Many casual travellers avoid holidaying in Asia. This is usually due to a fear of Asian countries differing too wildly from what they are used to in the United Kingdom. Instead, they choose to play it safe and holiday in a European country, such as Spain, Italy, or France.
While Europe certainly has a great deal to offer British holidaymakers, it is far from the be all and end all of vacations. As intimidating as Asia can be at first, the continent promises fun for travellers of all ages and ample opportunity for memory making.
If you’re planning a holiday in Asia or are considering visiting in the future, you’ve come to the right article. Today, we’re going to be discussing the primary differences between holidaying in Asia and holidaying in Europe.
Read on for everything you need to know before visiting the most populous continent on the planet!
Cost Of Flights
One of the great advantages of holidaying in Europe is that flights are relatively affordable. If you book early enough, you can grab return tickets to popular tourist destinations for £50 per person. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about flights to Asia.
A return flight from the UK to Thailand will typically set you back £500 per person. If you book your flights too close to your departure date, you might end up spending double that.
Meanwhile, a return flight to Japan has an average price tag of £600. Once again, it’s not uncommon to end up paying close to £1000 in certain situations. This pricing pattern remains the same for virtually all Asian countries.
Length Of Flights
Flights across Europe rarely last more than a couple of hours. In fact, a British tourist can get from the UK to Spain in just 2 and a half hours. A flight from the UK to Italy takes about the same length of time.
As you might have guessed, a flight from the UK to Asia is markedly longer than a flight from the UK to Europe. A flight from London to Japan, for example, can take as long as 12 hours.
You may find yourself travelling for even longer than that, depending on the length and number of layovers.
A flight from Britain to Thailand is similarly long, typically clocking in at just over 11 hours. Flights from the UK to China tend to be shorter, but not by much. The average flight time between London and Hong Kong is 10 and a half hours.
Cost Of Accommodation
© China World Hotel, Bejing
While a flight from the UK to Europe is much more affordable than a flight from the UK to Asia, things can get very different once you actually arrive.
Because Europe is so popular among tourists, it can be pretty expensive. This is especially true when it comes to accommodation.
On average, a 5-star hotel room in Spain will set you back £200 per night. Even a lesser room – such as one in a 3 or 4-star hotel – will cost you three figures a night. Accommodation in countries like Italy, France, and Germany has also been known to reach these prices.
Accommodation in many Asian countries is extremely affordable.
Even in a tourist hotspot like Japan, a hotel will rarely cost you more than £100 a night. You may even find a quality room for just £50. If you feel so inclined, you could even rent an entire home for less than £300 a night!
Believe it or not, Japan’s hotel rates are actually pretty expensive when compared to other Asian countries. In Bangkok, for example, a 5-star hotel room can be booked for less than £60 per night.
Even when booked just a day or two before your arrival, a quality room in the Bangkok capital is unlikely to cost you more than £100.
Family Holiday In Asia
© Basile Morin
Europe is a popular destination for family holidays. Asia, however, has traditionally appealed more to lone travellers than it has to families. Thankfully, that has changed significantly in recent years. The continent is now a great place to visit with your kids in tow.
Japan is arguably the best Asian country for a family holiday in Asia. This is primarily thanks to its capital, Tokyo. Tokyo is filled with arcades, theme parks, comic book stores, and other spots guaranteed to keep children happy. It also offers plenty of historical and cultural attractions to satisfy older travellers.
Check out this video if you want a idea of things to do with kids in Tokyo.
Families may also want to consider visiting Malaysia.
Though it’s not the first country that comes to mind when one thinks of family holiday in Asia, it is filled with child-friendly activities. Among the most notable of these is its 3D Art Studio.
Here, children can lose themselves in interactive artworks from some of Asia’s finest creative minds. This is a great way to get them excited to visit more traditional museums when they’re older.
There are all-inclusive family resorts throughout Asia. The very best of these offer beaches, pools, arcade games, and live performances to keep you and your children entertained throughout your stay.
Beach Holidays In Asia
© Mark Fischer
Europe’s beaches account for much of its allure. Indeed, European countries such as Spain and Greece are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
A downside of their beauty, however, is their immense popularity. Beaches in Europe are so popular that it can be next to impossible to find a spot to lie down and take in the sun. This is less of an issue with Asian beaches.
While Asia’s beaches are just as gorgeous as their European counterparts, they aren’t quite as crowded. They also tend to be larger. These two factors combine to ensure you won’t have any trouble finding a place to yourself.
Asia’s most beautiful beaches are located in the south-east of the continent.
In Vietnam, for example, you’ll find the resort town of Mu Ne. Mu Ne is home to some of the most visually pleasing beaches in the world. Its beachside accommodation, meanwhile, is every bit as luxurious as it is affordable.
Indonesia is another Asian country known for its stunning beaches. If you enjoy water sports, you’re definitely going to want to hit up Pok Tunggal Beach during your time in the country. This beach has some of the wildest waters in Asia. Its waves regularly reach massive heights, providing the perfect environment for surfing.
For a more relaxing beach holiday in Asia, consider visiting Tikling Island. Tikling Island is located in the Philippines and promises golden sands to compliment its peaceful waters. Its scenic views will help you achieve a feeling of serenity that will last long after you’ve returned home.
Historical Attractions In Asia
© Joel Godwin
Yes, Europe is home to traditional sightseer favourites, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Colosseum. When it comes to historical attractions, however, it just can’t compete with Asia.
Across the Asian continent lie some of the most wondrous works of the ancient world.
Take, for example, the Great Pyramid of Giza. Dating all the way back to 2580 BC, it is the only Wonder of the Ancient World to remain in pristine condition.
Meanwhile, the Great Wall of China is a magnificent feat of 7th century architecture that few British tourists ever have the honour of seeing up close.
India is home to the Taj Mahal, perhaps the most famous building in the world. Although it was commissioned in the year 1632, it hasn’t lost its mystique or its charm. Though it has been the backdrop of millions of photographs, the Taj Mahal must be seen in person if you are to fully experience its magnificence.
If you like soaking up history, a holiday in Asia is for you!
Best Time To Visit Asia
One of the major disadvantages of Europe is that it only offers a couple of months of sun per year. If you’re hoping for a beach holiday, you must plan your trip for June, July, or August.
This is a small window and many people struggle to arrange coinciding breaks from work. Meanwhile, the high number of people visiting Europe during these months means higher prices and less space.
Unlike Europe, Asia is home to many tropical countries. These countries tend to switch between two climates; dry and wet.
In Indonesia, for example, travellers can enjoy 8 months of beach weather between April and October. Things get a little rainy between November and March, but even then temperatures remain relatively high.
Thailand remains hot and humid all year long. During the summer months, temperatures have been known to reach as high as 40 degrees Celsius. Some travellers might find this a little much. If you are among them, consider visiting the country during winter.
Winter in Thailand can rival summer in most European countries, with temperatures rarely falling below 30 degrees Celsius.
Japan is a little more in line with European patterns when it comes to seasonal weather. In the summer, temperatures in Tokyo can exceed 30 degrees Celsius, but rarely get as high as 40.
In the winter, rain is not uncommon and temperatures tend to dip below 10 degrees Celsius. For some travellers, however, therein lies the charm. There is certainly something hauntingly beautiful about seeing Japan’s Shinto temples and shrines coated in snow during winter.