Asia is a continent full of wonder. No matter how you plan to travel Asia, there are many interesting countries to explore. For anyone planning to travel Asia, there are plenty of must see locations and relaxing vacation options.
Historians estimate that the islands of Japan have been inhabited by humans for at least the last 30,000 years, if not longer, and Japan is known throughout the world for its ancient history, unique culture, and fascinating traditions. Although the country is small, anyone taking an Asia vacation in Japan will find is a vast wealth of things to do and see. From the city of Kokyo, considered by many to be the cultural capital of Japan, and its vast network of gardens and temples, to the modern day capital Tokyo and the Imperial Palace, Asia travel in Japan offers incredible diversity. Even nature lovers will find something to pique their interest in the Japanese leg of their Asia vacation. Mt Fuji, a striking volcanic peak rising over 12,000 feet above sea level draws thousands of climbers and sightseers each year.
The economy of Japan has undergone some dramatic changes since World War II, and many travelers planning an Asia vacation spend time in Hiroshima, visiting Peace Memorial Park or paying tribute to those who lost their lives during the second world war. Although there is no way to experience all that the rich county of Japan holds in a short period of time, some of the more popular Asia vacation activities in Japan include visiting the Japan Alps, taking a tour of Tokyo, or visiting any of the many local artisan and modern shopping centers. Whether you decide to take in a Sumo match at the Hatsu Basho festival, ring in the New Year along with the temple bells of the entire country, or travel in Asia to make a stop in Japan for Obon in August, Asia travel in Japan will be full of activity no matter when you go.
As one of the oldest civilizations in the world, any Asia vacation is enhanced by time spent in India. A country full of both the incredibly rich and the incredibly poor, Asia travel in India will reveal a culture that is wholly unique. The strange mix of colonial structures, as well as buildings that hearken back to medieval times will amaze anyone who makes an Asia vacation in India. Whether you choose to enjoy a cup of exotic chai, ride on the back of an elephant, or visit Devbhumi, Asia travel in India is an endless source of fascination.
Experts estimate that some of the earliest Indian civilizations date back to about 3000 BC, and a vacation in Asia with time spent in India will reflect this diverse and ancient civilization. Scores of kingdoms and empires have existed in the geographical area we now call India, changing hands numerous times and only recently becoming a single nation. One favorite spot for an Asia vacation in India is Goa, a beach town with a reputation for being the scene of endless parties and multicultural events. Regardless of personal beliefs, many tourists who travel Asia also make a stop by Dharamsala, home of the Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetan government. The Dalai Lama makes appearances nearly every day, and offers personal blessings to any who visit his temple. Of course, just about everyone who takes an India vacation in Asia makes plans to visit New Dehli, the capital of India and one of the most populated cities in the world. Whether your Asia travel plans take you through the capital, or to smaller cities such as Agra or Bangalore, India is an excellent place to experience a myriad of festivals and a depth of history.
With a mix of immigrants from China, India, and other parts of Asia, the city-state of Singapore is a melting pot of cultures and traditions, situated near the equator. Asia travel in Singapore is an inimitable experience, from the colonial historic district surrounding The Padang, to the shops and urban development that have popped up along the Singapore River. The history of Singapore is long, and by the early 1800's the city of Singapore was a major trade route between Southeast Asia and Europe. Although travelers will no longer find the seedy opium dens and rickshaws of the past, Singapore still exudes an air of mystery and intrigue.
Some of the more popular activities for Singapore travel in Asia include visiting the markets of Singapore, such as Chinatown and Little India, where tourists will find everything from fortune tellers to freshly ground spices. Nearby, the imam of the Sultan Mosque calls the faithful to worship, and guests may visit sections of this primordial temple. Travelers who vacation in Asia in the city of Singapore often make their way to Sentosa as well, a small island off the southern coast with a host of nature displays and other outdoor activities. Asia travel packages to Singapore are widely available through travel agencies or online, and many include access to a bevy of activities along with accommodation.
For those looking to travel Asia, Taiwan can be an excellent first stop. As one of the only democratic nations tourists encounter as they travel in Asia, the small island of Taiwan is a fascinating mix of eastern and western ideals. The country has not always been an independent nation, however, and in fact China still considers Taiwan to be a colony that will eventually be reunited with the Chinese government. Though Taiwan has experienced both Chinese rule and Japanese colonization, today the country is one of the most economically stable on the continent. With a distinctive culture comprised of Chinese, Japanese, and indigenous traditions, Taiwan is a formidable force in both Eastern and Western cultures, and a worth stop for anyone as they travel Asia.
Although Taiwan is geographically tiny, the country is one of the largest trading entities in the world, and has a host of interesting places to visit, such as Shifenliao, the Wu Feng Qi Waterfall, or the Sun Moon Lake in Nantou. One of the most popular cities for tourists in Taiwan is Taipei, with the National Place Museum, the Lungshan Temple, and other historical sites. Although Taipei is a major hub for Taiwan citizens, Taichung and Tainan are also great places to visit as part of an Asia vacation.
China is known throughout the world as an incredibly diverse and politically interesting country. A vacation in Asia that includes a stay in China will be filled with sightseeing and an array of activities. Since China is such a large country, most travelers concentrate on one or just a few popular areas, and many take advantage of Asia vacation packages. Due to some of the political restrictions currently in place in China, it is a good idea to research rules for foreigners before any vacation in Asia.
With a long history mired in tradition, China is full of things to do and see. For those looking to include shopping as part of their China vacation in Asia, there are wide expanses of markets to choose from, such as the Panjiayuan Jiuhuo Shichang market in Beijing, or the Kaifen Night Market in Kaifeng. Palaces in China also abound, with some of the most famous actually being Tibetan in origin, like the Potala Palace in Lhasa that once served as both a monastery and prison. Whether you head to Beijing to explore the Forbidden City, check out the Great Wall of China, or take a ferry ride in Hong Kong, China is sure to enthrall any traveler.
Malaysia is one of the gems of any travel in Asia. The relaxed and friendly attitude of its citizens, as well as the gorgeous surroundings make this one of Asia's most lovely vacation spots. Skyscrapers tower above longhouses throughout, highlighting the blend of history and modern commerce. Natural wonders greet travelers as they leave urban areas, and Malaysia is a superb place to travel in Asia for an eco-holiday. Malaysia Asia travel can include a stroll on the Tanjung Rhu beach, visit Kuala Terengganu for some central market shopping, or visit one of the many historic temples such as Jalan Tokong in Malacca.
Most Asia vacation packages to Malaysia include a flight into Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital city. By far the most modern city in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpar is a great jumping off point for travel in Asia, and is actually a great way to take advantage of cheap Asia travel, as flights tend to be less expensive into this city. Another popular Malaysia city is Johor Bahru, a metropolis full of historical sites and the unique Ghazal music scene, a special type of instrumental performance for wedding and other special events. Since the history of Malaysia involves a wide mining community, particularly in tin, the city of Ipoh is another great sightseeing spot, as well as a major hub for the Malaysian railroad and other transportation. Any road you take in Malaysia leads to intriguing and beautiful surroundings, and the long history of Malaysia is worth exploring.
Thailand is perhaps the best place to find cheap Asia travel. A vacation in Asia that includes a trip to Thailand is a rare treat. Residents of Thailand are among the kindest in the world. The country is literally fraught with helpful and welcoming people, not to mention gorgeous Buddhist temples, incredible beaches, and exotic jungle adventures. While Bangkok, the capital, and Phuket are perhaps the most famous cities in Thailand, the beach town of Pattaya also offers the convenience of a city, with easy access to lovely beaches.
For anyone making a stop in Thailand as they travel Asia, a stop at a local market is an absolute must. The Thai people are famous for their system of bartering, and travelers should be aware that this is an intricate part of buying anything in a Thai market. Khao San Road, though not an official market, is a busy hub for travelers in particular, and some of the most unique items can be found here. Chatuchak, Bangkok's weekend market, is an authentic and enormous market frequented most often by Thai citizens. Travelers are welcome, and though the packed area can be overwhelming, it is well worth the experience.
A wide range of festivals can also be found throughout the country, with one of the most popular being the Thai Fruit Festival in May. Tourists will also find Thai temples located literally everywhere throughout any major city in the country, and a trip to at least one of these temples is an important part of understanding Thailand. Many Asia vacation packages will include temple tours as part of your trip. Whether you choose to spend your time in Thailand at the beach or exploring the cities and markets, Asia travel in Thailand is truly unforgettable.
No matter where your vacation in Asia takes place, travel in Asia is one of the most unique experiences in the world, particularly for western tourists. Be sure to check with your travel agent when making your travel plans, as there are often great cheap Asia travel packages available for any destination.