Sunday, October 11, 2009

MAPPING OUT the coming TOURS...

While getting ready the itineraries for this year end's tours, I decided to add a map to each itinerary so that you have an idea of where you are travelling to.


I always add an extra 'edge' to the tours organized, especially by taking groups to relatively 'unknown' but fascinating places to Malaysians (coz most Western, Japanese & Korean travellers are generally more adventurous...). A tour experience that is always remembered for the rest of your life, with fondness or with a sense of achievement, is priceless compared to 'production line' tours that evaporates from memory once you are back in life's daily grind.


When you pay to travel, you are investing in the future.... you are investing in great memories to be replayed in your mind in the future. When choosing a tour, make sure you are not 'just counting the beans to the exclusion of other factors'. If you do, then your memories are of the countless 'shopping stops' you had to endure, the countless changes to the itinerary agreed earlier, countless dishes so bland or predictable that you crave to eat with the locals at the hawker stall opposite your restaurant, and etc.


The tours below evolved from preceding tours (Wow! Even Darwinism comes into play when designing a tour). Improvements have been made. I list the tours below using their respective maps, added some comments and weblinks to the itinerary proper and photos.


I look forward to have you onboard these tours, ...to soak up the travel experience not as tourists, but as travellers,... to invest in great memories....


CLICK ON THE MAPS FOR ENLARGEMENT....

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SOUTH LAOS TOUR 6D5N Dec 15-20, 2009

The earlier similar trip was in Feb 2007, which combined South Laos with Central Vietnam ....those of you who were on that trip will never forget the long hours travelling on the bus from Pakse (Laos) to get to Hue (Vietnam)... :-)

For this tour, we will just concentrate on South Laos, as there are many 'gems' to be discovered.

Additions are Bolaven Plateau (home of the best Laotian coffee!) and Siphandone islands, where you find 4,000+ islands right in the middle of the mighty Mekong River. Besides sight-seeing, you have 2 nights stay on an island to enjoy the idyllic beauty of the islands and the Mekong River.


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DALAT, MUI NE & HO CHI MINH CITY
5D4N Dec 18-22, 2009
This tour is a combination of 2 tours which we organized previously. Dalat was part of a 10 day Vietnam itinerary done by 3 of our regular travellers last December. Mui Ne was part of our tour right up to Nha Trang, completed last June. Both are ideal destinations from Ho Chi Minh City, being not to far from Ho Chi Minh City and both offering contrasting attractions; Dalat being a cool scenic hill resort city and Mui Ne being a great seaside getaway of sea, sand and sun (wait till you see the Giant Sand Dunes of Mui Ne !). Perhaps it will be popular in the future as the 'Golden Triangle tour of South Vietnam' (ala the popular Delhi-Agra-Jaipur triangle tourist route).


Click here for Mui Ne & Binh Thuan province photos:



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EXOTIC XISHUANGBANNA
(Yunnan, China)
via Chiang Rai & Northern Laos
Dec 25-30, 2009

We visited this exotic destination in August 2008 (we are believed to be the first Malaysian travel agent organized tour group to enter Xishuangbanna via the 'backdoor' ie. from Laos as my tour operator couldn't recall any other Malaysian group before us). In this revised tour, we have thrown in an overnight homestay with a local Dai ethnic minority family in Galanba for a more authentic experience. Also, we are visiting a tea plantation and you will see how Pu-erh Tea is processed. I know many of you have missed out on this tour previously, so don't miss out again!

Click here for photos:


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NORTHERN LAOS:
MEKONG CRUISE TO LUANG PRABANG (Laos)
5D4N Dec 25-29, 2009
OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO PLAIN OF JARS
& VIENTIANE
Dec 29, 2009 - Jan 2, 2010
The Mekong Cruise to Luang Prabang has to rank among my most memorable journeys. Like the Cruise on the Nile or the Guilin to Yangshuo Cruise, you must do it. While it lacks ancient heritage or karst limestone scenery, it will be the scenic tranquility and isolation of cruising down the Mekong River that will brings you to blissfulness. And what better port of disembarkation than Luang Prabang, the UNESCO World Heritage town that is so charming and welcoming that you won't feel like leaving!
For those with extra time, we provide you optional extension to visit the mysterious Plain of Jars (literally fields littered with huge stone jars of unknown origins....) on the wind-swept plains
of Xieng Khoung province. And you end with a visit to Vientiane, the capital of Laos; remember enjoy your supper at the many Mekong Riverside food stalls...
There's not much changes from our previous tour as all the 'right stuff ' are in place in this tour. It's only waiting for you to go....
Click here for photos:





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