Cultural holidays in Asia are fast becoming the holiday of choice of those wishing to spend their time away from home on the world’s largest continent engaging in something more than a relaxing few weeks lazing on a beautiful tropical beach in Asia, taking selfies at the latest must-visit Instagram locations and enjoying in the local nightlife. Secret Retreats has always created unique tailor-made and ready-made travel itineraries, that are unavailable anywhere else, that have a focus on the local community and ensure guests and travelers experience a strong sense of place when visiting and staying in the boutique hotels in the Secret Retreats community and when embarking on our cultural tours and itineraries in Asia.

While it has always been our mission to provide the perfect travel experience by custom-creating to the needs of you, your friends, and your family, we are also dedicated to ensuring you make real-life connections with the people you meet on your travels; whether they be other like-minded guests, members of the Secret Retreats family looking after you, or the people you will meet within the wider community. All our cultural tours and holidays in Asia and beyond are designed to minimize the environmental impact of travel, designed with responsible travel as a core tenet, and we are constantly creating new itineraries that share the secret spots of our Asian homes with you.

What is your ideal holiday destination?

Thailand – Culture Holidays in Asia in the Land of Smiles

A must visit country on anyone’s culture holidays in Asia itinerary is Thailand where the opportunities for cultural experiences are countless. Community based tourism includes visiting indigenous communities and hilltribes, as well as out-of-the-way homestays and even spending a day or two assisting the mahouts at increasingly ethical elephant camps. Begin a Secret Retreats tailor-made trip in Thailand’s capital at Chakrabongse Villas, a tranquil haven on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in the heart of Old Bangkok. Visitors are treated to a break from the bustle of city life to enjoy a glimpse of a bygone age in a private villa which a century ago was the home of Prince Chakrabongse Bhuvanath. A stone's throw from the ancient temples of Bangkok, guests will enjoy relaxing in the tranquil gardens soaking up the culture of a time gone by. Next on your culture vacations in Asia to do list should be luxurious comfort within the ancient walls of the Northern Thai city of Chiang Mai where the Rachamanka Hotel is committed to preserving the Lanna culture and sharing these stories with guests, and to showcasing the ancient kingdom’s architecture of yesteryear. Guests are immersed in a world of original art and contemporary abstract works by famous and up and coming artists carefully collected and curated by the owner. The resort is passionate about supporting and promoting local artists, keeping local traditions alive, and providing guests with an authentic experience of Lanna culture and history. Heading out of the city, you will find the modern comfort of a boutique hotel combined with a wonderfully serene rural Thai experience at the Ahsa Farm Stay where the secrets of Northern Thai cuisine will be revealed, and guests are invited to get involved with communal activities including visiting the local market, rice planting, and offering alms to monks in the early morning before trekking through the surrounding hills with a local guide and returning for a relaxing herbal sauna and traditional Thai massage all while staying on a working northern Thai farm.

India - Cultural Tours and Holidays in Asia in the World’s Melting Pot

Possibly the most diverse country on our ready-made itinerary of cultural tours and holidays in Asia in terms of culture and traditions is India. Truly a melting pot of cultures, religions, languages, and traditions. A highlight among the range of the Secret Retreats curated heritage homes, safari lodges and boutique hotels in India, one that offers a more immersive experience, is the Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, which has been a working tea plantation since 1859 and combines the comfort of a luxury boutique hotel with an immersive experience in the stay at this wonderful family run Darjeeling Tea Estate. Enjoy views of the Himalayas above the River Rangeet, taste the incredible local cuisine, and enjoy mountain activities while helping to contribute to the tightly knit local community. And if you want to get in amongst the mountain peaks we could add Stok Palace Heritage Hotel, Ladakh, to your culture trips in Asia tour where guests are invited to live like royalty while helping to preserve the cultural heritage of Ladakh. This regal property in the heart of the Trans Himalayas combines incredible architecture with an unforgettable landscape. Or the Qayaam Gah Hotel, Kashmir, which is a breathtaking eco-friendly boutique hotel with views over the serene Dal Lake and the peaks of the mighty Himalayas. The owners have created a tranquil retreat in which they hope guests will leave the outside world behind, live in the moment, and achieve inner peace while enriching their experience by becoming immersed in village life and local culture. And on to the holiest city in India where towering over the River Ganga, sits the BrijRama Palace Heritage Hotel, Varanasi. It is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Experience incomparable Indian hospitality while living like Maharajas and losing yourself in the incredible culture of the oldest living city in the world. If you want to head farther off the beaten track for your culture holidays in Asia, Bari Kothi Heritage Hotel, West Bengal, is an 18th century palace restored to its former glory by local artisans as a way of ensuring that the generations to come will be able to sustainably hold onto their heritage. Visitors are invited to connect with the community while experiencing the palatial luxury of 250 years of indelible and fascinating history.

Indonesia – Cultural Immersion Trips in Asia’s Island Archipelago

The exotic archipelago of Indonesia offers up a wealth of opportunities to those searching for cultural immersion trips in Asia. Traditions and cultural values remain interwoven with a contemporary lifestyle in this part of Asia. A bucket-list destination for many is the island of Bali, and Secret Retreats is proud to have on its culture vacations in Asia circuit the gorgeous Hotel Tugu Bali. Overlooking the sands of Canggu Beach, this almost museum-like boutique hotel is an antiques aficionado's and Asia culture lover’s dream. Guests are invited to enjoy romance and luxury while experiencing centuries of Indonesian history and culture. Each thatched villa has been designed to transport visitors to the opulence, art, and culture of Indonesia’s ancient past. Heading inland, encircled by rice fields and mountains off the beaten path in peaceful rural Bali lies Sanak Retreat Bali, a gorgeous getaway dedicated to warm and luxurious hospitality, traditional Bali life, and sustainability. Visitors will experience the warm welcome of the local community in a picture-perfect tropical paradise. Also, on the Indonesian leg of our cultural discovery vacations in Asia itinerary we have Hotel Tugu Malang, a sister property of Hotel Tugu Bali, Tugu Malang is an elegant mansion house located in the heart of Malang City in East Java. The hotel is decorated throughout with antiques and art celebrating Indonesia’s incredible history. Each sumptuous suite is a tangible homage to a time gone by. Visitors will enjoy incredible hospitality and fascinating culture in this Javanese colonial style property.

Japan – Culture Holidays in Asia Where the Ancient Meets the Modern

Getting beneath the surface of Japanese culture takes commitment but on a Secret Retreats Japan travel itinerary, prepare for thousands of years of tradition rubbing shoulders with uber modernity when planning with us where to place Japan on your itinerary of culture holidays in Asia. A short drive from Tokyo, Kishi-Ke, Kamakura is a chic, modern ryokan with an authentic old-world feel. A Zen-like experience awaits guests who leave the modern world at the gates for an elegant Japanese garden with views of the ocean, a Cyprus-wood bath, and tatami-matted polished-wooden floors. A stay in our Kishi-Ke ryokan is the perfect way to experience mindfulness and culture in the heart of Kamakura, the ancient coastal capital of Japan. While enjoying the modern Japanese city culture why not experience a relaxing mix of the old and the new. A city oasis, the Junei Hotel Kyoto, consists of two boutique properties created to celebrate inimitable Japanese hospitality. Embracing the traditions and culture of Kyoto, guests can expect peace and serenity as well as quality and comfort wrapped in a quintessential Japanese experience in the country’s most beautiful city.

Laos – Cultural Tours and Holidays in Asia Untouched

Still managing to remain Southeast Asia’s true hidden gem, Laos really should be up there on everyone’s list of cultural tours and holidays in Asia. Head north of the bustling capital of Vientiane to the unbelievably picturesque ancient city of Luang Prabang and its profusion of gilded temples on the banks of the Mighty Mekong. Satri House Luang Prabang, is a boutique hotel built in the French colonial style that was once the family home of the Red Prince of Laos that dates back to the beginning of the last century. The residence has been designed to celebrate Laos traditional culture, customs, and crafts. As well as immersing guests in colonial comfort in Laos’ ancient capital city of Lan Xang, Satri House is the perfect home from home when enjoying and exploring Northern Laos.

China – Ancient Cultural Discovery Vacations in Asia

As far as cultures go, it is generally agreed that China is among the planet’s oldest, indeed, the idea of ‘China’ has shifted dramatically over the millennia, and this is why the country must be included on any itinerary of cultural discovery vacations in Asia. Journey with Secret Retreats into China’s past when you stay at Jing’s Residence, Pingyao. Originally the home of a wealthy Qing Dynasty silk merchant, the property combines modern comfort with old-world design in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage town of Pingyao, a medieval walled city untouched by time. The courtyard residence dates back 260 years and visitors will find themselves ensconced within ancient Chinese culture, comfort, and charm. Continuing our cultural tours and holidays in Asia a stop at the only man-made edifice erroneously visible from space is a must. Located a stone’s throw from the Great Wall the Tsingpu Badaling Retreat offers a cultural escape from the bustle of Beijing amidst acres of vineyards and a working winery. Visitors are invited to relax in a rural setting with views of the Great Wall’s Beibalou lookout, the highest point on the Badaling section of the Great Wall, and to get involved with local artisans working on handicrafts including ceramics, carpentry, and tie-dyeing traditional fabrics.

Choosing your perfect culture tours and itineraries in Asia is understandably no easy task. Secret Retreats prides itself on being the Asia travel itinerary expert, we give every aspect of your holiday in Asia a great deal of thought to get it just right. The sheer cultural diversity of the continent makes deciding where to visit during your culture holidays in Asia a Herculean task made easier for you when booking with the Asia Travel Experts, Secret Retreats. But it is a task we relish and because all our properties are culturally sensitive, ecologically aware, and share a strong sense of place with guests, we can guarantee that when you book with us to create your cultural experiences in Asia holiday itinerary, we will create nothing less than the trip of a lifetime.
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Travel Asia with Secret Retreats

Secret Retreats is a curated community of independent boutique hotel, villas, yachts and river boats keen to share their Asian Homes with travelers, sustainably and responsibly. Conservation of the environment, culture and traditions of Asia is of paramount importance to all in Secret Retreats. A community of like-minded hospitality professionals, we offer our guests authentic travel experiences that go beyond typical offerings to unveil the essence of Asia. Supporting the Asia based hoteliers and hospitality professionals and providing incredible holidays in Asia and tailor-made Asia travel itineraries direct to public ad travel agents.
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