Southeast Asia, vast region of Asia situated east of the Indian subcontinent and south of China. It consists of two dissimilar portions: a continental projection (commonly called mainland Southeast Asia) and a string of archipelagoes to the south and east of the mainland (insular Southeast Asia). Mainland Southeast Asia is divided into the countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Vietnam, and the small city-state of Singapore at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula; Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, which occupy the eastern portion of the mainland, often are collectively called the Indochinese Peninsula
Southeast Asia is bordered to the north by East Asia, to the west by South Asia and Bay of Bengal, to the east by Oceania and Pacific Ocean, and to the south by Australia and Indian Ocean. The region is the only part of Asia that lies partly within the Southern Hemisphere, although the majority of it is in the Northern Hemisphere.
Southeast Asia is one of the most magical regions on Earth. The countries here are full of stunning beaches, historic temples, thriving jungles and bustling cities … so how do you choose where to go while staying healthy and safe
If you were to list the main reasons people choose to travel abroad: beautiful and exotic landscapes; unique local cultures; delicious cuisines; fascinating history; pristine beaches; great weather; exciting cities and remarkable architecture, you would be perfectly describing the appeal of Southeast Asia. Although it is somewhat of a travel cliché, this region really does have something for everyone, whatever your interest.
Southeast Asia is popular travel destination attracting millions of tourists every year. While changing conditions and events beyond our control can happen, this is very rare. When travelling abroad, always exercise vigilance over your belongings, particularly in crowded areas. Taking a camera strap and a money belt is a sensible precaution. If you need any further advice, our experienced travel consultants are on-hand and happy to help. There's always someone there to answer your questions about official government travel guidelines and the up to date information about security, local laws, passport and visa information.
We can arrange flights from many locations to any part of Southeast Asia with Vietnam Airlines, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines and other airlines. If you would like international flights included please ask us for more details on the numerous options available. Flights can be arranged in economy class or a premium cabin if this is your preference. International flights are not included as a standard part of our packages as we have clients coming to Vietnam from around the world and we like to give our clients the flexibility to make their own arrangements should this be your preference. Even if you wish to book your flights separately we are happy to provide advice about the best routes and prices. The first choice you have to make is whether to fly direct or via a European or Asian hub. Using a UK departure as an example, direct return flights from London Heathrow to Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City with Vietnam Airlines start from around £550 per person for an economy class ticket, depending on the season of travel. Indirect flights using another Asian carrier are likely to be a similar price, but may offer the benefit of more frequent departures and the chance to add a stopover in one of Asia's great cities as part of the fare.
In the majority of cases the answer to this question is yes, though passport holders of certain Asian nations are permitted an exemption for stays of up to 15 days. For visitors holding UK, US or Australian passports you will need to ensure that you have arranged a visa in advance of travel to Vietnam. Both Cambodia and Laos offer a visa on arrival option, though in Cambodia arranging this in advance using the new online e-visa service can avoid delays on arrival. For full details of requirements please contact our consultation.
Travel to Southeast Asia is a pleasure at any time of year - the decision of when will be the best time of year for you will depend on your own personal tolerance of heat and rainfall, and the activities you wish to include. Vietnam's length and varied topography combine to make it a challenging country to describe climatically. As most journeys cover the entire length of the country, however, it is highly likely that you will encounter rain at some point along the way; where this is most likely to fall and the impact it may have on your trip will depend on the time of year. In most cases rainfall is tropical in nature, meaning short intense storms that clear the air, rather than extended periods of rain. Like most of Southeast Asia, Cambodia and Laos are warm to hot year round and the climate is dominated by the annual monsoon cycle with alternating wet and dry seasons. June through October is wet season, with the winter months from November to May being largely dry. Temperatures begin to rise from March, reaching a peak of up to 40C in April and May. Travel is possible year round, although the period from November through to February is generally considered the best time for visiting both the interior and coastal regions of the country. Each season brings its own benefits, however, with rainfall rarely lasting more than a couple hours and the countryside is at its most lush and verdant during the rainy season.
Many of our trips include the support of either an expatriate tour leader, if you are joining a group tour, or an English-speaking guide if travelling on a Fully Tailored Journey. These people are on hand to ensure the trip runs smoothly and you are able to communicate freely as you travel. When visiting the more popular travel destinations in the region you will find many local people working in the tourist industry speak a decent level of English. Menus in some restaurants will have English translations, though we are firm believers in the universal language of pointing at something that looks tasty and smiling, if this is not the case! In summary we will make sure that you are well supported and don't need to have studied the language to get by, but you can be sure that any efforts to learn and use a few words will be much appreciated by your hosts! Our pre-departure information packs will contain a handy language guide, and your guide and driver will enjoy teaching you a few key phrases if you are interested.
Everybody spends a different amount when they travel, but Southeast Asia can be pleasantly inexpensive, and as eating out is very reasonable this helps keep costs down. Taxis, tuk-tuks and cyclos are generally reasonable - check with your hotel or guide what they suggest as reasonable as a certain amount of negotiation is often required to get the best rate. This principle applies to the purchase of most tourist souvenirs - haggling is part of the fun but don't get too carried away over the equivalent of 20 cents! As a rough guide we recommend USD 25-50 per person per day as a good amount to cover basic costs on a two week trip. This should cover your meals, a couple of drinks, local transport and any entrance fees. What this won't cover are significant souvenir purchases, or meals at the more upmarket hotels or restaurants.
Despite Southeast Asia becoming way more civilized over the past dozen years, travel in many parts of the region remains a considerable risk. Injury, illness, or theft of your valuables, so far from home, may end up costing you far more than you bargained for, creating long-term financial burdens for you and your loved ones. Before flying here, consider buying travel insurance. Accident, cancelled flights, or property loss may cost more than you could possibly afford. A good policy can save your life and your financial security.
Most international mobile phones will work in all the Southeast Asian countries, and coverage is excellent, often in even the most remote locations, but you are likely to incur high "roaming" charges. If it is important for you to keep in touch then you may like to consider purchasing a local SIM card on arrival. This is relatively inexpensive and your guide will be able to assist should this be of interest. If you plan to use your own mobile phone then we recommend contacting your phone contract provider in advance to ask about service availability and costs for receiving and making calls whilst abroad.
Although there is little general culture of tipping in the region, it has increasingly become an expected part of life in tourist-related industries. In general no tip is expected at restaurants or in taxis, but it is generally accepted that those working in the tourist industry supplement their income through the tips they receive from their clients.
All travelers You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel:
Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.
CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Southeast Asia, regardless of where you are eating or staying.
You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Southeast Asia. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.
You may need this vaccine if your trip will last more than a month, depending on where you are going in Southeast Asia and what time of year you are traveling. You should also consider this vaccine if you plan to visit rural areas in Southeast Asia or will be spending a lot of time outdoors, even for trips shorter than a month. Your doctor can help you decide if this vaccine is right for you based on your travel plans.
You can get hepatitis B through sexual contact, contaminated needles, and blood products, so CDC recommends this vaccine if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.
When traveling in Southeast Asia, you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, depending on your travel plans, such as where you are going, when you are traveling, and if you are spending a lot of time outdoors or sleeping outside. Talk to your doctor about how you can prevent malaria while traveling.
Rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and other mammals in Southeast Asia, so CDC recommends this vaccine for the following groups: • Travelers involved in outdoor and other activities (such as camping, hiking, biking, adventure travel, and caving) that put them at risk for animal bites. • People who will be working with or around animals (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, and researchers). • People who are taking long trips or moving to Southeast Asia • Children, because they tend to play with animals, might not report bites, and are more likely to have animal bites on their head and neck.
There is no risk of yellow fever in Southeast Asia. The government of Southeast Asia requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. This does notinclude the US. If you are traveling from a country other than the US, check this list to see if you may be required to get the yellow fever vaccine: Countries with risk of yellow fever virus (YFV) transmission.
Your doctor can help you decide if this vaccine is right for you based on your travel plans. Note: Yellow fever vaccine availability is currently limited. If you need to be vaccinated before your trip, you may need to travel some distance and schedule your appointment well in advance. Find the clinic nearest you.
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