Sri Lanka. Toyko. Myanmar, Burma. Perhaps you’ve heard about such places on TV shows such as Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” on CNN. But have you ever, seriously considered visiting them?
Well, now’s the time. For you can not only find a decent rate for end of summer, but many times the exchange rate will trump what you’ll find in the US. (For more info visit a currency converter such as Bloomberg’s.)
Asia Transpacific Journeys reached out to the Examiner to share the many wonders of visiting such exotic locales and others in Asia this autumn.
They have been recognized by Travel + Leisure as one of the World’s Best Tour Operators; they’re tapped by Harvard Alumni Association for their Japanese excursions; and they’re one of the only tour operators to specialize in Asia. They are known for their attention to individual itineraries, a real plus for those of us who are too busy to devote time to such matters.
Some of the locations they are touting are:
- Japan, because it’s “a melting pot of contemporary and traditional culture.” They remind travellers to “witness the snow-topped peaks of Mount Fuji, fiery fall foliage and the bustling, urban landscape of Tokyo.”
- India, whether that means watching a sunrise ignite the Taj Mahal or experiencing “the pleasures of Indian home cooking with a personalized lesson in a family home or venturing into the jungle to seek out the illusive Bengal tiger.”
- Sri Lanka, often overlooked according to the agency, but well worth your bucket list checkoff. It will reward travellers with Buddhist archaeological sites, colonial tea plantations, wildlife sanctuaries and ancient cities. “Witness elephants and other native wildlife peacefully roaming the countryside and seek out deserted beaches—some of the region’s best.”
- Old French Indochina (Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos), no doubt make for the perfect fall adventure. New for 2015, Asia Transpacific Journeys’ travellers “are invited to a luxury camping excursion at a deserted Khmer temple, nestled deep in the Cambodian countryside, Banteay Chhmar. After a day spent exploring the evocative, intimate ruins and conversing with the friendly local villagers, guests retire to their exclusive tented camp (complete with full en-suite) for a refreshing cocktail as they watch the sun set over the picturesque ruins.” Sounds good to us!
- Myanmar, which was visited in a memorable episode by the aforementioned Bourdain, is on this examiner’s radar. Asia Transpacific Journeys offers a four-night cruise from Mandalay to Bagan aboard a riverboat with luxurious cabins. “During the day, stop and explore remote sites, inaccessible by land, then spend the evenings at the on-board spa or enjoying a cocktail on deck. Back on solid ground, perhaps you’ll want to explore Burma from an entirely different perspective – high above the ground from the basket of a hot air balloon.”
- Learn a bit of the language for the country you’ll be visiting. Whether that means a formal course or online learning. This examiner swears by About.com’s “guides” for learning, but also check out Rosetta Stone, your community college, friends, podcasts (see iTunes), etc. At the very least buy a small cheat sheet or book to take with you. The locals will greatly appreciate it.
- Pack light. Everyone’s taking their rolling suitcases on board these days, and there’s nothing worse than being the one person with the overstuffed bag that edges everyone’s to the side. It’s also easier to keep things simple, especially if you’ll be staying at multiple locations. Allow room in your suitcase for souvenirs.
So what are you waiting for, Angelenos?
For more information about booking a customized trip to Asia or the Pacific this autumn, please visit Asia Transpacific online or call 800-642-2742 (toll-free).