With 2024 right around the corner, Remote Lands, a tour operator specializing in highly personalized and unique, luxury and intrepid holidays based in New York and Bangkok, recommends these extraordinary experiences for the new year.
From the cultural heartland of Dambulla (home to Sigiriya, the massive 5th-century “Lion’s Rock” fortress) to the lush tea fields of Nuwara Eliya; from Kandy, the last redoubt of Sinhalese kings, to colonial ramparts of Galle, Sri Lanka is a destination that is under most travelers’ radars.
Today, after a period of internal conflict, a new era of peace and stability reigns and Sri Lanka once again beckons visitors with fantastic beaches, ancient World Heritage ruins, superb highlands trekking, national parks full of elephants, birds and other wildlife, and first-rate hotels.
As the perception of Sri Lanka still is shaky, many travelers have not yet returned that that part of the world and visitors to the country in 2024 may experience the culture, historical landmarks and beaches, without the barrage of tourists.
Japan’s third-largest island offers fascinating historical architecture, unique Asian- and European-influenced cuisine, and cultural curiosities unique to this particular region of Japan. Its must-see sights include the history-enriched city of Nagasaki, stunning volcanic mountains of Aso and Unzen, and historical buildings, castles included. Kyushu's active volcanoes, natural hot springs, beaches and traditional Japanese gardens offer a multitude of opportunities for outdoor adventure.
Kyushu has not been popular for many Americans traveling to Japan and offers a variety of unique hotel and resorts, in addition to recent openings. A new Ritz-Carlton, Fukuoka located in Fukuoka’s Tenjin area, and walking distance to multiple train stations for ease of travel, just launched.
There is also an array of interesting and unique properties to experience traveling through the island including Hansuiryo, located in the secluded Unzen National Park. With only 14 villas build over 65,600 square feet, in the sukiya teahouse architectural style of simple elegance, guests can also take a dip in the on-site onsen that is said to be over a millennium old.
Additionally, Tamanoyu, was once a sanatorium for Zen priests and offers 17 guest houses in a serene, peaceful, natural setting.
Singapore's mishmash of cultures is evident in its diverse array of attractions. For such a tiny city-state, bigger and bolder real estate projects are constantly in development. Its biggest draw, however, is its unique mix of cultures, ethnicities and cuisines that shaped Singapore's history.
Singapore is now home to 56 Michelin-starred restaurants, solidifying the country as one of the top culinary destinations in the world.
Opening in late 2023 will be the country’s first COMO hotel, COMO Metropolitan Singapore, marking a debut homecoming for the Singapore-founded company. The destination will include an urban wellness space, Michelin-starred concepts and retail.
Additionally, Art SG, Southeast Asia’s largest art fair, launched in Singapore in 2023 and is set to take place again in 2024.
Having only been freed from Russian rule in 1991, Uzbekistan is a relatively new sovereign country. However, civilization in this region is certainly no new phenomenon. An ever-changing occupation over thousands of years has born out rich cultural diversity, historic architecture, diverse languages, and fascinating artifacts - all of which captivate even the most intrepid of explorers. The region’s long prosperity is partly thanks to its close proximity with the ancient ‘Great Silk Road’ that stretched through Europe and Asia.
Uzbekistan is another under-the-radar country for Westerners, the landlocked country is encouraging tourists to experience their blend of old and new under a recent change of leadership.
The country is home to UNESCO heritage sites, museums, and history within its modern capital of Tashkent or ancient mosques and minarets in the Islamic city of Bukhara.
Now is the time to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a nation with simmering potential and sharpened ambition on the very cusp of taking the world stage by storm. Dating back to pre-Islamic Arabia, this Arab country has and continues to dominate the Arabian peninsula in wealth, size, and cultural influence.
Saudi Arabia is seeing a new wave of hotel openings from a new Six Senses to an Aman to an array of Marriott properties slated to be introduced in the coming months and years.
The Kingdom is investing resources into its infrastructure and offerings for international travelers.