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Remote Lands, the world’s leading ultra-luxe Asia travel designer, has announced the Top 2017 Undiscovered and Emerging Destinations in Asia curated by their well-traveled experts. The list is comprised of a selection of Asia’s dynamic and off-the-beaten path destinations not yet discovered by tourists, along with exciting new hotels, cultural experiences, less-trodden trails for travelers and the best kept geographical secrets. From Danum Valley’s elevated 85-foot-high canopy walks above the rainforest and historical journeys down the ancient Silk Road, to Macao’s local Portuguese and Cantonese fusion cuisine and Japan’s oldest onsen hot springs, this diverse continent offers a wealth of hidden gems and adventures for travelers looking to explore somewhere new in the upcoming year.
“We designed this list of largely undiscovered, remote Asian destinations for 2017 to educate adventurous travelers about exciting, up-and-coming places that may not have otherwise been on their radar. Filled with unique cultural excursions, diverse cuisine and stunning landscapes, these destinations are Asia’s best-kept secrets and offer a one-of-a-kind travel experience,” said Catherine Heald, Remote Lands’ co-founder and CEO. “Our team of travel experts are constantly looking for the newest and best in the world of Asia travel, and our personalized itineraries highlight thrilling experiences and exclusive access in these exciting destinations.”
View the full destinations list below and for more information, visit remotelands.com.
Enclosed by mountains to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the East and the Sea of Okhotsk to the west, in the far east of Russia, travelers can fly to this land of uninhabited wilderness alive with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and the world’s highest concentration of brown bears. This 1,250-mile peninsula is best explored by helicopter for a safe overlook of the Valley of the Geysers and the Volcanoes of Kamchatka. During the winter months from November to May, alpine skiing in Kransaya Spoka is a new activity for tourists. Nikolskaya Hill is an ideal place for first time visitors to gain a new perspective of the city and the surrounding Avacha Bay.
Matsuyama is located on the Japanese island of Shikoku, known for its beautiful and intricate Japanese architecture, literature and the oldest onsen hot springs in Japan. A highlight of the area is D?go Onsen Honkan, a luxurious three-story wooden bathhouse dating back to the 19th century, frequently visited by locals. Another must-see in Matsuyama is the "Shimanami Kaido," a 50-mile bridge that passes over several islands to link Shikoku to the Honshu "mainland.” The bridge also includes an adjacent pedestrian and cycling lane for those that want the experience on-foot or by bicycle. Guests can stay at the brand-new contemporary art museum-cum-luxury seven-suite Setouchi Aonagi hotel, designed by the renowned architect Tadao Ando, which features a variety of creative artwork from different artists throughout including landscape gardens, calligraphy, paintings and sculptures.
The vibrant Omani city of Salalah is characterized by its tropical landscape, rolling desert and rich heritage filled with historical archaeological sites and buildings, such as the Sumhuram Old City and Taqah Castle. The Khareef Festival, which is celebrated between July 15th and August 13th, is one of the most popular times to visit, with an extravagant mix of cultural events, sporting competitions, concerts, and shopping in Salah. Travelers can watch camels swim in the ocean and to satisfy their appetites, Beach Road offers beachside restaurants and bars with local delicacies or a cup of sweet tea to bring relief from the Omani heat. Guests can stay at the Hilton Salalah or Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara and explore the striking landscape by 4x4 or camel back.
Indonesia’s largest and easternmost province, Papua features sublime landscapes, a vibrant Melanesian culture and diverse wildlife including tree kangaroos, birds of paradise, and whale sharks. As a result of the lively fishing activity by local fisherman, visitors can get up close and personal with the whale sharks of Cenderawasih Bay Marine Park year-round. For a local cultural experience, travelers can charter a plane south, cross the river by canoe and trek to a local village in the Dayo Rainforest to spend the night and share a meal with villagers. Another unique experience for travelers when visiting Papua is the tribal pig roast with colorful Dani tribesmen.
Tajikstan, Central Asia
Inquisitive travelers can take a journey along the ancient Silk Road as it twists and turns its way throughout the rich history and culture of this landlocked country. Dushanbe, the hazy capital city, is a fast-growing metropolis encircled by magnificent mountains. Visitors can be swept up by the hustle and bustle of the capital’s shopping or nightlife or choose to meander through the city’s wide, tree-lined avenues and botanical gardens. For those looking for more extreme nature-based adventures, Tajikistan does not disappoint. Avid climbers and hikers can experience what is referred to as The Roof of the World, the breathtaking slopes of the Pamir Mountains. Another must-see is the serene Iskanderkul, a mineral-rich mountain lake of glacial origin.
Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
As the second largest national park in Sri Lanka, Yala National Park is a 400-square-mile protected wildlife sanctuary, home to more than 40 species of rare mammals, including the majestic leopard. This Sri Lankan premier ecotourism destination offers visitors the chance to experience the untamed wild traversing rainforests that lead into grasslands and wetlands, opening up to sand beaches. Visitors can see peacocks, elephants, sloth bears, sambars, chital, black-naped hare, and marsh mugger crocodiles. Bird watchers can find the blue-faced malkoha, yellow wattled lapwing, rufous-winged bush lark, white-rumped shama and rare black-necked stork.
The deeply spiritual region of Ladakh, India, characterized by its stunning mountains, is an ideal location for any visitor looking for peace, tranquility and ancient culture. Tibetan Buddhist monasteries called “gompas” decorate the region’s landscape with murals and colorful prayer flags that spread their spiritual messages, attracting avid photographers and trekking travelers alike. From October to March, animal enthusiasts can spot the elusive snow leopard on an expedition across the mountains of Hemis National Park and Ulley Valley. The Ultimate Travelling Camp, located in both Chamba and Thiksey, are popular glamping accommodations, featuring luxury tented suites along with various cultural excursions including monastery tours, river rafting, and horse polo.
Danum Valley, Sabah, Malaysia
Danum Valley is a 240-mile nature preservation of primarily lowland rainforest in the remote corner of Borneo. Sabah’s strict conservation rules allow wildlife to roam, giving travelers the opportunity to spot rare animals such as the clouded leopard, pygmy elephants, orangutans, and Sumatran rhinos in the forest’s extensive biodiversity. Keen naturalists will encounter cascading waterfalls, a variety of verdant foliage, wild nocturnal creations on night walks, and an elevated 85-foot-high canopy walk amongst the treetops.
Gyeongju, South Korea
Known as “the museum without walls,” Gyeongju is one of South Korea’s oldest cities filled with rich history and charm. This coastal city dates to the prehistoric period, once serving as the booming, cosmopolitan capital of the ancient Silla dynasty. Today it offers Silla-era architecture and the largest number of palace ruins, temples, pagodas, and tombs in South Korea. The Bulguksa Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an example of ancient Korean artistry and home to many important relics. The Gyeongju National Park is another highlight, offering stunning architecture, museums, monuments and meticulously curated gardens. Accommodations options in Gyeongju include the Park Hyatt near Busan and the Hilton Gyeongju.
Long known for being a hub of gambling and glitz in China, many travelers do not realize that Macao is in fact a thriving city that offers much more including a host of five-star hotels and Michelin-Starred restaurants. A Portuguese territory until 1999 and now a trilingual region, Macao retains its colonial and cultural charms with a mix of Asian and European influences. Travelers can walk down boulevards made of Portuguese mosaic tiles, discover ancient Chinese temples and the 17th century ruins of the St. Paul’s Church. A unique fusion of Portuguese and Cantonese cuisine can be found as well as the popular Rua da Tercena market where art and antiques are sold away from tourist crowds. Another highlight is the Macao tower, soaring up to 1,100 feet and offering sweeping city views of the peninsula.
Mrauk U, Myanmar
In the five years since Myanmar has opened its doors to the world, some of its hidden gems are now being discovered. One of those is Mrauk U, a western town in Myanmar, known to be one of the most important archaeological sites in the Rakhine state and now more easily accessible via a new two-hour boat ride from Sittwe up the Kaladan River. Travelers can witness some of the oldest pagodas in the country, untouched by restoration allowing nature to adorn the structures with moss and foliage. One of Mrauk U’s true delights has travelers trekking up the destination’s steep hills for a stunning sunrise that overlooks the landscape as fog flows through the pagodas and the sprawling hills and marshes.
Taipei, the sprawling capital of Taiwan andcultural hub brimming with culinary delights, architecture, art, history, and nature, is on the rise for North American travelers. In one day, visitors can get their cultural fixes at the National Palace Museum or National Revolutionary Martyr’s Shrine and embrace the outdoors through natural excursions found at the Yangmingshan National Park or Beitou Hot Spring. They can also visit the Taipei 101 Observatory, once the tallest building in the world, for a bird’s-eye panoramic view of Taipei from the 89th floor; or explore the nightlife at Shilin and Raohe Street Night Markets. Taipei also boasts Michelin-Starred restaurants and an array of five-star hotels including the Mandarin Oriental, Ritz Carlton and the W.
About Remote Lands, Inc.
Remote Lands, Inc. creates highly personalized and unique, ultra-luxury holidays throughout Asia. Based in New York and Bangkok, the company specializes in extraordinary experiences that are difficult to arrange and require privileged access to important people and exclusive events, drawing upon Remote Lands’ relationships with remarkable people around Asia. Unparalleled service, creative itineraries and extreme attention to detail are what set Remote Lands apart. For additional information, visit Facebook.com/RemoteLands, Twitter.com/RemoteLands, or at Instagram.com/Remote_Lands.
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