When we were planning our family gap year, we knew we wanted to spend a lot of time in Asia. Kate had been to Japan and China before and wanted to explore Southeast Asia. James spent time in East and Southeast Asia as part of his previous job but we’d never traveled here as a family.

You could spend years exploring all that Asia has to offer but ultimately we decided to spend most of our time in Southeast Asia, along with Hong Kong and Japan. We spent almost half of our year in this part of the world and thoroughly enjoyed all of the diverse experiences. We met so many wonderful people and now have four out of five family members using chopsticks! We’ve tried more noodle dishes than we can count and are so proud off all the different types of dishes the kids will now eat.

Our list of places in Asia is now probably longer than when we started and we’re excited to return again in the future.

Our Asia stops during our family gap year:

Bangkok, Thailand

Bali, Indonesia

Lombok, Indonesia

Gili Trawangan, Indonesia


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Ipoh, Malaysia

Penang, Malaysia

Krabi, Thailand


Ha Long Bay and Hanoi, Vietnam

Da Nang, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hong Kong

Okinawa, Japan

Hiroshima, Japan

Onomichi, Japan

Osaka, Japan

Kyoto, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Learn more about our Destinations or our prior adventures in Europe