In Featured Posts, Gallivanting the Globe

WHAT DOES ‘EXOTIC’ MEAN TO YOU?

Dubai

However You Define it, Exotic Voyages Stretch Our Understanding of the World

Exotic. Adjective [ig-zot-ik] – of foreign origin or character; strikingly unusual in effect or appearance.

At Crystal, we like definitions like this, those that leave plenty of room for individual interpretation. The kind of words and concepts with subjectivity that allows every traveler to define their own experience (*see also the entire philosophy behind our “Where Luxury is Personal” credo). As we focus this subjectivity to the concept of exotic voyages, a world of possibilities opens. Here are some of the most intriguing exotic journeys you can take in 2020, and the highlights that make them so…

Shanghai - Yuyuan Garden at dusk
Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai

The “Sparkling Cities of Northern Asia – From the West to the Far East, there are perhaps no more clearly stark contrasts than those found in China, Japan and Taiwan. Deeply rooted Confucian ethos in Taiwan, flotillas of traditional sampans (fishing boats) along the Huangpu River in Shanghai and an imperial history that dates back millennia all illustrate the vibrantly distinct culture of the region.

Elephanta Caves
Elephanta Caves UNESCO-listed architecture in Mumbai, India

Empires of Past & Present – Sometimes, exotic does not refer to a sense of place, but rather a sense of time. The destinations on this voyage boast histories that stretch thousands of years back, some lost, then found again, all still influencing modern life. Petra’s carved sandstone facades tell tales of trade routes through the desert, Salalah was already a hub of frankincense when Marco Polo visited in the 13th century, and Cyprus played prominent roles in Biblical events. From the UNESCO treasures of Mumbai and Siracusa to the power of Rome, this itinerary is an exotic trip through time.

Dubai’s night sky is illuminated with thousands of sparkling fireworks.

The “Dubai Holiday Extravaganza – In the Sultanate of Oman, you’ll find both traditional Dhow sailing boats transiting the fishing villages, as well as a blend of Arab, European, Indian and African influences on art and architecture. By contrast, an extensive, authentic African safari experience can be found on Sir Bani Yas Island, where the Arabian Wildlife Park houses thousands of free-roaming animals and rugged outdoor adventures – almost an exotic destination within another. Of course, one of the Arabian Gulf’s most dynamic examples of exotic lifestyle is Dubai, a modern marvel with an ancient past, filled with record-setting skyscrapers and colorfully traditional souks, and hosting one of the world’s most spectacular New Year’s Eve celebrations on this journey.

Komodo Island
The lush jungles along the coast of Komodo Island, Indonesia

Borneo, Philippines & Indonesian Quest – For those who conjure images of tropical paradise, brilliant waters and sand rimmed with palm trees when they imagine “exotic” places, this is it. Throw in a side of uniquely blended culture and history and you’ve again redefined the term. The Philippines’ Hundred Island National Park is an emerald-green collection of islets surrounded by reefs. By contrast, capital city Manila is a towering paragon of progress and modernization that still proudly sports its colorful past, Spanish influence and Southeast Asian heart. In Sandakan, Borneo, actual jungles replace the urban kind found throughout the western world, with elephants meandering along riverbanks, proboscis monkeys and orangutans perched in treetops, and wild wetlands ruling the terrain.  

What “exotic” region of the world has always topped your travel list? This is the time to book your exotic voyages, with Book Now Savings offering the best fares on a world of voyages.

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