From discovering a place like a local to offering out-of-the-world views, these 45 travel products are redefining Asia’s experiences supply in creative ways
01. Theatrical impressions of Melaka
The 70-minute Encore Melaka, the first of the Impressions series outside of China, recounts tales of the historic Malaysian city with a 360 degree rotating auditorium, 3D projection mapping and intricate props, creating a virtual reality effect.
02. World’s first underground hotel
The 336-room InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland in Sheshan Mountain Range is a mostly subterranean property with two floors underwater. All rooms offer a good vantage point for the nightly water show. Guests can kayak or zipline across the quarry, or go rock climbing.
03. Malaysia’s own ‘Salar de Uyuni’
An hour from Kuala Lumpur, Sky Mirror is a sandbar that appears on the Straits of Melaka twice a month during the new moon and full moon periods. With its shallow waters and mirror-like reflection, the attraction offers unique photography opportunities.
04. Insects-infested fine dining
At Insects in the Backyard in Bangkok’s new Chang Chui creative hub, six-legged critters are served up in fine-dining style by chef Mai Thitiwat. Insects are sourced from family-run, chemical-free farms.
05. Changi’s new crown Jewel
The latest Jewel in Changi Airport’s crown is its S$1.7 billion (US$1.3 billion) complex, a multifaceted indoor destination with 280 retail and F&B units; YotelAir Singapore Changi Airport; and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.
06. Deportees connect through tours
A social enterprise offering tours of Cambodia, Zin Adventures is run by Cambodian-Americans deportees from the US. A walking tour takes guests through Phnom Penh’s Old European quarter, while the one- to three-day tours go to Kirirom National Park’s historic pine forest. The company aims to hire 20 more deportees.
07. Helicopter tours in Laos
In Laos, Summit Discovery organises helicopter tours to experience Vientiane and its nearby attractions, including the Elephant Temple and Nam Ngum lake. Gourmet meals can be arranged.
08. Tracing Gandhi’s footsteps
Delhi Walks’ Gandhi experience tells stories associated with Mahatma Gandhi. The tour covers the National Gandhi Museum with original relics, books, documents, journals, photographs related to Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba Gandhi.
09. Solar-powered boat in Myanmar
Myanmar’s Burma Boating offers environmentally-friendly expeditions around the Mergui Archipelago in its 100 per cent solar-powered yacht for six people and three crew. The S55 has three levels with a salon and four cabins.
10. Shelter for the marginalised
Gawad Kalinga (GK) or Give Care, promotes voluntourism by inviting visitors to build houses in marginalised communities through the Philippines. GK Enchanted Farm in Bulacan is a social enterprise and offers tours of its farm, rooms and dorms.
11. Ship turns hotel in Bintan
The 104-year-old MV Doulos, has been turned into a hotel dry berthed in Bintan. The overhauled eight-deck vessel has 104 cabins, a maritime museum, banquet hall, meeting rooms, library and club lounge. On-land amenities include a beach club, swimming pool, kid’s playground and amphitheatre.
12. Coming soon: supersonic travel
Come mid 2020, Boom Supersonic will roll out its supersonic aircraft in Overture, capable of flying at twice the speed of sound. Japan Airlines and Virgin Group have placed pre-orders for the Mach 2.2, 55-seater passenger jet.
13. Backstage tour of Chinese opera
Traditional Chinese Opera in Singapore is brought back to live through Xperience DMC’s tour, allowing guests to go behind the scenes and meet performers.
14. Cambodia on two wheels
JustRide Motorbike Adventures explores Cambodia’s lesser known spots on its modern 400cc bikes, with tour options that range from all-inclusive day tours of Siem Reap to multi-day options of remote provinces.
15. Skywalk with a view
Bangkok’s Mahanakhon Skywalk is a rooftop observation deck perched 314m atop a ‘pixelated’ mixed-use building. A 50-second elevator ride takes guests up to 74th floor for 360-degree views. A ‘terrifying’ glass floor beyond the building’s edge await.
16. Pop concerts in Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort’s Fantasy Road is venue for high-profile concerts such as Taiwanese band Mayday and Ed Sheeran. With a capacity of 20,000 people per show, the venue can attract large-scale music events.
17. Get local with Khiri Travel Laos
Khiri Travel Laos works with a local Khmu family to offer a tour with kayaking, a traditional lunch with the family, learning the traditions of animism and production of lao hai (rice wine), walking through paddies and caves.
18. Dine in a grounded plane
Kuala Lumpur’s Plane in the City offers a 90-minute fine dining experience in a Boeing B737 jet on the ground, where diners can take selfies while sticking their heads out of the cockpit or walk on the wing of the plane.
19. Premium camping in Zhuhai
The Sumlodol Hengqin Camping Park offers 60,000m2 of tents, villas, wooden chalets and luxury caravan equipped with private courtyards with outdoor barbecues. It also has a multifunctional compound event venue.
20. Urban onsen theme park
The “urban onsen resort” in Osaka Bay Tower complex has a range of thermal baths containing natural waters with different properties, a rooftop garden, restaurants, shops and beauty services.
21. Michelin-star food on bus
Crystal Bus combines sightseeing with a culinary experience on a bus ride. Michelin-star dim sum is served onboard a Swarovski crystals donned double-decker bus. Two standard daily routes are offered: Lantau Island with lunch, and one through Victoria Harbour from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central.
22. VR ride through Amazon
Ocean Park Hong Kong’s upgraded VR rollercoaster Mine Train syncs virtual movement with real motion, as guests journey come face to face with animals in the Amazon rainforest by donning Samsung VR headsets.
23. A salute to valour
Rajah Travel’s Salute to Valour tour packages include Palawan’s historical and cultural attractions highlighting the province’s history and liberation during World War II. The tour has added the Calamian Islands, and Coron Bay where 11 Japanese shipwrecks lie.
24. Javanese rail journeys in style
State-owned Kereta Api Indonesia has launched new sleeper trains for overnight journeys across Java. These trains also run
services from Jakarta to Semarang, Central Java, and Jakarta to Yogyakarta.
25. Where Beatles did yoga
The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram in Rishikesh, made popular after The Beatles’ visit in 1968, has recently reopened. Find murals on the walls of the abandoned ashram, located within India’s Rajaji National Park by the Ganga River.
26. Pay for Sleeep by the minute
Sleeep is the first licensed capsule hotel that sells by the minute so users pay for only what they need. The intelligent sleeping capsule hotel in Sheung Wan won the Red Dot Design Award.
27. The art of making nougat
Mondo Nougat is currently offering nougat masterclasses to groups of up to 30 pax. Classes can be conducted at its Swan Valley factory or off-site in Perth.
28. Get your WishTrip
Founded as a navigation app where travellers record their journeys, WishTrip has 30,000 trails created by some 500,000 users. WishTrip also has in-app tools warning visitors of potentially dangerous areas.
29. See Singapore of yore
Travel back to pre-war Singapore through the eyes of an early immigrant. Trails of Tan Ah Huat, Singapore 1920s by Let’s Go Tour Singapore is a cycling tour of heritage areas like Kampong Glam, Singapore River and Chinatown, alongside immersive storytelling.
30. Eco estate by the sea
Nestled between the sea and mountains, the 325ha Lio Tourism Estate in El Nido, Palawan is a planned ecological sustainable development, with hotels, resorts, residential communities, and commercial establishments.
31. Tracing Jewish heritage
Jane’s Singapore Tours uncovers the story and heritage of Sing-apore’s Jewish community. Key highlights will be a visit to two synagogues – Chesed-El Synagogue in Oxley Rise and Maghain Aboth Synagogue in Waterloo Street.
32. 3D animated culinary journey
At Elements Kuala Lumpur or Park Hyatt Bangkok, have food cooked by Le Petit Chef, an animated chef projected onto diners’ plates via 3D mapping technology. Food is designed by Michelin-star chef Jeff Ramsey.
33. Onsen gastronomy tour
Walk Japan’s Onsen Gastronomy tours take guests through some of the country’s most off-the-beaten-path regions, punctuated by soaks in natural springs and meals featuring local flavours.
34. Window into Outback life
The Katherine Outback Experience gives insight to life in the Outback. Led by two-time Golden Guitar winner Tom Curtain, the show includes horse breaking and dog training demonstrations, live music and entertaining stories.
35. Vespa sidecar tours
Experience Singapore’s sights, sounds and flavours in a unique fleet of hand-restored vintage Vespa sidecars from Triquetra Singapore. Guides lead the heritage, art and architecture tours. Bespoke options are possible.
36. Karst rock conservation park
Masungi Georeserve is a conservation in Rizal, near Manila. Home to 60-million-year-old limestone formations, attractions include a suspended platform, a giant hammock; hanging bridges, rope courses and eco-trails.
37. Shang tours Tsim Sha Tsui
As the first hotel to open in the reclaimed Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon Shangri-La has pioneered a walking tour of the precinct’s heritage, including visiting a school attended by Bruce Li.
38. Yoga by the holy river
Modi Yoga Retreat, on the banks of the holy river Ganga in Rishikesh, has 29 luxury rooms and offers yoga, nutrition, proactive healthcare and spa facilities, and lifestyle and wellbeing consultations with in-house experts.
39. Star Wars in Asia
Resorts World Genting has scored Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, the first multisensory immersive experience in Asia that blurs the line between the physical and virtual world, evoking all the senses.
40. Tales of rural India
Tales from India’s tours offer insight to rural life in Indian states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand. Visitors share a meal with local families or visit a local temple. Accommodation ranges from guest houses to privately-owned palaces.
41. MAD tours with impact
Make A Difference (MAD) Travel, is a Philippine social tourism platform that supports indigenous and marginalised communities. Its Seed Nation project collects seeds from companies and restaurants for planting in Zambales, Rizal and Aurora.
42. Warehouse heritage
Fifth-gen owners of Lhong 1919, a 19th century Chinese warehouse in Bangkok, has turned the site into a riverside heritage complex. A shrine to the Chinese goddess of seafarers, original Chinese murals and stonework were found and restored. There’s also a 800m2 hall and riverfront restaurant.
43. Marine research expeditions
Rascal Voyages and Conservation International Indonesia have teamed up to offer The Exploration Series of scientific expeditions across the Indonesian Archipelago, South-east Asia, the Indian Ocean and beyond.
44. Bali makes wines
Award-winning Sababay Winery in Bali’s Gianyar produces some 800,000 bottles a year and imparts wine-making knowledge to local farmers, putting the famed Indonesian island on the world wine map.
45. Flying adventures in Rishikesh
At India’s first extreme aerosports destination, adventure seekers can try open cockpit flying, as well as hot air ballooning during the winter season. The operations and the fleet of the company, Rajas Aviators, are approved by the Indian aviation regulatory body.