With so much attention on Europe’s popularity following the pandemic, we started wondering what was happening in the rest of the world— specifically, Asia. And so we caught up with Catherine Heald, co-founder and CEO of Remote Lands in early June, to get her take on the destination. Remote Lands, based in New York and Bangkok provides personalized luxury and adventure holidays exclusively in Asia.
She told us then that she was getting a lot of calls from luxury travel advisors saying, “Europe is insane. The prices are through the roof. There’s no availability. My clients want to go to Asia.”
Bali was on her mind, as she was just about to depart for a trip to the province of Indonesia, which she said has been very popular this summer.
“Bali is totally back, and there are luxury accommodations and experiences all over. [Indonesia] has 17,000 islands and there are many, many places that are absolutely wonderful, from Sumbawa to Sumba to Java," Heald says. "So, for example, Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. It’s on the huge island of Java. Amanjiwo is right there. It’s amazing. There’s Borneo, where you can go and see the orangutans. At Komodo National Park, you go and see the Komodo dragons. So, there are so many different experiences."
The ”Stans” have also been in demand by luxury travelers seeking an alternative to the crowds.
“We have had a very large number of inquiries and we’re doing trips to multi-country trips to the Stans: Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan. It’s very easy to travel between them. There’s no testing required in most of them. The prices are really reasonable. The cultures are fascinating. Samarkand in Uzbekistan was the center of the world at one point on the Silk Road. It was the intellectual and learning center and research center for astronomy and all kinds of scientific R&D and learning. Going back there, the architecture is just off the charts incredible,” says Heald.
For more on what’s happening throughout Asia, watch our video with Catherine Heald, a true expert on the destination.