Made up of 20 regions, the Far East still maintains an aura of exoticism through ancient traditions, unique customs and a culture all of its own. Known in recent years for great grub, spiritual landmarks, superb beaches and incredible landscapes, this mysterious corner of the world is just waiting for you to come and discover its secrets.
Beach lovers looking for that perfect combination of sun and sand should head to either Thailand or the Philippines. Thailand has two coastlines of crystalline waters and blazing white sands as well as tree-covered islands, making a tropical paradise like you’ve never imagined. Particularly popular regions include Koh Samui for its restorative seaside wellness centres and Ko Phi Phi for its beachfront parties. The Philippines boasts bath-hot waters and a climate to match, making sun worship a heavenly experience while the clarity of the waters ensures that it’s the perfect spot for some underwater exploration. For secluded beach stays and authentic island experiences, Boracay and Pamalican are a must.
Want to lose yourself in the splendour of temples, palaces and UNESCO World Heritage sites? Then Myanmar and Cambodia are countries to add to your Far East to-do list. The Bagan Archaeological Zone of Myanmar is 26 square miles of ancient relics, comprising some 2,000 temple and pagoda remains, making it a veritable playground of fabulous discoveries. Slightly smaller in size but no less intriguing in its offerings, Cambodia’s Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap contains more than 100 temples including the world-famous Angkor Wat and Tomb Raider’s Ta Prohm.
A foodie on the go might prefer to set their sights on the gourmet capitals of Singapore, Japan or India. Home of the world-renowned hawker fare, Singapore’s mainland capital comprises more than 10 Michelin-starred eateries, particularly in Orchard Road, Chomp Chomp centre and Marina Bay. Japan’s cuisine is high-class, refined and always served in the most elegant of settings with each prefecture offering its own take on traditional recipes. Tokyo in particular is famous for its fabulous food and its Takoyaki (fried octopus dumplings). Thought you knew all about Indian curries? Think again! Hungry explorers can expect a smorgasbord of indescribable flavours in this diverse country from the fried fish of Goa to the chole bhatures (bread and curry) of Delhi.
If nothing appeals more to you than adventures in the great outdoors, perhaps China, Indonesia or Malaysia is where you should stick your next drawing pin.
WINGED BOOTS WISDOM
Don’t fall for myths about the Far East being a place of perpetual sunshine, there are regions of ski-worthy snow, photogenic monsoons and thrilling tempests that appear without so much as an hour’s notice. Ask our team about seasonal changes in the area you’re planning to visit and remember to pack for every occasion.