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!
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.
I first traveled to Vietnam in 1990. Just emerging from the war, visas for foreigners were scarce, but I applied and was granted the privilege of a short visit. Residing in Thailand at the time, it was just a short flight from Bangkok to Saigon, but it was indeed a world away.
Greeting me on that first trip were wariness, sadness and a lack of optimism about the future. Vietnam’s strongest connections were with the Eastern Block, and that part of the world was beginning to crumble.
Personal consumer goods were almost non-existent. Hand soap and basic cosmetics were treasures. Even pens and pencils were scarce. I had purchased some of these precious commodities in Thailand with the intention of gifting them, as appropriate, to people I met on my journey. I will never forget the gratitude with which some of these simple gifts were received.
Because of the long post war embargo, at that time virtually the only vehicles in the country were old American cars left behind as we left in defeat after the war. Tenaciously maintained with hand made parts, it was not uncommon to see a 1950’s Studebaker, being used as a taxi, overloaded with passengers, poultry hanging from every window on the way to market.
There was almost total uniformity of dress. Women wore the elegant ao dai, and men and women alike wore the conical hat and black, baggy pants of the peasant farmer.
This past week, as I arrived in Saigon once again, I experienced a very different place. Industrious and thriving, the Vietnamese people have made their way quickly into the modern world. Saigon is now a city of contemporary architecture reaching for the sky. Cars are modern, sometimes luxurious. It is not uncommon to see BMWs, Mercedes and other luxury vehicles on the street. Brightly lit department stores carry Jimmy Choo shoes, Coach handbags and Armani designs. Italian gelato shops, American coffee houses and fast food abound. The streets are clean, bustling, and the mood is upbeat. Though certainly not everyone is well to do, there are possibilities now that were not even dreamed about in those dark, post war years.
As a long time observer of Vietnam, and their challenges, I stand in awe of their remarkable entry into the modern world. But, don’t let the modern façade fool you. Traditional Vietnamese culture is alive and well and readily shared, to the delight of this visitor.
-Marilyn Downing Staff, Founder and President, Asia Transpacific Journeys
Discover the uniquely modern yet traditional culture of Vietnam for yourself with one of our group tour packages or luxury custom tours to Vietnam. Download a complimentary catalog or itinerary or speak with an Asia Travel Specialist to begin planning your trip to Asia, 800-642-2742.
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!
Sr. Vice President
World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US)
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.
Asia Transpacific Journeys offers once-in-a-lifetime tours to Papua New Guinea, taking travelers to remote tribal villages, sing-sing celebrations and wildlife explorations. Although there is much to discover on land, travel to Papua New Guinea and you’ll find a wealth of incredible uninhabited islands some of the most beautiful bodies of water in the world.
On True North’s Adventures in Paradise cruises, travelers are able to relax on a series of isolated deserted islands, such as the Lusancay Islands, that are ideal for swimming, snorkeling and fishing. Travelers also have the opportunity to embark on thrilling helicopter flights to the Isurava Memorial on the Kokoda Track and then discover the wrecks of WWII ships, planes and submarines while snorkeling in the shallow waters of Kavieng.
The True North’s Adventures in Paradise cruise is a wonderful add-on to any of Asia Transpacific Journeys’ Small Group Trips to Papua New Guinea. For a traveler who wants to experience the land, the people and the sea of Papua New Guinea, there really is no better way to go.
Learn more about Asia Transpacific Journeys‘ trips to Papua New Guinea and True North cruises by speaking to a Papua New Guinea Travel Specialist at 800-642-2742.
I have to say that our Australia trip was one of the best trips we’ve had. We were able to see so much in so little time. Every place we went to was different. We keep on saying to each other that Tom did a great job planning the itinerary. Everything went smoothly. Everyone was punctual.
We were quite skeptical about Tyroconnell Outback Retreat but were won over by the charm of the place and the hospitality of the family. It is sad to know that they are planning to sell the place but they are doing it to spend more time with their children. My husband really enjoyed the Great Barrier Reef and didn’t want to leave.
The only thing that we were disappointed with was the cancelled tour with the Aboriginal guide. We could have learned so much.
Extras that we did on our free days were – the Bridge Climb in Sydney (amazing), bi-plane over Fraser Island, helicopter ride at the Great Barrier Reef, the Sky rail and Railway tour in Cairns, climbed Ayers Rock, and the Sound of Silence dinner at Ayers Rock (I was sitting between two heaters and didn’t even need a jacket!)
We were quite shocked by how expensive everything was. We spent a lot of money there, but I can’t think of a better way of celebrating my 40th. Thank you so much for the bottle of champagne that was sent to our hotel room. We met a lot of great people that we would keep in touch with. We will definitely return to Australia with our kids in the future. But we would like to travel to Vietnam with them first, probably in 3 years. Thank you so much for putting together an amazing trip.
San Ramon, CA
Theresa and her husband embarked on an Insider’s Australia Custom Journey which was arranged by Travel Specialist, Tom Lastick. This was their second trip with Asia Transpacific Journeys, and we look forward to planning more adventures for their family in the future.
Asia Transpacific Journeys’ trips to Australia visit iconic sights for which Australia is justifiably famous, but also offers travel to remote areas of Australia that many travelers do not get the chance to experience. A trip to these off-the-beaten-path regions can turn the average Australia travel experience from something ordinary into something extraordinary.
The west coast of Australia is covered with sparkling white beaches and crystal clear blue waters perfect for snorkeling, exploring or relaxing. From the islands and gorges of The Kimberley, to Shark Bay and the Ningaloo Reef, the area is a vacationer’s paradise.
After spending time in Sydney, Cairns and at the Great Barrier Reef, take a cruise on the luxurious Australian yacht, True North. The West Coast Explorer cruise is the perfect way to round out your Australia vacation and see everything that this wild and beautiful land has to offer. True North cruises provide an ideal opportunity to get out of the cities and often crowded tourist areas and experience the Australian wilderness at its best. It’s the perfect add-on for any of Asia Transpacific Journeys’ custom trips to Australia.
Learn more about Asia Transpacific Journeys‘ trips to Australia and True North cruises by speaking to an Australia Travel Specialist at 800-642-2742.
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,
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.