Visiting Asia was probably the main thing that kicked my wanderlust into gear. It is incomparable to any other part of the world and by far number 1 on my bucket list. The culture is thick, the parties are hard, the cities are relentless and the views…some of the most stunning you will ever come across.
Here is why I’m taking a year out to explore more of my favourite corner of the world and why you should make it your next destination.
Everyone has seen the postcard snaps, there are islands filled with roaring parties and chilled out hammocks everywhere you go in Asia from Bali’s chilled out vibes to Koh Phangan’s legendary Full Moon madness. My most recent visit being to the Thai islands which beauty is not justified by pictures. Just watch ‘The Beach’, it’s all waiting for you in Asia… except for Leonardo DiCaprio.
2/Did someone say swimming?
From warm lagoons to the cool cascading falls of the Indonesian islands you will want to be stripping you kit off round every corner. No shower needed, I would take a Vietnamese fall over that ANY day.
3/Where the wild things are
Asia’s ocean is full of amazing wildlife that you wouldn’t be able to get up close and personal with anywhere else. I recently did a day dive when in Koh Tao and the ocean floor is scattered with a whole other world of gorgeous colours and an array of fish in all shapes and sizes. From swimming with whale sharks to underwater temples, if you’re after an under the sea adventure Asia is your go to!
4/Be a Tomb Raider
Hollywood cant get enough of Asia either! From Leonardo taking on Thailand’s islands in ‘The Beach’ to Angelina Jolie scaling Cambodian ruins in ‘Lara Croft Tomb Raider’ you are bound to see some ancient temples and statues so enchanting they look like they’re from a movie set, because they usually are!
5/Kindness is the best policy
Unlike many other parts of the world respect and kindness is of utmost importance to many parts of Asia’s cultures therefore you will come across some of the nicest and most generous people you’ve ever met. Out of the 8 countries I’ve been to China and Thailand have held a place in my heart due to the generosity and gentle natured locals. Remember to never ‘lose face’ when visiting Buddhist regions, it is VERY disrespectful. After all, it’s hard to get angry when you’re surrounded by chilled out beach bars and the most amazing mountain views you’ve ever seen.
6/Dine like a king for less than double digits
Think how good your favourite Saturday night take out is, do you go for Indian, Thai, Chinese? Now times it by 10 because the authentic street food of Asia’s night markets are a whole other level of YUM. Forget the tastes of home, forget the price of those treat meals out and indulge in 3 plates of your favourite dish, from sweet and sour to pad thai, you’re guaranteed delicious food for no more than a couple of pounds! Don’t forget to sip on a coconut and enjoy a morning crepe whilst you’re at it, for oh, I don’t know, 80p!
7/The world is your oyster
Travelling around and from Asia will pretty much always beat booking travel back at home. Flying to dreamy locations like Bali, The Philippines, Japan and just about anywhere will be a steal compared to UK or US prices so make sure you keep your plans open and your wallets tight to bag a bargain to paradise. I took a one hour flight from Koh Samui – Bangkok when I was in a rush to meet a friend, the flight was only 55 minutes long and I was served 3 drinks and a 2 course meal so the service is sure to beat back home too.
Every night in Asia brings a new quest to watch the sunset from the best spot you can find. From a secluded island beach to a mountain top view the fiery skies will be a moment you remember forever, plus the treks to viewing points are usually hella’ beautiful themselves.
9/It’s getting hot in here
Fly south for the winter and catch some incredible vitamin D in the gorgeous rays of the Asian summer. Their hottest time of the year is usually from November – April reaching temperatures in the high 30’s! Just make sure you’re not prancing round on a lake when the midday heat hits, you will get sunstroke like I did…
10/Asia says relax
The whole lifestyle in Asia enticed me to return there long term. The phrase ‘Thai time’ was thrown around freely in Thailand as they are guaranteed to be late, whether it’s your meal in a restaurant or your ferry to the next island, and it isn’t considered rude, it’s just Thai.
Returning to the UK made me feel like we are a frantic and materialistic culture, we work hard every day and rarely take a lot for granted. The entire culture in Asia is beautiful and gentle, it’s never about what you own or what you earn but what you love. They prioritise their family not their careers and always make time for each other. Isn’t that how the world should work?
From walking everywhere barefoot to eating on the floor, it suits me just fine. You will often see me at the office sitting at my desk cross legged with my shoes slipped off in the corner. Can you tell I’m ready to escape?
A part from everything listed above Asia is the most beautiful place I have explored and there is still so much more of it to see. It has captured my heart and I think yours is next.
Have you been to Asia? Where is your next adventure?
Read about my travels here.