Anchors away

Anchors away

In the backwaters of Kerala, the houseboat of Banyan Tree’s first Indian hotel is preparing to cast off and ferry guests to their private-island villas.

The group’s next port of call is China, then China, and then China again… Chongquing, Tianjin and Yunnan just to start. ‘China is 25 countries in one,’ says wise and wonderful co-founder Claire Chiang. ‘You can go from snowy mountains to beach to desert.’

And after that? ‘Outer Mongolia, a place of fiercely proud people, or Fujian, with its ancient round houses, called tulou, where the great Chinese diaspora started,’ she says. ‘But my dream would be to connect the old, nomadic Tea Horse Road that unravelled from Sichuan and down the Mekong into Vietnam. You could travel along that for 60 days…’

Banyan Tree Kerala, India ( Doubles from ?395

Published in Conde Nast Traveller April 2013.

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