Season’s Greetings & Best Wishes for 2016
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours the very best for the festive season and a joyous New Year. We enjoy working with every one of our valued partners and hope that 2015 was a successful year for you. Now we look forward with great anticipation to a fortuitous 2016 together.
Don’t forget to download your exclusive 2016 Events Calendar. The Destination Asia 2016 Events Calendar is packed full of festival dates, holidays and special events, allowing you to keep one step ahead of your competitors. It’s free to download and is the perfect reference when planning any trip to Asia. CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.
Cambodia’s tropical waters that grace its southern coastline are literally teeming with marine life and colorful reefs. The lively coastal town of Sihanoukville is a scuba-diving haven with a strong reputation for its outlying islands, diversity of fish species and range of environments to suit every dive. Destination Asia Cambodia are working with some of the most renowned diving companies in Cambodia to offer travelers access to the very best underwater spots.
Whether it’s a simple introduction to scuba diving or an open water course, we can make the necessary arrangements. Those joining in with the underwater adventures can expect to come face to face with everything from tiny seahorses to the mighty whale shark in an area known for its biological diversity. We can organize single day to three day courses, with extras such as lunch on Koh Rong Island adding to the experience. The long peaceful beaches here are the ideal place to relax after a day under the waves.
Cruise in Luxury Around Thailand’s Waters
In recent years, Thailand has experienced massive growth in demand for luxurious private super-yachts that cater to a range of tastes and budgets. Options to cruise around the Andaman Sea and its tropical islands, or take a leisurely cruise around the Gulf of Thailand are available through Destination Asia Thailand, presenting your clients with an exceptional Thai experience.
Yachts benefit from the ability to anchor in total solitude, allowing guests to relax onboard or explore long stretches of white powder-sand beaches, visit hidden water caves and swim among the abundant marine life. Alternatively, dine under the stars at a secluded bay or relax ashore in one of Thailand’s elegant resorts. The region’s clear waters and wealth of stunning destinations to visit within a small radius make it one of Southeast Asia’s top luxury charter destinations. Enquire now to arrange the private charter of a yacht that can cruise around the seas of the Andaman and Gulf of Thailand.
Live Sumo Wrestling Demonstration in Tokyo
Operated by a professional sumo association, a new seat-in-coach program combines a live sumo show with delightful chankonabe lunch in Tokyo’s Old Town. Guests sit down in Asakusa to watch a nail-biting sumo fighting demonstration, performed by former professional sumo wrestlers. This is a superb first-hand opportunity to learn all about Japan’s most revered and fascinating sport.
As the action takes place before you, traditional sumo cuisine is served. Chankonabe is a delicious stew consisting of vegetables, meat, fish and tofu, eaten every day by active sumo wrestlers in preparation for the next battle. This fun-filled tour is operated every Monday and is great for those who want to catch a glimpse of a truly Japanese pastime in the heart of Tokyo.
Follow in the Footsteps of Jim Thompson
Jim Thompson was an American businessman who helped revitalize the Thai silk industry in the 1950s and 1960s, famously disappearing from Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands while going for a walk on Sunday, 26 March 1967. He left ‘Moonlight’ bungalow (now the Jim Thompson cottage) at 1:30pm, failing to return before sundown. An intense search was conducted with more than 500 people involved in the hunt that could not find him. Guests can now follow a three hour ‘Jim Thompson Trail’ to explore the beautiful rainforest and countryside of the Cameron Highlands.
Guests can trek along the lanes around Jim Thompson’s former residence, when at the time of his disappearance, British servicemen, American school students, scouts, Gurkhas and the police looked for him but to no avail. The walk takes in the magnificent landscapes of this undulating region and educates travelers on one of Asia’s unsolved mysteries.
Mid-River Dining Experience in Cultural Bagan
For travelers stopping overnight in Bagan, Destination Asia Burma/Myanmar present a sumptuous evening meal on the luxury river cruiser, Belmond Road to Mandalay, who opens its doors to a limited number of outside guests on Friday and Saturday evenings. This exclusive mid-river dining experience allows guests the opportunity to savor a special evening meal together in one of the country’s most incredible cultural destinations.
Guests are met at the private Belmond Jetty at Taungbi Village near Old Bagan and transferred by open-air ferry boat where, following a welcome cocktail, delights including fresh seafood and high-quality meats, such as Australian Wagyu Beef and New Zealand Lamb are cooked to order. Guests can also enjoy an extensive selection of refined Burmese and Asian-inspired soups, salads, desserts and local cheeses while admiring the panoramic temple-filed views.
Learn the Secrets Behind Naxi Silk Embroidery
The Baisha Naxi Embroidery Institute is located in Baisha Old Town, the birth place of Naxi culture and a World Cultural Heritage site that sits close to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang. Following a complete renovation in 1999, the institute reopened in 2003 and is now home to 8 Naxi masters, 16 teachers and hundreds of eager students. This stunning institute occupies 1,200 square meters and contains two traditional Naxi courtyards.
Under the guidance of friendly teachers, guests are welcome to stay and learn the methods behind producing Naxi silk embroidery. This can be for a few days or simply a couple hours, allowing guests great insight into an ancient tradition. The mission of the institute is simple: Firstly, to save, preserve and develop Naxi embroidery; and secondly, to teach more local Naxi farmers the methods of embroidery in an attempt to make it one of the main industries for local people.
New Speedboat Service Connecting Bali to Java
A new speedboat service launched by Marina Srikandi connecting Bali with Java recently commenced operation, reducing the travelling time between South Bali and East Java by up to four hours. This new route is ideal for overland journeys between the two islands and Bali-based excursions to Mt. Ijen in East Java.
Traveling to Banyuwangi (East Java) is now much more convenient with greater access from South Bali. The new speedboat service connects Jimbaran to Banyuwangi’s Boom Beach on a daily basis. The route takes just two hours and saves a hike up to the main port city/Java-Bali crossing point of Gilimanuk. Depending on the client’s location in Bali and traffic conditions, guests can save up to four hours’ travel time by utilizing the new speedboat connection. The route was opened in a bid to expand the tourism sector in Banyuwangi after the provincial government in East Java put forth plans to develop a world-class integrated port and marina along Boom Beach.
Regenerating Nam Yat Kola Pa in Northern Laos
Experience the natural serenity of a relatively unexplored corner of Laos that is undergoing regeneration – spearheaded by Laos’ Forestry Area Conservation Ecological Tourism (FACET). Investment in the development of Nam Kat Yola Pa has been divided into two phases, with the first phase completed by the end of 2015. The President of FACET recently announced that $USD 9 million has already been invested in basic infrastructure, including roads, a power grid and a water supply. New activities have also been implemented for visitors, including a new hiking trail to a suspension bridge, zip lines, designated rock climbing areas, tree house stays and camping facilities.
For those seeking more than tents or treehouses, Nam Kat Yola Pa is a resort situated in a protected forestry area along the Nam Kat River, offering adventurous activities combined with warm Lao hospitality. The resort is surrounded by breathtaking scenery guaranteeing the ultimate relaxation for body and soul after a day of adrenaline fueled adventure.
Join in the Street Celebrations of Thaipisam
Thaipisam is a colorful annual festival celebrated in honour of Lord Subramaniam (also known as Lord Murugan), who represents virtue, youth and power – and is the destroyer of evil. It’s a Hindu Festival celebrated in 2016 on January 24 that often brings many streets to a standstill. On the eve of the celebrations a chariot procession with a Lord Subramaniam statue begins from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple at Serangoon Road, going to Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple at Keong Siak Road.
Visitors to Singapore over this period can witness the jubilant spectacle along the named streets with a number of lanes closed to traffic for the occasion, allowing everyone to enjoy the atmosphere. Devotees will often walk the 4.5 kilometer route, along with relatives and friends who chant hymns and prayers to support and encourage them.
Ritz-Carlton Macau Shines in Galaxy Macau
The Ritz-Carlton, Macau, is set within the top floors of one of the world’s most impressive entertainment and leisure destinations – Galaxy Macau. The opulent 230 suite hotel features The Ritz-Carlton Sky Villa, which overlooks Cotai Macau. A classic European style reflects the Portuguese heritage of Macau while including modern in-room technology. An enticing range of cuisine is offered through its numerous dining establishments that include; the Cantonese restaurant Lai Heen, sophisticated high-teas or cocktails at the classic The Ritz-Carlton Bar & Lounge, and inviting refreshments at its Café or Pool Bar.
Meetings and conferences are catered for with The Ritz-Carlton Grand Ballroom and four meeting rooms, together creating a total flexible event space of 900 square meters. The pillar-less Ballroom enjoys direct ground-level access as well as a private foyer space to ensure intimacy and convenience for meetings and events.
Uncovering the Hidden Secrets of Saigon
Looking for inspiration in Saigon? We’ve got some tips to inspire your clients that reveal hidden attractions and long-kept secrets. One of the “not-to-be missed” sites while visiting Ho Chi Minh city is the immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Củ Chi district. However, there are some lesser known and just as intriguing sites to visit. Did you know that down an alleyway in Ngo Gia Tu street, District 10, is a former family home known as Secret Cellar B? The family that lived there was charged by the revolutionary Vietnamese forces with producing propaganda material. Excavated between February and May 1952, Secret Cellar B was in operation until 1957 when it was decommissioned and later filled with soil. The site was restored in 1988 for the purpose of preserving a significant revolutionary relic to educate the younger generation.
In 1967, NLF operative Trần Văn Lai dug two cellars and from June 1967 onwards, over 350kg of TNT were transported there in hollowed-out boxes. On the evening of 30 January 1968, the 19-strong Special Forces Team 5 collected them and launched an attack on the south gate of the Independence Palace. The attack failed and all of the team members lost their lives, yet despite a subsequent search of the address, the secret cellar was never discovered.