Where to go in 2024: top combos for an Asia multi-centre

Why settle for one destination in Asia when it’s so easy to turn your trip into a dynamic duo? Whether you’d love a mix of city lights and coastal chill or a holiday with snorkelling and jungle adventures, here are some unbeatable combos that’ll make your next escape twice as exciting.

Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur and Pangkor Laut

Kuala Lumpur is an intoxicating blend of modern and colonial cultures. Travel to the top of the iconic Petronas Towers, particularly magical late evening when you’ll have a birds-eye view of the Lake Symphony water show. The Moorish Railway Station shows an authentic side to this sprawling metropolis – it’s opposite The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, a gleaming white building that gives a nod to the city’s past. Don’t leave without trying the street food of Bukit Bintang. We recommend chilli pan mee – a fusion of minced pork, noodles and crispy anchovies, topped with a poached egg.

Escape the city and embrace the Tarzan-esque vibes of Pangkor Laut Resort. It’s a four-hour drive and a 15-minute boat ride from the capital, but you’ll see the effort is worthwhile once you set foot on this jungle-covered private island, teeming with exotic wildlife like long-tailed macaques and oriental hornbills. It’s easy to see why it’s marked as ‘The Maldives of Malaysia’ – it’s all flour-soft beaches, gin-clear waters and rustic villas set on stilts over the sea.

Thailand: Bangkok and Koh Samui

Bangkok is one of the world’s most colourful and chaotic cities. During the day, explore the opulent Grand Palace or cruise the Chao Phraya River, spotting sights as you go. The Salil Hotel Riverside – Bangkok has the ideal waterside location. By night, walking down raucous Khao San Road is a traveller’s rite of passage, as is toasting drinks in one of the many rooftop bars. Hang with the cool crowds at the Insta-worthy Tichuca or opt for grown-up glam and dazzling views at Banyan Tree Bangkok’s Vertigo Bar.

Twin your city getaway with sun and sand on Koh Samui. Head to Chaweng for sweeping beaches, upscale restaurants and lively nightlife. The redesigned Centara Reserve Samui has been polished to perfection and feels wonderfully secluded, despite being just ten minutes from the buzzing centre. If you’re looking for somewhere a tad quieter, in nearby Lamai you’ll find Rocky’s Boutique Resort, a romantic haven where you can snorkel in vivid coral reefs. We adore the restaurant, a très chic ocean-facing French-Med affair.

Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City & Phú Quốc

Ho Chi Minh City reveals the cultural, fast-paced heart of Vietnam. Take in the Jade Emperor, guarding the entrance to heaven, or visit the War Remnants Museum and Cu Chi Tunnels for a haunting reminder of the effects and legacy of the Vietnam War. After dark, head to the heaving Ben Thanh Market for tantalising street food like phở, bánh mì, and fresh spring rolls, or sip cocktails in the sky at one of the rooftop bars. Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint Hotel is home to the Above Sky Bar, hailed as one of the city’s hottest night spots.

After navigating the cityscape, wind down in Phú Quốc. This beautiful island has golden beaches, tranquil fishing villages and authentic Vietnamese charm. 

At the Sailing Club Signature Resort Phú Quốc, you’ll get the best of both worlds: the luxury of a spacious, Scandinavian-style pool villa to relax in your own space, plus outstanding resort amenities at your fingertips. The resort’s innovative restaurant, Sandals, The Market, is a one-stop shop for gourmet delights. Dine on artisanal cuisine, whip up Vietnamese fare in the cooking studio or stock up on barbecue goodies to take back to your villa. For a change of scene, hop over to The Sailing Club Phú Quốc for beach club vibes, daily fire shows and DJ beats.

Bali and Singapore

Bali may have a petite presence on the world map, but you’ll be amazed at how much there is to see and do on this tiny island paradise. To make the most of your time, we suggest a two-fold journey: one to delve into the island’s cultural centre and the other to bask in its coastal beauty. Begin among the green valleys and picturesque rice terraces of Ubud, with a stay at Sankara Suites & Villas. Highlights here include leisurely swims in the treetop infinity pool and pretty-as-a-picture floating breakfasts in the pool suites. Then, beeline to Seminyak for beach relaxation at The Elysian. Unwind in your private pool villa, enjoy sunset beach strolls and roam Seminyak's vibrant streets, offering boutique finds and delectable dining.

Although there’s more than enough to fill your days in Bali, adding a stop in the sovereign state of Singapore is the icing on the cake. One minute you can be standing in awe of the giant Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay and the next you’re transported back to the Golden Era, sampling Singapore Slings in the world-famous Raffles Hotel Singapore. Paradox Singapore Merchant Court is the perfect spot to soak up the city's vibes. There’s easy access to the MRT and you've got the lively Boat Quay and Clarke Quay on your doorstep, two of the best locales for a night on the town.

Thailand: Khao Lak and Elephant Hills

This is a Thailand trip where design meets nature. It all begins on the pristine shores of Khao Lak, gateway to the Similan Islands, a haven for divers and snorkellers. Your first night's stay is at Kalima Resort & Villas Khao Lak, a rustic-luxe retreat tucked between mangrove forests, the river and the ocean.

After a restful night’s sleep, venture into Khao Sok National Park, where you’ll be greeted by ancient rainforest and a cacophony of sound. On the first day of your Elephant Hills Jungle Safari, you'll bond with Thailand’s gentle giants at their elephant camp and drift in a canoe through limestone mountains – look out for monkeys darting through branches and snakes curled up high in the trees. Back at camp, enjoy a Thai dance performance and a buffet feast before slipping into slumber in your luxury en-suite tent.

Day two brings a mesmerising cruise on Cheow Larn Lake, pausing for lunch at a floating rainforest camp. Paddle through the lake’s calm waters on a kayak before returning to camp to swap jungle tales by the bar. Before your final farewell, spend a morning among the flora and fauna of the forest then transfer back to Khao Lak for more beach bliss.

Cambodia: Phnom Penh and Koh Rong

Visit Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, where the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers meet. Book a private highlights tour to see the Royal Palace and experience the Choeung Ek Killing Fields Memorial and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum to learn about this city’s turbulent past. After sundown, tuck into an al fresco meal on the banks of the Mekong then take in one of the bustling markets. Rest your head at Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh, just a few steps away from the Wat Phnom Temple.

Cambodia's beaches are the unspoken stars of Southeast Asia, quietly hiding behind the spotlight of its well-known neighbours. While the gorgeously rustic island of Koh Rong is gaining popularity, it’s still relatively untouched – roads are a little bumpy and Wi-Fi is hit-and-miss. But this is all forgiven once you’re sinking your toes in blindingly white sand and swinging in a hammock under palms.

There are a few standout hotels that are up to date with the mod cons. Five-star The Royal Sands Koh Rong is a world away from the island’s backpacker hut heritage, with an elegant restaurant serving up sublime à la carte Mediterranean dishes. The lavish standalone thatched villas are huge – some with 10-metre private pools. Stop by the Senses Spa, where treatments are enhanced by the view of tropical fish gliding beneath the glass floor.


For more inspiration on which destinations to combine, browse our Far East brochure or call us to chat with one of our knowledgeable travel experts.

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