Bangkok attractions and tours

The best attractions in Bangkok

bangkok skyline at night

Bangkok is consistently in the top visited destinations on the planet, in an average year 15 million people flock to the Thai capital. What could make this South East Asian metropolis so popular, well lots of things. The city is amazing full of great things to do.

If you are a westerner and haven’t travelled much through Asia, then you are in for a great surprise. Big Asian cities are renowned for their mixture of tall modern glass skyscrapers and the charms of ancient Asian architecture. This clash of cultures makes for a great trip.

Along with it’s awesome mix of architectural styles Bangkok also offers a mix of western and Asian cultures living side by side in perfect harmony.

Visitors head to there for many reasons, the food, the culture, the people and of course the many tours and attractions Bangkok has to offer.

We have used Bangkok as a sort of base for many years when travelling around Asia and also on a few occasions as a stop over to Australia and New Zealand. Below are our pick of the highlights of Bangkok.

1 – Grand Palace

Grand Palace Bangkok attraction

Built in 1782 the Grand Palace or Wat Prakaew has been the highlight of Bangkok ever since. The palace was originally designed and built to be the official home of the Thai King and Royal courts, and it performed this purpose until the early 1900’s.

Inside the Palace is actually constructed of several different buildings all as beautiful as the next. The whole site is truly magical and is without a doubt the must see sight in the city. Whether you are a cultural enthusiast or not you will not be disappointed with a visit here.

An important note to anyone visiting the Grand Palace, this is a site of huge cultural and religious importance. A very strict dress code is operated and must be followed by all times, by all visitors no exceptions. This means men must be in long trousers, long sleeve shirts and no bare feet. For the ladies the dress is similar, modest with no bare shoulders or knees. If you arrive at the palace under-dressed don’t despair there are the ever entrepreneurial Thais outside who will gladly sell you the appropriate attire.

2) – Street Food

Bangkok street food

No trip to any Asian city would be complete without a trip to eat at a food stall on the side of the road, and Bangkok does not disappoint either. Asian’s love their food and so they should it is full of diverse flavours, exotic ingredients and great dishes. It is easily our favourite cuisine.

Street food can be found all over the city, in fact it is hard to turn a corner without walking past a stall. Most of the stalls will specialise in a certain type of dish, and the pitches will change throughout the day, breakfast favourites in the morning, quick bites during the day and larger dishes with drinks for the evening.

There are so many great dishes available it would not be fair to say which is the best, but the most popular seem to be Pad Thai, Noodle soup and Kho Man Gai (chicken and rice).

The best place in the city to get street food is the old town, many famous chefs and travel writers from across the planet have ventured here to try the delights, especially the Pad Thai.

3) – Shop at Market

Shopping is another favourite past time of the Thai’s and again opportunities will present themselves all across Bangkok for a little retail therapy.

Like any major city it is has it’s fair share of large shopping malls, packed with the usual style shops and high end boutiques. But once inside any of the malls you could quite easily be anywhere on the planet.

When we say shop in Bangkok we mean at one of its unique markets such as Patpong (tourist), the flower market, and our favourite and the cities largest Chaturak (everything and anything).

A visit to one of these will leave you bewildered by the hustle and bustle of the goings on. They are cram packed with all kinds if goods on offer wonderful smells and colours. Bargaining is a must here and if you approach it it a friendly manner is great fun.

4) – Nightlife

Bangkok is famous for nightlife and the rightly so it has some of the best in all of Asia. And no it is not all about the seedy things portrayed in the movies, it has a very chic and happening club scene, world class restaurants and awesome bars.

Head along Sukhumvit road and almost every Soi that spreads of it will have its own spot of night time fun. Try Soi Nana, Soi 12 and Soi 13.

Final thoughts

Obviously one of the top visited destinations in the world has a lot more to offer than the above, but these are our must see sights. If you are visiting for longer then you will can find loads more to do, but if you are only her for 24hrs then you must do the above, Palace in the morning, street food for lunch, shop in the afternoon and party the night away.


Hong Kong Attractions

Top things to do in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Night Skyline

Asia is one of our favourite regions, we love the cultural diversity, the food, the landscapes and of course the people. And now where can you find better examples than Hong Kong, this former British colony was once China’s gateway to the west.

Now of course mainland China is a lot more open to the world, but that hasn’t diminished any of Hong Kong’s charms, in fact it has only heightened its Asian side. Still one of the worlds trading hub’s, it is a melting pot of people from all over the world. This all makes Hong Kong one of the most diverse cities in the region.

We love the place and it is one of our favourite city break destinations. We couldn’t spend more than a few days there at a time, a long weekend or a stopover on route to somewhere else is just about perfect.

Next time you’re in Asia seriously consider stopping in Hong Kong on your trip. There are loads of things worth visiting. Below are our top recommendations if you do decide to go.

The Peak

The Peak view nightime

The peak is an absolute must when in Hong Kong, the islands highest point offers a great vantage point for anyone who loves a dramatic scene. From the top you have virtually unspoiled views right across the harbour towards Kowloon. One of the world’s most famous city skylines

Getting to the top is aboard one of the most amazing railways ever constructed, the nearly impossible angle at which the train rises up over the city is an engineering marvel in its own right. And well worth taking the ride even if you are not bothered by the view at the top.

The train has been serving the locals who live in the cities most exclusive district at the top as well as the many tourists who visit for over 125 years.

This is a great day the whole family will enjoy and the only cost is the train journey up which for a city like Hong Kong is relatively inexpensive.

Temple Street Night Market

For those that haven’t experienced the buzz and atmosphere of an Asian market, we highly recommend visiting Temple street market. It is one of the best examples and glimpse into the Asian culture.

Open every night of the week, from the moment the sun sets until late. Temple street market has featured in many a blockbuster movie, you will instantly recognise it when you arrive.

This is a great spot to indulge your love of shopping, and almost anything you could possibly want to pick up can be found here, from Tea’s, trinkets, jewellery, watches and electrical goods to a fine selection of Asian traditional medicines.

The market is also very popular among the foodies of the city, and almost any type of Asian street food can be bought and sampled here.

Lan Kwai Fong

Hong Kong’s centre of entertainment, packed with nearly 100 bustling bars and restaurants this is a great place to spend an evening or two. Throughout the year there are many carnivals and different themed events that take place at Lan Kwai Fong.

Visitor a Tailor

We always visit a tailor when in the city, in as little as 48hrs you are able to pick up a perfectly tailored suit or outfit, for often a lot less than an off the peg example would cost back in Europe.

The whole process starts with picking out a design from the hundreds of magazines on offer, all the top designers are available to copy. Then you choice your fabric and get measured up. Pop back the next day for the second fitting, and the day after your finished article is ready for collection or delivery to your hotel.

Our favourite tailor in the city is Sam’s located at the Burlington arcade on Nathan road, he has been a favourite of the cities elite for several decades now, in fact a lot of the other tailors in Hong Kong are just retail shops and the actual tailoring is done by Sam’s guys. But best to go direct to the man himself.

Tian Tan Buddha

Tian Tan Buddha, Lantau Island

Tian Tan Buddha, or Big Buddha as it’s more commonly known as, is the spiritual centre for Hong Kong’s practising Buddhists, and also a major tourist spot.

The 34 meter tall bronze statuette weighs over 250 tonnes and is one the world’s largest Buddhist sculptures. If you are in any way interested in learning about the culture of the places you visit then you should pay the Tain Tan a visit.

As well as the huge Buddha, there is plenty of opportunity to learn more about Asia’s dominant religion.

Entry to the surrounding grounds is free, but to enter the Buddha does require a modest fee.

Final Thoughts

Whatever you decide to do whilst in Hong Kong we hope you consider those things above, they are really spectacular. Either way enjoy yourself in one of the world’s truly great cities.

Top Sights in Istanbul

Istanbuls best attractions

Istanbul and Turkey like so many other wonderful places have been plagued in bad news recently. The rise in Terrorism that is spreading like a plague through the world has hit Turkey particularly badly.

In times like these many of you will not feel like travelling to far from your perceived safe havens. However the attacks in Paris, Orlando and other major cities around the world should serve as a reminder that everywhere can be a target.

One of the main functions of an attack but is to disrupt our way of life, and restrict the movement of people through fear. We should not give into these peoples demands and we should show solidarity with those cities which have suffered by travelling, exploring and gaining a better understanding of the difference that make the world great.

Istanbul is still the great city it has always been, a place where Europe meets Asia. With such a geographical advantage and centuries of trading history, it is after all the end of the Silk Road, Istanbul is a truly unique city. A diverse melting pot of cultures and a city every serious traveller must visit.

There are literally hundreds of things to do and see there, it would be impossible to list them all below, but here are few picks for must see sights.

Blue Mosque

blue mosque istanbul

The blue Mosque is probably Istanbul’s most famous sight. Built in the early 17th Century the mosque was a gift to the city by the Sultan Ahmet.

The blue mosque is not only of great religious importance to the cities mainly Muslim population, it is also the cities most visited tourist sites.

Its name is derived from the blue tint of the Iznik tiles which adorn its structure.

Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern is the second most visited attraction in Istanbul. Originally constructed to house the city’s water supply, this huge underground structure is a true engineering marvel. Wandering around the this underground marvel it is hard to believe that such a feat of engineering could be not only be conceived but completed in the 6th century.

If you are in Istanbul then you will not want to miss the.


Another of the city’s ancient sites the Hippodrome was once the centre Byzantine life. Everyone is familiar with the Colloseum in Rome and the games and the important role it played in public life. Well the hippodrome is Istanbul’s version.

Construction started in 200AD and took over 100 years to complete (And we complain how long infrastructure projects take nowadays).

Any history buffs will want to visit here.

Grand Bazaar

grand bazaar Istanbul

Everyone loves to shop, and where better to indulge than in the greatest market, in the greatest trading city in the world? The Grand Bazaar is not only Istanbul’s greatest shopping experiences but it is one of the best shopping experiences in the world.

The colours, smells and sights here are well with the visit alone, even if you are not an avid shopper. But if you do love a bargain then you will surely find some great ones in the Grand Bazaar.

It is a monumental place filled with every conceivable item you can think off, and getting lost in here is not only an almost certainty but also part of its charm. Make sure you have water with you and comfortable shoes you are in for a long slog.

Haggling is a must and the Turks are great at it.

Spice Bazaar

Spice bazaar Istanbul

For any food lover and for those who just love a bit of the exotic then the Spice Bazaar is another must see sight in Istanbul.

Any type of spice can be bought here, and is a great example if the cities great trading heritage, the Silk Road was once the world’s main trading routes and Spices were one of the main commodities traded. Here you can also find herbs, nuts and fruits from around Asia and the Middle East.

The market is extremely popular among both tourist and locals and can become extremely crowded at times, so we recommend visiting early morning or late afternoon. This not only helps with the crowds, but it is also a much more comfortable time to visit as the heat is much more bearable.

Final thoughts

Istanbul is a city filled with heritage and culture and is a mix of sights, smells and history. Anyone who visits there are in for a treat and the above is only a small example of the delights on offer. If you have time here then you can also wander around and find your own little gems all across the city.

Top Sights in London

Top things to do in London

London is by far one of the most visited cities in the world, the capital city of the United Kingdom and its former empire. The city has an abundance of history that stretches back several centuries.

From its rich and varied architecture, its world class museums to the royal family, London offers it’s visitors a wealth of things to do.

Tourism to London shows no sign of slowing down, in fact in 2015 an estimated 31 million people visited the city, of which 17.5 million were international visits. The rapid rise of the Chinese middle class, who all seem to have a fascination with the British capital, and the 2012 Olympic Games has ensured that London remains one of the world’s most visited cities.

So if you are planning on joining the herd and heading to London, then with a wealth of attractions, how do you decide what you should visit? We have previously lived in London, some of our friends still do, and we have with their help produced our list of the top things to do in London 2016.

1 – Coca Cola London Eye

Coca Cola London Eye

Ever since it opened for the Millennium, the London eye (Now sponsored by coca cola) has been one of London’s most popular attractions, and if you ever walk down the south bank, you can easily spot the crowds of people patiently waiting in line.

The reason this is high on the list, is its location, right on the picturesque south bank of the river Thames. And from this position you will get the best view of London you could imagine when you reach the top.

Tickets cost £20 to enter one of the pods, and if you really want a luxury trip, then you can hire the entire pod to yourselves. Once the pod is yours you are free to do as you choice (within reason), and many a couple have got engaged, a few even married inside. But the favourite choice is bring along a catering company and have a full on meal inside.

2 – Tower of London

One of the world’s most famous attractions, The Tower of London is an absolute must when here. The tower is over 900 years and is stepped in a rich history. Over the centuries the Tower has been a Royal Palace, a fortress, a prison and an execution house.

Tours are conducted by a Beefeater, an when visiting you will be able to view the crown jewels. The luxurious set of jewellery to be found anywhere. Along the tour you will be told tales of the towers gruesome past.

Tickets should be bought in advance from £22.50 per adult and £10.50 per child

3 – The British Museum

The British Museum is home to one of the world’s best collections of artefacts which span over 2 million years of the worlds history. Everything from prehistoric to the futuristic can viewed here.

Over 6.5 million visitors a year come to the museum, which makes it one of the world’s most visited sites. It is however no wonder as the museum is home to some of the world’s greatest treasures, including the Rosetta stone, Egyptian mummies and Parthenon sculptures. As well as its permanent exhibits the museum also has regular special exhibits. One of its most successful was the Terracotta warriors, who were there for a whole year and tickets, were sold out in less than a day.

Entrance is free and is a great day for the whole family, especially as the London weather is so unpredictable, if your are here more than a few days you can almost guarantee one of them will be raining, and this is the place to head when it does.

4 – Natural History museum

Another great free and educational museum for the whole family, is London’s Natural history museum. Home to the largest and most fascinating dinosaur exhibition in the world, It is surely somewhere your family will enjoy.

As well as the Dinosaur’s the Natural History Museum is home to a collection of some the planets, strangest animals, including a full size blue whale, and a 40 million year old spider.

Again entrance is free (although some exhibits require a small contribution) and this is a great way to stir some enthusiasm among the whole family.

5 – Tate Modern art gallery

Located near the London eye on the south bank, The Tate modern is the UK’s national home of modern and contemporary art. And is home to works by some famous artists.

Entrance is also free , but some temporary exhibits do require tickets.

6 – Borough Market

borough market

An absolute must for any food lover is a morning at London’s most famous food market. Located on the south of the Thames and open every day except Sundays, Borough market is home to over 100 stalls.

Here you will find the best produce and foods from around the country and beyond.

Entrance to the market is free, but anything you buy will cost you, food here is a little more than at a standard market, but the quality and experience is far better. After all you get what you pay for.

Final thoughts

London is full of things to do, packed with history at every turn, it will surely keep your entire family entertained for however long you visit.

It’s not the cheapest city in the world to visit by a long way, but there are tons of great things to do that don’t cost a dime.

Travelling alone

Would you travel alone?

For most people the experience of travelling is one they must share with others, and sharing such an experience can strengthen your relationship. Be it a family member, partner or friend when you travel together and share such an experience it will change your relationship all together, mostly for the good but sometimes for the bad.

On the other hand travelling on your own can have the same effect on your relationship with yourself, spending any amount of time, alone in a unfamiliar surroundings will lead you to discover more about yourself than you thought possible.

My first experience of travelling alone came about by accident on my one of my first trips abroad. Myself and a my best friend, had decided one summer to head off to the Greek islands and work our way around them. We were only 18 at the time and neither of us had ever been away without parents before. Filled with excitement and enthusiasm we heading off to Crete, were we worked outside a bar, trying to get passers by to pop in for a drink. The money wasn’t great, the hours long and the constant rejection from potential customers took it’s toll on your confidence. But we didn’t care we met tons of new people, felt like explores and it was much better than stacking shelves in our local supermarket back home.

crete greek island

Whilst there we got loads of tips about which islands to visit the best and cheapest ways to get between them and filled up with loads of ideas for the rest of our summer travelling. We spent around a month on Crete, before we decided to head off to other islands and we ended up settling on an Island we had never heard of before Naxos, were we worked for a camp site called Plaka camping. Our job was to board a ferry with a return ticket to another island, then on the return trip go up to groups of young travellers and get them to book into our camp-site. This may not sound like a great job, but it was awesome, we basically spent months in the sun, chatting up groups of young European girls. What a dream for any 18 year old boy.

Plaka camping Naxos

After spending a few months doing this, my friend had to return to the UK for family reasons, this left me a choice do I go home with him or stay? If this had happened at the beginning of our journey the choice would have been easy, I would have been on the plane with him. But I had grown a lot this summer and now had the confidence to continue on my own. So I decided to stay.

Being alone in unfamiliar surroundings, will make even the most shy of people become extrovert. And I quickly made new friends and acquaintances wherever I went.

Now I have no hesitation in travelling alone, in fact I think I prefer it. Not being tied to anyone else, not having to compromise on things and doing basically what I choose is the best way for me to travel. This may sound selfish to some of you, but travelling is so important to me, I am just not prepared to compromise.

Over the years I have travelled loads on my own, during such time I have met some truly amazing people, had some unbelievable experiences and I have truly grown as a person.

So I challenge you to do the same, pack your bags, book a flight and head off with  out friends or family, or even a plan. You will undoubtedly find it strange at first, even a little scary. But stick it out and you will have an amazing time, one you can treasure for ever. Some of you will even become as addicted as I am to travelling alone.

Independant travel V’s Organised tours

Which is best independent or organised travel

Guided tours

Ever since the internet graced virtually every home in the developed world, doing your own research and finding inspiration for your own trip has become easier than ever. With a laptop or tablet and a little research you can easily find and plan your next trip of a lifetime.

But travel is not cheap and if you do it yourself, you alone are responsible if things go wrong, there is no-one to turn to for compensation. On the other hand, if things go according to plan you can claim all the glory of putting together an amazing experience for your family.

There are of course advantages to both options, and below we aim to discuss each so you can make an informed decision when planning your next trip


Independent has to win this one, planning and organising your own trip is by far the cheaper option. When you book with a tour agent you are in effect paying them a margin to plan and organise your trip. When you do it yourself you save on this margin. Another cost benefit of planning yourself is you only need do the bits you want to do, and you will not end up paying do the parts of a tour you are not interested in seeing.

It isn’t as simple as it sounds, when you book with an organised tour, you are paying for their experience and the time and effort they have spent planning the trip perfectly to ensure nothing goes wrong. When you book your own, you have to put the time and effort in to ensure everything goes smoothly. To some people the saving is not worth the effort required or the risk of things going wrong.

Date and time

For tour operators to maximise profits and reduce costs for you, they often have to run very strict schedules, and as such trips may only operate on certain days of the weeks, and will last a pre-defined amount of time. Whist this will work for most families, and the more popular trips will operate more frequently. If you really want to experience somewhere we recommend doing it at your own pace, this allows the flexibility to spend more time where it matters to you, and not be led by the masses.

However if like most hard working families, you only get a set amount of holiday time each year then and rigid schedule may be the better option for you.

Off the track

Getting off the beaten track and experiencing little known spots, is one of the best bits if travelling, but this is really only possible if you are an independent traveller. There is no better feeling than finding a little local restaurant, bar or festival that the guides books don’t mention. It is the closest to being an explorer any of us will ever get, and let’s face it who’s inner child doesn’t dream of being a famous explorer?

This is not without its’s risks wandering off the beaten track can quickly turn into a nightmare, you really need to be an experienced traveller, and wander with caution. A wrong turn in the wrong city can get you into a sticky situation very quickly, a good level of common sense is a must if you travel on your own. If you travel with an organised tour and if your with a family this is the better option, you will never be taken anywhere unsafe, and you always have the huge benefit of a local guide, who is familiar with the local customs and neighbourhoods.

Your very own experience

There is no worse feeling than working all year, saving hard and then heading off on your travels, only to get home full of excitement, only to find all your friends and colleagues have had the exact very same experience as you. even down to the restaurant you ate lunch in.

If you want individual experiences you have to travel individually, there is a huge world out there, go find your own corner. Believe me your friends will be more eager to hear your stories, watch your slides and they will be jealous of your trip. Its a great feeling by the way.

It really is up to you and both options offer advantages over each other, and we personally use a combination of both. It depends on our goals from each individual trip, and what suits that better.

Sydney -Australia

Top sights in Sydney

Sydney skyline

Another of our favourite cities to visit is the Australian city of Sydney. Located in the state of New South Wales, Sydney is Australia’s most populous city and is home to nearly 4.3 million people. That’s nearly 20% of all Australians live there.

Well if nearly 20% of Australians live there then surely Sydney must be an awesome city? Well we certainly think so, and it’s no wonder that the city attracts over 15 million visitors a year (7million domestic and 8 million international).

The city is stunningly beautiful, the streets are clean, the architecture is a heady mix of colonial and modern, the climate is great all year (236 sunny days a year), and the people are fantastic.

Sydney is not the cheapest city to visit, and prices here can be high. The mix of its popularity and the strength of the Australian economy, all make for an expensive trip. Hotel prices rival any other major developed city, as do food and drink prices. A great way to make it economical is to combine it with another destination as a stopover such as Bangkok

On top of the cost of staying there, is of course the cost of getting to Sydney. Now unless you are already in Australia or maybe New Zealand, then getting there is going to be a trek. It will involve nearly 22hrs flying time from Europe. This makes getting here not only a pain but also expensive.

IF you do decide to spend your hard earned cash on a trip to Sydney, then you will want to get the most bangs for buck that you can. Do not waste money on things you don’t need to see, or are not worth seeing, use our experience of the city to ensure you get the most out of your trip you can.

Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge has to be one of the most famous sights in the world, spanning the beautiful Sydney harbour this steel built mammoth is the world’s largest steel arch bridge. Catching a glimpse of this spectacular piece of architecture is a must for any visitor to the city. Simply take a stroll along the Southern shore and or sit out at one of the many cafes and bars near the opera house, and you will be able to appreciate its magnificence.

Viewing the bridge is of course free of charge and makes for some great holiday snaps. However if you are a little more daring then consider taking Bridge climb tour, which is one of the city’s most popular things to do. Small groups of around 10-15 people have the amazing opportunity to climb to the top of the arch. Once atop the arch you will be rewarded with some truly breathtaking views of the city. The most popular and therefore the most expensive times of the day are dawn and dusk, there really is no better way to view sunrise or sunset in Sydney than from the top of the bridge. Word of warning do not have a beer with lunch before you climb, safety is paramount here  and all climbers are breathalysed before the tour starts, and they operate a zero tolerance policy, you will not be refunded if they do not allow you to climb.

Sydney Opera House

Another world famous sight that Sydney can boast is its opera house, the UNESCO world heritage site gracefully adorns the harbour. Designed to mimic the bellowing sails of the clippers that used to trade through the harbour, any trip to Sydney would not be complete without a photo.

For those who are a little more interested in the history of this famous building, guided tours operate daily, where you get to explore all of the building. Of course you can always book into to see one the shows for a remarkable evening out. Shows are not cheap mind.

Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo - Sydney

We are obsessed with zoo’s we must have visited over 30 of them across the world, and Sydney’s is up there with best. Enjoying some of the city’s most sought after real estate with majestic views right across the harbour to the CBD, this has to be the most beautiful zoo we have been to.

The Australian continent is so isolated geographically, that the evolution of its wildlife and fauna is vastly different to that of Europe or the America’s. And if you want to learn more and see it up close you have to visit Taronga zoo.

Entrance to the zoo is $44aud for adults and $22aud for children, but it is well worth the cost and if you are here with your family this would be our recommendation for a family day out.

China Town

I know why travel all that way to Australia and visit a mini China? Well the Chinese and the Australians have had a great trading relationship for over 100years that this part of town is now a true part of life in Sydney. It is also a great budget way to spend a few hours.

Take a wander around and enjoying the different smells and sights of China Town you will not be disappointed. If you are there over a weekend then head down on Friday night for Yum Cha, the street market. During which you can sample food from all over Asia not just Chinese regions.

The Royal Botanical Gardens

Botanical-Gardens sydney

Sydney is a working hub is very densely populated just like any other major city. A welcome oasis form the hustle and bustle is the Botanical Gardens, which are located only a short stroll from the harbour. There are over 30 hectares of impeccable maintained gardens to explore.

Entrance to the gardens is free and you are welcome to bring your own picnic to enjoy on one of the many green spaces around the gardens. The mid day heat in Sydney can become unbearable at times, so for those who can face walking around they operate a hop on hop off bus around the gardens.

This is an outdoor attraction so make sure you are in sensible clothing, and have adequate protection from the sun.

Final words

Sydney should be on everyone’s must visit list. It really s a city that offers it all and is regularly voted one of the best cities to visit and live.

If you get the opportunity then please, please take it and visit Sydney.

Top East Asia Travel Destinations

From beautiful cities to remote islands, the top East Asia travel destinations provide a healthy dose of ancient history, adrenaline-charged adventures and paradisiacal happiness. The combination of vivid cultures, white sandy beaches, amazing cuisine and steamy jungles will leave you wanting for more. If you are thinking of making your first trip to the region, here are some of the best places you should definitely visit.

Travel Destinations in the East Asia

Bali, Indonesia

Indonesia may have more than 13,000 islands, but Bali is everyone’s favorite. This sweet spot is just 1.2 miles from the east of Java. Most travelers usually land at Denpasar’s Ngurah Rai International Airport having come from other Indonesian cities such as Jakarta or Surabaya, or from other big cities in the region such as Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Bali is world-renowned for its charming culture, hospitable locals and pristine beaches that appeal to divers, swimmers, surfers, and holidaymakers. Despite many tourists frequenting the beach, Bali still has something for everyone. There is a level of peace and calmness you just won’t find anywhere else. Perhaps this is the reason most international visitors who come to the country head straight for the shores of Bali before sampling other destinations.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

When the morning sun spreads its rays over the overgrown temples and the famous ruins of Angkor Wat, a simple and innocuous Siem Reap sunrise becomes a great event. The ancient structures are housed in one of biggest religious complexes on the plant. This complex, together with the Angkor Thom royal city that was built in the 12th century, is considered as the main reason why people come to visit Siem Reap.

You will get an intriguing lesson in national history and culture at the Cambodian Cultural Village, and a lesson in bargaining prices at the Angkor Night Market – a bonanza of food vendors, bars, and malls.

Tubbataha Reef, Philippines

If the Garden of Eden were under the sea, there is a fair chance it would have a striking resemblance to the Tubbataha Reef, a marine formation that is on the island of Palawan. To get here, hire a dive operator in Puerto Princesa or other neighboring areas. There are several airlines which provide daily flights Manila to Puerto Princesa.

Divers always keep returning to Tubbataha’s coral walls, home to thousands of marine species such as manta rays, lionfish, hawksbill tortoises and moray eels. Above the waters, Tubbataha acts as a stopover for migratory terns and frigate birds. The area is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites because it is home to many species of marine animals that are on the endangered list.

Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand’s capital city was recently voted as one of the greatest places in the world by readers of the Travel + Leisure Magazine, an accolade only reserved for the very top travel destinations. Often christened as the “City of Angels”, it is home to many must-see sites such as the Grand Palace, and the magnificent Wat Phra Kaew, an architectural wonder of glistening gold and mosaic-encrusted pillars.

During the weekends, Chatuchak market, Asia’s biggest outdoor bazaar is a great place to shop and mingle with locals as you get acquainted with everyday Thai life.