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InspirAsian travel blog

The realities of unexploded ordnance, the work of MAG and how travel can help

Nick | 25th April 2022

Help us spread the message and raise support for MAG's work in Laos with their campaign Unlock the Land.

Traveller or tourist? Maybe's now the time to decide

David Leck | 17th March 2022

Read about David’s experience travelling in post-pandemic Thailand.

Local lowdown on Sri Lanka's Wildlife & Conservation

Maria | 4th June 2021

Life in the wake of Covid: Sri Lanka

Maria | 27th May 2021

During this series, we will share stories of resilience, innovation and just day-to-day life straight from our friends in Asia.

Life in the wake of Covid: Cambodia

Maria | 9th April 2021

During this series, we will share stories of resilience, innovation and just day-to-day life straight from our friends in Asia.

Keep on growing - levelling up lockdown skills on your travels

Maria | 1st April 2021

The hobbies and interests that many of us have nurtured during our collective confinement have been much-needed silver linings to the heavy Covid cloud. We’re keen to inspire you to keep that momentum going, especially when we do eventually get to embark on those long-awaited travels - now is the time to take those new-found skills to the next level. Hold your newest obsession in your mind as you start to plan your next trip to Asia. We can’t wait to help you get back out there.

Hanami: Japan's Sakura Blossom Season

Andrew | 1st April 2021

Pops of cherry blossom are beginning to appear across most temperate countries thanks to gifts of Sakura trees from Japan over the centuries. These days, they are a ubiquitous symbol of early Spring across the world, but we dare to ask… given the choice, where would you rather be: sat under a tree in Brighton with your meal deal triple sandwich, grab bag of crisps and can of ready-mixed G&T, or under another sky, a Japanese one, next to a delightful specimen of Prunus Yedoensis, being seduced by an exquisitely prepared bento lunch and Japanese craft beer? 

When travel isn't possible. A harsh reality, and what can we do to help?

Nick | 29th January 2021

Our hope in sharing this article is to learn what you think about a value that's been core to Selective Asia since we began: our collective responsibility to protect the communities and habitats we travel to.

Japan Summer Games 2021 - An update

Andrew | 15th January 2021

After the extraordinary year that was 2020, we’re relieved to be looking ahead to something that feels extraordinary in a positive sense. As we write, Japan is pushing forwards with holding its rescheduled summer games in 2021: a historic second attempt at the Olympics. 

Farewell, 2020 - We're ready for the next one

Nick | 31st December 2020

As the longest year of our lives finally draws to a close, we are beginning to look back through a year littered with extreme emotions. There have been far too many sad farewells, from stories of personal loss to heartfelt goodbyes with long-time colleagues, and leaving behind our lovely Selective Asia office after a period of heavy stress. Thankfully those days in March, spent urgently extracting clients from around Asia, are starting to become a distant memory. Along with the rest of our industry, we had to be quick to adapt. We shut down much of our operation, as did our partners and colleagues across Asia.

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The future of travel: what will it really be like?

Nick | 9th July 2020

Nick did a lot of reading during the Covid-19 outbreak, and found many travel commentators claiming that the disease 'will' automatically bring about a number of changes. He's not so sure, and shares his insights in this blog post.

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10 unprecedented days in the travel industry

Nick | 18th March 2020

Selective Asia's founder Nick shares an insider's view on life in the rapidly disintegrating travel industry during the COVID-19 outbreak

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When's the best time to visit North-East India?

Suzie | 28th February 2020

From climate and weather to festivals and school holidays, our India Specialists share their expert insights into the best time to visit North-East India.

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Team Travel Journal: Sara visits Tamil Nadu

Sara | 21st February 2020

Travelling through Tamil Nadu in South India, Selective Asia's Sara discovers a delightful culture and all manner of fascinating experiences.

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Best places to visit on your India family holiday

Suzie | 14th February 2020

Our India Specialists pick out a few of their favourite hotels and experiences to craft your family’s adventures around…

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Birding in Bhutan: bird watching in the Happiest Country on Earth

Gemma | 23rd January 2020

Peppering your holiday in Bhutan with unique birding opportunities is a great way to see the landscape from a new angle, and gives you the chance to experience some of Bhutan’s finest festivals.

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Festival fever in Bhutan

Gemma | 27th November 2019

Bhutan is famous for its flamboyant festivals, known locally as Tsechus. Gemma shares a few of the most exciting and interesting tshechus that are taking place in 2019...

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On the road: planning a cycling holiday in Cambodia

Steve | 29th August 2019

Cycling in Cambodia offers something to suit everyone, from irresistible trails for keen riders to easy paved routes amongst the temples. Here’s our pick...

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How to get the best out of diving in Asia

Stephen | 22nd August 2019

Our Destination Specialist Stephen, who is a keen diver and trained instructor, explains how to get the best from a diving holiday in Asia.

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Where to see orang-utans in the wild

Guest author | 21st August 2019

Our Destination Specialists share the protected locations where you are most likely to see orang-utans in the wild…

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Planning your Bhutan holiday around its festivals

Suzie | 15th August 2019

Whenever you visit Bhutan you’ll find a festival in full swing somewhere, so here are a few tips for planning your trip around the best of each season’s festival fever…

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Team travel: cycling Japan's Shimanami trail

Nick | 15th August 2019

Nick visited Japan to cycle the famous Shimanami Kaido trail, which crosses several islands in the country's Inland Sea. Here he is describing the journey... 

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Team travel: Ed's phinisi cruise from Bali to Komodo

Ed | 15th August 2019

Indonesia Specialist Ed recently spend a week on a traditional Indonesian sailing barge, visiting some hard-to-reach spots between Bali and Lombok National Park...

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What to consider when planning a family holiday to India

Suzie | 8th August 2019

Our Destination Specialists explain what you need to consider if you want a smooth, enjoyable and hassle-free family holiday in India...

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Team travel: Sarah visits Naoshima art island, Japan

Guest author | 2nd August 2019

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11 of the best resorts for couples in Thailand

Guest author | 24th July 2019

Whether it’s ultra-extravagance by the sea, a cosy hillside nook to snuggle up in, or a city-centre hideaway, the best resorts for couples in Thailand all have a little extra romantic magic. Our Thailand Specialists have picked a few of their favourite places for you to enjoy quality time with your loved one...


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The best places in Asia to learn...

Guest author | 24th July 2019

From surfing to cookery, samurai swordfighting to tea ceremonies, our Destination Specialists have shared some of the best places in Asia to learn something new.

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7 of the most romantic places to visit in Laos

Guest author | 17th July 2019

If you’re looking for a romantic Asia holiday away from the beaten track, we recommend heading to Laos. Why? Our Destination Specialists spill the beans...

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7 of our favourite train journeys in Asia

Suzie | 10th July 2019

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Nick's report from Sri Lanka

Nick | 28th June 2019

When Nick wrote this article soon after the Easter attacks in 2019 he hoped that his reports of such positivity on the ground would help encourage people to return. Roll forward a few years, throw into the mix a pandemic and …

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15 best boutique hotels and eco lodges in Vietnam

Suzie | 28th June 2019

Our Vietnam Specialists share their favourite fifteen boutique hotels and eco lodges in Vietnam that stand out from the crowd...

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Interesting ways to get around in Myanmar

Guest author | 27th June 2019

Our Myanmar Specialists share their favourite ways to get around Myanmar and see this spectacular country from diverse perspectives.

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Team travel journal: Kate in India

Kate | 27th June 2019

Our India Specialist Kate describes a recent spellbinding trip off the beaten track to see tigers, leopards and other wildlife in India's numerous national parks...

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Food you must try in Laos

Guest author | 20th June 2019

Our Laos specialists shared some of their top tips for where and what to eat on your Laos holiday, and made everyone in the Selective Asia office very hungry…

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Selective Six: Asia hotels for the best night's sleep you've ever had

Suzie | 13th June 2019

A Selective Asia holiday packs in all kinds of exciting opportunities! But we like to make time for relaxation, too. Here are six hotels where we caught some particularly blissful zzzzs...

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Best places in Laos and Cambodia for total relaxation

Guest author | 6th June 2019

Our Laos and Cambodia Specialists have picked out their favourite spots in Laos and Cambodia for ultimate relaxation...

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Four of the best river cruises in Laos

Guest author | 30th May 2019

Our Laos Specialists pick a few of their favourite boat trips and cruises to - ahem - launch your imagination...

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The best restaurants & bars in Yangon

Guest author | 23rd May 2019

Head out to explore Yangon's dining scene with our Myanmar Specialists, who relish every chance to meet Yangon’s residents and discover what’s on the horizon...

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Laos beach alternatives

Guest author | 9th May 2019

Our Laos Specialists have shared their favourite beach alternatives to make your Laos holiday complete...

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Why is Tibetan butter such a big deal?

Guest author | 9th May 2019

Tibetan butter is eaten everywhere from Lhasa to the foothills of Mount Everest, but what exactly is it, and what makes people go misty-eyed at the thought of it?

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Best places to visit in Laos with kids

Guest author | 25th April 2019

Laos is a great place to travel with kids of all ages, allowing you to combine wildlife watching and jungle adventures with laid-back city wanders, river cruises and even ‘beach’ time...

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Our favourite family hotels in Thailand

Guest author | 18th April 2019

The Selective Asia team share their favourite resorts for the perfect Thailand holiday with kids...

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Indian palaces & forts you can stay in

Karl | 16th April 2019

India is rich in superb architecture, and some of it has been turned into unique accommodation. Our India Specialists share a few of their treasured discoveries for you to add to your hotel wishlist...

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Where to see tigers in India

Suzie | 12th April 2019

Our India Specialists talk about where to search for tigers in India, along with how to avoid the crowds and increase your chances of seeing other interesting species...

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Thailand's weekend markets: Chiang Mai v Bangkok

Guest author | 11th April 2019

Both Chiang Mai and Bangkok boast fabulous weekend markets - but if you’ve only got time for one, which should you choose? Three of our Thailand specialists share their highlights and top tips for each...

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Food & hygiene in India

Karl | 5th April 2019

We asked our India Specialist Karl if there’s really anything to worry about when it comes to food & hygiene when you're on holiday in India...

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Trekking around holy Mount Kailash, in Tibet

Nick | 22nd March 2019

Mount Kailash is extraordinary, whether or not you follow one of the four religions that hold this Tibetan Peak sacred. Trekking expert Marie Stissing Jensen told us about her own journey through the region...

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The best cycling experiences in Asia

Steve | 14th March 2019

Selective Asia's expert road cyclist Steve shares his top destinations for a cycling holiday in Asia, or at least for adding an exhilirating ride into your trip...

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Scenic treks around Inle Lake

Gemma | 27th February 2019

Selective Asia's Gemma describes her astonishing experience on a recent sailing trip through the remote islands of Myanmar's Mergui (Myeik) Archipelago...

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The best beaches on Sri Lanka for...

Guest author | 21st February 2019

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7 of the best honeymoon destinations in Japan

Guest author | 13th February 2019

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Bagan’s most beautiful temples

Guest author | 31st January 2019

Here are a few tips for getting the best out of a Bagan temple tour, pinpointing some stunning stand-out examples and making sure you don’t get ‘templed out’...

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Tranquil retreats in Sri Lanka

Guest author | 24th January 2019

Whether you’re searching for a rustic or luxury getaway, Sri Lanka offers plenty of tranquil resorts for you to escape it all.

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6 top spots in Asia for a proper brew

Guest author | 17th January 2019

From Sri Lanka's amber Ceylon to Japan's emerald matcha, we’ve picked some of the best places in Asia to sit back and relax with a good cuppa…

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Supporting communities while you're on holiday in Asia

Guest author | 17th January 2019

'Travel done right' can really benefit the communities and habitats we visit. Our Destination Specialists suggest a few great places where you can give back to the communities that you visit...

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Four tranquil retreats in Thailand

Gemma | 10th January 2019

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Where to go in Thailand with your kids

Guest author | 20th December 2018

Family holidays in Thailand offer an expert balance between fresh adventure and total relaxation in well-equipped surroundings. Our Destination Specialists have shared their favourite places to go in Thailand with kids...

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Meaningful travel in Myanmar

Gemma | 19th December 2018

2018 has been another turbulent year for Myanmar, but the situation is far more complex than most international channels choose to portray. We shine a light into the shadows, share our in-country team's hard-won insights, and ponder ways to travel responsibly.

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Five romantic honeymoon hotels in Japan

Guest author | 13th December 2018

Whether you're retreating to the mountains for a hot spring soak, or indulging your inner urbanite with a pied-à-terre in a fascinating city, our Japan Specialists can recommend the perfect hotel for a truly romantic honeymoon...

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Picture-perfect places to spend Christmas in Thailand

Guest author | 6th December 2018

Christmas in Thailand is the perfect alternative to drizzle and that shopping frenzy. The festivities fall in the middle of high season, when Thai weather is at its best, from the beaches to Bangkok...

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The best beaches in Myanmar

Suzie | 29th November 2018

Fulfilling travel should refresh as well as enrich, and a bit of downtime will let you recharge your batteries and reflect on everything you’ve seen. Choose a community-based beach resort to support some of the country's most deprived areas...

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What to look for in a honeymoon hotel

Gemma | 22nd November 2018

Many of our Destination Specialists spent their own honeymoons in Asia. Here they offer advice on where to stay to ensure that you have the perfect honeymoon experience...

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Sri Lanka’s best scenic train journeys

Guest author | 15th November 2018

Sri Lanka is particularly blessed with visually stunning railway lines, which run through the mountainsides, connecting plantations and communities. We explore the finest of them all...

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Japan's Matsuri festivals

Andrew | 8th November 2018

Alongside the major national holidays, most Japanese towns and villages have unique matsuri festivals which highlight their history, heart and soul...

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Teahouse culture in Myanmar

Guest author | 1st November 2018

Myanmar's teahouses are excellent spots to catch an uncomplicated glimpse of everyday Myanmar life, as locals exchange news and views over a steaming brew. We spoke to our partners in the country to find out more...

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Selective Six: Asian curries

Gemma | 25th October 2018

Six of our favourite Asian curries in honour of National Curry Week, complete with authentic recipes provided by our local teams in Asia...

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Team travel journal: Nick's Tibet

Nick | 18th October 2018

'We were fast approaching the foot of the world’s largest mountain, feeling like we were arriving at the front door of Muhammad Ali and nervously pushing the doorbell...' Nick follows in the footsteps of his childhood hero.

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Selective Six: camping, but not as you know it

Gemma | 11th October 2018

Selective Asia's product designer Gemma introduces six of the most sophisticated camping experiences you can find in Asia. Just nobody mention bunting...

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A guide to food in Bhutan

Gemma | 5th October 2018

Gemma didn't know what she'd be eating in Bhutan - 'Bhutanese food' hasn't really made it to Western shores the way other Asian cuisines have taken off. Here's what you can expect...

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The rhinos of Nepal

Suzie | 20th September 2018

We were excited to find that Nepal is home to a well-managed population of Greater One-Horned Rhinos, many of whom can be seen on jungle walks in Chitwan National Park. Find out more...

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Team travel: Steve in Nepal

Steve | 14th September 2018

Our Nepal Specialist Steve braved the muddy monsoon on a recent accommodation inspection trip, but it was all worth it in the end, as he discovered the forward-thinking Famous Farm House in the heady heights of Trishuli valley...

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Thailand destination focus: Fang

Guest author | 13th September 2018

Our Thailand Specialists Kate and Tash recently returned from a foray into northern Thailand, bringing news of a discovery: the extraordinary town of Fang...

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Thailand... like it was 20 years ago

Guest author | 6th September 2018

If you’re looking for a place with the fresh-yet-timeless feel of Thailand 20 years ago, the best place to find it is still, well, Thailand...

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A trek in Nepal

Guest author | 16th August 2018

Veteran trekker Mike describes one of his first experiences of trekking from Lukla to Everest Base Camp, in Nepal...

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World Elephant Day

Gemma | 9th August 2018

Elephant populations have plummeted by 62% in the last decade - at this rate of decline, they'll be on the verge of extinction in another 10 years. As part of World Elephant Day, some of Selective Asia's team share their experiences of responsible elephant conservation projects across South-East Asia.

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Trek to the Tiger's Nest, Bhutan

Gemma | 1st August 2018

We're confident that a trek to the Taktsang Monastery, aka the Tiger’s Nest, will blow you away, even if you've spent hours researching Bhutan. Gemma visited on a research trip before we launched Bhutan as a destination...

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What makes Bhutan the happiest country in the world

Gemma | 1st August 2018

Gemma explores the remarkable state of general happiness that she witnessed first-hand on her first trip to Bhutan. What makes the Bhutanese so happy? Read on to find out...

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Vietnam: home to the world's rarest rabbit (with photos!)

Guest author | 1st August 2018

Few things please us more than a cracking wildlife photo taken at one of our destinations, and these images make us especially happy. They were captured by the Viet Nature Conservation Centre (VNCC) in Khe Nuoc Trong forest, which we are supporting via the Selective Earth Programme in collaboration with World Land Trust (WLT), an international conservation charity...

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Team travel journal: Lionel and Aaron in Laos

Lionel | 19th July 2018

Laos specialists Lionel and Aaron head into the Laotian countryside to describe how things have changed - if they've changed at all - since they first visited decades ago...

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Suzie's first impressions of Cambodia

Suzie | 5th July 2018

‘Before my first ever trip to Cambodia, I was so focused on travel prep that I didn’t really sink into the pure unadulterated pleasure of ‘I’m going on an adventure!’ ..

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Team travel journal: Ed in Papua, Indonesia

Ed | 28th June 2018

Our Indonesia specialist Ed went on a genuinely epic journey to explore Papua, an area of Indonesia where tribal life is still very much the same as it's ever been, minus a little headhunting. Despite managing to pull a tribal elder into the river, Ed lived to tell the tale! And very beautifully, too. Read on...

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Our favourite Asian food vlogs

Guest author | 21st June 2018

Between trips to Asia, we love learning how to recreate our favourite Asian dishes at home. When we can’t be there to savour the flavours in person, these vlogs help bring back the tastes, scents and memories of our travels through Asia. Warning: do NOT attempt to watch food vlogs without snacks!

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Vietnam’s little visited north: Ha Giang

Guest author | 14th June 2018

Although many of Vietnam’s visitors head to Sapa for a taste of hill tribe life and colourful markets, the more adventurous itineraries head much further north, to Ha Giang on the Chinese border...

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A local’s guide to street food in Vietnam

Guest author | 7th June 2018

Vietnam is renowned for its love of food and adventurous attitude to eating, and street food is where the country’s carousel of flavours and ingredients is at its most vibrant. Take your lead from the locals and sniff out the very best street food from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City...

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Living with unexploded ordnance in Laos

Guest author | 31st May 2018

It's a little too easy to view the 1960s as old news, but Laotians still live amongst unexploded ordnance (known as UXO) from the Vietnam War era. We’re taking a small group of clients to see Mines Advisory Group (MAG) in action in Laos, soon, so we wanted to learn about living with the UXO...

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The hidden rivers of Asia

Guest author | 24th May 2018

Head off along Asia’s lesser-known rivers for unexpected delights, unspoilt scenery and unforgettable encounters. Switch off your phone, relax and let the river set the pace..

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Japan: sake for beginners

Guest author | 17th May 2018

You heard it here first - sake is the new gin! A few of the Selective Asia team headed out (all in the name of research, you understand) to taste a selection of sake, and dig a little deeper into this slow-burning international sensation…

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The transformation of Phnom Penh

Suzie | 10th May 2018

Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, has doubled its population in the last two decades. The city has transformed: modern towers are thrusting skywards, and investment pours in from across Asia and the corporate world. The city’s astonishing growth shows no sign of slowing, so we asked the PP residents in our Cambodia office to tell us what it’s like on the ground.

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New hotels on the block

Guest author | 3rd May 2018

From chic urban escapes to high-end beachside boutiques, spring has brought a flurry of Asia’s best new hotels to our attention. Take a peek at what makes the sharpest new properties worth sitting up and paying attention to...

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Borneo wildlife: looking beyond the orang-utan

Suzie | 26th April 2018

The critically endangered orangutan has become the poster-child for vulnerable species in Borneo, but when asked to explain why its habitat should be protected, many people struggle for logical reasons. We looked to some of Borneo's other species for the answers...

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Practical ways to reduce plastic waste on your Asia holiday

Guest author | 18th April 2018

The impact of plastic waste is big news, and it's even harder to reduce your plastic footprint when you're travelling in Asia. Here's what we're doing - and what you can do - to help...

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Michelin-starred street food in Asia

Suzie | 12th April 2018

Here's our low-down on Asia's Michelin-starred streetfood treasures, along with some of our own hidden gems...

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April Fool Special: 12 unusual theme restaurants in Asia

Guest author | 29th March 2018

Theme restaurants are booming, with each one vying to be more outrageously quirky than the competition. The results can be pretty stomach-churning and sometimes hard to believe - but which of our 12 unusual theme restaurants is the April fool?

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8 top hot spring resorts in Asia

Guest author | 15th March 2018

However dreamy our hotel hot tubs and jacuzzis may be, there’s nothing quite like a soak in one of nature’s own thermal spas. Our Destination Specialists enjoy visiting a hot spring (or ten!) on their travels, and have narrowed down eight of the best hot springs in Asia to help you choose yours. Enjoy mentally unwinding as you imagine stepping into that warm, mineral-rich water...

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The excellent jazz festivals of Indonesia

Guest author | 8th March 2018

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing, but it turns out that Indonesia got rhythm, and plays host to dozens of exhilarating jazz festivals throughout the year. There's nothing quite like dropping in on a local knees-up while you're visiting a place, so here's our selection of the best and brightest jazz festivals in Indonesia, Borneo and Singapore...

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11 underrated UNESCO sites in Asia

Guest author | 28th February 2018

Many UNESCO sites in Asia are very famous, there are hidden gems on the list that are well worth getting to know. Here’s our pick of 11 underrated UNESCO sites in Asia that deserve your attention... 

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2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan

Stephen | 23rd February 2018

We'd hate to pass up an opportunity to give you the advantage, and we do try to tackle things head on, so our resident flanker Stephen has tailored an exclusive Rugby World Cup 2019 itinerary, based around the England Group Games with plenty of world class sight-seeing in between.

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When and where to see cherry-blossom in Japan

Suzie | 14th February 2018

Cherry-blossom viewing is one of Japan's most famous things to do in springtime. Here's our guide to staying in the pink during the annual blossom season...

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Team travel journal: Steve visits Orou Sapulot in Borneo

Steve | 1st February 2018

Our Borneo Specialist Steve tells of his spectacular visit to the remote Orou Sapulot community-based tourism project in the remote rainforest...

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How to plan your honeymoon to Vietnam

Guest author | 25th January 2018

Vietnam remains firmly established as one of Asia’s top honeymoon destinations, and our experienced Vietnam Honeymoon Specialists take the pressure off the admin side of your honeymoon, leaving you with just the fun bits to think about. Here's their advice for getting started...

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6 of the best East Asian restaurants in Greater Manchester

Guest author | 18th January 2018

When Selective Asia's writer Suzie isn't travelling in Asia, she likes to expand her horizons by exploring the Asian restaurants of Manchester, her hometown. Here she shares a few gems from her years of incredibly self-sacrificing research, which was - naturally - all undertaken entirely for your sake...

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Best Asia destinations to combine with your Maldives holiday

Suzie | 11th January 2018

A few of our favourite ways to combine our diverse destinations with a moment of tropical bliss in the Maldives...

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8 alternative bucket-list ideas in Asia

Guest author | 4th January 2018

Bucket lists should be full of places and activities that stay with you for all the right reasons... that take you out of your comfort zone, or provide moments of pure perfection. Sometimes these occur more readily on the less-trodden paths, so we've picked out a few alternative bucket list ideas in Asia, which give you all the buzz without having to jostle through crowds.

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Selective Six: luxury ryokans

Guest author | 28th December 2017

Relaxing and romantic, traditional ryokan inns are an essential experience for any holiday in Japan. Our Destination Specialists have selected six of their favourite luxury ryokans...

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11 Asia travel trends for 2018

Gemma | 21st December 2017

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6 ways to celebrate Christmas in Japan

Guest author | 13th December 2017

Although it's not a public holiday or a big religious celebration, the festive season in Japan is full of the holiday spirit, making Japan a great destination for an alternative Christmas break.

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6 best places in Asia for an Easter family holiday

Guest author | 7th December 2017

Our Destination Specialists have plenty of experience helping to find the best family-friendly destinations in Asia with plenty of relaxation, culture, sunshine and smiles to bring home with you. Here’s our top pick of places that are just right for an Easter getaway...

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Team travel journal: Martin in Borneo's Kelabit Highlands

Martin | 29th November 2017

Today's blog will detail Martin G's adventures in Borneo's Kelabit Highlands, and you will soon find out that they did not disappoint...

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12 eco-hotels for honeymooners

Suzie | 23rd November 2017

From falling asleep to the sounds of the Sri Lankan wilderness to having breakfast with elephants, we’ve picked a few of our favourite alternative honeymoon hotels that have sustainability at heart.

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[UPDATED] The ethics of travel in Myanmar

Nick | 23rd November 2017

We revisit our discussion about the ethics and wisdom of travelling to Myanmar.

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9 hotels in Asia that you share with animals

Guest author | 9th November 2017

However many times we travel to Asia, we always get excited about the prospect of encountering some of the diverse and fascinating animal species that inhabit the region! Whether you dream of watching orang-utans in Borneo, feeding elephants in Thailand, or falling asleep to the soundscape of the Sri Lankan wilderness, we’ve picked a few of our favourite hotels where that wildlife will be right on your doorstep.

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24 Hours in Ho Chi Minh City

Guest author | 2nd November 2017

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13 Superstitions from South-East Asia

Guest author | 27th October 2017

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Mastering the Art of Eight Limbs: Muay Thai experience

Guest author | 19th October 2017

Thailand’s national sport isn’t merely a discipline of enormous skill executed at lightening speed; it’s one deeply ingrained in the country’s culture - and in devout principles of dedication, hard work and respect for both trainer and opponent. Martial artist David Leck travelled to Koh Samui to have a go... but was he tough enough?

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A last minute honeymoon in Asia

Guest author | 16th October 2017

How late would you leave it to book your honeymoon? You may be surprised by how many people leave their honeymoon arrangements til the last minute... or perhaps you're one of them, and you're feeling a bit tense right now! Fear not - the Selective Asia team are old hands at putting together a perfect honeymoon with a couple of weeks notice. In one case we even did it with two days to spare! Although we don't recommend leaving it that late, here are our top tips for getting what you want from a lastminute honeymoon in Asia...

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Team travel journal: Gemma's Sri Lankan wilderness camp

Gemma | 5th October 2017

Selective Asia's Product Manager Gemma is a lucky individual, often getting to try out new experiences before most other travellers have even heard of them. She says the novelty never wears off, and her recent trip into the Sri Lankan wilderness with Ahaspokuna Bushwalks Camp was particularly mindblowing...

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The impact of tourism

Guest author | 27th September 2017

2017 is the UN's 'International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development'. It’s an awkward title, but it has spurred an important conversation; there’s a lot more to be done to protect the countries and habitats that we love. Selective Asia’s regular writer Suzie, who grew up in a tourist destination (albeit not one quite as exciting as Asia) explores what it means to be a ‘good tourist’.

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Discover Asia's craft beer scene

Louise | 15th September 2017

Asia is currently in the midst of enjoying a boom in craft beer, so here we take a look at some of the places where you can enjoy these hand-crafted drinks, the people behind the brews, and not forgetting the local beer snacks to enjoy while you sip on your glass of amber nectar.

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Our 15 most inspiring spiritual experiences in Asia

Guest author | 14th September 2017

Our Destination Specialists have picked out some of their favourite spiritual spaces where you can take time to pause and reflect...

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Best places in Asia for a sundowner

Guest author | 6th September 2017

We’ve compiled a list of our favourite places in Asia for a sundowner, from the tops of skyscrapers to blissful beachside bars, so you can find your ideal spot…

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Six of the best places in Asia to hang out with the locals

Guest author | 30th August 2017

One of the best ways to get to the heart of a place is to spend time with the people who live there, experiencing the rhythm of daily life. Our Destination Specialists learn a lot from chatting with the locals, sharing stories and getting the low-down on the best spots and sights off the beaten track. Your holidays will be enhanced if you do the same, so we’ve picked out six of the best places in Asia to hang out with the locals and get a taste of life outside the travel bubble.

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6 places to taste 'Mama's cooking' on your holiday in Asia

Guest author | 23rd August 2017

When you're travelling in search of new experiences, there’s nothing quite so comforting as a quality home-cooked meal. If you fancy trying Mama's cooking on your next holiday, try one of these places - some offer soulfood meals cooked by the real life family matriach, and others have built their reputations on recipes passed down through generations, and the freshest ingredients harvested from the family farm.

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The best place for a beach in your Asia itinerary

Ed | 16th August 2017

Destination Specialist Ed shares some industry secrets on why it pays to be open-minded about the 'beach bit' of your Asia holiday...

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24 hours in Singapore

Guest author | 27th July 2017

Although Singapore is most frequently a stopover destination on Selective Asia holidays, it's still worth exploring - but where to focus your time? Our Destination Specialists have shared their top tips for getting the most out of 24 hours in this impressive city...

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4 ways Western culture has influenced South Korea

Guest author | 19th July 2017

We take a look at how Western culture has influenced South Korea, and point out just a few of the distinctive Korean twists on otherwise familiar things that you can see when you travel there...

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Witness the artisan at work

Guest author | 12th July 2017

We’ve found a few experiences that give you a rare glimpse behind the scenes with Asia's master artisans...

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12 of the best national parks in Asia

Guest author | 5th July 2017

The Selective Asia Destination Specialists have picked a few of their favourite national parks from across Asia to give you a little inspiration for your next holiday…

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Vegan travel in Asia

Guest author | 22nd June 2017

We’ve put together a quick guide to vegan travel in Asia to make sure you get the most out of your trip.

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Team travel journal: Loikaw & Inle Lake

Claire | 14th June 2017

Our Destination Specialist Claire returns to Myanmar for a moving rediscovery of her old favourites, and finds plenty of fresh sights along the way...

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Five food-lover’s facts about South Korean cuisine

Guest author | 12th June 2017

If you love food, you’ve probably encountered South Korean favourites like kimchi and bibimbap, but it’s astonishing how little of South Korea’s fantastic cuisine has made the jump to the west. We’ve relished learning more on our recent travels there, so here are a few tasty tidbits to whet your appetite...

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Team travel journal: South Korea's DMZ

Annie | 9th June 2017

Our South Korea specialist Annie writes about her first impressions of the Demilitarized Zone, known as the DMZ, which buffers the border between South and North Korea...

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Selective Six: best public gardens in Asia

Guest author | 7th June 2017

From flourishing tropical idylls bursting with exotic plants to serene mountain landscapes with space to breathe, the gardens of Asia are some of the most spectacular in the world. Take some time out of your busy itinerary to explore these little pockets of paradise.

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Selective 6: best Asian restaurants in Brighton

Guest author | 26th May 2017

Down here on the sunny(ish) south coast, Brighton has an amazingly diverse population drawn from every corner of the world, which has resulted in a fantastic melting pot of cultures and cuisines. You’re never far from a great restaurant in this city, and that goes double for Asian food. Whether you’re looking for sushi or curry, ramen or pad thai, here’s our pick of the best Asian restaurants in Brighton...

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Selective Six: lesser known Asian sports

Guest author | 18th May 2017

Which Asian sport is traditionally played barefoot, with a toughened coconut as a ball? Oh - and the coconut is on fire...

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Dining with a cause in Asia

Guest author | 11th May 2017

We’re always on the lookout for innovative ways to give something back to the places we visit, and there are many restaurants in Asia putting these inspiring practises into action. Here are a few stand-out examples to get you started.

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Travelling to Asia with a medical condition: how to prepare

Guest author | 4th May 2017

Travelling to Asia with a medical condition might seem a little daunting at first, but the right preparation and research can make your trip a stress-free reality. Being well prepared doesn’t rule out being spontaneous; if you enjoy taking each day as it comes, knowing all the options before you set off will make on-the-spot decisions that bit easier. Here are some tips for getting everything in place for a smooth trip.

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Best places to go birdwatching in Asia

Guest author | 27th April 2017

We’ve picked out six of the best places to go birdwatching in Asia, where you can while away the hours observing fascinating birdlife as you indulge an existing passion or cultivate a new one...

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Breakfasts of Asia

Guest author | 13th April 2017

We’ve picked out some of our favourite breakfasts from across Asia to inspire you to step away from the toaster and try something new...

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Team travel journal: Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia

Stephen | 7th April 2017

It's a tough gig, but someone's got to do it! Our travel specialist Stephen just returned from a long trip around mainland South-East Asia...

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South-East Asia’s water festivals

Guest author | 6th April 2017

Mid-April marks the end of the dry season for many of our destinations, & this is marked by New Year celebrations that typically involve getting soaked!

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Team travel journal: Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam

Anna | 6th April 2017

The Selective Asia team is always on the go, discovering the best spots and experiences in Asia - follow their steps as they make their way through Asia.

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10 interesting things we’ve eaten in Asia

Guest author | 1st April 2017

We admit to some of the more interesting things that we’ve eaten in Asia - but only nine of our confessions are true. Can you spot the April Fool?

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7 exciting family adventure experiences in Asia

Guest author | 16th March 2017

We’ve picked out seven adventurous activities to give your family holiday in Asia that little something extra...

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Selective Six: luxury Asia river cruises

Guest author | 10th March 2017

We’ve picked out six of our favourite river cruises through Asia to inspire you to try a little ‘slow living’ and see things from a different perspective.

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Family travel in Asia: our team’s top tips

Guest author | 3rd March 2017

Many of the Selective Asia team travel in Asia with their children, so they've put together some tips to help make it easier for you.

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24 hours in Bangkok’s unexpected art scene

Guest author | 24th February 2017

Brighton-based artist Lee Baker shares his recent discoveries in Thailand's art world in this guide to exploring Bangkok’s best galleries and art scene...

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7 tips for enjoying travel in monsoon season

Guest author | 16th February 2017

If our monsoon travel tips don't get you singing in the rain, perhaps they'll have you singing its praises a little more!

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9 romantic surprise ideas for your Asia honeymoon

Guest author | 10th February 2017

All this Valentines romance has rubbed off on us, so here are our favourite inspirational ideas for extra-special surprises for your Asia honeymoon...

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Sailing through Myanmar’s Mergui (Myeik) Archipelago

Gemma | 2nd February 2017

Selective Asia's Gemma describes her astonishing experience on a recent sailing trip through the remote islands of Myanmar's Mergui (Myeik) Archipelago...

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Gluten-free travel in Asia

Guest author | 27th January 2017

If you can't eat gluten but still love to travel, here's some advice for enjoying stress-free, gluten-free travel in Asia...

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Best Asia destinations for family holidays

Guest author | 20th January 2017

Our guest panel of family travel bloggers share their first-person experiences of Asia as one of the world's best destinations for family holidays...

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Top LGBT festivals in Asia

Louise | 19th January 2017

These are some of the better-known and biggest LGBTQ festivals in Asia, along with a couple of the smaller events that caught our eye...

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9 gorgeous glamping experiences in Asia

Guest author | 12th January 2017

The Selective Asia team picks some of their favourite spots for glamping experiences in Asia, all guaranteed to tempt you out of hibernation mode...

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InspirAsian | 6 resolutions that you’ll keep more easily in Asia!

Gemma | 6th January 2017

Selective Asia's resident gym bunny Gemma shares her insider info on the best places in Asia to turn your New Year's resolutions into a warm, sunny reality...

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Selective Six: ‘New Year’ celebrations in Asia

Guest author | 23rd December 2016

Although some places in Asia celebrate New Year on January 1st, many of our destinations celebrate at other times of year. Here are six of our favourites...

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15 Asian streetfoods & snacks to reproduce at home

Guest author | 16th December 2016

Many Asian street foods and snacks are relatively simple to cook - here are the recipes we use we use to recreate dishes from our travels, with a few tips on how to get them just right.

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12 ways to enjoy winter in Japan

Kate | 1st December 2016

Whether you fancy the novelty of skiing in Asia or a cosy hot spring spa in a superb snowy landscape, a winter holiday in Japan will warm you up in style...

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6 best winter honeymoon destinations in Asia

Kate | 24th November 2016

We’ve picked six of the very best Asia honeymoon destinations for maximum sun, secluded relaxation and exhilarating adventure.

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5 top places to see Borneo's wildlife in its natural habitat

Simon | 18th November 2016

To help you plan your wildlife holiday to Borneo, we've narrowed down the best places to see the island's famous creatures in their natural habitat.

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14 unique honeymoon hotels in Asia

Gemma | 11th November 2016

Our honeymoon experts have picked out their favourite unique honeymoon hotels, covering everything from sublime luxury to safari adventure.
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A local's guide to Kanazawa

Annie | 20th October 2016

Selective Asia's Japan expert Tom tells Annie what it's like to live in Kanazawa, and how you can make the most of this historic Japanese city when you visit.

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10 trends for travel to Asia in 2017

Gemma | 23rd August 2016

From a newly discovered ancient wonder to brand new culture, the Selective Asia team predicts the most interesting Asia travel trends for 2017...

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Selective Six: Cambodian hotels with cool back stories

Kate | 22nd June 2016

Six fascinating places to stay in Cambodia which have all come about because someone took that leap and dared to make their ‘traveller’s dream’ a reality.

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26 ways our travel experts prepare for long-haul flights

Guest author | 6th June 2016

To celebrate Selective Asia’s 10th birthday, we’ve decided to share our hard-won secrets for making long-haul flights more comfortable!

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Selective Six: hands-on farming experiences in Asia

Gemma | 13th May 2016

We share six Asian farming & fishing experiences that'll take you right back to the source of some foods that most of us take for granted...

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Onsen dos & don'ts

Annie | 13th April 2016

Our quick guide to onsen etiquette will help you brush up before you take the plunge!

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6 exciting ways to see aquatic wildlife in Sri Lanka

Lionel | 11th February 2016

Sri Lanka offers many excellent opportunities to see diverse aquatic wildlife up close. Today's Selective Six highlights some of the best available...

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6 superb short adventures in Malaysian Borneo

Simon | 20th January 2016

Here are six of our favourite adventure experiences in Malaysian Borneo, chosen because they're excellent but also compact and adaptable...

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6 foolproof excuses to spend your honeymoon in Bali

Anna | 31st July 2015

Selective Asia's Anna recently returned from her very satisfying honeymoon in Bali, so we talked her into sharing why the island was an ideal choice...

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S6: quirkiest festivals in SE Asia

Gemma | 4th June 2015

We've selected six of the more unique and unusual festivals to enjoy while you travel through Asia...

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Outstanding ancient cities in Asia

Guest author | 27th May 2015

If you’ve ‘been there, done Angkor’, here are six more ancient cities in Asia that deserve your attention....

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Six stand-out private islands in South-East Asia

Nick | 1st April 2015

A look at the most stylish private (but accessible) South Asian islands where we've found accommodation that meets our rather particular standards...

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Six cool places to drink Vietnamese coffee in HCMC

Guest author | 6th January 2015

We look at the nicest places to enjoy an iconic, sweet, & oh so stimulating Vietnamese coffee in Ho Chi Minh City...

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Phong Nha - subterranean limestone cathedrals

Kate | 23rd October 2014

Photos of astonishing Paradise Cave - which lies beneath Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, in central Vietnam - taken by SA's Kate on her recent trip...

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6 short, sweet guides to South-East Asian etiquette

Guest author | 14th October 2014

Illustrator Iain Buchanan helps us create six South-East Asia etiquette posters, to help you blend in on your travels...

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Selective Six: most impressive caves in South-East Asia

Gemma | 18th September 2014

SE Asia’s relationship with caves is far from extinct; many of its ancient caves are still active sacred sites. Here are the six of the most impressive...

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Six places to see reliably mind-blowing sunsets in SE Asia

Guest author | 8th August 2014

Today's Selective Six lists our absolutely favourite places to settle into a comfy sofa or wiggle our toes under the sand to enjoy a fabulous Asian sunset...

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Five great rooftop bars in South-East Asia

Guest author | 23rd July 2014

Six of the finest rooftop bars for sunset cocktails in South-East Asia

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Selective Six: snorkelling spots around Bali

Guest author | 18th June 2014

Guest blogger Bryony Holland, just returned from a trip around Indonesia, recommends the six best places to snorkel around Bali...

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Five favourite glamping spots in South-East Asia

Gemma | 22nd April 2014

We showcase six of South-East Asia’s finest camping, glamping and home stays...

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Selective Six: South-East Asian festivals worth travelling for

Gemma | 9th April 2014

We take a look at six of South-East Asia's most spectacular festivals, including where and when they take place.

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Nick finally reaches Mai Chau Valley...

Nick | 12th March 2014

Nick finally reaches some elusive - and breathtaking - areas of rural Vietnam

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Returning home: how to hang on to your travel high

Nick | 27th January 2014

Do you get back from holiday full of beans, only to slump into old habits within a fortnight? We look at how to sustain that travel high after a trip...

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Thary’s Khmer nuts - recipe

Guest author | 1st January 2014

Thalys, who helps run our Cambodia office, always sends us home with bags of these fantastic home-made nutty snacks. We persuaded her to share the recipe!

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Selective Six: Nick’s authentic Thailand

Nick | 31st October 2013

The Thailand we know & love best; lush jungle, wooden yachts, limestone islands, Chinatown, and cookery lessons in the country’s idyllic rural north.

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The map is not the territory: is the web killing travel?

Nick | 17th October 2013

Selective Asia's Nick looks at the web's impact on travel, and how we experience it. Is so much easy information useful, or simply stifling and biased?

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Selective Six: best books to read in Thailand

Guest author | 12th September 2013

Book-seller and lifelong traveller Natalie recommends six books to read when you're in or en route to Thailand

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Where to find authentic Malay food in Kuala Lumpur

Karl | 26th July 2013

KL boasts some of the world’s most fantastic cuisine, with many must-tries. We look at how to find authentic Malay food, from street stalls to fine dining.

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Selective Six: must-do dive sites in Sri Lanka

Martin | 25th July 2013

Six of the best dive sites around Sri Lanka, chosen by Selective Asia's Sri Lanka Specialist Martin.

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Exploring Cambodia's North-East

Nick | 21st April 2012

One of Selective Asia's UK team inspects some of the far flung corners of Cambodia. He claims it wasn't a holiday - we have our doubts!

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Sabah's natural delights

Lionel | 10th July 2011

Lionel and Karl visit Borneo's eastern state of Sabah to discover more about the incredible wealth of natural delights the region has to offer.

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Cambodia's up-and-coming South Coast

Nick | 4th June 2011

Selective Asia's Nick joins Valit to explore the up-and-coming south coast of Cambodia. All they have to do is decide how to travel.

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Kicking back in southern Laos

Nick | 29th April 2011

Nick continues his journey from Cambodia into Si Phan Don - Laos' laid back 4000 Islands - and the Bolaven Plateau.

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How to choose your ideal Maldives resort

Kate | 28th September 2022

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