NAKASENDO TRAIL

Experience

NAKASENDO TRAIL

TOKYO I NARAI I KISO-FUKUSHIMA I TSUMAGO I NARA I YOSHINO I MOUNT KOY I KYOTO

WHEN TO GO

MARCH – MAY

IDEAL LENGTH

12 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

11 HOURS 5 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

8


On this 12 day small group tour, discover one of Japan’s ancient highways – the Nakasendo Trail. Linking Kyoto to Tokyo during Japan’s feudal period, it was the ‘road through the mountains’ traveled by feudal lords and their retinues, samurai, merchants, and travelers.

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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.

THE JOURNEY

The journey begins in Tokyo, known as Edo during Japan’s period of rule by the Shoguns and ends in the city of Kyoto. Spend four days walking along the Nakasendo – by day walk along the ancient route as it passes through beautifully-preserved villages along an easy path. By evening, stay in traditional country inns and enjoy the regional cuisine prepared from the freshest ingredients, soak in natural hot springs and appreciate the warm hospitality of the hosts. Other hightlights include the cultural treasures of Nara, the mountaintop village of Yoshino and the sacred Mount Koya.

YOUR PACE OPTION

You can also walk the loveliest sections of the Nakasendo Trail on a 5 day self-guided walking tour. It is a variation of this fast paced hiking trail for those that want to slow it down. Highlights include walking over the Magome Pass to Tsumago, one of the best-preserved and most evocative of the Nakasendo post-towns, whilst Tsumago to Nojiri offers a beautiful and varied hike. The main difference being a minimal 5 out of 8 destinations are being explored in more detail.


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SRI LANK’S SECRET SIDE

Experience

SRI LANK’S SECRET SIDE

NEGOMBO I ANURADHAPURA I TRINCOMALEE I PASIKUDA I GAL OYA I KANDY I COLOMBO

WHEN TO GO

NOVEMBER – MAY

IDEAL LENGTH

15 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

15 HOURS 45 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

7


Offering the perfect mix of culture and relaxation, Sri Lanka’s Secret Side explores not only historical cities but also the lesser visited east coast of Sri Lanka. Still a little raw around the edges, the east coast is one of Sri Lanka’s upcoming areas with beautiful beaches and warm waters. It is only fair to dedicate some of your time to experiencing these caramel coloured sands,swaying palms and have the sea breeze in your hair as you watch the sun set behind the horizon.

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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.

NATURE

Journey from Negombo to Anuradhapura and travel around the ancient citadel by bike to discover the ruins of its monastic complex all whilst learning about the lives of its inhabitants. Climb the famed Sigiriya Rock Fortress ahead of a jeep safari in Minneriya National Park which allows you to observe nature and its diversity from the comfort of your seat.

BEACH

As you head east to Trincomalee and Pasikuda, the days and nights are spent at leisure for you to take in the tranquil atmosphere and relax. The beaches of Trincomalee –mainly Nilaveli and Marble Bay offer white soft sandy beaches that stretch for miles whilst Pasikuda is known to have one of the longest stretches of shallow coastline in the world. At select times its possible for people to walk at least half a kilometre into the sea at certain points due to the water being only a few inches deep, with the current relatively weak compared to the rest of Sri Lanka’s coastline. 

CULTURE

Soak yourself in local culture as you visit Gal Oya, one of Sri Lanka’s most remote and least visited wilderness areas – here a walk in the forest with the ‘Veddas’, the forest dwelling indigenous community of Gal Oya, offers an insight as to how they live off the land and be at one with nature.Travel inland to Kandy and discover sacred spaces and listen to intriguing tales of the city before heading to Colombo for your last night.

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR YOU

BIKE RIDE IN ANURADHAPURA I SIGIRIYA ROCK FORTRESS EXPLORATION I JEEP SAFARI I A WALK WITH AN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITYBOAT RIDE I KANDY CITY TOUR I CULTURAL COLOMBO TOUR


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GEOFFREY BAWA: AN ISLAND VISIONARY

Experience

GEOFFREY BAWA: AN ISLAND VISIONARY

NEGOMBO I DAMBULLA I KANDY I COLOMBO I BENTOTA I GALLE I TANGALLE

WHEN TO GO

NOVEMBER – MAY

IDEAL LENGTH

13 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

15 HOURS 45 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

7


This tour draws pure inspiration from the late, great and talented Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa. Sri Lanka is often visited for its dreamy beaches and balmy weather, but it also holds a strong modern design and architectural history that’s often overlooked. Bawa helped give Sri Lanka an individual and sophisticated sense of style and produced sustainable architecture long before it became a fashionable trend. On this exciting and stirring itinerary, not only will you visit the places he lived in, designed and drew inspiration from but you will also stay in some of these places. 

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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.

ARTIST

Start your Bawa journey in Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle where you will visit such sights as Dambulla, Anuradhapura and Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Granted World Heritage status by UNESCO, the rock fortress is possibly one of Sri Lanka’s most extraordinary and mesmerising sights. From Dambulla to Kandy, explore this historical and cultural city. As Sri Lanka’s artistic heart, here you will meet two of the island’s best and most captivating artists.

ART & FOOD

Next, head to the capital city of Colombo and visit Geoffrey Bawa’s home and architectural studio, now transformed into Colombo’s most loved restaurant, The Gallery Café. Whilst Bawa’s office has been transformed into a bar, the space has been kept much as it was during Bawa’s time with an open courtyard and a reflecting pool.

COAST

Continue on to his country house estate Lunuganga, close to the beach resort of Bentota. This masterpiece was a true labour of love, a 50 year project which documented his ability to tame wild tropics and turn them into a cultivated vision. Follow the coast and explore the fort in Galle where quaint boutique stores are found within lovingly restored old houses. End your stay relaxing in the beach resort of Tangalle at ‘The Last House’, which, as the name suggests, was Bawa’s final architectural creation.

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR YOU

NEGOMBO CITY TOUR I SIGIRIYA ROCK FORTRESS I LOCAL VILLAGE TOUR I THE THREE TEMPLE LOOP TOUR I ART & PHILOSOPHY TOUR DRUMMING LESSON I COLOMBO’S CULTURE TOUR I EXPLORATION OF BAWA’S WORKS I THE LUNUGANGA ESTATE I MASK MAKING


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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.

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.

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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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.

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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.

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.

MORE

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.

MORE

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. 

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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.

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.

MORE

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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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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LAND OF ART

Experience

LAND OF ART

TOKYO I NAOSHIMA I TAKAMATSU I OSAKA I MIHO I KYOTO I HAKOME

WHEN TO GO

MARCH – MAY

IDEAL LENGTH

12 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

11 HOURS 5 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

7


Designed especially for art lovers, this 12 day tour is full of arts from the ancient days to the modern times, ranging from the conventional to avant-garde.

Explore the art scene in Tokyo including a visit to 21-21 Design Sight. Continue on to Naoshima Island where distinctive works such as the ‘yellow pumpkin’ can be admired. Visit the Shikokumura Art Village in Takamatsu before discovering the museums of Osaka. Enjoy a day discovering Miho and the Miho Museum, ahead of taking in the arts of Kyoto. Enjoy the open-air museum in Hakone and some last-minute sights back in Tokyo.

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.

DESIGN

Experience the vibrant city of Tokyo before immersing yourself in a day of design. Hit 21-21 Design Sight, a design museum created by architect Tadao Ando and fashion designer Issey Miyake, Senso-ji, the oldest temple in Tokyo, Nakamise Shopping street and enjoy the view of the Tokyo Skytree from Azuma Bridge. In the afternoon visit the National Museum of Western Art in Ueno Park designed by Le Corbusier housing over 5,500 works.

ISLAND

Go by the exciting bullet train to Naoshima Island by local train and ferry. Located in the Seto Inland Sea the relaxed island is dedicated to art with many installations, museums and works of modern art. Explore Naoshima Island before visiting the intersting Art house Project where artists have turned empty houses scattered about residential areas into works of art. Continue to Chichu Art Museum sympathetically constructed to blend into the landscape and containing artworks by Claude Monet, James Turrell, and Walter De Maria. Also see the Ando Museum also designed by Tadao Ando one of Japan’s most famous architects. Admire the Yellow Pumpkin by Yayoi Kasuma a symbol of the island.

ART VILLAGE

Depart for Takamatsu by ferry and spend the day discovering Shikoku-Mura Art Village housing over twenty buildings from around Shikoku dating from the Edo period through to the Taishō period (1600s to 1920s). Spend time in Ritsurin Koen Garden divided into a Japanese style garden in the south and western style garden in the north and set in front of wooded Mt. Shiun. It is said that the garden deserves a spot on the list of the three most beautiful gardens of Japan.

MUSEUMS

Travel to Osaka via Okayama. In Osaka your guide will take you on a private tour including The Mint Museum housed in a historical Meiji era building and the little Kamigata Ukiyo-e Museum unique for being the only permanent collection of local wood block prints from the area, many based on kabuki theatre. Osaka is known as the nation’s kitchen, ensure you sample some of the local street food this evening. Visit the stunning and unusual Miho Museum set in the forest in the mountains of Shiga Prefecture. Entry is by way of a tunnel, the entrance having been designed by architect I.M. Pei. Most of the museum is underground showcasing the private collection of the founder Mihoko Koyama containing ancient and modern works from Japan and wider Asia.

WORKSHOP

Chose between going to the Garden of Fine Art where masterpieces such as Monet’s Waterlilies have been reproduced on ceramic tiles set in striking surroundings. If you are intersted in pottery the Raku Museum is not to be missed explaining the origins of this destinctive pottery style. Kyoto International Manga Museum is part museum part library exploring the development of Manga culture and Ryukoku Buddhist Museum explores the expansion of Buddhism into Japan.

GALLERIES

Explore Hakone including Hakone Open Air Museum set in the mountains featuring sculptures and works of art by Picasso, Henry Moore, Taro Okamoto, Yasuo Mizui, Churyo Sato and many more. Continue to Okada Museum of Art in spacious galleries to view Japanese, Chinese and Korean works of art ranging from ancient times through to the present age. Finish with the Nezu Museum and its impressive gardens. Continue to the Meiji Picture Gallery where large works, a mixture of Japanese and western style painting show the events from the birth to the demise of the Meij’i Emperor.


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