Advice: All about travel in Asia

Last updated 13:57 16/08/2013

From malaria worries in Asia to the top things to discover in Hong Kong and Vietnam...

If you have a travel question, email us at travel@stuff.co.nz. Include a nickname if you don't want to be identified.

Q: I am travelling to Ho Chi Min City, Hoi An, Hanoi, on the Bhaya Junk Boat, Halong Bay in Vietnam, then to Luang Prabang, Laos, & Siem Reap, Cambodia.

How bad is the malaria problem in these towns? I have bought some insect spray with 40% Deet, do I need to take any medication as well?

Most of the prescribed medication needs to be taken during travel and for 4 weeks afterwards, with various side effects which I don't want.

Thanks, Bev

A: Hi Bev, Currently in the main centres that you have mentioned, there is no risk of malaria.

You have done the right thing by purchasing an insect repellent that has 40% Deet.  This usually keeps them away.

However closer to your departure, it would be advisable that you check with your doctor to see if there have been any recent outbreaks.

Q: Hi there. If I'm spending 3 weeks in Hong Kong, which I visit for family reasons every few years now, how do I make the most of it without repeating activity types like trying restaurants or going shopping?

I want all things but I also want everything to be fresh and not feel repetitive or "touristy" and I want to include a few days of resting in-between. Cheers, Malcolm

A: Hello Malcolm, I would suggest you check out the Hong Kong Tourism website. It is really interactive, and they have an abundance of information, which is always changing to reflect new things happening in Hong Kong. 

They regularly post about interesting activities that you can participate in and often the activities are free.

They aren't always the 'typical tourist' tours either, they have fresh ideas and dates of festivals that are on during the time you are there. This way you can join in and make the most of your trip there.

Q: Hi, if we only have 2-3 days in HCMC in Vietnam what would be the "Must see things to do"? Thanks, Alison.

A: Hi Alison, Cu Chi Tunnels is a great tour to do - it takes half a day and you can see the area where the Vietnamese lived underground during the war.

If you want to pick up some local trinkets, then head to Ben Thanh Market - it is huge and has a great range of things to buy.

Go for a drink while the sun sets at Saigon Saigon Bar on the rooftop of the Caravelle Hotel - with its huge, wooden shutters it offers great views of the city.

Saigon is just a fascinating city to walk around with its historic buildings and large tree lined boulevards.

Do you have any tips to share? Leave a comment below.

If you have a travel question, email us at travel@stuff.co.nz and we'll get the experts at House of Travel to provide the answer. Include a nickname if you don't want to be identified.

- Stuff

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