Tag - vietnam

Warm and affordable winter escapes

by Tim Rowley,
It’s getting towards the end of November, the number of Christmas ads on TV is increasing and the temperature outside is dropping. If you’ve got an urge to head off to sunnier climes before Christmas, after it, or wish to avoid it completely, then it’s worth noting there are some great cheap late holidays out there to be had.

Curium Beach, Cyprus credits: CyprusPictures

Curium Beach, Cyprus credits: CyprusPictures

Escape the winter and soak up the rays that are only a mere three hours away from the UK: cheap holidays in the Algarve, for example, start from around £200. For a hundred pounds more, the warm and hospitable island of Malta awaits you. The Costas on mainland Spain enjoy average year round temperatures of low thirties, dipping only slightly throughout the winter months. Across the Mediterranean, the fabulous cuisine and comfortable climate of Cyprus is also a popular winter option. For those who prefer it warmer still, heading to the North African countries of Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt will guarantee even more sunshine and higher temperatures, not to mention an abundance of exotic markets, ancient histories and cultures or fabulous diving.

If you are looking for a ten day or longer break, then long haul flights or holidays to Asia might be worth considering. The price of air travel to Asia is offset by the cost of food and accommodation once there, making a Far Eastern break cost around a thousand pounds for two weeks in the sun. It is entirely possible to catch a plane over to Ho Chi Minh for approximately £700 and then head to the coast, city or countryside on landing, at a much cheaper price than going on a packaged holiday.  All that is required to enter and explore the fabulous country of Vietnam is a pre-arranged Visa.

  Vietnam - Ho Chi Min ,Credits: Eric Borda

Vietnam – Ho Chi Min ,Credits: Eric Borda

That isn’t to say, however, that package holidays do not represent good value for money. Package holidays for families or all inclusive breaks are often the best deals – even in the holidays including in the winter break when prices tend to increase. However it pays to shop around either online or in travel agents for the best deal. There are, for example, currently package holidays to Goa in December for a fortnight on offer for less than six hundred pounds.

So, whether you want to hit the Mediterranean this winter, or have the time to lose yourself in the mystically rich and shimmering awesomeness of some Asian countries, check out the price of winter flights, hotels and packages, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Top 10 Asian Places to See Before You Die

Lhasa, Tibet

The Potala Palace, Credit, Headseast

The Potala Palace, Credit, Headseast

One of the most fascinating cities in Asia, Lhasa has to be top of the list. Home to the iconic Potala Palace, Drepung and Sera Monasteries and Jokhang temple, this has to be one of the most spiritual places on earth. The smell of incense, yak butter and burning rosemary seems to linger in the air. Don’t let he Chinese visa and permit formalities put you off – just go!

Hoi An, Vietnam

Easily the most charming town in the whole of South-East Asia, Hoi An isn’t all about the tailors. There’s also fantastic food, an almost deserted beach and beautiful colonial architecture. Rent a bicycle and soak up the atmosphere.

Bhaktapur, Nepal

Bhaktapur, Nepal

Bhaktapur, Nepal

Not far from the capital, Bhaktapur’s architecture and UNESCO status easily lures travellers down its narrow streets. A great place to pick up pottery and other souvenirs, a walk through its crooked alleys feels like a trip back in time.

Luang Prabang, Laos

Often referred to as a tonic for the soul, Luang Prabang has something for even the most jaded traveller. There’s the fantastic temples and monuments, the incredible food, the tree-lined colonial boulevards and the orange-robed monks collecting alms. The relaxed atmosphere is so infectious it’s easy to get stuck here on your Laos holiday. Don’t fight it, just go with the flow.

Angkor Temples, Cambodia

One of the few places that really does live up to all that hype. There truly is something magical about the incredible temple complexes at Angkor. Perhaps it’s the sheer volume of temples, the size, the intricate detailing, or the age of these incredible structures. Whatever the reason, scrambling through the jungle ruins and clambering up ancient steps, makes you feel like a real explorer when you are travelling through Cambodia

Ko Tao Island, Thailand

Without a doubt Ko Tao has some of the best diving in the country. Brightly colored coral and tropical fish are the perfect bait for those seeking to gain their PADI certificates. But it’s not all about the diving; unlike many other Thai islands, Ko Tao has a real chilled-out feeling and beaches that are often deserted during the day – since everyone else is out diving.

Pushkar, India

Pushkar Lake, credit agratours

Pushkar Lake, credit agratours

Numerous temples, stunning Pushkar lake and a market you could get lost in, this should be an essential stop on your trip to India. Try to stop by in November and catch the Pushkar Camel Fair and see who wins the infamous longest moustache competition.


The Great Wall, China

As impressive as it sounds; the Great Wall of China should not be missed. Trekking along the wall will take you a few hours’ minimum and work up quite a sweat, especially in the summer months. But the feeling you’ll get when you reach the end of your journey is unbeatable. Try to opt for the less visited sections of the wall for a more authentic, though unstable,experience.china-travel-smiling-man

Everest Base Camp, Tibet

Better viewed from the Tibetan side, Everest fills those who view it with awe. Stay on the right side of the Everest Guesthouse for views of the mountain from your window. While, there you can also visit the highest monastery in the world at Rombuk.

Plain of Jars, Laos

Plain of Jars, Laos

Plain of Jars, Laos

The enigmatic Plain of Jars make a great day trip from Phonsovan. Rather than visiting all the fields one after another, it’s best to break them up with trips to local villages. There are numerous producing Lao Lao (Laotian Whisky) and some can even offer you lunch. Need some more inspiration or want to build your perfect South East Asia holiday? Check out our South East Asia Itineraries.
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