10 Tips for Independent Travel in Asia

Red Frog Beach

There is nothing like independent travel, and in many ways, Asia is the ultimate destination to enjoy this. Since many parts of it are well-trodden routes, it is easier than ever to haul on a backpack and see some of the most incredible destinations that the world has to offer. Packed with wildlife, landscapes, megacities and history, there is so much to hold your attention on a journey around this part of the world. So, if you are planning on taking an independent trip to Asia yourself, here is some advice that you can follow to make sure that it is unforgettable.

Plan Your Trip Around the Weather

The last thing that you want is to arrive in Asia only for your trip to be severely hampered by the weather. Southeast Asia tends to be hot and humid, except during two annual monsoon seasons. More northern Asian countries like China tend to experience cold winters and hot summers. Of course, each country has its individual microclimates, so it is worth investigating them closely so that you can choose the best time of year to visit.

Mix Between Tourist Attractions and Off the Beaten Track

If this is your first time travelling to Asia, you may want to build up your confidence by going to some of the well-trodden tourist destinations. Once you feel like you are ready, it is worth getting a little more off the beaten track so that you can explore an entirely different side of the continent, and possibly see some things that your typical tourist doesn’t tend to. For example, you could head up to the north of Thailand which will give you a completely different impression away from the Full Moon Parties and buckets of alcohol commonly available in the south. Bali is a commonly visited destination in Indonesia but places like https://rumahdijual.com/villa-dijual may not be. The best trips involve a mix of different attractions so you get the fullest picture of how diverse and interesting the continent is.

Budget Carefully Along the Way

Much of Asia tends to be quite affordable (with some notable exceptions like Japan and South Korea) but it is still worth budgeting carefully. When everything seems so cheap compared to prices back home, it is very easy to get carried away. So, do your research before you travel to each country so that you have a better idea of the average amount you are likely to spend in each place. This way, you might have the opportunity to travel for longer than you had initially thought.

Use Public Transportation

Thanks to the number of visitors rushing to this part of the world, as well as the generally high populations, public transport is usually a cheap and effective way to get around Asia. For example, in Japan, you can buy a rail pass which covers all the different train networks. Even in countries where the train network isn’t all that advanced such as Southeast Asia, buses tend to be regular. They also give you the opportunity to socialise and interact with your fellow travellers.

Try the Street Food

As well as many fine restaurants, big parts of Asia are famous for their street food and night markets. So, make sure that you try this kind of food as well. There is something quite unique about enjoying the outdoor atmosphere of the bustling street while sitting on a small stool and enjoying a flavoursome bowl of noodles. Each country in Asia has a unique way of preparing their food, so if you are going on a tour of several different countries, you will get a true impression of the cooking techniques which have developed in each one.

Learn from the Locals

Rather than just hanging out with people from your own or a similar culture, you get a much better idea of the countries you are visiting when you interact with local people. If you have any contacts already in the region, this may be the easiest way that you can get an introduction. Otherwise, you can arrange tours to some of the remoter regions which have been less influenced by the outside world. Putting in that extra bit of effort to interact with the people of the region is one of the best ways that you can really get to know a place. In big parts of the continent, especially Southeast Asia, you will generally find people to be very welcoming and accommodating.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Without a doubt, some of the most stunning scenery in the world is located in Asia. Some places are already well on the tourist trail such as Halong Bay in Vietnam – though this doesn’t take much from their enduring appeal. Other places such as the national parks in China Jiuzhaigou and Zhangjiajie are less well-known by western tourists, which in many ways adds to their appeal. Whether you enjoy scuba diving on Koh Tao in Thailand or hiking up Mount Fuji, there is plenty to enjoy for lovers of the great outdoors in Asia.

Red Frog Beach Bocas del Toro

Embrace Your Spiritual Side

There are so many temples and other spiritual centres in Asia that you are bound to visit a few of them. Make sure that you space out your visits, so that you can fully appreciate each one. Otherwise, they are all likely to congeal into one big temple in your mind! Right at the top of religious sites in the world is Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Unlike many places in the world, you can really get up close and personal with the temples here, exploring each and every corner. There are plenty more incredible temples here beyond the main one including Ta Prohm, which is being gradually swallowed up by the jungle, and Bayon, which has tens of faces carved directly into the rock.

Get Lost in the Megacities

As well as serene temples and beautiful outdoor scenery, Asia is also famous for its megacities. Sometimes, it takes a couple of days to get used to the pace of life in them, but there is something appealing about the sheer magnitude of cities like Bangkok and Hong Kong. The former is a sprawl of streets which is best navigated by your tuk-tuk driver, with quiet temples and river markets interspersed within them. The latter is packed with high rise buildings, but its coastal setting gives it a sense of peacefulness at the same time.

Hit the Beach

Beach

When you just want to relax and unwind, there is nothing like a trip to the beach for taking your stress away. There are plenty of options dotted around Asia, but Thailand is probably the most famous. The islands around the south of the country are the perfect place to go. While there are plenty of party islands such as Koh Phi Phi, there are also others which are much more relaxing like Koh Lanta. If you are around this part of the world, island-hopping from one to the next gives you a great impression of the diversity of them.

There is no doubt that an independent trip to Asia will be an unforgettable experience no matter which part of it you decide to visit. Give yourself plenty of opportunity to plan and prepare, but also be prepared to embrace the experience once you get there as you will learn so much more first-hand.

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