Our top 5 secret destinations
We offer unique holiday experiences which are off the beaten track. All our trips are individually designed to get you up close and personal in some pretty amazing parts of the globe. However, there are some destinations that are even more extraordinary – hidden gems in Mongolia, Bhutan and Burma. These are our secret places.
There is a fine line to tread between inviting visitors in possibly breaking the ‘magic spell’, and the potential benefit that tourism may bring to struggling communities. We are sensitive to that debate and so these secret places are not on our published itineraries – they are available only by request on our bespoke trips. They are not easily accessible and so the sometimes arduous journey to reach them becomes part of the adventure. So, sshhh… keep them under your (explorer’s) hat.
1. Rukha, Bhutan
After 8 hours of walking in the Jigme Dorje Wangchuk National Park in Bhutan, one breaks through the heavily forested canopy to see the tiny village of Rukha ahead, nestled in the trees. The people who live here are animists and speak their own dialect. It is extraordinarily beautiful. Practice archery with the locals, forage for wild food and medicines in the woods and delight in the abundance of rare birds and butterflies….
2. Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar
The Mergui Archipelago comprises more than 800 pristine islands dotted throughout the Andaman Sea off the Burmese coast, where the Moken, a sea-bound nomadic people live. The islands and surrounding seas are alive with an amazing diversity of flora and fauna, marine life and beautiful underwater scenes. It is the perfect destination for diving, snorkeling, sea kayaking, fishing and nature research, as well as bird watching, short trekking and jungle safari. Read more about sailing a super-yacht around these islands.
3. Mongolian family stay experience
One nomadic family which PJ have established a close friendship with in Mongolia, live in a little oasis of peace in the eastern Mongolian aimag of Khentii. Depending on the time of year – ground conditions and weather – it takes two and a half hours to reach by 4×4 from central UB. Alternatively we can arrange for you to ride there from the Chingghis Khan Monument. The family stay offers guests the opportunity to experience nomadic life first-hand. Help with the animals, milk the goats, round up the horses, learn to cook traditional dumplings and in the winter enjoy dog-sledding or ice bowls.
4. Putao, Myanmar
Trekking in the region of Putao in the far north of Burma’s Kachin state involves traversing some rickety rope bridges, but it is worth it. Visit the different tribal people who inhabit the remote villages in this mountainous area on the border with Tibet. It is also home to tigers and you may be lucky enough to catch some… in a camera trap! Rich in wildlife of all kinds, it is also an orchid-lovers paradise. *
5. Zavkhan, Mongolia
The location for the Moreton’s Mongolian summer holiday this year, Zavkhan aimag is about an hour and forty minutes flight from UB in the west of the country. There are countless opportunities for some real outward-bound activities here – river rafting and kayaking, horseriding, fishing and messing about in sand dunes. This is the land of the nomads, so visiting local people and experiencing their way of life is a must. And the landscape will take your breath away…