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Asia Travel: The new hot list

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By Cecilia Yee 

Tired of the same old vacation spots? Broaden your horizons with these five great holiday destinations.

CORON (PALAWAN), PHILIPPINES

Considered one of the Philippines’ hidden gems, Coron on Busuanga Island, in Palawan province, is home to secret lagoons, dramatic limestone cliffs, sunken WWII shipwrecks and white, sandy beaches, along with the tropical paradise vibe that every discerning traveller craves.

How to get there: There are no direct flights to Busuanga Island from Hong Kong. The best option is to fly to Cebu on Cathay Pacific, then to Busuanga Island on Philippines Airlines.

Where to stay: The Funny Lion or Two Seasons Coron.

LUANG PRABANG, LAOS

Ancient temples, incredible views of the Mekong River, unforgettable cuisine blending the best of Vietnamese, Thai and French influences, and unspoilt rainforests – this UNESCO World Heritage site in Laos has the lot, topped with friendly locals who can’t wait to welcome you to their little slice of paradise.

How to get there: Fly to Luang Prabang via Bangkok on Cathay Pacific and Bangkok Airways.

Where to stay: Belmond La Residence Phou Vao, Burasari Heritage Luang Prabang, Sofitel Luang Prabang or Victoria Xieng Thong Palace.

PHU QUOC, VIETNAM

Tired of the usual beach spots in Thailand or Bali? Turn your view to the balmy island of Phú Quốc in Vietnam. The island’s lush jungles, rugged mountains and many kilometres of protected coastline provide a safe haven for its native dugong, alongside plenty of other rich marine life in the surrounding reefs. Phú Quốc is renowned for its pristine, white, sandy beaches, with Sao Beach on the south-eastern coast purportedly the whitest of all.

How to get there: This idyllic island is easily accessed via connections in Bangkok on Cathay Pacific and Bangkok Airways.

Where to stay: Fusion Resort Phu Quoc or JW Marriot Phu Quoc.

ISHIGAKI, JAPAN

If you thought you knew Japan, think again – Ishigaki, with its distinctive landscape, culture and cuisine, has an identity all of its own. The island’s spectacular beaches are what wanderlust is made of; Kabira Bay, Sukuji Beach and Yonehara Beach are favourites for a reason (the latter is particularly great for snorkelling), but get exploring and you might just discover a hidden gem or two.

How to get there: There are daily direct flights to Ishigaki from Hong Kong on Hong Kong Express.

Where to stay: ANA Intercontinental Ishigaki.

SRI LANKA

From pristine beaches, lush tea plantations and ancient temples to elephant sanctuaries, surf spots and yoga retreats, there are countless reasons why this island is topping every traveller’s must-visit list. A great spot for food lovers, Sri Lanka’s fiery cuisine is influenced by Indian cooking, while still boasting plenty of exotic flavours of its own.

How to get there: Cathay Pacific offers daily flights to Colombo, while SriLankan Airlines flies there three times a week.

Where to stay: The Fortress Sri Lanka, 98 Acres Resort & Spa, Jetwings Yala or Marriott Weligama.


For more hot travel destinations, call 2830 2776 or visit www.flightcentre.com.hk.


Photos courtesy of Flight Centre Hong Kong

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