Asia is big. Huge. Enormous and daunting when trying to choose a destination to visit, especially if this is your first time to Asia or you are a newbie to international travel as a whole. I’ve compiled a list of my top five recommendations for new or nervous travelers to the continent of Asia. Now, these countries aren’t boring or uninteresting to say the least, they just offer a good introduction to the more challenging countries that may intimidate you at first glance. Asia can definitely fill you with some culture shock, but these places are great to dip your toe in for a first trip or as a starting point for a longer journey.
Singapore is by far the easiest place to begin because not only is it similar in layout to many Western cities but it’s small and English is also an official language which makes asking for help super easy. Singapore has fantastic public transport with the metro, subway, buses, and taxies, as well as it is easy to walk almost anywhere. It is the cleanest cities in the world and offers incredible and diverse food, activities, and shopping. It’s also home to the best airport in the world, a place that people holiday in all on its own.
Hong Kong is very similar to Singapore in many ways, but is a bit more challenging only due to the language barrier. Many people do speak English, but you may run into instances where charades is required. The subway (the MTR) is the best subway system in the world and you can get literally anywhere using it. In Hong Kong you can be in a skyscraper one minute and hiking a mountain the next. The culture and history is a bit more saturated than I feel in Singapore, which makes exploring the city extremely fascinating. Oh, and they have a Disneyland.
Oh, Thailand. Thailand is probably the most visited country by tourists in all of Asia, and that makes it a very, very easy destination. Most people speak decent English because there are so many tourists and it is both cheap and offers tons to do. It’s pretty easy to travel from place to place and the food is to die for. Just be sure to do your research before you go because it is easy to get scammed and there are tons of unethical attractions and practices there. Just be careful.
Japan is another major tourist destination which is why many Japanese people speak beautiful English. It’s more challenging and expensive to get around, but still plenty manageable, and most Japanese people are very willing to assist you. Japan has a lot of everything and the culture is lush and powerful. It is a must see in Asia but generally a pretty easy place to start. Also, Disneyland.
Indonesia as a whole isn’t the easiest country to travel around but Bali by itself is very tourist friendly. Most people speak English and you can get around for super cheap. You can hire a car & driver to stay with you for your entire holiday for super low cost. Make sure you travel all around the island and not just in the south because there are some really wonderful hidden gems in the less crowded areas. This is a great place to start in Indonesia, but be prepared that the rest of the country is a totally different place. Wonderful, but different.
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