Establish what time of year you are looking to travel. If you are completely flexible, then choose either the country, region or activity which interests you, such as a wildlife safari. If you are not flexible and need to travel in certain months, then look at our Where and when to go section for guidance on what is best at that time of year.
Look at our calendar list on our Where to go section and see what the highlights are for each month, which may determine your choice - such as a certain festival in India or Bhutan, or perhaps orangutans, or a tiger safari or being somewhere when the climate is warm and there is no rain.
Let us know your interests, as an individual or as part of a group of friends or family or activity which interests you (walking holidays in India, trekking in Nepal, culture and general interest such as a holiday to Myanmar (Burma) or a holiday to Bhutan, India wildlife safaris and bird-watching, horse riding, camel trekking, cooking classes in Kerala, looking at architectural sites and colonial buildings, searching for antiques in Tamil Nadu etc). Perhaps you’re interested in one of our family holidays in India. We can then discuss what will be most appropriate for you. Often, a good idea is that everyone writes down on a piece of paper exactly what they want to get out of their holiday, and we marry the ideas together.
What sort of accommodation are you looking for? Five-star luxury or opulent palace hotels? Heritage mansions or genuine high quality village or ‘homestays’? Small atmospheric hotels? Luxury resorts with all mod cons? Private tented camps or plush lodges for the wilderness holidays? There is a great amount of choice. For further information on what each offers, see our Accommodation section for guidance.
Are you looking for a relaxing holiday or an active one? Or a combination of both? Distances in Asia can be substantial, so avoid the error of trying to do too much. Spend the minimum of three nights anywhere, unless somewhere is just an overnight stop from one point to another. Make sure you build some relaxation in, after all, this is your holiday!
Would you like to cover as much ground as possible or localise your travels spending more time in each place, and really enjoying and exploring each region? This is far less pressure for you, allowing you to travel at a more leisurely pace. Perhaps you might like to even travel by boat - perhaps for a week, in India along the Brahmaputra or Ganges Rivers or the Irriwaddy River in Burma where we have a wonderful cruise on a small, luxury ship for 11 nights.
Would you like to get off the beaten track and explore in areas not often visited, like the tribal country of Bastar in central India, or diving and fishing off the Andaman Islands; travelling to great ruined cities like Mandu or Hampi; doing something special like an elephant safari through the jungles of Corbett or a walking holiday with a Sherpa guide in Kumaon or a snow leopard trek in Ladakh; spending time learning the art of tracking in the jungle, or enjoying the spectacle of the high Himalayas from a microlight or heli skiing in Nepal? Perhaps you might like to take a 10 day or two week trek, seeing villages in Nepal, staying in comfortable accommodation, on a privately guided tour. You might like to do a cookery class in Cochin and perfect your curry? Or take a boat cruise along the Irriwaddy River in Burma or the Ganges or Brahmaputra Rivers in India. There is wonderful walking and cycling in Bhutan too - where one visits these beautiful dzongs. In Borneo, one can walk through forests, see the magnificent orangutans and go diving in the ocean. For more ideas in India, look at our adventure and experiences in India, or telephone us to talk you through what would be best for you.
Is there any particular charity or aid organisation you support whose work you would like to see? Or one of the charities that we support, for that matter? We have a strong interest in using tourism as a positive economic factor in helping conservation, local economies and sustainable lifestyles. Certain lodges and hotels are focused on such an approach, and we can specifically include these in an itinerary.
Do look at the geography of an area when you are putting together your wish-list. We are here to ensure that your travels are arranged in the most logical, efficient and cost effective way, but it will be helpful to you if you familiarise yourself with the areas, as well.
Do not attempt to do too much – you will be doing both yourself and the country a disservice, and will only end up requiring a holiday at the end! And ultimately – pick up the telephone and call us, or get us to call you! If you are part of a group, then we shall come and see you, if you prefer, or do feel free to come and see us. There is no substitute for first-hand knowledge, and often a telephone call saves sifting through reams of information that one simply has to digest – especially when time is short!
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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