Boutique Hotels in Asia
As Earth's largest and most populous continent, Asia is a mesmerising mix of religions, cuisines and cultures and definitely has something to offer every traveller. Here comes a dream bucket-list:
1) Ride the Trans Siberian Railway, Russia – this epic, six-day train ride from Moscow to Beijing or Vladivostok is the best way to see Siberia. Pack a good book and preare to drink a lot of tea and vodka with your carriage-mates: outside your window Europe turns into Asia.
2) Visit Luang Prabang, Laos – this laidback town on the banks of the Mekong River is travellers' heaven: see orange-robed monks wandering amid the temples, shop for local crafts, take a cookey class and then eat the spoils with a cold Beer Lao.
3) Stay in a tribal longhouse, Borneo – gain an insight into tribal life by bedding down with a local family in their traditional home; a stay will likely include homecooking, jungle walks and a bit of a sing song.
4) Take a city break in Istanbul, Turkey – East meets West, Europe meets Asia: the Bosphorus, which runs through Istanbul, divides the continents in this most fascinating of places.
5)Trek to Everest Base Camp, Nepal – the summit might be for only a few hardy (and wealthy) mountaineers, but anyone with an ounce of fitness can tackle the spectacular trek to the base of the world's highest mountain.
6) See the Taj Mahal, India – true love sculpted in marble, this impossibly romantic mausoleum is a travel great: get up pre-dawn to see it before the crowds arrive.
7) Cruise the backwaters, Kerala – take to an old rice barge and float along the languid waterways of southern India. Dine on divine veggie food, watch fishermen cast their nets and generally let life pass you by.
8) Meet a panda, China – though increasingly rare, you can still spot pandas: for guaranteed sightings, head to the research centre in Chengdu; for more adventure (and the chance of a wild encounter) trek into Sichuan's Qinling Mountains.
9) Explore Angkor, Cambodia – this temple complex is vast. Do wander the central structures of Angkor Wat and see the big stone heads of the Bayon temple, but allow time to explore the outer (and less-visited) sites to add adventure.
10) Cruise Halong Bay, Vietnam – board a traditional junk boat and float amid the karst islands and fishing communities of northern Vietnam. Adrenalin junkies can try a range of activities too, including world-class rock climbing.