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4 Reasons to Travel in April


Set up camp in Mongolia, go beekeeping in Tasmania, eat your way through Southeast Asia's biggest food fest, and more. Here are 4 reasons to pack your bags and head out of town this month.

Published on Mar 28, 2019

Earn major parental cred by setting this year’s summer camp in the Mongolian wilderness.


Polo on horseback in the Orkhon Valley at The Pavilions Mongolia.

Horseback riding? Tick. Archery? Tick. Sleeping in tents? Tick—well, luxury gers, but this camp will still put you and your family well and truly into the wild. Perched on a hill overlooking the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape, a unescoprotected site at the foot of the Central Mongolian Khangai range, these hand-painted yurts at The Pavilions Mongolia make a wild locale for summer camp. Guests of all ages can channel their inner Genghis Khan with activities such as archery, horseback riding and polo, kayaking along the river, and trekking through sweeping grasslands, plus singing, music and art lessons. If mom and dad need a mindful break, in-house nannies can tag in while parents take up daily yoga, Mongolian massages, or even traditional healing rituals with the resident shaman. At dinnertime, lively family-style feasts will showcase the area’s locally sourced ingredients, and guests can try traditional hand-pulled noodles, homemade breads, grilled meats and freshly caught fish of the day—a world away from sloppy joes and chicken nuggets. pavilionshotels.com; summer camp available June 15–September 19; all-inclusive from US$600 per night, per adult; US$350 per night, for children aged seven to 18 years; US$150 per night, for children aged three to seven; kids under three are free. — ELOISE BASUKI

 

These edible golfing grounds in Central Vietnam are groomed by a family of water buffalo.


Natural landscapes at Laguna Lang Co’s rice-field golf course.

Tee time at Laguna Lang Co doesn’t just mean hitting the integrated resort’s 18-hole, Nick Faldo–designed golf course, but also lunch hour for the area’s resident family of buffalo: father Tu Phat, mother Chi Chi and their calf, Bao, who tend to four hectares of rice fields located right in the middle of the greens. The bovine trio was introduced a year ago, helping to maintain the paddies by eating excess weeds and crops in the area—replacing machinery and making the manpower that is used greener and more efficient. The paddy is harvested twice a year, yielding up to 20 tonnes of rice, which supports the resort’s organic farm and is donated to locals. lagunalangco.com; doubles at Banyan Tree Lang Co from US$410; doubles at Angsana Lang Co from US$130; golf fees start from US$130. — E.B. 

 

Find a real pot of gold with this sweet new experience on Tassie’s rugged Freycinet Peninsula.


Hands-on honey hunting at Saffire Freycinet.

Luxury Tasmanian lodge Saffire Freycinet takes its farm-to-table policy seriously—so much so that an exclusive new experience now has guests donning full-body apiarist suits to scoop up their honey directly from nearby hives. Don’t worry, you’ll be in safe hands. Saffire’s horticulturalist and Wild Hives honey producer, Rob Barker, expertly guides guests through the hives (which can each house up to 60,000 bees) to extract the warm, fresh honeycomb—all with an idyllic view of the Hazards mountain range. With Barker’s bees freely foraging across Freycinet’s native flora like manuka, kunzea ambigua and prickly box, this liquid gold offers budding beekeepers a decadent, fragrant and multi-floral nectar that shows off the distinctive terroir of the region—it’s definitely worth the buzz. saffire-freycinet.com.au; doubles from A$2,200, all-inclusive, minimum two-night stay; beekeeping experience complimentary with the room rate. — E.B.

 

Spice up your life at Bali’s most spirited food fest.


Get a taste of Indonesia at the Ubud Food Festival.

As the spiritual hub of the Indonesian isle, Ubud also doubles as an epicenter of culinary genius. The lush locale is home not only to Bali’s best restaurants—including Locavore, the only Indonesian restaurant to grace the Asia’s 50 Best list—but also to one of Southeast Asia’s most popular gourmet gatherings: the Ubud Food Festival (ubudfoodfestival.com; April 26–28; three-day pass Rp600,000 for Indonesian residents, Rp850,000 for international visitors). This year’s theme is “Spice up the World,” and collaborative dinners, regional masterclasses, food tours, and talks by food activists, farmers and Michelin-starred chefs will skew toward the rich heritage of Indonesian cuisine. Here are the events we are most excited about.


Special dinners take in Ubud’s lush scenery.

Spices for Change
Integral to Indonesia’s fabled spice heritage is Ternate in North Maluku, once the world’s only source of cloves. Delve into the history of the area and how community-based tourism projects Cengkeh Afo and Gamalama Spices are supporting locals in a discussion with project founder, Kris Syamsudin, and Ubud Food Festival’s director, Janet DeNeefe. April 26, 12:30 p.m.; free. 

Nyonya Nuptial Nosh
As the daughter of a Baba father from Malacca and a Nyonya mother from Penang, Debbie Teoh grew up on Peranakan food. Now, the author of seven books on the legendary cuisine will put on a feast of traditional Peranakan wedding dishes that will blow your usual laksa out of the park. No fiancé required. April 28, 12 p.m.; tickets Rp350,000.

Make Every Morsel Count
The hyper-sustainable, eco-minded team at Locavore is passionate about managing food waste. In this workshop, the restaurant’s research and development head, Felix Schoener, will show you how to turn food waste, like meat and fish trimmings and vegetable scraps, into fermented sauces with a serious umami kick. April 27, 11:30 a.m.; free.

Indonesia’s Coffee Wheel
The archipelago’s coffee beans are renowned worldwide for their tropical kaleidoscope of flavors. Delve into this complex topic with the help of the team from Ubud’s coffee mecca, Seniman, and sharpen your senses in a cupping session masterclass that explores the bean’s flavor wheel. April 28, 12 p.m.; tickets Rp350,000.


Refuel at a stall by Medan café Coffeenatics.

Into the Wild
The final meal of the festival enlists seven chefs from five of Southeast Asia’s most acclaimed restaurants for an inspired collaborative dinner. Featuring Jordy Navarra of Manila’s Toyo Eatery, Thithid “Ton” Tassanakajohn of Le Du in Bangkok and Darren Teoh of Dewakan in Kuala Lumpur, this seven-course feast will be made using ingredients foraged from around Ubud that very morning. April 28, 7 p.m.; tickets Rp1,050,000. — VERONICA INVEEN

 

 

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