The Trip of a Lifetime

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You have scoured brochures, discussed with friends and saved the cash to plan the trip of a lifetime. A fair few people, when asked, want to jack in the job and when pushed, say Asia is in the back of the mind.

Travelling to Asia needs good preparation so here are a few basic tips.

Before you go

Don’t get caught out. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after you are due to return to take care of unforeseen circumstances. Also check what visas you need. You will require a visa so make sure you know your itinerary and plan accordingly. Your travel agent will help with this but check online – better safe than sorry.

Nobody wants to spend ages planning their big adventure only to have it ruined by a tropical disease. Get your jabs done about two weeks before you travel. The most common are Hepatitis A, Diphtheria, Tetanus and Malaria. Your doctor or pharmacist will point you in the right direction and there is plenty of information online about what vaccines and other precautions are needed.

Get good health insurance – this is just good sense.

Keep your valuables safe. Currency, tickets and documents are a nightmare to replace and can sour your dream trip. Avoid carrying too much with you but where unavoidable, keep cash and documents close to your body and concealed where possible.

You will want your friends back home to seethe with jealousy so the most important thing is your camera. To avoid damage, get a good quality case. If you carry a folding camera bag you can stash it while you are snapping so it isn’t in the way and can be easily retrieved when you rest or the afternoon rains hit.

Top four destinations

This may be your only time in Asia so plan your itinerary well. It is impossible to list everything so here are my top tips:

Japan – Get to Japan between January and April to catch blossom season. The blossoms are a breathtaking spectacle spreading south to north and highly symbolic in Japanese culture. If you do nothing else, see this.

Cambodia – A relative newcomer to the travel circuit, Cambodia is fast becoming a hot-spot. Excursions to the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex are a must for the history buff while nearby towns offer great nightlife.

Indonesia – Once the site of a super-volcano that nearly wiped out humanity, Lake Toba in Sumatra is a natural wonderland that will leave your camera gasping for breath. At 100 miles long there are plenty of places to stay along the lake to soak up the scenery.

The Philippines – For the beach lover look no further than Palawan. The 6 hour El Nido tour takes in some of Asia’s finest beaches, including the Secret Lagoon. This little gem offers crystal clear water and white sand inside a collapsed lime-stone cave, the ultimate afternoon hideaway.

Top 16 Destinations to Travel in Asia (Infographic)
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