Our Travel Inspiration, Feb. 10

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

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, Dec. 16

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.

VaranasiQuote
 

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!

A Postcard from Our Traveler: A Trip We’ll Treasure

 

John H. of Wisconsin recounts his experience with one of our group trips to Vietnam:

Linda and I returned home this afternoon after a great trip to Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Bali.

We had a fascinating time and all the arrangements couldn’t have been better.  Thanks to you and your Asia Transpacific Journeys colleagues for helping make this such an interesting and memorable trip.

The guides and drivers in each country were all helpful and informative and went out of their way to help make our visits outstanding.  The hotels were excellent, and the detailed itineraries interesting and very well geared to our interests.

In short, we had a terrific time, and more than once turned to each other and said “Asia Transpacific really has done a great job!”

Thanks for making this a trip we’ll treasure.

Best regards,

John H.
Mineral Point, WI

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John embarked on a Custom Southeast Asia trip organized by Asia Travel Specialist, Chris Dunham. This was John’s first trip with Asia Transpacific Journeys.

Learn more about custom or small group trips to Southeast Asia by speaking with a Travel Specialist today, 800-642-2742.

WWF Announces $2.8M Indonesia Debt Swap

Forests of Borneo
WWF joined The Nature Conservancy and the Indonesian and US governments to sign a debt-for-nature swap agreement that will result in a new $28.5 million investment to help protect tropical forests in three districts on the Indonesian side of Borneo (Kalimantan).

This achievement is the result of two years of hard work and persistence by a joint US and Indonesia team.  Special congratulations is due to our Conservation Finance team of Esteban Brenes and Eric Swanson, who provided superb guidance and unrelenting energy, and to the Heart of Borneo team here and in Indonesia, namely Ginny Ng, Adam Tomasek, and Wisnu Rusmantoro, as well as to the leadership and vision of WWF Indonesia’s Budi Wardhana and Nazir Foead.

Other parts of the WWF network also contributed signficantly. WWF-NL and WWF-Germany joined with us to co-invest $2M as WWF’s aggregate contribution and co-financing of this program.

The funds from this debt swap will address the threat of deforestation and help reduce carbon emissions in Indonesia. It will invest in improved land-use planning to direct development toward already degraded lands; in improved management of protected areas, and other critical measures to reduce forest destruction; and also in supporting “green” Indonesia travel initiatives, other economic development opportunities, and local communities.  The swap will focus investment in three critical Districts, Kutai Barat and Berau in East Kalimantan and Kapuas Hulu in West Kalimantan province.

Notably, this swap also sets a major precedent, as it is the first debt swap under the U.S. Government’s Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA) to have a major and explicit focus on averting climate change through tropical forest conservation.

Congratulations to all!

Tom Dillon
Sr. Vice President
Field Programs
World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US)

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Asia Transpacific Journeys offers several trips to Indonesia and Borneo. In June, Asia Transpacific Journeys teams up with WWF for our Into the Heart of Borneo small group trip. Learn more about travel to Borneo by contacting a Travel Specialist at 800-642-2742.

Postcard from our traveler: A once-in-a-lifetime trip to Bali

Travel to Bali

Travel to Bali

We just returned from our trip to Indonesia which was an absolutely terrific experience for the entire family. We so appreciate all of your guidance and collaboration together with our travel agent Roselyne at WorldView Travel. I especially wanted to point out that the guides Komang Wardiapa in Bali and Subur on Sulawesi were outstanding in every way – professional, knowledgeable, sensitive to Western needs and limitations and a pleasure to get to know. Amertha and Jabeki were a dream and we miss the kind caretakers Made and Ketut at our little Bingin hide-away.

The itinerary and accommodations were perfect with a couple of tweaks.

The Pare Pare hotel was very run down. Although the long stretch from Makasar to Toraja begs to be broken up, given the downturn in tourism and lack of proper accommodations, you really have to grin-and-bear the drive since there is neither much to see nor a decent place to stay on the way north to the heart of Tana Toraja. Luckily everyone was a good sport and we thought of this ‘simple’ hotel as part of the adventure.

Overall, it was a once-in-a-lifetime, fabulous experience enjoyed by all of us.

So again, many thanks and best regards,

Fiona B.
Solana Beach, CA


Fiona traveled to Indonesia with a custom Bali vacation package which was arranged for her by Travel Specialist, Jarrod Hobson. This is Fiona’s first trip with Asia Transpacific Journeys. We hope to see more of her in the future.

“Eat, Pray, Love” in India and Bali

Fans of Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling book Eat, Pray, Love can embark on their own quest for worldly pleasure, spiritual enlightenment and meaning in life by traveling to India and Bali, two of the three lands featured in Gilbert’s candid memoir of self-discovery. We at Asia Transpacific Journeys are experts on everything from ashrams to art in both India and Bali, where we’ve been organizing travel for individuals on their own journeys of discovery for nearly 25 years.

The book, which is scheduled to emerge as a movie starring Julia Roberts on August 13, 2010, paints shimmering pictures that stay with the reader. India is intense and chaotic, yet deeply absorbing and for Gilbert life-changing. One of the world’s most ancient cultures, it indeed seems to possess a special wisdom that Gilbert is not alone in seeking.

Bali is altogether different, a soft-spoken, gentle, lush, green and tranquil island of great natural beauty. It was in Bali that love came the author’s way, and whether romance lies in store or not, the island casts a spell on all visitors with its quiet spirituality.

Asia Transpacific Journeys offers a 16-day journey called India: In the Realm of the Spirit that focuses on the contrasting spiritual traditions in the region. Travelers visit sacred temples, join pilgrims at holy sites, and practice yoga at a world-renowned retreat in the Himalayas.

On Bali and Beyond travelers discover hidden gems on an incredible 17-day exploration of this magical land. The journey features sailing, snorkeling, dance and the arts, wildlife, ancient cultural traditions and UNESCO temples sites.

We can also create private Custom Journeys to India and Bali for individual travelers, their family and friends. These depart on your timeframe and incorporate special features completely tailored to each traveler’s unique interests.

The Flavor of Bali, at Roadside Stands

The New York Times featured an article on Bali’s roadside stands, as reported by Gisela Williams.

There are two kinds of culinary travelers who end up on Bali: ones who don’t flinch at spending hundreds of dollars for a bottle of Rioja at a trendy Asian-French fusion restaurant, and those who are obsessive about going as local as possible…

While guidebooks and hotel concierges may warn you that eating at a warung is a little like playing Russian roulette with your stomach, they are probably being overly cautious. The truth is that the street food in tourist-friendly Bali is as sanitary as what you’d find in most American cities, if not more so.

Besides, if you heed their warning, you’ll miss some of the best food the island has to offer…

Thanks to the ravings on foodie blogs like Eating Asia, and an episode of “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations,” where the host declared its babi guling, or roast pig, the best that he’s ever had, Ibu Oka has become a tourist magnet…

To read the complete article, visit NYTimes.com

Visit our site for information on group travel to Bali or creating a custom private trip to Indonesia to include a cooking school or culinary focus for just you and your family or friends.

Bali & Beyond Group Trip traces biogeographical fault

On our extraordinary Bali & Beyond small group trip, see the dramatic differences in flora and fauna that live east and west of the Wallace Line. Darwin’s young contemporary, naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace, noted a biogeographical divide separating the marsupial-dominated species native to the Australian continent vs. the mammals of Asia—a century before continental drift became an accepted theory.

That is but one aspect of an amazing journey of adventure through the islands of Bali, Komodo, Borneo and Java. Learn more on our site.


In the meantime, read this article from National Geographic magazine by David Quammen.

The Man Who Wasn’t Darwin
“Alfred Russel Wallace charted a great dividing line in the living world—and found his own route to the theory of evolution.

This is a classic episode in the history of science, a story of a coincidence and its aftermath, told and retold in books about how evolutionary biology came to be: the near simultaneous formulation of what we now think of as Darwin’s theory by Darwin himself and a young upstart, Alfred Russel Wallace. Classic or not, many people nowadays are unaware of it. Wallace, famed during his life as Darwin’s junior partner and for his other contributions to science and social thought, fell into obscurity after his death, in 1913. In recent decades his renown has been revivified, both by scholars who mine every aspect of Darwin’s life—Wallace was a crucial part—and by a few popular writers.”

Read the entire article at www.nationaligeographic.com

Southeast Asia, Off the Beaten Path

An article in Forbes Traveler by Don Willmott.

“Where can you experience authentic Southeast Asia without sharing it with busloads of other travelers?

The answer is simple: Find the places that fewer people know about. Throughout Southeast Asia, it’s easy to find viable alternatives to the wonderful but overcrowded destinations to which throngs of travelers typically flock.”

To read the entire Forbes Traveler article, visit ForbesTraveler.com


To learn more about travel to Southeast Asia, visit our site.