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Japanese Covered Bridge, Hoi An
Hoang Sa Islands
Truong Sa Islands
About Destination Kaleidoscopic and ever-changing, Vietnam is a nation on the move. While its biggest cities race into the modern age, rural towns and mountain villages maintain a magical timelessness. Along 3000 kilometres of coastline lies some of Asia’s most astounding natural scenery, but its allure lies in the fascinating juxtaposition of old and new. Discover this country of contrasts, where opposing cultural forces coexist in fascinating harmony.
“There are so many things to love about Vietnam, my home country. I was born in Lai Chau, in the northwestern region of Vietnam, where my parents met each other. I’ve grown up and lived in Hanoi almost all my life. Hanoi, the capital, is full of energy and fun to explore. I enjoy motorbiking around town with my wife and daughter in the back, who are terrible back seat drivers and remind me to cruise below 25 kilometres an hour instead of the city speed limit of 40 kilometres! ” Tran Gia Bach Country Manager
Vietnam Highlights | 12D
Hue Hoi An
Ho Chi Minh City
Unearth the secrets of Vietnam’s exotic charm on a 12-day whirlwind odyssey. Take in the mayhem of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, sail through magical Halong Bay, soak up the ancient splendour of Hue and Hoi An and discover the sleepy Mekong Delta region in an illuminating and comprehensive journey. itinerary Day 1-3: Hanoi Start your journey in the frenetic streets of Hanoi, Vietnam’s historic capital city. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the country’s oldest university, the Temple of Literature, for an in-depth look at the nation’s fascinating history. In the city’s Old Quarter, meander through a frenzy of labyrinthine streets on a cyclo, the city’s pedal-powered rickshaw. Wind down with a stroll around West Lake and its charming residential enclaves, and sample some of the area’s best street snacks in locally owned eateries. After the sun sets, embark on a guided street food adventure in the heart of downtown Hanoi. Day 4-5: Halong Bay Escape the city on a tranquil overnight cruise through Halong Bay, Vietnam’s spectacular UNESCO World Heritage site. Board a traditional wooden junk and set sail through a scenic panorama of over 2000 towering limestone cliffs draped in dense jungle foliage. Explore hidden coves by kayak, kick back with a cocktail on board and enjoy fresh seafood delicacies.
Day 6-8: Hue & Hoi An Fly to the breathtaking central coast in Vietnam and arrive in Hue, a former Imperial capital. Explore the stately Tu Duc Royal Tomb and its magnificent walled Citadel before heading onward to Hoi An, a former trading port with architecture dating as far back as the 15th Century. Wander through this enchanting ancient town on a guided walking tour, keeping an eye out for Hoi An’s iconic silk lanterns and tailor shops. Afterwards, kick back and enjoy a meandering boat journey down Perfume River. Day 9-12: Ho Chi Minh City & Mekong Delta Travel to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest city that pulses with urban energy. Head off for an evening street food adventure before a guided wander through Cho Lon, the city’s vast Chinatown district. Get an in-depth look at Vietnam’s torrid war history at the War Remnants Museum and the Reunification Palace before exploring downtown Saigon’s best post-colonial French architecture. Finally, embark on a journey into Vietnam’s “rice bowl” for a closer look at local lifestyles in the Mekong Delta. Visit a family-owned coconut processing plant, sail on a restored teak river cruiser and explore the iconic chocolate waterways in sleepy Ben Tre.
Inclusions • • • • • • • • •
10 nights hotel accommodation 1 night cruise cabin Breakfast daily, 5 lunches, 2 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
“There is no better way to spend 12 days in Vietnam than this. Truly the best of all of our tours in a great itinerary” Tran Gia Bach - Country Manager
Vietnam Signature | 10D
Ho Chi Minh City
Experience Vietnam with a touch of luxury on an exotic northbound odyssey. Travel through the magical Mekong Delta on a private cruise, learn the art of Vietnamese cooking in a culinary master class and witness breathtaking Halong Bay by seaplane for the ultimate in travel style. itinerary
Day 1-4: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta Begin your journey in Ho Chi Minh City on-board a beautifully restored rice barge, and enjoy a tasty Vietnamese barbeque buffet while you sail down Saigon River. Next, explore downtown Saigon’s historical allure with a visit to the War Remnants Museum and Reunification Palace. Continue to the French-inspired Central Post Office and Opera House at the gateway to downtown Saigon’s Dong Khoi shopping district, before ascending Bitexco Tower, Vietnam’s tallest building overlooking Saigon’s glittering city lights. On board a private sampan, escape the city and float to picturesque Sa Dec, and visit the home of the local man who inspired Maguerite Duras’ book The Lover. Wrap up your evening in the sleepy delta town of Can Tho, the backdrop for a romantic dinner at historic Nha Co house dating back to the 19th Century.
Day 7-10: Hanoi – Halong Bay Arrive in Hanoi, Vietnam’s vibrant capital city that boasts over 1000 years of history. Set off into the countryside to meet a Bonsai master, and explore the gardens surrounding his ancient home to discover firsthand how this art form is practiced today. Travel back into town for a stroll through Hanoi’s residential enclave on the banks of Truc Bach Lake, and wander through little-explored alleyways buzzing with energy. Finally, wrap up your journey with a spectacular seaplane flight soaring above Halong Bay, and land among the archipelago’s 2000 limestone islets. Spend your final night cruising through this breathtaking World Heritage Site on-board a private junkboat.
Day 5-6: Hoi An Arrive in Hoi An, a picturesque ancient town along Vietnam’s central coast. Explore the idyllic countryside surrounding this former trading port in a vintage motorbike sidecar, and then uncover some of Hoi An’s best-kept culinary secrets at Morning Glory restaurant and cooking school. Alongside a local expert, choose your ingredients at a local market before trying your hand at creating some of Vietnam’s most iconic dishes.
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Inclusions 7 nights hotel accommodation 2 nights cruise cabin Breakfast daily, 5 lunches, 3 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
Vietnam “This tour showcases the very best of our partners in the region, including Hai Au aviation and Victoria Resorts so you can relive the golden age of travel” Tran Bich Thuy - Head of Reservations
Vietnam Explorer | 16D Sapa
Ha Long Bay Hanoi
Ho Chi Minh City Ben Tre
Embark on an adventurous and in-depth 16day tour into the heart of Vietnam’s cultural and scenic wonders. In an expedition from north to south, explore the towering limestone cliffs of Halong Bay before uncovering rustic villages in Sapa and the Mekong Delta, stopping off for a dose of urban discovery in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City during your journey. Inclusions
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Day 1-5: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Sapa Begin your adventure in Hanoi, Vietnam’s vibrant capital city brimming with history and postcolonial charm. Meander by traditional cyclo through bustling alleyways in the vibrant Old Quarter and West Lake District before heading out under the cover of night for a taste of the capital’s street food culture. Then, escape the urban jungle with a journey to Cat Ba Island and Halong Bay, the backdrop for your scenic adventure within the bay’s famous limestone karsts and caves. Unwind on a private beach before heading back to Hanoi for your sleeper train bound for Sapa.
12 nights hotel accommodation 1 night cruise cabin 2 nights sleeper train Breakfast daily, 6 lunches, 2 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
Day 6-7: Sapa Discover vibrant ethnic minority cultures and magnificent tiered rice paddy fields in the mountain outpost of Sapa. Spend the next two days trekking through thick bamboo forests, past cascading waterfalls and along rustic mountain trails into the heart of Cat Cat, Y Linh Ho and Lao Chai villages. Here, get an in-depth look at the traditions and lifestyles of the Black H’mong with a visit to a local home and a Batik painting workshop. Day 8-10: Hoi An Depart the north and fly to the central coast, home to the historic port town of Hoi An. Explore the rich tapestry of Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese cultural influence immortalised in the town’s beautifully preserved architecture before a guided cycle to surrounding villages. Here, get a hands-on lesson in crab fishing using a traditional bamboo basket boat while enjoying this region’s idyllic scenery fit for a postcard. Day 11-16: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta Travel south to bustling Ho Chi Minh City, and dive into the frenetic urban energy of Vietnam’s largest metropolis. Explore downtown Saigon’s best-kept street food secrets, embark on guided tour into the city’s historic Chinatown district and soak up the energy of this chic urban hub. Finally, wrap up your journey in the magical Mekong Delta. In Chau Doc, explore floating markets and riverside villages by river cruiser before taking in the mysterious allure of Tra Su Nature Reserve, home to a magical flooded eucalyptus forest.
Vietnam and Cambodia Family | 15D
VIETNAM Halong Bay
CAMBODIA Phnom Penh
Ho Chi Minh City
Cruise, kayak and cycle your way through the very best of Vietnam and Cambodia. Discover the magnificent ruins of Angkor Wat, soak up the frenetic energy of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and explore breathtaking caves and karsts in Halong Bay on a fun-filled family adventure. itinerary Day 1-4: Hanoi – Halong Bay Dive headfirst into the hustle and bustle of historic Hanoi on board a cyclo, the city’s traditional bicycle rickshaws. Whiz through the frenetic alleyways of the Old Quarter before heading out under the cover of night for a guided street food adventure. Then, discover the stunning limestone formations in Halong Bay on a cruise exploring the best of this World Heritage Site. Visit tranquil coves, impressive caves and traditional fishing villages before taking on the bay by kayak! Day 5-6: Hoi An Take a stroll through the charming ancient town of Hoi An, once an important port for Dutch, Portuguese and Chinese traders. Explore the mosaic of cultural influence in beautifully preserved architecture while strolling along the town’s famously quaint shopping streets. On a cycling journey into Hoi An’s surrounding countryside, stop by Tra Que Vegetable Village and roll up your sleeves for a hands-on fishing workshop with a local farmer!
Inclusions • • • • • • • • •
13 nights hotel accommodation 1 night cruise cabin Breakfast daily, 6 lunches, 2 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
Day 7-11: Ho Chi Minh City – The Mekong Delta Fly south to soak up the dynamic urban energy of Vietnam’s largest metropolis, Ho Chi Minh City. Jet down the Saigon River on-board a speedboat to visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, a vast underground network used by Viet Cong during the war, before braving a taste of a southern Vietnamese specialty: cricket spring rolls! Afterwards, head to the beautiful Saigon Opera House in the glittering downtown district for the A O Show – a dazzling display of acrobatics and traditional music that tells the story of Vietnam. Finally, embark on an expedition into the Mekong Delta by boat, cruising along sleepy waterways before exploring the magical agricultural region by bicycle. Day 12-15: Phnom Penh – Siem Riep Travel up the mighty Mekong River by river cruiser to arrive in historic Phnom Penh. Spend a day exploring Cambodia’s fascinating capital city before flying to Siem Reap, home to the magnificent Angkor Temple Complex. Discover your inner-Indiana Jones within Angkor Wat, the Bayan and jungle-engulfed Ta Prohm temples before wrapping up your journey with a night at Phare Cambodian Circus. Hold your breath while young Khmer artists perform death-defying flips and stunts under the big top – and help support this unique NGO using performance art to promote social empowerment in Cambodia. 15
Sapa Adventure | 4D Uncover the rustic charm of Sapa on an adventurous trek into the region’s outermost stretches. Set off on a journey into Muong Hoa Valley and Lao Chai Village for a closer look at the lifestyles of the Black H’mong and Red Dao people, enjoying panoramic views of Sapa’s most untainted natural scenery. Day 1: Hanoi - Lao Cai Start your adventure on an overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai, an unassuming town on the Vietnam-China border. On arrival, stretch your legs and prepare for the next day’s trek into Sapa’s emerald and gold valleys. Day 2: Lao Cai - Batik workshop Explore some of Sapa’s less-traversed areas on a trek following paths that weave between thousand-year-old rice paddy terraces. Rest your feet at a river bank and enjoy panoramic views of the untainted natural scenery here before arriving at a Batik painting workshop. Learn how this traditional H’mong handicraft is still practiced today while creating your own Batik painting. Your visit here directly supports the preservation of this vanishing H’mong art. Then, spend the night with a local family for an up-close and personal look at ethnic village life in Sapa. Day 3: Sapa - Soft trek Wake early to savour the spectacular sunrise over the terraces. Set off from your homestay on a trek weaving down into the heart of Muong Hoa Valley, a scenic region that’s home to a Black H’mong community. Pass by rustic farms, dusty wooden homes and locals tending to rice paddy fields en route to a cascading waterfall. From here, slowly descend to Giang Ta Chai, home of the Red Dao people. Finish your trek at the edge of Muong Bo stream, and enjoy lunch before hopping on the overnight train back to Hanoi. Day 4: Hanoi Wake up as the sun rises in Hanoi, and disembark from your sleeper train just in time to see the city’s early-risers congregate around Hoan Kiem Lake for their morning exercise. Arrive at your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day exploring Vietnam’s vibrant capital city.
Halong Bay in Style | 2D Soar above Halong Bay for an unparalleled discovery of Vietnam’s most breathtaking natural wonder, before exploring the vast archipelago on a private cruise. Onboard one of Vietnam’s very first touring seaplanes and a luxurious junk boat, experience this scenic jewel in adventurous, pioneering style. Day 1: Hanoi - Halong Embark on a 45-minute high-flying journey from Hanoi to Halong Bay in style. Enjoy a scenic loop above the bay’s iconic limestone islets before touching down right on the bay’s crystal water, an exhilarating experience unlike anything else in Vietnam. Swap your seaplane for a traditional junk boat, and set off on your private cruise to centre of the archipelago. Day 2: Halong - Hanoi Wake with the sun and watch as the dawn breaks over endless stretches of calm water and jungle-clad karst topography. Float between magnificent limestone pillars on the way back to the main harbour, before disembarking your boat and travelling back to Hanoi by road.
Mekong Adventure | 4D
Private Sampan in the Delta | 2D
Explore the magic of the Mekong Delta on a four-day discovery of a region governed by the ebb and flow of Vietnam’s iconic river. Weave through vast rice paddy fields by bicycle, delve into a buzzing floating market and visit a charming Buddhist monastery to uncover authentic delta culture.
Embark on a romantic cruise along the Mekong River on your own private sampan, the perfect vantage point to witness the lives of the delta locals. Stop to visit sleepy villages, coconut factories and floating markets for a closer look at what makes the delta region tick.
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City - Chau Doc - Full Day Group Tour Drift out of Ho Chi Minh City on the traditional Song Xanh sampan before arriving in the quiet delta town of Sa Dec. Visit a Buddhist Monastery here to meet young nuns in training among tranquil flower gardens. Hop back on board and continue on down a narrow canal, discovering the unspoiled landscape deep within the delta. Disembark at Long Xuyen and drive onward to Chau Doc, choosing to either stay on the banks of the Bassac River or atop Sam Mountain.
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City - Can Tho Leave the frenetic energy of Ho Chi Minh City behind on your cruise in a private sampan, and float past small villages and homebased factories dotting the riverbank. Arrive at Cai Be floating market and the flurry of barges and paddle boats, and learn how locals converge in these makeshift supermarkets to swap goods and stories. Cruise onwards to Sa Dec, the “Little Venice” of the Delta, before passing beneath rustic monkey bridges en route to Can Tho. Arrive just in time for sunset and a romantic dinner within a restored 19th Century house.
Day 2: Chau Doc - Half Day River Life Tour Get up early and cruise aboard a small boat to Chau Doc’s famous floating market, where farmers and fishermen from the surrounding countryside converge to swap goods. Drift past floating fish farms to a little-explored Cham Village and meet a local legend, before continuing on to Sam Mountain. The path here leads up to a relaxing lunch with spectacular panoramic views of the rice paddy fields below.
Day 2: Can Tho - Ho Chi Minh City Wake to the sound of the river and the bustle of the Mekong Delta’s largest floating market, Cai Rang. Boats brimming with coconuts, merchants haggling over goods and coffee sellers plying their wares are all part of the cultural tapestry of this fascinating location. Meander through the market’s heart before returning to Can Tho and onward to Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 3: Chau Doc - Countryside Cycling Half Day Tour Follow quiet dirt roads on a cycling journey through villages where life has changed little over decades. Stop for a picnic breakfast and recharge over a glass of traditional ice tea or coffee before cycling on to discover this little-explored corner of the delta region. Day 4: Chau Doc - Ho Chi Minh City Depart the serene countryside of Chau Doc and travel back to Ho Chi Minh City in a luxurious mini-coach, complete with reclining leather armchairs and a personal tablet. Arrive at your hotel in downtown Saigon, and spend the rest of your day exploring the vibrant urban energy of Vietnam’s largest city. 17
Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh | 3D Make the most of a journey from Vietnam to Cambodia on an in-depth, off the beaten track excursion through the heart of the Mekong Delta. Explore sleepy Buddhist monasteries, float through Tra Su Flooded Forest and spend a night on the banks of the Bassac River in a journey connecting bustling Ho Chi Minh City and rustic Phnom Penh. Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City - Chau Doc Start your journey on-board the Song Xanh sampan for a private cruise into the heart of the Mekong Delta. Arrive in Sa Dec, home to a peaceful Buddhist Monastery, and meet some of the young nuns in training here. Continue cruising a short distance down the Mekong before docking and taking private transport onward to Chau Doc, a sleepy delta town at the confluence of three vital rivers. Stay on the riverbank or in a mountain retreat overnight.
Day 2: Chau Doc - Khmer Village Tour Take a drive to a traditional Khmer village and learn about the distinctive form of Buddhism practiced in the local monastery. At Tuc Dup Hill, meet a war veteran at its summit and explore the hill’s maze of hidden tunnels used by Viet Cong soldiers. Then, meander by paddle boat through Tra Su Nature Reserve, a magical flooded eucalyptus forest and bird sanctuary. A picnic in the trees and panoramic views of surrounding mangrove at a nearby vantage point wrap up your stay in this mysterious forest retreat. Day 3: Chau Doc - Phnom Penh Cross over the border between Vietnam and Cambodia by speedboat bound for Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s historic capital city brimming with crumbling colonial architecture and exotic energy. Spend your day exploring the city’s dynamic mix of peaceful temples and bustling markets.
Beach Escape with a Difference | 4D Escape the dense, buzzing cities of Vietnam on a relaxing beach break in the charming ancient port town of Hoi An. Known for its architectural splendor, breezy shopping avenues and glowing paper lanterns, this coastal gem is a perfect escape from the urban jungle. Day 1: Arrive Hoi An Arrive in Hoi An Ancient Town and set off on a guided walking journey along its famous cobblestone walking streets. During the journey, explore sleepy alleyways and quaint walking streets lined with beautifullypreserved 15th to 19th Century architecture. Along the way, learn about the tiny coastal town’s history as a major trading port for Chinese, Dutch and Portuguese merchants. Day 2: Hoi An - Cua Dai Beach Spend the day at your leisure at the beautiful Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa, located between pristine Cua Dai Beach and Thu Bon River. Enjoy your day along the beaches only a short walk from your hotel, or head back into central Hoi An to peruse the town’s famous souvenir shops and tailors. Day 3: Hoi An Cycling Tour Set off today on a cycling journey into the idyllic countryside surrounding Hoi An. Journey past grazing water buffalo and emerald rice paddy fields to arrive at Cam Thanh Village, a former shelter for locals during the war. Now famous for its charming thatched-roof cottages, meet a local family who calls this quaint rural village home before trying your hand at crab fishing in a bamboo basket boat! Continue on to a small lantern workshop to learn how the region’s iconic handicrafts are made during a hands-on lesson. Don’t forget to take your own creation back with you on your cycle back to central Hoi An. Day 4: Hoi An After spending your last night on the pristine coast of Hoi An, wake up for breakfast and enjoy a few more hours of exploring the sand and surf here. Meet your guide later and head to the train station before continuing on to your next destination. 19
Hidden Sapa Trek (Easy) | ½D Discover hidden corners of Sapa on a trek through the quiet valley of O Quy Ho, nestled in the shadow of Indochina’s highest peak, Fansipan Mountain. Follow a footpath past oolong tea farms, grazing buffalo and farmers at work within Sapa’s famous stretches of tiered rice paddy fields. Learn about the area’s most populous ethnic community, the Black H’mong, and visit a local family in their humble village home for a glimpse at the lives of Sapa’s charming locals.
H’Mong Culture - Ethnic Village Walk | ½D Set off on an in-depth excursion into breathtaking Muong Hoa Valley, a vast, scenic enclave home to Sapa’s Black H’mong and Red Dao ethnic communities. Trek into the heart of Lao Chai Village and visit the home of a local H’mong woman. Enjoy a traditional herbal foot bath and experience firsthand how modern H’mong people live in Sapa today. On the way back to Sapa town, stop off to try your hand at the H’mong batik textile dyeing technique, and help preserve this fascinating traditional art form.
Bac Ha Market | 1D Explore the vibrant mountain market of Bac Ha, where some of Sapa’s most colourful ethnic communities congregate to swap goods and stories. Start with a guided exploration of the market stalls before heading north to Hoang A Tuong Palace, famous for its ‘oriental baroque’ architecture. Wrap up your day at nearby Truong Do Village for a tasty Tay ethnic minority lunch with a local family, and a boat journey down the Chay River. 20
Hanoi Highlights City Tour | ½D Explore the fascinating story of Vietnam’s capital city. Start with a wander through the peaceful courtyard surrounding the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum – the resting place of Vietnam’s revered former leader. Then, head onward to the country’s first university, the Temple of Literature, built in honour of Chinese scholar Confucius. Finally, roll up your sleeves and try your hand at whipping up Vietnam’s legendary cuisine during a cooking class.
Hidden Hanoi Walking Tour | ½D Hop on a cyclo and set off into the frenzy of Hanoi’s labyrinthine Old Quarter, passing by French colonial architecture along the way. Discover the city’s rich history with a stop at the Northern Gate and the stately Imperial citadel en route to the sprawling West Lake and a tranquil Taoist temple. Afterwards, stroll through a sleepy residential quarter flanking Truc Bach Lake for a taste of the area’s best-kept culinary secrets.
Hanoi Street Eats Evening | ½D Dive into the very best of Vietnam’s local flavours on a culinary excursion under the cover of night. Follow your guide into the heart of the frenetic Old Quarter, and stop off at pop-up food stands for a taste of street barbecue, locally-made ice cream and a glass of Hanoi’s famously tasty bia hoi brew, a beer with a story almost as fascinating as that of its hometown! 21
Halong Bay - Full Day Group Tour | 1D Leave the hustle and bustle of Hanoi behind on a journey to UNESCO World Heritage Site Halong Bay, Vietnam’s most incredible natural wonder. This breathtaking archipelago is famous for its unique karst topography that rises from endless stretches of jade waters – the perfect backdrop for your cruise through the heart of the bay’s stunning scenery. Enjoy lunch onboard, sip a cocktail from the deck and explore the depths of Paradise Cave along the way.
Discover the best of central Vietnam’s idyllic countryside on a cycling journey beyond the historic city of Hue. Set off in the early morning and pedal past emerald rice paddy fields, wallowing water buffalo and quaint village homes before exploring Thanh Toan Bridge. Arrive at Tu Hieu Pagoda just in time for the monks’ morning chant. Receive a traditional Buddhist blessing next door and enjoy a vegetarian lunch with local nuns before cycling back to Hue city centre.
Hue - Half Day Cycling & Lunch with Nuns | ½D
Charming Hoi An | ½D Discover charming Hoi An’s historical landmarks and best-kept secrets at a leisurely pace. On a guided stroll, meander through quiet alleyways for a closer look at this former trading port’s collection of architecture inspired by Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese cultural influences. During your journey, pass by scarlet Chua Ong Pagoda and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge before setting sail down Thu Bon River.
Hoi An Countryside Cycling | ½D Set off by bicycle on a meandering journey through Hoi An’s tranquil outskirts bound for Cam Thanh Village, a traditional community surrounded by emerald rice paddy fields. Once a shelter for locals during the war, Cam Thanh is now famous for thatched-roof cottages and its untainted rural charm. Spend your time here chatting with a local family, roll up your sleeves at a lantern workshop and try your hand at catching crabs in a traditional ‘basket boat’ - the same way that local fishermen here have done for centuries!
Ho Chi Minh City - Lady Hau Dinner Cruise | ½D Enjoy a tasty Vietnamese lunch prepared by one of Saigon’s top chefs while gliding down the Saigon River on-board the Lady Hau. This beautifully restored rice barge was originally used to ferry goods to and from floating markets, and is now a charming river cruiser with a unique story. Along the way, sail past both fishing villages and opulent mansions dotting the riverbank for a unique look at the other side of Vietnam’s most populous city.
Ho Chi Minh City - Cooking Class | ½D Roll up your sleeves for a cooking class at GRAIN, one of Saigon’s most famous cooking schools, founded by top Vietnamese Chef Luke Nguyen. This hands-on master class demystifies the secrets behind Vietnam’s culinary favourites using Chef Luke’s tried-andtested cooking tips. Learn about the fresh ingredients, chopping techniques and flavour palates unique to Vietnam before enjoying your dish alongside a Vietnamese coffee.
Le Jarai Mekong Delta Tour | ½D Embark on a countryside excursion beyond Ho Chi Minh City to Ben Tre, famous for its chocolate waterways and idyllic delta charm. Along the way, visit a coconut goods factory and explore the area’s unique brand of agricultural business before a guided stroll through a local market. Then set off by tuk tuk to the nearby pier to board the Le Jarai, a beautiful teak river cruiser, and enjoy lunch on board while gliding back toward Ho Chi Minh City. 24
Saigon Chinatown | ½D Explore the crumbling urban charm of Saigon’s Cho Lon, one of the largest and oldest Chinatown districts in the world. Explore food stalls and dazzling Sino-French architecture at Binh Tay market, weave through buzzing back alleys by cyclo, visit a traditional communal house and discover the secrets behind Cho Lon’s Chinese medicine trade in a family-owned shop. Wrap up your journey down the Saigon River on-board the Lady Hau, a beautifully restored rice barge. 25
Independence Monument, Phnom Penh
About Destination The birthplace of magnificent ancient civilizations and the focal point of devastating human tragedy, Cambodia is a dynamic and enigmatic nation with a story to tell. Its landmass encompasses vast plains and Delta lowlands once host to the mighty Khmer Empire, and now to a dynamic collection of art-deco cities, sleepy rural villages and historic temple landmarks. Despite its tumultuous history, Cambodia is a nation looking to the future – and a destination whose stories are worth uncovering firsthand. “I was born and raised in this remarkable country. The richness of its culture and the depth of experience here has helped make me who I am today. When I show people around the majesty of Angkor Wat it makes me so proud that this amazing collection of monuments belongs to me and my people. I’ve grown up alongside tourism, and watched it grow and change here over the years. One of my favourite memories is having a photo taken with my family as a child at Angkor – a service developed for visitors!” Panya Thin Country Manager
Cambodian Adventure | 11D
Set off on a whirlwind discovery of Cambodia’s top spots and hidden gems, designed with an adventurous twist. A perfect blend of the highlights and the lesser-explored destinations rarely frequented by tourists, this spectacular journey uncovers the kaleidoscope of cultures and stories that make Cambodia so unique. Connect the dots between post-colonial Phnom Penh, historic Siem Reap and breezy Battambang with in-depth homestays and village getaways. itinerary Day 1-3: Phnom Penh Start your adventure in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, a lively city looking to the future. Set off on a guided, day-long exploration of the city’s architectural marvels, including the crumbling remnants of Phnom Penh’s colonial past. Explore the surrounding farmland on a guided bicycle journey, stopping at Khmer villages to see traditional stilt houses and silk weaving before cycling back to Phnom Penh through villages and rice fields. Day 4-6: Siem Reap Settle into the excitement and culture of Siem Reap with a visit to Phare, the Cambodian Circus – a spectacular acrobatic extravaganza and part of an NGO empowering young Khmer artists to share their stories through performance. Then, put an adventurous twist on your exploration of the Angkor temples with a journey through the sprawling temple site by bicycle! Follow weaving, dusty paths to iconic ruins like The Bayon and Ta Phrom before heading onward to lesserknown sites and the thousand-year old spiritual reservoir of Western Baray. Sum up your time in Siem Reap with an escape to Chansor Village, a rustic community in the rural outskirts of the city. This is a unique opportunity to learn about rural lifestyles in Cambodia through hands-on discovery, including a night in a village homestay. Day 7-8: Battambang Arrive in the charming city of Battambang, famous for its uncommonly friendly locals and fascinating architecture. During your time in this sleepy city, explore beyond the city centre with a guided journey to the surrounding rural temples. Whilst not as large as some of Angkor’s wonders, these sacred sites offer a more intimate experience and are home to a collection of intricate Hindu carvings etched into crumbling temple walls. Afterwards, climb the nearby mountain of Phnom Sampeou and learn about local myths and legends centred around this spiritual location. Wrap up your time here with a visit to a local NGO, which works to preserve the traditional arts nearly wiped out during the reign of the Khmer Rouge. Day 9-11: Kep - Phnom Penh Return to Phnom Penh briefly before heading to the seaside town of Kep, a former holiday haunt of Khmer royalty. All that remains today is an aura of relaxation and escape, as its opulent past is all but forgotten. Visit a former royal residence and witness stunning views of this peaceful corner of the country before a boat trip to nearby Rabbit Island for a unique insight into the lives of locals in fishing villages. Make sure to catch one last dip in the idyllic Gulf of Thailand before returning to Phnom Penh for your departure. 30
Siem Reap Battambang
Inclusions • 9 nights hotel accommodation • 1 night home stay accommodation • Breakfast daily, 4 lunches, 1 dinner • All road transport by air conditioned vehicle • Sightseeing as specified • Entrance fees • Local English speaking guide • Round trip transfers • Domestic flights as per itinerary
Cambodian Highlights | 7D
Make the very most of a short stay in Cambodia with a seven day highlights odyssey from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. A mesmerising blend of ancient allure and post-colonial charm, meander through the dazzling historical architecture of the capital city before setting your sights on the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat.
itinerary Day 1-3: Phnom Penh Start your journey through the Land in the Khmer Kingdom in the historic capital, Phnom Penh. This thriving and dynamic city grew from the meeting point of Tonle Sap River and the mighty Mekong as it makes its way into Vietnam. Here, visit the Royal Palace that stands as a testament to the magnificence of the 19th Century Khmer dynasty. Head onward to the National Museum, where centuries’ worth of treasure serve as a timeline for the rich history of the region. At the Museum of Genocide, witness how the country’s sordid past nearly decimated the vibrant heritage and culture of Cambodia. Wrap up your time in the capital with a visit to a nearby silk weaving community, whose age-old traditions are now only threatened by the rapid modernisation of the region. Day 4-5: Angkor Wat In contrast to the elegant riches in the Royal Palace, the temples at Angkor stand as a reminder of the ancient Khmer peoples’ mastery of construction over a thousand years ago. Witness the sheer tenacity with which ancient Khmer structures have grappled with the encroaching jungle over the centuries. Along a journey to Angkor’s most famous temples, see the proud gate of Angkor Thom standing guard over a vast bridge flanked by snakes, and explore the jungleengulfed structure at Ta Phrom. Wrap up the adventure with a visit to the smiling stone faces of the Bayon and the magnificent Angkor Wat, the crown jewel of this ancient civilisation’s mesmerizing architecture. Day 6-7: Siem Reap Get an intimate look at the lifestyles of rural Cambodia with a visit to a small, rustic community village outside of Siem Reap. Learn traditional methods of farming, fishing, and animal husbandry with hands-on demonstrations alongside the locals, and explore the farmland on the back of ox cart before enjoying a traditional lunch with a local family. The humbling friendliness of the local villagers will provide a fitting end to your brief stay in Cambodia, while supporting the preservation of the country’s traditional communities.
Inclusions • 6 nights hotel accommodation • Breakfast daily, 4 lunches • All road transport by air conditioned vehicle • Sightseeing as specified • Entrance fees • Local English speaking guide • Round trip transfers • Domestic flights as per itinerary
“Contrast the past, present and future of Cambodia in this tour that showcases everything that makes this country such a fascinating destination.” Panya Thin - Country Manager
Vietnam and Cambodia Luxury Cruise | 11D
On a luxurious cruise from the sprawling waterways of the Mekong Delta up to the towering spires of Angkor Wat, get a unique insight to riverside life rarely explored by tourists. Set off on excursions by small boat and on land, and discover the magic of little-visited communities just a stone’s throw away from the tranquil riverbanks. itinerary Day 1-3: Mekong Delta Meet in Ho Chi Minh City and head south to the sleepy gateway city to the Mekong Delta, My Tho. Enjoy your first Mekong sunset aboard your luxurious cruise liner with welcome drinks before mooring midstream in Cai Be, a sleepy delta town with a rustic charm. In the morning, board a traditional Vietnamese sampan to get closer to the hubbub of Cai Be’s famous floating market. Then, marvel at the resourcefulness of locals in the Delta with a visit to a rice-processing factory and village famous for its hand-woven bamboo mats. Continue cruising past stilted villages on the riverbanks en route to the border. Day 4-5: Phnom Penh Arrive in the city once known as the ‘Paris of the East’, and dive into the local culture here with a crash course in Cambodian history, from the sobering realities of the Killing Fields to an enchanting Aspara dance performance. Hear a comprehensive lecture on the modern history of the country before exploring its bustling capital by cyclo, a traditional bicycle rickshaw that still dominates much of this city’s streets. On your final day here, travel just out of town to a charming village specialising in silk production, and learn about how artisans here create these beautiful pieces of heritage using traditional wooden looms. Day 6-7: Kampong Cham – Wat Hanchey – Kampong Chhnang Rise early to climb the 303 steps to the summit of the pre-Angkorian temple Wat Hanchey, and marvel at the stunning panoramic views of the sunrise. After descending, get the rare opportunity to talk with some local monks for a unique look at their lives of piety. Cruise onwards to Kampong Cham and visit the kitsch Wat Nokor – a modern Buddhist structure squeezed into the ruins of an 11th Century temple. Then, begin your journey up the narrow Tonle River towards Kampong Chhnang – a whole village built on stilts, balancing precariously above the fertile soil. In this tranquil setting, enjoy an evening of traditional Cambodian dance classes. Day 8-11: Tonle Sap – Siem Reap Awake to the majestic Tonle Sap Lake – so vast that it is sometimes impossible to see where the water ends and the land begins. Home to more species of fish than any lake in the world, the lake is also the home of a resplendent variety of rare birds. Sit back and enjoy the scenery as your cruise comes to an end near Siem Reap, just a stone’s throw from the lake’s edge. Disembark and visit the oft-neglected Rolous Temple group that was once the centre of the Khmer civilization and spend a day seeing the highlights. Finish your Cambodian adventure by getting out into the countryside and visiting a sustainable community village project. 32
Hanchey Temple Kampong Cham Phnom Penh
Ho Chi Minh City
Inclusions • • • • • • • •
7 nights cruise cabin 3 nights hotels accommodation Breakfast daily, 8 lunches, 6 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers
Thailand and Cambodia Explorer | 15D
Embark on a journey from glittering Thailand to majestic Cambodia, and discover the secrets behind two of Asia’s mightiest ancient empires. Travel east from capital city to capital city on an odyssey uncovering historical wonder at every turn. Wander through crumbling temples, set off on adventurous excursions beyond the urban hubs and get a firsthand look at heritage hidden away in the most unlikely of places. itinerary Day 1-3: Bangkok – Khao Yai Arrive in the behemoth capital city of Bangkok, and dive straight in with a street food exploration onboard Thailand’s iconic transportation: the tuk tuk! On this whirlwind tour of famous eateries, whiz through the frenetic city streets en route to the foodie favourites of the locals. Continue your culinary discovery the next day in Chinatown, where the city’s Chinese sub-culture and flavour continues to thrive. Leave the mayhem behind and travel to Khao Yai – the perfect place to round off your tasty trip with wine tasting among scenic vineyards. Day 4-5: Khao Yai National Park Explore one of Thailand’s vast national parks, spanning no less than four provinces, that is still home to wild elephants and monkeys. Embark on a gentle hike to several scenic waterfalls among lush jungle scenery, and have a free evening at your hotel. The next day, set off toward Siem Reap and arrive just in time to marvel at dizzying acrobatics with Phare, the Cambodian Circus. Aimed at empowering disadvantaged Khmer youth through performance art, this circus extravaganza is equal parts storytelling and an acrobatic showcase with social development at its heart. Day 6-8: Siem Reap – Battambang Spend a day exploring the highlights of the incredible Angkor Wat, the site of the ancient Khmer empire’s most dazzling engineering feats. Learn about the fascinating culture of this ancient society through the grand carvings etched into these monuments dedicated to kings and deities. The next day, go further afield with an excursion to Banteay Srey – a pink sandstone temple still hidden among the jungle, until its discovery by a French explorer only a century ago. In the afternoon, take a cruise on Tonle Sap, the site of fascinating floating villages where locals live their entire lives perched atop the lake’s annual flood pulse.
Bangkok Siem Reap Battambang
Day 9-12: Battambang – Phnom Penh Phnom Penh Leave behind the wonders of Angkor and travel onward to Battambang, home to an iconic collection of intimate and intricate architecture built to honour ancient deities. Here, gain a greater understanding of the country’s tragic history with a visit to a site used by the Khmer Rouge as ‘killing caves’, and take a bamboo train ride through the jungle before continuing on to Phnom Penh. From here, set off on a whirlwind tour exploring the urban highlights before retreating to the Four Inclusions Rivers Eco Lodge boutique resort in Koh Kong. Kick back and relax in your free • 14 nights hotel accommodation days here. • Breakfast daily, 8 lunches, 1 dinner • All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Day 13-15: Koh Chang Leave Cambodia behind while continuing your beachside indulgence on the Thai • Sightseeing as specified island of Koh Chang. Home to a vivid array of aquatic life and underwater scenery, • Entrance fees go beyond the water’s surface on a snorkeling tour exploring Koh Chang’s best • Local English speaking guide aquatic gems. This peaceful and relatively untouched island provides a luxurious • Round trip transfers end to your journey. 33
Hanoi To Siem Reap: Vietnam and Cambodia | 15D
Travel through the jewels of Indochina for an illuminating look at the region’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, magical ancient cities and modern marvels. Set off from Vietnam’s historic capital city and journey south to the Cambodian border, weaving through Imperial cities, natural icons and sleepy coastal towns before witnessing the mighty temples of Angkor. itinerary Day 1-3: Hanoi Arrive in Hanoi and head onward to your hotel in the heart of the Old Quarter. Take the time to get to know this charming, yet chaotic city on a guided excursion into its historic downtown district. Then set off on an evening street food adventure to sample the city’s best culinary staples alongside the locals in famous Hanoian eateries.
CAMBODIA Phnom Penh
Day 4-8: Halong, Hue, Hoi An Leave Hanoi behind and travel to Halong Bay for a full overnight adventure of kayaks, caves and karsts onboard the L’Azalee traditional junk. After returning briefly to Hanoi, catch a flight to the ancient Imperial City of Hue and spend half a day exploring the ruins of the old citadel before heading south on the twisting vistas of the Hai Van Pass. Wrap up your time in central Vietnam near the coastal port town of Hoi An – once an important trading port for Asian merchants, and now home to breezy boulevards, amber-hued architecture and kaleidoscope of varied cultural influence. Day 9-11: Ho Chi Minh Fly south to the commercial capital, Ho Chi Minh City, the largest metropolis in Vietnam. Uncover the surprisingly distinctiveness of this behemoth urban hub from its northern cousin on a street food tour, sampling the best of southern-inspired flavours. Explore its lesser-seen side with a guided walking journey to its rustic Chinatown, and wander through war history museums before a day trip to the vast flood plains of the Mekong Delta.
Ho Chi Minh City
Inclusions • • • • • • • • • 34
13 nights hotel accommodation 1 night cruise cabin accommodation Breakfast daily, 5 lunches, 3 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
Day 12-13 Phnom Penh Fly from Vietnam to the Kingdom of Cambodia’s capital, and visit the resplendent Royal Palace where opulent metals and stones adorn countless statues and motifs of Buddha, in honour of the former Khmer Royalty. In the afternoon, get a closer look at how Cambodia’s vibrant culture was nearly wiped out entirely at the Tuol Sleng genocide museum at the site of former S21 prison. Then, visit nearby Silk Island for a look at how, despite its tragic history, traditional arts continue to thrive in the capital. Day 14-15: Siem Reap Finish your Indochina odyssey in Siem Reap, home to Angkor Wat. Nowhere is the might of the former Khmer empire as evident as in the pillars and courtyards of magnificent temples battling the encroaching jungles. Spend your day exploring famous temples like the Bayon and Ta Phrom, before enjoying the sunset in the tranquil moat of Angkor Thom.
Chansar Community Village | 1D About 40 kilometers outside of Siem Reap, a visit to the sleepy village of Chansar is a fantastic opportunity to explore authentic lifestyles in rural Cambodia, while contributing to the sustainability and support of traditional Khmer culture. On a day-long adventure beyond the Angkor temples, explore this community village by ox cart and watch as craftsmen and farmers employ traditional methods for their trade. Mingle with friendly villagers, get a hands-on look at local farming methods and settle into the slower pace of rural Cambodian life.
Angkor Wat Temples and Ox Cart Ride | 1D Rise early to visit the best of Angkor’s mighty temples just after the sun rises. During your whirlwind journey, explore the jungleenveloped structure of Ta Prohm – one of the only Angkor temples left largely as it was discovered - before visiting the ambiguous stone smiles of the Bayon. Finish your temple tour with the inspiring Angkor Wat Temple before lunch. In the afternoon, escape by traditional ox cart to a local farm, passing rice fields, water buffalo and local children before learning how to make the staple food of Cambodia: sticky rice.
The Story of Phnom Penh | 1D The rich history of Phnom Penh spans many eras, and this city tour explores the historic gems central to the capital’s heritage. Begin your journey back in time with an exploration of Phnom Penh’s ancient history at the National Museum, home to a vast collection of centuries-old Angkorian artefacts. Continue your discovery at the elegant and distinctive Grand Palace and the colonial buildings from Phnom Penh’s French-colonial days as the ‘Paris of Indochina’. Enjoy lunch at a restaurant supporting hospitality training for disadvantaged Khmer locals, explore a handful of bustling local markets and wrap up your day with a tuk tuk ride back to your hotel. 35
BUFFALO TOURS CAMBODIA: YOUR DESTINATION EXPERTS
Sanphet Prasat Palace, Ancient City, Bangkok
About Destination From north to south, Thailand is so vast and diverse that exploring its length is a study in contrasts. Its fascinating northern cultures and heritage are framed by stunning mountain scenery, while its breezy southern beaches seem worlds away from its frenetic capital city. But throughout this dynamic nation is its most central cultural element – its steadfastly kind and distinctly careful locals. The Land of Smiles has a little something for every kind of traveller looking to soak up the charm of Asia’s exotic gem. “Nothing beats the thrill of living in one of the busiest tourist destinations in the world, especially when you get to see a side of real life that most others miss. The famous smiles that delight visitors from all around the world are still there for me after many years and I definitely never get tired of the food. Thailand is, and will always be everything you’ve read and dreamed about, and I will be here for many years to come!” Kenneth Joergensen Country Manager
Thailand Amazing Adventure | 8D
Mae Kampong Chiang Mai
Open your eyes to Thailand’s colourful history and culture on an in-depth expedition beyond Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Discover lively markets, thriving jungles and hilltop villages on a city-tocity adventure passing through Thailand’s lesser-explored cultural highlights – the perfect highlights journey with a twist. itinerary Day 1-2: Bangkok Explore the lesser-known sites outside of Bangkok’s city proper, from the idyllic Koh Kret Island to the massive seafood emporia of Mahachai Market. On Koh Kret, a bus and ferry ride away, cycle through the lush farmlands and rural villages of this car-free island, and try your artistic hand in the local pottery village. On a day of market adventures, begin at Mahachai before travelling by train through the famous Rot Fai Market, where you can buy from vendors as they approach the train’s windows. Wrap up your time in the capital with a visit to Amphawa’s lively floating market. Day 3-4: Kanchanburi West of Bangkok, discover the rich nature and fascinating culture of the Kanchanaburi province. At the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre and the Allied War Cemetery, delve into the troubled history of railway’s construction and pay homage to the thousands of prisoners of war who perished here. Experience the remarkable sights and sounds of the River Kwai on an exhilarating longtail boat ride down the river, passing incredible caves and waterfalls along the way. On your final afternoon, encounter the customs and flavours of the local Mon tribe, an ethnic minority originally from Myanmar. Day 5-6: Mae Kampong Wrap up an exciting escapade along the River Kwai before flying north to charming Chiang Mai. Witness the age-old agricultural techniques and local traditions still thriving today at Mae Kampong, a nearby teaproducing village, and tuck in for the night at a homestay high up in the mountains. In Mae Kampong, discover the village’s eco-tourism projects, enjoy a relaxing foot massage from the village’s experts and cook dinner with the locals as you watch the glorious sunset over the rolling landscape. 40
Day 7-8: Chiang Mai From city centre to thriving jungle outskirts, explore all that Chiang Mai has to offer on the journey’s final two days. Fly high above the rainforest canopy on the wildly thrilling Flight of the Gibbons. Spot monkeys and other exotic flora and fauna as you zipline through the forest canopy, and enjoy a delicious traditional lunch in a quaint Thai village. Relax in Chiang Mai and meander through the city’s intricate temples, including the shining golden Wat Doi Suthep and the ancient, towering Wat Chedi Luang. Inclusions • • • • • • • • • •
4 nights hotel accommodation 1 night homestay accommodation 2 nights floating raft accomodation Breakfast daily All road transport Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary “This tour is full of exploring – islands, swamps, rivers and even a zipline to get the pulse racing.” Kenneth Joergensen - Country Manager
Thailand Fun and Safari | 10D
From north to south, city to jungle, enjoy an unforgettable adventure fit for the whole family. With visits to kid-friendly museums and exhibits, easy treks through Thailand’s monkeyfilled forests, and a relaxing few days of kite surfing, sea and sand in Hua Hin, explorers of all ages will enjoy this exhilarating journey through the Land of Smiles. itinerary Day 1-2: Bangkok Discover Bangkok on an action-packed tour through the capital city’s wonders. Hidden underground, a massive underwater world containing a range of sea creatures and interactive exhibits is perfect for the whole family. High above the city, take in sweeping views from a revolving deck over a buffet feast. Dive into the past as you weave through Bangkok’s charming side streets, and travel by boat and tuk tuk to the city’s largest and oldest monuments before enjoying a leisurely foot massage at Wat Pho. To sum up your time in the capital, witness a spectacular performance of dance, acrobatics and special effects to learn more about enchanting Bangkok. Day 3-4: Kanchanburi Head to Railway Market, a lively, colourful scene where shouting vendors showcase goods for passing train passengers, and on to the magical Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Glide through the crowded waterways aboard a traditional boat past buyers and sellers camped in canoes. Visit an authentic fishing village and watch locals searching for ark shells using sliding boards across the mud – an exhilarating show for kids and adults alike! Join the locals at work on oyster and mussel farms before tucking in for a night in your tented hotel in the wilderness. Wake up and smell the nature on a glorious jungle adventure past cascading waterfalls and exotic wildlife - keep your eyes peeled for monkeys!
Day 5-7: River Kwai - Hua Hin Visit the Bridge over the River Kwai and explore a fascinating side of history at the interactive Thai-Burma Railway Museum. Ride the notorious Death Railway, and enjoy dramatic views from the mountainous route - stopping at Plearnwan Eco Vintage Village along the way. Next, it’s off to the airport to fly south to Hua Hin. Here, encounter numerous species at the Wild Life Rescue Centre and learn how to care for and bathe the rescued elephants who call this place home. Trek through untouched rainforest to Pa-La-U Waterfall and swim in the natural emerald pools beneath a vibrant jungle canopy.
Day 8-10: Hua Hin The whirlwind adventure wraps up with a few days of surf and sun in Hua Hin. First up, a visit to Vana Nava Waterpark offers fun for adventurers of all ages. At this ecologically and community-friendly waterpark set on a plot of tropical land, encounter some of Thailand’s most exotic species while enjoying slides, rides and other theme park attractions. Spend quality time swimming, playing and relaxing on Hua Hin’s golden beaches. With shallow waters that are warm year-round, Hua Hin’s climate is ideal for family fun in the sun.
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9 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 5 lunches, 3 dinners All road transfer by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers
Art of Nature | 9D
Thailand’s abundant nature runs the gamut. From vibrant gardens to sweeping mountain ranges to exquisite beaches, discover the depths of Thailand’s beauty from north to south. On this eye-opening journey through forests, jungles and countryside, spend time with Thai locals and discover their customs and lifestyles firsthand.
Day 1-2: Bangkok - Chiang Mai Break out of Bangkok’s hustle and bustle on a serene bicycle ride outside of the city limits. After crossing the vast Chao Phraya River by ferry, pedal through an older image of Thailand amongst the winding waterways, patches of jungle and quaint villages. The next day, travel north to Chiang Mai and spend time exploring the abundant natural parks in its vicinity. Discover the Royal Project, which helps local hill tribes like the Hmong with agriculture and sustenance, and relax in the bountiful, flower-blanketed wilderness of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. Day 3-5: Doi Inthanon Traipse through the lush wilderness around Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest peak, and breathe in the invigorating mountain air as you splash in the glistening waterfalls and take in stunning panoramas from the misty summit. Join Hmong villagers in religious and cultural activities, from meeting the village shaman to crafting batik. En route to Chiang Rai, visit the Golden Triangle, the area where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar converge. Travel onward the Big Buddha and Doi Sa Ngo Mountain, and glide down the Mekong River in a traditional longtail boat. Day 6-7: Chiang Rai - Hua Hin Visit two of the most vibrant attractions of the Chiang Rai region. Doi Tung Royal Villa, built by Thailand’s Princess Mother, is a true architectural marvel with its gold teakwood floors and restored pinewood interiors. At Mae Fah Lung Garden, meander through the landscaped jungle filled with hundreds of different plants and flowers, and find peace in the garden’s serene rock and water gardens. Fly south to Hua Hin Beach, whose white sides and soaring palms look out onto the turquoise expanses of the always-warm Gulf of Thailand. Day 8-9: Hua Hin Explore the limestone mountains, mangrove forests and marshy wetlands around Hua Hin during a journey through Khao Sam Roi Yod, Thailand’s first coastal national park. From a pineapple plantation to a fishing village to vast beaches, the day of breathtaking nature concludes with a trek deep into Phraya Nakhon Cave, where soft light streams in and stalagtites hang above around the pavilion built by King Rama V. To conclude the adventure through beautiful Thailand, enjoy time at your leisure soaking in the surf, sun and sands of Hua Hin Beach.
Inclusions • • • • • • • • •
7 nights hotel accommodation 1 night homestay accommodation Breakfast daily, 6 lunches, 1 dinner All road transport Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary 43
Siam Gastronomic Discovery | 9D
Experience the very best of Thailand with an exotic and flavourful journey to the country’s most fascinating culinary hubs. Eat your way from north to south, craft specialties with the locals and treat yourself to sweet, savoury and spicy Thai delicacies as you travel from bustling Bangkok and Chiang Mai to Phuket’s island paradise.
itinerary Day 1-3: Bangkok Unleash your inner culinary artist as you learn the traditional art of Thai fruit carving and experience the most luxurious cooking class that Thailand has to offer. Watch and learn from the masters before crafting delicious Thai specialties of your own. Embark on a thrilling tuk tuk ride through Bangkok’s vibrant streets at night while sampling street food and famous delicacies along the way, from skewers and roti to bugs! Discover ancient wonders at Ayutthaya Historical Park and explore the gilded architecture at the Bang Pa In Palace. Finally, fly onward to Chiang Mai and enjoy dinner at a Lanna-style restaurant on arrival. Day 4-6: Chiang Mai Meander through Chiang Mai’s old streets in a pedal-powered rickshaw and eat your way through the charming markets before enjoying a foodie adventure under the stars. The next day, take in incredible panoramas from the top of Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, a golden pagoda set in the hills on Chiang Mai’s outskirts, and join a local family for a home-cooked meal that you help prepare. Fully satiated on northern Thai fare, fly to Phuket to begin the journey’s southern leg with a cruise through Phang Nga Bay.
Day 7-9: Phuket Visit a local market to see hundreds of exotic ingredients and taste refreshing fruits, interact with sellers and buyers and discover a marvelously colourful side of Phuket life. Indulge in an island cooking class before spending time relaxing and digesting on Phuket’s world-famous white sand beaches. By night, please your taste buds with a street eats tour in Phuket Town, sampling freshly barbequed meat, traditional boiled rice and Thai-style macaroons. Grab a farewell snack the next day before catching your flight to your next destination. Inclusions • • • • • • • • 44
8 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 6 lunches, 6 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
Unseen Isaan – Hidden Culture | 9D
A nine-day adventure through northeastern Thailand reveals a side of Thai culture largely untouched by tourism. Meet and learn from local artisans, villagers and farmers who comprise this colourful region, explore remote wilderness on moonlit jungle treks, bicycle tours and raft rides, and experience Thailand’s flavours, friendliness and vibrant culture firsthand. itinerary
Khao Yai Bangkok
Inclusions • • • • • • • • •
6 nights hotel accommodation 2 nights tented camp Breakfast daily, 6 lunches, 2 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
“This culturally rich area of Thailand is very much off the beaten track – a real rarity nowadays.”
Day 1-3: Bangkok Explore the best of Bangkok’s thriving culture, from the capital city’s glistening temples to its enchanting outskirts. Visit the gleaming, elaborate architecture at Wat Traimit and Wat Pho, cruise down the Chao Phraya River at sunset, and take in the ringside intensity of a live Muay Thai fight. On the way out of Bangkok, a pit stop at Wat Phraputthabat reveals Buddha’s Footprint, an important Thai Buddhist landmark. Visit a winery adjacent to Khao Yai National Park for a wine tasting session before checking in for a relaxing evening amidst stunning nature. Day 4-6: Khao Yai Discover the nature and culture of northeastern Thailand’s jungles, temples and villages. Trek through Khao Yai National Park and enjoy a revitalizing dip in one of its many cascading waterfalls before returning to the jungle by moonlight to spot the nocturnal wildlife here. Later, visit to Phimai Historical Park, the most important Khmer monument in Thailand, followed by a cooking class at Somtam Station. Try your hand at crafting authentic dishes before paying visits to the region’s villages to learn the arts of weaving and batik painting from the friendly locals. Day 7-9: Loei Encounter a side of Thailand distinct from the main tourist jaunts. Raft in the glorious Huay Kratang Mountain Lake, hugged by breathtaking greenery in every direction. Tuck in for two nights at the solar-powered Sirila Farm Tent Camp, where romantic relaxation is abundant with campfires, stunning sunset views from your tent’s veranda and sumptuous BBQ feasts. Cycle around the nearby villages and lush plantations, spotting everything from dragon fruit to cashews and coffee, and visit the farmers and villagers who call this beautiful region home.
Nuk - Operations Manager 45
Romantic Luxury Escape | 12D
Koh Tao Island
Koh Samui Island
Set off on an unforgettable journey to Thailand’s most romantic locales on this luxurious honeymoon getaway. From enchanting, modern cityscapes to lush wilderness to expansive white sand beaches, Thailand offers the ultimate blend of romance, discovery and relaxation. Explore cities, islands and magical beach escapes on a highlights journey with a romantic touch. itinerary Day 1-3: Bangkok - Chiang Rai Kick off the week with a romantic evening high above Bangkok’s sparkling skyline. Choose from a list of elegant restaurants to enjoy a luxurious feast as the city twinkles below. Discover Bangkok’s lively culture on a day tour through the capital’s glistening temples and iconic cultural destinations, all from the peaceful perch of a private longtail boat that whisks you down the Chao Phraya River. Kick back and enjoy a puppet show at Klong Bang Luang Artist Village on your final night, before flying to Chiang Rai and settling in for a revitalizing spa treatment at the Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa. Day 4-6: Chiang Rai Embark on a private tour throughout the incredible Golden Triangle – an area where three countries’ borders converge. Visit Tha Khi Lek in Myanmar or Don Sao Island in Laos, or take part in a high-end cooking class. Next up, visit the White Temple as you travel through the mountains to Chiang Mai, and marvel in its intricate glass carvings and pure white facades. On a breathtaking sunrise journey, give Alms at the Doi Suthep Temple in a ritual believed to lead to a better next life. In the evening, enjoy a river cruise along the illuminated Ping River. 46
Day 7-9: Chiang Rai - Koh Samui Float up, up and above bountiful trees, streams and rice fields on an unforgettable hot air balloon ride above Chiang Rai’s countryside, enjoying a celebratory Champagne toast and breakfast upon landing. Transfer south to Koh Samui and find bliss on the white sands of this stunning tropical island. Set off on an evening cruise through the Gulf of Thailand and enjoy the colourful sunset reflecting off the still waters in every direction, and later fall asleep to the sound of waves calmly drifting ashore. Day 10-12: Koh Tao Speed across the turquoise Gulf of Thailand, past the rolling landscape of Koh Phangan and to the island paradise of Koh Tao. Known for its quiet beaches and world-class snorkelling and scuba diving, Koh Tao’s charm and serenity are unrivalled. Indulge in a romantic dinner at Koh Tao’s upscale Haad Tien Beach Resort, set on the island’s most remote beach, and conclude your romantic journey with long walks on Koh Tao’s golden sandy beaches, dips in the clear waters, and relaxing nights under the vast starry sky.
Inclusions • • • • • • • •
11 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 3 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
“Stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, and great accommodation make this package the ultimate honeymoon for couples looking for something really special.” Praw - Product Team Leader
The Sea and Me: Thailand Wellness Experience | 10D
Relax and rejuvenate at world-class facilities on the Gulf of Thailand’s stunning coastlines and islands. From delightful, holistic spa experiences to a luxury cruise around Koh Samui, enjoy a truly indulgent escapade through Southern Thailand’s gorgeous gulf.
itinerary Day 1-4: Hua Hin The journey gets off to a blissful start in Hua Hin. Here, relax on the coast’s soft, golden sands and wade in the Gulf of Thailand’s always-warm waters. You can opt to experience the hotel’s special spa program, which features holistic wellness treatments ranging from aroma massages to poolside yoga. Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit under the guidance of a local health expert as you find serenity in this coastal paradise.
Day 5-7: Koh Samui Hop across the Gulf of Thailand to tropical Koh Samui, known for its crystal clear waters, pristine white sands and charming beach towns. Indulge in the Kamalaya Asian Bliss Program for a life-changing immersion into Thailand’s ancient healing traditions. With an utterly relaxing few days of massage treatments, lifestyle consultations, holistic fitness activities and more, Asian Bliss will invigorate and inspire. Outside of the program, kick back on Samui’s perfect beaches and splash in the gentle surf.
Day 8-10: Koh Samui Refreshed, conclude the Asian Bliss program and explore the stunning cultural and natural highlights of Koh Samui on a luxurious cruise around the tropical island. Disembark at Chaweng and Lamai Beaches, two of the island’s finest with their palm-fringed shorelines and opalescent waters. Circumnavigate the entirety of the island, passing remote shorelines, untouched beaches and rocky coves, and watch the sunset from the boat’s upper deck as you sip a delicious Mai Tai or Pina Colada.
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Koh Samui Island
9 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 8 lunches, 9 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
Cruise on the River Kwai | 4D Explore Thailand’s serene rivers on a colonial-style river cruiser, enjoying a peaceful few days of relaxation and exploration as you glide through the waters near Bangkok and Kanchanaburi. Along the way, visit fascinating historical sites, breathtaking national parks, and enchanting wildlife for a unique glimpse of Thai riverside lifestyles.
Day 2: Prasat Muang Singh Cruise up the mystical Kwai Noi River to Prasat Muang Singh, a Khmer historical park brimming with massive ancient ruins. Marvel in the old stone towers that glisten under the sun as you explore the vast “City of Lions”, then travel to Krasae Cave to take in an excellent view of the Kwai Noi River from above.
Day 1: Bangkok Spend your first day discovering the stunning religious monuments on Bangkok’s outskirts, including Phra Pathom Chedi, Southeast Asia’s largest stupa. Embark on the RV River Kwai in Kanchanaburi, and set sail towards Ban Kao. Along the way, visit Wat Tham Khaopoon – famous for its Buddha images, stalagmite caves, and sweeping views - and meander through the serene gardens of Somdet Phra Sri Nakharin Park. Continue cruising upriver while enjoying a peaceful night aboard.
Day 3: Kaeng Iava - Sai Yok Yai After a relaxing breakfast on board, disembark and set off on an easy trek to Kaeng lava Cave. Wander through the huge chambers and take in the stunning natural stone formations – a true marvel of nature. Cruise upriver to Ban Haad Ngiu past vivid green forests and make your way to Hell Fire Pass for a remarkable tour through the park’s history. Later, visit the sparkling Sai Yok Yai Waterfalls before hopping back aboard. Day 4 - Kanchanaburi Float down the rolling River Kwai, passing quiet jungle villages and lush farmlands before disembarking at Kanchanaburi. Discover the dark history of the Thailand-Burma Railway and the infamous Bridge over River Kwai, and take a ride on the notorious, cliff-hugging Death Railway itself. The educational and eye-opening day concludes with a peaceful lunch and a scenic ride back to Bangkok, where your cruising journey ends.
Suwan Macha Andaman Cruise | 4D A relaxing jaunt off Thailand’s southern coast, set off on a journey between the region’s most glorious islands, beaches, and bays. From Phuket to Koh Phi Phi, glide over the Andaman Sea’s famous turquoise waters and swim, snorkel, and sunbathe your way to bliss. Day 1: Phuket - Phang Nga Bay Embark from Phuket and set sail across the glistening Andaman Sea towards Phang Nga Bay and James Bond Island. Breathe in the salty air as you float past towering islands and limestone cliffs, and relax on the boat’s sundeck as you take in the serene scenery. The boat anchors in time to catch the colourful sunset over the iridescent waters, but not before a quick stop at one of the region’s most breathtaking beaches. Day 2: Phang Nga Bay - Krabi Wake up surrounded by blue skies, jade water, and cliff-fringed sea in the stunning Phang Nga Bay. Enjoy breakfast on the deck as the boat begins its journey toward Krabi. Along the way, visit the famous Sea Gypsy Village and enjoy a peaceful boat ride amongst the mangroves and hidden lagoon. Spend the afternoon splashing in the clear green waters of Krabi or sunbathing on the island’s smooth white sands. Day 3: Krabi - Koh Phi Phi After breakfast, the boat sails gently past the small islands dotting the water from Krabi to Koh Phi Phi. Snorkel and swim in the clear turquoise sea before going ashore to explore the alluring Phi Phi Islands. Enjoy the afternoon in paradise before climbing back aboard to dig in to a sumptuous Thai feast and a quiet starry night in the secluded bay. Day 4: Phuket Travel to Phi Phi Leh, on the southern edge of the archipelago, taking in views of the vast Andaman Sea. Disembark at the enchanting Maya Bay and explore the high cliffs and quiet beaches in its vicinity. Discover the beauty of Maya Bay’s underwater scenery, easily glimpsed in the crystal clear waters. The journey concludes with lunch on the beach and a calm ride back to Phuket. 49
Bangkok Dessert Island ½D by Bike Travel by boat, bus and ferry to Koh Kret, a man-made island a short trip from central Bangkok. Disembark at the bustling Nonthaburi pier and explore the lively market nearby – the perfect place to stretch your legs and catch your breath. Since no cars are allowed on the island, the clean air is a welcome departure from the capital city! Hop on a bicycle and explore Koh Kret, visiting a charming garden of Buddha sculptures and a bustling pottery village, where you can try your hand on the potter’s wheel for a hands-on discovery of Thai heritage and local culture.
Kick off this foodie adventure with a hearty bowl of congee, a breakfast favourite amongst Thailand’s Chinese immigrants. Discover local Chinese food shops, businesses and temples as you navigate the hustle and bustle of Yaowarat Road. Sit down for a tea tasting session at a local shop, and visit the glistening Golden Buddha at Wat Traimit on this flavourful adventure through one of Bangkok’s most colourful neighbourhoods.
Traditional Village Life and Erawan Waterfall | 1D
Explore Bangkok like a true local, taking advantage of the city’s public transit alongside city commuters. Sail over the cityscape on-board the Skytrain, buzz through the city on a thrilling tuk-tuk ride and hop aboard a river boat to cruise towards the capital’s most famous temples – the perfect city tour with a twist! Along the way, marvel at the intricate designs and gleaming golden spires at the Grand Palace and the adjacent Wat Pho, and step back in time at the Jim Thompson House Museum. After your city excursion, kick back and enjoy a luxurious foot massage beside the Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho.
Arrive in the morning in the lush province of Kanchanaburi, only a few hours’ drive away from the Thai capital. In the tiny village of Nong Khao, visit a local shrine to make offerings to the spirit of the village before exploring the area’s pious Buddhist nature. With demonstrations from local farmers, learn about the village’s rice pounding and dessert making routines. Wrap up your day at the base of the Erawan Waterfall, a seven-tiered natural wonder that’s home to wild monkeys and exotic birds! 50
Taste of Chinatown | ½D
The Story of Bangkok | 1D
Lanna Bike & Boat | ½D Embark from the heart of Wiang Kum Kam Ancient Town in Chiang Mai on a cycling adventure through stunning temple ruins and rural settlements tucked into rolling rice fields. Continue to Wat Chai Mongkol, and set off on a relaxing boat trip down the grand Ping River. Take in the gorgeous scenery as you glide past old teak wood houses, riverside farms and lush jungles lining the riverbank. In the afternoon, tuck into a bowl of khao soi, a traditional spicy curry soup famous in northern Thailand, before returning to the city proper.
Take a trek to the Pha Dok Seaw Waterfalls, passing orange, flower and coffee plantations in Thailand’s kaleidoscopic countryside scenery. For lunch, visit Royal Agricultural Station Inthanon, a government-sponsored project that supports local hill tribes’ sustainable agriculture. Later, head further into Doi Inthanon Park for a jungle hike through the national park, ending at the famous waterfall before the tour’s final stop at a bustling H’mong Market.
Taste of Nature in Eco-Valley | 1D
Pattara Farm Elephant Experience | ½D Be a mahout for a day with an extraordinary chance to spend time with elephants deep in the northern Thai jungle. Learn about farm management and sustainable breeding alongside your guide, with an unforgettable opportunity to take the elephants to the river for their morning bath and swim! Head off on a short elephant ride into the jungle later on, and wrap up your day with a relaxing picnic lunch and visit to a local temple to explore the role of elephants in traditional Thai culture. Buffalo Tours audits all Elephant related partners in line with our responsible travel policy.
Rice Farmer for a Day | 1D Rice is an important culinary staple in Thailand, and has long been a symbol of kindness and generosity in Thai culture. Spend your day the way many Thai locals do – harvesting and processing rice using traditional methods that have endured for centuries! Travel north along the scenic route from Chiang Mai to Phrao, and join farmers in the jungle-flanked paddy fields to pick and pound rice. Later, stroll through picturesque rural villages and visit with local rice farmers for a closer look at lifestyles in these rural city outskirts.
Coral Island & Racha Island by Speed Boat | ½D Jet off by speedboat across the glistening Andaman to Racha Island, famous for its pristine white beaches and world-class snorkelling. Discover the vibrant underwater life at Kon Kae Beach and Ter Bay, where crystal clear water makes it easy to explore the area’s colourful species coral and fish. Relax on the peaceful beach of Patok before a delicious lunch on Coral Island. Spend the rest of the afternoon resting, swimming or sunbathing on the island.
Phang Nga ATV and White Water Rafting | 1D Take a break from the beaches and embark on a wild adventure throughout nearby Phang Nga Province. Kick things off with a thrilling ATV journey across tropical rainforests and over glistening streams, discovering the rolling landscape of Song Phraek along the way. Later, hop aboard an inflatable raft to embark on a breathtaking ride over white waters, soaring over rapids as you travel down the free-flowing river. Wrap up your journey with an invigorating dip in a majestic jungle waterfall.
Phuket Heritage Walk | ½D Travel back in time to Phuket’s past life as a major port for Andaman Sea merchants on a guided journey by foot. Start the day like a local with a visit to the bustling wet market, where shopkeeps trade and haggle the same way they’ve done for decades. Stroll the quaint streets of Phuket Town past SinoPortuguese shops and the grand mansions of European traders. From eclectic temples and museums to a traditional Malay tea house, discover Phuket’s colourful blend of cultures at a pace perfect for cultural discovery.
Phuket Street Eats | ½D Set off on a culinary tour through Phuket’s winding roads and open-air night markets for a taste of the city’s famously exotic flavours. Begin with a cold drink and a snack atop Khao Rang before heading into the market, where the aromas of chili, garlic and spices fill the night air. Sample famous boiled rice and freshly barbequed meat skewers as you navigate through the hungry market crowds. Finish up with a sweet treat of Thai-style macaroons and a short stroll along glittering Talang Road. 52
Samui Street Eats | ½D Discover the flavours of Koh Samui on an evening street eats adventure into the heart of the island’s tastiest neighbourhoods. Watch the sun set over the Gulf of Thailand before heading to the local night market to sample a variety of snacks, with the sizzle of barbeques as your soundtrack. Learn the art of seasoning noodle dishes with chili and sugar and sample a range of local desserts before wrapping up your time with a beer at one of Samui locals’ favourite beach bars.
Take to the waters around the tropical island of Koh Phangan on a cruise aboard the Red Baron, a luxurious wooden junk boat. Pass secluded bays, relax on remote beaches and take a dip in a refreshing waterfall. After checking out the best of Koh Phangan, set sail for tiny Koh Ma and snorkel from the boat’s deck to glimpse the colourful marine life beneath the water’s surface. Enjoy a sumptuous barbeque buffet and sunbathe on the top deck as you drift back to Samui.
Koh Phangan Cruise by Junk Boat | 1D
Samui Highlight Tour & Spa Package | ½D Explore the cultural highlights of Samui, from the Big Buddha to the famous Grandma and Grandpa Rocks, before exploring the shops and stalls of Nathon Town. Pick up some quirky keepsakes and indulge in an exotic spa treatment at a traditional massage house with a choice of luxurious options. Head back to your hotel in time for a leisurely afternoon.
Just Jungle Island Safari | 1D Encounter Koh Samui’s incredible natural wonderland on a thrilling escapade through the tropical island. Venture between jungles, beaches, temples and markets and get up-close and personal with Samui’s vibrant culture. From rubber plantations to towering waterfalls to golden Buddha statues, Samui’s cultural highlights are just a jungle excursion away!
Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang
About Destination As one of the least-populated countries in Asia, Laos holds within its borders enough uncharted allure and scenic beauty to astound every visitor who steps foot there. But what enchants visitors to Laos most is its spiritual intrigue, which permeates its distinctly laid-back capital city through to its tiny rural villages. With the scent of burning incense or chanting of Buddhist monks, travellers here are unlikely to find another destination more ethereal or fascinating.
Touy Syhalath Country Manager
“There are so many interesting things about living in Laos - my homeland. I’ve lived in Luang Prabang for over 10 years – the former capital located where the Mekong and Khan rivers meet. The city is full of unspoiled culture and a mix of Laos and French architecture. If I’m not cycling the surrounding countryside, I love just walking down the riverbanks in the city. As often as I can, I love to get up into the mountains and enjoy the views. But if I had to pick my favourite thing about my home, it’s that it’s so relaxed, and everyone seems to know each other.”
Laos Family Retreat | 6D
Uncover family fun and adventure in two of Laos’ most fascinating cities, sleepy Luang Prabang and post-colonial Vientiane. Put a fun, experiential spin on cultural discovery with visits to local villages and handicraft workshops, get up-close and personal with elephants and visit Laos’ very own “theme park” at the weird and wonderful Buddha Park, home to Indochina’s strangest artwork!
itinerary Day 1- 3: Luang Prabang Start your adventure in laid-back Luang Prabang, the epicentre of Laos’ spiritual charm. In the city, sample local delicacies and bargain for handicrafts in the night market alongside your local guide. Then, set off on an in-depth excursion to ethnic minority villages just beyond the city centre, and learn how to make a traditional H’mong flute with a local master along the way. Mingle with artisans at a traditional arts centre – and perhaps try your hand at weaving - before exploring the city’s most iconic temples. The next morning, set your alarm clocks early for the magical almsgiving procession, and wrap up your time in Luang Prabang with an elephant ride at Elephant Village and a dip at Tad Sae Waterfall. Day 4-6: Vientiane Fly to Vientiane, Laos’ sleepy capital, for a city tour starting at the city’s oldest-surviving monastery, Wat Sisaket. Head next to Hor Phrakeo, a museum that was once the Lao Royal Family’s personal chapel before a stop at Patouxai, Vientiane’s Arc de Triomphe. The next day, journey out of the capital to explore the weird and wonderful statues in Buddha Park, located on the banks of the Mekong River. This collection of oddly-shaped statues is the life’s work of monk and mystic Bunleua Sulilat, whose creations wouldn’t be out of place in a Tim Burton film. Make sure your camera is ready to snap photos alongside a giant pumpkin with a demon head or a skeletal Buddha! 58
Inclusions • • • • • • • •
5 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 1 dinner All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
Laos In Depth | 13D Discover the very best of former-Indochina’s least populated nation on this comprehensive journey through tranquil Laos. With visits to iconic landmarks, experience the humble lifestyles of the country’s friendly locals on off-the-beaten track excursions beyond the highlights. Start your journey within the spiritual allure of Luang Prabang, stroll around the mysterious Plain of Jars and stay in a tree house accessible only via zip line before kicking back in a vast and breathtaking archipelago in the heart of the mighty Mekong River.
LAOS Luang Prabang
Day 1-3: Luang Prabang Begin your journey in rustic Luang Prabang, and witness the serene almsgiving ritual at the break of dawn. Learn about the diverse ethnic communities with in-depth excursions to surrounding ethnic minority villages. These fascinating areas are the perfect opportunity to witness traditional lifestyles in rural Laos.
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Day 4-5: Xieng Khouang – Vang Vieng Explore the mysterious Plain of Jars, an archaeological marvel with a mysterious and fascinating story. Learn about the folklore that surrounds this collection of immense, jar-like vessels, dating back thousands of years, before heading onward to Vang Vieng, on the banks of the Song River – perfect for a kayaking or trekking excursion. Day 6-9: Vientiane – Pakse Arrive in Asia’s sleepiest capital city, Vientiane, in time for a leisurely city tour exploring Victory Monument, ancient Wat Sisaket, Hor Pha Keo and iconic That Luang – the city’s most historic landmarks. Then, embark on a short journey beyond the city limits and into the heart of surrounding villages. On a gentle trek into the forest, explore the emerald rice paddy fields and wilderness brimming with Laos’ treasured bloom, the orchid. Finally, head onward to Pakse and its small, outlying village of Ban Nongluang. Hike, climb and zip line your way to a tree house perched 10 meters above the forest floor for a night within the wilderness. Day 10-13: Pakse – 4,000 Islands Embarking from Pakse, visit the ancient Wat Phou Temple Complex that pre-dates Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat by more than a century. Then head onward to Khong Island via an elephant trek past more temple ruins. Here, settle in for a relaxing cruise into Si Phan Don, or 4000 Islands, a vast and beautiful archipelago within the Mekong River. Sail between rustic floating villages and keep an eye out for the rare pink Irrawaddy Dolphin that calls this area home, before returning to Pakse.
10 nights hotel accommodation 2 nights tented camp accommodation Breakfast daily, 8 lunches, 1 dinner All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
“The real charm of Laos reveals itself more and more as you discover its depth. Really get to know this enchanting country in this 13 day adventure.” Touy Syhalath - Country Manager
Thailand and Laos Explorer | 12D
Uncover the secrets of northern Thailand and Laos on a scenic journey from capital to capital. Set off from bustling Bangkok toward sleepy Vientiane, passing through northern Thailand’s magical destinations along the way. Wander through ancient temples, sample tasty Thai food and trek through forests and past waterfalls in this adventurous 12-day journey.
Chiang Rai Chiang Mai
Day 1-4: Bangkok – Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai Start your adventure amid the vibrant energy of Bangkok, and escape the frenetic city streets with a dinner cruise on-board a traditional rice barge. Then, set off to discover the city on a tour of the highlights via boat, tuk-tuk and the Skytrain. Fly onward to Chiang Mai, Thailand’s charming northern hub, and explore its cozy avenues on a trishaw before whipping up a traditional Thai dinner with a local family. In nearby Chiang Rai, visit the iconic White Temple and the Golden Triangle, an area where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet.
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Day 5-8: Pakbeng – Luang Prabang After crossing the border into Laos by car, board your cruiseship and sail along the peaceful banks of the Mekong River. Spend the night in Pakbeng before continuing downriver to Pak Ou Caves, a famous pilgrimage site where fishermen have left hundreds of Buddha statues in the hopes of safe passage. Disembark in Luang Prabang, home of three-dozen ancient Buddhist temples and recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore local lifestyles in sleepy ethnic communities just outside of the city before a guided visit to a collection of iconic temples at the heart of the town. The next morning, rise before dawn to witness the magical morning procession of almsgiving. Wrap up your stay at Kuang Si Waterfall, a natural wonder only a short drive outside of Luang Prabang. Day 9-12: Vientiane Fly onward to Vientiane - Laos’ sleepy capital city - and explore the impressive architecture here, from immense golden stupas to French colonial archways. On a guided journey to Buddha Park, uncover the bizarre story behind this collection of odd Buddha statues and cryptic symbols along the banks of the Mekong River. Finish off on a full day’s trek through rice paddies and forests abundant with orchids, en route to a refreshing waterfall. 60
11 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 8 lunches, 2 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
Vietnam and Laos Signature | 16D
Explore the heart and soul of Vietnam and Laos on this 16-day journey from Ho Chi Minh City to Luang Prabang. Sail along chocolate waterways in the Mekong Delta, weave through local back alleys in Hanoi and Saigon, cruise astounding Halong Bay and visit ethnic minority communities in rustic Sapa and Luang Prabang. Along the way, experience Indochina’s magic and diversity with unforgettable close encounters with locals.
itinerary Day 1-6: Ho Chi Minh City – Can Tho – Chau Doc Begin your adventure in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s glittering southern metropolis. Here, set off on a journey through Cho Lon District – the world’s oldest Chinatown – and explore Binh Tay Market’s crumbling Sino-French architecture and narrow alleyways. Venture further south out of the city into the sleepy Mekong Delta, a region governed by the ebb and flow of the mighty Mekong River. During your time here, explore Vietnam’s torrid war history at Cu Chi Tunnels, mingle with farmers at Cai Rang Floating Market and paddle through the magical Tra Su Flooded Forest and Nature Reserve. Day 7-8: Hanoi Fly onward to Hanoi for a firsthand glimpse at the timeless charm of Vietnam’s capital city. At Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, visit the final resting place of Vietnam’s iconic former president. After heading further into the city centre, set off on a guided journey by traditional cyclo through the dense and historic Old Quarter streets. Along the way, delve into the exotic flavours of Vietnamese cuisine in a cooking demonstration over lunch, before enjoying a tasty Vietnamese coffee on a cafe balcony overlooking poetic Hoan Kiem Lake. Day 9-12: Sapa - Halong Bay Arrive in the misty mountain outpost of Sapa from your overnight sleeper train just in time to watch the locals begin to stir. Set off on a gentle trek through the region’s iconic tiered rice paddy fields following the curves of rolling hills. Your journey leads you through the remote villages of O Quy Ho and Y Linh Ho for an in-depth look at the lifestyles of Sapa’s Black H’mong people. Paint traditional Batik, spend an afternoon in a traditional H’mong home and follow winding village trails before wrapping up your journey in Halong Bay, Vietnam’s astounding archipelago boasting limestone karsts set against jade waters. Day13-16: Luang Prabang Arrive in beautiful Luang Prabang, the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of Laos. Settle into the city’s tranquil atmosphere among three dozen Buddhist temples before spending your first day exploring local ethnic communities in the city’s outskirts. Back in the centre, set off on a guided wander through architectural marvels, and experience firsthand the magical Buddhist procession of almsgiving at dawn. At an elephant park, meet Laos’ gentle giants before spending your final day at Kuang Si Waterfall, a natural wonder a short drive out of town.
Ho Chi Minh City
Chau Doc Can Tho
Inclusions • • • • • • • • • •
12 nights hotel accommodation 2 nights sleeper train 1 night cruise accommodation Breakfast daily, 11 lunches, 2 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary 61
Hidden Northern Laos | 9D Discover seldom-visited villages and communities on an in-depth, adventurous excursion into the wild north of Laos. Set off from historic Luang Prabang to uncover tiny ethnic minority communities and rustic farming villages in Muong La and Phouhipi National Park. Trek to secluded waterfalls and rock formations, sail down the Ou River and weave along quiet jungle paths onboard a four-byfour. This is the perfect, off-the-beaten-track odyssey with a dose of cultural discovery.
Muang La Nong Khiaw
itinerary Day 1-3: Luang Prabang Start your voyage in Luang Prabang, Laos’ rustic and alluring UNESCO World Heritage Site. On your first day, set off to visit ethnic minority villages – the perfect place to get an in-depth look at traditional Lao arts and heritage. Explore the city’s glittering Buddhist architecture back in the city centre, and pay a visit to a local NGO that supports literacy in Laos. Early the next morning, witness the tranquil ceremony of almsgiving as hundreds of saffron-robed monks walk the city roads to collect offerings of rice. Wrap up your stay with a visit to an elephant village, the site of your elephant ride into the jungle! Day 4-5: Muong La Journey by car deep into Laos’ little-explored northern reaches en route to Muong La, and follow winding roads flanked by spectacular vistas along the way. Stay at a local guesthouse in this rustic town, and gather your energy for a day of exploration on board a four-by-four. During an exhilarating ride, visit a collection of local villages and disembark to trek into areas rarely explored by outsiders. Hike up to an isolated waterfall for mesmerizing views of spectacular rock formations, and wrap up your time within Phouhipi National Park exploring Khamu and H’mong heritage in seldom-visited villages. Day 6-9: Ban Somjam – Muong Ngoi – Luang Prabang Deep within the northern Laos wilderness, explore plantations and villages famous for whiskey production before cruising down the Nam Ou River en route to Ban Somjam. This charming village surrounded by majestic limestone rock formations is a great place to interact with local children who rarely meet foreign visitors. Back onboard, continue cruising downstream to Muong Ngoi, a riverside village enveloped in mountains. During your stay, journey to a collection of caves that were once shelters for locals during the secret bombing of Laos. Then, sail further down river to the confluence of the Mekong and Ou River stopping by the Pak Ou Caves, famous for hundreds of Buddha statues housed within, before returning to historic Luang Prabang. 62
Inclusions • • • • • • • •
7 nights hotel accommodation 1 night homestay accommodation Breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 3 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers
Luang Prabang - Elephant Protection Day Tour | 1D Meet Laos’ gentle giants on a full-day excursion in the outskirts of historic Luang Prabang, to Elephant Village – a local centre focused on the protection and rehabilitation of the country’s elephants. Through expert demonstrations, learn about the work the mahouts do before embarking on an elephant ride into the jungle. Wade into the banks of the Nam Khan River for an elephant bathing session, and wrap up your journey with a boat trip to the Tad Sae Waterfall.
Vietntiane - Buddha Park Tour | ½D Take a stroll around the wonderfully quirky Buddha Park along the Mekong River in the outskirts of Vientiane. This bizarre theme park was built under the guidance of Bunleua Sulilat, a mystic who combined Buddhism and Hinduism to create a uniquely fantastical religion with hundreds of believers, many of which helped sculpt this collection of bizarre Buddha statues, in the process. Explore the overgrown artworks, from the skeletal Buddha to a giant pumpkin with a demon head!
Vientiane - Orchid Day Trek | 1D Laos
Set off into the wilderness surrounding Vientiane to discover the network of trails brimming with orchids just beyond the city limits. On a guided excursion into the jungle brush, take a refreshing dip in a serene waterfall, learn about the plants used by locals to create herbal medicine and experience firsthand the traditional farming methods still used by Lao farmers today.
Luang Prabang ½D Cultural Explorer Dive into the daily life of Luang Prabang’s locals on this distinctive full-day tour. Learn about three distinct ethnic cultures in Laos: the H’mong, Khmu and Lao Loum. Carve your own H’mong flute, cook traditional river weed salad and chat with local families. Along your journey, directly support the community with visits to artisanal shops and literacy programs while also exploring some of the major architectural highlights of the city.
Bagan UNESCO World Heritage Site
About Destination Once described by novelist Rudyard Kipling as “quite unlike any place you know about”, Myanmar emerged from decades of seclusion only a short while ago. Despite the passage of time, though, the nation retained the same fascinating aura of mystery that once captivated the wordsmith. Timeless, mysterious and utterly magical, Myanmar is perhaps one of Asia’s last remaining destinations to explore a culture that time forgot - and discover for yourself what still makes Burma the “Golden Land of Asia”. “Myanmar is a country like no other, full of mystery and bygone romanticism. A land of poetry and prose, Myanmar invokes stories about glittering golden stupas, winding rivers and crimson robed monks. This mesmerising destination is steeped in ancient and exotic cultures, surrounded by pristine wilderness, and vast areas still waiting to be discovered. To live here is to look into the past and to stride into the future.” Joanne Craig Country Manager
Classic Myanmar | 14D
Discover the enchanting story of Myanmar with a classic tour of its most iconic destinations. Between exploring Yangon’s charming colonial architecture and the vast temple plains of Bagan, watch the one-legged rowers on Inle Lake and witness the longest teakwood bridge in the world. Sum up an unforgettable journey to the ancient cities of Amarapura, Mandalay and Pyin Oo Lwin with a few days beachside at Ngapali on the Bay of Bengal. itinerary Mandalay
Day 1-2: Yangon Delve deep into the cultures of the former capital, Yangon, Myanmar’s largest and most bustling city. Explore the charms of this cultural melting pot on a full-day excursion to admire golden temples, fading colonial architecture and the historic Scott Market. Along the way, see the colossal reclining Buddha of Htat Gyi Pagoda and in the evening, opt to take part in the Buddhist ritual of lantern lighting at the glittering Shwedagon Pagoda. Day 3-6: Bagan Hop on a short flight to Bagan and discover the vast, rustic plain home to thousands of temple ruins scattered across the dusty landscape. Explore this important archeological marvel, and watch the sunset from atop the 11th Century Shwesandaw Pagoda. Set off from the jetty across the river to Tant Kyi Taung, the hilltop temple said to house a tooth relic of Buddha. On a cruise along the Irrawaddy River, take in the picturesque countryside en route to Mandalay. Day 7-8: Mandalay Disembark your cruise in Mandalay to spend a few days exploring this historical area and its surrounding ancient capitals - starting with Sagaing’s impressive stupas scattered across the hill. Walk along the world’s longest wooden bridge, U Bien, after witnessing the ornate carvings adorning the Bagaya Kyaung teakwood monastery. Drive onward to Pyin Oo Lwin and explore the remaining colonial buildings of this former British hill station before taking a stroll through the vibrant botanical gardens nearby. Day 9-11: Inle Lake Journey to Heho, the gateway to Inle Lake, and cruise across the vast expanse of stilted houses, floating gardens and fishermen famous for their unique, one-legged rowing technique. Cruise to the village of Indein, with crumbling 16th Century stupas perching along the bank before a visit to a handful of local handicraft shops specialising in iron work, jewelry, silk and cheroot cigars. Finally, fly onward to Ngapali for a relaxing beach break. Day 12-14: Ngapali Beach Nestled on the southwestern coast of Myanmar, spend the next two days settling into the rural calm of this rustic beach escape. Explore rural fishing villages, meander breezy coastal trails and kick back on gloriously untainted beach enclaves. 68
Bagan Inle Lake
Inclusions • • • • • • • • •
11 nights hotel accommodation 2 nights cruise cabin Breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 2 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
“This ‘greatest hits’ package of Myanmar showcases the ancient, colonial and spiritual history of this amazing destination.” Joanne Craig - Country Manager
Essence of Myanmar | 11D
Myanmar Explore the spellbinding magic of Myanmar on a luxurious highlights odyssey by road and river. Soak up Yangon’s post-colonial charm and witness the sunrise over Bagan’s mystic plains, before embarking on an in-depth cruise exploring lesserseen cultural highlights along the Irrawaddy River. Designed for the discerning explorer, this tour visits the country’s hidden gems and classic destinations in style.
Bagan Inle Lake
itinerary Day 1-3: Yangon - Bagan Arrive in Yangon, the former capital and largest city in the country, to explore the cultural and historical highlights amongst the bustle of urban life. Stroll through streets lined with rustic colonial buildings and around the glittering Shwedagon Pagoda and its towering golden spire. Fly onward to the vast, temple-dotted valley of Bagan, seat of the Pagan Kingdom. Take in the breathtaking view of the site’s 2000 ancient temples with meals overlooking panoramic vistas. For unrivaled views of the temples at sunrise, opt to spend a morning drifting up above the plain on a hot air balloon!
Inclusions • • • • • • • • •
7 nights hotel accommodation 3 nights cruise accomodation Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 4 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
Day 4-5: Bagan – Sagaing - Amarapura Embark on a cruise aboard the Sanctuary Ananda along the Irrawaddy River, taking in the colourful cultures along the riverbank of this mighty waterway. Stop at a hidden pagoda to witness a magical oil lamp ceremony, explore the pagoda-sprinkled Sagaing Hill and discover the spiritual serenity of “the City of Immortals” in Amarapura. On a three day cruise from here, watch the sun set over U Bien Bridge and cruise into the heart of lesser-explored Myanmar. Day 6-7: Mandalay Disembark to tour the ancient cities surrounding Mandalay, the last royal capital of Myanmar. Within this historic city surrounded by an ancient moat, explore the country’s fascinating heritage at Mahamuni Pagoda and Puthodaw Pagoda, home to the largest book in the world. Visit the magnificent reconstructed palace in the heart of the city before ending the day with romantic sunset views atop Mandalay Hill. Day 8-11: Inle Lake Fly to Heho for the final leg of your journey around the banks of Inle Lake. Start off with a wine tasting at the renowned Red Mountain Estate, then glide across the lake flanked by rolling mountain scenery. Wander the narrow waterways, spotting floating gardens, markets and 16th Century stupas from aboard your boat. Watch the incredible work of local artisans’ forging iron, weaving silk and crafting delicate jewelry here before either returning to Yangon or travelling to Ngapali for a well-earned beach break. 69
Myanmar Adventure | 13D
Witness the vast and breathtaking natural wonder of Myanmar on an expedition through the country’s rural countryside and ancient cities. Set off from the former capital Yangon bound for the temple-dotted plains of Bagan. During the journey, stop off to explore crumbling ancient architecture in Mandalay before a challenging trek to Kalaw, a rustic hill station far from the tourist track. Float along Inle Lake, explore centuries-old stupas in Indein and meet Myanmar’s famously kind locals on this adventurous tour.
Day 1-5: Yangon - Bagan Start your adventure in the frenetic former capital of Yangon. Embark on a guided city tour for a closer look at its fascinating juxtaposition of fading colonial architecture and golden temples. In the city centre, hop aboard the circle train - a favourite among Yangon’s urban dwellers - and rub shoulders with local commuters. Then, fly onward to Bagan, home to 2000 centuries-old temples scattered across the vast and rustic scenery. Connect the dots between the plain’s most famous temples by bicycle, following dusty paths along the way. Day 6-8: Mandalay Set sail from Bagan bound for historic Mandalay, passing through rural countryside along the Irrawaddy River. Disembark and head onward to the ancient cities just outside of the centre, walk across the longest teakwood bridge in the world at U-Bien Bridge and explore the scattered stupas dotting Sagaing Hill. Then, hop on a bicycle and head to the outskirts of Mandalay – pass bustling local markets, tiny villages and waving children before catching your breath with a cup of famous Burmese tea. Wrap up your time in Mandalay with a tour of the former capital, including a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda and Kuthodaw Pagoda, home to the largest book in the world. Day 9-10: Kalaw After flying to Heho, drive onward to Kalaw, a former colonial hill station perched in the cooler climate of the mountains. Explore the sleepy charm of the town centre and the colourful central market before catching a train to Thazi, the starting point of your trek through the plain. Hike past farmers and buffalo tending to their fields, weave through pine forests and wander through small hamlets for an up-close look at rural lifestyles in this little-explored corner of the Myanmar wilderness. Day 11-13: Inle Lake – Indein Travel onward to Inle Lake, a vast yet serene landscape enveloped by majestic mountain scenery. Drift past floating gardens, stilted houses and rowers plying their oars with one leg, before winding through waterways to overgrown stupas at Indein on the far bank of the lake. Disembark to explore a collection of artisanal handicraft shops and try your hand at rolling a cheroot cigar for a souvenir! On your final day, wrap up your journey with a flight back to Yangon. 70
Inclusions • • • • • • • •
12 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 2 lunches All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
Jewels Of The Irrawaddy 9D Yangon To Bagan Embark on an upstream cruise along the Irrawaddy River for a glimpse at lesser-explored destinations in the heart of Myanmar. Weave through magical rural scenery and explore ancient cities, pastoral villages and historic wartime landmarks on a leisurely glide connecting colonial Yangon and the mesmerizing temple landscape of Bagan. Day 1-2: Yangon – Danuphyu Board your ship, the Belmond Orcaella, and depart from the dock in Yangon. Sit down for breakfast as your cruiser chugs out of the city and rural countryside unfolds. The next morning, stop at Danuphyu, a town that was an important strategic point during the Anglo-Burmese War. Watch locals here expertly roll cheroot cigars, visit a memorial at a local university and enjoy a talk on Burmese literature and poetry at a local tea shop. Day 3-4: Danuphyu - Pyay Cruise onwards and spend a day relaxing on board while making your way toward one of Myanmar’s most historic towns. Along the way, enjoy an astrology and longyi tying demonstration, which you can wear during the evening’s cocktail party. Arrive the next day in Pyay, the ancient capital and home to Sri Ksetra, the largest Pyu site ever discovered. Explore ancient artefacts excavated within this historic walled site. Day 5-6: Pyay - Magwe Sail through the morning and stop in the quaint village of Gwechaung for an afternoon ride on an oxcart through the countryside. In the evening, dine at Min Hla Fort, the site of an epic battle during the third AngloBurmese War. The next day, arrive at the trade port of Magwe and hop in a tuk tuk for a tour of a local market and the famous Myathalon Pagoda. Enjoy an afternoon tea and a Burmese puppet show aboard the ship in the evening. Day 7-9: Bagan - Yangon Disembark in Sale, and head to Yout-Saun-Kyaung, an ornately carved wooden monastery built in the 19th Century. From there, take a bus to Bagan, a vast and rustic plain littered with thousands of temples, pagodas and stupas dating back to the 11th Century. This breathtaking landscape is the largest and densest concentration of Buddhist ruins in the world, and truly a sight to behold. Over the next few days, visit a few of the most magnificent temples, explore neighbouring villages and ride through the plains on a bicycle or private horse and cart.
The Strand Cruise | 5D Cruise from the temple-dotted landscape of Bagan to the former royal capital of Mandalay via the Irrawaddy River. Explore some of the country’s most iconic temples and breathtaking sunsets over rural landscapes from the deck – stopping to explore quiet villages and fascinating vestiges of crumbing ancient architecture on land excursions during the journey. Day 1: Bagan Start your journey with breakfast in a secluded garden at one of the oldest lacquer factories in Bagan before you head out to the 2000 temple ruins across 100 square kilometres of vast plains. Tonight, board your ship for a luxurious cruise up the Irrawaddy River. Day 2: Bagan - Tant Kyi Taung Watch as picturesque countryside landscape unfolds while crossing the river to Tant Kyi Beach. Head to the hilltop monastery Tant Kyi Tuang and take in an unrivalled view over Bagan’s plains before returning to the ship and cruising onwards, enjoying afternoon tea onboard. Day 3: Mingun As you approach Mingun, keep your eyes on the shoreline for a glimpse at the immense temple of Mingun Pyay appearing on the horizon. As one of the largest brick bases in the world, this majestic construction is technically unfinished! Walk around one of the country’s oldest capitals and witness the influence and cultural significance of Buddhism in the area. Continue onward for a guided stroll through this uncommonly peaceful city before heading to the beach for some traditional performances and a tasty dinner. Day 4: Mandalay Reach your final stop in Mandalay, the second largest city and last royal-capital of Myanmar. Visit the major pilgrimage site of Mahamuni, including the incredible ornately-carved teak monastery Shwe In Bin and U-Bein Bridge, the longest teakwood bridge in the world. Next, explore Sagaing and Ava by a horse-drawn cart, arriving at a secluded temple in Ava. After your climb to the top, relax with a champagne cocktail and enjoy the sunset overlooking the temples of Sagaing Hill. Day 5: Mandalay Disembark your cruise in Mandalay today to wrap up your journey through Myanmar’s stunning river scenery.
Pyay - Unesco Heritage Site | 4D
Ngapali Beach Break | 4D
Set off from Yangon to the ancient capital of the Pyu Kingdom, built during the 5th Century. Meander around this astounding UNESCO recognised town, famous for magnificent bell-shaped stupas and ornately carved pagodas. During your journey, take in spectacular views of Akauk Taung during a scenic cruise.
Swap the frenetic urban energy of Yangon for the rustic shores of Ngapali Beach, nestled on the southwestern coast of Myanmar. Explore quiet rural surroundings, meet smiling locals in tiny fishing villages and relax on pristine stretches of white-sand beaches in this four-day coastal getaway.
Day 1: Yangon – Pyay Journey from the bustling city of Yangon to Pyay, the ancient capital and newly-recognised World Heritage Site. Drive along charming countryside paths and through quiet villages, stopping off to stretch your legs and take photos at scenic points along the journey. After arrival, head to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure. Day 2: Pyay - Unesco Sites Explore the historic landmarks within this former capital of the ancient Pyu Kingdom. On a guided wander within the area once surrounded by towering city walls, explore the unusual bell-shaped pagodas of Baw Baw Gyi, Be Be Pay and Payama Pagoda – believed to house relics of Buddha. Wrap up your day with mesmerising views of Shwesandaw Pagoda, where a massive seated Buddha rises up from the tree line. Day 3: Pyay - Akauk Taung Cruise along the Irrawaddy River from Pyay to Akauk Taung, where an incredible collection of Buddha images has been carved into the cliffs. Varying in size, the statues were crafted and placed by boatmen in the hopes of safe travels, and make for fantastic photos. If you’re feeling energetic, climb to the vantage-point atop the mountain and enjoy panoramic views before returning to Pyay for an evening at your leisure. Day 4: Pyay – Yangon Set off from Pyay for a drive back to Yangon through the countryside. 72
Journey to the Golden Rock | 5D
Mrauk – U Explorer | 5D
Discover Golden Rock, one of the most awe-inspiring sights in Myanmar. An enormous gold-leaf adorned boulder suspended on the edge of the cliff, see this sacred rock and explore surrounding villages, pagodas and monasteries for a glimpse of authentic life in Myanmar.
Discover the unique history and culture of Mrauk U on this short trip to the ancient capital. Explore temples with thousands of statues, images and reliefs of Buddha and learn about the unique cultural practices of the Chin people.
Day 1: Yangon – Kyaikhtiyo Leave Yangon behind and drive to Bago to see the impressive 55 meter long reclining Buddha and the millennium old Shwemawdaw Pagoda. Stop by handicraft villages en route, and visit a tree-shrine dedicated to the spirits, called nats, before visiting the Allied War Graves Cemetery. Reach Kyaikhtiyo, or Golden Rock, an immense boulder perched precariously on the side of a cliff. Brave the journey up to its glittering façade to take in incredible views from the summit.
Day 1: Yangon – Sittwe Fly out of Yangon to the sleepy fishing village of Sittwe. Check in and relax with a visit to Fakir Point, the perfect locale to enjoy a refreshing sea breeze. From here, take in panoramic views of the Baronga Islands on the other side of the river.
Day 2: Kyaikhtiyo – Hpa An Journey from Golden Rock to the town of Hpa An for the next leg of your tour. A picturesque riverside town surrounded by majestic karsts, unique rock formations and home to ethnic hill tribes, discover the hotspring lake of Bayint Nyi Cave before visiting Kaw Gun Cave, home to thousands of etched stone tablets and hundreds of Buddha statues. Day 3: Hpa An – Mawlamyaing Travel to the former capital of British Colonial Burma, Mawlamyaing, a main port and trading hub. Immortalised in the poetry and prose of literary greats Kipling and Orwell, this riverside town still has a few vestiges of its colonial past. On the way, visit the Kyauk Kalat pagoda and stop at a viewpoint overlooking the surrounding wetlands. Day 4: Mawlamyaing At Kawhnat-Kadoe Village, hear the tale of a legendary price war between two shipping merchants before witnessing a display of ancient handicrafts at a local pagoda. Return to town for a quick boat ride to Shampoo Island, so named because of the shampooing ceremonies held by the Mon kings during their reign. In the afternoon, visit Mahamuni Pagoda and the the Yadana Bon Myint Monastery before watching the sunset over the harbour. Day 5: Mawlamyaing - Yangon Travel overland to reach Yangon. The drive takes about seven hours, but there will plenty of stops along the way to stretch your legs and take photos.
Day 2: Sittwe – Mrauk U Cruise along the river on a local boat to Mrauk U, once the capital of the Arakan Empire, which was frequented by Portuguese, French and Dutch traders along with Bengali princes on the run during the 15th Century. Explore the fortress-temple Htaukkhan Thein, before visiting a temple that houses a tooth relic of Buddha. After your adventure, unwind with a stunning view of the sunset over the river. Day 3: Mrauk U Start the day at Shittaung Temple, the most famous in Mrauk U and comprised of approximately 80,000 holy images and reliefs. At Laungbanprauk Pagoda, take in the vibrant colours of the platelike tiles that adorn its interior. In the afternoon, visit a museum with inscribed ancient stone slabs before climbing up Shwe Taung Hill for a lovely view overlooking the town. Day 4: Mrauk U Enjoy a day at leisure or opt for a boat journey along Lemro River to discover the traditional home of the Chin people. Chat with local women who live in bamboo forests along the riverside, some of which still practice the local tradition of facial tattooing – a practice that is now banned. Learn more about this fascinating tradition from the people who cherish it before returning to Mrauk U. Day 5: Mrauk U – Sittwe – Yangon Check out from your hotel and board the local boat departing to Sittwe. From here, transfer to the airport and fly to Yangon.
Bagan Sunset Dinner | ½D Experience the majestic sunset over the temple-dotted plains of Bagan while enjoying a three-course meal at the Bagan Viewing Tower. From the roof-top veranda, witness panoramic views of this UNESCO World Heritage site and the Irrawaddy river in the distance. Choose from Burmese, Chinese, Thai or European cuisine for your meal.
Inle Winery Tasting and Lunch | 1D Get an in-depth look at winemaking in Myanmar with a visit to Red Mountain Winery, nestled close to the majestic Shan Hills. Established in 2003, the vineyard boasts vines imported from France and Spain, and is overseen by French winemaker, Francios Raynai. Follow your guide through the fields to learn about the process of wine production from vine, before a tasting and enjoying a quiet lunch overlooking Inle Lake.
Mandelay Burmese Cooking Class | ½D Meet your chef for an early morning exploration of the nearby wet market, and purchase the vegetables and spices that go into making Burmese cuisine. After selecting your ingredients, head to the cooking school and don your chef’s apron! This handson lesson with a local chef introduces you to the unique, exotic flavours that make Burmese cuisine special. Wrap up your experience with a taste of your own creations for lunch!
Rangoon by Rail | 1D All aboard the Rangoon Rail! Start your day among the locals with a ride on the circle train departing from downtown, a 45km circular route through the greater Yangon area where you’ll rub shoulders with cages of chickens and women balancing baskets of goods on their heads. Don’t be surprised if you attract a few curious glances, too - foreigners are not a common sight here! Along the way visit the prison where Aung Suu Kyi was held on three separate occasions, and enjoy a cup of savoury tea in a local tea shop.
Dala Urban Discovery | 1D Discover the rural township of Dala, only a quick ferry ride across the river from Yangon. Feel the rush of the crowd as commuters jostle alongside vendors, and women hawk an assortment of snacks from trays perched on their heads. See how the countryside locals live with a trishaw ride along the Dala waterfront and through tree-shaded lanes. Then, drive to Baung Daw Gyoke Pagoda - also known as the Snake Temple - where pythons in tangled knots drip from the windows and slither freely among the devotees and nuns! End your visit with a stop at the 1,000 Buddhas, a replica of those in Monywa near Mandalay. 75
Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur
Hoang Sa Islands
Truong Sa Islands
About Destination Multi-cultural cities, primordial rainforests, tropical island paradise – Malaysia is a dazzling mosaic of cityscape and untamed wilderness. Orangutans swing through prehistoric jungle canopy while mosques calls-to-prayer ring through historic city avenues. A vivid blend of post-colonial heritage, swaying palm trees and frenetic urban hubs, Malaysia is the ultimate gateway to the energy of the Asian region with enough adventure for even the most seasoned of explorers. Malaysia is a diversified and colourful country with Malay, Chinese, Indian and other cultures living together. Our landscape is a balance of highlands, beaches and rural scenery. Being a total foodie, I feel like I am in paradise; every day getting to choose from hawker dishes to fine dining - whichever suits the budget. Malaysian people are also so warm and very friendly, and always ready to lend a helping hand to visitors. I am proud to be “Anak Malaysia” Azlin Binti Aziz Country Manager
Highlights of Malaysia and Singapore | 9D
Enjoy the best of Singapore and Malaysia on this compact nine-day getaway. Visit Singapore’s exquisite Marina Bay Waterfront, hit the shops on Orchard Street and snap some photos at the Singapore Botanical Gardens before heading over the border to Malaysia. Go beyond Malaysia’s modern exterior as you wander the streets of historic Malacca, savour views from Kuala Lumpur’s highest towers and get up close with local wildlife in coastal Langkawi.
Day 1-2: Singapore Once a sleepy fishing village, the small island city-state of Singapore has transformed into a bustling metropolis, and the heart of Southeast Asia’s economic boom. Explore the city on a traditional bumboat ride along the Singapore River, visit the namesake statue at Merlion Park set against the backdrop of Singapore’s grand waterfront, Marina Bay, and marvel at the historic architecture in the Civic District. Wander the Singapore Botanic Gardens and make a pit stop at the National Orchid Gardens, home to the world’s largest orchid display. On your final night, discover the city under a sky full of stars with a guided tour by night. Day 3: Malacca The Malaysian adventure begins in Malacca, a city brimming with colonial history and mesmerizing multi-cultural architecture. Explore the very best of its post-colonial charms with a visit to Saint Peter’s Church and Port De Santiago, some of the oldest surviving European relics in Asia. Wander the surrounding Dutch architecture here before heading onward to Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, where Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism coexist under one roof. Day 4-5: Kuala Lumpur Begin your journey to Kuala Lumpur over land, and make a stop at the Batu Caves, a vast system of caves housing Hindu temples and guarded by an enormous golden statue – the second biggest of a Hindu deity in the world. Arrive in Malaysia’s metropolis for a restful evening and head to the sky bridge of the soaring Petronas Twin Towers the next day. Take in panoramic views from your perch here before exploring the city at your leisure. Mosques, temples, vibrant street markets and soaring architectural landmarks dotting the cityscape make for a fascinating wander. Day 6-9: Langkawi Travel to Langkawi, a stunning archipelago of islands in the Andaman Sea, and relax at your resort or explore the surrounding nature reserve. Embark on a mangrove safari, discovering the diverse wildlife and thriving ecosystem along the riverbanks. By boat, weave your way from Kilim to Bat Cave to see thousands of dangling bats. Wade with stingrays and snap photos of native White Head Eagles. Unwind in the gentle surf and on the pristine white sands at Tanjung Rhu Beach, for a relaxing end to a great adventure. 80
SINGAPORE Inclusions • • • • • • •
8 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 3 lunches All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees English speaking driver cum guide Round trip transfers
“This Highlights of Malaysia and Singapore Tour gives everyone a crash course of both countries, enjoy the vibrant lion city and mystical legendary Malaysia.” Azlin Binti Aziz - Country Manager
Cameron Highlands Escape | 7D
Soak up the urban energy of Kuala Lumpur and the rustic beauty of the Cameron Highlands on a single, fascinating cultural escape. Explore the very best of Malaysia’s vibrant capital city, embark on an adventure to lush rolling mountains and tea plantations, and wrap up your journey on the island of Penang – home to a vivid blend of cultural heritage and coastal charm. Penang
itinerary Day 1-2: Kuala Lumpur Upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur, enjoy the city’s charms at leisure before enjoying a five-star evening dinner at 57, the city’s highest rooftop bar. The next morning, visit the iconic Petronas Twin Towers that erupt from the city’s magnificent skyline as the international symbol of Malaysia. After the sun sets, dine on an extravagant dinner at a rotating restaurant high above the cityscape, and get a taste of the cross-cultural flavours of Malay cuisine while savouring unrivalled panoramic views. Day 3-4: Kuala Lumpur - Cameron Highalnds Head north today, bound for the beautiful Cameron Highlands, an extended hill station where rolling mountains are lush with vegetation and the region’s famous tea plantations. Drive through Tapah Town towards the majestic Iskandar waterfall and, after a refreshing stretch, journey onward to a spectacular viewpoint taking in breathtaking scenery. The next day, continue on to the highest summit of the area, en route to the Mossy Forest. Here, discover the incredible biodiversity that the forest hides within its lush interior. On your final day, take a tour of a tea factory for a taste of the region’s agricultural traditions. Day 5-7: Penang Descend from the mountains en route to Penang, and take in the charm of this breezy island destination. Enjoy some free time to explore the area at your leisure, before heading out for a guided tour of the island’s best street food –considered by many to be the best in Asia! Roll up your sleeves for a specialised cooking class at Tropical Spice Garden, and craft delightful specialities while surrounded by hundreds of plant species from around the world. Afterwards, enjoy the fruits of your labour at lunch, and take in the views before returning back to hotel to relax on your final night.
Inclusions • • • • • • •
6 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 1 dinner All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees English speaking driver cum guide Round trip transfers “A tour of city, highlands and beaches comes together with a bonus mouthwatering “cook for yourself” foodie surprise.” Yana Halim - Product Executive 81
Malaysia Honeymoon Adventure | 10D
Experience the romance of Malaysia’s breathtaking sights on a journey exploring the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur and acres of tea plantations in the Cameron Highlands. Along the way, enjoy romantic picnics overlooking stunning highland countryside, lounge on white sand beaches on Pangkor Island and dine in fivestar style in the capital’s highest bar. itinerary Day 1-2: Kuala Lumpur Take in the frenzy of the glittering metropolis of Kuala Lumpur, as you sip cocktails in the Petronas Twin Towers and enjoy a soaring savoury meal at one of the world’s highest bars. Next, after a visit to indigenous people along the way, head to Gandah Elephant Sanctuary. Alongside conservation experts, learn about how to take care of these gentle giants and even get a chance to bathe them in a river! Day 3-4: Cameron Highlands Embark next on a scenic journey up north to the hill resort region of Cameron Highlands, where lush rolling hills and flower farms await. Breathe in the fresh air and take in the spectacular views here before visiting a strawberry farm, fruit market and butterfly farm. On your final day here, visit the quirky Time Tunnel Memorabilia Museum for a glimpse of the area’s history. Day 5-10: Pangkor Island Enjoy the views on the descent from Cameron Highlands and board your boat to head for Pangkor Island, located in the Straits of Malacca. This piece of paradise is home to some of the world’s best luxury resorts, and is the perfect locale to enjoy several days of beachside bliss. Swim, sunbathe and unwind here before taking to the water for some optional water sport excursions from the hotel. 82
Cameron Highlands Pangkor
Inclusions • 9 nights hotel accommodation • Breakfast daily, 1 lunch, 1 dinner • All road transport by air conditioned vehicles • Return boat transfers to/from Marina Island Jetty Pangkor Laut • Sightseeing as specified • Entrance fee • English speaking driver cum guide • Round trip transfer
East Coast Delights | 9D
The eastern coast of Malaysia boasts some of the nation’s most vibrant cultures and spectacular cities, highlighted with spectacular tropical scenery. Take in the very best of this fascinating region on a nine-day odyssey from city to wilderness and back again. Kick back on pristine beaches, explore vibrant island culture, discover the mysteries of a dense tropical forest and take in the urban charms of Kuala Lumpur along the way. itinerary Day 1-2: Penang Arrive in tropical Penang, the first stop on your journey. Start your adventure with a guided stroll around town to sample the iconic dishes that make Penang a worldwide street food destination. The next day, climb up to Kek Lok Si Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia. Here, witness thousands of Buddha statues situated along this distinctive 7-tier pagoda. On your final day, ride up to Penang Hill on the funicular train, and take in the spectacular, panoramic views of the city and nature below. Day 3-6: Kota Baharu – Kuala Terengganu - Kuantan Drive across the peninsula and watch as the tropical rainforest surrounding your next stop unfolds. Arrive in Kota Baharu to explore the coastal town and visit the Sit Khadijah Market, famous as a market run exclusively by women! Enjoy a scenic drive along the coastline on the way to Kuala Terengganu, and arrive at your resort specialising in physical and spiritual rejuvenation. After a relaxing stay here, head onward the Islamic Civilization Park - filled with miniatures of worldwide architectural marvels - before heading to the beach getaway of Kuantan. Here, kick back and listen to the water lap along the shore for some seaside relaxation. Day 7-9: Kuala Lumpur Swap the golden sand of Kuantan for glittering city lights today on your drive toward Kuala Lumpur. Along the way, stop to explore the famous Hindu pilgrimage site of Batu Caves, where thousands of visitors pay respects to the cave shrine guarded by a gargantuan golden statue of Lord Murugan. Arrive in Kuala Lumpur for some exploration at your leisure, before visiting the most famous of the city’s best-known landmarks: the Petronas Twin Towers. From the sky bridge, enjoy panoramic views of the cityscape from atop the two tallest buildings in Southeast Asia. In the afternoon, enjoy a theatrical performance depicting Kuala Lumpur’s past life as a tin mining town. Spend your final night enjoying the city’s famous street food or stocking up on souvenirs before your onward flight.
Inclusions • • • • • • •
8 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees English speaking driver cum guide Round trip transfers 83
Borneo Jungle Adventure | 11D
Kota Kinabalu Kinabalu Park
Explore the best of Borneo’s natural wonders on this 11-day adventure through the wild. Watch turtle hatchlings take their first swim on Selingan Island, feed baby orangutans at the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre in Sandakan, and venture up the Kinabatangan River on an adventurous river safari. This excursion through Malaysia’s most vibrant jungle terrain puts an in-depth, adventurous twist on the scenic highlights. itinerary Day 1-3: Kota Kinabalu – Selingan Island Beyond its big cities, Malaysia boasts incredible natural beauty. Travel by land, air and sea to experience some of Malaysia’s most enchanting natural landmarks. Island hop to discover sandy beaches, clear blue waters and the colorful tropical fish. Fly to Sandakan and enjoy a beautiful boat ride to Selingan Island, a key nesting area for native green sea turtles. After snorkelling, watch them lay their eggs in the sand with a park ranger and learn about how relocation efforts hope to ensure their survival. Day 4-6: Sukau -Sandakan Today, feed baby orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and stroll through the surrounding Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. Travel by boat down the Kinabatangan River, passing monkeys and other rare wildlife before heading to Kenlenanap Ox-Bow Lake for an early morning bird watching. Here, explore stunning scenery home to local flora and fauna on an evening boat cruise through the rainforest. The next day, discover the wonders of Gomantong Gave, famous for its sustainable harvesting of edible birds’ nests, and hike through the deep caverns of Semut Hitam Cave. In Sandakan, discover how Buddhist culture still permeates the wilderness with a visit to Buddhist landmarks and carefully tended gardens here. 84
Day 7-8: Kinabalu Park Embark on a journey across the ridges of Crocker Mountain Range, taking in spectacular views of Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Spend the night at the Kinabalu Park headquarters, which, at 1,500 meters above sea level, offers stunning panoramic views. The next morning, meet your mountain guide for the trek from Timpohon Gate up to Laban Rata Resthouse and prepare for the adventure ahead. Day 9-11: Kota Kinabalu Rise early to climb to the summit of Mount Kinabalu – at its peak is your reward of a breathtaking sunrise across the Crocker Mountain Range. Descend and head to Kota Kinabalu for some well-earned relaxation in a luxurious beachside resort, and take a drive through the countryside the next day, passing traditional stilted homes and stopping at a Kadazandusun Village along the way. Later, immerse yourself in local culture with hands-on discovery of the area’s fearless hunting traditions. Sit back and enjoy an authentic cultural dance performance here before returning to your resort for a rest and your onward flight. Inclusions • • • • • • • • •
8 nights hotel accommodation 2 nights sleeper on the mountain dorm Breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 5 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Driver cum guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
Borneo Wilderness & Wildlife | 14D
Kota Kinabalu Kinabalu Park
Journey into the heart of one of the world’s oldest rainforests in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, where untamed wilderness hides rare wildlife and heartracing adventure. Hike under the cover of dense rainforest canopies, trek up the nation’s tallest peak, discover nocturnal creatures on a night safari and explore vast caves on an odyssey discovering the jungle’s natural gems. itinerary Day 1-4: Kota Kinabalu – Kinabalu Park Land in the coastal city of Kota Kinabalu, and start your adventure at the Marine Ecology Research Centre for a closer look at coral conservation efforts. After spending some time enjoying this breezy seaside region, venture inland to Kinabalu Park, the first UNESCO site established in Malaysia. See the beauty and bounty of the ancient jungle, and hike up the mountain for a night’s stay deep within the wilderness. Day 5-9: Sandakan – Sukau – Borneo Rainforest Lodge Descend Mount Kinabalu for a leisurely night in Sandakan before venturing back into the wild. Hang out with orangutans at the rehabilitation centre before heading to the rustic countryside of Sukau. Here, watch an array of species emerge from morning to night on gentle cruises along the Kinabatangan River. Finally, journey onward through the rainforest to your lodge, and set off on nature trails and a nocturnal safari observing jungle wildlife under the cover of night. Day 10-14: Kuching - Mulu Catch a flight to the city of Kuching for some well-earned relaxation before heading to Bako National Park. Explore the diversity of peninsular wildlife on guided jungle excursions, and take in the scenery from the charming coast boasting distinctive geological formations. Venture on to Mulu, home to a collection of breathtaking caves, and hike into the caves’ depths just in time to see bats emerging as the sun sets. Wrap up your time here with a visit to a neighbouring village, and see how the locals in the area make traditional crafts and clothing by hand. Spend your final night kicking back and relaxing at your resort in Mulu.
Inclusions • • • • • • • • •
11 nights hotel accommodation 2 nights sleeper on the mountain dorm Breakfast daily, 11 lunches, 8 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Driver cum guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary “To know Borneo is to love Borneo, Sabah – “The Land below the Wind”. A journey of wild, marine and jungle life experiences not to be missed by any nature lover.” Caroline Tan - Regional Manager 85
Borneo Scenic Wonders | 8D
Explore the lush jungles, incredible wildlife and local customs of Borneo on this journey through Sabah. Visit stunning national parks, learn the customs of the Iban people, hang out with the native orangutans and venture into dark caves on this epic excursion into the heart of this ancient jungle hiding the region’s most fascinating cultural gems. itinerary Day 1-3: Kuching - Batang Ai Arrive in Kuching for a leisurely wander around the city, tasting some of the most famous local dishes here. Then, set off into the countryside on a drive along lush paddy fields and tiny rustic villages, stopping to catch a ferry ride to your resort nestled along the lake. Cruise across the lake toward Engkari River, home to the Iban people. Visit the local longhouse, enjoy a traditional dance performance and get an up-close look at the Iban art of blow piping in this tiny community well off of the beaten track. Day 4-6: Kota Kinabalu - Kinabalu Park Today fly to the seaside city of Kota Kinabalu for a restful night before catching a flight to Sandakan. From here, head to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, and enjoy breakfast surrounded by the sights and sounds of the jungle. Afterwards, venture deeper into Kinabalu Park and cruise along Sabah’s longest river, while dense foliage on the riverbank unfolds. The next morning, cruise to Ox-bow Lake for bird watching and an excursion into the rainforest on foot. Day 7-8: Sandakan From Sandakan, set off to Semut Hitam Cave, and learn how swiftlet birds’ nest - the most expensive culinary delicacy in the world - is harvested from cave walls. Hike onward to the cave’s mouth and continue back toward Sandakan, where relaxation awaits before setting off to explore the city. Along the way, pay a visit to the Sim Sim Water Village and the central market for a look at locals in the flurry of their daily shopping. Wrap up your adventure with a leisurely day in the city before catching your onward flight. 86
Sandakan Kinabalu Park
Indonesia Batang Ai
Inclusions • • • • • • • •
7 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 6 lunches, 4 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Driver cum guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
Langkawi Adventure | 5D
Experience Malaysia’s tropical allure at its best with a five-day tour of picturesque Langkawi. With plenty of time to relax by the beach and rejuvenate in hot springs, adventure unfolds with snorkelling at Pulau Payar Marine Park and along a mangrove safari.
itinerary Day 1-2: Langkawi Arrive in Langkawi and make your way to the luxury seaside hotel. Unwind at the resort or explore the lush green rainforest at your doorstep. Immerse yourself in local traditions at a showcase of batik paintings and discover the island’s folklore before dipping in the rejuvenating hot springs of Air Hangat, believed to have therapeutic powers. Embark on a romantic sunset dinner cruise aboard a luxury yacht, and drift along the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea as you feast on a Malay barbeque and sip cocktails from the open bar. Day 3: Langkawi Explore Langkawi’s unique natural beauty, from the thriving jungle ecosystem to the pristine beaches on the coast. Embark on a mangrove safari, discovering the diverse wildlife along the riverbanks. Weave your way from Kilim to the Bat Cave to see thousands of dangling bats, wade with stingrays and snap photos of native White Head Eagles diving headfirst into the water. Unwind in the gentle surf at Tanjung Rhu Beach or lay out on the sparkling white sand before enjoying a tasty seafood lunch. Wrap up your evening at the resort for free time and relaxation. Day 4-5: Langkawi Travel to Palau Payar Marine Park for a magical day of snorkeling. A collection of four islands, Pulau Payar is surrounded by colourful coral reefs and enchanting marine life. Soak up the sun on board the deck of a catamaran as you spot different species of coral below in the clear blue waters. Spend the rest of the day diving into the depths of the sea or sunbathing on the idyllic white beaches. Enjoy the evening and next day relaxing on Langkawi, taking in the stunning scenery to wrap up a beautiful few days.
Inclusions • • • • • • •
4 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 1 lunch All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Driver cum guide Round trip transfers
“Mysterious island of Langkawi, surrounded by turquoise sea; a mixture of picturesque paddy fields and jungle-clad hills; a place to hide away from civilization, just to chill and soak under the sun.” Azlin Binti Aziz - Country Manager 87
Kuala Lumpur Urban Discovery | 1D Watch the vibrant story of Kuala Lumpur unfold through its magnificent architecture on this illuminating city stroll. Take in the city’s famous landmarks, from futuristic high rises to centuries-old colonial structures. Along the way, get an in-depth lesson on how architecture here tells the story of Kuala Lumpur’s transformation from a former tin mining town to Malaysia’s cosmopolitan capital city.
Kuala Lumpur Street Eats | ½D Dive into the heart of Malaysia’s vibrant food scene, with a guided culinary discovery along Petaling Street in Chinatown. Browse the fragrant stalls of this bustling food mecca, home to a veritable gold mine of street food treasures, including wonton noodles, Portuguese grilled fish and chicken rice. Next, sample some muah chee, a famous delicacy sold exclusively from a traditional stall attached to a motorcycle! Then, while enjoying a stroll along pre-war shop houses, indulge in a wide variety of other classic Chinese treats that have made this part of town so famous.
Kampong Sungai Sireh Village Tour | ½D Get an authentic look at village life in Kampong Sungai Sireh, just a short drive from Kuala Lumpur. Venture through the rice paddy fields of one of the country’s most important agricultural regions before trying your hand at traditional farming methods still practiced here. Taste freshly-plucked produce grown at the nearby orchard, then grab a fishing rod and catch your lunch at a freshwater stream. Finish up with a stroll through the village and chat with locals before exploring typical wooden kampong houses, hovering precariously above the ground on stilts! 88
Marine Ecology Research Centre Visit | ½D Experience the warm, wildlife-rich reefs of the idyllic Tunku Abul Rahman Marine Park on Malaysia’s southern coastline. Set off from the jetty by boat, following the coast brimming with Malaysia’s most vibrant underwater life. Arrive at the Marine Ecology Research Centre here to observe ground-level marine conservation of endangered aquatic animals from around the world. Through guided demonstrations and conversations with local experts, learn about the cutting-edge approach leading Malaysia’s fight against reef deterioration - and help to support the preservation of this unique wildlife during your visit.
Pulau Payar Marine Park | 1D Make your way to Pulau Payar Marine Park, home to a collection of four islands surrounded by brightly coloured coral reefs and a variety of marine life, for an unforgettable day of underwater discovery. Catch some sunshine on board the deck of a catamaran, and keep an eye out for different species of coral below. Spend the rest of the day snorkelling into the depths of these clear waters and sun bathing on secluded beaches before exploring an underwater observatory.
Georgetown Discovery | ½D Get to know charming Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on a guided stroll around a historic neighbourhood south of Little India. Along the way, pass by murals adorning the crumbling facades of the area’s historic architecture, and keep an eye out for bizarre iron street art that tells the story of Georgetown’s history. Discover the impressive spirituality of the area at the Street of Harmony, where impressive landmarks symbolize the peaceful coexistence of the city’s three major religions. Wrap up your day in Georgetown with a stroll to Little India, a techni-coloured enclave bursting with the sights and smells of flowers, spices and incense. Malaysia 89
ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay
About Destination As Asia’s answer to the economic powers of the West, Singapore is a dazzling super-city with enough urban wonder to rival the world’s most vivid cityscapes. From its humble beginnings as a sleepy fishing village, this glittering city emerged as an epicenter of Eastern modernity in only a few short decades. Despite its size, Singapore packs the punch of even the biggest metropolitan hubs – and remains one of the region’s most fascinating destinations for travellers on the hunt for urban adventure.
Caroline Tan Regional Manager
“Recently we witnessed and achieved a huge milestone in the history of Singapore, celebrating 50 years of independence. Growing from a tiny fishing village to a great and prosperous metropolitan city, Singaporeans have so much national pride - regardless of race, language or religion - as stated in our Citizen’s Pledge. With world class attractions, like Universal Studios, Singapore Zoo and the Jurong Bird Park beckoning, there is no better time to say hello to Singapore and experience this exciting and vibrant city for yourself.”
Singapore and Bintan Island Gateway | 5D
Enjoy the best of both worlds on an adventure in bustling Singapore and a relaxing few days at the dreamy Indonesian beach of Bintan. Explore the most dazzling architectural icons and uncover the story of Singapore’s past life as an epicenter of wartime conflict, before kicking back on the beautiful beaches of Bintan - a seaside escape just a stone’s throw from Singapore’s futuristic cityscape. itinerary
Day 1-2: Singapore Arrive in Singapore for an urban adventure and learn the tale of this historic city. Hear the legend of how Singapore got its name at Merlion Park before heading to Raffles Landing Point, where it’s believed the city founder first set foot on the island. Drive around the colonial district to see the architectural remains of the British Empire. Stop at the Civilian War Memorial to learn about the Japanese occupation during the Second World War before a visit to Singapore City Gallery and see how the city has transformed since independence.
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Day 3-5: Singapore - Bintan Board a ferry and set off to the island of Bintan, just an hour outside of Singapore. Ashore at a beautiful beach resort, kick back and enjoy the sun and surf in this quiet, idyllic seaside escape. Spend your days here enjoying the island however you like - sunbathing on the beach, hitting up the golf course, unwinding with a massage or digging into some fresh seafood. 94
4 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 6 lunches, 2 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees English speaking guide on tour only Round trip transfers Ferry rides
Singapore and Malaysia in Context | 7D
Explore the urban jungles, historic landmarks and breathtaking landscapes of Singapore and Malaysia on a whirlwind journey to the greatest hits. Soak up the futuristic urban energy of dazzling Singapore, cycle through the rustic island outpost of Pulau Ubin, wander along historic avenues in Malacca and experience a kaleidoscopic blend of cultures in Kuala Lumpur.
Day 1-2: Singapore Begin your adventure in vibrant Singapore, a tiny island-state home to a vivid tapestry of cultures. Discover the city’s diversity firsthand on a guided tour of its most unique ethnic neighbourhoods. Along the way, explore old shophouses which used to house opium dens in Chinatown, admire ornately-decorated mosques and shops in Kampong Glam, and soak up the frenetic energy of Little India, brimming with wet markets, food courts and boutiques. Day 3-4: Singapore – Malacca Travel back in time with a brief boat ride to Pulau Ubin, one of the few remaining traditional areas in Singapore. Explore the island’s charming collection of historic architecture and rustic heritage by bicycle, and pedal through the lush greenery en route to Chek Jawa Wetlands. Head onward across the Straits of Johor to Malaysia and Malacca, where a magical blend of Malay and Chinese culture blossoms among post-colonial landmarks like St. Peter’s Church, Port De Santiago, and the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple. Day 5-7: Kuala Lumpur On the way to Kuala Lumpur, stop at Putrajaya, a fascinating showcase city home to dazzling architectural wonders. Arrive in the capital for a rest before discovering the city’s unique heritage on a guided walking excursion, visiting the British colonial headquarters, Independence Square, and finally the Old High Court and Jamek Mosque. Enliven the senses with a stroll through the aromatic streets of Little India and Chinatown, and sample a selection of the country’s iconic street food at the Central Market. Spend the afternoon and evening exploring at your leisure before enjoying a sophisticated dinner at Atmosphere 360, a revolving restaurant perched 282 meters above the city!
SINGAPORE Inclusions • • • • • • •
6 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 1 dinner All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers
“This tour gives a great overview of some of the highlights of Singapore and Malaysia and gives some background of the rich past of this thriving corner of the world” Caroline Tan - Regional Manager
Singapore Highlights | 3D
Singapore Family Adventure | 3D
Get a taste of Singapore’s vibrant culture and exotic flavours with a whirlwind journey to the city-state’s most iconic destinations. Wind through the hub’s sparkling cityscape before diving into the hubbub of Bugis Village Market and the historic Raffles Hotel. Snap photos at Merlion Park, stroll the Civic District’s glittering high street and wind down at the famous Orchid Gardens for the ultimate urban escape.
Explore the very best of Singapore’s family-friendly destinations in an action-packed four-day adventure! Stroll along the pristine streets of the city for your first day, absorbing bustling metropolitan culture and sampling street treats. Enjoy breakfast with the orangutans at the open-concept Singapore Zoo, get your heart racing at Sentosa Theme Park, and enjoy a dazzling stage showcase telling the story of Singapore’s fascinating history. Wrap up your journey with a ride on the Skyline Luge and a visit to the S.E.A. Aquarium, for an up-close and personal discovery of Asia’s most vibrant sea life.
Day 1: Singapore Arrive and unwind at your hotel before embarking on a tour of Singapore under the cover of night. Watch as the metropolis lights up, starting with a guided walk through Bugis Village’s souvenir and street food stalls. Kick back aboard a “trishaw” en route to the nearby Raffles Hotel, an icon of the country’s colonial past. Sip a Singapore Sling here, at the very bar where it was created! Take in the mesmerising skyline from Marina Bay Sands Skypark, and enjoy a beautiful water show set against the dazzling harbour to wrap up your first night in the city. Day 2: Singapore Embark on a day-long excursion in the Little Red Dot, starting with a journey on board a traditional bumboat down the Singapore River. Savour the views from Merlion Park, pay a visit to the commercial hub in Civic District and marvel at Singapore’s breathtaking architectural feats, before getting your shopping fix at the world-class shopping area along Orchard Road. Finally, unwind at the National Orchid Garden, home to over 60,000 plants from around the world. Day 3: Singapore On your final morning, relax at your hotel or take a pleasant stroll through Singapore’s colourful urban centre as the city stirs to life. Grab a few last-minute bites of hawker fare before convening at your hotel and heading onward to the airport toward your next destination. 96
Little Red Dot City Highlights | ½D
Uncover the history of the tiny island nation of Singapore. Start your adventure onboard a traditional bumboat sailing for Merlion Park, home to Singapore’s iconic lion-shaped statue and water fountain. Take in beautiful views of the Marina Bay waterfront before heading down the historic boulevards of Civic District. Then, continue down the chic shopping strip of Orchard Road, the heart of Singapore’s glitzy commercial centre. Finally, enjoy a bit of peace and quiet in the National Orchid Garden to wrap up your whirlwind city adventure.
Local Flavours Walking Tour | ½D Weave through the bustling backstreets of Chinatown for an indepth discovery of some of the area’s most iconic architecture, and a taste of local living in the city. Walk along shophouses’ narrow, intersecting walkways to a traditional cafe for coffee and crispy toast - a local favourite - and peruse bustling wet market stalls brimming with fresh vegetables and even live frogs! Hop on the train to Little India, where rows of shops selling produce and spices in a dizzying array of vibrant colours await. Meet a friendly local shopkeeper to see how saris and flower garlands are made before finishing up at Tekka market.
Singapore Taste of ½D Chinatown Sink your teeth into a variety of flavours with influences from Indian, Chinese and Malay cuisine! This cultural excursion uncovers just why Singaporeans are nothing short of enamoured with food. Sample the city’s most famous culinary icons in bustling hawker centres, local restaurants and at famous street stalls – and get a taste of chicken rice, satay skewers and delightful chilli crab along the way. 97
Battlefields Discovery | ½D Get a hands-on history lesson on a tour exploring the nation’s wartime past. Begin the tale at the Labrador Nature Reserve, which served as the station for British defence during the Second World War and was attacked by Japan. Take a closer look at the remaining war relics and artillery guns before heading to the Old Ford Factory, where the British army surrendered. Wander around this historic site, and make your last stop at Changi Chapel and Museum where hundreds of photos and letters from prisoners of war weave a fascinating and heartbreaking story.
Culinary Delights Class | ½D Roll up your sleeves for an exciting culinary class learning the secrets behind iconic Singaporean dishes! Start off with a trip to a local market to select from a range of fresh produce, spices and other exotic ingredients. Head back to the studio to try your hand at whipping up some tasty dishes, with a variety of cultural influences and flavours. After your work is complete, grab a seat and enjoy your creations!
Gardens By The Bay Excursion | ½D Explore the futuristic majesty of Singapore’s Garden by the Bay, a key part of their identity as a “green city”. During this city excursion, explore the inner-workings of massive domed greenhouses, dense with plants from different ecosystems around the world. Smell the delightful aromas of the colourful Flower Field, then wander into Cloud Forest, home to the world’s highest indoor waterfall. Next, venture to the Supertree Grove, and stroll across the walkways that connect these man-made canopies suspended over 50 meters above the ground! 98
Ulun Danu Temple, Bedugul
CHINA HONG KONG
Hoang Sa Islands
Truong Sa Islands
MALAYSIA SINGAPORE INDONESIA
About Destination Amid growling volcanic landscapes, lush rainforest and palm-fringed beaches lies some of Asia’s most fascinating heritage and history. The Indonesian archipelago is home to over 17,000 islands and 300 languages, and boasts an extraordinary collection of ethnic groups and cultures within its island borders. Truly the last frontier for unforgettable adventure, Indonesia is a destination where the most breathtaking travel odysseys await in frenetic cities, rustic villages and far-flung island escapes.
“Indonesia is a country that moves so fast in every way, but it’s still one of the last outposts for true, authentic adventure. From the wild jungles of Papua New Guinea to the packed metropolis of Jakarta, Indonesia is perfect for adventures of all kinds. We go to Nias in West Sumatra, where people still live a nomadic lifestyle. Just a short flight away, you can join a Balinese ceremony, and really experience how modern life style thrives along ancient traditions. Indonesia has it all.” Peter Christiansen Country Manager
Classic Bali Highlights | 8D
Discover the Island of the Gods’ most magical destination for an unforgettable visit blending culture and natural wonder. Work your way inwards from the white sandy beaches and turquoise waters to explore the lush rainforests, terraced rice fields and towering mountain peaks. Amid the natural beauty, lose yourself in the island’s rich religious history at ancient temples, shrines and stunning water palaces.
Day 1-3: Traditional Bali - Ubud Get to know this charming island through its quaint towns and traditional villages. Encounter the locals and learn about island culture before embarking outside of Ubud town to discover vast farmland that plays an integral role in the livelihoods of many Balinese. Visit a coffee plantation for a unique taste of local flavours, enjoy a peaceful cycling tour through Ubud’s serene countryside and learn about village life, art and culture alongside the locals with in-depth excursions. At a local home, discover Balinese family life, ceremonies and farming rituals, and pay your respects at the village temple. Day 4-6: Candidasa - Pasir Putih En route from Sanur to Klungkung, visit Besakih Temple, a breathtaking temple complex clinging to the rocky slopes of Mount Agung. Travel northeast from Candidasa to Pasir Putih, also known as “Virgin Beach,” where you can walk on its famous white sands, wade in the gentle surf and snorkel through the clear waters around delicate coral reefs. Head east through Amalpura to the Water Palace, and enjoy a relaxing stroll around the sparkling pools and towering stone sculptures before heading up the coast to North Bali. Day 7-8: North Bali Sail towards Menjangan Island to snorkel amid incredible coral reefs, colourful fish and other aquatic wonders. The next day, return south to Sanur with a stop at Banjar Village along the way. Take a curative dip in the local hot springs, a centuries-old spa where the Balinese to this day come for the restorative properties of the hot volcanic baths. Discover age-old craftwork at Sangsit and take in unrivalled views of Lake Batur and the majestic volcano of the same name from the high perch of the Penulisan Temple. 102
Inclusions • • • • • • •
7 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 5 lunches All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers
“Bali is a dream for most; it’s a destination you grow up dreaming about. I have to admit, it really lives up to its reputation and is absolutely a ‘bucket list’ destination.” Peter Chirstiansen - Country Manager
Lombok Romance | 7D
Explore the untainted beauty of Lombok on this romantic week-long escapade. Journey to rustic artisan villages, visit the secluded beaches of Lombok Sengiggi and discover untouched marine habitats on an intimate island-hop across the Lombok coast’s stunning islets. itinerary Day 1-2: Sasak Villages The trip commences at the blissfully peaceful Sengiggi Beach, where you can unwind poolside and stroll along the coast’s white sands. Venture towards Kuta Beach and explore Lombok’s enchanting village life. Kick back on a scenic horse-drawn cart ride through picturesque Banyumulek Village, and take a dip in the pristine waters of Lombok’s best beaches. Then, ride up the coast to Lombok’s most magnificent lookout point and visit a traditional village set high up in the mountains.
Day 3-4: Lombok Sengiggi Lovers’ paradise awaits in the heart of your stay in Lombok, with ample time to relax and indulge in romantic activities. Bask in a luxurious couple’s massage, take a long stroll across the soft sands and feast on a sumptuous starlit meal. An outrigger from Tawun Beach carries you over the sparkling turquoise waters for a glorious day exploring Lombok’s pristine islets. Float in the isolated waters off of “Honeymooners Island,” with no one else around but the colourful marine life. Enjoy a freshly-grilled catch-of-the-day and conclude the island jaunt with a secluded dive off of Gili Nanggu. Day 5-7: Gili Trawangan Get a glimpse of island life at the lively Gunung Sari Morning Market, and taste local flavours as your guide leads the way. At Baun Pusuk Monkey Forest, nestled within the lush Lombok jungle, handfeed native monkeys and take in sweeping views of the soaring mountain range. Relax, and explore the sleepy seaside towns by horse-drawn cart, foot and bicycle. Swim in the clear waters and discover vibrant marine life on snorkelling excursions, or enjoy leisurely strolls along the peaceful beaches, enjoying this languid end to your journey. 104
Sasak Village Gili Nanggu
Inclusions • • • • • • •
6 nights beachfront hotels or resorts Breakfast daily, 2 lunches All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers
Java Overland Adventure | 6D
Make your way from Java to Bali, adjacent islands on the southern edge of the Java Sea. Along the scenic journey, discover how cultures change, overlap and merge as you move from West to East. From cultural performances and visits to holy temples, tours of busy markets and glistening palaces and spectacular sunrise treks, enjoy this majestic island jaunt through one of Indonesia’s liveliest regions. itinerary
Day 1-2: Yogyakarta Your introduction to Java begins with a delicious, authentic feast of Indonesian specialties, followed by the breathtaking Ramayana dance performance. After a relaxing night at a deluxe hotel in Yogyakarta, spend an action-packed day discovering the city’s rich history. Catch a glimpse of the colourful architecture at the Sultan’s Palace and marvel at the simple yet stunning designs and turquoise baths at Tamansari, or the Water Palace. Wrap up your time in this historic city with a guided discovery of the Borobudur Temple, the largest Buddhist monument in the Southern Hemisphere which dates back over 1000 years. Day 3-4: Surakarta - Bromo Explore more of Java’s cultural and religious wonders with visits to Prambanan Temple and Mangkunegaran Palace, two of the region’s most incredible architectural sites. The wealth of sculptural detail at Prambanan, a Shiva temple, makes it one of the best examples of Hindu art in the world, and the stunning combination of geometric shapes and plush furnishings at Mangkunegaran is truly awe-inspiring. After a day of cultural exploration, set off on a relaxing drive to Bromo, passing varied terrains along the route. In Bromo, get a good night’s sleep in preparation for tomorrow’s adventure. Day 5-6: Bromo Catch sunrise over Mount Bromo, making your way to the top of Mount Tengger on the back of an agile pony. Traverse a sea of sand as you make your way towards the crater rim, and marvel in the array of colours that envelop the early morning sky. The next day, embark on a thrilling off-road adventure through villages and plantations and into the rainforest. Hike v’s rim and take in the unrivaled views below before descending along the mountain’s breathtaking trail and boarding your ferry to Bali.
Java Ijen Crater
Inclusions • • • • • •
5 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide 105
Bali Signature | 8D
Witness the best of Bali on this eye-opening journey through cultural icons and natural scenery. Experience Balinese life at traditional shops, markets and ceremonies between excursions to discover the island’s incredible wildlife. From Monkey Forest to Sanur Beach, this action-packed, week-long romp shows you Bali’s beauty, inside and out. itinerary Day 1-3: Kuta Beach - Ubud The week begins with a refreshing evening on and around Kuta Beach, from sipping sweet coconuts with surfers to discovering the neighborhood’s bustling warungs. Sample tasty street food bites as you traverse Kuta’s back-alleys, and pay your respects at the Bali Bombing Memorial. On the third day, set off for beautiful Ubud, visiting the Monkey Forest on arrival. Explore the ancient Hindu temples and landmarks in the region and stroll through the charming historical town of Tampaksiring, famous for its intricately-carved temples and stunning baths. Day 4-5: Ubud, Kajeng Trek - Sanur Explore off-the-beaten-track areas in Ubud with stunning countryside and village treks along Ubud’s less-travelled paths. In Sigaran, stroll through vibrant fruit and vegetable farms and rice paddies, learning about the region’s lush, open farmland during your guided wander. Pay a visit to a traditional Balinese village and make your own Jamu, an age-old local remedy and traditional medicine. An intimate trek through Kejang takes you through a quieter part of Ubud, where you can encounter small village shops and expansive terraced rice fields. Day 6-8 Ubud – East Bali From the sweeping temple complex at Gunung Agung to the water palace at Tirta Gangga, uncover Balinese culture and tradition as you meander through these centuries-old holy sites on the journey from Ubud to East Bali. Wake up on Bali’s east coast to catch the magnificent sunrise over Sanur Beach before hitting the local market for a taste of Bali’s special flavours. Make an offering to the gods at Mertasari Temple and spend your final evening relaxing on the soft island sands. 106
Inclusions • • • • • • •
7 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 1 dinner All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers
Bali Adventure | 7D
Prepare to experience the best of Bali’s natural wonder on this epic escapade across the island. Journey through treetops, over white water rapids and up the steep edge of a volcano. Whether travelling by boat, raft or on foot, this Balinese adventure will enliven your senses with a healthy dose of heart-racing fun. itinerary
Day 1-3: Ubud - Mount Batur From the charming town of Ubud, embark on thrilling adventures from the crashing rivers below to the towering mountains above. Head shortly out of town for ride of a lifetime over 33 white water rapids, soaring over waterfalls and cliffs past stunning backdrops of rainforests and rice fields. The next day, wake up before the sun for a challenging trek to the top of Mount Batur. Hike along the rocky trails that cling to the volcano’s edge for an unrivaled view the black lava below. Bali
Day 4-5: Bedugul - Munduk Explore the depths of the rainforest from top to bottom. Scale a breathtaking high ropes course, tiptoeing amid the sights and sounds of the forest canopy. Travel to the gateway of the Munduk territory, lush with rolling farmland, untouched rainforest and sparkling lakes and rivers. Set off for a heart-racing drive in a Finn Komodo, an off-roading vehicle made for jungle terrain, and paddle canoes past the mandarin and coffee orchards that flank Tamblingan Lake. Wrap up your time here with excursions to the region’s ancient temples and a bustling local market. Day 6-7: Munduk Village - South Bali Discover North Bali by foot on a scenic trek in and around Munduk Village. Stroll past coffee, clove, vanilla and avocado plantations and see local farming life unfold here. A stop at the Red Coral Waterfall is a fantastic opportunity to refresh under the turquoise stream before continuing on through rainforest, rice fields and spice gardens. On the final day of your journey, explore South Bali’s lively local culture with visits to seaside temples, colourful fruit and flower markets and exquisite shrines.
Inclusions • • • • • • •
6 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 4 lunches All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers 107
Exotic Bukit Lawang, Orangutans and Lake Toba | 6D
Get up-close and personal with Indonesia’s remarkable wildlife on this tropical tour through North Sumatra. Whether tracking orangutans in their rainforest home or boating to traditional rural villages, this eye-opening adventure reveals a colourful side of Indonesia’s nature, culture and history. ivtinerary Sumatra
Day 1-3: Bukit Lawang The journey begins with a city tour of Medan’s cultural highlights, taking in the intricate architecture and lively designs of the Sultan Palace, Great Mosque and more. Visit traditional rubber and palm plantations en route to Bukit Lawang for a glimpse at agricultural lifestyles in this area, and head to Bukit Lawang’s outskirts to encounter orangutans deep in the tropical rainforest. Explore the quaint historical village of Bukit Lawang and marvel at the region’s vibrant flora and fauna. As you travel south towards Berastagi, stop at the sparkling Sembahe River and take a dip in its crisp waters. Day 4-6: Samosir Explore the marvels of Sumatra - traditional homes, cascading waterfalls and majestic palaces. Take a trip back in time at the traditional village of Dokan, where the picturesque straw houses and local textiles add colour and charm to the quaint walking streets. Be sure to bring your camera to the stunning Sipiso-piso Waterfall, one of North Sumatra’s most spectacular natural highlights. Later, cross to Samosir Island by ferry boat, gliding across the bright blue waters of Lake Toba toward the large volcanic island in its center. Explore Lake Toba and its surrounding areas with a guided excursion to nearby villages, performances and ancient tombs before crossing back to Parapat for the scenic drive north to Medan. 108
Indonesia Inclusions • • • • • • •
5 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers
Flores Overland Adventure | 8D
Discover the lush beauty of Flores Island on this coast-to-coast journey. On a tour that is equal parts adventurous and relaxing, experience Flores Island’s pristine beaches, vivid underwater life, geologic landmarks and rich culture.
Day 1-3: Maumere Bay The seaside adventure kicks off at Sea World Club, a magnificent beachfront resort on Flores Island. The lush mountains in the distance provide the perfect backdrop for relaxing in the calm surf and exploring the breathtaking beaches. The next morning, jet across sparkling blue waters to Maumere Bay for a day of snorkelling through this enchanting underwater world. Depart from Maumere towards Paga Beach, stopping en route at a traditional fishing village for a glimpse into authentic local life. Enjoy a peaceful night in the small hilltop village of Moni. Day 4-5: Riung An early morning wakeup call gets you to the Kelimutu Volcano in time to catch the sun rise over the colourful lakes below. Make your way towards Flores Island’s north coast, stopping en route to witness the island’s incredible nature from magical viewpoints overlooking vast tropical scenery. From the panorama over the bay at Nuabosi to Pengga Jawa’s green stone beach, the journey is long but awe-inspiring. In Riung, snorkel at the vibrant National Park’s 17 islands and visit flying foxes in the coastal mangrove forests before taking a rejuvenating dip in the Soa Hot Spring. Day 6-8: Labuan Bajo Visit the traditional mountain village of Bena, and enjoy sweeping views of Mount Erie. As you journey west towards Ruteng, make a pit stop at the mystical Lake Ranamese, surrounded by dense forests and lush vegetation. Embark on an archeological adventure at Liang Bua, the cave where the bones of the short Homo floresiensis – also known as “the Hobbit” - were excavated 10 years ago. Visit the Spider Web Rice Fields and marvel in their unique geometric design before hunkering down in Labuan Bajo for the final night of the tour.
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7 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers 109
Island Hopping - Bali and Gili Trawangan | 7D
Experience white sands and turquoise seas on a blissfully serene holiday connecting Bali and the Gili Islands. Spectacularly scenic and brimming with Indonesia’s unique Balinese culture, this island hop packs relaxation, adventure and culture into an unforgettable tropical tour. itinerary Day 1-3: Kuta Kick off your journey on the picture-perfect white sands of Kuta Beach, and opt to explore the bustling town or hit the shopping circuit in Seminyak. Hop over to Tanah Wuk for a day of river tubing down the rolling Penet River, a stunning ride taking you past lush vegetation, unexpected waterfalls and mystical caves. En route to Candidasa, visit the stunning Hindu religious site of Besakih, and admire the terraced spired temples that cling to Mount Agung’s slopes. Day 4-7: Gili Trawangan Dive and snorkel through one of the world’s most magnificent underwater zones: Tulamben Bay. On Bali’s northeast coast, Tulamben boasts three unique dive sites and a stunningly diverse underwater ecosystem. Head onward to Gili Trawangan, where a horse-drawn carriage awaits to transport you across the island, untouched by motorised vehicles. As the journey concludes, find pure bliss amid the remote island’s paradisiacal white sands and crystal clear waters before cruising back to South Bali. 110
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6 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 1 lunch All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide
Indonesia “Island hopping” is a new term in Indonesia even though we are the biggest archipelago in the world, so it’s about time we start to explore the crystal clear waters and oasis beneath the surface. We love the concept and so will you!” Ayu- Sales Manager 111
Orangutan River Cruise | 5D
Spend a relaxing few days gliding along the rivers and through the dense jungles of Central Borneo, encountering local life and culture throughout this once-in-a-lifetime journey. Your tour is highlighted by close encounters with the native orangutans from smaller river boats that glide up to “Orang Utan Island’s” forested shores. Along the way, visit traditional villages to see firsthand how the rivers and forests sustain local life. itinerary Day 1: Palangkaraya Set sail from Palangkaraya in Central Borneo, cruising past the stilted and floating houses of the provincial capital. Glide upriver through the forested landscape and take in the sights and sounds of serene wilderness. In the early evening, relax on a mystical canoe ride across shimmering black water lakes, keeping an eye out for proboscis monkeys, hornbills and Brahmini kites. Return to the boat for a quiet dinner in the midst of the Bornean jungle. Day 2: Bapallas Island Glide up the Rungan River whilst enjoying breakfast on board your boat. Disembark at Bapallas Island, fittingly known as Orangutan Island, and hop into a smaller motorised boat to carry you through the surrounding waters in search of the furry creatures. Travel onwards to a nearby village set deep in the jungle. A local host guides you on a leisurely stroll throughout the village, exploring colourful gardens and lush farmland while learning about the day-to-day lives of the people who call this area home. Before sailing off into the sunset, wrap up your time here with a coffee tasting at the village elder’s home. Day 3: Sei Gohong The day begins with a tour of Sei Gohong Village, and a lesson and demonstration with a traditional medicine expert who resides here. Then, head to the nearby forest to explore the indigenous plants that inhabitants of the region have used as remedies for decades. Along the way, meet with locals for an in-depth discussion about the art and science of traditional medicines. The cruise continues in the afternoon with a scenic cruise downstream, making its way towards Muara Rungan for a night on board. Day 4-5: Bukit Rawi Visit the charming village of Bukit Rawi and spend the day interacting with local children, artists and performers. Sit back and enjoy a lively cultural presentation of traditional music and dance before meeting the women who weave rattan into beautiful bags and handicrafts. Later, discover the intricately-carved and colourful sandungs in Tuwung Village, and dive into village culture with a fascinating explanation of centuries-old rituals. On the final evening aboard the cruise, feast on a sumptuous meal and relax on the ship’s deck, listening to the symphony of jungle sounds in the crisp night air. 112
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4 nights cruise cabin Breakfast daily, 4 lunches, 4 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers
Labuan Bajo and Komodo Island | 3D Explore the natural beauty of the quiet island of Flores and glimpse the coast and offshoot islands’ charming cultures. From the bustling markets in the port town of Labuan Bajo to the epic wildlife within Komodo National Park, this short excursion off Indonesia’s beaten track combines beachside relaxation with breathtaking adventure. Day 1: Batu Cermin Arrive in Labuan Bajo and head immediately to Batu Cermin, a monstrous limestone cave set in the seaside town’s rolling hills. Marvel in the sheer size of the cave and the enchanting shards of light that seep in from the stone formation’s opening, illuminating the high limestone walls. Explore Labuan Bajo’s culture with a guided wander through the local markets before spending the afternoon relaxing at your leisure. Day 2: Komodo Island and Pink Beach Set off at the break of dawn on an exciting tour of the region’s natural wonders. A leisurely boat ride across sparkling blue waters carries you past hundreds of small islands en route to the home of the famous Komodo Dragon. Explore Komodo Island with a local ranger before heading to Pink Beach for some snorkelling, and ultimate relaxation on the coral-flecked pink sands. End the day at Rinca Island in search of more Komodo Dragons in their natural habitat. Day 3: Labuan Bajo Enjoy a peaceful morning at your hotel before transferring to the airport.
Yogyakarta and Borobudur | 3D Indonesia
Reach spiritual bliss as you discover the ancient landmarks of Java. Yogyakarta offers a vivid look into traditional Indonesian life, from the intricately carved temples to the vibrant artistic and cultural rituals that still dominate the day-to-day lives of locals here. On a full-day jaunt around the archeological sites at Borobudur, learn about the region’s lively history and explore the centuries-old monuments and temple complexes. Day 1: Yogyakarta Upon arrival, you’re off to a quick start exploring Yogyakarta’s stunning religious and historical sites. Travel back in time at the colourful Kraton Sultan’s Palace, home to a ceiling with intricately patterned tiles and artwork. Next, head over to the Water Palace, famous for its crystal clear pools flanked by elegant white buildings. Day 2: Borobudur Rise before the sun and journey to the magnificent Borobudur Temple, the largest Buddhist monument in the Southern Hemisphere. The famous temple compounds – recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site - date back to the 8th Century and contain 504 unique Buddha statues. Climb the steps to the top of the monument to take in sweeping mountain views in all directions. Later in the day, enjoy a tasty Javanese feast and enjoy a lively Ramayana dance performance. Day 3: Yogyakarta Relax at your hotel in the morning, with time for a leisurely breakfast. Later, return to the airport to fly onward to your next destination.
Bali High Ropes and Ulun Danu Temple Tour | 1D Kick off the day with a daring romp through the treetops of Bedugul Botanical Gardens’ lush jungle landscape. Tiptoe along the high ropes course as you get up close and personal with the sights and sounds of the forest canopy. Back on solid ground, explore the lakeside towers of Ulun Danu Temple and enjoy an authentic Indonesian lunch. During an afternoon stroll through Candi Kuning, taste local fruits along a guided walk through the lively market’s countless produce stalls.
Bali White Water Rafting | ½D Adventure awaits, and this action-packed journey through 33 rapids delivers! The wild ride begins as soon as you reach the river’s edge, setting off on a wild journey over white waters and thrilling terrain. Along the ride, take in the stunning backdrops of untouched rainforest, towering cliffs and glowing rice fields. Unwind with a hot shower at the ride’s end before feasting on a sumptuous buffet.
Eastern Bali Highlights | 1D A winding drive along Bali’s southeastern coastline drops you at quiet Kusamba Beach, famous for its black sand. Witness traditional salt mining and bask in the warm seaside breeze before heading to Goa Lawah, or “Bat Cave,” where you can marvel at the sight of thousands of sleeping bats hanging overhead. Later, explore Eastern Bali’s quaint seaside towns, from the ancient fishing village of Candi Dasa to the lush sculpture gardens in Amalpura.
Mount Batur Sunrise Trek | 1D Begin this adventure bright and early with a challenging uphill climb, from 1200 meters to 1700 meters above sea level. Experience sweeping views from the peak of Mount Batur while the morning sky changes colours, and feast on a hearty breakfast as the sun appears beyond the horizon. Basking in the cool mountain breeze, head around the still-active volcanic cone and marvel in the massive crater left from a recent eruption and the centuries-old black lava.
Jamu Organic ½D Remedy Workshop Get a hands-on look at the making of Jamu in an in-depth workshop with a local expert. Start your journey on the outskirts of Sigaran, an idyllic Balinese village famous for the traditional Indonesian medicine’s production. Stroll through the rolling countryside where Jamu’s principal ingredients are harvested, and witness the production of Jamu products before crafting your own body scrub, mask, and oil using the village’s age-old techniques. Indonesia
Kuta Street Eats | ½D Discover a hidden side of Kuta on an in-depth excursion to the area’s warungs. These family-owned businesses play an essential role in local Balinese life, and are a lively gathering point for the residents here. Learn how these quirky structures evolved as you meander through Kuta’s back alleyways, stopping en route for a smattering of Indonesian dishes. Savour a refreshing juice on Kuta Beach and mingle with Batak surfers coming in from the night’s waves before ending the journey with a visit to the Bali Bombing Memorial.
Sanur Sunrise | ½D Gear up early for a cycling adventure through the tree-lined roads of sleepy Sanur. Catch the sunrise over the beach and visit bustling Sindhu Morning Market. Refuel with a chocolate pancake with fried banana or yellow rice before peddling to the Mertasari Temple, quiet in the early morning hours except for a small amount of pious locals making offerings to the gods. Make your own offering before cycling to a quaint beachside gazebo to devour a traditional Balinese meal. 115
The Great Wall, Beijing
HONG KONG LAOS
VIETNAM Hoang Sa Islands
CAMBODIA Truong Sa Islands
MALAYSIA SINGAPORE INDONESIA
About Destination With a continuous history of five millennia, China is a mesmerizing blend of ancient and contemporary, old and new. Locals in this vast and fascinating country remain deeply rooted in dynastic philosophy while its soaring skyscrapers and cityscapes sprint into the 21st Century. Perplexing and compelling, China is truly a destination ripe for cultural discovery and unforgettable adventures. Uncover the dynamic urban energy and scenic allure of China on in-depth journeys through cities, wilderness and historic landmarks. “Working in China is absolutely incredible. The country has so much to offer from its rich history, wide range of food and its bizarre juxtaposition of tradition and urbanisation. Where else can you ponder such a mighty past, be it looking out off the Great Wall, or staring at the immovable legions of the Terracotta Warriors, and only days later in total awestruck wonder at the modernism of Shanghai. It still fascinates me every single day.” Pankaj Pradhan Regional Manager
China Highlights | 13D
Experience China’s breathtaking natural landscapes and rich history side by side on this compact 11-day adventure. Visit China’s biggest attractions, including Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall whilst also experiencing lesser-known attractions. Venture to the start of the ancient Silk Road; get friendly with Pandas in Chengdu and climb to the summit of Mount E’meishan before embarking on a relaxing cruise down the Yangtze River. itinerary Day 1-3: Beijing Discover the rich culture of Beijing, from the bustling markets full of unusual seafood, through the ancient Hutong alleyways. Delve into history at Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, and learn about China’s ancient history and modern past. Kick back in an authentic Chinese rickshaw as you ride through Beijing’s narrow streets, catching a glimpse of daily, traditional life away from the city’s soaring modern skyscrapers. Journey to the Great Wall of China and hike along the wall’s high ridges, taking in the age-old views and uncovering the ancient landmark’s awe inspiring past. Day 4-6: Beijing - Chengdu Wander through the tranquil grounds and serene temples at the Summer Palace in Beijing, and marvel in the intricate décor and stately prayer rooms at the sacred Temple of Heaven. Conclude your stay in Beijing on a high note, with a viewing of the spectacular “Red Theatre Kung Fu show” show. Travel to Xi’an and discover its fascinating history as the hub of the ancient Silk Roads, and visit the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, one of China’s most significant Buddhist shrines. Explore Xi’ans ancient history before continuing your journey in Chengdu. Day 7-9: Chengdu - Chongqing Visit the Panda Conservation Centre in Chengdu, a world-class research facility and home to many of the gentle giants. Stroll down Chengdu’s Jin Li Street and marvel in traditional Chinese architecture dating back nearly 1,000 years. Enjoy a river cruise to the Giant Buddha, the largest stone Buddha in the world. Ascend by cable car to the summit of Mount Emei and hike in the forests before heading to Dazu, an ancient city full of UNESCO listed caverns and temples. In Chongqing, board a luxurious five-star cruise, your home for the next three relaxing nights. Day 10-13: Yangtze River Cruise - Shanghai Glide down the Yangtze River for three days aboard the grand Victoria Yangtze River Cruise. Relax on the decks as you take in spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, and savour authentic cuisine and top-notch onboard service. Learn about the importance of the Yangtze River, the longest in Asia, and enjoy the unrivalled views of the glittering night sky. Disembark at Yichang and head to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. Arrive in Shanghai and spend a leisurely day shopping, exploring and relaxing before your departing flight the next day. 120
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9 nights hotel accommodation 3 nights cruise cabin Breakfast daily All road transport by air conditioned vehicles Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
“With a country the size of China it’s impossible to see it all in even a lifetime, but this tour packs in the highlights to make sure you leave without feeling like you’ve missed out.” Pankaj Pradhan - Regional Manager
Classical China | 11D
Get a glimpse of sacred monuments, delve into local culture and explore ancient villages on this culture-filled tour of China. Visit the start of the ancient Silk Road in Xi’an, learn about China’s Hui Muslim ethnic minority and explore the French Concession enclave in Shanghai. This 11-day tour won’t disappoint those wanting to peel back the layers of China’s rich history, complete with visits to China’s most famous attractions, including the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square and the Terracotta Warriors. itinerary Day 1-3: Beijing Upon arrival in Beijing, transfer with your guide to enjoy spectacular views of Bird Nest Olympic Stadium. Explore Beijing’s ancient, lively alleyways by rickshaw, savour unrivalled views of old Beijing from Drum Tower, and browse the vibrant markets of the Wangfujing district. Embark on a full day exploration of the city’s spiritual monuments, including the Temple of Heaven and Yonghe Temple. Scale the Great Wall of China’s high ridges while uncovering the ancient landmark’s awe-inspiring past, and stroll through the picturesque grounds of the Summer Palace.
Day 4-6: Beijing - Xi’an Discover the rich history at the Forbidden City as you wander through its courtyards and courtrooms. Settle in aboard the night train from Beijing to Xi’an, and enjoy a beer as you relax in the soft sleeper car and mingle with locals. Explore the ancient city of Xi’an, including a visit to the tomb of Emperor Jing and an exhilarating bicycle ride along the Xi’an City Wall. Visit Xi’an’s famous Muslim district and discover the exotic local cuisine. Fly to Guilin and visit the beautiful Reed Flute Cave before enjoying a leisurely stroll around Shan Lake.
Day 9-11: Shanghai Roam around People’s Square and learn about Shanghai’s past and present at the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre, the Shanghai Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Visit the ritzy French Concession enclave, and stroll through Fuxing Park and lose yourself in the charming backstreets. From Xintiandi to Tianzifang, discover Shanghai’s thriving cultural variety and colourful way of life, and relax in the picturesque Yu Yuan Gardens before unwinding with a traditional massage or acupressure session. Spend the final night of your journey out on the town in Shanghai.
Day 7-8: Yangshou Enjoy a relaxing cruise along the Li River towards Yangshuo, admiring the stunning looming karst mountains en route. Bike through the peaceful countryside past toiling rice farmers and herds of grazing water buffalo, and drop in on some small villages along the way. Spend the night in Yangshuo before flying to Shanghai the following morning. Take a thrilling ride aboard the Maglev, Shanghai’s high-speed train, and visit the bustling city’s thriving business center. Sightsee in the Lujiazui district, marvel at the sprawling architecture along the Huangpu River and hit the shops on Nanjing Road.
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10 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily All road transport by air conditioned vehicles Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary 121
Yunnan Scenic Adventure | 16D
Explore magical Yunnan Province on this 16-day tour through some of China’s most spectacular landscapes. Discover ancient cultures, exotic traditions and extraordinary landscapes on this unforgettable trip, starting in the majestic capital of Beijing. Hike the Great Wall and visit Tiananmen Square before heading to the snow-capped mountains of Lijiang, home to China’s Naxi ethnic minority. Visit the Jade Snow Dragon Mountain, marvel at Pudacuo National Park and see the majestic Tiger Leaping Gorge in Shangri-La. Sail down the Li River in Yangshuo before ending your tour in modern Shanghai. itinerary Day 1-4: Beijing Explore Beijing and take in its sights. Stroll through Tiananmen Square and visit the Forbidden City. At the enchanting Summer Palace, wander around the tranquil grounds and hike to the top of Longevity Hill. Travel to the Great Wall of China, where you can scale the iconic ridges, settle down for a picnic lunch amidst stunning views and ride a cable car or toboggan. Continue the journey at the Sacred Way, Bird Nest Olympic Stadium and the Temple of Heaven, and encounter Beijing’s colourful alleyways and modern skyscrapers on a rickshaw tour. Day 5-8: Lijang - Dali Fly to Lijiang and take in the lush landscapes at the base of Elephant Mountain. As you wander the streets of Lijiang’s old town, admire the distinctive architecture and views of snow-capped mountains in the distance. Embark on a full day adventure to the Jade Snow Dragon mountain range, and enjoy a relaxing cruise on Er Hai Lake. Learn about the ancient traditions of the Bai ethnic minority group, including an opportunity to experience their sacred Three Tea Ceremony. Visit The Three Pagodas, located between Dali and Cangshan Mountain, and enjoy free time exploring Lijiang.
Day 9-11: Shangri-La - Guilin Encounter breathtaking nature along the relaxing drive to Shangri-La, from the bends of the Yangtze River to Tiger Leaping Gorge. Upon arrival in Shangri-La, known by Tibetans as “Eden on Earth,” be greeted by the sights of serene grasslands and snowy peaks. Learn about Shangri-La’s long history as you wander through the ancient streets and be greeted by a well preserved village. Venture to Pudacuo National Park and witness China’s rich natural diversity as you hike through the ancient streets and be greeted by a well preserved village. Transfer to Kunming and enjoy a hike through the enchanting Stone Forest before flying to Guilin. Day 12-16: Guilin - Shanghai Hike along the picturesque Longji Rice Terraces between Guilin and Longsheng, and interact with local farmers and fisherman. From Yangshuo, enjoy a relaxing cruise along the Li River, breathing in fresh air while savouring magnificent views of the karst landscape. Wander the maze of ancient streets in Yangshuo, and visit the region’s otherworldly caves. Discover China’s largest metropolis, Shanghai, visiting the thriving business centre and taking in the sprawling waterfront. Spend the end of the journey exploring Shanghai at your leisure, from the stunning modern architecture to the vibrant nightlife.
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15 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily Transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles Sightseeing as mentioned English speaking guide (supplements apply for other languages) Domestic flights as per itinerary Trains as mentioned
“In the vastness of China lies some absolutely stunning scenery and Yunnan boasts some of the best. Sit back and enjoy the view on this stunning journey.” Luke Mitchell - Product Manager
China Explorer | 15D
Experience the romance of China’s breathtaking natural wonders and historical attractions on this 15-day whirlwind. Visit famous attractions such as the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square and the mysterious Terracotta Warriors. See the multi-coloured lakes of the Nine Village Valley in Sichuan, visit the towering stone pillars of the Wulingyuan Scenic Area and indulge in a cruise along the tranquil Li River. End the tour relaxing at a beachside resort on sunny Hainan Island in the South China Sea. itinerary
Day 1-4: Beijing Discover the vibrant culture of Beijing, and learn the city’s ancient and modern history at Tianeman. Kick back in a traditional rickshaw on a scenic ride through Beijing’s colourful streets and narrow alleyways. Journey to the Great Wall of China and hike along the wall’s high ridges, taking in the spectacular views and ponder the enormity of this incredible landmark; travel down the wall by cable car or toboggan. Meander through the picturesque grounds of the Summer Palace, and visit the architecturally stunning Temple of Heaven.
Day 5-7: Xi’an Begin your time in Xi’an with a visit to the famous Terracotta Warriors and Horses. Explore the city’s rich history and culture as you scale the Xi’an City Walls, visit the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and feast on traditional dumplings during a spectacular cultural performance. Travel to Jiuzhaigou, a gorgeous biosphere reserve on the edge of the mystic Tibetan Plateau, and spend a day discovering this stunning national park. Journey to the turquoise Nuorilang Lakes, through the towering trees of the Primeval Forest and along the rolling hills of the Ri Ze Valley.
Day 8-11: Chengdu - Guilin Stroll through the dazzling Minshan mountain range before flying to Chengdu. In Chengdu, visit the Panda Conservation Centre and get to know these gentle giants. Continue to Leshan and board a river cruise to pay a visit to the Giant Buddha. Take the cable car up to the top of E’meishan mountain and visit the Wan Nian Temple. Transfer to Guilin and hike the grand coiling platforms of the Longji rice terraces before indulging in a relaxing night cruise sailing the Four Lakes and enjoying the stunning view of the city at night.
Day 12-15: Yangshou - Hong Kong Transfer to Yangshuo and enjoy a marvelous daytime cruise down the Li River, breathing in the fresh air and taking in the spectacular karst landscapes. Visit local farms as you traverse the riverbanks by golf cart, and interact with the region’s friendly local farmers and fisherman. Ascend up Yao Mountain by cable car and explore the centuries-old temples built on the summit. Fly to Hong Kong to experience this iconic destination for two nights, including a stunning view from Peak point and a tour of the old Stanley Market.
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14 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily All road transport by air conditioned vehicles Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
Taste of China | 14D
Savour the heritage, culture and flavours of China on a journey through its most-loved historical and culinary hubs. Set off from Beijing bound for Hong Kong, travelling through dense residential blocks, breezy local boulevards, vast historical landmarks and vivid foodie enclaves. During the journey, get a taste of the country’s most renowned dishes and treats for a whirlwind gourmet excursion of epic proportions. itinerary Beijing
Day 1-4: Beijing Begin your journey in the vivid capital city of Beijing, home to Tiananmen Square and the magnificent Great Wall. Set off to sample a selection of much-loved culinary specialties on Ghost Street, the city’s bustling street food district with a fascinatingly spooky past, before exploring the labyrinthine hutong alleys for a rare glimpse at the lifestyles of Old Beijing. Get an in-depth look at the ancient Chinese sport of cricket fighting alongside local experts in the heart of Beijing’s historic residential blocks before wrapping up your time in the capital with a visit to the vast and breathtaking Temple of Heaven.
Day 5-8: Xi’an - Chengdu Walk along the earthen pits of the First Qin Emperor’s mausoleum and the Terracotta Warriors just outside of historic Xi’an. In the heart of the city, climb the City Wall while learning about the ancient capital’s starring role in the establishment of the Silk Road before tasting the distinctive dishes of the Muslim Quarter. Then, set off to Chengdu, home of the Giant Pandas, and pay a visit to the home of these revered creatures before learning the secrets of Sichuan cuisine in a cooking course, guided by a professional chef.
Day 9-11: Shanghai Delve deep into the heart of Shanghai with a journey to Pudong, a residential district far from the bustling centre of Shanghai and well off of the tourist track. Sample the locals’ street food here, including tasty dumplings and tofu flower, before finishing off with a shared family-style meal in a local restaurant. Next, stroll through the peaceful Yu Yuan Gardens and along wide, breezy boulevards in the city’s French Concession for an indepth look at Shanghai’s most charming local lifestyles. Finally, set off on an optional evening excursion to the Shanghai ERA Acrobats for a unique and exhilarating showcase of dazzling performance art!
Day 12-14: Hong Kong Explore Hong Kong’s fascinating blend of East and West on a stroll through Wan Chai, home to the city’s most iconic culinary specialties. Sample everything from milk tea, puffy egg waffles, clay pot rice and wok-kissed noodles before taking in the iconic Hong Kong cityscape on a cruise aboard the Star Ferry. Try your hand at Hong Kong’s very own voodoo magic, Da Siu Yan, alongside a local practitioner, before wrapping up your local adventure in the nearby fishing village to explore the wet markets, old pirate hideouts and local lifestyles in this historic coastal enclave.
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13 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 8 lunches, 5 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary 125
Winter Wonderland | 7D
Experience the otherworldly beauty of China under a blanket of snow on this stunning scenic adventure. Embark on a journey from the vibrant capital of Beijing to the historic city of Harbin just in time for the Harbin Ice Festival. Witness the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square shrouded in a mysterious winter mist for an unforgettable look at China from a unique and magical perspective.
Day 1-4: Beijing Kick off your adventure in Beijing, China’s historic capital city, in the midst of its magical winter aura. Visit the city’s iconic historical sites like Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven, blanketed in a dusting of snow, before hiking along the ancient watchtowers of the Great Wall. Bundle up for a picnic lunch overlooking superb views of the misty mountain countryside. Here, discover the Sacred Way, a famous tree and statue-lined pathway that leads to the tombs of the Ming Emperors. Then, discover the little-explored residential enclaves of modern Beijing on a guided wander through labyrinthine residential blocks, or hutongs. Wrap up your journey in Beijing with a visit to Ghost Street, the city’s most-loved culinary hub with a spooky past.
Day 5-7: Harbin Discover the Russian flare of Harbin - a fascinating city built to link the trans-Siberian railway - with its Orthodox churches and Russian dumplings. Here, explore the fine Byzantine architecture up-close before spending an evening at the Ice Lantern Show, a magical array of lanterns and sculptures. Afterward, visit Stalin Park and a winter swimming performance in the river before trying your hand at dog sledding! Finally, head onward to the Harbin Ice Festival, a marvellous winter wonderland with immense ice sculptures and incredible installations.
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6 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 4 lunches, 1 dinner All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
China Panda Discovery | 13D Beijing
CHINA Shanghai Chengdu E’meishan
Embark on a scenic pilgrimage through China’s most breathtaking natural scenery, vibrant cities and remarkable monuments. Sail along the Li River and the towering karsts of Guilin, trek among ancient rice terraces in Longsheng, uncover the secrets of China’s Imperial past in historic Xi’an, and get up close and personal with China’s revered national animal: the Giant Panda. itinerary Day 1-4: Shanghai – Guilin Start your journey in Shanghai with a stroll along the Bund. From here, enjoy an unparalleled view of the cityscape boasting a fusion of European and Chinese architecture along the Huangpu River. Having left its notorious past behind at the turn of the century, explore the now vibrant commercial energy of this financial hub, home to some of the tallest buildings in the world! Next, spend a day in the ancient water village of Luzhi, known as the “Venice of China”. Zigzag along narrow canals lined with crumbling ancient architecture before heading onward to the magnificent karst topography of Guilin and emerald-green rice terraces in Longsheng. Hike and sail here for unforgettable close encounters with some of China’s best scenic wonders. China
Day 5-8: Yangshuo – Chengdu – E’meishan Cruise beyond Guilin along the vast and winding Li River bound for Yangshuo, stopping off to learn the art of fishing with trained birds with the guidance of local experts. Explore the surrounding landscapes with a gentle trek up to Moon Hill and deep into the lengthy Silver Cave. Fly onward to Chengdu and pay a visit to the Panda Conservation Centre. Here, get up close to China’s cuddly national icon – truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Cruise further along the river to the world’s largest stone Buddha before heading to the revered Mount E’mei. Ascend the sacred peak by cable car, and take in the magnificent views from the Golden Summit before hiking down through the forest. Inclusions • • • • • • • •
12 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
Day 9-13: Xi’an – Beijing In Xi’an, scale the ancient City Wall, learning the epic tales of its construction during the earliest days of the Silk Road. Walk along the Mausoleum of the first Qin Emperor for an unforgettable, in-depth look at his famous army of Terracotta Warriors dating back over two millennia. Then, embark on a journey deep into the county’s rich history in Beijing, home of the imposing Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the majestic Temple of Heaven. Spend your final day conquering the ancient steps of the Great Wall, a perfect end to your cultural odyssey. 127
The Wonders of China | 12D
Discover the very best of magnificent China in a whirlwind highlights journey to its most famous landmarks and icons. Set sail along the Li River, witness the glittering city skyline of vibrant Shanghai, explore the country’s 5000-year story in historic Beijing and trek the towering rice terraces of Longsheng on this dynamic ‘greatest hits’ journey. itinerary Day 1-3: Shanghai Dive into the fascinating metropolis of Shanghai with a guided stroll along the Bund, promising unrivaled views of the city’s eclectic skyline blending European edifices and futuristic skyscrapers. Walk along Shanghai’s oldest shopping strip on Nanjing Road and enjoy a cocktail in the city’s tallest building before heading out of the city to visit Luzhi, an ancient water village lovingly known as “the Venice of China.” Meander along canal roads and serene walking avenues here before a visit to the peaceful Lingering Garden, one of the four famous Classical Gardens in China. Day 4-8: Guilin –Yangshuo – Xi’an From Guilin, embark on a hike along the centuries-old rice terraces carved into the mountainside in Longsheng, and enjoy spectacular views along the “Dragon’s Backbone” at its summit. Then, set off on a leisurely cruise of the Four Lakes and along the Li River, arriving just in time for a nighttime performance of “Impression Liu Sanjie” on the water. Then, travel onward to Xi’an, a majestic ancient capital and home to the famous Terracotta Warriors and the historic gateway of the Silk Road. Day 9-12: Beijing Arrive in the vibrant capital city of China to explore the country’s most magnificent landmarks. During your stay in this historic metropolis, visit Tiananmen Square and explore the depths of the Forbidden City for a fascinating glimpse at China’s past lives. Then, explore the dazzling Summer Palace before embarking on a trek to explore the ancient watchtowers of the Great Wall. Sum up your journey with a charming look at locals exercising outside of the grandiose Temple of Heaven and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet pandas at the Beijing Zoo. 128
Inclusions • • • • • • • •
11 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
“This tour offers only a glimpse of the wonders of China but is the perfect place to start if you’re short on time. Try combining it with a Hong Kong break at either end!” Holly - Sales & Reservations Team Leader
Beijing and Hong Kong Urban Escape | 7D Beijing
Bursting with history and vibrant metropolitan charm, China is at once a beacon of ancient culture and a symbol of modernity. Explore the secrets of the region’s urban allure on a seven-day excursion into the heart of Beijing and Hong Kong. Sample local street food delicacies, weave through dense residential alleyways and take in the best of the cities’ historic landmarks on a highlights tour with an urban punch. itinerary Day 1-3: Beijing Tour the ancient city of Beijing, brimming with ancient heritage juxtaposed with modern urban intrigue. Witness the imposing Tiananmen Square, explore the Forbidden City and wander through dense and historic hutong alleyways for a taste of traditional living. Hike along the ancient ridges of the Great Wall before a visit to the Summer Palace. Wrap up your time in China’s capital city in District 789, a decommissioned military factory now home to the capital’s art scene. Day 4-7: Hong Kong Soak in the dynamic, urban energy of Hong Kong, where East meets West. Set off on guided journeys into the heart of local markets and bustling fishing villages, witness in the iconic skyline aboard the Star Ferry, and sample fresh seafood that’s famous in this coastal metropolis. Then, escape to Lantau Island aboard a cable car for epic views of the surrounding countryside, and take a stroll along Cheung Sha, one of the city’s longest beaches, for a sandy retreat. 130
Inclusions • • • • • • • •
6 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 1 lunch All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers Domestic flights as per itinerary
Yangtze Highlights 5D Yichang - Chongquing Upstream Explore the rich and vibrant landscape of the famous Three Gorges on this breathtaking cruise along the winding Yangtze River. Uncover the secrets of this important natural border through rural China on an unforgettable journey along the third longest river in the world. Day 1: Yichang Arrive in Yichang, the gateway of your adventure, and make your way to the dock. Board your ship here and embark on your five-day cruise upstream. Day 2: Xiling Gorge – Three Gorges Dam Project Drift along the Yangtze to take in the vastness of Xiling Gorge. The first and largest of the Three Gorges, this vast natural wonder boasts scenic landscapes historical landmarks alike. Next, cruise onward to the Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydroelectric project in the world. Disembark here for a visit to learn about its development, as well as the historical and environmental impact of the project at the area at the museum and Memorial Garden.
Day 4: Fengdu Anchor at Fengdu for a climb up Ming Mountain to explore the famous “Ghost City”. A complex of shrines, temples and monasteries, this fascinating landmark is inspired by the Buddhist image of hell. Legend has it that, during the Han Dynasty, two court officials escaped to this location in search of a peaceful place to practice Taoism, but became immortal in the process. On a guided walking journey, connect the dots between the mysterious statues and temples precariously perched on the mountain’s edge. Day 5: Chongqing Arrive in Chongqing, the end of your journey along the ancient Yangtze River and the natural and historic boundary of dynastic China.
Embark on a scenic cruise down the majestic Yangtze River and take in the beauty of the famous Three Gorges. Sail past epic canyons and bizarre rock formations for an unrivalled view of the splendour of rural Chinese countryside. Enjoy the cool breeze off the Yangtze on a fascinating journey downstream. Day 1: Chongqing Arrive in Chongqing before boarding your ship and embarking on your journey downstream. Along the way, drift past stunning riverside scenery on the majestic Yangtze, the world’s third longest river and a natural and historical boundary of dynastic China. Day 2: Fengdu When you reach Fengdu, disembark and climb up Ming Mountain to explore this famous ‘Ghost City.’ A complex of temples, shrines and monasteries whose design is inspired by the concept of Buddhist Hell, the challenging yet rewarding climb is believed to be a ‘test’ of visitors here. Established during the Han Dynasty thousands of years ago, the legend of this mysterious mountainside location tells the story of two court officials settling in this location in search of a place to practice Taoism and, in the process, achieved eternal life. Explore the area on a guided journey for an in-depth look at the fascinating story behind this breathtaking collection of architecture. Day 3: Qutang Gorge – Three Little Gorges – Wu Gorge Sail on through Qutang Gorge - the smallest and most compelling of the Three Gorges. Enveloped by tall mountains and rock formations along the winding river, witness the unfolding of rural Chinese scenery at its most poetic here. Then, disembark for a smaller shoreline cruise along the Danning River, and explore the small yet beautiful Three Little Gorges for a firsthand look at the intriguing ancient history etched into the surrounding cliffs. Finally, board your ship and cruise onward through the mist of Wu Gorge, whose bizarre rock formations and impressive peaks promise a supremely elegant backdrop for a cocktail on deck.
Day 3: Wushan Three Little Gorges – Wu Gorge – Qutang Gorge Today, disembark for an offshore excursion to the Three Little Gorges along the Daning River. Float along this humble waterway on a small wooden boat for spectacular views of these smaller formations, including archaeological sites nestled in the cliffs. Next, cruise through the misty Wu Gorge, most notable for its striking peaks and bizarre rock formations. Finally, arrive at the final gorge, Qutang, whose depth and towering mountains envelop the winding river, making it the shortest and most majestic of the Three Gorges.
Yangtze Highlights Downstream | 4D
Day 4: Three Gorges Dam Project – Xiling Gorge Arrive today at the imposing Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydroelectric project in the world. Disembark and pay a visit to the surrounding grounds and memorial garden - and learn about the massive engineering feat that made this landmark a reality. Then, continue onward by boat to the final gorge, Xiling, on the other side of the dam. The largest and most rugged of the gorges’ landscapes, Xiling boasts vast reefs and large shoals along the river. Take in the vast and intriguing views here before arriving in Yichang, the ending-point of your journey. 131
Shanghai French ½D Concession Walk Discover the charm of Shanghai’s historical residential district, the French Concession, on a guided stroll exploring the neighbourhood’s hidden charms. Walk along tree-lined avenues before weaving through narrow alleyways to check out Tai Chi in public parks and learn about the area’s vibrant history. Along the way sample some scrumptious fried dumplings, mingle with the locals in a wet market and finish up with a fluffy egg tart. 132
Shanghai Dine like a Local | ½D Dine like a local in Pudong and witness the unique suburban charm of this little-explored neighbourhood. Under the cover of darkness, follow your guide through one of the last remaining night markets in the city. Sample the wildly popular fried dumplings before a spoonful of sweet dofu hua, or tofu flower. Wrap things up sharing a traditional Chinese family-style meal with your group.
Gourmet Beijing: ½D Ghost Street Uncover the secrets behind Beijing’s most popular food district, the hauntingly delicious Ghost Street. Once home to the city’s funeral industry, it’s now a late night grub hub! Learn about the neighbourhoods dark history during a guided wander around stalls and sample some of the best sizzling dumplings, barbeque, Peking duck and savoury desserts in town.
Beijing Back Streets | ½D Explore authentic local living in Beijing with a guided discovery of the city’s hutongs - narrow and labyrinthine alleyways home to an Old Beijing style of living. Explore these densely-populated residential blocks alongside your guide, sample favourite local street food, meet chatty residents at a local park and learn the secrets of Beijing’s bizarre culture of cricket fighting from a “Cricket Master” during the journey.
Hong Kong Harbour
About Destination The world’s most vertical city is Asia’s shining beacon of modernity, emerging from a century of British colonial rule. Contemporary Hong Kong might exude the glitz and glam of the nouveaux-riche, but a common thread of history and heritage connects the locals in this thriving metropolis. With a fascinating juxtaposition of international influence and proud nationalism, Hong Kong’s dynamic charm cements it as a prime destination to explore where East meets West. “There are so many reasons why Hong Kong’s people should be proud of and love my home city, and why visitors should cherish it as a fantastic travel destination. Hong Kong is Asia’s world city one of the most photographed and talked-about sights in Asia and also one of the safest cities in the world. The essence of our city can be discovered by talking to Hong Kong locals, as they are truly remarkable people. We spend our lives in this bustling and vibrant city and there’s always something to learn from them.” Sandy Ho Country Manager
Hong Kong Family | 6D
Take off on an exciting adventure to Hong Kong for a fun-filled tour and see a different side of the metropolis! Hike along the incredible Geopark with million year-old rock formations along the coast, take a trip to Ocean Park to learn about marine life and enjoy some interactive rides! Stop by the neighbouring island of Lantau and take a peek at the immense bronze Buddha before venturing to the famous Hong Kong Disneyland! itinerary Day 1-2: Hong Kong – New Territories Arrive in bustling Hong Kong, one of the most modern cities in the world! Take in the views of the skyscrapers towering overhead and the majestic bay. The next day, discover the natural wonders surrounding the island on a trip to Global Geopark. Hike along the coastline where you’ll see distinctive ancient rock formations and some of the best landscape in Hong Kong. Venture on to Sai Kung, where beautiful hiking trails and beaches can be found alongside scrumptious seafood! Day 3-4: Hong Kong - Lantau Head to Ocean Park for an educational and fun-filled look into marine life, history and conservation. Start off with an incredible panoramic view of the Island from Ocean Park Tower before travelling back in time on the Heritage Tram. Take a walk through The Grand Aquarium, and then stop by the panda habitat! The following day, head to Lantau, a quick ferry ride away from Hong Kong, where you can find the area’s longest beaches and quaint fishing villages. Next, check out the incredible Giant Buddha Statue that towers 34 meters above the surrounding landscape. Finish off soaring along in the Ngong Ping cable car, for a unique view of the nature surrounding the metropolis. Day 5-6: Hong Kong - Lantau Spend a magical day in Hong Kong Disneyland! Step into a world where all your favourite characters come to life. Explore the themed lands & rides, from Toy Story Land to Mystic Point! Check out a Broadway style musical starring Mickey and his friends. Drift on a raft to Tarzan’s Tree house, fly with Dumbo or give your lungs some exercise on the thrilling roller coaster ride at Grizzly Gulch! Enjoy a day jampacked with fun before returning to your hotel to unwind before your departure. 138
Inclusions • 5 nights hotel accommodation • Breakfast daily • All road transport by air conditioned vehicle • Sightseeing as specified • Entrance fees • Local English speaking guide • Round trip transfers
“An itinerary tailored to families wanting a fun visit to the world’s top theme parks, but with a bit of nature in a visit to our Geopark.” Sandy Ho - Country Manager
Hong Kong & Macau Adventure | 6D
Experience the best of China’s bustling island cities on an urban adventure through Hong Kong and Macau. In vibrant Hong Kong, enjoy magnificent panoramic views atop Victoria Peak and visit the former pirate hideout at Cheung Chau. Wrap up your adventure in Macau, home to Asia’s most beautiful collection of Portuguese architecture.
itinerary Day 1-2: Hong Kong After a morning of independent exploration, spend your afternoon visiting the highlights of Hong Kong on a guided city tour. Ride up the steepest tram in the world to stunning panoramas at The Peak and drive onward to the historic fishing port of Aberdeen, where skyscrapers overlook traditional junk and fishing boats along the harbour. Stop by a jewellery factory to witness how craftsman create stunning art using precious stones before getting your shopping fix at Stanley Market – the perfect place to try out your bargaining skills!
Day 4-6: Macau In the morning, venture by ferry to the island of Macau, located on China’s southern tip. Meander around this charming former Portuguese colony before enjoying a spectacular evening show, “The House of Dancing Water.” The next day, visit the centuries-old Ruins of St. Paul, once among the largest Catholic churches in the region and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the stunning Portuguese architecture in Largo de Senado, Macau’s lively paved town square, and stroll along the Old City Walls as the sun sets. Finish off your day at the casino for some high rolling fun!
Inclusions • • • • • • •
5 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees Local English speaking guide Round trip transfers
Day 3: Hong Kong – Cheung Chau Set off by ferry bound for Cheung Chau, a small but thriving island southwest of Hong Kong. Discover the traditional Chinese architecture of Pak Tai Temple before unwinding at Tung Wha Beach, where stretches of white sand beaches feature bronzeage carvings. On board a wooden sampan, cruise into a typhoon shelter en route to the hideout of notorious pirate Cheung Po Tsai. After a scrumptious dim sum lunch, spend the remainder of the afternoon at Tin Hau, a 200 year-old temple dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea.
“Enjoy two fascinating cities in one trip. Visit Hong Kong, explore the vibrant city and its outlying islands and then visit Macau, a destination rich in history, culture and a UNESCO World Heritage Centre.” Sandy Ho - Country Manager
Hong Kong Local Experience | 4D
Vibrant Hong Kong | 4D
Embark on a journey exploring local lifestyles in urban Hong Kong. On a four-day experience beyond the highlights, discover some of the city’s rarely visited residential enclaves to uncover bizarre traditions, tasty street food delicacies, fascinating local history and the secrets behind Asia’s most vertical city.
For a dose of Asia’s best cosmopolitan adventure, this whirlwind journey through the vibrant island of Hong Kong explores the very best of the island’s urban charm. After exploring the city’s highlights, enjoy a cruise along the world famous Victoria Harbour and explore hidden treasures that few visitors get the chance to see.
Day 1: Hong Kong Spend your first day in this glittering metropolis at your leisure. Wander around the city and soak up the frenetic urban energy that makes Hong Kong one of the most fascinating destinations in Asia. For unrivalled panoramic views, head to The Peak by foot or cable car, and take in the urban sprawl from atop this magnificent viewpoint. Or, get your shopping fix at Stanley Market, a traditional open air market with excellent bargains!
Day 1: Hong Kong Hong Kong translates to ‘Fragrant Harbour,’ which couldn’t be more befitting for this beautiful and dynamic Island. Boasting a deep natural harbour and one of the world’s most famous skylines, Hong Kong offers a variety of sights, sounds and smells. Take a stroll along the busy streets and sample some tasty street snacks on your first day.
Day 2: Hong Kong Today explore the city well behind the beaten track with a guided journey into the city’s backstreets and residential areas. Ride the historic Star Ferry across the harbour, before arriving at an unassuming flyover to try your hand at the voodoo-like practice of “villain hitting” alongside a local practitioner! Then, take a stroll to a traditional fishing village, where a former gathering point for pirates has now become an ultra-chic dining district. Here visit the centuries-old Shing Wong Temple, before meeting with a local family for a game of mahjong. Day 3: Hong Kong After a relaxing morning at your leisure, set off for street food in the heart of the city’s local culinary district. Stroll around the alleys and wet markets of Wan Chai, a unique district where traditional and modern lifestyles coexist in surprising harmony. Along the way, sink your teeth into some scrumptious puffy egg waffles and sample a cup of milk tea – a favourite drink for Hong Kong locals. After setting off by double decker tram to Causeway Bay for some savoury clay pot rice, grab a stool at a pop up food stall and wrap up your day with a selection of local food favourites. Day 4: Hong Kong Set off on a self-guided stroll around the city and take in its sights and sounds on your final day. Today is a great day to stock up on some final souvenirs in the city’s fantastic shopping districts, or for a final taste of some local dishes! Enjoy the city at your leisure before catching your flight to your next destination. 140
Day 2: Hong Kong Get to know the island with a journey to The Peak – boasting unrivalled birds-eye views of the cityscape below – arriving after a ride up the steepest tram in the world. Drive onward to the historic fishing port of Aberdeen, and get your shopping fix at Stanley market, a perfect location to browse for souvenirs. In the evening, sit back and enjoy unlimited free beverages as you cruise out of the harbour. The boat’s deck is the perfect front row seat to watch the skyline light up as the sun sets over the horizon. From here, enjoy unparalleled views of the “Symphony of Lights,” a synchronised 13-minute light display symbolising Hong Kong’s growth from sleepy fishing village to vibrant metropolis in five acts. Day 3: Hong Kong Explore some of Hong Kong’s hidden heritage, starting off with the centuries-old Lam Tsuen, a community of villages established in the Song dynasty. Make a wish at its Banyan trees, where locals have tied paper wishes to fruit, and cast them up into the branches. Then, take a stroll through the largest private park in the city, the enchanting Dragon Garden. Covering eight hectares, explore the ornate pavilions, detailed stone sculptures and water features here. In the evening, wind down at Sam Tung Uk Museum, a 200-year-old walled village home to the remnants of Hong Kong’s past lives. Day 4: Hong Kong Spend your final day in Hong Kong independently, before heading to the airport to catch your flight. Today is a great day to stock up on some last-minute souvenirs or wander around the city’s streets for one last bite of street food!
Explore Lantau Island | 1D Embark on an adventure to Lantau, one of the most beloved outlying islands of Hong Kong. Ride the ferry to one of the city’s longest beaches before setting off to visit a quaint fishing village, where stilted homes balance precariously above tidal flats. Arrive next at the revered Po Lin Monastery and hike up to the marvelous 34-meter Buddha statue. Finish off by soaring along the rugged mountainside, suspended by cable car for incredible panoramas on the way back down to Hong Kong.
Historic Macau | 1D
Vibrant Hong Kong | ½D
Just an hour outside of Hong Kong, Macau boasts a vibrant display of European architecture and World Heritage Sites. Explore the mesmerising blend of old and new here on a tour visiting the island’s best cultural and historical landmarks. Witness the incredible stone facade of the once-towering St. Paul’s Cathedral, and head onward to visit the defensive network of the Old City Walls, one of Macau’s many Portuguese structures. In the oldest temple in the city, get an in-depth look at Taoist traditions before wrapping up your tour at the casino for some high-rolling fun!
Get an intimate view of the Island on this half-day tour around the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong! Ride up the steepest tram in the world to the famous views of The Peak, promising unrivalled views of the cityscape below. Then, head back down for a quick drive to the historic fishing port of Aberdeen. Visit a jewellery factory here to learn about how craftsmen use precious stones in their creations before getting your shopping fix at Stanley Market – a perfect place to try out your bargaining skills! 141
Hong Kong Backstreets Tours | ½D Spend a day like a local in Hong Kong’s residential backstreets, exploring hip neighbourhoods, charming alleyways and the city’s most fascinating traditional rituals. Chug across the harbour on Hong Kong’s famous Star Ferry, and hop on a double-decker tram en route to a city flyover. Here, get a unique hands-on look at “villain hitting”, Hong Kong’s unique ritual, sometimes considered the city’s very own “voodoo” magic! Stroll onward to a historic fishing village and follow your guide through narrow alleyways and a frenetic wet market to Main Street East, once a hangout for pirates! Now brimming with chic bars and restaurants, this is a favourite haunt for young, trendy locals in Hong Kong. Wrap up your day with a game of mah-jong with a local family in one of the area’s oldest residential blocks.
Explore Street Food | ½D Prepare for a culinary journey with an exotic twist on this half-day street eats excursion! First up, sink your teeth into the ultimate street sweet, puffy egg waffles, and sip a cup of “milk tea” at a Hong Kong-style café. After a ride on a double-decker tram, arrive at Causeway Bay and savour a bowl of clay pot rice filled with meat and topped with fresh green onion. Finally, snack on some deep-fried breadsticks before grabbing a stool at a local pop-up stall with everything from wok-kissed noodles to fried rice.
Geopark Coastal Treasures | 1D In the north-eastern region of the New Territories, Geo Park is a UNESCO recognised beacon of natural beauty in Hong Kong. Set off on an illuminating hike passing through fascinating geological formations forged by volcanoes millions of years ago. Head next to Sai Kung, or “Hong Kong’s back garden”, passing hidden beaches and gorgeous scenery along the way. After your day of discovery, kick up your feet and enjoy some fresh seafood by the shore.
Chureito Pagoda – Mount Fuji
g About Destination Nestled on the eastern frontier of Asia, the magical nation of Japan is a juxtaposition of past and future. A stone’s throw from the vibrant, neon glow of downtown Tokyo hides peaceful Zen gardens pictures of simplicity and calm. Contemporary art museums flank centuries-old Buddhist temples and skyscrapers erupt from cityscapes a bullet train ride away from the towering natural wonder of Mount Fuji. For the culturally curious, Japan is a hub of adventure waiting to be uncovered. “Japan is a great place for travel, as it has so much to offer. Its frantic cities, its peaceful mountains, its ski resorts to the north and its beach resorts to the south – Japan always surprises you with its contrasts. I also love the changes in the seasons – so much more so than further south in Asia and the change it brings to the whole country. The more I stay here, the more I love about it and genuinely want to share it with the world.”
Pankaj Pradhan Regional Manager
Japan Highlights | 14D
Travel from Tokyo to Kyoto for an epic discovery of Japan’s most fascinating highlights. Explore magical mountain retreats in Takayama and Shirakawa-go, dip into onsen hot springs in the shadow of Mount Fuji, witness dazzling Edo period architecture in Kyoto and soak up the contemporary energy of Hiroshima – the perfect greatest-hits itinerary with plenty of independent exploration. itinerary Day 1-4: Tokyo - Hakone Arrive in ultra-modern Tokyo, Japan’s glittering capital city. Set off on independent excursions through the vibrant heart of youth culture in the backstreets of Harajuku. Here, traditional Buddhist temples co-exist with thriving contemporary culture, from the ancient Buddhist temples of Asakusa to the oldest Geisha district in the city. Escape the bustle of the city as you set off by train bound for Hakone, on the outskirts of Mount Fuji. Settle in for a traditional experience within an old-fashioned ryokan inn, and enjoy a delicious multi-course meal before a soak in the onsen hot springs. Day 5-8: Takayama - Shirakawa-go - Kanazawa Set off on a scenic train ride into the mountains, and reach the secluded area of Takayama. Get a taste of the town’s unique culture shaped by its fresh water sources and established sake breweries, before venturing to the World Heritage City of Shirakawa-go. The area is famous for its creative Gasho Zukuri style houses, shaped like hands in prayer and designed to withstand heavy snowfall. Stay with a Japanese family at a minshuku, and witness the exquisite craftsmanship of these Japanese architectural icons. From here, head to the seaside city of Kanazawa, the epicentre of Japan’s Edo period heritage. Within the traditional districts of the geisha and samurai, get a fascinating firsthand look at the country’s history. Day 9-14: Hiroshima - Kyoto Arrive in Hiroshima, a vibrant cosmopolitan city on the island of Honshu. Now a hub for contemporary arts and culture, set off on a wander to explore breezy boulevards, great food and charming art museums. Ride the ferry out to the famous floating Torii Gate, one of the country’s most iconic symbols, before catching the bullet train onward to historic Kyoto. Settle in for some downtime here before setting off to explore city icons like Nijo Castle and the rock garden of Ryoan-ji. Take in the panoramic views of the city from atop Kiyomizu Temple before a traditional tea ceremony, and head onward to Nara for an optional day trip to explore this former capital. 146
Inclusions • • • • • • •
13 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily, 3 dinners All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees English speaking guide where specified Round trip transfers
“You won’t want to leave after spending two weeks in Japan, as this tour is packed full of the absolute best of this majestic country.” Pankaj Pradhan - Regional Manager
Ski Japan | 11D
Conquer the scenic slopes of Japan on this adventurous excursion to Niseko. In the vibrant capital of Tokyo, explore Japan’s dynamic metropolitan energy before heading north to Annapuri Mountain, home to the country’s best ski resorts, powdery snow and majestic mountain scenery. itinerary
Day 1-3: Tokyo Arrive in Tokyo, a capital city whose urban districts are bathed in a neon glow. Explore the city’s cherry trees and temples flanked by soaring skyscrapers and glittering nightclubs before taking a tour of the beautiful Meiji Jingu, an important Shinto shrine from the Imperial period. In a city where traditional culture blends with futuristic allure, a wander through this mesmerizing cityscape promises a mosaic of tasty street food, exhilarating nightlife and historic icons. After soaking up the best of the capital, head onward to Niseko for your ski retreat in the far north. Day 4-11: Niseko Arrive in Niseko, where your alpine adventure begins! With your seven-day pass, take to the slopes. You’ll have access to all four main resorts on Annapuri Mountain, taking in the spectacular views of volcanic Mount Yotei. Niseko is world famous for its powdery snow, with hills for every level of skier or snowboarder.
Optional: Sapporo Set off on an optional day’s escape from the slopes to Sapporo. Located an hour and a half from Niseko, the city is the fourth biggest in Japan, and home of the famous Sapporo beer brewery. Here, enjoy optional day excursions including Nijo Fish Market or Maruyama Park, featuring the principal shrine of the region. Or, set off for a challenging climb up Terebi-to Tower - a lookout promising breathtaking views of the city at sunset - or visit the Sapporo Winter Sports Museum within the Olympic Stadium. Opt for an illuminating guided visit to Sapporo Beer Garden, home of the nation’s first beer brewery, and spend your time here exploring the museum or sampling a collection of fresh beer! Inclusions
10 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees English speaking guide where specified Round trip transfers
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Japan Signature | 8D
Explore Japan beyond the glittering urban exterior on this compact, eight-day journey. Embark on a city excursion among the neon lights of Tokyo before visiting ancient temples in Kyoto and relaxing in a traditional Hakone inn near Mount Fuji. Wrap up your journey in Kyoto exploring beautifully preserved Zen gardens and shrines. itinerary Day 1-2: Tokyo Arrive in Japan’s futuristic urban hub, and take in the incredible architecture from aboard a train from the airport. Hop off at Asakusa, the historical district and location of your hotel. Here, get a unique glimpse at the Tokyo of yesteryear among its traditional architecture. Visit ancient Buddhist temples independently on a wander through the area’s fascinating avenues. The following evening, meet your guide for a guided stroll among neon lights of Tokyo’s famous Kabukicho district, the country’s largest entertainment district. Walk past an array of bustling bars, restaurants and theatres for a taste of Japan’s thriving nightlife. Day 3: Hakone Escape the chaos of the city for a relaxing day in Hakone, home to delightful onsen hot springs in the shadow of Mount Fuji. Zip out of Tokyo on a bullet train ride to Fuji-Hakone National Park, a far cry from the frenetic urban hub’s glittering city lights. Arrive at the station and set off to explore a few art galleries before cruising across Lake Ashi – a great place to catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji. As the sun sets, discover the simple majesty of Edo period architecture at a ryokan inn, complete with tatami mats and a traditional multi-course kaiseki meal. Spend your evening in this serene Inclusions location within the park. Day 4-6: Kyoto Today, get a firsthand look at Japan’s fascinating heritage and history with a short journey to Kyoto. Home to some of the world’s finest temples and gardens, spend your first day here enjoying the city independently. On your second day, visit the highlights of the city alongside a local guide for a closer look at the city’s history. Choose to either head north to the Golden Pavilion and Zen gardens, or wander Nishiki Market to try some delicious delicacies unique to the region. Wrap up your time in Kyoto in the Gio Quarter – famous for its traditional teahouse culture - and a Buddhist vegetarian meal. Day 7-8: Tokyo Return to Tokyo for one last night in the frenetic capital city. Head out to explore the city on your final evening, or simply kick back with a hot bowl of udon and some sake before your departure. 148
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7 nights hotel accommodation Breakfast daily All road transport by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing as specified Entrance fees English speaking guide where specified Round trip transfers
“We’ve tried to pack as much food as we can into this itinerary, so whether it be sushi or soba – there’s something to look forward to all the time.” Pankaj Pradhan - Regional Manager
Tsujiki Fish Market | 1D Rise with the sun to discover the source of Japan’s finest sushi, at Tsukiji Fish Market. As the city’s epicentre for seafood products, local chefs and food lovers from all walks of life congregate here to peruse the morning market’s staggering selection of fresh fish. Weave through Styrofoam boxes overflowing with the day’s catches while exploring the selection of stalls selling everything from fresh-pressed tofu to knives! Along the way, learn about Japan’s famously fresh cuisine and this market’s starring role in the country’s food culture. Wrap up your journey with a taste of seafood delicacies within the market.
Tokyo Highlights City Tour | 1D Get lost in the iconic neon lights of Tokyo’s famous Kabukicho area, on an evening tour of Japan’s largest entertainment district. Stroll past an array of bustling bars, restaurants and theatres, making stops along the way at a few hole-in-the-wall haunts famous with the locals. Discover the depths of Golden Gai, an area home to some 200 bars and eateries housed within a collection of densely packed alleyways. After savouring some Kabukicho delicacies, travel back in time with a walk through Omoide Yokocho, a small neighbourhood of Japanese pubs constructed and decorated in charming, pre-war fashion.
Kyoto Cooking Class | 1D
Discover the simplicity of Japanese cuisine as you learn to prepare a hearty home-style lunch. Visit the home of a Japanese chef and witness firsthand how some of the nation’s best traditional dishes are made, with recognizable ingredients you can find back home. Then, roll up your sleeves to make a few of Japan’s most iconic treats - including sushi, tempura and teriyaki. After you’ve mastered the techniques alongside your expert host, tuck into a delightful lunch you helped prepare from scratch!