Our Travel Inspiration, Dec. 2

We’re glad you’re back to join us for another week of 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, Nov. 25

We’re glad you’re back to join us for another week of 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!

Four First-Hand Tips for your Trip to India

 Jen City Palace Jaipur

Asia Transpacific Journey’s expert Travel Specialist, Jen Boyd, just returned from India where she professes to have fallen in love with the chaotic, colorful country. Fresh off the plane, she was kind enough to share the following pieces of first-hand advice for all our travelers headed to India.

1.    Don’t forget your jacket

India is often viewed as a “tropical paradise” sort of destination. While it’s undeniably warm in the summer (especially in the south), India covers nearly 2,000 miles from north to south and all manner of climate zones, from balmy beaches to snow-capped peaks.

That said, November through February is generally the best time to travel to India—it’s dry and cool in most places. Befitting the temperate climate, layers are a necessity and a light jacket is indispensable in the chilly morning and evening hours.

2.    Ditch your standard “travel wardrobe”

The all black, navy or grey, goes-with-anything travel wardrobe that made you feel chic in France is not going to cut it for India. No one wants to be stuck with a lackluster wardrobe amidst India’s riot of color.

3.    Leave half your luggage empty

India is a shopper’s paradise! Leave half of your suitcase empty so there’s plenty of room to bring home special purchases without worry. Or pack a second lightweight, collapsible bag you can fill with the treasures you collect throughout your trip. Even if you always fly with only carry-ons, don’t sweat checking a second bag of souvenirs on your return flights—it is a lot easier to deal with a lost or delayed bag from the comfort of your own home.

4.    Follow the cows

Traffic in India is enough to make even the hardened city-dweller balk—cars, tuk-tuks, bicycle rickshaws, horse-carts, cows, dogs, donkeys and hoards of people all jockey for position on crowded streets. To ensure your safety, following the lead of the locals or, better yet, the untouchable sacred cows that part traffic with impunity.

Start planning your trip to India today!

Our Travel Inspiration, Nov. 18

We’re glad you’re back to join us for another week of 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, Nov. 11

We’re glad you’re back to join us for another week of 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, Nov. 4

We’re glad you’re back to join us for another week of 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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Photo by Sudipto Das

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, Oct. 28

We’re glad you’re back to join us for another week of 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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Intriguing Asia stories 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, Oct. 21

Asia Transpacific Journeys is excited to announce our new weekly blog feature, Our Travel Inspiration. Designed to inspire our fellow travelers, each Monday we will be posting a travel quote that speaks to us followed by a carefully-curated selection of current Asia and travel-related news stories that we are excited to share. We hope you will follow along with us each week!

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Asia in the news—these stories caught our eye:

Stay in the know with these trends in travel:

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: The Power of a Tour Leader

I have no doubt you have heard this many times before, but we wanted to share our enthusiasm about our Tour Leader, Suzanne Noakes! We were greeted at the airport like this was her first group tour! She focused in on each individual’s special interests, was always available for extra bird walks, always had a sense of humor and always kept us fully informed about up-coming activities and all the extras that were added. She was a natural for special touches for special needs—she would say to the local guides, “SPEAK LOUDER, I am hard of hearing!” when in reality, it was my husband Bob who was hard of hearing.

She went out of her way to ensure the safety of all group members, especially on the walks on slippery mud paths—she was always right there to assist. She always made sure to do a personal re-introduction to the chief villagers, before we intruded on their territory, and it was obvious they loved her greetings. And, very best of all, she never rushed us out of any village visit. She gave us plenty of time to explore on our own. We felt the itinerary was an ideal mixture of destinations and cultures and to end up in Tufi was spectacular. We are so glad to have had the extra days—the snorkeling was awesome!

One of Suzanne’s comments really stuck with us. When a bridge was destroyed on our way to the airport in Mt. Hagen, in no time at all, she had a Plan B. We knew we were in good hands when she said “leave the worrying and stress to me—thats what you are paying for!” LOL! Suzanne made the trip exceed our expectations! Thanks so much for this adventure of a lifetime!

– Sue and Bob

Suzanne & the Huli

Sue and Bob embarked on our Small Group Tour Papua New Guinea: Island in the Clouds – Tumbuna
 with a Custom Extension to Tufi to relax and explore the beautiful coastal environment. Asia Travel Specialist, Tom Lastick, planned their itinerary. This was their first trip with Asia Transpacific Journeys.

Postcard From Our Traveler: Exploring Borneo’s Jungles and Seas

One of the highlights of our Borneo tour was the time we spent snorkeling near Mabul Island. Mabul Water Bungalows’ guide, Jovi, took the two of us to the leeside of Sipadan Island, off the southeast shore of Sabah, Borneo, to snorkel among the rich marine life. While exploring the coral we saw what looked like a grey wall in the water. As we approached, the wall resolved into a school of Jacks—maybe a thousand of them, swimming in a lazy gyre twenty feet tall.  We joined in and swam with them—they were perfectly willing to let us join the ranks of their silver circle.

Thanks!

– Catherine

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During our trip to Borneo, one of the most unique experiences was when our Tour Leader, Barry Davies, our Borneo Rainforest Lodge guide, Theodore, and the two of us walked up the Coffin Trail overlooking Borneo’s Danum Valley.  On the way up, we found a pristine Bridal-veil Mushroom. At the time, a large black-tailed butterfly was feeding on the top of it. This mushroom spreads its spores the way flowers spread their pollen—not on the wind, but on the wings of their insect visitors. We passed it again on the way back down the trail but by then it was already starting to collapse.

Thanks!

– Steve

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Catherine and Steve embarked on our Small Group Borneo Tour The Wild Jungles of Borneo with a Custom Extension to Mabul Island to partake of the region’s fabulous snorkeling. Asia Travel Specialist, Pat O’Connell, planned their itinerary. This was their second trip with Asia Transpacific Journeys.