Trade your beanie for a bikini! Escape NZ winter for an exotic Asian summer.
Want to shake up your winter holidays? Experience the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, or chillax on a Balinese beach. Immerse yourself in the rich culture of Singapore or dance the night away in Bangkok. The choice is yours! But to help you make up your mind, we’ve compiled a list of our fave Asian destinations, along with a few highlights for each. Check it out!
The first on our list of must-sees is the iconic Japanese capital, Tokyo. You’ll be awe-struck by towering skyscrapers, neon lights and a fast (and furious) environment. This city is perfect for the young and the young at heart, mainly because it never gets old. Tokyo is always reinventing itself and adding to its already incredible artillery of innovation. Check out one of the hundreds of bars and restaurants in Shinjuku, then head over to Harajuku for a dose of fashion. Get up early and get amongst the famous tuna auction at the Tsukiji fish market, then wander the stalls of the world’s biggest seafood market. Once you’ve had enough of metropolitan life, get cultured and visit the Imperial Palace or the Meiji Shinto Shrine. Be sure to bring along a phrase book or you may get Lost in Translation.
Although it’s often overlooked as a destination favourite, Singapore should be everyone’s bucket list. Whether you’re after a cosmopolitan escapade or a cultural immersion, this city-state has got it all. Check out the iconic Gardens by the Bay for that killer Insta post, then go up the Singapore Flyer for the snap story. Wallet looking a bit barren? No worries, spend the day walking around the Botanic Gardens, free of charge. Haw Park Villa will also cost you nothing, and is full of over 1000 statues and intricate dioramas. Finish your days chowing down on a variety of goodies in Little India or Chinatown. Yum!
Hong Kong is by far a bucket list favourite. No travel junkie would leave it off their list, and neither should you! With its iconic skyline and legendary cuisine, you’ll be left speechless upon arrival. Hop on the Peak Tram (aka the steepest cable car in the world) and travel up to Victoria Peak, where you’ll take in the views of Hong Kong Island and the surrounding mountains – don’t forget your camera! Be sure to have a taste of the city’s local delicacies as well; from steamed dim sum to wonton noodle soup, you’ll want to work up that appetite. Spend the day roaming the city and grabbing the famous Star Ferry to get from one end to the other, then end with a trip to the Temple Street Night Market for some tasty treats and maybe a souvenir or two.
Hope your taste buds are ready for this one – Bangkok is a city chock-full of exotic foods, a culture with a variety of flavours and an exciting street life (complete with all the street markets your budget can handle). Feast on the spicy, sweet, and sour cuisine, browsing the night markets and taste-testing all you can. Cool off in the climate-controlled mega malls, then switch gears and explore ancient Buddhist temples and historic village homes just next door. Other must-sees include the iconic Wat Arun Temple and the Wat Traimit, or Golden Buddha.
Warm up and chill out in this tropical paradise! Spend your first few days here getting active – surf, snorkel, dive… you name it, Bali’s got it. Rent a scooter for the day and zip around the island, taking in views of the rice fields and stunning beaches (check out Bukit Peninsula’s beaches!). After a crazy few days (and nights), head over to Ubud for a bit of relaxation. Lounge on picturesque beaches, wander Balinese markets and experience a spiritual awakening much like our gal Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love. Cliché? Maybe. Worth it? Definitely.
Feelin’ a bit of wanderlust after browsing our list? Not to worry – our mates over at Qantas have hooked us up with some stellar deals. Check them out here – you don’t want to miss out!