Asia is certainly a region that is right on the doorstep of Australian holidaymakers. From most urban centres, you are able to fly for only a matter of hours and be launched into new experiences, cultures, traditions and lifestyles.
In fact, according to a recent Roy Morgan survey, four of the 10 top destinations for Australians heading overseas are in Asia. The region is relatively cost-effective when compared to Europe or North America, and with the favourable time zones it is easy to keep in touch with friends and family while away.
When discussing hot Asian destinations, there is no getting past both Japan or Myanmar – countries with rich histories and exotic spots for you to explore. Take a read of our guide to Japan and Myanmar below and reach out to the team at FBI Travel to get your holiday plan moving!
Japan – Land of the Rising Sun
One of the best elements of Japan is that it's truly unique, even within Asia. Isolated geographically from the mainland, Japan has developed considerably on its own and is now is in the top 10 countries based on population. With a drive for innovation and new experiences, Japan is quite rightly a hot destination for Australian tourists.
- Where to stay
In Tokyo, our recommendations are the newly-opened Aman Hotel, The Peninsula Tokyo and Mandarin Oriental. Each of these is within a short distance of the main Tokyo Train Station and the spectacular Imperial Palace on Chiyoda. Offering panoramic city views and luxurious furnishings, you can truly relax and recharge in the heart of the one of the largest cities in the world.
With the help of FBI Travel, you can take advantage of exclusive benefits and amenities to ensure your stay in Tokyo ticks all the right boxes. Of course, we can also recommend hotels and resorts in other major Japanese cities.
- Things to do
For many people, Japan is a bucket list essential. From enjoying the sensational food and beverages, to interacting with the enthralling geishas and walking through gardens straight out of a fairytale, there is something for any member of the family to enjoy.
However, if you are looking for a unique holiday, perhaps look into these attractions.
- Cherry Blossoms – Almost synonymous with Japan, cherry blossoms, or sakura, are bright pink flowers that illuminate gardens across the country. With a small viewing window during March and April, you need to book around a year in advance to catch them.
- Naoshima Island – Located in the Seto Inland Sea in Kagawa Prefecture, Naoshima Island is home to many contemporary art museums – perfect for any art fan. Featuring paintings from Claude Monet, Walter De Maria and James Turrell, it is best to allow at least two days to take in the artwork from every possible angle.
- Walking tours – While the best way to see Japan is by rail, it is sometimes good to experience the best the country has to offer with your own two feet. With the help of FBI Travel, we can organise both township type and upmarket walking tours to match your destination list.
- Hakone – In the heart of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park west of Tokyo, lies the sleepy town of Hakone, well-known for its uninterrupted views of Mt Fuji. Soak yourself in one of the many natural hot spring resorts while taking in the breathtaking views on a cool afternoon.
- Takayama – What this small town lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in beauty. Located in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu Prefecture, the village is home to the world famous Takayama Festival held both in spring and autumn. With large colourful floats and puppets, the festivals aim to firstly pray for a good harvest and then give thanks later in the year.
- Shirakawa – Accesible from Takayama by bus, Shirakawa is a UNESCO world heritage site. The region is famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses which resemble the hands of Buddhist monks. Of course, being high in the mountains, Shirakawa is also very pretty during the snow season!
Myanmar – Land of the Golden Pagodas
Bordering Laos, Thailand, Bangladesh and China as well as the Bay of Bengal, Myanmar's traditions and cultures are a well-crafted mix of old and new. With much of its chequered past behind it, Myanmar is a destination on the rise thanks to improvements in infrastructure and new hotels continuing to open. Tourists wanting a genuine Asian experience look no further than the hub of Myanmar.
- Where to stay
Including the capital Naypyidaw, Myanmar's urban expansion means it is possible to fly into many cities including the previous capital, Yangon, and Mandalay. Within each centre, there is a range of luxury accommodation available to enhance your holiday.
In Naypyidaw, our recommendations are the The Lake Garden Nay Pyi Taw – MGallery Collection, Hilton Nay Pyi Taw and Kempinski Hotel Nay Pyi Taw. Each of these hotels is ideally positioned near the centre of the city to ensure easy access to the raft of attractions nearby. Of course, with the help of FBI Travel, we can ensure you stay in the best hotel for your itinerary and personal requirements.
- Things to do
For the modern tourist, Myanmar is a fairly new location – undiscovered and filled with magical experiences ready and waiting. From the sun-soaked beaches along the Indian Ocean to the temples along the plains of Bagan, there is plenty to see and do in Myanmar. Here are some of the best ways to see this extraordinary country.
Here are our top Myanmar attractions.
- The Strand Cruise – Taking inspiration from original Strand Hotel in Yangon, The Strand Cruise showcases the special style and personality within Myanmar's Ayeyarwady river. Complete with luxury cabins, en-suite bathrooms and exquisite furnishings, your balcony is the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the river. At present, there are two itineraries available, each showcasing Myanmar in all its glory. FBI Travel can ensure you have exclusive benefits and amenities to have the best trip possible.
- Ngapali Beach – Many people forget about Myanmar's beautiful beach coastline. Positioned on the Bay of Bengal, Ngapali Beach is just one example with white sand beaches protected by tall palm trees. Of course, the azure warm waters of the bay further highlight this paradise.
- Bagan Temples – No trip to Myanmar would be complete without seeking out the Bagan Temples. Located south of Mandalay, the ancient city is home to more than 2,000 Buddhist temples and pagodas – many dating close to 1,000 years.
Asia is one of the world's hottest destinations at the moment, with brilliant locations on the doorstep of Australia. If you would like to discuss your next Asian adventure in more detail, feel free to get in touch with the team at FBI Travel today.