Asia Basic Information
While you’re getting ready to immerse yourself in the chaotic and colourful world of Asia, make sure you read up on your destination before your arrive to avoid any cultural misunderstandings. For instance, pointing with your feet is considered rude in Thailand, Brunei and Malaysia; pouring your own drink is a faux pas in Korea, lateness is considered impolite in Japan, and topless sunbaking in public is a major no-no in most Asian countries. For more insider info before you go, read on.
Visa requirements differ between countries in Asia. For example, Australian passport holders will not need to obtain a visa in order to travel to Hong Kong, Japan or Thailand, but will need one for entry into China or India. If you are travelling on a passport from a country other than Australia, some destinations may require you to obtain a visa that may not apply to Australian passport holders. Please be aware this information is only a guide. For accurate and up-to-the-minute visa information for your passport and holiday destination, refer to the country's local embassy.
Asia uses a variety of country-specific currencies including Japanese Yen, Chinese Yuan, Indian Rupees, Indonesian Rupiah, Singapore Dollars, Hong Kong Dollars and Thai Baht. For the exact info on your travel destination’s currency, see our currency section.
With diverse flavours and exotic ingredients, it’s no wonder Asian cuisines are popular all around the world. But for authentic tastes and variety you can’t go past sampling specialties like pho and pad thai in their country of origin. From fragrant spiced curries and flat breads in Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Thailand and Malaysia to the nuanced flavours and fresh produce in Japan, Korea and Vietnam, take your taste buds on a trip through the delicacies of Asia. Dare to be different and don’t be afraid to sample the street food, regional specialties and local produce to immerse yourself in the lifestyle and culture of each country whether that be knocking back snake blood in Vietnam, chomping on fried crickets in Thailand or holding your nose while trying durian fruit in Indonesia.
With a roaring tiger economy, Asia’s cashed-up kids have it all in the mega metropolises of Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bangkok and Mumbai with sky-high bars, decadent lounges, Euro-style warehouses and hole-in-the-wall clubs. The island and resort towns party just as hard too with full moon parties, half moon parties and any excuse for beachside revelry and hedonistic behaviour, particularly in Goa, Bali and Thailand. Get a taste of pop culture in East Asia with karaoke bars in Tokyo, K-Pop in Seoul and Canto-Pop in southern China and Hong Kong. Some of your best nights while travelling though will undoubtedly be found in a dive bar in a small remote village off the beaten track in Cambodia, Vietnam or Thailand. Just sayin’.