Postcard from Our Traveler: China – Off the Beaten Path

I wanted to tell you what a fabulous trip to China I had. I loved it!!!!! Everything worked perfectly and I was delighted with all that we did. I have nothing but accolades for the trip so if anyone ever wants to know more about it, they are welcome to contact me. I will give it a rave review!

The Linden Centre, outside of Dali, was a perfect place to stay for three days. It is located right in the heart of a village and since we explored the area pretty thoroughly, I felt like I experienced village life as fully as possible – which was exactly what I had hoped we would do. To make things even better, the staff at Linden Centre was exemplary in their attentiveness, enthusiasm and ability to make us feel that we were a part of their community. It was really a great experience.

Our tour guides in China always tried to accommodate our tastes which was very sweet. Overall the food was great and the variety of restaurants we ate in was terrific from private homes to courtyards (restaurant in Kumming) to local favorites in each area to grand buffets in the hotels where we stayed.

Anna in Shangri-La was phenomenal. She was very knowledgeable, super accommodating, shared a great deal of information about her life and was full of energy and enthusiasm. She was outstanding.

I loved being in remote areas that were off the beaten track. The people in my group were terrific and that enriched the experience. And Steve was a great tour leader who was always cheerful, knowledgeable and had things under perfect control. It was a great trip, perfectly orchestrated, and it definitely enhanced my understanding of China.

Ilene W.
Newtown, PA

Ilene joined our Yunnan, China: A Tribal Mosaic Small Group Trip led by Dr. Stephen Halkovic who has a Ph.D in Inner Asian Studies, specializing in China, Tibet and Mongolia. This trip was arranged by Travel Specialist, Eric Kareus. This is Ilene’s 4th trip with Asia Transpacific Journeys.

Postcard from Our Traveler: “Gold Standard” in Tour Leadership in South India

My daughter, Anna, and I are back from your most wonderful trip to Southern India. It was superb in all respects and I would recommend it highly to anyone.

Our guide, Jairaj, was one of the main reasons that the trip was so memorable, and I wanted to make sure you knew what a truly superior person he is in representing your organization.

Travel to South India with Asia Transpacific Journeys

My wife started out as a travel agent and she and I, and later our whole family, have traveled throughout the world for over 30 years. We have been in groups large and small and have been led by innumerable guides. In all this experience we have never had a finer experience than the one we had with Jairaj.

Some guides are good with logistics, others excel in their lectures. Rarely, if ever, are they so strong in both as was Jairaj. He was meticulous in handling all the details of travel. There wasn’t a single hitch that we knew of. He set the right tone immediately upon arrival by telling us to contact him any time, about any thing. And when anyone did so, he readily and with good grace handled the situation. We heard no grumbling from anyone, and as you know this is not always the case.

As we bounced along on our journey, Jairaj lectured with great knowledge about the sights we saw. In the individual cities where we had local guides it was quite apparent that he often knew more than these specialists. Moreover, he was happy to discuss any subject whatsoever – whether culture, art, politics, society, etc. – that came to the mind of us travelers. In doing so he was always frank, incisive and extremely knowledgeable.

Through it all we were struck by Jairaj’s total commitment to the group and its well-being. He was amazingly upbeat, and we never detected any annoyance with anyone or anything. He rolled with all the ups and downs of travel, and was constantly focused on assuring that the tour members were well taken care of. Wherever we went he sought to enhance the experience, and even arranged for us to meet his charming family.

In short, you have a wonderful asset in Jairaj. He epitomizes the “gold standard” in tour leadership. You are fortunate to have him associated with Asia Transpacific, and we were blessed to have him as our guide through India.


Griffith Garwood
Jefferson, MD

Griffith and his daughter traveled on our ‘South India: Of Temples, Tea and Spice’ Small Group Trip which departs yearly in February. You can also create a custom, private trip to South India and requests Jairaj. This trip was arranged by Travel Specialist, Rebecca Mazzaro.