When thinking of going on holiday in Asia, the last thing that may occur to you is a driving retreat. However, this can be a great way to explore nations and get away from the major tourist attractions that are often packed with so many people that you find it difficult to actually enjoy yourself. Utilising vehicle tours and even using hire cars and heading out on your own can be a great way to immerse yourself in local culture and discover places that you never would have normally seen. And whilst a self-driving tour will require quite a bit of pre planning, it can be extremely worth the effort.
If you’re not brave enough to head out alone, then Asia has a huge number of ready prepared tours and guides that you can utilise to your advantage. In Thailand the Siam Safari is a popular trip and you can explore the inner jungle of Phuket by vehicle, elephant ride and periods of short hiking. Meanwhile, in Malaysia’s Koto Bharu there are some fantastic jungle tours, allowing you to visit Orang Asli village where you can meet local tribesmen and women, try using a blowpipe and learn about medicinal plants.
Whilst heading on a guided tour can be a fantastic way of discovering more about a place, self-guided driving tours are the ultimate excitement for total cultural immersion. Driving on your own really provides a sense of adventure and, unlike a guided tour, you won’t be rushed from place to place and can journey at your own pace.
One great driving tour is in Kuala Lumpur and sees you enjoy a roundtrip taking in Batu Caves, Cameron Highlands, Penang, Koto Bharu and more. Taking seven days your adventure will start at the Batu Caves Hindu Temple just outside of Kuala Lumpur. Another ideal stop on the first day is the Butterfly Farm in the Cameron Highlands. Day 2 will see you travel to Penang where the colonial architecture of Kellies Castle can be enjoyed, before day 3 allows you explore Georgetown and its sights such as Kapitan Keling Masjid and the Goddess of Mercy Temple. Day 4 offers the chance to drive through the Malaysian mountains as you head towards Koto Bharu for day 5 and start to drive homewards back to Kuala Lumpur on day 6 and 7.
Another fantastic self-drive journey is in Thailand and offers the ability to drive the four days between Phuket and Samui Island. Over the four-day period you’ll be able to take in rubber plantations, James Bond Island, the stunning National Park of Tharn Bookorani and the ancient Wat Phra Maha. Finally arriving at your destination you’ll then be able to enjoy the luxury of Samui Island and the beautiful beaches and scenery it provides.
An Asian driving holiday can be the ideal way of exploring far beyond the reaches of normal tourists and backpackers, allowing you to get a unique perspective of the countries and places on your tours. And by utilising car hire companies to your advantage you’ll be able to enjoy a journey like no other.