Winter wanderlust: Where will your next epic experience take you?
We’ve chosen three destinations that are far from clichéd when it comes to taking a trip. Warning: may send wanderlust off the charts.
All Singing Singapore
Singapore is a glorious oxymoron. It’s a sizzling, sophisticated island, where balmy jungle nights meet city suits and skyscrapers. Lavish temples and bustling food markets sit side by side with sleek condos and space-age biodomes. This makes for a heady mix of ancient culture and bright, technological modernity.
Peruse the island’s famous Hawker stalls to experience a truly delightful assault on the senses, with a cuisine that encompasses a fusion of Indian, Malaysian and Chinese influences. Some of the most traditional and celebrated dishes include chilli-spiked crab, fragrant laksa, and an unusual but stunning white radish omelette.
With a full belly, you’ll be able to amble peacefully around the breathtaking National Gallery, and its world-class collection of 19th century and modern Southeast Asian art. Another essential on your trip should be the Gardens by the Bay, a whimsical fantasy land adorned with futuristic sculptures and high-tech ‘supertrees’. Then there are the many historic and fascinating museums through which to meander, not to mention the famous Singapore Zoo.
Stay at M Social Singapore Hotel where the rooms are plenty and adventurous spirits are welcome. Situated along the beautiful Singapore River, with interiors by visionary genius, Phillipe Stark, it’s the perfect place from which to explore the island.
+65 6206 1888
Set deep in the dramatic valley of the swift Mtkvari River, this picturesque city is a wonderful mish-mash of quaint architecture, funky bars, and beautiful museums, parks and plazas. The capital of Georgia, Tbilisi has come a long way since the Rose Revolution of 2003 ousted the post-Soviet Shevardnadze government.
Over the past decade or so, the city has been well and truly brought up to date. It is now populated with an attractive café and restaurant scene, and a lively arts and culture vibe that draws a young, trendy crowd.
Having said that, the Old Town is still very much in existence, and historic, cobbled streets can be found in abundance. Small traders line the pavements around metro stations, selling everything from cheese to nuts to fruit and veg – all fresh and local. Wander down the city’s winding lanes and through its leafy squares to find beautiful old churches and the 17th century Narikala Fortress.
From the sprawling and eye-wateringly beautiful National Botanical Garden of Georgia to the many museums, art galleries and churches, Tbilisi makes for the perfect alternative city break.
If you want to make your trip truly special, stay at The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi – the tallest hotel in the entire Caucasus Region. With astonishing views and an immaculately restored grand lobby, it echoes the old meets new spirit of the city.
00 995 32 2727272
Capital of China’s Sichuan province, laid-back Chengdu is often referred to as the perfect ‘starter city’ for those new to China. Bolstered by a large and spirited student population, alongside a thriving expat community, Chengdu is a lively destination with an even livelier nightlife.
And like many well-travelled spots in China, people flock to Chengdu for its food. Think Sichuan peppers, garlic (and lots of it), peanuts, sweet and sticky sauces and sharp vinegars. Mouth-watering dishes can be found at street stalls around the city, where eager cooks whip up dishes over leaping flames – a joy to both watch and eat. Make sure you don’t leave without trying its famous ‘hot pot’.
Second on your itinerary should be a trip to the world-famous Giant Panda Research Base - a non-profit research and breeding facility for giant pandas and other rare animals. With beautifully manicured gardens and opportunities to observe treasured wildlife species, it makes for a lovely afternoon out. Other city hotspots include the fabulous, century-old He Ming Teahouse, which epitomises the relaxed tea-drinking culture of Chengdu. And then there is the Wenshu Temple, whose air is heavy with incense and grounds are awash with hypnotic chanting.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you should also explore the awesome Emei Mountain, which is the highest of the four sacred Buddhist mountains of China.
Centrally situated in the city’s sophisticated urban district, the elegant Millennium Hotel Chengdu offers a fantastic base from which to explore the city.
+86 28 8531 9998
Make 2017 your year of travel, start planning your next adventure today