GREAT ASIA ES­CAPES

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Asia - SU­SAN KURO­SAWA

ON YOUR WAY: Book by May 31 for Cathay Pa­cific’s one-way win­ter spe­cials to Southeast Asia; flights can be taken from July 1 to Au­gust 10 and sam­ple fares in­clude econ­omy class Syd­ney to Hong Kong from $549 or Mel­bourne to Ho Chi Minh City via Hong Kong from $593. More: cathay­pa­cific.com.au.

GO APE: The Orang-utan Project is of­fer­ing eco­tourism tours in con­junc­tion with Orang-utan Odyssey to the rain­forests of Su­ma­tra and Bor­neo; the jour­neys are es­corted by lead­ing con­ser­va­tion­ists, in­clude close wildlife en­coun­ters and vis­its to res­cue and care cen­tres, and par­tic­i­pants typ­i­cally sleep aboard tra­di­tional river boats. More: orang­utan.org.au. BANGKOK AIR­WAVES: The 192-room Ho­tel Indigo Bangkok Wire­less Road has opened in a lively neigh­bour­hood near the Thai cap­i­tal’s Lumpini Park; there are ver­ti­cal gar­dens, stree­tart style mu­rals and de­sign mo­tifs fea­tur­ing the hum­ble old wire­less as a homage to the area’s orig­i­nal fame as a ra­dio sta­tion hub; it’s the 62nd prop­erty un­der In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal’s bou­tique Indigo brand­ing, and its Asian coun­ter­parts in­clude prop­er­ties in Hong Kong and Tian­jin, China. More: hotelindigo.com.

SNAP HAPPY: Pho­tog­ra­phers David Evans and Luke Simon will hold work­shops from Septem­ber 1-6 and 9-14 at the luxury Gili Lankan­fushi re­sort in The Mal­dives; the prop­erty fea­tures 45 but­ler-at­tended over­wa­ter vil­las and the cour­ses are each limited to 12 guests. Book early for a spe­cial rate of $US4435 ($5612) a per­son twin-share, in­clu­sive of taxes, tu­ition, re­turn trans­fers from Male, a dol­phin­watch cruise, ac­com­mo­da­tion and meals; sin­gle oc­cu­pancy, add $US2925. More: mal­divespho­toodyssey.com.

WA­TER WORLD: In­done­sia’s Alila Ho­tels and Re­sorts op­er­ates a tra­di­tional Su­lawesi-style 10pas­sen­ger phin­isi sail­boat, the 46m-long Alila Pur­nama; the ves­sel will be run­ning Ko­modo Is­land ex­pe­di­tions around the is­lands of Sum­bawa and Flores un­til Septem­ber 26 with some six-night voy­ages avail­able as full char­ters and oth­ers booked per cabin. More: alila­ho­tels.com/pur­nama.

IN­SIDER IN­DIA: Small-group spe­cial­ist By­roads has an es­corted 15-day trip through Ra­jasthan, north­ern In­dia, de­part­ing Fe­bru­ary 15, for $3795 a per­son twin-share (add in­ter­na­tional air­fares); high­lights in­clude the clas­sic sights of Jaipur, Udaipur and the so-called blue city of Jodh­pur, plus lesser-known set­tle­ments such as Bundi, known for its stepped reser­voirs, forts, haveli man­sions and palaces. More: by­roads.com.au.

PAST PRO­TECTED: On July 15, the for­mer Por­tuguese ter­ri­tory of Ma­cau will mark the 10th an­niver­sary of the UNESCO World Her­itage list­ing for its his­toric quar­ter; pro­tected mon­u­ments in the en­clave in­clude the fa­cade ru­ins of St Paul’s (the church burned down in 1835), a sec­tion of the 16th-cen­tury city walls, forts, tem­ples and gar­dens, plus the Protes­tant ceme­tery, where the noted Bri­tish artist Ge­orge Chin­nery was buried in 1852. Down­load the Ma­cau Gov­ern­ment Tourist Of­fice app for a self-guided tour. More: macau­tourism.gov.mo.

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