The word city generally conjures up thoughts and images of hustle and bustle, flowing traffic, bright lights and busy night life. However, they can also serve as a peaceful retreat and the perfect place to reconnect with yourself and your loved ones, with some of the calmest and most spellbinding cities to be found in Asia.
Renowned for its exceptional hospitality, fascinating culture, delicious food and the most exclusive hotels, Asia has so much to offer the discerning traveler. So, if you are searching for some of the most relaxing places in the world, we at Luxury Gold have uncovered some true gems of tranquility to be found in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Japan.
Each peaceful haven gives you the chance to step away from the hectic rhythm of modern life, enjoy beautiful surroundings and spend a little time with yourself. Explore serene destinations steeped in Buddhist history, discover temples and monasteries, and take a walk through the well-preserved past. Maybe take the extra time to realign your chakras, practice some yoga or try meditation – a chance to focus on your mental health while enjoying a fantastic cultural experience.
These fascinating destinations are also guaranteed to take you on a mouth-watering culinary adventure. Core to Asian culture, street food is freshly prepared and exceedingly tasty and there are infinite options to try in even the quietest city. For starters we suggest that you try Pad Thai in Thailand, Pho in Vietnam and Amok Trey (fish curry) in Cambodia.
Vietnam – Hoi An
Located on Vietnam’s central coast, Hội An translates as “peaceful meeting place” and offers beautiful beaches, a laid-back attitude and an exquisitely preserved Old Town. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hoi An was an important trading port from the 15th to the 19th Century and offers a step back in time for travelers, the perfect escape from the realities of modern life. The beautiful old town, closed to traffic and composed of small colonial style houses, is a bountiful canvas of color with architectural nods to its Japanese, Chinese, French and Vietnamese heritage. Though quiet and calm, Hoi An is a very tourist friendly city, and there is plenty to do. Admire the blanket of lanterns at the night markets and enjoy the local restaurants where you can soak up the unique ambiance of this charming city and savor tasty local cuisine.
Experience the very best of Hoi An on our Spirit of Vietnam luxury guided tour. With the help of a Local Expert, explore the former merchants’ homes, colorful communal halls, narrow lanes and traditional houses, as well as a top highlight, the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge. We’ll take you deep into the heart of this beautiful and tranquil city, and even introduce you to a special martial arts Master, to discover the art of healing through martial art, and to learn some steps.
Cambodia – Angkor Thom
Stepping into the captivating ancient city and temple complex of Angkor Thom is like stepping into a magical, mythical faraway land. Lose yourself among the endlessly fascinating myriad of temples, each one different from the next, and completely forget about the modern world. Built around 1200 by King Jayavarman VII, Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Khmer Empire, a fortified city enclosing residences for the priest, officials of the palace and military, and the administrative buildings of the kingdom. The 360-acre site is built as a square, each side 3km long and surrounded by a 100m wide moat. Discover Angkor Thom, along with its famous neighbor Angkor Wat and other highlights of Cambodia on our Cambodia & Vietnam in Style and Inspiring Indochina luxury guided tours. You can’t fail to feel uplifted and peaceful when surrounded by such spellbinding architecture and natural beauty so, with its spiritual influence and so many perfect spots, why not take some time to practice a little meditation?
Laos – Luang Prabang
A traditional morning start in the charming city of Luang Prabang involves rising early and offering alms to hundreds of saffron-robed monks, a living Buddhist tradition going back generations. Known for its Buddhist temples and monasteries, this charming, serene city in northern Laos is one of the most beautiful cities in Southeast Asia and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A particular highlight is Xiengthong, known as the Temple of the Golden City, and a significant monument to the spirit of religion, royalty and traditional art for the locals. The city is partly located on a peninsula between the rivers Mekong and Nam Khan with mountains surrounding it as far as you can see, and a short walk to the top of Mount Phousi offers spectacular views.
Experience the best of Laos and Luang Prabang on our Sensational Vietnam & Laos 14-Day luxury guided tour. Stay at an exclusive hotel, The Luang Say Residence, a 5-Star boutique paradise. Stroll in its tropical gardens and enjoy stunning views and enjoy a private sunset cruise along the beautiful Mekong River.
Once the capital of Japan, Kyoto is a freshening oasis of calm and peace in an often crowded and busy country. Famed for its geisha’s and well-preserved architectural delights, the city is home to numerous Buddhist temples, shrines, gardens and palaces. Travelers can soak up the calm and meander through the city enjoying the local teahouses, lantern-lit restaurants and bars, and absorb the zen energy and atmosphere.
Explore Kyoto on our 11-Day Majestic Japan luxury guided tour with the help of the boundless knowledge of your Travelling Concierge. One of the city’s most iconic sights is the tiered golden temple of Kinkaku-ji, known as the Golden Pavilion (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Surrounded by a large pond and beautifully sculptured garden, the temple pavilion is coated in mesmerizing gold leaf that glistens in the sun. We’ll invite you to a special performance by a Maiko, an apprentice geisha. Central to Kyoto culture, geishas are highly skilled entertainers, specializing in classical music, dance, conversation and games, a fine art that has evolved over many centuries.
So, are all these good vibes inspiring you to take a journey to Asia? We certainly hope so. Or maybe we have awakened past dreams of visiting this vast and beautiful continent. Whatever your motivation, we at Luxury Gold guarantee you an unforgettable experience on our luxury guided tours, with magnificent hotels, VIP Experiences and truly exclusive travel with your every need taken care of throughout. Why not take a look through our new brochure for 2022 & 2023 for travel inspiration?