Travelling in South East Asia Today— An Update.

Prime location for China’s Tea Horse Road

Image: Padma Pu’er Hotel | Yunnan, China

The new Padma Pu’er Hotel in Yunnan is a highly convenient property for exploration of the ancient Tea Horse Road. Located in Pu’er City, a location famed for Pu’er Tea, the four-storey hotel has 25 rooms. Facilities include a Chinese restaurant, swimming pool and tea room. Guests don’t have to venture far to absorb nature – the hotel is situated in the Northern Wetland Park, a vibrant oasis that reflects the region’s biodiversity. The Orchid Garden adjacent to the hotel has 64 species of orchids and rare plants. Plans are afoot to develop more properties along the Ancient Tea Horse Road because of its rich history and heritage. From the 6th to the 20th centuries, traders travelled by foot and on horseback to exchange tea for horses with people in Tibet – thus the route became known as the Tea Horse Road.

Kuala Lumpur gets a hotel that is something Else

Image: Else Retreats | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Else has launched its inaugural hotel in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. Positioned in the centre of a flourishing cultural hub in the iconic art deco Lee Rubber Building, this city-centre 49-room property offers unique experiences. Guests have the freedom to make themselves at home, such as in the communal Business Den, a co-work space to network and connect. This creative enclave includes a sunken living room, drawing room and library. After finishing work, floating meditation pods, a boutique gym and an infinity pool will revive and rejuvenate ahead of another working day or exploration of KL’s landmark sites. The hotel has two F&B venues: casual dining Raw Kitchen Hall and Yellow Fin Horse, a wood-fire restaurant that blends international and Malaysian flavours with contemporary authenticity. The hotel’s close proximity to Chinatown also offers guests a plethora of dining options.

Lombok acquires unique living space

Image: Tampah Hills | Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok has a new luxury accommodation option with the opening of Tampah Hills and the Seaside Society on the pristine south coast of this Indonesian island. The unique living concept features sustainable premium villas, a sports centre, restaurants, a co-working space, a spa and a gym. Each villa has a unique design created by leading architects and these blend into the lush, green nature with spectacular views. All materials are locally and sustainably sourced and the villas have been conceived to be energy-efficient. Guests enjoy a supreme five-star service, including breakfast cooked by a private chef every morning. Activities include yoga, tennis and volleyball on the adjoining white sand beach, plus snorkelling and diving.

High-end addition to Bali’s hotels

Image: Jumeirah Bali | Bali, Indonesia

The Jumeirah Bali is the Jumeirah group’s first property in Indonesia. Situated in the south-west region of the island, the all-villa luxury resort sits in the idyllic beach destination of Uluwatu. The 123 villas are perched atop limestone cliffs in one- and two-bedroom configurations. Each villa has a private pool and an outdoor living area, enhanced with an open pavilion and views of the Indian Ocean. Guests also have access to the resort’s private beach. F&B options include three signature restaurants. For wellness, the Talise Spa provides an extensive spa experience, including a Turkish hammam and therapies incorporating Balinese procedures with organic products. Other facilities include a fitness centre, infinity swimming pool and a children’s club.

Asian Trails’ goal to boost sport in Cambodia

Asian Trails is playing its part in encouraging youth to get more involved in sport in Cambodia. As part of a government initiative to promote healthy living, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has included football as a course on the high school programme. Our Cambodia office became part of the initiative by sponsoring the Roluos Football Club. The team is currently engaged in a football tournament that will conclude at the end of August 2022. This was organised by the local authority in Bakong district as part of a drive to get more youth involved in healthy pursuits. Asian Trails staff are pictured with the Roluos FC’s players ahead of the kick-off.

Hidden attractions in Cambodia unveiled

Pusat province in the western region of Cambodia is not that well-known to many tourists. However, the area’s hidden attractions are now more accessible after the upgrade of a road that provides faster access – with an average three-hour drive from the capital Phnom Penh. Visitors will find pristine countryside, mountains and waterfalls in Veal Veng district, an eco-adventure destination that is prime for outdoor adventures such as trekking and mountain biking. This area is home to the Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary, a reserve that contains Cambodia’s second-highest peak, 1,717-metres-high Phnom Samkos. This contains abundant wildlife, including diverse bird species and primates. Ten resorts have been developed in Pursat recently and more investments are pending as the province experiences a boost in visitors.


Vietnam aviation resurgence

Image: Vietjet | Vietnam

The Vietnam airline sector’s post-pandemic recovery continues to take-off – a development that reflects the country’s tourism upturn. New flights and the restart of routes suspended by the pandemic-enforced lockdown are occurring on a daily basis. Most notably low-cost operator Vietjet is opening five new routes between India and Vietnam. New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru in India will be connected with Da Nang in Vietnam. Currently, Vietjet only operates routes that connect New Delhi and Mumbai in India with Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Vietjet earlier announced plans to initiate two new routes to connect Phu Quoc to New Delhi and Mumbai. Air Asia is also offering new connections from Kuala Lumpur to Dalat and Nha Trang, while Vietnam Airlines announced it is resuming its route from Ho Chi Minh City to Jakarta.

Travelling in Thailand with a conscience

Travel in contemporary times goes beyond discovering new destinations, exploring unique attractions and tasting delicious local cuisine. It can also contribute to the improvement of the environment – thereby enriching the traveller’s overall experience. The BCG model capitalises on Thailand’s strengths in biological diversity and cultural richness. Asian Trails is heavily involved in this initiative which promotes responsible tourism and economic, social and environmental balance for host communities. Examples of this approach include our excursion to Bang Krachao in Samut Prakan, close to the capital. Known as the ‘lung of Bangkok’, visitors can enjoy sight-seeing pleasures with a minimal footprint, such as riverside cycling, or a canal excursion on a sampan boat floating through a jungle environment close to the built-up metropolis. Other options include involvement in community-based tourism, such as helping local people with agricultural activities.

Train travel in Vietnam upgraded

Image: HRT | Vietnam

Rail travel between Hanoi and Hai Phong has been improved with the introduction of a high-quality carriage on the popular route between the capital and the major port city in North-East Vietnam.

Operated by the Hanoi Railway Transport Joint Stock Company, the brand new carriage features free WI-FI, a drinks service and cold towels for passengers. The improved carriages can be booked at stations, through train ticket agents, by the hotline 1900109, via the websites: and and mobile wallet apps such as Viettel Pay, VnPay, Momo and Vimo. According to a report by the Vietnam News Agency, the Vietnam Railways’ Corporation confirmed passenger traffic on this popular route has increased significantly after the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions in May 2022.