Cambodia and Vietnam, Malaysia and Borneo or a multi-centre in Thailand, there are so many choices for adventure holidays in Asia, check out my top five.
When we talk about going to Europe, we don’t compare Bulgaria with Spain, or Norway with Albania, so why do we do it when we talk about a holiday to Asia? We need to remember that each country has something unique to offer. Planning a trip to Asia can be tricky. Weather can not only vary from country to country, but in some cases you may find the rainy season in the north of the country and hot dry weather in the south – at exactly the same time! It can be a good idea to combine cities or jungle treks with beach resorts, or to combine two or three different countries in the one trip.
I have teamed up with Tropical Sky, the long haul holiday specialists to bring you my top five adventure holidays in Asia. These are just a sample of the holidays Tropical Sky offer in the region. All of the prices below include flights, transfers and top quality hotels – in most cases five star resorts! If you want to alter these itineraries in any way, just talk to their dedicated sales team and they will tailor make a holiday to suit you.
Thailand: Elephant Hills Experience with Phuket & Khao Lak Beach Stay, 12 Nights, from €1979
Sleeping in a tent in Thailand’s tropical rainforest is enough to make me want to try this trip! Throw in jungle trekking, canoeing and taking care of elephants and you have one of best adventure holidays in Asia.
Before embarking on the Elephant Hills experience you will first spend five nights in the luxurious Vijitt Resort in Phuket. This exclusive all-villa resort is the ultimate in five star luxury. Located on the Andaman Sea, this retreat is an ideal way to start your holiday in relaxing surroundings. You will then be taken by mini-bus to Elephant Hills in Khao Sok National Park, which will be your home for the next two nights. There is no need to worry, the tents have a double bed with bathrooms! Learn all about the conservation of the elephants and help feed them, as well as enjoying a canoe safari, jungle trek and longtail boat cruise.
Your final destination is the beach resort of Khao Lak. You will be staying at the contemporary Bangsak Merlin hotel where you can chill out and enjoy the on-site facilities, or take the short shuttle ride to the centre of Khao Lak and enjoy some local food, shopping and entertainment.
Price from €2079 includes flights, transfers, hotels on a bed & breakfast basis in Phuket and Khao Lak and full board at Elephant hills.
Vietnam & Cambodia: Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An & Angkor Wat, 12 Nights from €2,529
A two centre holiday in Vietnam and Cambodia is a very popular choice for an adventure holiday in Asia. The short two hour flight from Dha Nang directly to the town of Siem Reap in Cambodia makes it an ideal combination. This twelve night itinerary combines the best of Vietnam with a three night stay to see the world’s largest religious monument at Angkor Wat.
Your holiday starts with a three night stay in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi. After a busy few days you will transfer by private car to Halong Bay, where you will board a luxury junk boat for an overnight cruise. There is no better way to explore this captivating UNESCO World Heritage site, than by boat. See how the Vietnamese trade in the early morning and enjoy cocktails and seaviews.
Price from €2249 includes all flights, transfers and hotels on a bed & breakfast basis.
Borneo: Jungle & Beach, 10 Nights from €2,479
You only have to say the word Borneo and adventure springs to mind. Tropical rainforests, stunning beaches, amazing marine life and the chance to see Orangutans in their natural habitat – this ten night trip to Borneo is one of my favourite adventure holidays in Asia.
You will fly into Kota Kinabalu where you will enjoy a three-night stay at the Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, before flying north to Sandakan. Your first stop is the Orangutan rehabilitation centre at Sepilok, where Orangutans roam free and you can observe from jungle boardwalks. You will also be able to visit the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, where rescued sun bears live. After an action packed morning enjoy a river cruise and lunch at the Abai Jungle Lodge, where you will stay for two nights. Search for wildlife on river cruises and enjoy tropical sunsets and jungle sounds, from the comfort of your luxury lodge.
Your final stop is the stunning island of Gaya, where you will stay for five nights. Located inside the Tunki Rahman Marine Park, the Gaya Island Resort is not only a tropical island paradise but is also an eco-friendly luxury resort. You will be staying in your own private villa on stilts overlooking Mount Kinabalu or mangrove forests and you can expect fine dining, Balinese spa treatments and excellent snorkelling opportunities.
Price from €2479 includes all flights, transfers, hotels on a bed & breakfast basis in Kota Kinabalu & Gaya and all meals in Abai Jungle lodge.
Malaysia: Pangkor Laut & Kuala Lumpur Luxury Twin Centre, 10 Nights from €1,999
If you choose this Malaysian adventure you will be staying at two of the best hotels in Asia, the exclusive island resort of Pangkor Laut and the Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, where I (and Prince Charles!) recently stayed. This two-centre holiday perfectly combines the bustling capital Kuala Lumpur with one of the world’s most secluded private islands. Your holiday starts in Pangkor Laut where you will be taken by private transfer from Kuala Lumpur. This piece of paradise was built specifically to blend beautifully with the islands 2 million year old rainforests. Explore through the jungle, relax on its pristine beaches or enjoy the many watersports and spa facilities on offer.
After a throughly relaxing seven days you will transfer back to Kuala Lumpur for a three night stay in the Hotel Majestic. A national landmark, this hotel is a favourite with celebrities and is the venue of choice for Kuala Lumpur’s social events. I stayed here last year and loved it, the rooms, food and service is superb. Located within walking distance of KL’s top attractions, make sure to visit Independence Square and the world’s tallest twin towers, the Petronas Towers.
Price from €1999 includes flights, transfers and hotels on a bed & breakfast basis.
Thailand: Bangkok, Phi Phi Island & Krabi Multi Centre, 8 Nights from €1,599
This Thai adventure combines the bustling city of Bangkok with two of Thailand’s favourite islands, Krabi and Phi Phi. You will be staying in world class hotels in stunning locations, including one of Bangkok’s best – The Tower Club at Lebua.
Your first two nights will be at the luxurious Tower Club at Lebua. This celebrity hang out is renowned for its chic rooftop bars, outdoor pool and five star service. If you can manage to tear yourself away from the hotel, make sure to ride the Skytrain and check out Bangkok’s street food, buddhist temples and shopping malls.
After an action packed two nights in Bangkok you will transfer to Phi Phil island for a three night stay at the fabulous Phi Phi Island Resort. Relax, swim, or go island hopping, this is the perfect place to unwind. Following on from this you will have the chance to stay at another one of Thailand’s stunning resorts, the Tubkaah Boutique hotel in Krabi. Located right on a beach of pure white sand, with an outdoor sunken bath in every room, this luxurious resort will take your breath away. This is a great place to try jungle trekking or if you prefer to stay put, there are numerous watersports available on your doorstep.
Price from €1,599 includes flights, transfers and hotels on a bed & breakfast basis.