Taking a cruise to Asia is far more than just a vacation, the Far East is a land of intrigue and enchanted secrets. Home to some of the most incredible sights in the world, the magical continent of Asia boasts different cultures, exotic cuisine and rule-breaking architecture.
With so much to do and see, shore excursions are a the best way to experience you time on land.
So here in no particular order is some of Asia’s best:
1. Elephant Experience, Bangkok.
Riding an elephant is a bucket list adventure that many wish to do when they go to Asia. Offering a change to connect with huge beasts, this unique excursion is definitely one of my favourites. The tour usually start with a talk about these incredible animals and a chance to feed and stroke them. Soon after, the real adventure starts as you climb up onto the elephant and start your tour. The elephant will take you through tropical jungles and rivers on an unforgettable journey.
2. Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
This temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world was first a Hindu, then subsequently Buddhist. The temple was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaivism tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious center since its foundation.
The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture which got major influence from Kalinga architectural style. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors.
3. Hirosaki Castle, Japan.
Hirosaki Castle is a picturesque, triple moat structured Japanese castle set in the beautiful city of Hirosaki. The tower holds lots of history with walls covered in samurai swords, helmets and armour from the past. The castle itself is surrounded by over 500,000 square meters of lush woods and trees, making it the perfect excursion for picture taking.
You will have a narrated tour of the castle as well as a guided journey on the way to and back to the ship. This excursion is one for those wanting to explore the more historic sights of Japan.
4. The Red River Delta Tour, Vietnam.
Board a motor coach for a journey through the rural areas of the Red River Delta, the river that joins to the Red River in northern Vietnam. This excursion gives you the opportunity to experience a taste of real life in Vietnam as you wander local villages. You will leave the coach at various points to explore different areas. One of the most fascinating is when you walk through small lanes leading to a village renowned for its betel nut production. A very informative, but fun tour that will enhance your knowledge of this fascinating area and leave you with a feeling of admiration.
5. Taya Caves: Yokohama, Japan.
Taya Caves are an incredible underground maze of tunnels and one of the most exciting things to explore in Japan. You will be given a candle as you enter the caves and begin a guided walk through these unusual and winding cavities. Silent corridors lead to small, domed chambers that boast walls carved with Buddhist images. Full of history, these caves really give you an insight into some of the country’s most fascinating past.
6. Nantian Hot Springs: Sanya, China.
The Nantian Hot Springs are home to the largest open-aired hotspring base and offers you a relaxing excursion to enjoy bathing in these natural springs.
The resort offers you a choice of pools set in a tropical and luxuriant setting. Some of our favourite baths include a coconut milk bath, coffee pool, chine herb bath and the Nibble fish bath, where small fish will remove your unwanted skin particles. This is definitely an excursion that will leave you feeling tranquil and relaxed.
7. Night Safari, Singapore.
The night safari is the world’s first nocturnal zoo and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Singapore. This excursion offers an exciting experience for you to get up close to some of Asia’s most remarkable wildlife. As you travel through a jungle lined with thick vegetation you will be amazed by your sightings of various wild animals roaming around freely. At the end of the tour you will normally have time to walk around the purpose-built jungle trails for a closer encounter with the animals.
8. Monkey Beach: Penang, Malaysia.
Monkey Beach is situated in the beautiful Penang National Park and is only accessible by boat or a hiking trial. Once you arrive to the beach by small boat you can let the relaxation begin as you have the whole day to yourself on this beautiful beach.
Surrounded by clear blue water and under the canopy of coconut palms, this island is home to the amusing long-tail macaque monkeys. You can watch them entertain you as you take in the sights, catch some rays and enjoy a traditional lunch. A perfect excursion for a relaxing way to experience an Asian beach day.
9. Snorkel at Phi Phi Island: Phuket, Thailand.
Phi Phi Island is one of the most beautiful, picturesque islands in the world and home to some of the best snorkelling. It has been said that many people only go to Phuket to visit Phi Phi Island. You can enjoy the beach and amazing views before you don your snorkelling equipment to swim with a variety of stunning marine life. Boasting one of the world’s most abundant coral reef systems, the snorkelling sights you will see are astounding.
10. City Tour, Hong Kong.
A city tour of Hong Kong is a must if your cruise stops here as it is one of the most colourful and striking cities in the world. Make yourself comfortable in a relaxed, air conditioned coach as a tour guide narrates your journey around this historical city. You will see Hong Kong’s famous landmarks including Man Mo Temple, Golden Bauhinia Square and Repulse Bay. Be sure to take a camera as the tour will make various stops at the top attractions.
Dust off your passport fellow cruisers… I will see you there 🙂