The Sultanate of Oman is a country of breath-taking natural beauty, interwoven with a kaleidoscope of history and legends. As the oldest independent state in the Arab World, Oman has embraced modernisation and progress while retaining the core aspects of its culture and heritage – making it the perfect travel destination for those seeking an authentic Arabian experience. Oman’s culture is deeply rooted in the Sultanate’s proud heritage and history of seafaring, trading and exploration.
Today, long-standing traditions blend seamlessly with modern day living, with the latest fashion and electronics brands sold alongside traditional hand-made crafts, jewellery, and even goats and cattle at souqs around the country.
Omanis are very welcoming of visitors from other countries, a fact that is reflected in the generous hospitality extended to guests.
Vietnam is a journey to a world of exotic and unforgettable adventure. From the northern city of Hanoi which is influenced by French colonialism to the coconut palm lined tranquil Halong bay or the vibrant city of Saigon. Experience the charm of the historic cities of Hanoi, Hue, and Hoi An and explore ancient palaces, temples, and pagodas. Drift through the intricate waterways of the tropical Mekong Delta or immerse yourself in the history of Saigon. If you love Asian food, adventure, slowing down and connecting, the opportunities are endless.
Relax on board a Halong Bay Cruise learning Tai Chi and watch breathtaking landscapes spring up from the sea in all directions.
India's landscapes are as fantastically varied as its cultural traditions. From the snow-dusted peaks of the Himalaya to the sun-splashed beaches of the tropical south, the country has a bounty of outdoor attractions. Among all these natural treasures is a wealth of architectural gems, from serene temples rising out of pancake-flat plains to crumbling forts peering over plunging ravines. Indian cuisine is a scrumptious smorgasbord of regionally distinct recipes, each with their own traditional preparation techniques and presentation styles – from the competing flavours of masterfully marinated meats and thalis (plate meals) to the simple splendour of vegetarian curries and deep-sea delights. A go-with-the-flow attitude will help keep your sanity intact when traversing the chaotic canvas that is India. With its ability to inspire, exasperate, thrill and confound all at once, be prepared for unexpected surprises. But love it or loathe it – and most visitors see-saw between the two – to embrace India's unpredictability is to embrace its soul.
It's easy to see why TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) was so drawn to this land of weathered sandstone and reddened dunes. But Jordan's desert landscapes are not confined to the southeast: they encompass a salt sea at the lowest point on earth, canyons flowing with seasonal water, oases of palm trees and explosions of springtime flowers scattered across arid hills.
Petra, the ancient Nabataean city locked in the heart of Jordan’s sandstone escarpments, is the jewel in the crown of the country’s many antiquities.
Jordan has a tradition of welcoming visitors: camel caravans plied the legendary King’s Highway transporting frankincense in exchange for spices while Nabataean tradesmen, Roman legionnaires, Muslim armies and zealous Crusaders all passed through the land, leaving behind impressive monuments.
Indonesia is a land of so many cultures, peoples, animals, customs, plants, sights, art and foods that it defies homogenisation. Venturing across Indonesia you’ll see a wonderfully dramatic landscape as diverse as anywhere on the planet. Indonesia alxo offers a heady combination of culture, retreats, tropical vistas and beauty. Where exotic scenery and tropical charm and stunning luxury resorts are dotted about in a perfect zen kind of way. It’s no wonder Bali and Lombock are such a popular destination, especially for couples seeking a romantic yet spiritual getaway.
This intoxicating land offers some of the last great adventures on earth. Whether you are hiking through volcano craters or sipping a hot cup of Kopi Luwak, however you choose to spend your time here there’s no doubt it ticks off a few from the bucket list.
Few places have as many Unesco World Heritage Sites (eight) packed into such a small area. Sri Lanka's 2000-plus years of culture can be discovered at ancient sites where legendary temples boast beautiful details even as they shelter in caves or perch on prominent peaks. Safari tours of Sri Lanka’s pleasantly relaxed national parks encounter leopards, water buffaloes, all manner of birds and a passel of primates. Distances are short: see the sacred home of the world’s oldest living human-planted tree in the morning (Anuradhapura) and stand awestruck by the sight of hundreds of elephants gathering in the afternoon (Minneriya). Discover a favourite beach, meditate in a 2000-year-old temple, exchange smiles while strolling a mellow village, marvel at birds and wildflowers, try to keep count of the little dishes that come with your rice and curry. Wander past colonial gems in Colombo, then hit some epic surf.
Sri Lanka is spectacular, affordable and still often uncrowded.Now is the best time to discover it.
Many of us are fascinated by getting ‘lost in translation’ when it comes to travel, and there’s really no better place to do this than Japan. While respect and courtesy are cornerstones of Japanese society, there’s also a total celebration of marching to the beat of your own drum - whether that drum is Harajuku-styled, robot-themed or culturally timeless. Mother Nature smiled on Japan, blessing it with some of the world’s most magnificent vistas. This is a place, after all, where selecting a list of the 100 best waterfalls makes sense. If the choice becomes too overbearing, remember that you can’t go wrong with the tried and true: taking in Mt. Fuji in spring and summer and visiting the cherry blossoms in March and April make these some of the best times to visit Japan. That said, it’s also worth getting off the beaten track. It’s not a culture shock - it’s a cultural invigoration.
In a nation of multiple ethnic groups, exploring Myanmar can sometimes feel like you've stumbled into a living edition of National Geographic, c 1910. For all the recent changes, Myanmar remains at heart a rural nation of traditional values.
Drift down the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River in an old steamer or luxury cruiser. Stake out a slice of beach on the blissful Bay of Bengal. Trek through pine forests to minority villages scattered across the Shan Hills without jostling with scores of fellow travellers. Best of all, you'll encounter locals who are gentle, humorous, engaging, considerate, inquisitive and passionate – they want to play a part in the world, and to know what you make of their country. Now is the time to make that connection.