Positive Results from IMEX in Frankfurt 2015
Destination Asia’s executive team of travel experts returned from IMEX at the Messe Frankfurt with great feedback from existing partners, a wealth of fresh ideas and selection of new contacts who they look forward to working with. The three days were spent meeting and discussing the very latest meetings and incentive product and service developments from Asia – while the evenings were often a more relaxed affair, spent catching up with good friends at a series of reception events.
Conducting meetings from a number of locations this year, our team of meetings and incentive professionals were on hand to share the latest cutting edge itineraries and corporate travel experiences available now in Asia.
In attendance this year were: Robert Guy (Managing Director of Destination Asia Singapore & Malaysia), Jarrod Stenhouse (Executive Director of Destination Asia Japan), Katie Buxton (General Manager of Destination Asia Hong Kong), Wanchai Thavornthaveekul (Assistant Managing Director Thailand), and Anthony Ang (Director of Sales, Destination Asia Singapore).
Over the past year we have been investing heavily in product innovation and technology, developing new online services to further enhance our client’s ability to deliver seamless experiences on the ground. Supporting the events brand is an interactive website offering our clients a wide range of downloadable and visual content, including HD virtual tours of previous events and destinations – therefore empowering clients with the ultimate sales tools. As a highly valued partner, you will have access to image galleries, event brochures, fact sheets, 3600 virtual tours, hotel portfolios, program overviews and access to our own destination presentations.
If you would like to learn more about Destination Asia’s extraordinary opportunities for incentive travel in Asia, please send an enquiry to the email address below.
Visit Cambodia’s Abandoned Royal Capital
Destination Asia Cambodia has created a spiritual experience connecting travelers with the divine lives of Buddhist monks and the innate beauty of Oudong’s natural landscape. During this program guests will visit the abandoned Royal Capital of Oudong ‘The City of Past Kings’. Several temples and religious structure dot the ridgeline and stupas containing the remains of several great Khmer Kings such as King Monivong and King Ang Duong can be found here. The summit of Phnom Oudong offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and is a favorite picnic spot for local residents. We join them as we enjoy an outdoor lunch served on top of the hill.
Following a walking tour of the area, each guest receives a personal blessing from a local monk during a traditional ceremony. The service includes sprinkling water and flowers over the group while chanting for 5 to 10 minutes. It is believed this traditional Khmer blessing ceremony cleanses bad spirits from the past and bestows good luck for the coming year. Visitors often talk of feeling renewed and relaxed after this memorable experience.
Sail the Indonesian Archipelago in Sheer Luxury
Your clients can now explore the Indonesian Archipelago on the Amandira – a traditional 52-metre Phinisi ship that combines the romance of the ancient spice-trade sailing vessels with today’s ultra-luxurious modern amenities. Launching in May 2015, the vessel will provide two expeditions; Komodo (exploring the protected Komodo National Park) and Raja Ampat (exploring the exceptional marine seas and coral reefs). A crew of 14 meets the needs and desires of those on board.
Three spacious cabin-suites are fully equipped with king-sized beds and private bathrooms while the main deck is fitted with spacious day lounges, perfect for soaking up the Indonesian sun or enjoying al-fresco dining. A fully air-conditioned lounge provides an intimate space for reading and indoor dining. Two cabins are fitted with twin bunk style suites, ideally suited to families who can enjoy the splendour of this vessel during a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Modern Take on the Ancient Teahouse in Kyoto
The artistic Kou-An Glass Teahouse has proven to be an extremely popular attraction in the eastern mountains of Kyoto. Perched on the wooden observation deck of Seiryuden Temple, the transparent structure made from thick glass panels and minimal metal supports is a visionary exploration of Japanese culture by artist Yoshioka Tokujin. The installation forms part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the relationship between Kyoto and Florence in Italy.
Visitors can enjoy not only the majestic displays of light that appear around the installation due to its beautiful curved form, but also the unhindered views of Kyoto from nearly 220 meters above sea level where the teahouse sits. The glass teahouse is due to stay on display till April 2016 and is open daily from 9am to 5pm.
Culturally Diverse Walk Through Singapore
Singapore is an enigmatic and cosmopolitan city brimming with multi-cultural diversity. A result of this historical assortment of races is a multitudinous offering of food that leaves visitors spoilt for choice – from Peranakan to Chinese, Malay to Indian, fusion and more. Destination Asia Singapore has created a program of discovery, taking guests through the charming side streets of a series of cultural enclaves. At Kampong Glam we admire the quiet majesty of the Sultan’s Mosque with its unmistakable golden dome before exploring colorful places to sample some culinary treats. Next we visit The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum – a Tang-Styled Chinese Buddhist Temple in the heart of Chinatown.
Our final stop for the day is in Little India, a destination that completes the cultural kaleidoscope. Bustling streets showcase aromatic and exotic spices, colorful flower-garland shops, vegetable vendors and busy curry houses line the streets. While in the neighborhood we visit the Sri Mariamman Temple – a stunning Hindu temple dating back to 1827.
Former Yachtsman Develops J-Boat in Laos
Destination Asia Laos are now working with the former international yachting professional, Jason Deshay, who has built the first luxury private ‘J-boat’ motor yacht to service the Mekong River. Distinguished by carved double dragons above the wheelhouse, the Dok Kaew vessel is unlike anything ever seen before in Laos. Designed to meet the vigorous demands of the Mekong River, the elegant steel-hulled Dok Kaew is 28 meters in length with a beam of 2.6 meters. The shock-mounted, sound insulated 250hp marine diesel engine efficiently propels the craft through the rapids, whirlpools, twists and turns of the Mekong with ease. The interior has been meticulously designed and crafted by hand, with teak and mahogany hardwoods provide a touch of grandeur. A modern galley produces gourmet cuisine while two airy cabins offer deluxe double beds and private bathrooms. The vessel can accommodate four guess on overnight cruises and eight for day excursions.
Drive Your Very Own Tuk Tuk in Bangkok
The ubiquitous Tuk Tuk is a familiar sight to those exploring Bangkok. Its unique sound can be heard from the other end of the street and on a hot day, they save a traveler’s weary legs. Ideal for short journey across town, a ride in a Tuk Tuk is a must do for any visitor to the kingdom. Destination Asia Thailand has gone a step further in creating the opportunity for guests to become a Tuk Tuk driver – great for incentive groups who want to claim the title of being a local Tuk Tuk driver. Set up as part of our ‘Thai Life’ program, the exciting and fun experience is a professionally run class with safety standards to ensure the participants well-being.
The two-cycle engine three-wheelers are taken off the streets to an area void of other automobiles. Instructors teach how to maneuver them using the limited controls available and mimic collecting passengers – with plenty of photo opportunities. Following the class, a Tuk Tuk driving license with the participant’s name and your event/company logo will be presented to each person. For those who are not so keen on driving, we offer a great alternative sightseeing afternoon by Tuk Tuk in Bangkok.
A Rare View of Hong Kong From its Geo Park
Destination Asia Hong Kong has developed a selection of programs exploring numerous islands and regions that are free from commercial trappings. While the visual extravaganza of the city is a must, we can combine a city experience with a new sailing or kayak adventure at sea. A full day sailing experience in Sai Kung and the Hong Kong Geo Park reveals another side to this group of islands in the South China Sea that most travelers never experience – or know exists.
Join Destination Asia as we sail across calm seas following a journey around the iconic harbor. For those who want to get active while on the water, we recommend one of our Geo Park kayak adventures. Guests paddle through the water, passing close to stunning volcanic formations in this UNESCO World Heritage site – one of only six Geo Parks in the world.
Heading Off-Track and Into Local Saigon
A truly local excursion developed for those who wish to see the authentic side of Saigon, exploring its vibrant streets by venturing away from the touristy areas and into some of the lesser-known parts of the city to unearth its hidden gems. Weaving a series of cultural encounters and sites of intrigue, our expert guide introduces guests to the Museum of Vietnamese Traditional Medicine and Vietnam Quoc Tu pagoda as a start to the program. From the museum we walk to a nearby local flower market where flowers of all colors, shapes and sizes arrive at a frantic pace.
We continue with a walk along Ho Thi Ki Street toward Hung Vuong Street. Myriad alleyways allow guests to easily absorb the daily life of the local people who rarely see tourists passing by. One of our favorite places to introduce visitors to is a hidden coffee shop that wouldn’t be found without local knowledge – the Vung Oi Mo Cua Ra Coffee Shop. A charming gem with candles, antiques littered around the place and rows of pictures from the 1970’s. Here guests can relax and enjoy the music as long as they want.
The Peaceful Village of Sankar is a Hidden Gem
While Inle Lake is becoming well acquainted with travelers seeking an accessible yet still untouched corner of Asia, Sankar at the southern end of the lake presents a corner of the region where time has stood still. The mountainous lake of Inle is approximately 100 kilometers from north to south and home to 200 villages.
At the southern end a secondary lake connects to Inle Lake via a small channel. This is known as Sankar Lake and the journey to get there is just as exciting as the place itself. Guests pass through a series of sugarcane plantations and bamboo forests lining the water’s edge before being greeted by a collection of ancient stupas that rise majestically out of the water, creating an eerie, breathtaking landscape. This largely untouched Pa-O village is home to a peaceful monastery and friendly locals who are only too happy to introduce the unique beauty of their home.
59Sixty Dining Room & Bar Now Open
59Sixty Dining Room & Bar offers a new social dining experience in Asia following its opening on 1 June 2015. Located on floors 59 and 60 in the Komtar Tower, the Mediterranean themed and styled restaurant and bar offers stunning 360 degree views of Penang. Following an afternoon spent exploring the surrounding colonial-rich region of Georgetown, visitors can then ascend the tower to savor a delightful evening meal before viewing Georgetown at night. The streets below are a hive of activity, lit an array of spectacular colors as people take to the streets. This unique view of Georgetown only exists at 59Sixty – officially the highest dining venue in the Northern Region of Peninsular Malaysia.
The Dining Room also offers an international buffet option with live cooking counters and a la carte menu for up to 450 guests, presenting excellent opportunities for large groups. Level 60 adds another dimension, with an array of international wine on offer and an adjoining cigar bar.
Take to the Skies Over Yangshuo
Yangshuo in the northeast of Guangxi makes an excellent base from which to explore the region’s wide and varied selection of exciting outdoor activities. The karst landscape here is dramatic, providing exceptional opportunities for rock climbing, kayaking, cave exploring, biking and river rafting. With a history still visible dating back over 1400 years, the lively West Street is a confluence of eastern and western cultures with a plethora of quirky boutiques and hotels.
Destination Asia China not only presents your clients with a selection of overland programs to reveal the distinct cultures of Yangshuo, but can now offer options to view and discover the town and surrounding landscape from the air. A selection of helicopter journeys reveal the beauty of this area with bird’s eye views of its spectacular terrain. A variety of routes are available with flight times lasting from 6 to 60 minutes depending on preference – covering distances of 8km to 95 km.