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TRAVELOGUES FROM

DISTANCE BY

DESIGN Extraordinary Travel

in Post-Covid Asia

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EXCLUSIVELY ASIA With Remote Lands you’ll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure.

Call 2 +1 (212) 518-1618

As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you’ll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.


SEAMLESS SERVICE Whether you’re seeking tranquillity or transformational activity (or something in between), your Asian journey springs from the deep understanding we develop of your wishes and expectations, and from our own experience as discerning, demanding travelers.

A journey that ows at your pace and follows your path, effortlessly accommodating any diversion with the aid of 24/7 on-ground support across the continent. A journey that is delivered to the very highest standard of service, wherever that path takes you.

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CONTENTS Page 8

Jungle Bubbles in the Golden Triangle What could be better than having your own little bubble amongst the elephants?

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The Nam Hai’s Blaise Claude Montandon on Travel in Post-Covid Vietnam As the world opens to travel, top of the list for many is the ultra-luxe Four Seasons Nam Hai in Central Vietnam.

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Distance by Design Remote Lands explores wellbeing, open spaces, islands, nature and private jet travel to help you decide for the perfect post-Covid journey in Asia.

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InterContinental Khao Yai Swan Lake Resort Set for 2021 Providing a much-needed luxury option in Thailand’s jungles, this Bill Bensley-designed property will be an exciting opening to watch.

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One&Only Desaru Coast Opens in Malaysia The 128-acre One&Only Desaru Coast opens just over the border from Singapore and is the first resort of its kind in peninsular Malaysia.

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ISSUE 08

A Mindful and Cultural Journey: Aman Jet Expedition 2021 For ultra-luxe travelers looking for the perfect mindful journey in 2021, this Aman Jet Expedition will be led by Dharma teacher, Shantum Seth.


Editor’s Letter . . . After this period of travel restrictions, it is time to start planning your luxe jouneys again — wellness retreats, open spaces, and exclusive isands in Asia await. As we enter 2021, the world is finally opening up. But, that world is not the same as it was and neither are those exploring it. Now more than ever discerning travelers want a sense of space and a feeling that where they are is truly unique. In this issue of Travelogues from Remote Lands, we explore wellbeing, open spaces, islands, nature, and private jet travel, helping travelers to understand how Asia travel has changed for the better.

Remote Lands Co-founder, CEO

Catherine Heald

Remote Lands Co-founder, COO

Jay Tindall

Editor

Tyler Roney

Designer

Phoebe Storm

Digital Marketing

Liam Vickers

Director of Business Development

Melisa Novick

Head Offices

Asia Offices

Remote Lands, Inc., 120 East 56th Street, 16th Floor PH, New York, NY 10022, USA, +1 212 518 1618 Remote Lands (Thailand) Co., Ltd., Mahatun Plaza Building, 7/F, 888/74 Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, +66 (094) 957-3143

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Photography by Anantara

JUNGLE BUBBLES in the

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Golden Triangle


Photography by Anantara

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort — a Remote Lands favorite — is making headlines the world over for its transparent Jungle Bubbles in the heart of the Golden Triangle. These odd-looking bubble tents are 237 square feet and include a double bed, bathroom with a shower, minibar, and mod cons, but the main attractions are the Asian elephants wandering just outside.

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“We have been thrilled to receive such a widely positive response not only in the media but mostly from our guests who experienced the bubbles … Talk about social distancing!” says Gauderic Harang, General Manager at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort. “We knew when we setup the bubbles that we were creating something special, but it is only once you experience it yourself that you truly understand how special and unique it is.” The bubbles are on a raised platform and are surrounded by a fence, so guests are in no danger of a bad tempered pachyderm. Moreover, the bubbles are sealed so travelers need not worry about bugs and other creepy crawlies of the jungle, and they face away from one another, so 10

guests will not see their bubble neighbors. Unfortunately, the pods premiered just before the Covid crisis. “Before we closed our doors, about 200 guests got to experience them, and their feedback was overwhelming. Anything you may have read is under the reality; it is such a special experience,” Harang says. “I remember guests sharing the recording of one of our gentle giants snoring, so amazing.” Found across 650,000 square meters of Northern Thailand’s jungle, Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort is perched on a hill overlooking the Mekong and Ruak rivers at the confluence of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. By day travelers can enjoy the elephants and stargaze by night.


Photography by Anantara

The Jungle Bubbles were custom designed by Eye In The Sky and are constructed with high tech polyester fabric using exclusive Precontraint Serge Ferrari technology. The well-appointed bubble accommodation is fully airconditioned with a 15-foot diameter bedroom and living space with a king bed and seating area. Guests at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort can purchase the Jungle Bubble experience as an optional activity and spend the night from dusk till dawn, returning to the hotel in the morning. Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort is world famous for its elephant camp that, along with the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF),

was set up primarily to help elephants that cannot help themselves. “We set-up a foundation 15 years ago, the GTAEF, with the goal to assist and support elephants and caretakers, as well as their families, who can’t support themselves,” Harang says, adding that guests see a portion of their spend directly sponsoring the foundation. “In Thailand […] captive elephants have been around for close to 3,000 years. In normal times, these captive elephants rely on tourism revenue in order to ensure food, medicine, as well as the caretaker’s livelihood.” “Despite the challenges, we have also taken it upon ourselves to welcome three extra elephants (to a total 23) from other places that could not take care of them properly anymore,” Harang says. 11


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NAM HAI

Th e ’S BLAISE CLAUDE MONTANDON 14

On Travel in a Post-Covid Vietnam


Photography by Four Seasons

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ietnam is looking to open to international travel again, and for luxury travelers to Danang and Hoi An, the crème de la crème is the Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai; Remote Lands speaks with General Manager Blaise Claude Montandon on the future of travel in Vietnam. 15


International travel is showing signs of opening up. How is The Nam Hai prepping for the "new normal"?

Vietnam had a bit of a false start with reopening, but things finally seem to be returning to normal. What do you think this means for travel to Danang and Hoi An?

Fortunately, we are located on a vast 35-hectare playground of palm-shaded gardens and Danang lost no time in getting pristine beach. With just the second wave under control, 100 standalone villas, our which took just slightly over Resort imparts a true sense a month to achieve. So while of spaciousness and privacy. domestic business to Danang We provide an end-to-end and Hoi An took a hit during experience from private the resurgence, the successful transportation to in-villa management of the situation experiences that assures our should inspire confidence guests of seclusion and serenity. for domestic travelers to We are also proud to offer visit our area soon — and for Lead With Care, Four Seasons’ international travelers when it’s enhanced global health and possible to travel again. safety program that includes social distancing and enhanced What is something travelers hygiene and cleanliness can look forward to in Vietnam measures throughout the Resort. 2021? Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai has long harbored a deep Travelers can be assured that respect for Mother Nature and Vietnam is a safe destination that will be even more important and that authorities are very in the “new normal.” All 40 Pool efficient in handling any Villas are installed with solarsituations. Vietnamese are very powered water heaters, and our eager to welcome back tourists own bottling plant (which we in the country and everyone built late last year) will be up can expect a very genuine and running again in December, sense of hospitality. The producing and bottling our diversity of the country own triple-filtrated water offers something for and eliminating an estimated everyone, from vibrant 420,000 plastic bottles annually. cities to historical A self-refining coconut plant sites, breathtaking to harness the goodness from scenery, beaches, all more than 4,500 coconut trees surrounded by rich growing on site is in the works. culture. We also produce natural compost from our food waste, ”Travelers can which in turn fertilises our be assured that resort’s plants and crops. It’s a positive cycle. We’re Vietnam is a safe always looking at ways to get destination and our guests involved in our sustainable travel efforts. that authorities Our team is working hard are very efficient on new concepts including in handling any a zero-waste vertical farm and a customised “Crossfit” situations.” programme that imparts the benefits of going to the gym, but held in the great outdoors.

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How has Hoi An changed in recent years for luxury travelers? Hoi An is becoming a true gem for luxury travelers with the arrival of more leading hospitality brands such as Four Seasons. Apart from the UNESCO sites and beaches, there are more international golf courses, boutiques presenting craftsmanship of the region, and a wider range of cosy and trendy dining options, including bars. Connecting our high-end guest is what we do best at Four Seasons. We have crafted some Four Seasons exclusive experiences providing our guests a more authentic local experience within the resort such as a Good Night Kiss to the Earth Ceremony at our Spa, Thap Nien Candle Lighting Ceremony that happens three times per week at the arrival sala, and externally we have the Vespa Foodie Tour by Four Seasons, a must do when at Four Seasons.

Blaise Claude Montandon


This is a million dollar question as this does not only depend on Vietnam but also other countries on restrictions they have imposed and reciprocal travel agreements — i.e. airlift, quarantine period, and visas would be a big one! We anticipate regional travel to resume in the coming months while long haul would be rather

limited in 2020. Travelers may feel more comfortable staying within the resort rather than venturing outside during their visit. The Nam Hai is perfect for getaways post Covid-19 as we will be able to provide experiences with “no boundaries” due to the vast resort grounds with the ability for social and physical distancing and yet able to experience all the activities in a safe environment. We do offer a wide range, such as learning Vietnamese cuisine at The Cooking Academy, learning cultural arts and craft activities such as making

Photography by Four Seasons; Milan Rademakers

When do you think Vietnam will start accepting international travel and what experiences would you recommend for first time travelers to the Nam Hai?

Hoi An lanterns, silk fans, and learning how to make the famous Vietnamese café sua da (Vietnamese iced coffee). Given the fact Covid-19 had caused lockdown in most countries, some families and close friends may need re-bonding time. Booking our multi-bedroom pool villas would be ideal as the villas offer spacious compounds with individual bedroom villas while sharing a common living and dining villa and private pool. Private activities and exclusive dining options such as InVilla BBQ can be catered for.

”The Nam Hai is perfect for getaways post Covid-19 ... due to the vast resort grounds with the ability for social and physical distancing.”

Lanterns on a historic Hoi An street at night 17


DEEP KNOWLEDGE Our guests encounter facets of Asia unreachable to visitors through any other means. They’re able to go deeper because our knowledge and networks go deeper, built up over our years of traveling, learning and making lasting local connections.

Call + 118( 6+1 4 6(212) ) 9 8 0518-1618 4315

Each facet that’s revealed – the exotic, the restorative, the awe-inspiring, the life-enhancing – will carry you closer to the captivating heart of this extraordinary, kaleidoscopic continent.


CONNECT Whether it’s cycling the Himalayas, meeting the Asaro mudmen of Papua New Guinea, or simply surrendering to breathtaking beauty and luxury on a Maldivian island idyll, your Asian exploration with us will touch, stir and lift the spirits.

Seamless, serene travel will give you the space to experience a journey not just of the body and mind but also of the soul, infused with a deep understanding of Asian peoples and cultures.

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Ubud, Bali

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ravelers have been wanting to get away for so long — to a spa in Thailand, a safari jeep in Sri Lanka, maybe a ger in Mongolia. As we enter 2021, the world is finally opening up. But, that world is not the same as it was and neither are those exploring it. Now more than ever discerning travelers want a sense of space and a feeling that where they are is truly unique. Wellbeing is one area of travel that is sure to increase in importance in the

coming year. For the more intrepid traveler, there are the open spaces of Siberia or Mongolia, places where travelers can be completely alone; others will be looking for the seclusion and pampering of an island paradise. And, for some, the booming wildlife of Asia’s national parks is the goal. All of these can be experienced soon — especially from the vantage of a private jet — and Remote Lands is here to help you understand what’s on your travel horizon.

Photo by Alena Ozerova

Distance by Design

EXTRAORDINARY TRAVEL IN POST-COVID ASIA

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Photography by Four Seasons

Wellbeing is an area of the travel world that has taken on new meaning in the post-pandemic world. It’s not just about massages and face scrubs; it’s about healing. Asia is well-known for the depth and history of its health and wellness traditions — from the origins of Thai massage beginning at Wat Po in Bangkok to onsens on Honshu Island. Hotels and industry pros are looking for new ways to stay in touch with their travelers in the post-Covid world in ways that enlighten and explore.

Wellbeing 22


Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai

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We recognize that “now, more than ever,

focusing on wellbeing — whether it is physical, emotional, social, or nutritive – is key.

Northern Thailand Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai

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Photography by Four Seasons

Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai

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ur focus this year ... is the launch of our ‘Journey of Wellbeing’ program, led by our in-house Naturopath Sudha Nair and a team of experts in holistic health and wellness,” says Anthony Gill, General Manager of Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai and Tented Camp Golden Triangle. “We recognize that now, more than ever, focusing on wellbeing —

whether it is physical, emotional, social, or nutritive – is key.” This year marks the 25th anniversary of Four Seasons Chiang Mai in Thailand’s mountainous north, and they are marking the occasion with a renewed focus on wellbeing. Alongside relaunching the Wara Cheewa Spa, Gill says they will be introducing four result-oriented modules that are designed to alleviate pain,

manage weight, combat stress and cleanse the mind, body, and spirit. Even further north outside of Chiang Rai and on the Mekong, the Four Seasons Tented Camp features spa treatments al-fresco, with the fresh breeze serving as a relaxing tonic. Better still, the expert therapists will arrange personalized spa experiences based on the given needs of guests as desired. 25


Como Shambhala Estate

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Ubud

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his spirit can be found throughout Southeast Asia, but one of the most luxurious wellness options for travelers focused on in wellbeing is Ubud, the jungle heart of Bali. While the area boasts a number of holistic healing facilities — such as Ritz Carlton Mandapa and the Capella Ubud — Como Shambhala Estate is perhaps the most notable on the island. From the massage therapy workshops to the yoga and the body care to the holistic wellness programs, this is a resort for proper pampering. One

of this resort’s signature experiences is the “Day of Tranquility” in the Water Garden: enjoying the natural spring water, an hour-long COMO Shambhala treatment at Rashmi, and a private meditation class. Interestingly, the spa pool draws water from The Source, a local natural mineral-rich spring considered by locals to have healing properties, and for the more yogic minded, Como Shambhala guests can practice yoga with a personal teacher and learn from Ayurvedic doctors and nutritionists on site.


Photography by Amanemu and Como Shambhala

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Japan

or travelers hoping to get into travel as soon as possible, it will likely be a winter journey, and for that Japan’s onsens are the dichotomy of choice. To the traveler who seeks out wellness and wellbeing, Amanemu is an unbeatable option, especially when combined with the “Pilgrim’s Path”. The Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage, or “Pilgrim’s Path,” follows the grand shrines of Kumano, adding a pleasing mental health element to the treatments. Featuring the Grand Shrines of Kumano Hongu, Kumano Hayatama, and Kumano Nachi in an area dotted with steaming, bubbling Japanese onsens, each night travelers will stay in either a luxe hotel

or in the serene surroundings of Shukubo. Found in Ise Shima National Park on the Kii Peninsula, the hot springladen Amanemu offers 24 suites and four two-bedroom villas with the ryokan experience. Sprawling more than 20,000 square feet, the mineral-rich onsen waters around which Amanemu wellness center is built to provide guests with onsen pavilions and treatment suites. Ideally this plush pilgrimage can be combined with a few of Japan’s cities — and the surrounds of the Aman Kyoto — but travelers wanting something a little more wild will want to travel north to Tohoku, where the lesser facilities are made up for by the natural splendor.

Amanemu

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Open Spaces 28


Sometimes you just want to get as far as possible from everything — and recent events have made that more obvious than ever. This renewed longing for the great expanse can be found in the many tracts, prairies, and deserts of Asia. Whether it’s the frozen wastes of Siberia or the Flaming Cliffs of the Gobi, the inhospitable corners of Asia can be made very hospitable indeed with the right care and attention. A great big sky full of stars and an endless horizon are more important than they’ve ever been before.

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Grasslands of Mongolia

Mongolia

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ongolia is the least densely populated nation on earth. Outside of the traffic and smog of the capital of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia seems, at first, empty. Travelers are spoiled for choice when it comes to landscapes. Want an endless desert? Hop on a camel and ride the singing dunes of the Gobi desert. Mountains? Head up to the snow-capped Altai for nomads and glaciers. Plains? Grab a Royal Enfield and make for the Orkhon Valley. There’s even wildlife to be had in Mongolia, making places like Ikh Nart ever more popular. Here, the Argali sheep roam freely and abundantly in the hills, along with the Siberian ibex, and the corsac fox.

“The topography of Ikh Nart is really unique and a rugged area of rocky outcrops, felt almost prehistoric,” says Remote Lands Assistant Director of Sales Jessica Ng. “Pictures just didn’t do it justice and couldn’t capture the sheer vastness of the landscape.” Luxury can be hard to come by, but not impossible in the empty spaces of Mongolia, and while there travelers will become intimately familiar with the traditional gers of the nomads. With Remote Lands, these traditional dwellings can be made as comfortable as feasibly possible — while keeping in mind the restrictions of the desert, steppes, and plains of Mongolia. One can have the best of both

worlds at the luxury Genghis Khan Riding and Adventure Camp found on the fenceless steppe near the Orkhon River in Mongolia, a six-hour drive from the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. Along with wood-burning stoves and plush beds topped with cashmere blankets, this is the place to experience this country in the most Mongolian way possible: horseback. “We have 90 horses for riding and polo with many interesting horse trekking destinations for daily riding excursions,” Ang Tshering Lama, manager of the Genghis Khan Riding and Adventure Camp, tells Travelogues. “Overnight riding expeditions on horses or 4WD jeeps are also organized.”

Photo: Genghis Khan Riding and Adventure Camp

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or the adventure traveler, Baikal is one of the first places that comes to mind when considering isolated travel in Asia. It’s beautiful and it’s brutal. For locals, the choice time to go is summer, which comes complete with beaches, freshwater diving, and comfortable cultural experiences on Olkhon Island. However, Lake Baikal in winter is for the true adventurer, complete with dog-sledding, tearing around the frozen lake on a Russian UAZ, and some of the most spectacular frozen scenery anywhere in Siberia. “The wind was roaring and snow was blowing across the surface; huge blocks of turquoise-colored ice, known as ‘hummocks’ were piled up 12 meters high, and icy stalactites

grew inside caves that dotted the frozen shoreline,” says Remote Lands Co-founder and COO Jay Tindall of a February trip to Baikal. “Looking down, I could see huge ships completely frozen into the ice, and people riding bikes and dog sleds on the lake below us.” You could take all the water in all the Great Lakes in the United States and Canada and dump them into Lake Baikal, and it wouldn’t even come close. This is the largest lake on planet Earth by volume, containing more than 20 percent of all the freshwater in the world. The opportunities for adventure on the lake are endless, traversed by hovercraft, car, and — for the truly extreme adventurer — diving into its frozen depths. Travelers from all around the

world come to Baikal to test their mettle on the lake’s frozen ice. There’s even a marathon over the ice from the Baikalsky Nature Reserve on the Eastern shore of the lake 23.2 miles across the meter-thick ice to Listvyanka Village. On land, things can be made comfortable. After staying at the confluence of the Angara River and Lake Baikal at the Anastasia Hotel for a rest, travelers will no doubt be making their way to the famed Olkhon Island for the Baikal View Hotel. Outside of the main lake area, travelers can go to Ulan Ude to visit with the Old Believers, the curious and colorful examples of Russian heritage in Siberia — and they can really hold their vodka.

Baikal

Photo by Jay Tindall

Frozen Lake Baikal

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Photo by Desert Nights Camp

Desert Nights Camp , Oman

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laces like Muscat and Salalah are modern cities, but Oman is well off the beaten tourist track, and for those who want to experience the desert in style, this is the place to go. More specifically, Desert Nights Camp is the only deluxe desert camp in Oman. Whether it’s dune bashing or stargazing, Desert Nights Camp mixes relaxation and exploration. Travelers looking to surf the dunes and tear up

Oman

the sand with a 4×4 will find the peaceful atmosphere of the camp an oasis of calm, found just a two hour drive away from Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman. To be alone, it’s hard to top the secluded plains in the vast isolation of the Omani desert. Outside of the charming Bedoinstyle tents, the exotic sunset camel safari is one of Desert Night’s most popular attractions: the vast dunes of an Arabian desert bathed in the glow of the setting sun from

camelback. For something a little more in the way of a traditional holiday experience, there’s the isolated Six Senses Zighy Bay. Perched on the Musandam Peninsula, the northernmost point of Oman, this luxurious resort is situated along a dramatic coastal cliff face that towers overhead. The Six Senses Zighy Bay Spa Pool Villa Beachfront features a private pool, garden, and summerhouse totaling 2,650 square feet.

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Photography from One&Only

The world is seeing a renewed enthusiasm for the isolated and indulgent. From One&Only Reethi Rah in the turquoise waters of the Maldives to the Palawan treasure of Amanpulo, so many travelers are keen to put their feet in the sand and let tropical waters wash away past worries. Asia has no shortage of island getaways — so many in fact that it can be hard to choose from — but whether you’re looking for spa days and plush villas or diving adventures and waterfalls, these destinations are the very best of the best.

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One&Only Reethi Rah

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One&Only Reethi Rah Water Villas from above

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One&Only Reethi Rah


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he Maldives, ever reliant on tourism, was one of the first places in Asia to truly open to travel again, reopening up its many island resorts to travelers the world over. But, even in the galaxy of five-star resorts that make up this popular island destination, the One&Only Reethi Rah is a cut above the rest. For many, this is the top luxury property in the Maldives: large, glamorous, and classy — more Hermes than Havaianas. The Beach Villas, a Remote Lands favorite, offer private beach access, large verandas with outdoor showers, and a seaside hammock. The palatial Water Villas feature enormous wooden beds, spacious sitting rooms, separate dressing areas, and private decks with hammocks suspended over the crystal

clear lagoon. From fine dining to tapas, cuisine at Reethi Rah draws upon international influences to cater for its worldwide clientele. At the romantic waterfront Reethi Restaurant, diners will find an eclectic mix of Mediterranean and AsiaPacific dishes, and overwater pavilions house Tapasake, a contemporary Japanese restaurant with an emphasis on fresh seafood. Meanwhile, nightly tiki torch-lit tables and house music can be had with a sundowner at Fanditha. For a drink by the pool, there’s the airy open pavilion of Rah Bar. If travelers want to take a break from the 12 beaches and 40 different pools at One&Only Reethi Rah, including a large freeform infinity edge swimming pool by Reethi Restaurant, then they can happily take to the Water

Sports Center for power water sports, including parasailing, waterskiing and renting out a speedboat. Reethi Rah is home to the only National Geographic Dive Center in the Maldives, providing guests with an opportunity to experience reefs, wrecks, and the protected waters of nearby Rasfari Marine Area. Every day at Reethi Rah is a “choose your own adventure” of activities: water sports, beach activities, state-of-the-art gym, wall-climbing, putting green, pottery classes, art studio, diving, biking — endless. For the wellbeing minded — and who isn’t these days — beyond the One&Only Reethi Rah’s ESPA are signature fitness programs that include tai chi at the Chi pavilion over the ocean as well as Hatha yoga and Thai kick boxing.

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Photography from One&Only

One&Only Reethi Rah Water Villa


Soneva Kiri Treepod Canopy Dining

Soneva Kiri from above

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ake a private plane from Bangkok to Koh Kood in Thailand’s lesser visited eastern islands in the Gulf of Thailand. Upon landing, guests meet their personal assistant (called Friday) who will hand you a cell phone with their number so that you can always contact them. Hop in your golf cart and tear around the nicest resort in the whole of eastern Thailand — bar none. The resort’s Ocean Villa Suites are an incredible 1,322-squarefeet, complete with shaded, plush daybeds and sunloungers surrounded by the private free-

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form swimming pool — not to mention the suite’s own private beach plot. The master bedroom contains a king-size bed and the expansive outdoor jungle-like bathroom is just as fit for chilling and reading as it is for bathing and listening to the birds. For the truly decadent, there’s the chocolate room, which is just like it sounds. Just open the door and eat as much of their on-grounds grown chocolate without judgement as can fit inside a human body. Just outside the chocolate room is the sherbert; we recommend the raspberry. There’s an observatory for

stargazing, an immaculate beach, and even a private cinema where guests can lounge on cushions in the jungle and watch classic films over a lagoon. The signature Treepod canopy dining is perhaps the most unique experience to be had at the resort: jungle canopy around you, ocean in front of you, and nothing below but gravity. The island, too, deserves a mention. Unlike some other private island getaways, there is so much to see on land on Koh Kood, including the swimmer-friendly Khlong Chao waterfalls and the colorful boat and culture of the Ao Salad fishing village.

Soneva Kiri


Amanpulo

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he island paradise of Pamalican is exclusively home to the spectacular Amanpulo, accessible by an hour-long flight from Manila. Guests step onto a lush green tropical island whose entire 6.5-kilometer (5 mile) perimeter is a powdery white-sand beach. Wake up in one of the 40 gorgeously designed casitas dotted along the beachfront and nestled

up in the hillsides. Guests can enjoy world class diving and other water sports as well as the superb spa offering holistic body treatments. Amanpulo is a 3 night stop on the upcoming Kyoto to Greece Aman Jet Expedition, which takes guests to Japan, The Philippines, Bali, Java, Dubai, Turkey and Greece’s Peloponnese for 16 nights, flying aboard a magnificent Airbus 318 jet.

Amanpulo

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Nature

Photo: Gregory Zamell

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The fewer tourists of 2020 have given Asia’s natural world a chance to heal itself, and several destinations across Asia are better for it. With an emphasis on conservation and travel experiences — whether it’s the leopards of Yala in Sri Lanka or the clear waters of Indonesia — certain areas of Asia are emerging from the pandemic with improved facilities and a recuperated natural world. Now is the time to start thinking about how you look in a safari hat.

Sri Lankan wild elephants

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ala, Wilpattu, Udawalawe — the national parks of Sri Lanka are some of the most biodiverse in South Asia. While they may not have the tigers of their neighbor to the north, Sri Lanka’s parks are less crowded, packed with wildlife, and host some of the most interesting sites and accommodations in the region. Wild Coast Tented Lodge, part of the Resplendent Ceylon family, is conveniently located near Yala National Park and Bundala National Park — and still offers access to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. The national parks of Sri Lanka closed at the end of March and reopened only in the middle of June, and the animals are slowly becoming more accustomed to travelers.

Sloth bear in Wilpattu

Photo: Eric Gevaert

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“The complete lack of visitors resulted in less intrusion for the wildlife. We could not even do video safaris as the authorities were strict,” Malik Fernando of Resplendent Ceylon tells Travelogues from Remote Lands. “As the park reopened, wildlife is more skittish as they have become less habituated to vehicular traffic so it will take a few months for sightings to improve. Our team of rangers showcase the entire spectrum of nature — while leopards play a leading role in our theater of the wild, they are not the only actor on our stage.” At the other end of the country is Wilpattu, and while it is also home to leopards, visitors have a slightly better chance of spotting the sloth bear here. Wilpattu is Sri Lanka’s largest national park with an area

of 130,000 hectares and featuring large sand-rimmed natural lakes that attract fascinating wildlife. “During May and June, there is a particular type of berry from the Sri Lanka Palu tree. Sloth bears love this berry. It is very sweet and full of sugar,” Arshad Nihaz of Leopard Trails says. “What happens is the bear eats thousands of these berries and becomes drunk on sugar. It’s really funny to see them walking on the road – they look like a man who is completely drunk.” For the more adventurous traveler, to the far east of the island lies Trincomalee — or Trinco. A number of places around Sri Lanka offer chances at whale watching, but Trinco is one of the only places in the world where travelers might find themselves snorkeling with the mighty sperm whales.

Sri Lanka


Photo: Saranga Dinusha Lanka Geeganage

Crocodile in Yala Leopard in Yala

Photo: Volodymyr Burdiak

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Borneo Orangutan

Proboscis monkeys

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orneo boasts three nations, dozens of tribes, and some of the densest biodiversity on planet Earth. From the orangutans of Camp Leaky to the blue-ringed octopus of Mabul, Borneo is a hotbed of natural wonders, and for the traveler who likes a little luxury with their adventure, Remote Lands itineraries offer a Borneo experience like no other. Chief among the wildlife adventures of Borneo are the chances to spot an orangutan, and opportunities abound.

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Marvel at seeing them in the wild at Tanjung Puting Reserve in Kalimantan, or visit the Sepilok Nature Resort, where visitors will have the opportunity to see baby orangutans being fed in a rehabilitation center. Kinabatangan River is the real treat for any journey through northern Borneo. Here, travelers take a jungle cruise through the rain forest thicket, spotting wildlife along the way. The orangutans get all the press, but the strange proboscis monkeys are the odd stars of river’s edge.

For elephants, Danum Valley is one of the best places on the planet to see wild pygmy elephants roaming the jungle, but visitors will also see gibbons, orangutans, and birds of all sorts — along with a stay at the elegantly rusic and comfortable Borneo Rainforest Lodge. Borneo offers wonders under the water as well, as it sits in the Coral Triangle and offers some of the most world class diving, including Sipadan — famed for its unique palegic diving environment.


Raja Ampat Manta ray

Hawksbill turtle

Photos: Don Mammoser, Jeep2499, Ethan Daniels, SergeUWPhoto

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ndonesia’s travel frontier, Raja Ampat is found in the West Papua region and is renowned as a world-class diving destination for its abundant marine life. Kri, Glam, Misool – the list of diveable locations never ends among the 1,500 islands and caves in Raja Ampat. Every site has its own speciality: Mios Kon has a 25-meter coral column, Blue Magic has whirlwinds of manta rays, and throughout visitors will be on the lookout for whale

sharks and other large fauna to snap with their GoPro. And it’s not just the wildlife: South Waigeo, Kabui Bay, and Sawandarek feature world-class wreck dives. For the diver who likes to keep things comfortable, recent years have seen a number of luxury boating options changing the game in Raja Ampat. The Aqua Blu from Aqua Expeditions, a floating five-star hotel, and the luxury Kudanil have created a niche for travelers who want to

explore Raja Ampat in style and comfort without sacrificing adventure. “The Kudanil at 55 meters long only has eight cabins with a maximum of 16 guests. You can’t help but be socially distant on a ship that big. We specialize in going to the most remote corners of Indonesia where we rarely will see another boat, or for that matter people,” Jason Friedman tells Remote Lands. “You could say that the Kudanil Explorer is the ultimate way to travel in a post-Covid world.”

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Private

Jets 46


Flying privately has always had advantages — minimized travel times, increased efficiency at airports, greater comfort and privacy, personalized catering, and the ability to fly between destinations that lack nonstop commercial flights. Today, private jet travel has never been more popular. Depending on your party size, destinations, and travel needs, there is an aircraft for every type of Asia traveler. Whether it’s an Airbus 318, Global Express 6000, Gulfstream 650, or a King Air turboprop, flying privately offers the ultimate in travel freedom. Remote Lands prides itself on designing your journey to meet your own needs, and here are some sample itineraries to inspire you.

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Design Your Own

Private Jet Journey

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By Catherine Heald

he Aman Jet Expeditions are the ultimate private jet journeys, with guests flying on a magnificent Airbus 318 jet and staying at the world’s finest hotels and resorts. If you have your own group, you may opt to buy out the entire jet, or else create your own tailor-made itinerary on your preferred dates. Based on your preferred seasons and pace of travel, we will help you decide which destinations and durations are ideal for you. We will work closely with you to learn about your interests, tastes, passions, and preferences, and suggest touring and special experiences that are perfect for you. Depending on your family or group size and target investment, we will recommend various jet models, hotels, and resorts for you to choose from. Remote Lands will make all the arrangements, handle all the logistics and ensure that everything is smooth and seamless. All you have to do is show up — and we take care of the rest so you can enjoy every moment of your momentous journey.

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India

Kerala fishing

Kerala - Mysore Hyderabad - Goa

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Kerala backwaters Charminar in Hyderabad

fter a tough year, India promises to return as one of Asia’s most prized travel destinations, and, when visited by private plane, the subcontinent really shines. Kerala is one of the most iconoclastic regions of southern India with culture, traditions and a cuisine all to itself, and a patchwork history of both Christianity and Communism. Start in the charming Dutch Portuguese colonial port of Cochin and visit Asia’s oldest church and synagogue, built in 1568. Then board your private Kettuvallam houseboat in the backwaters and gently cruise through lush mangrove forests, coconut groves teeming with birdlife, and colorful lakeside villages. Fly privately to Mysore, the “City of Palaces”, known for its magnificent Mysore Palace, sari silk weaving workshops, and exotic markets. Fly on to the ancient city of Hyderabad and stay at the opulent Taj Falaknuma Palace, one of India’s most luxurious hotels where guests arrive by horse-drawn carriage. Built in 1894 for the Nizam ruler, then the world’s richest man, Falaknuma Palace is one of India’s finest palaces and boasts one of the world’s longest permanent dining room tables seating 101 diners on elaborate rosewood and leather chairs beneath ornate Belgian crystal chandeliers. The last stop on this private jet journey is Goa, home to the best beaches in all of India. Old Goa, a former Portuguese colony, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with adorable narrow and windy streets full of stunning architecture including ancient churches and important forts. End your journey at the Taj Exotica Goa on the best stretch of beach and set amidst fiftysix acres of lush gardens.

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Southeast Asia

Thailand - Cambodia - Laos - Vietnam Xieng Thong Temple, Luang Prabang Luang Prabang

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ravel to some of Southeast Asia’s most iconic and beautiful locations by private aircraft, flying in your own private jet and helicopter to explore the region in comfort and style. From the bustling streets of booming Bangkok, to the rice terraces and tribal villages of Vietnam’s Sapa, experience history, culture, and tradition for 15 days of adventure. Bangkok makes for an ideal first stop, an urban wonderland of food, history, and temples staying at the Siam, Four Seasons, or

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Capella hotels on the Chao Phraya River. Then, take your private jet to Siem Reap in Cambodia to visit one of the great manmade wonders of the world, Angkor Wat, a monumental 12th century Khmer temple. Fly on to Pakse in Laos, home to incredible mountain views, charming French colonial architecture, coffee plantations, and the impressive Tad Fane waterfall in the Bolaven Plateau. Next is, Luang Prabang, the ancient imperial capital of Laos and a UNESCO World Heritage site full of charming old temples

White Temple, Chiang Rai

and monuments on the banks of the Mekong River. Board your jet to Vietnam’s lovely capital city of Hanoi to explore the Old Quarter, the tree-lined boulevards, and parks reminiscent of Paris. Fly back in time by helicopter to Sapa and hike through traditional hill tribe villages, before heading to northern Thailand. Stay in Chiang Rai’s ultra-luxe boutique Four Seasons Tented Camp and take a Thai cooking class, enjoy ethical elephant experiences, and visit the multi-media Opium Museum to learn about the intriguing history of the Golden Triangle.


Indonesia

Borobudur - Borneo - Sulawesi - Komodo Proboscis monkey

Bali rice paddies

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ndonesia is one of the most fascinating regions of Southeast Asia, and what makes it truly special is the history and diverse cultures of the 18,000 islands. This 10-day journey allows visitors to travel in the comfort of a personal Beechcraft King Air turboprop to ancient relics, hidden beaches, and abandoned kingdoms without having to deal with the hassle of long transit times. Start off by marveling at Borobudur,

the largest Buddhist temple complex on the globe, and visiting Prambanan, a series of elaborate Hindu temples. Stay at the majestic Amanjiwo with unspoiled views over Borobudur and the fertile rice paddy fields of the Kedu Plain. Next, fly to Pangkalan Bun and in Borneo to visit Camp Leakey, a famous orangutan research and rehabilitation center where the great apes live in their natural habitat before being released back into the wild. Fly on to

Torajaland, unique for its people’s fascination with death, elaborate funeral ceremonies, hanging coffin graves and decorative burial sites. Fly on to Flores Island and board your private schooner to Komodo National Park to enjoy world-class diving and see the world’s largest lizards in their natural habitat. The remarkable Komodo dragons, which grow up to 10 feet long, are found nowhere in the world except on these four remote islands. 51


INTERCONTINENTAL Khao Yai Swan Lake Resort

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nterContinental announced the opening of their Khao Yai Swan Lake Resort in February 2020, and following the moratorium on international travel, it is set to open in 2021, adding a rare luxury retreat to Thailand’s favorite jungle destination and featuring seven man-made lakes, mountain views, and over 50,000 trees over a 100-acre site. Designed by award-winning architect and interior designer Bill Bensley, InterContinental Khao Yai Swan Lake Resort takes historical inspiration from the area’s gateway for rail transportation to north-east Thailand and includes a traininspired spa (featuring real train cars).

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Set for 2021

“Part of Bill Bensley’s Sensible Sustainable Solutions is up-cycling old items for a new purpose. We have spent the last year searching Thailand for abandoned State Railway of Thailand (SRT) railcars,” Jason Friedman, Managing Director of J.M. Friedman & Co., tells Remote Lands. “We will take 18 of these, destined for the scrap yard bogies and lovingly convert them into suites, bars, spa, teahouse, and kids club.” Opening with 45 luxury rooms, 16 train-car suites will be added as premium accommodation from the repurposed heritage train cars. “The trains are in line with the overall resort concept which is themed on a King Rama V era colonial railway station in

Pak Chong Thailand, not too far from where the resort is being built,” Jason says. The site of the new resort is found in Khao Yai National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular countryside and jungle retreat, found just a two-and-a-halfhour drive from Bangkok. Khao Yai was the first national park in Thailand and remains the second largest in the country. Because of its biodiversity, unique environs, and globally important rainforest, Khao Yai, along with the nearby Dong Phayayen mountains are home to more than 800 species of fauna, including 112 mammal species such as gibbons, guar, and a healthy population of Asian elephants.


First photo of Khao Yai Swan Lake

Wild elephant on a Khao Yai forest road

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ONE&ONLY DESARU COAST

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in Malaysia

he 128-acre One&Only Desaru Coast from the ultra-luxe One&Only brand opened in late 2020 on peninsular Malaysia just over the border from Singapore. Featuring 42 suites, 2 luxury suites, and a 4-bedroom villa, this is the first One&Only in Malaysia.

“We find the most stunning destinations to create beautifully rare places for our guests to play, to dream, to work, to connect, reconnect, and discover the new. As with all properties within the portfolio, our resort in Malaysia will be incredibly private, yet buzzing with life and energy,” Philippe Zuber, President and Chief Operating Officer at One&Only Resorts, said of the resort’s opening. Easily reached from the international hub of Singapore Changi International Airport and Senai International Airport in Johor over the border in Malaysia, Desaru Coast was designed by award-winning architectural firm Kerry Hill Architects and is found on the south-eastern shoreline between rainforests and the South China Sea. 54


One&Only Desaru Coast is spread across 128 acres of nature and flanked by a 1.5-kilometer stretch of sand, the only luxury property of its caliber in the region. Facing ocean or rainforest views, each suite features private plunge pools and a butler to attend guests’ needs. The designs were inspired by the traditional Malaysian kampung, or village. The most luxurious address at One&Only Desaru Coast is Villa One; the 1,500-square-meter, two-storey villa offers four bedrooms, a private spa treatment room, home office, and central grassed courtyard with ocean-facing lawns around a 27-meter swimming pool. Defining high-end cuisine in the area, Ambara features Mediterranean cuisine with organic ingredients seasonally sourced from local producers and One&Only’s Chef’s

Garden. Hoshi serves contemporary Japanese cuisine, and breakfast is enjoyed at Essential. Ember Beach Club by Chef Andrew Walsh features freshly caught seafood from local fishermen as well as Chef Walsh’s take on open-fire cooking. St Chenot Spa, health conscious guests can have tailored nutritional menus, fitness schedules, targeted spa treatments, and stress relieving activities in a venue wich boasts a cooling pool, steam room, and relaxation pavilion. Signature experiences at One&Only Desaru Coast include nature walks with Desaru’s resident Naturalist through Panti Forest Reserve, home to gibbons, dusky leaf monkeys, and pig-tailed macaques. The “King of the Jungle” tree-climbing experience sees travelers ascend to a viewing platform within the jungle canopy for views of

the rainforest and wildlife. Similarly, at Club One travelers can engage in tennis, the beach, watersports, or maybe even try Silat Melayu, a UNESCO-listed 7th century martial art, with Desaru’s highlytrained Silat master. Golfers will find the Els Golf Club nearby; the destination features both the Ocean Course, a 27-hole layout designed by four-time Major Champion, Ernie Els, and the Valley Course, 18-holes designed in collaboration with Els’ long-standing friend and fellow major champion, Vijay Singh. In addition to the watersports at Club One — including hobie cats, stand-up paddleboards, jet-skiing, and kite surfing — travelers to Desaru can head out on the waters for a spot of deep sea fishing in the South China Sea, trawling waters for sailfish and black Marlin in the region.

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Aman Jet Expedition 2021

A Mindful & Cultural Journey For the perfect mindful getaway in Shantum Seth has taught 2021, this Aman Jet Expedition will mindfulness to the world’s foremost be led by Shantum Seth, an ordained educators, police, corporate sector, Dharma teacher for the last 33 years and other exceptional individuals for in the tradition of Zen Master Thich the not-for-profit Ahimsa Trust. He is Nhat Hanh. This adventure takes considered one of the foremost experts place aboard an Airbus 318 fitted in Buddhist sites in India. Having led with just 19 seats in a living room transformative journeys across Asia to configuration, countries such as India, complete with sofas Sri Lanka, Vietnam, We will cultivate the and coffee tables — Myanmar, Bhutan, energy of mindfulness a “cocktail party in Nepal, and Cambodia, through the journey, the sky”, as we like Mr. Seth will lead this to say. Along the bringing an awareness to particular Aman Jet way, travelers stay our breath, body, feelings, Expedition in a way at exclusive Aman and mental patterns of never done before. hotels and resorts. “We will cultivate the perception. All touring and energy of mindfulness transfers include a through the journey, private car, driver, and guide for each bringing an awareness to our breath, couple or solo traveler. body, feelings, and mental patterns From September 21 to October 7, of perception. I shall offer guidance 2021 — traveling through the spiritual on practices such as mindful walking, heart of Asia to China, Bhutan, India, mindful eating, mindful sitting, and Sri Lanka — this journey focuses et cetera,” Shantum Seth tells on mindfulness and wellbeing. Remote Lands. “We shall experience

Amankora

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Amanfayun

opportunities to have formal meditation practices and reflective periods. We shall bring attention to how our six senses are responding to the external stimuli of our trip and bring an appreciation of the gift of life and the joy of living.” This journey begins in the exciting metropolis of Shanghai buzzing with world class dining, urban magic and the fascinating juxtaposition of eye-popping steel skyscrapers on one side of the Huangpu River with gracious Art Deco architecture on the other. Stay at Amanyangyun, Aman’s fourth property in China, located in a tranquil village of historic dwellings and sacred camphor woodlands on the outskirts of Shanghai. Continuing through China to Hangzhou, Amanfayun is set amongst tea plantations, bamboo groves and ancient Buddhist temples, and is a spiritual sanctuary informed by Chinese tradition and Buddhist monastic culture.


Shantum Seth

Amangalla

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Fly on to Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon, a tiny Buddhist Kingdom perched high in the Himalayas sandwiched between Tibet and India. Stay at Amankora Thimpu in Bhutan’s capital city at an altitude of 2,350 meters (7,709 feet) surrounded by richly forested mountains dotted with ancient fort monasteries and temples. The distinct Himalayan architecture and Bhutanese traditional clothing evoke a long ago fairytale-like Shangri-la. Drive on to Paro and stay at Amankora Paro, where the undoubted highlight is hiking to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, one of Bhutan’s most revered monuments hanging on the face of a cliff 900 meters (2,952 feet) above

the valley floor — an altitude of 3,121 meters (10,240 feet). Next fly on to India and land in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan known as the ”Pink City” for the color of its imposing palaces and forts. Drive two hours north to the palatial resort of Amanbagh, a former Maharajah’s hunting lodge that is now a rural oasis. “I am looking forward to meeting the people on the trip, getting to know them, and becoming friends and good travel companions,” Shantum Seth says. “I want to facilitate a journey that can be both an exciting ‘outer journey’ to the places where we visit, and an ‘inner journey’ for the people participating as we create spaces for reflection and sharing.” After all that history

I want to facilitate a journey that can be both an exciting ‘outer journey’ to the places where we visit, and an ‘inner journey’ for the people participating as we create spaces for reflection and sharing.

Amanbagh

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and culture, it’s time to get wild in Ranthambore at Aman-i-Khás, a wilderness camp located in a brushwood forest on the fringes of Ranthambore National Park. Take a jeep safari to see tigers, deer, and the varied fauna of India The final country on this mindful journey is the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka. Stay in the venerable old walled town of Galle at Amangalla, within the ramparts of Galle Fort, its narrow streets lined with buildings from the Dutch and British colonial eras. End the journey in Tangalle, at Amanwella, situated in a mature coconut grove fronting a crescent-shaped beach. Spend the last days of this journey relaxing in the warm seas and skies of Sri Lanka — one last chance to get centered.


AMAN JET EXPEDITIONS S M A L L- G R O U P J O U R N E YS BY P R I VAT E J E T, S TAY I N G E XC LU S I V E LY AT A M A N S

T H E U S A N D C A R I B B E A N : A DV E N T U R E S I N T H E E X T R AO R D I N A RY Dominican Republic • Turks and C aic os • USA F E B R UA R Y 2 1 — M A R C H 1 , 2 0 2 1

B A L I TO LUA N G P R A B A N G Indonesia • C amb o dia • Vietnam • Laos 9 — 2 4 M AY, 2 0 2 1

A M I N D F U L A N D C U LT U R A L J O U R N E Y China • Bhutan • India • Sri Lanka S E P T E M B E R 2 1 — 7 O C TO B E R , 2 0 2 1

T H E G R A N D E S T TO U R Japan • C amb o dia • Vietnam • Thailand • Bhutan • Turkey • Gree ce • Montenegro • Italy 2 — 2 3 O C TO B E R , 2 0 2 1

G R E E C E TO M O R O C C O Gree c e • Montenegro • Italy • Moro cco 2 3 — 3 1 O C TO B E R , 2 0 2 1

S O U T H E AS T AS I A Vietnam • Laos • C amb o dia • Thailand 6 — 14 NOVEMBER, 2021

For more information visit www.remotelands.com/aman-jet-expeditions

Call + 1 ( 2 1 2 ) 5 1 8 - 1 8 0 1

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ASIA IS OUR STORY Experienced storytellers for discerning travelers. For daily articles from journalists, photographers, and adventurers exploring 33 countries in Asia, visit our online magazine at RemoteLands.com/Travelogues.

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