness to share her own life experiences, and genuine interest in getting to know each member of the group were truly commendable. She went above and beyond to accommodate the desires and preferences of the entire group. The tour was well built and the people where all interesting to talk to.

Thailand Island Hopper Tour

  • Island Hopping

Thailand Island Hopper

Whiskey has been very welcoming and friendly. He was very good at getting everyone involved and was always up for a good night out which made the evenings more interesting. Kathy (intern) was also very friendly. I think she needs to believe in herself more as she’s better than she thinks.

Bali Intro 12 Day Tour

Bali Intro 12 Day

My 12 day Bali experience trip was amazing to say the least. I feel incredibly lucky that I had the opportunity to travel with new friends who I've gotten so close to! Additionally, every activity was very unique and fun; it's hard to pick a favorite but I'd say the sunrise volcano hike was especially memorable. The itinerary and accommodations were perfect with enough downtime, the locals are so lovely, and our group leader, Vitor, truly made this trip unforgettable (give this man a raise!). I don't think the trip would have been as fun without him as the leader. His enthusiasm, friendliness, and kindness allowed everyone to feel both comfortable and excited for our activities. Some of the girls and I enjoyed this trip so much that we plan on joining Vitor in the Philippines!

Sri Lanka Experience Tour

Sri Lanka Experience

I’ve just had the most amazing 12 days in Sri Lanka! I’m a 29 year old solo traveller and I really didn’t know much about the country before booking. I exchanged a couple of emails with the company before booking with lots of questions and they were really helpful! Before the trip started, our tour guide Ellie reached out via Whatapp which was really ensuring. The trip itself had such a diverse itinerary so you could explore the culture, try the most amazing food and see all the landmarks! Our tour leader, Ellie, was very organised and ensured everyone was enjoying their time on the trip which made the group feel comfortable. Within the first 24 hours, 15 strangers were getting on like they’ve known each other forever. Travelling as a solo was a little scary at first but I could have dreamt about a better time. I’d recommend this tour to anyone who’s interested in trying new experiences (surfing, safari, hiking) and discovering new places. There is very minimal travel time so almost all the trip was spent enjoying the country! You also get free time so you can relax or spend more doing what you enjoy at each place. Thanks again to Ellie, Fernando, the other tour guides and the amazing group over the 12 days. Can’t wait to book onto another tour in the future!

Japan One Life Adventures - 10 Days Tour

Japan One Life Adventures - 10 Days

I recently returned from my 10 Day Japan tour with One Life Adventures & it was easily one of the best travel experiences I've ever had! I've been super fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel to a number of countries & Japan was definitely at the top of my list so my expectations were rather high. Needless to say, this tour surpassed all my expectations as we got to see so many unique places around the country & partake in activities that I would find very difficult to pursue on my own such as a Kendo martial arts class, sushi making class (with a vegetarian option!), tea ceremony, karaoke party plus so much more. All of this was run seamlessly by our wonderful tour guide, Ruby, who ensured that we made the most of our time in Japan. She was so kind & patient in addressing all of our questions/ concerns while keeping us organized & timely with our jam-packed itinerary. I would hands down recommend One Life Adventures & Ruby to my friends & family looking to visit Japan, can't wait to visit again soon!

Bangkok to Singapore: Jungle Hikes & Island Nights Tour

Bangkok to Singapore: Jungle Hikes & Island Nights

Pimm is such a lovely and warm welcoming tour guide. Not only is she punctual and organised she is very helpful and goes above and beyond to assist with any issue. She became a true friend over the time of our tour!

Glimpse Of Indochina In 16 Days (Vietnam,Cambodia,Thailand,Laos) Tour

Glimpse Of Indochina In 16 Days (Vietnam,Cambodia,Thailand,Laos)

What a wonderful experience. We felt totally looked after from start to finish. All the guides we had really knew what they were talking about and we had the best time. Fanstatic
  • Book With Flexibility This operator allows you to rebook your dates or tours with them for free, waiving change fees.

Amazing Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam 18 days Tour

Amazing Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam 18 days

So glad we chose Bravo Tours in Indochina
  • 10% deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

10 Days Splendid Japan with Nagoya (3 star hotels) Tour

10 Days Splendid Japan with Nagoya (3 star hotels)

Stunning Tours did an amazing job on our 10-day trip to Japan. We had a fantastic holiday so well organized and were really well looked after. All the transfers were smooth. The accommodation was the best with highly knowledgeable guides. Excellent advice covering all aspects of a trip prior to travel from a specialist who knows the area very well, excellent service in terms of booking travel, hotels, and guides, delivering a wonderful and memorable holiday. Highly recommended

Reviews of Asia Tours

Without doubt a 5-star service. Stunning Tours are a game-changer when it came to overseeing our family holiday itinerary suggestions and the final plans. Their so helpful and responsive throughout the entire process, and a joy to coordinate with. Full of great ideas and little tips and pointers that made our holiday run like clockwork. The organisation on the ground in Japan couldn’t have done any smoother. We would 100% use Stunning Tours again. Amazing value!
Bali was amazing , good food good mates
This was my first time booking a solo group travel trip and first time traveling over seas. After much research looking at multiple companies, I decided on the 15-day Thailand trip with Feel Free and it was the best decision ever! The price is super reasonable considering how much we did in the 2-week time span. Every day was a new adventure and a new check mark off my bucket list. From visiting multiple temples, to feeding elephants, snorkeling on picturesque blue waters, to fire and UV parties, and so much more. The trip exceeded my expectations. Our group leader Jamie was such a gem! So full of energy and life. She knew so much about Thailand and it was so easy to trust her. You could tell she really wanted all of us to have the best time of our lives. The group of people also made the trip that much more memorable. You go as strangers, but you leave as close friends. I would recommend Feel Free again and again to anyone considering group solo travel. They take care of everything so you don’t have to worry. Don’t wait and just book it!!!


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The Best Places to Go in Asia in 2024

By CNT Editors

The Best Places to Go in Asia in 2024

All products featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

This is part of our global guide to the Best Places to Go in 2024 —find more travel inspiration here .

It’s official, Asia is back—brighter, bolder, and more ambitious than ever. The region took longer than others to shake off pandemic-related travel restrictions and border closures, but has returned in full force, eager to remind international travelers what they’ve been missing.

The continent’s titanic expanse of territories has always offered a diverse tapestry of to-dos—but across the region, new experiences, events, and accommodation options await. Sri Lanka is emerging phoenix-like from economic crisis and responding with a new food festival, wellness-oriented retreats, and a hiking trail that snakes through 186 miles of hill country and centuries of history. Mongolia is relaxing visa restrictions to give more people the opportunity to experience its vast, rugged landscapes, and Kochi is setting the bar high when it comes to city-wide sustainability initiatives. In the UAE , a lesser-known emirate is vying for attention, while a Japanese port city is flexing its design muscles.

Expanded green spaces, intriguing boutique resorts, luxury sleeper trains, and the ancient Silk Road: our list of the 11 best places to visit in Asia in 2024, entirely informed by contributing writers and editors spread across the region, is packed with reasons to head east.

Don’t forget to also visit our global list of best destinations to visit in 2024 , vetted by Condé Nast Traveler editors based in the US, UK, Spain, Middle East, India, and China. — Selina Denman & Julian Manning

Bangkok Chinatown, Thailand

Go for: a culinary renaissance in one of the world’s biggest Chinatowns

Always one of the buzziest districts in Bangkok Chinatown makes the list this year for its everexciting food scene. In...

Always one of the buzziest districts in Bangkok, Chinatown makes the list this year for its ever-exciting food scene. In the year ahead, expect a new wave of restaurants to sprout in this neon-glowing nexus.

With its mom-and-pop noodle joints, incense-infused shrines, and tuk-tuks clattering through centuries-old alleyways, Chinatown has always been one of Bangkok 's buzziest districts. In the mid-2010s, chefs, mixologists, and gallerists started setting up shop in the crumbling townhouses on the district's outskirts and now, a new wave of restaurateurs is headed for Chinatown's neon-glowing nexus, Yaowarat Road. Among them is Australian chef and Thai food guru David Thompson, who, at his Chop Chop Cook Shop , riffs on recipes—buttered prawns, braised peas—from the Chinese-Western restaurants that were all the rage across Bangkok in the 1930s. Upstairs, Goldsmith Bar transforms ingredients commonly found in the neighborhood—shiitake syrup, osmanthus oolong—into heady drinks, and will soon be joined by a Chinese restaurant on the top floor and rooftop terrace.

Lucky Duck , another newcomer, has taken up residence in a historic building nearby and serves up drinks inspired by old-timey Chinese films. Perennially packed Thai restaurant Charmgang is set to open a more laid-back sibling, Charmkrung, where wines and light bites will dominate the menu; and judging from the many buildings currently concealed by tarpaulin and bamboo scaffolding, more bars and restaurants will follow suit. But how much change is too much? 2024 presents a chance to experience the charm of this storied district while still in flux. — Chris Schalkx

Da Nang, Vietnam

Go for: nature reserves, central Vietnamese cuisine, the firework festival

DANANG VIETNAM  Apr 08 2019 A commuter in pink top and red motorbike on the Dragon Bridge in Hai Chau district. The...

The “City of Bridges,” Da Nang, is a 21st century oceanfront destination linked to ancient trading hubs and imperial centers. Take advantage of new flights into Da Nang to explore the entire coast.

The Da Nang International Fireworks Festival is just one popular event in this central Vietnam city—other attractions...

The Da Nang International Fireworks Festival is just one popular event in this central Vietnam city—other attractions, like distinctly local dishes, are on offer year-round.

A modern beach city located amid dozens of UNESCO -recognized sites in the country’s heartland—including the ancient port city of Hoi An and the former imperial capital city of Hue—Da Nang is one of Asia’s big post-COVID success stories, with 2023 international arrivals exceeding pre-pandemic figures, thanks in part to new flight routes that make the City of Bridges easier to get to than ever. In 2023, Vietnam Airlines reopened its popular Tokyo route, Taiwan ’s China Airlines started direct flights from Taipei, and several Southeast Asian budget airlines launched flights to the city, with plenty more in the works. Every June, more than 150 daily flights deliver tourists eager to witness the Da Nang International Fireworks Festival.

Son Tra Peninsula—located just 20 minutes from the city center—is another tourist draw, home to a 17-story, 220-foot statue of Lady Buddha, as well as endangered red-shanked douc langurs that live in the peninsula’s nature reserve. Central Vietnamese food specialties like Mì Quảng, the official noodle soup of the region, and Bánh Xèo turmeric crepes, should be another feature of any travel itinerary.

Hotel and resort developers are taking note of Da Nang’s newfound popularity. On Son Tra Peninsula, the Bill Bensley-designed InterContinental Sun Peninsula Resort recently completed an extensive 10th-anniversary renovation that includes a new club lounge, villas, and spa concept. IHG Hotel Group’s voco Ma Belle Danang opened in the city in 2023, and 2024 will herald the arrival of Da Nang’s first Mandarin Oriental property and an outpost of the wellness-driven Southeast Asian Fusion Hotel group. — Dan Q. Dao

Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

Go for: lesser-known walking trails, new vantage points, an international folk festival

The Mustang Trail Race is just one of many events on the horizon for Kathmandu Valley designed to encourage visitors to...

The Mustang Trail Race is just one of many events on the horizon for Kathmandu Valley designed to encourage visitors to embrace and immerse themselves in the Himalayan landscape.

Kathmandu Valley’s standing as Nepal ’s cultural hub will be revived in early 2024 with the return of the International Folk Festival-Nepal in March—its first in-person iteration since 2020—and the biennial Film Southasia , South Asia’s premier documentary festival, later in the year.

Atop Kathmandu Valley’s picturesque ridges lie the emergent destinations of Dhulikhel and Chandragiri, replete with hidden trails that are an unexpected alternative to Nepal’s more well-trodden and strenuous trekking routes. In Dhulikhel, Thai hospitality outfit Dusit Hotels and Resorts recently launched a charming luxury resort , while nearby, the Namo Buddha Eco Resort offers an opportunity to explore Nepal’s sustainable agricultural practices.

Bolstered by a commitment to improve the country’s tourism infrastructure with the launch of Nepal’s Tourism Decade in 2023, 2024 will see the Kathmandu Valley continue to serve as a gateway to the rest of Nepal’s tourism hotspots, with improved road and air connectivity between Kathmandu and the valleys of Pokhara and Mustang. As the 2024 additions to Pokhara’s hospitality landscape, such as Le Glamour Luxury Resort , set up in lofty vantage points across the valley, easier access to the once-remote Mustang Valley is similarly leading to the introduction of luxury accommodation options such as the stunning 29-suite Bill Bensley-designed Shinta Mani Mustang, and events such as the Mustang Trail Race, designed to encourage visitors to fully immerse themselves in this singular Himalayan landscape. — Amulya Gyawali

Kobe, Japan

Go for: high design with a sense of place

In Kobe Japan designforward spaces like the new Officine Universelle Buly skincare shop  are creatively building on its...

In Kobe, Japan, design-forward spaces, like the new Officine Universelle Buly skincare shop (left), are creatively building on its seafaring heritage.

Sandwiched between steep mountains and sparkling seas in southwestern Japan , the port city of Kobe is seriously strengthening its design credentials. Taking centre stage is Vague Kobe , a new creative space by Teruhiro Yanagihara Studio (TYS). Spanning the upper levels of an elegant former 1930s bank, it houses a gallery, bookstore, café, wine bar, flower shop, and design studio. In a perfectly measured showcase of contemporary Japanese design—and a reflection of Kobe’s seafaring heritage—renovated interiors combine crafted walls of traditional Japanese plasterwork and clean minimalist lines with large windows, stone floors, and ornate tilework.

Further proof of Kobe’s design ascendency was the arrival of French artisanal perfume and skincare brand Officine Universelle Buly in mid-2023, its shop and café interiors flamboyantly layered in signature style—from Kobe beef-inspired expanses of red-veined marble to chocolate-like lacquerware and “dripping” lamps. Recent plans by Trunk , arguably Tokyo’s hippest hotel group, to make Kobe the setting for its first hotel outside the capital is further evidence of the city’s prominence. And Kobe Port Tower —a panoramic observation deck on the shores of Osaka Bay—will reopen in early 2024 with a string of new facilities, including a new museum showcasing light-themed artworks and a fancy 360-degree revolving café bar. — Danielle Demetriou

Kochi, India

Go for: sustainable initiatives, stunning waterways, local festivals

Kochi's draws are modern and oldschool in equal measure. For one thing Kochi's 10 islands will become fully solarpowered...

Kochi's draws are modern and old-school in equal measure. For one thing, Kochi's 10 islands will become fully solar-powered by 2024. But local festivals like the ancient temple gathering of Thrissur Pooram and the Kochi-Muziris Biannale maintain the texture and history that make the place special.

Kochi’s waterways have lured visitors for centuries, its verdant backwaters, lagoons and rivers as attractive to travelers today as they were to Arab, Chinese, and European merchants in the 1300s. As one of the first in the world, its water metro system—a socially inclusive transport option connecting 10 islands along a 50-mile network—was already revolutionary when it launched in 2021, but will set the bar even higher by late 2024, when it becomes fully solar powered.

The move is part of a wider effort to transform Kerala ’s financial and industrial capital into a solar powerhouse. The city’s international airport (CIAL) is the first in the world to operate solely on solar energy and was recently upgraded with the introduction of a dedicated business jet terminal that’s the largest in India. This will be complemented by a refreshed airport hotel in mid-2024, as the current property is brought under the Taj banner and upgraded accordingly. Improvements are also underway at Kochi’s 150-year-old Ernakulam Market, which is set to unveil its years-in-the-making redesign in early 2024.

On a wider scale, Kerala Tourism 2.0, the state’s $43 million 2023-2024 sustainable tourism initiative, will focus on improving infrastructure and travel corridors between Kochi and less-visited destinations such as Munnar and Kozhikode—as well as local festivals, from the ancient temple gathering of Thrissur Pooram to the Kochi-Muziris Biennale . Meanwhile, responsible tourism operator The Blue Yonder —which created a twilight dining experience inspired by Kochi’s historic Chinese fishing nets in 2023 in Ezhikkara—offers opportunities to experience conservation-focused mangrove trails and climate-resilient Pokkali rice farms, alongside it revamped 2023-2024 Nila River voyages: two-week odysseys along the state’s cultural lifeline, from the Palakkad gap to Ponnani. — Taarika John

Go for: improved access, unique cultural festivals, and unscripted adventure

Thrillseeking adventure travelers will always find something to love about Mongolia and it will never be easier for them...

Thrill-seeking adventure travelers will always find something to love about Mongolia, and it will never be easier for them to do so than in 2024 with the first direct US flights, a new crop of nationalities who can visit visa-free, and more.

Mongolia has long been the destination for thrill-seeking adventure travelers—as participants in the wonderfully chaotic Mongol Rally will attest—but the country is expanding beyond that niche as its tourism board sets its sights on attracting a million tourists per year. In 2023, the country launched visa-free travel for a further 34 nationalities—bringing the total up to 61—in a campaign that is set to run until 2025.

The launch of new luxury lodges, cultural tours, and the announcement of the country’s first ever direct US flight, coming in 2024 to the $650-million Chinggis Khaan International Airport, further signal Mongolia’s tourism ambitions.

Following the success of the rugged-but-chic Three Camel Lodge , Mongolia’s luxury accommodation options are expanding with places such as Yeruu Lodge , which opened in 2023. Offbeat cultural experiences are one of the most compelling reasons to visit the country’s vast, rugged expanses and local operator Breanna Wilson offers some of the best. After a successful season of horse trekking and the Naadam Festival—a colorful display of strength, horsemanship, and marksmanship—in 2023, Wilson is expanding her 2024 tours to include a digital nomad week, a women-only retreat in Orkhon Valley, and a three-day archery training session with Namnaa Academy , an organization that began reviving the ancient art of mounted archery in 2020. — Ali Wunderman

Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

Go for: exhilarating adventure sports, luxurious accommodation options

Adventure tourism developments are in the works in Ras Al Khaimah's rocky mountains  with Jebel Jais acting as the home...

Adventure tourism developments are in the works in Ras Al Khaimah's rocky mountains (and along its undersung coastline), with Jebel Jais acting as the home base for a burgeoning hiking and ziplining scene.

With its rocky mountains and low-key coastline, Ras Al Khaimah has long served as a weekend escape for UAE residents. But with several adventure tourism developments in the works and an influx of luxury properties lining up to open in the UAE’s fourth-largest emirate, there’s plenty happening now to put Ras Al Khaimah on the global tourism map. On an island just off the coast, the 174-room Anantara Mina Al Arab Resort , home to the country’s first overwater villas, will welcome its first guests in January—to be joined by a 155-room Nikki Beach Resort in 2026.

But most of the action is happening on the slopes of Jebel Jais , the UAE’s highest mountain. Among the peaks that are already home to the world’s longest zipline, adrenaline-lovers will soon be able to launch themselves into the blue beneath the canopy of a paraglider with the new Jais Wings experience. And if all that activity leaves you longing for a comfortable place to rest, the 70 luxurious rooms at nature-focused Saij Mountain Lodge will be perfect for bedding down once it opens in 2024. To top it all off, Qatar Airways resumed operating daily flights direct from its Doha hub to Ras Al Khaimah International Airport in November, making this lesser-known emirate more accessible than ever. — Nicola Chilton

The Red Sea, Saudi Arabia

Go for: bragging rights, pristine nature, a new take on sustainability

Saudi Arabia's Red Sea has both untouched desert and vibrant coral reefs—both of which will be part of an ambitious...

Saudi Arabia's Red Sea has both untouched desert and vibrant coral reefs—both of which will be part of an ambitious sustainable tourism development in the destination in 2024.

Creating a completely new tourism destination in an area of pristine natural beauty—including coral reefs that are home to critically endangered species, unspoiled desert, and dormant volcanoes—is a fine tightrope to walk. Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea aims to navigate these challenges with ambitious efforts that will make it a center of regenerative tourism, powered by 100% renewable energy. Only 22 of the more than 90 islands in the area will be developed, and nine have been designated as protected conservation areas. While many of the sustainability efforts will be behind the scenes, some are visible—and visitable.

New mangrove parks will be populated with trees currently being grown in a mangrove nursery (the project aims to plant 50 million by 2030). The first phase of the destination, which includes 16 luxury hotels, is powered by 760,000 solar panels, and the world’s first zero-carbon 5G network has already been installed. Three resorts— Six Senses Southern Dunes , Nujuma, and The St. Regis —are set to open in the coming months, each with its own strict program of sustainability measures, ranging from light-touch modular structures to intelligent landscaping, smart waste management, and local sourcing. Transport within the destination will be by e-vehicles, and hydrogen-powered seaplanes will eventually transport visitors between the islands. Whether a luxury tourist destination can ever truly be sustainable remains to be seen, but the efforts being made in the Red Sea are certainly testing the hypothesis. — Nicola Chilton

Go for: forest trails, new luxury stays, and Taylor Swift hype

Singapore's glamour has always been legendary but things will be taken up a notch next year as Belmond returns with its...

Singapore's glamour has always been legendary, but things will be taken up a notch next year as Belmond returns with its long-awaited Eastern & Oriental Express—a new journey will take passengers from Singapore to Malaysia and back again come February.

Even by Singapore ’s hyperkinetic standards, 2024 is shaping up to be an unusually livewire year. March will usher in Taylor Swift hype at the National Stadium in Kallang, as the pop star lights up the waterfront venue in her sole South East Asian stop on the record-shattering The Eras Tour. Hotel bookings have reportedly surged in anticipation, right on the heels of a string of high-profile openings in 2023, including the much-anticipated Mondrian Singapore Duxton near Chinatown. Relaunches and openings will continue into 2024, with the Grand Hyatt on the plush Orchard Road-Scotts Road juncture unveiling a completely new look, and Raffles inaugurating its villa-style spa and resort on Sentosa Island .

Singapore is also adding exciting accoutrements to its impressive green quilt. At Gardens by the Bay , the country’s landscaping masterpiece, the longest sculpture in the world—a 300-foot parade depicting 60 endangered animals cast in bronze—is on display until May. Cycling paths are coming to 10 additional neighborhoods (Jurong Lake District and Punggol among them), and some will be linked to the city’s more than 300km-long green network of park connectors. A 755-foot-long forest trail and a lagoon pool will be among the highlights of the soon-to-reopen Big Sister’s Island marine park.

Not to forget Singapore’s legendary glamour, which holds sway over everything, as Belmond returns with its long-awaited Eastern & Oriental Express , kicking off a new journey from Singapore to Malaysia and back in February. In September, the country has its annual date with Formula 1 at the iconic Marina Bay Street Circuit, which, as F1’s original night race, is set against a dazzling backdrop of skyscrapers and city lights. — Lakshmi Sankaran

The Silk Road, Uzbekistan

Go for: the ancient charm of the Silk Road charging into the future with new high-speed rail routes

Samarkand is one of four cities in Uzbekistan benefitting from a renewed interest in the Silk Road with Afrosiyob a new...

Samarkand is one of four cities in Uzbekistan benefitting from a renewed interest in the Silk Road, with Afrosiyob, a new high-speed rail network linking its minarets and turquoise-blue tiling with the country's capital of Tashkent—and more. Routes to Khiva, 2024's tourism capital of the Islamic world, will come online next year.

For centuries, traders journeyed along the ancient Silk Road, weaving westwards from China to Iran and Turkey, sharing their stories and cultures alongside textiles, tea, and perfume. Today, four cities in Uzbekistan —Samarkand, Tashkent, Bukhara, and Khiva—are benefitting from renewed interest in this historic route. Explorers may once have had to contend with long, arduous journeys on camel-back, but new Afrosiyob high-speed trains have become a lifeline linking Tashkent, the country’s capital, to Samarkand and Bukhara. In 2024, this 373-mile rail network will extend to Khiva, making it even easier to explore Uzbek Silk Road cities.

While Samarkand’s minarets and turquoise-blue tiling are hallmarks of regal Timurid architecture—evident in the towering monoliths of Registan Square— Bukhara is the site of beguiling mosque complexes and age-old rug-making traditions. In Tashkent, the host of 2024’s FIFA Futsal World Cup , heritage is combined with a more cosmopolitan verve, and Swissôtel is slated to open its first property here in 2024.

Khiva, the latest rail stop, has also been declared 2024’s tourism capital of the Islamic world, perfectly positioning it to showcase the mud-and-straw walls and impeccably preserved fortifications of Itchan Kala , a UNESCO-certified inner city with over 50 historic monuments. — Lakshmi Sankaran

South and central Sri Lanka

Go for: wellness retreats, a new food festival, and a nearly 200-mile nature trail

Kayaam House is one of several openings that signals the luxury and wellness boom marking Sri Lanka's tourism industry...

Kayaam House is one of several openings that signals the luxury and wellness boom marking Sri Lanka's tourism industry right now.

Rising from economic uncertainty, Sri Lanka ’s tourism industry is in the midst of a luxury and wellness boom—from its tea-filled highlands to its palm-fringed shores. In the south of the country, new luxury resorts continue to entice. Among them, Kayaam House and Ahu Bay by homegrown luxury travel specialist Resplendent Ceylon; a Hilton resort next to the Indian Ocean-bordering Yala National Park, one of the best places to spot Sri Lanka’s elusive leopards; and the art deco-inspired The Charleston , which opens in December in the UNESCO-listed Galle Fort. The already established Kalukanda House —a villa in surf town Weligama by British-Sri Lankan interior designer Dee Gibson—is making its mark with retreats centered on female empowerment, with yoga, breath work, reiki, and Ayurveda included.

A comprehensive renovation of the nine-room Meraki , which employs local women and offers yoga, holistic treatments, island-sourced vegetarian fare, and artisanal crafts in the Polhena Beach district of Matara, is set to be unveiled in early 2024; and luxury fitness getaway Makahiya is gearing up to launch its own brand of bespoke retreats.

In January, the Galle Literary Festival will return after a five-year hiatus, with appearances by literary figures such as Shehan Karunatilaka and Alexander McCall Smith, while Gourmet Galle , the country’s new food festival, will spotlight 12 chefs in 12 venues, ranging from beaches to paddy fields, over a 12-week period from January to March.

Inland, development of the Pekoe Trail , a new nearly 200-mile network of hiking routes that snakes its way through Sri Lanka’s highlands, continues. Traversing historic tea plantations, colonial estates, local villages, holy shrines, and forests brimming with biodiversity, it’s a novel way to experience Sri Lanka’s lush hill country, particularly when paired with stays at boutique properties such as W15 Hanthana , the luxurious Goatfell , or the Kelburne Estate , scheduled to open in December 2024. — Zinara Rathnayake


Six Senses Vana

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Best places to visit in asia.

From megacities to remote islands, Asia's top travel spots offer a hearty dose of adventure, ancient history and culture. And with most Asian destinations now fully open after years of pandemic restrictions, there has never been a better time to plan a trip. After considering local prices, accessibility and the variety of attractions in each destination, along with traveler feedback, U.S. News ranked the best places to visit in Asia. Contribute to next year's list by casting your vote below.

Sagarmatha National Park

Railay beach, guilin and lijiang river national park.

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If your dream vacation involves posting up on a postcard-worthy beach, the Maldives is for you. This far-flung destination, which is located about 370 miles from civilization in the Indian Ocean, is made up of more than 1,100 idyllic islands (roughly 200 of which are inhabited). The Maldives feature lush tropical landscapes, unparalleled white sand beaches, crystal-clear ocean waters and coral reefs that prompt extensive exploration. The best way to experience this slice of paradise? Stay in one of many overwater bungalows , of course.

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Tokyo is as fast-paced as cities come – it's the most populated city in the world, after all. Japan's capital features neon-lit skyscrapers and crowded streets that novice visitors may find dizzying, but its one-of-a-kind offerings can't be missed. Spend days touring quirky museums, exploring fascinating architecture or visiting Odaiba for its premier shopping scene. Or, take in some quieter, more peaceful moments at a holy site like the Meiji Shrine or Sensoji Temple. Tokyo's unrivaled gastronomic landscape (think: sushi, ramen, sky-high cocktail bars and more Michelin darlings than you could hope to visit) also makes it a bucket list destination for foodies.

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Phuket, Thailand's elongated beaches and cerulean waters embody a paradise that few other Asian destinations can rival. Besides swimming and relaxing on the beach, visitors can take traditional, wooden longtail boat tours to James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay to see the surreal limestone rock formations that rise from the sea. The towering Big Buddha statue is also a top attraction, while Phuket's buzzing beach clubs and nightlife options hold appeal for those looking to let loose. What's more, like most destinations in Thailand, travelers can find relatively affordable lodging options here.

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This Nepalese national park is famous for housing the behemoth that is Mount Everest, the highest point on earth, and promises a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. However, it is important to know that Sagarmatha is not just Everest. The UNESCO-listed park also offers several other sky-high Himalayan peaks, as well as sweeping valleys, scenic glaciers, deep gorges and incredible wildlife, including snow leopards and red pandas. Just note, seeing the park's top attractions typically requires at least two weeks of trekking, and due to Sagarmatha's high elevation and rocky, steep terrain, a trip here isn't for the faint of heart.

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A British colony until 1997, Hong Kong's strong Western influence sets it apart from China's mainland metropolises. Beyond Hong Kong's sleek, towering skyscrapers (best admired from Victoria Peak), visitors can find natural and cultural gems on the more than 250 outlying islands, such as Lantau Island, or shop the city's bustling street markets. Dim sum is a must, but Hong Kong's robust dining scene also offers everything from street food to Michelin-starred fine dining. And when the sun goes down, watch the Symphony of Lights laser show dazzle the skyline along Victoria Harbor.

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Tucked among lush mountains in northwest Thailand, Chiang Mai offers a sized-down version of Bangkok's buzz paired with a tranquil culture and natural beauty. Your urban itinerary should include tuk-tuk rides, tours of breathtaking temples like Wat Chedi Luang Varavihara and Wat Phra Singh, trips to night markets and a cooking class to try your hand at pad Thai. Then, step outside of the city walls to visit an ethical elephant sanctuary or two and a wander through beautiful Doi Suthep-Pui National Park.

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History lovers and Instagrammers alike will revel in the sites of Kyoto. The city, which used to be Japan's capital until imperial times, is awash with centuries-old shrines and temples, including the gilded Kinkakuji and Fushimi Inari Taisha, a shrine that dates back to A.D. 711. In addition to saving time for religious sites, be sure to visit the famous Philosopher's Path, preferably during cherry blossom season, and the mystical Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. When hunger strikes, treat yourself to kaiseki: a traditional multicourse meal native to Japan. For another essential Japanese experience, stay at one of the many ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) in Kyoto. 

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From the moment you touchdown at Singapore Changi Airport (a tourist destination in itself), Singapore shows off its futuristic embellishment. But this Southeast Asia jewel is also unique for its amalgamation of cultures. This fusion takes form in the city's colorful neighborhoods, eclectic culinary scene and overall modern atmosphere. After shopping on flashy Orchard Road and chowing down in cultural enclaves like Little India or Chinatown, head downtown to take in the towering skyscrapers from Merlion Park, the Singapore Flyer or the sky-high Gardens by the Bay.

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The island nation of Sri Lanka, located off the southern tip of India, boasts rainforests, beaches and ruins without the tourist crowds of other popular Asian destinations. Despite its small footprint, Sri Lanka features 26 national parks, many of which are ideal for a safari excursion to encounter elephants, leopards and sloth bears. Meanwhile, ancient sites like Sigiriya, a 600-foot-high fortress, and the temples of Polonnaruwa hold their own appeal, and the palm-fringed golden beaches that line the shores are never too far away for those seeking a more laid-back vacation.

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Hanoi is perfect for first-time Vietnam visitors, with tranquil lakes offsetting its fast-paced bustle and darting motorbikes. The country's capital offers plenty in the way of history, culture, shopping, dining and natural splendor. Start your day off with a Vietnamese coffee, then head to Hanoi's central Old Quarter for a stroll through the many narrow, colorful streets and a taste of mouthwatering street food. After that, check out one of the city's many temples, including the ancient Temple of Literature, which dates back to the 11th century, or head to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, a must-visit for history buffs.

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Bali's natural beauty is so profound, travelers have been known to refer to the Indonesian destination as "heaven on Earth." Here, lush rainforests, picturesque mountains, sweeping valleys and scenic beaches all sit side by side. You'll also find a handful of serene temples in this Southeast Asia hot spot, including Uluwatu and Tanah Lot temples – both excellent places to catch a sunset. And no first-time trip to Bali would be complete without on a visit to Ubud, Bali's cultural capital and home of the region's famous rice terraces.

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Whether you visit in spring (for cherry blossoms), summer (for climbing), autumn (for foliage) or winter (for nearby ski resorts), Japan's highest peak and imposing attraction is sure to capture your attention. Mount Fuji lies about 60 miles southwest of Tokyo, perfect for a daytrip from the city or a glimpse from a train ride, but this active volcano is also worthy of deeper exploration. Base yourself in the Fuji Five Lakes area to enjoy picture-perfect views at Arakurayama Sengen Park or from one of Lake Kawaguchiko's onsens (hot springs), and don't leave without sampling local hoto noodles.  

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If you only have time to go to one beach in Thailand, make it Railay Beach, one of the world's most beautiful beaches . Located in the country's Krabi province, Railay Beach features glistening white sands and is surrounded by limestone rock formations (covered in leafy green vegetation) that jut out from the sea. If you're feeling adventurous, explore the area's natural wonders with a rock climbing excursion or go for a nighttime kayak trip to see bioluminescent plankton. As if this beach destination couldn't get more alluring, you're only able to reach it by boat. Daytrips from nearby Ao Nang are popular among travelers.

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Siem Reap is the home of Angkor Wat, an ornate Buddhist temple built in the 12th century that is believed to be the largest religious monument in the world. The impressive landmark is just one of many must-sees within Cambodia's UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor. The complex also includes the equally detailed Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm Temple. Because of the immense popularity of Angkor (the site receives millions of visitors per year), you may want to travel during a shoulder month like March or November to avoid bumping elbows with fellow travelers.

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Travel to the capital of Indian state Rajasthan to marvel at the "Pink City's" incredible architecture. Hawa Mahal, a pink sandstone palace that was modeled after Hindu god Krishna's crown, is Jaipur's biggest claim to fame. The property's astounding 953 honeycomb-patterned windows allowed the original ladies of the royal family to view the comings and goings of the Indian city without being seen. Other structures worth seeing are the Jaigarh Fort, Panna Meena ka Kund and Jantar Mantar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that displays larger-than-life astronomical instruments.

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Thailand's capital city is filled to the brim with eye-catching Hindu sites, nonstop nightlife and incredible Thai cuisine. Sacred sites like Wat Arun and Wat Pho are pockets of calm amidst Bangkok's skyscrapers. Shoppers can enjoy the Chatuchak Weekend Market, one of the world's largest street markets, or venture to one of the floating markets located outside the city. While in Bangkok, grab as much grub as possible from the street stalls, and at night, you won't want to miss the lofty views from one of the many rooftop bars.

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This national park is so loved and respected, its image is featured on China's paper currency. Guilin and Lijiang River National Park is located in the Guangxi region in the southeastern part of China. The Lijiang River runs about 50 miles from Guilin to Yangshuo, passing stunning landscapes and towering green karsts (eroded limestone) along the way. The best way to take in the otherworldly scenery is by boat cruise, though you may want to splurge on a luxury option since the trip can take up to five hours. Tourists who prefer to travel on their own time can also hike or bike along the river.

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Luang Prabang

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Kuala Lumpur

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Asia Tours, Vacations & Travel Packages

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Our Asia Vacations and Tours

If the allure of the Far East tempts you to plan a visit to Asia, you might face a tough decision! Which destinations do you select in the world’s largest continent? No two Asia tours are quite alike, and each country has its own special appeal. There are differences in language, history, customs, religions, cuisines and local scenery. Goway offers group, independent, family, luxury, and active travel plus much more across over 20 countries in Asia. Click to learn more about the Goway Asia difference.

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Asia Travel Highlights

China tours and beyond.

China is the fastest-developing country in the world. China travel provides the opportunity to see where this destination is heading as well as being able to experience its 4000-year history. Beijing’s highlights include the Great Wall and the Imperial Palace, also known as the Forbidden City. Shanghai is, in many ways, China’s city of the future. Xian , China’s ancient capital, is home to the legendary 2000-year-old Terra Cotta Warriors. Guilin has stunning tropical scenery and landscapes. Suzhou has fascinating canals and ornamental gardens and Kunming is the centre of numerous ethnic minorities, illustrating some of China’s diversity. Then there is Tibet with its fabulous and immense Potala Palace, the dramatic and beautiful Yangtze River with its fjord-like scenery, and the historic Silk Route of China stretching right across the country. All this is just a small part of a large world to be discovered on your China trip.

Japan Travel: Still One of a Kind

Japan brings together the past and the present in its major cities, including Tokyo , Kyoto , Osaka , Nagoya and Hiroshima . It is a land of tradition with its castles, temples and shrines together and with its many special occasions such as the Blossom Festivals. Yet it is also a modern land that inspires innovation and wonders with its speeding bullet trains and the latest electronic gadgets. The cuisine is all Japan’s own, ranging from simple grilled meats to delicately prepared ramen noodles and sushi, uniquely flavoured seaweed tea, and some inexplicably delicious desserts.

Places to Visit in South Korea

South Korea combines the old and new as well, albeit while bringing a very different culture and approach. Enjoy the street markets, palaces and gardens in Seoul , the archaeological sites in the ancient capital of Gyeongju known as the “Museum without Walls”, the port city of Busan with its special temples and the tropical “Hawaii of Korea,” and the magical Jeju Island with its swaying palms and sandy beaches. Korean scenery varies from mountain ranges to forested national parks, and once you’ve had a taste, you’ll want to explore it all.

From Your Hong Kong Tour...

Hong Kong may only cover a small area but it is chock full of reasons to visit, at least for a few days. The hectic pace of everyday life in this dramatic setting charges the city with amazing energy. There is outstanding shopping, ranging from vibrant street markets such as the incomparable Stanley Market to stores selling luxury brand merchandise. The traditional side of Hong Kong can be found in its narrow alleyways and its many temples and pagodas. A must-do is a trip on the Star Ferry between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.

A Tour of Macau

Not far away on a short ferry ride is Macau with its Portuguese influences reflected in its architecture, churches, fortresses and cuisine. A highlight is a thrilling walk around the outside of the Macau Tower while looking down on the city. 

Enjoy sushi and other exotic Japanese food

Travel to Taiwan

Taiwan is a country with many natural attributes with a steep mountain chain running from north to south, lush forests, lakes and an abundance of natural beauty. Its capital, Taipei , is a busy centre of activity with the jewel in the crown being the remarkable National Palace Museum with its treasure trove of ancient Chinese artifacts. Two other highlights are Kenting National Park , Taiwan’s oldest national park and the exotic-sounding Sun Moon Lake , the largest natural lake in the country.

Beyond the Usual Philippines Tour

The Philippines is a land of natural beauty with volcanic mountains, scenic rice paddies, tumbling waterfalls, serene lakes and some of the best beaches in Asia. Manila offers a lively urban scene and an insight into the country’s Spanish rule through a visit to the old area of Intramuros. The major beach resorts include Boracay , Palawan and Cebu . For a change of pace, check out the Banaue Rice Terraces with their breathtaking scenic landscapes carved into the mountains.

Bali, Beach, Temples, and More in Indonesia

Indonesia’s highlights include the magical island of Bali which combines excellent beaches with picture-perfect villages, traditional temples, rice paddies and an active volcano. Take a side trip to the enchanting inland resort of Ubud with its mountain and valley setting and wonderful artisan shops. Archaeology fans should head to Java, specifically Borobudur with its 1200-year-old Buddhist relics and Prambanan with its centuries-old Hindu temple complex. Then, there are the legendary Komodo Dragons on the island of Komodo , the world’s largest lizards and a must-see for brave wildlife lovers.

Food and Culture in Singapore

Singapore is a melting pot of three distinct cultures, Malay, Chinese and Indian which all come together in the country’s architecture, traditions, food and people. There are modern high-rises and colourful neighbourhoods such as Chinatown and Little India. Other highlights are outdoor dining on the Singapore River, a visit to the interesting Jurong Bird Park and to Sentosa Island with its museum, aquarium, beaches, shopping and restaurants.  

Malaysia Travel Packed with Adventure

There are many special attractions in Malaysia. There is the cosmopolitan capital, Kuala Lumpur , the island of Penang with its excellent beaches and charming, historical Georgetown, the hill retreats of the Genting and Cameron Highlands , the world’s largest rainforest, Taman Negara, the beautiful resort of Langkawi and the fascinating Portuguese and Chinese-influenced Malacca. 

Finding fresh ingredients in Malaysia’s markets.

A Unique Trip to Borneo

Malaysian Borneo offers interesting cities such as Kuching and Kota Kinabalu and South East Asia’s highest mountain, Mount Kinabalu plus the opportunity to stay with native tribes descended from headhunters in the jungle. Scuba diving in the south of Borneo is some of the best anywhere. Brunei , a small country that shares the island, boasts some unique architecture in its capital, Bandar Seri Begawan . This includes the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque and the Royal Palace. Other attractions include rainforests, wildlife and beaches.

Travel with Excitement to Thailand

Thailand is often called the land of smiles because of its gentle, friendly people. It is home to the exciting city of Bangkok teeming with life with its wonderful ornate palaces and temples, street markets, Chao Phraya River on which to take a cruise and its rambling backwater canals. A side trip to the River Kwai is well worthwhile, or to the nearby beach resorts of Pattaya , Hua Hin and Cha-Am.  For more excellent beach resorts, you can’t go wrong with Phuket , Ko Samui , Krabi , Phi Phi Island or Koh Lanta in Southern Thailand. Northern Thailand offers spectacular scenery and impressive cities such as Chiang Mai , the "Rose of the North" and Chang Rai. In this region, you can visit hill tribes, and experience a working elephant camp.

Young buddhist monks reading outdoors sitting outside monastery

A Trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos

The emerging destinations of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos each have their own character and attractions. Vietnam  has fascinating, lively metropolises such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi plus the old historical capital of Hue , the nearby atmospheric port of Hoi An , the beach resorts of Nha Trang and Phan Tiet , the amazing and spectacular Halong Bay and the scenic hill stations of Dalat and Sapa. The Mekong Delta offers lush tropical scenery and an insight into local rural life. Cambodia  is home to one of the world’s most amazing archaeological sites, Angkor Wat, with its extensive ancient temple complex. Laos‘s main attraction is the town of Luang Prabang with its colourful temples, exceptional night market and the daily parade of the monks. 

Once a closed country, Myanmar has now opened its doors to the world. Marvel at the awe-inspiring Shwedagon Pagoda, a city within a city containing many pavillions and shrines. Take in the” seeing is believing” landscape of the hundreds of Buddhist temples in Bagan .  Mandalay has a large collection of temples and pagodas and Inle Lake offers the opportunity to view colourful country life. Take a boat ride on the lake and observe the fascinating fishing villages. 

Why travel to India ?

Where to begin? In Delhi , you can experience the hustle and bustle of Old Delhi, visit Gandhi’s memorial, admire the impressive Jama Masjid Mosque, Humayan’s Tomb, the burial place of several Moghul emperors and the Qutub Minar, the tallest tower in India. In Mumbai , marvel at the Gateway of India overlooking the harbour, take in the attractive Marine Drive, visit Gandhi’s home, now a museum and visit the most amazing outdoor laundry, the Dhobi Ghats. Jaipur is known as the “Pink City” with its City Palace, the enigmatic Palace of Winds, the Jantar Mantar ancient observatory and the striking and majestic Amber Palace perched on top of a hill. No visit to India would be complete without seeing the Taj Mahal in Agra , the white marble mausoleum built by the order of the emperor Shah Jahan in the 1600s.

Arguably India’s most beautiful city, Udaipur is located on scenic Lake Pichola and offers marble palaces and beautiful gardens. Jodhpur has the immense and stunning Mehrangarh Fort located on the top of a hill. For beaches and history, head to Goa and for animal viewing, Ranthambore Tiger Sanctuary . For something unusual, check out the erotic temple carvings in Khajuraho. For ambience and an insight into the Hindu way of life, visit Varanasi and take an early morning boat ride on the River Ganges . Travel south to the attractive city of Cochin for Portuguese influences and the nearby fascinating backwaters of Kerala. 

Everest and Nepal Adventure

Nepal is synonymous with Mount Everest viewed from Kathmandu but that’s not all there is to see. The capital, Kathmandu will make you feel as if time has stopped still with its medieval atmosphere, palaces and Buddhist and Hindu temples. Nearby Bhaktapur is known for its woodcarvings, pottery and cloth weaving. Nepal is the place for treks, easy or hard, short or long. Many of these start in the scenic resort of Pokhara located on a beautiful lake. Animal lovers will enjoy a jungle safari in Royal Chitwan National Park .   

Sandwiched between India, China and Nepal, Bhutan is a unique and mysterious country full of colourful Buddhist monasteries, museums and local markets. It also has stunning scenery including snow-capped peaks and wooded valleys. It is a great place to experience resplendent festivals which take place constantly. 

Mongolia Travel Takes You Out There

Mongolia , the World’s largest landlocked country, was the home of the legendary Genghis Khan. It is also home to the Gobi Desert which is made up of mountains and forests as well as sand dunes. Try a stay here in a traditional yurt for a unique experience. Ulan Bator , which combines the traditional and the modern, is the place to see locals who still dress in their traditional clothes. Mongolia also has a number of national parks and nature reserves. 

Sri Lanka Tourism: On the Rise

Sri Lanka offers a combination of attractions such as excellent beaches, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. The capital Colombo offers museums, art galleries, an old fort and beaches. Kandy is the home of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth and an elephant orphanage. The Yala National Park is a special wildlife sanctuary. 

Maldives Resorts: Gateways to Paradise

The Maldives are a group of delightful coral islands where you can really escape. Check into your own overwater bungalow and immerse yourself in paradise. In addition to all the water sports, reef, and beach activities you could desire, many Maldives resorts offer such memorable activities as swimming alongside whale sharks, or even dining underwater. No matter what your Maldives vacation looks like, time will definitely slow down for you here! 

You’ll never unlock all the mysteries of Asia in just one visit. But there’s a good chance that the first glimpse of them will spark a strong desire to return, and possibly a lifelong love affair. Book your Asia tours won't be disappointed.

Our Asia Tour Packages

Goway has an extensive range of tour packages and vacations to all areas of Asia. With over 340 trip ideas listed on this page, and the ability to extend, add locations and customize any part tour, we are dedicated to making your holiday in Asia one you will remember for a lifetime. 

Extend Tour Trip 

After your choice of an  Asia vacation , consider taking the time to visit other destinations. Goway offers exciting  China vacation packages ,  India tours  and  Thailand vacation packages  plus a comprehensive selection of vacation packages in many other Asian countries.

Take a look through Gyeonbokgung Palace which served as the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty

Best of South Korea & Japan

FIRST-CLASS | PRIVATE-GUIDED: Discover the highlights of South Korea and Japan as you journey through culture, history, and nature. Start in bustling Seoul, then onto the historic temples of Gyeongju and the port city of Busan. Continue to Kyoto and some of Japan's most iconic gardens and temples. Understand the impact of Hiroshima before reveling in Japan's capital, Tokyo.

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Female Visiting the Cloister with Large Group of Seated Buddha Images in Wat Pho or Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Bangkok Old City, Thailand, ( Self Portrait )

Ko Ratanakosin & Thonburi

Wat Pho is our absolute favorite among Bangkok's biggest sights. In fact, the compound incorporates a host of superlatives: the city's largest reclining…

Mt Fuji and Cherry Blossom

Fuji Five Lakes

Fuji-san is among Japan's most revered and timeless attractions, the inspiration for generations of poets and the focus of countless artworks. Hundreds of…

Fighter planes outside War Remnants Museum.

War Remnants Museum

Ho Chi Minh City

To understand the US invasion of Vietnam, and contextualize its devastating impact on the country's civilians, this remarkable and deeply moving museum is…

Tokyo, Ueno, Taito-ku: Tokyo National Museum, Honkan

Tokyo National Museum

Ueno & Yanesen

If you visit only one museum in Tokyo, make it the Tokyo National Museum. Here you'll find the world's largest collection of Japanese art, including…

Sri Lanka, Polonnaruwa, Gal Vihara temple


Part of Parakramabahu I’s northern monastery, Gal Vihara is a group of beautiful Buddha images that probably marks the high point of Sinhalese rock…

Po Lin Monastery & Big Buddha

Po Lin Monastery & Big Buddha

Po Lin is a huge Buddhist monastery and temple complex that was built in 1924. Today it seems more of a tourist honeypot than a religious retreat,…

Peace Statue, Nagasaki,Japan

A still, serene and deeply moving place, Nagasaki's Peace Park commemorates the atomic bombing of the city on August 9, 1945, which reduced the…

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This cable-hauled funicular railway has been scaling the 396m ascent to the highest point on Hong Kong Island since 1888. A ride on this clanking tram is…

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Welcome to Asia, the most populous, energetic and contradictory continent on earth. 

Across one vast landmass you will find almost everything. Sci-fi skyscrapers in Japan , whitewashed mountain monasteries, honking moped shoals and silent Taoist temples, neon cityscapes and saffron-clad monks bent in prayer. If you’ve come for the familiar, you’re in for a surprise. You can munch deep-fried grasshoppers with white pepper in Thailand. Ride across the Mongolian tundra. Explore the rice paddy fields in Bali.  Swim with Burmese sea-gypsies. You will begin to understand - this place is where ordinary goes to die. 

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  • Singapore and Bali by Air 7 nights from $1,339*
  • Oahu and Kauai by Air 6 nights from $1,129*
  • Tokyo - Kyoto - Osaka by Train 9 nights from $1,609*
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Singapore and bali by air, 7 nights from $1,339*.

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Embark on an exhilarating journey in South East Asia, where the vibrant souls of Singapore and Indonesia await your eager exploration! Brace yourself for a whirlwind in Singapore City - a mesmerizing tapestry of cultures and traditions where you will marvel at an awe-inspiring skyline adorned with magnificent architectural wonders, each narrating a unique tale of innovation and elegance. And just when you think you've unearthed all the treasures this journey has to offer, prepare to experience spectacular Bali (an ethereal paradise known as 'the island of the gods'). Behold the sheer majesty adorned with a thousand temples, each exuding a spiritual mystique that transcends time and space. Both of these captivating destinations offer visitors a myriad of colors and textures, lush gardens, unrivaled scenic beauty, fun activities, shopping, and more! Singapore and Indonesia beckon you, are you ready to take on this unforgettable journey? This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Singapore City and out of Bali
  • Hotel for 4 nights in Singapore City
  • Flight from Singapore City City to Bali
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Bali

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Fantastic Hawaiian Duo for and unforgettable holiday!. Visit: The Gathering Place; Oahu (the third largest island and most visited of the Hawaiian chain. The Island is primarily defined by the state capital of Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, and the world-famous Waikiki Beach . This vibrant island offers the best of both worlds-tropical verdure and a lively night scene). Continue, flying to The Garden Island; Kauai (an island known for its natural beauty and its dramatic, beautiful sites; such as: The Waimea Canyon and The Coconut Coast . Gorgeous mountains, waterfalls, white sand beaches, sugarcane fields, and beachside cliffs you will find along the island). This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Oahu and out of Kauai
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Oahu
  • Flight from Oahu to Kauai
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Kauai
  • Hotel Hawaii taxes

Do not forget to arrange transfer to/from Airport or Rental Car service to have all services confirmed before traveling!

Japan at its best!. Start your trip in Tokyo , the world`s most populous metropolis and recently awarded as the city with best Helpfulness of locals`, `Nightlife`, `Shopping` and Best Local Transportation. Then take the train to Kyoto , known as the City of the Ten Thousand Shrines for a reason! Since it holds about a quarter of Japan`s National Treasures and popular festivals. Last but not least go to Osaka , famous for its delicious traditional food along with its Castle and renowned Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, definitely a trip not to be missed!. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Tokyo and out of Osaka
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Tokyo
  • Train from Tokyo to Kyoto
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Kyoto
  • Train from Kyoto to Osaka
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Osaka

Explore Thailand's Beauty! Discover Bangkok , the capital of Thailand with its bustling mix of old and new; blending traditional culture and religion with all the luxury conveniences of a modern city. Continue this sensory experience with a flight to the idyllic Phuket , The Pearl of the South, a rain forested, mountainous island in the Andaman Sea, with some of Thailand's most popular beaches, mainly situated along the clear waters of the western shore.

  • Flight into Bangkok and out of Phuket
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Bangkok
  • Flight from Bangkok to Phuket
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Phuket

Hawaii's Most Visited Islands . Enjoy the beauty of Kona-Kailua (often referred to as Kona by locals, is a sunny seaside town located in the heart of the Kona district on the western coast of the Hawaii`s Big Island . The weather on this side of the island is almost always dry and sunny and there are many white sand beaches that are perfect for sunbathing, snorkeling and swimming ). After spending amazing sunny days, catch a flight to Oahu (the third largest island and most visited of the Hawaiian chain. The Island is primarily defined by the state capital of Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, and the world-famous Waikiki Beach . This vibrant island offers the best of both worlds-tropical verdure and a lively night scene). This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Hawaii Big Island (Kona) and out of Oahu
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Big Island (Kona)
  • Flight Big Island (Kona) to Oahu

We get it, travel is rough!. Unwind in Fiji without giving up the chance to experience the best the islands have to offer in both ... Nadi (the third-largest conurbation in Fiji. It is located on the western side of the main island of Viti is known for its amazing beaches, clear waters, palm trees, very friendly locals, and relaxed atmosphere in Fiji Island!) and the popular Coral Coast . Whether that means embarking on a scenic day cruise to lounge on exotic beaches or visiting the famous mud pools, we have you covered!. Don't forget to look at other available activities to further your experience (if you want!), but leave ample time for swinging in hammocks or dipping in the pool. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into and out of Nadi (Fiji)
  • Transfer from Airport to Hotel in Nadi (Fiji)
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Nadi (Fiji)
  • Transfer from your hotel in Nadi (Fiji) to your hotel in the Coral Coast
  • Hotel for 3 nights in the Coral Coast
  • Transfer from Hotel in The Coral Coast to Nadi (Fiji) Airport Sample of Included Tours:
  • Daytime cruise
  • Day trip to experience Fijian culture including the therapeutic mudpools and Garden of the Sleeping Giant Your price will only include confirmed available tours; if an included tour becomes unavailable there may be alternate options available at an additional cost.

Visit Australia`s two largest cities . Start in the marvelous city of Sydney , the oldest and most sophisticated city in Australia featuring two of the most iconic structures on the planet, The Sydney Opera House and The Sydney Harbor Bridge. Combine this amazing experience flying into Melbourne , the world’s most livable city known for its many laneways, its cultural diversity, excellent dining options for all budgets, and amazing street art. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Sydney and out of Melbourne
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Sydney
  • Flight from Sydney to Melbourne
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Melbourne

Unforgettable vacation experience in India !. Connect these two destinations: Mumbai (known as Bombay, The City of Dreams , is one of the most populous and biggest cities, popular as the entertainment and financial capital) and Chennai (earlier known as Madras , famous as the biggest cultural and economic centre down south. Home to temples, dosa and beaches ; it is also a place where history has been made) with an intercity flight. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Mumbai and out of Chennai
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Mumbai
  • Flight from Mumbai to Chennai
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Chennai

Hawaii`s Bestseller . Visit: The Gathering Place; Oahu (the third largest island and most visited of the Hawaiian chain. The Island is primarily defined by the state capital of Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, and the world-famous Waikiki Beach . This vibrant island offers the best of both worlds-tropical verdure and a lively night scene). After spending wonderful days under the sun, catch a flight to Maui (renowned worldwide for many things: its beauty, its atmosphere, its history, and its never-ending supply of pristine beaches, waterfalls, and gardens. The island beloved for its world-famous beaches, the sacred Iao Valley, views of migrating humpback whales (during winter months, farm-to-table cuisine and the magnificent sunrise and sunset from Haleakala). This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Oahu and out to Maui
  • Flight from Oahu to Maui
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Maui

Our #1 Bestseller and Thailand first timer's favorite! . Visit Bangkok , The Venice of the east, national treasure trove, with its Buddhist temples, palaces, floating markets, legendary nightlife and shopping. Then, fly to Chiang Mai , The Rose of the North, famous for its history, culture and ancient temples; and complete your journey with some days in Phuket , Pearl of the South, with its endless beaches and crystal-clear blue ocean. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Chiang Mai
  • Flight from Chiang Mai to Phuket

Combine these three Islands and get seduced by the special vibe that can only be found in Hawaii . Discover: Kona-Kailua (often referred to as Kona by locals, is a sunny seaside town located in the heart of the Kona district on the western coast of the Hawaii`s Big Island . The weather on this side of the island is almost always dry and sunny and there are many white sand beaches that are perfect for sunbathing, snorkeling and swimming ); then, Kauai (an island known for its natural beauty and its dramatic, beautiful sites; such as: The Waimea Canyon and The Coconut Coast ); and finally, Maui (the island beloved for its world-famous beaches, the sacred Iao Valley, views of migrating humpback whales (during winter months, farm-to-table cuisine and the magnificent sunrise and sunset from Haleakala ). These destinations are connected by flights. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Hawaii Big Island (Kona) and out of Maui
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Hawaii Big Island (Kona)
  • Flight from Hawaii Big Island (Kona) to Kauai
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Kauai
  • Flight from Kauai to Maui
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Maui

This package combines Japan's political and cultural capitals: Tokyo (with its contrasts between the old and the new, the traditional and modern, an exciting place for travelers to visit) and Kyoto (the ancient capital of Japan for more than a thousand years, and forever known for its history and culture). A train connect these two destinations. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Tokyo and out of Kyoto

Stunning journey in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia! . Visit Singapore City (city-state located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, and one of the busiest in the world, known for its clean streets and its modern and tall buildings). Then, fly into Kuala Lumpur (be amazed by many of its interesting attractions such as the stunning PETRONAS Twin Towers, Merdeka Square, mosques and temples, and numerous huge shopping malls). Then fly into Bali (which is inspiring for visitors because of its special vibe, essence and authenticity. This perfect holiday destination boasts a unique blend of modern tourist facilities combined with idyllic beaches, amazing shopping and a rich heritage). This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Singapore City and out of Bali (Denpasar)
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Singapore City
  • Flight from Singapore City to Kuala Lumpur
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Kuala Lumpur
  • Flights from Kuala Lumpur to Bali
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Bali
  • Ramadan is a month of spirituality and purification during which participants abstain from eating, drinking, and smoking. Ramadan is typically celebrated in late winter or early spring. Please verify dates before booking travel because food and entertainment services in hotels and other public places may be affected.

Hawaiian Paradise! . Visit the energetic and exotic island of Maui (renowned worldwide for many things: its beauty, its atmosphere, its history, and its never-ending supply of pristine beaches, waterfalls, and gardens. The island beloved for its world-famous beaches, the sacred Iao Valley, views of migrating humpback whales (during winter months, farm-to-table cuisine and the magnificent sunrise and sunset from Haleakala). After that, catch a fly to your last destination, The Garden Island; Kauai (an island known for its natural beauty and its dramatic, beautiful sites; such as: The Waimea Canyon and The Coconut Coast . Gorgeous mountains, waterfalls, white sand beaches, sugarcane fields, and beachside cliffs you will find along the island). This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Maui and out to Kauai
  • Flight from Maui to Kauai

Unforgettable Australia and Fiji! . Visit the fascinating city Sydney , the largest, oldest, and most sophisticated city in Australia. Named one of the world`s most beautiful and most livable locations many times over. Then combine this amazing experience catch a flight to Fiji Island , known for its luxurious private-islands, all-inclusive resorts, top spas, culinary destinations and outdoor adventures. There have a wonderful stay in Nadi , known for its amazing beaches, clear waters, palm trees, very friendly locals, and relaxed atmosphere. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Sydney and out of Fiji (Nadi)
  • Flight from Sydney to Fiji (Nadi)
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Fiji (Nadi)

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Admire the iconic Great Wall of China

Feel the enormity of China's Great Wall, stretching as far as the eye can see through luscious green valleys. With some fragments built nearly 3000 years ago, the historical significance of this fortification is not to be missed. Tackle just a small length of this 21,000-kilometer UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Wander through Angkor Wat

Take a journey to the world's largest religious monument and watch the sunrise onto the stillness of the Angkor Wat temple complex. The crumbling mosey portions of the Hindu turned Buddhist structures hold an eerie beauty that will stir you to the very core.

Enjoy some quality 'Me' time in Thailand

Land of smiles, cheap cocktails and expert massages, a trip to Thailand is a chance to unwind. Spend days floating in the Gulf of Thailand and roaming through shopping markets, interrupted only by fragrant Panang curries and fresh coconuts to cool you down.

Sail Halong Bay

Climb aboard a traditional wooden boat and take in the beauty of Vietnam's sea of limestone islands. The dramatic setting of Halong Bay will dazzle as you drift slowly around the emerald waters past many families that call the water home. An essential part of Asia travel packages, it has been named one of the new natural wonders of the world.

Stroll down the busy streets of Tokyo

Home to almost 14-million, the streets of Tokyo buzz with an energy that is hard to resist. Navigate through the swarm of pedestrians at Shibuya Crossing and admire elaborate dress sense in Harajuku. Even those called by empty mountains will find joy in the scenes of Japan's capital.

Our top 5 things to do in Asia

This enormous content offers such a diverse banquet of experiences it can be hard to know where to begin. From the busy streets of Tokyo to the world's largest religious site found in Cambodia, we'll share the very best on our Asia vacation packages. 

Temple of Heaven

The aptly named Temple of Heaven is a scene straight out of a mythical religious artwork. Stare up at the ceilings in the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests where a patchwork of color honors the seasons of the year. With construction finishing in the year 1420, this site holds limitless cultural significance.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Pay tribute to the victims of Cambodia's brutal genocide that saw a quarter of its population lost in the early 1970's. The photos of those lost haunt the walls of Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, housed in a building that was once a center for prison and interrogation.

Tokyo National Museum

Take an artistic journey along the Silk Road to ancient and medieval days gone by at Tokyo National Museum, the 6th largest art museum in the world. Hosting many of Japan's national treasures and religious artworks with immense cultural significance, allow a whole day to soak up all this monument has to offer.

Best museums in Asia

A tapestry of history, art and modern culture are found peppered across this continent in its endless list of museums. These are just some of the places we'll visit on our Asia escorted tours.

With almost a thousand years of history held in a roll of seaweed, rice and raw fish, don't miss this important part of Japanese culture. Though it's now readily available in most parts of the world, you will find something special about the sushi experience in its homeland.

Pho has traveled a long way since it originated in the Nam Định province of Vietnam. Slurp down many bowls from lively street vendors and modern cafes, enjoying variations of the hot rice noodle broth covered in herbs. The country of Vietnam summed up in one soupy dish.

Peking Duck

Taste the Imperial era in slices of seasoned crispy skin duck. Best wrapped in thin pancakes with hoisin sauce and greens, this Chinese specialty is delicious whether consumed in a busy street market or upmarket restaurant.

Best food in Asia

It's hard to compete with the delicious fragrant dishes that originate across the expanses of Asia. With chopsticks in hand, we'll uncover the very best and learn of the many rituals and traditions woven into this continent's culinary banquet. 

What to pack for Asia

People packing for a tour

Charcoal tablets

Many visit Asia armed with a pharmacy of pills for the chance of illness. Prevention is always better than cure; take a natural daily supplement such as charcoal to ensure nasties are evacuated from your system as quickly as possible.

Cool full-length clothes

Many parts of Asia boast a sunny tropical climate that's perfect for days flopped by a pool or sea. When exploring, it can be somewhat uncomfortable. Pack light, full-length clothes so you can respectfully visit religious sites without sweltering.

Hand sanitizer

During your time in Asia, you might not always have access to soap and water to wash up before eating. Keep hand sanitizer available for clean hands and a happy stomach.

Insect Repellent

A bug spray will be your best protection against mosquitos and any other creepy crawlies that call Asia home. Pack a bottle to avoid unnecessary itch or illness.

Water purification devices

The purification of water has come a long way in recent years. Make your way to a specialist travel shop to discuss bottles, gadgets and tablets that will ensure you stay hydrated without falling ill.

Our Asia destinations

China Great Wall of China

Other worldwide regions we visit

Africa the Middle East

Australia and New Zealand

North and Central America

South America

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3 Month Southeast Asia Itinerary & Travel Planning Guide

Julie Last updated: February 2, 2024 Cambodia , Itinerary , Laos , Myanmar , Thailand , Vietnam 59 Comments

Southeast Asia Travel Guide and Itinerary

Southeast Asia is the land of ancient temples, tropical beaches, metropolitan cities, mountain villages, and an endless supply of cultural experiences. This 3 month Southeast Asia itinerary allows you not only to see the highlights of this part of the world, but to also to fully immerse yourself in the local culture.

On this Southeast Asia itinerary, explore the temples of Siem Reap, go island hopping in Krabi, drift down the Mekong River in Laos, visit the big cities of Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City, cruise Ha Long Bay, cycle among the temples of Bagan, tour the floating markets in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, and spend several days in Luang Prabang, a wonderful French town in Laos. This trip will leave you with memories and stories to tell for the rest of your life.

Table of Contents

What is Southeast Asia?

Technically speaking, the term Southeast Asia refers to a subregion of Asia, bound by the Indian Ocean to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. And even though it’s a subregion, this area is still massive.

There are two distinct regions of Southeast Asia. The mainland, also called Indochina, includes Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The maritime region includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei, East Timor, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

This 3 month Southeast Asia itinerary only includes the mainland countries of Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

What is Your Traveling Style?

When planning a big trip like this one, there are two schools of thought. Do you like to plan things out in advance or do you want to book your first flight and let the rest of the trip fall into place?

Do you prefer to go with the flow?

As you do your research, you will read the advice of fellow travelers to not plan out your full itinerary. By having a loose schedule, you have the freedom to change your itinerary, stay longer in places that you fall in love with, or leave a place right away if you don’t like it. This also gives you the flexibility to explore new places that you learn about while you are traveling.

There are downfalls of not planning ahead. It may be difficult to find hotels with availability at the last minute (if you are traveling during peak season). Also, trains and planes can get booked and you won’t get a seat on the day you want (this happened to us in Thailand). But for some people, this is worth it to have the freedom of traveling without a set itinerary.

Are you a planner?

Are you the type of traveler who likes to have things planned in advance? We fall into this category. Tim and I are Type A planners, it’s just who we are. We like the idea of having hotels and transportation booked ahead of time…it’s one less thing to worry about while traveling. We just show up and check into our hotel. Trains, planes, and automobiles are booked so we don’t have to figure out how to get from point A to point B. Without these “hassles,” we feel like we enjoy our time spent in each spot just a little bit more.

Of course, there have been times we wished we could have stayed longer in spot (Hoi An, Vietnam falls into this category) but our pre-booked flights or trains locked us into a set itinerary.

Best of Both Worlds

You can combine both of these travel styles by laying out a basic itinerary, booking your main flights or trains in advance, and having your first one or two hotels in each country reserved in advance.

Use this itinerary as the basic building block for planning your travels through Southeast Asia or follow it exactly as it is if you like to have things planned out.

Southeast Asia Itinerary

Before our trip to Asia, I spent a lot of time researching routes through Southeast Asia and I think this plan works very well. Using a variety of transportation methods, you will weave your way through Southeast Asia, hitting the highlights and a few off-the-beaten-path destinations along the way.

This is almost our exact itinerary through Southeast Asia. I did change a few things, just to make it easier to get visas or to add time in spots that we really enjoyed.

Southeast Asia Itinerary Map

Time Frame: 12 Days

Yangon: 5 Days

Arrive in Yangon, Myanmar. It may take a day or two to adjust to the time change, depending on where you are coming from.

Top Experiences

  • Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Chaukhtatgyi Buddha
  • The Sitting Buddha at Ngahtatgyi Paya
  • Bogyoke Aung San Market
  • Day Trip to Kyaikhtiyo (Golden Rock)

Shwedagon southeast Asia itinerary

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

Bus to Bagan: 1 day

We booked our bus tickets while in Yangon. To get from Yangon to Bagan, you can take an overnight bus or you can take a daytime bus directly to Bagan. Either way, the journey takes 9 to 12 hours (in our experience, it took 10 hours). Make sure you book a VIP bus. On a VIP bus you get air-conditioning, reclining seats, and we even had our own TV screen with movies.

We used Elite Express and had a great experience (it was our best bus ride during our 9 months in Asia) but JJ Express also gets great reviews.

Bagan: 3 Days

For most travelers, Bagan is the highlight of a trip to Myanmar. This is the land of thousands of temples, and what better way to explore them than by bicycle or hot air balloon?

  • Watch the sunset from the top of a temple
  • Sunrise hot air balloon ride
  • Explore Bagan by bicycle

Bagan Myanmar southeast Asia itinerary

READ MORE:   A Hot Air Balloon Ride over Bagan

Bus to Mandalay: 1 Day

We booked our bus through our hotel. Again, make sure you book a VIP bus. It takes about 5 hours to travel from Bagan to Mandalay.

Mandalay: 1 Day

One day in Mandalay is enough time to see the main sites. Mandalay does not have the charm of Bagan or the same cool vibe of Yangon, but there are a few very worthwhile places to visit.

  • U-Bein Bridge
  • Mahamuni Buddha Temple
  • See the monks at Mahagandayon Monastery

U Min Thonze Pagoda

Mandalay Buddhas southeast Asia itinerary

Fly to Bangkok, Thailand: 1 Day

Time frame: 26 days

Bangkok: 4 days

Bangkok is Thailand’s largest city. This is where modern malls and skyscrapers collide with old floating markets and golden temples. In Bangkok, explore the temples, go shopping at Chatuchak Market, get your fill of street food, and explore the city by tuk-tuk.

  • The Grand Palace
  • Go shopping in Chatuchak Market
  • Khao San Road
  • Get a Thai Massage
  • Have dinner in Chinatown
  • Jim Thompson House
  • See Wat Arun at sunset

Wat Arun southeast Asia itinerary

Krabi: 10 Days

Looking for a slice of tropical paradise? In Thailand, there are lots of gorgeous beaches and islands to choose from.

Ao Nang, in Krabi, is a great place to stay, with easy access to Railay Beach and Phra Nang Cave Beach, and lots of options to day trip out to the Phi Phi Islands and a handful of tiny Thai islands. If you want to learn how to rock climb, this is one of the best places in the world to learn.

  • Learn how to rock climb
  • Go sea kayaking
  • Swim with bioluminescent plankton
  • Day trip to the Phi Phi Islands, Bamboo Island, and more
  • Go snorkeling

Krabi Beach southeast Asia itinerary

Overlooking Phra Nang Beach

Ten days is a lot of time to spend in Krabi, although we spent nine wonderful days here and were glad to have so much time. If the idea of sitting still in one spot for so long doesn’t appeal to you, you can spend several nights on Ko Lanta.

Getting to Krabi: The easiest way to get to Krabi from Bangkok is to take a direct flight. Flights last 1 hour 10 minutes and you can get round trip tickets as cheap as $40.

READ MORE:   Island Hopping Off of the Coast of Thailand

Bangkok: 1 Day

Fly back to Bangkok. From here, you will start a road trip up through Thailand towards Chiang Mai, stopping at several ancient cities along the way.

Ayutthaya: 1 Day

Here’s an interesting fact: Ayutthaya was the largest city in the world in 1700. Merchants sailed here from Europe, India, Japan, China, and the Middle East. In 1767 it was attacked by the Burmese and almost completely destroyed. Now, just a handful of buildings and temples remain.

To get here from Bangkok, you can drive, hire a driver, take the bus, take the train or visit Ayutthaya on a tour.

We spent the night in Ayutthaya and the next day we traveled to Sukhothai.

READ MORE:   Visiting Ayutthaya and Sukhothai, Ancient Cities of Siam

Travel to Sukhothai: 1 Day

To travel between Ayutthaya and Sukhothai, take the train, bus, or hire a driver.

Sukhothai: 1 Day

Sukhothai may not have been as large or as grand as Ayutthaya, but the temples and ruins are a lot more interesting to visit. Giant Buddha statues stare down at you with half-lidded eyes. The historical park is flat with wide, paved roads, perfect for exploring by bicycle.

Sukhothai southeast Asia itinerary

Wat Si Chum

Travel to Chiang Mai: 1 Day

Travel from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai by bus, train, or private driver.

Chiang Mai: 5 Days

Chiang Mai, located in northern Thailand, is a vastly different experience than Bangkok or Krabi. Chiang Mai offers a mix of outdoor adventure with cultural experiences, food tours, and a chance to get up close with elephants.

  • Visit an elephant sanctuary
  • Go zip-lining
  • Go shopping in the Sunday night market
  • Take a Thai cooking class
  • Visit the temples

READ MORE:   Ten Fun Things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Rai: 2 Days

Chiang Rai is a smaller, less exciting version of Chiang Mai. The main reason for coming here is to visit the White Temple. Take a bus from Chiang Mai (about 3 hours), get settled, and on your second day in Chiang Rai, visit the White Temple. Cycling through the countryside in this part of Thailand adds a little adventure to the experience and makes it even more memorable.

White Temple southeast Asia itinerary

The White Temple

Time frame: 7 days

Mekong River: 2 Days

For us, the two-day journey down the Mekong River in Laos was an experience that was unexpectedly awesome. The journey starts on the Thai-Laos border. For two days, you drift down the Mekong River on a “slow boat” while the gorgeous, mountainous landscapes of northern Laos pass by. The journey is punctuated with a one night stay in Pakbeng. On the afternoon of day 2 you arrive in lovely little Luang Prabang, a French town in the middle of the Laos jungle.

Laos Mekong River

Luang Prabang: 5 Days

The entire town of Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. French cafes, small shops, hotels and hostels, and a nightly market makes this one of the coolest small towns in Southeast Asia.

  • Go Shopping at the Night Market
  • Kuang Si Waterfall
  • Climb Mount Phousi
  • The Royal Palace Museum

Time Frame: 14 days

Siem Reap: 7 Days

Siem Reap, Cambodia is one of the most amazing spots to visit in Southeast Asia. Not only can you visit ancient Angkor Wat, but there many more temples and ancient palaces to visit. Seven days may sound like a long time, but this gives you plenty of time to explore the temples and get some much needed downtime.

To get here from Laos we took a flight from Luang Prabang to Siem Reap. Our other option was a series of two to three buses over the course of two days to get between these two cities. Hmmm…a quick flight or a 36 hour bus journey…for us the decision was a no-brainer.

  • Watch an Apsara Dance
  • Eat scorpions, tarantulas, and other creepy crawlies
  • Take a day trip to Tonle Sap
  • Take a cooking class

Ta Prohm

Phnom Penh: 3 Days

Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia. Go to Phnom Penh to visit its gilded temples, stroll the waterfront promenade, but to also get a glimpse of Cambodia’s dark history.

  • Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
  • The Killing Fields (Choeung Ek Genocidal Center)
  • The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda

Kampot: 4 Days

Kampot is a small town on the coast of Cambodia. It’s a great spot to unwind and relax. While you are here, consider renting motorbikes to explore nearby spots.

  • Ride motorbikes up Kotor Mountain
  • Stand Up Paddleboarding
  • Take a day trip to Kep

Paddleboarding Kampot

Time Frame: 29 days

Phu Quoc Island: 4 Days

From Kampot, you will cross overland into Vietnam and then take a ferry to Phu Quoc Island.

Phu Quoc Island is a tropical island that sits off of the coast of Cambodia, even though it is part of Vietnam. This is a place where it’s worth spending extra money to stay at a nice resort. We stayed at a budget hotel and had a budget experience. If you stay at a mid-range or nicer resort, you will have a prettier, cleaner beach and a better experience.

Mekong Delta: 3 Days

From Phu Quoc, take the ferry back to the mainland and then travel by bus to the Mekong Delta. There are several towns to stay in but Can Tho gets our vote. From here, you can arrange tours into the Mekong Delta and Can Tho is well connected by bus to Phu Quoc and Ho Chi Minh City.

  • Day 1: Phu Quoc to Can Tho
  • Day 2: Cai Rang floating market tour
  • Day 3: Explore more of the Delta and travel to HCMC in the afternoon

Mekong Delta

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC or Saigon): 3 Days

HCMC is Vietnam’s largest city. This is a city where modern skyscrapers touch the sky, luxurious shopping malls cater to the rich, and where the streets are a sea of motorbikes. It’s a hot, steamy city with several important places to visit, especially if you want to learn more about the Vietnam War.

  • Day Trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels
  • War Remnants Museum
  • Take a motorbike tour of the city
  • Take a food tour

READ MORE:   Two Days in Ho Chi Minh City


Hoi An: 5 Days

It’s easy to fall in love with Hoi An. With its charming shopping streets, ancient architecture, great restaurants, and nearby beaches and rice fields, this may become one of your favorite spots in Vietnam.

  • Get around by bicycle or motorbike
  • Try as many restaurants as possible
  • Walk across the Japanese Bridge
  • Spend the day at An Bang Beach
  • Take a day trip to Da Nang
  • Cycle through the rice fields

Hoi An Vietnam

Travel to Hue: 1 Day

When traveling from Hoi An to Hue, you can visit My Son Holyland, Marble Mountain, Hai Van Pass, and Lang Co Beach, turning a day of travel into a really cool road trip.

Hue: 2 Days

Hue was the capital city of Vietnam until 1945. The Imperial City and palaces and tombs along the Perfume River attract thousands of visitors here every year.

  • Hue Imperial City
  • Khai Dinh Tomb
  • Thien Mu Pagoda

Hue Vietnam

Hanoi: 4 Days

In Hanoi, the list of sites to visit is low but this is a city that is just fun to wander, especially the Old Quarter.

  • Stroll through the Old Quarter
  • Visit the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh
  • Walk around Hoan Kiem Lake
  • Watch a water puppet performance

READ MORE:   A Photojourney through the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Hanoi Vietnam

Ha Long Bay: 3 Days

Ha Long Bay is one of Vietnam’s most magical sites. Towering limestone mountains are scattered through the emerald waters of the bay. Picking the three day cruise over the two day cruise allows you to journey deeper into the bay for a more memorable, authentic experience.

Halong Bay Cruise

Sapa: 3 Days

Spend three days trekking through the misty mountains of Sapa. You can arrange your tour while in Hanoi or book your excursion in advance of your trip.

Fly Home (or continue your travels)

From Hanoi, fly home or continue your travels.

With Additional Time in Vietnam

There are three more places that make it onto a lot of Vietnamese travel itineraries. You can add these if they sound interesting and if you have extra time to spend. Just note that if you follow our itinerary, you will spend 29 days in Vietnam. If you add in more time, you will have to get a different visa.

Nha Trang: This is a popular seaside resort area. I did not include it since you get the beach experience on Phu Quoc and at Hoi An.

Son Doong Cave: Located in central Vietnam, this is the largest cave in the world.

Dalat: This is a French hill town that offers relief from the sweltering heat of summer. Explore the waterfalls and relax in town.

What Visas Will You Need?

Visa requirements are always changing. We do our best to keep these posts updated with the most recent changes, but it’s always a good idea to double check the requirements for each country before you travel. I have included the links for each country in this post.

Tourist visas are valid for 28 days. Citizens of 100 countries can apply online for an e-visa. You will be emailed an approval letter, which you will show to passport officials when you arrive at Yangon Airport. You must travel to Myanmar within 90 days of when the e-visa approval letter is issued.

For full details and to apply for your visa:

Citizens of 57 countries (USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, countries in the EU, Japan, Israel, etc) who plan to stay in Thailand for 30 days or less do not need a visa.

What we did: We stayed in Thailand for 32 days so we got our visas in advance (at the embassy in Yangon, Myanmar).

This is an easy one. When you cross the border between Thailand and Laos you will get a visa on arrival. The visa costs $30 – $42 depending on your country of citizenship and you can stay in Laos for 30 days.

Read more here.

A one month tourist visas costs $30 and is obtained on arrival at the airport in Siem Reap. You will need one passport-sized photo.

The Vietnam visa process is complicated. You will need a 30-day tourist visa, but the trick is how to obtain it. If you arrive in Vietnam by air, you can get a visa on arrival (VOA). However, if you follow this itinerary, you will arrive by land, so you cannot get a VOA. You will need to obtain your visa in advance. You can do this by applying directly at an embassy or by applying for an e-visa.

To apply for your e-visa (if you are a US citizen), click here.

What We Did: The e-visa was rolled out in 2017, after our visit to Vietnam. We obtained our visas in advance at the embassy in Bangkok.

Longtail Boats

Best Time to Go to Southeast Asia

The best time to visit southeast Asia is November through March. Temperatures are relatively cool and for the most part, it’s the dry season during this period of time. Peak season is the end of December into early January, when people take their winter vacations.

At the end of March it really starts to heat up. April is typically the hottest month of the year. In May, the rain moves in. This cools things off a little bit, but expect rain showers from May through September.

We started in Myanmar at the very beginning of December. We were in Krabi, Thailand over Christmas. Even though it was crowded and more expensive, it was magical being in Krabi for the holidays, especially for Tyler and Kara. We spent New Year’s Eve in Chiang Mai, another magical experience, lighting paper lanterns and watching them soar into the sky at midnight. During the entire month we spent in Vietnam, we got to experience the holiday season of Tet . From Hanoi, we traveled overland into China at the end of February.

Are you planning your Southeast Asia itinerary? If you need help deciding where to go, how to change this itinerary to fit your needs, or travel advice, comment below!

And if you have already toured Southeast Asia and want to add your tips and advice, we’d love to hear from you, too!

Are your travels through Southeast Asia part of a bigger trip? You may find these articles helpful:

How to Travel Around the World

How Much Does it Cost to Travel Around the World?

Our Around the World Itinerary

How to Design an Around the World Itinerary

Or, visit our Start Here page , for travel advice, to research travel destinations, and to find your next adventure.

3 Months Southeast Asia Itinerary

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What Asia Taught Us

Comments 59

Avatar for Karen

I Love your web site! Can you recommend a travel company similar to Backroads but less expensive to a moderate level active trip to Japan. We are family of 4 – 2 adults and kids ages 18 and 15. Thanks!

Avatar for Julie

Hello Karen. Unfortunately, I don’t have any experience with tour companies since we travel independently. But if you have any questions about Japan, I’d be happy to try to answer them! Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Dan

This was so useful to read! Thank you! I’m planning my trip for the beginning of Jan. A solo trip. Sorry if it’s been asked already but as I’m trying to budget, can you give a rough estimate on what it cost?

For our family of four, we were able to do this on $250 a day, but that was almost 10 years. As a solo traveler, you could do it on as little as $100 a day (budget travel) or $200 per day for mid-range travel. Have a great trip! Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Sophia

I’m 32 in Feb and looking to travel SE Asia next year, quit my teaching job and go…unfortunately I don’t have the support of close family. They tell me I need to grow up and settle down…which really bursts my bubble of living abroad permanently.

I’d like to teach abroad and maybe even head to Aus to do this.

Can you offer any advice please? I feel like I’m looking for support seeing as I can’t get it from family xx

Avatar for Jenna Brannock

Love the guide! I am 24 and a girl and planning a SE Asia solo trip. Would you say it’s too dangerous a place to go on my own, or no more so than travelling solo in Europe?

Hello Jenna. That’s a good question. I’ve thought about this a lot, because in a few years, our daughter Kara will be your age and wanting to do trips like this on her own. From our experience, Southeast Asia felt very safe, although we mainly stayed in the touristy areas. As a solo female, I think you have to watch your back a little bit more than a guy would have to. I don’t see Southeast Asia as dangerous, but I think you are going to have to be on your guard a little more than you would in Europe, for scammers, things like that. I have followed several female solo bloggers and they had an overall phenomenal experience without any issues. So, when Kara goes to Southeast Asia on her own, I’ll be a little more nervous than if she was going to France or Germany, but wouldn’t have a problem letting her travel there on her own. Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Sophie

Hello Julie Thank you for this amazing website and the many nice experiences you shared! It is a very helpful website when planning first time trip to Asia! I will be going to Japan bevore I head to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and then Malaisia. Thanks to your thorough website, I have already a good idea where I want to go. You mention on several blogs, that you had a guide. Could you advise me how to proceed to find local guides? How did you do it? Did you organise it ahead or once on site? If you maybe still have some names (private guide or agency) that would be very helpful! Thank you in advance for your help and wish you and your beautiful family, amazing upcoming adventure trips! Sophie

Most of our travels in Southeast Asia was without a guide. But when we hired a guide, we usually did it through our hotel or a visitor center in town. I don’t have that information to share any longer, since it has been some time since we traveled through Southeast Asia. But another company you can check is GetYourGuide. We have used them a lot recently, mostly in Europe and New Zealand, and have had very good experiences. Cheers, Julie

Thank you so much Julie for your reply. I will check once i am on site to find a guide. As for the travelling in country, did you manage to hire a car without driver? I would love to do this in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam but I cant find anything online. Since you have been there, would you know if this is possible, hire a care on site without driver? Thank you again for your reply!

We hired a driver for our transportation from Hoi An to Hue. We did it through our hotel. In other places around the world, we have hired drivers through our hotels and it has worked well. So, once you get a hotel booked, you could ask the staff for a recommended driver. This should be possible in most places in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Cheers, Julie

Thank you again Julie!!!!

Avatar for Leticia

Hi Julie, I’m beginning to plan a family trip (with my husband and two sons ages 17 and 19) to SE Asia for January 2024. Unfortunately we can only stay there about 18 days. I had originally thought of going to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, but am considering changing Laos for Thailand. Because of the boys, we”d like to plan a trip with as many “adventures” as possible… so we’d like to include things like kayaking, zip-lining, caving, canyoning, swimming in waterfalls, etc. Could you give me some ideas of things like these that are worth doing? Any thoughts on a itinerary that might be possible with the time we have? Thank you so much for your time! I really love following your tips! Have used them in other trips before… Cheers, Letícia

Hello Leticia. That’s exciting that you are planning a trip to Southeast Asia. In Thailand, I definitely recommend spending time at the beach. We really liked Krabi. It was easy to go rock climbing from here, go kayaking, and take boat tours of the islands. Chiang Mai is another great place to base yourself in Thailand for adventure activities. There are multiple places to go ziplining, hiking, and trekking. There might be places in this area that offer ziplining plus canyoning. In Laos, our experiences was limited to the slow boat and time in Luang Prabang, so you’ll have to do some more research there. Another idea is to spend 10 days in Thailand (splitting your time between Chiang Mai and Krabi) and one week in Siem Reap to see the temples. Siem Reap wouldn’t be packed with adventures but seeing the temples are amazing and one of my favorite memories from Southeast Asia. There is a lot to choose from in that part of the world! Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Megan

Hi- We are a family of 4 traveling the for a year. We reference your site and trips often. Currently, we are planning 3 months in SE Asia. What type of accommodation did you find? Any recommendations on where to look for longer stay options? Open to doing something different like a homestay or unique lodging if you have a recommendation. Just booked a week at the Elephant Nature Park- thanks for that tip. We are very excited!

Hello Megan. When we did this (2015) we researched our accommodations on Trip Advisor. Along the way, we stayed mostly in hotels but also a few homestays. The homestay that comes to mind is Chiang Rai Homestay. We were traveling on a budget and trying to keep our lodging price around $50 USD for the day, and in most places was easy to do and still stay in a nice place, but big cities we spent more money. Air BnB might be a website to check for longer stays or unique lodging. We either booked our accommodation directly with the hotel or through Staying at the Elephant Nature Park sounds wonderful! I hope you have a great trip! Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Kim

Would you say Ayutthaya and Sukhothai are must dos? We will most likely land in Bangkok and be quite jet lagged. Wondering whether to make the time to visit those 2 spots or just take the train straight to Chiang Mai?

I don’t think they are must-do’s. I’m glad we saw them, but we had a month, and they were probably our least favorite place we visited in Thailand. Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Wendy Lou Leslie

Wow!! I’m beginning to plan a trip solo to SEA, around Middle February 2023 to end of April 2023. My retirement trip, I’m now 63 active and healthy. Love your itinerary I also would like to add Bali and fly back to the States from Singapore. Also I would like to fly into Singapore. Can you assist the best way to begin.. I want to do Vietnam/ Laos/Thailand/ want to spend a least 5 days in Keanu, want to do the river cruises on the Mekong Delta, Ha Ling Bay and any hotels you can recommend. Singapore is expensive so 2 days there before I head back to the states. You’re such a seasoned traveler I value your input. Thanks so much for your time I’m thankful that I came across your itinerary by accident. But then again there are no accidents.😉

Hello Wendy. Congratulations on your retirement! If you want to fly into Singapore, you could spend 2 days here, then fly to Ho Chi Minh City and work your way from south to north through Vietnam. Then travel onto Laos and then do Thailand from north to south. From Bangkok, you could fly back to Singapore. You will have to figure out where you want to go and then how much time you want to spend in each spot. Then work out transportation and make your hotel reservations. I don’t have specific hotels to recommend other than what we already list in our articles, but currently we use to find and reserve our hotels in advance. It’s a lot to figure out, but it’s also kind of fun, especially knowing that you will be there soon. If you have any other questions, let us know. Cheers, Julie

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The China Highlights and tour of Dali was absolutely wonderful. The tour guide Daisy was so nice, knowledgeable and provided an excellent, memorable experience of Old Town Dali, Erhai Lake, the Three Pagodas and so much more. I have been on many tours and this one was the best, exactly what we were looking for, including the pace, the food, the attention to details, care and professionalism. Everything was positively great!

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From the moment we arrived in Shanghai it was an unforgettable experience. The agency and Martín (our guide) made everything possible to had the best experience and were always open to show or teach more if was necessary. We were very happy with the places we saw and the stories we learned thanks to Martín!!! I totally recommend the agency!!

Our family tour with China Travel was absolutely wonderful. The China highlights of Dali was planned with the great care and help from Vanessa, and the actual tour guide, Daisy, who was knowledgeable, flexible, helpful, and provided an excellent, memorable experience for my family. We toured several locations and I especially liked the pace of Old Town Dali, the scenic view of Erhai Lake, and the history of the Three Pagodas, and so much more. I have been on many tours and this one was the best, exactly what we were looking for, including the pace, the food, the attention to details, care and professionalism. Everything was positively great! Highly

My mother and I greatly enjoyed our trip to Dali. Our tour guide was Daisy and she did a wonderful job taking us on an adventure around to everywhere we wanted to go. We even went to some under appreciated areas that we had been interested in! We visited a bit after my mother's birthday and Daisy was kind enough to give my mother a gift!

Our family tour with China Travel was absolutely wonderful. The China highlights of Dali was planned with the great care and help from Vanessa, and the actual tour guide, Daisy, who was knowledgeable, flexible, helpful, and provided an excellent, memorable experience for my family.

Ethan has been my tour guide for my four day trip to Beijing. He has been knowledgeable, polite, and most helpful. I was uncomfortable coming to China for the first time without speaking any Chinese at all. Ethan gave the tours, arranged for shows and literally took me to my seats. He also accompanied me to the train station to help figure my was around and help me find the correct train and car. I would definitely use China Highlights again in the future.

Lily Wong our guide at Guilin was wonderful. Along with all the good qualities like being punctual,courteous, organized,knowledgeable,hard working she is also caring.The scenaries at Guilin is second to none,Lily helped us to take lots of pictures to capture the scenaries as much as possible.With Lily's help I can enjoy the amazing cave and the rafting.At Yangshuo Lily also recommend a Light Show on the river.That was fantastic never saw anything like it. I must mention the unique hotel they put us in.Its called Yangshuo Moondance hotel.My wife is very happy with Lily because she took a lot of pictures for her and took her shopping for a new (Qie Pao,cantonese Cheung Sham).

We were so fortunate to have Kris as our tour guide. He was so kind and helpful with a great sense of humor. He made sure that my parents, who are in their 70s, were comfortable and that we traveled at a good place. Kris had excellent suggestions for restaurants and he helped arrange tickets to the Eras 2 show- like a cirque de soleil type show that was spectacular. I really enjoyed the Yu Garden as well as the propaganda poster museum. I highly recommend Kris and China Highlights!

I have an excellent trip to Guilin and my guide, Gary Wei who works for China Highlights Tour was very professional and knowledgeable in regard to the history of the Guilin and Yangshuo. Gary was remarkable with his recital of a lot of ancient poems. Hence, I had such a good and memorable experience. I do highly recommend China Highlights Tour to anyone who wish to visit China.

Our tour guides Doyle Cheng (Kunming), Daisy Shi (Dali), Martin (Lijiang) were knowledgeable about the local culture and folklore regaling us with many stories, history mixed with witty remarks and jokes.They made us feel safe, comfortable during the many trips feeding us with local snacks, sweets, pastries, fruits. Our shopping list were all taken care off with their well recommended shops and even bargain hunting.They were sensitive and alert to our toilet breaks, flexible to last minute changes and recommended good dinner restaurants.Big thank you to Martin for your extra attention given to our children when they werent feeling well.

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Wondering where to begin planning your Asia travel? Taking a big trip to the other side of the planet can seem daunting -- especially for the first-timer -- but it doesn't have to be! This step-by-step guide will take you from the U.S. to Asia with ease so that you can focus on the most important aspect of travel planning: the fun!

Traveling to Asia is as exciting as it sounds; Asia is the largest and most diverse continent on Earth, so you'll get more than your money's worth of culture, beauty, history, and adventure.

With a long to-do list, this Asia travel guide will help you to take care of items in the right order, so that you can be ready for the big departure day.

First, read about 10 newbie mistakes to avoid when you begin your travels!

Apply for a Passport

Long before you start worrying over what to pack or where to go, you should start the most time-consuming processes first. Asia travel is completely impossible without a passport, and as a good world citizen you should be proud to have one anyway!

The easiest way to apply for a U.S. passport is to do so at your main post office. Passport photos have strict guidelines; plan to have one taken at the post office or by a professional rather than risk having your application rejected.

Before heading to the post office, go to the official U.S. passport site to print your application and to see requirements. You will need an official birth certificate that lists both of your parent's full names. A valid driver's license is a big help for proving your citizenship.

People that have held passports before may be able to apply by mail. If you are leaving in less than two weeks, you can expedite the process by going in person to one of the U.S. passport agencies dotted around the country.

Losing or damaging your passport is a major taboo; treat it as a sacred object when it arrives!

Visit a Travel Clinic

Perhaps even more time consuming than applying for a passport, you will want some basic vaccinations for your Asia travel. Some vaccinations such as those for hepatitis require a series of shots spread across months to complete immunity. If short on time, you can get the first two injections before your trip, then get the third booster after you return home. Luckily, tetanus vaccinations are good for 10 years and the hepatitis vaccinations are considered to be good for at least 20 years, maybe life.

You may not need the full gamut of shots for Asia if you are only planning a short visit, or intend to stick around only tourist areas. Keep good records of your vaccinations to avoid overpaying for duplicates later; remembering what shots you did or did not receive 10 years later is not easy!

Ask your travel doctor about the following vaccinations; all are just as useful at home as they are abroad:

  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Measles (you probably received this one as a child, but check to be sure)
  • Tetanus / Diphtheria (often combined in one injection)
  • Typhoid (available in capsules / necessary only outside of large tourist areas)

Vaccinations for rabies and Japanese encephalitis are only necessary in special circumstances. Yellow fever is not a problem in Asia.

Read more about getting travel vaccinations for travel to Asia.

The CDC travel website has the most up-to-date information for Asia travel vaccinations.

Apply for Travel Visas

Perhaps one of the most bewildering and confusing aspects of Asia travel, applying for visas stumps a lot of first-time travelers.

A travel visa is a stamp or sticker placed in your passport which allows access into a new country. Some are free, some have an application fee, some can be obtained in the airport at your destination, and some must be obtained before you get to a country! What's worse, visa requirements for different countries are always changing, depending on the whim of bureaucrats.

You will either need to visit a country's embassy to apply for a visa before you leave home, or mail your passport to them. If you mail your passport, don't skimp on the postage! Use certified mail with tracking and delivery confirmation; mail your passport directly from the post office rather than dropping it into a mailbox.

Countries such as China, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, and a few others require that you arrive with a visa already in your passport; otherwise, you could be denied entry and put back on a plane! Countries such as Thailand allow exemptions if you just show up, however, you can get up to 60 days if you apply in advance before you arrive.

When researching visas, get the latest requirements directly from the consulate website rather than trusting other information sources that may or may not be up to date with new requirements.

Note: Many countries that claim to have an "onward ticket" requirement rarely actually enforce it. Travelers commonly fly into countries such as Thailand, then travel overland by bus or train to neighboring countries. Dressing nicely, explaining your travel plans, or showing adequate proof of funds is often enough to avoid the onward ticket requirement.

  • Read all about how to get a visa  for the countries that require one.

Book a Flight to Asia

Ask every passenger on a plane what they paid for their airfare and you'll probably receive a different answer from each one! Getting a good price on a ticket to Asia is akin to playing the stock market lately: more a dark art than a science, and a lot of luck is required.

Purchasing your ticket too far in advance isn't always the best way to ensure a good price. Try to book your ticket 30 -- 60 days before your trip; you'll save money by being more flexible with your departure date and airports.

Some quick tips for booking your flight:

  • Asia is a long flight away -- sign up for a mileage reward program to take advantage.
  • Leave from a major hub city; the best deals to Asia are often Asian-based airlines flying to and from the west coast of the U.S.
  • Decline additional travel insurance, your regular travel insurance will probably have coverage.

Learn some more secrets for booking a cheap flight to Asia .

Get Travel Insurance for Asia

Travel insurance may seem like just another expense added to a long list of Asia travel expenditures, however, once you take a hair-raising tuk-tuk ride through Bangkok at rush hour, you'll realize that the peace of mind was worth the price!

Fortunately, travel insurance is far less expensive than regular health insurance. Follow these tips before choosing a suitable policy:

  • Check your renter's or home owner's insurance to see if they will cover valuables such as camera and laptop while you are abroad.
  • Make copies of receipts and record models/serial numbers for expensive electronics that you plan to take to Asia.
  • Choose a travel insurance policy that offers emergency evacuation back to the U.S.
  • Realize that many travel insurance policies may require an additional "rider" to cover you during adventure sports such as scuba diving. Driving motorbikes is almost never covered.
  • Travel Guard (Compare Prices) is the leading travel insurer in the U.S.

Read more about why budget travel insurance is a good idea and how to choose the right policy.

Plan Your Asia Travel

Now that all the prerequisites for Asia travel are done, time for the fun part: planning your trip!

The most common mistake that a first-time traveler to Asia makes is trying to see too much in too short of a time. With such interesting cities, beaches, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Asia, we are all guilty!

Keep in mind that things move a little slower in developing countries than they do at home; transportation may or may not go on schedule. Arriving in Asia with an aggressive itinerary is a sure recipe for stress.

Here are some tips for planning your Asia travel:

  • Check the Weather: Many parts of Asia have distinct wet and dry seasons. An island is no fun when monsoon rains keep you indoors most of the time! Research monsoon season dates for your destinations, however, keep in mind that the world's weather has changed and isn't as predictable as it once was. Read more about the weather in Southeast Asia .
  • Check Festival Dates: Big holidays and events such as Ramadan or Chinese New Year will certainly affect your trip to Asia. Accommodation prices during large holidays go up and transportation may be limited. Arrive early if you wish to enjoy the festivals in Asia.
  • Don't Worry About Language: While knowing how to say hello in Asia is certainly fun and useful, language differences should not be a concern when planning your trip. You will find English spoken to some degree nearly everywhere, particularly along popular routes such as the Banana Pancake Trail in Southeast Asia. Learn some of the local language will certainly enhance your trip to Asia, however, you will learn exponentially faster once you hit the ground.
  • Check Festival Dates: Big holidays and events such as Ramadan or Chinese New Year will certainly affect your trip to Asia. Accommodation prices during large holidays go up and transportation may be limited. Arrive early if you wish to enjoy the festivals in Asia .

See everything that you need to plan Asia travel.

Arrive Prepared

Although so much trip preparation can seem a little overwhelming at first, remember: flexibility always outweighs extreme preparation in the long run!

Some last minute things to research and take care of before you leave home for Asia:

  • You will undoubtedly be a little jet lagged your first days in Asia. Know these jet lag remedies .
  • Know how to beat the top 5 travel health ailments that affect many travelers.
  • Walk softly and don't support harmful practices you may or may not realize; read about responsible travel in Asia.
  • Research the currency exchange for your destinations before you leave home. Learn how to access and carry money in Asia and get the current exchange rates for Asia.
  • Pack light -- you'll inevitably want to take advantage of the cheap shopping in Asia. Consider bringing these essential items with you to Asia.
  • Know about these common scams in Asia so that you don't become a victim as soon as you hit the ground.
  • Register your trip on the U.S. State Department Travel website; the consulate will know that you are there in case of natural disaster or political turmoil.
  • Contact your bank and any credit cards that you intend to carry on your trip; they need to be aware that you are traveling, otherwise they may lock your card to protect against fraud when they see strange charges in Asia come across!
  • If traveling for a long time, fill your cars with gas and add fuel stabilizer to the tank.

Most importantly, enjoy your trip of a lifetime!

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Chinese Tourists Flock to Southeast Asia as Overseas Travel Bounces Back


FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Chinese tourists arrive during a welcome ceremony of the first batch of Chinese tourists under a five-month visa-free entry scheme at Bangkok's International Airport, Thailand, September 25, 2023. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo

By Sophie Yu and Orathai Sriring

BEIJING/BANGKOK (Reuters) -Chinese travellers flocked to tourist hot-spots across Asia over the Lunar New Year break, with visitor numbers and spending in destinations including Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia exceeding pre-COVID levels.

Visa-free access for Chinese tourists to the Southeast Asia countries boosted traffic and signalled a robust revival in travel since Beijing lifted strict COVID restrictions in early 2023 that had all but shut China's borders for three years.

The increase provides welcome relief to countries that rely on the Chinese and their spending, although the outlook for a sustained recovery in overseas travel is overshadowed by a sluggish mainland economy and volatile markets that have seen consumers tighten their belts at home.

"Despite the macroeconomic headwinds, we believe Chinese citizens are still willing to spend on travel-related experiences ... we think travel-related spending could continue to outpace this overall domestic consumption," HSBC said in a research note.

Bookings to Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia combined jumped more than 30% from Feb. 10-17 compared with 2019, according to travel website operator, with Chinese visitors to Hong Kong, Macau, Japan and South Korea also increasing.

The holiday in 2024 lasted for eight days, one day more than the Lunar New year break in 2019.

Reflecting the boost from visa waivers, hotel bookings for Bangkok tripled over the period from Feb. 10-13 year-on-year, while those for Singapore jumped nine-fold, according to travel platform

Spending in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia combined on the Chinese mobile payment platform Alipay increased 7.5% in the period from Feb. 9-12 from 2019 levels and nearly 7-fold from last year, Alipay said.

However, overall consumer spending only recovered to 82% of levels four years ago, the company said.

Data from the Tourism Authority of Thailand put the number of Chinese tourist arrivals over the holiday at nearly 244,000, beating forecasts, and up more than six-fold from 2023. Spending was about 8.6 billion baht ($239 million) versus 1.3 billion baht in 2023.


As Chinese scour for new adventures, the Middle East proved a popular Lunar New Year destination, with travel to Saudi Arabia up more than nine-fold from 2019 levels and bookings to United Arab Emirates climbing 60%, said.

The gambling hub of Macau, the only place in China where citizens can legally gamble in casinos, was visited by more than a million Chinese tourists over the holiday, with average hotel occupancy rates reaching 95%, according to official data.

The jump in tourists bodes well for some of the world's largest casino operators in the former Portuguese territory, including Sands China and Wynn Macau.

JP Morgan said in a note it expected daily gross gaming revenues for the peak of the holiday to hit $124 million for the first time in more than four years - higher than the $112 million generated during the October 2023 Golden Week holiday.

Mass gaming rates were forecast to have reached 120% of pre-COVID levels, it said, adding that it expects February gross gaming revenues to rise by at least 80% year-on-year to $2.36 billion, the highest in more than four years.

Across the border in Hong Kong, leader John Lee said on Tuesday more than 1.2 million Chinese tourists visited the city over Lunar New Year, with hotel occupancy rates reaching 90% in the first few days.

South Korea's Justice Ministry said more than 114,000 Chinese visitors entered the country during the holiday, up 4% from 2019, while some travel agents noted tourists were increasingly opting to travel on their own rather than in groups, which meant fewer organised trips to mega-stores.

"With drops in the number of group tourists, we don’t get to see Chinese tourists carrying big shopping bags anymore," an official at a travel agency in Seoul told Reuters, requesting not to be named as he is not authorized to speak to media.

That trend was also seen in Thailand.

"Vendors said there were not many buyers. We also see Chinese tourists carrying very little things. In the past, they went shopping and came back with a pile of things," said Paisarn Sukjarean, president of the Thai Hotels Association's Northern Upper Chapter.

In Japan, department store operator Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings said that through to Feb. 14 "duty-free sales were significantly higher than the previous year, partly due to the Chinese New Year".

A shift in holiday tastes was reflected in some data as travellers sought more experience-based trips, with Alipay reporting Chinese tourists globally spent 70% more on food and beverages compared with pre-COVID levels. said overseas car rentals on its platform jumped 53% compared to 2019 and tickets for scenic experiences abroad soared more than 130%.

($1 = 36.0300 baht)

(Additional reporting by Brenda Goh in Shanghai, Heekyong Yang in Seoul, Rocky Swift in Tokyo and Jessie Pang in Hong Kong; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Miral Fahmy and Christina Fincher)

Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters .

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Tags: Hong Kong , Malaysia , Macau , Thailand , Japan , Singapore

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' class=

A few of us are participating in the Central Asia Rally starting June 1 and due to visa issues and dates are unable to reach the rally until it hits Russia. (starting point is Hungary).

We will reach Moscow on June 2 and can join rally by June 4 down south in Russia.

Are there one-way rentals that we can use from Moscow and drop off in Bishkek, Kyrg?

If not, how difficult is it to buy a used car and transfer ownership to us in 2-3 days before we hit the road?

I have been trawling online but am unable to figure stuff out. Also, if there is another option that I haven't considered, except for calling off this trip, I am open to ideas.

Thx in advance for your help.

' class=

Thx so much! Will take a look at the website. Would you be able to tell me if I could manage to get all of it done in 2 days? The registration and the paperwork to drive across the border? Thx!

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  1. The most visited destination in Asia-Pacific is...

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  1. 15 Best Tours & Trips in Asia 2024/2025

    Find the best tours and trips in Asia for 2024 with TourRadar, the world's largest online travel platform. Explore cultural, active, adventure and family-friendly options in over 250 destinations across the continent. Compare prices, reviews, ratings and operator details for your perfect vacation.

  2. The Best Places to Go in Asia in 2024

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  3. 17 Best Places to Visit in Asia

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    186 Trips Available ‹ | « | 1 of 8 | » | › Trips Per Page Sort by: Most Popular Duration Price Filter by: Price Range Duration Range Trip Type Reset all Thailand for Foodies: Bangkok, Chiang Mai & Koh Samui DELUXE | PRIVATE-GUIDED: Embark on an incredible adventure through Thailand with a foodie twist.

  5. Best Asia Tours & Vacations 2024/2025

    Explore Asia's diverse and dynamic destinations with Intrepid Travel, offering a range of tours and vacations for different lengths of time and interests. Whether you want to visit Japan, Bali, India, China, or the Middle East, you can find the best trip for you and experience the culture, cuisine, and nature of Asia.

  6. The Ultimate Asia Travel Guide • The Blonde Abroad

    Backpacking is the most popular way to travel through the countries of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia (hello, Bali !). While these countries attract a large backpacking crowd, there are luxury gems at every corner too. Bigger cities like Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong attract travelers from all over the world.

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    Matt Munro Asia From the nomadic steppes of Kazakhstan to the frenetic streets of Hanoi, Asia is a continent so full of adventure, solace and spirituality that it has fixated and confounded travelers for centuries. 01 / Attractions Must-see attractions for your itinerary Wat Pho Ko Ratanakosin & Thonburi

  8. Best Asia Tours & Holidays 2024/2025

    Our tours in Asia. Vietnam Express Southbound. 10 Days From 1156. Take a tour of Vietnam from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, with stops to cruise the Mekong... View Trip. Beautiful Bali. 9 Days From 1036. Travel to Bali and experience this oasis off the coast of Indonesia. Bali's Ubud, Mt...

  9. Asia Vacation Destination: Asia Itinerary

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  10. Best Asia Tours & Holidays 2024/2025

    When you're munching deep-fried grasshoppers with white pepper in Thailand, riding across the Mongolian tundra, exploring the rice paddy fields in Bali and swimming with Burmese sea-gypsies, you begin to understand: Asia is no ordinary place to explore. Book your tour of Asia today.

  11. Asia Vacations

    7 nights from $1,409* 54 Customer Reviews Embark on an exhilarating journey in South East Asia, where the vibrant souls of Singapore and Indonesia await your eager exploration!

  12. Asia 2024: Best Places to Visit

    Plan Your Trip to Asia: Best of Asia Tourism Essential Asia Stay A mix of the charming, modern, and tried and true. 2023 Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok 908 Bangkok, Thailand from $172/night 2023 The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore 5,182 Singapore, Singapore from $454/night 2023 JW Marriott Hotel Seoul 1,128 Seoul, South Korea from $231/night 2023 Shiraume

  13. Asia Tour Packages & Asia Destination Guide

    An essential part of Asia travel packages, it has been named one of the new natural wonders of the world. Stroll down the busy streets of Tokyo. Home to almost 14-million, the streets of Tokyo buzz with an energy that is hard to resist. Navigate through the swarm of pedestrians at Shibuya Crossing and admire elaborate dress sense in Harajuku.

  14. 3 Month Southeast Asia Itinerary & Travel Planning Guide

    The maritime region includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei, East Timor, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This 3 month Southeast Asia itinerary only includes the mainland countries of Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

  15. Top Asia Tours 2024/2025: Customize a Personalized & Stress-free Travel

    Top Asia Tours 2024/2025. Discover 30+ tours below for your Asia trip! Asia Highlights is ready to provide you a personalized and stress-free experience, whether it's a milestone trip, family trip, or bucketlist trip — your planning will be made easy with just one specialist throughout.

  16. Asia Travel Guide: When to Visit, Where to Go & What to Do

    World Travel Guides Asia Travel Guide By Ryan O'Rourke / Last updated: October 1, 2019 Asia is more than a continent; it's a world unto itself. As much as we talk about Asia as a singular travel destination, there's no single thread that binds the continent together.

  17. Asia Travel

    Traveling to Asia is as exciting as it sounds; Asia is the largest and most diverse continent on Earth, so you'll get more than your money's worth of culture, beauty, history, and adventure. With a long to-do list, this Asia travel guide will help you to take care of items in the right order, so that you can be ready for the big departure day.

  18. Top Destinations in Asia

    Best of the Best Destinations World Trending Destinations Top Destinations Nature Destinations Food Destinations Culture Destinations Honeymoon Destinations Sustainable Destinations You've probably got one or two of these destinations on your list of dream vacays. What can we say? People love them—and for very good reason.

  19. Asia Trip Planner

    Promising you a high-class vacation, all Asia trip packages include the most remarkable attractions, top-notch accommodation options, and private airport pick-ups. Eager to go beyond? In case you would like to add a specific activity or a day-trip extension to your itinerary, you can easily modify your program using Triptile's Asia trip planner ...

  20. Chinese Tourists Flock to Southeast Asia as Overseas Travel Bounces Back

    Visa-free access for Chinese tourists to the Southeast Asia countries boosted traffic and signalled a robust revival in travel since Beijing lifted strict COVID restrictions in early 2023 that had ...

  21. Chinese tourists are driving Asia-Pacific's travel boom

    Travel demand in Asia-Pacific is "a little bit shy" of returning to 2019 levels and is expected to hit pre-pandemic levels this year, said Willie Walsh, director general of the IATA.

  22. Chinese tourists flock to Southeast Asia as overseas travel bounces

    Chinese travellers flocked to tourist hot-spots across Asia over the Lunar New Year break, with visitor numbers and spending in destinations including Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia exceeding ...

  23. US-Taiwan: Why are so many Congressmen heading for Taipei?

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  24. Journey by car across Central Asia

    Answer 1 of 4: Hey folks, A few of us are participating in the Central Asia Rally starting June 1 and due to visa issues and dates are unable to reach the rally until it hits Russia. (starting point is Hungary). We will reach Moscow on June 2 and can join...

  25. 21 Things to Know Before You Go to Moscow

    1: Off-kilter genius at Delicatessen: Brain pâté with kefir butter and young radishes served mezze-style, and the caviar and tartare pizza. Head for Food City. You might think that calling Food City (Фуд Сити), an agriculture depot on the outskirts of Moscow, a "city" would be some kind of hyperbole. It is not.

  26. Eras Tour: Taylor Swift mania sweeps Tokyo for sold-out concerts, with

    Taylor Swift fans pose for pictures ahead of the first leg of her Asia-Pacific Eras Tour in Tokyo on February 7, 2024. ... and therefore have begun to travel to other markets to try and find ...

  27. Indonesia Will Turn to 'Swiftonomics' to Boost Tourism Spending

    February 19, 2024 at 12:13 AM EST. Indonesia is considering more incentives to bring in more music, sports and cultural events that would attract travelers to spend more and stay longer. "We ...