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Explore Southeast Asia’s Most Remarkable Wildlife Preserves, Animal Sanctuaries and National Parks

November 20, 2014
10-LK_PinnewalaBathe

If wildlife and animal encounters are a must to realize your travel dreams, look no further than Southeast Asia. Imagine learning to ride an elephant in northern Thailand or exploring the brush of Indonesia’s remote Rinca Island in search of the mysterious Komodo Dragon—these unique wildlife experiences are different from anything you’d find at home. Make the most of your journey to Southeast Asia by including these memorable human/animal interactions on your immersive custom itinerary, hand-crafted around your personal travel style.

Learn to be an Elephant Mahout

The gentle giants of Southeast Asia, Asian elephants once roamed wild in the region’s forests. But as settlements have encroached on their territories, elephants and humans have had to find a symbiosis. Private ownership iElephant Rides in Asias rarely feasible either economically (an adult elephant eats over 200 pounds per day!) or practically (elephants are highly intelligent, social creatures that don’t take well to isolation or boredom). Luckily a collection of compassionate elephant camps has filled this void. At these camps, each elephant in the herd has an individual mahout, their constant caretaker and companion. With similar lifespans, an elephant and her mahout will likely spend decades together, forming a deep bond.

When you visit elephant camp with Asia Transpacific Journeys, you will do far more than just ride an elephant—you will get a crash-course in how to be a mahout, from a working professional. Your elephant’s mahout will teach you how to feed, bathe and check her health. Once you’ve gotten to know your new friend, climb aboard for a thrilling ride through the jungle. Your mahout will teach you the basic commands and remain close at hand at all times. Returning travelers frequently rate their visit to an elephant camp among the most memorable travel experiences of their lives!

Observe Orangutans in Nature

Deep in the forests of the lush island of Borneo, orangutans, the only apes indigenous to Asia, makOrangutan in Borneoe their homes. The word orangutan means “man of the forest” in the local dialect and, in watching these creatures, it is remarkable how human many of their traits appear. Spend a day at a renowned orangutan rehabilitation preserve learning about these remarkable primates—one of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom. In their natural environment, you are free to watch the orangutan’s natural behaviors—calling to each other, using their hands and feet to gather food, eat and groom. Some of the preserve’s orangutans were found orphaned and have been raised at the center. Unafraid of humans, these curious youngsters want to interact with you as much as you do with them.

Explore Exotic Komodo National Park

If you thought dragons were only found in fairy tales, it’s time to meet the legendary, and very real, Komodo Dragon. This species of liKomodo Dragon in Indonesiazard, indigenous to the islands of Indonesia’s Komodo National Park, can grow up 10 feet long and weigh upwards of 150 pounds! Exploring this park in the company of an expert guide ensures your safety as you search for glimpse of these shy, carnivorous creatures in their natural environment. The waters surrounding Komodo National Park’s many islands offer their own wondrous wildlife – technicolor coral and wildly diverse marine life make for some of the world’s best snorkeling.

Asia Transpacific Journeys is committed to the cultural and environmental health of the communities with which they do business. Every wildlife experience included in their itineraries meets their stringent standards regarding animal welfare, ethical management practices and, of course, the safety of their travelers. Begin crafting your unique Custom Journey to see Asia’s remarkable wildlife, or other wonders, today.

India Travel Inspiration, Feb. 25

February 25, 2014
Munnar Ladies having Lunch

Local women having lunch on a tea plantation in Munnar, India. Photo: Jennifer L. Raines

“Then at a certain elevation the landscape changed again—this time to a carpet of even green shrubs that composed a perfectly-manicured patchwork quilt across the rolling hills—it was tea! Colorfully dressed tea pickers hovered between the clumps of green in a few places, the green expanse dissolving into the mist behind them. We transferred into open-sided jeeps to reach our hotel near Munnar, nestled deep in the tea and spice covered hills. As we unpacked, it dawned on me—it was quiet—a very rare commodity in India.” – Jennifer L. Raines

Welcome back to Our Travel Inspiration. This week we will take a look into two of our employees, Jennifer and Heather’s experiences in South India over the last two weeks. They have been traveling on a group journey with Asia Transpacific Journeys and have traveled to cities such as Mumbai, Chennai, Madurai, Munnar and Cochin, India.

You can take a look at their detailed itinerary here:
http://www.asiatranspacific.com/media/97667/atj_in_south_templestea_2014-2015.pdf 

Jennifer, our writer, has been captivating her journey through a personal blog of her own, which you can follow here: http://southindiaadventure.wordpress.com Using detailed imagery and fascinating depictions of her busy schedule, Jennifer reflects on the many memorable experiences she has shared thus far with the country of India. ♥

Please enjoy and stay tuned for our travel inspiration next week!

Our Travel Inspiration, Feb. 10

February 10, 2014

Welcome back to Our Travel Inspiration. Please follow along with us each Monday for our carefully-curated selection of current Asia and travel-related news stories.

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Share-worthy pieces on Asia this week:

Travel tidbits that caught our fancy:

We’d love to hear your feedback—please comment below. And please come back next Monday for more of Our Travel Inspiration!

Our Travel Inspiration, Feb. 3

February 3, 2014

Welcome back to Our Travel Inspiration. Please follow along with us each Monday for our carefully-curated selection of current Asia and travel-related news stories.

turkeyquote copy
 

Share-worthy pieces on Asia this week:

Travel tidbits that caught our fancy:

We’d love to hear your feedback—please comment below. And please come back next Monday for more of Our Travel Inspiration!

Our Travel Inspiration, Jan. 27

January 27, 2014

Welcome back to Our Travel Inspiration. Please follow along with us each Monday for our carefully-curated selection of current Asia and travel-related news stories.

jan27-blog
 

Share-worthy pieces on Asia this week:

Travel tidbits that caught our fancy:

We’d love to hear your feedback—please comment below. And please come back next Monday for more of Our Travel Inspiration!

Our Travel Inspiration, Jan. 20

January 20, 2014

Welcome back to Our Travel Inspiration. Please follow along with us each Monday for our carefully-curated selection of current Asia and travel-related news stories.

Panna Mia baori, Amber . Rajasthan
 

Share-worthy pieces on Asia this week:

Travel tidbits that caught our fancy:

We’d love to hear your feedback—please comment below. And please come back next Monday for more of Our Travel Inspiration!

Postcard From Our Traveler: A Guide Beyond the Ordinary

January 17, 2014
Zaw Zaw Aung, Myanmar guide extraordinaire

Zaw Zaw Aung, Myanmar guide extraordinaire

When we first discussed traveling to Myanmar, we stressed that the most important thing to us would be the quality of our guide. We wanted a guide who was knowledgeable about culture and history, who would be able to guide us through important historical and religious sites and also be our escort into authentic, remote tribal villages. We wanted a guide who could communicate well in English, and would be very good company.

In matching us with Zaw Zaw Aung, you gave us all we requested and much more. The time we spent in Myanmar was truly exceptional because of Zaw Zaw’s many skills, both professional and personal.

As a guide, Zaw Zaw knew where to take us and when to take us there to have the most rich and authentic cultural experiences. He found a Nat Festival and took us there. He found a celebration of young men from prominent families dressed as princes on horses and elephants prior to becoming monks and escorted us there. If we passed the home of the widow of an important tribal leader or some traditionally tattooed ladies or “long neck women,” Zaw Zaw arranged to have us welcomed into their homes. When there was an English class going on, Zaw Zaw arranged for us to meet with students and teach a class. Zaw Zaw knew what time to visit each place to see not only the sights themselves but also the local people and their customs. Zaw Zaw was knowledgeable about history and current events and offered us deep insights into his country.

In addition to being enriching and informative, time spent with Zaw Zaw was also heartwarming and fun. Zaw Zaw is one of the most open and caring people we have ever met. We invited him to join us for many meals because his company was so delightful that we didn’t want to part when the touring was done. He was kind enough to spend some of his well-deserved rest time visiting with us.

When we requested a change in our program, deciding to skip a visit to Kalaw and spend an extra day at Inle Lake, Zaw Zaw made sure the change in itinerary went smoothly. Every request we made during the trip was accommodated graciously and, what appeared to be, effortlessly (although clearly Zaw Zaw put much effort into making it seem so).

When either of us did not feel well, Zaw Zaw was compassionate and helpful, going above and beyond anything we would have expected to make us comfortable and at ease. He was very sensitive to our preferences, noting what we liked to eat, how we liked to pace ourselves, the kinds of experiences we liked to have, even that we liked to have cleaning wipes on hand wherever we went. Without us ever asking, he took care of all of those things. He was always generous with his time, connections, insights and resources.

We cannot thank you enough for finding us such a wonderful guide and person to spend our time with.

- Miriam & Robert

Miriam and Robert recently returned from a Custom Journey of Myanmar (Burma). Asia Travel Specialist, Chris Dunham, planned their itinerary. This was their first trip with Asia Transpacific Journeys.

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