Indulge In Cultural Experiences Abroad With Peace Of Mind

Deborah Gan

Deborah Gan

Last updated 02 May, 2024

Disclaimer: The terms "best" and "authentic" used in this article are subjective and reflect the writer's personal opinion and experiences. Cultural experiences are inherently diverse and subjective, and what one individual may consider the "best" and "authentic" may differ from another.

Prefer to skip out on tourist traps? Check out these experiences abroad to learn more about each country’s rich cultural heritage. 

Picture this: Instead of jostling for space among throngs of tourists at popular landmarks, you find yourself surrounded by locals, engaged in age-old traditions and cultural practices that have stood the test of time.

Whether you’re an intrepid traveller seeking your next adventure or a laidback tourist keen to explore cultural experiences abroad, why not veer off the beaten path to immerse yourself in the country’s culture and history?

From participating in traditional festivals to experiencing local life through a homestay, here are some cultural activities around the world that allow you to connect more deeply with different cultures.

Travel inconveniences are always bound to happen. Ensure the ultimate peace of mind by purchasing a Allied World Travel Protector plan to provide a financial safety net when you meet with disruptions overseas!

From now till 30 June 2024, enjoy 40% off single-trip plans and 15% off annual plans from Allied World!

Table of contents:

1. Bhutan — Traditional Festivals

shutterstock_641052904Source: Shutterstock

Bhutan has been an increasingly popular holiday destination for many travellers in recent years because of the country’s commitment to a happiness-first policy. One of the secrets to their happiness is measuring the well-being of Bhutan’s citizens by a unique Gross National Happiness index that considers cultural preservation as one of the key indicators. This comprises, among other things, traditional festivals that bring richness and vibrancy.

Experience the vibrancy of Bhutan's Thimphu Tshechu, a three-day extravaganza held annually from the 11th to the 15th day of the 8th month in the Bhutanese lunar calendar (typically September or October). 

Witness locals adorned in colourful traditional attire as they gather at the Tashichho Dzong fortress to dance and celebrate their cultural heritage. From mesmerising masked dances to thrilling performances like the 21 black hat dance and the dance of terrifying deities, each moment is a spectacle!

These festivals are not just for locals though – tourists are warmly welcomed to partake in the festivities. Join the celebration and experience the essence of Bhutan's heritage, as these events provide a glimpse into the country’s rich culture and history.

Taking part in special festivals such as the ones in Bhutan may not always turn out as planned. With a comprehensive travel insurance plan in place, you will have the peace of mind to enjoy your holiday without worrying about associated travel risks such as overseas medical expenses due to an illness or accident. 

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2. South Africa — Cultural Safaris

South Africa Cultural SafarisSource: Shutterstock

When you find yourself in Africa, one absolute must-do activity is immersing yourself in a cultural safari experience. While traditional animal safaris offer exhilarating encounters with Africa's majestic wildlife, cultural safaris elevate the experience by allowing you to explore local villages and connect with indigenous communities.

Guided by seasoned local experts, you'll dive deep into the intricacies of the land and its inhabitants. Learn about wildlife behaviours, conservation initiatives, and the delicate balance of ecosystems. But the adventure doesn't stop there — select tours that incorporate visits to vibrant local communities into the itinerary.

Here, you'll partake in cultural rituals, savour authentic regional cuisines, and witness the creation of traditional crafts firsthand. It's an immersive journey that goes beyond mere sightseeing – offering you a chance to learn about their way of life.

For these cultural safaris, most tourists may opt for group tour packages that are organised by travel agencies for the ultimate convenience. 

However, it’s not uncommon to see travel agencies go bust. Should it happen to you, not only will you be forced to cancel your trip, your travel agency may also fail to offer you a refund for any payment made in advance. This is where travel insurance can offer you protection should your travel agency become insolvent.

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3. Australia — Farm Stays

shutterstock_1089842129Source: Shutterstock

Imagine waking up to cows grazing on the grass, kangaroos and their joeys playing in the field, and kookaburras laughing. This is the kind of experience you’ll be able to enjoy if you opt for a farm stay in Australia.

Great for animal lovers and adventure-seekers alike, these farm stays give you an invaluable opportunity to interact with the farm animals and try your hand at rearing them. From hands-on activities to leisurely explorations, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Some of the more popular activities include:

  • milking cows
  • sheering sheep
  • collecting eggs from the chicken coop
  • horse-riding (with supervision, of course)
  • going on bush walks
  • feeding various animals.

Be sure to choose a farm stay that fits your budget and tailors to your preferences and expectations.

That said, you never know what can occur during your trip. Should you fall ill, or worse, suffer from a serious injury, the medical bills can be costly for you, especially if you’re a foreigner.

Thankfully, travel insurance plans can offer coverage for medical expenses incurred overseas, as well as unlimited emergency medical evacuation and repatriation coverage in more serious circumstances. Knowing that you’re protected makes all the difference in ensuring you have a worry-free trip.

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4. Vietnam — Floating Markets of the Mekong DeltaVietnam Floating MarketsSource: Shutterstock

Street markets are common travel destinations, but have you been to a floating market before? Floating markets are operated entirely on water and form a large part of the quintessential Vietnamese experience. The Mekong Delta is home to numerous floating markets, including Cai Rang, which is one of the biggest and most popular markets. 

Each morning from 5.30am, you’ll find hundreds of boats filled with the usual produce like vegetables and meat. Beyond that, you can also chow down on freshly-made local dishes like noodle soups, spring rolls, and Vietnamese rice paper pancakes, and even buy handicrafts and household goods for the full Vietnamese experience.

With travel insurance in place, you will have the confidence to sample exotic fruits, taste local delicacies, and even try unique dishes. Should you unfortunately experience stomach disorders like food poisoning, your policy will offer coverage for overseas medical expenses and provide an allowance for hospitalisation.

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5. New York City — Broadway Shows

New York City Broadway ShowsSource: Shutterstock

When you’re in New York City, you have to check out the Broadway shows! Often seen as quintessential American cultural productions, they showcase various aspects of American life, history, and values through the art of theatre. 

From the majestic marquees of Times Square to the storied venues of the Theater District, witnessing a Broadway show is an electrifying journey that lets you dive deep into the heart and soul of American theatre.

Be dazzled by the wide range of performances available, including classics like Hamilton, Wicked, and The Lion King, which have been crowd favourites for years.

Broadway Show tickets can be pretty pricey and, in the unfortunate event of a natural disaster like floods in New York City, travel insurance offers coverage for unused portions of entertainment tickets (with a valid reason of course)!

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Secure travel insurance for your trips

Travel plans don’t always go as planned when you’re overseas, and disturbances and mishaps could significantly impact your decision to go off the beaten path and immerse in more unique cultural experiences.

Before you fly off for your next overseas adventure, be sure to purchase Allied World’s Travel Protector that provides assurance for you and your loved ones if you run into unfortunate incidents abroad. 

Should you fall ill during your travels, you can find comfort in knowing you are covered for up to S$500,000 in overseas medical expenses, with unlimited coverage for emergency medical evacuation and repatriation.

If you are hospitalised or quarantined overseas, Allied World also extends coverage automatically for up to 30 days and offers pet care benefits if your pet is boarded while you're away. This pet care benefit translates to S$50 for each full 6 consecutive hours of delay while returning to Singapore.

Furthermore, if you encounter trip cancellation due to a licensed travel agency's insolvency, you'll be reimbursed through Allied World's comprehensive Travel Protector.

Beyond comprehensive coverage, Allied World aims to facilitate stress-free trip with round-the-clock assistance for many inconveniences that can be encountered when abroad.

From now till 30 June 2024, enjoy 40% off single-trip plans and 15% off annual plans from Allied World!

This article is written in partnership with Allied World.

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*Please check your policy documents for specific terms and conditions pertaining to the coverage of your travel insurance plan

This material is provided as a resource for informational purposes only. It is not intended as, nor does it constitute, legal, technical or other professional advice or recommendations. While reasonable attempts have been made to ensure that this information is accurate and current as of its publication date, we make no claims, guarantees, representations or warranties, either express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of any information contained herein. Consult your professional advisors or legal counsel for guidance on issues specific to you. Additionally, this material does not address all potential risks and may contain time-sensitive information. No responsibility is assumed to update this material and there is no guarantee or representation that this information will fulfill your specific needs or obligations. This material may not be reproduced or distributed without the express, written permission of Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, Ltd, a Fairfax company (“Allied World”). Actual coverage may vary and is subject to policy language as issued. Risk management services are provided by or arranged through AWAC Services Company, a member company of Allied World. © 2024 Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, Ltd. All rights reserved.

A mahjong addict with an undying love for dogs, Deborah is always on the hunt for cheap deals because she is always broke. That is why she is attempting to be more financially savvy to be.. less broke


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