Ampersand's Travels...

China vs Japan: Two Far Eastern heavyweights go head to head...

Ampersand Travel

The Far East has always had an exotic allure, with images of Geisha, Samurai, glowing red lanterns and Chinese dragons floating into mind. After centuries as closed kingdoms, Japan and China have come to embrace outside visitors and new luxury properties are opening their doors every month. The Chinese Olympics of 2008 and the upcoming Japan Olympics of 2020 have also boosted the cosmopolitan development of these nations, and we are thrilled to now provide holidays to both destinations.

At Ampersand, our sales consultants are extremely proud and passionate about their specialist destinations, so we thought it would be fun to pit them against each other in a China vs Japan travel-off! Our Japan specialist David Wall and our China specialist Charlie Walker have both lived, worked and travelled extensively in these countries and here they explain why the time is right for a luxury holiday to their Far Eastern favourite…

IN THE CHINA CORNER: CHARLIE WALKER

Charlie Walker

"Having pedalled a bicycle through over 60 countries, China is the one that keeps pulling me back. Whilst I miss living there, putting together unforgettable China trips gives me the daily dose I need. Reticence to visit due to a perceived cultural clash has diminished in recent years thanks to changing global economics, increased

cultural exchange and the growth of China's luxury hotels which are now leading the way for the world. Thankfully, China has managed to retain its ancient traditions and authentic charms whilst simultaneously hurtling into the 21st century. The recent arrival of the seamless Beijing Rosewood and the exquisite Amandayan in Lijiang (the Aman family's third China property) is symbolic of the rapid spread of new top quality hotels across the country. There are plenty of dependable luxe properties – Banyan Tree now has 10 China hotels and Mandarin Oriental has 7 – but also a growing number of boutique hotels which offer a more personal experience with elegant, location-inspired surroundings. On my latest research trip last month I was continually astounded by the innovation and attention to detail of the Chinese people and the enchanting natural beauty of the Yunnan region, which inspired me to create a new tour: Far from the Madding Crowd: Rural Highlights of Southern China. There has never been a better time to visit China and I would be delighted to design a tailor-made journey just for you!"

*   Read my Mini-Guide to China
*   Read my Secrets of China: 8 Off-Beat Experiences
*   View our China Gallery
*   Phone me: +44 (0) 20 7819 8906
*   Email me: charlie@ampersandtravel.com

 DISCOVER CHINA

IN THE JAPAN CORNER: DAVID WALL

David Wall

"Having lived in Japan for 2 years and after several magnificent trips, I’ve not only learnt the language, I’ve also developed an unquenchable fascination with Japanese culture. I relish chatting about Japan’s quirky modern innovations, its traditional customs and world-class cuisine, and giving tips on the best cultural

attractions and natural beauty spots. Japanese ‘omotenashi’ hospitality is world-renowned and is in evidence everywhere you go in Japan – from airport personnel and conscientious shop workers to kimono-clad staff at luxury hotels and traditional spas. Newer flagship properties like the Aman Tokyo and the Ritz Carlton Kyoto rank alongside secluded heritage properties such as the Yoshimatsu and the Hoshinoya (one of my Top 10 Luxury Ryokans), all of which exude a refined Japanese aesthetic. Not ones to rest on their laurels, the Japanese are making continual improvements to the already world-beating bullet train network, which is a fabulous way to explore – see our new tour: The Length of the Bullet Train Line in Japan. With me to help you plan and prepare and with expert English-speaking guides on the ground, you can enjoy Japan’s supersonic cities, quiet traditional towns and rural gems with the greatest of ease and comfort."

*   Read my Complete Guide to Japan
*   Read my Top 10 Secrets of Japan
*   View our Japan Gallery
*   Phone me: +44 (0) 20 7819 8904
*   Email me: david@ampersandtravel.com

 DISCOVER JAPAN