Do I need a visa to travel to Asia?
Generally speaking, you will need a visa or a travel permit to visit most countries in Asia if you are traveling from North America or Europe. Tourist visas are not hard to get, and we can help point you in the right direction throughout the process. Check the visa requirements
for more specific information.
Is tipping customary in Asia?
It all depends on where you are. As a general rule, tipping is appreciated when you receive excellent, friendly, or expert service. There are certain countries, like Japan, where tipping is countercultural, but otherwise it is largely at your discretion. Each country has more specific norms for tipping as well.
What is internet access like in Asia?
On the whole, internet access throughout Asia is improving considerably, with WiFi available in many parts of the more developed cities and countries (like Beijing, South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong), and prolific cyber cafes throughout most major cities as well. The countries that are less developed tend to have less internet access across the board, but it is usually still offered at the nicer hotels. The parts of rural Asia tend not to have internet access. There are several countries (China & Vietnam among them) that have reliable access but strict censorship rules.
Can I use my cell phone while in Asia?
While you can purchase international plans or stick to the WiFi networks, the most common option for people hoping to use their phones while abroad is asking their service provider to unlock their GSM-capable phone and then buying a SIM chip when they arrive at their destination airport, which allows access to the local network. You will probably be out of range of cell towers in certain parts of the Asian back country.
Do I need power adapters?
Asia has a diversity of outlets, but the most common are the US-style (A&B - two or three prongs, grounded) or various two round prong European styles (C, E, F). There are also a mix of other styles, so you should check each country page for more specific information. Power is generally 220-240v, but you probably won't need a converter for most 110v devices.
What are the toilets like in Asia?
The majority of toilets throughout Asia can be characterized as squat toilets, or toilets that you don't actually sit on. It can be tough to get used to them, but you'll catch on quickly. The other kind of toilets are the Western style bowl toilets, which can be found on most cruise ships or in nicer hotels. You should always carry extra toilet paper in case the bathroom you are in does not have any.
Can I drink the water in Asia?
Other than Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea, you cannot drink the tap water throughout Asia. You can use it to bathe, but drinking water will be provided to you either bottled or purified.
Are credit cards accepted in Asia? Will I be able to find ATMs?
It's a tossup. Asia is home to some of the most developed cities in the world, like those of Japan, Korea, and China, and some of the most isolated corners of the world as well. Our recommendation is having multiple forms of payment available, like several cards and safe amount of cash in pocket, just in case. Bigger cities throughout Asia tend to have a lot of ATMs and businesses that accept cards, however the further you are from the cities, the less likely it is that you will find a vendor that accepts credit cards or an ATM, so make sure to have cash on hand.
Should I purchase travel insurance?
Yes! Having travel insurance is very important, so check out our Once You're Booked
page for more details on the discounts available via our associate TravelGuard Insurance.