(Bangkok, Thailand) — On this new cycling tour of Taiwan, Grasshopper Adventures guests will bike the length of the country, from the northern capital, Taipei, to the southern tip. Bikers will ride past emerald-colored rice paddies and Taoist temples dedicated to the sea-god Matsu. Along the way, they’ll take in the sheer beauty of Eastern Taiwan’s rugged Pacific Coast, with pristine beaches, exotic hot springs, and gorgeous valleys, including the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Taroko Gorge. The 9 Day/8 Night tour starts at $3,150 and covers 355-435 km. The terrain varies from gently undulating to steep ascents and descents over the coastal mountain range. Pedal assist E-bikes are available for $495 surcharge. For more information, visit https://www.grasshopperadventures.com/multi-day-cycling-tours/bike-taiwan-tour/.
“This classic cycling route takes us from Taroko Gorge down
along the coast and into the lush East Rift Valley before we re-emerge on the
rugged Pacific East Coast,” said Adam Platt-Hepworth, CEO of Grasshopper
Adventures. “Along the way, we’ll hike to the beautiful Shakadang Stream,
cycle narrow paths through banana palms to the coast for a beach-side rest
stop, and pedal into the little-visited East Rift Valley full of vibrant rice
paddies and small communities.”
Offering unparalleled scenery and challenging terrain,
Taiwan draws more and more visitors from across the globe each year. Riders
will visit the striking Saoba Monuments and hike along the Walami Trail to spot
wildlife. They’ll take a rest day to enjoy the beach of Dulan before the final
leg of the ride along the dramatic coastal cliffs and then inland across the
mountains to Kenting in the tropical south.
“Whether marveling at the sheer power of the Pacific Ocean, soaking
away the stresses of life in one of the island’s numerous hot springs, or
slurping down a hearty bowl of delicious noodles, Taiwan assaults the senses
and leaves guests hungry for more,” said Platt-Hepworth.
Cycling through the dramatic Taroko Gorge on part of the
famous King of the Mountain route
Viewing monkeys, deer, eagles and Formosan black bears on a
hike into the Central Mountain Range on the Walami Trail
Pedaling through the lush East Rift Valley into the jungle
then past gorgeous beaches to Dulan
Soaking up the sun and swimming in the bright blue waters of
the Pacific Ocean
Adventures is a cycling and active travel specialist, headquartered in
Bangkok, Thailand. They host more than 25,000 travelers of all ages and
abilities, on tours ranging from one day to two weeks in Japan, Sri Lanka,
Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Uzbekistan, Taiwan, Bhutan
& Myanmar. https://www.grasshopperadventures.com
Bellevue, WA—The eyes of the world are on Vietnam this week with President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un meeting in Hanoi. For travelers whose interest has been sparked, World Spree offers a very affordable and appealing tour that covers all the highlights of this increasingly popular destination. (Travel expert Pauline Frommer led a recent group.)
The 13-day Amazing Vietnam tour, which starts at $1,599 from Los Angeles and San Francisco ($100 more from New York), includes round-trip international airfare, ground transportation in Vietnam, accommodation in deluxe hotels (like the Hanoi Nikko and Grand Hotel Saigon), daily buffet breakfast, five other meals, an overnight cruise on Halong Bay, sightseeing tours with entrance fees, professional English speaking guides, baggage handling and audio earphones.
The tour starts in
Hanoi, Vietnam’s lovely capital, full of parks and French-colonial mansions and
a fascinating Old Quarter of tiny shops and street vendors. Sightseeing here
includes monuments associated with Ho Chi Minh and there’s an optional tour of
the Old Quarter and the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison. Next comes a
tour highlight: an overnight cruise on a traditional-style junk through
the beautiful waters of Halong Bay, which is celebrated for its spectacular
seascape of towering limestone pillars and some 1,600 islets.
A flight south to Da
Nang and a short ride past China Beach brings the tour to Hoi An, a charming
market town that retains much of its traditional architecture, with
well-preserved temples and pagodas, not to mention shops that can produce a
bargain-priced dress in 24 hours. On to Hue, the old imperial capital and its
wealth of royal palaces, temples and gardens. Sightseeing here
includes the impressive Citadel and its Forbidden City and there’s an optional
cyclo excursion through the old town, ending with a very special banquet.
And finally, the
bustling metropolis called “Saigon” (officially Ho Chi Minh City), where
skyscrapers are rising beside ancient temples and French-colonial
landmarks. Here there are two not-to-be-missed optional excursions:
the Mekong Delta, known as Vietnam’s “rice basket,” and the truly unbelievable
Cu Chi Tunnels.
Prices are per person,
double occupancy, and are subject to availability. For more information, log
click Vietnam and then Amazing Vietnam, or call toll-free 1-866-652-5656.
World Spree Travel,
which started 15 years ago as China Spree, with tours of China, is a tour
operator renowned for 5-star trips at 3-star
prices. Based in Bellevue, Washington, World Spree has expanded all
over Asia and now operates tours to China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand,
India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bali, Myanmar and, yes, Peru and
Ecuador. Foodie tours are on the horizon. Some 70%
of World Spree’s tour participants are repeat clients who value well-planned
trips at a reasonable price.
After launching a specialized program highlighting Vietnam’s Culinary Delights which includes a chef popularized by the late Anthony Bourdain, Pacific Delight Tours has now developed a 12-day Active Southeast Asia tour. The itinerary targets adventure seekers interested in delving off the beaten path to discover local life and culture both within and outside of major cities throughout Vietnam and Cambodia by bike, boat and boot.
Highlights include a luxury cruise through Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where participants will enjoy an onboard cooking demonstration in addition to exploring Sung Sot Cave and hiking 600 steps to observe the magnificent limestone formations (with an option to kayak around the islets). An overnight train to Lao Cai will bring travelers to the seldom visited villages of Sa Pa and Giang Ta Chai, in the mountainous region of northwestern Vietnam, where they will trek terraced rice paddies to interact with the Hmong, Dzay and Dzao ethnic minorities. Visitors will also observe Silver Waterfall cascading more than 300 feet from Vietnam’s highest mountain pass.
Exploration of Vietnam continues in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon), where guests will experience the city’s burgeoning nightlife scene by streetlamp with a vintage Vespa tour of the bustling streets and narrow alleyways of the colonial French Quarter. Participants will bike rustic Ben Tre, known for its peaceful orchards and coconut fields,for an immersive experience with the culture of the Mekong Delta. A local antique collector known as Uncle Six will welcome guests into his home and teach participants how to climb a coconut tree with their bare hands. Travelers will row across shaded canals to board a lunch cruise where they will sample local specialties including sweet coconut desserts.
In Cambodia, a bike excursion through the Angkor Wat temple complex will cross the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s vast moat and continue along its causeway to view more than 1,700 Asparas (celestial dancers) carved into the temple walls-the longest continuous bas-relief structure in the world. For an aerial view, a Flight of the Gibbons canopy zipline eco-adventure will traverse hanging bridges and provide inspiring views of the surrounding tropical rainforest as sky rangers impart knowledge of the Cambodian jungle.
Travelers will explore Chong Kneas Floating Village by boat to learn about the daily lives of local communities living around the lake. A visit to the Phsar Chas Market, originally destroyed by the Khmer Rouge in 1975 and rebuilt roughly 20 years later, will provide opportunities to sample unique food stalls and souvenir shops. The tour culminates with a quad bike excursion through Cambodia’s verdant countryside to observe laid-back villages, a local orphanage and Prei Monti-a Cambodian monastery dating back to the 9th century.
Priced from $3,499 per person, based on double occupancy, the program includes deluxe hotel accommodations, intra-Southeast Asia transportation throughout Vietnam and Cambodia, and all meals & activities outlined on the itinerary (excluding optional add-ons). International airfare is not included, but can be arranged by Pacific Delight Tours at the time of booking.
The newly opened Anantara Quy Nhon Villas offers a host of distinctive luxury experiences, including villas with exceptional features, rare dining and wellness activities, all in stunning surroundings. The Vietnamese resort will provide advantages solely for travelers who reserve through an advisor affiliated with leading global luxury travel network Virtuoso®. Virtuoso guests who stay for at least three nights before February 28, 2019 will receive the following at no charge as part of a generous opening offer:
Unlimited spa treatments subject to availability at time of booking
One BBQ in villa with chef
Daily minibar refill
Breakfast, lunch and dinner from the Sea.Fire.Salt a la carte menu
One-way airport transfer
The above perks are in addition to these ongoing complimentary advantages:
Upgrade on arrival if available
Daily buffet breakfast for two guests
$100 USD food and beverage credit
Early check-in/late check-out if available
Nestled on a secluded bay with an exclusive beach, Anantara Quy Nhon is an all-villa hideaway set amidst 18 acres of tropical gardens. The 26 one- and two-bedroom villas feature infinity pools, cellars with premium wines, floor-to-ceiling windows, open-air bathrooms and spacious sundecks. Some villas offer amazing ocean views, while others are mere steps from the beach. Emphasizing personalized service, each villa comes with its own butler and customizable amenities such as room scents ranging from lemongrass to green tea. The contemporary resort blends into its environment, incorporating local materials, craftsmanship and influences.
“We continue to see Vietnam on the rise with upscale and experiential travelers, with it ranking as an emerging destination on Virtuoso’s 2018 Luxe Report and as a destination seeing significant year-over-year growth,” says Albert Herrera, Virtuoso’s senior vice president of Global Product Partnerships. “With Anantara Quy Nhon, true luxury has arrived in this alluring part of the world. The Anantara brand is synonymous with stunning retreats in exotic destinations, coupled with exceptional experiences and intuitive service. Anantara Quy Nhon brings these qualities to life through unique offerings that will delight discerning travelers looking for an escape from daily life in an authentic setting.”
Dining outlets celebrate local seafood and flavors. At Sea.Fire.Salt, the all-day restaurant, guests can perfect each dish with rare salts from around the world housed in the resort’s salt library. The swim-up bar serves premium cocktails, Vietnamese craft beers, light bites and Cuban cigars in an ocean-facing setting. In-villa dining offers everything from gourmet breakfast in bed to poolside barbecues to luxury Vietnamese street food. Anantara’s unique Dining by Design program allows guests to select experiences including “Castaway” island picnics and fishing trawler expeditions followed by five-star dining. As part of the Spice Spoons offering, guests can walk along the beach to a fishing village and select fresh seafood, vegetables and herbs before returning to the Sea.Fire.Salt show kitchen for an immersive cooking class.
Anantara Quy Nhon offers Anantara’s pioneering Balance Wellness concept, unique in the region. It provides a flexible approach to wellbeing through experiences, treatments and seminars, as well as private sessions with visiting healers. Perched on a cliff overlooking the water and shrouded by jungle, Anantara Spa features treatments such as Thai massage, reiki and mindfulness in indoor and outdoor pavilions. Suites offer double massage beds and oversized bathtubs for coconut milk soaks.
Just six miles away in historic Quy Nhon, a variety of cultural experiences beckons. From hikes to temple visits, travelers can immerse themselves in the heritage of this fascinating country. Binh Dinh province, of which Quy Nhon is the capital, appeals to families, couples and friends, with sights including the relics of Champa civilization and centuries-old Buddhist pagodas.
Anantara Quy Nhon is the newest luxury property to launch in conjunction with the esteemed Virtuoso Preview program, which provides benefits only to clients of network travel advisors. Preview is part of Virtuoso’s renowned Hotels & Resorts Program, which includes more than 1,300 of the world’s finest properties in over 100 countries.
These exclusive perks at Anantara Quy Nhon are only available through Virtuoso. Travelers will have two ways to take advantage of them: either reserving their stay through Virtuoso.com or by booking with a Virtuoso-affiliated travel advisor. To find an advisor, visit https://www.virtuoso.com/advisors#.
NEW YORK, NY – Victoria Cruises, the only American-managed luxury cruise line operating on China’s mist-shrouded Yangtze, is offering reduced winter rates on February departures of its popular three- and four-night Three Gorges Highlights itinerary. The discount can be combined with Victoria Cruises 2-for-1 offer on bookings received by Feb. 28, 2019 for a total savings of more than 67% of the cruise fare.
“The Three Gorges region of the Yangtze is geographically closer to Vietnam than Beijing. As a result, our cruises typically feature more temperate weather during the wintertime,” said Larry Greenman, manager of public relations and customer service for Victoria Cruises. “February is therefore a great time to experience river cruising in China at a significant cost savings.”
In order to qualify for the 2-for-1 discount, bookings must include a $90 per person mandatory shore excursion package (billed at $45 per person after 2-for-1 savings is applied). The package features three excursions including an educational tour of the Three Gorges Dam, a tranquil sampan excursion along one of the Yangtze’s scenic tributaries and a visit to a famous Chinese monument such as a 100-foot-tall statue depicting the Jade Emperor, the supreme deity of Chinese Taoism, or Shibaozhai’s famous red pagoda. Excursions are subject to change.
With all discounts included, passengers can sail for as low as $285 per person, based on double occupancy – representing a total savings of $1,170 per couple.
Optional add-on excursions such as the Tribe of the Three Gorges cultural experience or an opportunity to experience the world’s largest ship elevator (capable of elevating a volume of water roughly equivalent to four Olympic-sized swimming pools), are available for onboard purchase starting at $45 per person, per excursion.
Onboard passengers will enjoy a world-class dining program designed for the Western palate, while Tai Chilessons and traditional dance and musical performances emphasize local culture.
Passengers can upgrade their onboard experience for an additional $200 per person with Victoria Cruises’ Luxury Amenities program, which offers VIP perks including upper deck stateroom placement, access to exclusive ship areas, “white glove” service, enhanced culinary privileges featuring a la carte options as well as wine and beer with dinner, exclusive happy hour and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access. The nominal $200 per person upgrade becomes $100 per person when the Luxury Amenities program is booked in conjunction with Victoria Cruises’ 2-for-1 offer.
New York-based Victoria Cruises established new standards of excellence for sailing China’s Yangtze River when its first ship edged out of port in 1994. Victoria Cruises remains a service leader on the Yangtze River with each ship earning the coveted five-star rating from the China National Tourism Administration. Victoria Cruises has earned numerous awards and recognitions over the years including the 2011 TravelAge WestWAVE Award Editor’s Pick for Best River Cruise Line as well as Best New River Cruise Ship in 2010 with the launch of the luxurious Victoria Jenna. In that same year, Travel Weekly also selected the Victoria Jenna as a Silver Award Winner for the Magellan Awards’ River Cruise Ship category. The cruise line operates a variety of itineraries on the Yangtze ranging from four to eight days.
For more information and a free color brochure or promotional DVD, contact Victoria Cruises at 136-18 39th Avenue, 12th Floor, Flushing, NY 11354; phone (800) 348-8084, (212) 818-1680; fax (212) 818-9889. E-mail [email protected] or visit www.victoriacruises.com.
Bangkok, Thailand – Backyard Travel, the online boutique tour operator specializing in insider tours throughout Asia, today announced a fun family adventure through Vietnam and Cambodia. Heading from the ruins of ancient Angkor to the idyllic beaches of Phu Quoc, this all-ages journey is jam-packed with activities for all ages.
Launching from Siem Reap, Cambodia, the 10-day Ruins, Waterways and Beaches Tour begins with explorations through the Angkor Temple Complex, zipping around the ancient city in a remork and refueling with delicious local cuisine along the way. After an exciting homestay experience in the countryside of Banteay Srei, it’s off to Ho Chi Minh City for a thrilling Vespa tour of the city. From there, it’s on to the fascinating Mekong Delta to explore the waterways and glimpse life along the river, before heading to the tropical paradise of Phu Quoc island for two full days of blissful downtime.
“Traveling with children can be challenging, but our family tours are specially designed to make sure everyone has fun,” says General Manager of Backyard Travel Trystan Trestchenkoff. “Our Travel Specialists have years of experience tailoring family trips, and selecting only the best local experiences in every destination.”
Bellevue, WA —The February 17 departure of World Spree’s Amazing Vietnam tour has an extra added attraction: it will be hosted by travel expert Pauline Frommer, a familiar face from her many television appearances.
An experienced traveler and engaging personality, Pauline is co-president of Frommer Media with her father, the legendary Arthur Frommer. Together they publish the Frommer guidebooks and Frommers.com. She is also host of two radio shows on travel and is the author of seven books, countless articles and a weekly King Features syndicated column.
The tour takes in the highlights of Vietnam, an exotic country lapped by the warm waters of the South China Sea, with the world’s friendliest people, a beautiful landscape and a rich history dating back 5,000 years. It starts in the charming capital, Hanoi, with its French-colonial mansions and mementos of Ho Chi Minh, and continues with an overnight cruise on Halong Bay, famous for its spectacular seascape of limestone peaks and islands.
There’s a glimpse of Danang and China Beach on the way to Hoi An, an old port town that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then to Hue, the former imperial capital with its impressive Citadel and, finally, a flight to the bustling city of Saigon, officially known as Ho Chi Minh City. There are also several optional excursions, including one to the fascinating Cu Chi Tunnels and a cruise/land tour to the scenic Mekong Delta.
The 13-day tour costs $1,899 from Los Angeles and San Francisco, $1,999 from New York, and that price includes round-trip international airfare, conveniently-located deluxe hotel accommodations, 13 bountiful meals, an overnight cruise on Halong Bay, sightseeing tours with entrance fees, professional English-speaking guides, baggage handling and audio earphones.
All prices are per person, double occupancy, and are subject to availability. For additional information, visit www.worldspree.com and click Vietnam, or call toll-free 1-866-652-5656.
Based in Bellevue, Washington, and known for value-packed trips, World Spree Travel began 14 years ago as China Spree, now operates tours to China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bali and, yes, Peru and Ecuador.
SEATTLE, WA– Myanmar today is a most curious place. Driving through the countryside visitors see farmers working their water buffalo in fields nestled beneath hills covered in pagodas and experience first-hand day in and day out the effects of Buddhism that permeate this long hidden culture.
This mystery realm known as Myanmar (Burma) is a must-visit-now destination, says Kurt Kutay, founder and owner of Wildland Adventures. He gives three reasons. First, decades of self-imposed isolationism stalled globalization, thus preserving here a throwback Asia. Second, Myanmar has transformed itself to a democratically elected and installed government and now welcomes the outside world. Third, Myanmar is one of the safest countries in the world to travel to now and exemplifies a peaceful and friendly population.
Known for blazing new trails in adventure travel, Wildland Adventures (http://www.wildland.com/) is introducing three new itineraries that explore Myanmar in 2016. In keeping with a 30-year custom of exploring worlds afar in style, these tours delve deeper into daily life and sacred sites than simply posing at a monument. In line with Wildland’s founding ethos three decades ago, the company supports community based projects across the country that are run by locals from among its 135 eclectic ethnic groups creating intimate interactions for their travelers with the Burmese people.
“While visiting iconic sites we take roads less traveled to meet local people, hear their personal stories, and see how we can help them improve their lives after the military junta. For example, we bike between the colonial-era hill town of Kalaw and Inle Lake. We experience the drama that is Bagan on foot and from the air,” Kutay explains. “Whether chatting with a local Shan farmer in Northern Shan state, or with villagers in the countryside in Yandabo on the banks of the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady), or with an Intha woman showing how to make traditional foods in her house on stilts on the lake, it’s always about making a connection and understanding Myanmar by getting to know its people.”
Kutay promises that his guests will be stunned by the time capsule they explore as they stroll through Shan and Kayin villages, bike around Mandalay, tour a pottery-makers’ village, awaken to the sounds and scents of local markets coming to life, bathe elephants in the river, gaze in awe at the fabled temple field of Bagan, and circumnavigate on foot the 2,500-year-old Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon (Rangoon) with Buddhist pilgrims.
Mystical Myanmar is a 13-day journey from $4,415 per person, double, that discovers Myanmar’s mystical depths revealed in timeless rural life where few travelers venture. On this easy active adventure guests walk amongst hill tribe villages, kayak on Inle Lake, cycle down rural roads, trek through the jungle to an elephant conservation sanctuary and venture into the mountainous states of Mon and Kayin to overnight in Hpa An village. Combining the iconic sites with the unknown, guests explore the vast complex of temples at Bagan and visit three of Myanmar’s most sacred sites: Golden Rock Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, Shwedagon Pagoda and Mahamuni.
Myanmar: Highlights of a Golden Land is a 15-day journey from $4,650 per person, double. Unique to this tour, at the conclusion of an active pursuit of Myanmar’s cultural classics, guests unwind for a day and overnight at Ngapali Beach, a resort situated in a fishing village on the Bay of Bengal. Here guests will be loathe to leave a country that has imbedded memories of a hot air balloon adventure over the Bagan temples, bicycle rides through small villages, riding the rails across the countryside and boating along waterways, sipping tea with the Palaung on tea plantations in Shan State, and marveling at the white and gold of temples shimmering in the dusky light.
Myanmar Family Adventure is a 10-day journey from $3,440 per person, double. Picture the kids bathing elephants, on bicycle rides, soaring in a hot air balloon adventure, taking a jeep safari to discover hidden temples straight out of Indiana Jones, walking through dense jungles to tribal villages and always meeting families and hearing their stories.
In addition to helping support local guides and community-based tourism services like boutique hoteliers and local restaurant entrepreneurs who interface with Wildland’s guests, the company contributes to building much-needed water wells in the dry zone. Through the generous contributions from previous travelers, three wells (and counting) have already been built in these remote villages just since the start of 2015. See: http://www.wildland.com/destinations/asia/myanmar-(-burma-)/givingback.aspx
For more information Wildland Adventures’ worldwide programs, availability and reservations call 1-800-345-4453, email [email protected], or visit http://www.wildland.com/. For more travel features, visit:
Pure Adventures, a pioneer in self-guided cycling vacations, is introducing bicycle vacations exploring culture and countryside in Southeast Asia.
“Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia are very affordable and accessible to cyclists,” says Loren Siekman, founder/owner. “Our knowledgeable bilingual, in-country guides help us arrange bike rentals, unique lodging, ride itineraries and local cultural experiences found nowhere else. All the new tours feel like self-guided trips but include a guide and support vehicle for every ride to enjoy two-wheeled explorations of brand-new worlds.”
Pure Adventures announces hand-crafted cultural immersions that are unique to this company and to the regions explored. Because these are not pre-set group tours, guests determine their own departure dates and are possible with just two participants. The trips can also be customized based on cultural and culinary interests.
Rates include lodging (upgrades available for an additional cost), all breakfasts, some lunches and dinners, luggage transfers from hotel to hotel, bikes and gear, sightseeing tickets, briefings, guides, support vehicles, airport transfers, and more. Inclusions vary by itinerary. They will even help manage tourist visas!
Myanmar – Cycling Discovery of Old Burma: Marco Polo called Myanmar (Burma) “The Golden Land.” From Mandalay to Yangon (Rangoon), guests pedal up to 55 kilometers daily over nine days, along the way discovering the secrets of gold leaf that embellishes statuary and temples and the secrets of gold that are the kindness and generosity of the people of this long-neglected country. Short flights, including by hot air balloon, reveal the temple fields of Old Bagan, the ancient capital of the Burmese empire. Village life comes into focus while pedaling by carts pulled by oxen, or climbing to an extinct volcano, Mt. Popa, home of macaque monkeys and nats (spirits), or exploring a wine making venture and traditional silk weaving techniques of the Inthar people near Lake Inle. The pastoral world fades in Yangon (Rangoon), a bustling city that mixes up the stupas of ancient and modern Burma with British colonial architecture and modern edifices. Here is the country’s holiest shrine, Shwedagon Pagoda, a golden stupa covered with 60 tons of pure gold. This trip, available from October through April, is priced from $1,287 per person, double.
Vietnam – Central Coast Highlights Bicycle Tour: In Vietnam, guests biking some 45 kilometers daily over eight days explore south from Hanoi along the Central Coast, passing through cultures spanning more than 1000 years and bisecting daily village life. Travelers may opt to swim and kayak on Halong Bay, where some 1,900 islands and islets create a marine landscape of limestone pillars. At Hue, the former royal capital, monuments, tombs and pagodas reveal a vanished feudal empire. In a region rarely visited by tourists, guests cycle around Hoi An Town, following small paths linking rarely-visited villages, rice fields, shrimp ponds and coconut palms. Privately hosted meals and carefully selected lodgings enhance this carefully textured journey. Available year-round, this trip is priced from $1,972 per person double.
Thailand – Chiang Mai Cycling and Culture 7N Tour: Thailand unfolds while biking on average 45 kilometers daily over eight days. In Bangkok guests lodge overlooking the Chao Phraya River and pedal seldom-visited neighborhoods rife with open air markets and tea shops. A flight north to Chiang Mai reveals Doi Saket and the Lost City of Wiang Kum Kam, once the capital of the Lanna Kingdom. Guests have the fun of overnighting at a resort with treehouse accommodations. A morning cycle along Sri Lanna National Park secures a boat ride and transfers into kayaks, and perhaps a swim. This adventure is available from $1,250 per person double.
Cambodia – Siem Reap & Angkor Watt Cycling: This is a five (or three)-day stand-alone tour or it can be combined as an add-on with another cycling vacation in Southeast Asia. Guests bike from 25 to 65 kilometers daily. After touring the temples of Angkor Wat, guests bike into the countryside where children practice English on visitors. One stop is at a floating village; another stop is the Roluos Group, a series of Pre-Angkor temples; and yet another stop is at the ancient ruins of Beng Melea, undiscovered and untouched for centuries and only recently accessible to the public. This tour is available year-round. The per person double rate is from $393.
Seikman notes that these new biking programs, along with new self-guided walking tours in Japan, round out Pure Adventures’ calendar that now offers bicycle vacations year-round somewhere in the world.
Pure Adventures was created to meet North America’s growing demand for high-quality, self-guided cycling tours. Pure Adventures leverages and utilizes local expertise for route development, sites to see, people to meet, where to eat, and shop and experience life as a local would. Pure Adventures award-winning tours are competitively priced and meticulously planned with substantial behind-the-scene support creating a unique combination that makes a bicycle adventure more easily accessible to today’s active traveler.
The company pioneered self-guided tours in Europe in 1994. Tours span Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, and Switzerland. Twenty programs are available in the American West.
Pure Adventures was recently recognized with a Best of Travel 2015 award by OUTSIDE Magazine for their California tours that elevated that state to the top destination in the category of Best Road Biking.
Pandaw, a luxury river cruise operator, has announced the launch of a brand new ship, the Yunnan Pandaw, from September 2016.
The ship will become the sister to the Laos Pandaw and will sail on the Upper Mekong from Vientiane (Laos) to Jinghong (China) or visa versa on an exclusive 14-night journey.
The Yunnan Pandaw will have 12 air-conditioned main deck and two upper deck staterooms, each with private bathrooms, kimonos, slippers, safe and luxury linens and toiletries. Public areas include a stunning observation deck and dining room.
As with her sister ship, the Yunnan Pandaw will be built in Pandaw’s traditional teak and brass and have an ultra-low draft and high powered engines to enable her to navigate the mighty Upper Mekong. She will bring the number of ships in Pandaw’s fleet to 16.
“We are very excited about the addition of the Yunnan Pandaw to our fleet, which we are building in response to demand,” Pandaw’s founder Paul Strachan said. “The journey from Vientiane to Jinghong is only possible with Pandaw and is one of the most memorable.
“The Upper Mekong is one of the most scenic rivers in Asia. Travelling through lush jungle and friendly village communities where elephants can often be seen from the ship. In China, we visit the impressive Menglun Botanical Garden, discover Chinese tea plantations and meet some of China’s minority communities that live in Yunnan Province.”
Pandaw’s departures on the Laos Mekong, from Vientiane to Jinghong, abroad the Laos Pandaw have been sold out for some time. The new ship will therefore provide welcome extra cruise availability.
Travellers can combine the Upper Mekong cruise with Pandaw’s seven-night Classic Mekong cruise from Saigon to Siem Reap and sail the Mekong from China to Saigon and vice versa. For those taking this extended journey, Pandaw offers a complimentary three-night stay in Siem Reap, including guided visits to Angkor Wat.
Cruise only prices start from $5670 per person based on two people sharing a main deck twin cabin. To book, call your travel agent or book via www.pandaw.com.
Founded in 1995 by Scotsman and Burmese historian Paul Strachan with the re-building of an original Clyde-built steamer called Pandaw, the company can trace its roots back to the original Irrawaddy Flotilla Company, which was founded by Scots merchants in 1865. Still a family-run company, Pandaw was the first company to offer expeditions on both the Irrawaddy and Chindwin Rivers and has almost 20 years’ experience navigating three of the great rivers of South East Asia.
Pandaw operates cruises in Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and China from June to April.