Turkey

  • Istanbul – the meeting place of Asia & Europe with its wealth of sights and attractions
  • Gallipoli – dawn service on ANZAC Day
  • Troy & Ephesus – ancient ruins
  • Pamukkale – spectacular white terraces and the chance to take a mud bath
  • Olympos – relax on the beach and hike up to view the eternal flames
  • Cappadoccia – explore dwellings carved from the eerily eroded landscape
  • Nemrut Dagi – see the huge statues scattered at the summit of this mountain
  • Lake Van – relax on the lake shore, visit Akdamar Island or take in the history of Van Castle
  • Eastern Turkey – explore the little-visited Kars area close to the Armenian border
  • Dogubeyazit – overlooked by Mt Ararat, the legendary resting place of Noah’s Ark

Iran

  • Tabriz – explore the incredible bazaar and the Blue Mosque
  • Tehran – Iran’s cosmopolitan capital in the shadow of the Alborz Mountain Range
  • Esfahan – take a guided city tour (optional) around Imam Square (UNESCO site) or just wander, find a local tea house and converse with the incredibly hospitable locals
  • Perspolis – follow in Alexander the Great’s footsteps – some say this site is equal in grandeur to Angkor Wat and the Pyramids of Giza
  • Shiraz – once famous for its vineyards, soak up the atmosphere in the tranquil gardens
  • Yazd – a mudbrick old town with winding lanes, one of Iran’s hidden gems
  • Mashhad – see the incredible Imam Reza Shrine, visited by 20 million pilgrims a year

Turkmenistan

  • Ashgabat – the fascinating and slightly bizarre “White City” fashioned out of marble
  • Camp out in the Karakum Desert, and visit the incredible burning Darvaza Gas Crater, the “Gate to Hell”
  • See the impressive 60m high minaret at Konye Urgench

Uzbekistan

  • See ships marooned in the desert at the edge of the old Aral Sea
  • Explore the fantastic Silk Road cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand with their ancient madrassas (Islamic colleges), mosques, mausoleums and museums as well as the impressive Registan Square, said to be the most impressive sight in Central Asia
  • Tashkent – Uzbekistan’s modern capital with its vibrant market and unique metro railway

Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan

  • Enjoy the green valleys, wildlife and snow capped peaks of the Aksu-Dzhabagly Nature Reserve
  • Wander the streets of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s capital
  • Take a dip in Lake Issyk Kul, and enjoy a spectacular bushcamp on the shores of this alpine lake
  • Go hiking or horse riding in the Terskay Ala-Too Mountains
  • Enjoy a traditional yurt stay, horse riding and trekking at the high altitude Lake Song Kul
  • Visit the ancient Caravanserai (Silk Road hotel) at Tash Rabat
  • Cross the 4,000m+ Torugart Pass into China

China

  • Explore the streets of Kashgar old town, a major trading point on the ancient Silk Road
  • Cross the mighty Taklamakan Desert
  • Kuche and the Thousand Buddha Caves
  • Explore the vine-covered streets of Turpan and explore the nearby Jaiohe ruins on a guided tour
  • Take a guided tour of the incredible Mogao Caves with their impressive Buddhist art
  • Take a walk on the Great Wall of China
  • Visit the wonderful Tibetan enclave of Xiahe, home to the sprawling Labrang Monastery, best experienced with a Buddhist monk as your guide
  • Enjoy the spectacular scenery and hiking trails of the Huanglong National Park
  • Visit the Giant Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu and experience the unique “Face Changing Opera”
  • See the impressive Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an
  • Explore the southern Chinese cities of Kunming and Jinghong

Laos

  • Head off on a kayak, mountain bike or on foot to explore the lush surroundings of Luang Namtha, and enjoy your first experience of Laos’ relaxed, friendly vibe
  • Stay in a simple hut overlooking a tributary of the Mekong River, and take a walk through the forest to the waterfall
  • Explore the vibrant night market in Luang Prabang, or get up early to see the monks receiving alms. Plenty of adventure activities here as well!
  • See the remnants of the French influence in Vientiane, Laos’ capital, which even has it’s own “Arc de Triomphe”
  • Take an exhilarating long boat ride through the impressive Phu Hin Bun caves
  • Enjoy a sunset drink by the river in Savannakhet

Vietnam

  • Explore the wonderful citadel in Hue, or take a bike ride to the beach
  • Wander the streets of Hoi An, have some clothes made, or take a cooking course in this wonderful town
  • Relax on the beach, and enjoy a beach BBQ and swimming with the phosphorescence in the evenings
  • Enjoy crazy, vibrant Ho Chi Minh City

Cambodia

  • Explore the edgy town of Phnom Penh, enjoy a drink overlooking the river in the Foreign Correspondent’s Club
  • Take a harrowing, but important, tour of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields
  • Wander the streets of Battambang town, a sleepy enclave
  • Take a boat trip to Siem Reap via Tonle Sap Lake with its floating houses, churches and even pig pens
  • Enjoy a guided tour of the incredible Angkor Wat temple complex, a true wonder of the world

Thailand

  • Explore the vibrant city of Bangkok, take a massage, party in Khao San Road, enjoy fantastic Thai food from street stalls or put on your glad rags and head up to one of the fancy roof top bars
  • Visit the Bridge on the River Kwai and maybe take a cooking course in Kanchanaburi
  • Enjoy a week on Ko Samui or Ko Pha Ngan to do as you please! Stay in a simple beachside hut or treat yourself to a bit of luxury, it’s up to you. A perfect time to go diving, explore the interior of the islands in a jeep or just relax and enjoy this “holiday within a holiday”
    Malaysia
  • Explore the diverse culinary scene of Penang, as well as the colonial architecture of this former British enclave
  • Go snorkelling with turtles and (harmless) reef sharks on the stunning Perhentian Islands
  • Be impressed by the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, or get lost in one of the mega malls, some of which even have their own rollercoasters!
  • Visit the maritime museum or take a walk to the top of St John’s Hill in Penang, don’t forget to take a ride in one of the garishly decorated cycle-carts

Indonesia

  • Stay on the beautiful Samosir Island in the middle of Lake Toba and visit the traditional Batik houses
  • Take a hike through the jungle, see the wonderful endangered orang-utans in the wild, and enjoy a relaxing river tube ride back home
  • Explore the mosques and museums of Medan

Singapore

  • Explore the Lion City with its incredible architecture, world-renowned zoo, urban parks and delicious food markets
  • Celebrate the end of an epic journey with a Singapore Sling at Raffles!

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