Asia

Kyoto - The Heart of Japan

There it was again. A streak of colour and a scurry in the tiny alleyway up ahead. I crept forward, treading lightly past wooden facades and unmarked doors, careful not to knock the red lanterns that cast an atmospheric glow across the cobbled path. A sharp turn to the left, and there she is: a geisha.  A quick glance over her shoulder, her white made-up face contrasting with the elaborate design of her kimono - and she's gone.

While we all know that geishas' inherent beauty, grace and charm have been admired for centuries, the same could be said of Kyoto. Like waiting for a glimpse of a shy nocturnal creature, you can wait all day for the city to reveal its secrets, and just as you're about to give up in favour of fast food and a night at karaoke, Kyoto's discrete world will reveal itself. Read more about Kyoto - The Heart of Japan

Explore the Hidden Nature Trails of Bali

A monsoon deluge broke as we approached the emerald rainforests of Ubud, sending a family of chattering monkeys, some holding each other's tails, scampering for the sanctuary of the sandalwoods trees.  It was that bewitching hour in the tropics when day turns rapidly into bible-black night, as if a curtain has dropped, and driving through plantations of coconut, mangrove and banana we plunged ever deeper into the verdant, virgin valley where far below the vodka-clear Ayung river gurgled over rocks. Read more about Explore the Hidden Nature Trails of Bali

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Discover China's Hip City, Chengdu

China is emerging as one of the hottest destinations on the planet for adventurous travellers. but while the mega cities of Shanghai and Beijing are an obvious draw, there is one city in the geographical centre of the country that is gaining some well-deserved hype: Chengdu. Touted by travel experts as the country's hippest city - think China's version of Berlin or Lisbon - with a relaxed, laid-back vibe intertwining a forward-thinking cosmopolitan throng. Read more about Discover China's Hip City, Chengdu

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Take Quiet Time Out in Tokyo

Tokyo: one of the world’s largest cities. It’s big, buzzy and loud. But the Japanese capital isn’t all frantic-paced living and cramming on to impossibly packed subway trains. There are blissful pockets of peace and tranquillity too. From discovering the intricacies of a traditional tea ceremony to zazen meditation and dining experiences that last all afternoon, here are five ways to find calm in Tokyo. Read more about Take Quiet Time Out in Tokyo

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Don’t Just Stopover, Visit Singapore

When diplomat and author Sir Harold Nicolson landed in Singapore in 1957 he was stunned. “It is about the greenest place I have ever seen”, he writes in his travel memoir Journey to Java. “It is like entering Dartmouth on a muggy August afternoon.” Aboard a cruise ship on a last hurrah to the era of cruise ship travel, Nicolson saw the island before it blossomed into the Singapore we know today. The transition from a little more than a fishing village to a futuristic first world country all happened within just 50 years. Read more about Don’t Just Stopover, Visit Singapore

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Experience Winter on Thailand's Koh Samui

The Thai island of Koh Samui is a little slice of paradise – offering everything from water sports to blissful relaxation.  From secret Buddha gardens to hidden beaches, world class hotels to backpacker chic, sizzling street food to world-class cuisine, Koh Samui has established itself as one of the most diverse and alluring destinations on the planet.  For those of us who prefer sun to snow this winter – and who wouldn’t? – This 15km-wide paradise island in Thailand’s Chumphon archipelago takes some beating. Read more about Experience Winter on Thailand's Koh Samui

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Discover South East Asia’s Most Exciting City, Singapore

Once an intriguing stop-off for passing traffic, Singapore has now established itself as the new go-to holiday destination for savvy travellers with a taste for adventure. With a long and rich history tracing back 700 years, the relative size of this city-state compared to other Southeast Asian destinations means visitors have a chance to explore everything it has to offer in just one holiday. Read more about Discover South East Asia’s Most Exciting City, Singapore

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Macao, Foodies Paradise

The first thing you see landing into Macao is the towering silhouettes of the casinos, dozens of glass and concrete behemoths looming over the horizon,  shrouded in sickly neon mist, firing laser over the sky.  There's the hulking, lotus-shaped Grand Lisboa, the rust-coloured reproduction of Las Vegas' Wynn, the opulent towers of the Galaxy. Unlike mainland China, gambling has been legal in Macao since 1850, an industry that makes up more than half its local economy.  Most people you speak with will have come to either gamble or to watch a sporting event. Read more about Macao, Foodies Paradise

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6 Reasons to Visit Macao

To experience one of the most exciting culture-packed destinations in the Far East, look no further than Macao.  With rich history, vibrant nightlife and great food, Macao has something for everyone. Located 40 miles from Hong Kong Macao's  Portuguese-Chinese heritage is a must-see for avid travellers looking for a cool alternative twin-centre stop off when exploring Hong Kong, Thailand and  the rest of Asia. Read more about 6 Reasons to Visit Macao

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