The world is so wide and we want to see it all. Asia is overflowing with ancient cultures that would take a lifetime to fully explore, so we want to get you started with our hand-picked choices of where to go in Asia in 2020.
You will feel nothing but joyous in Bhutan, the “land of happiness.” Bhutan’s heaven-reaching Himalayas and cliff-clinging Tiger’s Nest Monastery (which must be living on a prayer the way it dangles over a forest-filled valley) will elicit feelings of overwhelming awe. Start your day with a morning prayer with close to 250 monk students, then slip into bliss during a hot stone bath experience at Gangtey Lodge. Learn about traditional arts and crafts at the Painting School and Royal Textile Academy. Bright Buddhist festivals featuring colorfully-clad monks in masks dancing to local sounds gives you insight into this remote and remarkable land.
Nepal and Bhutan pair well together on a handcrafted Ker & Downey journey. Kick start your time in Nepal in Kathmandu, the capital of the kingdom where you will see ancient temples, shrines, and golden pagodas. Hop on a rickshaw, weaving through the crowds to get to Durbar Square and the old bazaar. The ancient arts of Nepal shine in Bhaktapur, where shikhara-style temples and stone-carved effigies of kings are grouped around a spectacular palace of brick and dazzling wood carved windows and doors. Discover little villages on mini treks with the Himalayan peaks your constant companion. Chitwan is just the place to detach from worldly stress. The UNESCO-protected park is renowned for its rhino, tiger, leopard, and Asiatic elephant sightings, so grab your camera and be ready.
Read more about combining Nepal and Bhutan from Ker & Downey travel designer Catherine Brown >>
It may not seem like an obvious choice, but Vietnam has its share of unique culture and cuisine, as well as stunning beaches. Get away from it all in Quy Nhon, a coastal wellness destination where traditional practices using natural ingredients will put you in a state of complete relaxation. Ninh Van Bay is more secluded since it’s on an island, which makes it even more appealing once you get to the Six Senses Con Dao’s remote sea-facing villas. Grab a snorkel and dip down below to dive with sea turtles.
It’s hard to put India’s aura into words since it encompasses so many distinct flavors, cultures, colors, and sounds. If you want to be treated like a queen, head to Rajasthan where the opulent palaces of Jaipur and Udaipur highlight India’s regal past. For a more laid back journey to this exotic land, try a boat ride down the palm laden back waters of Kerala. Common throughout India are its vibrant textiles and clinking bangles adorning women young and old. And we can’t mention India without talking about the food. This is where you will eat some of the most delicious (and sometimes spiciest) cuisines to ever touch your tongue. India really is incredible.
Get ready to go on a culture-packed trip to Asia in 2020. Contact a Ker & Downey designer so that we can get your plans for a handcrafted holiday in motion.