China (including Tibet) - Japan - Mongolia - North Korea
The vastness of Asia can be a daunting proposition when beginning to plan a trip.
You could spend months here and barely scrape the surface, so we would be delighted to help you design your ideal journey.
CHINA (including Tibet)
China with its three millennia of history provides a plethora of bucket list sites such as the Terracotta Warriors, the Great Wall and the Forbidden City and are certainly not to be missed. However, what we remember most fondly were the off the beaten track areas of Yunnan Province by the Tibet border and the minority tribes we met there. One of our favourite experiences was the train Journey to Lhasa at the beginning of a truly unforgettable trip to Tibet. There’s certainly no shortage of choice here…
Japans’ unique civilisation, isolated history and traditional society make it a truly amazing destination. Famous for Tokyo, Mt Fuji, Kyoto and the Geisha (not to mention the cuisine!) Japan is a genuinely astounding destination. Probably our favourite memories of Japan stem from wandering the cities and exploring all the unique and unusual sites that we stumbled upon. Experiencing traditional Japanese hospitality at a Ryokan is without a doubt a highlight of any Journey to the Land of the Rising Sun.
One of our more interesting trips over the years was to North Korea. Obviously it’s a divisive destination but the Hermit Kingdom remains one of the most unique places to visit in the world. A trip to the DPRK includes a decent amount of sightseeing to government approved sites like the Victorious Fatherland Liberation Museum (War Museum) the USS Pueblo and the Arch of Triumph - and yes you have to travel everywhere with a state sanctioned guide. However, being able to experience some of the more random sites like the Pyongyang metro system, riding a rollercoaster at the amusement park or having a few beers at a micro brewery were unexpected highlights as we got to rub shoulders with the locals. Deserving of a special mention is viewing the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea. To be just a few meters away from one of the most talked about strips of land in the world is quite something. Often unusual but always surprising, North Korea is certainly one for the more intrepid traveller.
There aren’t too many places of such vast beauty left on the planet like Mongolia. Although Ulaanbaatar has become a large modern city, as soon as you head out into the countryside you’re in for a much more rustic experience. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mongolia is a perfect destination for the outdoorsman – with the Alpine region to the North (including the pristine Lake Hovsgol), the snow-capped Altai Mountains to the West and the startlingly beautiful Gobi Desert to the South, there’s an incredibly diverse range of activities and experiences to be enjoyed. Highlights for us included sitting outside our Yurt in the Gobi desert and watching the sky darken only to fill with an immeasurable number of stars and spending time with the nomadic herders and trying (pretty unsuccessfully) to round up sheep from horseback.
Hong Kong is worth a mention on it’s own. Our home for three years it provides the perfect stepping off point for trips throughout all of Asia. However, its history means it’s a blend of British colonialism and Chinese culture that make for a dazzling East meets West vibe. Alongside all of the sites, Hong Kong is a foodies dream with everything from delicious roadside food stalls to Michelin starred restaurants – unlike any other city we’ve come across.