Travel Indochina’s 2014-16 Asia River Cruise Portfolio Sets Sail

August 8, 2014 on 10:36 am | In Adventure Travel, Asia, Cambodia, Cruise Boats, Laos, Vietnam | Comments Off



Travel Indochina has launched its 2014-16 Luxury Asia River Cruise Portfolio contained in its expanded 84 page guide amid extremely strong growth in the sector and with a partnership announcement that it will be handling all Australian Travel Trade bookings for the newest small ship luxury cruise in Asia, Aqua Expeditions’ Aqua Mekong.

In the three years since establishing the product suite, boutique small ship Asian River Cruising has become Travel Indochina’s second most important market segment following the company’s core Small Group Journeys, registering 130% growth in the last year alone.

Managing Director, Paul Hole is buoyed by the growth in the sector which offers travellers a unique opportunity to gain greater access and deeper insights into a traditional way of life along Asia’s most iconic waterways.
“Having personally shared the experience of sailing on small boats along the Mekong, I’m more resolute than ever to bring this style of travel to travellers who prefer this style of exploration,” explains Hole.

“We’ve been sourcing more exclusive experiences as we develop an increasingly extensive product suite of quality cruise experiences and carefully crafted itineraries to meet our travellers’ demand, and importantly with a flexibility of offerings between tailor made and scheduled departures and itineraries.”

“We’re especially excited to announce our partnership with Aqua Expeditions for Aqua Mekong, which will set a new standard of small boat luxury on the Mekong between Vietnam and Cambodia. Aqua Mekong has the aesthetics and facilities equal to the most sophisticated five-star hotel, features world class cuisine designed by Asia’s top ranked chef, David Thompson and offers its own deck mounted tenders to provide on shore excursions into the heart of Mekong life, culture and nature. Luxury of the likes of this ship has never been seen by Australian river cruise aficionados unless they have been lucky enough to travel on Aqua’s Amazon based vessel.”

Travel Indochina’s newest guide to Luxury Asia River Cruising, which incorporates Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, India and China, includes cruise itineraries and details for boutique small ship river cruising along the Mekong, Yangtze, Ganges, Irrawaddy and Chindwin. The only dedicated brochure in the market with such a large range of boutique river cruising options across Asia, the 84 page ‘Guide’ to cruising provides detailed ship information covering cabin selections, cuisine, on shore excursions, itinerary highlights with pre and post touring options, deck & cabin plans and dates and prices for a range of departures to help travel agents and travellers identify the most appropriate cruise.

In addition to Aqua Mekong, Travel Indochina’s cruise portfolio also includes the addition of two other cruise ships due to launch in late 2014 and early 2015; Haimark Luxury Expeditions’ Irrawaddy Explorer and Ganges Voyager I. Plying Burma’s Irrawaddy River and India’s Ganges River respectively, these two new cruise ships exude comfort and elegance while offering British-colonial era inspired luxury with quality service delivered by exceptionally high crew to passenger ratios.

Travel Indochina offers exclusive charters and preferred partnership sailings on the following Cruise Ships:

- Aqua Mekong (Aqua Expeditions), Mekong River (set to launch September 2014)

- The Jahan (Heritage Line), Mekong River

- Jayavarman (Heritage Line), Mekong River

- The Luang Say Lodge & Cruise, Northern Mekong

- The Vat Phou Cruises, Southern Mekong

- Mekong Sun, Upper Mekong

- Irrawaddy Explorer (Haimark), Irrawaddy River (set to launch September 2014)

- RV Paukan 2007, Irrawaddy River

- Sanctuary Ananda, Irrawaddy River

- Belmond Road to Mandalay (Belmond), Irrawaddy River

- Belmond Orcaella (Belmond), Irrawaddy River and Chindwin River

- Ganges Voyager I (Haimark), Ganges River (set to launch January 2015)

- Victoria Cruises fleet, including Victoria Jenna, Victoria Anna, Victoria Katarina, Victoria Sophia, Victoria Selina and Victoria Lianna, Yangtze River

- Yangzi Explorer, Yangtze River


Ho Ho Hot Savings This Christmas With Travel Indochina

July 5, 2014 on 5:54 am | In Adventure Travel, Asia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam | Comments Off



Specialist tour operator, Travel Indochina, is encouraging travellers to beat the rush and book their Christmas holidays NOW to take advantage of better availability and savings on a winter escape to Asia. And as a very early stocking filler, they are offering discounts of £100 per person on all Small Group Journeys incorporating Christmas Day, if booked by 12th July 2014*.
Winter has long been a popular time of year for holiday bookings and Travel Indochina is already noticing reduced availability on flights over the Christmas period, with fares starting to increase due to the demand to get away at this time of year and avoid the UK’s cold, dark days.
Travel Indochina customers now turning their thoughts to December and Christmas will be rewarded with a more affordable trip than those booking in two months’ time, ensuring the best chance of getting the holiday they want at a reasonable rate. Plus they will be spoilt for choice with no less than 37 escorted tours across Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand, China and India operating over 25th December 2014 for the £100pp special offer.
Whether customers are keen to escape minus temperatures, family get-togethers, mince pies or they’re simply a solo traveller looking to meet like-minded travel enthusiasts, December makes a great time of year to be on the ground in Asia – as referenced in Travel Indochina’s helpful online ‘Asia: When To Go Guides’. With a huge choice of journeys to choose from, the following touring options give a flavour of what’s available, each incorporating the £100 saving and flying with some of the world’s best airlines.
‘Vietnam Discovery’ (16 days)
Prices start from £2,635 per person, departing London Heathrow with Qatar Airways on 13th December and returning to the UK on 28th December 2014.
‘Burma Revealed’ (14 days)
Prices start from £3,225 per person, departing London Heathrow with Qatar Airways on 14th December and returning to the UK on 27th December 2014.
‘Highlights of Rajasthan’ (16 days)
Prices start from £3,445 per person, departing London Heathrow with Etihad and Jet Airways on 20th December and returning to the UK on 4th January 2015.
‘Cambodia & Vietnam Explorer’ (16 days)
Prices start from £3,265 per person, departing London Heathrow with Qatar Airways on 22nd December and returning to the UK on 6th January 2015.
In addition to the £100 savings, all customers travelling on a Travel Indochina Small Group Journey will benefit from the rare combination of a Western tour leader (once the seventh traveller books) and local English-speaking guides while solo travellers can enjoy even greater savings by taking up the operator’s ‘willing to share’ option and travelling at twin share prices. So don’t delay: Travel Indochina’s Asia experts are on hand to speak to customers today to guarantee an affordable and memorable holiday this Christmas!
* Travel Indochina’s £100pp saving is off the touring element of any Small Group Journey incorporating Christmas Day, 25th December 2014, subject to availability and not combinable with other others. Valid for bookings confirmed and deposited between 13th June and 12th July 2014. See website for full booking conditions.

Travel Indochina has been operating Small Group Journeys and tailor-made travel to the “real” Asia for 20 years. Today, the company features the widest range of itineraries and departures to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos than any other tour operator in the UK, as well as a large variety of journeys to Thailand, Burma, China and Tibet, India, Japan, Bhutan, Mongolia and Sri Lanka. Unlike many other travel companies, Travel Indochina limits its group size to a maximum of 16 people. These smaller groups enable travellers to gain the best from both worlds – greater access to the local culture and plenty of opportunities for independent exploration.

For more information on Travel Indochina, please visit: www.travelindochina.co.uk  or telephone: 01865 268 940.


Authentic Experiences in Southeast Asia

July 4, 2014 on 5:45 am | In Asia, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam | Comments Off



Artisans of Leisure announces new food, culture, art and style activities throughout Southeast Asia

New York,  – Luxury tour operator Artisans of Leisure has recently introduced a number of exciting new activities and experiences in their private Southeast Asia tours. All of the activities—including culinary, active and art options—can be incorporated into their private luxury tours in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Indonesia and Hong Kong.

“Our in-house experts travel in Southeast Asia throughout the year, uncovering the region’s most interesting people, places and experiences,” says Ashley Isaacs Ganz, founder and CEO of Artisans of Leisure. “We’re excited to add these new activities to our already comprehensive portfolio of special interest experiences in the region as we continue to pioneer ways for our travelers to have access to the world’s most interesting and authentic cultural experiences.”

Artisans of Leisure arranges private, personalized tours in Southeast Asia with special interest activities that include:

Culinary Touring
Artisans of Leisure arranges private culinary tours, cooking lessons, market tours and related activities throughout Southeast Asia.
New activities include:

Learning to prepare pho (noodle soup) and banh mi (baguette sandwiches) in Vietnam
Taking a hands-on lesson with a dim sum master in Hong Kong
Private street food and night market tours in Saigon, Hong Kong and Bangkok
Visiting local producers, including a tofu maker in Indonesia, a winery in Myanmar (Burma) and a noodle maker in Singapore

Special Access & Meetings with Experts
Artisans of Leisure tours include access to fascinating people and places throughout Southeast Asia.
New access includes:

Tours of herbal markets and meetings with traditional health practitioners
A tour of a Buddhist monastery in Mandalay with a head monk
Behind-the-scenes tours of a water puppet theater in Hanoi
Private Thai massage lessons in Bangkok
A private gamelan lesson in Bali

Shopping Excursions
Artisans of Leisure arranges private, insider shopping tours throughout Southeast Asia.
New activities include:

Private art-buying tours at up-and-coming galleries in Yangon, Hong Kong and other cities
An insider’s tour of the latest shops in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore
Visiting the best lacquerware studios in Myanmar (Burma)
Visiting the shop and studio of a renowned weaver in Laos
Appointments with renowned designers and artists in their studios, including jewelers in Bali and Hong Kong

Art, Architecture & Design Touring
Artisans of Leisure organizes private tours with curators, art experts and other specialists. The company also arranges for travelers to skip the lines at renowned art museums and historic sites in the region.
New activities include:

Touring interiors with a feng shui expert in Vietnam or Hong Kong
Tours of Singapore’s newest outdoor art, architecture and garden sites, such as Gardens by the Bay and Parkroyal on Pickering
A private decorative arts tour of Bangkok
Learning about the design and techniques of traditional weaving in Indonesia, Thailand and Laos

Family & Active Experiences
Artisans of Leisure customizes Southeast Asia tours based on each family’s interests, such as private martial arts lessons (kung fu, tai chi, Thai kickboxing), visiting local schools or homes, hiking and biking in the countryside, learning about local languages, and hands-on crafts lessons. Some of the latest activities include:

Meeting novice monks in Myanmar (Burma) and learning about their lifestyle
A family bicycle tour, including a picnic, in rural Cambodia
A rice-planting experience in Vietnam
Working at a private elephant conservation camp in Thailand
Surfing lessons in Bali
Bicycling among the rice terraces of Bali, on undeveloped islands in Singapore, or around scenic Inle Lake in Myanmar (Burma)
Learning to make shadow puppets in Indonesia

Artisans of Leisure’s Southeast Asia tours also feature the finest and newest luxury resorts, spas and cruises in the region, including recent additions such as Amanoi in Vietnam, Belmond Orcaella in Myanmar (Burma), and Aqua Mekong in Vietnam and Cambodia.

In addition, Artisans of Leisure tours in Southeast Asia include personalized itinerary planning by the company’s travel specialists, touring with private guides and drivers, preferred rooms in the most luxurious hotels and resorts in the region (e.g., Aman, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental and Peninsula properties), private airport transfers, visas, admission fees and more. The company also assists its travelers with VIP fast-track at airports, reservations for dining and spa services, babysitters, private cruises, preferred seats to performances and events, and private air charters.

A few of the most popular Artisans of Leisure tours in Southeast Asia are:

Southeast Asia in Style
Flavors of Southeast Asia
Perfect Days in Bali & Thailand
Family Tour of Southeast Asia
Essence of Vietnam
Active Tour of Cambodia & Laos
Journey Through Indochina
Journey Through Burma & Bhutan
Luxuries of Burma
Best of Singapore & Bali
Vietnam for Foodies
Highlights of Thailand
Indonesia Luxury Adventure
Romantic Vietnam

All Artisans of Leisure tours depart daily and can be fully customized to suit individual interests.

Artisans of Leisure arranges private, customized luxury tours in more than 50 countries worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.artisansofleisure.com or call (800) 214-8144.


Secret Retreats Expands its Collection in Asia and Welcomes 9 New Members

July 4, 2014 on 5:34 am | In Asia, Beachbooker, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand | Comments Off



After the recent launch of Secret Inns, Secret Villas, Secret Cruises and Secret Tables, Secret Retreats is pleased to welcome 9 New Members into its portfolio, including a private estate on the east coast of Bali, an elegant floating camp in the remote jungles of Cambodia, and an adventurous cruise down Borneo’s Rungan River.

“We are very excited with the positive response we have received so soon after launching our new labels and we will continue to enrich our collection with a variety of experiences in exotic destinations so that our guests can discover parts of Asia that are more removed from the main sight-seeing trails”. – Stephane Junca, Managing Director of Secret Retreats

Secret Retreats 9 New Members:

Jeeva Saba, Bali – Indonesia

Comprising a mix of colonial and modern architecture, Jeeva Saba is a beachfront estate located on Saba beach, along Bali’s east coast. From the Pura Anyar temple at the estate entrance to the uninterrupted views of Gunung Agung and the Nusa Penida islands, at Jeeva Saba you are truly embraced by the spirit of Bali.

Mekong Villas, Isan – Thailand

Mekong Villas is a magical retreat situated on a promontory overlooking the Mekong River in Pakchom, Loei Province. Reflecting the area’s unspoiled beauty, and offering panoramic views of the Mekong and Laos, the 3 villas sleep 12 people in 6 double rooms.

4 Rivers Floating Lodge – Cardamom Chain – Cambodia

Offering the same high-end facilities as a four-star boutique resort, 4 Rivers Floating Lodge is a luxurious camp set amidst nature. Environmentally friendly, the resort’s secluded floating lodges are a peaceful place in which to relax and let your senses take over.

Bali Jiwa, Bali – Indonesia

Bali Jiwa Villa is located just 15 minutes north of Ubud. Set in a lush natural environment, its 2 luxurious villas offer sweeping views of the mountains and rice paddy fields. Tastefully decorated with a modern Balinese twist, both villas can accommodate 2-3 people. Each has a private pool, open-air living room, private balcony, and luxury amenities.

Villa Idanna, Bali – Indonesia

Set on a peninsula overlooking the spellbinding Sidemen Valley’s rice terraces and forested hills leading up the sacred volcano Gunung Agung, Villa Idanna, Bali offers a quiet refuge for rejuvenation and solace. The 3 bedroom villa features 2 king size bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a bedroom with twin beds, spacious al-fresco seating areas, and a private 20-metre long heated pool.

Spirit of Kalimantan and Ruhui Rahayu Borneo – Indonesia

The Spirit of Kalimantan Cruise offers 3 air-conditioned cabins and a sitting area with an inviting open deck. Besides exquisite cuisine, their English speaking guides will introduce you to the BOS Orangutan rehabilitation programs, black water lake systems, and local Dayak culture as you cruise down the Rungan River. The Ruhui Rahayu is a more slightly more intimate size vessel. Private double cabins and folding shuttered doors that open up directly onto the deck are ideal for family and friends, or for a couple looking for a romantic experience in Borneo.

Alila Purnama, Eastern Indonesia – Indonesia

Meaning Full Moon and able to accommodate up to 10 guests, Alila Purnama is one of the most luxurious live-aboard Phinisi ships in Asia. Handcrafted in the traditional style of boats once used by the Bugis seafarers from south Sulawesi in Indonesia, the 46-metre-long vessel features 3 decks, and 5 well-appointed en-suite cabins including a master suite containing large wraparound windows with 180-degree views.

Supanniga Eating Room, Bangkok – Thailand

Inspired by his grandmother’s recipes, the owner Eh serves an appetising range of traditional Thai dishes from both his grandmother’s hometown in Trat (near the east coast) and Khon Kaen (northeast) where his family is currently based. The restaurant has a comfortable but chic décor, and an outside terrace in which to sip delicious martinis and savour wonderful food.

The Common Tiger, Phnom Penh – Cambodia

The Common Tiger specialises in contemporary world cuisine made with local Cambodian produce and flavours whenever possible. A first to offer this new style of cooking in Phnom Penh, this restaurant has both indoor and alfresco seating.

Discover Secret Retreats properties on www.secret-retreats.com/en/collection com


Siem Reap in Style, Khmer Cuisine and Culture

June 26, 2014 on 8:37 am | In Adventure Travel, Asia, Cambodia | Comments Off



Bangkok, Thailand (April 23, 2014) – Backyard Travel, the online boutique travel agency specializing in unique and insider tours to Asia, has today released details of a new luxury Cambodia tour taking visitors beyond the temples of Siem Reap to experience a side of the region few see.

The new four-day, three-night tour , which explores the very best culture and cuisine that Siem Reap has to offer, begins with a superb dinner at ‘Cuisine Wat Damnak’, where Head Chef and restaurant owner Joannès Rivière uses only the freshest local produce to create high end Khmer cuisine.

On the first full day travellers will gain a unique understanding of how the very best local cuisine is prepared by taking part in a half-day cooking class at the home of renowned local chef, Kathana Dunnet. Her time spent in New Zealand is evident in her cooking, which is an appetizing fusion of western cooking techniques and Cambodian specialities. Most interestingly she teaches how to replace essential Khmer cooking ingredients that cannot be found in other countries.

While in the area, travelers will then be taken to visit the nearby Golden Silk Pheach Farm, a silk manufacturer run by Oum Sophea Pheach, which employs more than 100 local staff to produce high quality products.

The unique tour continues with a visit to the temple of Banteay Srei and then travellers are spoilt by watching the sun go down with a relaxing glass of champagne and a gondola cruise around majestic Angkor Thom’s moat. That evening travellers dine at Marum, a restaurant that supports marginalized local children and offers local tapas style dishes.

Day three of the insider tour starts with a visit to Artisans d’Angkor which backs local Cambodian arts and crafts and then travellers have the opportunity to explore the dozens of different stalls at Siem Reap’s landmark ‘Old Market’.

Rounding off the insider tour of Siem Reap, travelers are then treated to a unique experience at the Phare Cambodian Circus Show. Before the main event, a Backyard Travel guide will take visitors behind the curtain to see a sneak preview as the artists prepare, and even get the chance to interact with the performers.

The performance combines traditional and modern aspects of theatre with something for everyone, mixing dance, music, contortion and acrobatics to tell the story of modern life in Cambodia today.

“Of course Siem Reap is famous for its impressive temples and rightly so, but there is so much more to Cambodia’s cultural capital”, said Backyard Travel’s General Manager Maeve Nolan. “We hope this new tour, which takes travelers off the well-trodden path highlighting the very best local culture and cuisine, will open travelers’ eyes to some of the rarely seen sites of Siem Reap.”

About Backyard Travel

Bangkok based Backyard Travel is an online travel company specializing in tailor-made tours to Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Japan and China. For more information about Backyard Travel, visit www.backyardtravel.com  or Facebook page www.facebook.com/BackyardTravel.


Audley Launch New Southeast Asia Brochure

June 24, 2014 on 12:33 pm | In Adventure Travel, Asia, Cambodia, Laos, London, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, United Kingdom, Vietnam | Comments Off



Audley have launched a new Southeast Asia brochure. Their extensive knowledge of the region means that they can advise clients on new ways to see classic sights, such as a Vespa tour of Saigon at night and a helicopter trip over Angkor Wat, as well as recommending off the beaten track options into areas where there are few other visitors. There are also options for homestays and small family run bed and breakfasts and lodges.

Highlights include:

Vietnam –a new Adventurous Vietnam 16 day itinerary that takes you from north to south, combining walking in the Tonkinese Alps with time to explore the extraordinary Phong Nha caves, the rice terraces of Mu Cang Chai and Bach Ma National Park. You will also visit Hanoi and the historic towns of Hue and Hoi An before heading to Saigon.

Cambodia – a focus on the resurgence of local culture and the restoration of colonial buildings with several new boutique hotels in Phnom Penh that are set in renovated old villas. Cambodia has a wonderful cultural legacy yet the Khmer Rouge did everything they could to erase evidence of this past. In recent years, traditional art forms that disappeared have been brought back to life. Audley highly recommend clients visit the Phare Circus in Siem Reap – a charity run initiative offering a mixture of theatre, music, dance, acrobatics and juggling. They also suggest a visit to a silk weaving farm, an Apsara dance lesson and attending a show by Children of the Bassac – a popular dance troupe.

Laos – a stronger focus on the remote north where a craggy and mountainous landscape has kept the modern world at bay. Opportunities exist to explore on foot, by kayak and on mountain bike. There is also the new Nam Nern night safari where you pay per sighting in order to incentivise the local community to protect wildlife in the region. Common wildlife includes Sambar deer, civet, sun bears, pythons and macaques.

Audley have also given more focus to the scenic town of Vang Vieng, once the preserve of backpackers. A government inititative to clean up the town means it now has much more to offer with good hotels and a range of activities including boating, trekking, caving and cycling. Its stunning mountain backdrop makes it an ideal place to stop for a few nights when travelling between Luang Prabang and Vientiane.

Thailand – Audley have included a feature on the beaches of Thailand to help clients choose the most appropriate option depending on their travel dates and the activities and type of accommodation that appeals. They have also included a page on Audley Gems – a select group of hotels that have been hand-picked by the Audley team for evoking the simple, non-commercial ways of Thailand several decades ago.

Myanmar – Audley have included a section on ‘Off the Beaten Track’ giving suggestions of more remote and adventurous areas. Some of these are subject to changing permit requirements or travel embargoes and so Audley constantly monitor the situation. They include Mrauk U and the chance to visit the Chin villages; the northernmost outpost of Putao and Myitkyina and Indawgyi Lake – an area with wonderful hiking opportunities.

They have also included the fishing villages and wonderful beaches of Ngwe Saung and the spectacular Mergui Archipelago in the south of Myanmar – over 800 unspoilt and idyllic islands.

Malaysia – a new Colonial Malaysia itinerary combines the modern cities of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur with the old towns of Penang, George Town, Ipoh, Kuala Kangsar and Taiping. Over the centuries the country has been home to many different fortune seekers from tin miners and rubber tappers to Chinese merchants and Indian traders. This itinerary demonstrates the profound influence of all these different cultures and their effect on modern Malaysia.

Indonesia – Audley suggest clients visit the east coast of Bali, away from the crowds in the south for a more authentic Balinese experience with beautiful countryside, traditional villages and relaxed coastal towns. They have designed a 12 day ‘Bali Refound’ itinerary visiting Ubud, Mount Agung, Tembok, Amed and Candidasa with some trekking and a local cookery course also included.

There is also a feature on the lesser known eastern islands including suggestions for exploring this area by boat. A number of options including schooners, luxury yachts and ‘liveaboards’ ply these waters and can take you to Komodo, Flores, Sumba, Sulawesi, Raja Ampat, the Spice Islands and Papua, mooring in remote areas that are seldom visited by Westerners.

The Philippines – the new direct flight with Philippines Airlines has made the Philippines more accessible. Audley encourage clients to visit the quieter, more traditional areas such as Southern Luzon and the small coastal towns of Legazpi and Donsol famed for its whale sharks. They have also included a feature on Volcano Trekking on Luzon as well as offering 4×4 trips or scenic helicopter flights as ways of seeing them.

For further details and a copy of Audley’s Southeast Asia brochure call Audley on 01993 838 100 www.audleytravel.com

Follow Audley on Twitter www.twitter.com/audleytravel

Subscribe to Audley’s RSS feed of travel articles www.audleytravel.com/magazine


Audley Launch New Southeast Asia Brochure

May 25, 2014 on 10:03 am | In Adventure Travel, Asia, Borneo, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, London, Philippines, Thailand, United Kingdom, Vietnam | Comments Off



Audley have launched a new Southeast Asia brochure. Their extensive knowledge of the region means that they can advise clients on new ways to see classic sights, such as a Vespa tour of Saigon at night and a helicopter trip over Angkor Wat, as well as recommending off the beaten track options into areas where there are few other visitors. There are also options for homestays and small family run bed and breakfasts and lodges.

Highlights include:

Vietnam –a new Adventurous Vietnam 16 day itinerary that takes you from north to south, combining walking in the Tonkinese Alps with time to explore the extraordinary Phong Nha caves, the rice terraces of Mu Cang Chai and Bach Ma National Park. You will also visit Hanoi and the historic towns of Hue and Hoi An before heading to Saigon.

Cambodia – a focus on the resurgence of local culture and the restoration of colonial buildings with several new boutique hotels in Phnom Penh that are set in renovated old villas. Cambodia has a wonderful cultural legacy yet the Khmer Rouge did everything they could to erase evidence of this past. In recent years, traditional art forms that disappeared have been brought back to life. Audley highly recommend clients visit the Phare Circus in Siem Reap – a charity run initiative offering a mixture of theatre, music, dance, acrobatics and juggling. They also suggest a visit to a silk weaving farm, an Apsara dance lesson and attending a show by Children of the Bassac – a popular dance troupe.

Laos – a stronger focus on the remote north where a craggy and mountainous landscape has kept the modern world at bay. Opportunities exist to explore on foot, by kayak and on mountain bike. There is also the new Nam Nern night safari where you pay per sighting in order to incentivise the local community to protect wildlife in the region. Common wildlife includes Sambar deer, civet, sun bears, pythons and macaques.

Audley have also given more focus to the scenic town of Vang Vieng, once the preserve of backpackers. A government inititative to clean up the town means it now has much more to offer with good hotels and a range of activities including boating, trekking, caving and cycling. Its stunning mountain backdrop makes it an ideal place to stop for a few nights when travelling between Luang Prabang and Vientiane.

Thailand – Audley have included a feature on the beaches of Thailand to help clients choose the most appropriate option depending on their travel dates and the activities and type of accommodation that appeals. They have also included a page on Audley Gems – a select group of hotels that have been hand-picked by the Audley team for evoking the simple, non-commercial ways of Thailand several decades ago.

Myanmar – Audley have included a section on ‘Off the Beaten Track’ giving suggestions of more remote and adventurous areas. Some of these are subject to changing permit requirements or travel embargoes and so Audley constantly monitor the situation. They include Mrauk U and the chance to visit the Chin villages; the northernmost outpost of Putao and Myitkyina and Indawgyi Lake – an area with wonderful hiking opportunities.

They have also included the fishing villages and wonderful beaches of Ngwe Saung and the spectacular Mergui Archipelago in the south of Myanmar – over 800 unspoilt and idyllic islands.

Malaysia – a new Colonial Malaysia itinerary combines the modern cities of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur with the old towns of Penang, George Town, Ipoh, Kuala Kangsar and Taiping. Over the centuries the country has been home to many different fortune seekers from tin miners and rubber tappers to Chinese merchants and Indian traders. This itinerary demonstrates the profound influence of all these different cultures and their effect on modern Malaysia.

Indonesia – Audley suggest clients visit the east coast of Bali, away from the crowds in the south for a more authentic Balinese experience with beautiful countryside, traditional villages and relaxed coastal towns. They have designed a 12 day ‘Bali Refound’ itinerary visiting Ubud, Mount Agung, Tembok, Amed and Candidasa with some trekking and a local cookery course also included.

There is also a feature on the lesser known eastern islands including suggestions for exploring this area by boat. A number of options including schooners, luxury yachts and ‘liveaboards’ ply these waters and can take you to Komodo, Flores, Sumba, Sulawesi, Raja Ampat, the Spice Islands and Papua, mooring in remote areas that are seldom visited by Westerners.

The Philippines – the new direct flight with Philippines Airlines has made the Philippines more accessible. Audley encourage clients to visit the quieter, more traditional areas such as Southern Luzon and the small coastal towns of Legazpi and Donsol famed for its whale sharks. They have also included a feature on Volcano Trekking on Luzon as well as offering 4×4 trips or scenic helicopter flights as ways of seeing them.

For further details and a copy of Audley’s Southeast Asia brochure call Audley on 01993 838 100 www.audleytravel.com

Follow Audley on Twitter www.twitter.com/audleytravel

Subscribe to Audley’s RSS feed of travel articles www.audleytravel.com/magazine


China Airlines (CI) Launches Latest Phnom Penh Promotion and Business Class Sales

May 12, 2014 on 10:30 am | In Airlines, Asia, Cambodia, China | Comments Off



ETB News > Australia > China Airlines (CI) Launches Latest Phnom Penh Promotion and Business Class Sales
China Airlines (CI) Launches Latest Phnom Penh Promotion and Business Class Sales
May 9, 2014 Australia, Aviation News No comments

204540a
China Airlines is delighted to announce the latest sales promotion for the Cambodian market. Based in Taipei, Taiwan, China Airlines offers seamless connection in Taipei from Australia (Sydney and Brisbane) to the capital of Cambodia on board our modern aircraft. Our renovated A330-300 is equipped with seat-back TV, USB power ports and ergonomically-designed seating. Officially certified as a 4-star airline by Skytrax, China Airlines is committed to providing the highest quality of service for our passengers. Our signature in-flight service is inspired by the traditional Taiwanese hospitality in which we dedicate passion and care to everything we do. Now it’s your opportunity to experience such experience such hospitality from Australia to Cambodia.

Our Economy return fares from Australia to Phnom Penh start from AUD $935*, one way fares from AUD $562* and Business class return from AUD $3498*.

Apart from the great fares to Phnom Penh, China Airlines has offered competitive business class fares from Australia to Auckland, Asia, Europe and America. Why not splurge yourself with our affordable business class fares? Our A330-300 business class features nearly lie-flat bed with 172 degrees of recline and state-of-the-art entertainment systems with 15-inch screen on top of all the privileges such as lounge access, priority check-in and baggage handling, and onboard fine dining with award-winning wine selection and chef-inspired cuisine. The return Business class fares starting from AUD $746* to Auckland, AUD $3222* to Taipei, AUD $3900* to Asian destinations AUD$5215* to Europe and AUD $5015* to North America.

For more information, please visit http://www.china-airlines.com/au/

*All the fares shown above have included estimated taxes and surcharges.


SIA Holidays & Wendy Wu open door to Asian travel opportunities

April 10, 2014 on 2:44 pm | In Adventure Travel, Asia, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam | Comments Off



Singapore Airlines (SIA) Holidays relaunched its operations officially yesterday, announcing new holiday packages and a partnership with well-known tour operator Wendy Wu Tours at the InterContinental Hotel last night.

SIA Holidays also released an impressive brochure – ‘Asia’ of new package tours, small breaks and leisure trips including to China’s pristine province of Yunnan with its famous minority peoples and the Jiang River.

The brochure is likely to appeal to people from all backgrounds- whether young people looking for an adventure escape or couples looking for a romantic getaway.

The atmosphere of the night was celebratory, with the synergy between Singapore Airlines international network and Wendy Wu Tours local destination knowledge obvious.

Singapore Airlines senior manager marketing and alliances, Dale Woodhouse said that packages would exploit all of the value SA Holidays and Wendy Wu Tours brought to the partnership.

“The programme also makes the most of our Singapore hub, whether for customers in transit, stopping over or enjoying all that the city has to offer as a destination in its own right,” Mr Woodhouse said.

Guests were also treated to a local Singaporean cocktail on the night – the Singapore Sling.


Avalon goes its own suite way

April 10, 2014 on 8:49 am | In Adventure Travel, Asia, Cambodia, France, Paris, Vietnam | Comments Off



Avalon Waterways will double its presence in France next year, introducing two additional ships and a new French itinerary as part of its 2015 season of river cruises.

Avalon will extend its Suite Ship concept to France for the first time in 2015, deploying two of its newest vessels, Avalon Poetry II and Avalon Tapestry II, on the Rhine and Seine rivers.

Avalon’s 2015 season will involve the biggest selection of Suite Ships yet offered, each with two entire decks of all-suite accommodation.

Two new ships launching in 2015 – the Avalon Tapestry II and Avalon Tranquility II – will give Avalon a total of 10 Suite Ships in an overall European fleet of 15 vessels.

Beyond Europe, Avalon will introduce a new ship on the Irrawaddy in 2015, allowing its first itineraries in Myanmar.

The 36-cabin Avalon Myanmar will be small enough to cruise the upper Irrawaddy throughout its season, allowing a 14-day itinerary that includes Yangon and the temples of Bagan.

Avalon will introduce a similar new ship on the Mekong, Avalon Siem Reap, operating its Vietnam and Cambodia itineraries between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap.

Avalon’s 2015 early booking deals are on sale for a limited time


Next Page »

Powered by WordPress with Pool theme design by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS. ^Top^