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.
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.
– Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Rice Fields in Jatiluwih
– 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
As a British citizen, you don’t have to worry about getting a visa for Indonesia. All you need is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months to receive the free, 30-day Visa On Arrival (VOA).
If you want to stay longer than 30 days, you can apply for a VOA over 60 days, also on site. This costs about 35 AUD and can be extended for another 30 days.
As every year, there are cases of Rabies, it is better to get vaccinated. If you or someone in your area is bitten by an animal, the wound must be thoroughly cleansed and sterilized immediately. Visit a doctor as soon as possible. You should also protect yourself against Malaria and make sure that your Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccines are up-to-date.
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.
If you want to rent a car, you should have an International Driver’s License.
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.
– Immerse yourself in the crazy hustle and bustle in Bangkok (Chinatown, Temple, the neighborhood Patong at night, Little India)
– 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
In Thailand, you don’t need to apply for a visa for stays under 30 days in advance either. You get a stamp in your passport on the spot, as long as it is valid for at least 6 more months, from the day of entry.
However, if you plan to stay in Thailand for more than 30 days, you have to apply for and receive a visa from a Thai consulate prior to entry.
The recommended vaccines for Thailand are: Typhus, Hepatitis A and B. It is also recommended to be vaccinated against Rabies, to have the tetanus vaccine updated and to get protective anti-malaria drugs. If you want to travel in rural areas, consider getting vaccinated against Japanese Encephalitis. Especially during the rainy season (June-October) you should follow this advice.
The peak season in Thailand runs from November to February. In the north of the country, the dry season is between November and May. It is also slightly cooler between October and January. From June to October there may be heavy rains.
In the south-west, the wettest months are between April and October. In the south-east, it rains a lot between October and January. The rest of the year should be sunny and dry without exception.
To drive a car in Thailand, you need an International Driving License, which you can easily purchase from the Road Traffic Office. The import of cigarettes is limited to 200 pieces per adult.
Until a few years ago, Vanuatu was a little-known destination. Today, this attractive destination is very popular among travelers 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.
– Visit the small traditional village, Ekasup on the island, Efate
– 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
You don’t need to apply for a visa in advance. Upon arrival to Vanuatu you will be issued a Visitor Visa. This is valid for one month and can be renewed. However, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your scheduled departure. On your arrival, you need to show proof of your return ticket.
Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccinations as well as anti-malarial treatment are recommended for visiting Vanuatu.
Since Vanuatu has a tropical climate, you can get acquainted with the land and its people throughout the year. Especially good are the conditions between April and October (between 18 and 28°C).
There are a few showers between November and March, but that should not affect your stay.
Most driver’s licenses are generally valid in Vanuatu to rent and drive a car.
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.
– Dive with giant bull sharks
– 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
You don’t need to apply for a visa in advance. On site you receive a free tourist visa, which is valid for 4 months.
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 is no specific vaccination required. Depending on the nature of your trip, Hepatitis A and B are always recommended as well as a Typhoid update. If you also want to travel to Rotuma island, an influenza vaccine A / H1N1 is highly recommended.
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.
You can introduce 250 grams of tobacco and 2.25 liters of alcohol per person.
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.
– Swim with turtles and sharks on the Perhentian Islands
– 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 Malaysia and the Sabah State: If you stay less than 3 months, you don’t need to apply for a visa in advance. However, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months upon entry.
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.
It is recommended to get vaccinations against Typhoid and Hepatitis A. If you want to travel to rural areas, you should also take anti-malaria drugs.
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.
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.
– Explore Ha Long Bay on a boat – 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
Since 2015, you no longer need a visa to travel to Vietnam if you stay less than 15 days. For $10 you can extend your visa for another 15 days. Upon entry, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months.
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 plan to visit the border regions of the country, you should undergo a malaria prophylaxis treatment. It’s best to get vaccinations against typhoid, hepatitis A and rabies.
If you want to travel to more rural areas (especially during the rainy season), you should probably get vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis as well.
The best time to visit Vietnam is during spring (February to March) and autumn (August to October). The temperatures are pleasant and it rains only a little.
Note: The Vietnamese celebrate the New Year’s Moon between 21 January and 20 February. During this time, the country is moving in slow motion. Most local authorities, infrastructure, health care, banks, ticket counters and museums are closed.
You can drive in Vietnam with an international driver’s license. If you ride a motorcycle or scooter, you must wear a helmet.
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.
– Explore the city of Luang Prabang, UNESCO World Heritage Site
– Discover the Thakek Loop and the serpentines of the plateau on a scooter
– Boat trip on Mekong
– Stroll through the KARSTIQUE region in Vang Vieng
– Relax on the 4,000 islands of Cambodia
– Visit the islands of Koh Russei, Koh Rong Samoleom and Koh Rong
– Discover the ruins of Angkor Wat, Khmer, former capital
– Walk through Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia
– Experience the nightlife of Siem Reap
– Try windsurfing on the beaches of Sihanoukville
You need a visa for these two countries, which you buy for about USD 30 (for both countries) upon your arrival. They ask you for two passport photos and a passport that’s valid for at least 6 months upon arrival. The tourist visa is valid for one month and can be extended for one in Cambodia and for another two months in Laos. If you want to play it safe, you can request the visa in advance online.
As for all Asian countries, it’s best to get a vaccine against typhoid and hepatitis A. As cases of rabies occur occasionally, it makes sense to keep this vaccine updated too. If you’re traveling during the rainy season or traveling in rural areas, you should also protect yourself against malaria and have a vaccine against Japanese Encephalitis.
The best time to visit Cambodia is between May and early October. Here the climate is warm throughout the year and temperatures rarely fall below 20 ° C. The monsoon, from May to October, is characterized by short showers in the afternoon. In the dry season, from November to March, the days are hot and dry. In Laos, the dry season lasts from October to April and the rainy season from May to September. The hottest months of the year are March, April, May and June, with temperatures around 30°C.
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.
– 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
Since 2018, you can not only get an e-visa but also an Express Visa. You request it online and receive it by e-mail within 24 hours. The e-visa costs $ 50 and the Express Visa $ 56.
You can use your visa within three months after the issue date, but once you enter the country it’s only valid for 28 days.
– Passport (valid for at least 6 months after the date of departure and at least 3 free pages)
– Plane ticket or proof of departure within 4 weeks
– Completed application form
– Proof of accommodation, itinerary or travel agency, on an organised trip
An update of the usual vaccinations is mandatory (diphtheria, tetanus, polio, whooping cough). Furthermore, they recommend Typhoid and hepatitis A vaccines as well as rabies for longer travels in rural areas. If you want to travel to rural areas during the rainy season, vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis may be beneficial.
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.
In general, prices for accommodation in Myanmar are a lot higher than in any other Southeast Asian country. As the country was not prepared for its sudden popularity as a travel destination, they can’t accommodate a lot of people. Therefore, it’s best to book your accommodation well in advance, especially if you visit between October and March.