Inspiring Travel in Asia
Exceptional Experiences Vol II
Volume 2 in our series of ‘Exceptional Experiences Across Asia’ is a beautifully presented and inspirational brochure that has become an essential sales tool for clients who want to portray the very best leisure travel options in Asia.
Designed to inspire and educate on the luxurious travel options available across each of the 11 destinations in our network, products are focused around four engaging themes, connecting travelers to the intangible qualities that make Asia so unique. These themes include Family, The Arts, Spiritual and Highlights. Along with the classic touring options that never lose popularity among visitors is an enticing selection of new and experiential ideas; from practicing Zen in rural Hanoi with Buddhist monks to exploring Beijing’s hutong alleyways with an expert in Chinese arts and enjoying a family day out in futuristic Odaiba Island in Japan.
To download an online copy of the brochure, click on the link below.
Open an e-version of Exceptional Experiences Vol 2
The Japanese Street Food Island of Nakasu
Enjoy an evening walk with a local guide through the Nakasu district in Fukuoka city centre. Fukuoka’s open air food stands (Yatai) are possibly the city’s best known symbol. Yatai can generally seat about seven or eight people and provides an atmospheric outdoor environment to enjoy various foods that are simple and delicious.
There are over 150 yatai scattered across Fukuoka, but the best place to find them is on the southern end of Nakasu Island. Located in the middle of the city, Nakasu Island has a long row of approximately 20 yatai that sit peacefully along the water’s edge. During the program, guests also dine on a bowl of tonkotsu ramen, noodles that are a known specialty of the city. The tour introduces the rare aspect of street food dining, a tradition less common in Japan than in other countries in Asia.
Take a Colonial-style Chevrolet Bus in Bagan
Offer clients a unique way to travel in Burma with the lavishly restored antique post-Colonial Chevrolet passenger bus. The service is about to launch in Bagan and is an excellent option for smaller groups or VIP guests. The vehicle is not powered by an old and loud 6 cylinder Perkins engine, but instead a modern and silent 6 cylinder Nissan, secured with a safe and modern air-brake system, new strong chassis frame and new axles.
The seating configuration allows 6 to 8 passengers to travel in comfort. This luxurious post-colonial bus forms part of a fleet that has been named the ‘Elephant Coach’, owing to their powerful and silent nature.
A Sacred Tattoo in The Siam’s Opium Spa
Visitors to Thailand can now leave with a sacred tattoo thanks to The Siam Hotel in Bangkok that recently begun offering a unique sacred tattoo service. In its Opium Spa, the hotel has opened a studio that specializes in Sak Yant, a Southeast Asian form of sacred tattoo art that’s recently become popular among tattoo enthusiasts.
Artist Arjan Boo manages the small studio that sits within the majestically designed hotel. After receiving their tattoos, guests are taken to the temple to have their ink blessed which is believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck. The Siam is an ultra-luxurious hotel conceived by creative director and celebrity Krissada Sukosol Clapp, together with globally acclaimed architect and interior/landscape designer Bill Bensley. The overall setting reflects the period of Bangkok’s greatest grandeur under King Rama V (circa 1853-1910), with Art Deco accents.
Reinvigorating Luxury Travel on Sumba Island
In collaboration with Nihiwatu Resort, a high-end surfer’s paradise perched on the coastline of the tranquil island of Sumba, Destination Asia Indonesia can now offer a spa experience of exceptional luxury. Hidden among palm trees, close to the surf, the concept of luxury travel is being reinvigorated with an exotic combination of tranquil remoteness and understated hedonism.
The program is based on a new excursion offered by Nihiwatu Resort. The day starts with a 90-minute trek from Nihiwatu Resort to Nihi Oka through the surrounding forest. A guide talks guests through the changing environment as they pass by local wildlife and traditional villages before stopping in a traditional Sumbanese village. Following breakfast they are escorted to a private sanctuary by their two spa therapists who will perform any number of pre-selected treatments. The spa is nestled amidst cascading rice paddy fields with uninterrupted views over the Indian Ocean.
Life Along the Red River Delta in Vietnam
Unveil local life from the floating settlements on Halong Bay to hilltribe villages in Mai Chau town. Destination Asia Vietnam can assist with booking an excursion on the resplendent RV Angkor Pandaw Halong that sails through the heart of Vietnamese life along the Red River Delta in Northern Vietnam.
Travelers can now explore the key sites of Northern Vietnam by river, traversing the Red River Delta and connecting the wonders of Halong Bay with the excitement of Downtown Hanoi. Sailing deep into Highland Vietnam, we discover the mountain villages and a number of tribal areas. The boat will cruise as far as navigable up the Song Red River, before then returning down the little known Da or Black River on a 10 night discovery program.
Angkor Wat Tops ‘Ultimate Travel List’
The long established travel publication Lonely Planet recently published a 500 best places to see on the planet, creating the definitive bucket list for every type of traveler. To create the ‘Ultimate Travel List’, their travel team on the ground rated the world’s best sights and hidden attractions, bringing together the 500 best places to visit in the world.
Securing top position of the Ultimate Travel List was Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The stunning Angkor Wat temple complex covers an area of 400 square kilometers and contains the magnificent remains of the Khmer Empire dating from 9th to 15th century. Located next to Siem Reap, the historic temples are a must-visit destination for any traveler.
Singapore’s Colorful Mid-Autumn Festivities
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also called ‘Mooncake festival’, is a 1,000 year-old-tradition and the Chinese equivalent to Thanksgiving. It is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar when the moon appears at its fullest and brightest. Chinese families around the world will gather during the festive month over fragrant tea and festive goodies such as mooncakes and pomelo to celebrate harmony, family unity and togetherness. This year the festival falls on Sunday 27 September.
During the Mid-Autumn Festival it is possible to enjoy many colorful festivities taking place throughout Singapore. Visit the beautiful night market in Chinatown and don’t miss the opening ceremony on Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road. Nightly shows take place at Kreta Ayer Square and join the extravaganza as everybody gathers for the Mass Lantern Walk.
White Swan in Guangzhou is Ideal for Groups
The White Swan Hotel is a historic property in Guangzhou that has hosted over 40 heads of state since 1983. It closed for a year to renovate and reopened on July 15th of this year. Located on Shamian Island overlooking the Pearl River and facing the White Swan Pool, the hotel is an excellent choice for large incentive groups with ample facilities including 520 rooms and numerous places of interest nearby. The Ancestral temple of the Chen Family was a place for both offering sacrifices to ancestors and for study. Now it serves as the Guangdong Museum of Folk Arts and Crafts, and is a beautiful example of Guangdong architecture.
Another nearby attraction is the Dr Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. Constructed between 1929 and 1931, this monument to the forerunner of the Chinese democratic revolution was constructed by the people of Guangzhou and overseas Chinese. The hall is a grand octagonal building in typical Chinese style and is an important place for conferences and performances.
Discover Ipoh’s Tin Mining History
Tin Mining is one of the oldest industries in Malaysia, and Ipoh, “The City that Tin Built”, became the meeting point of all the commercial centers of the Kinta Valley. An interactive and engaging experience is now available to educate today’s generation in the rich heritage of tin mining in Ipoh.
Lost World Tin Valley is equipped with a life-sized palung (sluice box), an original gravel pump monitor and a large area for young visitors to try their hand at ‘Dulang Washing’ (Tin Ore Panning). The dulang was used to scoop up the earth, mixed with water and by careful swirling of the water, the mud was swept away and the heavier tin ore remained. Kids will have the opportunity to experience ‘dulang washing’— the art of using a dulang to extract tin from the earth and sand. Other attractions at the valley include a Tin History Walk, Tin Trail (explaining how tin is mined), and Tin Bearers (replica life-size stone elephants that children and adults can sit on).
The Rising Fashion of Hong Kong’s Collectibles
Hong Kong is quickly becoming Asia’s arts and cultural hub. A burgeoning auction market and gallery scene is attracting a large number of international dealers. Visitors to Hong Kong can experience Gagosian, White Cube and Lehmann Maupin from New York and London, or Pearl Lam, Platform China and Peking Fine Arts from mainland China.
Many of Hong Kong Island’s antique shops are located along Wyndham St and Hollywood Rd in Central, and Sheung Wan. Upper Lascar Row, known as Cat Street, is home to a fantastic congregation of antique dealers, curio merchants and art galleries. Lian Yi Musuem, the four-storey museum is home to one of the world’s largest and best-curated collections of Chinese antique furniture, made of the treasured materials huanghuali and zitan, from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Renowned dealer Larry Gagosian has created a brand in its own right with 12 galleries dotted strategically around the globe. Gagosian now occupies the largest gallery in the historical Pedder Building.
The Tree-Top Gibbon Experience in Laos
Guests can take part in a unique adventure that involves ziplining between tree houses in the rainforest canopy of Nam Kan National Park. The Gibbon Experience has been set up in Ban Houayxay and aims to ensure a sustainable future for the Bokeo forest. The high-flying experience also provides full time jobs to over 120 people.
A two day program starts after a one-hour drive from Houayxay. A steady walk takes guests to a series of very long ziplines in the heart of the Nam Kan National Park. This Gibbon Experience is a safe and easy way to ascend the tree tops and provides unhindered views across untouched rainforests. A superb adventure for visitors requiring a unique experience in a stunning natural environment.
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