More of us are now looking for experiential travel, where we can immerse ourselves in our chosen destination. Not sure where you want to go next? Abercrombie and Kent will help you plan an iconic holiday experience that stands up to any bucket list.
Great Wall of China
Some of the ancient world’s most sophisticated civilisations were forged in China and visitors to the country find a place where the ancient world still shines bright. Progress may be marching ahead but China also pays due deference to its noble history. It’s possible to discover this fascinating country’s past on A&K holidays such as Classic China and The Wonders of China escorted tour. A highlight for most visitors (and featured on both suggested itineraries) is the Great Wall of China – one of the world’s wonders. Built as a defensive structure more than 2,000 years ago, nothing can prepare you for the wall’s monumental majesty. Let us lead you off the tourist trail to marvel at the lesser-visited Mutianyu section where you can view Ming Dynasty watchtowers, merlons, and fortresses in relative peace while your guide offers insight on the wall’s restoration and its UNESCO accreditation.
Icon of the Australian outback and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Uluru – or Ayer’s Rock – is a must-see whilst in the Northern Territory. This sandstone monolith is sacred to the local Aboriginal people and dominates the horizon. Rise at dawn to watch the sun rise over Uluru as part of A&K’s Classic Australia suggested itinerary. A guide will recount the myths and legends of the indigenous people, while a walking tour reveals the region’s dynamic ecology, its medicinal plants, its hardy wildlife and local Anangu tracking techniques.
Did you know that the biggest religious monument in the world is located in Cambodia? Spread across a 162-hectare site, Angkor is a 12th-century temple complex located close to the modern town of Siem Reap. Angkor was built as an earthly representation of Mount Meru – the home of the Hindu pantheon. The complex’s most famous temple, Angkor Wat, was built by the Cambodian god-king Suryavarman II and is decorated with almost 2,000 unique apsaras (nymphs). Explore this sprawling Khmer complex’s historic wonders during A&K’s suggested multi-centre itinerary – Rhythms of South-east Asia. Pass through the gopuras –elaborate gateways into the site – to wander between the photogenic sandstone temples and sculptures. An expert guide will explain the history and intricacies of Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm, so that you leave feeling like an expert yourself.
The Taj Mahal
Famously described as a teardrop on the cheek of eternity, India’s iconic Taj Mahal was commissioned in the 17th century by emperor Shah Jahad as a mausoleum for his beloved wife following her untimely death. Rising over the bank of the Yamuna river in Agra, this monument to his love took an astonishing 20,000 people working over two decades to complete. It’s now a World Heritage Site, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and attracts millions of visitors every year. The Taj Mahal underwent a thorough clean in 2017, restoring its sparkle inside and out, and returning it to its former ivory shade. To appreciate it anew, it’s best seen at sunrise and sunset as the warm light reflects off the white dome and four towering minarets. A&K’s Splendours of the Golden Triangle escorted tour visits the grandest of all romantic gestures twice – once as the sun sets and again the next morning at dawn.
Nestled high in the Andes above the Urubamba river, this Inca site – once a city – was constructed in the notch between two apus (sacred peaks – Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountain) at an elevation of 2,430 metres. Mistakenly labelled a ‘lost city’, this mid 15th- to mid 16th-century archaeological site was largely unknown by Europeans until it was ‘discovered’ by Yale-sponsored explorer Hiram Bingham III in 1911. One of the few major intact pre-Columbian ruins, Machu Picchu was added to UNESCO’s roster in 1983. Often shrouded in mysterious jungle mists, the citadel’s cut-stone greatest hits include the Sun Temple, Royal Mausoleum and Sacred Plaza. Visit this royal retreat as part of many A&K suggested Peru itineraries or as part of a larger overview of the region: Peru & Brazil iconic landmarks.
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