Always interested in how travel companies are approaching the art of travel, we are impressed with Exotic Voyages, and their private and tailor-made tours that they offer in Asia. With a passion for the extraordinary journeys that are memorable and authentic, there is never a dull moment when traveling with Exotic Voyages. 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 has put together a bucket list travel guide on where to be in Asia over the next five months.

As a luxury boutique travel company, our goal is to provide people with amazing trips not just to iconic destinations, but also to locations they may never have heard of. These off-the- beaten-path destinations offer unique experiences, allowing our customers to create magical memories. We work closely with each of your clients as an individual to understand their travel ideals; that way we can handcraft the perfect custom trip. We want to let each client decide, ‘This is it. This is the trip I want.’
~ Vu Huy – Founder & CEO of Exotic Voyages

1. September Honor 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 September. Monks donning elaborate masks and vivid, colorful garb perform traditional dances in honor of Guru Rinpoche, a Buddhist master who brought the religion to Bhutan in the 8th century. From Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, throngs of locals and travelers descend on the city’s numerous dzong (fortresses) to watch the captivating performances.

2. October Time travel through Kyoto’s past

Glimpsing a trainee geisha as she shuffles along the classic alleys of Gion feels a bit like experiencing time travel. Actually meeting with a trainee or a geisha brings the experience to an entirely different level. Head there in October when the leaves are changing color and the city is bathed in Autumnal hues. Time a trip for October 22nd and Jidai Matsuri to see more than just geisha in traditional dress. In fact you’ll see local attire spanning all the ages as performers parade through the streets in Japanese clothing showcasing the different eras since the city was founded.

3. November Bag a Balloon over Bagan

Over 2000 temples, stupas and pagodas stud the ancient plains of Bagan. For the best vantage point take to the sky and gently float above the otherworldly landscape in a hot air balloon. The season runs from October through April, with the busiest time (and priciest) over the Christmas holidays, making November the sweet spot for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

4. December Solicit a Monk’s blessing in Cambodia

With the weather cooling and the rains now halted, December is the prime time to visit Cambodia. Angkor Wat tops many bucket lists but there’s more to do in Siem Reap beyond the ancient ruins. Visit a local pagoda to take part in a Buddhist ceremony where you’ll receive a blessing from a monk for safe travel, luck, and a long and happy life. What better way to get a head start on 2018.

5. January Light a Lantern in Hoi An

Much ritual revolves around the full moon in Asia, and here is a unique opportunity in Vietnam. 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 sampans that ferry tourists and locals alongside the lights. In January the event is set for the 2nd, giving visitors to the old town a chance to celebrate two New Years during a visit.

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