Asia offers a variety of cultures, history, and locations unmatched worldwide. It is a remarkable place to sail and explore by yacht because of its extensive tropical coastlines, exotic destinations, amazing beaches, and a wide variety of marine life. This page explores general information about Asia that will help you plan your vacation.
Getting to Southeast Asia
International flights from the US, Europe, and Australia will come into the main airport hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong. There will also be direct flights from Europe to Phuket and Bangkok in Thailand. Within the region, there are dozens of national and regional airlines to choose from. Over the last few years, budget airlines have grown tremendously, including Tiger Airways, Jetstar, and Air Asia. Most of the established tourist destinations will issue tourist visas on arrival. Some of the newer sailing regions such as Cambodia might require a visa application in advance.
There is a range of activities you can enjoy during your sailing holiday in Southeast Asia. Some of the world’s top dive sites are located in Malaysia and Thailand, the surfing in the Andaman Islands and some parts of Indonesia is world-class, and fantastic snorkeling can be found in almost every bay and inlet. Or, how about whale-watching in Indonesia, or game fishing in the Similan Islands and the Andaman Islands, or a visit to a spa in Thailand? The possibilities are endless.
The diverse peoples of Southeast Asia, of course, speak a wide variety of languages and dialects. However, English is spoken widely, especially in big cities and tourist areas.
The climate in the Asia region is mainly tropical, with year-round heat hovering around 30°C and varying levels of humidity. The region straddles the equator, and so the seasons north and south of the equator do vary. Typically, there are two main seasons. The dry season is hot, dry, and sunny, and this is the tourist high season. The off-season, perhaps wrongly named the wet season, certainly has daily rain showers, but long periods of sunshine often follow the showers. This leads to all-year-round sailing weather in places like Thailand.
One of the other great attractions of the region is the Asian cuisine, world-renowned as a feast for the senses with its unique flavors and spices. Major influences in Southeast Asian cuisines have come not only from China and India but also from the introduction the chili by the Portuguese in the 16th century, which now provides the basis and “heat” for so many Southeast Asian dishes. As in Chinese cuisine, the aim is to achieve a harmonious balance of textures, temperatures, and the four basic flavors; sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.
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