Short breaks, great escapes
Tuesday, 17 Aug 2010
Refuel your wanderlust and return home refreshed with our pick of the region’s most inspiring weekend breaks.
Hop on a sidecar in… Shanghai, China
For those short on time, stay at the chic and central Urbn Hotel and explore Shanghai in funky fashion aboard the sidecar of a vintage motor scooter. Our expert English-speaking guide will take you on an exhilarating ride through the city’s hidden markets and futuristic districts, letting you in on local secrets not divulged by guidebooks. Tours are tailor-made to your interests – be it Art Deco buildings, video shooting or champagne drinking (for you, that is, not your driver).
Take a cool cruise in… Halong Bay, Vietnam
Wind down on a glamorous 1930s Indochine-style junk, cruising through Vietnam’s eye-wateringly pretty Halong Bay. Swim in cool, jade waters and luxuriate on the Halong Violet – a newly launched 6-cabin junk flapping with brightly coloured sails. Jump ship to explore towering limestone islands and secret stalagmite caves… trust us, a weekend of this will have you daydreaming at your desk for months.
Go mangrove kayaking in… Langkawi, Malaysia
Soak up the orchestra of jungle wildlife around you as you paddle past Langkawi’s dense tangle of shore-side mangroves (more fascinating than sea kayaking and no strenuous currents to contend with). And the fun doesn’t end here… head for the Bon Ton’s newer sister property, Temple Tree and you can shack up in one of eight reconstructed ethnic Malay houses. The Chinese House is particularly magical, featuring its own bar, a screening room and a wraparound veranda.
Make sushi in… Tokyo, Japan
Eat Tsukiji Fish Market-fresh sushi and add another feather to your bow with a sushi-making weekend in Tokyo, taught by a top chef at a Michelin-rated restaurant. He will school you in the traditional techniques needed to tackle this tricksy cuisine – as pretty on the eyes as it is heavenly on the tongue. Sleep in the Mandarin Oriental (perched on the 30th-36th floors of the Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower) for unbeatable cityscape views.
Go temple-hunting in… Siem Reap, Cambodia
Cambodia is heaving with history, culture and incredible landscapes – the perfect short break ingredients. Its most astounding site is UNESCO-protected Angkor Wat, rediscovered a century ago when gob-smacked European explorers happened upon this 12th Century complex of jungle-clad temples. Use the Hotel de La Paix as a luxurious launch pad and hop on a bicycle in the wee hours to navigate these ruins in private before the crowds arrive.
These escapes were brought to you by Lightfoot Travel p. 6438 4091, e. firstname.lastname@example.org, a Singapore-based luxury tour operator offering expert travel advice & inspiration, tailor-made itineraries & full booking services.