TRIPS

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ASIA

The Best Small-Group Asia Tours to Take in 2022

Shake off post-lockdown lethargy, and dive headfirst into one of these unforgettable group TRIPS by Culture Trip, encompassing the very best of Asia – from swimming under tropical waterfalls in Thailand to wildlife spotting in Sri Lanka.
Mark Nayler
10 Jan 2022
Asia is the largest continent on earth, covering 30 percent of the world’s land area. A myriad of different landscapes await travellers – including the Turkish desert, Indonesian islands and bamboo forests of Japan. It’s time to dust off that passport, dig out your suitcase and hop aboard a TRIP by Culture Trip to experience the authentic heart of these Asian nations.
1. Visit an elephant sanctuary, and climb the tallest peak in Thailand

Nature takes centre stage on this 10-day excursion through the valleys and jungles of northern Thailand. Swim under waterfalls, paddle through one of the biggest caves in the country, and watch the sunrise over the 2,565m (8,415ft) Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand. You’ll also spot rare birds, feed rescued elephants and sample local delicacies such as khao soi (coconut curry noodle soup).

From$1599Next available from14 Apr 2022
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2. Tour the pristine beaches and jungle islands in southern Thailand

This 10-day adventure departs immediately after our Northern Thailand trip, and takes you to the off-beat islands and beaches in southern Thailand. Sleep in a floating raft house on Khao Sok Lake, kayak through the tangled Bor Thor Mangrove Forest – home to sun bears and 3,000-year-old cave drawings – and relax on the white-sand beaches of Koh Yao Yai and Chicken Islands. There will also be ample time to lounge poolside, unwind with Thai massages and explore Ao Yon Bay, one of the most peaceful corners in Phuket.

From$2199Next available from1 Nov 2022
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3. Delve deep into Vietnamese culture on this epic journey

Immerse yourself in the Vietnamese way of life on this 12-day exploration of Vietnam, starting in the capital of Hanoi and finishing 800km (500mi) south in Hoi An. Highlights include bamboo basket weaving in the Mai Chau valley, sailing through Lan Ha Bay on a luxury cruise (on-deck tai chi class included) and sampling street food in Hue, the former capital. You’ll also snorkel among multicoloured coral by the Chàm Islands, 15km (9mi) off the coast of Hoi An.

From$1609Next available from3 May 2022
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4. Spot wildlife, and go river rafting in Sri Lanka

Ancient temples, exotic wildlife and adrenaline-pumping activities make up this 12-day trip through Sri Lanka, starting in the capital of Colombo. Visit the best-preserved cave temples on the island and the finest carved Buddha statues, tackle white-water rapids on the Kelani River, hike to the top of the 350m-high (1,150ft) Sigiriya rock fortress, and abseil down a 90m (295ft) waterfall. Trips to the Minneriya and Yala National Parks offer opportunities to spot elephants, leopards, monkeys and crocodiles.

From$2039Next available from9 May 2022
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5. Hike, snorkel, and surf during this Balinese adventure

This 12-day trip to Bali kicks off with a tour of the Unesco-protected rice terraces of Jatiluwih, and finish it 10 days later in the surf town of Canggu. On the way, take an aerial yoga class in Ubud, attend an Indonesian cooking class, climb the highest mountain in Bali, and visit its most iconic landmark, the Lempuyang Temple. The penultimate jaunt takes you to the Gili Islands – watch out for green turtles while snorkelling in the clear waters.

From$1609Next available from18 Jun 2022
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6. Spot Mount Fuji, and visit Hiroshima while exploring Japan

This 12-day immersion into Japanese culture starts in Osaka, with an outing to the neon-lit culinary playground of Dotonbori Street. Next, you’ll visit the Hiroshima Peace Park, hike through bamboo forests near Kyoto (where a geisha-spotting tour is optional), tour a “sake” brewery high in the Japanese Alps and enjoy views of Mount Fuji from Lake Ashi. The finale plays out in Tokyo, where you’ll watch sumo wrestlers train, learn how to make sushi and attend a “taiko” drumming class.

From$4239Next available from11 May 2022
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7. Explore the bazaars, beaches and ancient ruins in Turkey

Starting in the colourful chaos of Istanbul, this 12-day tour of Turkey winds up on the paradisiacal beaches of Antalya 10 days later, offering plenty of unforgettable experiences in between. Explore the traditional capital city of Ankara as well as the 5,000-year-old remains of the ancient Kingdom of Hattusas. On top of this, you’ll hike through the Underground City of Kaymakli – dug seven stories deep into volcanic rock in 7 BCE – and drift over Cappadocia in a hot-air balloon.

From$2189Next available from28 May 2022
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