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MISSING DATA: - InspirAsian travel blog

Food Tourism: Which destinations are foodies most keen to visit

Guest author | 9th October 2023

As many as 80% of travellers now research food and drink before heading off on their travels according to Global Food Tourism, which underlines what a big part it plays in trip-planning today. Find out which destinations foodies are most interested to visit.

A guide to street food in Asia

Kate G | 5th October 2023

The term ‘street food’ might instantly bring to mind steaming pans being frantically stirred at the roadside, but it covers so much more. The broadest-brush interpretation takes you from down-to-earth vendors selling traditional fare, to energising pop-ups showcasing entrepreneurial edibles, with dozens of other iterations along the way. Street food can be rough-and-ready or more refined, traditional or fusion, quick fix or slow cooked, but it always has a few essential elements…

The future of tourism - what is the true cost of viable travel?

Nick | 15th June 2023

Now that the world is back in its tourism stride, countries are scrambling to try to balance the books and make travel more sustainable. Many governments are implementing or increasing visitor taxes to recuperate lost earnings and strengthen their resilience.

A view from afar: Honesty around sustainability

Nick Pulley | 29th September 2022

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Where to see orangutans 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…


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.


7 of our favourite train journeys in Asia

Suzie | 10th July 2019


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...


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...


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...


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...


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…


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...


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...


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...


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.


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!


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..


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...


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...


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...


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?


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...


Honeymoons for teachers & couples travelling in school holidays

Guest author | 8th March 2018

For teachers, support staff and all those going on honeymoon during the school holidays, all it takes is a little canny planning to help you stay within budget, avoid the crowds and enjoy a honeymoon that’s perfect for you. Our Destination Specialists share their top tips to ensure that, whenever you travel, your honeymoon in Asia gets a gold star.


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... 


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...


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.


11 Asia travel trends for 2018

Gemma | 21st December 2017


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...


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.


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.


13 Superstitions from South-East Asia

Guest author | 27th October 2017


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...


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’.


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.


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...


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…


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.


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.


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...


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...


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...


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…


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.


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.


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...


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...


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.


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.


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...


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...


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...


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!


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.


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?


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...


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.


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.


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!


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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.


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.


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.

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...


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!


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...


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...


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....


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...


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...


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...


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...


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


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...


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.


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...


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!


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?