Customs cleared, baggage collected and the doors open to a new destination. The neutral, climate-controlled interior is disrupted by the sliding doors of the outside, where a sea of foreign faces gaze inquisitively. From initial scents and the wide-eyed drive in, to the first market wanders and local interactions, everything is fresh, exciting and unforgettable.
For those who are willing to step outside comfort zones and embark into the unknown, travel affords some of the most insightful and enlightening experiences imaginable. An infinitude of possibilities unfolds, the world appears much bigger and then exceedingly smaller, and preconceived notions evaporate into the foreign air.
While the act of travel constantly rewards intrepid personalities with unique experiences, sometimes it takes a bit of local knowledge to bring experiences to the next level.
Due to our positioning all throughout Asia, we live and breathe each destination in which we operate. Not only can we offer the most authentic, inimitable experiences, we can also offer truly unique, local experiences with some of the region’s most remarkable people.
What this means varies from destination to destination, but all encounters are equally memorable. Whether from a destination native or adoptive expatriate, a local take always unveils something new and exciting.
Insider Access provides just this: going beyond the main attractions, breaking the surface and becoming entirely immersed in an experience. Additionally, the sheer variety in encounters offers something for every personality and travel style.
ACCESS TO TRADITION
While tradition is a key element of travel in Asia, there is one destination that stands out in particular. Japan has become one of the world’s most progressive countries whilst retaining much of its traditional culture. This tradition is present in every corner of the nation and helps to make each destination extraordinary. Because Japan is so traditional, however, it can be difficult for an ‘outsider’ to crack the facade of the ancient empire. Enter: Insider Access. Two quintessential images of Japan are sumo and geisha. Witnessing a sumo wrestling competition or a geisha performance is an undeniably enriching experience. What can make the encounter all the more unforgettable, however, is getting to spend quality, personal time with each of these iconic figures. Insider Access offers an intimate encounter with each personality, discovering exactly what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a living, breathing tradition. Discover the rigorous schedule and lifestyle that is required to sustain a sumo wrestler; crack the majestic surface of the geisha to learn what life is actually like through a photoshoot with this traditional, yet modern-day entertainer in Japan.
For more information on these experiences, contact [email protected].
For most foreigners, little is known about the landlocked nation of Laos. Despite offering a plethora of attractions, the country often gets overlooked. For those who take the time to get to know this small, yet dynamic country, their efforts are highly rewarded.
Of all the remarkable destinations in Laos, Luang Prabang always seems to come out on top. The spiritual hub of the nation, this sleepy UNESCO ‘city’ is drenched in natural beauty and entrancing cultural marvels. Among those is the ubiquitous practice of the Buddhist religion seen throughout the city. Insider Access offers a private encounter with a buddhist monk where one will receive the traditional blessing ceremony of baci. This fascinating encounter leaves one with wishes of good karma and prosperity and a deeper understanding of the believes and practices of Buddhism. Contact [email protected] for more information.
ACCESS TO THE ARTS
The arts are cherished around the globe. Offered in all different modes, methods and mediums, receiving some insight into their creative processes and end results is a truly fascinating experience. When combined with landmark sites and historical significance, the experiences are extremely impactful.
Once home to some of the most diverse and abundant arts in Southeast Asia, Cambodia’s thriving arts scene was destroyed, when the Khmer Rouge swept through the nation. Insider Access not only offers a glimpse into the revitalisation of the arts in Cambodia, but also the man who is responsible for a large portion of it. Arn Chorn Pond is the founder of Cambodia Living Arts, an organisation established to preserve cultural heritage in Cambodia and support its new generation of artists.
With some one-on-one personal time with the founder, learn everything from his extraordinary background and survival during the regime to his vision for Cambodia’s future. Reach out to [email protected] for more information.
In Indonesia, a glimpse into the arts is offered in a rather unexpected destination. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Indonesia’s capital of Jakarta is usually traffic and overpopulation… not the arts, fashion or design. Beyond the city’s ribbon of brakelights, in the Cilandak district of South Jakarta, is the home and museum of one of Asia’s most esteemed creative minds. Harry Darsono is an Indonesian celebrity fashion mogul and ingenious designer who has outfitted the likes of Princess Diana and Jordan’s Queen Rania. His home and museum displays a wide collection of fashion items and antiquities, bringing visitors through the country’s haute couture scene and fashion evolution. A half day under this creative mastermind’s roof is a veritable exercise in inspiration, succeeded by fine dining and a visit to one of Jakarta’s pioneering galleries and museums. For enquiries, please contact [email protected].
ACCESS TO ARCHITECTURE
When it comes to architecture in Asia, China’s city of Shanghai is king. Hosting a number of the world’s tallest buildings alongside hidden colonial gems, the metropolis offers insight into the past and foresight into the world’s emerging “megatall” structures. Whilst a stroll along the icons of Shanghai is requisite for any visit, Insider Access allows architecture buffs to see beyond the facade of these man-made marvels. From art-deco villas to towering skyscrapers, join a local expert on an insightful, architecture-focused walking tour through the past, present and future of China. For more information, contact [email protected].
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