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ASIA

Top TRIPS by Culture Trip in Southeast Asia

If your backpacker days are gone and you want to see this region in style, join a small-group trip to tick off Bali, Borneo and beyond.
Nick Dauk
13 Mar 2022
It might take you a while to get to Southeast Asia, depending on where you are in the world, but it’s worth every minute. Though only 11 countries make up this region, they offer an impressive array of cultures, landscapes and wildlife. You’ll never have the same adventure twice, even if you choose similar activities in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand or Vietnam. Foodies, history buffs, nature lovers and sun worshippers will have the time of their life on these top TRIPS by Culture Trip in Southeast Asia.
1 . Vietnam Adventure: a Journey of Urban and Rural Discovery
Vietnam is a feast for the senses – and we’re not just talking about getting your fill of pho, banh mi and other delicious street food. Step away from the bustling stalls and you’ll discover a country rich with urban and rural intrigue. Get to know your Local Insider and like-minded travel companions on this 12-day journey, which loops through the lantern-lit streets of Hoi An, visits the Imperial City of Hue, heads along the banks of the Perfume River, and takes in a calmer, lesser-known alternative to Halong Bay with a junk ship cruise around unspoilt Lan Ha Bay.
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Next available from6 Sep 2022
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2 . Island of the Gods: the Ultimate Bali Itinerary
Spending all day lounging on the beach is the second-best way to experience Bali. The best? Exploring the island’s rural villages, inland peaks and rice paddies with a small group of new friends on this 12-day trip. Between hiking to the summit of Mount Batur at sunrise, discovering sacred temples and picking up a new recipe during a Balinese cooking class, you’ll forget all about your tan. Keep the sunscreen at the ready, mind: surf lessons, snorkelling with sea turtles and swimming under waterfalls are also on the itinerary.
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Next available from27 Aug 2022
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3 . Into the Jungle: Wildlife Adventures in the Bornean Wilderness
Feel like monkeying around on your holiday? We know just the place. Join a troop of other travellers on a trip into Borneo’s wilderness, where you’ll visit an orangutan sanctuary and possibly spot a few gibbons and proboscis monkeys as you ride down the Kinabatangan River in a safari boat. Cooking classes led by the local Dusun people, climbs of Mount Kinabalu and snorkelling trips amid the coral reefs of Manukan Island also give you plenty of time to hang out.
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Next available from11 Sep 2022
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4 . Life’s a Beach: the Best of Southern Thailand
Let’s be honest – the promise of a great Thai meal is enough to have you packing your bags and booking a flight, right? This 10-day trip goes further: in between sampling Thai food around Phuket, you’ll shed calories in style. Kayak through the Bor Thor Mangrove Forest, swim with tropical fish on Hong Island and trek your way across Koh Yao Yai. It’s worth working up an appetite – you’ll need the extra energy for dancing the night away in Phuket’s bars.
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Next available from1 Nov 2022
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5 . Welcome to the Jungle: Exploring Northern Thailand
The ancient Lanna kingdom is one of Asia’s lesser-known civilisations, but from the 13th to 18th century, it dominated northern Thailand. To this day, you can still explore many of their unique temples and sites, especially around the northern city of Chiang Mai – where you’ll spend time on this 10-day small-group trip. You’ll be able to not only delve into the history of the kingdom, but also head off on jungle treks, waterfall swims and off-the-beaten-track adventures like no other in Thailand.
From$1,599
Next available from17 Aug 2022
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Additional reporting was contributed by Richard Collett.