The mysteries of the Far East have for millennia lured travellers to uncover the secrets of the Orient with its ancient history, fascinating cultures and inspiring religious traditions.
Every day promises a sensory overload of vivid colours, scented aromas, delectable Asian cuisine, fine silk fabrics, exotic jewellery, magnificent temples, spectacular countryside and friendly people.
Explore the amazing variety of wonders and sights of the Far East with Thompsons Holidays. Choices are endless… from the must-see World Heritage sights of the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City in Beijing to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in Ho Chi Minh City; from the hustle and bustle of the trade metropolis of Guangzhou to Shanghai, the Paris of the East, with its famous skyscrapers and awe-inspiring neon-lit buildings. Shop till you drop at modern shopping emporiums in Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and visit exciting theme parks in Hong Kong Disneyland and Sentosa Island, Singapore. Travel to the charming French-colonial city of Hanoi and admire the stunning Marble Mountains of Da Nang in Vietnam or relax at beautiful Indonesian beaches in Bali and quieter Lambok or choose the pristine Malaysian islands of Langkawi, Penang or the idyllic.
The Far East is where skyscrapers sparkle in the night of the cities, ancient ruins adorn primeval rainforests, culinary aromas rise from every street corner - an abundance of dazzling city experiences, exotic cultures and tropical wildlife encounters. The calming allure of striking temples is contrasted by the bright lights and fast pace of its cities. Verdant green rice paddies are offset by tranquil villages, bustling street markets and delicious food. And then there are the beaches – little strips of paradise, with warm seas and idyllic sunsets.
Visa: South African passport holders do not require a visa.
Time: GMT+7/8/9 depending on the region visiting
What do things cost:
Using Thailand as an example of approximate costs, below are items that may assist when setting your budget and will vary according to season and outlet.
| Restaurants ||Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant ||THB 55.00 || Markets ||Water (1.5 litre bottle) ||THB 15.95 |
|Meal for 2 People, Three-course ||THB 600.00 ||Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) ||THB 550.00 |
|McMeal at McDonalds ||THB 159.50 ||Domestic Beer (0.5 litre bottle) ||THB 52.06 |
|Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught) ||THB 60.00 ||Imported Beer (0.33 litre bottle) ||THB 82.62 |
|Imported Beer (0.33 litre bottle) ||THB 100.00 || || |
|Cappuccino (regular) ||THB 61.86 || || |
|Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle) ||THB 17.78 || || |
|Water (0.33 litre bottle) ||THB 9.53 || || |
|Region ||Currency ||Language |
|Cambodia & Laos ||Riel / Kip ||Khmer / Lao |
|China ||Yuan (Renminbi) ||Chinese (Mandarin) |
|Hong Kong ||Hong Kong dollar ||Chinese (Cantonese) |
|Indonesia ||Rupiah ||Indonesian |
|Japan ||Yen ||Japanese |
|Malaysia ||Ringgit ||Malay |
|Singapore ||Singapore dollar ||Malay, English, Chinese (Mandarin), Tamil |
|Thailand ||Thai Baht ||Thai |
|Vietnam ||Vietnamese Dong ||Vietnamese |
|BEST TIME TO TRAVEL ||Jan ||Feb ||Mar ||Apr ||May ||Jun ||Jul ||Aug ||Sep ||Oct ||Nov ||Dec |
|Thailand - west coast (Phuket/Khao Lak/Krabi): ||x ||x || || || || || || || || ||x ||x |
|The Gulf of Thailand (Koh Samui/Koh Phangan/Hua Hin): ||x ||x ||x ||x ||x ||x ||x ||x || || || ||x |
|Thailand - north coast (Chiang Mai/Chiang Rai): ||x ||x ||x || || || || || || || ||x ||x |
|Bangkok ||x ||x ||x ||x || || || || || || || ||x |
|Malaysia - west coast (Langkawi/Penang): ||x ||x ||x ||x || || || || || || || ||x |
|Malaysia - east coast (Kuala Terengganu): || || || || ||x ||x ||x ||x ||x ||x || || |
|Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur ||x ||x || || ||x ||x ||x ||x || || || ||x |
|Vietnam - North (Hanoi/Halong Bay): || ||x ||x ||x || || || || || || || || |
|Vietnam - Central (Hue/Danang/Hoi An/Nha Trang): || || ||x ||x ||x ||x ||x ||x || || || || |
|Vietnam - South (Saigon/Mekong Delta/ Phu Quoc): ||x ||x ||x ||x || || || || || || || ||x |
|Cambodia & Laos ||x ||x ||x ||x || || || || || ||x ||x ||x |
|China || || || ||x ||x ||x ||x ||x ||x ||x || || |
|Bali || || || || ||x ||x ||x ||x ||x || || || |
|Hong Kong ||x ||x || || || || || || || || ||x ||x |
|Singapore || ||x ||x ||x ||x ||x ||x ||x ||x ||x || || |
|Japan ||x ||x ||x ||x ||x || || || || ||x ||x ||x |