Temple of Literature in Hanoi

Culture & History vacations

As the home of the world’s oldest continuous civilization, Asia’s culture and history is deep, rich, and infinitely interconnected.

So, where to begin? It all depends on how you like your history. You could do it Indiana Jones-style, weaving through vine-strangled temple complexes in Cambodia’s ancient Angkor Wat temple complex at dawn – or if you’re interested in more modern history, you could learn about the darker moments in Southeast Asia’s recent past with a visit to the Bridge on the River Kwai. Looking for a more multisensory cultural experience? Then why not see how Vietnam really says “good morning” with a coffee tour of Saigon?

In a nutshell: if you're looking for an Asian vacation rich in culture, look no further. Here are our best Asian culture and history itineraries, top cultural destinations and the best cultural tours and excursions, all tried and tested by our country experts.

Our top itineraries for culture & history lovers

A selection of itineraries that offer a deeper insight into the country's heritage and traditions

$1,500
Classic
Culture & History

Delve beneath Hong Kong’s shiny surface to explore the rich Chinese and colonial heritage that shaped it.

$900
Classic
Culture & History

Dim sum, neon signs and stunning skyline views: indulge in the classic experiences that have made Hong Kong an icon.

$2,400
Classic
Architecture
Culture
Culture & History
History

How did Thailand become Thailand? Follow the threads of history back to the kingdoms and cultures that shaped Thailand today.

$2,900
Classic
Active
Adventure
Cruising
Culture & History
Scenery

Experience two unique but intertwined cultures as you cruise along the Mekong from northern Thailand to Laos.

$2,800
Classic
Activity
Culture & History
Food & Drink
Hands on

This action-packed itinerary is all about full immersion: getting to grips with Malaysian culture by experiencing it first-hand.

$3,300
Classic
Activity
Adventure
Culture & History
Scenery
Wildlife

Covering both Sabah and Sarawak and balancing wildlife with culture, this itinerary proves Borneo is about much more than orangutans.

Top destinations for culture & history lovers

Our favorite culture rich places in Asia

Malaysia

With a history stretching back through colonial rule and the Age of Exploration, Malacca’s Portuguese fortress and lantern-strung Chinese temples make it one of the best places to get a sense of Malaysia’s long and turbulent past.

Malaysia

World Heritage architecture, 130-million-year-old rainforest, world-class street art and a countryside peppered with spice gardens and durian groves: the island of Penang is an intoxicating medley of natural and cultural treasures.

Malaysia

Once a tin-mining boom town known for its seedy nightlife, Ipoh has remade itself. Stellar street-art, Western-Malay fusion cuisine, and a clutch of elegantly dilapidated galleries and cafes make this one of Malaysia’s trendiest cities.

Borneo

A wide variety of indigenous and immigrant cultures combine to form Kuching’s unmistakable cultural mélange, expressed not only in its historic architecture and ethnic diversity, but in its legendary laksa, multicolored cakes and freshly blended gourmet coffee.

Cambodia

The laid-back, low-rise town of Siem Reap is the gateway to one of the most spectacular man-made sights on the planet: the sprawling, root-strangled ruins of Angkor.

Cultural and historical guided tours and excursions

Our best cultural tours and excursions

Siem Reap
Culture & History

Magnificent in both scale and artistry, half-supported and half-consumed by buttress-rooted silk-cotton trees, the temples of Angkor are among the most fantastic man-made sights on the planet.

Hong Kong
Culture & History

Just 60km across the Pearl River Delta, the Portuguese enclave of Macau makes a fascinating counterpoint to Hong Kong.

Penang
Architecture
Culture & History
History

Begin learning about George Town’s 200-year history over a breakfast of freshly baked Bengali bread, then delve into its Chinese roots with a visit to the former HQ of one of the city’s Five Great Clans.

Hong Kong
Culture & History

Where better to begin a tour of Hong Kong Island than its highest point?

Singapore
Culture & History

Raffles, Victoria, Cavenagh, Fullerton: Singapore is peppered with British names and opulent buildings, but how does the city square all this grandeur with the legacy of colonialism today?

Bangkok
Culture & History

Before Bangkok became famous for its busy nightlife and glitzy malls, it was known as the “Venice of the East”: threaded through with hundreds of canals (or khlongs) and lined with teakwood homes and shrines.

Luang Prabang
Architecture
Culture & History

Luang Prabang has seen numerous cultures come and go in its 1,500 years, but what makes it so special is the way it has fuzed those traditions together to create something completely new.

Hanoi
Culture
Culture & History
Insider

Hanoi is a maze of streets, a hotch-potch of eras, a tangle of stories.

A woman lights incense at a shrine

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