April 15, 2022
Located on a leafy hillside in Seoul, the Korea Furniture Museum is a highlight for travelers interested in traditional Korean design, architecture and lifestyle.
Our list of articles tagged with "Asia."
Located on a leafy hillside in Seoul, the Korea Furniture Museum is a highlight for travelers interested in traditional Korean design, architecture and lifestyle.
One of the most iconic landmarks in Jaipur, India, is the ornate Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds). Artisans of Leisure arranges for our travelers to admire the renowned exterior of the Hawa Mahal and can include a visit to the interior as a part of our private tours of the City Palace.
Japan is an ideal family destination with incredible experiences for all ages and interests. Read about our favorite family activities and experiences in Japan that can be incorporated into any of our private Japan tours.
For a wonderfully immersive cultural experience, we arrange for travelers on our private Japan tours to spend the night in a private room at one of the best temple lodges at Koyasan (Mount Koya).
Artisans of Leisure can incorporate lessons in the traditional Japanese arts of refinement, including ikebana and tea ceremony, into our private tours of Japan.
Art and design pilgrims are drawn to Naoshima, Japan, to experience great art and striking architecture in beautiful natural surroundings. Artisans of Leisure arranges private Japan tours including tours that focus on contemporary art and architecture.
A great way to experience the cultural and scenic highlights of Thailand is with a private tour that combines three of our favorite luxury resorts.
Staying at a luxury ryokan in Japan is an incredible way to experience many of the country’s traditions all in one place. These traditional inns exemplify beautiful Japanese design, exquisite Japanese cuisine and inimitable Japanese hospitality.
Hanok are the beautiful traditional houses of South Korea. The opportunity to see hanok architecture is a highlight of any private South Korea tour.
The hanbok—the beautiful traditional Korean national costume—has been a staple of the Korean wardrobe for more than 2,000 years. Many travelers on our private South Korea tours enjoy seeing and shopping for colorful hanbok while touring in South Korea.
Jeju Island is a perfect multi-day excursion from Seoul that offers diverse touring options among spectacular landscapes. Artisans of Leisure arranges private South Korea tours.
South Korea is a wonderful destination for families, foodies, culture lovers, history enthusiasts, K-pop fans and other travelers. Read about our top 10 favorite things to do during a private South Korea tour.
One of our favorite things about Japanese cuisine is the way it always incorporates the season through ingredients and presentation. One of the most fun, colorful, festive times of the year to enjoy this in Japan is cherry blossom season.
Yosegi-zaiku is a form of traditional wood marquetry from Hakone, a mountainous region near Mount Fuji, Japan. Artisans of Leisure arranges unique experiences of traditional crafts throughout Japan.
The iconic Taj Mahal is a must-visit for travelers in India. Artisans of Leisure arranges private tours of the Taj Mahal and other sites in Agra.
Seeing native wildlife such as elephants, monkeys and leopards is a treat for many visitors to beautiful Sri Lanka.
Japanese culture takes design seriously, so it’s not surprising that even the most prosaic Japanese buildings can be thought-provoking, including The Tokyo Toilet project.
Read about our favorite places and experiences in South Korea, including touring ancient Buddhist temples and royal palaces, shopping for traditional crafts and trendy K-pop items, taking tasting tours of Korean cuisine, touring contemporary art and architecture, and seeing spectacular landscapes and UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Thousands of temples and stupas on the plains of Bagan make it a highlight of Myanmar and a cultural wonder of Southeast Asia.
The city of Gyeongju offers an excellent introduction to South Korea’s ancient past through its rich array of fascinating mountain temples, royal burial mounds, stone carvings, ruined palaces and more.
Buddhist temple cuisine is highly recommended for vegetarians and travelers wanting to experience a unique side of South Korean culture.
Kurashiki is a picturesque historic town in western Japan that’s perfect for travelers wanting an off-the-beaten-path experience.
Ceramics are one of our favorite entry points into Japanese culture. Artisans of Leisure arranges private Japan tours that introduce travelers to the best of Japanese craft traditions.
Traveling as a family is an incredibly rewarding way to experience different destinations and cultures. It also brings family members closer and creates memories that last a lifetime.
Vietnam offers something for everyone—incredible food, ancient traditions, beautiful scenery, beautiful resorts, and endless opportunities to explore historic and cultural sites.
One of the things we love about traveling is the food! Here are some of the meals and culinary treats that Artisans of Leisure travel experts are dreaming about for when we’re able to travel again.
Artisans of Leisure arranges private, personalized and luxurious spa and wellness tours in destinations around the world.
Artisans of Leisure arranges private international accessible tours and accessible travel in destinations around the world. We work closely with individuals who have mobility limitations to make sure that each tour is personalized to their individual needs, requirements and interests.
For an ultra-luxurious tropical escape, consider Soneva Jani in the Maldives. Located on an exclusive private island, the resort has overwater villas with unique details like a retractable roof for stargazing and a slide down to the lagoon below.
Brief, designed by Bevis Bawa, is one of our favorite gardens in Sri Lanka.
Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, is home to the National Palace Museum, the world’s largest and finest repository of artworks from imperial China and a top highlight of any private tour.
We recently returned from an incredible trip to Japan featuring off-the-beaten path destinations such as Naoshima (Benesse), Kurashiki, Miyajima and the luxury Guntu cruise on the Seto Inland Sea.
Artisans of Leisure arranges private family heritage and genealogical tours all over the world.
Enjoy this interview with Ashley Isaacs Ganz, founder & CEO of Artisans of Leisure, about her most recent visit to China with her family. Q.) What inspired this trip to China? The country is changing so quickly, and I wanted to revisit some of my favorite cities to focus on new hotel, culinary and cultural […]
For anyone interested in sushi and Japanese food in general, touring markets in Japan is a must. We arrange early morning visits to the wholesale Toyosu Market in Tokyo to watch the tuna auction. We also arrange insider food tours of Tsukiji Outer Market. Artisans of Leisure customizes private Japan tours that provide an in-depth […]
With views of the Taj Mahal from every room, exquisite interiors and lush gardens, the luxurious Oberoi Amarvilas is a must for travelers to Agra in India.
Artisans of Leisure arranges a variety of specialty experiences during in-depth cultural touring in Seoul, including top fashion, beauty and K-pop highlights.
Indonesia is an ideal summer holiday destination, featuring incredible scenery, great food, exclusive resorts and fascinating, deeply traditional culture.
Interview with Ashley Isaacs Ganz, founder & CEO of Artisans of Leisure, about her most recent trip to Thailand with her family.
Highlights from our recent private tour of Japan, including Tokyo and off-the-beaten-path locations in rural Tohoku.
Artisans of Leisure arranges tickets to James Turrell’s Gathered Sky in Beijing as part of our private, customized tours of China.
Artisans of Leisure arranges exclusive private tours of Singapore focusing on its fascinating history, culture, architecture, cuisine and more.
Artisans of Leisure’s private Cambodia tours feature the breathtaking Angkor complex and the cultural highlights of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, as well as top luxury resorts in the mountains and along the coast.
The glittering Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) on the grounds of the Grand Palace in Bangkok is considered the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand and is a must-see for the stunning architecture, craftsmanship, and layers of historical and spiritual significance. Artisans of Leisure arranges expert-led private tours of the complex, which […]
Chitwan National Park is Nepal’s premier safari destination and home to one of our favorite luxury hotels in the country, the Meghauli Serai.
Spring is a particularly magical time to visit Japan, one of our favorite destinations. Plum blossoms bring the first blush of spring to Japan in February, followed by the legendary sakura (cherry blossoms), which paint the country pink from the end of March through the beginning of April. Kyoto is wonderful in any season, but there’s […]
A private scenic flight over Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the best ways to experience one of Vietnam’s most breathtaking natural wonders.
Luang Prabang’s quiet charm, local Buddhist traditions and relaxed ambiance make the Laotian city a perfect complement to Southeast Asia’s other top destinations. Artisans of Leisure arranges private, customized tours in Laos and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
Sansou Murata is one of Japan’s most beautiful and unique ryokans, and a must-visit for anyone visiting the island of Kyushu.
Bhutan is a wonderful destination for outstanding natural beauty and vibrant, well-preserved Himalayan culture. Among the many beautiful hotels in Bhutan, perhaps none highlights the country’s scenery like the Uma Punakha. The property’s nine rooms and two villas face the breathtaking Punakha Valley, offering stunning views of the Mo Chhu River and the verdant Himalayan […]
Enjoy these photos from our most recent visit to Nepal, which included the highlights of Kathmandu, the Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara and Chitwan National Park. Artisans of Leisure arranges private, customized luxury Nepal tours.
Artisans of Leisure founder and CEO Ashley Isaacs Ganz is recognized as one of the world’s leading Japan travel experts. Read more about some of her favorite places she visited and experiences she had on her most recent visit to Japan. Q: You used to live in Japan and have traveled extensively throughout the country. […]
It’s a bit of a climb to reach Dambulla Cave Temple, a Buddhist complex atop a monumental rock outcropping in Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle. But the abundance of ornate wall paintings and hand-hewn rock sculptures inside this UNESCO World Heritage Site make the effort worthwhile. According to tradition, King Valagamba (Vattagamini Abhaya) of Anuradhapura built […]
Artisans of Leisure is known for our private culinary tours in Vietnam, and we’re always looking for interesting new food-related activities to offer our travelers in the country. That’s why we’re excited about the new Cooking Academy at Four Seasons The Nam Hai, Vietnam. Want to learn to make traditional Vietnamese dishes like spring rolls, […]
Anyone walking near Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji (a.k.a Victoria) Terminus, the elaborate, UNESCO World Heritage Site Victorian Gothic train station, at midday might wonder who all of those delivery men in white caps are and why they’re sorting metal containers wrapped in colored bags on the sidewalk. The answer is they are dabbawallas, part of the […]
Artisans of Leisure travel specialist, Abbey Chase, recently spent a year traveling around the world—in style. Some of the highlights of her incredible tour included visiting more than 80 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a sunrise hot air balloon ride over Bagan, a helicopter tour of Siem Reap, a private tea ceremony in Kyoto, a river […]
If you’re interested in Japanese pottery, we highly recommend having Artisans of Leisure arrange a private meeting with Robert Yellin. Considered a foremost authority on Japanese yakimono (ceramics), Yellin has lived in Japan since 1984 and has written and lectured extensively both in Japan and abroad. Yellin runs Yakimono Gallery from an early 20th-century teahouse steeped […]
For its impressive scale, beautiful carvings and exemplary Buddhist architecture, Borobudur Temple in Central Java is one of our favorite cultural sights in Indonesia. The largest Buddhist temple in the world, Borobudur is a stone pyramid comprised of nine tiers with 72 stupas clustered around a central stupa on top. Each stupa contains a small […]
It’s hard to imagine the vastness of Xian’s Terracotta Army of Warriors and Horses, one of the most significant archeological excavations in the world, until you see them in person. These warriors were created in 246 B.C. as part of the 20 square mile tomb of Qin Shi Huang Di, the first emperor of the […]
Traditional crafts are an important part of daily life in Nepal. They also offer many great options for travelers wanting to collect beautiful objects that directly relate to Nepalese culture. For those interested in shopping, we arrange visits to exclusive boutiques and studios in Kathmandu and elsewhere to browse for exceptional crafts made by Nepalese […]
One of our favorite destinations for a culinary adventure is Singapore. The blend of cultures—Chinese, Indian, Malay and Peranakan (mixed Chinese, Malay and/or Indonesian)—that come together in this island nation make it a rich source of gastronomic experiences. One of the best places to sample the range of Singaporean specialties is at a hawker center, […]
As anyone who has spent time with elephants knows, these massive creatures have great sensitivity, and they develop close relationships with each other and their mahouts (handlers). A particularly rewarding experience when traveling in Thailand is interacting with elephants as their mahouts do. We arrange many different types of elephant experiences, including mahout training, in […]
Dim sum—the small bites usually served for breakfast or lunch from steaming bamboo baskets piled on rolling carts—is taken very seriously in Hong Kong. You’ll find different types of dim sum restaurants throughout Hong Kong, from crowded holes-in-the-wall, such as Tim Ho Wan in the Kowloon district, to elegant dining rooms with spectacular views, such […]
Colonized by France in the 1880s, Vietnam fell under French influence in many aspects of its culture, including art, architecture, fashion and cuisine. Even after Vietnam attained independence in the 20th century, those influences remained, and they are in evidence still, often in a fusion of Vietnamese and French styles known as Indochine. The French […]
No matter how many temples you’ve seen in Asia, nothing prepares you for the startling, gilded majesty of the temples of Myanmar. Starting in the intricate, immense complex of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, the country’s most sacred place of worship dating back 2,500 years, you’re surrounded by hundreds of statues and stupas. Inside the various […]
Udaipur, a city in Rajasthan, India, has a long history and tradition of beautiful decorative arts. One of the best places to appreciate the many local styles and techniques in Udaipur is at the City Palace. Over the centuries, local maharanas (princes) brought the most skilled craftsmen to decorate the palace with intricate carvings, detailed […]
The very best of Bali and Java in Indonesia, one of our favorite countries for relaxation, culture and luxury.
If you’re visiting Japan, we recommend venturing high into the foothills of Kyoto to visit Kou-an, a glass teahouse by renowned Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka. The clear glass roof, floor and walls of Kou-an teahouse are held together by a thin metal frame, creating a fragile, transparent structure. The teahouse lacks any of the traditional […]
For travelers looking to go off the beaten track in India without sacrificing luxury, Artisans of Leisure can arrange in-depth cultural and nature experiences in Ladakh, a beautiful region in northern India with rugged landscapes, living Buddhist culture and rural villages hemmed in by the high peaks of the Himalaya and Karakoram mountains. This Tibetan-inflected […]
Travelers interested in Japanese history, religion and culture—all surrounded by beautiful rural landscapes—should consider a stay at the new Amanemu. A luxurious hot springs resort, Amanemu is set on hills above the forested islands and oyster farms of Ago Bay in central Honshu, Japan. The resort’s large spa focuses on the traditional Japanese onsen (hot […]
Artisans of Leisure has been on the cutting edge of culinary travel for over a decade. Staffed by a group of in-house foodies, food writers, cooks and culinary travel experts, we continue to expand our culinary tours around the world. With an international network of culinary experts, acclaimed chefs, food historians and writers, Artisans of […]
Artisans of Leisure’s new Culinary Tour of India features private cooking classes in locations throughout India. These hands-on classes are a fun and delicious introduction to Indian cooking, and a great way to learn about Indian food culture and culinary history. Artisans of Leisure travel specialist Stephanie Dosch recently experienced a cooking lesson in Chennai that is included […]
We recently attended a wonderful luncheon in honor of the city of Suzhou, China, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. An ancient city not far from Shanghai, Suzhou is crisscrossed with narrow canals lined with the whitewashed walls and tile roofs of Ming dynasty architecture. Suzhou is most renowned for its traditional […]
Autumn is one of our favorite times to visit Japan. The fall foliage is spectacular, and the seasonal cuisine is exquisite. We recently returned from an incredible trip through Kyoto, Tokyo and Kanazawa during the peak of Japan’s fall foliage season.
The arrival of autumn has us thinking of Pumpkin, Yayoi Kusama’s iconic sculpture on Naoshima, an island in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea that’s one of our favorite destinations in Asia for contemporary art and architecture. The collection of museums and artworks set among the island landscapes and known as Benesse Art Site Naoshima provide many opportunities for […]
Yunnan Province is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich destinations in China. The region, which borders Tibet, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam, is also home to diverse culinary traditions, making it a great destination for travelers interested in culinary touring. Visiting Yunnan in late summer and early autumn provides the opportunity to enjoy Yunnan’s […]
Artisans of Leisure arranges private luxury Sri Lanka tours that feature the best of the country’s incredible culture, nature and luxury.
For travelers interested in decorative arts, the spectacular Juna Mahal (“Old Palace”) in Rajasthan, India is sure to be a highlight of touring in the region. Built in the 13th century for an aristocratic family, the Juna Mahal was expanded over the centuries, finally reaching seven stories. The last residents of the palace moved out […]
Once considered merely a stopover en route to other destinations in Southeast Asia, Singapore has blossomed into a stand-alone highlight of the region thanks to its diverse culture, outstanding cuisine and cutting-edge architecture. In 2015, Singapore celebrates the 50th anniversary of its independence. We recently returned to revisit the many diverse places that make this […]
Enjoying a private dinner with geisha is one of Japan’s most exclusive and most unforgettable experiences. Icons of traditional Japanese culture, geisha and maiko (apprentice geisha) are professional performers who wear extravagant kimono, makeup and hair decorations while entertaining their guests Geisha typically perform in private ochaya (tea houses) that are clustered in historic neighborhoods […]
Seeing pandas is the main reason most of our travelers visit Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, China. However, they are often pleasantly surprised to find that the city offers much more, including an up-and-coming vibe, spicy cuisine, interesting cultural touring and easy access to Lhasa, Tibet. We explored all of these options during our […]
We have just returned from Tokyo, where we visited the new Aman Tokyo. We’re confident the Aman will quickly become one of the best luxury hotels in Japan, and we’re excited to be offering it as an option in our private Japan tours. Conveniently located near Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace, the Aman Tokyo […]
We recently returned from another wonderful trip through Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, a veritable storehouse of traditional Japanese culture, fantastic food, high-quality crafts, historic architecture and beautiful gardens.
Lacquerware is one of our favorite crafts from Japan, where is it known as urushi (lacquer), shikki (lacquerware) or nurimono (coated things). Ishikawa Prefecture is among the most famous of the many regions in Japan where lacquerware is produced. Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa and historically one of the most powerful castle towns in Japan, […]
Bhutan is an ideal destination for travelers wanting to experience very traditional culture and explore beautiful valleys in the foothills of the Himalayas. Read more about highlights of our private Bhutan tours.
We were touched and honored to read this letter from the mother of a family that travels regularly with Artisans of Leisure. We hope you enjoy reading about how traveling together has become such an important part of their lives. As my eldest daughter enters her senior year of high school, with her two sisters not […]
One of the most popular activities that we arrange in Bhutan is private hiking excursions, including day hikes, shorter hikes and scenic walks, and overnight treks. This is a great way to experience the beautiful Himalayan scenery, visit local villages, meet the people, and learn about Bhutanese traditions and beliefs. Artisans of Leisure arrange hikes […]
The spectacular karst formations along the Li River in southern China constitute one of the country’s most iconic landscapes. Mists swirl around the craggy, foliage-covered hills as they rise out of rice paddies and tea plantations, recreating Chinese ink paintings in three dimensions. Artisans of Leisure arranges day cruises on the Li River from the […]
Highlights of our most recent trip through China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Xkan, Guilin, Chengdu, Hong Kong and Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Artisans of Leisure arranges private luxury tours of China and Tibet.
A private day trip to the spectacular terraced rice fields of Longsheng, near Guilin, is one of our favorite excursions in southern China. Longji Titian or “Dragon’s Backbone” is the local name for the undulating mountain landscapes, where the shimmering, water-filled terraces are said to resemble dragon scales. Built over centuries, the rice terraces have […]
We’ve recently introduced a number of exciting new activities in Southeast Asia. All of the experiences—including culinary, active and art options—can be incorporated into our private luxury tours. New Artisans of Leisure experiences in Southeast Asia include: Culinary Touring • Learning to prepare pho (noodle soup) and banh mi (baguette sandwiches) in Vietnam • Taking […]
Our new private Sri Lanka tours are filled with authentic, hands-on experiences that capture the best of the beautiful island country, such as: • Touring a historic tea factory with the resident tea planter • Learning to prepare Sri Lankan curry during a private cooking lesson • Riding elephants at a private sanctuary • Visiting […]
Sri Lanka is a beautiful and welcoming island country in the Indian Ocean. Among its many charms are awe-inspiring ancient monuments, verdant mountains covered in tea plantations, atmospheric colonial-era architecture and abundant native wildlife.
We always enjoy experiencing how different cultures approach the most important meal of the day. Here are a few of our favorites: 1.) Breakfast at a cave hotel in Cappadocia, Turkey We love sitting on the hotel terrace and taking in views of the fantastical rock formations of this beautiful region while eating a classic […]
Cherry blossom season is a wonderful time to be in Japan. Starting around mid-March in most of the country, the pale pink sakura flowers burst open in a shock of color that signals the end of winter and the start of spring. It can be surprising how widespread cherry trees are in Japan until you […]
If you love yoga, or if you have always wanted to try yoga, consider incorporating it into a private tour. Artisans of Leisure can arrange expert-led private yoga sessions in many of our destinations, including a sunrise session among ancient ruins in India, one-on-one lessons at spa retreats in the Himalayas, a beach side yoga […]
Artisans of Leisure clients recently returned from a private luxury tour of India and Bhutan and kindly offered to share their pictures with us. See highlights of their trip, including Udaipur, Jaipur and Jodhpur in India, and Paro, Thimphu and Punakha in Bhutan.
Japan is one of our favorite destinations for viewing spectacular fall foliage. Destinations like Kyoto are truly magical, with the brilliant colors of the momiji (maple) leaves against the backdrop of temples, shrines and Zen gardens. We work with travelers to plan one-of-a-kind private tours in November that coincide with the best of autumn foliage. […]
Highlights from our most recent private tour of Vietnam, including highlights of Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Saigon and the Mekong Delta. Artisans of Leisure arranges private, customized tours of Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia.
The Thanksgiving holiday is an ideal time for a quick overseas getaway with family or friends. It’s also a great way to celebrate the tradition in a creative way. Artisans of Leisure’s private, customized Thanksgiving tours combine in-depth cultural touring with the best of the season, such as fall foliage, special cultural performances and holiday […]
Because Vietnam is such a great foodie destination, one of the most frequent requests we receive is to arrange private cooking lessons during a tour. This popular activity provides an introduction to the local food culture as well as a fun (and delicious!) learning experience. A typical cooking class begins in the market, where you’ll […]
Highlights from a private Myanmar (Burma) tour featuring timeless traditions and the latest developments in Yangon, Bagan, Inle Lake and Ngapali Beach.
We recently caught up with Emeric Harney of Harney & Sons Fine Teas to discuss tea, travel, fashion, food and more. Q: What makes Harney & Sons unique? A: Harney & Sons is a tea company that is committed to making quality tea an everyday luxury. We pride ourselves on providing education on proper tea […]
One of Japan’s most iconic images is the floating torii, a red Shinto gate that rises out of the water of the Seto Inland Sea just off Miyajima Island (near Hiroshima). The gate marks the entrance to beautiful Itsukushima Shrine, a centuries-old UNESCO World Heritage Site noted for its traditional Japanese religious architecture and scenic […]
A visit to Luang Prabang, Laos is incomplete without spending time on the Mekong River. Our favorite way to enjoy this legendary waterway is on a private boat. We especially recommend a private boat excursion to the Pak Ou Caves, about 25 km north of Luang Prabang. Accessible only by boat, these natural caverns house […]
Song Saa is a great option for travelers wanting a Southeast Asian island retreat that’s off the beaten path. Cambodia’s first (and only) luxury island resort sits on a pair of private islands in the Gulf of Thailand among beautiful, untouched nature. In addition to relaxing on the beach and in the spa, Song Saa […]
Tea is an essential part of daily life in China, and learning about the many varieties of tea and the role tea plays in Chinese culture is a highlight for many travelers visiting China. In atmospheric settings ranging from historic tea houses in Shanghai and Hong Kong to tea plantations in Hangzhou, Artisans of Leisure […]
Remote Tibet is a captivating destination where a deeply traditional Buddhist culture thrives amid the rugged beauty of the Himalayas. Once a destination primarily for intrepid travelers, Tibet has become more accessible and comfortable in recent years. In fact, our private Tibet tours feature luxury accommodation at the St. Regis Lhasa with the option of […]
Angkor Wat in Cambodia is a spectacular temple that should be on every cultural traveler’s must-see list. However, many travelers don’t realize that Angkor Wat is just one part of the vast ruins of the ancient Khmer civilization. Covering 77 square miles of the jungle and plains around the town of Siem Reap, the Angkor […]
Seoul is a fascinating city that has too often been overlooked by visitors to Asia. Well-known among business travelers, the capital of South Korea is at last gaining popularity among cultural travelers. Our private South Korea tours feature Seoul as the gateway to the country and as an introduction to Korean history, culture and cuisine. […]
Want to learn to make mozzarella by hand on the Amalfi Coast? How about a private karate lesson in Kyoto? A surfing lesson in Bali? Would you like to paint porcelain in Austria or assist on an archaeological dig in Israel? We offer hundreds of such learning experiences that can be incorporated into our private […]
Enjoy photos of Nepal (Kathmandu, the Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara and Chitwan National Park) and India (Delhi, Varanasi and Panna National Park) in this blog.
Many people with restricted diets or food allergies worry about finding appropriate meals when traveling overseas. Several of our in-house travel experts have food restrictions, so we understand firsthand the challenges. We also know how to overcome them. Artisans of Leisure regularly works with travelers who have food restrictions, including vegetarian, vegan, kosher, gluten-free and […]
Artisans of Leisure travel specialist, Stephanie Dosch, tells us how she has been lucky to be able to combine her twin passions–birding and travel–since she was a child. Q: When and how did you become interested in birding? A: My mom has been birding forever, and she would take me along with her when I […]
Artisans of Leisure travelers recently returned from an incredible private tour of China and have shared photos of highlights of their trip, including favorite destinations such as Beijing, the Great Wall, Shanghai and Guilin.
Your son likes castles, your daughter likes shopping, your husband likes history, and you like art–how can you make sure that family vacations please everyone? Artisans of Leisure specializes in one-of-a-kind, private, customized family tours that feature a world of engaging experiences sure to satisfy families of all sizes, ages and interests. Here are a […]
Highlights of the incredible cultural and culinary experiences we arrange on our private luxury tours of Japan.
Many travelers on Artisans of Leisure tours like to shop for items that are unique to the destinations they are visiting. Myanmar, a.k.a. Burma, is one of the best places in Southeast Asia to find high-quality crafts, decorative items, and traditional objects that are used for everyday use. We are particularly fond of Burmese lacquerware, […]
October and November are two of the best months to travel in many of our destinations—the crowds are gone and the weather is often ideal. If you are considering booking an overseas getaway during the next several months, here are a few of our travel specialists’ top picks for autumn trips. MOROCCO Autumn is a […]
Highlights from an incredible private China tour, including Shanghai, Xitang, Hangzhou, Beijing and Hong Kong.
Hanoi is one of our favorite food destinations. We love exploring the city’s Old Quarter and enjoying traditional Hanoi pastimes such as stopping for strong Vietnamese iced coffee at fashionable cafes, tasting local specialties such as flavorful grilled fish at Cha Ca La Vong, and wandering the backstreets to see baskets overflowing with spices, specialty […]
An endlessly fascinating spectacle of ritual activity unfolds daily in Varanasi (Benares), one of the most sacred places in Hinduism and one of the oldest cities in the world.
Read about our most recent private tour of Laos, including visiting the best of Luang Prabang and Vientiane. Artisans of Leisure customizes private tours throughout Southeast Asia.
Part of what makes Laos such a unique destination is its cuisine. Travelers can expect to enjoy typical Lao dishes such as Mekong river fish steamed in banana leaves with ginger and coriander; laap, a spicy dish of minced meat or fish marinated with spices and herbs, such as mint; and Luang Prabang Salad, a […]
Artisans of Leisure travelers share photos of highlights of their private luxury tour of Vietnam and Cambodia, including the Mekong Delta, Hue Angkor Wat and Lake Tonle Sap.
For centuries, Hangzhou has been regarded as one of China’s most beautiful and relaxing destinations. The region’s charms—scenic West Lake, ancient Buddhist temples, and abundant tea plantations—have changed little since Hangzhou was the imperial capital of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). The emperors may be long gone, but a luxurious lifestyle remains. The Fuchun Resort—one […]
The Nam Hai is the best luxury resort in Vietnam and is a must for anyone in search of luxury, relaxation (beach and spa time), and plenty of activities (including some of Vietnam’s best cultural touring). The resort is located on a beautiful white-sand beach in Central Vietnam. Guests at the Nam Hai stay in […]
Luang Prabang is a wonderful place to experience the rhythms of a traditional Buddhist culture. The atmospheric town in northern Laos sits on the banks of the slow-moving Mekong River, and traditional wooden houses, French colonial architecture, abundant palm trees, and a lack of high-rise buildings give it a low-key, unspoiled charm. Dozens of modest […]
Artisans of Leisure is well known for our private culinary tours in destinations around the world. We hope you enjoy this interview with one of our culinary travel experts. Q: How does food influence how you travel? A: Basically, I travel to eat. Quite often I plan my touring around a certain restaurant I want […]
The tea ceremony is one of Japan’s most interesting and enduring artistic traditions. More than a ritual for preparing and drinking tea, the tea ceremony is a means to aesthetic appreciation and social interaction that has had a profound influence on Japanese art, architecture, gardens, cuisine and philosophy. What happens during a traditional Japanese tea […]
It’s not everyday that you have a chance to talk to an elephant, let alone that you get a response. Yet that’s just what we offer our travelers during a private, hands-on day of working with and riding domestic elephants in the forests of northern Thailand. During this special activity, our travelers visit a private […]
Our travel experts have created a list of our Top 5 favorite romantic destinations–these locations are perfect for honeymooners or anyone seeking a special romantic getaway. 1.) Morocco Our favorite way to experience the most luxurious and romantic side of Morocco is to stay in Marrakesh for several days at luxury resort such as the […]
We recently caught up with David Elliott, the British-born, globetrotting curator. A major tastemaker in the contemporary art world, Elliott has been the director at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan and at the Istanbul Modern in Turkey, helping introduce a fresh approach to contemporary art in both cities. Elliott’s current post is artistic […]
Many travelers visiting China often ask us how they can add on a few days at a luxury beach resort after their cultural touring in mainland China. There are several recommended options nearby. For an extraordinarily luxurious and spectacular beach experience, we recommend the Amanpulo resort, located on a private island in the Philippines. A stay at Amanpulo can […]
Photos from one of our clients from her private Artisans of Leisure culinary tour of Vietnam, including the highlights of Hanoi, Halong Bay and Hoi An.
Kyoto’s abundant traditional Japanese architecture is one of the most noticeable and impressive characteristics of the city. The opportunity to get inside these traditional buildings–including private homes and merchant’s houses, known as kyo-machiya–is a rare and fascinating experience in Japanese culture.
I grew up in Bangkok as a little girl and I’m always amazed at how much the city changes every time I return. Even with the constant modern expansion, it’s always possible to find the city’s deeply traditional culture, customs, and hidden cultural gems if you know where to look. Whenever I return, I enjoy […]
The founder of Artisans of Leisure, Ashley Isaacs Ganz, recently met up with cookbook writer and Asian food expert Corinne Trang. Ashley assisted Corinne with her extensive travels and culinary arrangements in Asia when Corinne was doing research for her acclaimed cookbook Essentials of Asian Cuisine. Q: You started your food career at Saveur Magazine […]
One of the highlights we arrange for our travelers visiting the Kingdom of Bhutan is seeing an archery competition. The Bhutanese are very passionate about their national sport, and almost every village has their own archery range with multi-day competitions taking place throughout the year. In Bhutan, archery competitions are lively and colorful events, filled […]
We recently met up with Robyn Bickford at the Amanbagh, one of our preferred luxury resorts in Rajasthan, India. She and her husband, Manav, are the renowned general managers of this exquisite property. Q: We love the Amanbagh and always try to include it in the tours we design for our clients visiting India. What […]
We highly recommend spending several days touring Nepal, in the Himalayas, when visiting nearby countries such as India or Bhutan. Many of the flights from India to Bhutan make stops in Nepal, making it an ideal time to spend a few days en route. We love the relaxed feel of Kathmandu and the beautiful valleys […]
Kyoto is one of our favorite destinations in Japan, and the relatively new Hyatt Regency Kyoto is the hotel that best captures the city’s refined aesthetic, perfected hospitality and service, and incredible cuisine. The hotel is truly a work of art. Designed by Takashi Sugimoto of Asia’s renowned Super Potato design firm, the hotel features several Japanese […]
Many travelers ask us to incorporate people, places and activities of Jewish significance when they are traveling internationally with us. We can incorporate Jewish touring into any of our tours around the world, from Sydney to Shanghai and most places in between. Many travelers simply want us to incorporate some Jewish-related sightseeing in Europe, Asia, […]
Lombok has been one of our favorite cultural travel destinations for quite some time. Easily accessed by hydrofoil or plane from the neighboring island of Bali, Lombok offers deeply traditional culture and pristine beauty: a volcano, beautiful beaches, excellent diving and snorkeling, waterfalls, and lush terraced rice fields. Our private tours of Lombok include a […]
A highlight of Tokyo is experiencing the non-stop action, the neon, the pop-culture, cutting-edge design, and the crowds. But we also love taking our travelers to quiet sections of Tokyo that are filled with traditional Japanese shops, Edo-era wooden buildings, Buddhist temples, and other historic sites that escaped the WWII bombing One of our favorite places is […]
India is one of the best destinations for philanthropic travel, and many travelers ask us how they can contribute to local communities while touring India. It is very easy for us to incorporate philanthropic experiences into any of our private India tours–these experiences make travel in India that much more meaningful, and we consistently hear […]
Tokyo is one of the best places in the world to see modern and contemporary architecture. Aoyama, Harajuku, Roppongi, Ginza and other neighborhoods are filled with important buildings by some of the world’s leading architects, including SANAA, Herzog & de Meuron, Tadao Ando, Le Corbusier, Kenzo Tange, Rafael Vinoly, Renzo Piano, Toyo Ito, Fumihiko Maki, […]
We arrange a lot of very interesting tours in and around Hong Kong. One of our favorite excursions is to Sha Tin, one of the New Territories, to visit the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. The monastery is situated on a high hill and is accessible only by foot, so travelers need to be in relatively […]
Many of our China tours include an overnight stay in Xian, one of the four great ancient capitals of China and the terminus of the ancient Spice Route. While the main draw for travelers to Xian is the incredible Terracotta Warriors, there are other compelling reasons to visit—most notably the food! Xian is known for […]
Until you see Agra’s Taj Mahal in person, it’s hard to imagine how impossibly beautiful a building can be. The classic images we know of this iconic structure seem to convey a stark white marble exterior, but upon closer examination you can see that the Taj Mahal is actually adorned with colorful inlaid semi-precious stones in intricate […]
John is one of the travel experts based in our New York City office. He’s passionate about art and architecture, and helps design our tours around the world. Q: What are your favorite travel destinations? A: Each destination is fascinating in its own way, and I love exploring new places and discovering what’s distinctive about them—local […]
Many of our travelers like to complement cultural touring with soft adventure activities. The following tours in Asia, South America, the Himalayas, the South Pacific and Africa have just the right balance of soft-adventure and culture—and they all include private touring and the best luxury hotels in the world. 1). Journey Through Morocco A highlight […]
For repeat travelers to China, or for those who enjoy more off-the-beaten-track cultural travel, I often recommend Zhongdian (“Shangri-La” or “Gyalthang”) in Yunnan Province. Zhongdian is located near the Tibetan border and is populated by ethnic Tibetans, so the food, architecture and culture are Tibetan, and quite different from what travelers experience in the rest […]
We love to introduce our travelers to the special people we know around the world. It makes the travel experience so much richer, and is a great way to get an insider’s view of the local culture and people. One such person is our good friend, Ann (pictured above), who lives in Inle Lake, a beautiful […]
Artisans of Leisure has developed a real following with honeymooners who want our expertise when planning their unique, totally customized, once-in-a-lifetime honeymoons. We asked our travel specialists for their tips: Q: What advice do you give honeymooners? A: Don’t try to do too much (or too little)! We find the best honeymoons have a perfect balance of […]
A seafood kaiseki meal is a must when visiting the Ise Peninsula in Japan—it is among the freshest available. Japan is known for seafood and its many preparations, ranging from such dishes as octopus tempura to the infamous blowfish sashimi. A multi-course kaiseki meal is one of the best ways to experience a variety of […]
Something I like to do when I travel is try the local version of a traditional British afternoon tea. Usually this is found in countries that have a history of British occupation, but not always. One of my favorite versions is at The Peninsula in Hong Kong. Held in the hotel’s elegant lobby, the menu […]
Artisans of Leisure travelers visiting Southeast Asia—especially Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia—take luxurious, flexible tours that are focused on the cultural highlights of the region (including the ruins of Angkor, markets, temples, elephant camps, historic sites, art and cuisine). More and more travelers are asking us to incorporate philanthropic experiences into their private Asia tours. The most popular […]
Most of our China tours include a private day tour from Beijing to the Great Wall of China. During that excursion, we typically include a stop for lunch at Commune by the Great Wall, a hotel complex that includes villas designed by some of Asia’s leading contemporary architects. For travelers who have the time, we […]
When in Delhi, we always recommend making the time to visit the Lodhi Gardens. A favorite of affluent residents in New Delhi, the gardens are a peaceful oasis and a favorite spot to do yoga, have a picnic lunch, or read a book. There are incredible 15th century ruins scattered throughout the gardens. Our private […]
The Amanbagh resort in Rajasthan has its own lentil artist, and he is seen here making a tiger out of different colored lentils for the New Year’s celebration in the resort’s courtyard. Such tedious work considering that someone inevitably walks through it! Every day at Amanbagh I saw something like this that I hadn’t noticed […]
Many of our tours include Benesse Art Site on Naoshima Island, and one of the activities we arrange from there is a private excursion to nearby Takamatsu on the island of Shikoku. The excursion can be done in just half a day and is recommended for anyone interested in Japanese art and culture. We arrange […]
The first thing I want to do whenever I arrive in Thailand is to have a traditional Thai massage. There is no better way to work out the kinks and re-energize the body after a long international flight. Nad pan borarn, as it is called in Thailand, has been practiced by monks for over 2,500 […]
Nadesar Palace is our favorite place to stay in the holy city of Varanasi, a top cultural destination in India.
Whenever we travel, we like to experience a spa treatment that is unique to that country. In the case of the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, that’s the hot stone bath. Baths have been an important part of Bhutanese family life and traditional medicine for centuries. The bath itself is typically made of wood and constructed […]
Read about our most recent private tour of Bhutan, the deeply traditional Himalayan kingdom known for spectacular landscapes, rich Buddhist culture and the philosophy of Gross National Happiness.
Highlights from an Artisans of Leisure traveler’s private Japan tour, including Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Himeji Castle and Hakone.
Highlights from our most recent tour of India, including the best of Agra and the Taj Mahal, Varanasi, Delhi, Kerala, Mumbai and Udaipur.