Planning Your First-Ever Trip To Asia: 4 Things To Consider

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Asia is a vast area that covers such diverse countries as Afghanistan, Iran, Mongolia, North Korea, and Indonesia. Most people, if they are planning to visit Asia, mean southeast Asia. This includes Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam. This part of the world is famous for its amazing beaches, hot climate, tasty food, and cultural attractions, but it is a very different experience if you are only used to traveling around mainland USA or Europe. Unless you are prepared, there will be a bit of a culture shock. Read on for some useful tips for planning your first trip to Asia.

Which Countries Do You Want to Visit?

For most people, Thailand is at the top of their bucket list, but while Thailand has many famous and amazing attractions, notably the capital city of Bangkok, there are other countries worth visiting too, all of which will offer something different. Bali in Indonesia is famous for its beach resorts and laid-back lifestyle, and Vietnam and Cambodia are interesting from a historical perspective. And if you want to visit an island state, where cleanliness and efficiency are all part of everyday life, try Singapore. Countries like Myanmar are also becoming more popular now that tourists are welcomed.

Because there is so much to see and do, spend some time researching each country. Think about what kind of holiday you want. If beaches are your priority, it is hard to beat Thailand and Bali, but if you are more interested in exploring different cultures, visit Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar, where you can learn more about darker periods of history and visit ancient temples.

Check Visa Requirements

Travelers from the US and the UK normally have no issues visiting the main countries in Southeast Asia. Thailand welcomes tourists for up to 30 days without a visa and other countries like Vietnam have an e-visa scheme, which can be applied for online.

If you plan on venturing off the normal tourist trail, check whether a special visa is needed before you book flights, and if so, how long it will take to acquire it.

Build an Itinerary

Once you have identified which countries you want to visit, build a more detailed itinerary. Find out more about the most interesting cultural attractions in the countries you are interested in seeing. Research the best beaches, which places welcome tourists, and transport options if you want to go island hopping.

There is so much to see and do in this part of the world, including the elephant sanctuaries, the Batu Caves in Malaysia, Buddhist temples in Thailand, and so much more.

Make a list of the main attractions you want to visit and decide whether you can fit them all in within the time you have available. You will need some rest and relaxation days to recover from jet lag, so bear this in mind.

Book Flights and Hotels

The next step is to book flights, hotels, and tours. Accommodation is often available for very little in Southeast Asia, especially if you are comfortable doing the whole backpacker thing and staying in hostels. Even resorts are relatively affordable in many destinations, so shop around for the best deals.

Long-haul flights will be your biggest expense but there are ways to limit the costs. You can even leverage your credit to save a fortune and fly for virtually nothing.

Work out your best transportation options while in Southeast Asia. Flights on local carriers can be booked once you arrive or in advance. Note that it is usually sensible to visit cities like Bangkok first before flying on to the smaller islands and attractions.

A trip to Asia will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so make the most of it by carefully planning every last detail.

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