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Like a local: 5 ways to get around Asia with Contiki

A group of people traveling down a canal in Asia.

When you think ‘transport’ you think long, painstaking journeys. But with Contiki, travelling between breathtaking Asian destinations is part of the fun. Here are 5 ways to get around Asia that will blow your mind…

Long-tail boat in Thailand

If you, like many of us, have drooled over picturesque images of Southern Thailand and Thai Islands, you’ll be familiar with the sight of a traditional Thai Long-tail boat floating on the water. Traditionally fisherman’s boats, Longtail boats are a common sight on Thai beaches, perfect for getting from one Island to the other. Craftsmen often get super-creative with their designs, so no two Long-tail boats are the same. There is truly no better way to experience Thai Island life than kicking back on a Long-tail boat and spotting tropical fish as you sip on mango juice. Take it from us…

A group of people traveling down a canal in Asia.

Bullet Train in Japan

Japan is an impressive country when it comes to pretty much all things. The food is mind-blowing, the culture is fascinating, and even the way they get around is pretty damn cool. As one of the fastest trains in the world with speeds reaching up to 320 kilometres per hour, Japan’s bullet train isn’t just a super quick way to get around – it’s a bonafide Japanese bucket list experience. Hop on one of these bad boys and you’ll be across the city before you can say “I’m craving some miso soup.”


Tuk Tuk in Thailand

As the saying goes; if you don’t Tuk Tuk in Thailand, you’re simply not doing it right. Okay, we just made that up – but seriously, Tuk Tuk is where it’s at. As the successor of the original rickshaw, this humble mode of transport is so embedded into Thailand’s DNA that it could easily be the national emblem. The colourful red, green and blue Tuk Tuks line the streets of Thailands main cities and towns, and the friendly drivers are always a laugh. Pro tip: hold on tight to the handles, Bangkok traffic can be a little cray…


A man driving a rickshaw in an Asian city.

Rickshaw in India

In India, there’s only one true way to get from A to B, and that’s by rickshaw. These colourful three-wheeled motor vehicles have been navigating India’s roads for 100-odd years. They’re nifty enough to weave through back streets, while still being open enough to keep you close to the action of the bustling markets and breathtaking architecture you pass. The bonus? No boring commutes here: most vehicles are adorned with trinkets and iconography, meaning there’s plenty to look at – that is, if you’re not distracted by the mouthwatering aromas of India’s street food…


Overnight Trains in Thailand & China

Sure, you may have nodded off on the last train home after a night on the town, but there is truly no authentic overnight train experience that matches up to the one you’ll have in Thailand. It’s an equal parts super cheap and environmentally friendly way to get around this huge lush country. Not only will you meet some awesome fellow travellers, but it’s also a great way to see the breathtaking surrounding scenery. With yummy snacks on the train to keep you fortified, and hours of overnight entertainment – you’ll never experience anything like it.