Asia

Such an incredibly vast and varied continent resists generalisation.

The far flung corners of Asia are far from homogenous, and that’s the enduring appeal. Years of exploring, unearthing and wandering would barely scratch the surface of this great continent with all its contradictions and delights. Asia - IndiaPretty much every geographical and climatic variation on earth is represented somewhere here, and a lifetime’s worth of excitement and inspiration await discovery. Whether you find it in a remote nomadic camp on the steppe or in a frenetic tropical city is beside the point - you can’t fail to enjoy the search.

The highlights of Asia

Temples galore

From small unnamed temples hidden in riverside towns, to glorious feats of architecture, Asia has no shortage of temples. See the sunrise over Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, marvel at Sigiriya perched atop an enormous rock in Sri Lanka, enjoy the contrast between the bustling streets and the tranquil calm of the temples of Penang, and cliché it may be, but the Taj Mahal never fails to take the breath away so make sure you visit it while in India. 

Trails for trekkers

Whether you fancy a Himalayan adventure in northern India or Nepal, or to explore the Tien Shan mountains of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, Asia has some fantastic hiking opportunities. Take gentle paths along the winding waterways of Kerala, blaze the relatively untrodden trails of northern Vietnam, climb Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka and take in views that can only be found on foot. Whether you are a keen hiker or simply like strolling through new landscapes, there are plenty of routes and destinations to choose from.

Delicious cuisine

Asia’s food scene is famous for good reason! Restaurants focussing solely in specific dishes can be found all over the world - whether that’s ramen, pho, or sushi - and one of the true highlights of travelling in asia is discovering its flavours. The curries of India are different in each and every region and the street snacks are deep-fried and delicious, Tokyo has the most Michelin stars of any city in the world with 230 recognised by the guide, and you won’t find Vietnamese cuisine any better than that served in the country itself. So what are you waiting for? Tuck in. 

The Silk Route

This network of interconnected trade routes crossed mountains, deserts and countless different settlements from China all the way to Uzbekistan, and today it is as fascinating and varied a journey as it was in its heyday. In contrast to the merchants of yesteryear, who would have covered a short section of the route repeatedly, our local experts can offer a longer trip taking in several of the different countries and cultures of the Silk Route.

Lovely landscapes

Some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes can be found in Asia, from the vast steppes and mountain scenery of Kazakhstan to the rolling, immaculate rice paddies of the Far East. Indonesia, Borneo, Malaysia and the Philippines boast some of the most spectacular scatterings of idyllic islands and coastlines - with jewel bright waters and white sand beaches fringed by jungle - and the limestone karsts of Vietnam and China defy the imagination as they soar vertically heavenwards. 

When to go

There will always be a corner of Asia with pleasant weather whenever you choose to go. November to February is the most reliable period weather-wise for large tracts of the continent so, if you have a multi-country itinerary, focus on these months. This is obviously a broad simplification - many local factors will determine precise weather patterns, and you should consider altitude too. Temperate regions of Asia, such as China, Nepal and northern India, endure relatively large temperature fluctuations and generally see the most manageable conditions in the shoulder seasons: March to May and September to November. Tropical regions experience little variation in temperature year round, but instead the humidity and rainfall are an important factor to consider. The southwest monsoon brings wet weather to large swathes of tropical Asia from May to October, although the east coast regions of Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam see the reverse, with wetter weather dominating from November to February. There are many exciting festivities - for example Chinese new year; the Pushkar camel festival; Holi - which may tempt you to pin your itinerary to a certain date, but be prepared for crowds.

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