We are now settled in China, which means it’s time to sit down and start some serious travel planning!

Since we live in the southern city of Shenzhen, we are excited for our new travel opportunities for the following reasons:

  • We can see Hong Kong from our apartment window
  • Guangzhou is only a thirty minute train ride away
  • Destinations like Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Hanoi, and Taipei are a short flight away.

The possibilities for travel are almost endless, and frankly, we are having trouble deciding what Asian holiday to do first.

It’s not a bad problem to have!

Travel planning might be one of our favorite activities, researching airfares and hotel deals in dozens of cities before coming to a decision. We like it so much, we have selected a few of our favorite one week itineraries for possible trips within Asia. What can we say? We like options.

These Asia trips are just the tip of the iceberg. We brainstorm vacations so much, we’ve put 52 itineraries together in an eBook which is yours completely free. You definitely can keep yourself busy for a lifetime following our trail or taking ours as inspiration for your own.

Just sign up for our monthly newsletter (at the end of this post), to get a copy of eBook “52 One Week Vacations” instantly! From perfect Asian holidays, to adventures in South Africa, Europe, and beyond, it’s the perfect inspiration for travel!

From Vietnam, North to South

This itinerary provides a great overview of a fascinating country. Start in Hanoi, the northernmost large city, making stops at the Temple of Literature and the former home of Ho Chi Minh. Stick to the small street side restaurants for your meals, with dishes like pho and bun cha being whipped up on nearly every block. You can walk through the frantic Old Quarter, where the narrow streets and alleys are arranged by trade. There are also a variety of water puppet shows that are popular in Hanoi.

Perfect one week Asian holidays to Vietnam

From Hanoi, fly to Danang, and hire a taxi to drive to Hoi An, one of the prettiest towns in Vietnam. This port town has influences from Europe, China and Japan in its Old Town, with many French style buildings surrounding the Chinese Assembly Hall and a Japanese covered bridge. Hoi An is famous for its tailors, so if custom clothing if your thing, you can get fitted for a new outfit at an affordable price.

Perfect one week Asian holidays to Vietnam

To finish the trip, fly from Danang to Saigon (or Ho Chi Minh City) to explore the city and learn about its history around the Vietnam War. Check out the Reunification Palace, home to South Vietnam’s surrender, and the War Remnants Museum. Saigon also has beautiful French colonial architecture, including the Notre Dame Basilica.

Perfect one week Asian holidays to Vietnam

Bangkok and Chiang Mai

Thailand is an exciting, thrilling country with much to see and eat! Begin the trip in Bangkok, the capital and largest city. You could spend a day exploring the various food markets dotted around the city, or tuck into some of the famous Thai street food. Definitely don’t miss the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

To get around, hop on the fast and efficient ferries that run along the river, or hire a tuk tuk to zoom through the city streets. If you like massages, try a Thai massage, which are intense and extremely affordable.

Perfect one week Asian holidays to Thailand

Perfect one week Asian holidays to Thailand

Hop on an overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, one of the most beautiful cities in all of Southeast Asia with a historic old town center. Renowned for its cuisine, make sure to eat plenty of the local specialities like Som Tam and Khao Soi. Or better yet, take a cooking class and get to know the ingredients first hand. Head out into the countryside to visit the Doi Suthep temple complex and be prepared to climb the 300-step stairway, that affords stunning panoramic views of Chiang Mai, making all the stairs worth it.

Perfect one week Asian holidays to Thailand

Highlights of Japan

There is a lot to see and do in Japan in only a week, so the options are almost limitless. To hit some of the highlights of Japan, start in the capital, Tokyo. You can explore the famed Tsukiji Fish Market if you are an early riser, or Shinjuku’s Memory Lane, packed with tiny restaurants and bars down a narrow alley, if you want some late night fun. We’d also recommend the Imperial Palace, a tour of the National Museum, or enjoying downtime in the many parks.

Perfect one week Asian holidays to Japan

Perfect one week Asian holidays to Japan

From Tokyo, hop on a two hour train to the sacred city of Nikko, with history dating back almost 1,200 years! You can walk amongst the various temples and shrines scattered around the city, and see the red-lacquered Shin-kyō bridge, one of the town’s most famous landmarks.

The final destination is Kyoto, a three hour bullet train ride from Nikko, which has no shortage of history either. Formerly the capital of Japan for almost 1,000 years, there are thousands of temples around the city. You can learn about geishas in Gion district or enjoy a break at a traditional Japanese tea houses. Kyoto is also the site of the Nijo Castle, once home to Tokugawa Shoguns. For food, make sure to indulge on a kaiseki, the traditional Kyoto-style multi-course meal.

Perfect one week Asian holidays to Japan

Perfect one week Asian holidays to Japan

The Best of Bali

Bali is an Indonesian island known for its volcanic mountains, rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. It’s also famous enough that most people have heard of it, either as a honeymoon destination or a backpackers’ paradise. Given a full week on the island, you can certainly cover a lot of ground and experience the best that Bali has to offer. Base yourself in the lovely area of Nusa Dua, which has its share of upscale resorts, but is also a nice backdrop for the mellow evenings you’ll want to have after exploring like crazy during the day.

Perfect one week Asian holidays to Bali

Perfect one week Asian holidays to Bali

Temples abound on Bali, and some of the more well-known temples are Tanah Lot, Besakih and Uluwatu. If you can arrange to visit any temple around sunrise or sunset, the amazing photos will be worth it! In Ubud, the central city, visit Ubud Monkey forest, the Tegalallang Rice Terraces, and Pasar Seni, a lovely art market. In Kintamani, home to Mount Batur and the Caldera Lake you can take a hiking tour that starts around 4am to climb the volcano for sunrise. If you want to see a totally different side of Bali, check out Kuta Beach, a grittier side of the island known for its insane parties, spring break vibe, and global selection of good food at any budget.

Perfect one week Asian holidays to Bali

Like what you see more Asian holidays? To find more fantastic travel itineraries, sign up for our monthly newsletter below and receive your free copy of our eBook “52 One Week Vacations.”

FANCY A DRIVE WITH US?
SUBSCRIBE TO RECEIVE OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER AND OUR AWESOME EBOOK, “52 ONE WEEK VACATIONS”, WHICH SHOWCASES FABULOUS TRIPS THAT CAN BE DONE IN ONE WEEK!
  • June 25, 2017

    Thanks for the Bali tip on staying in the Nusa Dua area. My partner and I are planning to go there in a month’s time! So many nice places to visit 🙂 It’s not a bad problem to have as you say haha!

  • June 25, 2017

    I’m pretty envious of your “problem” hehe. How awesome are your travel options now! Out of all the options personally I’d love to do the Vietnam one. Danang to Hoi An sounds great, I’d especially love all the different cultural influences there. Japan is one of my favourite countries and your itinerary sounds perfect for one week. Thanks for sharing!

    • June 26, 2017

      The Vietnam one is pretty awesome, and we just booked a trip to Japan in October, so looking forward to exploring it for the first time!

  • June 25, 2017

    This is such an awesome post! I’ve recently returned home from a month in Japan, and it was amazing! Such an incredible country in so many ways. I have wanted to visit Vietnam for quite a while too, and although not on this list, I’m dying to visit Thailand! Hopefully later this year my partner and I will make it there. Thanks for such a great post! So many awesome tips about places in Asia to visit 🙂

    • June 26, 2017

      A whole month in Japan?! Sounds awesome! We are heading there in October, so let us know if you have any great tips!

  • June 25, 2017

    I have only been to Bali out of the four destinations you mentioned. The itineraries sound great and well thought out.

  • June 25, 2017
    Megan Jerrard

    Nice guys! I’ve always been envious of those who live in Europe or Asia – so many incredible trip possibilities on your doortstep! Living in Australia we’re 8 hours from the closest International hub (discounting NZ of course) – totally agree that travel planning is often the funnest part of a trip. Dreaming up itineraries is almost like living vicariously through them!

    Looking forward to following your adventures using China as your doorstep!

    • June 26, 2017

      We hung out with an Australian couple last night in Shanghai who were saying the same thing! The 9 hour flight to China wasn’t really that bad for them, considering flights to Europe and US are much, much longer!

  • June 25, 2017

    This is an awesome list of ideas. We are coming to Hong Kong and hopefully Shenzen in November. We did notice too how easy and cheap it is to travel to so many places from there.
    Natasha recently posted…Review: The Old Town Barcelona walking tour with Local GuddyMy Profile

    • June 26, 2017

      Sounds like a good trip! Let us know if you need any tips! Always happy to help.

  • June 26, 2017

    These are fantastic itineraries to get a taste of each of these countries! My partner and I are based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia where we work in education, and we have several long holidays throughout the year. Bali is on our radar for late this year, so might just be following your advice! Pinned this to reference later and signing up for your e-book. Great pictures too by the way!
    Jen Joslin recently posted…Learning Traditional Weaving at Ock Pop Tok in Luang Prabang, LaosMy Profile

  • June 27, 2017

    This seems like an amazing plan. I would love to visit all of these places as well.

    Shenzhen obviously is a great place to be located.

  • June 27, 2017

    Hi Drew,

    I loved seeing one of the 45 million tailors in Hoi An LOL. All were awesome, professional places. I found it funny this little town in the rice fields of Central Vietnam became a tailor haven. Restaurants there were good money too. Especially the Dingo Deli! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…16 Reasons Why I Will Trash Your Blog Comment (and 16 Corrections To Create Sweet Blog Comments)My Profile

  • June 28, 2017

    It must be so amazing to have a different home base! It makes local travel so much different. I have always lived in Ontario, Canada and I feel like living in Asia would open a whole new world of possibilities.
    Lauren recently posted…Birds of Box Elder County – A Wildlife ParadiseMy Profile

  • June 28, 2017

    This is a great overview of some awesome destinations. I’ve been to Vietnam and am headed to Bali next week. It must be amazing to see Hong Kong out your window and know that so many other places are so accessible to you. Happy adventuring!

  • June 29, 2017

    I am a slow traveler and I admire people who can squeeze in a lot of activities in a week’s time and go to different countries.And you even did Japan! I know some people who did a week Asian trip but mostly at the banana pancake trail (Southeast Asian mainland). Thank you for sharing your itineraries. This will be good for people who plan to take a break from work and discover places as much as they can in a limited time frame.