I’ll admit I haven’t been covering Asia travel as much the past couple months since living in Latin America has made me pay more attention to what’s outside my door. So in an attempt to make up for it, here are some things worth knowing if you’re heading off to that part of the world sometime soon.
Asia is the biggest travel growth market this year. Tourism is up 7 percent overall this year so far, but it’s not Europe that’s seeing a jump. The growth in Asia tourism has been nothing short of phenomenal, thanks in no small part to those restless Chinese. Here are the official year-over-year increases in some of the cheap destinations: Sri Lanka (+49%), Vietnam (+35%), Myanmar (+35%), and Thailand (+14%). For Thailand to be up that much after a coup and riots is especially amazing.
Just ask Stuart at Travelfish.org. He’s got a great chart on accommodation bookings made through their site after the riots started and subsequent actions got worse: What happens when you set your capital on fire. I presume it’s been rising nicely again.
Arthur Frommer says Japan is crazy expensive now that the yen has risen 30% against the dollar in the past two years after already being strong before. With China’s currency artificially low, that’s a much better option.
Some people will pay $11 to do this just to brag about it on Facebook: Singapore’s airport now has a huge slide inside that’s 40 feet high.
One of the great things about traveling in Southeast Asia is you can feel much richer than you really are. Here’s a current guide to getting custom clothes made in Hoi An, Vietnam.
Only part of Istanbul is in Asia, but I more than half like this post from Alison Stein Wellner: Staring at the evil eye in Istanbul.