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Perhaps best known for the variety of its peoples and cultures, Asia is home to some of the largest, most colourful and exciting markets in the world. Throughout South East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and Central Asia you can immerse yourself into local life simply by wandering through a market and soaking up all the sights, sounds and smells. You can also experience festivals such as the colourful annual camel fair in Pushkar in India,
Mongolia’s traditional Nadaam festival or the centuries-old religious festivals of Bhutan and Ladakh.
Asia boasts some of the world’s most iconic sights, such as the Taj Mahal in India, the Great Wall in China, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Bagan in Burma and the Potala Palace in Tibet. These are all striking reminders of Asia’s fascinating history, where empires and civilisations have risen and fallen across the continent over millennia. The legacy of so many cultural influences filters through everyday life today: you can enjoy the rich fusion of traditions, religions, music, art and architecture throughout the continent. Perhaps this is most evident in Asia’s cuisine, where you can taste local and regional specialities in every country but the flavours of national dishes fuse across borders.
Throughout Asia you can travel on some of the most exciting and diverse types of transport, from the ultra-modern bullet trains of Japan (the Shinkansen) to the old steam locomotives in the Indian Himalaya, from nippy tuk-tuks dodging the traffic of Bangkok to more sedate cycle-rickshaws in the dusty backstreets of Delhi, from the massed ranks of bicycles in Vietnam to the boats gently plying the backwaters of Kerala.
Travellers are lured back to Asia time and time again, and from our very beginnings it has been one of Explore’s most popular destinations. Wildlife lovers will relish the chance to track Bengal tigers in India or observe orang-utans in Borneo, historians will enjoy discovering the fabled sights of the Silk Road, while rail enthusiasts will find some of the world’s classic routes in Asia. For cyclists the continent offers so much, with quiet back-roads and many countries where cycling is part of everyday life.
Walkers and trekkers will find hiking trails in the Himalaya and throughout the continent for every ability. If you’re searching for tropical sunshine and relaxation you could explore the Maldives aboard a traditional dhoni boat or discover the palm-fringed beaches of Thailand and its idyllic islands. There really is something for everyone in this vast and fascinating continent.
India (38 Tours)
India strikes its visitor with a sensory, intellectual, spiritual and philosophical assault that’s unmatched by any...
Thailand (30 Tours)
The ancient Kingdom of Thailand is a proud and independent place that burns fiercely with the white heat of modernity...
Vietnam (26 Tours)
In modern-day Vietnam one thing in particular stands out. It is, quite simply, the remarkable speed at which the...
Cambodia (19 Tours)
Cambodia is perhaps the most beguiling of all the countries of South-east Asia. Long associated with the brutal Khmer...
China (17 Tours)
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has long been seen as an enigma in the West. Since economic reforms began in...
Nepal (13 Tours)
Nepal, the roof of the world, embraces the sky with a jagged procession of more than 240 peaks, including Mount...
Burma (11 Tours)
Burma – or Myanmar– is the ‘it’ destination of the moment, having featured in almost every recent travel...
Laos (9 Tours)
Laos is fast becoming the darling of South-east Asia, satisfying all the romantic images of perfumed frangipani...
Sri Lanka (7 Tours)
Part of Sri Lanka's irresistible charm lies in the way it interweaves past and present. Whilst being forward-looking...
Hong Kong (5 Tours)
The world’s original ‘exotic’ Asian city, Hong Kong is still all that – with a twist. There were concerns...
Malaysia (5 Tours)
Malaysia is a word that conjures up the mystery of the East: sultans and head hunters, jungles with exotic wildlife...
Uzbekistan (5 Tours)
Consumed by an arid and seemingly endless expanse of rolling sand dunes and yellow-grey desert, Uzbekistan is a land...
Borneo (4 Tours)
Borneo is part of Malaysia and is the third largest island in the world surrounded by the Java, Celebes,...
Bangladesh (3 Tours)
Dominated by the vast and endlessly fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra river delta – notoriously prone to floods during...
Georgia (3 Tours)
Perhaps Europe’s final bastion situated at the juncture of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, steeped in mystery and...
Kyrgyzstan (3 Tours)
Armenia (2 Tours)
Little-known but historically important, the mountainous and landlocked country of Armenia lies on the crossroads...
Bhutan (2 Tours)
Known by the Bhutanese as Druk Yul, ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’, Bhutan is an ethereal Himalayan Kingdom steeped...
Japan (2 Tours)
Despite Japan’s ‘closed’ period having ending in 1868, this endlessly fascinating country still remains an...
Maldives (2 Tours)
Beginning one degree north of the equator, the Maldives are a chain of twenty-six serene atolls running north-south...
Singapore (2 Tours)
Singapore is a city full of vibrancy, Asian culture blended with Western influence, clean cut and wholesome...
Azerbaijan (1 Tour)
Take a holiday to Azerbaijan with Explore and you will soon be transported into Sheki, a market town lost in the...
Indonesia (1 Tour)
The Indonesian archipelago offers a hugely diverse spread of cultures and sights. Start in Java, where the massive...
Mongolia (1 Tour)
Mongolia is a land of vast open spaces and otherworldly grandeur. The nation’s nomadic peoples have been crossing...
North Korea (1 Tour)
Inspired by the militarism and high-blown grandiosity of Stalin and Mao, North Korea, a land almost completely...
Philippines (1 Tour)
Boasting Asia’s best beach, picture postcard views that scream ‘paradise’, countless volcano peaks, and...
Seychelles (1 Tour)
This archipelago in the Indian Ocean is famous for its sandy beaches, tropical climate and clear waters, but there is...
South Korea (1 Tour)
Forward-looking South Korea is one of the world’s most technologically advanced nations – a place where science...
Turkmenistan (1 Tour)
Poised at the arid heart of Central Asia, land-locked Turkmenistan borders Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iran,...
Taiwan (1 Tour)
Sitting off the south-east coast of mainland China, the island nation of Taiwan – governed by the Republic of China...