As the largest continent both by size and population, Asia’s rich history and diverse culture make it a must-visit destination.  From the beautiful natural surroundings of Mount Fuji in Japan to the bustling city streets of Bangkok, there’s a place for every traveller.

 

Phuket, Thailand

As a rain forested, mountainous island in the Andaman Sea, Phuket has some of Thailand’s most famous beaches.  Beautiful clear waters and golden sands surround Thailand’s largest island, and the temperate weather means you may never want to leave.

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket, Thailand

If you decide to take a trip away from the stunning beaches and venture into the surrounding towns, there’s plenty of delicious food to enjoy.  From local Thai dishes to regional Cantonese, Malay and Baba-Nyonya cuisines stemming from the immigration influx after the tin mining boom of the early 20th century.  One of our favourite dishes is Mee Hokkien, or ‘Hokkien-style noodles’ which is one of the most popular dishes on the island.

Best time to visit: November – May.

 

Hong Kong, China

A former British colony up until the end of the 20th century, Hong Kong provides an interesting mix of culture and heritage. Wiith it being built upon several islands, it provides the perfect variety of urban and beach sightseeing. Whether you’re looking to explore the culture, food, or nature of Hong Kong, there’s something for everyone.

To explore the spiritual side of the region, Man Mo Temple is a must. As one of the most famous urban temples, Man Mo Temple is an excellent example of Qing dynasty architecture. On entry, you’re greeted by an intense incense as smoke wafts from coils hanging overhead. Stop throughout to admire golden deities, murals, and Chinese wood carvings. Also take advantage of the traditional Taoist fortune-telling area to the right.

For the urban explorers, start with Victoria Peak, the iconic highest point and upscale neighbourhood, with stunning photo worthy landscape views. If you’re looking to hunt for local treasures, take a walk through Cat Street, located just below Hollywood Road, it’s a great place for vintage goodies, and contemporary cuisine.

Victoria Peak, Singapore

Victoria Peak, Singapore

Best time to visit: September – December.

 

Vietnam

Known for its stunning natural beauty and variety of markets, Vietnam is somewhere you may never want to leave. No matter where you port, you’re sure to discover a memorable experience.

Every Vietnamese New Year (January), Hoi An is transformed into a kaleidoscope of colours and light for its Lantern Festival. The celebration lasts for 7 days, with the heart of the festivities taking place in the old town between Japanese Covered Bridge and Cau An Hoi Bridge. It’s energetic, with spontaneous singing and food stalls at every turn. The most breath taking view is the thousands of lanterns floating along the river. If you get a chance, hire a Sampan boat, and buy a lantern for a truly immersive experience. The celebration is as much a time for the visitors as it is for the locals. If you’re not able to visit in January don’t worry, there are smaller lantern festivals every full moon.

Lantern Festival, Vietnam

Lantern Festival, Vietnam

For a truly awe-inspiring sight, visit Phong Nha National Park. There’s plenty of guided tours and boats throughout the day, as well as beautiful walks throughout the lush jungle, peppered with stunning waterfalls and an active population of monkeys and flying foxes. For an action packed experience, consider dropping in to one of the largest caves in the world – Hang Son Doong. Approximately 5.6 miles long, you won’t appreciate its size until you see it for yourself.

Best time to visit: January – March.

 

Bangkok, Thailand

You’ll never find yourself short of things to do whilst in Bangkok. The bustling capital of Thailand is rich in history and culture, making it easy for a day of new experiences.  To discover the history of Thailand, visiting Wat Pho to see the reclining Buddha is a must. At 15 metres tall and 46 metres long and covered in gold leaf, its truly breath taking up close.

The Grand Palace is one of the most popular places to visit, and for good reason. The magnificent former home of the King is a staggering 214,000sq metres, so be prepared to spend a good amount of time here.

The Grand Palace, Bangkok

The Grand Palace, Bangkok

If you’re looking for a more action packed experience, Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand, with several matches taking place either the Lumpini or Ratchadamnoen stadiums.  An evening spent at the stadium is sure to be adrenaline packed as the locals become so immersed in the fights that the atmosphere reaches fever pitch. It’s not something to miss.

Best time to visit: November – February.

 

Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Located on the southern coast of Cambodia, ‘Snooky’ as it’s affectionately known by locals, is quickly becoming a must-visit tourist hub for its vast selection of international foods, sandy beaches, and Kbal Chhay Waterfall.

There are several beaches to wind-down on in Sihanoukville, including Otres Beach. Whilst slightly out of the way, it’s a quick journey from the centre of town on a local tuk tuk. It’s ideal for quiet relaxation where the locals are super friendly, and there is a great selection of Cambodian food, swings and over-hanging palm trees. 

For something away from the shore, Kbal Chhay Waterfall is a beautiful natural landmark, perfect for cooling down. Rest under the falls for a vigorous back massage, and when you’re ready to dry off there’s traditional Khmer bamboo huts to provide some shade, as well as sturdy hammocks and picnic areas to use for lunch. Please note, it is a 36 minute drive from Sihanoukville centre.

Kbal Chhay Waterfall, Cambodia

Kbal Chhay Waterfall, Vietnam

Best time to visit: November – February.

 

Singapore, Singapore

Though Singapore may be known as one of the most expensive cities in the world, it’s also one of the most entertaining. With a beautiful melding of both old and new, Singapore offers impressive history, gardens, and live performances.

For something truly awe inspiring, make sure you take a trip to the Gardens by the Bay. We doubt even the most well-travelled among us has seen a greenscape as creative as this one. With towering observatories, the Cloud Forest which mimics the cool-moist ecology of the tropical highlands, and an Instagram worthy 114ft indoor waterfall.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Some cruises offer a Singapore overnight stay. If you’ve chosen that option a must see is the world’s first safari park for nocturnal animals. It’s extremely popular amongst tourists. The 86-acre reserve houses around 2,500 animals from 130 species, more than a third of which are endangered. Take a ride around the park on a complimentary guided tram, but to experience the most of the world’s first, walk the trails where you can for a more intimate animal encounter.

Best time to visit: December – June.

 

Escorted Land tours

 

Great Wall & Terracotta warriors with Giant Pandas

Make the most of a 23 night voyage whilst on board Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Solstice and take part in a fully escorted tour of the Forbidden City, former residence of Ming and Qing Emperor’s, before visiting the breath-taking Great wall of China.

Experience the bullet train, before coming face-to-face with the historically significant and world famous, Terracotta Warriors.

Terracotta Warriors

Terracotta Warriors

Visit the Giant Pandas at the Dujiangyan Panda Base, where you’ll have the chance to help care for these magnificent creatures – and even feed them by hand!

Finally, if that wasn’t enough you’ll then embark on a 12 night luxury voyage to Vietnam and Thailand onboard the stunning Celebrity Solstice.

 

Full details here.

 

Snow Monkeys tour & best of southern Japan

If you’re looking for that extra special experience for your next getaway, consider booking Celebrity Cruises escorted Snow Monkeys tour & best of southern Japan voyage.

Immerse yourself in the beauty and history of the Japanese Alps with a fully escorted tour taking in Mount Fuji and a trip to see the famous Snow Monkeys. Stay in a traditional Ryokan and relax in a hot spring bath, all before embarking on your 12 night Southern Japan Voyage.

Snow Monkeys

Snow Monkeys

Full details here.

 

Our Favourite Cruise Lines for Asia

Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Cruises

For more information on cruises to Asia, click here.