Why everyone needs a bucket list trip to Asia at least once in their lives

As the world’s biggest continent, with over 4 billion people and 48 countries spread over nearly 30% of the earth, Asia is already a remarkable place. But dive under the surface and you’ll be amazed by the extraordinary people, culture and landscapes. There really is something for everyone, whether you want to indulge in the delicious food, see the incredible wildlife, or tick off the top Asia bucket list experiences like walking the Great Wall of China or cruising Halong Bay. Need some more inspiration? Read on to find out why you should start planning your unforgettable trip to Asia now.

The spectacular landscapes

snow capped Mount Fuji at sunrise Japan

From white sandy beaches and turquoise seas, to lush jungles, towering mountains, winding rivers and emerald rice fields, Asia has some of the best landscapes on earth. Whether you love snorkelling, hiking, kayaking or simply strolling around you’ve got to get into nature in Asia.

boats and limestone karsts Halong Bay Vietnam

Our favourites? The tropical islands of Thailand, the magical rice terraces of Indonesia, and the diverse scenery of Malaysia top our Southeast Asia bucket list. We also can’t go past the limestone karsts of Halong Bay in Vietnam and the Yangtze River in China. Plus who could forget the gorgeous gardens of Singapore and the cherry blossoms and Mount Fuji in Japan.

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The mouthwatering food

Asian meal grilled meat spring rolls salad

If you only need one reason to take a bucket list trip to Asia, make it the food. You’ll have some of the best food of your whole life here, with incredible flavours, soulful dishes and cuisines that are so diverse you’ll never have to eat the same thing twice… Although you’re sure to go back for seconds!

Paid thai with prawns Thai food

Be sure to try the Pad Thai in Thailand, the sushi in Japan, and the dumplings in Hong Kong. Then there’s the curries in India, the noodle soups in Vietnam, and the nasi goreng in Indonesia.

You can even learn how to cook the local cuisine with Trafalgar, with cooking classes on Sichuan cuisine in China, traditional Vietnamese food in Hoi An, and more. Whether you eat at the markets or enjoy fine dining, you can’t help but follow your nose in Asia.

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The wonderful people

Chinese fishermen people of Asia

With over 60% of the world population living in Asia, you’re bound to meet plenty of friendly and fascinating people. From Laos to Cambodia, you’ll find smiling faces and interesting characters all around. Plus, people are generally always willing to help, whether you’re lost in a new city or looking for the best restaurant in town.

Vietnamese woman people of Asia

From the passionate Local Specialists you’ll meet on your Trafalgar trip, to the locals you bump into like a tuk-tuk driver or a market vendor, you’re sure to come home with some moving stories of your local encounters in Asia.

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The diverse cultures

buddhist monk meditating in orange robes Thailand

There are 48 countries in Asia and hundreds of rich and diverse cultures spread across the continent… So you’re in for a very special cultural experience wherever you go on your Asia bucket list trip.

You’ll encounter all kinds of incredible lifestyles and traditions, ranging from indigenous cultures like the Karen tribe in northern Thailand and Myanmar to multicultural destinations like Singapore. Here you can visit the Arab Quarter, Little India and Chinatown all in one day!

woman in a kimono with parasol Asia bucket list

Witness a Hindu ceremony on the River Ganges in India or discover the traditional tea ceremonies in Japan. Learn the art of T’ai Chi in Thailand and Vietnam, or experience one of the many spectacular festivals. There are endless ways to get immersed in the beautiful cultures of Asia – just ask the Trafalgar team how.

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The rich history

monks in the temples of Angkor Wat Asia bucket list

From the ancient relics of China like the Great Wall and the Terracotta Army to the centuries-old Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Asia packs a serious historic punch.

Himeji Castle surrounded by cherry blossoms Japan

Head to Ayutthaya in Thailand to see the ruins of the former capital of the Kingdom of Siam. Stop by Hue in Vietnam to see the grand remnants of The Imperial City. Or marvel at the ancient shrines and feudal castles of Japan. It’s just one historic bucket list moment after another in Asia. 

The incredible wildlife

giant panda bear lounging in Chengdu China Asia bucket list

If you’re looking for some of the world’s most incredible animals, you’ll find them in Asia. From the Komodo Dragons to Asian Elephants and the rare tapir, there are wildlife spotting opportunities galore.

Bengal tiger laying in grass India

We’ll take you on some incredible wildlife experiences across Asia. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of visiting the Chengdu to see the adorable and endangered Giant Panda. Or perhaps you’d love to head into the jungles of Ranthambore to see the amazing Bengal tigers of India.

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The world-class shopping

crowds and neon lights of Shibuya district Tokyo

From the shopping epicentres of Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai and Bangkok to the incredible local markets across the continent, you’ll find some incredible treasures on your retail adventures in Asia.

Each country has its own unique handicrafts and products to explore. Whether you’re exploring the night markets of Chiang Mai or the historic Nakamise Shopping Street in Japan, you’re sure to find the perfect memento of your trip.

The exciting cities

Gardens by the Bay illuminated at night Singapore Asia bucket list

If you love being dazzled by big cities, Asia is the place to be. You’ll be amazed by the vibrant atmosphere and non-stop action of big cities like Shanghai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Tokyo and Singapore. Each city has its own distinct character and a unique blend of the old and new, with massive skyscrapers right next to ancient temples.

Panorama of Shanghai by night Asia bucket list

They’re also famed for their buzzing nightlife, like the Lan Kwai Fong district in Hong Kong, the backpacker hub of Khao San Road in Bangkok, and the beachside clubs of Bali. From the captivating streets of Delhi to the old-world charm of Kyoto, and the historic icons of Beijing, Asia’s biggest cities are one for the bucket list.

The peaceful countryside

organic farming village Hoi An

While Asia is known for its honking, neon, fast-paced cities, it’s also the perfect place to escape the crowds. You only have to head into the countryside to discover wide open spaces and unspoiled nature.

tranquil temple and gardens Japan

Wander the peaceful fields of Vietnam, unwind in a tranquil Japanese garden, or swim in a secluded waterfall in Laos. There are so many places where you can experience a quieter, more traditional life in Asia, and we’ll show you where to find them.

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You’ll get all your favourite seasons

traditional boats in the Thai islands Asia bucket list

Asia is such a massive continent you can experience all kinds of seasons in just one trip. If you travel over New Years, you could go from the sunny beaches of Vietnam to ski slopes of Japan in a few days.

Whether you travel during the lush greenery of the wet season, or the summery dry season, or even during spring to see the cherry blossoms, you’ll find your perfect climate in Asia.

cherry blossoms traditional streets Kyoto Japan

It’s like nowhere else on Earth

If you’re looking for the most thrilling, moving and unique travel experience of your life, it’s got to be Asia. Whether you go for the food, scenery, culture or the people, one thing is for sure… Asia is one extraordinary continent you’ll never forget.

Which countries are at the top of your Asia bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!

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