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The Original Adventure Travel Company Since 1969

Asia

Scheduled Small Group Adventures, Private Itineraries & Custom Journeys

Mountain Travel Sobek NEW Another MTS Milestone! Be part of the first ever US-led trip to Chad. See page 27.

2016


Explore Asia with MTS Asia is a feast for the senses, every corner a world unto its own. There’s nothing like the peaceful

Family Travel..........................................4–5

hum of Buddhist monks chanting from age-old monasteries, the sight of Everest rising from the

Adventure Weeks......................................6

clouds, the exotic scents of a spice market in Rajasthan, the howling winds along the ancient Silk

Iran..............................................................7

Road, or the mystical beauty of Ha Long Bay. MTS has spent 45 years exploring Asia and top trips

Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.................. 8–9

for 2016 include a journey through Iran in Treasures of Persia, and an incredible new trek through

Mongolia..................................................10

the Sacred Lakes & Mountains of Northern Japan. At MTS, we believe that a trip to Asia is also a

China................................................... 11–13

journey within—so join us on one of our life-changing adventures in this enchanted land.

Japan....................................................14–15

The Asia Experts

Photos on this spread ©Corinne Edwards, Steve Estvanik, Scott Stallard, MTS Photo File

Table of Contents

Laos.................................................... 16–17 Cambodia................................................. 17

Since 1969, we’ve earned our place as a leader in adventure travel in Asia. We’ve solidified long-term

Vietnam.................................................... 17

relationships with the best local guides, who light a path through languages and cultures—helping

Myanmar............................................ 18–19

us enjoy genuine interactions with locals. We explore every destination firsthand and work closely

Nepal................................................. 20–22

with select local outfitters, who have excellent on-the-ground knowledge, ensuring that each journey

Tibet..........................................................23

is not only carefully planned but skillfully delivered. Our trips are also fully supported 24/7 by a

Bhutan................................................24–25

trusted team of in-house experts.

Indonesia........................................... 26–27

Nepal Update Since the earthquake in Nepal in April, 2015, we’ve continued to raise funds with the generous support of our community of travelers. To date, we’ve raised $100,000 and are delivering all of this aid directly to those in need. The contributions are enabling our guides, trekking staff, and their communities to rebuild their homes—from repairing cracked walls to replacing roofs, and helping

North Korea.............................................28 Borneo......................................................29 India..........................................................30 Custom Travel in Asia............................. 31 What You Need to Know.................. 32–33

to repair other much-needed infrastructure, including schools such as the Shree Kshamawati Higher Secondary School. We’re also happy to report that all of our Nepal trips are still running, including Everest Base Camp Trek, Everest Lodge to Lodge, Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, and Annapurna Lodge to Lodge.

MTS is a Preferred Travel Outfitter For


Family Travel Family adventure travel is on the rise and even the most seasoned trip organizers know that getting everyone to agree on the next big adventure is tough! At MTS, we send families across the world to share meaningful experiences in the world’s most incredible places, and we have 10 trips in Asia that are perfect for young and old alike. These adventures, good for kids aged 7 and up, include Borneo, Japan, Indonesia, Laos and Mongolia—among many more countries. So let MTS customize your trip and take care of the logistics, so you can spend less time arranging and more time enjoying your magical family adventure. • Special family discounts. Good news, we’re giving $500 off selected departures for kids under 18 traveling with their families in Asia. Call us for more details! • Amazing wildlife encounters. Get up close to nature in the wild,

In Asia

Top Trips for Kids • Wild Borneo. Discover an incredible array of rare and endangered wildlife, including the Bornean orangutan. Experience an epic safari adventure on the jungle-lined Kinabatangan River and learn about virgin rainforests as you take beautiful canopy walks in the Danum Valley. • East Indonesia’s Volcanoes, Villages & Dragons. Explore an incredible volcanic landscape and spot otherworldly wildlife, including the notorious Komodo dragon! Enjoy a two-day sailing trip through the islands, with opportunities to snorkel, plus a homestay in a traditional village. • Walking Japan. Beginning in the old imperial city of Kyoto and

Julie McCormack, Director of Asia Programs

ending in modern Tokyo, you’ll walk in the footsteps of Shoguns

Julie’s passion for adventure travel started when her parents took her

from orangutans in Borneo and elephants in India to camels in

as you follow ancient trade routes with your local guides. See

trekking in the Everest region of Nepal when she was 11. Since then, she

Mongolia

Zen temples, soak in hot springs, explore misty forests and take

has traveled the world and has spent time living in Hong Kong, Taiwan,

a thrilling ride on the bullet train!

and Indonesia. Julie has been designing amazing adventure programs

• Active adventures. Snorkel in Indonesia, raft in Nepal, take a

for MTS for over a decade and regularly travels across the planet with

hot-air balloon ride over Bagan, boat along the Mekong River, trek through dense jungles, and see Mount Everest! • Go back in time. Spur a love of history with visits to the Terra Cotta Warriors, The Great Wall of China, Angkor Wat, and an extraordinary variety of ancient temples in this land of living museums.

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The Asia Expert

WWW.MTSOBEK.COM | 1-888-687-6235

Other Great Trips for Families Hidden Laos • Treasures of Indochine • Indonesia’s Islands & Culture • Hidden China • Sacred Lakes & Mountains of Northern Japan • Everest Lodge to Lodge • Annapurna Lodge to Lodge • Mongolia’s Horses, Camels & Nomads Photos on this spread ©Judy Bellah, Corinne Edwards, Kjersti Jorgensen, Julie McCormack, MTS Photo File

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

her family, shown above. During a year spent in Chengdu, China, with her husband and children (then aged 9 and 7), the family explored Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand and Laos— opening up a world of wonders for the kids. Julie’s expert knowledge of family travel in Asia is unsurpassed, and she is committed to helping families create an

“Our family trip to Nepal was an incredible lifetime experience with a wonderful MTS team, including Sanjeev, Prem, Mangal and many others along the way. The helicopter trip back turned out to be a ‘cool’ experience

for the kids!”

Naren & Vinita Gupta | Woodside, California

ultimate trip of a lifetime. Contact Julie today at julie@mtsobek.com.

FOR DETAILS, ITINERARIES, AND MORE VISIT WWW.MTSOBEK.COM

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ASIA Tabriz

Zanjan

IR AN

TEHRAN

Isfahan Yazd Shiraz Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Cultural touring Trip Level Easy to Moderate Lodging Hotels 15-Day Trip Departs May, Sep Land Cost From $6,595

NEW PROGRAM

Adventure Weeks

IRAN

Treasures of Persia Photo ©Robert Findlay

Authentic Journeys in a Week or Less

Laos & Cambodia (7 Days)

Seeking adventure but short on time? We’re excited to announce

Discover long-forgotten cities and lush river valleys. Visit

our new series of shorter trips that can be done in 7 days or less!

the mystical ruins at Angkor Wat and the ancient Lao capital

More than just the highlights, these carefully crafted escapes

of Luang Prabang, and enjoy genuine local encounters.

combine classic sites with cultural and off-the-beaten-path

Myanmar: Discovering Burma (7 Days)

adventure, giving you a real MTS experience. As we like to say,

Travel to the heart of remote Burma and explore age-old

you can fit your dream into your life!

Chin villages in a land of lush plateaus and misty peaks. See

Hidden China (6 Days)

Bagan’s 2,000 ancient temples and absorb the serenity of this

Hike on the Gubeikou and Jinshanling portions of the legendary

breathtaking landscape.

Great Wall, bamboo raft through a surreal karst landscape, and

Foothills of Nepal (6 Days)

and history. Starting and ending in Tehran, we’ll explore the cities

unwind in special mountain retreats.

The beauty of the Himalayas presents us with one of nature’s

of Shiraz, Yazd, and Isfahan, where you’ll learn about the country’s

Essential Bhutan (7 Days)

finest backdrops as we explore the villages of the Kathmandu

rich, textured past while visiting ancient ruins, palaces, mosques,

Visit ancient monasteries, hike to the fabled Tiger’s Nest,

Valley on this cultural tour.

and world-class museums. With the knowledge and experience of

and explore the stunning landscape and rich culture of this pristine kingdom.

Adventure

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For thousands of years before it was known as the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world called this land of enchantment “Persia.” The warmth of the Persian people is legendary, and visitors are considered a gift. Home to some of the world’s most renowned and bestpreserved archaeological sites, Iran is a veritable treasure trove of art

There are over 30 new MTS Adventure Week journeys in Asia and around the world—to learn about them all, click here!

MTS 6

• Bask in legendary Persian hospitality and the warmth of its people through the personal relationships of our guide • Marvel at the Crown Jewels Museum, with its mindboggling variety, located in Iran’s Central Bank • Enjoy three MTS exclusives: the only shrine shared by both Judaism and Islam, Saint Stephanos Monastery, and Soltaniyeh

Week

our local guide (who has the deep local connections that come with leading trips here for over 20 years!), you’ll be one of the few lucky travelers to discover this exotic and unfamiliar destination. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code IRN in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Explore Tehran’s unparalleled Carpet Museum. Day 2: Visit the old city gates before heading to Iran’s National Museum. Day 3: See the ruins of the Arg-e Alishah Mosque and the celebrated Saint Stephanos Monastery in Tabriz. Day 4: We’ll explore the volcanic village of Kandovan, then drive through the cities of eastern Azerbaijan on the way to Zanjan. Day 5: Our day begins touring the 14th-century Soltaniyeh and the mausoleum of Shazde-Hussain. Board an afternoon flight to Shiraz. Day 6: Visit Shiraz’s magnificent Eram Garden, the tomb of Hafiz, the old city, and its colorful bazaar. Day 7: Travel to Persepolis, exploring its palaces, halls, and tombs, as well as Naqsh-e-Rostam. Day 8: Today we’ll drive to Yazd, visiting the ancient gardens of Pasargadae and stopping at the Grand Mosque of Abarqu.

Photo ©Ugurhan Betin

Day 9: We’ll see Yazd’s “Tower of Silence,” Mirchakhmaq Square, the prison of Alexander the Great, and the 12-Imam Mosque. Day 10: Walk around Isfahan and visit the city’s ancient citadel, a Seljuk mosque, and a Safavid house. Day 11: Tour Isfahan by foot, taking in Vank Cathedral, Chehel-Sotoun Palace, and a carpet show. Day 12: Continue touring Isfahan, including the Hasht Behesht Palace, Naqshe-Jahan Square, and Sheikh Lotfollah, the first women’s mosque. Day 13: En route back to Tehran we’ll see a Dervish house, a Sufi tomb, and a ceramic workshop, and explore the village of Abyaneh. This afternoon we’ll go to the tomb of Imam Khomeini. Day 14: Tour Sa’dabad Palace and visit Reza Abbasi Museum. Day 15: Carry the warmth of Persian hospitality with you on your flight home!

FOR DETAILS, ITINERARIES, AND MORE VISIT WWW.MTSOBEK.COM

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EUROPE

ASIA

ASIA

UZBEKISTAN Dashoguz Khiva

TUR K MENISTAN

Tashkent

Bukhara Ashgabat

Samarkand Mary

Special Feature

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Notes from the Silk Road

Activities Cultural touring Trip Level Easy to Moderate Lodging Hotels 12-Day Trip Departs May, Sep Land Cost From $5,095

TURKMENISTAN, UZBEKISTAN

The Great Silk Road Adventure • Travel through the heart of one of world’s great cultural crossroads • Explore the mosques, domed bazaars, and caravansaries of UNESCO-listed Bukhara, illustrating 1,000 years of history • Visit the marbled city of Ashgabat and wander its Sunday bazaar, where you can buy anything from carpets to camels! On this extraordinary East-meets-West journey, you’ll experience the best of both worlds in Central Asia’s independent republics— Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan—and delight in the natural beauty of the region’s immense deserts and rich cultural heritage. Traveling through the heart of the northern Silk Road route, you’ll visit cities once ruled by some of the history’s legendary conquerors, from Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan to Tamarlane. You’ll explore some of region’s most stunning ancient and modern cities, including Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Turkmenabat, Merv, Ashgabat and Khiva. Alongside your expert guide, you’ll spend your days steeped in culture and history as you visit bustling bazaars; explore mosques, mausoleums and palaces; take in local folk performances; and sample traditional regional cuisine. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code CEN in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Photos ©Andrei & Irina Shishov

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Meet your guide and transfer to the hotel and unwind. Tonight we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and orientation. Day 2: After breakfast we’ll drive to Samarkand, stopping for a picnic near the legendary gate of Tamerlane. Day 3: Today we’ll enjoy a guided visit of Samarkand with visits to Guri Emir, Registan Square, Shah-i-Zinda, Bibi Khanum, and a traditional spice market. Day 4: Transfer to Shakhrisabz where we’ll visit the birthplace of Tamerlane. We’ll then head to Bukhara to browse its famous crafts. Day 5: By foot we’ll explore the bustling old quarter of Bukhara and its historic buildings, see a cooking demonstration, and enjoy a folklore performance tonight. Day 6: This morning we’ll set out for Turkmenistan, stopping to visit old Merv, once the biggest city in Central Asia, before ending the day in Mary.

Photo ©Corinne Edwards

Day 7: Fly to Ashgabat on the southern edge of the Kara-Kum desert. We’ll visit the ruins of Nissa, tour the city, and shop in the famous Sunday bazaar. Day 8: Ashgabat offers another day of discovery as we visit old Nissa, Turkmenbashynyn Ruhy Metjidi, and the Sanctuary of Parthian Kings. Day 9: We’ll fly to Dashoguz, then transfer to Koneurgench, the ancient capital of the Khwarezm-Shahs. Our journey returns to Uzbekistan and then Khiva. Day 10: On a walking tour of old Khiva we’ll visit fortress, mosques, madrassas, and minarets. Enjoy dinner hosted by a local family and then a return flight to Tashkent. Day 11: After breakfast we’ll explore both old and new Tashkent. Our trip concludes with a farewell dinner and a cultural show. Day 12: We’ll say goodbye to our traveling companions and head to the airport for flights home.

Irina & Andrei Shishov joined us in 2015 for our exhilarating tour of Central Asia, traveling through Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan along the fabled Great Silk Road. We spoke to them about their journey and what made their experience so special:

memorable tour by the manager—an amazing person who is also a

Why did you chose the trip and what were your expectations of the

Bukhara and Khiva are a tie. They both retain a lot of local color,

Great Silk Road before you went?

and are very pleasant but in different ways. Bukhara has traces of

We had been fascinated by the history of the great cities of Samarkand

really old, deep culture, while Khiva still looks like the wild, desert,

and Bukhara since learning about their history as children, but weren’t

slave-trading fortress that it was for centuries. They could film a

sure how easy it would be to arrange travel in Central Asia. With MTS

Game of Thrones episode there! Samarkand is also beautiful, but

taking care of logistics, the trip was surprisingly easy.

larger and more touristy.

How did MTS help your dream trip come to life?

Did you buy anything interesting?

In Central Asia you really need to have guides and MTS works with

Uzbekistan has many really great artisans, and both Samarkand’s

excellent country guides, who in turn hire the best local guides, which

Registan and Bukhara’s old city have excellent specialty shops where

makes a huge difference. Bava (Babageldi Charyyev), our country

you can buy ceramics, embroidered fabrics, cutlery, etc. One of the

guide in Turkmenistan, was one of the most remarkable people we’ve

highlights was stopping at the Gijduvan “museum of ceramics” on

met anywhere in the world. In fact, guides were such a big part of this

the way to Bukhara. We got a lot of things and needed to buy an

trip for us that we really would love to go back just to see them again.

extra bag on the last day in Tashkent to pack it all! Local guides are

What was your top trip highlight? The beauty of this tour is that each place has its unique attractions.

doctor with Medicins Sans Frontieres. The silk carpets take one to two years to weave, so you need to spend time choosing the right one! Where was your favorite place to stay?

delighted to take you to great local shops, beyond the main bazaars, where pieces are hand-made and prices are unbelievable.

Turkmenistan offers great archeology (and certainly interesting if

What do you tell your friends about your trip through Central Asia?

totally garish and bizarre modern Ashgabat), Uzbekistan’s three

We tell our friends that Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are surprisingly

main historical sites are all great in their own ways. Walking through

comfortable, generally welcoming places that are safe and relatively

Khiva, sunset over the ruins of Merv, first look inside Samarkand’s

easy to visit (except for border crossings, but these are manageable,

grand mosques—it’s hard to pick one thing.

especially with experienced guides). They have some of the greatest

What was your most unexpected moment? Visiting the silk carpet factory in Samarkand was a delightful

historical sites in the world, and very beautiful and unique cities. The guides go out of their way to make you feel at home!

extra that we arranged with the local guide. We were given a very 8

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Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

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EUROPE

ASIA

Khustain Nuuru National Park Karakorum Ongii Khiid

ASIA

Terelj National Park

Ürümqi Kashgar Kuqa

ULAANBAATAR Hotan

MONGOLIA

Turpan BEIJING Dunhuang

CHINA

Gobi Desert Dalanzadgad

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Hiking, cultural encounters, camel rides

Activities Hiking, cultural encounters, camel rides

Trip Level Moderate

Trip Level Moderate

Lodging Hotels, lodges, gers

Lodging Hotels, one night desert camping, homestay

14-Day Trip Departs Jul, Aug

16-Day Trip Departs Jun, Sep

Land Cost From $5,495

MONGOLIA

Horses, Camels and Nomads • Walk among one of the last remaining nomadic horse cultures in the world, where “man and horse share the same soul” • Witness Mongolia’s famous Naadam Festival featuring archery, wrestling, and horse racing • Experience the overwhelming solitude of true big sky country, with eagles soaring overhead in blue skies that stretch beyond the horizon While once a pivotal point on the ancient Silk Road, Mongolia has managed to remain rather unspoiled by Western tourism. As such, travelers here get to enjoy genuine encounters with the locals. Outside of cities, little has changed over the centuries: Horses are integral to the nomadic culture, shamanic traditions endure, and Buddhist monasteries remain the heartbeat of spiritual tradition. On this fabulous adventure you’ll see legendary places like the Gobi Desert and Genghis Khan’s capital of Karakorum. You’ll hike, ride horses and camels through magical landscapes, attend the famous Naadam Festival, overnight in gers, and learn how to make regional dishes. Tapping into your inner nomad will leave you feeling both free and authentically connected. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code MNG in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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WWW.MTSOBEK.COM | 1-888-687-6235

Land Cost From $4,795

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS

Photo ©Bigstock

CHINA

Day 1: Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. You’ll meet your guide and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free, to rest or explore.

Day 8: Take an optional sunrise hike up the dunes. After breakfast we’ll meet a camel breeder’s family and ride camels along the dunes.

Day 2: We’ll kick off our adventure with a guided tour of the “world’s coldest capital.” Enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 9: We’ll spend the day hiking at the famous “flaming cliffs” of Bayanzag, known for its fossil beds.

Day 3: After seeing the Buddhist monastery of Gandan Khiid, we’ll visit Khustain Nuruu National Park to learn about the endangered Przewalski’s horse. Overnight in a ger. Day 4: On the way to Karakorum, Genghis Khan’s impressive capital, we’ll stop to visit a local family for the Mongolian version of tea and donuts. Day 5: Today we’ll take part in the exciting regional Naadam Festival for horse racing, wrestling, and archery. Day 6: Visit Ongi Khiid Monastery, one of 17th-century Mongolia’s largest Buddhist compounds. Day 7: We’ll hike the green Eagle Valley Canyon and then visit the “singing” sand dunes of Khongor Els.

Day 10: Take an early morning flight to Ulaanbaatar. We’ll then drive to Terelj National Park for a hike. Day 11: We’ll climb the stairs of the Chinggis Khaan statue before driving to Tuul Riverside Lodge for lunch and an afternoon archery demo. Day 12: Riding on horseback, we’ll visit a local family, and later enjoy a traditional barbecue of mutton and vegetables.

Exploring Xinjiang’s Ancient Cities • Immerse yourself in the epic history and rich cultural tapestry of China’s ancient Silk Road on this inspirational adventure • Step into China’s “New Frontier” and get a genuine insider perspective from local expert guides • Ride camels, enjoy a family homestay, and camp overnight in the immense Taklamakan Desert—a rare opportunity and MTS exclusive! Few places stir the imagination like the Silk Road, that legendary route that allowed trade to flourish and civilizations to mingle. Decipher the mysteries of this ancient crossroads on a one-of-a-kind journey to China’s remote Western frontier. As you explore timeless villages, tour artisan workshops, and stay overnight with local families, you’ll dive deep into a diverse culture where 13 different ethnicities keep their age-old traditions alive. You’ll see the famous

Day 13: A hike through forests and meadows brings us to Tsetse Gun. After our picnic we’ll descend to the monastery of Manzushir.

1000 Buddha Caves in Kizil and the towering dunes of Ming Sha

Day 14: Bid your companions farewell and transfer to the airport for flights home.

way of life as only MTS can provide it.

Shan. You’ll ride camels in the great Taklamakan Desert and camp beneath the sky. And you’ll get a rare look at a vanishing

FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code CXJ in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Beijing and take a complimentary shuttle to the hotel. Day 2: Fly from Beijing to Dunhuang and sightsee at Mogao Caves, China’s best-preserved Buddhist caves. Dine at Dunhuang’s vibrant night market. Day 3: Travel to Crescent Moon Lake, nestled amid the sand dunes of Ming Sha Shan. Catch an overnight sleeper train to Turpan. Day 4: Visit Turpan’s famous Karez irrigation system, and marvel at the ancient Han Dynasty city of Yargul. Day 5: Discover 7th-century Idkut, with its ancient Buddhist monastery and Astana Tombs. Then drive to Tuyuk Village, the oldest known Uyghur town, and overnight with local families—a special experience. Day 6: Head to Urumqi and fly to the Silk Road city of Kuqa. Have tea with a Uyghur family to learn about their way of life before exploring the old town. Day 7: Hike in beautiful Kuqa Grand Canyon before driving to the 11thcentury 1,000 Buddha Caves at Kizil.

Photo ©Michele Burgess

Days 8–9: Cross the mysterious Taklamakan Desert and arrive in the oasis town of Hotan in the late afternoon. Head back to the majestic Taklamakan Desert in the morning and enjoy camel riding, hiking, and an exclusive night of desert camping! Day 10: Awake to a glorious sunrise before returning to Hotan. See locals hand-weave carpets, as they’ve done for centuries, on an afternoon tour. Day 11: Drive to Yarkent on the Southern Silk Road and explore Amanisahan Tomb, resting place of the Queen of the Yarkent Kingdom. Day 12: Journey from Yarkent to Kashgar, stopping in Yinggisar to see expert knife makers at work. Days 13–14: Start the day at Kashgar’s famous Sunday bazaar before visiting the Apak Hoja Tomb. The next day, get off the beaten path at stunning Karakul Lake and hike to Subash Village before returning to Kashgar. Day 15–16: Take an early flight to Beijing for a leisurely overnight stay, and bid farewell the next morning.

FOR DETAILS, ITINERARIES, AND MORE VISIT WWW.MTSOBEK.COM

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EUROPE

ASIA

ASIA

BEIJING

from Beijing

to Beijing

CHINA

Guiyang Kaili Longsheng Guilin

CHINA

Yangshuo

Guilin Yangshuo Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Hiking, cultural touring

Activities Hiking, biking, cultural touring

Trip Level Moderate Lodging Hotels, lodges, homestays 11-Day Trip Departs May, Jun, Aug Land Cost From $3,795

CHINA

Real China: Villages of the Southwest • This active journey includes hiking among magical landscapes and biking near charming Yangshuo • Discover the cultures and crafts of southwest China’s rural villages, designed for those who want to experience the seldom-seen, authentic traditional China • Immerse yourself in the culture with two overnight stays with local families Southwest China’s provinces of Guizhou and Guangxi are alive with vibrant villages and diverse people who continue to embrace a traditional, bucolic way of life. Traversing along misty mountains, green valleys, bamboo groves, and terraced rice paddies, we’ll enjoy hiking and biking while engaging in genuine, personal encounters with the locals—the kind of quality experience you can only get with MTS! Two families welcome you overnight in their homes, including a night with the Baisha Miao people, where villagers still live according to the customs and dress code of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Come be a student of this unforgettable region and get to know all of the different landscapes and cultures that contribute to its diversity and texture. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code CHI in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com 12

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Trip Level Moderate Lodging Boutique hotels

Program Director’s Trip Join Julie McCormack, Director of Asia Programs, on a special departure of Real China: Villages of the Southwest. Call 1-888-MTSOBEK for details.

Day 2: Today we’ll drive to Kaili. We’ll stop at Shidong to hike the rice paddies to Xiaohe, a village with enchanting wooden houses. Day 3: We’ll visit several ethnic villages today—Man Dong, Shi Qiao, Chong’an, and Kaili—meet the people, learn more about their folk arts, and see their way of life. Day 4: Hike through rice paddies and rolling hills to Xijiang. Later we’ll meet our host families for the night in Paika, where we’ll learn how to make and play traditional Lusheng pipes. Day 5: Enjoy a long hike from Datang to Taojiang today, exploring Mount Leigong’s flora and fauna along the way. Overnight in Rongjiang. Day 6: Take a morning transfer to Congjiang to visit the Baisha Miao people, who still retain historic dress codes. We’ll hike through picturesque villages leading to Zhaoxing.

CHINA | ADVENTURE WEEK Day 7: The day begins with a visit to Chengyang Qiao’s covered bridge. After lunch at Sanjiang we’ll see Longsheng’s stunning rice terraces. Day 8: Enjoy a charming hike through rice paddies, following the trails used by the farmers to connect villages of the Zhuang and Yao minorities. Day 9: We’ll continue hiking along trails through the terraced farmland, passing villagers and their traditional homes. We’ll spend the rest of the day in Yangshuo.

Land Cost From $2,295

Week

Photo ©Sean Pavone

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Guiyang, China. Transfer to Old Han Village, where you’ll watch a traditional “Ground Opera.” Tonight you are free to explore the market.

Adventure

MTS

6-Day Trip Departs May–Oct

NEW Hidden China • Hike on the remote Gubeikou and Jinshanling portions of the legendary Great Wall on this custom-tailored 6-day adventure • Travel by mountain bike and bamboo raft through the surreal karst landscape of Yangshuo • Unwind in scenic mountain retreats, hand-picked by MTS experts, and learn the secrets of authentic Chinese cooking Any China itinerary can show you the landmarks. This Adventure Week trip turns them into indelible experiences. You’ll begin with the can’t-miss sights of Beijing (including Tiananmen Square and

Day 10: Hike up Moon Hill for a bird’s-eye view of surrounding peaks before returning to Yangshuo for a cooking class. Later, choose between biking through nearby villages or rafting on the Yulong River.

the Forbidden City), treasure hunting at the Liulichang Culture Street

Day 11: After breakfast we’ll transfer to the Guilin Airport for our flights home (or to the next destination).

rural landscape of Yangshuo by bamboo raft and mountain bike.

market, and Peking duck at the venerable Hepingmen Quanjude Restaurant. Next, you’ll hike through the mountains to the remote Gubeikou and Jinshanling portions of the Great Wall, and walk several miles on the ancient wonder itself. You’ll explore the breathtaking And you’ll cap it off with a hands-on cooking class or Tai Chi lesson. MTS expertly combines classic experiences with off-the-beaten-path

More In China

adventure, to give you the perfect taste of incredible China.

Camels, Mountains & Villages Trek the remote Pamir Mountains on this MTS exclusive itinerary! Click for details.

FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code QCH in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Beijing, China’s capital and cultural heart, and transfer to your boutique hotel. Day 2: Begin your adventure in Beijing with one of China’s most sacred places, the Temple of Heaven. In the afternoon, visit historic Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, where Imperial China’s emperors dwelt for centuries. Learn from your expert guides as you visit the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Mental Cultivation, the Imperial Garden, and more. Afterwards, browse the treasures at Liulichang Culture Street market and feast on Peking duck at the renowned Hepingmen Quanjude Restaurant, established in 1864. Day 3: Today we head for the lessvisited parts of the Great Wall! Marvel at this ancient wonder while hiking from the remote Gubeikou Great Wall to the Jinshanling Great Wall—the best-preserved section of the Wall, with 67 towers.

Photo ©MTS Photo File

Day 4: After a leisurely morning in Beijing, transfer to Guilin, where you will be met and driven to Yangshuo, a city surrounded by stunning mountains and serpentine rivers. Relax at your scenic mountain retreat or take an easy afternoon stroll. Day 5: Spend the morning mountain biking through Yangshuo’s dramatic karst scenery. Have lunch at a local villager’s home. In the afternoon, travel by bamboo raft down the picturesque Yulong River, floating serenely past peaceful villages, lush rice paddies, and the 600-year-old Yulong Stone Bridge. Day 6: A choice of activities awaits you today. Learn how to cook real village food at Yangshuo Cooking School, where skilled and friendly teachers love to impart the stories and secrets of Chinese cuisine. Or learn the traditional martial art of Tai Chi during an enlightening 3-hour class. In the afternoon, we’ll transfer to Guilin Airport for homewardbound flights.

FOR DETAILS, ITINERARIES, AND MORE VISIT WWW.MTSOBEK.COM

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EUROPE

ASIA

ASIA Lake Towada

JAPAN Yabuhara

Dewa Sanzan

TOKYO

Oishida

Yamagata

Tsumago Magome

Kyoto

Nikko

Nara

JAPAN

Mount Koya

TOKYO

Land/Sea Travel Hiking

Land/Sea Travel

Activities Hiking, cultural touring

Activities Hiking, cultural touring

Trip Level Moderate

Trip Level Moderate

Lodging Hotels, traditional ryokan inns, temple lodging

Lodging Hotels, traditional ryokan inns, temple lodging

11-Day Trip Departs Mar–May, Oct–Nov

13-Day Trip Departs Jul–Sep Land Cost From $6,895

Land Cost From $5,595

JAPAN

Walking Japan • Experience the ancient, imperial city of Kyoto and the electric energy of modern Tokyo • Walk in the footsteps of shoguns as you follow ancient trade routes with your local guide • Relax in traditional Japanese inns and enjoy exquisite, multi-course meals—only with MTS Walking through the Japanese countryside can inspire the inner tranquility in anyone. Beginning in the old imperial city of Kyoto and ending in modern Tokyo, our itinerary follows the Nakasendo, a network of ancient trade routes once used by shogun, samurai, and merchants to travel from Kyoto to the provincial towns of the Kiso Valley. Traveling by way of temples, shrines, and hamlets, you’ll take in ethereal landscapes of cherry blossoms, lush gardens, and misty forests. You’ll enjoy generous Japanese hospitality in a shukubo (temple lodging) and family-run inns, the serenity of soaking in volcanic hot springs, and the contrasts between old and new in this magical land. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code JAP in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Meet your guide at our hotel in the ancient city of Kyoto. Convene for a welcome dinner. Day 2: Explore the imperial city of Kyoto, including visits to the extraordinary Zen temple of Kinkakuji and the rock garden at Ryoan-ji. Head to idyllic Arashiyama and spend the afternoon exploring. Day 3: Take a train ride to Nara to see the 8th-century Kasuga Taisha Shrine and walk to Mount Wakakusa for clear views of the city. After lunch we’ll visit the bronze Buddhas of Todai-ji Temple. Day 4: The scenic Nankai railway brings us to sacred Mount Koya, home to 100 monasteries. We’ll visit Kongobu-ji Temple before arriving at an elegant shukubo. Day 5: An early morning Buddhist service is followed by a visit to Okuno-in cemetery. Travel by train to Kiso Valley and stroll the mountain villages linking Kyoto and Edo. Day 6: Wander the small post town of Magome and see locally made

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Photo ©Tara Kekaha

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS

JAPAN handicrafts before hiking to the charming village of Tsumago-juku. Day 7: Our walk continues to Nojiri via quiet country lanes alongside rice fields and village gardens. Transfer to Koma-no-yu Ryokan to soak in hot springs and stay the night. Day 8: Take a short train ride to the post town of Yabuhara, then climb to Torii Pass for views over the Kiso Valley. This afternoon we’ll arrive in Narai-juku, one of the best-preserved villages of the valley.

Day 2: Begin your walking tour of Tokyo in the charming Yanaka quarter. Journey on to Asakusa and its impressive Senso-ji temple.

• Escape to a hidden Japan and hike the unspoiled lakes, highaltitude wetlands, and lush gorges of Northern Honshu • Discover Shugendo—Japan’s “mountain faith”—with its deeply rooted spiritual traditions, and visit the home of the gods in the three sacred Mountains of Dewa • See the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Nikko, unwind in natural hot springs, and overnight in traditional ryokans

Day 3: Travel to historic Nikko, set against verdant national parklands, and explore UNESCO-listed Toshogu Shrine, Futarasan Shrine, and Rinnoji temple.

In the Shugendo faith, mountains aren’t just revered—they’re objects of worship where powerful spirits reside. Our journey into the unspoiled

Day 9: Enjoy a short walk to Hirasawa, where we’ll stop in a renowned workshop and meet local artisans before transferring to Tokyo.

landscapes of northern Japan takes you to places steeped in spirituality

Day 10: Discover Tokyo on an action-packed day that includes the elegant Ginza shopping district, the gardens of the Imperial Palace, the Grand Meiji Shrine, Harajuku, and a walk down Omote-Sando street to Shibuya. Farewell dinner tonight.

pilgrimage area of Dewa Sanzan (home to three sacred mountains and

Day 11: Say “sayonara” to Japan as you transfer to Narita International Airport for homebound flights.

Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo and gather for a festive welcome dinner.

NEW Sacred Lakes & Mountains of Northern Japan

and sacred rituals. From the UNESCO-listed temples of stunning Nikko National Park, to the volcanic plateaus of Mt. Hakkonda, to the Shugendo’s holiest shrines), you’ll experience the abiding connection with nature that infuses Japanese life and culture. After days spent hiking along sparkling lakes and mountain streams, you’ll rejuvenate at charming onsen (hot springs) and traditional ryokans (inns). FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code JLM in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

Day 4: Trek in the spectacular Karikomi Lake area of Oku Nikko, famous for its natural hot springs. Day 5: Journey to Yamagata and hike to Yamadera, or “mountain temple,” perched 1,015 steps up the mountainside and housing a sacred flame that has been burning for over 1,000 years. Day 6: From Oishida, transfer to the shinkansen (bullet train) for our journey to the Dewa Sanzan, home to the sacred peaks of Haguro-san, Gas-san, and Yudono-san. Visit the ancient Gyokusenji temple and its picturesque gardens.

Photo ©MTS Photo File

Day 7: Hike on Mount Gas-san (“moon mountain”), the highest of the sacred mountains, and visit Yudono shrine—said to represent the afterworld. Day 8: Travel a scenic route by train and bus to beautiful Lake Towada, Honshu’s largest caldera lake. Day 9: Stroll the pretty Oirase stream at the base of the lush Oirase Gorge. Day 10: Hike on Mt. Hakkonda to Sukayu Onsen. Part of a plateau of dormant volcanos, the mountain is known for its high-altitude wetlands. The onsen is famous for its mineralrich waters and “1,000-person” bath. Day 11: Take in the scenery as you travel by bus to Shin-Aomori station. Feast on a bento of local specialties as we bullet train back to Tokyo. Day 12: Walk in scenic Kamakura, then follow the Ten’en trail between the Kenchoji and Zuisenji temples, passing tomb caves and jizo statues. Day 13: Transfer to Narita Airport for your onward flight.

FOR DETAILS, ITINERARIES, AND MORE VISIT WWW.MTSOBEK.COM

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EUROPE

ASIA

ASIA HANOI

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Muang La Luang Prabang

VIETNAM

Luang Prabang

Nong Khiaw

Hue

LAOS THAILAND

LAOS

Pakse Siem Reap

BANGKOK

Ho Chi Minh City

CAMBODIA

THAILAND Pakse

Air Travel

Champasak

Activities Cultural journey, hiking

Activities Cultural touring, boat trips

Trip Level Moderate

Trip Level Easy to Moderate

Lodging Hotels, lodges

Lodging Hotels, traditional junk boat

11-Day Trip Departs Jan, Feb, Nov

15-Day Trip Departs Feb, Nov, Dec

Land Cost From $3,995

Land Cost From $5,595

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS

LAOS

Hidden Laos • Enjoy hidden sites that few tourists visit, hand-picked by MTS’s adventure experts • Discover ancient temples including 5th-century Vat Phou, which precedes Cambodia’s Angkor Wat by 700 years • Visit an elephant rehabilitation center to experience the emotional and social intelligence of one of nature’s most magnificent creatures Nestled between Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, Laos offers a simpler, less hurried pace than its neighbors. Off the tourist route, deep in its northern hills, diverse ethnic groups live in small riparian villages, preserving their art forms and living traditional lifestyles. In addition to exploring Laos’ ancient Khmer temples and hidden sites, you’ll immerse yourself in the culture of Khmu and Tá Deng hill tribes on a trek where you’re unlikely to see any other westerners. Cruising down rivers, riding elephants up mountains, and trekking through the jungle, you’ll be able to enjoy all this delightful country has to offer, whether you are traveling to Southeast Asia for the first time or returning for a new perspective. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code LAO in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Photo ©MTS Photo File

CAMBODIA, LAOS, VIETNAM

Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand, and fly to Pakse, Laos. Transfer to Ban Khiat Ngong. The rest of the day is free, so you can unwind at the resort.

Day 7: Drive through rural landscapes and small villages to Muang La. There will be time to relax in the lodge spa or explore before dinner.

Day 2: We’ll ferry across the Mekong River for our half-day trek. We’ll hike through a tropical forest to an archaeological site, then ride an elephant up Phou Asa Mountain.

Day 8: We’ll trek through a lush jungle to small villages to learn about their way of life, then make a pilgrimage to the hidden temple of Wat Hoytinphabath.

Day 3: Travel by boat to Don Det and Don Khong islands. We’ll then boat along the Mekong River to see the nearly extinct Irrawaddy dolphins.

Day 9: We’re off to Muang Khua to explore town and observe the rural Lao way of life. Later we’ll cruise to Nong Khiaw, stopping at the isolated village of Muang Ngoi.

Day 4: Travel north to visit Vat Phou Champasak (“Mountain Temple”) to appreciate the architecture of its shrines and terraces. Day 5: Today we’ll visit the historic temples and colonial buildings of Luang Prabang. Later, the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center will teach us about Laos’ rich cultural diversity. Day 6: After watching the morning rituals of Buddhist monks, we’ll visit the Phosi Market. Later we’ll learn about traditional weaving and head to Kuangsi Waterfalls for a swim!

Treasures of Indochine • Explore Southeast Asia’s gems (3 countries!) on this comprehensive and exclusive-to-MTS itinerary • Experience 3 World Heritage Sites with our guides, who will show you how to avoid the crowds • Explore the untouched 4,000 Islands region of the Mekong River and catch sight of the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin The historic cities, dense jungles, steep limestone hills, lush river valleys, mysterious caves, and spectacular coastlines of Southeast Asia are otherworldly. This unique journey encompasses our favorite places in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam in one comprehensive

Day 10: On our way back to Luang Prabang we’ll stop at the junction of the Mekong and Nam Ou Rivers to visit the Pak Ou Caves. Our farewell dinner is tonight.

itinerary—a one-of-a-kind adventure! As you skip across the

Day 11: Say your goodbyes before transferring to the airport for your flight home.

dragon-like islands of Halong Bay. Seamlessly guided from one

Indochina Peninsula, you’ll have the chance to visit all of the major UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the mystical ruins of Angkor Wat, the Buddhist temples of Luang Prabang, and the country to another, in the comfort of well-appointed hotels and with intricate art and architecture at every turn, you’ll take it all in

Short On Time?

without missing a beat.

Laos & Cambodia Adventure Week Experience the best of magical Laos and Cambodia in just 7 days! Click for details.

FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code TOI in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand, and transfer to your hotel. Day 2: Board a morning flight to Luang Prabang, Laos, with time to unwind once you reach the hotel. Day 3: We’ll tour Wat Xieng Thong Temple and then cruise the Mekong River to the Pak Ou Caves. Later, we’ll stroll the night market. Day 4: Fly to Pakse, Laos, and then head to Champasak to visit the ancient temples of Wat Phou. Day 5: Cruise out to the Don Det and Don Khong islands, then visit the famous Khon Phapheng waterfalls. Day 6: We’ll fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia today to explore the unforgettable temple complex of Angkor Wat, including Ta Prohm. Day 7: Today we’ll visit the ancient city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire, and Baphuon, the “city of women.” Day 8: Sunrise at Angkor Wat is a highlight of the tour! We’ll then fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Photo ©Luciano Mortula

Day 9: A half-day tour of vibrant Saigon kicks off the day, taking in the sites and market before flying to the ancient capital of Hue. Day 10: After exploring town and the Imperial Palace, we’ll take a dragon boat trip to Minh Mang Mausoleum. Tonight, enjoy a cooking class! Day 11: Fly to Hanoi, where we’ll explore the vibrant Old Town. Later, have the option to enjoy a folk performance of water puppets. Day 12: Our tour of Hanoi continues with a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s tomb, One Pillar Pagoda, and the “Hanoi Hilton” Prison. Day 13: We’ll drive to Halong Bay and cruise its spectacular islands, go swimming, and visit a fishing village. Day 14: Greet the day with some tai ji exercise before boating back to Halong Bay for one last cruise. Farewell dinner in Hanoi. Day 15: Transfer to airport for your homeward-bound flight.

FOR DETAILS, ITINERARIES, AND MORE VISIT WWW.MTSOBEK.COM

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EUROPE

ASIA Mount Victoria

ASIA

Bagan

Tachileik

Bagan Seikphyu

Kengtung

Pindaya

Pakkoku

Inle Lake

MYANMAR

MYANMAR THAILAND

YANGON

YANGON to/from Bangkok

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Hiking, biking, cultural encounters

Activities Hiking, cultural touring

Trip Level Moderate

Lodging Hotels

Trip Level Moderate

Lodging Hotels, mountain lodge 7-Day Trip Departs Jan, Feb, Nov, Dec Land Cost From $2,695

Adventure

MTS

12-Day Trip Departs Feb, Nov, Dec

MYANMAR | ADVENTURE WEEK

NEW Discovering Burma • Travel to the heart of remote Burma, unchanged since the early days of exploration, on this specially crafted week of adventure • Explore age-old Chin villages by foot and mountain bike, and learn as your local MTS expert unfolds traditions, beliefs, and customs of the Chin people • Discover the wonders of Bagan’s 2,000 ancient temples and bask in the serenity of its ethereal landscape If it’s authenticity you seek, come with us to the remote mountains of western Burma, a land of lush plateaus and misty peaks still largely undiscovered by tourism. Exploring on foot and by mountain bike, you’ll meet the friendly Chin people, learn about their unique traditions, and see the women’s extravagant facial tattoos (a custom that is quickly disappearing). You’ll hike among rare flowers and birds on Mount Victoria, a biodiversity hotspot. You’ll travel by long-tail boat down the tranquil Irrawaddy River at sunset. And you’ll end your adventure at the astonishing Bagan temple complex, with its thousands of shimmering spires. Join us and capture a glimpse of Burma’s magical past, before the world catches up. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code QBV in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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Land Cost From $3,995

Week ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in bustling Yangon and transfer to your luxury hotel. Day 2: Journey to the town of Seikphyu, perched on the Irrawaddy River, and pass through seldomvisited villages on a scenic 3-hour mountain bike ride to Kanzunma. Drive a mountainous route to Kanpatlet, pausing to watch villagers build bamboo huts and work with their cattle in the fields. Day 3: Hike to the top of 10,200foot Mt. Victoria, renowned for its diversity of endemic flowers and birds, and enjoy a picnic lunch before taking the trail down. In the afternoon, visit the villages of the ethnic Chin people and observe their way of life—a special experience. Day 4: Travel by car to tranquil Mindat township, stopping to walk to two ancient Chin villages. Learn about the traditional Chin way of weaving, making distinctive “buried thunderbolt beads,” and brewing rice wine. In the evening, watch a lively Chin dance performance.

Photo ©Teerayut Chaisarn

MYANMAR Day 5: Drive to charming Pakkoku, passing from the high mountains to the dry lowlands. Stop to watch the villagers at work, and perhaps visit a village school. On arrival in Pakkoku, travel by long-tail boat to Bagan and enjoy sunset on the river. Day 6: This morning, explore the famed Bagan Archaeological Zone by mountain bike. This astonishing complex consists of some 2,200 bell-shaped temples, including the 11th-century Abeyadana temple, the Htilominlo temple, and the Ananda temple—regarded as Bagan’s most beautiful temple! Climb a temple terrace for a panoramic view of Bagan and absorb the serenity of this breathtaking landscape. Next, visit a family-run workshop specializing in lacquerware (a stunning craft that dates back to the Bagan period) and Myingaba village, whose temple is known for its brightly painted murals. Unwind back at the hotel in Yangon. Day 7: Say goodbye to Burma and transfer to the airport for homewardbound flights.

Hidden Myanmar • This journey showcases the very best that Burma has to offer—bustling Yangon, Inle Lake, pagoda-studded plains, and timeless remote villages • Explore the Kengtung region of Shan state—until recently closed to the outside world—only with MTS! • Visit sacred Shwedagon Pagoda, which enshrines four past Buddhas, attracting monks worldwide After years of being closed off to the rest of the world, Myanmar is opening its doors to visitors. While the city of Yangon vibrates with activity, enchanting hill tribe villages surrounding sacred pagodas, ancient Buddhist temples, and elaborate monasteries have been largely unchanged by modern life. This immersive cultural experience will bring you up close and personal with the locals. Hiking from village to village you’ll experience their slow-paced lifestyle and learn about their trades and crafts. You’ll explore the floating gardens of Inle Lake, soak in hot springs, and ride in a flat-bottomed canoe. With time in Yangon, you’ll get to see the best of new Myanmar and old Burma before it changes forever. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code MYA in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Yangon, Myanmar’s capital. Transfer to your hotel to relax, or step out and explore. Day 2: Fly to Tachileik and then enjoy a scenic drive to Kengtung. Day 3: This morning we’ll take in Kengtung’s many sites. Later, we’ll visit a few local hill tribe villages. Day 4: Trek through the steep tracks that link several hill tribe villages. Day 5: Enjoy a free morning to relax or explore, then fly to Heho and drive to Inle Lake, known for its floating villages and leg-rower fishermen.

Photo ©Corinne Edwards

can unwind at our hotel’s nature spa, enjoy the pool, or stroll the gardens. Day 9: By bicycle we’ll explore some of Bagan’s many temples: Htilominlo, Tharabar Gate, Phayar Thonesu, Myingaba Gubyaukgyi, and Ananda. Day 10: Today we’ll visit Schwezigon Pagoda and the Kyaukgu Umin cave temple before cruising the river back to Bagan. Then we’ll take a flight back to Yangon.

Day 6: Today we’ll visit a market, a pagoda, and a monastery and floating gardens in Inle Lake. We’ll have the option to canoe among the lake’s villages.

Day 11: We’ll observe the stunning contrasts between old and new as we take in the sights in the bustling metropolis of Yangon. Visit the enchanting Shwedagon Pagoda, the “crown jewel of Myanmar” and one of the oldest pagodas in the world. Festive farewell dinner tonight.

Day 7: A visit to Pindaya’s celebrated Buddhist caves is followed by a walk to Singaung village to learn about its bamboo umbrella industry.

Day 12: After breakfast we’ll head to the airport for our flight to Bangkok. Fly home or consider one of our trip extensions in Southeast Asia.

Day 8: Enjoy a leisurely morning. Later we’ll fly to Bagan, where we

FOR DETAILS, ITINERARIES, AND MORE VISIT WWW.MTSOBEK.COM

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ASIA

ASIA

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS

Pangboche

Mount Everest

Everest Lodge to Lodge

Namche KATHMANDU

NEPAL

NEPAL

Ama Dablam

Lukla

Tengboche

Air Travel Hiking

• Trek the iconic expedition that’s been MTS’s cornerstone for 45 years • See legendary Himalayan peaks and overnight at some of the region’s best mountain lodges • Get an insider’s perspective as you explore ancient monasteries and traditional villages Our fondness for this itinerary runs deep...as far back as 1969, when MTS was the first outfitter to lead commercial treks in Nepal. This iconic trip showcases the Khumbu’s high mountain villages, the serenity

Activities Trekking, cultural encounters Trip Level Moderate to Strenuous Lodging Lodges, hotels 14-Day Trip Departs Apr, May, Sep–Dec Land Cost From $4,195

of the ancient Buddhist monasteries, and the warm hospitality of the Sherpa people. Hiking past colorful rhododendron, terraced fields, small hamlets, and some of the planet’s most epic peaks will put one’s life into perspective, and our lodge-to-lodge adventure is an easy way to take it all in. From the celebrated Tengboche Monastery, we will soak in views of Everest, the Titan among titans, as well as a panoply of other iconic peaks. Come see why this land is worshipped by mystics and explorers alike. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code EVE in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Photos, left to right: ©Corinne Edwards (2), Cathy Ann Taylor

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Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal, where you will be briefed and escorted to the hotel. Dinner is on your own to get a taste of the region.

Day 8: After crossing the Imja River, we will gradually ascend to Lhabarma, where majestic views of the beloved Ama Dablam ridge appear proudly before us.

Day 2: This morning we tour Bhaktapur, an ancient citystate, which has preserved its old character and charm. The afternoon is yours to experience Kathmandu’s sites, shrines, and markets.

Day 9: Our trail today is quiet and blissful, bringing us past panoramic vistas and charming, old stone houses. The afternoon is free to unwind, or explore Tashinga.

Day 3: Enjoy a spectacular flight over the Himalaya to Lukla. Time permitting, we can take a warm-up hike up to Kharka. Day 4: The trail departs from Lukla and descends down 1,500 feet to the Dudh Kosi. We will meet the legendary Sherpa people along the way. Day 5: Our trek leads us to Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park and the charming market town of Namche Bazaar for our first glimpse of Everest. Day 6: Learn about the culture, geography, geology, and wildlife of the region at Sagarmatha National Park Visitors Center before hiking on to Tashinga. Day 7: Today we embark on one of the most beautiful walks on earth into the Dudh Kosi Gorge, leading us through a fir forest to the famous Tengboche Monastery.

Day 10: We’ll walk by the village of Khumjung, up a shallow valley and mountain bowl. We’ll visit the Edmund Hillary School and the the monastery of Khumjung. Day 11: Our journey brings us back to Lukla along the Dudh Kosi, retracing our steps from Day 4 and appreciating them in a new light. Day 12: Weather permitting, we’ll bid a fond farewell to the Khumbu and fly back to Kathmandu. Day 13: If time allows, we’ll tour the Hindu shrines and ghats at Pashupatinath and the large Tibetan Buddhist stupa at Bodhnath. The afternoon is free to spend as you choose before our farewell dinner tonight.

More Options For The Nepal Himalaya In addition to our classic, flagship Everest Lodge to Lodge journey, we have these great options available:

Everest Base Camp Trek Our ultimate trek to the base of the world’s most iconic peak.

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Trek the verdant Annapurna Himal to a shimmering, glacier-ringed alpine basin.

Annapurna Lodge to Lodge Easy trekking plus great wildlife viewing in Chitwan National Park.

Call 1-888-MTSOBEK for details!

Day 14: Depart Kathmandu a different person from when you arrived.

FOR DETAILS, ITINERARIES, AND MORE VISIT WWW.MTSOBEK.COM

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EUROPE

ASIA

ASIA MUSTANG

Lo Manthang Geling Jomsom

Muktinath

Qinghai Lake

Xining Lanzhou

NEPAL

Tongren Xiahe

Pokhara

CHINA Air Travel Hiking

KATHMANDU

Land/Sea Travel

Activities Trekking, cultural encounters

Activities Hiking, cultural touring

Trip Level Strenuous

Lodging Hotels, yurt, homestay

Trip Level Moderate

Lodging Hotels, camping

11-Day Trip Departs Jul, Aug

18-Day Trip Departs May, Sep

Land Cost From $4,095

Land Cost From $5,995

NEPAL

NEW Mystical Mustang: Nepal’s “Forbidden Kingdom” • Turn back the centuries and experience authentic Tibetan religion and culture unchanged by time • Discover a once-forbidden feudal kingdom, long isolated and now accessible only by permit • Trek the spectacular summits and valleys of the northern Himalaya with the mountaineering experts There are few genuinely unexplored places in the world—here’s your chance to experience one. Tucked away behind the legendary Himalayan peaks of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna, the forbidden kingdom of “Lo” was isolated from the outside world for centuries. Now known as Mustang, it was only recently opened to visitors. Our fully supported 13-day trek takes you back in time to a land of brightly painted shrines and boulders carved with Buddhist prayers, where vast monasteries stand guard over pocket-sized villages and every ridge offers another arresting vista. Your journey includes two full days in the ancient walled city of Lo Manthang, almost entirely unchanged since the 14th century—a true hidden gem. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code MUS in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to the Hotel Yak & Yeti, a luxury 5-star retreat. Day 2: See the Hindu shrines at Pashupatinath and the incredible stupa at Bodhnath, center of Tibetan Buddhist culture in Kathmandu. Tour the beautiful Kathmandu Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before flying to Pokhara. Day 3: Fly to Jomsom, and gear up with porters, local guides, and pack animals to hike the banks of the great Kali Gandaki River. Days 4–5: Enter Mustang and trek to our campsite at Chele, boasting magnificent valley views. The next day begins with a steep climb to the village of Samar. After lunch, we’ll ascend to 13,153 feet before descending to our camp at Geling. Day 6: Tackle the 13,186-foot Nyi La pass, cross the Dhakmar Chu River on a suspension bridge, and pass Nepal’s most impressive stretch of mani wall (boulders inscribed with Buddhist prayers). Overnight in ancient Charang, with its five-story dzong (fortress).

Photo ©Yulia Babkina

CHINA Days 7–8: Traverse rocky trails and desert landscapes to the walled city of Lo Manthang, and explore two finely restored 15th-century monasteries. Days 9–10: Hike the Kali Gandaki Gorge to Yara, passing gigantic wind-scoured cliffs—one of the most spectacular sights in Upper Mustang. The next day, explore the exquisite Luri Gompa cave monastery.

Tibet’s Spiritual Heartland • Discover the spiritual heartland of Tibetan Buddhism, where monks are free to observe their ancient traditions • Visit ancient monasteries and mosques, and learn about traditional art forms such as thangka painting • Through interactions at schools, in villages, and at monasteries, learn about the deep spiritual traditions of Amdo Tibetans China’s provinces of Qinghai and Gansu—centrally located on the old Silk Road and part of the Tibetan homeland—are home to

Days 11–15: Savor exceptional views of the Mustang Valley as we trek south to Dhechyang Khola, cross the rocky plains of the Yak Khola, and ascend to the 13,835-foot summit of Pha, passing mountain villages and ancient temples along the way. Marvel at the holy shrines of Muktinath on the last trekking day.

the region’s most famous temples and holy sites, many of which

Day 16: Fly from Jomsom via Pokhara to Kathmandu.

you’ve never experienced before.

Day 17–18: Take a morning tour of Bhaktapur for an enchanting glimpse of medieval Nepalese town life. Enjoy a farewell dinner before transferring to Kathmandu Airport the next day.

have been left untouched. On this extraordinary journey, you’ll learn about Tibetan Buddhism, witness the nomadic life of pilgrims, marvel at age-old monasteries and inspiring landscapes, and get an intimate glimpse into Tibetan life through an organized homestay. Immerse yourself in this ancient spiritual heartland, embrace the warmth of its hospitable people, and open your eyes to a beauty

FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code CTP in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Lanzhou, China. Meet your guide, transfer to the hotel, and freshen up before visiting the celebrated Gansu Museum. Welcome dinner tonight. Day 2: We’ll visit Binglingsi Temple, a series of grottoes and Buddhist statues. Later we’ll drive to Xiahe, visiting Linxia Mosque and the Hui market along the way. Day 3: Visit Labrang Monastery, one of the six great monasteries of the Gelukpa school of Tibetan Buddhism, and then make your way to Tongren to hike and explore Rongwo Monastery. Tonight we’ll get to watch a traditional Tibetan Guozhuang dance. Day 4: Today we’ll visit Tongren’s Gomar Gompa Monastery and Kalachakra Pagoda. We’ll travel to a Tibetan village, where we’ll meet children at their school. Local families will host us overnight. Day 5: We’ll transfer to Kanbula National Forest and see the red cloud landforms sculpted by erosion.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

Photo ©Occidor/Fototeca 9x12

We’ll hike in this sacred birthplace of Tibetan Buddhism. Day 6: Today we’ll visit Qinghai Lake, the largest in China, where we’ll hike to our hotel. The spectacular lake offers numerous attractions, including bike excursions. Day 7: Bird Island is our destination today, where we’ll hike among wild geese, cormorants, and rare blacknecked cranes. Day 8: In the morning we’ll transfer to Gangcha County, where we’ll stop and hike in the highlands. We’ll overnight in a local yurt in Gangcha. Day 9: Transfer to Sand Island and hike in its fine sand dunes. We’ll then return to Xining City. Day 10: After a relaxing morning we’ll visit the Dongguan Mosque and the local market on our way to Kumbum Monastery. This evening we’ll return to Xining for our farewell dinner at a local hotspot. Day 11: Say farewell to your fellow travelers and transfer to the airport for your homeward-bound flights.

FOR DETAILS, ITINERARIES, AND MORE VISIT WWW.MTSOBEK.COM

23


EUROPE

ASIA

ASIA Land/Sea Travel

BHUTAN

BHUTAN

THIMPHU

Punakha

Paro

Taktsang

Land/Sea Travel

Land/Sea Travel

Activities Hiking, cultural touring

Activities Hiking, cultural encounters

Trip Level Moderate to Strenuous

Trip Level Moderate

Lodging Hotels, camping

Lodging Hotels

11-Day Trip Departs Apr, Oct

Adventure

Land Cost From $4,595

BHUTAN

Bhutan Trek & Cultural Discovery • Explore the wonders of this isolated kingdom with our long-standing team of local experts—a special combination of cultural immersion and authentic trekking • Trek three days on our route with unforgettable views of iconic Chomolhari and its sister Himalayan peaks • Discover the beautiful and isolated Haa Valley We were instantly enamored with Bhutan when we first pioneered trekking here in the 1980s. Everything from its ancient monasteries and temples to its tea houses and folk art is steeped in timeless tradition. This itinerary offers a fantastic survey of the country’s finest sites. You’ll have a chance to enjoy the cultural attractions of Thimphu and the Paro Valley, experience a challenging three-day camping trek to great mountain passes of the Himalaya, and visit the isolated Haa Valley. Bhutan’s stunning backdrop of verdant valleys and snowy summits is sure to raise your notion of beauty to new heights, and it’s easy to see why Bhutan’s “gross national happiness” is so contagious. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code BHS in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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THIMPHU

Paro

Haa Valley

MTS

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand. Transfer to your hotel for a good night’s sleep. Consider arriving a day early to explore the city. Day 2: Enjoy a spectacular flight to Paro, Bhutan, as you soar over the peaks of the Himalaya! Transfer to Thimphu, where you are free to rest or explore. Day 3: Enjoy our first steep hike to the famous Buddhist monasteries of Cheri Goemba and Tango Goemba. Later we’ll visit Tashichho Dzong. Day 4: This morning we’ll tour the celebrated School of Arts and Crafts, Textile Museum, National Institute of Traditional Medicine, and Folk Heritage Museum. This afternoon, visit the National Museum in Paro. Day 5: A steep, two-hour hike brings us to the famous Taktsang Monastery (“Tiger’s Nest”). This afternoon we’re free to explore Paro. Day 6: Today we’ll journey to the beautiful and isolated Haa Valley. Once there, we’ll visit the 8th-century Lhakhang Karpo, the “Temple of the White Dove.”

Week

Photo ©Jan Butchofsky

BHUTAN | ADVENTURE WEEK Day 7: Our camping trek begins uphill through blue pine forest and farmland. On our way to Saga La, we’ll walk along streams and through forests and meadows. Day 8: Climb to Saga La and then continue up the steep path through dwarf rhododendron. Tonight’s camp at Ningula offers views of Chomolhari and Jichu Drakye. Day 9: A steep climb over mountain passes yields outstanding views of Paro and the Haa Valley. At Chele La we’ll board our bus back to Paro. Day 10: We’ll take a morning flight from Paro to Bangkok. The rest of the day is free to explore this exciting city. Day 11: Bid farewell to your travel companions and transfer to the airport for your homeward-bound flight or an optional trip extension through Southeast Asia!

Essential Bhutan • Explore the pristine landscape and culture of Bhutan in 7 days—perfect for the short-on-time traveler! • Hike to the fabled Tiger’s Nest and feast your eyes on the lavishly decorated Punakha Dzong • Visit ancient monasteries and traditional villages, and experience Buddhist culture in its purest form Unlock the secrets of the Land of the Thunder Dragon, a country that guards its isolation as passionately as it cherishes its traditions. One of the few Asian countries that escaped colonization, its pristine Buddhist culture is unaltered by modernity, and its snow-capped peaks and verdant forests are unmarred by development. From the massive, richly embellished Punakha Dzong (fortress-monastery), to the fabled Tiger’s Nest monastery (set like a jewel atop a cliff), to high-mountain passes adorned with thousands of fluttering prayer flags, this journey offers one jaw-dropping experience after another. As you hike secluded mountain trails and gaze upon mesmerizing works of art, you’ll understand why Bhutan is a place that measures prosperity in units of happiness.

More In This Region Himalayan Passages The best of Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet on one outstanding trip! Click for details.

7-Day Trip Departs Mar, Apr, Oct, Nov

FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code BHU in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

Land Cost From $3,595

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Fly to Paro, passing over five of the highest peaks in the world. After a lunch in Paro, transfer to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, for a leisurely afternoon. Day 2: Drive to the trailhead and begin your hike: a steep, hour-long climb to Tango Goemba, a Buddhist institute for higher learning. Enjoy tea and snacks at the monastery, and chat about Buddhism with the head lama. After lunch, back to Thimphu and up to Wangdi Tse monastery for a secluded, scenic one-hour hike. Day 3: Tour the School of Arts & Crafts, where Bhutanese children follow a six-year program in traditional arts. Also visit the Textile Museum, National Institute of Traditional Medicine, and Folk Heritage Museum. In the afternoon, drive over 10,000-foot Dochu La (pass), with its stunning views, and continue to Punakha. Day 4: Start with a visit to the 17thcentury Punakha Dzong (fortressmonastery), spectacularly situated at the confluence of the Mo and

Photo ©MTS Photo File

Phu Rivers. Take an optional short hike to visit nearby Chimi Lhakhang temple, built by the eccentric Lama Drukpa Kunley, a.k.a. “The Divine Madman.” Or visit the temple built by Kuchub Balaha and experience a special ritual performed by a monk (special request by reservation). Day 5: Drive to Paro and explore the National Museum, boasting a fine collection of thangkas (religious scroll paintings) and the Tshogshing Lhakhang (“Tree of Wisdom”), with its carvings depicting the history of Buddhism. Day 6: Today’s highlight is the famed Taktsang Monastery (“Tiger’s Nest”), perched on a cliff 2,700 feet above the Paro Valley. A steep, 1½-hour hike up to a teahouse provides stupendous monastery views. Alternatively, take a 40-minute walk to Dzongdrakha monastery, built in the 16th century by the first local king, Chogay Dragpa. Day 7: Wrap up your adventures in Bhutan and transfer to Paro Airport for your departure flight.

FOR DETAILS, ITINERARIES, AND MORE VISIT WWW.MTSOBEK.COM

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EUROPE

ASIA

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

to/from Denpasar (Bali)

Komodo

ASIA

FLORES ISLAND

Ruteng

Labuan Bajo

SULAWESI

Maumere

INDONESIA

Bajawa

INDONESIA

Makassar Labuan Bajo

JAKARTA

BALI

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Komodo SUMBA ISLAND

Activities Hiking, snorkeling, sailing, cultural encounters

Activities Hiking, sailing, cultural encounters

Trip Level Moderate

Trip Level Moderate

Lodging Hotels, homestay, rustic lodges

Lodging Hotels, private sailboat

14-Day Trip Departs Apr, Sep

Land Cost From $5,395

14-Day Trip Departs Jun, Jul

Land Cost From $3,495

EAST INDONESIA

East Indonesia’s Volcanoes, Villages & Dragons • Explore the islands of East Nusa Tenggara with MTS— rated among the 10 Best Trips of 2014 by Smarter Traveler • See otherworldly marine and terrestrial wildlife, including the Komodo dragon, while hiking and snorkeling • Visit islands not frequented by tourists and spend time with indigenous villagers who maintain their traditional way of life with little impact from the outside world The island of Flores is East Indonesia’s version of paradise. Untouched and off the beaten path, it offers miles of gorgeous coastline, 15 conical volcanoes, and an amazing array of exotic marine wildlife to enjoy. Flores is also home to the Ngada people, who are known for their beautiful weavings. As we hike through pristine forests and grasslands, we will pass Ngada villages and their unique traditional structures, stopping along the way to meet the people and learn about their way of life. We’ll stay in comfortable eco-lodges and luxurious hotels, and even have a homestay in a traditional village. Capped by a two-day sailing trip to visit the notorious Komodo dragon, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code EIN in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com 26

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ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Denpasar, Bali. An MTS representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. Day 2: Fly to Maumere, Flores. Transfer to the hotel to relax before our welcome dinner on the beach. Day 3: Today we’ll visit the three colorful, volcanic crater lakes of Kelimutu. We’ll check into our ecolodge, then stroll the highlands and explore the village of Moni.

Photo ©Kjersti Jorgensen

INDONESIA Day 8: Walk through a rainforest to Santarenda, whose villagers will host us overnight in their homes and treat us to traditional singing and dancing. Day 9: Hike out from the village and transfer to Labuan Bajo to enjoy our boutique hotel in the hills. Day 10: Today is a free day to relax, explore the city, and spend some time kayaking or snorkeling.

NEW Indonesian Islands & Culture

Day 1: Arrive in Jakarta, the heart of Indonesia, and transfer to your hotel.

• Step back in time on this faraway adventure and discover the amazing islands of Sulawesi and Sumba, where primitive cultures practice age-old rites • Encounter flying foxes and infamous Komodo dragons in ruggedly beautiful Komodo National Park • Sail, swim, and snorkel through crystalline waters and dazzling reefs—and get an inside view of Indonesia from local expert guides

Day 2: Fly to Makassar, on the remote island of Sulawesi, for your first journey into the “Land of the Toraja”—one of Indonesia’s most picturesque regions. During the scenic drive we’ll visit traditional villages of the Bugis, known for their phinisi boats and stilt homes.

Day 11: Our two-day sailboat excursion begins, offering time to snorkel and relax. We’ll stop at Rinca for our first view of the notorious Komodo dragons!

Islands by their very nature are distinctive, each with their own

Day 12: We’ll walk a well-marked trail on the island of Komodo, looking for dragons and other incredible wildlife.

rites, and Kalong, where flying foxes take wing by the thousands at

Day 6: On the way to Ruteng we’ll pass volcanoes, farmland, and villages before exploring the town and its local market.

Day 13: Return to Labuan Bajo. Our hotel offers excellent food and a spa, where we can unwind before our farewell dinner.

all that and more, including two days of sailing the azure seas near

Day 7: After a leisurely transfer to Denge, we’ll check into our lodges and take a scenic warm-up hike.

Day 14: We’ll transfer to the airport for our flight to Denpasar, Bali, and then home.

to explore, this adventure is a cultural immersion you’ll never forget.

Day 4: We’ll drive the spectacular coastline to Bajawa, stopping to shop at the local village craft markets. Day 5: A day in the Ngada region offers us the chance to meet traditional villagers. Later, we’ll head to Malange Hot Springs for a soak.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS

identity and mystique. Nowhere is that more true than in Indonesia, where the islands are as unique as they are numerous. There’s stunning Sulawesi, where the Toraja practice their elaborate funeral twilight. There’s untouched and enigmatic Sumba, and beautiful Bali with its serene temples. On this amazing journey, you’ll experience Flores and hiking the wildlife-rich forests of Komodo National Park. With plenty of unscripted interaction with the locals and ample time

FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code IIC in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

Days 3–5: Explore the traditional villages and culture of the Toraja, recognized for their elaborate funeral rituals and massive peak-roofed houses. See the awe-inspiring burial sites at Lokomata and hike in the Sapan region, home to the famed Toraja coffee plantations. Day 6: Drive back to Makassar and fly to Bali for a leisurely overnight stay in Denpasar, Bali’s lively capital. Day 7: Fly to Sumba, a unique and enigmatic island, where you’ll witness the ancient rituals of the Prai Ijing, Tarong, and Waitabar tribes. Overnight at the spectacular Nihiwatu Lodge.

Photo ©Pius Lee

Day 8: Drive to Waingapu and visit Pau Dan Rende, famed for its impressive megalithic burial sites. Day 9: Fly back to Denpasar. Take the afternoon to unwind, or explore the beaches and boutiques of Seminyak. Day 10: Fly to Labuan Bajo on Flores and set sail for Rinca Island, the largest island in Komodo National Park. Follow rangers along trails as you search for Komodo dragons. Travel to Kalong Island, where thousands of flying foxes take flight at dusk, and overnight onboard a traditional Indonesian boat. Day 11: After a morning hike, set sail for dazzling Pinsek Beach and Manta Point. Snorkel in pristine waters and get the chance to swim with graceful manta rays. Day 12: Venture through narrow Batu Cermin cave before flying back to Denpasar and on to Ubud. Day 13–14: Take a final tour of Ubud’s exquisite temples and stay at a lovely Balinese hotel. Say farewell to Indonesia the following morning.

FOR DETAILS, ITINERARIES, AND MORE VISIT WWW.MTSOBEK.COM

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EUROPE

ASIA

ASIA Chongjin

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Sepilok Forest Reserve Kota Kinabalu

CHINA

NORTH KOREA

Sandakan

Kinabatangan River

Danum Valley Paekdu Mountain

Gomantong Caves

SABAH (MALAYSIAN BORNEO)

Mount Myohyang

Tun Sakaran Marine Park

PYONGYANG Panmunjom

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Cultural touring

Activities Hiking, wildlife viewing

Trip Level Easy

Trip Level Easy to Moderate

Lodging Hotels

Lodging Hotels, eco-camp, lodges

11-Day Trip Departs Apr, Sep

11-Day Trip Departs May, Aug

Land Cost From $4,995

DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA

North Korea Adventure • Get behind the one remaining iron curtain and go back in time to glimpse the last bastion of Cold War communism • Through our special relationships and our trip leader, we have unprecedented freedom to interact with locals • Visit Mount Paekdu and Kumgangsan, remote and sacred areas generally accessible only to locals After decades of being closed to the West, North Korea has finally opened its doors to foreign travelers. Visiting this last stronghold of the Cold War is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. While our itinerary highlights the sites of Pyongyang and Panmunjom, it stretches much farther into beautiful and remote wilderness areas like Mount Paekdu (September departure) and Kumgangsan (April departure). We’ve designed our trip around the May Day celebrations (April departure), a public holiday in North Korea, and the chance to see the Mass Games (September departure) in Kim Il-sung Square. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with the locals at every turn and see their way of life, offering you as genuine a glimpse of this emerging nation as they come. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code NOK in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

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WWW.MTSOBEK.COM | 1-888-687-6235

Land Cost From $5,795

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS Note: Itinerary reflects the September departure. Call for details about the April departure.

Day 1: Arrive in Beijing, China. Shuttle from the airport to the hotel for an orientation and welcome dinner. Day 2: Fly to Pyongyang, North Korea. Our guides will show us the Arch of Triumph before heading to our hotel on an island in the Taedong River. Day 3: Our tour of Pyongyang begins at the Grand People’s Study House Library. We’ll then see the Korean Art Gallery and Pyongyang Folk Village. Visiting a secondary school and a hospital will lend insight into the DPRK’s public facilities. Day 4: This morning we’ll drive to Mt. Myohyang to see the International Friendship Exhibition. Later, we’ll hike the Mapok Valley, passing waterfalls and unusual rocks. Day 5: We’ll visit an ancient Buddhist temple and the Ryongmun and Paengryong Caves. Later, we’ll roll

Photo ©Patitucci Photo

with the locals at the Golden Lane Bowling Center. Day 6: Today we visit the major monuments of Pyongyang, including the Juche Tower and Kim Il-sung Square. Day 7: Fly to Mt. Paekdu to take a funicular to its dormant volcano and a cable car down to its lake. Later, we’ll see the birthplace of Kim Jong Il. Day 8: We depart for Chongjin after a visit to the statues of Samjiyon Grand Monument. Day 9: After visiting revolutionary sites, we’ll fly back to Pyongyang to see the Mansudae Grand Monument and visit the Embroidery Institute. Day 10: Drive to the ancient city of Kaesong to visit its age-old monuments. We’ll see the DMZ at Panmunjom before heading back for a special farewell dinner. Day 11: Fly to Beijing for your homeward-bound connections.

Call about Private Departures & Custom Trips!

BORNEO, INDONESIA

Wild Borneo • Discover an incredible range of rare and endangered wildlife in Borneo’s lush rainforests • Enjoy unique safari experiences at dawn and during exciting night hikes, and unwind in comfortable eco-lodges at midday • Visit the famed stilt villages of the sea gypsies, the Bajau Laut, and learn about their nomadic way of life The island of Borneo offers an amazing range of ecosystems, from its lush rainforests to its pristine beaches, but it also hosts a magnificent display of rare and endangered wildlife. Based out of relaxed and well-appointed eco-lodges, our itinerary focuses on the island’s best wildlife-viewing locations: Kinabatangan River, the Danum Valley rainforest, and tropical Pom Pom Island. And our pace couldn’t be any easier. Every day begins and ends with safaris by foot and by boat, and midday is free to relax and explore. Along the way you’ll encounter orangutans, pygmy elephants, and Sumatran rhino, and our expert guides will explain the conservation efforts being made for their protection. These unique creatures are not to be missed! FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code BOR in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive in Sandakan, Borneo. Meet your guide and transfer to your hotel to relax and get acclimated. Meet for a welcome dinner and orientation tonight. Day 2: Today we’ll explore the Sepilok Forest Reserve by foot. We’ll visit the Orangutan Rehabilitation Center and the Sun Bear Center for a private tour and then head to the Rainforest Discovery Center. Day 3: After breakfast we’ll head to our resort on the Kinabatangan River. A river cruise at dusk reveals abundant wildlife for our viewing. Day 4: We’ll enjoy an early morning river cruise to explore the renowned Gomantong Caves, famous for their unusual birdlife, orangutans, and red leaf langurs. Day 5: Today we’ll travel to the Danum Valley, a Class I Virgin Primary Rainforest, renowned for its rare and endangered wildlife. Later we’ll search for nocturnal creatures on a night hike.

Photo ©MTS Photo File

Day 6: A fabulous day begins with a morning canopy walk followed by a hike to a spectacular waterfall for a dip. End with a nighttime safari. Day 7: Spend the day exploring this pristine rainforest, and search for orangutans, gibbons, and more. Take a swim in the Danum River. Day 8: A speed boat ride brings us to Pom Pom Island, where we’ll spend the day relaxing, snorkeling, or swimming. Day 9: Today is spent exploring Tun Sakaran Marine Park, snorkeling its pristine reefs and visiting traditional Bajau Laut villages. Day 10: Transfer to the airport and fly to Kota Kinabalu. Tonight we’ll explore the waterfront markets and enjoy a farewell feast. Day 11: Head to the airport for your homeward-bound flights, or consider a trip extension to Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and/or Cambodia.

FOR DETAILS, ITINERARIES, AND MORE VISIT WWW.MTSOBEK.COM

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EUROPE

ASIA

ASIA

Kolkata

Bhoramdeo

INDIA Kanker

Bhubaneshwar Puri

Rayagada

Gopalpur

Land/Sea Travel Air Travel

Activities Cultural encounters Trip Level Easy to Moderate Lodging Hotels 15-Day Trip Departs Feb, Dec Land Cost From $5,195

NEW Ancient Tribes of Odisha & Chhattisgarh • Mingle with fascinating Donguria, Muria, and Bonda tribespeople at their vibrant village markets on this mind-opening journey • Marvel at thousands of exquisite stone carvings adorning the Konark Sun Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site • Overnight at the charming Kanker Palace—the legendary home of the Maharajas—as guests of the royal family! Discover a side of India few visitors have a chance to explore—the fascinating tribal regions of Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Known for their elaborate adornments and largely untouched by modern times, these remote communities have kept their richly diverse cultural identities intact. Meet the Dongarias, renowned for their skill with herbology, the Muria with their unforgettable stilt dance, and the Bondas, clad in strand after strand of colored beads. Get a glimpse of daily tribal life as you mingle at their villages and lively markets. You’ll also visit the vast Bhubaneshwar temple complex, see the magnificent Konark Sun Temple, and overnight at a Maharaja palace as guests of the royal family. Join us for a mind-opening journey into the very heart of India. FOR FULL ITINERARY: Enter Trip Code OCH in the Search Box on www.mtsobek.com 30

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ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS Day 1: Arrive at the magnificent Oberoi Grand Hotel in Kolkata. Day 2: Fly to Bhubaneshwar, the “Temple City of India,” where 500 of the original 7,000 temples that once surrounded Bindusagar Lake still stand. Day 3: Drive to Puri, stopping to see the Konark Sun Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most stunning monuments of religious architecture. Day 4: Journey to Gopalpur, stopping at the village of Raghurajpur, where master painters create intricate scenes on dried palm leaves. Day 5: Today we drive to Rayagada, making stops at the Berhampur silkweaving village, and the Kumiti and Saura tribal villages. Days 6–9: Spend the next several days visiting the various markets of the tribal districts. Highlights include the colorful market of the Dongarias, renowned for their deep horticultural knowledge, and the fascinating Bonda market. As the

most insular ethnic people of India, Bonda culture has changed little in a thousand years. Days 10–11: Drive to Nayennar village to watch the Muria tribe perform their famous “Bison Horn” dance. Overnight at the Palace of Kanker, where you’ll enjoy a cocktail as guests of the royal family. The next day, drive to Bahigaon village to see the Muria’s Gotul stilt dance (performed by bachelors who are seeking a match). Days 12–13: Travel to Bhoramdeo and check in at the Jungle Retreat, nestled in the Maikal Hills. Hike to the village of the Baiga tribe, whose women adorn their bodies with culturally significant tattoos. End with a visit to the erotic tantric temple of Bhoramdeo. Days 14–15: Fly to Kolkata for a farewell dinner and last night in India. Depart for the airport the following morning.

Custom Travel

In Asia

Private and Custom Experiences with the Asia Experts!

India’s Northeastern Frontier: Nagaland and Assam

From the isolated steppes of Mongolia to the lush rainforests of

Discover the remote tribes and cultures of

Borneo, Asia’s diverse geography enchants all the senses! MTS

Nagaland and Assam, hike through verdant

has been leading and pioneering trips throughout the continent

rice paddies, tea gardens, and forests—and be

for over 45 years. As the first North American outfitter in Nepal,

treated like royalty by the local angh, or king.

Bhutan, and North Korea (among others), rest assured that our guides and in-house experts are the best of the best.

Photos on this page ©Patitucci Photo, Radim Strobl, MTS Photo File

INDIA

Photo ©MTS Photo File

Nepal: Hidden Valley of Tsum Explore this hidden Himalayan sanctuary,

When making an epic journey to the other side of the world,

only recently opened to tourists. Trek past

it is important to consider what you really want to experience

gorgeous rivers, forests, farmland, and

and how to best achieve it. Our in-house experts can walk you

waterfalls, and visit ancient monasteries in

through every step of the process. Will you honeymoon in

this well-preserved, ancient Buddhist valley.

Southeast Asia or enjoy a family reunion in the Himalaya? check off the most significant sites on your bucket list while

Create Your Own Journey in Southeast Asia

widening your scope to more far-flung locations.

Yearning to see Vietnam’s scenic Ha Long

Let us help you create your own magic so you can be sure to

These are three of our favorite itineraries, but feel free to browse our catalog and website for more inspiration—or call our Asia experts at 1-888-MTSOBEK (687-6235). In Asia,

Bay, Cambodia’s lost city of Angkor Wat, or the temples of Bagan in Myanmar? See them all on this one entirely unique adventure.

the possibilities are truly endless. FOR DETAILS, ITINERARIES, AND MORE VISIT WWW.MTSOBEK.COM

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IT’S EASY TO SIGN UP! Call us at 1-888-MTSOBEK (687-6235) and reserve your spot. You can also book online at www.mtsobek.com. If you have a favorite travel agent, we are happy to work with them, but he or she must make the booking directly with Mountain Travel Sobek. Bookings made by a client cannot be picked up retroactively for travel agent commission. Note: Terms and conditions are subject to change.

Payment Schedule

Based on Land/Cruise Cost*, per person Regular Trip Departures (1), (2), (3), (4) At time of reservation................................$400 65 days prior to trip departure............ Balance (1) Gorilla trips require a non-refundable deposit to cover the cost of each gorilla permit ($750 per permit). (2) The Machu Picchu Inn to Inn Express trip requires a $500 non-refundable deposit at time of booking. (3) All Botswana, Congo, South Africa and Zimbabwe trips incur a 100% cancellation fee at 60 days or less prior to departure. (4) The Brazil: Voyage to the Heart of the Amazon trip requires a $400 nonrefundable deposit at time of booking.

Galápagos, Greece, Turkey, John Muir Trail, Patagonia Explorer, Cuba, Panama: Journey Beyond the Seas and Glacier Bay Historic Ship Adventure Trip Departures At time of reservation..........................................................$400 120 days prior to trip departure.......................................$1,200 90 days prior to trip departure...................................... Balance Scheduled Departures Involving Uganda, Namibia, and Kenya At time of reservation..........................................................$400 105 days prior to trip departure.................................... Balance Custom Departures Involving Uganda, Namibia, and Kenya At time of reservation...................... 25% of Land/Cruise Cost 105 days prior to trip departure.................................... Balance Antarctica and Arctic Cruise Departures

At time of reservation........................................ $1,500–$2,500

(varies based on ship and trip departure—see detailed itinerary)

120 days prior to trip departure..................................... Balance Private Adventures, Custom Adventures and Special Trip Departures At time of reservation ......$800 or 25% of Land/Cruise Cost, whichever is greater 120 days prior to trip departure...... 25% of Land/Cruise Cost 90 days prior to trip departure...................................... Balance Extensions & Extra Services (including extra hotel nights) At time of reservation...................................................... $100 (4) (non-refundable) The balance will be added to the cost of your trip, and payment will follow the applicable schedule above. Requests made 29 days or less prior to trip departure are subject to a $100 late booking fee. Once booked, each change is subject to a $50 change fee. (4) Some exceptions apply and deposits may be higher.

After we receive your deposit, we will provide you with detailed pre-trip information including a packing list, visa information (if required), statement of account, and travel insurance information. We will also send you a link to access and complete the required forms including a Release from Liability form, Assumption of Risk and Binding Arbitration clause which is required for participation on any trip. Certain trips including those designated as “Ultimate Challenge” require participants to have their physician complete and sign a Physician Certificate. We will also provide you with rendezvous instructions and final trip details approximately three weeks prior to trip departure.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW What Your Trip Includes

The Land and/or Cruise Cost* for most trips includes: Expert leadership • Accommodations in hotels, inns, or lodges in cities and villages, or aboard boat or ship • Field arrangements, including camp and cook staffs, tents, kitchen and dining tents (on most trips), group camping and commissary equipment, necessary trip equipment (e.g. sea kayaks, rafts, personal flotation devices, etc.) • Meals as noted in the trip itinerary • Sightseeing as noted in the trip itinerary • Group airport transfers • Ground transportation and support vehicles • Additional guides and porters if needed • Entrance fees and permits • Basic medical and emergency medical evacuation insurance. *Note—“Land/Cruise Cost” includes the cost of the trip, internal airfare, park fees, permits, single supplements, and taxes may be included in the price, or broken out separately. Unless otherwise noted, payment and cancellation policies apply to the total Land/Cruise Cost, inclusive of internal airfare, park fees, permits, and taxes, even when broken out separately. Travel agent commission is calculated from base Land/Cruise Cost only and excludes tier charges. Each trip varies slightly, so please call and speak with one of our Regional Specialists or ask for a detailed trip itinerary for the specifics (you can also download itineraries at www.mtsobek.com). International airfare, optional gratuities, and personal items are not included.

Tier Pricing

Group adventure travel works best with a small group of people. In order to operate these small groups, our trips are priced according to the number of full-price travelers on the trip. Mountain Travel Sobek staff, trip doctors, and other discounted travelers are excluded from the count for this purpose. Not all trips have tier pricing, but for those trips that do your statements will reflect the highest tier price (the smallest group size we can operate) until final payment is due. If the price drops due to an increase in group size before your trip departs, you will be refunded the difference.

Solo Travelers

Accommodations (hotels, tents, and cruise cabins) are priced on a double occupancy basis. If you prefer single accommodations, you may, where available, arrange for them with payment of a single supplement fee, which is listed in the trip itinerary. If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try our best to find you a roommate of the same gender. If there is no one with whom you can share, we charge a “forced” single supplement fee, which varies by trip and ranges from half to the same fee as the “requested” single supplement, and is listed in the trip itinerary. Shared accommodations are guaranteed on some trips. On a few trips, single accommodations are not available.

Cancellations & Refunds

Based on Land/Cruise Cost*, per person At the time we receive written notice that you must cancel your trip, the following fees will apply (all dates are from departure date): Regular Trip Departures (1), (2), (3), (4) From time of reservation until 90 days prior to trip departure.................................................................. $150 89 to 61 days prior to trip departure...................................$400 60 to 46 days prior to trip departure............50% of Land Cost 45 days or less prior to trip departure...........100% of Land Cost (1) Gorilla trips require a non-refundable deposit to cover the cost of each gorilla permit ($750 per permit). (2) The Machu Picchu Inn to Inn Express trip requires a $500 non-refundable deposit at time of booking. (3) All Botswana, Congo, South Africa, and Zimbabwe trips incur a 100% cancellation fee at 60 days or less prior to departure (4) The Brazil: Voyage to the Heart of the Amazon trip requires a $400 nonrefundable deposit at time of booking.

Galápagos, Greece, Turkey, John Muir Trail, Patagonia Explorer, Cuba, Panama: Journey Beyond the Seas and Glacier Bay Historic Ship Adventure Trip Departures From time of reservation until 120 days prior to trip departure.....................................................$400 119 to 90 days prior to trip departure............................. 25% of Land/Cruise Cost 89 to 60 days prior to trip departure..............................50% of Land/Cruise Cost 59 days or less prior to trip departure...............................100% of Land/Cruise Cost Scheduled Departures Involving Uganda, Namibia, and Kenya From time of reservation until 96 days prior to trip departure.................................... Loss of first deposit 95 days or less prior to trip departure.............................100% of Land/Cruise Cost Custom Departures Involving Uganda, Namibia, and Kenya From time of reservation until 96 days prior to trip departure.......................... 25% of Land/Cruise Cost 95 days or less prior to trip departure.............................100% of Land/Cruise Cost

With the exception of those trips operated in the United States and Cuba, we include the cost of this optional insurance coverage as an item on your statement. It is effective the day we receive your designated payment for the insurance or the day your final balance is paid. Please note that deposits are not applied toward your insurance premium. If you do not wish this optional insurance, you need only notify Mountain Travel Sobek in writing by time of final payment and we will remove the charge from the invoice. Participants traveling on trips in the United States or Cuba who wish to obtain the optional insurance—the details of which are available at www. tripmate.com/wpF485s—please contact your Adventure Coordinator for pricing. Note: A Basic Medical and Evacuation Insurance Plan is purchased on your behalf. However, we recommend you purchase the Optional Travel Insurance Plan outlined above to ensure protection from trip cancellation fees for covered reasons and to increase your medical and emergency medical evacuation coverage.

Transfers

From time of reservation until 120 days prior to trip departure............................................ Loss of deposit 119 days or less prior to trip departure............................100% of Cruise Cost

With the exception of those trips noted otherwise within this section, you may transfer to another trip without a fee up to 90 days before trip departure on most trips. If you transfer from one trip to another within 89 days of trip departure, however, you are subject to the usual Cancellation Fees outlined above (appropriate to the date you notify us in writing of your wish to transfer). No transfers are allowed on: Galápagos, Turkey, Patagonia Explorer, Mountains to Sea: Denali & Kenai Fjords, Antarctica, and Arctic cruises; John Muir Trail, Private Adventures, Custom Adventures, or Special Departures.

Private Adventures, Custom Adventures and Special Trip Departures

For Machu Picchu Inn to Inn Express departures you are subject to the following transfer fees:

Antarctica & Arctic Cruise Trip Departures

From time of reservation until 90 days prior to trip departure...............$800 or 25% of Land/Cruise Cost, whichever is greater 89-60 day prior to trip departure....50% of Land/Cruise Cost 59 days or less.................................100% of Land/Cruise Cost Extensions & Extra Services (including extra hotel nights) At time of reservation until 60 days prior to trip departure................................................. $100 (5) 59 to 30 days......................................................................50% of Extension Cost 29 days or less.................................................................100% of Extension Cost (5) Some exceptions apply and cancellation fees may be higher.

No refunds will be given for unused hotel rooms, meals, sightseeing trips, or trek arrangements for any reason whatsoever. Land/Cruise Cost is quoted as a package and credits are not given for services not used. (Note—Extra hotel nights cancelled within 60 days of trip departure are subject to 100% of the hotel cost or $35, whichever is greater.) Internal airfare, once purchased, is non-refundable. Cancellation and refund policy applies to entire Land/Cruise cost of trip, including trip cost, internal airfare, park fees, permits, and taxes. We recommend you purchase the Optional Travel Insurance Plan to protect yourself in case of an unexpected medical emergency. Refunds in excess of $500 will be remitted by check.

Travel Insurance

For your protection, we offer an Optional Travel Insurance Plan. It combines trip cancellation and interruption coverage (for covered reasons only), baggage loss protection, and medical coverage along with additional emergency medical evacuation coverage. For complete terms and conditions go to www.mtsobek.com/faq#insurance. To review the Optional Travel Insurance Plan details go to www.tripmate.com/wpF485s.

60 or more days prior to departure...................................$250 59 to 30 days prior to departure..................................$25% of Land Cost 29 days or less prior to departure.................................50% of Land Cost

Cancelled Trips

Mountain Travel Sobek reserves the right to cancel any trip due to inadequate sign-up or other cause that makes the trip unfeasible for us to operate, but we will inform you at least 45 days prior to trip departure. In such a case, a full refund of Land/Cruise Cost is given, but Mountain Travel Sobek is not responsible for additional expenses incurred by members preparing for the trip (e.g. non-refundable “Advance Purchase” air tickets, visa fees if applicable, clothing, equipment, medical expenses). Do not purchase your air tickets before speaking with your Adventure Coordinator.

Baggage

Mountain Travel Sobek assumes no liability for loss or damage to baggage in transit to and from a Mountain Travel Sobek trip or while on a Mountain Travel Sobek trip. We recommend purchasing the supplemental travel insurance package.

Delays & Cost Increases

The cost of delays is not included if any trip is delayed due to bad weather, trail conditions, river levels, road conditions, transportation delays, government intervention, sickness or other contingency for which Mountain Travel Sobek or its third party operators cannot make provision. Land/Cruise Costs are subject to increase without prior notice, even after you have signed up on the trip. We often publish our prices more than a year in advance. Between that time and the time of the trip’s actual departure, we are occasionally faced with significant cost increases that we cannot absorb (i.e. international currency fluctuations, fuel surcharges, or increases in cost of services). We regret this situation, and we do everything we

can to avoid raising prices, but sometimes it is unavoidable. We will do our best to limit such increases and will notify you at least two months before trip departure.

Airlines

The airlines are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not on board their planes or conveyance. The passage contract in use by the airlines concerned, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the airlines and such purchasers of these tours and/or passenger. Such conveyance, etc. is subject to the laws of the countries involved. Airlines used vary in degree of safety and risk. Many air carriers have an unknown safety and maintenance record. Mountain Travel Sobek is not liable for incidents involving airline safety, cancellations, service, risk, delays, etc.; or incidents that result in injury, delay or death. Please read the conditions on the back of your airline tickets.

Medical & Health

It is vital that persons with medical problems make them known to us well before trip departure. The trip leader has the right to disqualify anyone at any time during the trip if he or she feels the trip member is physically or mentally incapable or if a trip member’s continued participation will jeopardize the individual involved or the group. Refunds are not given under such circumstances. Hospital facilities are often unavailable and evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. Mountain Travel Sobek assumes no liability regarding provision of medical care. You will need to provide us with your medical history and any dietary restrictions, as requested in the required documentation. If you participate on certain designated trips including those with an activity level of “Ultimate Challenge,” the Physician Certificate must be completed and signed by your physician. Once you have been confirmed on a trip, normal cancellation fees apply if your doctor does not approve the Physician Certificate. We can send you this form prior to making your reservation so your doctor can pre-approve you. The State Department (www.travel.state.gov) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) periodically issue statements, advisories and warnings about risks to travelers. These statements are country-specific and contain important information. Mountain Travel Sobek urges all participants to review these sites.

Photography

Mountain Travel Sobek may take photographs and/or video of its trips, and trip participants grant Mountain Travel Sobek permission to do so and for it to use same for promotional or commercial use without payment of any compensation to participant.

Trip Alteration

Mountain Travel Sobek reserves the right to change hotels or other features of the trip if Mountain Travel Sobek believes it will enhance the safety, comfort, or enjoyment of the trip.

Responsibilities of Trip Members

Trip members have certain responsibilities to Mountain Travel Sobek and to other trip members. Trip members are responsible for understanding the conditions implied in the Trip Itinerary and selecting a trip in consultation with Mountain Travel Sobek that is appropriate to their interests and abilities, and for preparing for the trip by studying the Trip Itinerary and supplemental trip information sent by Mountain Travel Sobek. Screening for fitness (for trips rated “Strenuous” or “Ultimate Challenge”) is made by our Regional Specialists at the time of booking. At the trip leader’s discretion, a member may be removed from the trip, without the right of refund, if the leader feels that the person’s further participation may be detrimental to the individual or to other trip members.

Limitations of Liability

Except for certain equipment in Alaska, Idaho, Portugal, and Patagonia, Mountain Travel, Mountain Travel Sobek, Alaska Discovery, Inc., their owners, directors, officers, employees, and affiliates (collectively “Mountain Travel Sobek”) does not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for your trip including, for example, ownership or control over hotels or other lodging facilities, airline, vessel, bus, van, or other transportation companies, local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional or included excursions or equipment used thereon (even if same utilize the Mountain Travel Sobek name), food service, or entertainment providers, etc. All such persons and entities are independent contractors. As a result, Mountain Travel Sobek is not liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person or entity, or of any third party. Without limitation, Mountain Travel Sobek is not responsible for any injury, loss or damage to person or property, death, delay or inconvenience in connection with the provision of any goods or services occasioned by or resulting from, but not limited to, acts of God, acts of government, force majeur, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind, or the threat thereof, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, structural or other defective conditions in hotels or other lodging facilities, mechanical or other failure of airplanes or other means of transportation or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart timely or safely, dangers associated with or bites from animals, pests or insects, marine life or vegetation of any sort, dangers incident to recreational activities such as scuba diving, zip lining, snorkeling, paddle boarding, surfing, swimming, kayaking, sailing, canoeing, rafting, hiking, bicycling, rock climbing, etc., sanitation problems, food poisoning, lack of access to or quality of medical care, difficulty in evacuation in case of a medical or other emergency, illness, epidemics or the threat thereof or for any other cause beyond the direct control of Mountain Travel Sobek. In addition, participants release Mountain Travel Sobek from its own negligence and assume all risk thereof. On advancement of deposit to Mountain Travel Sobek, the depositor therefore agrees to be bound by the above recited terms and conditions, and the binding arbitration clause below. These are partial conditions. Your participation is contingent on your signature on the full list of terms specified in the document entitled “Participant Information Form, Booking Verification, Medical History, and Release from Liability,” which you can find on our website at www.mtsobek.com/pdf/ participant_info.pdf (or call us at 1-888-687-6235 and request a copy). Additionally, some independent contractors may require participants to sign their liability release or indemnity form.

Binding Arbitration

Any dispute concerning, relating or referring to these Terms and Conditions, to any literature concerning the trip, or the trip itself, shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration in San Francisco, California, according to the then existing commercial rules of the American Arbitration Association. Such proceedings will be governed by substantive (but not procedural) California law and without regard to the California Arbitration Act. The arbitrator and not any federal, state, or local court or agency shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, conscionability, or formation of this contract, including but not limited to any claim that all or any part of this contract is void or voidable.

©2015 Mountain Travel Sobek Art Direction, Design, Photo Editing and Production: Christopher Bettencourt

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Profile for Mountain Travel Sobek

Mountain Travel Sobek - 2016 Asia Brochure  

Since 1969, Mountain Travel Sobek has been pioneering small group adventure travel. With a long history of firsts including the first U.S. c...

Mountain Travel Sobek - 2016 Asia Brochure  

Since 1969, Mountain Travel Sobek has been pioneering small group adventure travel. With a long history of firsts including the first U.S. c...

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