Bays and mountains, kayaking and trekking, culinary creativity and urban labyrinths… An adventure holiday in Asia can be anything you want it to be. Here are our tips on how you can find adventures, originality and unexpected thrills in Asia.
For an original adventure holiday in Asia, get straight out on the water for a different perspective. In Vietnam’s Halong Bay, try your hand at squid fishing with local fishermen, go rowing in a bamboo vessel with a local rower and try snorkelling off wild sandy beaches in Lan Ha Bay. In the south of the country, more boat trips await in the Mekong Delta, where remote communities and floating markets can be discovered. In Laos, head out on a long boat on the Mekong River to discover the Pak Ou Caves, filled with hundreds of statues of Buddha. In northern Thailand – north of Chiang Mai – embark on a journey on a bamboo raft to see a side to the country you can’t get any other way. Flying on to Thailand’s island paradise of Phuket offers more water adventures in the form of white water rafting.
Venturing further out than most visitors go is a sure way to have an unexpected adventure holiday in Asia. In Vietnam, the remote Thanh Tien Village is home to artists and artisans supported by a social enterprise. It’s the perfect place to learn how to craft traditional paper flowers and buy some gifts to take home. In Cambodia, visit a remote village called Chansar outside Siem Reap. Let a village family show you around on an ox cart before visiting the home of a family whose trade is broom-making. North of Chiang Mai in Thailand, visit Palong Village – home to an ethnic tribe from Myanmar – then carry on to the Mae Taman Elephant Camp to meet the animal Thai people most revere.
An adventure holiday in Asia doesn’t just have to happen in nature. Asia’s cities offer plenty of thrills too. In Hanoi, get lost in labyrinthine back alleys well off the tourist trail and discover strong Vietnamese coffee in a locally loved café overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake. Near Ho Chi Minh City is an underground city – the Cu Chi tunnels – where Viet Cong soldiers lived during wartime. In Thailand, Bangkok is a city thrumming with life 24/7. Travel by tuk tuk to get off-the-beaten track, sample amazing street food and visit temples away from the usual tourist hotspots.
Your taste buds can travel to the limits of their imagination and back on an adventure holiday in Asia. In Vietnam, feast on a vegetarian lunch made by nuns at Dong Thuyen Pagoda – a temple on a hill – or embark on a local culinary tour of Hoi An led by a local foodie. A Hoi An chef also runs amazing cooking classes, where you can learn to cook specialities such as Cau Lau or Mi Quang. South of Bangkok in Thailand, the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is the way to get to the heart of local ingredients – rent a paddle boat to get the full experience. In Bangkok itself, visit the best street food stalls by tuk tuk and learn to cook the classics in a Pad Thai cookery school. On the island of Phuket, the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery is unmissable.
Mr Linh’s Adventures has a tour ideal for every type of adventure holiday in Asia – check it out here