FILM ROLL ACTION IN VIETNAM

Experience

FILM ROLL ACTION IN VIETNAM

HANOI I HUE I DANANG I HOI AN I SAIGON

WHEN TO GO

DECEMBER –AUGUST

IDEAL LENGTH

10 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

16 HOURS 30 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

5


Travel photography is all about being in the right place at the right time- but having the help of top photographers at the world’s most beautiful places can play a part too. This trip through Vietnams most interesting and stimulating settings is the brainchild of local photographers, who lead a unique photo tour with their local knowledge and expertise at your fingertips. There is little doubt that Vietnam is one of the World’s most photogenic countries. No matter what camera one uses, you are bound to have a least a few gems on your film roll or memory card. Carefully designed to include the very best of this remarkable country, with its breath-taking natural beauty, enticing culture and truly wonderful people, our 10-day Vietnam photography tour will be based in five different locations essentially covering the north, central and southern areas with the longer journeys being covered by two internal flights. From mountainous landscapes to snapshots of daily life, the camera sure seems to be a perfect match for Vietnam.

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.

ACTION IN HANOI

We begin our tour in the capital Hanoi. Here we will contrast the manic, action-packed streets of the city with the peaceful, tranquil beauty of the surrounding villages where we will have the opportunity to meet local people and admire the centuries old architecture. We will have time to explore with our cameras during which we will discover the labyrinthine Old Quarter and enjoy the south east Asian, French, and Chinese influences that combine to make a fascinating start to our tour. In these first few days we will also visit local ancient villages to experience the heritage of old Vietnam and its people. After a short internal flight, we will spend the middle couple of days around the elegant city Hue. Here we will get to explore the Forbidden City with their faded ancient buildings and surreal scenes. We will also experience the Cham tribe and their habitation around the sand dunes.

WHISTLE STOP HOI AN

Leaving imperial Hue, taking in years of rich history, it is time to take a train journey to Danang. One of the most-photographed landscapes in Vietnam is a picturesque perch from which to take in the East Sea and the Annamese Mountains. Next, we stay at the harbour town of Hoi An, awash with a great mix of culture and natural beauty. There is no better way to get to know a place than with some local expert help. With that in mind, we’ve organised a tip-top guide to enlighten you to the ways of the local farmers and fishermen – a personal experience that will stay with you forever with the beauty of catching it all on film. In great company, wind your way through bright green paddy fields, taking photos of incredible palmed waterways from a bamboo basket boat.

HO CHI MINH NIGHTS

Another short flight will deliver us to our favourite Ho Chi Minh City. There is plenty to photograph, the city’s historic landmarks, from the Opera House to the Notre Dame Cathedral ( a direct copy of the Parisian original), but before you dive into the heart and soul of the city, you must go to the food districts. From pork and rice pancakes to snail-based delicacies, Saigon quite literally has a lot on its plate. Discover what this thriving and exciting metropolis can offer in terms of street photography, all from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter. The bustling streets will have you exploring endless subjects for your camera.



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NINETEEN: TRAVELLING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE VIETNAM WAR

Experience

NINETEEN: TRAVELLING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE VIETNAM WAR

HANOI I HUE I DANANG I HOI AN I HO CHI MINH CITY I BA RIA

WHEN TO GO

DECEMBER –AUGUST

IDEAL LENGTH

11 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

16 HOURS 30 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

6


The Vietnam War reached its bloody crescendo 50 years ago and its veterans have marched into history’s pages. Yet this lovely, dynamic country cannot escape the conflict – it permeates the national personality as profoundly as Honda motorbikes permeate Hanoi streets. The peace forged from pain has, poignantly, created a thriving destination whose complexity owes much to conflict.

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.

ANZAC’S

Our journey takes us from Hanoi in the north to Vung Tau and Saigon in the south. Walk in the footsteps of more than 50,000 Anzac’s who served during the Vietnam War, visiting key Australian, New Zealand and American war sites while introducing you to Vietnam’s historic treasures, vibrant culture and mouth-watering cuisine.

VIETNAM’S BUZZING CAPITAL

Touchdown in Vietnam’s buzzing capital, Hanoi. The city wears its multi-layered history like a rich garment. If you are in the mood for a truly local take on this great city, ask anyone in Hanoi, and they’ll tell you the only way to slow up the pace and see the city like a local is by cyclo. After your first night in Hanoi visit the heritage-listed Hanoi Citadel, whose artefacts date from the 6th century and highlight Vietnam’s centuries long independence battle. The Military History Museum narrates Vietnam’s long march to freedom, from early colonisation and occupation to the Vietnam War. A magnificent diorama of the 1954 Battle of Dien Bien Phu underscores Vietnamese guile in defeating the French and ending the First Indochina War. Wander through the main courtyard strewn with tanks, aircraft and weaponry, whose centrepiece is a dramatic sculpture constructed from shot-down American B-52 bombers. Hoa Lo Prison Museum, also know as Maison Centrale or the Hanoi Hilton, was once a brutal prison where the French kept political prisoners and later it was home to shot down American pilots. The late US senator John Mc Cain was kept here, and he is now revered in Vietnam for his efforts in normalising relations and ending economic sanctions after the war. McCain was shot down at Ho Tay or West Lake and we visit his small memorial where a former Vietcong artillery gunner greets you. Next, on to Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body in his massive mausoleum, before wandering the grounds of Hanoi’s former Presidential Palace. “Uncle Ho” lived here until his death in 1969, eschewing the palace for a modest stilt house. He is honoured at every turn. At the Signal Arm Museum view the interesting collections of signal items that helped bring Vietnam to victory and enjoy a special walk with a veteran who was a commander of a signal platoon. Our welcome dinner is at Jimmy Pham’s KOTO (Know one, Teach One). Vietnamese-Australian Jimmy Pham came to Australia with his mother and five brothers aged eight in 1966. Hard work and opportunity meant he could return to Vietnam and open a small sandwich shop to provide employment for nine street children in 1999. KOTO has grown and operates as a hospitality training school for disadvantaged young people. The food is simply amazing. Pham’s resilience, optimism and determination symbolise the Vietnamese character, forged by hardship, inspirational, like the country.

THE PERSONAL TOUCH IN HUE

Our journey today starts with a walk around Hue’s tourist-thronged ancient Citadel, where one of the war’s bloodiest battles took place. Hue, about 70 kilometres south of the 17th Parallel, formerly the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) separating South and North Vietnam, was once the Imperial capital and remains Vietnam’s cultural and spiritual heart. The Imperial City is a walled enclosure within Hue’s Citadel, with palaces, shrines and the Forbidden Purple City, the exclusive home of the emperor, his family, eunuchs and concubines. The Battle of Hue between January and March 1968 when North Vietnamese forces launched the Tet Offensive was one of the war’s longest and bloodiest battles. Hue was almost destroyed, and more than 5000 civilians killed. Crossing the DMZ, it’s 140 kilometres over the scenic Hai Van Pass via Danang to Hoi An, with its World Heritage-listed old town famous for its tailors. The coastal city of Danang, was a major air base for US and South Vietnamese forces. Today, a fire-spurting dragon bridge loops across the Han River and beach resorts scroll along those golden sands. We make a stop at My Khe beach once nicknamed ‘China beach’ by US forces enjoying RnR before arriving in Hoi An.

THERE’S NOWHERE LIKE HOI AN

For the next three nights you will wander the streets of colourful Hoi An, sitting on the banks of the Thu Bon River, offering narrow cobblestone lanes, well-preserved architecture and distinctive local cuisine. Once a trading port for the sandalwood, spice, tea, rice, elephant tusk and rhino horn vessels that blew in on the trade winds, Hoi An is now a shopping paradise for those after silk or jewels. After Hoi An, carry onto Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. The war ended here when the North Vietnamese Army’s tank No 843 smashed the Presidential Palace gates after the last American helicopter left. You can see the tank in Hanoi’s Military History Museum. Next up, a drive to Cu Chi, 40 kilometres from Saigon. The sounds from the neighbouring rifle range, the jungle smells and the uniformed officials render Cu Chi unsettling for returning veterans. Today, orchid farms replace the trenches, foxholes and caves, while frangipani and paw paw trees line the tapioca fields and rubber plantations. You will see the gruesome spiked traps and can descend into the dark earthen tubes that harboured up to 10,000 VC troops before the Tet Offensive. They are enlarged but can be claustrophobic, and if you are even braver you can experience the VC’s tiny spider holes.

VUNG TAU

During the next few days your guide elaborates on Australia’s war. Ba Ria, once capital of Phuoc Tuy, bore the brunt of the February 1968 Tet Offensive attacks along with neighbouring Long Dien. You will be taken to Vung Tau where a large fight took place between Australian soldiers and the NVA in June 1966. We will explore the sights of Vung Tau, including Back Beach and the Peter Badcoe Club – named after an Australian VC winner killed in Vietnam and used by Australian and New Zealand soldiers on in-country leave. The area is now a public beach and houses a massive war memorial to honour its past. The following day visit Long Tan, the site of Australia’s most costly battle of the Vietnam War. Our first stop is Nui Dat, where we will explore old bunkers, helicopter pads, SAS Hill and Luscombe Airfield. We will then head to nearby Long Tan village to see the Long Tan Cross, the memorial erected by Australian troops in 1966 to remember their fallen comrades. Marvel in the panoramas of rubber plantations that flank the battleground and imagine the rich and troubled history still tangible on these grounds. The journey continues to the Horseshoe, a former Australian Fire Support Base and the Long Hai hills – a major VC base during the War. We will also visit a memorial which commemorates more than 2000 Vietnamese soldiers who were killed in this area, mostly in operations against Anzac troops.



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JAPAN’S CULINARY HERITAGE

Experience

JAPAN’S CULINARY HERITAGE

AAJI ISLAND I TOKYO I KANAZAWA I GOKAYAMA I TAKAYAMA

WHEN TO GO

MARCH – MAY

IDEAL LENGTH

11 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

11 HOURS 5 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

5


This 11 day small group tour covers Japan’s regional cuisine, the heart and soul of Japanese culture. Visit renowned locations as well as hidden rural villages and the unique culture of Awaji Island in the fabled Inland Sea, where culinary traditions have been handed down from generation to generation. Other highlights include taking to the bustling streets in Tokyo for an Izakaya, quintessential Japanese destinations for casual eating and drinking; tasting the local specialty Kaga-ryori in Kanazawa which uses the freshest local seafood and vegetables; a foraging experience in Gokayama; a multi-course kaiseki dinner in Takayama plus much more.

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.

CITY STREETS

Head out into the city’s exciting streets – your guide will advise you on the best options for food and drink. You might want to try an Izakaya restaurant. Izakaya are the quintessential Japanese destinations for casual eating and drinking – the two go hand in hand in Japan and these bars cluster around railway and subway stations. Join a post-work crowd relaxing over some of their favourite small dishes and their favourite beers, sake and shochu. Visit the local food market Oomi Ichiba, “Kanazawa citizens’ kitchen pantry”. The market has attracted residents and visitors for centuries.

HISTORY

Travel by private motorcoach from Kanazawa to Gokayama, a World Heritage Site with distinctive Gassho-zukuri farmhouses sporting triangular thatched roofs which are unique to this part of Japan. Located in a mountainous region isolated from the rest of the country for centuries, villagers still follow traditional lifestyles, gathering and preserving Sansai (wild plants) and growing their own vegetables and mushrooms. Join local plant hunter and explore the surrounding mountains and harvest seasonal wild delicacies. Visit the home of local resident Mr.Nakanishi, who grows a special variety of rice for brewing sake.

EAT

Visit nearby Shirakawago which has its own impressive collection of Gassho-zukuri houses and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. Continue onwards to Takayama nestled in the mountainous Hida region. Takayama boasts a beautifully preserved old town and a unique culture. Enjoy a multi-course Kaiseki dinner at a family-run ryokan before take a short train ride to Hida Furukawa, a beautifully-preserved old town with distinctive whitewalled storehouses retaining the atmosphere of the Edo Period. Entering one of the oldest Machiya traditional residences, a local grandmother will show the technique of cooking in a classic earth oven known as an “Okudo-san” which is rarely used in modern times. Also use traditional fireplace to grill delicious premium quality Hida Beef.

FARM

Osaka was historically known as “the Tenka no daidokoro” (the nation’s kitchen), famous not just for its Michelin starred restaurants, but particularly for its street food – takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and more – the food of the common man. For dinner, visit a hidden house in the downtown of Namba, owned by a unique sake specialty shop. Visit a small-scale producing organic farmer who left city life 10 years ago and moved to the village. Enjoy the opportunity to harvest vegetables and learn home cooking in a charming old Japanese house nearby, offering a true farm-to-table experience of preparing local dishes using vegetables grown in the area. Among the foodie experiences that have been described, there are so many treats in store.


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TAKAYAMA HERITAGE TRAIL

Experience

TAKAYAMA HERITAGE TRAIL

KYOTO I TAKAYAMA I SHIRAKAWAGO I KANAZAWA

WHEN TO GO

MARCH – MAY

IDEAL LENGTH

4 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

11 HOURS 5 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

4


On this 4 day tour, depart from Tokyo, enjoy Mt.Fuji and then head inland to visit the impressive Takayama and Kanazawa areas, both offering insight into old and traditional Japan. Travel by train to Takayama retaining a traditional touch in its beautifully preserved old town. In Shirakawago explore the picturesque thatched roofed houses and in Kanazawa, visit the Nagamachi Samurai district, the beautiful Kenrokuen Gardens and the Higashi Chaya district, with its wooden-latticed teahouses and stone-paved streets.

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.

OLD TOWN

The journey will take you through some stunning countryside during the 4 hour journey. Takayama is a city in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu Prefecture. It retains a traditional touch like few other Japanese cities, especially in its beautifully preserved old town, which has been beautifully preserved with many buildings and whole streets of houses dating from the Edo Period (1600-1868), when the city thrived as a wealthy town of merchants. The southern half of the old town, especially the Sannomachi Street, survives in a particularly pretty state with many old homes, shops, coffee houses and sake breweries, some of which have been in business for centuries.
On arrival you will meet your local guide for a walking tour to visit Yatai Kaikan Hall and on to Kusakabe Folk Museum, one of Takayama’s oldest merchant homes and then wander through Kami Sannomachi Street, still retaining much of its original atmosphere and traditional buildings.

HISTORY

Visit the Takayama Morning Market before a visit to the World Heritage Shirakawa-go where you can savour the taste of home-style cooking that can only be experienced in regions such as this. You will then continue to the Wada Residence (a traditional thatched- roof farmhouse) before moving on to Kanazawa. Your first stop will be the Nagamachi Samurai District and soak in the atmosphere of the days of the samurai in this area, where the earthen walls, waterways, and stone paths remain as they were when samurai of the Kaga domain resided here. Moving on you will visit what is justifiably one of Japan’s three most beautiful landscape gardens, Kenrouku-en Gardens. This spacious garden used to be the outer garden of the Kanazawa Castle and offers amazing seasonal views all year round.

TEAHOUSE

Continuing on you will visit the Higashi Chaya district, with its wooden-latticed exteriors of teahouses lining both sides of the stone-paved street, where something from the Edo period still lingers in the air. This area is an Important Traditional Building Preservation District. After a stop at the Hakuza (gold leaf shop) you will head to Kanazawa Station where you will board you high speed train taking you to Tokyo.


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JAPAN’S GOLDEN ROUTE

Experience

JAPAN’S GOLDEN ROUTE

TOKYO I HAKONE I MT. FUJI I TAKAYAMA I KANAZAWA I KYOTO I HIROSHIMA I OSAKA

WHEN TO GO

MARCH – MAY

IDEAL LENGTH

9 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

11 HOURS 5 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

3


This history, cultural and scenic 9 day tour of Japan covers key cities, including visits to Japans renowned Mt.Fuji and Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome. Depart from Tokyo and enjoy city sights before heading to Nikko and the striking Kegon Falls. Explore Mt.Fuji and cruise along Lake Ashi with a night spent in Hakone. Head to Nara and discover Todaiji Temple ahead of exploring Kyoto and its key attractions. Enjoy a day spent exploring Hiroshima and the island of Miyajima – pay respects at Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park and Museum.

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.

TEAHOUSE

Head to Kamakura. Highlights include a matcha green tea ceremony in a 400-year-old teahouse, Hokokuji Temple and its beautiful bamboo grove, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Komachidor and the Great Buddha which stands on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple. You will also visit Enoshima, a getaway island popular for its cool ocean breezes.

MOUNTAIN

Depart Tokyo, bound for the stunning Mt.Fuji. Gain an overview of the area and take in the scenic views (weather permitting). Enjoy a boat ride on Lake Ashi and the Mt. Komagatake Ropeway. Set for Takayama, a city in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu Prefecture. It retains a traditional touch like few other Japanese cities, especially in its beautifully preserved old town.

HISTORY

Explore the key sights of Kanazawa. The city boasts many historical attractions such as restored residences and districts. Kyoto is blessed with many beautiful attractions – explore Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji Temple, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Heian Jingu Shrine, Sanjusangendo Temple and Kiyomizudera Temple.


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THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH

Experience

THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH

NEGOMBO I ANURADHAPURA I DAMBULLA I JAFFNA I TRINCOMALEE I KANDY I NUWARA ELIYA I ELLA I YALA I GALLE I BENTOTA I COLOMBO

WHEN TO GO

NOVEMBER – MAY

IDEAL LENGTH

21 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

15 HOURS 45 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

12


The Greatest Show on Earth tour explores this bountiful and spirited nation based on Active Asia’s in house Sri Lankan enthusiast and Creative Director. A one-off journey covering all the must-see spots, Valentina shares with you the places,experiences and people she fell in love with. 

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.

WILDLIFE & HISTORY

Begin your journey in Negombo,a fishing village with old-world charm before heading to Anaradhapura. Once serving as Sri Lanka’s capital, the city is home to a large collection of well-preserved architectural achievements. Next turn your focus to wildlife, with jeep safaris in both Wilpattu and Minneriya National Parks. Boasting a treasure trove of historical monuments, continue on to Dambulla. Visit the famed Sigiriya Rock Fortress and the ruins of Polonnaruwa. Once a medieval capital, this amazing citadel boasts historic archaeological relics. 

TEA PLANTATIONS

Travel north to Jaffna. Lying close to India, the city presents a largely Indian influence and offers a different perspective from the rest of the country. Then head east to Trincomalee, recognised for its natural harbour and an abundance of water related activities. Offering an urban buzz, head inland to Kandy. Bordered by beautiful hills and countryside, explore the city before travelling to Nuwara Eliya, a quaint town with colonial English charm. Surrounded by tea plantations, with tea pluckers working the slopes,the area affords a delightful landscape, as does a trek through the Horton Plains National Park where high-altitude grasslands border dramatically plunging cliffs

THE EPIC TRAIN RIDE

Take to the train as you journey into Ella – the track snakes along the edge of the mountains overlooking breath-taking valleys of rolling tea plantations and small villages. Considered the most famous national park in Sri Lanka, head to Yala National Park for a jeep safari in search of leopards, elephants, sloth bears plus more. Continuing along the southern coastline, a stay in Galle rewards you with a unique fusion of European and Arabic charm. Nearing the end of your journey, Bentota offers a relaxing beach stay. Small and buzzing with a friendly local atmosphere, one can spend the days languidly walking the streets,partaking in water adventures or merely enjoying the sunshine. Colombo is your final stop. This vibrant capital city offers a whirl of commotion and the perfect spot to reflect on your adventures.

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR YOU

NEGOMBO LOCAL MARKET I RUINS OF ANURADHAPURA I JEEP SAFARIS IN WILPATTU, MINNERIYA, YALA AND UDAWALAWE NATIONAL PARKS SIGIRIYA ROCK FORTRESS EXPLORATION I POLONNARUWA CITADEL I JAFFNA CITY TOUR I DELFT ISLAND VISIT I TRINCOMALEE CITY TOUR WALKING TOUR OF KANDY I TEA PLANTATION VISIT I SCENIC TRAIN JOURNEY TO ELLA I GUIDED TOUR OF GALLE FORT RELAXATION IN BENTOTA I COLOMBO STREET FOOD TOUR


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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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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

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


OTHER EXPERIENCES YOU MAY LIKE


Didn’t see anything for you? No worries. Let us know what your dream trip is and we’ll help you create it.