Southeast Asia Destinations

Destinations in Southeast Asia

Escape the monotonous pattern of travel with a luxurious experience at an award-winning beach resort destination, Vietnam.

Southeast Asia hits the sweet spot for groups of travelers who look to combine their passion for luxury and nature.

Along with the recent restrictions lifted by the Vietnamese government who no longer requires a negative COVID-19 test, Asia Bespoke Tours promises to ensure you a smooth travel planning experience in the beautiful and historical nation.

Vietnam is the go-to spot for MICE and luxury travel given its stunning facilities, adventure and nature experiences, and pristine accommodation.

Vietnam and MICE

Thanks to its natural landscapes, ultraluxe resorts, rich attractions, and accommodation facilities, Vietnam has successfully emerged as a hub for MICE tourism.

“While domestic groups will initially drive the recovery, prices should be very competitive for all clients as companies look to entice clients to our shores. Another advantage is that Vietnam has diverse locations, supporting hotels, good infrastructure, and unique activities to establish it as the MICE center for Southeast Asia,” points out Quynh Nguyen, CEO of Hanoi-based VietnamNow Travel, with both international and domestic MICE clientele.

Many new resourceful and creative MICE offering programs are and have been formulated by hotels in Vietnam.

Director of PR for Minor Hotels Vietnam Kate Jones said that Vietnam has set good regulations and has been handling MICE domestic business over the past 12 months and is ready to welcome international MICE travel.

” While we may see some different dynamics in terms of requirements from regional and international business travelers, we are well placed to adapt to changing needs and preferences in all our Anantara and Avani hotels and resorts throughout the country,” she added.

Fusion Hotel Group will be catering to events with a dedicated event planner on board in addition to its focus on health and wellness. There are conference facilities with a capacity of up to 240 people with two meeting rooms and a reception foyer at Fusion Suites Vung Tau.

Vice President of Operations at Vietnam’s Accor Xavier Cappelut mentioned that hotels in Vietnam are under development to offer state-of-the-art meeting facilities. Events with capacities as large as 1,000 can be accommodated in Novotel Dong Nai, Pullman Hai Phong, or MGallery Nghe An.

“Besides corporate events and meetings, we also see an increasing number of social activities such as marathons or boat races in emerging destinations that offer breath-taking natural beauty. Our hotels are leveraging this rising trend to partner with event organizers and offer attractive packages for event attendees,” he added. For instance, there is a stunning rooftop bar with city panoramic views that accommodates up to 150 people for events at Hôtel Des Arts Saigon MGallery Collection

Moreover, Chris Hallett, Director of Sales and Marketing at Intercontinental Saigon discussed how there is flexibility around bookings in hotels and how crucial it is since it had come to a realization that travel patterns may be easily disrupted.

InterContinental Saigon has partnered with the global IHG ‘Meet with Confidence’ programme which gives reassurance and confidence to our partners that flexibility is always provided.

Looking to get a feel of Vietnam before booking? Go ahead and view Vietnam’s heritage sites in 360 degrees via a Vietnamese Virtual Tour.

In addition to amazing MICE facilities, Vietnam’s luxury offerings for the corporate or leisure group are unmatched.

Why Vietnam for Luxury

Known as an S-shaped nation due to its figure on the map, Vietnam is a nation that holds a combination of historically rich culture, appetizing food, vibrant city lights, and dramatic landscapes. Vietnam offers the right balance of luxury accommodation and transport and stunning nature and adventure itineraries.
Known for its mesmerizing limestone mountains that rise from emerald waters that formed a thousand years ago, Halong Bay in northeast Vietnam is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. At Asia Bespoke we offer a private Halong Bay Cruise that sails from Lan Ha Bay through Da Chong islet over Gia Luan Lagoon where you will find limestone karst formations rising out of the sea on a quiet island. The next step consists of a secret hideaway with pristine beaches, caves, and coves and a view of 400 limestone islands in a natural frontier between the provinces of Halong Bay and Cat Ba Archipelago. Get immersed in the crystal clear waters of the bay, and dine on local delicacies with an exotic cocktail during a sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin. Last but not least, the trip consists of visiting dark & bright caves and islets in a private luxury vessel and immersing yourself in an experience in a World Heritage Destination.

Ambassador Cruise Ha Long Bay is one of the best ways to experience the majesty of Ha Long Bay, complete with fine dining, an outdoor infinity pool, and sunbathing deck. Also available are kayak excursions and tai chi sessions for travelers of any taste. If you are a fan of having a little adventure under some dazzling sunlight and calm tides, get in touch with us for a chance to explore the cave culture of Ha Long to enjoy the impressive sights via a private luxury vessel.

The Vietage, is a brand new luxury railway where you get to immerse yourself in the lush landscapes and breathtaking coastline of central Vietnam, rife with spectacular views and heritage charm. MICE travelers can experience exquisite rail travel all with gourmet dining while overlooking gorgeous views.

 Basket Boat Tours in Coastal Vietnam is a set itinerary for those who look to enjoy a wide range of experiences through basket boats, which is considered to be a Vietnam icon as it rose out of ingenuity during the French colonial era. Whether you were looking to learn traditional fishing techniques, experience local cultural folk music, or navigate on Vietnamese bamboo basket boats while exploring the tranquil coconut-palm flanked waterways, Vietnam has a unique experience for every traveler.

With its varied geologic landform and long coastline, Vietnam is a fast-growing golf nation with around 80 golf courses with many more being constructed. This is a great fit for meetings, incentives, and conference groups looking for a relaxing day of golf with friends. Golfing in Vietnam is an experience with spectacular scenery and high-end course offerings. A few of the best golf courses in Vietnam include:

  1. Kings Island Golf Resort, Hanoi.
  2. VinPearl Golf Club in Phu Quoc
  3. Sky Lake Resort & Golf Club, Hanoi.
  4. Chi Linh Star Golf & Country Club, Hai Duong.
  5. Montgomerie Links, Danang.
  6. Laguna Lang Co Golf Club, Danang.
  7. Bana Hills Golf Club, Danang.

 

When discussing Vietnamese food, much of it can be traced to the French colonization which had a lasting effect on the country. Vietnamese cuisine includes many savory dishes that are continuously served in elite hotels all around the world, such as filled baguettes, stuffed pancakes, banana blossom salad, and fresh spring rolls. Also, the world’s cheapest, preservative-free, fresh beer is produced locally daily in the streets of Vietnam.

Coffee lovers wouldn’t want to miss this one. Vietnam is the second-largest coffee producer in the world. Whether day or night coffee in Vietnam is always served with a special mix of sweetened condensed milk. Call it a Vietnamese signature as it is considered a part of Vietnamese culture that never fails to hit all the right notes for coffee lovers.

Where to enjoy a Vietnamese coffee?

If you were looking for an aesthetic workshop atmosphere to enjoy your sip of coffee while being productive or meeting up with peers, consider Du Mien Garden Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City, the aesthetic consists of a garden paradise with waterfalls, ponds, and also a tree house hidden behind cement walls.

Socialites will enjoy a stop at Villa Royale Downtown Antiques & Tea room in Ho Chi Minh City where you will find world-class food, elite service, and excellent coffee.

The Workshop Speciality Coffee is the location to find a relaxing and bright atmosphere for a bite to eat. The space has been finely tuned to create an ambiance through long wooden tables and ample seating.

Top-notch accommodation

Intercontinental Sun Peninsula, Danang

This extravagant resort is built around lush gardens and a 700-m private beach on the Son Tra Peninsula in Vietnam and a stunning landscape to give one a hilltop village feel. Enjoy a drink within the art of Japanese bartending and sophisticated culinary delights while surrounded by delicate historic renovations and design. This hotel provides expensive room touches along with private balconies and luxury bathroom finishes. You may also book to have a room with a private dining pavilion and a spa bath, with a stunning ocean view. Take on a quick challenge at the nearby Montgomerie Links Golf Club or Danang Golf Club. Moreover, the Imperial City of Hue and The Old Town of Hoi An are popular UNESCO World Heritage sites about 28 mi from the hotel.

The Reverie Saigon

Sky-high Reverie Saigon reflects world-class hospitality with its spectacular Haute Italian artistry and craftsmanship design and marble-appareled luxury rooms. Located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Reverie Saigon symbolizes Vietnam’s rapid development reflecting on the city’s hopes and ambitions with endless potential.

Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai

The Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai has diverse accommodation including a one-bedroom ocean view villa and a five-bedroom beachfront pool villa. There are 100 private retreats in this resort that are uniquely finished with elegant Vietnamese silk that reflects the soul of Vietnam’s heartland culture and visitors. This hotel is only 30 minutes away by car from Da Nang International Airport. This stylish luxury property was inspired by a design that goes 2,500 years back, showing an authentic connection to the region through onsite activities such as the cooking academy and earth-attuned spa to exhilarating water-based sports and cultural activities.

Park Hyatt, Saigon

Enjoy an urban luxury sophistication at Park Hyatt Saigon. This hotel will provide you with an ultimate personalized luxury experience where you get to choose from the top world-class restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City. Famous for its high-standard concierge service offerings, along with a prime location on the city’s most famous square that is a one-minute walking distance from the Saigon Municipal Opera House, book your stay confidently and enjoy a vibrant and unique experience.

Ninh Thuan, Amanoi

This ultraluxe retreat – the Amanoi – is situated between gold sand tides and a mesmerizing view of Vinh Hy Bay in Nui Chua National Park and northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. Amanoi is listed as one of the 10 best beach retreats in Asia. The hotel showcases the signature Aman sleek architecture through infinity pool edges, private beaches, and clifftop restaurants along with a full-service Elite Aman Spa.

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Located steps from the opera house in Hanoi’s french quarter, the Sofitel Metropole has been a staple of luxury since 1901. With fine dining combining both French and Vietnamese influences, a luxurious spa, and a unique Path of a History tour, every traveler will find themself at home.

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay

The name says it all. This setting is built to ignite your six senses with its dramatic setting of a private island resort in the East Vietnam Sea and a view of coral reef and traditional architecture.

Six Senses Con Dao

Six Senses Con Dao is a top-rated luxury beach resort in Vietnam’s archipelago islands built so that you find yourself fully immersed in the blue sapphire seas and golden sands. With a luxurious resemblance to a Vietnamese fishing village, enjoy offerings of private pool ocean view villas built from retrieved teakwood and sustainable material showcasing a unique, contemporary flair.

Our expert destination management advisors at Asia Bespoke will be happy to guide you towards a unique travel experience along with a full array of options of detailed concierge services. Whether your goal is to bring together people in one place for a one-time event, reward your employees through incentive travel or form an exhibition or conference-related travel, we work with you to provide a custom-made itinerary designed to match your travel wants and needs.

What’s New In 2022? Luxury Travel in Indonesia

There is no country in Southeast Asia with more options for luxury travelers than Indonesia. At Asia Bespoke Tours, we offer one-of-a-kind, luxury experiences for our clients with offerings such as luxury yachting, luxury villas, golf, wellness, wedding & honeymoons, and luxury and boutique hotel packages. 

 After Indonesia lifted quarantine requirements for international travelers in March 2022, Indonesia travel is rising to 2019 rates. Indonesia is a Southeast Asian country that sits between the Indian and Pacific oceans, consisting of over 17,000 islands – including Java, Sumatra, and Bali. 

 The world’s largest island country offers a blend of nature, culture, cuisine, and activities. Travelers can be amazed at The Grand Temple of Borobudur in Java, experience a blend of art and spirituality in the cultural hub of Ubud in Bali, get up close and personal with Komodo Dragons in Flores, or experience some of the best diving in the world in spots like Raja Ampat. No matter what background or travel taste is preferred, Indonesia offers it all. There is much more to Indonesia than backpacking – this is a destination with thousands of custom luxury experiences for travelers looking to indulge, relax, and unwind.

Ultra-luxe resorts
Few destinations in Southeast Asia have ultra-luxe resorts to the caliber of Indonesia with activities and excursion opportunities intertwined with the experiences. Indonesia has a few of the top resorts in the region and at Asia Bespoke Tours we offer distinct and unique packages and deals with these resorts. Here are a few examples of ultra-luxe resorts across the regions and cities of Indonesia:
  • THE OBEROI LOMBOK: The Oberoi Lombok is located in Medana Bay, with remote and private beach access and views of the volcano Mount Agung
  • ALILA PURNAMA, KOMODO ISLAND: Alila Purnama is a luxury liveaboard in Komodo Island in Indonesia and consists of three decks, 4 double deluxe suites and 1 master suite with a private deck.
  • SIX SENSES ULUWATU, BALI: The gorgeous cliff-top Uluwatu resort offers uninterrupted views of the ocean from 360 degrees and is comprised of 103 suites surrounded by nature. 
  • BAWAH PRIVATE ISLAND: Bawah Private Island has only 70 guests at any given time and is a safari-style villa resort surrounded by the natural wonder of Bawah Island, Indonesia. 
  • The Hanging Gardens of Bali: Surrounded by the chirps of wildlife and tucked away in Ubud, the Hanging Gardens provides an oasis in the rainforest. 
  • Bulgari Resort & Spa: This stunning resort is known for its starlight dinner experiences, world-famous and top-ranked Bulgari Spa, and ocean view villas.  
  • Raffles   Raffles Bali is an oasis in the natural wonders of Bali with panoramic ocean views and sunsets from each of its villas. Raffles also has a Wellness Retreat on its grounds and personalized “Wellness Butlers” to take care of guests’ every need.
  • Amankila: Amankila of Aman Resorts is known for its treetop suites, one of the only five-star resorts in Indonesia to boast this style of lodging.

Excursions

Our team at Asia Bespoke Tours is able to guide our guests through a safe and immersive journey through Indonesia. A luxury holiday does not need to be limited to laying on a hammock for the entire vacation. Indonesia is home to 17,508 islands – 6,000 of which are inhabited – and all of them are teeming with wildlife and beautiful scenery. Scuba diving and snorkeling is extremely popular in Indonesia due to the marine life, remote and private lagoons, Komodo dragon wildlife experiences, and secluded beaches. In all of these experiences, guests are not one of hundreds of travelers – the trip is often remote with either an entire island for your clients or a sprinkling of other guests – ensuring a secluded luxury vacation. 

Examples of luxury excursions include the following, all of which Asia Bespoke Tours offers:
  • Komodo National Park: Komodo Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the legendary Komodo Dragon. The park is composed of three islands – Komo, Rinca, and Padar – and the water surrounding these islands have bountiful marine life. The best way to travel this park is via a luxury private vessel – with onboard and offboard activities for intimate groups.
  • Sumba Island: Sumba Island is known for beautiful water and landscapes, but is also best known to house the top resort in the world – the Nihi in Sumba Island. Nihi Sumba Island has been ranked the world’s top hotel for two years in a row by Travel and Leisure. 
 
 
  • Raja Ampat:  Raja Ampat is an archipelago that is known as an unparalleled paradise for divers, nature-lovers and marine life enthusiasts. Raja Ampat also has a few of the top luxury resorts in the region including the Papua Paradise Eco Resort.
  • Bukit Peninsula: Located on Bali’s southern most tip, the Bukit Peninsula is a hilltop escape in Bali with villas, eco-retreats and secluded resorts overlooking mountain and ocean views. 
Within Indonesia, Asia Bespoke Tours is intimately familiar with these destinations and we understand how to set up a customized tour for your guests. From beautiful nature landscapes in Yogyakarta, Borobudur, Ubud, and Nusa Lembongan, to excursions to Labuan Bajo, Kanawa Island, and Komodo Tours, we understand the ins and outs of this luxurious destination more than any other national or international player.
 
Yachts and Cruising:
 
Indonesia is very accessible with luxury yachts and liveaboards. We organize these and develop seamless journeys, itineraries and packages for guests to Indonesia.
 
Lamima:  Lamima is a luxury charter experience through the waters of Indonesia with stunning views and serene expeditions onboard the vessel. Built in 2014, Lamima is a sturdy vessel with comfort and Indonesian hospitality.  
Rascal: Rascal has massive deck spaces (a 1,300 square foot roof deck) and a relaxation-style holiday with five en-suite cabins modeled after suburbs beach homes. 
 
Dunia Baru: Dunia Baru was hand-built using Ulin wood and is a combination of sailing techniques and expansive decks with an ancient Indonesian modern look.
 
Luxury Cruises by Aqua Expeditions: The world-renowned Aqua Expeditions takes its Aqua Blu luxury yacht around the beautiful wonders of Indonesia, including the spice islands and Raja Ampat.
 
 
 
Wellness & Spas:
 
Bali is the best known destination in the world for luxury wellness spas and sanctuaries. All of the wellness retreats are environmentally friendly and sustainable and offer world-leading transformation methods and techniques to heal guests in a luxurious environment. A few of the top wellness resorts in Indonesia include:
 
 
 
In 2022 and 2023, there is no better destination than Indonesia to relax and explore in a remote, luxurious and safe setting. To learn more about our custom luxury experiences, contact us. Contact Information for our Indonesia Team is as follows:
 
Mr. Manfred Schweizer
CEO
Phone: +63 9610 458 479 (WhatsApp)

 

 
 

Asia Bespoke Tours Completes a Successful 2022 IMEX!

Our destination management company (DMC) team at Asia Bespoke Tours was at IMEX 2022 this past month in beautiful Frankfurt, Germany. More than 9,000 planners and suppliers attended the show in order to discuss the challenges of the changing landscape of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) and the trajectory of the industry in 2022 and beyond. After two long years without attending IMEX, we had great successes in new bookings and wonderful connections. 

We shared a fantastic exhibition booth as a member of Beyond Limits. Our team had 55 appointments with buyers from all over the world and five concrete requests for 2022-2023. There was a tremendous amount of interest from buyers in South and Southeast Asia, across our destinations. The event was above our team’s expectations as we continue through a thriving 2022 in the region. Additionally, we had also a Hosted Buyer Cocktail-Dinner Event  in Frankfurts “Hunky Dory Bar” which is listed among the Top 50 Best Restaurants/Bars in the World. Asia Bespoke Tours was out and about throughout IMEX and Frankfurt!

 

In addition to the great success of the exhibition booth, we were also at IMEX to learn about upcoming developments in the South and Southeast Asian region. Here are some news updates that we are excited to share with you:

Thailand presented an exciting presentation about their new brand campaign, “Thailand MICE- Meet the Magic.” The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau highlighted how Thailand had elevated its infrastructure to provide top-of-the-line MICE products and initiatives. The President of TCEB stated that people are ready for reconnection in a non-virtual setting. Thailand is already scheduling upcoming events, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit and the Travel Blog Exchange Asia 2022 in Phuket. The first large convention coming up is the 2022 Global Summit of Women between June 23-25 in the capital city Bangkok, welcoming over 1,000 participants from over 60 countries.  In addition, Thailand is prioritizing local, curated experiences, new business and professional sectors, large exhibition events and environmental practices in 2022 as those are significant trends that event professionals are looking for in a MICE destination. The recent lessening of the border restrictions are helping the momentum of business travel to Thailand, as a negative test result is no longer required and organizers are able to plan and execute any event in the future.

Maldives is keeping their success and global recognition growing by advertising themselves as a new type of MICE destination. The island wants to redefine what we currently know about business travel. In one of our most recent blogs, we’ve discussed the numerous ways the Maldives have taken the next step to become a MICE travel leader. The opportunity to present this at IMEX was the perfect timing as business travel as a whole is making a huge comeback. The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation or MMPRC also took the opportunity to promote their highly coveted leisure travel. “Through the event, we will market the four main tourism products offered by the Maldives – resorts, hotels, guesthouses, and liveaboards – and will promote why the privacy, security, and serenity offered by the Maldives provides an ideal solution for MICE travelers.” MMPRC the destination as part of the effort to show the diversity of tourism products available on the islands.MMPRC has been spearheading significant campaigns across the globe to promote MICE opportunities available in the Maldives to potential business travelers. Asia Bespoke Tours is very excited about this next chapter of Maldives Tourism!
 
MICE Tourism was on the minds of many other countries as well, including Indonesia. The capital of Jakarta is also taking on the chance to bring in more MICE tourism and tie in their leisure opportunities as part of a recovery program. Businesses such as Jakarta Convention Center, Fairmont Hotel Jakarta, Jakarta International Expo (JIEXPO), Pacto Convex, and Prodigy Conference Organizer are working with the Jakarta Tourism and Creative Economy Agency to actively work to regain what was lost in a post-pandemic era. 

Malaysia introduced three new campaigns during IMEX, the 3R Initiative – Reset, Restart, Responsible; Meet in Malaysia Campaign; and MySafe Business Events Planner. “Malaysia is ever ready to position itself as the powerhouse for business events. As a matter of fact, for 2022 – 2030, MyCEB has secured 149 business events to be organized in Malaysia. These events are expected to attract an estimated total of 212,386 delegates and generate up to RM1.3 billion in estimated economic impact for the country,” concludes MyCEB CEO Abdul Khani. This buzz for Malaysia has the potential to bring business and MICE travelers to Malaysia’s many nature, luxury and adventure tourism products. Malaysia already boasts numerous event spaces with enough space to hold thousands of people, and significant events – meeting, conferences, or exhibitions – should consider this destination.
 
Other interesting Asian developments included an innovative white paper by Singapore on sustainable business travel. The White Paper, written in a partnership between American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) and the Singapore Tourism Board, laid out strategies that meetings, incentives and corporate travel professionals should take in order to ensure that their events are sustainable for the environment and society around them. Meetings professionals are choosing destinations that keep the environmental impact low. Interestingly,  83% of organizations take sustainable and environmental standing of destinations into account when planning meetings and events. Singapore has made great strides in implementing green strategies in energy conversation, waste management and sustainable food in their meetings and events in 2022. 
 
During the event, there were some incredible developments in the global industry overall. For instance, the Financial and Insurance Conference Professionals (FICP), Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), and Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) along with Oxford Economics announced the 2022 edition of the Inventive Travel Index (ITI), the newest joint survey of the international incentive market. The survey this year showed great demand for incentive trips for corporate groups and has demonstrated upward trends globally for the market. Additionally, the Listening Collective launched the new Listening Lab at IMEX Frankfurt where all event professionals were able to take part of a 150+ strong education program on the show floor.
 
One other area of focus for the event was the rising trend of wellness travel at events, with more and more events that are being organized prioritizing mental health, healthy food and beverage, and physical activity options for attendees. Given the incredible nature, outdoors and gastronomic tourism options across our Asia Bespoke Tours destinations, we are excited about this growing trend and the opportunity to take MICE attendees to wellness attractions and activities.
 
At Asia Bespoke Tours, we are at the forefront of bringing MICE groups to destinations in South and Southeast Asia. There is no better partner who understands the ins and outs of each of these destinations. Contact us today for more information on an experience for your MICE event attendees.  

Four Must-See Hidden Gems in Cambodia for the 2022 Traveler

The Cambodian Ministry of Tourism recently laid out a target of at least one million foreign tourist arrivals in 2022, prioritizing the main tourist markets in ASEAN, Southeast Asia, USA, France and the UK. This projection was developed based on performance during the first four months of the year, which saw the Kingdom receiving a recorded 241,485 tourists and five million domestic tourists, increasing by 191 percent and 161 percent, respectively.

Cambodia is now fully open to foreign travelers although there are still quarantine requirements for travelers who are not fully vaccinated. This border relaxation is a boost to Cambodia’s tourism industry which represents a large share – at over 12 percent – of GDP. COVID-19 saw international travel numbers decrease by 80% from 6.6 million visitors to 1.3 million in 2020.

Recently, Cambodia hosted a roadshow in the Philippines where the Ministry of Tourism underscored new COVID-19 health and safety protocols as well as Cambodia’s recovery program as the country ramps up its inbound arrivals of international tourists for leisure, business and MICE travel. The Kingdom of Cambodia has invested in new tourism developments in the last few months especially in the Southern Coastal Zone including the provinces of Kep, Kampot, Koh Kong and Sihanoukville. Cambodia has developed new experiences for travelers, providing more natural sites, foodie havens, and historical sites for travelers looking to spend 4-7 days exploring.

At Asia Bespoke Tours, luxury Southeast Asian destination management company (DMC), we are excited about these prospects and to continue to be the leading Cambodian DMC focusing on luxury experiences. Based on our expertise, here are four “gems’ of Cambodia to look forward to when traveling to Cambodia in 2022:

National Parks:

Cambodia’s hidden gem is its national parks. They are unique, beautiful and attract travelers looking for an exciting outdoor experience. During 2021, nature tourism to Asia increased in demand, and Cambodia has beautiful parks with the ability to attract these travelers. For example, sprawling 4104 sq km (1584 sq miles), Southern Cardamom National Park is the largest natural “protected area” in Cambodia. It forms the Cardamom Rainforest Landscape, which includes 11 contiguous reserves covering more than 20,000 sq km of green forest.
Other national parks that have incredible wilderness, nature and wildlife include Phnom Kulen National Park near Siem Reap, Bokor National Park near Kampot, and Kep National Park near Kep. Many Cambodians have taken the opportunity to get back to nature during the COVID-19 pandemic, and trekking and camping in the national parks have really taken off, particularly in Kirirom National Park and the Cardamom Mountains.
One of Cambodia’s smallest protected areas, Kep National Park, is situated in the seaside town in the Coastal Zone of Cambodia – Kep. This offers easy access to nature. In addition, the Kep National Park is in the popular seaside town of the same name, offering easy access to nature. The park includes a bike trail, hiking trail and the Veranda Natural Resort. In addition, the “Stairway to Heaven” trail has beautiful views and attractions.

Hidden Islands:

Most travelers that come to Cambodia know about Koh Rong, the beautiful island off the Cambodian coast which is very popular with visitors. However, few know that Cambodia has hidden islands that are tucked away behind towns. These are gems that are not in any main guidebook but these are the journeys that we focus on at Asia Bespoke Tours, luxury DMC. For example, Rabbit Island in Cambodia is a remote and gorgeous island behind the Coastal town Kep. Rabbit Island is peaceful during the day with remote areas where visitors can relax and unwind, and at night, the island enlivens with fun restaurants and bars sprawled across the naturally beautiful land. Rabbit Island can be reached via two and a half hour boat ride from Sihanoukville.

Lesser Crowded Temples:

The Angkor Wat is a very famous attraction in Siem Reap and is a landmark in Southeast Asia. There are Angkor temples that are more hidden and off the beaten track. Banteay Chhmar, for example, is two hours from Siem Reap but surrounded by jungle and natural beauty. Few know that it is the fourth largest Angkorian temple in Cambodia, providing the perfect balance between history, architecture, natural beauty and remoteness. Many travelers that have witnessed Banteay Chhmar have spoken about the remoteness and lack of crowds of people. Many even had the area for themselves! There is no lodging or dining in the area so most make it a day trip from Siem Reap.  The temple complex is surrounded by a moat. 12 Km away is Prasat Samnang tasok, another temple which is embedded in the jungle as well. This is a must-see attraction that we often include in our destination tours of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Wellness Retreats:

According toForbes, the wellness tourism sector has bounced back in 2022 as the world re-opens. After falling quite significantly between 2019 and 2020, the trends of wellness, spas, exercise, outdoor therapy, and other forms of health-based tourism are increasing in demand around the world. Cambodia has invested time and capital in responding to that demand with new resorts. One of these resorts is the Anantara Angkor Resort, which launched “Cambodian Wellness Experiences.” Situated in main city Siem Reap, Anantara Angkor Resort has revolutionized the wellness tourism industry in Cambodia by launching a new range of wellness retreats based on local Khmer healing principles. The Resort offers seven wellness programs, each handpicked to represent seven distinct pillars including Sati (Mindfulness), Dhamma Vijaya (Investigation), Virya (Energy), Piti (Rapture), Passadhi (Tranquility), Samadhi (Concentration), and Upekkha (Equanimity). Retreats can be for one day up to seven days. Each program suits the specific traveler’s behaviors, moods, preferences, and activity levels and is the perfect experience to make a visit to Siem Reap more unique. The wellness treatments include floral foot rituals, Chi Nei Tsang massages, Himalayan pink salt scrubs, Golden Cocoon silk facials, Tibetan praying wheel meditations, incense stick making and many others.

We offer departure tours to Cambodia to explore all of these gems and more. We also customize experiences for travelers to Cambodia and have brought in hundreds of groups looking for luxury, different and unique journeys through the Kingdom. For more information, contact us.

Maldives: The New Destination for MICE

Few of us can imagine traveling to the Maldives to experience the magnificent beauty of the islands surrounded by the Indian Ocean. The tiny nation is often known as one of the top leisure and luxury destinations that may be on our Pinterest boards.
In recent years, the country has been striving to set itself apart from strictly a beach destination and instead transition into a unique MICE destination.

At our destination management company (DMC), Asia Bespoke Tours, we are laser-focused on bringing authentic experiences to MICE groups coming to a destination for the first time. We are experts in the Maldives and are excited about the destination re-launching itself as a meeting, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) destination.

In October 2021, the Maldives launched a new Global campaign called “Redefining MICE” to showcase the country as a preferred MICE destination. We imagine a typical MICE destination in a bustling city with massive hotels and enormous conference venues. The Maldives is changing that narrative of MICE and taking their twist on what it means to combine business and leisure. The approach re-invents the classic boardroom and stuffy meeting mentality. The goal is to step away from the plain and repetitive MICE experiences that we’ve known up until now.

Here are some reasons we think the Maldives should be your next “workcation”

A new method of business meetings:

The Maldives offers exclusive and one-of-a-kind workspaces for your next business trip, steering away from a traditional MICE setting (ex: big conference rooms, business casual, mundane atmosphere). The Maldives MICE offerings are aimed at smaller groups to inspire and nurture the minds while discussing business prospects and deals in an idealistic location.

● Seclusive and tranquil meeting locations such as o can offer a unique and personalized experience for your company and guests to be in a relaxed environment.
● Hop on a Liveaboards for an adventure out to sea for team bonding activities on the islands.
● A private beach dinner can be arranged for a dazzling evening under the stars.
● Private island? Say less; your expert destination management can set that up!
● Local vendors such as musicians can spice up your entertainment during gatherings.
● Have you got an adventurous group? The Maldives has an array of unique excursions and customized travel packages for your South Asia adventure.

Maldives sustainability efforts:

The Maldives is an idealistic location, but climate change threatens the islands due to the rising ocean waters. The nation is dedicated to the preservation of both land and culture. Numerous resorts on the islands have committed fully to sustainability efforts and initiatives that benefit the local communities. Tour operators have been offering more educational and volunteer-based exclusions, such as planting coral reefs or releasing turtle hatchlings.

Choosing a location that cares about its environmental impact could positively reflect how your company decides to do business in the future.

Staff loyalty

A big problem these days is finding and retaining Talent. The majority of today’s workforce comprises millennials (aged in the late 20s to early 40s). They have been shaping a new work landscape, and some companies are now trying to accommodate their wants and needs. Recognition in the workplace is one of the top priorities of a millennial employee, and it doesn’t always have to include something tangible. Rewarding employees with an incentive business trip can rely on the company seeing their hard work as a method to reward top earners and reduce staff turnover. 

Increased performance and motivation

The enticement of going on a business trip- especially to a destination like the Maldives – creates the sense of something to look forward to. Why not make it a reality? The Maldives in and of itself is a destination that, due to new airlift and tour experiences, is easier to reach than ever. This unique ability to access the Maldives is a workforce motivator with its beautiful nature. The islands are covered in white sands, aligned with palm trees, and surrounded by crystal blue waters. The Maldives is also just as beautiful underwater as it is above due to the country being home to 5% of the planet’s coral reefs. In the Maldives, travelers are welcomed by the sunshine, and friendly locals, where unique culture and traditions are discovered while relaxing in one of the world’s most beautiful and sought-after destinations.

Attracting new Talent

In the day of social media, employers and employees can easily share updates, events, and even their business travel experiences. Potential employees or admirers can view a MICE trip, such as one to the Maldives, as something they want to be a part of. Engagement on social media may increase, broadening company awareness in the industry.  

Location, Location, Location!

Many companies are experiencing video call fatigue due to the Pandemic. Some workplaces have moved back into the office or have set up a hybrid model; some employees have never even met in person! The Maldives is the perfect way to connect with your employees after these few difficult years. One of the 1,200 islands in the Maldives is bound to revive employees’ minds and promote mental well-being. Who wouldn’t want to brainstorm a marketing plan surrounded by crystal blue waters, powder-like sand beaches, and daily eating locally sourced fresh food?

Direct flights to the Maldives are available from many European countries, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries. Connecting flights would be required for those traveling from North or South America. The accessibility to travel to the Maldives has grown due to popularity, and airlines have been providing more flights in recent years.

Maldives' new developments

Although the nation is relatively small, they are still growing and expanding space for tourists along their hundreds of islands. Most recently, hotel giant Hilton is opening a new resort in addition to the three other locations they have.

Suppose your company is looking for someplace eco-friendly. In that case, your DMC partner in south Asia should check out the newly awarded Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences, given the ‘Considerate Collection’ Green Status. This is the only hotel in the Maldives to achieve this recognition.

With the distinctive effects of the Pandemic and new shocks linked to global conflict, and economic diversification, the Maldives has not fallen short of adaptation; the tremendous growth has shown their commitment to being a leisure and business destination for all. They are achieving this through their digital technologies from high-speed internet and supporting local entrepreneurs. Recently they have introduced Barefoot boardrooms – who doesn’t want to sit under lush palm trees and stick their feet in the warm, soft sand rather than in a cold meeting room? The Maldives has been ramping up its unique MICE accommodations to attract all industries to visit the tiny nation for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions. It also doesn’t hurt to know that the country has been awarded the World’s Leading Destination for two years (even during the Pandemic).

“The Maldives is unparalleled in offering that quintessential ‘laid-back’ atmosphere for thought-provoking and stimulating discussions,” said Thoyyib Mohamed, managing director of Visit Maldives, in October 2021. The ease of transitioning from a morning meeting to an afternoon diving lesson to an evening award ceremony emphasizes how easy it is to have multiple experiences in one place in a matter of hours.

Asia Bespoke is here to guide you for a unique MICE experience in the Maldives. Our expert destination management staff are here to help with the planning process.

Are you interested in booking a business trip to the Maldives? Reach out to us at Asia Bespoke Tours, and we will help you plan your custom trip!