For Country Holidays Dubai Manager Louen Tang, travelling is the low season is a chance to capture destinations as they were before the arrival of mass tourism.
What does a holiday mean to you?
As long as I can escape from my usual routine, I would call it a holiday. If I can also do something interesting and unusual, it would be the cherry on the cake.
When it comes to planning your own holiday, what are some of the things that you will always consider?
Exclusiveness is always the most important factor I consider when planning my own vacation; it can be staying in a camp in the wilderness or a mountain lodge with an open view. I also appreciate the opportunities to interact with the locals, by learning about their lifestyle, and how to prepare their cuisine. Furthermore, I often travel during the off-peak season, which allows me to enjoy destinations without as many tourists.
What are the challenges you’ll consider?
Weather is the challenge most of the time, but it is easily dealt with, with good preparation so I know what to expect before I travel. To achieve exclusiveness, the destinations I choose often take more effort to reach as they are more inaccessible – we may need to take a small aircraft or even walk – but I do appreciate this as a part of the journey. When I travel in the off-peak season, not all of the shops and hotels are operating, therefore we have limited choices, but it won’t compromise the overall experience.
What have been some of your favourite trips?
I recently visited Uzbekistan in the winter – it was cold but manageable, and some of the key sights, such as Samarkand, were covered with snow which made the experience magical. I was also able to get myself a very good tour guide throughout the journey. My trip to Istria was also remarkable; some of the towns were not empty during the winter, and we felt like we were explorers in the medieval ages. It was also the white truffle season, and as we were the only guests in many of the restaurants, the chefs would prepare dishes especially for us.
What advice do you offer to like-minded travellers?
Preparation is the key; do some reading about the destination, so that your enjoyment will not be compromised.
What are the five things we will always find in your carry-on?|I’ll always travel with camera equipment, an eye shade, earplugs, sunglasses, and lip balm.
Where are you headed next?
I’ll be hiking the 88 temples trail in Shikoku.
Connect with Louen at Louen.Tang@scottdunn.com