During a Working Holiday in Australia or New Zealand, many of us choose to travel in Asia or the Pacific Islands. As you surely know, the Working Holiday Visa allows you to leave and re-enter the country as many times as you like as long as your visa is valid. Therefore, it makes sense to pay a visit to the neighboring countries. Many of them can be reached in just a few hours by plane. We would like to introduce you to the most popular destinations in Asia and the Pacific. To help you with your travel arrangements, we’ve put together a lot of interesting information so you can get the most out of your trip.
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Many of you are likely to break the journey to the red continent with a stopover. If you are traveling from the UK, Indonesia is just on the way. If you are already in Australia, you just hop on a plane for a few hours. Many airlines offer good prices, making Bali the most popular destination for working holiday makers in Oceania.
Bali has a tropical climate, which means it is warm and humid throughout the year. The wet season lasts from November to March, whereas it is a bit drier the rest of the year. The peak season in Bali is in July and August and during the Christmas holidays. So the best time to go is between April and June, and in September, before the high season starts.
– Go out to the popular bars and clubs in Kuta and Canggu
– Admire corals and wonderfully colored fish in the fishing village of Ahmed
– View the temples in Uluwatu, Tanah Lot and Bedugul
– Experience the traditional culture of Ubud
Easy to get to and very cheap, these are just two reasons why Thailand is one of the most popular backpacker destinations. After a few hours on a plane you are already there. Due to the low cost of living (especially in comparison to Australia), you can actually afford life there despite a tight budget.
The high season in Thailand is from November to February. In the north of the country, the dry season is between November and May; from June to October, there is heavy rainfall. Temperatures are cooler between October and January. The south can be divided into two: the wettest months on the west coast are between April and October; and the east coast experiences heavy rainfall from September to December. During the rest of the year, the weather is dry and sunny.
– Experience the traditional culture in Chiang Mai and hike through the jungle
– Dive into the turquoise ocean on Koh Tao Island – Celebrate the Full Moon on Koh Samui
– Kayak in the bay of Phang Nga and admire the spectacular limestone cliffs
For stays of more than 30 days, a visa is required. The application is made at the Thai Consulate abroad.
Until a few years ago, Vanuatu was a little-known destination. Today, this attractive destination is very popular among travellers from Oceania and affordable even for tight travel budgets. A true paradise on earth! Port Vila is just a 3.5-hour flight from Sydney and you find numerous low-cost flights to get there relatively cheaply.
With a tropical climate, Vanuatu can be visited all year round. However, the weather is particularly good between April and October (between 18 and 28°C). Between November and March, the rainy season sees some showers, but this will not spoil your stay.
– Shopping in Port Vila – Experience the marine life on the island of Espiritu Santo
– Watch traditional dances
– Admire the active volcano Yanur on the island of Tanna
– Swim in the “millenium cave” in Santo
In the south-west of the Pacific Ocean, the island group Fiji is spread over 300 islands. Some of these islands are inaccessible for many travelers, as they are exclusive for guests of luxurious resorts. Nadi Airport (on the West Coast of Viti Levu) is the gateway to the Fiji Islands.
The best time to travel in Fiji is from late March to early December when it’s warm and sunny. The rainy season lasts from November to April with heavy local showers and a risk of (mild) cyclones
– Visit one of the local clubs in Suva
– Enjoy the sublime beaches of the islands of Mamanuca and Yasawa
– Experience the local culture in Navala
– Admire the caves of Sawa-i-lau
The only condition is that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your departure. On arrival, you will also show proof of accommodation and a return ticket.
There are two different parts of Malaysia. In the west, you find a modern and sophisticated country with skyscrapers and an oil industry. In the east, however, the country is still wild with sublime beaches, tropical islands and small fishing villages. These two sides are separated by a gigantic mountain jungle (Taman Negara), one of the oldest forests in the world.
The climate is hot and humid all year round. The wet season goes from November to February. On the West Coast, the rainiest months are April and October. On the contrary, these are the driest months of the year on the East Coast.
– Climb the Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpur (KL)
– Tea tasting in the Camerons Highlands
– Admire the street art in Penang
– Immerse yourself in the history of the colonial era in Malacca
– Climb Mount Kinabalu on Borneo
For the Sarawak State, you have to purchase a one-month permit upon arrival at one of the airports, Kuching, Miri or Sibu. If you stay longer than 3 months, you need a long-term visa, which you can apply for at the Malaysian Embassy in your home country.
Only in 1990, Vietnam opened their doors to tourism. A wonderful country that has kept its authenticity and still lives mainly from agriculture. There you find the famous Ha Long bay and the Mekong Delta. Vietnam is fantastic for everyone who loves culture and nature, but is on a tight budget.
The best times to visit Vietnam are during spring (February to April) and autumn (August to October). Temperatures are mild and rainfall is moderate.
Please note: The Lunar New Year is celebrated between late January and late February. During this period, the country is in slow motion. Local government, health facilities, banks, ATMs and museums will be closed.
– Spend a few days in the Sapa mountains
– Stroll the streets of Hanoïs (Temple of Philosophy, Ho Chi Minh Museum, Old City) – Admire Ha Long Bay from Tam Coc
– Tour on the Mekong Delta
If you want to stay in Vietnam for longer, you apply in advance for a visa at the Vietnamese Embassy. This costs about USD 25.
If you want to travel to more rural areas (especially during the rainy season), you should probably get vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis as well.
Laos & Cambodia
Laos is a land of water, with fertile plains, mountains, and a multitude of temples. Cambodia, on the other hand, will intrigue you with its authenticity and the contagious and benevolent smiles of its inhabitants.
These two less touristy countries are amazing for travellers looking for authenticity and wild nature.
The best time to visit Cambodia is from May to early October. The climate is warm all year round with temperatures rarely falling below 20°C. The rainy season, from May to October, is marked by brief afternoon showers. The dry season, from November to March, has hot, dry days.
In Laos, the dry season lasts from October to April, and the rainy season from May to September. There is heavy rainfall particularly between July and September. The hottest months of the year are March, April, May and June and temperatures are around 30°C.
– Explore Luang Prabang World Heritage City
– Discover the Thakek Loop and the Bolaven Plateau by scooter
– Take a boat trip down the Mekong River
– Walk through the karst landscape of Vang Vieng
– Relax at the 4000 Islands
– Visit the islands of Koh russei, Koh rong samloem or Koh Rong
– Discover the ruins of Angkor Wat, the ancient Khmer capital
– Stroll around the city of Phnom penh, capital of Cambodia
– Enjoy the lively nights in Siem Reap
– Try windsurfing on the beaches of Sihanoukville
Since the country started moving towards democracy and opened their doors to tourism, Myanmar has become an increasingly popular destination. In Myanmar, you will discover some of the most magical places on earth.
The best time to travel to Myanmar is between November and February, during the dry period. There is heavy rain fall in the largest city Yangon from June to October. During this time you should avoid the south of the country, where cyclones are common. The inland stays a bit drier. Between March and May, the heat is hard to bear.
– Enjoy the sunset from the pagoda (temple) Paya Shwedagon, in Yangon
– Take a boat trip on the Inle lake and visit the stilted fishing village
– Explore the sites of Bagan by bike or on a hot air balloon
– Climb Kyaiktiyo Mountain
– Explore the beaches in the south of the country
New Caledonia offers a diversity of stunning landscapes. From white sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters to lush tropical forests and pristine coral reefs, the natural scenery of the island is spectacular.
Whether it’s diving, hiking, kayaking, fishing, or windsurfing, New Caledonia offers a multitude of outdoor activities for water sports and adventure enthusiasts. You can explore hiking trails, snorkel in lagoons, or enjoy thrilling water sports.
New Caledonia enjoys a tropical climate with pleasant temperatures throughout the year. The dry season, from May to October, is generally considered the best time to visit the island, with cooler temperatures and less humidity. However, even during the rainy season (November to April), you can still experience beautiful sunny days.
– Isle of Pines: Famous for its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, the Isle of Pines offers a picturesque setting ideal for relaxation and underwater diving.
– Grande Terre: The main island of New Caledonia is home to the capital city of Noumea, as well as natural sites such as the Blue River Provincial Park, the Farino waterfalls, and the striking rock formations of Hienghene.
– Loyalty Islands: Comprising Lifou, Mare, and Ouvea, the Loyalty Islands offer beautiful beaches, rich Kanak culture, and exceptional diving opportunities.