With Asia and the Pacific predicted by UNWTO to be the fastest growing travel region until 2030, it’s no wonder Asian countries are topping many travel lists for 2018. Here are some of the most popular destinations, as well as multi-country Asia tour packages that allow visitors to take them all in.
Flickr photo: Halong Bay_Vietnam
In 2018, Vietnam will be celebrating everything to do with its UNESCO World Heritage region of Halong. The celebrations will open with a carnival in Halong City in April 2018, and during the months that follow, there will be a number of events and festivities. Everything to do with travel is becoming more responsible in Vietnam in 2018 too, with new laws in force in relation to the exploitation of animals. Celebrate everything to do with ethical and responsible travel in Vietnam by embarking on tours and experiences that are run by and benefit local communities. Stay in a jungle homestay, go on boat trips in the remote Mekong Delta or take in some neighbouring countries too by embarking on one of the multi-country Asia tour packages
Flickr photo: Evan Fusco _ Angkor Wat & Surrounds
A popular South East Asian country known most for the astounding temple complex at Angkor Wat, Cambodia is also ranked as the most open in terms of ease of visa processes by The World Economic Forum. This will certainly help to attract more visitors in 2018, who can spend more time enjoying the country and less time applying for visas and navigating border crossings. A new air route is also opening in April 2018, between Bagan in Myanmar and Angkor Wat, which will be attractive to visitors looking at multi-country Asia tour packages. Bordered by Laos, Vietnam and Thailand too, there will be plenty of opportunities in 2018 to combine a visit to Cambodia with any of those other countries. With travellers ever-hungry for more local and authentic experiences in 2018, visiting remote Khmer villages and watching crab-eating macaques in the mangroves
are two Cambodia activities not to miss.
Flickr photo: Mikhail Trishchenkov_Sanctuary of Truth
Bangkok was the world’s most visited city in 2016 and travel experts are predicting a steady flow of visitors in 2018 too. For those who like luxury hotels, a raft of new openings are arriving in Bangkok this year, while foodies are closely following the first ever Michelin guide to Bangkok’s food scene
. Superbike racing fans will also appreciate the MotoGP World Championship, which will be coming to Thailand’s Buri Ram’s Chang International Circuit from October 2018. Marry these high-end and specialist interest elements of a visit to Thailand with off-the-beaten-track experiences
. Get into Bangkok’s foodie spirit with tuk tuk food tours and cookery classes run by locals, or head into the countryside to learn about the age-old tradition of mahouts and their life-long pairings with elephants, before eating dinner with a local family.
Flickr photo: Dee Kian Ong _Vang Vieng Laos_Rice field beside River Song
Although a typically quieter country than Thailand and Vietnam, Laos is increasing in popularity. From just 700,000 international visitors in 2000, an estimated 6 million will be visiting in 2020. The addition of another terminal at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane will make it even easier for international visitors to come to Laos. For those who like to add a splash of luxury to their trips, a couple of new luxury hotels will be opening in Luang Prabang, known for its temples and French architecture. Despite the increasing popularity of Laos, there are still plenty of opportunities for visitors to get off-the-beaten-track. Take a boat to the Pak Ou Caves in a limestone cliff, filled with hundreds of statues of Buddha, visit local communities on the way to the Kuang Sii Waterfall or embark on one of the multi-country Asia tour packages
to take in the lesser known parts of Cambodia and Vietnam too.