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Asia

What can I expect from traveling in Asia?

Asia, the largest and most populated continent, is home to 48 countries, each with its own unique cultures, languages, landscapes, and histories. Traveling in Asia is an exciting and varied experience, offering rich history, diverse cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and delicious cuisines. It’s important to recognize the vastness of Asia and the distinct characteristics of each country. Whether you’re into exploring ancient history, lounging on pristine beaches, or indulging in diverse cuisines, Asia caters to every type of traveler. When planning and exploring Asian countries, keep these important tips in mind.

  • Health precautions – Many countries in Asia have a risk of malaria, hepatitis a, dengue fever, typhoid, etc. Check if any vaccinations or health precautions are recommended for the specific countries you plan to visit.
  • Bargaining etiquette – Bargaining is common in many Asian markets, but remember – it’s important to do so respectfully and with a smile. Keep in mind that haggling is more accepted in some places than others.
  • Respect local customs – Be aware of and respect local customs and traditions. This includes dress codes when visiting religious sites, understanding local greetings, and being mindful of cultural sensitivities.
  • Get travel insurance – This is so important in case of emergency, trip cancellation, lost luggage, car accidents, and many other things. Always better safe than sorry.

Bucket list experiences in Asia

Marvel at the Taj Mahal - India
Attend a full moon party - Thailand
Cruise Ha Long Bay - Vietnam
Swim with incredible marine life - Maldives
Discover Angkor Wat - Cambodia
Experience Cherry Blossom season - Japan
Hike along the Great Wall - China
Trek the Annapurna Circuit - Nepal
Get colorful at Holi Festival - India
Thailand
India

Typical Costs When Traveling

The cost of traveling in Asia can vary widely depending on the country, the city, your travel style, and personal preferences. In general, Southeast Asian countries, such as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia, are generally more budget-friendly for travelers. On the other hand, countries like Japan and Singapore tend to be much more expensive for travelers. Since these countries can vary so much in price, I will give an example budget breakdown of Thailand and of Japan.

Accommodation

Budget Travel – Thailand: $10 – 20 per day

Budget Travel – Japan: $25 – 50 per day

  • Stay in budget hostels or private rooms in Airbnbs

Mid-Range Travel – Thailand: $40 – $70 per day

Mid-Range Travel – Japan: $100 – $150 per day

  • Stay in mid-range hotels or Airbnbs

Luxury Travel – Thailand: $120+ per day

Luxury Travel – Japan: $350+ per day

  • Stay in luxury hotels or resorts

Food

Asia is a paradise for foodies, offering a vast and diverse culinary landscape that reflects the region’s rich cultural heritage. Each country has its own unique flavors, ingredients, and cooking techniques. Remember to be adventurous, try local specialties, and engage with locals to discover the true essence of Asian cuisines. Whether you’re exploring street food stalls, fine-dining restaurants, or local markets, Asia offers a culinary journey that caters to every palate and preference.

Average minimum food costs per day:

Thailand: $10 per day

Japan: $25 per day

Transportation

Transportation in Asia varies widely from country to country, but the continent generally has an extensive and diverse transportation network. Some common modes of transportation in Asia are buses, trains, tuktuks, ridesharing (Grab and Uber), domestic flights, high speed rails, and ferries. Transportation infrastructure and options can vary widely, and the efficiency of public transportation systems may depend on the country and city. Before setting off on your trip, take some time to research the local transportation options, understand cultural norms related to transportation, and plan accordingly based on your destination and preferences.

Asia Travel Destinations - Collage

Mid-range suggested daily budget – $75 (Thailand) or $130 (Japan)

*Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a mid-range hotel, eating at affordable restaurants mixed with street food, and using cost effective transportation options. However, if you stay in nicer hotels or eat at fancy restaurants, expect this to be higher!

Money Saving Tips

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Volunteer or work exchange programs Consider participating in volunteer or work exchange programs. Many organizations provide free accommodation and meals in exchange for your time and skills.
2
Use local SIM cards Instead of relying on expensive international roaming, purchase a local SIM card for your phone upon arrival. This will allow you to use local mobile data and make calls at a much lower cost.
3
Embrace street food Trying street food and eating at local restaurants is a way to dive further into the culture, while also saving money. What could be better?
4
Travel overnight Consider taking overnight transportation, such as sleeper trains or buses. This not only saves you a night's accommodation cost but also maximizes your daytime for exploration. Overnight travel is popular in many Asian countries!

My Must Read Guides for Traveling Asia ↓

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Hi! I'm Carrie Salter, a travel blogger originally from the USA, but now traveling and living abroad full time. I share travel guides, travel tips, and inspiration from around the world!

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