Nepals Ancient buildings are a mixture of Hindu and Buddhist influenced architecture

Exotic Landscapes, Mystical Cultures, and Engaging Peoples.

Asia has always been an exotic and mystical destination for travellers, mainly because in the past so little about the region was understood, and what was known was so different to that occurring within many traveller’s own countries. While that side of Asia remains, in recent years, Asian economies have forged ahead and leapfrogged many of those in the so called developed world.

After Europe, Asia is the second most visited region in the world, and has experienced the fastest growth. These days Asia is a dynamic mix of ancient, traditional and thoroughly modern snapshots of humanity, all indelibly stamped with its own collective group of identities.

Asian Travel | For Outsiders, Cultural Insights are a Highlight.

For travellers from outside of Asia, a shift in mindset is required, and there is an appreciation that much of what happens in Asia surrounds religion, gastronomy and culture, with the first two largely determining the last. Culture in Asia is complex and entwines itself within the array of religions that are prevalent locally, each with devout followers living their lives through the precepts of their faith. Much of what attracts outsiders to visit many of the Asian countries is the societal differences of how Asian peoples live their lives compared to that of outsiders.

During the age of discovery between the 15th through to the 18th centuries, Europeans considered the Mediterranean to be the centre of the Universe, and viewed themselves as the exemplar for mankind. In the subsequent trading between the east and west, European merchants and traders found Asian peoples unfathomable, and branded them as inscrutable and exotic. Today, a semblance of "cultural distance" remains, but the understanding between each has strengthened enormously. Europeans visit Asia with a sense of cultural adventure, and return home with a greater appreciation of human diversity.

Europeans have largely transformed from the larger collective groups that are the foundation stone of Asian communities, into more individualistic and largely unconnected people. For some travellers, a journey through Asian communities is often experiential, and for a short time provides an evocation to their own defunct heritages. For others, it is an introduction to an almost Venusian world, so different from their own, that is full of interest and fascination.

Ancient ruins of Temple in Thailand that is a popular attraction with tourists

Asian cuisine is based around the principle of garden to table and use seasonal food

'Garden to Table' Cuisines.

Asia is a diverse region that has stunning landscapes, varying from coastal reaches to high mountain passes. For most Asian peoples, life revolves around their immediate environment, and their relationship with land and water has strongly influenced their contrasting identities. The impact of Asian culinary styles on world cuisines is undeniable, and its honest expression is complemented by its liberal use of herbs and spices. The concept of 'garden to table' is a highlight for visitors travelling through rural areas.

Small Buddhist Pagoda's are distributed throughout alot of Asia, and well frequented by the nearby communities

Religion, Culture and People are Inseparable.

Religious adherence is not merely a part of life, it goes to the core of their existence, and local culture gravitates around pious tenets, theological philosophies and the many historical narratives, and folk tales. Communities abound with temples, pagoda’s, monasteries, wats, mosques, gurdwaras, and shrines. The larger structures are revered and subject to pilgrimages of various importance.

Modern resorts are becoming increasingly popular in Asia, not only for tourists and also local Asian tourists as well.

Recreation and Leisure.

With the increasing growth of the middle classes in Asia, facilities catering for recreation and leisure are spreading across the region. While hedonistic behaviour is not a major attribute within the makeup of Asian peoples, resorts, theme parks, golf courses, sporting amenities, adventure parks, entertainment arenas, and cultural centres are no longer being constructed for tourists alone, but also attract local participation. Much has similarities with such development elsewhere in the world, but there is also the incorporation of local expression that is fresh and invigorating for visitors to experience.

Modern light sculpture on a rooftop restaurant in Bangkok, that specialise in Tourists

Modernity, Creativity, and Entertainment.

In recent years, globalisation has brought traditional Asian peoples in contact with modernity with all its technologies, perceptions, and changing lifestyles. Asian societies have taken new ideas and stamped it with their own identity, to produce a wide range of developing ways of life. Cities are changing into interesting and variegated communities, that are developing striking architecture, art forms, and creative expression. For international visitors and residents alike, Asian destinations have become exciting venues of entertainment, retail, exhibitions, and shows. Intermingled with this, traditional communities struggle to evolve and make their way through the newer urban fabric.

Local village food markets are an essential part of village life in Asia and provide essential ingredients for local Asian dishes

Village Food Markets.

Asian cuisine, along with what is grown in the garden, caught in the sea, or raised on the land, depends on a wide range of foodstuffs, including herbs and spices, and dried vegetables. Most villages of any size depend on their local markets for a wide range of goods that need to be obtained from other regions. For travellers, markets are a time to observe local people interact, barter and socialise.

Soft Adventure is a big drawcard for travellers visiting Asia, especially walking, trekking and cycling

Soft Adventure with a Cultural Context.

Asia presents so many opportunities to participate within soft-adventure, with walking, trekking and cycling particular highlights. Communities working the land are never far away, and being able to be on the road less travelled amongst people going about their lives certainly provides travellers with authentic experiences.

Elephants are one of the exotic animals that are popular amongst tourists in Asia

Fantasy, Wonderment, and a Mysterious Unknown.

Asian destinations are marketed with branding that imparts an image of discovery, where travellers are imbued with the status of a modern-day explorer. Slogans that impart destinations with an esoteric quality, lands packed with fantasy, wonderment, and a mysterious unknown, present a common thread.

Cambodia - kingdom of wonder.
Japan - endless discovery.
Malaysia - truly Asia.
Thailand - always amazes you.
Vietnam - timeless charm.
Discover Mongolia

In various Asian cities, fruit and vegetable peddlers carry goods around on their bikes

The Press of Humanity, and Human Resilience.

For travellers, a feature of most urban areas in Asia is the press of humanity, and the natural harmony that exists in peoples daily lives despite the presence of extremely high population densities, and obvious hardships. To outsiders life appears to be full of chaos, but for many Asian peoples, a balance is found through their sense of collective self, religious faith, and a determination to face the many challenges that present themselves.

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The Asian Travel Experience

Asian travel provides a differentiated experience for travellers, that highlights soft adventure and cultural experiences. Amazing landscapes and scenery is combined with peoples who live their lives in a down to earth and authentic manner. Travel through Asia suits travellers of all ages who enjoy experiential travel and desire to be immersed within it.

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Asian boys having fin playing with tyres in a an urban street in a Asian City

Asian cuisine in colder climes surrounds flatbread, rice and stews that are rich and spices and loaded with vegetables, mainly to disguise the meagre portions of poor quality meat.

Tourist accommodation occur on a number of rivers in the Kanchanaburi region in Thailand , near to the second world war remains of the river Kwai Train tracks

Corn forms an imporatnt food crop in the Asian hill country, and features in many Asian food dishes

Local Asian boy patting flatbread dough to get it ready to go into a large Oven

The Karura is the Indian Bird God, with a god head and human body, adopted by both hindus and Buddhist religions

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