VINTAGE BIKE JOURNEYS, TATTOO TEMPLES AND UNDISCOVERED MARKETS MAKE THESE FULL DAY AND HALF DAY TOURS A LITTLE BIT SPECIAL…
Whether it’s a vespa ride through the ancient Angkor grounds of Cambodia, a VW convertible drive through central Bali, or exploring the distinct anime culture of Japan, our destination experts have put these experiences together that offer a snappy insight into Asia’s rich and diverse cultures.
Only an hour or so from Bangkok, the rural farming community of Klong Mahasawad might as well be another world. Guests will experience village life in the Thai countryside, as well as a boat trip on the canal, a traditional floating market and Wat Bang Phra, better known as the “tattoo temple” where skilled monks apply protective sak yant tattoos.
The former royal capital of Laos is easily navigated by bike. Despite being surrounded by beautiful mountains, the topography of the city is relatively flat, making it simple to visit banner sights such as the National Museum and Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief. Cycle along the Nam Khan River to revered Wat Xieng Thong and finish the adventure with a delicious local lunch.
Chinese influence is strong in Penang and can be witnessed in everything from its architecture and its heritage to its religious sites. It is also a key driver of the island’s fantastic food culture. This journey delves into the delicious world of dim sum (Cantonese dumplings and light bites) while investigating the growing street art scene in the capital Georgetown.
Among Japan’s most famous exports, anime and manga are beloved by fans worldwide. The centre of anime culture is Tokyo’s Akihabara area where otaku (geek) culture reigns supreme. Here, and in other parts of the city, guests will find dozens of shops, outlets and cafes dedicated to anime, manga and other collectibles.
The rural landscapes that surround Siem Reap and the temples at Angkor are endlessly beguiling – and are even more enchanting when viewed from the back of a vintage Vespa. Cruising around the countryside in the company of an expert guide, guests will encounter local markets, colourful characters and temples of huge spiritual significance and will refuel with some delicious Khmer cuisine.
An enormous place where China’s breakneck progress can be measured in the shining chrome and glass skyscrapers that hog the skyline, Shanghai is unashamedly modern. Nevertheless, there’s still a place for the city’s rich, exotic traditions. To get a handle on the city, guests can pilot a vintage bicycle for a truly diverse and interactive immersion into the depths of the local culture.
Precious stones such as jade are integral to life in Mandalay. Located near ruby, gold and jade mines, the city is famous for its busy gem trade. Guests can learn more about this fascinating industry by visiting local markets to watch skilled craftsmen cut, polish and transform the stone into an item of beauty.
Bali’s amazing landscapes and unique culture shines through in its central region. Far from the crowds in the island’s main tourist enclaves, is an area of beautiful valleys, awe-inspiring volcanoes and ancient tombs. With a VW 181 convertible providing the ultimate in stylish transport, guests can kick back and enjoy the ride.
Ho Chi Minh City’s nightlife is as buzzy as its streets. It’s a mecca for street food lovers, pavement beer drinkers and socialites, with its selection of modern glitzy bars and clubs. For those wishing to drink in the culture, feast on the food and infiltrate the coolest night spots, the best way to do it is with a local guide; on the back of a vintage Vespa.