Asia Travel

Your holiday hotspot checklist

The ease of arranging trips from Hong Kong to the exotic corners of mainland China and Southeast Asia means that your bucket list of places to visit is probably longer than your number of available holiday slots! To help you prioritise, we asked the travel specialists at Jebsen Holidays for some of their destination picks. Here’s their holiday hotspot checklist.

China Checklist

holiday hotspot: The picturesque Yulong River
The picturesque Yulong River

China is a populous and ancient land where ageless sites built by powerful dynasties sit amidst contemporary skyscrapers, soaring peaks shimmer against vast wilderness, and rural settings lost in time contrast with fast-paced cities yearning for global fame. Here are just some of the highlights on the holiday hotspot checklist of this fascinating country:

  • Walk along a lesser-known section of the fabled Great Wall near Beijing.
  • Visit the terracotta warriors in the burial site of the country’s first Emperor in Xi’an.
  • Weave your way through a bustling and vibrant Silk Road city market selling everything from jade trinkets to deep-fried creepy crawlies.
  • Immerse yourself in the lifestyles and traditions of some of China’s 56 minority cultures.
  • Explore breathtaking views of Yunnan Province and the last remnants of the fabled Shangri-La.
  • Take in Shanghai’s cityscape from a swish rooftop bar.

Jebsen’s Tip: “To ensure you’re perfectly prepared for this dynamic destination, we can assist you with getting the appropriate visa, and also provide advice on accommodation and the many flight connections available between Hong Kong and the mainland, and take care of your flight reservations.”

Southeast Asia Checklist

holiday hotspot: Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia's Siem Reap is a must-see
Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia’s Siem Reap is a must-see

Southeast Asia is a vast region that takes in the mainland area made up of Indochina and the Malay Peninsula, and a string of archipelagos to the south and east. It’s a place inhabited by countless different peoples and unique wildlife, and it offers travellers a wide range of experiences. Whether you want to discover cultural heritage, meet local tribes, explore rainforests, chill out by the ocean, sample local cuisine or cruise along a busy waterway, Southeast Asia has something for you. Pencil in one of these iconic experiences on your holiday hotspot checklist.

  • Cruise in a hot-air balloon above the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia.
  • Enjoy a local family’s hospitality during a homestay in Chiang Mai, Thailand, or along the Mekong River.
  • Relax on a palm-fringed beach in one of Southeast Asia’s famed tropical gems, from Bali to Koh Samui to Da Nang.
  • Camp below Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia, or discover the region’s earliest artworks with a local expert.

Jebsen’s Tip: “Leading five-star resorts provide great bonuses to customers from Virtuoso travel agents for free, and since Jebsen Holidays is a founder Virtuoso member in Hong Kong, you can take advantage of these. For example, stay at the Four Seasons Resorts Bali, and enjoy free buffet breakfasts and a US$100 spa credit as extras.”

Snow Holiday Checklist

holiday hotspot: Go skiing in Niseko
Go skiing in Niseko

Hong Kong has direct flights to many famous ski resorts around the world, from the famed powder of Niseko’s slopes in Japan, to the snowboard heaven of Queenstown in New Zealand, and beyond to the megaresort of Whistler in Vancouver. Make sure you don’t miss these great slopes while living in Hong Kong! Here’s recommendations for your holiday hotspot checklist.

Short-haul pick:

Niseko in Hokkaido has what some consider the best powder snow in the world. If you haven’t experienced a hot-spring onsen after skiing, you’ve simply got to try it! For families, Hokkaido has some great integrated ski resorts. One top pick is Club Med Tomamu, which is set to open in December 2017. In addition to excellent ski facilities, it also boasts the largest heated indoor wave pool in Japan.

Long-haul pick:

Canada’s renowned Whistler is hard to beat for a winter holiday; or, if you feel like escaping Hong Kong over summer instead, then set your sights on the South Island of New Zealand, to catch Queenstown’s fantastic snow season that runs from mid-June to early October.

Jebsen’s Tip: “Direct flights to popular skiing destinations run out quickly, so book early! In fact, our regular ski customers often ask us to reserve their flights up to a year in advance, as soon as the seats open for reservations.”

For assistance, guidance and recommendations for trips to China, Southeast Asia, the ski fields of Japan and North America, and beyond, contact the team at Jebsen Holidays.

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Read more in our travel section:

 4 very different ways to make the most of a trip to Ho Chi Minh

Top family-friendly resorts in Asia

This article appears in Expat Living’s annual City Guide. Get your FREE copy here!