The sights, scents and sounds of Asia are uniquely exotic to first-time travelers to the continent yet they stay that way even after many visits. The extremes of China, the rolling verdant landscape of Vietnam, the sensory overload of Indonesia to the graceful side of Thai culture all testify to Asia’s broad scope of appeal. And the appeal is a celebration of diversity; from the tranquility of a countryside Buddhist temple to a glittering Macau casino it’s not really that far and as we enter the Global Age Asia is embracing more of the west. So come and embrace Asia’s diversity, its cuisine, culture, creativity and charm.
South East Asia
Thailand is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world - 20 years ago it was considered 'daring' to travel to the kingdom. Times have certainly changed. From the majestic five-star hotels in Bangkok to simple beach huts in Koh Samui or Koh Samet, accommodation choices are many.
Perhaps the most apt description for this colourful country is as 'an attack on your senses'. Steamy, potent, exotic and vibrant; the sounds, sights and smells of Indonesia feel incredibly alien at first. Indonesia straddles the equator and is 5,000sqkm large, encompassing more than 17,000 islands, less that two-thirds of which are inhabited.
The Vietnam you see today is steeped in ancient rites and traditions that have survived throughout the bumps and scrapes of history. It’s a place where handmade water puppets spin elaborate tales, singing kites soar overhead, highland markets promise the hope of love to young villagers, and colourful Mekong River markets are a daily occurence.
Malaysia is one of Southeast Asia’s top destinations, possessing an endless range of attractions and activities that cater for the cosmopolitan shopper, cultural enthusiasts and nature-lover. Divided into Peninsular Malaysia in the West and East Malaysia, part of the Borneo archipelago, the country will allure you with the shopping experience of its modern cities, the splendour of its cultural arts and natural heritage!
Cambodia, bordered by Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, has a fabulous heritage, warm friendly people and an untamed wild landscape. The beautiful and extensive temple ruins at Angkor, now a UNESCO Heritage site, represent the glorious Khmer civilization and one of the most spectacular historical sites in Asia.
Hong Kong hotels, attractions, and nightlife; an essential collection of must-knows for every venture to Asia’s storybook city. Visiting the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) for business? We can help you get an edge – or at least recommend a golf course. Only making a short stopover. We show you how to make the most of it.
Singapore is a tourist playground with a host of spectacular attractions, exotic dining and luxury hotels. There is something for everyone here; from families to business travellers. You will find all the modern conveniences – an efficient, user-friendly airport, comfortable city wide accommodation, and quick and clean public transportation.
Laos has a rich history stretching back 10,000 years. At its height, it ruled over present day Laos and much of neighbouring northern Thailand. Landlocked and laid-back, it’s a unique spin on the Southeast Asia experience. Here Buddhism permeates every facet of life, change comes slowly, and cities bed down early.
Given that 99.9 per cent of the Maldives is underwater, it's easy to see why this is a diver's Valhalla. And given that many of the islets making up the remaining 0.1 per cent of the country are dotted with deliciously enticing resorts, it's easy to see why thousands flock here every year, perhaps for the vacation of a lifetime, perhaps to a much loved, tried-and-tested bolthole beneath the tropical sun.
Myanmar is a conflicting destination for travellers; despite of the reasons not to go – and there are plenty – the country’s allure is quite powerful. Take Bagan, for instance, where the sun sets over a sea of ancient temples and pagodas. Thousands dot the landscape, their peaked roofs and spires poking the sky like pins.
The Philippines is the place many believe to be the real inspiration behind the Alex Garland’s novel – The Beach. If you’re looking for a new Asia experience, the archipelago consisting of over 7,107 islands is well worth considering. The world’s 12th most populous country, it has a population of around 90 million people, the majority of which are renowned for their great sense of rhythm and talented vocal chords.
The Seychelles are particularly well geared towards travellers, with a highly developed infrastructure complementing the islands' natural attractions. While this destination is on the pricey side, the quality is exceptionally high. The crime rate is low, and visitors - who make a substantial contribution to the economy - are welcomed everywhere.
The island of Sri Lanka lies in the Indian Ocean, to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal. It lies some 31 kilometres from the Indian subcontinent, separated from the mainland by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. With a tropical and warm climate, average yearly temperatures range from 28 °C (82 °F) to nearly 31 °C (88 °F). With a plurality of religions, many fascinating temples dot the lush landscape.
Situated off the main Southeastern coast of China, Taiwan is also known as the People's Republic of China. Home to more than 22 million people, Taiwan in itself is one of the most densely populated regions of the world. The place has innumerable districts with different cultures, all melted together on this potato-shaped island.
China is a land of extremes. It has one of the world's longest lasting continuous civilizations, a civilisation that dates back more than 6,000 years. It also has the world's longest continuously used written language system.
Flanking the eastern coast of the Asian mainland for more than 1,800 miles, Japan – land of contrasts, celebrated culture and electronic wizardry – is the ideal place to explore and celebrate. Even though the country is an economic powerhouse Japan has held on to its deep cultural heritage and the result is the ultra-modern sitting next to the historic; the state-of-the-art contrasting with the historic.
India is a paradox difficult to understand. It is ultra modern and very rural. It is a place where the journey will make a more an interesting anecdote than the arrival. This country hosts mountains and deserts, plains and plateaus, beaches and back water. It changes in appearance every few hundred kilometers that you travel, not just in the scenery but also in the local population.
South Korea, also known as the Republic of Korea, is one of the ‘Asian tigers’ situated at the southernmost part of the Korean peninsula. It is a complex and fascinating nation -- on one hand, it has modern and flourishing megacities that are as urbane as they come, and on the other hand, a remarkable and rich culture and history, which dates back to 2333 BC, that has scores of history buffs visiting from all the corners of the world.