Choosing an Asian Travel Destination

Choosing a destination point in Asia for your next vacation means choosing between the following locations: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, East Timor, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen. Russia and Turkey are part of Europe and Asia, by the way.

How to choose the right destination spot is the focus of this article.

Where To Begin

There are really so many options here that you must narrow it down quickly or get overwhelmed. Exclude those countries that are at war or have a high level of violence associated with them at the moment. Then, break down the possibilities according to what interests you most. Is it religion, cuisine, architecture, art, crafts, natural phenomenon, history, a particular event, or even a particular animal? Choose a category or come up with your own and then consider further breaking down the chosen category.

Building On An Idea

For instance, an interest in the religions found in Asia could center around Hinduism and a trip focused on visiting the various areas where Hinduism is concentrated. Building on this idea add the category of architecture. Now you can locate and visit the Hindu temples in the regions you have identified. Further add the crafts that are associated with the Hindu religion and you now have something to collect on your trip.

Lets try another one. Start with cuisine. Maybe you love hot, spicy food. What makes food hot and spicy? What if your whole trip centered around chili? Discover which country has the kind of spicy food you love best and not only eat your way through the trip but visit the farms and people where these chili’s are grown and harvested. Build this trip further by learning about the history of the plant and discover whether there are particular tribes, a person or a location connected to the cuisine and worth adding to your trip.

Triggering The Travel Bug

In taking the first steps to plan a trip, you may stumble upon a new idea or path to follow. If a topic tugs at your interest, read up on it and see where it takes you.

Another way to choose an Asian destination is to plan a trip based on a favorite region. Even a trip like this can be overwhelming to plan due to the vast landscape of Asia. Again, break it down once you have chosen a region. What is it about the region that draws you in?

Plan your daily activities around a city, a district, or an idea. What if you were to follow in the footsteps of Genghis Khan? What if you have family history in Asia?

The Best Desert Safari Deals in Dubai

Dubai is one of the most popular tourism destinations in the world. All people can get many things they love about travelling; starts from the great adventure on the deserts to the magnificent city where all entertainments well provided. As a well-developed city in United Arab Emirates, Dubai offers kinds of pleasure for everyone who travel to the country. All amenities in the country has been built amazingly and well maintained. Travelers enjoy many things in Dubai; including the wonderful atmosphere in the magnificent city.

For those who love adventures, try Desert Safari as the part of your trip in Dubai. It will become a different experience that is full of adventure. It is a great option of tour to create memorable holidays with your beloved one. In a Desert Safari, enjoy the unique atmosphere of the dry desert in evening under the clear sky with thousands of stars, or have kinds of other enjoyable activities in daytimes.

If you are going to enjoy this unique trip, get the Desert Safari Deals from one of the best travel agent in Dubai. Make sure the tour agent provides all facilities in great management so you will perfectly enjoy the desert safari well. There are many things to enjoy the desert safari, such as overnight desert safari, Hummer Desert Safari, Evening Desert Safari, Hatta Mountain Safari and also Dune Bashing. All of the adventures will bring amazing memories for everyone in the desert trip.

Besides, there are many more things to enjoy in the Desert Safari Deals, including camel riding, sand boarding, Arabic dates, heena painting, belly dancing, dance floor, Tanoura Show, Puppet show, music, enjoying sheesha (hubbly bubbly), drinks, Barbeque dinner, and many more. The desert tour is well equipped with all facilities needed by the tourists so you will much enjoy the trip on the beautiful desert of Dubai.

A Desert Safari Tour commonly takes the time about 5 – 6 hours per trip. In each of the Desert Safari Deals, every tourist could choose certain tour packages that consist of kinds of adventuring activities on the desert. You can choose whether you will enjoy the trip in the daytime or evening. Each package may have different tour activities that could be chosen based on your needs and pleasures. Therefore, just find more information from the official website of the Desert Safari Tour. You will know each tour package as well as how much each package will cost.

Top 10 Travel Destinations

European travellers have an upbeat outlook on tourism despite the risks involved in aviation travel in the midst of global political uncertainty. In fact, the past two years have shown that the attitudes of Europeans towards travelling have been positive and they prefer to travel and spend their vacation in traditional tourist scenic spots. Although majority of them are conservative in their choice of destination, there is a significant increase in the number of travellers opting for more exotic locations. This means that the activities would vary from one place to another; which makes the issue of security and safety even more pronounced. Travellers are advised to observe safety precautions when travelling to foreign countries. The level of uncertainty when travelling is high and a safety net in the form of a travel insurance would provide a peace of mind. This can never be overemphasized especially when scenic spots are calling out and resistance is futile.

If bitten by the pesky travel bug and there just too many choices, the top 10 travel destinations for EU residents would help narrow down the list. It’s interesting to note that loyalty seems to be the emerging trend for Europeans as they prefer to travel within Europe. Knowing the most popular destinations would also help you decide which travel insurance coverage to get.

Spain leads the pack boasting of historical and religious sites. On the downside, getting accommodation in Spain could be challenging because of the sheer number of tourists especially during peak season.

France and Italy follow closely in terms of popularity. The Eiffel Tower and the Leaning Tower of Pisa should be enough to keep tourists booking the next plane out. Language barrier may be an issue so it’s good to brush up on French and Italian.

London, UK is a perennial favorite and rightly so because it has all the elements of a perfect travel city. The mix of historical sites and modern architecture is enough to stimulate the senses. It’s a must-see city, if you don’t mind the overcrowded streets, the rains and the cold weather.

Copenhagen, Denmark sits quietly in the list but it offers new ways to enjoy the capital city – biking! The city has comprehensive bicycle paths, with free bikes to boot. Even the gloomy climate won’t dampen the spirits of the traveller.

Vietnam, India, and Abu-Dhabi, UAE are the Asian locations that made the list. This shows that EU residents are willing to go to exotic countries to experience new cultures. Knowledge of do’s and don’ts will come in handy to avoid unknowingly breaking any sacred rules.

Rounding up the list are Florida, USA and Mexico City, Mexico. Florida beaches are the biggest draw in the city, and come summertime, the sandy shores are packed with beautiful people strutting their stuff. All is well in the Mexican front after the city was embroiled in one crisis after another. Tourists are now back in droves to enjoy some of the best food and resorts the city offers.

Top Travel Destinations – Riches of the East – The Best of Asia

From the West, the adventure takes a pit stop at the East. This part of the globe has been a favorite destination because of its warm weather and tropical ambiance which provides that relaxing feel.

For those who wish to see a different set of country natives-different features, different cultures, Asia is worth visiting. Aside from its rich culture, the food is definitely to die for and worth trying out. Asian restaurants may be available from where you came from, but nothing beats the best.

Maldives Paradise

From its crystal clear waters, white sparkling sand, tribal gongs and drums, no one can deny that this is definitely a Maldives treat. Ranked as the most famous beach holiday destination, this paradise is a must-go for any beach lover.

This is also a Diver’s delight which provides them a rare opportunity to swim with the fish and spot bejeweled corals and enchanting reefs. Your experiences here are truly a holiday-maker.

Delectable Kuala Lumpur (MY)

For all foodie jet-setters, another Asian treasure is discovered because of their authentic local delicacies that are truly worth trying out. Kuala Lumpur, or KL for short, is the capital and the largest city of Malaysia and boasts of a wide range of specialty cuisines ranging from Indian, Chinese and of course their very own Malay dishes.

KL is capable of serving the travelers complete meals from day to night. For the best breakfast you could ever experience, do not forget to drop by KL’s largest “Little India” at Brickfields which offers one of the best breakfasts a traveler in Malaysia can ever have. A common favorite is the Roti Canai, a flat croissant served as an appetizer together with a curry dip on the side. Other must-tries while in KL are the pan meen or flat noodle meal and the Kuih or their cakes and pastries variety.

Hong Kong: A Shopper’s paradise

Retail therapy on a different level. Hong Kong, home to its unbelievable shopping bargains that any shopaholic could ever dream. A variety of shopping goods and the willingness of the vendors to bargain with you is definitely a reality that is worth experiencing. If you get hungry, street food kiosks are just around the corner with a wide variety of choices to choose from.

Hong Kong is a special administrative region released from British sovereignty in 1997. At present, they have a diverse range of population which consists of the Filipinos, the Malaysians, the Europeans, the Americans, and the Indians. Truly a city endowed with the best of both the East and the West.

Philippines’ Best

The Philippines is a country composed of islands that takes pride in their beaches and the remaining animal sanctuaries. One the most popular sites are the white sand beaches of Boracay.

Boracay can be reached from Manila by daily flights on Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines, Asian Spirit, Seair and Pacific Air. Caticlan is nearer the island, but the airstrip is short and narrow, and only the smaller planes of Asian Spirit, Seair and Pacific Air can land on it. The larger aircraft of Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines fly to Kalibo, the capital of Aklan. From Caticlan it takes about 15 minutes by boat to Boracay; from Kalibo, an hour and a half by bus plus the 15-minute boat ride.

Thailand – A Cheap Travel Destination That Delivers

Fuel prices are up and the economy is down this year. That makes getting the most bang out of your travel buck important. Thailand represents a fascinating and excellent travel destination that is also an incredible deal.

Known as the land of smiles, Thailand is one of those truly unique Southeast Asian countries that boogle the mind. From the warm beaches of the southern coast to the mountain palace of the King in Chang Mai in the north, there is a lot to see and do. Best of all, you can do it all for one of the lowest travel costs in the world.

In the late 1990s, the Asian economies were absolutely crushed over a one year period. Part and parcel to this disaster was the loss of currency value. Much like the dollar is falling now, the Thai “Baht” suffered. Instead of a down period, however, it fell like a rock dropped from a plane and hasn’t really come back.

Put simply, this currency issue has made Thailand a cheap, cheap place. Your biggest expense will be the flight. It can run $650 round trip at a minimum. It should also be noted that the flight is very long if you are coming from North America. A flight from Los Angeles can easily take 24 hours or more.

Once in Thailand, the good news is you’ll be getting a lot for your dollar. Yes, even now. You can always go nuts in any location, but I’ll assume you are going to be reasonable. A good, fresh meal will set you back $2 to $5 and be a lot less if you avoid the touristy areas.

There is one meal item that is expensive – beer. You can expect to pay $2 to $3 per bottle. It isn’t outrageous, but it seems like it after you are conditioned to the cheap food.

Getting around is also incredibly cheap. Trains are popular, but also packed. One of the secrets of Thailand is the domestic airline industry. Simply put, it is excellent and cheap. I’ve splurged on flights from Bangkok to Chang Mai in the north of the country and spend a whopping $38 for a one way ticket. Traveling on trains is great, but you also lose a lot of time. Cheap domestic flights are a good way to avoid this.

Thailand is definitely a great destination for those that want to maximize their experience on a minimum of expense. There are the usual high priced tourist areas, but even a small effort to avoid them can result in a trip that is cheaper than you could ever imagine.

The Philippines As a Travel Destination

The Philippines is a travel destination unknown to most North Americans. Reasons may include distance, lack of promotion, and uncertainty over safety.

Distance is certainly a consideration, as the trip is long (18 hours to Manila) and costly. A bargain fare ranges from $1000 to $1800 depending on the season, the carrier, and how good a shopper the traveler is. For those simply seeking a beach resort there are plenty of destinations that are closer and cheaper.

Yet, despite equivalent travel times, countries such as Thailand, China, Japan and Korea are increasingly popular. The Philippines offers world-renown diving, with many first class resorts catering to the scuba crowd. Incredible scenery combined with unique culture and history should draw visitors. Best of all, these attractions are available at bargain-basement prices due to the low value of the peso ($1=app. pp45.) Why do other parts of Asia continue to draw tourism at the expense of the Philippines? Lack of promotion is one of the main problems.

Countries such as Thailand and China heavily advertise their attractions, while The Philippines remains a mystery to most North Americans. It is, however, becoming a popular destination for Australians since the bombings in Bali, and a few Germans and Scandinavians find the dive resorts a welcome respite from northern winters, proving that Americans would head there as well, if properly informed of the many attractions.

Why the apparent lack of interest in developing tourism? This is a complex question with no easy answers. The Philippines is a resource rich nation that remains largely underdeveloped. Thailand, with very similar resources, has built up a world-class tourist industry (unfortunately suffering due to recent political problems,) is a major exporter of rice, and an important supplier of fruit, fish and seafood. The Philippines suffers from massive poverty, largely a result of a series of corrupt governments. Politicians have more interest in lining their own pockets than in improving conditions for their fellow countrymen. Fortunately there is now a ray of hope with the election of “Noynoy” Aquino from one of the most respected political families. He has vowed to fight corruption and put the country back on course. Unfortunately, even if he is successful, significant change is years away.

The perception that the Philippines is unsafe remains another deterrent to tourism. How unsafe is it really? Violent crime against foreigners is very rare. Years ago there were a few kidnappings, but this is a thing of the past. Other types of non-violent crime are a risk for the unwary. Pick-pockets ply their craft on public transit and other crowded areas. Offers from strangers to share drinks, or accompany them anywhere should be avoided. The rule when traveling here is the same as elsewhere, do your homework. In any part of the world some areas are safe, and others not so much. A good guide-book will help in avoiding risky areas, but when in doubt ask for advice at your hotel, or from your travel agent.

Filipinos are generally friendly, cheerful, and welcoming. The Philippines offers a highly rewarding travel experience to those willing to try something a little different, and is less costly, while being no less safe than other Asian destinations.

Vietnam Travel Destinations: Hanoi’s Marvelous Blend of Natural Charm and Modern Luxury

After long years of historic wars and giant revolutions, Vietnam is finally enjoying the lure of its opulent heritage, burgeoning cultural life, and splendidly detailed landscapes. A haven of heroic legends and enchantingly glorious traditions, the thriving country of Vietnam is now beginning to unravel the nostalgic charm of its most enthralling towns and cities to capture the imagination of other cultures and entice millions of travelers from around the world.

Vietnam is being famed as Asia’s fastest rising star, offering more than a wealth of history. Across the globe, hundreds of thousands of travel enthusiasts and holidaymakers are flocking to Vietnam to explore and get a taste of the country’s legendary marvels, and of course, fall in love with the richness of its wonderful origins and marvelous blend of old-fashioned traditions and emerging contemporary culture. Vietnam travel destinations are certainly a prime attraction and an enchanting encounter that should never be missed.

Vietnam is situated on the eastern part of the Indochina Peninsula, offering a plethora of enticingly beautiful landscapes and spectacular spots that are adored and worshiped by the outside world. But beyond this, Vietnam is a magnificent combination of tranquility and luxury. Indeed, while the country’s picturesque natural attractions have drawn a number of passionate modern-day travelers looking for a complete privacy in an unspoiled setting, its superb mix of vibrant and eclectic nightlife have lured flocks of nightlife lovers seeking the glitz and glamour of the West.

Yet, unlike other Asian countries plagued by a myriad of colonial influences, Vietnam has retained much of its own unique charm and elegance. Featuring some of the loveliest towns and most livable cities in Asia, Vietnam is unsurprisingly a land of endless enchantment, enticing secrets, and awe-inspiring discoveries.

Hanoi, which is the capital of Vietnam, is without doubt one of Vietnam’s largest and most beautiful cities. Despite the long battles that marred its early days, Hanoi has successfully harbored a wonderful civilization, with sophistication and wisdom, rivaling that of its Asian counterparts. The gracious city of Hanoi, also known as the cultural heart of Vietnam, hosts a wealth of gorgeous landmarks, spacious apartments, colossal hotels and glorious architecture.

Living in harmony with nature, the city is delightfully dotted with quaint lakes and verdant boulevards. Here lies the tranquil Hoan Kiem Lake, the local’s most well-loved recreational spot that is also a favorite attraction among tourists. The Hoan Kiem Lake which means “The Lake of the Returned Sword” is not only famed for its unparalleled beauty and serene environment, but is also known for its wealthy history that is full of intriguing legends and myths.

The lake, being one of the most popular Vietnam travel destinations and the core of the city’s vibrant life, is overwhelmed with an array of leisure activities. The Ngoc Son temple that perched on a small island in the center of the lake offers a good view of the sceneries surrounding it. Here anyone can catch a full glimpse of the locals playing traditional games such as chess and checkers.

Hanoi embraces the French colonial heritage, exuding an elegant European aura with its French style architecture and villas. Despite the evidence of French influences throughout the city, Hanoi has still\retained its ancient vigor. Aside from the sophisticated French style structures, Hanoi is dotted with vibrantly colored pagodas, highly acclaimed museums, and century-old buildings that exude a unique Asian charm.

The World’s Most Underrated Travel Destinations

How popular a country is as a travel destination, has as much to do with image as it has to do with how interesting a place is to visit or how accessible or affordable it is. Some simply want to go somewhere because it looks nice while others are drawn to specific locations – whether it’s Tuscany, India or Mauritius – as the image presented by these destinations fits their own personal aspirations. While popular tourist magnets, such as Australia or New Zealand, excel at self promotion, other equally deserving destinations fare less well in the image stakes; they may be a little of the beaten track, have suffered from poor leadership, or simply have failed to sufficiently promote their own attractions. Nevertheless, some of these less appreciated destinations have far more to offer curious independent travellers, than their more adeptly promoted rivals.

Here are some of the world’s most underrated destinations:

Uzbekistan

The three great Silk Road cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva are architecturally outstanding, incredibly atmospheric and great value for money. Majestic mosques and medressas, and huge, ornately tiled minarets seem to reach for the bright blue sky from every other winding alley way. Apart from the members of up-market ‘cultural’ tours from France and Germany, hardly anybody seems to visit them. This situation has hardly been helped by the notoriously corrupt Karimov regime, which insists that visitors pay for a pointlessly expensive ‘letter of introduction’ before even being allowed to apply for an equally overpriced tourist visa. The government’s tendency to massacre protestors and boil alive political opponents, can’t have helped either. Despite the country’s fearsome reputation, the people themselves are incredibly warm, friendly and welcoming. Even the once notoriously corrupt militsia are far more friendly and helpful than you might expect.

For a long time, Uzbekistan may have been well off the beaten track but it is now possible to fly into Tashkent, the capital, on Latvia’s Air Baltic budget airline, from most major cities in Europe. It is also now relatively easy to obtain your letter of introduction and tourist visa through specialist travel agencies such as Stan Tours.

Taiwan

It doesn’t occur to many people to visit Taiwan. It’s a little bit off the Far Eastern backpacking trail, and it’s certainly more expensive than Thailand or Indonesia, but it still has plenty to offer the independent traveller. The Portuguese sailors, who were the first Westerners to visit, named it Ilha Formosa (meaning ‘beautiful island’). After visiting the spectacular Toroko Gorge National Park, you’ll soon understand why. The gorgeous gorge is known for its towering marble cliffs, its rock hewn tunnels and the spectacularly snaking Liwu River. It can easily be visited on a day trip from Taipei but many prefer to base themselves outside of the relatively expensive capital city. Taipei, itself, is bright, lively and fun. As well as Taipei 101 (formerly the world’s tallest building), it also known for its museums, markets and temple complexes. The atmospheric Lunshan Temple is particularly popular and still plays host to ancient Buddhist rituals. Taipei is also renowned for its varied and delicious street food; the Shilin Night Market is always busy and bustling and overflowing with strange new street food to sample such as pig’s blood cake, deep fried stinky tofu and rubbery grilled quails eggs.

It used to be relatively costly to get to Taiwan but with the new generation of budget Asian airlines such as Air Asia and Cebu Pacific, and cheaper flights on Taiwan’s own EVA Air, it is now more affordable than ever. It’s also incredibly safe and easy to visit and Westerners don’t even need a visa.

Tunisia

Tunisia has been a well established package tour destination for Europeans, for some time, but still receives relatively few independent travellers. This may partly be because Morocco and Egypt are cheaper, but Tunisia is still far better value than Western Europe and there’s a lot to see in such a small country. The vast majority of tourists stick to the busy coastal resorts such as Hammamet, Sousse or Jerba, with only the occasional day trip inland, but Tunisia has far more to offer than simply sun and sand. As well as magnificent desert and mountain scenery, there are also ancient Roman ruins, rock hewn troglodyte villages, and lush oases and palmeraies set between desolate Saharan sand dunes.

The recent troubles have badly damaged the tourist industry but most (non government) reports seem to suggest that Tunisia is still a very safe country to travel in. It’s possible to get great value flights through BA.com – especially if you’re willing to book ahead and fly mid week – and once you are there, it’s easy to make your own way around. Perhaps Tunisia’s greatest strengths, however, are its close proximity to Europe, and the huge variety of experiences to be had with so little travelling time between its many attractions.

Georgia and Armenia

Few travellers ever think about visiting the Caucasus, and yet both Georgia and Armenia are crammed full of magnificent mountain scenery and the architectural remnants of millennia of civilisation. Both countries have somehow managed to retain their unique characters over thousands of years of history despite having been conquered at various times by Romans, Mongols, Persians and Ottoman Turks. The people of both Georgia and Armenia are renowned for their warmth and hospitality, and despite the many historical and political tensions that remain across the region, foreigners are almost always made to feel welcome. There still remains a strong Soviet feel within the region, and many within the more rural areas are still very poor, but the larger cities are rapidly modernizing as they struggle to catch up with the more affluent former Soviet nations on the edge of Western Europe.

Georgia and Armenia may be at the very edge of European civilisation but they are now more accessible than ever, and offer a taste of something genuinely different. Flights from the Latvian budget airline, Air Baltic, fly into Tbilisi and Yerevan from all over Europe (via Riga) and there is only a modest visa fee for Armenia (which is straight forward to buy on entry) and there’s no visa fee at all for Western nationals in Georgia.

The Philippines

Like Taiwan, the Philippines are a little off the well worn backpacking trails around the rest of South-East Asia. It’s a bit more expensive, and a little less safe, and it used to take a lot more effort and patience to make your around even a fraction of its 7000 islands. Many visitors are less than impressed with the bigger cities but what really makes the Philippines worth visiting, are its many natural wonder. As well as the stunningly beautiful rice terraces of Banaue, there are also numerous world class beaches, 37 volcanoes, the Chocolate Hills of Bohol, and the Underground River National Park in Palawan. If its wildlife you’re into, then there’s always swimming with whale sharks off of Donsol, the peculiar Tarsiers of Bohol, and some of the best diving in the world.

As with Taiwan, the rapid rise of budget airlines such as Cebu Pacific and Air Asia has now made travelling around the Philippines far more easy and affordable. You can now get cheap flights into either Manila or Cebu, from all over the Far East, and then get even cheaper flights around its many islands. If you research your trip well, and book up your flights in advance, then it is possible to experience an incredible variety of natural wonders within a disconcertingly short amount of time.