Far East

The Far East oozes mystery, magic, diverse culture curious customs, spicy and aromatic foods, white sand beaches with jungles teaming with exotic wildlife. Temples, palaces, Buddha’s, luxury hotels, authentic spa treatments and traditions are sure to delight you.

Travel to the Far East is now much more accessible and affordable than it was say 10 years ago when it was more intrepid and costly. Today the Far East is served by international airlines and hotels such as Banyan Tree, Shangri La and Mandarin Oriental where in five star luxuries you can experience expert massages and indulge in aromatic fragranced spas and ancient therapies for pure relaxation. If you have a bit less cash to splash there are many boutique styled hotels with a variety of rates ready to welcome you.

With its diverse cultures and mysterious traditions and customs as well as endless cultural treasures, temples and pagodas to satisfy culture vultures, nature and wildlife are abundant with endangered species of turtles, Orang-utans and Pigmies.

If food is your interest, then the Far East offers the perfect gastronomic banquet with dishes from several countries to whet your appetite and these are best sampled on the food stalls in the lively night markets.

The Far East is perfect for an experiential holiday and to immerse in all that’s on offer, so why not try a combo holiday where you can visit a city along with an eco-friendly beach resort or an activity holiday with a beach resort for a true experience of the Far East.

Kuala Lumpar & Penang; Singapore & Bali; Bangkok & Thai Beach; Hong Kong & Macau are some ideal combinations. Speak to us and we will be happy to customise your perfect Far Eastern holiday.

Indo China

Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos

Indo China is a year round destination with up and coming beaches and accommodations to suit a variety of travellers, from luxury villas perched over the waters of a marine reserve in Cambodia, a four star floating eco-lodge on Cambodia’s western border and explore the surrounding villages, the Tatai Waterfalls and untouched jungles and mangroves. Visit Laos’s capital, a heritage status Luang Prabang, where only a few small boutiques hotels are permitted where you are guaranteed a truly authentic experience.

Destination Highlights Vietnam

Halong BayVietnam’s best beach is known as China Beach is often referred to as the Hawaiian Beach of the East where the 37kn of unspoilt white sand beaches await your arrival.  Visit the bustling cities, Danang, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh for bustling street markets and as a perfect base to explore neighbouring Cambodia.

Mekong River Delta is the perfect place to see the floating markets punctuated by meandering villages and tributaries so well worth a visit by cycle or tour.

Imperial city Hue, known as the Forbidden City will inform you of the past through its ancient citadel and its royal tombs towards and evocatively named Perfume River.

Destination Highlights – Cambodia

Luang Prabang a city where you can immerse into the vulture and tradition of Cambodia as you marvel at its golden temples, the temple of Angkor it’s most iconic, colonial villas.  Shop for locally made silk batiks at bargain prices. Danang a flourishing beach resort with luxury hotels

Destination highlights – Laos

Visit Vientiane Laos’ capital, where French architecture blends with Asian commerce. The Nam Oui River valley offers limestone cliff views of neat rows of rice paddyfields.

Activity Highlights Indo China

The reunification Express promises some magnificent landscape

Take a motor cycle tour or trek, high up into the mountains and meet the hill Tribes around Sapa.

Marble Mountain is an hour away from the beaches in Danang and now a Buddist shrine, and the caves once a hideaway for the Vietcom.

Culinary tours in Indo China will not disappoint and worth going to see, as you will experience fresh foods prepared locally.

A river cruise is a perfect way to see the river villages and rural areas in the comfort of a luxury floating pontoon with private facilities or a river cruise.

Destination highlights Brunei

Brunei’s biggest attraction 60 metres of vertiginous canopy walk above the rainforest.

Explore the Masjidjam the largest mosque in Brunei and one of its most magnificent structures with its minarets and gold domes standing high above the low rise buildings in the tiny city.

Royal Regalia Museum will explain the significance of the mosque and the Brunei’s Sultan

Visit by speedboat the Iban people who habit the stilted water village, and meet who have lived for over 400 years dressed in lavish feathered head dresses dance their tribal dance despite being notoriously known as brutal head hunters!

Activity Highlights Brunei

Take a cooking or photography tour

Trek deep into the jungle by tour guides and see proboscis, monkeys, birds and crocodiles in the mangroves.

Shop at Gadong’s Night Market where you can experience the colour, smells and smoke and taste grilled fish, the order of the night.

Thailand /Bangkok

Be amazed at the majestic temples, white sand beaches and surrounding jungle. Whether you are already in Thailand or stopping by from a cruise you will enjoy the culture and tradition of Thailand. Accommodation here ranges from eco-friendly tented luxury, right the way through to the provisions of five star hotels. You can opt to visit on a homestay basis where you live and participate in local village activities an approach initiated by The King of Thailand. If you decide to visit as a volunteer tourist not only will you enjoy chic and stylish accommodation available in a growing number of resorts, you will also benefit from an experiential holiday, confident in the knowledge that you have contributed in a meaningful and sustainable way. For a taste of the city and the village life there are numerous combinations available so you get the best of both.

Destination Highlights

Phuket for beaches, clubs and nightlife with Surin boasting first class hotels such as The Chedi and Amanpuri known as millionaire’s row.

Koh Samui for the whitest beaches, a fishing village and the lively Green Mangoe strip, a developing area with lots of three to five star bungalows and close to the islands hottest nightclubs. Visit the Samui Aquarium and Tiger Show for some of the best marine life and big cats some of the best in the region.

Krabi is a perfect base for island hopping and here you will be spoilt for choice with accommodation to suit all tastes, from solo travellers, couples, and families those on a budget or luxury seekers.  Krabi’s night street markets are a must see and an ideal place to get those much desired souvenirs and gifts at great prices.

Pattaya continues to be the beach party capital with its neon lights, bars and clubs an eastern Las Vegas. You can catch a Ladyboys’ cabaret show at Tiffany’s or Alcazar a must do in Pattaya.

Hua Hin a favoured resort of the Thai Royal family offers a more relaxed feel with temples and palaces overlooking the Hua Hin. Take photos around the colourful Victorian styled Hua Hin train station, especially in the Royal Waiting Room.

A trip to Choptstick (Monkey) mountain where the resident primates will keep you amused for hours and where you will have amazing views across Hua Hin. Drive to the north a short distance away and visit the 170 Buddha’s in the caves, visit the colourful orchid farms and then relax in the ancient thermal springs of the Klong Thom, where it’s claimed thermal waters have healing powers.

Activity Highlights

To truly enjoy the rich culture of Thailand, why not try classes in cookery for spicy curries hot and sour soups, massage and meditation and a spot of shopping in the modern malls with local and international goods. Open air films and weekend temple festivals are a great way to rub shoulders with the locals and learn about the history of Thailand.

Phuket is the main hub for water-sports, sailing and surfing with its shallow bays makes learning easy. Pattaya and Samui for water-skiing, jet-skiing and kayaking with kiteboarding and parascending are up and coming water sports for the area.

With many Thai islands to choose from you can dive in Andaman Sea and snorkel in amazing reefs and colourful fish found around many of the islets.

Marine and wildlife opportunities abound in Thailand and divers of all abilities will enjoy exploring caves and wrecks and the warm tropical waters will reward you with shoals of fish colourful reefs accessible from Krabi or Pattaya.

For anglers, sport fishing at Bungsamran Lake near Bangkok with private yacht hire is also a must, as you can catch rays and catfish on a night time fishing trip for a real adventure.

Zipline across the jungle canopy or learn to drive an elephant.

Golfing in northern areas to escape the heat and where golfing equipment are sometimes free of charge with certain hotels and a fraction of the costs compared to Europe.

For a seafaring adventure you can explore great marine life on a glass-bottom boat or Island hop at a more leisurely pace with a sail boat available for private hire. Seaplanes are a quick way of getting around the many islands and are readily available for hire. At the end of you day finish off with a great Thai massage.

For an adventure why not trek through bamboo groves, jungle, rice paddies on the back of an elephant and get to see authentic tribal villages up close.

Mountain biking and cycling are great ways for you to explore the northern part of Thailand’s jungles and National Parks or for more adrenalin pumping activities rock climb the spectacular white limestone cliffs at the falls of Phang Nga Bay.

China

China a mythical landscape with towering limestone karsts and rice paddyfields with competing modern city skyscrapers, shopping malls, luxury hotels, bars and restaurants. When you visit China you can be in the mountainous rainforests one day and by the next, be exploring the deserts and the two mighty rivers The Yellow and the Yangtze.

Destination Highlights

Shanghai Skyline.jpgHong Kong, 425 square miles and outlaying islands offers huge diversity and though its gigantic skyscrapers are immediately what springs to mind. Hong Kong has a plethora of attractions for everyone, from theme parks, museums, temples, markets, modern shopping malls, bars and restaurants, so it is easy to feel like you are at a destination in the west. Because of its size, you can expect to find jungles, monasteries hidden high up in the mountains and stilted houses of rural villagers.

Destination highlights

The modern styled attractions like the Sky100 observation deck is must as you will get a sky view of the city overlooking the newly redesigned marina, where you will see the newly designed Kowloon Bay the newest hub for large cruise ships to the area.

Take the tram up to The Peak for spectacular views of the city, harbour and islands plus the mountain in the far beyond.

Ride on the Star Ferry which criss-crosses Victoria harbour between Hong Kong island and Kowloon which provides you with a symphony light show featuring illuminated harbour front buildings.

For children, there is the Hong Kong Disney featuring is own Toy story land and over 35 attractions and rides.

Activity Highlights

Take a tour to visit the Giant Buddha in the Po Lin Monastery which sits on the Ngong Ping plateau and see the stilted houses in the time honoured village of Tai O on Lantau Island.

Cruise around the islands and see the neat paddy fields and rural villager go about their daily routines as skilled craftsmen carry out their work.

Great Wall Beijing.jpgIf high-end designer goods, clothes, jewellery and electronics take your fancy, then you will be spoilt for choice, as there are numerous boutiques and designers shops where you can buy duty free, clothes, jewellery, shoes and electronics as well as traditional Chinese products from the market stalls a treat for any shopper.

For a local speciality try Dim Sum is a must for any food lover. The tasty buns, dumplings and pastries are hugely popular and three or four are served in bamboo baskets and come in different shapes and flavours. Dim Sum means touch the heart and are made of steamed vegetables, fish, barbeque pork, shrimp, meat with egg and spices.

Beijing China’s capital is a mix of ancient history of China’s imperial past blended with the modern relics of the Olympic Bird Nest stadium with many of the world’s tallest skyscrapers.

Shanghai is China’s powerhouse of modern business and where the vestiges of colonialism combine with modern livelihoods.

Xian is a must for Terracotta enthusiasts

Chengdu is home to one of the worlds largest Panda reserves.

Great Wall of China

Temple of Heaven

Singapore

Singapore full of surprises, with strong influences from Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures creating an interesting melting pot with exotic sights and smells and wildlife to satisfy the most supreme adventurer especially when you visit Singapore Zoo and see the elephants take their ritual baths each morning.

Or opt for an unusual night safari and see 1000 species of wildlife animal’s habitant of the 40 hectares of forest. Singapore with its massive skyscrapers and shopping malls is a buzz of activity in the market hawker stalls and the many restaurants and bars and you are sure to have an experience to remember.

Destination Highlights

Visit the museum of toys with over 50,000 vintage toys spanning 100 years and the Images of Singapore Museum where you can see fact, legend and folklore re-woven to tell the story of Singapore.

To get spiritual, visit a temple for a Feng Shui consultation to help plan for future prosperity and health or get a henna tattoo. If after sight-seeing you need to restore your aching feet, why not try a reflexology massage where the feet are massaged to stimulate the organs optimum performance.

Try a Singapore Sling at Raffles, a favourite haunt for many set in a Colonial English décor at the famous five star hotel.

Japan

Tokyo-Ginza-DistrictStay in a traditional Japanese guest house Ryokan plenty to suit all budgets. In the north there is excellent skiing in Hokkaido, whilst in the south there are the tropical Okinawa islands a perfect resort to relax on the beach. Between the two there is dazzling Tokyo and spellbinding Kyoto and majestic Mount Fuji. The usual perception of Japan is expensive, as I was some 30 years ago. Things have changed and the prices there are quite similar to prices here in the UK.

Destination highlights

Hiroshima and Kyushu

Himeji and Matsumoto Castles

Cherry blossoms are a national obsession and come into full display between late March and April and a vision to behold especially during autumn when there is a spectacular display of red and gold foliage.

 

Activity Highlights

Japan-temple.jpgWinter offers excellent skiing opportunities in the north and a chance to see the famous snow monkeys bathing in the natural hot springs.

Japan’s Shinkansen Bullet Trains are an efficient way to visit other cities and though seen as pricey, is worth its weight in gold.Cheap Sushi conveyor styled restaurants for yakitori, tempura, teriyaki and a whole host of noodle options is inexpensive and a definite treat to be had.

Indonesia an archipelago group of 17,000 islands stretching as far west as Myanmar o border with Papa New Guinea in the East, with the most notable of them Bali. The Indonesian Islands offer great cultural diversity of head-spinning colours and landscapes.

The islands vary in landscapes with Bali most famed for its white sand beaches, enchanting culture and historic sites. Both Java and Bali boast fertile ricelands.  With Bali being the most developed you will have a great choice of hotels and villas and activities including watersports and golf.

For culture head north from Denpasar to Ubud a small village in the midst of ricefields, where each night traditional dances take place and enchanting sight to behold.

See the heritage listed Borobudor Temple at dawn, the world’s biggest Buddhist monument with the Hindu temple Prambanhan close by as well as being the largest Hindu temple in the southeast Asia.

Despite being a Muslim country, alcohol is widely available the dinking age is 21, except in Bali with no minimum age.

For wildlife, visit the temple ruin, home to monkeys, whilst on land spot giant komodo lizards and orang-utans.

Island hop to Sulawesi for dwarf buffalos and Java for rhinos and look out for the exotic birds the Cockatoo and Bird of Paradise.

The islands have great waves for surfing and excellent marine life for diving with sting ray and turtles.

Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Lombok and Maluku and the coral rich Banda Islands are increasing in popularity for diving enthusiasts and watersports.

Komodo and Sumatra  are ideal for jungle trekking with their dense jungles whilst the savannah grasslands of Nusantengerra islands are home to

For serious shopping, head to the cities like Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya, where you will be treated to a huge selection of local and international designer goods.

We can create a bespoke holiday itinerary to suit your particular requirements using our expert knowledge of the Far East to ensure you have a wonderful experience. Please call s we can discuss your options.