‘The Black Pool’ is a 40 metre, 40℃ infinity pool that is arguably the highlight of the stunning Botanical Pool Club, near Chiba, Tokyo.
It’s amazing that a place like this could even exist in Tokyo, comprising of 21 rooms, a bunch of swimming pools and a jungle-inspired sauna stretching out over some considerable space.
Tokyo is a city of vastly variable climate, and so this is a place to come whether it’s a desert oasis or warming up you’re requiring.
It is so at odds with the Tokyo we all know and love, in fact, that we at get lost think it’s a masterstroke. A refuge from the chaotic, beeping energy, leaving you with more energy to charge this city’s weird beauty during the day and at night.
Glamprook Hotel is a strange patchwork of things that shouldn’t really work together and yet inexplicably absolutely do.
Take the glamping domes for example, where ‘camping’ is made to feel super luxurious thanks to some incredibly comfy beds and armchairs made for kicking back and gazing at the starry night skies next to a roaring (if fake) fire.
get lost has never had access to an onsen while camping before, but we’re going to demand it from now on. Soaking, completely starkers, with people you’ve never met before, is a lot more relaxing than it sounds.
Then there’s the 10-course dinner, which is actually quite a tidy menu length for Japan. We’re not sure what cuisine to call this: traditional sashimi matched with pasta matched with an outrageous sorbet-honeycomb-brownie thing for dessert. The only common thread between the dishes is that they’re all super colourful, in complete contrast to the snow that falls here in the winter. None of this should work, but it does.
The brand new Anantara Koh Yao Yai Resort & Villas sits on a lush island in the middle of Phang Nga Bay, where limestone islets dot the horizon in every direction. Unfolding over a kilometre of golden beach, this is a luxury resort in every sense. But while the word ‘resort’ usually associates with sitting by a pool all day drinking cocktails (which you’re welcome to do, mind you) there is so much experiential goodness to soak up at Koh Yao Yai that you may not spend much time on the banana lounge.
Dive enthusiasts will love the abundance of underwater life. Venture off the beaten track to tranquil Hong Island to discover a small white sandy beach with a crystal-clear lagoon – our recommendation is to trek up 400 steps to a phenomenal 360-degree viewpoint.
Drift along mangrove canals in a kayak as eagles soar above. Take a boat out to a natural sand bank for a twilight candlelit dinner, or go for a vintage sidecar experience in a motorbike dashing through a rubber plantation.
There were already plenty of reasons to go to this part of the world; looks like there’s one more.
THAILAND IS KNOWN AS THE ‘LAND OF SMILES’ FOR GOOD REASON. LIFE HERE IS JOYOUS; IT’S GRINS GALORE.
And you know what else makes us grin? Unearthing super genuine cultural experiences and avoiding hordes of tourists. Luckily, you can do both here in Thailand.
This is the ultimate bucket list for any traveller who wants max culture and zero crowds on their next trip to the Land of Smiles with Singapore Airlines:
Buzzing and larger-than-life, Thailand’s capital city is a beautiful, extraordinary blend of the ancient and contemporary, modern skyscrapers and golden temples.
Whether you want to soak in the traditional culture at the Grand Palace or explore the exciting street food scene, Bangkok will always surprise and never disappoint.
FOR MAX CULTURE PAK KHLONG TALAT FLOWER MARKET
Did you know Bangkok is home to one of the world’s largest 24-hour flower markets? Now you do.
For travellers, this market is the ultimate in people-watching and flower-buying. At its busiest early in the morning, Pak Khlong Talat is packed with locals buying and selling the prettiest bunches. It’s a colourful, slightly chaotic dance of cut roses and dried carnations, garlands of marigold and the scent of jasmine. Why not buy a bunch to adorn your altar / bedroom at home?
Looking for an eco-friendly escape, or super spot for remote working, in the middle of Bangkok? That’s right, Bangkok Tree House is a breath of fresh air located in the tropical treetops of Bang Krachao Island.
If you’re a vista-lover, the View with a Room is pure paradise: an open-air bamboo villa set seven metres above the ground. During the day borrow a bike (they’re free) and explore the nearby jungle, waterways and temples. On your return, take a dip in the natural swimming pond then head to the 24-hour ice-cream bar for a cool treat.
Jump on a MovMi electric tuk tuk for a seamless city experience.
Tuk tuk go!
FOR MAX CULTURE WAT PHO’S RECLINING BUDDHA
Wat Pho is considered a Bangkok must-see for good reason.
Located in the Phra Nakhon District, Wat Pho is on Rattanakosin Island, directly south of the Grand Palace. It’s one the oldest and largest temples in the city and the star attraction is the Reclining Buddha. This majestic golden monument is the largest in Thailand, measuring more than 45-metres in length. Impressive!
Beat the foodie crowd by signing up to a bona fide private cooking class to learn pad thai secrets from a local.
Thai food is internationally renowned for good reason: it’s flavourful and fresh; available at street stalls or the bougiest fine dining restaurants. A family-run cooking class from the legends at Courageous Kitchen also supports local causes. Win-win!
As Thailand’s biggest island, and a certified tropical utopia, Phuket is home to a smorgasbord of lush experiences, beautiful destinations and culture to boot.
With incredible views to the Andaman Sea, Phuket offers up rest, relaxation, adventure and nightlife, depending on what type of holiday you’re vibing.
Click play to watch
FOR MAX CULTURE KOH PANYI FLOATING VILLAGE
We get it: it’s hard to pass up catchin’ rays at pristine Phuket beaches, like Patong and Freedom. But Koh Panyi floating village is offbeat and worth the trip, trust us.
Situated just off the coast of Phuket, Koh Panyi is made up of stilted houses (and a soccer pitch!) built over water, which look as if they’re floating. The houses might appear precarious, but they’re not—this village dates back to the 18th century. So they know how to build a floating house or 20.
Ko Phi Phi is beautiful, and yes, Leonardo Di Caprio has indeed set foot on those sands, which makes it a worthwhile addition to any Thailand itinerary. BUT! If you’re looking to escape the crowds, Koh Yao Yai is where it’s at.
The perk of not being featured in a major Hollywood blockbuster means this island is quite often deserted, even during peak season. The other perk? This secret stretch of sand is only a 30-minute ferry ride from Phuket mainland. The other other perk? Relaxing by the beach, drinking coconut water and working remotely from paradise. This is not a drill, this is a Thai reality.
Pack a scarf and long skirt / pants for entering any temple or sacred space.
Respect is everything!
FOR MAX CULTURE PHUKET OLD TOWN
Beautiful architecture, exceptional museums and a thriving night market, Phuket’s Old Town is a perfect introduction to the cultural scene.
Even better? It’s tucked away from the super touristy part of town. This is old world charm, steeped in heritage and perfect for exploring on foot. Especially beautiful is Soi Rommannee with its super colourful buildings and first-class cafes.
Feeling adventurous? Jumping in a kayak and exploring the gorgeous coastline is a crowd-free no brainer.
Jump on a tour with a local guide that specialises in intimate group sizes, and paddle your heart out! Keep an eye out for epic limestone cliffs and James Bond-ish sea caves. Make sure to bring a waterproof camera because a day on the sea will never be so photogenic.
Rhythm flows through Soulshine, as if its owner is a musician or something.
But wait, this just in: its owner is a musician! Chill crooner Michael Franti and his wife Sara (a former ER nurse) have turned their considerable talents (a combo of creativity and calmness) toward Soulshine, a one-of-its-kind wellness and sound retreat.
This stunning, but laidback, Balinese resort is surrounded by rice terraces and ancient temples, and features three swimming pools, one waterslide, three Panorama Penthouse Suites, several yoga spaces and two restaurants. It’s the kind of place that’s a bit ‘ooh la la’ but being barefoot is totally acceptable (probably even encouraged).
Terazzo tubs and record players are in each room, the cocktails are abundant—as are coconut trees and sunshine—and the dancing is non-stop. What a vibe.
We love a private island here at get lost. And Song Saa is up there at the very, very top. Best part? The hullabaloo of Phnom Penh (and your regular life) feel a world away when at Song Saa.
This resort takes the average overwater bungalow and turns the dial up a notch (or seven). The thatched-roof huts seem humble from the outside, but inside they’re packed with luxury.
Think cushy day beds, indoor and outdoor showers, and private pools. Plus you’ve got that south-east Asian cuisine to feast on, and the knowledge that you’re contributing to a hotel that invests majorly into nearby rainforest and mangrove regeneration.
Mull that over while you’re floating in your choice of luxe body of water.
From AU$900 per night. Click and OMG THIS IS MY FAVOURITE SONG
Dryft certainly has Fast and Furious connotations, conjuring images of Vin Diesel flying around corners in fast cars. But the reality couldn’t be more different.
Dryft is a bed of tranquillity—a getaway of palm trees and purity, without internet and without worry. It is a group of glamping tents on the tiny (almost deserted) Darocotan Island, a 15-minute boat ride from the village of Teneguiban on Palawan Island.
And while glamping is the term, this is something different. They’re sort of elegant treehouses, the kind of accommodation you dream about from your desk on a Tuesday arvo.
This is a glorious part of the world, and when you are in such a glorious location, the best place is the one with the least number of barriers to nature. Dryft is exactly that.
A Venn diagram, with Japanese food as a circle on one side and trains on the other, and you’re in the crossover in the middle.
We’ve tried to simplify this complex, intricate relationship in the diagram below:
The Rokumon is the crossover; a classic style of Japanese train that travels from the quaint city of Karuizawa to Nagano City, a total of two hours, and serves genuinely mouth-watering fare – easily the best food get lost has ever had on a train.
The train is stunning, and there’s a big local vibe coursing through the carriages. For instance, it utilizes timber sourced locally and classic Japanese furnishings which give a luxurious, exclusive feeling, whichever of the three classes you’re in.
It serves local beers, and gets it’s wines from the Nagano area too; it doesn’t get much better than drinking a wine in your own private little booth as you amble past the vineyards where the grapes in that wine were grown.
But then they bring out the food, and it does get better! In an 11 (11!) course meal, get lost were served things like tateshina pork and Shinshu mushrooms, paprika mousse and Shinshu salmon, roast beef, plus a fruit compote which we genuinely think we could get addicted to.
If you’re travelling from Kariuzawa to Nagano, the Tasty Train is the only way to do it.
One of the many underrated things about Bali is it’s food, and brand new opening Tickled Pink has only added to that.
The Melbourne-born café juggernaut has brought its “good food, good drinks and good vibes” ethos with it to Canggu, serving up a western-fusion menu that incorporates the best of two food-loving locations.
It’s like a little slice of Melbourne in another country. Craving a good coffee? Say no more fam.
“Indonesia is a beautiful country with a rich culture, and we’re thrilled to be able to bring Melbourne’s unique epicurean culture, especially its coffee, to this stunning island,” said Rashid Alshak co-founder of Tickled Pink. “Our fusion of these two hospitality worlds will deliver a unique experience for tourists and the local community.”
There’s outdoor seating overlooking a typically tranquil rice field landscape, and private cabanas by a pool. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and at night, the vibes are super chill, offering a super chill atmosphere at night. It’s the perfect place to relax on a night in between nights at Potato Head or Finns, or at the end of a bender.