I just ran across this agency, which sounds like one you should look into if you’re looking for "something completely different" for your Asian holiday. Kipling & Clark is a Chicago-based agency specializing in private luxury tours to Southeast Asia, as well as China, Japan and India. While they have several sample itineraries to get you started, each tour organized by Kipling & Clark is bespoke for their clients.
A recent article in the Examiner highlighted an increasing interest in family tours, as well the desire for what they call "altruistic travel" – trips that provide meaningful experiences by giving travelers the chance to interact with ‘real’ local people and effect real change. This is a trend I’ve noted as well, long before the current economic situation. This is one company worth keeping an eye on.