THE ULTIMATE ASIA 2020 BUCKET LIST


Brush up on your stroke with an Olympian ahead of Tokyo 2020


As Tokyo gears up to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, guests of Palace Hotel Tokyo can get into the spirit with Energizing Tokyo, a stay & spa package that comes replete with an à la carte menu of fitness pursuits – including swimming with an Olympian and a private meditation session with a Buddhist monk – to refresh both body and mind. The core of the two-night package is a daily breakfast and one 90-minute therapy, per person, at Japan’s only evian SPA. From there guests can pick and choose what interests them, for an additional fee, including taking a swim lesson with a former Olympic swimmer, a private guided bike excursion around Tokyo, a kayaking outing, or more contemplative pursuits like a Japanese tea ceremony experience with a legendary tea house master, or an introduction to Japanese calligraphy with a highly decorated shodo artist. Package rates start from JPY 172,000 for a Deluxe with Balcony Room (based on single occupancy). For more information please visit here.


Take a champagne picnic on a private yacht in Saigon


Take to the storied Saigon River on The Reverie Saigon’s 60-foot Monte Carlo 6, with a crew of three and a private butler. Spacious enough to comfortably accommodate 10 guests yet suitably petite to navigate tributaries that lead to picturesque mangroves and tucked-away local villages, The Reverie yacht drinks in the wonders of the city’s dynamic thrust for the skies and also reveals the day-to-day living and traditional commerce that still takes place along the riverfront. The Saigon Intermezzo, a non-stop 2.5-hour sunset cruise that departs in the late afternoon and includes a champagne picnic served as dusk settles on the city is ideal for an intimate gathering of friends. The champagne picnic includes a bottle of Louis Roederer, five prix-fixe menus to choose from, round-trip transfers in a Mercede-Benz S-Class or a BMW 7 series and service by a Reverie butler. Prices start at VND 50,000,000 for two persons. For more information please visit here.


Take to the skies in Bali

The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah Ubud has anchored a 23-metre hot air balloon in its rice paddies and opened the gate on its wicker basket for rides three times a day. The only ballooning opportunity on the Island of the Gods, takes guests 50 meters above the resort’s rice fields, and floats at the end of a tether while passengers drink in views of Mt. Agung in the near distance, expansive rice fields below, the forests of Ubud and the 5-hectare estate. With multiple flights scheduled at dawn, in the late afternoon/early evening and just after moonrise, each experience sets sail with a maximum of two adults and two children under 12, as well as a certified pilot. The flights last between five and seven minutes and cost USD150 for each morning and afternoon trip, with breakfast or afternoon tea for two included. The final flight of the day includes dinner for two adults and costs USD200.



Scoot around Angkor Wat

Avoiding the parade of visitors to Angkor Wat can be nigh-on impossible, but with this unique Vespa tour you and your amigos can get a sneaky peek into temples and ancient sites where few others roam, while scooting past the queues of tour buses and taxis that envelope this great wonder of the world. How else could you skirt the ramparts around Angkor Thom or scale the less beaten tracks around the archeological park other than by sitting on the back of a chauffeur-driven motorbike? Of course, it may sound a tad daunting, so you may want to chant some “vespers” beforehand. These curated tours are unique to Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, the most historical and prestigious resort in Siem Reap.



Go spa-ing on Koh Samui

Most spa and massage treatments are strictly personal and individual, but a trip to Banyan Tree Samui’s The Rainforest is most definitely a tale for two or more. This luxurious hydrotherapy spa offers your entourage a pathway through a rainforest-themed waterpark of saunas, steams, and sprays and showers from hot to ice-cold until you finally emerge - glowing and fluffed - into a pool of waterjets. You and your water-baby buddies can end your 60- or 90-minute treatment lying side by side on hot-stone beds, wrapped in towels, and sipping herbal tea till you drift off into the land of dreams. For more information, look here.



Go yachting in Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago

For sea, sun, scuba, and sumptuous wining n’ dining, you could do a lot worse than a private charter taking in the majestic Mergui Archipelago off the coast of southern Myanmar. This remote and fascinating region is home to the ethnic Moken community of fisherman, also known as “sea gypsies.” For decades, the 800 islands, lagoons, atolls and coral reefs of the archipelago were off-limits to visitors, and are only now accessible to limited sustainable tourism. Burma Boating can accommodate groups of up to six bosom buddies on their luxury yachts and schooners this dry season from October 2019 through to May 2020. Sailing these isolated pristine waters and sharing boating duties with your shipmates should be a bonding experience like no other.



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