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Archive for the ‘Asia’ category

THE VALUE ADDED TAX OF BHUTAN

November 26th, 2013

What is the result when an Asian country tries to manage the tourism industry by charging a fair amount of entry tax to the adventurous traveller? Plus when it wants to keep far away from the madding backpacking crowds? Take 20.000 visitors a year and mix it with a 100% Buddhist population in a landlocked country with dreamy landscapes that will tantalize every serious travelista. Ok, you have to have a certain budget to get in. But who wouldn’t pay a bit more for a destination where the happiest people in the world live, where chilli peppers are eaten as a vegetable rather than a spice and where the beer, called Red Panda, is devilish tasty? (more…)

A GOLDEN CHARM CALLED BURMA

April 20th, 2013

monk myanmarballoons over bagan Until very recently a no-go destination for many travellers, Burma aka Myanmar has now become an absolute favourite. With endearing nicknames such as the ‘golden land’ or ‘land of the smile’, everybody wants to go now. Who wouldn’t want to visit a country where until very recently time literally and figuratively stood still, cut off from the rest of the world? (more…)

NORTH KOREA INSIDE OUT

April 1st, 2013

Pyongyang at Sunset, North Koreaat Mansudae Grand Monument statueStep with an open mind into one of the most closed and unknown countries in the world. North Korea is not only wonderfully interesting, but also surprisingly accessible. In 2013, the curious traveller who wants to experience one of the last Communist dynasties should book a ticket to Pyongyang, the capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) aka North Korea. Exclusive travel is an understatement here because less than 5000 western tourists visit this little known Asian country annually. If you are the kind of traveller who likes to come home with original stories and photos that nobody else could have taken then put this destination high on your hotlist. We answer five questions on how to do it. (more…)

SERIOUSLY SUMO

October 22nd, 2012

Sumo Beya Morning Practice TokyoSumo Beya Morning Practice TokyoWitnessing a Sumo morning practice in a Beya, a training stable, is possibly one of the most underground and fascinating things to do when in Tokyo. We experienced an early-morning practice at Sakaigawa Beya, located in a suburb of Tokyo. In the soft light of a new day, the wrestlers start at six in the morning their regular routine: train, eat, sleep all afternoon and train again.In Japan, Sumo is more than a sport. Sumo wresters are no ordinary sportsmen in Japan, they are considered as semi-gods and real heroes. Japan’s religion is even still an integral part of the sport. (more…)

OPEN MINDS AND CLOSED COUNTRIES

September 26th, 2009

Ask Classe Touriste what the best trip in 2009 was? Easy. It’s DPRK, aka North Korea, aka the most secret and closed country in the world. Not really politically correct, we hear you saying? Well, for once we didn’t think about politics and just booked our flights to Pyongyang. Yes, it’s true; you can travel as a real tourist to this rather unknown country thanks to the professional assistance of Koryo Tours. This English tour operator imports already more than 14 years curious travellers into North Korea. (more…)

Close your eyes and imagine Empress Dowager Cixi roaming the century old dwellings of the Summer Palace in Beijing, Wurthering Hights style. If you don’t fancy Chinese concubines, then stay anyway at the magical Aman at Summer Palace, one of the most charismatic hotels in Beijing. This 51 rooms hotel occupies the former dwellings of the Summer Palace and offers a secrets door to access this famous World Heritage Site when “normal” (read: ten thousands of gymnastic, eating, singing and partying Chinese) visitors are not allowed to enter the park. (more…)

ONE TICKET, ONE WORLD

February 22nd, 2009

map around the world

Classe Touriste goes globelicious. Ever dreamed of travelling around the world? Almost no limits, no frontiers. Just one ticket. It’s easy as 1,2,3. Book a round the world ticket with oneworld and fly, just like me, to anywhere you want. Our RTW trip will take us to Finish Lapland, Helsinki, Miami, Cayman Islands, Mexico City, Riviera Maya, Vancouver, Whistler, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Taipei, Manila en some lost island in the Philippines. (more…)

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