TASTING NOTES IN SRI LANKA

Experience

TASTING NOTES IN SRI LANKA

NEGOMBO I SIGIRIYA I JAFFNA I TRINCOMALEE I KANDY I GALLE I COLOMBO

WHEN TO GO

NOVEMBER – MAY

IDEAL LENGTH

12 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

15 HOURS 45 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

7


Prepare your taste buds for a fresh adventure on our culinary tour. Sri Lanka has long been renowned for its spices. Since ancient times, traders from all over the world who came to Sri Lanka brought their native cuisines to the island,resulting in a rich diversity of cooking styles and techniques. Sri Lankan people use spices liberally in their dishes and typically do not follow an exact recipe – fora serious wow factor each region has a unique flavour. It is said that Sri Lanka was the original Garden of Eden and it only takes one visit to understand why.On the basis that less is more, we have chosen some of our favourite spots on this in-depth tour which encompasses a leisurely route through the country with local market visits, cooking demonstrations along with lunches and dinners at restaurants with captivating tales.

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Inspired by what you see? Remember we design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something that is entirely you. If we need to start from scratch, lets start with a conversation.

SEA & JUNGLE

Begin in Negombo, an old and large fishing town offering an abundance of seafood with lagoon lobsters, crabs and prawns caught on a daily basis and served as delicacies in the restaurants. Head to the famed Sigiriya Rock Fortress, sitting on a rocky plateau 370 metres above sea level, it is one of the most visited destinations of Sri Lanka. Enjoy an elephant filled Minneriya jeep safari before heading north into Jaffna, an area with a dominant Tamil culture. Accessible by boat, visit the nearby Delft Island where life is simple, earthen homes are surrounded by coral walls and herds of horses roam freely.

EAT

Follow the coast as you travel east to Trincomalee, ripe for discovery with its many natural attractions. Travel inland to Kandy where the cuisine is inspired by its tapestry of multi-culture diversity. Move on to the southern coast and explore Galle. Once a trading hub for Arab merchants bringing with them many dishes perhaps most quintessential, the Biryani, a mixed rice dish. End your Sri Lankan experience in Colombo with an exciting street food tour – as the evening draws in, food, often in unusual guises, is everywhere! It offers the perfect opportunity to learn about the city’s sights and aromas.

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR YOU

SIGIRIYA ROCK FORTRESS I LOCAL VILLAGE AND MARKET TOURS I JEEP SAFARI I DINNER WITH A LOCAL FAMILY I DELFT ISLAND EXPLORATION TRINCOMALEE CITY TOUR I KANDY FOOD TRAIL TOUR I GALLE FORT TOUR I COOKING DEMONSTRATIONS I COLOMBO STREET FOOD TOUR


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TEA, LEOPARDS & TEMPLES

Experience

TEA, LEOPARDS & TEMPLES

GALLE I YALA I NUWARA ELIYA I GAL OYA I KANDY I SIGIRIYA I COLOMBO

WHEN TO GO

FEBRUARY – MAY

IDEAL LENGTH

12 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

15 HOURS 45 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

7


From epic legendary tea estates, historical towns and spectacular national parks, Sri Lanka has it all. For a slightly different taste of what this country has to offer, embark on this eleven night itinerary through Sri Lanka and take in the tea plantations surrounding Nuwara Eliya, the majestic wildlife in both Yalaand Minneriya National Parks and the exquisite carved rock Buddha images at Polonnaruwa.

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Inspired by what you see? Remember we design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something that is entirely you. If we need to start from scratch, lets start with a conversation.

WELLNESS

As soon as you touch down in Colombo, you’ll take a trip south along the coastline to Galle, an amazing fortified town filled with an eclectic mix of art galleries, cafes and boutique hotels. Offering a truly invigorating way to start your day, hop on a bike and cycle through flourishing paddy and cinnamon plantations in the charming southern countryside.

ECO RETREAT

From the walls of Galle head to the open spaces of Yala National Park, home to leopards,elephants, sloth bears, sambar, spotted deer, jackals, wild boar, buffaloes,langur, macaque monkeys and an array of bird life. Travel inland and enjoy the spring like weather in Nuwara Eliya, surrounded by hills and tea plantations –here you’ll need to blink twice as the quaint town keeps the atmosphere of a misplaced British village. Continue on to Gal Oya, one of Sri Lanka’s hidden gems and an area waiting to be explored. Along with recognisable wildlife, Gal Oya is also home to Sri Lanka’s indigenous communities.

TREATMENT

Move on to Kandy, a city which attracts visitors from afar and visit the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya. The 147 acre site is composed of endemic plants and mixed with species brought from as far as the famous Kew Gardens in England. Travelling further north and with Sigiriya as your base, discover the archaeological relics of Polonnaruwa and the wildlife of Minneriya National Park. Your journey comes to an end in the vibrant capital city of Colombo – traverse the varied streets of a city rooted in trading, a colonial past and around every corner where buildings from another era remain hidden between renovations.

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR YOU

RURAL GALLE BIKE RIDE I JEEP SAFARI AT YALA NATIONAL PARK I NUWARA ELIYA EXPLORATION I KANDY CITY TOUR PERADENIYA ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS I RUINS OF POLONNARUWA I JEEP SAFARI AT MINNERIYA NATIONAL PARK I HISTORIC SITES OF COLOMBO


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THREE VITAL FORCES

Experience

THREE VITAL FORCES

ANAMADUWA I DIGANA I NEGOMBO

WHEN TO GO

DECEMBER – MARCH

IDEAL LENGTH

9 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

15 HOURS 45 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

3


Sometimes we all just need to hit reset. To take a step back, take a deep breathin – and let go. Sometimes, the only way to do that is to get away – and that’s where we come in. We’ve spent years looking for the best ways to relax and recharge and nowhere has left us more invigorated than Sri Lanka. Offering a fantastic combination of stunning scenery, delicious cuisine and breath-taking sunset vistas, Sri Lanka also boasts a number of wellness retreats enabling you to find the balance and rejuvenation that you seek. Appealing to couples,friends and solo travellers alike, wellness retreats are certain to release you of all your stresses. 

MAKE THIS ITINERARY YOURS

Inspired by what you see? Remember we design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something that is entirely you. If we need to start from scratch, lets start with a conversation.

WELLNESS

We all love to be pampered, but on this holiday, we arrange to go that little bit further to ensure you leave utterly blissed out. We’ve created a meaningful and sincere wellness experience that will appeal to those seeking balance in a contemporary environment. We have chosen three ideal places to spend eight nights getting your body and spirit aligned, assisted by experts,specialists and therapists in the height of hospitality.

ECO RETREAT

Your first two nights are spent in a private and unique eco retreat that takes you back to basic living with a magic touch. Here choose from a myriad of activities from early morning nature walks, kayaking, swimming in a quarry to cycling the various trails around the property. Next, move to a modern, minimalist resort in the misty mountains of Sri Lanka. Spend the next three nights focusing on relaxation, health and wellness with specialised therapy and delicious cuisine

TREATMENT

 The last three night sare spent in a comfortably isolated coastal retreat where the in house Ayurvedic doctor will recommend personalised treatments that will uplift your overall wellbeing. Sri Lanka definitely offers something a little bit incomparable – what could be better than experiencing magical sunrises, practicing yoga in the purest form with a mountainous backdrop. Feeling calm and collected, it’s then time to leave the peace of Sri Lanka behind as you return to the real world.

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR YOU

IDYLLIC LOCATIONS I PERSONALISED SPA TREATMENTS I YOGA I DELICIOUS CUISINE I MEDITATION I RELAXATION


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TAKING THE ROAD LESS BIKED

Experience

TAKING THE ROAD LESS BIKED

NEGOMBO I KANDY I DAMBULLA I POLONNARUWA I ANURADHAPURA I COLOMBO

WHEN TO GO

DECEMBER – MARCH

IDEAL LENGTH

7 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

15 HOURS 45 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

6


Where else can you tick off five off the eight UNESCO World Heritage sites in one go? Consisting of Kandy, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, these three great, ancient capitals form the Cultural Triangle. Crammed with monuments and ruined cities, there is so much to see in this one area, it’s an obvious ‘not-to-miss’ on this small group cycling tour. Cycling offers the opportunity to see things close up, cycle the many back roads and absorb a grassroots feel of the country. 

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Inspired by what you see? Remember we design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something that is entirely you. If we need to start from scratch, lets start with a conversation.

OLD TOWN

The ride commences on the road to the beautiful old town of Kandy. Sweet-sounding Kandy lives up to its name, deep in the heart of the island and in perfect proximity to explore Adam’s Peak, which is known by a multitude of different names and brings together four separate strands of religious beliefs. Kandy is home to the famed Temple of the Tooth Relic and located around an atmospheric lake.

TEMPLES & WILD

The following day pedal through open countryside to see the ancient Buddhist cave temples of Dambulla or the city of Polonnaruwa (which you may recognise from Duran Duran’s ‘Save a Prayer’ video if you are a fan). Pedalling out of Dambulla head to Sigiriya, it’s dominating rock fortress will be in continuous view as you cycle towards it. It’s well worth the climb to explore its green slopes and holy summit. Taking a 4×4 through Minneriya National Park, home to herds of elephant, a sprinkling of leopards, buffaloes, boar, spotted deer,sloth bear, crocodiles and jackals, is another Sri Lankan treat and a generous slice of safari adventure. 

ANCIENT JUNGLE

After an adventurous morning, cycle back to Polonnaruwa, an ancient former capital with 800 years of history and with fascinating ruins rescued from the jungle’s grip. Cycle through and explore this historic complex. The last stop is the even more ancient heritage site of Anuradhapura, the centre of Theravada Buddhism and the most continuously inhabited city in the world.

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR YOU

CYCLE THE SCENIC BACK ROADS I ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS VISIT I GOLDEN TEMPLE OF DAMBULLA I SIGIRIYA ROCK FORTRESS JEEP SAFARI AT MINNERIYA NATIONAL PARK I ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK OF POLONNARUWA I RUINS OF ANURADHAPURA


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DISCOVER VIETNAM & THE MEKONG WATERWAYS

Experience

DISCOVER VIETNAM & THE MEKONG WATERWAYS

HANOI I HALONG BAY I HOI ANIHUE I HO CHI MINH CITY I CAI BE I TAN CHAU I PHNOM PENH I KAMPONG CHAM I KAMPONG I SIEM REAP

WHEN TO GO

NOVEMBER – APRIL

IDEAL LENGTH

20 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

16 HOURS 30 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

10


The Mekong River is the seventh longest river in Asia flowing through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Historically it has been a major trade route, a natural border and a cultural melting pot for the region. This relaxed journey combines the fascinating natural and historical highlights along its banks in two of these countries.

MAKE THIS ITINERARY YOURS

Inspired by what you see? Remember we design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something that is entirely you. If we need to start from scratch, lets start with a conversation.

CAPITOL INFLUENCES

Your journey begins in Hanoi, the economic capital of Vietnam and centre of the French and American 20th century influences. Venture off on a unique guided tour of the sites followed by a delicious spread at a local restaurant Black Lotus supports. Without a doubt, the best way to enjoy Halong Bay is by cruising through the sparkling turquoise waters by boat –admire the limestone islands, the floating villages and the intriguing caves.

BECOME A LOCAL

Next, it’s the beautiful heritage town of Hoi An, a highlight of Vietnam. The architecture remains as it was centuries before, faded yellow coloured facades with Chinese-style roofing, creating a setting reminiscent of an ancient far east fairy tale. During your down time, we highly recommend trying one of our favourite tours, maybe learn to cook with a professional, take a jeep off the beaten track and visit the locals or take a leisurely bike ride through the rice paddies. It’s time to relax and take a drive over the Hai Van Pass to Hue,this tranquil city is home to Vietnam’s most celebrated (and spicy) cuisine and is known as a centre of literature and arts. Time to head to the glitz and glamour that is Ho Chi Minh City where the possibilities are endless.

CAMBODIA EXPERIENCE

Saving the splendours of Cambodia for your final last days, highlights of this itinerary include a luxury cruise from Saigon to Cambodia on The Lost Civilization, life on board is going to be full of pinch your self-moments, adventures to luxury,Khmer temples to French colonial elegance, hospitable locals and incredible landscapes – Cambodia’s charms cast a spell over all who visit. A century has passed since explorers rode elephants through Cambodian jungle and discovered the temples of Angkor Wat, this incredible complex of creeper-clad ruins outside of Siem Reap has been wowing travellers for years.

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12 NIGHTS ACCOMMODATION IN 4 STAR HOTELS I 7 NIGHTS ABOARD A LUXURY RIVER CRUISE IN THE MEKONG DELTA I BREAKFAST DAILY I 12X LUNCHES I 8X DINNERS I ALL TRANSFERS I SIGHTSEEING AND ENTRANCE FEES I PORT TAXES I THE SERVICES OF AN ENGLISH SPEAKING GUIDE AND DOMESTIC FLIGHTS WITHIN VIETNAM I HANOI-DANANG I HUE-HO CHI MINH CITY



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VIETNAM: AN ART FUELLED DISCOVERY

Experience

VIETNAM: AN ART FUELLED DISCOVERY

HANOI I HALONG BAY I HOI AN I HO CHI MINH CITY I MEKONG DELTA

WHEN TO GO

DECEMBER –AUGUST

IDEAL LENGTH

12 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

16 HOURS 30 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

5


Gain an insight into Vietnam’s art, history and culture – from great works inspired by the spiritual world to modern contemporary art, there is something to appeal to all tastes. This 12 day journey is thoroughly recommended for art enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike. The adventure begins in the bustling capital city of Hanoi at the Temple of Literature, dedicated to Confucius and built in the 11th century.

MAKE THIS ITINERARY YOURS

Inspired by what you see? Remember we design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something that is entirely you. If we need to start from scratch, lets start with a conversation.

HANOI’S ART CULTURE

Take the opportunity to sit and capture the beauty of the temple by sketching this monument and its surroundings in charcoal. Across the street is the Museum of Fine Arts, here learn about the French Indochina influence on educating and encouraging Vietnamese artisans to explore the concept of self-expression. Visit the Vietnam Art Gallery with its focus on contemporary artists before exploring a local district of Hanoi. Your time in Hanoi also includes a special visit to one of the villages where Vietnamese water puppetry originated for a behind the scenes experience. Visit But Thap Pagoda, well known for its wood carvings, followed by Dong Ho Village famous for its long-preserved art of wood block painting

STUDIO TO MUSEUM

Spend the next day with a lacquer artist in his studio, creating your own lacquer ware piece before you take an evening flight to Hue. Explore the fascinating Imperial Citadel, Royal Tombs and local markets with a second day set aside to visit local art centres including Le Ba Dang Art Centre with its densely textured mixed-media paintings of moulded pasteboard and limestone; the Diem Phung Thi Art Museum; and the famous Truc Chi Art Centre. Truc Chi is the art of making objects from imprinted bamboo paper.

WORKSHOPS

It’s then onto Hoi An, recognised worldwide not only for its ancient beauty, but also its colourful lanterns – visit the home of a family who have been making lanterns for generations and construct your very own lantern. A day at leisure in Hoi An also allows you to wander through the cobblestone streets. Continue to Ho Chi MinhCity and explore the colonial-era Ho Chi Minh Fine Arts Museum. This elegant building is filled with art, including thoughtful pieces from the modern period. The final day is spent with fun artistic classes and evening cocktails at a local studio.

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HANOI FOOD TOUR I HANOI CITY EXPLORATION I VIETNAM MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS I WATER PUPPETRY EXPERIENCE I WOODCUT PRINTS I LAQUERWARE STUDIO I HUE HERITAGE MODERN ART OF HUE I HOI AN LATERN MAKING I HO CHI MINH FINE ARTS MUSEUM I FULL DAY ART CLASS I COCKTAILS AT LOCAL STUDIO



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VIETNAM GASTRONOMY: A LOVE AFFAIR

Experience

VIETNAM GASTRONOMY: A LOVE AFFAIR

HANOI I HALONG BAY I HOI AN I HO CHI MINH CITY I MEKONG DELTA

WHEN TO GO

DECEMBER –AUGUST

IDEAL LENGTH

12 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

16 HOURS 30 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

5


Having been occupied by the Chinese, French and Americans – brutal imprint shave been left on the Vietnamese story but also creating a rich cultural smorgasbord – evident not only in architecture but the flavours of Vietnamese cuisine. Globally known for its diversified flavours and freshness, Vietnamese cuisine is unforgettable with popular dishes including the fresh (or fried) spring rolls, through to the traditional ‘Pho’ noodle soup and generally accompanied by side dishes of chillies, soya sauce and by far the most popular, nuoc mam,the local fish sauce.

MAKE THIS ITINERARY YOURS

Inspired by what you see? Remember we design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something that is entirely you. If we need to start from scratch, lets start with a conversation.

COCKTAILS AND FLAMES

On this 12 day gastronomy journey, gain an insight into the intricacies of Vietnamese food culture. Your culinary adventure begins in the bustling capital city of Hanoi and at the unique bar that created the Pho Mojito cocktail. A surprising yet delicious mix of a mojito with the flavours of the iconic noodle soup! Whilst taking in the sights of the city, sample some genuine local life and try several typical sidewalk breakfast menus but also for lunch one of our favourites, Bun Cha – flame grilled pork meat served with sticky rice noodles. Experience a ‘nhau’ restaurant, often family-owned outdoor taverns with fold-out tables and plastic chairs – although noisy, the atmosphere is energetic and bubbly.

CRUISE CULINARY

From Hanoi head to Halong Bay and embark on a beautiful wooden junk boat for an overnight cruise, a special experience for any traveller to Vietnam. It’s then on to Hoi An, recognised worldwide not only for its ancient beauty but also its street food cuisine with speciality dishes including Quang Nam Gio spring rolls and the My Quang noodles.

CAFE

Continue to Ho Chi Minh City, with its hugely popular cafe culture. Vietnamese have refined their version of coffee, an imported drink from the French, to be bold and with soul – meet with some coffee experts who are passionate about its western form to the purest Vietnamese way its served. They will introduce you to the different blends and aromas of coffee before getting into a practical workshop. For the final part of the tour, board a Mekong River cruise where the prosperous land of the delta brings a lot of fresh ingredients.

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HANOI FOOD TOUR I HANOI CITY EXPLORATION I FOOD TASTINGS I NHAU RESTAURANT EXPERIENCE I VIETNAMESE EGG COFFEE TASTING I COOKING LESSONS I OVERNIGHT HALONG BAY CRUISE I HOI AN SUNSET CRUISE I COUNTRYSIDE VINTAGE VESPA SCOOTER RIDE I LESSON ON BANH MI I COFFEE EDUCATIONAL I TWO NIGHT MEKONG RIVER CRUISE



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FAMILY MEMOIRS IN VIETNAM

Experience

FAMILY MEMOIRS IN VIETNAM

HANOI I CAT BA ISLAND I PHONG NHA KE BANG NATIONAL PARK I HUE I HOI AN

WHEN TO GO

DECEMBER –AUGUST

IDEAL LENGTH

11 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

16 HOURS 30 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

5


With many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, breath-taking scenery, beautiful beaches, an abundance of shopping and a delectable cuisine – Vietnam is a kaleidoscope of cultural and sensory contrasts; it offers the perfect destination for a family adventure. We here at Active Asia, quite simply believe that Vietnam is one of the most divine Asian destinations on the planet. Travelling as a family is rewarding, it creates fond memories and for most children, it offers a different perspective on life – any trip to the east offers eye opening contrasts to the ways of the west. 

MAKE THIS ITINERARY YOURS

Inspired by what you see? Remember we design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something that is entirely you. If we need to start from scratch, lets start with a conversation.

BACKSTREETS

Start out in Hanoi, the bustling capital city. Dive into the backstreets and explore with a flurry of noise, scooter horns, bicycle bells and vendors selling goods. Get off the grid with a cool urban hike which includes walking a piece of heritage, the symbol of Hanoi, the beautiful Long Bien Bridge.

SCATTERED MOUNTAINS

Catch a hydrofoil from Hai Phong and continue to jungle-clad Cat Ba Island, the largest island in Halong Bay. Explore nearby Lan Ha Bay, the twin sister of Halong Bay and certainly one of the less travelled corners of the Halong Bay archipelago. Fly to Dong Hoi, the gateway to Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, where you’ll spend two days exploring. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park contains numerous karst mountains scattered with caves and under ground rivers. You’ll explore Paradise Cave with its magnificent scenery and spectacular stalagmites.

HISTORY

As you continue travelling south, drive across the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) which will take you to the Hien Luong Bridge, a historic landmark that served as the border gate between North and South Vietnam before reunification. As you arrive in the ancient imperial city of Hue, you’ll actually stay in a beautiful resort on Thuan An Beach, about 10km from Hue town

FAMILY

Although Hue unveils important pieces of Vietnam history it also offers plenty of fun with a stand-up paddle board expedition to a restaurant on stilts above a lagoon. Wrap up your family journey in Hoi An, travelling from Hue via the Hai Van Pass and its superb vistas. Some days may feel exhausting but we’re pretty sure they’ll be loaded with long lasting memories for years to come.

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HANOI CITY TOUR I HANOI URBAN HIKE I TREKKING IN CAT BA NATIONAL PARK I EXPLORATION OF LAN HA BAY I BICYCLE RIDE THROUGH PHONG NHA KE BANG NATIONAL PARK I PARADISE CAVE EXPLORATION I ZIP LINING I DMZ AND VINH MOC TUNNELS EXPLORATION I COOKING LESSON I STAND-UP PADDLE BOARDING I IMPERIAL CITADEL EXCURSION I TRAVEL THE HAI VAN PASS COUNTRYSIDE CYCLE OF HOI AN I CAM THANH MANGROVE KAYAK



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HIDDEN CORNER OF NORTHERN VIETNAM

Experience

HIDDEN CORNER OF NORTHERN VIETNAM

HANOI I SUOI MU I NINH BINH I HALONG BAY

WHEN TO GO

DECEMBER –AUGUST

IDEAL LENGTH

7 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

16 HOURS 30 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

4


Rich in its long, winding history and shrouded with mystique, Northern Vietnam has always held a magnetic quality. It has provided a pilgrimage for many hundreds of thousands of pairs of feet that have come to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites that sit alongside a riot of colour and culture.The landscape lives and breathes the story of time. On this 7 day itinerary,journey with us as we highlight not only iconic sights but traverse the roads less travelled to reveal hidden gems. 

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Inspired by what you see? Remember we design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something that is entirely you. If we need to start from scratch, lets start with a conversation.

HISTORY

Kick off your adventure in Hanoi and get ready to see it as very few others do. Enter a special district in the south of Hanoi where it suddenly feels like stepping back in time. Wander around the narrow alleys, feel the incredible vibe and let your guide tell you the story of these unusual big yellow block buildings. It’s then off to the Temple of Literature – a little gem of architecture yet a huge piece of history, before taking a gastronomy adventure in the Old Quarter.

MOUNTAIN HIGH

You then hit the Ho Chi Minh Road to the Tam Diep mountain range where tucked away you’ll discover Suoi Mu, a much lesser known location and one that you won’t find much about on the internet. Within a valley lies a nature reserve, a well-hidden piece of paradise with a lush green environment – mountains covered in jungle, beautiful terraced rice fields and stunning natural pools. Here a private lodge awaits. Feel the love as you are warmly welcomed and hosted for the night by a family of Muong ethnic people offering a genuine cultural immersion.

CRUISING

As you arrive in the Ninh Binh region, a scenic rowed sampan cruise allows you to reach Tam Coc, the most renowned valley of the area, iconic for its towering limestone rocks and beautiful rice fields. Also, of remarkable beauty is the Trang An Grottoes, a blend of towering cliff bounded mountains with deeply developed internal basins and cave networks navigable by small sampans– admire the mystery and wilderness. Drive across the Red River Delta and reach the coast where you’ll end this unforgettable loop with an over night cruise in Halong Bay before heading back to Hanoi.

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OFF THE BEATEN PATH TOUR OF HANOI I GASTRONOMY ADVENTURE IN HANOI I UNIQUE OVERNIGHT HOMESTAY I TAM COC SAMPAN CRUISE I BICH DONG PAGODA CLIMBIBAI DINH PAGODA EXPLORATION I BOAT TRIP TO TRANG AN GROTTOES I OVERNIGHT HALONG BAY CRUISE



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THE GRANDEUR OF CAMBODIA

Experience

THE GRANDEUR OF CAMBODIA

PHNOM PENH I BATTAMBANG I SIEM REAP I KOH RONG ISLAND

WHEN TO GO

NOVEMBER – APRIL

IDEAL LENGTH

14 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

13 HOURS 15 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

4


When one conjures up images of Cambodia, most tend to think solely of the renowned temples in Siem Reap – whilst we definitely can’t deny its Angkor Wat ‘wow’ factor, we do feel that you may be pleasantly surprised by the country if you were to explore further afield. This two week long itinerary allows you to discover more and offers the perfect mix of culture, local life, temples and relaxation.

MAKE THIS ITINERARY YOURS

Inspired by what you see? Remember we design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something that is entirely you. If we need to start from scratch, lets start with a conversation.

ON THE ROAD

Having emerged from decades of civil war and unrest, touchdown in Phnom Penh, a now transformed vibrant and bustling capital city. With its walkable riverfront boulevard along with the numerous restaurants and bars, you’ll find your stay in Phnom Penh is incredibly welcoming. As you head north west to Battambang, make stops in Oudong, the former royal capital of Cambodia after the fall of Angkor. The drive passes through many rural village sand pagodas until you see the temple mountain with its dozens of stupas from afar. As Cambodia’s second largest city, Battambang, not so long ago, was within target range of the Khmer Rouge and was therefore off-limits to most travellers.Upon reopening to the outside world, one fortuitous result of its isolation and lack of development is that Battambang has some of the most well preserved colonial French buildings in the country.

ARCHITECTURE

Next, make your way to Siem Reap but not before stopping at Banteay Chhmar – the main temple here is on the list of possible, future UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Feel like a temple discoverer as you clamber amongst the ruins that are still being reconstructed today. Almost every step within this vast ruin gives another fabulous picture of stone being consumed by nature. It is a spectacular sight with its Bayon-style towers and walls cloaked with vegetation. More stunning Khmer architecture awaits in Siem Reap exploring the Angkor Temple Comple.

BEYOND

Beyond the temples, head out to Kampong Khleang floating village, which is in fact, a stilt house settlement of over 20,000 people where structures can tower up to ten metres above the water. For the final part of your journey, spend three nights of relaxation on Koh Rong Island, known for its sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters.

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR YOU

PHNOM PENH CITY TOUR I OUDONG MOUNTAIN I POTTERY VILLAGE I BAMBOO TRAIN I VILLAGE VISITS I BICYCLE RIDE I COOKING LESSON I TEMPLES EXPLORATION SPHARE CAMBODIAN CIRCUS I TONLE SAP LAKE VISIT I RELAXATION ON KOH RONG ISLAND


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