Welcome to Ampersand's travel blog. This is where you'll find out all the latest goings on from our travels across Asia, the Far East, and Southern Africa.
Our motto is that luxury is in the experience: watching tigers padding through the Kanha jungle in the company of an expert guide; camping out under the Ladakh stars wrapped in cashmere blankets; exploring the art galleries and fine dining restaurants in Cape Town... these are the things we adore.
All over Asia and Southern Africa – from Bhutan to Bali, Cape Town to Victoria Falls – we know the most charming privately-owned hotels, the best secret beaches, the prettiest temples, and the most exclusive safari trails in the untouched wilderness. Our Little Black Book contains the best textile buffs, the keenest foodies, the wittiest maharajas, the most expert guides and the loveliest spots to drink champagne in the moonlight.
But what we love most of all is revealing these treasures to our clients. In our blog we hope to inspire and inform you by providing the latest travel news, hotel openings and luxury holiday ideas across Asia, the Far East, and Southern Africa.
Revisiting Japan: Our top 20 highlights
After moving back home to England after studying in Tokyo for a year, I was longing to go back to immerse myself in Japan’s incredible culture, scenery and food.
Kalinko: A love affair with Burma
Kalinko, a brand of ethically crafted textiles and homewares, was founded in Yangon by Londoner Sophie Garnier. Sophie works with a tribe called Ka-Lin-Kaw who are renowned for their weaving skills, and the collection comprises of linens, throws, beautifully cut garments, patterned cushions, all handmade on wooden looms. Here we get an insider glimpse into the land she now calls home…
Ashok Ferrey: My Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is an island creative minds and artistic talents. Colombo-based Ashok Ferrey is one of its most celebrated contemporary authors, and his recent novel, The Ceaseless Chatter of Demons, wittily and irreverently portrays the Sri Lankan society in which Ferrey grew up and rebelled against in youth…
Kathmandu: Insider's Guide
Kathmandu is ‘the Queen of the Himalayas’. An intoxicating and ancient city, adorned with golden spires and fluttering prayer flags, truly friendly locals and a soaring mountain setting… She has risen from the ashes of the catastrophic earthquake of 2015 and is back on her feet with aplomb. Read our insider’s guide here…
Great Thinkers of India
India is a culture of thought and philosophy. From art to space exploration, the subcontinent has influenced the millennia. Twelve Indians have won the Nobel Peace Prize, while the fields of science and mathematics have had many sons and daughters of Hindustan as celebrated leaders. Here are a handful of revolutionary thinkers whose lives and work helped change the world…
Mumbai Moments: Insider Culture
The city of Mumbai has many hidden gems for the culturally inquisitive traveller, and the ‘incredible cavalcade of life’ is a richly rewarding place to explore day or night. Artists, filmmakers, authors and adventurers have been drawn for centuries to Mumbai’s raffish charm contributing to a vibrant arts scene that grows more exciting by the year…
Kashmir - Paradise on Earth: An Insider’s Guide
The northern state of Kashmir is the ideal off-the-beaten-track destination with stunning scenery. Srinagar boasts an old-fashioned charm, buzzing souks, and a slower pace of life. Further up the Vale of Kashmir, the scenic town of Gulmarg is reminiscent of an alpine resort with a romantic history. Read our insider’s guide to Kashmir here…
Beautiful Bhutan: A Himalayan Kingdom
Ellie has just returned from beautiful Bhutan, the Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern fringes. She spent a week gallivanting and exploring the very best this breath-taking county has to offer; from monasteries and fortresses, to dzongs and dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. Here are her top highlights in a photoblog of her journey…
Insider View: Pondicherry
Pondicherry is charming coastal city with a distinct Indo-Mediterranean flavour. Pastel-coloured houses, friendly locals and stylish boutiques are prevalent in this unhurried sun-drenched haven. Our insider guide seeks out some of the most special corners of Pondicherry to experience this unique destination like a true local…
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Anonymous, India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Leslie Siben, India