Asia travel bucket list
Tour operator Exotic Voyages lists places to visit in Asia over the next five months
FROM flying above ancient ruins in Myanmar to blessings by monks in Cambodia, Andrew Carroll, global head of sales and marketing for bespoke tour operator Exotic Voyages (www.exoticvoyages.com), has put together a bucket list travel guide on where to be in Asia over the next five months.
OCTOBER — HONOUR A
GURU IN BHUTAN
Crisp clear days and the celebration of Thimphu Tshechu, one of Bhutan’s most majestic festivals, make a trip to the country’s capital a must in October.
Monks donning elaborate masks and vivid, colourful garb perform traditional dances in honour of Guru Rinpoche, a Buddhist master who brought the religion to Bhutan in the eighth century.
From Sept 30 to Oct 2, throngs of locals and travellers descend on the city’s numerous dzong (fortresses) to watch the captivating performances.
AUGUST — GEISHAS AND BONFIRES IN KYOTO
Glimpsing a trainee geisha as she shuffles along the classic alleys of Gion feels a bit like experiencing time travel. Actually meeting with one brings the experience to an entirely different level.
Head there in mid-August to see one of these entertainers along with another cultural phenomenon, Daimonji, where five huge fires shaped in kanji are lit on mountainsides encircling the city.
The massive bonfires mark the end of Obon, a three-day festival where it is said the spirits of ancestors return to earth.
SEPTEMBER — LIGHT A LANTERN IN HOI AN
Much ritual revolves around the full moon in Asia. Each month in Hoi An, when the moon reaches this pivotal phase, the Old Town transforms under the glow of thousands of lanterns.
The main river that snakes through the Unesco World Heritage site becomes awash with flickering lights and sampan that ferry tourists and locals alongside the lights.
In September, the event is set for the 4th and starts at dusk.