Best iPhone apps for traveling in Asia

Pic: Pixabay.

LIKE grains of sand on the seashore there are now so many iPhone Apps to help you with your travels, it gets a bit hard to know where to start looking.

However, with that idea in mind  – giving you a head start – here are some apps to consider for your next sojourn.

With the myriad of languages throughout Asia, having an app to translate phrases is an absolute must. The iTranslate app works with more than 90 languages, including Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Malay and Korean. And while it won’t replace an actual dictionary or phrasebook, it might get you out of a few tricky situations – if you can work out how to pronounce the words correctly! FREE

iTranslate app. Pic:

Metro Asia
Take the ease out of metro/subway travel in Asia with up to 69 maps and info across 61 cities, like Beijing, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Seoul on the Metro Asia app. US$1.99

This handy little app claims to hold the world’s largest wi-fi database, finding you free wi-fi all over the world based on over 500 million hotspots. The app tell you what kind of venue it is, how reliable the connection is, and even if they have good coffee! This is particularly handy if your hotel doesn’t offer wi-fi services or you forgot to made a note of other options. In this case, the app lets your fingers do the walking first. FREE

XE Currency
App users can monitor up to 10 currencies at a time on this useful little app. The rates are up to the minute, so you can check out the exchanges listed by airports, banks and other desks as you walk past them. Not bad. FREE


UNESCO World Heritage

If you have a thing for all things related to world culture and heritage, then this offer by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd is just the thing for you. All world heritage sites from 1978 to 2014 are covered with photographs and information, such as site classification and the year they were inscribed. Users can also mark sites they’ve been to as “Visited” and access offline location maps. Thanks to the number of heritage sites in Asia, you’ll be kept busy with this app. US$4.49


This app is the perfect accompaniment for those who wish to check out all aspects of domestic and international flights. This means being able to check the real-time status of gates, delays, cancellations and maps from more than 3,000 airports and 1,400 airlines. You’ll also be able to look up the weather forecast for travel locations and compile all your travel details and itineraries under one app. US$4.99

Uber & Grab
When it comes to ride-hailing apps, Grab and Uber have basically got you covered. Grab, a more regional app, covers up to 29 cities in 6 Asian countries, while Uber has a wider coverage, with a presence in up to 73 Asian cities in more than 10 countries. Both apps are FREE

Popular ride-hailing apps, Uber (left) and Grab.

Popular ride-hailing apps, Uber (left) and Grab.

This is an app that comes recommended by many for restaurants, cafes and bars around Asia, Australia, New Zealand and even the Middle East and South Africa. Need a sandwhich or a good coffee in Singapore or Seoul? Use this app and find out where to go. FREE

Many people were probably used their website before this app came along – and for good reason. Weather geeks will love it. There are storm alerts, multi day forecasts, radars, videos and satellite imaging.  FREE