This adventurous itinerary takes you through a relatively unknown corner of Laos, starting from the Vietnamese border close to Hanoi. Highlights along the way include the incredible caves at Viengxay. Over 20,000 people lived in a ‘hidden city’ underground from 1964 to 1973 that included schools, hospitals and even a theatre as well as being the HQ of the Pathet Lao. A night safari deep in the Nam Et-Phou Louey NPA with a local Kamu tribe can uncover surprising wildlife. Enjoy the stunning mountain scenery along the Nam Ou River with a stay in Nong Khiaw, where options include trekking and kayaking, before relaxing in the magical UNESCO town of Luang Prabang.
Historic Trails – Along the Irrawaddy, Myanmar
Yangon – Pyay – Magway – Bagan
This program follows the course of the Irrawaddy River north from Yangon to Bagan on an intriguing journey thorough Burmese culture. Guests travel from Yangon by train to Pyay, the capital of the Pyu Kingdom from the 5th-9th centuries. The next stop is Magway, offering a deeper experience and insight into rural ways of life with visits to ancient monasteries. Spend time exploring colorful markets, make offerings at pagodas and observe local practices before ending in Bagan to explore the awe inspiring array of pagodas and enjoy a private riverboat tour toward Kyauk Gu U Min.
Sulawesi & Toraja Adventure, Indonesia
Makassar – Rantepao – Limbong – Rantepao – Sengkang – Bira
The stunning island of Sulawesi is home to a number of unique cultures with an exceptional history. This program introduces travelers to the Toraja ethnic group, renowned for their elaborate funeral rites, traditional houses and spectacular rituals. Guests spend time exploring the Toraja villages and learning about their unique practices. It is possible to participate in an unforgettable funeral ritual should one be taking place. On the journey to Toraja, we pass through several villages of the Bugis people whose stilted houses line magnificent mountain passes. The program concludes with the opportunity to relax on the stunning Bira Beach with a visit to Liukan Island and the opportunity to meet the fishing village community of Konjo.
Western Sichuan, China
Chengdu – Danba – Tagong – Utang – Yading National Park – Xiangcheng – Shangri La
This creative itinerary combines two impressive provinces, Yunnan and Sichuan, often referred to as the most attractive areas to visit in China. It also takes guests deep into the lesser known western area of Sichuan to reveal a hidden side of China. On the journey there are opportunities to embark on a trek along a legendary pilgrimage route around Kawa Karpo and discover Tibetan culture by exploring Tibetan Buddhism beliefs, including visits to striking monasteries and a night within a nomad’s tent. We also visit extensive national parks in Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong to follow unforgettable trekking trails with breathtaking scenery throughout the journey.
Kyushu & Shikoku Explorer, Japan
Kyoto – Nara – Nagasaki – Kumamoto – Beppu – Miyajima – Matsuyama – Tokushima – Osaka
A comprehensive program revealing the less visited islands of Kyushu and Shikoku in Southern Japan. Guests begin their journey in Kyoto by exploring the many temples, pavilions and bustling back-street lanes that hide a bygone era. After a visit to the former capital of Nara it is off to Nagasaki, a cosmopolitan city and simply beautiful as it rises along steep banks out of a U-shaped harbor. We learn about the Edo period in Kumamoto and scale the ancient crater of Mt Aso, spending the night in a modern styled ryokan. Alongside visits to world famous sites such as the Floating Torii gate, we also learn about the history of Hiroshima and the cultural significance of places such as Kompirasan before winding up in the food capital of Osaka.