Our Travel Inspiration, Jan. 20

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!

Our Travel Inspiration, Jan. 13

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.

CHINA_bikes_cat07
 

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, Dec. 9

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.

china quote
 

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.

100_4709 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!

Postcard from Our Traveler: Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Laos
Honestly, the entire trip totally exceeded our expectations and was absolutely amazing. Wanted to thank you guys SO much for the best trip/experience I’ve ever had. We absolutely loved it and really appreciate all your hard work and patience :)

Just want to give a shout out to 3 of our guides that were really fantastic and went above and beyond the call of duty. They were absolutely amazing!

Qin from Guilin
John from Hanoi
Siphon from Luang Prabang

These guys were by far the best of the trip and made each destination so much more memorable.

Thank you so much again! It went by way too fast!

Lindsey P.

La Jolla, CA

_________________________________________________

Lindsey explored China, Laos, Mongolia and Vietnam on a custom Asia trip arranged by Travel Specialist Jarrod Hobson. This was her first trip with Asia Transpacific Journeys, but we look forward to working with her again on her next big journey.

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: Every Aspect of our Trip to China was A+

Rebecca,

I wanted to check in now that we’re back from our trip to China and Hong Kong. Thank you very much for all your assistance and incredible work with this, the trip surpassed all expectations and was an experience that we will treasure for a lifetime. Every aspect was A+. The tour guides were knowledgeable and efficient, however we were most impressed with their keen ability to read us and quickly adapt to our preferences. They expedite some aspects when we weren’t as interested and focused more time on the aspects in which we gravitated towards which, given the cultural differences, astounded us. We couldn’t have asked for better guides.

Hotels in China

The Penninsula–Shanghai, China

The hotels were fantastic. The Peninsula Shanghai and Intercontinental Hong Kong were top notch. The Peninsula Shanghai was one of the best hotels we’ve ever stayed at and I will never know how you were able to get us a room with such a breathtaking view. We thought the Peninsula Beijing was nice, however a little tired.

Overall it was an A+. We are used to doing most planning on our own and thinking through every detail. It was refreshing to not have to worry about anything as every detail was already taken care of for us!

Thank you again, you have gained a customer for life and will be sure to let everyone know you and your team are top notch.

Jeff B.
Omaha, NE

Mekong River Trip

One of the most majestic waterways in the world is the Mekong River. It begins on the Tibetan Plateau in China and flows to the coast of Vietnam, where its estuaries, the “nine dragons,” fan out to form a fertile delta that meets the South China Sea. The Mekong River is over 2,600 miles long, and supports an expansive river basin comparable to the Amazon River in its biological diversity. The beauty of the basin’s mysterious jungles, soaring mountain peaks, and countless species of wildlife will captivate you as you visit the Mekong River delta for your next travel destination.

As you explore the Mekong River, evidence of the alluring Southeast Asian culture abounds in the form of floating villages and markets, thriving shoreline cities, and stunning coastal architecture, such as the royal Four Rivers Palace in Phnom Penh. Journey by longboat as the river winds through the Laotian jungle, take a river cruise on the Mekong Delta, or opt for a longer, leisurely cruise between coastal cities of your choice, including the bustling capital cities of Vientiane, Laos, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Your group and custom travel options are limitless, and our expertise is unmatched.

Travel along the Mekong River is most enjoyable between November and February, when the river is full and navigable, the weather is mostly dry, and the temperatures are moderate. The Mekong River is a worthy destination for part of your journey or for an entire getaway.

China: A Land Vast and Varied

China was the central power in Asia for centuries—with strong influence on Eastern culture. Its architecture, technology, cuisine, art and religions are so deeply embedded in most other Asian cultures that they are, ironically, scarcely recognizable as Chinese at all.

Unlock the secrets of this great civilization on China—Beyond the Wall. This journey surveys classic sights such as Beijing, the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors and Shanghai, as well as hidden jewels known to the few.

China veterans may opt for China’s Silk Road—History’s Great Thoroughfare, which explores China’s far western reaches. Discover remote outposts, tombs and temples, markets and bazaars. This classic itinerary follows in the footsteps of Marco Polo and the camel caravans that traversed the Gobi.

Dr. Steve Halkovic

Dr. Stephen Halkovic has a PhD in Inner Asian Studies, specializing in Mongolia/Tibet/China from Indiana University, and taught there for 14 years. While teaching at IU, he started to lead tours to Soviet Central Asia and Mongolia during the summers. In 1980 Stephen started lecturing and leading tours into China. By 1984, he was much more interested in the travel business than academia and started to lead tours full time throughout Asia and remote regions throughout the world. Since the ’80s he has led 100 trips to China, over 50 to Mongolia, and more than 15 to Tibet. He is the author of two scholarly works on Mongolia. His unsurpassed knowledge, infectious laughter and engaging style make him a superb travel companion.

A Staff Postcard from the Field: Discovery in China

China travel notes from Chris Dunham, Asia Travel Specialist


Ni hao from China!

I’m currently on a whirlwind visit to cover 9 cities in 17 days. It’s amazing to see all the changes that have occurred within China since my last visit. I’ve had the opportunity to visit the Yunnan Province, which is new for me and I would fully recommend you visit Kunming, Lijiang, Dali and Zhongdian if you are looking for something different from the traditional tourist track in China. Yunnan is very tribal and while many parts of China are predominantly of the Han majority, Yunnan’s population is comprised mainly of ethnic minorities such as Naxi, Tibetan and Yi Peoples, to name a few.

My favorite experience so far was in Zhongdian, which is about as close to resembling Lhasa, Tibet as one can get without actually traveling to Lhasa. As a side note to this story, my fiancée, Ali, is back in the US and she is constantly on my mind as we are getting married in about two months, but she couldn’t take the time off to travel with me this time around. On this particular day in Zhongdian with my guide, I hiked up to the top of Dabao Monastery just on the outskirts of Zhongdian, where I lit Yak Butter Lamps for my future with Ali as well as all of my family. Then, I was blessed by the Chief Lama of the Monastery and given some lovely prayer beads, which I am still wearing. Finally, I purchased Tibetan prayer flags from a local woman and wrote down my wishes for a good life with Ali on the prayer flags and then hung them in the sea of prayer flags on the side of Dabao Mountain. Our names and wishes for a good life are still blowing in the wind on those prayer flags. I will always cherish the time I spent in Zhongdian and I look forward to my next opportunity to return to this gem nestled along majestic mountains and beautiful countryside.

My account above is just one of the amazing, beyond-the-ordinary experiences I’ve had while in China. Time is fleeting, so keep traveling!

Zai-jian,

Chris