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Exhilarating adventures across Southeast Asia

For travelers looking for unique opportunities to immerse themselves in nature, YTL Hotels is offering incredible outdoor adventures across Southeast Asia. Here are four properties for guests looking for exhilarating activities to forge a connection with their surroundings this Summer:

The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui

Nestled within the serene Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui, a meticulously crafted Swim Reef awaits discerning travelers seeking an immersive marine encounter. This magnificent sanctuary houses a collection of over 50 exceptional fish species, rescued by local fishermen. Guests can enjoy extraordinary snorkeling adventures, fish-feeding rituals, and enchanting encounters with majestic cat sharks, delicate sea cucumbers, and the renowned “cleaner wrasse.” This captivating aquatic oasis intertwines tranquility with unforgettable marvels of the sea.

Gaya Island Resort

The esteemed Gaya Island Resort presents an ideal haven for explorers. Set within the protected Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, an area encompassed by the illustrious Coral Triangle—recognized as the global epicenter of marine biodiversity—this resort offers an unparalleled opportunity to delve deep into the underwater wonders. With an assortment of over 25 dive sites and five islands, it ensures year-round prospects for exploration. Boasting an astounding diversity, comprising more than 75% of the scientifically documented species, and adjacent to the shoreline lie magnificent coral gardens, a mere 65 feet away, giving travelers plenty to explore. The resort’s esteemed Padi Snorkeling and Dive Programs cater to individuals aged 10 and above, offering tailored courses for both novices and experienced divers.


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Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali

Travelers looking for adventure are invited to experience the captivating Les Waterfall Hike at Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali, a harmonious blend of cultural immersion and natural splendor. Just a 45-minute bicycle ride from the resort, guests can embark on a picturesque journey through Balinese villages, indulging in local culture, vibrant markets, and tantalizing delicacies. En route, travelers encounter a sacred shrine honoring Dewi Sri, the revered goddess of fertility and growth. Upon reaching the waterfall’s base, a serene picnic setting awaits, inviting travelers to relish the beauty of nature. This unforgettable experience seamlessly intertwines cultural exploration and the wonders of the natural world, leaving travelers with cherished memories of Bali’s hidden treasures.

Pangkor Laut Resort

From August 25 to 27, 2023, travelers can opt for The Chapman’s Challenge, a remarkable train run offering an unforgettable experience in the breathtaking backdrop of Pangkor Laut Resort’s private island. The prestigious event combines a 3.8km road run, a 2.4km rainforest trek, and a 1km swim in Emerald Bay, ending at the iconic Chapman’s Bar. Here, participants gather for cocktails, a delicious barbeque dinner, and the prize-giving ceremony, including a luxurious stay at YTL Hotels properties to the top three races. Paying homage to the legendary Colonel Freddy Spencer Chapman, who evaded the Japanese army for over three years, The Chapman’s Challenge embodies the triumph of the human spirit.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. So many of us got a taste for adventures with our gap year back pack adventures across South East Asia. This post brings back memories and makes me want to go again.

    1. I read a nice magazine article yesterday on Maureen and Tony Wheeler who drove from Essex to Kabul in 1972 and then somehow carried on to Australia. The book they wrote on their adventures went on to inspire the Lonely Planet series.

      I wonder how many A Luxury Travel Blog readers originally travelled around South East Asia with a Lonely Planet in their backpack before moving on to more luxurious hotels and travel?

    2. Yes, it’s been in the media a lot and I saw Tom on television. As one of those smelly. Sweaty backpackers who travelled around Asia with a Lonely Planet in my hand I took a close interest.

      One thing that struck me was how it was up for discussion as to whether these books had usually changed places for the worst, attracting a stream of low-value tourists.

    3. It’s certainly been all over the media as I saw it as well. What struck me was that Tony had an engineering degree which was why he thought he could service their old banger of a van and keep it going as they drove through Europe and Asia. He probably never imagined when he set off that he was in for a change of career and that he was heading into the very different world of writing and publishing.

      The lesson really is that we never know what plans the universe has in store for us.

  2. I’m a little surprised that I haven’t heard the remarkable story of Chapman’s challenge – a truly inspirational story.

    A decade ago my body may have stood up to the rigours of such a challenge.

    Time has taken its toll and nowadays I’ll just be raising a toast to Colonel Freddy Chapman.

  3. It seems that everyone I know, including my son and daughters, has been to Bali. Somehow I’ve never been, it could be because it is such a long way from the UK. As we both head towards retirement we ought to start making some plans for a Bali trip.

  4. I’m surprised that I’ve not heard of the Gaya Island Resort before it really has got so much going for it as a diving destination. It is incredible that it’s got so much marine biodiversity and so easily accessible too.

  5. What I like about South East Asia is that you get more luxury for your buck than you would in many other places in the world. Even though you are paying less I have always felt that standards of accommodation, cuisine, service etc are just as good as anywhere else.

  6. I can’t help but think what Colonel Freddy Chapman would make of Pangkor Laut Resort if he were alive today. Would he think that all the luxury was unnecessary and completely over the top or would he be proud that his army had freed the land and its people so that such places could flourish.

    I’m amazed that Hollywood hasn’t taken on Colonel Chapman’s heroics, it would make for an epic adventure film.

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