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Top 8 Things to Do in Asia

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Japanese lady in front of Digoji Temple in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, Japan

From culinary tours revealing the regional flavors of Thailand to moments spent lounging on the breathtaking beaches of Bali, we share the top eight things to do in Asia to inspire your vacation.

The massive continent offers endless opportunities to experience the distinct cultures, cuisines, and environments of countries from Southeast Asian shores to East Asian metropolitans. Vacations in Asia revolve around tasting delicacies, exploring ecosystems, immersing yourself in spirituality, and discovering art and architecture.

Let these ideas of what to do in Asia ignite your imagination for adventure as you plan to visit one or more of the countries we discuss in this list.

Overview

  1. 1. Indulge In Mouthwatering Thai Cuisine • Thailand
  2. 2. Set Sail Across the Sparkling Ha Long Bay • Vietnam
  3. 3. Stroll Along Picturesque Private Beaches • Bali
  4. 4. Admire the Iconic Angkor Wat Temple Complex • Cambodia
  5. 5. Experience Geisha Culture and More in Kyoto • Japan
  6. 6. Dive to Spot Magnificent Marine Life • The Maldives
  7. 7. Witness Awe-Inspiring Architecture and Remarkable Art • India
  8. 8. Explore Unique Temples Unlike Anywhere Else In the World • Sri Lanka
  9. Experience the Top Things to Do in Asia

1. Indulge In Mouthwatering Thai Cuisine • Thailand

Khao soi dish served at a restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand

Thai dishes are some of the most delicious in Southeast Asia and culinary tours represent one of the best things to do in Thailand.

The cuisine differs from region to region, with a few flavors lingering from fishing villages to mega-cities. You can indulge in sensational seafood dishes overlooking the ocean that highlight the catch of the day. Tours to agricultural areas can introduce you to Thailand's rich culinary traditions near golden rice paddies. In the cities, street food tours spotlight the qualities of authentic Thai bites and gourmet restaurants showcase the creative flair of Thailand’s top chefs.

There are many ways to enjoy mouthwatering meals as you explore on your own, with insider guides, or by visiting culinary schools that teach you the secrets to cooking Thai cuisine.

Learn more: Top 8 Things to Do in Thailand

2. Set Sail Across the Sparkling Ha Long Bay • Vietnam

Boats on Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Gorgeous seascapes dominate Asia’s coastlines and few are as breathtaking as Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. The sun-soaked garden of karst limestone islands invites travelers to explore one of the best things to do in Vietnam.

Lavish yachts and glamorous catamarans set sail from the piers around the corner from Hanoi, whisking travelers to a collection of pristine islands peppering the picturesque turquoise waters. Aboard you can enjoy first-class amenities and dine at resplendent restaurants en route to hidden beaches and charming fishing villages.

At each stop you can hop into kayaks and paddle around the bay to see the massive islands from a new perspective or snorkel the crystal-clear sea to discover what lies below its surface.

Learn more: Top 7 Things to Do in Vietnam

3. Stroll Along Picturesque Private Beaches • Bali

Woman at private beach in Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia

Private beaches are part of Asia’s coastal charm and couples flock to Thailand, the Maldives, and Bali to experience the exclusivity of a private beach vacation. Families hoping to escape the crowds also adore trips to private beaches in Asia.

Bali’s beaches are some of the best in the world, boasting overwater bungalows and celebrity-owned restaurants where travelers can lap up the luxury of having the sparkling shoreline to themselves. Shared only with other guests at your accommodations or on the private island, this level of exclusivity is rarely found in the world.

You can spend your days soaking up the sunshine with a book in hand, cruising the seas to underwater caves, snorkeling around the vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life, tucking into an assortment of tantalizing seafood dishes, and more, with few souls in sight.

Learn more: Top 6 Things to Do in Bali

4. Admire the Iconic Angkor Wat Temple Complex • Cambodia

Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Cambodia

Angkor Wat Temple Complex, Cambodia

Exploring Asia’s temples that exude centuries of culture and history is an essential experience and Angkor Wat in Cambodia remains one of the best places to do that.

The temple is a colossal complex home to sandstone walkways, meticulous sculptures, ancient artifacts, and ornate obelisks that travelers can visit from sunup to sundown. At sunrise the temple’s silhouette is a remarkable backdrop to photograph, before you peruse the fascinating archeological site.

You can feel the history emerging from the cracks in the sandstone, the detailed carvings that coat the walls, and the towering monuments that rise to meet the clouds. The architectural masterpiece is a must-see if you visit Cambodia.

Learn more: Top 7 Things to Do in Cambodia

5. Experience Geisha Culture and More in Kyoto • Japan

Geisha culture in Tokyo, Japan

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto is a beloved destination overflowing with culture and experiencing the history of the geishas is one of the best things to do in Japan.

As a symbol of elegance and grace, geisha represent a history of artistic opulence in Kyoto. Their colorful clothing and makeup exude timeless charm and add flamboyance to their traditional song and dance performances on the city’s ancient streets.

Geisha is one of the most significant introductions to Japanese culture in Kyoto, with many of the region’s museums, temples, and heritage sites honoring more of Japan’s antique traditions. From Shodo calligraphy to Yuzen dyeing and tea ceremonies, you can unpack the culture of Kyoto during your tour of the Geisha district and beyond.

Learn more: Top 10 Things to Do in Japan

6. Dive to Spot Magnificent Marine Life • The Maldives

Tropical island and coral reef in the Maldives

Maldives

Scuba diving and snorkeling are among the best things to do in the Maldives as the clear waters, colorful coral reefs, and breathtaking atolls provide the perfect conditions for exploring underwater.

The marine wonderlands teem with sea life and you can swim alongside massive turtles, gliding manta rays, elusive whale sharks, and many more fascinating creatures. Using high-quality snorkeling or scuba-diving equipment and following professional instructors, you can spend hours discovering the remarkable underwater beauty the Maldives is famous for.

Swimming back to shore or cruising by boat to the beaches, you can towel off and unwind at a wellness center overlooking the very scenery in which you will have spent your day discovering the marine life of the Maldives.

Learn more: Top 7 Things to Do in Maldives

7. Witness Awe-Inspiring Architecture and Remarkable Art • India

Pink Palace in Jaipur, India

Jaipur, India

Indian art and architecture is astonishing, with many heritage sites, cities, and rural villages paying homage to the country's artistic heritage.

The famous pearl-white marble mausoleum on the banks of the river Yamuna, the Taj Mahal, remains one of the best things to do in India when visiting Agra. Other architectural marvels include the massive yellow sandstone walls of the Golden Fort standing against the honey-colored desert, the vibrant and iconic facade of the Pink Palace, and the ornate pavilions of the Fatehpur Sikri.

Tours to see Indian art can lead you to the masterpieces within the Academy of Fine Arts, the sought-after murals exhibited at the Jehangir Art Gallery, and the contemporary artworks of the National Gallery of Modern Art.

Learn more: Top 8 Things to Do in India

8. Explore Unique Temples Unlike Anywhere Else In the World • Sri Lanka

Dambulla Royal Cave Temple in Sri Lanka

Dambulla Royal Cave Temple, Sri Lanka

Fascinatingly temples pepper Asia, and Sri Lanka is home to some of the most spellbinding of them all.

A pilgrimage to the sacred Dambulla Royal Cave Temple is one of the most incredible things to do in Sri Lanka as it is informative and evocative, introducing you to an aura of mystery and soul emanating from sculptures, paintings, and other forms of expression. You can also veer off the beaten path to visit the far-flung Embekka Devale temple in an atmospheric village, stand atop the colossal rock on which the Pidurangala Royal Cave Temple rests, and view the massive Buddhist statues carved into the cliffs towering over Buduruwagala Raja Maha Viharaya.

When you think of Asian temples, Sri Lanka may not be the first destination that comes to mind, but it certainly boasts some of the most unique in Asia.

Learn more: Top 6 Things to Do in Sri Lanka

Experience the Top Things to Do in Asia

Woman enjoying the view in Penida Island, Bali

Bali, Indonesia

These top eight things to do in Asia only scratch the surface of what is possible on your vacation to the east. Whether you plan to travel with your partner on a couples’ trip or honeymoon, explore the regions as a family, or see the best of the continent on a multi-generational vacation, Zicasso can help you plan the perfect trip.

Our dedicated Travel Care team curates Asia Tour Packages & Vacations that can bring your travel dreams to life. Your travel specialist can tailor an exclusive experience using these samples as guides to include the best things to do in Asia based on your travel preferences.

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