Asia is a land of superlatives, a continent of staggering diversity that stretches from the Mediterranean to the Pacific, from the Arctic to the Indian Ocean. For an intense and intoxicating introduction to the region, India is hard to beat, from the crazy streets of Delhi to the delicate beauty of the Taj Mahal. Or perhaps you’ve seen India and you’d like to check out teardrop-shaped Sri Lanka, home to a fascinating Buddhist culture, lush tea plantations and beautiful beaches. China is another big hitter, a mesmerising blend of tradition and modernity and a country that is set to shape all of our futures in the years ahead. Japan meanwhile sits in a category all of its own, at the forefront of high tech innovation yet steadfast in its traditions.
South East Asia is the backpacker’s favourite, but you’ll learn a lot more about the region by travelling on an escorted tour. In Vietnam you can immerse yourself in the timewarp atmosphere of old Hanoi, sail amongst remarkable limestone islands in Ha Long Bay or explore the tropical backwaters of the Mekong Delta. Travellers flock to Laos for its laid back atmosphere and the gilded temples of Luang Prabang, while Cambodia’s incredible Angkor Wat should be on everyone’s bucket list. Last but not least, now is the time to visit Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, which is finally opening up to tourists after years in the wilderness. Float over the show-stopping temples of Bagan in a hot air balloon, walk the buzzing streets of the former capital, Yangon, and discover a deeply spiritual land where the Orient of old lingers on.