The 6 Unique Counties to Visit In Asia
Southeast Asia vs. other parts of Asia
Many travelers who opt for a trip to Asia opt for destinations within Southeast Asia. Understandable, because the countries in Southeast Asia can be combined well, are cheap and versatile. However, there is so much more in Asia, it does not stop after Thailand and Vietnam. In this list I also mention countries that are not in Southeast Asia but are certainly worth a visit. I mention countries that we have been to ourselves, but also countries where we have heard many good things about and that are high on our list. After our trip around the world I hope to supplement the information about those countries!
Let me start with one of our favorite countries: China. We visited China with a fearful feeling, but this turned out to be completely unnecessary. Although China is more challenging than the countries in Southeast Asia, traveling through China is not at all difficult. People want to help you and with a little common sense and the right preparations you will get there.
In China you will find beautiful cities and villages, but nature is also breathtakingly beautiful. China is also the country where you can see one of the seven wonders of the world, namely the Chinese wall. Visiting the Great Wall remains one of our most beautiful travel experiences. Wow, that's amazing and impressive. I constantly had the feeling that I was dreaming.
But the Chinese wall is not all, discover the beautiful Avatar mountains in Zhangjiajie and cycle between the rice fields and karst mountains in Yangshuo. Discover the Chinese towns of Pingyao and Fenghuang and sniff even more culture in impressive Beijing. You really can't get bored in China!
Arrange for your trip to China
You don't just enter China, you have to arrange things in advance. For example, you need a visa that you must apply well in advance. It is also necessary to record your train journeys in the busiest period. The busiest periods are the summer and during the Golden Week.
Malaysia was our first long journey and it turned out to be a very good choice. The country is perhaps slightly more expensive than some neighboring countries, but still very cheap. In addition, it is less touristy, people speak English very well and there is plenty to find in the country. How about metropolis Kuala Lumpur or the tropical Perhentian islands? Or the tea plantations at the Cameron Highlands and the ancient jungle of Taman Negara?
But, if you really want to see something special then you leave the peninsula of Malaysia after three weeks to discover Borneo. Borneo is so incredibly beautiful and so different from all the other places that you will encounter during your trip. It's all about pristine jungle and wildlife. How fat is it to spot Orang Utans in the wild? It is only possible in so few places, but it is possible in Borneo. Really spotting these animals in the wild is actually quite difficult, so we saw the animals in the semi-wild. For this we visited S mengoh, in the Sarawak part. In addition to Orangutans, you can also spot crocodiles, nose monkeys, Irrawaddy Dolphins and elephants on Borneo. How cool !?
However, on Malaysian Borneo you will also find tropical beaches, a fantastic underwater world, beautiful jungle and other beautiful natural beauty. We stayed in Bako National Park for a few days and that was really great.
Arrange for your trip to Malaysia
For your trip to Malaysia, unlike your trip to China, you don't have to arrange anything at all, except for your plane ticket. If you travel to Malaysia you will get 90 days visa free entry.
The Philippines is a country that we have not yet visited, but is very high on the bucket list with us. We actually only hear good things about it and are therefore 100% sure that we will visit the Philippines within a few months now.
The Philippines are known for the great beaches. Palawan is paradise and in the area there you will find many uninhabited islands with snow-white beaches and clear blue water. In the Philippines you certainly get an Expedition Robinson feeling.
In addition to the great beaches on the island of Palawan, the Philippines has even more. You will find beautiful rice fields in the north of the country, but you also have the famous Chocolate Hills on the island of Bohol. Furthermore, snorkeling in the Philippines must be incredibly beautiful.
The Philippines is a nice destination where you will really find tropical islands, but also encounter the most beautiful nature. Sounds great right?
Arrange for your trip to the Philippines
Before you go to the Philippines you only need a travel ticket, nothing else. Upon arrival at the airport you will receive a free visa-on-arrival for 30 days. If you want to stay longer you can extend this for 2000 pesos with 29 days. Nice and easy.
Mongolia is a country that appeals to me by its name alone. It sounds so nice. But it is also a very impressive country. The country is vast and is not so touristy and flat. My dream is to take the train from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar, to make a trip through Mongolia from there.
Public transportation is hard to find in Mongolia, so you need a car. Fortunately, you can arrange this with a driver for little money, because driving yourself in Mongolia seems a bit of a thing. Mongolia is so beautiful because it is incredibly expansive and so authentic. Nature must be beautiful and people incredibly friendly.
Arrange for your trip to Mongolia
Mongolia is not that easy to travel, so it is best to book your tour in advance. Furthermore, you also need a visa for Mongolia that you must apply in advance.
After our trip through Malaysia we decided to relax in Thailand and visited Koh Lipe and Koh Lanta. We were also in Krabi for a day. Although we saw little, these days in Thailand tasted for more. The food is delicious and the beaches are beautiful. Koh Lipe has the whitest beaches that we saw and incredibly beautiful blue water.
In addition to the beaches, Thailand has much more to offer. How about amazing temples and beautiful jungle and other nature. Spot wild elephants in Khao Yai National park or sail and hike through the breathtaking jungle of Khao Sok. Visit the cozy Pai and admire the beautiful white temple in Chiang Rai. You will of course also visit the bustling capital of the country; Bangkok.
Arrange for your trip to Thailand
For your trip to Thailand you basically only need a travel ticket, nothing else. Upon arrival at the airport, or simply by land, you get a free 30-day visa-free entry. Do you want to stay longer? Then you can extend your visa on the spot. You can also apply for a tourist visa in advance.
6. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is next to the Lonely Planet the number 1 destination to visit in 2019, so that must be a great country. You read more and more about Sri Lanka and more and more people seem to find their way to this great country. Not surprising, since Sri Lanka has beautiful nature.
One of the most beautiful train journeys in the world can be found in Sri Lanka. Get on the train and admire nature between Kandy and Ella. The beautiful green landscape rushes past you while you will not be bored for a minute.
You will also find beautiful tea plantations and beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka. You can also spot elephants, crocodiles, buffalos and leopards in Yala National Park, among others. Super cool! You can also take great walks through nature and sniff some culture at the many temples and in the various cities. Sri Lanka is a very diverse country and is not for nothing the number 1 destination for next year. The country is also affordable and you can eat well. Always nice.
Arrange for your trip to Sri Lanka
Before you travel to Sri Lanka you must arrange a visa, otherwise you will not enter the country. The Sri Lanka visa is divided into three different categories, namely: visas for business travel, visas for tourism and visas for transit.
This all sounds very easy in itself, but when you start googling the visa that you have invited for Sri Lanka you will come across various things. There is also talk of an ETA for Sri Lanka and an e-visa for Sri Lanka. If you stay in Sri Lanka for 30 days or less, it is possible to apply for a digital visa for the country. This is also called an e-visa or ETA. You can easily apply for this visa online.
But watch out! Do you want to stay in Sri Lanka for more than 30 days? Then an ETA or an E-visa is not sufficient and you have to apply for a normal visa for Sri Lanka. Even then you also apply for a visa for 30 days. After arrival in Sri Lanka you go to the Immigration Services Center, where you can have your visa extended to a maximum of 90 days.
Anyway, if you go for less than 30 days, which is what most travelers do, it is not all that complicated. You then apply for an ETA Sri Lanka . If you have applied for an ETA, it is valid for six months. You can visit Sri Lanka once within these six months. This visit can last a maximum of 30 days. If you apply for your ETA you do not need to have airline tickets. If you eventually travel to Sri Lanka, you do need a travel ticket. You must also be able to prove that you have sufficient financial means to stay in Sri Lanka. Finally, your passport must be valid for at least six months upon arrival in Sri Lanka.
Well, that is a whole text about your visa application for Sri Lanka, but hopefully it is now clear what you need to arrange for your trip to this beautiful country.
What do you like to visit in Asia?