Feeling the heat of WA?  Dying for a break and a little tropical flavour? Today, 2 top travel bloggers and a Perth resident give the low down on their favourite Asian holiday spots – come and find out where and why.

Asian Holiday Spots

Why Asian Holiday Spots?

The WA heat during summertime can be intense. Really intense. And dry. Temperatures up in the 40’s are not unusual, and sometimes it’s great to be able to take a break to a different climate.

For me, a tropical climate does the trick because it’s so diametrically opposed to everything that WA has to offer. The lush vegetation, the gorgeously garish colours, the humidity, the hustle and bustle, all so different to WA’s  empty spaces and its dry, Mediterranean climate with its russet reds, sea blues, olive greens and bright splashes of colour.

Top Asian Holiday Spots for your bucket list.

I asked three WA residents to give me their take on where to go in Asia. It had to be somewhere exotic and it couldn’t be Bali. Dream Asian Holiday spots was the brief.

Dream Asian Destinations by Jo Castro

Blogger Agnes Lim from Taste Travel Talk has this to say about her top Asian holiday spot.

Profile Pic TB


Singapore Dreaming

How long does it take to fly to Singapore from Perth?

“It takes about 5.5 hours.”

What did you like the most?

“The food!! Hawker food especially! …which is what I mostly write about in my blog.”

Would you go back again?

“Absolutely!  I am a foodie but there is so much to see and do, from the “old style” Singapore to the new modern Singapore – think Universal Studios. Also I recently found out that my great grandfather was one of the handful of pioneers from China who came to Singapore. Apparently he is very well known and built the biggest Buddhist temple for the people. He was a business man and philanthropist , Low Kim Pong was his name.”

A Taste of Sri Lanka

Jenny Freedman writes a popular Food and Travel Blog, “A Taste of Travel”, and her dream Asian holiday spots would include Sri Lanka because she says it’s such a wonderful change of culture to WA and offers some amazing food options too.

Asian Holiday Spots
A slice of life in Sri Lanka by Jenny from A Taste of Travel

“Sri Lanka is becoming more popular these days. You have to fly to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur (5hours) and then on to Colombo (3.5 hours) but it’s worth it. When I travelled there I loved the diversity of sights … from the historic old fort town of Galle to the highlands of Nuwara Eliya where tea is grown, to the town of Kandy with it’s gardens and the elephant orphanage on the outskirts. North there is Sigiriya, a huge rock fortress with its palace ruins that you need to hike/climb too.  The best time to go is during the heat of the WA summer and yes, I’d go again… it’s been a while since I was there and I’d love to see how it has changed.”

Venturing to Vietnam

Personally, a place I’d like to visit is Vietnam. Definitely a hot, top Asian holiday spot in my book.

Although it’s relatively straightforward getting to Vietnam from Perth, I’ve also heard that for first timers it might be a good idea to take one of the many quality escorted holidays to Vietnam that are available.

Perth is famous for its sunny beaches and laid back lifestyle, and Vietnam although offering some beautiful beaches and an easy-going lifestyle, is very different when it comes to culture.  Apart from being fascinated by different cultures, I have a fascination with distances (I’m always checking where we are and how far we’ve flown on the flight entertainment centre maps), and the distance between Perth and Ho Chi Minh City is 4,432miles – about 7 hours flying time.

A Journey back in time in terms of culture and experience.

Of course the culture and the sights are the stuff of dreams. I’m thinking about the UNESCO World Heritage site at historic Hoi An and the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City. I’m dreaming of the Mekong Delta and Halong Bay, the street food and  the adventures waiting to happen.

My friend Moira, has just visited Vietnam and had this to say.

Dream Asian Holiday Spots
Clockwise: Moira enjoying Halong Bay, A cookery class in Hoi, The Mekong Delta and making new friends in Sapa.

How long are the flights?

“The flights from Perth to Kuala Lumpur take about 5 hours, then 3 hours to Hanoi or 2 hours to Ho Chi Minh City. We flew with Malaysia Airlines, and the cost was $700 each return, flying into Hanoi and out HCMC.  You can also check out the cheap flights from Kuala Lumpur with Air Asia – about US$60 flying  KL to HCMC.”

“It was easy from Perth and our flight  arrived in the morning which meant we could get our first views and impressions as soon as we left the airport. We had arranged with Buffalo Tours to be picked up from the airport, which took away any stress we may have had.”

What about injections and general health?

“Injections are recommended, but consult your doctor first:  Hep B & A,  Tetanus and Typhoid. (Typhoid 2 weeks prior to departure).  We took Malaria tablets – which are good if you’re traveling to out-of- the-way places, but they gave me nausea so in the end I couldn’t take them. However, we remained well and healthy during the 15 days away. We ate in some local places but always drank bottled water.”

What did you love the most?

“I loved the different culture, the food and the markets. The people were lovely and some of the countryside was stunning. The shopping was good in the market areas and Vietnam is a great place to get clothes and shoes made.”

Any particularly outstanding places?

“Oh, I loved everywhere we went except maybe HCMC. It’s such a big busy city to me, coming from Perth – which is so quiet in comparison, but HCMC has an interesting history. We used HCMC as a base to go to Can Tho to see the floating markets and then to go on to the Mekong Delta, something I was keen to do.

“Sapa was beautiful for the mountains, trekking, and tribal people. Getting there means taking an overnight train from Hanoi – it’s very comfortable. We loved Hanoi and stayed in the old Quarter. We just walked out of the door into the bustle of the markets and the mass of people and traffic!!! It’s a 3 hour drive to Halong Bay where we stayed overnight on a boat with 4 other couples.  We booked the tour through Buffalo Tours, and it  included our pick up from Hanoi, the boat trip, fantastic meals and a lovely room on the boat. We even went kayaking.”

“Hoi an is also worth a visit. Life Heritage Resort was a beautiful place to stay, we did a local cooking class for a day and it included the local markets which was very educational and lots of fun!!  We had some clothes made by tailors here, and the quality was very good. It’s a great place to ride bikes as it’s less busy than the bigger cities. Walk out of the hotel and you’re straight into the bustle of the town, or you could just lounge around the pool!”

 Would you go back again?

“Yes would definitely go back again, and travelling around we met a lot of people who had been to Vietnam before. ”

So ZigaZagers where have you travelled in Asia and really enjoyed? Please do share your favourite Asian holiday spots in the comments section.

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  1. Moira Parry

    Loved reading your blog Jo, travel in Asia is a great way to get away and make your dollar go a little further, while enjoying the food, sights and culture.

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