In a previous post we listed the best hiking and cycling tours in Asia by Exodus Travels.
Here we give a rundown of the best cultural and wildlife adventure holidays in Asia by Exodus Travels.
Imagine a country so remote you may feel at times like you are the only person on earth in it. Add the stunning scenery of rolling grasslands, rugged mountains, ice-blue lakes, deep forests and the sprawling deserts of the Gobi. Then there are the nomadic people who have a natural affinity with travelers and who will invite you into their gers for a meal or an overnight. That is Mongolia, one of the last wild countries on earth.
The ancient Silk Road cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva conjure up images of unimaginably wealthy oases linked by caravans, of imperial politics and incredible architecture. Beautiful turquoise domes and towering minarets grace the skyline while down below everyday life goes on in markets and cafes from years gone by. This 11-day tour of Uzbekistan takes you to the cities of Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva as well as to some more remote areas like the desert castles on the arid plains of Khorezm, a yurt camp near Aidarkul Lake and the ancient town of Nurata.
Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan
The five stans of Central Asia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan are at the heart of the historic Silk Road. With landscapes as varied as deserts, steppes and mountain ranges, and cultural influences from nomads to city dwellers, the region appeals to lovers of history, lesser-travelled lands and scenery alike. Get ready for a hugely varied journey into the heart of Asia.
Few are not moved to tears when they set foot inside the grounds of the Taj Mahal. Add to that the holy city of Varanasi on the Sacred Ganges, the palaces and fortresses of Jaipur and bustling Delhi and you have a tour not to be missed.
While Bengal tigers are on the rebound, these majestic cats are still an endangered species. The majority of tigers lives in India and on this wildlife tour we take you to three reserves where your chances of encountering them are the highest. Pench, Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Parks also offer lots of other game and each has a different feel to it. We finish the tour with a visit to Agra where the timeless Taj Mahal will leave you breathless.
Discover the culture and nature of Sri Lanka on this 2-week journey. Visit the temple fortress at Sigiriya and delve into hill country with its stunning scenery or jungles, tea plantations and rice paddies. Engage in some incredible walks and take a wonderful train ride. Explore the temples at Dambulla and Kandy and visit ancient Polonnaruwa. Spot leopards in Yala NP, wander the streets of colonial Galle and spend some time on the beautiful beaches of the south coast.
Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia
Vietnam's lush rice paddies, Laos' tropical forests and ancient villages; Thailand's hazy mountains and cascading waterfalls; Ha Long Bay's craggy limestone cliffs rising from the sea; Cambodia's ancient Angkor Wat. And everywhere gleaming temples and golden Buddhas, bustling cities, smiling people and wonderful food. Come and discover South East Asia on this Grand Tour of Thailand and Indochina.
Come face to face with Borneo's wildlife, including orangutans and proboscis monkeys. Visit famed Sepilok Sanctuary and stay in some of Malaysia's best known jungle lodges, including Borneo Rainforest Lodge in the Danum Valley. The cultural aspect is not overlooked either, with a stay in a longhouse.
Apart from stunning landscapes and rich cultures, Indonesia has some amazing wildlife to offer. We search the virgin rainforest of Sumatra's Gunung Leuser NP for orangutans and various monkeys, gibbons and macaques. After some downtime in Bali, we travel to Flores where we board a boat to look for Komodo dragons on Rinca Island, part of Komodo National Park. Birdwatching is great here too and there will be time snorkel as well. You will see lots of colourful fish such as parrotfish and clownfish and perhaps even sea turtles and the incredible Manta ray. Finally, return to Bali for a hike to the rim of the Batur caldera and for visits of temples set amidst beautiful rice terraces.
Papua New Guinea
Imagine an island where hundreds of languages are spoken, where people are still relying on their Stone Age heritage. Now throw in some of the remotest and least travelled mountains and valleys, all clad in lush rainforest, and you have a region where true adventure awaits. Our two week tour of New Guinea will take you to both countries that lay claim to the island - Papua New Guinea and Indonesia's Irian Jaya. Explore unique villages along the Karawari River, enjoy incredible biodiversity at Rondon Ridge and meet the tribes from the Wamena Highlands and the Baliem valley during the Baliem Valley Cultural festival.