An exotic, tropical land of gorgeous beaches, flavoursome cuisines and captivating culture
South East Asia boasts some of the world’s finest beaches in exotic places like Thailand, Bali and Malaysia, as well as the increasingly popular shores of Vietnam and the Philippines. Throw in an incredible variety of delectable cuisines and an array of stunning historic sights and its little wonder this fabulous region seduces us so easily.
Spending the night sailing around Vietnam’s Halong Bay on board a traditional Junk boat was a breathtaking experience, especially as we watched the sun set between the numerous lime stone rocks towering above us."
Richard Howell, Personal Travel Expert
For beach holidays, you cannot go wrong with choosing South East Asia – but with so much on offer, the most difficult thing is deciding where to go.
Perennially popular, Thailand is a long standing favourite with a host of islands and resorts offering an array of accommodation and experiences from secluded hideaways in places of exquisite natural beauty such as Koh Phangan or Koh Yao Noi, to lively beachfront resorts in Pattaya or on the islands of Phuket and Koh Samui. Holiday makers return year after year for the guarantee of a delicious and fresh tasting cuisine and the easy going charm of Thai people – a perfect combination.
Bali remains one of Asia’s most spiritual destinations, and even the livelier beach resorts maintain a special charm and character unique to the island. Captivation also lies in the island’s volcanic and verdant interior, particularly cultural Ubud which basks in its spectacular surround of hills and aesthetic rice fields and is the very essence of exotic.
Malaysia is perhaps South East Asia’s most developed nation, but her beaches and resorts remain magical places to relax, in particular the gorgeous island of Langkawi is simply beautiful, and of course there’s also evocative Borneo with its enigmatic orangutans.
A plethora of stylish luxury developments has landed Vietnam front and centre of the Asian beach scene, with island escapism available on tranquil Con Dao contrasting starkly with the vibrancy of Nha Trang, which remains the country’s most popular beach resort. In the Philippines, Cebu has long entranced holiday makers and now hosts splendid hotels and a lively beach scene. For a quieter experience, attractive Boracay boasts one of the country’s best beaches – quite something in a country with so many.
But South East Asia is not just about the beaches. A popular combination is to combine a beach holiday with one of the region’s exciting gateway cities, such as fun-filled Bangkok or the global melting pot that is Singapore and, of course, there’s the high-rise money-hub that is Hong Kong.
Venture from the cities and beaches and the region also delivers a never ending array of cultural and historic sights. Explore the vast ruins of Angkor in Cambodia, its temples slowly emerging from the forest as the archaeology continues. Explore the colonial delights of Malacca and Penang in Malaysia, two cities savouring a cuisine enriched with the spices of India. Another Malaysian highlight is sampling fresh tea high up in the terraced hills of the Cameron Highlands.
Explore Vietnam and discover a landscape and a culture shaped by centuries of conflict with China, as well as the more recent tragedies of the 20th Century. Youthful, energetic and proud, the people of Vietnam always ensure a unique and memorable experience. Spectacular natural scenery includes magnificent Halong Bay (its innumerable limestone karsts are simply breathtaking), a rugged interior and the naturally luxuriant Garden of Eden that is the Mekong Delta.
There is so much to South East Asia that a lifetime of holidays will barely scratch the surface. But whatever your heart’s desire, whatever your interests lie – because we have the experts, because we have the best hotels and the best tour guides, we can create the perfect holiday for you.