Summer in Asia is a hot embrace, thanks to the dry spell that covers most part of the continent. In the southern and southeast regions, there’s an occasional rain; this is the cooling part of the climate. If not, you’ll be wrapped up with a thick, humid air – that’s all thanks to the body of water that surrounds most archipelago. Your summer Asian holiday, however, is all worth it, for you’ll be blessed with many enchanting structures and spectacles that only happen on this side of the world. So, pack your bags, and get ready to roll; turn your watch a few notches forward, and experience an unusual summer away from your regular window.
Summer in Asia #1
Even with the skyscrapers towering all over you, you’ll find Tokyo unrelentingly hot. People around walk sluggishly as if melting under the gravity of the sun. Your best companion? A hat and a fan. The wonders start at night, where, during this season, local festivals called matsuri are held. This celebration is a delight to see; floats are paraded, lanterns are lit, and locals dress in their native kimonos as they gather in shrines to pay for their gods. You too can join them, and perhaps find luck for yourself too!
The streets will be crammed with food stalls where you can eat the local fare – takoyaki balls, candy-dipped apple, and other favourites. Deep within the evening, the sky will explode with fireworks, and people will be partaking with their favourite sake in full festivity.
Summer in Asia #2
New Delhi, India
The warm glow of the sun setting through the skies is one of the best views in New Delhi, which offers a plethora of activities for you to enjoy. If you’re looking for new hobbies, you’d love staying at Noida, where India’s first natural ice skating rink is lodged. People come together, zooming with their skating shoes as if it was winter. The heat outdoors might be too much to take, but you can definitely find comfort in sweet treats like Ice Gola, the local summer coolers, which sports a rainbow of colours – an easy feast on the eyes. Mangos are the country’s special treats, for they are only available during this season. If you’re lucky, you might even chance upon a mango festival in Pitampura, which features more than a thousand varieties of this fruit!
Summer in Asia #3
Seoul, South Korea
In Seoul, you’d be sweating buckets, but around you are people dressed in brightly coloured clothes, fashionable sunglasses and easy sandals that help them survive the weather. Find some relaxation at the green parts of the city, where you can take a sit on the hilly side for a relaxing contemplation or gaze at the serene wonder of Han River. What do the locals do to conquer the heat? Eat bingsu, a dessert made from shaved milk, topped with cream, fruits and some adorable sprinkles. The red bean bingsu is the main flavour of this concoction, but you can try less foreign options, like a strawberry or mango variant.
At night, Seoul lights up with its beautiful castles aglow under the evening sky. Spend your time with your friends at one of the stalls, drinking and eating.
Summer in Asia #4
The world-class city is sizzling during this season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the holiday. Instead of staying out in the sun and watching Merlion spit out water, you can, instead, enjoy the many fun venues the city has to offer. During the day, visit Universal Studios and enjoy rides to your heart’s content. At night, rediscover your love for animals as you take a ride at the Night Safari. Embark on a journey that takes you from the views of Africa to the Himalayas; tigers, lions, tapirs, leopards and other wild animals proudly show off their beauty during the ride.
If you’re an avid shopper, Orchard Road will quell your cravings. At Fifth Avenue, carry your bag and explore the line of stalls, ready to serve you with great deals.
Summer in Asia #5
China’s capital becomes verdantly sun-lit with its many summer activities. Up the mountains, the weather is cooler, but if you’re staying in the city, one thing you can do is to enjoy the outdoor and public pools. Order up cold dishes, ice pops and iced coffee from your favourite restaurants to cool your body down. One thing the locals do to defy the heat? Spicy dishes!
If you’re not into tangy flavours, you can ease into comfort by spoiling yourself in one of the local spas. And then, stay at the city’s tree-covered parks where you can watch the modern skyline while being surrounded by nature.
Summer in Asia #6
In the Philippines, Manila shines in summer, being used to the heat. Here, you can take a stroll at the national parks while riding a kalesa – a horse-driven carriage which is still a popular form of transportation in the city. Visit its many museums, including Fort Santiago, one of its war traces, and Rizal Park, where the national hero Jose Rizal stands tall underneath the clear, unobstructed sky.
For foodies, you’re in for a treat; the locals love international fares as much as they adore their homegrown gastronomy, including adobo and sinigang. Make sure to ride a jeep, and visit one of its majestic cathedrals, some of which still carry Hispanic artefacts.
Summer in Asia #7
Here, the weather is less oppressive than the country’s drier seasons: April and May. The air is balmy, the nights are steamy. Carry an umbrella and expect a drizzle to cool down the parched earth. Walk around in slippers, just as the locals do, and explore the temples during your stay. Head to the Grand Palace and take wonderful pictures of the sacred shrine of Wat Phra Kaew, which stars a reclining Buddha.
Refresh your eyes with the watery walls of Siam Park City, which features giant aquariums, water parks and rides. At night, enjoy a walk at Patpong, which lets you get great bargains as you haggle with the local vendors.
A delight in the eyes and the heart, spending summer in these Asian cities will leave you with a pleasant memory. Take photos, write a blog, and tell all about your exciting journey, for these stories are too wonderful not to share.