The Rise of Experiential Travel
Travel is about seeking unique and memorable experiences. But no longer satisfied with the same old tourist trails, many of us are looking to expand our horizons, venture on more unusual paths and meet and connect with local cultures and people. Enter experiential travel. Rather than just sightseeing, it’s a way to authentically immerse oneself in a destination and develop a deeper understanding of its culture. If you’re looking to embark on an experiential travel adventure, The Pavilions Hotels recommends Mongolia and Nepal, our top destinations for an experiential getaway.
The chance to connect with one of the world’s last nomadic cultures and travel to one of Earth’s final frontiers is what makes Mongolia an ideal experiential travel destination. Its residents are keen to preserve their culture and heritage that is closely tied to their history and the land, and share it with inquisitive visitors looking to get a real insight into the country.
An Adventure Camp on the Steppe
From June to September each year, The Pavilions Mongolia brings luxury and comfort to the steppe. Mongke Tengri is a seasonal pop-up summer camp, created by visionaries at The Genghis Khan Polo Club. Located within Mongolia’s Orkhon National Park, the camp is 200 miles west of Ulaanbaatar and far from the tourist trails. Guests stay in a traditional Mongolian Ger, updated with modern luxuries in the heart of the grasslands, and have the chance to become one with the nomadic lifestyle and learn about the ancient empires that have formed out of this vast steppe.
What can you Experience?
With the opportunity to soak up relaxation, culture, nature, and adventure, there’s something for everyone, making the camp a truly appealing getaway for families. Mongolian culture is inextricably tied to horses, and kids and adults can experience horseback riding lessons given by expert instructors and even polo lessons – a sport Genghis Khan supposedly used to train his Mongolian warriors. For nature lovers, there’s kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing and trekking expeditions. And when it’s time to relax, adventure comes with comfort, amenities and indulgences; there’s an on-site yoga instructor and a spa with Ayurvedic and traditional Mongol hot-stone massages from the resident shaman. In the evenings, there’s a chance to gather around the fire and share Mongol food culture with specialities like goat bodok, and immerse yourself in other facets of traditional culture like displays of archery and wrestling.
Mongolia offers the trip of a lifetime and the chance to not only experience one of the world’s most stunning landscapes, but a culture from centuries past that can be experienced in no other part of the world.
The Roof of the World is known as a country where spirituality and everyday life are closely entwined. Searching spirituality, on a pilgrimage, or simply seeking to explore a rich culture, tradition and history, Nepal is a place you can become one with the mighty Himalayas.
An Organic Farm in the Heart of the Himalayas
In a remote valley near the picturesque Phewa Lake, Pokhara, you won’t find any “tourist attractions”. This is the unique setting of The Pavilions Himalayas and the site of a working organic farm – the perfect place to experience Nepal’s culture, adventure, tranquillity and spirituality. Understanding the environmental heritage of Nepal, The Pavilions Himalayas combines top-tier services and amenities with its status as a sustainable and eco-friendly luxury resort.
What can you Experience?
Thanks to its unique location, the resort offers an eclectic mix of nature, adventure, culture, tradition and gastronomy. A short two-minutes’ walk to the organic farm and guests can discover the animals and crops responsible for providing 90% of the food at the resort. There’s the chance to immerse yourself in the old-world charm of surrounding villages that care for the land and animals and get a taste and some of the traditional ways of life, from buffalo herding to cow milking. With on-site cooking classes a journey to discover authentic Nepali flavours awaits, from mastering momo making (dumplings) to Buff Curry to the delights of kheer (a rice pudding dessert).
The hills surrounding the resort offer superb mountain views and opportunities for romantic walks. For those looking for something more rigorous, there’s the chance to go trekking to the ancient monasteries, shrines and stupas of the valley. On excursions, Pavilions can arrange unique cultural exchanges, including a private meeting and blessing with one of the monks. The resort’s close connection to local culture and resources means it offers access for guests to meet with a Nepalese soul healer and gain first-hand experience of the practice of local shamans, from aligning your energy flow to adjusting your internal balance.
Nepal offers the chance to grow as you travel, acquiring new knowledge of this unique culture, its ecosystem, its traditions and heritage – the perfect place to reconnect with yourself, nature or your travel companion.
Have you visited an experiential travel destination? What are your favourite ways to connect with the local people and cultures of a place?