A vast cultural heritage mixed with booming modernisation make Asia a fascinating place for the intrepid traveller.
Explore The Great Wall of China or enjoy a cruise along the waterfront of Shanghai. Even farther east, the Land of the Rising Sun will amaze you from the volcanoes, to the theme parks to the bustling metropoles. Skiers should experience the powder of the Japanese resorts at least once in their lifetime, and training is well underway for the Winter Olympics in South Korea in 2018.
Winding along mountain ridges north of Beijing, the Great Wall of China stands as one of the world’s most iconic wonders, largest historical sites, and greatest feats of engineering. This UNESCO World Heritage site is composed of several sections, allowing a variety of different experiences. Badaling is easily accessible with or without a guide, between Jinshanling and Simatai hikers can traverse a segment of the wall and those seeking fresh air, spectacular views, and photos free of other tourists head to Huanghuacheng, Jiankou and Gubeikou. Multi-day guided hikes offer the opportunity to see more of the wall for a deeper experience.
Tibet, the “Roof of the World”, shares Mt. Everest with Nepal and is a stunningly beautiful destination. The capital, Lhasa, is site of hilltop Potala Palace, once the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas. An architectural wonder even by modern standards, the palace rises 13 storeys from 130m-high Marpo Ri (Red Hill) and contains more than 1000 rooms. Nearby is the Jokhang Temple, the 1300-year-old spiritual heart of Tibet. The central golden Buddha image here is the most revered in all of Tibet. A trip to Tibet is sure to be unforgettable.
Ski and Apres with the Monkeys
Shiga Kogen provides a large variety of ski and board terrain and quality snow. The resort in Nagano is a good all-rounder as a ski destination and first gained international fame when it hosted events at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. After a day on the slopes a stay or trip to Shibu Onsen is great if you want to partake in traditional Japanese cultural activities. Sleep on a futon on tatami flooring, take a foot bath or onsen, savour an exquisite kaiseki meal at your ryokan, or visit one of the little temples. Shibu is in very close proximity to the Japanese Monkey Onsen, and it’s not uncommon to see the snow monkeys in the village.
A city break to Tokyo promises history, culture and tons of adventure. Explore the city’s gardens and parks, take part in a karaoke contest, eat authentic Japanese sushi or just do some people-watching to get a sense of what life in Tokyo is really like. Shanghai is a booming metropolis dazzling visitors with its insatiable appetite for cutting-edge technology and design with towering skyscrapers and unique oriental charm. From Hong Kong to Seoul, the cities of this region are fascinating and offer unique opportunities for travellers.
The Naadam Festival is a wonderful time to experience the culture and people of Mongolia. The opening ceremony features marches and music from soldiers, monks and athletes before the real fun begins! In the Naadam Stadium, the three sporting passions of Mongolians; horse racing, wrestling and archery, are played out over 2 days. There’s plenty to see and do outside – food, music, crafts or just watching people and culture. This is the best time to see the Mongolian people and soak up the party atmosphere!