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Asia Talk | Destination News For Asia’s Travel Connoisseurs

August 13, 2015 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

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Luxurious Vineyard Retreat in Rural Burma

Monte Di Vino Lodge is located in Aythaya, just 5 kilometers west of Taunggyi and 25 kilometers north of Inle Lake. It provides wine lovers with a truly unique experience at Myanmar’s first vineyard which produces Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Savignon, Chenin Blanc and Moscato wines.

Currently Monte Di Vino offers three spacious and modern wooden bungalows located in the middle of the beautiful Aythaya Vineyard, with plans already in the pipeline to construct an additional 17 villas. The 35 acre property is ideal for romantic escapes or leisurely family holidays, with attentive staff, spacious living quarters and sublime backdrops of well-tended vines giving way to the rolling Shan Hills. At an elevation of approximately 1150 meters, the cool air presents a welcome environment for guests to spend time exploring this beautiful region of Burma.


Fisherman For a Day in Langkawi

The Fisherman’s Trail provides a window into the daily encounters of a local practicing fishermen in Northern Langkawi, Malaysia. Our program follows a skilled angler on his journey as he explores the mangroves and overgrown edges of the water in search of fish. We cruise along the river in Kubang Badak Geoforest Park, learning local methods that have been passed down through generations. Against a backdrop of the breathtaking Mount Machincang and green tropical rainforest of Bukit Sawak, we trawl the waters for fish, crabs, seashells and prawns.

Surrounded by nature on this community based program, we steer deeper into the mangroves to reach the riverbanks where we roll up our sleeves and hunt mud crabs. Once finished here, we continue to the open sea and cast our nets in the hope of some bigger fish. From the boat we spot hidden coves and dramatic limestone formations with fossilized shells visible around the water’s edge. This educative and enjoyable program is led by a knowledgeable local guide and suitable for all ages.


Indulgent Spa Provides Rare Cultural Journey

Destination Asia Thailand has created a unique, heavenly spa experience for your clients. The pampered afternoon is guaranteed to leave guests feeling revitalized and refreshed, ready to take in the wonderful sounds and sights Thailand has to offer. Already a world famous destination for leading spas and resorts, our Nicolie Spa & Massage experience takes indulgence to new levels. Located in a modest townhouse on Silom Road in Central Bangkok, the uniqueness of this residence is quickly apparent. Hundreds of rare and original Asian artifacts adorn the walls and table tops, infusing a welcoming cultural atmosphere.

Over its five floors, guests can observe the owner’s personal collection amassed over the past 50 years, including items such as ‘The Royal Golden Robe of the Danish Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Navy’ – the only one of its kind in the World. Guests can expect exceptional service from experienced therapists who are reputed amongst the very best in Bangkok.


Fantastic Sports Facilities at Bali Wake Park

A fantastic new addition to the world of water sports in Bali. The recently opened Bali Wake Park is a state-of-the-art (and first of its kind) wakeboard park with full size cable systems covering a five hectare lake. It sits adjacent to a 5-star Water Sports and Recreational Resort Development and is open to all ages and skill levels. Not only offering adrenaline filled activities, the park was also built with great environmental sensitivity, helping to protect Bali’s fragile ecosystem. Local employment initiatives and sponsorship has also helped to nurture, develop and empower Bali’s youth.

Conveniently located just 15 minutes from Kuta, Sanur, Jimbaran and Nusa Dua, the lively waterpark offers the opportunity to learn wakeboarding in a two hour program and enjoy a delicious meal at the local Made’s Warung restaurant. Other activities to join include a 15 minute ride on a ‘Ninebot’ produced by Segway – scooting guests around the landscaped park.


Hanoi’s West Lake is a Spiritual Center

West Lake in Hanoi has been well documented throughout the capital’s history. Its 17 kilometer circumference is the site of a number of historic houses and places of interest, including Vietnam’s oldest pagoda. The lake provides a peaceful oasis in the city where both locals and tourists can be seen relaxing in the surrounding gardens, practicing Tai Chi or sipping coffee close to its banks

To reveal the historic culture of this area, Destination Asia Vietnam created a West Lake Spiritual Discovery program that commences with a visit to the ancient Hoang An pagoda in Quang Ba Village. After a light snack we take a walking tour of the local market and an area known for its lotus-tea making houses. We then transfer to Yen Phu Village on the opposite shore of the lake. This village specializes in two successful trades – breeding ornamental fish and the making of incense. The perfect ending comes when guests join together for an extensive and delicious Vietnamese meal.


Golden Jubilee Edition for Formula 1 Grand Prix

From 18-20 September, Singapore is set to turn into the world’s ultimate playground, pulling out all the stops for a stylish Golden Jubilee edition of the Formula 1 Grand Prix. This year the excitement is non-stop as the glitzy nighttime-street race adds even more events and entertainment to the lineup. Alongside the thrilling race where cars hit top speeds of 300 kilometers per hour on the Marina Bay Street Circuit, are live performances by music headliners Maroon 5, Bon Jovi and Pharrell Williams.

The 2015 Singapore Grand Prix is set to be the greatest yet as 50th anniversary celebrations continue throughout the year. With so much to see and take part in, visitors are in for a once in a lifetime experience. Hotel rooms and tickets are selling fast – so be sure to secure them now.


Revealing Cambodia’s Hidden Temples

We head off track to lesser known areas in Cambodia and discover temples steeped in fascinating history. These heritage rich sites recount a compelling past that celebrate the accomplishments of the human race. In the early morning we drive east from Siem Reap to Baray and explore the Pre Rup temple, built as the state temple of Khmer king Rajenvdravarman.

We make our way to its raised veranda and watch the early morning sun radiate across the surrounding countryside. Our morning exploration then takes us to Banteay Srei, built between the 11th and 13th centuries and Kbal Spean (or the Golden Silk Preservation Center). The afternoon is just as adventurous as we explore Preah Vihear, an outstanding piece of Khmer architecture in an equally impressive plateau setting. Then we take our time to wander through the overgrown site of Beng Melea, also known as the Jungle Temple and often the most fondly remembered of all.


Hong Kong Celebrates Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn festival is one of Hong Kong’s most extravagant and well celebrated festivals. Also known as the Moon Festival, it falls between September 25-27 in 2015, at a time when the cool autumnal air makes for ideal travelling conditions, and the bright, luminescent moon lights the night-time sky. The festival is an inherited custom of moon sacrificial ceremonies. The ancient Chinese recognised the moon had a close relationship with changes of the seasons and agricultural production.

Therefore, to express their thanks to the moon and celebrate the harvest, they offered a sacrifice to the moon on autumn days. A product of this today is the Moon Cake, a special food of the Mid-Autumn Festival. During the festival, locals can be seen to sacrifice moon cakes as an offering – also eating plenty of them as part of the celebration. This is an excellent opportunity for visitors to become part of an ancient tradition that has remained unchanged for centuries.


New Flight Paths Open Linzhi and Beyond

Great news for clients who want to discover the sensational landscapes of Tibet. A new flight route between Beijing and Linzhi in Tibet has recently launched with Air China now flying into Linzhi Milin Plateau Airport, a region that has been notoriously inaccessible in the past. With this opening come a number of travel options available with Destination Asia China, including access to Nyinchi. Literally translating as ‘throne of the sun’ in Tibetan, this low altitude region of Tibet sits on the Yarlung Tsangpo River and is home to vast, untouched plains framed by mountainous terrain and crystal clear waterways.

In this oxygen rich region guests can explore Lulang Forest, the ‘Switzerland of Tibet’ as it has become known. From June to August the land is awash with color as flowers burst open, their colorful blooms filling the air with a heavenly scent.


Become a Part of Ban Tin Hong Village Life

An educational soft adventure leading guests on an immersive, Laotian life-time experience, introducing the traditions, culture and beliefs of a Lao village community. Ban Tin Hong Village is situated on the Mekong River and only accessible by boat, adding an element of excitement from the very start of the journey. This sustainable and responsible program employs local community members to explain the daily activities taking place in their village, helping guests to understand the cultural differences.

The hands-on experience places guests in the heart of the Lao community. There are opportunities to try old fishing techniques in the Mekong River, pan for gold and trek through the surrounding jungle on a two hour hike. A Lao Baci spirit ceremony is performed for the visitors to ward of any bad spirits and bestow good luck upon them – an ancient ritual still practiced throughout Southeast Asia.


Walking Into the Commercial Days of ‘Little Edo’

Head out of Tokyo to a charming city named Kawagoe, often called ‘Little Edo’ owing to its well-preserved atmosphere that reminds of the ancient period. Guests ride the local loop bus with a guide to Kita-in temple, among whose halls are the only remaining palace buildings of the former Edo Castle. Another highlight are the Gohyaku Rakan statues, 540 stone statues of the disciples of Buddha, each with its own facial expression.

Historically, Kawagoe has been an important commercial town supplying resources to present day Tokyo. We walk along the streets around the Warehouse District where many merchants grew wealthy enough to build not only their warehouses but also their stores in the traditional, resistant Kurazukuri style. This is a great place to capture some atmospheric photos.

Our program also visits a soy sauce factory to reveal the secrets behind Japan’s most popular seasoning before sitting down to enjoy a refreshing drink together.


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