Our Travel Inspiration, Jan. 6

Happy New Year! Welcome back for the firsrt 2014 edition 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!

Postcard from Our Traveler: A Truly Extraordinary Trip


I’m in Maldives. Reluctant to say it with a day to go, but barring any unforeseen injury or incident… this is the best trip I’ve ever taken.  Not just with you guys but overall… and I’ve been a lot of places at this point.  It’s been truly extraordinary on every level.  Thanks again for all of your help.

I’ll check in with you later in the week from NY.

Talk soon,

Mark F.

Kenwood, CA

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Mark traveled through Sri Lanka and Dubai on a custom trip arranged by Asia Travel Specialist Eric Kareus. This was his third trip with Asia Transpacific Journeys. We look forward to helping Mark plan his next trip to Asia.

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Asia Transpacific Journeys Explores Sacred Himalayan Kingdoms and Wildlife in India and Sri Lanka

Asia Transpacific Journeys  has introduced three new Asia tour packages, offering exotic winter getaways. These new packages offer travelers unprecedented access to sacred sites and centuries-old rituals, face-to-face meetings with formerly endangered wildlife and Asia’s secret island hotspot.

Indian Tiger

India: A Jungle Book Journey

India is famous for its dazzling cultural treasures. What is less well-known of the subcontinent is that it is home to some of Asia’s greatest wildlife. This extraordinary, 17-day journey departs December 3, 2011 and March 3, 2012. It features naturalist-guided travel by foot, elephant back and 4WD to three of India’s most important preserves; havens for the once nearly extinct, magnificent Bengal tiger as well as species as varied as one-horned Indian rhino, clouded leopard,  wild Indian elephant, jackal, fox, bison and myriad bird species. Additional features of India travel itinerary include:

  • Gorgeous eco-lodges and upscale hotels
  • Excellent chance of a wild tiger sighting
  • Elephant-back rhino safari
  • Access to remote areas of national parks
  • Special meetings and discussions with conservationists
  • Rickshaw ride through Old Delhi
  • Magnificent fortresses, mosques and UNESCO sites
  • Witness cultural performance within temple grounds

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Sri Lanka: A Journey with the World Wildlife Fund 

In its new adventure to Sri Lanka, Asia Transpacific Journeys teams up with the World Wildlife Fund to offer a wildlife tour to Sri Lanka, a seldom-explored spot that is considered one of South Asia’s best-kept wildlife secrets.

Few destinations as geographically small as this island nation offer so many cultural treasures and such great wildlife biodiversity. Sri Lanka is considered a “super hotspot” for endemism and contains many unique plants, birds, reptiles and mammals. In fact, new species are still being discovered here. With a focus on the central and southern highlands, this March 2012 journey takes you to several national parks, and onto the calm seas off the southern coast.

This 14-day itinerary with departures beginning March 10, 2012 features the following components for a well-crafted wildlife tour of Sri Lanka:

  • Explorations of four national parks, including an in-depth visit to Yala National Park to search for the elusive leopard.
  • Several opportunities to see wild elephants.
  • Whale-watching expeditions to look for blue and sperm whales, which congregate in high concentrations along the Sri Lankan coast at this time of year.
  • Visits to important cultural spots, including the Rock Fortress at Sigiriya and the ancient city of Polonnaruwa.

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Sacred Mountain Kingdoms: Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan

The mountain kingdoms of Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan, thousands of feet above sea-level, hidden amidst the world’s highest peaks, stand literally and figuratively above the rest. A trip highlighting three UNESCO world heritage sites is ideal for those seeking adventure and spiritual perspective.

Departures for this 20-day excursion begin April 5, 2012 and travelers will enjoy an itinerary that includes:

  • Tour leadership by an expert on Asian culture.
  • Meet monks in remote monasteries.
  • Sacred lake amid spectacular Himalayan vistas.
  • Drive along the Friendship Highway, border crossing from Tibet to Nepal.
  • Witness Hindu ablution ceremony at sacred river.
  • Medieval towns housing preserved temples.
  • Visit fertility temple where hopeful couples make offerings.

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Learn more about once-in-a-lifetime trip to Asia by speaking with an Asia travel specialist today at 800-642-2742.

Sri Lanka Travel—Ancient Cultures, Wildlife, and Festivals

 

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One of our newest small group trips, Splendid Sri Lanka, departs in March.

Author Paul Theroux wrote in Ghost Train to the Eastern Star of his stay in Galle, Sri Lanka:  “I considered this one of the best evenings of my trip: the muted buzz of the small seaside town at night the soft, air, the perfume of the blossoms.”
Sri Lanka’s population is less dense than that of neighboring India, a reality that gives traveler’s unexpected breathing room in acres of wildlife sanctuaries while searching for leopards, elephants and other creatures of the jungle. On this trip to Sri Lanka tour guests virtually hop scotch from one UNESCO World Heritage Site to another along a route scheduled to accommodate one of Asia’s most spectacular festivals, Esala Perahera, a celebration of Buddhism held annually in Kandy.

In addition to bottle-feeding orphaned elephant babies and dipping into regional cuisine through cooking classes, our clients will enjoy pampering at elegant and authentic accommodations, including a masterpiece of water and rock called Heritance Kandalama created by Geoffrey Bawa, an architect whose name is synonymous with Sri Lanka, once known as Ceylon, the country that lent its name famously to tea.

The majority ethnic group of Sri Lanka are Sinhalese, which loosely translated means “lion people” from ancient myth. An element of their mythology that visitors will experience is a visit to the Sri Maha Bodhi (Sacred Bo-Tree), considered a sapling from the original tree under which Prince Siddhartha (Buddha) attained enlightenment and became the Buddha. It is over 2,200 years old and is the oldest historically documented tree in the world.

A custom trip to Sri Lanka can also be arranged on a private basis around your dates for just friends or family. To find out more information about travel to Sri Lanka or other desitations click here.