Sabbatical & Experiential Travel to Asia
Vivid, vast, and varied, Asia is a land of contradictions. You’ll find big, bold cities and the most peaceful, undulating countryside, glittering temples and simple wooden ryokans, snow-capped Himalayan peaks and rolling green rice terraces – however much it doesn’t seem to make sense, there’s beauty behind the madness. Encompassing the Indian subcontinent, a huge chunk of Russia, the Middle East, Japan, China, Indochina, and more, there’s a whole world of adventures to be had in Asia.
Epic scenery abounds. Marvel at limestone grandeur in Vietnam’s Halong Bay or Zhangjiajie in China, the inspiration for the landscapes in the movie Avatar. Discover hidden lagoons and perfect beaches among the towering karst shards in The Philippines. Feast your eyes upon rice terraces in Ubud, Indonesia or in Sa Pa, Vietnam’s lush northern region. Drive across the rugged Gobi desert in Mongolia and cross jaw-dropping Himalayan mountain passes in Nepal and Tibet. For photographers, there are striking views wherever you choose to go.
For wildlife lovers, there’s an abundance of must-visit places. Swathes of jungle cover the island of Borneo and huge areas of India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Myanmar. Look out for orangutans, macaques, and pygmy elephants, as well as harder to spot rhinos and tigers. Underwater is a haven of marine life that attracts divers the world over – for some of the best dive sites, head to Malaysia’s Pulau Sipadan, Indonesia’s Raja Ampat, or the Andaman & Nicobar Islands between the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. And for something a little different, the Komodo Islands are a must, home to the lumbering Komodo dragon and more incredible marine life.
Foodie travellers can’t go wrong either. Gastronomy is such an important part of a visit to Asia but highlights include Vietnam, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, and Malaysia. A melting pot of cultures and influences throughout the continent makes for diverse and delicious cuisines, all with oodles of flavour. If you like your food spicy, China’s Sichuan province should be top of your list. Street food is a big part of Asian culture and you’ll find markets and small stalls in most of the major cities. Some of our street food highlights include Bangkok, Penang, Mumbai, Hanoi, and Singapore. Tuck into local delicacies from ‘pho’ to ‘laksa’ and ‘vada pav’ to ‘ramen’, a memorable part of any trip.
For off-the-beaten-path adventure, exclusive Bhutan guarantees a memorable experience – limited visitor numbers ensure an air of secrecy and prevent it from becoming overcrowded. For an authentic experience, it doesn’t get much better than a visit to The Land of the Thunder Dragon. Take in iconic sites such as the Tiger’s Nest Monastery and embrace the national sport of archery.
Culturally, geographically, and gastronomically fascinating, Asia really does have it all.