With its ancient history, fascinating cultures and religious traditions, the mysterious Far East enticestravellers to visit and uncover its secrets. Nowhere else on earth offers such a dazzling clash of modern city experiences, exotic traditions and tropical wildlife encounters. Here you will find verdant green rice paddies, tranquil villages, bustling street markets, neon-lit cities and a sensory overload of delicious food.
You’ll also find an abundance of striking temples, a complete contrast to the rush of the fast-paced cities. And then there are some of the most exquisite beaches you can imagine, where you can soak up the sun, enjoy a massage or just sip on a tropical drink while watching the sun dip below the horizon.
Why we love exploring Asia
Asia is famous for its ultra-modern cities like Shanghai and Hong Kong, home to the busiest harbour in the world.
Far East holidays offer numerous spiritual experiences, from exploring stunning temples in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Bali to joining Shanghai locals in practising Tai Chi in the early mornings.
Legendary World Heritage sites await, such as the Great Wall ofChina, Beijing’s Forbidden City and the impressive Taj Mahal in Agra, India.
Spectacular scenery abounds in a world totally different from the one we live in, like the exquisite Marble Mountains in Da Nang in Vietnam, the spring blossoms in Japan and Thailand’s beautiful islands and beaches.
You won’t find shopping as good as this anywhere else, whether you’re exploring the malls in Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur or visiting local markets in Indonesia, India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
History is everywhere from the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in Ho Chi Minh City to bustling Guangzhou in China, every place has its own unique story to tell.
Let us take you to one of our exciting Asian holiday destinations.Travel to Asia and prepare for a sensory overload of vivid colours, scents,music, dance, monuments and temples. Browse our holiday packages now and get in touch to book.
What to do in Asia
Asia is an exciting, multi-faceted continent that offers every type of holiday imaginable, from lazing on sandy beaches soaking up the sun to visiting tropical jungles where animals roam free. You can discover the mysteries of the Orient while exploring tourist attractions and historical sites in China, Vietnam and India and religious temples in Bali, Japan, Malaysia and many other lands.
Experience fun and excitement, especially for the kids, in magical theme parks in Hong Kong’s Disneyland and on Sentosa Island. Foradults, shop till you drop in high fashion stores in Singapore and Hong Kong. Natural beauty, tradition and culture await around every corner, in tiny villages, local produce markets, on the water and on land.
Top things to do in Asia on holiday
Go scuba diving in mystical Bali, home to beautiful beaches, incredible art and rich culture.
Explore India’s Pink City of Jaipur with its forts, palaces and religious temples.
Enjoy sun, sea, sand and friendly people in the pretty Thai resort of Phuket.
Take a break from shopping in Singapore to visit its magical National Orchid Garden.
Visit Bangkok’s famous Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat PhraKaew).
Visit Vietnam's historic Cu Chi tunnels that were used by the Viet Cong soldiers in the Vietnam war.
Visit a tea plantation in Sri Lanka and sip on some of the country’s fabulous Ceylon tea.
Travel to Xian in China to see the 2000-year-old Terracotta Warriors.
On the island of Penang in Malaysia, visit the Snake Temple where pit vipers coil on altars and temple grounds.
There is so much to see and do on an Asian holiday, whether you’re travelling with friends, family, or a romantic partner. Let Thompsons Holidays take you on an Asian adventure with one of our exciting holiday package options!
Know before you go...
What must I pack?
The key to packing for Asia is to choose items that can be layered, and include something warm depending on the season, and the country you're visiting. You might be surprised to know that some destinations in Asia experience very cold winters!
Another rule of thumb: choose breathable fabrics as the humidity can be high.
A lightweight rain jacket will always come in handy. Choose one that can be folded into a small bag.
You’ll need a sarong – use it as an extra sheet, beach towel, pillowcase, a beach cover-up, as a scarf to wear when visiting temples, and so much more.
Important to note: much of Asia remains a fairly modest culture, so keep your beachwear and more revealing outfits for the beach.
Comfortable walking shoes.
Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses for summer holidays.
Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
Camera, or just use your phone.
Universal travel adaptor.
Getting there & getting around
There are frequent flights from South Africa to all major Asian destinations. Often you will have to catch a connecting flight to another city or country.
Many of Asia's modern cities feature excellent transport infrastructure, with high-speed trains.
Other cities and towns in outlying areas across the continent may have less sophisticated transport infrastructure – it depends where you are going.
Language & phrases
Asia is a vast continent with 48 countries, each with its ownlanguages and dialects.
While English is widely spoken, it’s advisable to learn some common phrases in your destination’s official language.
What can I do to be a responsible traveller?
Research a few cultural customs about your destination before you go, so that you do not unknowingly offend the locals.
Be aware of cultural sensitivity when it comes to dressing. For women, in particular, err on the side of caution and avoid low-cut tops – and keep a shawl or sarong handy to cover your head in a temple or mosque.
Promote the local economy; buy local food and souvenirs and support local artisans.
Single-use plastic is a problem everywhere, but in Asia, it is particularly visible. Be mindful of what you bring into and purchase in the country and make conscientious choices about packaging. Keep fabric shopping bags with you and use refillable water bottles (when local drinking water is available).
Petty theft can be fairly common, especially in cities and around popular tourist attractions. Be safety conscious – don’t display cash or valuables and leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
Always have a map (or app) on hand, especially when travelling at night.
Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables and watch out for pickpockets and bag snatchers when out and about.
What do I do in an emergency?
If passports or valuables are stolen, report the theft to the hotel/police immediately.
Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.
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