This mecca for visitors offers an exhilarating and mesmerising potpourri of exciting sounds, irresistible flavours, intoxicating aromas and intense colours fully engage the senses. It is vibrant and timeless, a place where the wonders of the past are comfortable bedfellows with the contemporary – an enchanting land with compelling secrets.
Straddling the equator, between the Asian mainland and northern Australia, Indonesia is made up of thousands of diverse islands that are waiting to be explored. Mostly volcanic, each island features towering mountains covered in rice terraces or rainforest that lead down to beautiful golden beaches and clear blue seas. Discover enchanting culture, ancient temples, grand mountain views, verdant jungle, rolling waves to surf in and deep blue seas to dive in, or simply unwind by the pool or in the spa of a luxurious resort. Whether embarking on an adventure or indulging in a relaxing break, the warm and gracious welcome of the Indonesian people is found at every turn.
With 137 languages spoken, this is one of the world’s top melting pots of culture, races and religions. Malaysia’s multiculturalism has made this country a gastronomic paradise and home to hundreds of colourful festivals. Prehistoric rainforests that nurture some of the world’s rarest animals, beautiful beaches, cool highland hideaways and cities that blend modern and colonial architecture are all waiting to be enjoyed.
This progressive island nation and gateway to Southeast Asia is a dynamic mix of cultures, ideas and histories. Astounding 21st Century architecture, colonial buildings, Chinese and Indian temples, bazaars, flea markets, street vendors, churches and mosques all seem to find space to flourish between the numerous green spaces and parks. Perfect for a stopover and even better for a longer stay.
Vietnam is a country of extraordinary extremes and distinctive experiences, from kayaking in Ha Long Bay, marvelling at the 14th Century Cham ruins at My Son and exploring ornate temples, to relaxing on pristine beaches, exploring the ancient cobblestone streets of Hoi An and strolling by the modern buildings of Ho Chi Minh City. This is a land filled with rugged mountains, lush forests, dense jungles and verdant rice paddies dotted with bicycle-thronged cities and peaceful, rustic villages. Whether touring this fascinating country or simply enjoying the sunshine and beaches, Vietnam will not disappoint.
Not surprisingly, the Kingdom of Thailand is the most visited country in southeast Asia. The land of a thousand smiles is friendly and fun loving and offers a breathtaking range of scenery – from the jungle forested hills in the north to the unbelievably clear and warm waters of the Andaman Sea off the west coast. With its eclectic mix of culture, cuisine and commerce, most visitors spend time in Bangkok, before going up country to the jungle or heading for the islands and beaches. Serene Buddhist temples, golden royal palaces, buzzing street markets, glitzy shopping centres, gleaming hotels and colonial edifices all jostle for space in what is one of Asia’s largest cities.
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