Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community! 2024 is off to a roaring startwith interest in travel. My office is buzzing with activity and that’s a great thing! If you have a dream vacation percolating in the back of your mind, don’t hesitate to click on the button below to get the process started.
I’ve written about countries in Asia previously, but this newsletter is credited to my excellent partners who specialize in Asian itineraries. It’s all they do! So, if a country in Asia is on your travel bucket list, you’re in excellent hands. If you’d like to learn more, simply reply to this email.
It’s hard to go wrong when selecting destinations for your first or next travel adventure to Asia. From perennial favorites like Thailand, Vietnam and Japan to relative outliers like The Philippines and the spectacular countries of Central Asia, the region offers a plethora of incredible experiences. Nevertheless, it’s fair to say that some countries are trending hotter than ever now.
Interest piqued? Read on for scoop courtesy of my partners in Asia who specialize in curated itineraries and 5-star quality experiences…
Sri Lanka – excellent value hidden gem
Perennially overlooked by most north American travelers, Sri Lanka is easily one of Asia’s most appealing destinations, packing in the full spectrum of travel experiences within its golden-sanded borders. Blessed with paradise beaches, jungle-draped mountains, cascading waterfalls, and dew-soaked tea estates, this island nation stands among the world’s most stunning destinations. Its allure extends beyond aesthetics, boasting rich history—both ancient and colonial—and diverse wildlife.
Explore the Cultural Triangle, spanning Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Dambulla, showcasing historic sites, cave temples, and the iconic UNESCO Sigiriya Rock which is both a manmade and a natural wonder. Sri Lanka’s small size ensures seamless travel between these highlights, inviting you to delve into a tapestry of natural and cultural treasures.
Sri Lanka has plenty of enticing accommodation options with more beautiful hotels about to open. Among those set to be unveiled is Canopy Lodge, a 33-room boutique by the acclaimed Resplendent Ceylon group, which is located near the astonishing and must-see Sigiraya.
Bhutan – Heavenly!
Bhutan enchants with a captivating allure as the final bastion of the majestic Himalayan kingdoms, steeped in mystique and ancient folklore. Bhutan fiercely preserves its traditions, and timing your visit to coincide with one of the many cultural festivals can elevate your experience, especially in the more remote areas outside of the five main valleys.
Life in Bhutan moves to the rhythm of such celebrations, with every monastery holding at least one festival, or tsechu, every year. In the capital, Thimphu, markets teeming with religious artifacts harmonize with chic galleries and trendy bookshops.
One of the benefits of Bhutan is that the country can be appreciated for most of the year. Winters are crisp but surprisingly mild due to the latitude at Miami and Rome equivalents, and both autumn and spring offer world-class hiking and outdoor pursuits; summer monsoons are generally best avoided, although the lush greenery appeals to some travelers.
Hong Kong, China
Despite many challenges to Hong Kong’s enduring status as one of the world’s premier destinations in recent years, it would be rash to write off Asia’s great fusion city. In fact, we’re tipping it for a starring role in 2024 — it simply has so much to offer to luxury travelers. While now unequivocally Chinese, the territory seamlessly blends the charm of the old and the vibrancy of the new, interwoven with remnants of British colonial influence for a distinctive travel experience.
Against the backdrop of one of the world’s most breath-taking landscapes, Hong Kong boasts a diverse culinary scene, cutting-edge infrastructure, and expansive green spaces. Kong is well-known for its grand addresses, and the Peninsula Hong Kong is among the finest choices. On the Hong Kong side, Upper House is a favorite boutique property, with just 117 rooms and easy walking to Central and the nightlife fun of Lan Kwai Fong.
💎Hidden Gem Tip: Include Macau which is an hour’s ferry ride. Hong Kong and Macau are two sides of the same coin: tied to the same Chinese roots, yet distinctly different due to colonial influences reflected in architecture, money, cuisine, and more.
There are so many evocative regions in India; it is hard to pick out just one. Nevertheless, for sheer drama, romance and history Rajasthan is difficult to beat for first timers to India. If you’re planning to travel to India in 2024, this is the perfect starting point for exploring the huge and endlessly diverse subcontinent, which ultimately deserves dozens of journeys before even scratching the surface.
The one-time home of the fearsome Rajput warrior clans is an exercise in contrasts. Bustling cities such as Jaipur and Jodhpur are color charged hubs of activity, their modern energy augmented by stirring reminders of the region’s rich past in the shape of forts and palaces. Meanwhile, out in the wilds, the desert takes over – its sun-kissed splendor punctuated by oasis towns such as Jaisalmer.
Inspired? Reach out to me now to get your questions answered and begin the planning process.
Wishing you amazing travel adventures,
NEW Section: Travel News You Can Use
💎 Hidden Gem Tip: Winter Weather
There have been many reports of winter weather this week across the country. Having a good travel insurance plan can help offset costs related to unexpected weather occurences.
With the possibility of airline disruptions relating to weather, staying informed is key. Make sure you have your airline’s app downloaded on your phone with notifications enabled and check FlightAware to see the status of your plane’s flight path before it lands in the airport where you plan to board.
Make your own Wanderlist for 2024! As a reminder, Wanderlist is an online portal where you can research, explore, and create shareable lists of destinations and experiences. Share your list with me so I can make it happen for you. Check it out here: https://bit.ly/wanderlisthgtc