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ASIA 2014

get lost find your way make mistakes learn what matters

appreciate the small things

and the big things


Adventure.. It’s in our DNA. Whether we’re haggling with the locals, trying weird and wonderful food or trekking new territory, we like to keep things interesting. It’s the whole reason we set up STA Travel in 1979. We love nothing more than getting to know a new language, culture or environment and, 35 years later, we’re still exploring. We’re convinced that experiencing the wonders of our planet opens your mind and stretches your horizons. We listen to our travellers, our expert staff visit faraway places and use this knowledge to create your very own life-changing experience. Inside, you’ll find no end of incredible adventures to inspire your ultimate trip to Asia, whether you’re looking for an iconic overland journey or just a quick break to explore a little-known corner of this breathtaking region. From shoestring hostels to luxurious resorts, and from great value group tours to indulgent sailing adventures, we’ve also got every budget covered. Our expert advice, unique experiences and amazing special offers will make sure you never look at the world in quite the same way again. So buckle up, you’re about to uncover a whole new way to travel.

Start the adventure


CONTENTS We Know Because We Go! Save With STA Travel Flying High Start The Adventure Sleep With Us Go Smart or Go Home Feeling Social? Responsible Travel Discover Asia

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SOUTH EAST ASIA

Contents

04 05 06 08 10 12 13 14 16

20 Multi-Country Touring 38 Bamba Experience 40 Stray Bus 42 Thailand 43 Touring & Sailing 52 Bangkok 56 Chiang Mai 59 Beaches & Islands 75 Burma 77 Malaysia 80 Kuala Lumpur 82 Malaysian Beaches & Borneo 87 Singapore 90 Indonesia 91 Touring - Bali & Beyond 96 Bali 101 Cambodia, Vietnam & Laos 108 Cambodia & Laos 110 Vietnam

114

ORIENTAL ASIA

119 Vodkatrain 124 China & Hong Kong 132 Dragon Experience 134 Hong Kong 137 Beijing & Shanghai 139 Japan 142 Tokyo 144 Kyoto & Osaka

146

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

149 India 150 Touring & Holy Cow Rail Tours 159 Delhi & Mumbai 160 Sri Lanka 163 Nepal 168 Kathmandu

169 looking for inspiration 170 Terms & Conditions facebook.com/statravel.uk twitter.com/statravel_uk statravel.co.uk/travel-blog 3


WE Know Because We Go!

Save with Sta travel Save with STA Travel and make that hard-earned cash stretch a little further, by taking advantage of some of our amazing offers. We’ve come up with some great, exclusive discounts to make sure you get the best deals going.

No single supplements

Repeat traveller

Multi-trip deals

Free Nights +BONUS

Top 10

REASONS to travel with STA Travel 1.

Wherever you are, we’re there for you 24/7

2.

World-class travel partners

3.

Exclusive low Flexible airfares

4. 5.

We work with only the most reputable tour operators and accommodation providers across the globe Our unique airline partnerships mean you always get the lowest fares around and you can also change your plans at the last minute without breaking the bank

HAND-PICKED

Experiences, trips and accommodation options - all hand-picked and vetted by us

100’S of stores worldwide

With stores all over the world, you’re never far from one of our Travel Experts

Cardholder discounts

Stay longer at many of our hotels and hostels and we’ll often throw in a free night, or two...

Flex

Great discounts on airfares and a load of free stuff too, just for being a student, teacher or young person. Check out our range of discount cards on page 12.

STA Travel’s unique range of flexible products aim to make travelling easier and cheaper. Check out our Multiflex pass on page 6 to reduce the cost of changing your travel plans.

Mates rates

EARLY BOOKING

Save cash if you travel as a group, or maybe earn a free place if there are enough of you.

Book your trip well in advance of your travel date and you may qualify for reduced rates.

Make it Happen Its pretty easy really - you’ve done the most important bit by picking up this brochure. Next step – go in and see one of our Travel Experts and start planning your route. There are all sorts of things we can help you with from here.

checklist Pick up my copy of the STA Travel Asia brochure Book an appointment with a Travel Expert and get planning!

6.

One-stop shop

7.

We are the experts

Buy my ISIC or IYTC card for amazing discounts all over the world

Over 30 years’ experience

Get my Cashcard so I can manage my money easily while I’m away

8.

Picture courtesy of G Adventures

Global travel help

Buy two or more tours with the same operator and get up to 5% off your total price.

Travel with the same tour operator more than once and you’ll often find your loyalty is rewarded with a discount.

Book everything with us and spend less time worrying and more time having fun Our Travel Experts are the go-to people for tips and advice, whatever your question We know our stuff when it comes to travel adventures, we’ve been there, done that and bought the T-shirt!

9.

Price beat guarantee

10.

Adventures for all

We’ll beat any price that you find lower elsewhere* No matter what your age or budget, we’ll inspire you to create your ultimate trip *For full terms and conditions on our price beat guarantee please visit www.statravel.co.uk/pricebeat

save with STA TRAVEL

We know because we go!

Travelling alone but happy to share a room with a same-sex traveller? If so, you’ll save the single supplement on many of our tours.

Get my flights booked

Get a phone card so I can phone home cheaply Book somewhere to stay for at least my first few nights Check and arrange any visas required Speak to my GP or STA Travel Clinic about my jabs Get packed, it’s time to hit the road

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The absolute lowest fares with the world’s leading airlines including exclusive discounts and flexible booking conditions for students holding an ISIC card and for youths under 30 holding an IYTC card. We even throw in discounts for teachers holding an ITIC card for good measure! The flexibility to change your travel dates and route before and after departure.

Build your very own itinerary using our exclusive one-way fares.

100s of STA Travel stores worldwide giving you personal support as you travel the globe.

GET THE BEST PRICE

We’ve been helping our customers get the best airfares for over 30 years so our Travel Experts know exactly where to look and what to check to give you the deal of a lifetime! Buy an ISIC, IYTC or ITIC card to be eligible for our exclusive student, under 30 and teacher fares. We’ll beat any competitor on price and that’s a promise – see statravel.co.uk or ask in store for details. Sign up to our weekly newsletter by visiting statravel.co.uk to receive our best offers and the chance to win amazing prizes!

ROUND THE WORLD

We practically invented the concept of flying round the world, so we’ve got a huge range of exclusive choices and plenty of suggestions for you. Our fares are totally flexible and some even last up to 18 months; so you can work for a year and travel the other six.

STOPOVERS

The vast majority of our fares allow discounted, or even free, stopovers en route to your final destination. You don’t need to limit it to a night or two as some of our fares allow stopovers of weeks or even months! So, in effect you could be getting two or more countries for the price of one. These aren’t bookable online so be sure to ask your Travel Expert what’s available for you.

MULTIFLEX PASS

On average, an STA traveller on a round the world trip will change their flight dates five times. By buying your date changes up front you could save over £100 and change your mind during your trip, without having to worry about the cost. You can get three date changes for £69 or unlimited date changes for £99, saving you heaps of cash!

Discover the wonderous Taj MahaL party on the beaches of Goa, explore the backwaters of Kerala and come face to face with the majestic tiger. Whatever your expectations of your Indian adventure, Jet Airways can get you there and now celebrating over 20 years of excellence, you’ll travel in comfort and style! Why not combine the colour and diversity of India with favourites Nepal, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore or Sri Lanka? A unique combination possible with Jet Airways to get the most out of your big trip! •

Non-stop flights from London Heathrow to Delhi and Mumbai with connections to over 40 Indian gateways

Combine India with Asia favourites Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Colombo or Kathmandu

Complimentary alcohol and soft drinks on international flights

Choose from European dishes or authentic Indian cuisine from the kitchens of exclusive London restaurant Bombay Brasserie. Available on all flights to and from London A virtual feast of entertainment, from blockbuster movies to the latest music albums, from awardwinning TV to games all ondemand when you want it

Price guarantee on all Jet Airways flights – you won’t find cheaper anywhere else.

Discounted and fully flexible fares for students and youths under 31 years of age - negotiated just for you

All fares eligible for the STA Travel Multi-flex pass

Start your Asia adventure and discover why Jet Airways are one of our favourites.

FLIGHTS & OUR PREFERRED AIRLINES

FlIGHTS & OUR PREFERRED AIRLINES

FLYING HIGH

Aside from our unbeatable prices, many of our airfares are unique and exclusive, meaning we can book just about anything you desire, from one-ways or simple return tickets, to complex and exciting round the world itineraries. Below is just a snippet of what we can do for you.


Start The adventure

To help you choose the trip style that’s right for you, see the ‘Inclusions’ box on each of the tour pages and look out for the following logos throughout the brochure:

Trip Styles STA Travel is proud to partner with G Adventures to deliver an amazing range of small group adventures worldwide. G Adventures has been redefining small group travel for over 20 years and their trips feature active exploration, cultural immersion and the creation of true, lifelong connections with the people and places they visit. All trip styles / service levels have a few things in common: 100% Guaranteed Departures – once you book, you’re going! Lifetime Deposits – if you need to cancel or postpone, your money’s protected for use against a future trip.

These tours encourage you to step off the beaten path and immerse yourself in your chosen destination. You’ll usually share your trip with no more than 16 like-minded travellers, though the average group size is often lower.

No Single Supplements – you can be paired up with a same-sex roommate at no extra cost or, if you prefer your own space, look for the ‘My Own Room’ prices.

SMALL GROUP ADVENTURE (18-35s)

As above, but aimed at younger travellers looking to experience the best of Asia with a bunch of fun and friendly travel mates. Please note that some of our touring partners set an official age limit, while for others it is suggested as a guideline - see individual tour pages. As a world leader in youth travel for 18-35s, Contiki’s experiences are designed with young travellers in mind. Their journeys are packed with culture, inspiring places, lifelong friendships and making every moment count. A trip with no regrets, no compromises and definitely no travelling with other people’s kids or grandparents.

On these trips, which typically have a larger group size, you’ll travel only with 18-35 year olds who share your passion for travel. These trips are super sociable, ideal for making new friends through shared experiences.

Independent travel in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia is easy with Bamba Experience and Stray Bus, whose hop-on, hop-off bus networks allow you to explore at your own pace and according to your own itinerary. Stay as long as you like in each destination and jump back on the bus whenever you’re ready to move on. It’s really that simple!

Contiki includes access to blockbuster sights such as Angkor Wat, the Great Wall Of China and the Royal Palace in Bangkok (and they even skip the queue). They offer amazing places to stay and

If you are looking for private arrangements for you and your travel buddy(ies), check out our range of itineraries that usually come complete with private driver/guide.

Exactly what it says on the tin. These exciting short tours can be booked on their own, added on to a longer tour or mixed and matched to create your own itinerary. You are likely to be travelling with other like-minded people but each tour is different, run by our local operators and designed for maximum enjoyment.

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Picture courtesy of G Adventures

If there’s any better way to travel from Europe into Asia than on the legendary Trans Mongolian Railway, we want to know about it! Travelling with no more than 15 people, all aged between 18 and 35, you’ll escape the restrictions of an organised tour but Vodkatrain will take care of all the boring red tape. In each city, you’ll meet a friendly local guide (or ‘honcho’) who can show you all the cool things to see and do. Na Zdarovie!

YOLO – popular with 18-39 year olds, Yolo trips are for those who want to take on the planet in a fun and affordable way. Classic – for travellers of all ages seeking extraordinary landscapes and wildlife, and real interaction with local cultures. Comfort – unforgettable trips with upgraded accommodation and transport, plus more meals and included activities. Active - geared towards adventurers with a love of the great outdoors who are hungry to hike, trek, bike, raft and more. Local Living – immersive, one-of-a-kind stays in traditional accommodation, to get you close to the land and its people. Marine Cruising & Sailing – explore the idyllic islands of Thailand on a sailing catamaran that sleeps a maximum of 8.

plenty of free time to get even more from your trip. And with a dedicated Contiki team and local guides on-hand, you’ll have constant access to valuable insider knowledge. Best of all, on every date listed for Contiki tours in this brochure, you’ll benefit from: Guaranteed Departures – once you book, you’re going! No Single Supplements – we don’t charge any extra if you’re travelling solo - we’ll match you up with a same-sex room-mate. Or you can opt for a ‘A room to myself’ for a small supplement.

For nearly 50 years, Sundowners Overland has been offering extraordinary journeys across Asia following the ancient routes of trade and conquest. Their ‘Experience Tours’ offer a unique alternative to conventional touring, with sightseeing in each city arranged by expert local guides rather than a tour leader to accompany your entire journey. If you are seeking even more freedom, you can opt for an ‘Independent’ or fully tailor-made tour.

Service Levels

Camping – great value trips with the odd hotel stay; public and private transport. Basic – simple and clean hostels, hotels and guesthouses; public and private transport; great optional activities. Standard – comfortable and central midrange accommodations; public and private transport; top highlights included. Upgraded – well-equipped hotels; private and upgraded transport, more included meals, activities and transfers.

Physical Grading

1. Easy – you can walk unaided, climb a few stairs and carry your own bag. 2. Light – some gentle walks or hikes, but still suitable for all fitness levels. 3. Average – includes moderate activities such as hiking, biking, rafting or kayaking. 4. Demanding – some hikes at higher altitudes or other strenuous activities. 5. Challenging – serious high-altitude treks, climbing, cycling and heavy exercise.

Service LevelS

Superior – experience the best of Asia travelling by plane, boat and convenient private coach. Stay near the sights in a mix of comfortable hotels and unique local stopover options. Add to this a raft of meals, local knowledge and amazing experiences and you have an epic trip!

TOURING Asia

TOURING Asia

There’s no more convenient way to travel than on a tour, it takes all the hassle out of travelling, opens your mind to local cultures, gets you trying out a whole bunch of exciting new activities and is a great way to make new friends from all over the world. You’ll visit all the mustsee highlights, of course, but expert guides will also take you to authentic, out-of-the-way places that only those with insider knowledge would know. You’d probably never find them on your own! Taking a tour can usually be cheaper than trying to put it together yourself, so whatever your budget, we’re confident you’ll find your perfect trip. We also guarantee that you will not find the same tour cheaper anywhere else.


SLEEP WITH US sleep with us

sleep with us

Star ratings are often not the best way to categorise hotels. Depending on what country you’re travelling through, perceptions of each standard can vary quite dramatically. To make things much easier for you, we’re giving you our own, very educated opinion on each property that we feature. We’ve horizontally tangoed with the cool, the interesting, the enviable and the luxe to the off the wall to bring you our curated offering of hostels, hotels, lodges and apartments, all chosen especially for you.

Shoestring

Our wallet-friendly digs are hand-picked by us. No frills and no nasty surprises but a great sociable atmosphere and fantastic locations!

WHY SLEEP with us

Top Inn, Bangkok

There are loads of very good reasons to book your accommodation with us. Here are our favourite four.

Glampacker

Hand-picked

Stay in some of the most expressive and one-of-a-kind hostels and budget hotels around, without breaking the bank. They are cool and unique, just like you!

We’ve searched every corner of the globe for the very best properties around, in every conceivable style.

Bunc@Radius Little India, Singapore

Vetted

We’ve slept in it and vetted it for safety.

Rock Solid

Best Price Guaranteed

You want a comfy bed, a hot shower and a good range of amenities. Ranging from low key 2* hotels to well known 4* brands, you know it’s a safe bet!

No hidden extras, no nasty surprises.

24 hour Concierge

Patong Merlin Hotel, Phuket

With our worldwide network of stores, backed by our 24/7 global service desk, we won’t leave you stranded.

A-LiST

+BONUS

These flash and funky hotels are worth splashing out on. Great facilities, classy interiors and a bit of luxury thrown in. Get your bling on.

Look out for our STA Travel bonus offers. We’ve sourced the very best deals that will ensure you save money and make the most of your stay. Please ask your STA Travel Expert for applicable dates, terms and conditions.

Shangri-La Golden Sands Resort & Spa, Penang

nomads bed hopper HOSTEL PASS

This hostel pass is the perfect way to explore Thailand without the confines of planning your journey and booking in advance. Choose from five, ten or 15 nights - see page 63 for more details. The pass can also be used in Australia and New Zealand if you are continuing your travels.

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Westin Langkawi

Pricing and Photography The accommodation prices featured in this brochure are based on per person, twin share. The ‘from’ pricing shown has been calculated using low season stays and is based on lead-in room types. We’re sourcing great deals all year long so we recommend using the prices in this brochures only as a guide and to ask your STA Travel Expert for the best available deal for your travel period. The accommodation photos featured are representative of the the room types available at each property however this may not be the actual room type that you receive. If you have a preference for a particular room your Travel Expert will be happy to help. Just ask!


GO SMART OR GO HOME Travel insurance

multiflex pass

Change your mind? Change your ticket without fees. Save £100s on date changes with our totally unique STA Travel Multiflex pass. Ask your travel Expert if your flights are eligible.

STA Travel Cashcards

Don’t travel anywhere without an STA Travel Prepaid MasterCard® Cashcard! Our range of cards offer a safe way to carry money on your travels and you don’t have to worry about exchanging currency.

Why choose an STA Travel Cashcard • Two card types; STA ISIC Cashcard for students or our Cashcard for all • Free UK and overseas transactions* • Safe - no need for cash and the card’s not linked to a bank account • Stay in control – only spend the amount you’ve loaded. Funds can be easily managed 24/7 • Top up free at STA Travel UK stores or via bank transfer • Use in over 35 million locations including 1.5 million ATMs • No credit checks needed • Parents or friends can top-up your card if you run out of money

GLOBAL SIM CARD

It’s good to stay in touch whilst you’re away. It’s even better to keep your costs down and control your spending with it.

What’s the deal? • No more running up uncontrollable roaming bills • Call rates fr 30p per minute & SMS fr 10p • Excellent data rates • Great coverage in 190 countries • Free incoming calls in over 80 countries • Add call time from anywhere in the world • One number all over the world • Free Facebook notifications* • Micro and Nano sims also available • Includes £10 top up *capped at 20 per day

Discount Cards

Thousands of travel, online and lifestyle discounts in the UK and worldwide. Grab an STA ISIC Cashcard for student benefits and an easy way to manage your money all in one, just £12. Also available: under 30 and teacher discount cards. Same great discounts worldwide, also priced at £12.

Visa SERVICE

Whether you’re touring the sights or planning on earning as you travel, it’s important you have the correct entrance visa. Check out your visa requirements with an STA Travel Expert. Our visa service for working and tourist visas is hassle free, efficient and the safest way to process your visas for your travels.

FOREIGN CURRENCY

Get your travel fix straight from the source, with the brilliant STA Travel Blog. Not only is it brimming with original travel ideas, it’s fast becoming the most popular spot to lay down your opinion on the topics that matter the most to you! Get the inside track on adventure travel ideas, and stock up on knowledge from behind the scenes here at STA Travel.

STA Travel Clinics

Visit www.statravel.co.uk/travel-blog

For all your health needs. Ask your Travel Expert where your nearest clinic is, we have more opening all the time! The benefits of using our clinics include:

Like us on Facebook

• Convenience • Professional staff • Easy consultation booking • Competitive prices

Not a student

Available exclusively to students offering all the benefits of a prepaid cashcard for managing your money as well as being an internationally recognised student ID and discount card. Free UK transactions and up to 11% cashback as you spend allow you to go crazy in the UK as well!

Don’t worry! We also have a great STA Cashcard available to everyone.

• For full time students 18 and over • A Student ID, discount card & pre-paid currency card in one! • Student discounts with STA Travel, cheap flights & more • 1,000s of discounts as you travel with ISIC worldwide • Use before you go, earn cashback at UK retailers

Visit the STA Travel BLOG

Land with cash in your hand! Order your foreign currency from us and enjoy 0% commission, great rates of exchange as well as quick and easy delivery to your home or nearest store. Only online at www.statravel.currencyandmore.com

Our STA ISIC Cashcard Only £12

What’s the deal

Being social is at the very heart of what we do; from the moment you step into one of our stores, it’s all about engaging with you at a level which suits you. This way, we learn to understand your needs as an individual, and we learn where to tweak things to ensure you have an unforgettable adventure. And guess what? We extend that philosophy right across the web! Come and join us…

Over 150,000 travel fanatics ‘like’ us on Facebook… are you one of them? If not, get in there right now! As well as giving away some of the world’s best travel prizes, we also smother you with inspiration. Whether you’re looking to connect with other travellers, share your best travel tips and ideas, or find the latest deals from STA Travel, hit the wall on our Facebook page and get involved today! Like us at www.facebook.com/statravel.uk

What’s the deal • Only £22 • Available to all UK residents over 18 • Comes with £10 pre-loaded • Easy and safe way to manage your money abroad • Avoid the cost and hassle of exchanging currency

Follow us on Twitter Get your tweet on and join the world’s biggest conversation! We’re on hand to answer your questions, and fuel your curiosity about the world’s most exciting destinations, as well as bringing our latest and greatest deals, straight to your Twitter stream. Wherever you are in the world, we’re only a tweet away. Follow twitter.com/statravel_uk

Sign up to our Newsletter

*Free UK transactions only available on STA ISIC Cashcard The STA Travel ISIC Prepaid MasterCard Cashcard and the STA Travel Prepaid MasterCard Cashcard are issued by IDT Financial Services Limited pursuant to a license from MasterCard International Incorporated. MasterCard and the MasterCard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard International Incorporated. IDT Financial Services Limited is a regulated bank, licensed by the Financial Services Commission, Gibraltar. Registered Office: 57-63 Line Wall Road, Gibraltar. Registered No. 95716. All communications should be sent to STA Travel, PO Box 3753, Chester, CH1 9UH.

Be the first in line for our best deals and promotions, by signing up to our weekly email newsletter. We’ll slam it straight into your inbox, for when the urge to travel takes you. Picture courtesy of Contiki Holidays

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Sign up at www.statravel.co.uk/travel-deal-alerts

feeling social?

Go Smart or go home

OK, travel insurance might not be the most exciting thing in the world, but it could be the most important purchase you make before you take off on your travels. You must take travel insurance before you leave, you won’t be able to get it once you have left your home country. The chances are that you’ll have the time of your life and you’ll return home with a big smile on your sun-bronzed face – but just in case things don’t quite go according to plan it’s wise to have a safety net in place for that extra peace of mind. So if you plan to cycle around colourful city streets, cross a few roads, eat weird and wonderful food, cart your expensive camera or iPod from hostel to hotel or get adventurous bungee jumping, skydiving or more, then make sure you ask us to organise the cover that’s right for you.

FEELING SOCIAL?


MAKING IT COUNT Despite its beautiful surroundings and the buzz that comes with a thriving tourism industry, Cuzco is a tough place to grow up for many children. For those living in extreme poverty there’s no room for big ambitions and many turn to begging, taking drugs and living on the streets. The Inti Runakunaq Wasin Centre (House of the People of the Sun) offers food, somewhere to safe to play, and educational support for children and young people. They learn valuable skills including jewellery making, leather working, sewing, cooking, music and English. Thanks to the amazing work of volunteers and supporters from around the world these guys can finally afford to dream big. We’re proud to be building a new art workshop for the centre, which will open up even more opportunities for local children and young people. This US$32,000 facility is just one of the many projects we’re involved in around the world.

THE STA TRAVEL FOUNDATION Responsible tourism is at the heart of what we do, and our Foundation is something we’re hugely proud of. It allows us to use all our existing resources, expertise and experience and make sure every penny goes towards our chosen causes around the world. It’s a registered charity, so you can be sure that everything you donate goes right to the people who need it most. We focus on a number of different projects throughout the year, including conservation, clean water, kids’ projects and medical centres. Follow us on Twitter for the latest news and check out our Facebook to find out what we’re up to right now. To donate, ask one of our Travel Experts or visit www.statravelfoundation.org

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100...

“When I grow up you can work for me.”

The number of volunteering projects we offer – from one day to six months worldwide. Whether you’re into working with children, communities, animals, conservation, building or sports, there’s something for everyone.

US$230,000.00.. That’s how much we’ve invested so

far in our projects.

US$25,000..

The amount our new water tank in Panama’s Bocas del Toro cost us. It’s been going strong for a year and it’s a lifeline for the local community, who had no safe drinking water up until then.

80..

Kids and young people are currently studying for their futures in the drop in centre in Cuzco.

4.in.right The number of countries we have projects now.

VOLUNTEERING We offer over 20 incredible volunteering adventures throughout Africa that will give you the opportunity to do some good of your own. Some are featured within this brochure but here are five more of our favourites:

Thai Elephant Conservation, Thailand, 1-8 Weeks From £399, see page 58

Volunteer & Teach Kids In Thailand, Thailand, 2-12 Weeks From £995, see page 71

Explore Borneo & Conserve Orang-utans Voluntour, Borneo, 14 Days From £1,195, see page 85

Teaching Children in Cambodia, Cambodia, 2-8 Weeks From £569, see page 109

Volunteer China Pandas Voluntour, China, 14 Days From £1,149, see page 131

Pick up a copy of our Volunteer, Work and Learn brochure or ask your Travel Expert for more details.

THE RESPONSIBLE STA TRAVELLER

We owe everything to the incredible communities who open their doors and allow us to experience their beautiful backyards. So it’s up to us to be courteous and understanding. Visit www.statravel.co.uk/responsibletraveller to make sure you set off on the right foot.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

Coming from a 11-year-old girl in one of our projects in Peru, this was, without question, the best job offer we’ve ever had.

AT A GLANCE


Discover ASIA

STUFF NOT TO BE MISSED ULAANBAATAR

MONGOLIA

ULAANBAATAR

MONGOLIA

NORTH KOREA

BEIJING

BEIJING

PYONG YANG SEOUL

PYONG YANG SEOUL SOUTH KOREA

XI’AN

CHINA

SOUTH KOREA

JAPAN

OSAKA

JAPAN

TOKYO

OSAKA TOKYO SHANGHAI

XI’AN

CHINA

NORTH KOREA

SHANGHAI

AFGHANISTAN

Discover Africa & THE MIDDLE EAST

Discover Africa & THE MIDDLE EAST

AFGHANISTAN

PAKISTAN PAKISTAN

NEW DELHI

NEW DELHI BHUTAN

KATHMANDU

NEPAL

KATHMANDU

NEPAL

DHAKA

KOLKATA

DHAKA

KOLKATA

GOA

LAOS

HANOI VIENTIANE YANGON CHIANG MAI VIENTIANE THAILAND CHIANG MAI BANGKOK LAOS

YANGON BANGKOK

GOA

THAILAND

CAMBODIA

PHNOM PENH

CAMBODIA

MANILA MANILA HO CHIPHILIPPINES MINH CITY

HO CHI MINH CITY

PHNOM PENH

KOTA KINABALU

SRI LANKA SRI LANKA

COLOMBO

HONG KONG

VIETNAM

HONG KONG HANOI

VIETNAM

MUMBAI MUMBAI

GUANGZHOU BURMA

BURMA

FLI GHTS

TAIPEI TAIPEI GUANGZHOU

BANGLADESH BANGLADESH INDIA

INDIA

BHUTAN

COLOMBO

MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA

KUALA LUMPUR

KOTA KINABALU KUALA LUMPUR

MALAYSIA

SINGAPORE

MALAYSIA

SINGAPORE INDONESIA INDONESIA

PHILIPPINES

Been inspired

thinking about spreading your wings a little fArther Then pick up one of our other brochures

INDONESIA

INDONESIA

BALI BALI

ADVENTURE TRI P S

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

JAKARTA JAKARTA

ACCOMMODATI ON

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

PORT MORESBY PORT MORESBY

ESSENTI ALS

MY SUMS

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SOUTH EAST ASIA SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Average High Temperature (ยบC / ยบF) City

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEPT

OCT

NOV

DEC

Bangkok

31 88

32 90

33 91

34 93

33 91

32 90

32 90

32 90

31 88

31 88

31 88

30 86

Bali

30 86

30 86

30 86

30 86

30 86

29 84

28 82

23 73

29 84

30 86

30 86

30 86

Chiang Mai

28 82

31 88

34 93

36 97

33 91

32 90

31 88

31 88

31 88

31 88

29 84

27 81

Hanoi

18 64

19 66

22 72

26 79

30 86

32 90

32 90

31 88

31 88

27 81

24 75

21 70

Kuala Lumpur

31 88

32 90

32 90

32 90

32 90

32 90

31 88

31 88

31 88

31 88

31 88

31 88

Phnom Penh

31 88

32 90

33 91

35 95

33 91

32 90

32 90

32 90

31 88

30 86

30 86

30 86

Singapore

29 84

31 88

31 88

31 88

31 88

31 88

30 86

30 86

30 86

30 86

30 86

29 84


£1,599

INDOCHINA Discovery Bangkok

FR

30 DAYS

Bangkok

Halong Bay

Hanoi Mekong River

Luang Prabang

Chiang Khong Chiang Mai Vientiane Vang Vieng

Hue L AO S

Hoi An

T H A I L A N D

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Siem Reap/Angkor Wat

V I E T N A M

Bangkok

Nha Trang

C A M B O D I A

Phnom Penh Sihanoukville

• • • • • • • •

Highlights

Witness the wonders of Angkor Wat Lay back and relax on golden beaches Kit yourself out in Hoi An Cruise magical Halong Bay Explore the vibrant streets of Hanoi Get adventurous in Vang Vieng Absorb rich history in Luang Prabang Live like a local on the Mekong

Departures 2014

Mekong Delta

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Discover the heart and soul of Indochina on this all-encompassing trip. From the ancient Khmer Kingdom and colonisation by the French, to the wild cruelties of the Vietnam War and the Pol Pot regime; the history of this wonderful region is nothing short of startling. Discover ancient temples and lost cities and bear witness to some of the world’s finest ecological creations - pristine beaches, jungle-piercing rivers and majestic misty mountains. Be prepared to return home far more enlightened and with pictures that will make your mates very jealous.

DAY ITINERARY

Jan - Mar & Jul - Aug

Daily

Apr - Jun & Sep - Dec

Regular departures, typically 3-4 times per week

Siem Reap / Angkor Wat

Inclusions

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Recommended for 18-39s Accommodation: Simple hotels (23 nts), sleeper trains (4 nts), homestays (2 nts) Transport: Local bus, airconditioned bus, train, tuk-tuk, local boat, junk boat, plane Meals: 20 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners Budget: Allow USD $620-800 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour code: GAATID

My Own Room Available: Fr £609

YOU MIGHT LIKE Why not add an optional theme pack to customise your trip? South East Asia Adrenalin Pack Fr £130 Jungle ziplining (Bangkok, half day), cave/ temple rappelling (Hoi An, half day) & Sunset ATV Tour (Siem Reap, 1.5 hours) South East Asia Culinary Pack Fr £70 Thai cooking (Bangkok, half day), Cambodian cooking (Phnom Penh, half day) & Vietnamese cooking (Hoi An, half day)

20

02-03

Leave Bangkok behind and journey through some spectacular scenery into Cambodia. You’ll travel to Siem Reap, home of the amazing Angkor Wat. The former capital of the Khmer Empire, Angkor is one of the wonders of the archaeological world and quite simply the biggest religious building to be found anywhere on the planet. Re-discovered at the end of the last century by French explorers, partially hidden by overgrown trees and foliage, this vast ruined city has become one of the most popular sites in South East Asia. Marvel at the tantalising blend of Hindu and Buddhist art and architecture and check out Ta Promh, the ‘Tomb Raider’ temple. Tonight, a local dinner is included to tantalise your tastebuds! (2B, D)

Phnom Penh

04-05 06-07

15-17

Explore this pleasant riverside city. Check out the colourful cafés, shady streets and thriving markets full of vibrant textiles and curios. Options over these two days include visiting the dramatic and moving site of Choeung Ek (also known as the Killing Fields), the Central Market, Cambodia’s National Museum and the Royal Palace. (2B)

Sihanoukville

Relax on the white, sandy beaches of Cambodia’s southern coast with plenty of time for swimming in the warm waters or taking a peek into the underwater world with a spot of snorkelling. Take a boat trip out to one of the uninhabited islands to enjoy fresh seafood and a cold drink as the sun sets. (B)

18-19

08

A short flight takes you to the capital city of Laos. There is a wealth of cultural delights to discover in Vientiane - on foot, by bicycle or, for the less energetic, by tuk-tuk. Visit Laos’ most important national monument, Phat That Luang, or meander down the dusty riverside tracks to discover neighbourhoods full of friendly children, dogs and chickens. Go in search of handicrafts and souvenirs at Vientiane’s vibrant, colourful markets. Round off the day with a spectacular sunset over the Mekong at one of the many riverside restaurants. (B)

20 21-22

09-10 11-12

Nha Trang

Sit on a perfect beach soaking up the sun. Opt for a nearby island boat trip to get in some snorkelling before caking yourself in mud at a natural mudbath. Head off on an optional motorbike tour of the countryside. On Day 12, travel by overnight train northwards to Hoi An. (B)

Vang Vieng

The quiet town of Vang Vieng is set along the Nam Song River amidst rice fields and limestone cliffs. Explore the caves by bike or stop off for a cold drink at one of the numerous bamboo bars. In the evening, soak in the beauty as the sun sets over the rippling river. (2B)

Luang Prabang

23-24

The beautiful town of Luang Prabang has a magical feel about it. Nestled in the hills of northern Laos on the confluence of the Mekong and Khan Rivers, it is dotted with ornate temples and French colonial architecture. Check out the impressive Royal Palace Museum, untouched since the royal family departed in 1975. Opt to hop on a songthaew to the beautiful Kuang Si Falls, where turquoise waters cascade over limestone formations or cook up a storm in an optional cooking class. (2B)

Mekong River

Begin a two-day river cruise - a truly amazing ‘live like a local’ experience. Head up the mighty Mekong River through magnificent jungle-covered hills to Pakbeng, an ethnic minority town. Experience an authentic overnight stay in a local village homestay, but bring your woolies if you’re travelling from Nov-Feb as it can get a little bit chilly! (B, D)

25

Chiang Khong / Chiang Mai

26-28

Ho Chi Minh City

Lose yourself in the maze of Ho Chi Minh City’s central market. Write a quick postcard in the stately colonial post office, one of the many French-era buildings that add grace to this modern metropolis. Dine out like a king at a local restaurant and take a step back in time at the spine-chilling War Remnants Museum. You also have the option to visit the remarkable Cu Chi Tunnels or go shopping in the Ben Tranh Market. On the evening of Day 10, you take the overnight train to Nha Trang. (B)

Explore one of dozens of traditional guild streets that make up Hanoi’s ancient Old Quarter and join Buddhist monks for prayers in a serene lakeside pagoda. In the evening, you’ll have the option to attend a performance at the famous Water Puppet Theatre, whilst other optional sightseeing here includes a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the Hoa Lo Prison or the Temple of Literature. (2B)

Vientiane

Mekong Delta

Drive from Sihanoukville to Can Tho in the Mekong Delta, and relax on a boat trip through its myriad of convoluted waterways. Check out this rich, green river world of orchards, rice fields, floating markets and cottage industries. Overnight accommodation is in a local village homestay which will provide you with a unique cultural experience. (D)

Explore riverside garden tombs built for Vietnam’s last emperors or take a motorbike trip out into the stunning countryside. On the evening of Day 16, board the overnight train to Hanoi. On Day 17, arrive in the early morning into bustling Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam before driving out to beautiful Halong Bay. Float through the strangely-shaped islands that dot this vast, emerald bay in a traditional wooden junk (boat). Eat your fresh seafood lunch and later enjoy a pre-dinner swim before you head to Cat Ba Island, where you’ll spend a peaceful and relaxing night. (2B, L)

Hanoi

Bangkok

On the first day you’re free to relax and explore the city, adjusting to the frenetic pace and humidity of Thailand’s intoxicating and infectious capital. There’ll be a group meeting in the evening where you can meet your fellow travellers and tour leader, perhaps heading out afterwards for dinner.

01

Hue / Halong Bay / Bai Chai Harbour

Continue by slow boat up the Mekong and cross over into Thailand at the Houeisay border. Chiang Khong is a small riverside town with cross-border trading from nearby villages. On Day 27, a drive through the hills of Northern Thailand takes you to Chiang Mai, the largest and most culturally significant city in the north of this country. Explore the city and visit the temple of Doi Suthep, catch a Thai boxing match or grab a bargain at the famous Night Market. Spend Day 28 exploring Chiang Mai before boarding the overnight train to Bangkok in the evening. (B, L)

Bangkok

29 30

Arrive back into Bangkok early in the morning and set out exploring the city’s many varied sights. Check out the Grand Palace, Wat Po, National Museum and Jim Thompson’s House - just for a few suggestions! A trip along the Chao Phraya River and through the canals (or klongs) gives you a different perspective of daily life in this busy city. Get out and about in the colourful nightlife and enjoy a few goodbye drinks with your new friends.

Bangkok

It’s the end of your South East Asian adventure! Your tour ends after breakfast. (B)

Hoi An

13-14

The buildings in this 16th Century trading port bear traces of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and French architectural styles. Hoi An is also a shopping Mecca for tourists. Tailors can produce virtually anything overnight so get yourself kitted out with a new wardrobe or take an optional cooking class! For sun-worshippers, Cua Dai Beach with its fine white sand and blue sea is just 4km from town. (B)

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

21


£2,049

indochina encompassed Bangkok

FR

29 DAYS

Bangkok

Halong Bay

Hanoi Luang Prabang Chiang Khong Chiang Mai

Vientiane Vang Vieng

Hue Hoi An

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

L AO S T H A I L A N D

Angkor Wat

V I E T N A M

Siem Reap

Bangkok

C A M B O D I A

Phnom Penh

• • • • • • • •

Highlights

Experience the hutongs of Bangkok See Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar Journey the mighty Mekong River Watch the monks in Luang Prabang Get adventurous in Vang Vieng Check out Hanoi’s hectic streets Cruise through beautiful Halong Bay Visit the ancient Angkor Wat complex

Departures 2014 Regular departures, typically 2-3 times per week

Jan - Dec

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (24 nts), village homestay (1 nt) sleeper train (2 nts), junk boat (1 nt) Transport: Train, local bus, air-conditioned bus, plane, songthaew, boat Meals: 20 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners Budget: Allow USD $600-800 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAATIE

My Own Room Available: Fr £1,119

YOU MIGHT LIKE Why not add an optional theme pack to customise your trip? South East Asia Adrenalin Pack Fr £130 Jungle ziplining (Bangkok, half day), cave/ temple rappelling (Hoi An, half day) & Sunset ATV Tour (Siem Reap, 1.5 hours) South East Asia Culinary Pack Fr £70 Thai cooking (Bangkok, half day), Cambodian cooking (Phnom Penh, half day) & Vietnamese cooking (Hoi An, half day)

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

A rainbow of colours, a cacophony of smells, a melange of flavours. All this adds up to an infinitely memorable trip through the wonderful world of Indochina. To experience it all you need a bit of time, and someone organising the nuts and bolts for you. Cue STA Travel! Jump on this stupendous trip and we’ll get you all the way from the cityscape of Bangkok to the magnificent Mekong, and from Halong Bay’s luscious landscape to Cambodia’s ancient sights. This all-encompassing South East Asian bonanza takes you everywhere you want to go. Oh, and to those hidden gems you’ve never even heard of as well.

DAY ITINERARY Bangkok

01

Arrive in Bangkok at any time, grab your backpack and head out exploring! The frenetic pace of the city can take a little adjusting to at first, but go with the flow and you’ll quickly find that Thailand’s capital is really getting under your skin. Meet your group and tour leader this evening, and perhaps enjoy a few beers and an optional dinner, getting to know your fellow travellers.

Bangkok

02

Today you jump on board a longtail boat to discover Bangkok’s famous klongs (canals). Stop off at Wat Po with its huge reclining Buddha for an introduction to Buddhist culture before some free time in the afternoon. Hunt out a bargain in Bangkok’s many shops and markets or keep it cultural with a visit to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Keow. Take the overnight train to Chiang Mai. (B)

22

12-13

03

Arrive into the northern city of Chiang Mai, an important Buddhist centre and home to more than 300 temples. In the afternoon, check out the famous temple complex of Doi Suthep in its hillside setting outside of the city. Spend the rest of your free time riding an elephant, cruising down a stream on a bamboo raft or honing your culinary skills with a cooking class. Not to be missed is the Night Bazaar, a series of covered markets, shops and stalls.

Chiang Khong

04 05

Travel onward to Chiang Khong and your guesthouse overlooking the churning Mekong River. Wander the local food market to sample traditional delicacies or sit back and enjoy the slow pace of life on your last evening in Thailand. Check out the stunning views across the river to Laos and eagerly anticipate your journey across the border.

Mekong River

Today your adventure through Laos begins. Cruise down the Mekong by slow boat watching local life pass you by. If travelling between November-March, bring your woolies, the nights can get cold here!

14-15

06-08

Vang Vieng

09-10

A scenic drive through winding mountains takes you to the picturesque riverside town of Vang Vieng. Nestled along the Nam Song River and surrounded by limestone karsts, Vang Vieng is a great place to explore the countryside by bicycle, go swimming or head into the caves. Alternatively, simply sink into the town’s chilled-out vibe, grab a beer and relax by the river or in one of the many cafés. Enjoy a traditional homestay in a local village. (B, D)

11

Arrive into one of Asia’s sleepiest capital cities, Vientiane. Enjoy the highlights of of the city including Wat Sisaket (one of the city’s oldest and most fascinating temples), and That Luang, which is Laos’ national symbol and one of its most sacred sites. Drop by the morning market, which in reality is an all-day affair selling virtually everything to everyone - it’s an authentic slice of daily life in Laos and definitely not to be missed.

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Thousands of islands rise dramatically from the crystal-clear waters of Halong Bay. From the comfort of your sailing junk you can stop off at some of these islands, explore the many caves and jump into the enticing water. Have a splash about before dining on delicious fresh seafood and chatting with your new friends beneath a clear star-speckled sky. On the evening of Day 15, take the overnight train to Hue. (2B, 2L, D)

Hue

16

Arrive early into Hue, once the imperial capital of Vietnam. Visit Tien Mu Pagoda and the tomb of one of the Nguyen Emperors or get out into the gorgeous surrounding countryside.

Hoi An

17-19

In the morning of Day 17, you will have a guided tour of Hue’s old Citadel, containing the Forbidden Purple City modelled on the Forbidden City in Beijing. Next you’ll cross over the scenic Hai Van Pass on your way to Hoi An where you’ll stay for three nights. Stroll the historic streets, pause for lunch at riverside restaurants and hit the shops! Tailors here can produce virtually anything overnight, so it’s a great opportunity to refresh your wardrobe! For sun-worshippers, the sandy shores of Cui Dai beach are only 4km from town. (3B)

Ho Chi Minh City / Cu Chi Tunnels

20-21

Flight to Ho Chi Minh City, the sprawling metropolis that was once the capital of South Vietnam. On the morning of Day 21, you have a guided tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels; a complex network of tunnels where the locals lived during the Vietnam War to keep safe. You have free time in the afternoon to explore the city’s many sights. A visit to the immense Ben Thanh Market is a great way to while away a few hours. (B)

Mekong Delta

Travel out of town to the start of the Mekong Delta, where the mighty Mekong River approaches and empties into the sea through numerous waterways. Board a boat and navigate the small canals, observing riverside life in the villages. (B)

22

Phnom Penh

23-24

Luang Prabang

Spend the next few days in the charming city of Luang Prabang. Your time here includes a visit to the Pak Ou Caves, a dramatic sight housing thousands of Buddha statues, and a trip out to the stunning Kuang Sii waterfalls. Spend the rest of your time exploring the 32 temples or observing the local monks collecting offerings. Then lick your lips ready for an included traditional Lao meal experience. (3B, D)

A flight on Day 12 takes you away from quiet Laos and into the bustling city of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. A leisurely walk through the Old Quarter and a traditional Vietnamese meal are the perfect ways to kick off your visit to this diverse country. On Day 13, you’ll visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Presidential Palace before setting off to Tran Quoc Pagoda, the Temple of Literature and the Museum of Ethnology. Late afternoon or early evening attend a performance at the famous Water Puppet Theatre, a timeless tradition representative of the culture of rural Vietnam. (2B)

Halong Bay

Chiang Mai

Vientiane

statravel.co.uk/travel-blog

Hanoi

Cross into Cambodia and continue to Phnom Penh, where your time in this fascinating country begins with a cyclo ride around the riverside capital. Day 24 gives you the opportunity to learn about the darker side of Cambodian history with visits to Choeng Ek, the site of the infamous Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Prison, the notorious Khmer Rouge jail where thousands of Cambodians perished under the regime of Pol Pot. (2B)

Siem Reap / Angkor Wat

25-27

After a bus trip through the Cambodian countryside you arrive in Siem Reap, the stop-off point to explore the magnificent Angkor Wat. This is the world’s largest religious building, and so expansive is it, it’s hard to believe that it lay undiscovered until relatively recent times! As the former capital of the Khmer Empire and one of the wonders of the archeological world, Angkor Wat is sure to take your breath away. Watch the sun rise over this ancient capital and see the famous ‘Tomb Raider’ temple. Enjoy a traditional meal of Khmer food either at the Planeterra-supported New Hope project or in a local home. (2B, D)

Bangkok

28 29

Say your goodbyes to Cambodia and re-acquaint yourself with the Kingdom of Thailand. Stare agog at the skyscrapers of Bangkok, a world away from Cambodia’s ancient sights. Tonight is your last evening together, so make the most of it! Bangkok certainly has all you need for a great last night out with your travel buddies. (B)

Bangkok

Sadly your trip ends today. Depart at any time, taking your fantastic memories with you. (B)

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

23


big indochina ADVENTURE Bangkok

• • • • • • •

£2,775 25 DAYS

Hanoi

£1,435

ASIAN ADVENTURE

FR

Bangkok

Highlights

Explore bustling canals in Bangkok Ride an elephant in the rainforest Tuck into modern Cambodian cuisine Watch the sun rise over Angkor Wat Stay with locals in the Mekong Delta Soak up the rays on Nha Trang beach Sail off on a Chinese-style junk boat

• • • • • • •

14 DAYS

Siem Reap

Highlights

Relaxing cruise on the Mekong River See local life at a Laotian guesthouse Elephant ride in the forests of Laos Visit Phnom Penh’s Killing Fields Bike tour of pretty Luang Prabang Relax in the serenity of Chiang Mai Watch the sun rise over Angkor Wat

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Departures 2014/15

FR

Departures 2014/15

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 19 Jan 22 Jan 26 Jan 29 Feb 02 Feb 05 Feb 09 Feb 16 Feb 19 Feb 23 Feb 26 Mar 02 Mar 09 Mar 16 Mar 23 Mar 26 Mar 30 Apr 06 Apr 20 Apr 27 May 11 May 21 Jun 01

Feb 12 Feb 15 Feb 19 Feb 22 Feb 26 Mar 01 Mar 05 Mar 12 Mar 15 Mar 19 Mar 22 Mar 26 Apr 02 Apr 09 Apr 16 Apr 19 Apr 23 Apr 30 May 14 May 21 Jun 04 Jun 14 Jun 25

Jun 15 Jun 22 Jul 06 Jul 16 Jul 27 Aug 10 Aug 17 Aug 31 Sep 10 Oct 26 Nov 02 Nov 05 Nov 09 Nov 12 Nov 16 Nov 19 Nov 23 Nov 26 Nov 30 Dec 03 Dec 07 Dec 10 Dec 14

Jul 09 Jul 16 Jul 30 Aug 09 Aug 20 Sep 03 Sep 10 Sep 24 Oct 04 Nov 19 Nov 26 Nov 29 Dec 03 Dec 06 Dec 10 Dec 13 Dec 17 Dec 20 Dec 24 Dec 27 Dec 31 Jan 03 Jan 07

Dec 17 Dec 21 Dec 24 Dec 28 Dec 31 2015 Jan 04 Jan 07 Jan 11 Jan 14 Jan 18 Jan 21 Jan 25 Jan 28 Feb 01 Feb 04 Feb 08 Feb 11 Feb 15 Feb 18 Feb 22

Jan 10 Jan 14 Jan 17 Jan 21 Jan 24 Jan 28 Jan 31 Jan 04 Jan 07 Feb 11 Feb 14 Feb 18 Feb 21 Feb 25 Feb 28 Mar 04 Mar 07 Mar 11 Mar 14 Mar 18

Spend 25 days indulging in South East Asia, on this trip designed exclusively for 18-35 year olds. Wind your way around this amazing collection of countries getting a taste for a local way of living. Cycle through the countryside, cruise through riverscapes and roll through the terrain in a private comfy coach... whilst six included internal flights mean you can see four fabulous countries in less than a month! From the bustle of Bangkok to the serenity of Thailand’s north, the amazing colours of Vietnam, the archaeological treasures of Laos and the rich-but-tragic past of Cambodia, it’s an incredible mix of good times in great places.

Additional departure dates are available, please ask for details.

Service Level: Superior Age Group: Exclusively for 18-35s Accommodation: 3 star hotels (20 nts), guesthouse (2 nts), overnight train (1 nt), boat (1 nt) Transport: Private coach, plane, train, boat Meals: 24 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners Group Leader: Experienced Tour Manager, local English-speaking guides Group Size: Max 30, Avg 25 Tour Code: COBICA

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Feb 01 Feb 04 Feb 08 Feb 11 Feb 15 Feb 18 Feb 22 Mar 01 Mar 04 Mar 08 Mar 11 Mar 15 Mar 22 Mar 29 Apr 05 Apr 08 Apr 12 Apr 19 May 03 May 10 May 24 Jun 03 Jun 14

Jun 15 Jun 22 Jul 06 Jul 16 Jul 27 Aug 10 Aug 17 Aug 31 Sep 10 Sep 21 Oct 26 Nov 02 Nov 05 Nov 09 Nov 12 Nov 16 Nov 19 Nov 23 Nov 26 Nov 30 Dec 03 Dec 07 Dec 10

Jun 28 Jul 05 Jul 19 Jul 29 Aug 09 Aug 23 Aug 30 Sep 13 Sep 23 Oct 04 Nov 08 Nov 15 Nov 18 Nov 22 Nov 25 Nov 29 Dec 02 Dec 06 Dec 09 Dec 13 Dec 16 Dec 20 Dec 23

Dec 14 Dec 17 Dec 21 Dec 24 Dec 28 Dec 31 2015 Jan 04 Jan 07 Jan 11 Jan 14 Jan 18 Jan 21 Jan 25 Jan 28 Feb 01 Feb 04 Feb 08 Feb 11 Feb 15 Feb 18 Feb 22

Dec 27 Dec 30 Jan 03 Jan 06 Jan 10 Jan 13 Jan 17 Jan 20 Jan 24 Jan 27 Jan 31 Feb 03 Feb 07 Feb 10 Feb 14 Feb 17 Feb 21 Feb 24 Feb 28 Mar 03 Mar 07

Allow yourself to be whisked around Asia the easy way with a bunch of like-minded travellers. This fabulous trip will take you to three different countries - Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, each of them unique and unforgettable. Stay in comfy three-star hotels enjoying a host of amazing experiences at every stop. From the bright lights of Bangkok to cultural Chiang Mai, onward to the chilled-out waterways of the Mekong before getting an insight into Cambodia’s troubled past, you’re guaranteed an amazing contrast at every turn. The perfect intro to South East Asia!

Additional departure dates are available, please ask for details.

DAY ITINERARY

Inclusions

Start

Jan 19 Jan 22 Jan 26 Jan 29 Feb 02 Feb 05 Feb 09 Feb 16 Feb 19 Feb 23 Feb 26 Mar 02 Mar 09 Mar 16 Mar 23 Mar 26 Mar 30 Apr 06 Apr 20 Apr 27 May 11 May 21 Jun 01

Bangkok / Chiang Mai

01-03 04-05

DAY ITINERARY

Inclusions

Service Level: Superior Age Group: Exclusively for 18-35s Accommodation: 3 star hotels (11 nts), guesthouse (1 nt), overnight train (1 nt) Transport: Plane, private coach, overnight train, boat Meals: 13 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners Group Leader: Experienced Tour Manager, local English-speaking guides Group Size: Max 30, Avg 25 Tour Code: COASAD

Arrive into busy Bangkok, where people from all walks of life share the streets. Meet your group and head out to explore the city by night. On Day 2, you’ll check out the sights before sailing along the klongs (canals) on a typical Thai boat. After an overnight train, you’ll wake up in chilled-out Chiang Mai on Day 3. Visit the Wat Phrathat temple and listen to pilgrims ringing bells. Explore your way, maybe relax with a Thai massage or take a cooking class before scouting the Night Bazaar. (2B)

Chiang Mai / Chiang Rai / Pakbeng

Travel to Chiang Rai, a quiet town and gateway to the ethnic tribes of Northern Thailand. On Day 5, cross the border into laid-back Laos. Travel down the famous Mekong River on a private boat. Glide past remote villages, hillside crop farms and bamboo fish traps as you soak up the scene. (2B, L, D)

Bangkok

01-02

Bangkok / Chiang Mai

Arriving into Chiang Mai, inhale the refreshing mountain air and soak up its spiritual atmosphere. Check out Wat Phrathat and take part in a Buddhist blessing ceremony while you’re there. You can also opt to whip up some authentic Thai food with a cooking class, chill by the pool or visit the famous night market. (B)

03

Pakbeng / Luang Prabang / Vang Vieng

06-09

V I E T N A M

Hanoi

Luang Pakbeng Prabang

MYA N M A R

Chiang Rai Chiang Mai

Halong Bay

L AO S

Vang Vieng / Vientiane / Phnom Penh / Siem Reap

Vang Vieng Vientiane

Hue

T H A I L A N D

Siem Reap

Bangkok

Visit the Pak Ou Caves on the way to this UNESCO World Heritage mountain kingdom, Luang Prabang. Marvel at temples, brightly-robed monks and the Wat Xieng Thong Monastery. Ride an elephant before cooling off at the Kuang Si Falls or visiting the historic Royal Palace. On Day 8, drive through limestone-dotted scenery to Vang Vieng. Spend Day 9 cycling through the countryside or taking a swim in the river. (4B, L)

C A M B O D I A

Phnom Penh Mekong Delta

Da Nang Hoi An

10-13

Nha Trang

Head to Vientiane; the French-influenced capital of Laos where you’ll have a guided tour of the city. Tonight enjoy dinner at Friends Restaurant which helps train disadvantaged young people in hospitality. On Day 11, say goodbye Laos and hello Cambodia. Visit the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum to learn about the Khmer Rouge and Cambodia’s dark past, then settle in for the evening right by the Mekong. On Day 12, fly to Siem Reap. Cruise on Tonle Sap, South-East Asia’s biggest freshwater lake before getting an early night ready for sunrise over the incredible Angkor Wat. Get your camera ready for the awesome Buddhas and temples entwined with trees. (4B, D)

Siem Reap / Ho Chi Minh City / Mekong Delta / Ho Chi Minh City / Nha Trang

Ho Chi Minh City

14-18

Today, you’ll catch a flight into vibrant Vietnam. Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is an up and coming metropolis of urban activity. On Day 15, explore the colourful floating markets of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta on a traditional sampan boat. On Day 16, head back to Ho Chi Minh City via the Viet Cong’s tunnels in Cu Chi. On Day 17, it’s a change of scene, you’ll hear Vietnam’s stories on a city tour and peruse the sobering War Remnants Museum. That afternoon you’ll fly to Nha Trang, famous for its sweeping golden beaches and turquoise waters. Do your own thing or opt in for a trip to explore the waters of Nha Trang, and a chance to go swimming and snorkeling. (5B, L, D)

Chiang Mai / Chiang Rai V I E T N A M

Burma

Pakbeng Chiang Rai Chiang Mai

Luang Prabang

Travel through a landscape of stunning rice paddies to Chiang Rai, a gateway town for trekking in the surrounding jungle. Visit Wat Rong Khun, the unconventional modern Buddhist temple. Opt for a trip out to visit the hilltribes and meet the charming Akha, Yao, Lanu and Karen people, before heading to Chiang Rai, the former imperial city. Eat amongst the locals at the town’s night bazaar and find out what the colourful Thai nightlife has to offer. (B)

04

L AO S

Chiang Rai / Pakbeng

Vang Vieng Vientiane

Crossing the Thai/Laos border, you’ll board a private traditional boat and cruise the mighty Mekong River, taking sneak peeks of local life in remote waterside villages. This journey alone depicts a stereotypical day in South East Asia. Stay at a local guesthouse in Pakbeng for an authentic overnight Laos experience. (B, L, D)

05

T H A I L A N D

Bangkok

Pakbeng / Luang Prabang

06-07

Siem Reap C A M B O D I A

Phnom Penh

08-09

You might like Island Hopping in Thailand Thai Island Hopper East Fr £539 Thai Island Hopper West Fr £615 (COTIKS / COTIPH) - see pages 48/49

24

19-22

10-11

23-25

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Luang Prabang / Vang Vieng

Today it’s on to riverside Vang Vieng, an outdoor adventurer’s heaven. Spend your days exploring this activity capital of Laos by bike, or don your speedos and dive into one of the many swimming holes. While away the evenings checking out the buzzing nightlife in this vibrant backpacker town. (2B) Head to Vientiane, the French-influenced capital of Laos. Visit the COPE support and rehab centre, the religious symbol of Pha That Luang and the Patuxai Monument. On Day 11, travel by plane to the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. Walk down tree-lined boulevards and past gleaming palaces. You’ll visit the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum to learn about the Khmer Rouge regime and Cambodia’s dark and troubled past. Tonight enjoy dinner at Friends Restaurant which helps train disadvantaged young people in hospitality. (2B, D)

Phnom Penh / Siem Reap

Hanoi / Halong Bay / Hanoi

Board a Chinese-style junk boat in beautiful Halong Bay and cruise overnight through the waters of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll stop for a swim in an idyllic lagoon before docking at Dao Titop for sunset. Settle back under the stars before you head back to Hanoi in the afternoon of Day 24. On Day 25, enjoy a final breakfast and say goodbye to your new buddies. (3B, 2L, D)

Arrive in the historic hotspot of Luang Prabang. Visit the Pak Ou Caves, marvel at gold-spired temples, royal buildings, monks in their colourful robes and the Wat Xiang Thong Monastery. Ride an elephant and catch stunning views on a sunset walk up Mt. Phu Si. Munch on local food at the market, or head out on an optional half-day trip to a beautiful cascading waterfall. (2B, L)

Vang Vieng / Vientiane / Phnom Penh

Nha Trang / Hoi An / Hue / Hanoi

Fly to Da Nang and hop on a bike as the sun sets into the countryside or opt in for a cooking class. On Day 20 you can choose to explore the temples of My Son. On Day 21, take in coastal views as you travel onto the former imperial city of Hue. Start with a visit to Hue’s Imperial Citadel by cyclo, then stop at the Thien Mu Pagoda and learn about the Hue Massacre. On Day 22, fly to Hanoi. Take a tour of the Temple of Literature and explore the city’s maze of back streets. (4B)

Big, booming, bustling Bangkok - the gateway to Asia. Meet your crew before sampling the varied nightlife. Neon lights, night markets or classy cocktails anyone? On Day 2, it’s a cultural morning visiting the incredible Grand Palace before cruising the klongs (canals) to experience the local way of living. In the evening, board an overnight train north to Chiang Mai. (B)

12-14

Fly to Siem Reap before taking a private boat cruise to see the unique floating villages found here. Get up for sunrise and travel by tuk-tuk to the incredible 13th Century Angkor Wat - one of the biggest religious monuments ever built. Enjoy your last night and reminisce on your incredible Asian journey. Your trip ends after breakfast on Day 14. (3B)

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

25


VIETNAM, LAOS, Thailand on a shoestring Ho Chi Minh City

• • • • • • •

£1,049

FR

22 DAYS

Bangkok

Highlights

Tour Ho Chi Minh’s markets Try superb seafood in Nha Trang Get yourself a tailored suit in Hoi An Sail the picture-perfect Halong Bay Wander the streets of Vientiane Learn about Luang Prabang’s history Browse the markets of Chiang Mai

Bangkok

• • • • • • •

14 DAYS

Hanoi

Highlights

Lose yourself in the mania of Bangkok Explore Chiang Mai’s night bazaar Float down the mighty Mekong River Discover the past in Luang Prabang Explore the magnificent Pak Ou Caves Soak up the atmosphere of Vientiane Get wet under the spray of waterfalls

Departures 2014

Jan - Mar

Daily

Apr - Dec

Regular departures, typically 3-5 times per week

Jan - Dec

Regular departures, typically 1-3 times per week

Inclusions

Inclusions

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Recommended for 18-39s Accommodation: Simple hotels (16 nts), sleeper trains (4 nts), local homestay (1 nt) Transport: Local bus, air-conditioned bus, train, tuk-tuk, local boat, junk boat, plane Meals: 14 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD $425490 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAAVVL

My Own Room Available: Fr £419

From the dazzling blue waters and intricate city streets of Vietnam to the exotic traditions of Laos, this adventure promises more than your average saunter through South East Asia. Starting in hectic Ho Chi Minh City and finishing in the chaotic city of Bangkok, you’ll be in awe at every turn. Step into Laos, a land that time seems to have forgotten about - full of serene landscapes and ancient customs. A jaunt through northern Thailand and a visit to the charming city of Chiang Mai completes your trip, before bouncing into Bangkok, wide-eyed with wonder.

DAY ITINERARY 01-02

Luang Prabang

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (11 nts), sleeper train (1 nt), village homestay (1 nt) Transport: Train, local bus, air-conditioned bus, riverboat, songthaew, taxi, cyclo, plane Meals: 8 breakfasts, 2 dinners Budget: Allow USD $265-350 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAATBH

My Own Room Available: Fr £479

Hanoi

03-06

Halong Bay

Chiang Khong

L AO S

Hoi An

T H A I L A N D

07-09

C A M B O D I A

Bangkok

Nha Trang

Ho Chi Minh City

10-12 13-14

You might like

Focus on Vietnam Vietnam on a Shoestring (12 days, Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi) (GAAVRV) see page 104 Fr £599 Focus on Laos Laos & Thailand on a Shoestring (12 days, Hanoi to Bangkok) (GAAVRL) see page 30 Fr £649

15-16

Take a boat trip into the dazzling blue bay that surrounds this vibrant beach town and see the underwater world. Stop to swim at a pristine beach or take a motorbike tour of the area. Board an overnight train on Day 4 to Da Nang (the jumping-off point for the attractive town of Hoi An). On Day 5, wander through the picturesque streets of Hoi An, a 16th Century trading port, where the buildings bear traces of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and French architectural styles. (2B) Explore the riverside garden tombs of Hue built for Vietnam’s last emperors, or take a motorbike trip out to the stunning countryside. Overnight train to Hanoi. On Day 9, float through the islands that dot this vast emerald bay in a wooden junk boat and munch on fresh seafood in a sumptuous lunch. Spend the night in the harbour town of Bai Chai and sit out under the stars. (2B, L)

01-02

19-20

V I E T N A M

Luang Pakbeng Prabang Chiang Khong

04-05 06-08

Admire the fantastic limestone rock scenery and get the adrenalin pumping with hiking, biking and caving opportunities. On Day 14, explore some of the caves by bike or take a relaxing walk. In the evening, soak in the natural beauty of Vang Vieng as the sun sets over the river. (2B)

Prepare for a breathtaking journey as you cruise up the mighty Mekong River. Tonight, experience a traditional overnight homestay in a local village for an authentic spot of cultural exchange. On Day 18, continue by boat up the Mekong and cross into Thailand at the Houeisay border. Chiang Khong is a small riverside town with cross-border trading from nearby villages. Spend the night here. (2B, L, D)

Chiang Khong / Mekong River

You might like Stay longer in Bangkok See pages 52-55 Stay longer in Hanoi See page 110

09-10

facebook.com/statravel.uk

21-22

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

A scenic drive through the mountains takes you to picturesque Vang Vieng, situated amongst limestone karsts, vast rice fields and the Nam Song River. This is an adventure-lover’s nirvana - get your thrills swimming, tubing or exploring caves. Alternatively, head out into the countryside on a bike ride or simply relax by the water with a good book. You will get the opportunity to experience a traditional overnight stay in a local village and a dinner of Laotian food on Day 9. (B, D)

Vientiane

Quiet and relaxed, Vientiane has a wealth of charms - from its eclectic blend of French and Lao architecture to the riverside cafés and quiet temples, there’s plenty to keep you busy. The markets are alive with colour and noise, and you can’t help but be tempted by the vast array of produce and souvenirs on offer.

11

Hanoi

12-13

Bangkok

Arrive into Bangkok with its chaotic streets and colourful markets. Visit the Grand Palace, Wat Po, National Museum and take a trip along the Chao Phraya River to get a different perspective of daily life in this busy city. Enjoy your final night with authentic Thai food and perhaps some beers with your new travel friends before your tour comes to an end on Day 22. (B)

A beautiful town of historic temples, multi-cultural locals, vibrant markets and textile treasures. Wander the UNESCO Heritage-listed streets. A visit to the legendary Pak Ou Caves filled with hundreds of miniature Buddha sculptures is included as well as a visit to the Kuang Si waterfalls. Dinner is a feast of local produce with a meal cooked by local hosts. (3B, D)

Vang Vieng

Chiang Mai

Arrive into Chiang Mai. Free time here to explore this northern Thai city, visit the temple of Doi Suthep, catch a Thai boxing match or grab a bargain at the famous night markets. Catch an overnight train to Bangkok on Day 20.

After a five-hour bus ride, arrive in Chiang Khong and relax at your guesthouse overlooking the mighty Mekong River. Sit back, relax, sip on a cold beer and enjoy the slow pace of life. On Day 5, begin the journey down the world’s 10th-longest river by slow boat. The Mekong is a hub of activity, from fishing to trade and transport between the villages that line its banks. Watch the world go by.

Luang Prabang

Vang Vieng

Nestled in the hills of northern Laos on the confluence of the Mekong and Khan Rivers, Luang Prabang is studded with ornate temples and French colonial architecture. Explore this beautiful town of multi-cultural traditions and rich heritage. (2B)

03

Bangkok

Explore traditional guild streets in Hanoi’s Old Quarter or join Buddhist monks for lakeside prayers. On Day 12, a short flight takes you to the capital city of Laos. Quiet and relaxed, Vientiane has a wealth of charms. Opt to visit temples, the National Museum, That Luang or markets. (3B)

Luang Prabang

Arriving into Chiang Mai this morning, you’ll soon understand why this northern city has long been a travellers’ favourite. With fantastic street food, a bustling night bazaar, hundreds of temples, beautiful surrounding countryside and an eclectic hilltribe culture, you will never get bored while exploring this energetic city. Included is a guided visit of the city’s most famous temple, Doi Suthep, which is said to have been founded as early as the 14th Century. Climb the 309 steps to the top and be rewarded with impressive views back toward Chiang Mai.

L AO S T H A I L A N D

Arrive into the energetic world of Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok, at any time. On Day 2, set off on a local exploration by Thai longboat - cruise through the klongs (canals) of Bangkok’s backstreets and see the city from a different perspective. Stop by Wat Po and check out the huge reclining Buddha on a guided tour. Travel by overnight train to the capital of the north, Chiang Mai. (B)

Chiang Mai

Hanoi

Vang Vieng Vientiane

Chiang Mai

Hanoi / Vientiane

Mekong River / Chiang Khong

17-18

DAY ITINERARY Bangkok

Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City at any time and set out to explore the city. Lose yourself in the maze of Ho Chi Minh City’s central market, where you’ll find everything from woven silk fabrics to flanks of beef. On Day 2, take an overnight train to the beach resort of Nha Trang.

Hue / Halong Bay / Bai Chai Harbour

Hue

Vang Vientiane Vieng

For an experience that’s altogether different from the norm, look no further than this northeastern adventure across to Vietnam. You’ll head deep into the lush highlands of Thailand before crossing the border into Laos where you’ll spend a week falling in love with everything this little landlocked country has to offer. Cruise the mighty Mekong River and while away the hours in sleepy traditional towns. Things finish up amongst the kaleidoscopic and sensual highs of Hanoi, where you’ll have two full days of exploration with the group. A perfect end to a perfect trip.

Ho Chi Minh City

Nha Trang / Hoi An V I E T N A M

Mekong River

26

£899

FR

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Departures 2014

Chiang Mai

thailand & laos ADVENTURE

14

A short flight to Hanoi allows you to get ready for a whirlwind of activity and colour. Hanoi offers endless temptations in the shops and markets of the old quarter, relaxing lakeside coffee shops, fascinating museums and unbeatable food. Check out a performance of water puppetry, a tradition that dates back as far as the 11th Century when villagers would entertain themselves with puppet play in the flooded rice fields. (2B)

Hanoi

Say your goodbyes to your travelling buddies, as your tour concludes in Hanoi. (B)

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

27


CAMBODIA & VIETNAM on a Shoestring Bangkok

• • • • • • •

£1,079

FR

20 DAYS

Hanoi

Highlights

Embrace Bangkok’s vibrant streets Marvel at the magnificent Angkor Wat Discover Cambodia’s sandy shores Tour Ho Chi Minh’s buzzing markets Munch on fresh seafood in Nha Trang Make a fashion statement in Hoi An Sail the stunning Halong Bay

Hanoi

• • • • • • •

17 DAYS

Bangkok

Highlights

Visit colourful charismatic Hanoi Set sail on spectacular Halong Bay Discover temple-dotted countryside Get a whole new wardrobe in Hoi An Explore the amazing Mekong Delta Learn the history of Cu Chi Tunnels Marvel at the incredible Angkor Wat

Departures 2014

Regular departures, typically 4-7 times per week

Regular departures, typically 2-4 times per week

Jan - Dec

Inclusions

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Recommended for 18-39s Accommodation: Simple hotels (15 nts), sleeper trains (3 nts), homestay (1 nt) Transport: Local bus, airconditioned bus, junk boat, local boat Meals: 13 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners Budget: Allow USD $380-500 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAATCV

My Own Room Available: Fr £399

This trip is a perfect example of how travel can broaden the mind, highlighting the amazing endurance of both Vietnam and Cambodia. Absorb the stark beauty of their unique landscapes, their vibrant cultures and their fascinating history. Wander chaotic, colourful streets, laze on white sandy beaches, explore verdant inland deltas and interact with remarkable people from a variety of different lifestyles. Angkor Wat will leave you openjawed with wonder as you explore one of the greatest architectural statements mankind has ever made. Take a moment to reflect as you watch the sunset over this awesome creation.

DAY ITINERARY 01

Bangkok

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (14 nts), sleeper train (1 nt), junk boat (1 nt) Transport: Train, local bus, air-conditioned bus, plane, cyclo, boat Meals: 13 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners Budget: Allow USD $325-375 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAVEV

My Own Room Available: Fr £609

Arrive into Bangkok at any time. Go for a wander and explore this busy, bustling city.

02-03 Halong Bay

04-05

L AO S

Hue T H A I L A N D

Hoi An

Angkor Wat V I E T N A M Siem Reap Nha Trang C A M B O D I A Phnom Penh

Bangkok

Sihanoukville

Ho Chi Mekong Minh City Delta (Saigon)

06-07 08 09-10 11-12

you might like

Why not add an optional theme pack to customise your trip? See page 29 Shorten your trip Cambodia on a Shoestring (10 days, Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City) GAATRC) see page 102 Fr £549 Vietnam on a Shoestring (12 days, Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi) (GAAVRV) see page 104 Fr £599 Extend your stay in Bangkok See pages 52-55

28

13-14

Phnom Penh

Explore this pleasant riverside city of cafés, shady streets, funky bars and thriving markets. Head off on an included walking tour and choose from optional trips to the historical sites, which include the Choeung Ek, more infamously known as the Killing Fields since the rule of Pol Pot. (2B)

Hanoi

Arrive into the hectic city of Hanoi at any time. Navigate the scooter-filled streets, check out the local markets, eat delicious street food and drink some cheap local beer. Visit the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu) or Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and Museum to experience the intoxicating essence of this splendid Asian city.

Halong Bay / Hanoi V I E T N A M

Hanoi

Relax on the white, sandy beaches of Cambodia’s southern coast. Visit one of the nearby islands, splash about on an optional snorkelling trip or just lie back and relax with a good book. (B)

Mekong Delta

Cross into the Mekong Delta surrounded by a rich, green world of orchards and rice fields, floating markets and candy factories. Cruise along this world-famous river and watch the world go by before staying overnight in a village homestay - sure to be a memorable experience! (D)

Halong Bay

Hoi An

T H A I L A N D

Bangkok

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Take a boat trip into the dazzling blue bay that surrounds this fun beach town. Swim at a pristine beach and take advantage of the fresh fish on offer and the buzzing beer-time bars. On Day 12, take to the rails with an overnight aboard a sleeper train to Hoi An. (B)

Explore one of dozens of traditional guild streets that make up Hanoi’s ancient Old Quarter and join Buddhist monks for prayers in a serene lakeside pagoda. Spend your last night intertwined in this city’s buzzing atmosphere. On Day 20, leave the mayhem of Hanoi’s streets and say goodbye to your terrific travel buds. (3B)

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

05-07 08-09

Nha Trang

Reflect on ancient culture and explore riverside garden tombs built for emperors before taking an overnight train to Hanoi, for the onward journey to Halong Bay. On Day 17, float through the dreamlike islands that dot this vast, emerald bay in a traditional wooden junk. Tuck into a sumptuous seafood lunch before spending the night in the harbour town of Bai Chay. (2B, L)

04

C A M B O D I A

Lose yourself in Ho Chi Minh City’s central market. Check out the War Remnants Museum and write a quick postcard at the stately colonial post office which bears witness to Vietnam’s former French heritage. Board an overnight train on Day 10 to the beach resort of Nha Trang. (B)

Wander through this pretty 16th Century trading port, where buildings bear traces of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and French architectural styles. Budding Stella McCartneys beware - you might just get a little excited at the hundreds of miracle-performing, superb tailors here! (B)

Once the imperial capital, Hue is surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside in Vietnam, scattered with the tombs of Nguyen emperors and timeless temples. Visit the Tien Mu Pagoda and admire the magnificent Vietnamese architecture. Opt to head out into the countryside on a guided motorbike tour.

Angkor Wat

Siem Reap Phnom Penh

Head out to Halong Bay where you’ll hop aboard a traditional wooden junk and sail out into this UNESCO World Heritage-listed region. Marvel at all the weird and wonderful limestone rock formations rising from the crystal-clear waters. Tuck into fresh seafood for your lunch before taking a swim. Spend the night up on deck chatting away to your newfound friends under a star-lit sky. You’ve just found a little piece of paradise and definitely one of Vietnam’s highlights. On Day 3, travel back to Hanoi for the overnight train to Hue. (2B, L, D)

Hue

Hue

Ho Chi Minh City

Hoi An

02-03

L AO S

Sihanoukville

Hanoi

18-20

DAY ITINERARY

Welcome to the Khmer Empire gateway and one of the world’s finest artistic heritages. At the empire’s peak in the 12th Century, Khmer civilisation culminated in the construction of the massive Angkor Wat, one of Asia’s most incredible sites. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Khmer meal at a Planeterra-supported volunteering project in a village on the outskirts of Siem Reap. (2B, D)

Hue / Halong Bay

15-17

A wide-ranging adventure showcasing the region’s natural wonders and fascinating cultures. Head out on a traditional junk boat into Halong Bay, tuck into fresh fish from sunny coastal shores, check out imperial citadels, tombs and explore a darker side of the region’s history at the remarkable Cu Chi Tunnels. Journey along the Mekong Delta and head into Cambodia where you’ll stand in gob-smacked awe at ancient Angkor Wat. Arriving back into Bangkok, you’ll have more than a few stories to share with your mates back home, making their eyes glow green with envy.

01

Siem Reap / Angkor Wat

Hanoi

£1,299

FR

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Departures 2014 Jan - Dec

ESSENTIAL VIETNAM & CAMBODIA

YOU MIGHT LIKE Why not add an optional theme pack to customise your trip? South East Asia Adrenalin Pack Fr £130 Jungle ziplining (Bangkok, half day), cave/ temple rappelling (Hoi An, half day) & Sunset ATV Tour (Siem Reap, 1.5 hours) South East Asia Culinary Pack Fr £70 Thai cooking (Bangkok, half day), Cambodian cooking (Phnom Penh, half day) & Vietnamese cooking (Hoi An, half day)

Hoi An

Take in the scenic views on the twisting Hai Van Pass before arriving into Hoi An. Celebrate the rich trading heritage of this city with its fabulous markets, galleries, tailor shops, craft stalls and quaint local restaurants. Come home loaded with glad rags made to your own individual style. (3B)

Ho Chi Minh City

Discover the eating, shopping, sightseeing and entertainment secrets of the world-class city of Ho Chi Minh. Enjoy a tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels; an immense network of tunnels used by the Viet Cong guerrillas during combat. Experience life as they did as you crawl through these tiny spaces. (B)

Mekong Delta

10

The lush green serpentine waterways of the Mekong Delta are a thriving centre of cottage industries, floating markets and orchards. Discover all this on a guided day trip to this fascinating area. (B)

Phnom Penh

11-12

Travelling to Phnom Penh you can enjoy this pleasant riverside city of cafés, shady streets and colourful markets. You will set off on a guided tour of Tol Sleng Prison and Choeung Ek (the Killing Fields) before a cyclo tour of the colonial district. You also have free time to explore further and make optional visits to the National Museum, the Royal Palace and the city markets. (2B)

Siem Reap / Angkor Wat

13-15 16-17

Home to one of Asia’s most incredible sites. Check out this growing tourist town and surrender to the wonder of Angkor Wat on a guided tour. Arrive early for sunrise and admire the tantalising blend of art and architecture. In the evening enjoy a traditional meal of Khmer food either at the Planeterrasupported New Hope project or in a local home in villages outside the city. (2B, D)

Bangkok

From countryside to expressway, arrive back in Bangkok and spend your last night out on the town having a final drink and a farewell meal with your new friends. Your tour ends on day 17. (2B)

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

29


LAOS & THAILAND ON A shoestring Hanoi

• • • • • • •

£649

FR

12 DAYS

Bangkok

Highlights

Visit colourful, charismatic Hanoi Admire French colonial architecture Discover temple-dotted countryside See the karsts of Vang Vieng Float down the amazing Mekong Delta Shop the night markets in Chiang Mai Check out Bangkok’s buzzing nightlife

Feb-Mar & Aug

Daily

Apr-Jul & Sep

Regular departures, typically 4-7 times per week

My Own Room Available: Fr £209

This all-singing, all-dancing adventure will show you the wonders of utterly tranquil Laos and the gems of northern Thailand. As you leave the dazzle of Hanoi behind, prepare to be engulfed in French colonial style as you head into Laos. This endearing country boasts wholesome people, a laid-back attitude to life and beautiful symbolic monasteries. Life after Laos continues to get sweeter as you cruise the Mekong River and fall into the loving arms of the ‘Land of Smiles,’ more commonly known as Thailand. Enjoy its breathtaking beauty, bustle and iconic gold-spired Buddhist temples.

DAY ITINERARY Hanoi

01 V I E T N A M

Pakbeng Chiang Khong Chiang Mai

Luang Prabang

Hanoi

Vientiane L AO S T H A I L A N D

03-04 05-06

Extend your trip Indochina Discovery (30 days, Bangkok to Bangkok) (GAATID) see page 20 Fr £1,599

Arrive into hectic Hanoi at any time. Navigate the bustling streets, check out the local markets, eat delicious street food and drink cheap local beer sitting on tiny plastic chairs at the side of the road. Go to a water puppet show, visit the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu) or Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum to get your first cultural fix of Indochina.

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 05 Jan 19 Feb 02 Feb 16 Mar 02 Mar 16 Apr 06 Apr 20

Jan 19 Feb 02 Feb 16 Mar 02 Mar 16 Mar 30 Apr 20 May 04

May 04 May 18 Jun 01 Jun 15 Jul 06 Jul 20 Aug 03 Aug 17

May 18 Jun 01 Jun 15 Jun 29 Jul 20 Aug 03 Aug 17 Aug 31

Aug 31 Sep 14 Oct 05 Nov 02 Nov 16 Dec 07 Dec 21

Sep 14 Sep 28 Oct 19 Nov 16 Nov 30 Dec 21 Jan 04

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels/guesthouses (12 nts), basic family homestay (1 nt), sleeper train (1 nt) Transport: Private bus, local bus, plane, boat, train Meals: 11 breakfasts, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD $285-375 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAATCM

My Own Room Available: Fr £449

This morning you’ll take a short flight to Vientiane; the laid-back capital of Laos. Here there is a wealth of cultural delights to discover - on foot, by bicycle or, if you’re feeling lazy, by tuk-tuk. Opt in to visit Phat That Luang or simply meander down the dusty riverside tracks to find neighbourhoods brimming with friendly children, dogs and chickens. (B)

Vang Vieng

A picturesque drive north takes you to beautiful Vang Vieng. This quiet town is set along the Nam Song River amidst rice fields and limestone karsts. On Day 4, opt in to explore some of the caves and in the evening, soak in the natural beauty of Vang Vieng as the sun sets over the river. (2B)

07 08

Welcome to magical Luang Prabang! This beauty is nestled in the hills of northern Laos at the confluence of the Mekong and Khan Rivers. Luang Prabang is studded with ornate temples and inspirational French colonial architecture that will give you goosebumps. Witness the giving of alms to the Buddhist monks, opt to take a cooking class, ride an elephant, ride a bike, visit temples, visit the Royal Palace Museum, Kuang Si Waterfalls and Bear Rescue Centre. If you have any energy left after all that, haggle your way round the bustling night markets, phew! (2B)

Mekong River

Today you will cruise the serpentine waterways of the verdant Mekong Delta on a long houseboat. The Mekong is a thriving centre of cottage industries, floating markets and orchards, which really personifies a textbook Asian scene. Tonight, you’ll experience a village homestay. (B, D)

DAY ITINERARY Bangkok

01

Arrive in Bangkok at any time and wander around this vibrant city with its frenetic pace of life.

02-03

V I E T N A M

Luang Prabang Vang Vieng Vientiane

T H A I L A N D

04-05 Champasak

Dhon Khong Angkor Wat

Bangkok

Start Day 8 continuing your leisurely cruise up the Mekong River before arriving at the Laos/Thai border and crossing into Thailand later this afternoon. (B, L) Wind through charming countryside to Chiang Mai which is a popular location for any traveller to Thailand and generally regarded as the capital of the north. This afternoon, you’ll have heaps of free time to explore this fascinating and sacred city. Chiang Mai is enclosed by a moat and crumbling walls and offers pretty scenery, traditional architecture, charming locals and vibrant markets; all with a strong Buddhist presence. Visit Doi Suthep or the Chiang Mai Zoo or catch a traditional Thai boxing match. On Day 10, hop on board a local overnight train to travel south through the Thai countryside towards the bustle of Bangkok.

Siem Reap

Steung Treng Kratie

C A M B O D I A

Phnom Penh

11-12 30

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Travel to Cambodia’s riverside capital of Phnom Penh. Explore this pleasant city of cafés, shady streets and thriving markets full of vibrant textiles and curios. Witness the dark side of Cambodian history with visits to Choeung Ek, the site of the infamous Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Prison, the notorious Khmer Rouge jail where thousands of Cambodians perished. At the end of the day, kick back with a beer at one of the riverside bars and watch a beautiful sunset. (2B)

Kratie / Don Kong

06-07

Rise and shine for an early morning start. Pass through Skuon, a small town famous for its delicious edible spiders. Tuck into one if you dare! In Kratie, opt to spot the rare Irrawaddy River dolphins that inhabit this part of the Mekong. On Day 7, stay in one of the most beautiful stretches of the Mekong in the heart of Si Phan Don (4,000 Islands). With rice fields, small villages and ancient wats, the stunning scenery makes it perfect for cycling. Also famous for brewing lao-lao; very fiery, a jigger of lao-lao is usually followed with a plain water chaser! (2B)

Champasak / Dong Deng

Travel to the quiet riverside town of Champasak, once capital of a Lao kingdom and visit Wat Phu Champasak along the way - one of the most important and impressive archaeological sites in Laos. Stay with the locals tonight in a rustic homestay on Dong Deng Island and taste some delicious local cuisine when you are served a home-cooked dinner. (D)

08

Luang Prabang

09-11

Luang Prabang is undoubtedly the jewel of Laos - a peaceful riverside town of tranquil temples, incredible textiles, cafés and bakeries. Discover Laos’ Buddhist and architectural heritage, watch the sun set over the horizon or rise at dawn to watch the monks collecting food. You’ll have time to visit the fascinating Ethnology Museum and take a trip out to the stunning Kuang Sii Waterfalls. Optional activities here also include hiking, biking and cooking classes, and you won’t want to miss the chance to pick up a few souvenirs at the atmospheric night market. (3B)

Vang Vieng

A scenic drive through winding mountains will take you to the picturesque town of Vang Vieng, nestled along the Nam Song River and surrounded by limestone karsts. This is an adventure-seeker’s paradise with options to cycle, kayak, go caving or swim in the river. (B)

12

Bangkok

One of Asia’s most incredible cities, Bangkok will set your cultural tastebuds on fire! Check out famous Wat Po Temple and the Grand Palace, as well as numerous neon-lit backstreets, rough-andready noodle shacks and noisy street vendors. Round the trip off by diving headlong into Bangkok’s nightlife scene, which ranges from backstreet cabaret bars to stylish open-air cocktail places on top of the city’s skyscrapers. On Day 12, your adventure finishes after breakfast. (B)

Explore Indochina’s most incredible and historic attraction - the vast temple palace complex of Angkor, capital of the Khmer Empire. Re-discovered at the end of the last century by French explorers, this vast ruined city is becoming one of Asia’s most popular sites. It’s also possible to make optional visits to the Angkor Museum and the ‘floating village’ of Tonle Sap. (2B)

Phnom Penh

L AO S

Chiang Khong

Chiang Mai

09-10

Embrace the chance to trace your way along much of the Mekong River route and delve into the fascinating countries of Cambodia and Laos where you’ll stumble upon busy markets, tranquil temples and awesome Khmer ruins. An undeniable highlight of your trip will be a visit to the beautiful and mystifying Angkor Wat temple complex; one of the true wonders of the archaeological world. With activities like spotting rare river dolphins and/or eating furry eight-legged friends (yes, really!), you’ll soon get to know the natural way of life around here. Expect the unexpected!

Siem Reap / Angkor Wat

Luang Prabang

Bangkok

You might like

Highlights

Revel in Bangkok’s vibrant colours Marvel at the magnificent Angkor Wat Discover Cambodia’s exotic capital Look for river dolphins on the Mekong Experience local life at a homestay Explore Khmer temples and history Bargain at Luang Prabang’s markets

Vientiane Bangkok

02

Vang Vieng

15 DAYS

Bangkok

Departures 2014

Inclusions

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Recommended for 18-39s Accommodation: Simple hotels (9 nts), sleeper train (1 nt), local homestay (1 nt) Transport: Train, local bus, air-conditioned bus, plane, slow boat, boat Meals: 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD $200-250 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAAVRL

£1,099

FR

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Regular departures, typically 3-4 times per week

Bangkok

• • • • • • •

Departures 2014 Jan & Oct-Dec

CAMBODIA & LAOS MEKONG ADVENTURE

Vientiane / Bangkok

13-15

Arrive into one of Asia’s sleepiest capital cities. Scour the morning market for souvenirs, count the Buddha images in Wat Si Saket or chill out with a Beer Lao in one of the many riverside restaurants. Cross the ‘Friendship Bridge’ back into Thailand to board the overnight train back to Bangkok. On Day 15, arrive back in Thailand’s busy capital. Your trip will end on arrival at Bangkok train station mid-afternoon. (B)

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

31


£2,699

SOUTH EAST ASIA IN DEPTH Bangkok

FR

41 DAYS

Sanur (Bali) THAILAND

Bangkok

CAMBODIA

Ko Phangan Ko Samui

Medan Penang Cameron Highlands

Bukit Lawang

MALAYSIA

Tangkahan Berastagi

Kuala Lumpur Malacca

MALAYSIA

Singapore

Sipirok Maninjau

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Samosir Island

Bukittinggi INDONESIA

Tawangmangu Yogyakarta Jakarta

Mt Bromo Malang

Cianjur

Bandung

• • • • • • • •

Highlights

Wander the hectic streets of Bangkok Enjoy Thailand’s stunning beaches Watch the sunrise from Mt. Bromo Befriend orangutans in Bukit Lawang Taste an authentic cup of Java coffee Swim in a beautiful volcano lake Explore Singapore’s ethnic quarters Visit ornate temples and museums

Departures 2014

Kalibaru

Pemuteran Sanur

This 41-day adventure leaves no stone uncovered! From Bangkok and Bali to Sumatra and Singapore, you’ll discover everything from famous tourist areas to little-known marvels off the beaten track. Spend your days on boat decks sunning yourself in the hot Asian sun, send your heart pumping on a sunrise hike up Mount Bromo, get your caffeine kick with an authentic cup of Java at Kalibaru’s coffee plantations, and dive into the warm waters of Lake Toba, the world’s largest volcano lake. It’ll be a journey of first experiences, and ones that you’ll never forget! Grab your passport and get booking.

DAY ITINERARY Bangkok

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 13 Feb 10 Mar 10 Apr 07 May 05

Feb 22 Mar 22 Apr 19 May 17 Jun 14

Jun 02 Jun 30 Jul 28 Aug 25 Sep 22

Jul 12 Aug 09 Sep 06 Oct 04 Nov 01

Start

Finish

01-02

Oct 20 Nov 29 Nov 17 Dec 27 Dec 15 Jan 24

Inclusions

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 3 Age Group: Recommended for 18-39s Accommodation: Simple hotels (38 nts), sleeper train (1 nt), local homestay (1 nt) Transport: Train, local bus, minibus, ferry, songthaew, taxi, flight Meals: 30 breakfasts, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD$750-900 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAATSE

03-04 05-06

Shorten your trip Bangkok to Singapore on a Shoestring (GAATRM, 14 days) see page 36 Fr £799 Highlights of Sumatra (14 days, Medan to Pedang) (GAAESH) Fr £1,749 Java to Bali (15 days, Jakarta to Sanur) (GAAEKS) see page 93 Fr £949

Koh Phangan

After a short boat ride to Koh Phangan, get stuck into all the activities the island has to offer. Whether it’s kayaking, snorkelling, swimming in the lagoons, or visiting its waterfalls, it’s the perfect place to get into a relaxed holiday mood and a complete antidote to the bustle of Bangkok!

Koh Samui

Just off Thailand’s east coast lies Koh Samui, the next destination. The largest island in an archipelago of around 80 islands, you’ll have two days to relax amongst white, sandy beaches and clear, warm waters while tucking into fresh seafood and sipping on fruity cocktails.

17-20

07 08-09 10-11 12

Cross the border into Malaysia and enjoy a scenic boat trip to Penang. Eat your way through a street food crawl with your travel group and opt for a tour of the city. Save time to visit Kek Lok Si, one of the most well-known Buddhist temples on the island, while Little India and Chinatown are the perfect places to explore, filled with temples, markets and other interesting things to see. (B)

21-23 24-25

Melaka

Today, it’s off to Melaka, a historic port town. With a wealth of temples, churches, mosques, museums and forts to explore, this town will keep you busy for the day. For a unique view of Melaka, take a boat tour of its canals.

Singapore

13

Cross the border into Singapore with time to explore all its many attractions and to wander around the neighbourhoods of Chinatown and Little India. For a true taste of the city, call by the opulent Raffles Hotel and order yourself a Singapore Sling! Don’t miss the Night Safari nocturnal zoo; a real favourite amongst travellers. From the rugged Himalayan foothills to the swampy banks of the Asian Riverine forest, a tram will take you to see 2,500 animals in their natural night time habitats.

After a short drive, hike the final hours down to the crater lake of Maninjau for stunning sunset views. This is a good place to wind down and enjoy a slower pace of life. (B)

Jakarta

27-28

twitter.com/STATravel_UK 32

14-16

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Get a transfer to Padang and fly into Jakarta; the action-packed capital of Indonesia. Opt to take a guided city tour and experience the delights of a street food crawl with your travel group. Indonesian dishes you might have come across include peanut satay, beef rendang and nasi goreng, but you’ll soon discover that it’s much more varied than you would find at home, incorporating many regional differences from across the countless islands of Indonesia. (2B)

Cianjur

In Cianjur, you’ll see its floating villages and have the chance to teach English to local children. This corner of Java sees little tourism, and you’ll experience local life by spending the night at a family homestay. (B, D)

29

Bandung / Yogyakarta

30-33

Travel to Bandung for an orientation walk and an opportunity to explore on your own. From Bandung, take the scenic route to Yogyakarta where there’s plenty of time to see sights such as Mt. Merapi and the incredible Borobudur, which dates back to the 9th Century and is the largest Buddha sanctuary in the world. The nine platforms are crowned by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupas. It’s an impressive site and has become one of Indonesia’s most-visited attractions since knowledge of its existence was leaked to the world by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1814. (4B)

Tawangmangu

On a journey through Javan landscapes, stop off at the Prambanan temples to explore Java’s largest Hindu temple complex. The next stop is the Sukuh temple for a beautiful walk through villages and farms to Tawangmangu. (B)

34 35-37 38-39

Medan / Bukit Lawang

Fly to Medan, the capital of North Sumatra, and stroll around the city to take in the many art deco buildings and Buddhist and Hindu temples. On Day 15, see the opulent Maimoon Palace, the Great Mosque and the Vihara Gunung Timur temple. In Bukit Lawang, visit the orangutan viewing platform to watch these adorable creatures being fed or opt to go jungle trekking in Gunung Leuser N.P. (3B)

A bustling cultural town of West Sumatra, you’ll take an orientation walk around Bukittinggi to help you get the lay of the land. With a free day to explore, head to the magnificent Ngarai Sianok canyon for spellbinding views or head underground to check out Lubang Jepang, or the Japanese caves; a network of underground bunkers and tunnels built by the Japanese in WWII. If that’s not your thing, there’s always the option of rafting and kayaking! (2B)

Maninjau

26

Kuala Lumpur

The bustling capital of Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s most populous city. Opt for a city tour to see the sights. Petronas Towers, the tallest twin buildings in the world, boasts amazing city views and the Islamic Arts Museum, National Mosque and Chinatown are also not to be missed.

Travel to Lake Toba, the world’s largest volcano lake, to relax and swim in its warm waters, or opt for a cultural visit to local Batak villages. Meander around local weavers and markets en route to the beautiful hilltop town of Sipirok, surrounded by rice fields and mountains, where your tour leader will give you the lowdown on an orientation walk. (3B)

Bukittinggi

Cameron Highlands

Head to the hills for a visit to Cameron Highlands. One of Malaysia’s most extensive hill stations, it’s famous for its tea plantations and strawberry farms. If the optional highlands tour doesn’t appeal, go off hiking independently on one of the many well-marked trails. (B)

Drive across bumpy roads to reach the small jungle community of Tangkahan where you can go hiking or choose to participate in an optional elephant feeding session. You can even hitch a ride on an elephant if you wish, it’s quite an experience! Hike from Tangkahan to Bukit Lawang, then continue by bus to charming Berastagi to get a taste of Indonesian life without the tourist crowds. Opt to hike up Sibayak volcano at sunrise for breathtaking views of the valleys below or tour traditional villages to get a feel for life as a local. (4B)

Samosir Island / Sipirok

Penang

My Own Room Available: Fr £1,259

You might like

Arrive into Thailand’s frenetic capital at any time and head out to explore before meeting your group and tour leader on the first evening of this awesome six-week adventure. Day 2 is free to discover the sights of Bangkok, including the Wat Po Temple and the Grand Palace, before catching the overnight train to Surat Thani. (B)

Tangkahan / Berastagi

Malang / Mt. Bromo / Kalibaru

With an early morning start, travel to Malang, the second-largest city in east Java, to catch a glimpse of Mt. Bromo’s dramatic landscapes at sunrise; it’s a distinctive volcanic peak having blown its top off completely. On Day 37, it’s onwards to Kalibaru, the famous Indonesian coffee plantations. (3B)

Pemuteran

On your journey to Bali, journey past tea plantations and coastal lowlands to reach Pemuteran, which sits between national parks and boasts pristine coral reefs and lush rainforests. Wander through the national park or opt for a snorkelling trip to Menjangan Island, one of the best diving sites in Bali. (B)

Sanur

40-41

Unwind in hot springs en route to the Balinese beach resort of Sanur where you can finish your trip with an optional farewell dinner with your fellow travellers. On Day 41, feel free to head home at any time or ask your Travel Expert for ideas how to extend your stay on Bali or Lombok. (2B)

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

33


£2,369

INDOCHINA EXPLORER Bangkok

• • • • • • •

FR

18 DAYS

Siem Reap

Highlights

Marvel at the Angkor Wat at sunset Browse and bargain at local markets Observe the daily life of monks Cruise along the stunning Halong Bay Cycle around Ho Chi Minh’s sights Explore the Pak Ou Caves Learn about Cambodia’s dark history

£1,099

COLOURS OF ASIA Singapore

• • • • • • •

FR

14 DAYS

Bangkok

Highlights

Explore gleaming Singapore Marvel at the Petronas Towers Hike through the Cameron Highlands Hunt out bargains at the markets Snorkel in marine paradise Dine out on delicious Asian dishes Jump into a whirlwind of Bangkok

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Departures 2014

Departures 2014 Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 04 Feb 08 Mar 15 Apr 19 May 24

Jan 21 Feb 25 Apr 01 May 06 Jun 10

Jun 28 Aug 02 Sep 06 Oct 11 Nov 15

Jul 15 Aug 19 Sep 23 Oct 28 Dec 02

Dec 20 2015 Jan 03

Jan 06

Inclusions

Jan 20

Trip Style: Comfort Service Level: Upgraded Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Comfort hotels (15 nts), sleeper train (1 nt), junk boat (1 nt) Transport: Private bus/van, boat, train, tuktuk, plane, cyclo, traditional junk boat Meals: 17 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners Budget: Allow USD $300-400 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAATIC

My Own Room Available: Fr £579

Ever dream of travelling through Indochina but couldn’t decide where to go? This trip is your dream come true! Over 18 days you’ll journey from Bangkok to Siem Reap, and everywhere in between, without scrimping on comfort or adventure. Observe monks going about their daily life in Chiang Mai, tour amazing museums, watch the sun paint the sky atop a hill in Luang Prabang, float past the stunning limestone islands of Halong Bay, and make like Lara Croft and head to Ta Prohm, the ‘Tomb Raider’ temple. Top your travels off with a healthy dose of mouthwatering local cuisine and you’ve got yourself a return ticket to paradise!

DAY ITINERARY 01-02

Bangkok

Arrive into Thailand’s frenetic capital city and settle in. The next day take to the canals to observe locals going about their daily lives. The decadent halls and murals of the Grand Palace, built in 1972, and the sacred emerald Buddha at Wat Phra Kaew temple will be a favourite with culture lovers! (B)

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 04 Jan 11 Jan 25 Feb 08 Feb 22 Mar 01 Mar 15 Mar 29 Apr 12

Jan 17 Jan 24 Feb 07 Feb 21 Mar 07 Mar 14 Mar 28 Apr 11 Apr 25

Apr 26 May 10 May 24 Jun 07 Jun 21 Jul 06 Jul 20 Aug 09 Aug 23

May 09 May 23 Jun 06 Jun 20 Jul 04 Jul 19 Aug 02 Aug 22 Sep 05

Aug 30 Sep 20 Oct 04 Oct 18 Nov 08 Nov 22 Dec 06 Dec 20

Sep 12 Oct 03 Oct 17 Oct 31 Nov 21 Dec 05 Dec 19 Jan 02

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Simple hotels (11 nts), sleeper train (1 nt), homestay (1 nt) Transport: Train, local bus, minibus, ferry, songthaew, taxi, trishaw Meals: 7 breakfasts Budget: Allow USD $325-425 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAGCA

My Own Room Available: Fr £609

Exciting capital cities, traditional culture and tropical natural wonders - this trip is spiced with all the flavour you’d expect from exotic Asia. Filled with golden temples and saffronrobed monks, soft white beaches and blue skies, tantalising seafood and some of the world’s best shopping spots, you’ll be guaranteed to have the time of your life. You’ll come home a sucker for the food, the climate and the bright and buzzing atmosphere that couldn’t be further from your normal routine back home. Jump onboard for your Asian adventure, you’ll never look back!

DAY ITINERARY Singapore

Arrive into this modern and welcoming Asian haven at any time and set off for a wander around the city. Explore the streets of Singapore’s ethnic districts such as Little India, Chinatown and the Malay Quarter (it’s like doing the whole of Asia in one whirlwind day) or head down to the brand new Marina Bay Sands casino and resort complex, three skyscrapers with a ship balanced on the top! Meet your group and tour leader this evening and perhaps get to know them over an optional dinner.

01

Chiang Mai Halong Bay Hanoi

03-04

V I E T N AM

Luang Prabang Chiang Mai

05-07

Angkor Wat

Siem Reap Phnom Penh

As a World Heritage site, Luang Prabang is overflowing with cultural attractions and is small enough to explore on foot. Visit the Royal Palace museum and the Wat Xiengthong and Wat Visoun temples before catching a boat to the Pak Ou Caves. These natural caves hide a treasure trove of Buddhist statues left by pilgrims over the centuries - 3,000 to be exact! On Day 6, rise at dawn to observe monks collecting food offerings and giving blessings. Spend the afternoon visiting the stunning Kuang Sii Waterfall then watch the sun set atop Phuosi Hill. It’s up to you what you do on Day 7, whether’s it’s relaxing in one of the coffee shops or visiting the town’s 32 temples! (3B)

Hanoi / Halong Bay

C A M B OD I A

08-10

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

11-12

Fly to Hanoi and take in its French colonial architecture and vast parks. Then, take a cyclo tour of the city’s Old Quarter, stopping off for lunch at Hoa Sua, a training school for disadvantaged youth. On Day 9, visit Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum before driving to Bai Chay Harbour and boarding a traditional junk boat for the evening. With all the comforts of a hotel, cruise around Halong Bay and explore the breathtaking limestone islands rising from the Bac Bo gulf. On Day 10, visit one of the caves on a bamboo boat before heading back to dry land in Hanoi for shopping and museums. (2B, 2L, D) Fly to Ho Chi Minh City and take a thrilling cyclo tour of its main attractions. On Day 12 head underground into the infamous Cu Chi tunnels for a unique view of what life was like during the Vietnam War. With the afternoon left free, head to Ben Thanh market or sail the Saigon River. (2B)

13-14

Take part in a cyclo tour around Phnom Penh’s main attractions, with an option of refreshing drinks at the famous Foreign Correspondents Club. On Day 12, explore the dark side of Cambodia’s history under the rule of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge with visits to Choeung Ek Memorial, the site of the infamous Killing Fields, and the Tuol Sleng Prison. (2B)

Siem Reap / Angkor Wat

15-18

Drive to Siem Reap and tour its entertainment district, with a stop off at an exciting night market, then head to Angkor at sunset to see the magnificent Angkor Wat temple, the world’s largest religious monument. Visit other fantastic temples, such as Preah Khan and Ta Prohm, the ‘Tomb Raider’ temple, then travel to Mondul, one of the poorest areas of Cambodia. Witness the good work project New Hope is doing to help the underprivileged locals and taste the delights of Khmer cuisine they prepare for you over lunch. On Day 18, depart at any time you wish. (4B, L)

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Cross the border into Malaysia to the historic city of Melaka - a cultural mosaic - its rich heritage ever apparent in its unique collection of Islamic mosques, Chinese temples, Portuguese architecture and fascinating museums. See the city on a bicycle rickshaw tour before taking an optional boat trip and trying the local Nyonya cuisine.

02 T HA ILA N D

Bangkok

03-04

Krabi Langkawi Penang

Cameron Highlands

05-06

M A L AYS I A

Kuala Lumpur Melaka

Singapore

You can’t think of Kuala Lumpur without the iconic and awe-inspiring Petronas Towers springing to mind. Enjoy a half-day tour of the city with your group. You’ll then have free time to set out and explore the city and see everything from the Petronas Towers to the Islamic Arts Museum. (B)

Cameron Highlands

Head for the Cameron Highlands, one of Malaysia’s most famous hill stations surrounded by tea plantations and strawberry fields. The cooler weather up here makes it the perfect opportunity for chilling out and having a walk through the lovely cloud-covered forest. (B)

07-08

Hire a bicycle rickshaw to meander the streets of Georgetown, soaking up the old Chinese atmosphere. Sample the variety of Chinese, Malay and Indian street foods, explore colourful night markets and catch the funicular railway up Penang Hill for stunning mainland views. Spend the evening tasting delicious local food from one of the many street stands in Georgetown.

Krabi

Leave Malaysia and take the ferry to the Thai port of Satun. From there, travel by bus and songthaew to Krabi Province on the beautiful west coast. You will stay in a homestay close to the beach and a perfect spot to mellow out and relax. (B)

Krabi / Ao Nang

You might like

Extend your trip Northern Thailand Experience (12 days, Bangkok to Bangkok) (GAATNE) see page 46

Kuala Lumpur

Penang

09

Ho Chi Minh City

Phnom Penh

34

Melaka

Luang Prabang

L AO S

T H A I L A N D

Bangkok

Head to Chiang Mai on Day 3, tackling the 300 steps to reach the top of the Doi Suthep, one of the most sacred Buddhist temples in Thailand. The spectacular views from the top are definitely worth the exercise! Tuck into an authentic khantoke dinner and take a trip to a local village. Opt to see the friendly creatures at the Elephant Conservation Centre or visit some local handicraft workshops. The next day, test out your culinary skills with a Thai cooking class and whip up some popular Thai dishes for lunch. Later, visit a lively night market to browse and bargain away the evening. (2B, L, D)

10-12 Fr £699

Bangkok

13

facebook.com/statravel.uk

Transfer from your homestay to a hotel. You have free time here to jump on an optional snorkelling trip to heavenly Phi Phi island or entertain yourself on the amazing beaches. Feeling restless? Try a spot of rock climbing, sea kayaking or learn to cook your very own Thai feast at a cooking school. Some shopping might be on the agenda before jumping on a ferry and catching the overnight train back to Bangkok on Day 12. (3B)

14

An early arrival into Bangkok leaves plenty of time to get to know this eclectic capital, with your hotel offering the perfect base for discovering Khao San Road. Glide through the maze of ‘klongs’ on a traditional long-tail boat and visit the impressively-decorated Wat Pho Temple. Opt to visit the Grand Palace and National Museum or go shopping for bargains.

Bangkok

Your amazing tour ends today and you are free to depart at any time you wish. (B)

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

35


BANGKOK TO SINGAPORE on a shoestring Bangkok

• • • • • • •

£799

FR

14 DAYS

Singapore

Highlights

Explore the frantic streets of Bangkok Laze on Thailand’s idyllic beaches Cool off under a refreshing waterfall Cycle the charming streets of Penang Wander Kuala Lumpur’s night markets Absorb the vivid cultures of Melaka Check out the city sights of Singapore

Bangkok

• • • • • • •

Inclusions

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Recommended for 18-39s Accommodation: Simple hotels (10 nts), basic bungalows (2 nts), sleeper train (1 nt), Transport: Train, local bus, minibus, ferry, songthaew, taxi Meals: 3 breakfasts Budget: Allow USD $265350 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Oficer (CEO) Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAATRM

My Own Room Available: Fr £379

Flying into Bangkok and out of Singapore is easy to organise. Trying to successfully travel between these two destinations in only 14 days ain’t so simple. Deciding where to go, how to get there and where to lay your head when you arrive - all sounds a bit too much like hard work? Fear not, help is at hand! This hugely popular adventure trip will take care of all that giving you time to absorb the staggering highlights of Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. With its combination of pulsating cities, delicious street food and luscious island beaches, this tour will give you a guaranteed fascinating insight into South East Asia.

DAY ITINERARY T H A I L A N D

01

Bangkok Koh Pha Ngan Koh Samui

Highlights

Get lost in Bangkok’s busy backstreets Explore Koh Phangan’s waterfalls Hike through hillside rice terraces See the grand Petronas Towers in KL Take a ‘night safari’ at Singapore Zoo Admire endless ancient temples Wander Indonesian coffee plantations

Bangkok

Arrive at any time and head out to explore this atmospheric, colourful and deliciously noisy city.

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 13 Jan 27 Feb 10 Feb 24 Mar 02 Mar 04 Mar 10 Mar 24 Apr 07

Feb 09 Feb 23 Mar 09 Mar 23 Mar 29 Mar 31 Apr 06 Apr 20 May 04

Apr 21 May 05 May 19 Jun 02 Jun 16 Jun 30 Jul 14 Jul 28 Aug 11

May 18 Jun 01 Jun 15 Jun 29 Jul 13 Jul 27 Aug 10 Aug 24 Sep 07

Aug 25 Sep 08 Sep 22 Oct 06 Oct 20 Nov 03 Nov 17 Dec 01 Dec 15

Sep 21 Oct 05 Oct 19 Nov 02 Nov 16 Nov 30 Dec 14 Dec 28 Jan 11

Inclusions

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Recommended for 18-39s Accommodation: Hotels (24 nts), sleeper train (1 nt), local homestay (2 nts) Transport: Train, local bus, minibus, ferry, songthaew, taxi, flight Meals: 17 breakfasts, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD $500-600 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAATBS

My Own Room Available: Fr £799

Bangkok

02

Nakhon Si Thammarat

Jump aboard a longtail boat or maybe a tuk-tuk and explore Bangkok’s charismatic mix of markets, klongs and temples. Shop ‘til you drop at the wealth of mega markets, melt under the hands of a relaxing Thai massage and feast both your eyes and belly on the tantalising Thai cuisine that dominates the street scene. Yum! Take an overnight train later this evening to Chumporn. (B)

Cameron Highlands

Kuala Lumpur Melaka

03-04

Singapore

On arrival into Chumporn, a bus journey and short boat ride takes you to the small island of Koh Phangan where you have the next few days to explore the island’s waterfalls, swim in its lagoons or just relax. Options for snorkelling, hiking, visiting waterfalls or simply chilling out. With everything from yoga and meditation courses, natural beauty and its famous Full Moon Parties, Koh Phangan has something for everyone.

Koh Samui / Nakhon Si Thammarat

05-06

Another short boat trip will see you arriving at Koh Samui in the afternoon of Day 5. Koh Samui is well known for its fabulous beaches and buzzing party nightlife. Take a tour of the island or just kick back and enjoy the awesome beaches. The following day head off to Nakhon Si Thammarat, a place with an intriguing blend of cultures, where Muslim mosques and Buddhist temples blend with 17th Century European factories and houses.

07

Cameron Highlands

08-09 10-11

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Upgrade your trip Colours of Asia (14 days, Singapore to Bangkok) (GAAGCA) see page 35 Fr £1,099

12 13-14

Head for the Cameron Highlands, one of Malaysia’s most famous hill stations. Established in 1885 by William Cameron, a British surveyor, it is surrounded by pretty tea plantations and strawberry fields. The cooler weather is perfect for a relaxing walk through the cloud-covered forest. This is a great place to read a book, write a postcard or reflect on life and all its riches.

Kuala Lumpur

There’s tons to see and do in Kuala Lumpur. Stare up at one of the world’s tallest buildings, explore the famous Batu Caves or check out the Oran Asli Museum. Evenings are best spent sampling some of the finest cuisine in South East Asia and bargain-hunting in Chinatown’s night market.

Melaka

With its historic fusion of Chinese, Indian, Malay and Portuguese influences, Melaka remains one of Malaysia’s great destinations. Try a riverboat ride, see local historic parks or climb the steps to St. Paul’s Church.

Singapore

Arrive into Singapore where you have a free afternoon to explore the city’s many attractions. Do the famous night safari at Singapore’s world-class zoo or browse for bargains on Orchard Road. Splash out on your last night with a legendary Singapore Sling cocktail at the famous Raffles Hotel. (B)

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

DAY ITINERARY Bangkok / Koh Phangan

01-04 05-09

Koh Phangan Koh Samui

Penang

Cameron Highlands

Singapore

Cianjur

I N D O N E S I A

Koh Samui offers everything you could possibly want in a tropical retreat: white sandy beaches, coconut palms, fresh seafood and warm, clear waters. Arrive in time for a sunset cocktail then get out and explore. On Day 7, you’ll cross into Malaysia and take a scenic boat trip through the sheltered archipelago to Penang. Your eyes will be dazzled by colourful bazaars, noisy night markets and Chinese temples. Next up, the Cameron Highlands, with their rolling green hills, tea plantations and strawberry fields, flatlands and breathtaking mountain scenery. Here you can walk along one of the many well-marked jungle trails, visit the tea plantations or simply chill. (2B)

Kuala Lumpur / Melaka / Singapore

M A L AYS I A

Kuala Lumpur

Jakarta

Adapt to Bangkok’s lovably hectic pace, humid climate, backstreets and colourful markets before you meet your fellow travellers later the first evening. On Day 2, wander its neon alleyways and goldenspired Buddhist temples. Later, embark on a journey by overnight sleeper train, sharing tales with locals as you travel south to Surat Thani. On Day 3, meet Koh Phangan! This Thai treasure boasts of hammock-filled beaches, long-tail boats, Thai whisky buckets and rebellious Full Moon parties. (B)

Koh Samui / Penang / Cameron Highlands

Bangkok

Penang

The winding streets of Georgetown are best explored by bicycle rickshaw. Check out the fort’s colonial architecture, pop into the colourful Indian quarter and visit lively Chinatown. If time allows, a visit to the Butterfly Farm is superb. Indulge in a meal at the waterfront’s bustling night markets where you can choose between a delicious fusion of Chinese, Malay and Indian food. (B)

Ever dreamt of an adventure which takes you from the infectious buzz of Bangkok to ancient Indonesian temples, and from the spine-tingling sunrise vistas of Mt. Bromo to the whitesand beaches of Bali? South-East Asia truly ticks every box on any traveller’s hitlist; ancient culture, friendly locals, blissful beaches, vibrant cities infused with a mesmerising blend of spirituality and unforgettable beauty. Along the way, you can slurp down everything from rice noodles and Pad Thai in Bangkok to peanut satay in Indonesia. Bangkok to Bali on a Shoestring will show you exactly how to do South East Asia!

T H A I L A N D

Koh Phangan M A L AYS I A

36

28 DAYS

Sanur (Bali)

Departures 2014

Every Saturday & Selected Mondays

Penang

£1,749

FR

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Departures 2014 Jan - Dec

Bangkok TO BALI on a shoestring

10-13 Malang Kalibaru Perumteran

Yogyakarta Tawangmangu Mt. Bromo

Sanur

Welcome to one of South East Asia’s most cosmopolitan cities, with its architecture and unique cultural mix, Kuala Lumpur is sure to impress! See the Petronas Towers, Chinatown and the KL Tower to name but a few. On Day 12, head to the old port town of Melaka, the most important trading port in South East Asia back in the 15th Century. On Day 13, you’ll be immersed in Singapore’s mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Western cultures. Visit the Night Safari, take a harbour cruise or stop at Raffles Hotel for a cheeky Singapore Sling!

Jakarta / Cianjur / Bandung / Yogyakarta

14-20

Take a short flight to Jakarta, the economic heart of Indonesia. Here you can chill with a cup of Java coffee or walk around the old Dutch colonial heart of Kota. On Day 16, venture to Cianjur via Bogor to visit the floating villages or to perhaps teach English to local children. Enjoy an orientation walk of the sprawling city of Bandung on Day 17. On Day 18, you’ll take a scenic train journey to Yogyakarta, where you can visit the nearby Buddhist temple complex and town of Borobudur. (7B, D)

Tawangmangu / Malang / Mt Bromo

21-23

Today, you will continue to Sukuh Temple to start a beautiful walk through small villages and farms to Tawangmangu. On Day 22, head for Malang where you can check out the gorgeous parks, the Singosari Temple and the bird and flower market. On Day 23, you’ll be whisked through tropical landscapes towards the grandeur of smouldering Mt. Bromo. (3B)

Kalibaru / Pemutaran

24-26

Start Day 24 with a pre-dawn trek across the ‘Sea of Sand’ to watch the sunrise over Mt. Bromo’s crater. Next up, you’ll head through Kalibaru’s coffee plantations. On Day 25, your first night in Bali is spent close to the north shore of the island at Pemuteran, which is sandwiched between national parks containing coral reefs and rainforest. Spend your day here relaxing by the beach, exploring the national parks or opt for a snorkelling trip to Menjangan Island. (2B)

Sanur

27-28

Head south through Bali’s lovely countryside and rice paddy fields and enjoy a relaxing soak in some local hot springs en route to the exotic beach destination of Sanur. On the south coast of the island, Sanur boasts a gorgeous white-sand beach sheltered by a tropical reef, and a colourful main street perfect for picking up some last-minute souvenirs. Unwind and depart anytime on Day 28. (2B)

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

37


BAMBA SOUTH EAST ASIA Bamba Rice Field B U R M A Ways or v.v FR £570

Why Travel with Bamba Bamba Experience flexible Hop-On

Hanoi

L AO S S OU T H CH IN A S E A

Hue Hoi An

T H A I L A N D A N DA M A N S E A

Bangkok Inclusions: 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15

Bangkok Siem Reap C A M B O D I A

Phnom Penh Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) G U L F OF T H A IL A N D

Nha Trang Dalat

V I E T N A M

Bamba Buddha Ways FR £902 Bangkok Bangkok Inclusions: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15

Bamba believes that the freedom to travel how you want will bring you happiness. It is for this reason that there’s a team dedicated to making sure you’re always a happy traveller with assistance before, during and after your trip.

What’s Special About our Hop-On Hop-Off Passes Customer service: The Happy Team is here to make sure you enjoy your trip every step of the way. Online trip manager: Access your trip online to make as many changes to your itinerary as you wish anywhere, any time. Great value: Bamba has the best quality transportation and activities with trusted and reliable local operators at the most competitive rates. Travel independently: Explore the world exactly as you have always dreamed by travelling freely at your own pace to the best hotspots with no tour leader or set schedule.

Tuk Tuk Express & v.v FR £327

T H A I L A N D A N DA MA N S E A

Bangkok C A M B O D I A

Chumphon

Bangkok

Koh Phangan GUL F O F THAIL AND

Singapore Inclusions: 1, 3, 4 & 19

Penang

Tuk Tuk Ways & v.v FR £436

M A L AYS I A

Kuala Lumpur

Choose your own accommodation: Accommodation is not included so you choose where to sleep every night with the help of recommended hotels. Please see your STA Travel Expert.

Chumphon Koh Tao Koh Phangan G ULF OF T H AI LAND

Phuket

Koh Samui

B U R M A

£531

Bangkok Bangkok Inclusions: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 14 & 15

S OU T H CH IN A S E A

T H A I L A N D

C A M B O D I A

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Phuket Inclusions:

3, 19 & 20

Luang Prabang Kuang Si Waterfall Adventure: See the spiritual landscapes of the Mekong River with breathtaking views and a mystical vibe, plus visit the pristine Kuang Si Waterfalls.

8.

Vang Vieng Kayaking & Tubing Adventure: Float down the river on a tube, try out kayaking, go swimming and more!

9. 10. 11.

Hanoi Ha Long Bay 3 days / 2 nights: Cruise through the tranquil waters of Halong Bay.

12. 13.

Nha Trang Snorkelling Day Trip: Snorkel, swim, sunbathe or get stuck into water activities in Nha Trang.

14.

Phnom Penh Quad Bike Killing Fields Day Trip: An up-close look into the sombre and gruesome regime of the Khmer Rouge.

15.

Siem Reap Angkor Wat Tour: See the impressive national heritage of Cambodia’s ancient Khmer dynasties.

19.

Koh Phangan Beaches & Elephant Safari: Experience the best snorkelling sites and beaches and ride an elephant in the jungle.

20.

Koh Samui Zip-Line Adventure: Go on a scenic zipline adventure through the rainforest treetops over more than 500 metres of steel cable.

V I E T N A M

Krabi Koh Phi Phi

S OU T H CH IN A S E A

Full Thailand Ways FR £491

L AO S

Chiang Mai

Bangkok Inclusions:

Bangkok

3, 4 &19

Chumphon Koh Tao Koh Phangan

C A M B O D I A

Bangkok Inclusions: 3, 4, 5 & 19

S OU T H CH IN A S E A

Sukhothai

Bangkok

T H A I L A N D

Krabi Koh Phi Phi

B U R M A

T H A I L A N D A N DA M A N S E A

Bangkok C A M B O D I A

Chumphon Koh Tao Koh Phangan

V I E T N A M

G U L F OF T H A IL A N D

Phuket

V I E T N A M

Krabi Koh Phi Phi

Chiang Khong L A O S Pak Beng Luang Prabang Vang Vieng Chiang Mai VientianeC HSI ON UA T SH E A Sukhothai ANDAMAN SEA

T H A I L A N D

Bangkok

Chiang Mai Elephant Camp & Rafting Day Trip: Ride an elephant, visit a waterfall and bamboo raft in scenic Thailand.

7.

V I E T N A M

L AO S

Bangkok Bangkok Bike Explorer: Get to know the crazy city of Bangkok by bicycle!

Nha Trang Dalat

Koh Tao Koh Samui

B U R M A

Koh Phi Phi - Maya Bay The Beach Trip: Swim, snorkel and kayak or search for monkeys on Koh Phi Phi.

Chiang Mai River Expedition to Laos 3days/2nights: Float down the Mekong River, stopping to see a unique Buddhist/Hindu temple and a bustling market place.

Koh Phangan

Phuket

Cameron Highlands Rainforest Expedition: Hike into the lush Cameron Highlands Rainforest.

6.

C A M B O D I A

G U L F OF T H A IL A N D

Kuala Lumpur Foodie Experience: Sample Malaysian street food by going to the city’s best street stands!

Hue Hoi An

B U R M A

Hue Tombs & Pagoda Day Trip: Walk through the elaborate tomb complexes of venerated Vietnamese emperors. Hoi An Love of Life Bicycle Day Trip: Check out rural Vietnam by riding through the countryside just outside of Hoi An.

Ho Chi Minh City Mekong Delta 2 days / 1 night: Visit the region’s most important delta where the Mekong River empties into the South China Sea.

Additional passes

Pakse

Siem Reap

Bamba also offer passes in Bali, the Gili Islands and Nepal. Inclusions 16 to 18 and 21 to 23 are featured in these passes. Ask your STA Travel Expert for details.

C A M B O D I A

Phnom Penh

G ULF OF T H AI LAN D

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

L AO S

A N DA M A N S E A

Phuket

FR

Ha Long

Hanoi

T H A I L A N D

G U L F OF T H A IL A N D

Singapore

V I E T N A M

G U L F OF T H A IL A N D

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

S OU T H CH IN A S E A

Cameron Highlights Kuala Lumpur M A L AYS I A

Dalat

L AO S

A N DA M A N S E A

Koh Phi Phi Penang

Thai Island & Beaches Ways FR £258

Bangkok

Krabi

Nha Trang

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

G U L F OF T H A IL A N D

V I E T N A M

Nit Noi Ways

38

C A M B O D I A

Phnom Penh

INCLUSIONS

A N DA M A N S E A

Thai Island Hopping FR £299

C A M B O D I A

Melaka

Singapore

Type of transportation: Travel on safe and reliable public buses, shuttle vans, trains, planes and boats.

Bangkok

Bangkok Singapore Inclusions: 1, 2, 3, 4 & 19

Unique experiences: Experience tons of adventue plus historical, natural and cultural moments that will change the way you see the world.

Siem Reap

Bangkok

Hanoi Inclusions: 9, 10, 11, 12 &13

Unlimited schedule changes: Make unlimited changes to your schedule before and during your trip. Your pass is valid for 12 months so you can take all the time you need to enjoy your journey!

T H A I L A N D ANDAMAN SEA

V I E T N A M

Krabi

A N DA M A N S E A

Good Morning B U R M A Vietnam or v.v FR £401 Saigon

Bamba Experience passes include both convenient transportation options and exciting activities along the route of your choice. You have the flexibility to choose your departure dates and make unlimited changes on the go. All you have to do is choose a route and a departure date; they take care of the rest.

Hanoi Chiang Khong L A O S Pak Beng Luang Prabang Vang Vieng Vientiane Chiang S OU T H Mai CH IN A S E A Sukhothai T H A I L A N D Hue Hoi An

B U R M A

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Hop-off passes in South East Asia provide a platform for you to explore the world in a new and unique way. Bamba believes travelling is about living life, exploring the unknown to change the way we see the world. It’s about having fun and life-changing experiences because as you discover the world, you discover yourself.

Ha Long

Hanoi

V I E T N A M

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

39


STRAY Asia Pass Options

Get further off the beaten track. Travel with Stray’s guided adventure travel network and discover places no one else goes.

Mai Chau

Houay Xai

Minority villages, rice terraces,trekking, cycling

Ban Lad Khammoune Remote village homestay

Chiang Rai

Famous White Temple

Cam Lo

Ninh Binh

Luang Prabang

World heritage town, Kuang Si Waterfalls, elephants, silk weaving, temples, monks’, alms ceremony at sunrise

Vang Vieng

Rock climbing, kayaking, tubing

450 year old Capital, COPE centre

LAOS

Kong Lor (2)

Cam Lo

Mighty 7km cave

Nong Khai

Stunning coastline

Xe Champhone

Ho Chi Minh City (2)

Vinh Moc Tunnels Demilitarized Zone from the Vietnam War

Hue

UNESCO World Heritage monuments, perfume river Hi Van Pass Old French American Fortifications

THAILAND

Hoi An (2)

Laos, Dtui Noy PASS

French heritage buildings, good food, access to My Son Ruins, tailoring

Ubon Ratchathani Ayutthaya

My Lai

Pakse Wat Phou

Marsacre Sites

Provincial Capital, Tree Top Explorer

World Heritage Temple Houay Xai

Preah Vihear Temple

LAOS

Access to Angkor Wat, and night markets

Battambang

Kompong Thom

Tonle Sap Lake

Fishing and farming village homestay

Kompong Chhnang

Travel responsibly, and respectfully

MUST-DO STRAY EXPERIENCES

OUR TRAVELLERS LOVE..

• • • • • • Unexplored secret spots Dong Hoi, Vietnam

“The homestay was a real once in a lifetime experience for me. We were welcomed into the village with a traditional ceremony, taken round the local school & hospital and then went swimming with the local kids. We watched sunset over the Mekong River while enjoying the locals’ favourite tipple Rice Whisky, with not a hotel in sight!” Lucy Dellow, STA London

40

East meets West at the White Temple: Chiang Rai , Thailand Ancient Buddhist books: Hotay Pitok Library Laos Ride in old bomb boats: Tha Bak, Laos Sacred UNESCO temples: Wat Phou, Laos Beachfront bungalows: Koh Tunsay island, Cambodia Epic underground caves: Dong Hoi, Vietnam

You need to know • • •

All passes are valid for 12 months from your first day of travel (subject to normal visa restrictions). We organise accommodation at overnight stops, typically family-run guesthouses or hotels. Expect to pay between $5 - $25 per night for a twin/double, depending on location and season. Just pay as you go. You manage your own travel bookings online. If you hop off, just log-in, check the seasonal timetables and update your itinerary. Easy!

We recommend adding extra days to give you time to hop off along the route.

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Yak Don National Park, Lak Lake, cultural hub

Emperor Bao Dia Palace, Lakes, valleys, coffee and tea plantations

War Remnants Museum, Mekong Delta, Cu Chi tunnels

Salt and pepper farm, Koh Tunsay Island Bokor National Park Remote relaxed beach, swimming, reefs

KEY Overnight stops

Koh Phangan

Full Moon Party, SCUBA diving, yoga

Unique overnight stops Point of interest Guided bus route Guided rail route Private minivan Unguided connection

£1,370

FR

TOM YUM Pass

£433

FR

Start/Finish: Bangkok Hanoi Why: Discover all of Southeast Asia, in-depth, like a local. Minimum days: 38 Recommended Days: 42 Inclusions: All 1 to 21

Anywhere Start/Finish: Why: The highlights of Northern Thailand and Laos, for adventure, home stays and rivers Minimum days: 11 Recommended Days: 16 Inclusions: 1 to 4

MEKONG PASS

FULL MOON PASS

£996

FR

Start/Finish: Anywhere Why: Explore Northern Thailand, in-depth Laos and Cambodia off the beaten track. Minimum days: 32 Recommended Days: 32 Inclusions: 1 to 15

Tha Bak

Kong Lor (2) Tha Kek

Pha Tam Kam

Xe Champhone

Bolaven Plateau

Wat Phou

Cambodia, Khmer PASS

Ho Chi Minh City (2)

Kep

LAOS Buddhas Footprint Temple

Start: Houay Xai, (or Chiang Mai add $45) Finish: Pakse or Don Det Why: Ancient Buddhist libraries, sticky rice, bomb boat rides Minimum days: 12 (includes free days) Recommended Days: 16 Inclusions: 2 to 10

Boun Ma Thout

Capital city, architecture and historical sites

Kampot

Vang Vieng

Vientiane

Phnom Penh (2)

Chumporn

Luang Prabang

Authentic Vietnamese beach town, Ancient Cham Temples

Da Lat (2)

Kampong Cham

Pak Ou Caves

Qui Nhon

CAMBODIA

Siem Reap (2)

Ban Lad Khammoune

Pak Beng

Angkor Wat Night markets, China Town, street food

LOT PASS

£404

FR

Bolaven Plateau

Waterfalls, coffee and tea sampling

Old Capital of Siam, temples, cycling

Koh Tao

Boun Ma Thout

Phong Nha Caves, access to National Parks, local farm stay

Remote homestay, Mokey Forest, Turtle Lake, ancient library and Temple ruins

Bangkok

Expert guides will ensure you experience the real Southeast Asia, whether translating at homestays or showing you the best spot for a beer by the Mekong River. They’ll offer support every step of the way, and organise accommodation and activities on your behalf.

Qui Nhon

Dong Hoi (2)

Rock climbing

Entry/Exit point to Cambodia

Go Guided

My Lai

Da Lat (2)

Pha Tam Kam

Don Det/ 4000 Islands

We operate a sustainable travel network; we educate our crew and travellers to respect the culture, specific customs and the environment. We support local operators in smaller communities and worthwhile projects, such as building new roofs on the temple at our homestay on the Mekong River, Laos.

Hoi An (2)

Tha Kek

Meet Fellow adventurous travellers

With our own buses, we take you to incredible locations, without the worry of unreliable, crowded public transport. Sightsee as you go, rather than paying for extra side trips.

Birthplace of Ho Chi Minh

Bomb boats

Hi Van Pass

Start: Ho Chi Min City Finish: Hanoi Why: Unexplored caves, hill-tribe homestays, pristine coastline Minimum days: 12 (includes free days) Recommended Days: 16 Inclusions:16 to 21

Hoang Tru

Tha Bak

Buddhas Footprint Temple Access to National Parks and Limestone Forest

Travel in small groups, share experiences and make lifelong friends. Stray attracts adventurous people, exactly the sort of mates you want to share your once-in-a-lifetime experiences with.

Vinh Moc Tunnels

Hue

Vientiane

Reliable, safe Stray transport to get closer to the action

Dong Hoi (2)

Access to Cucphuong National Park and Primate Centre

Adventure town, Flight of the Gibbon, Muay thai boxing, Cooking classes, mountain biking, markets

If you want to stay anywhere for longer, Stray’s passes are flexible - so just hop-on and hop-off where you like.

Hoang Tru

Pak Ou Caves

£689

FR

Pakse

Don Det/ 4000 Islands

£471

FR

Start: Siem Reap Finish: Preah Vihear Temple Fresh seafood, Angkor Angkor Wat temples, silk farms Why: Siem Reap (2) CAMBODIA Fresh seafood, Angkor Tonle Sap Kompong Battambang Lake Thom temples, silk farms Kompong Chhnang Kampong Minimum days: 8 Cham Phnom (includes free days) Penh Kampot Recommended Days: Kep Koh Tunsay Island 12 Inclusions:11 to 15 FREE connections to/from Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh City

Bucket PASS

£71

FR

Bangkok Start/Finish: Bangkok Why: Head to the beautiful Thai Islands to dive, party and chill. Minimum Days: 3 Note: This pass is unguided. Ask about our Stray Thai Full Moon Beach Adventure: All inclusive island escapade

Anywhere Start/Finish: Why: See Northern Thailand, all of Laos, laid back culture and remote destinations Minimum days: 18 Recommended Days: 26 Inclusions:1 to 10

Ask about our Arrival Packs in Bangkok, Luang Prabang, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi

INCLUSIONS 1. Ayutthaya UNESCO Temples 2. Pha Tok Secret War caves 3. Pak Ou Buddha site

4. Tham Jang limestone caves 5. Phu Hin Bun National Park 6. Kong Lor caves 7. Turtle Lake 8. Hotay Pitok ancient library

9. Tad Ngeuang Waterfall 10. Wat Phou UNESCO Temples 11. Preah Vihear Temples 12. S21 Prison 13. Killing Fields

14. Udong Historical site 15. Bamboo train 16. Dantania Falls 17. My Lai Memoria 18. Marble Mountains

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

19. Vinh Moc Tunnels 20. Thien Duong (Paradise Cave) 21. Cuc Phuong National Park

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SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

LAOS

Pak Beng

Gateway to Laos

Ninh Binh

Capital city, old French Quarter, temples, access to Ha Long Bay

Mai Chau

Chiang Mai (2)

Remote Homestays Mekong River, Laos

Ha Noi

Ha Noi

Chiang Khong

FR

VIETNAM

VIETNAM

Stray’s expert guides will provide invaluable local knowledge and support, taking you to unforgettable homestays, immersing you in the culture and ensuring you get the best out of your experience.

£526

Vietnam, Dong PASS


Thailand

chiAng rai

sukhothai

kanchanaburi ayutthaya bangkok koh samet

If you would like to travel on your own private tour, just for you and your party, please ask about our range of koh tao khao sok tours designed for the national park independent traveller. It’s koh pha ngan much less expensive than koh samui khao you might think! Follow lak a similar itinerary to phuket some of our most krabi popular small group koh adventures, such as: • Northern Hilltribes & Villages (page 45) • Northern Thailand Discovery (page 45) Or ask us to customise a private tour designed to your exact requirements.

phi phi koh lanta

Highlights

Explore the frantic streets of Bangkok Check out night markets in Chiang Mai Trek through the jungles of the north Stay with the local hilltribes Relax in Khao Sok - paradise! Enjoy the beaches of Koh Samui Snorkel the reefs around Koh Tao

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 04 Jan 06 Jan 11 Jan 18 Jan 20 Jan 25 Feb 01 Feb 03 Feb 08 Feb 15 Feb 17 Feb 22 Mar 01 Mar 03 Mar 08 Mar 15 Mar 17 Mar 22 Mar 29 Mar 31 Apr 05 Apr 12 Apr 14 Apr 19 Apr 26 Apr 28 May 03

Jan 19 Jan 21 Jan 26 Feb 02 Feb 04 Feb 09 Feb 16 Feb 18 Feb 23 Mar 02 Mar 04 Mar 09 Mar 16 Mar 18 Mar 23 Mar 30 Apr 01 Apr 06 Apr 13 Apr 15 Apr 20 Apr 27 Apr 29 May 04 May 11 May 13 May 18

May 10 May 12 May 17 May 24 May 26 May 31 Jun 07 Jun 08 Jun 14 Jun 21 Jun 23 Jun 28 Jul 05 Jul 07 Jul 10 Jul 12 Jul 19 Jul 21 Jul 24 Jul 26 Aug 02 Aug 04 Aug 07 Aug 09 Aug 16 Aug 18 Aug 21

May 25 May 27 Jun 01 Jun 08 Jun 10 Jun 15 Jun 22 Jun 24 Jun 29 Jul 06 Jul 08 Jul 13 Jul 20 Jul 22 Jul 25 Jul 27 Aug 03 Aug 05 Aug 08 Aug 10 Aug 17 Aug 19 Aug 22 Aug 24 Aug 31 Sep 02 Sep 05

Aug 23 Aug 30 Aep 01 Sep 06 Sep 13 Sep 15 Sep 20 Sep 27 Sep 29 Oct 04 Oct 11 Oct 13 Oct 18 Oct 25 Oct 27 Nov 01 Nov 08 Nov 10 Nov 15 Nov 22 Nov 24 Nov 29 Dec 06 Dec 08 Dec 13 Dec 20 Dec 22

Sep 07 Sep 14 Sep 16 Sep 21 Sep 28 Sep 30 Oct 05 Oct 12 Oct 14 Oct 19 Oct 26 Oct 28 Nov 02 Nov 09 Nov 11 Nov 16 Nov 23 Nov 25 Nov 30 Dec 07 Dec 09 Dec 14 Dec 21 Dec 23 Dec 28 Jan 04 Jan 06

Don’t spend all your time in a Bangkok bar or stuck on an island beach. While both are understandably vital to many who visit this beautiful country, there’s also a lot more to see here. This adventure will see you hiking through thick jungle and gleaming rice paddies in the northern mountains and learning first-hand about life in a hilltribe village. You’ll also have ample time to lose yourself in the hedonism of Bangkok and laze on beautiful island beaches underneath the sweltering sunshine. After 16 wonderous days, you’ll walk away from Thailand having pretty much done it all!

DAY ITINERARY

Inclusions

chiAng Mai

independent touring

• • • • • • •

16 DAYS

Bangkok

Departures 2014

1. meet the hilltribes of chiang mai 2. learn to dive in koh tao 3. go wild at the full moon party 4. camping on the similan islands 5. eat pad thai from a street stall

hua hin

Bangkok

£799

FR

south east asia

south east asia

TOP 5 MUST-DO’s

THAILAND on a shoestring

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 3 Age Group: Recommended for 18-39s Accommodation: Simple hotels/ bungalows (9 nts), basic hilltribe village huts (2 nts, multishare), sleeper train (4 nts) Transport: Local bus, train, elephant, boat Meals: 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners Budget: Allow USD $325-425 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), trekking staff Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAATRT

Bangkok

01

Arrive at any time. Get settled in your hotel before heading out and exploring this urban jungle.

Bangkok

Delight in the dazzling Grand Palace and the city’s countless pagodas. If you’re a shopper you could spend weeks sifting through Bangkok’s fantastic malls and open-air markets. Jump on one of the local ferries and see the cityscape from the water, wander the streets of Chinatown before snapping up some street food and a local beer. Tonight, board the overnight train north to Chiang Mai.

02

Chiang Mai

Arrive into this northern gem early in the morning. Try the fantastic street food, shop at the Night Bazaar, visit some of the hundreds of temples, or explore the beautiful surrounding countryside by bike. Fancy yourself as a bit of a cook? Add to your culinary repertoire on a Thai cooking course.

03

Hilltribe Trek

My Own Room Available: Fr £339 Hilltribe Trek

Chiang Mai

THAILAND

Bangkok

Koh Tao Khao Sok NP

04-06 07-09

Why not add an optional theme pack to customise your trip?

Chiang Mai / Bangkok

Return back to the northern capital and take care of any last-minute shopping. Chiang Mai is known for its distinctive handicraft, especially silverwork, woodcarving, pottery and weaving. Bound back to Bangkok on Day 8, with time to visit all the temples, shops and gardens you missed first time.

Khao Sok National Park

Settle into paradise for two days of exploration and discovery. Khao Sok is a diverse area of natural beauty, perfect for people who want to hike and get out there amongst nature. Alternatively, choose to just chill out in a hammock by the riverside and watch the monkeys take their afternoon bath. (B)

10 11-12

Koh Samui

you might like

Journey out to the countryside to start an amazing three-day hilltribe trek. You’ll visit a diverse group of tribes, each with their own language, clothing and religion. Walk for approximately four to five hours each day along sloping hills and valleys, spending starry nights in village huts. With the chance to ride an elephant, navigate a river by bamboo raft and to eat local-style meals, this is a real opportunity to get a taste of authentic rural Thailand and a truly awesome experience! (3B, 2L, 2D)

13-15 16

Koh Samui

Experience one of Thailand’s most popular island getaways and see what makes this island retreat so popular. Koh Samui offers everything you could possibly want for a laid-back break; white sandy beaches, coconut trees, fresh seafood and warm, clear waters. Time to relax, cocktail in hand.

Koh Tao

A beach paradise so laid-back that even the palm trees can’t be bothered to stand up straight! Scuba dive or snorkel here amongst stunning marine life in some of South East Asia’s best reefs.

Bangkok

Arrive back into Thailand’s capital on Day 16. The trip ends at the railway station, mid-afternoon.

Thai Adventure Pack Fr £155 Jungle ziplining (Bangkok, half day), elephant nature park (Chiang Mai, full day), sea kayaking (Krabi, 2 hours)

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

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£1,299

Thailand discovery Bangkok

• • • • • • •

FR

18 DAYS

Bangkok

NORTHERN HILLTRIBES & VILLAGES Bangkok

NORTHERN £449 THAILAND DISCOVERY

£649

FR

8 DAYS

Bangkok

Bangkok

FR

10 DAYS

Bangkok

Highlights

See bustling riverside Bangkok Check out historical Sukhothai Take a memorable elephant ride Visit the famous Golden Triangle Shop in Chiang Mai’s night bazaars Laze on paradise Thai islands Snorkel in clear blue seas

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 03 Jan 10 Jan 17 Jan 24 Jan 31 Feb 07 Feb 14 Feb 21 Feb 28 Mar 07 Mar 14 Mar 21 Mar 28 Apr 04 Apr 11 Apr 18 Apr 25

Jan 20 Jan 27 Feb 03 Feb 10 Feb 17 Feb 24 Mar 03 Mar 10 Mar 17 Mar 24 Mar 31 Apr 07 Apr 14 Apr 21 Apr 28 May 05 May 12

May 02 May 09 May 16 May 23 May 30 Jun 06 Jun 13 Jun 20 Jun 27 Jul 04 Jul 11 Jul 18 Jul 25 Aug 01 Aug 08 Aug 15 Aug 22

May 19 May 26 Jun 02 Jun 09 Jun 16 Jun 23 Jun 30 Jul 07 Jul 14 Jul 21 Jul 28 Aug 04 Aug 11 Aug 18 Aug 25 Sep 01 Sep 08

Aug 29 Sep 05 Sep 12 Sep 19 Sep 26 Oct 03 Oct 10 Oct 17 Oct 24 Oct 31 Nov 07 Nov 14 Nov 21 Nov 28 Dec 05 Dec 12 Dec 19

Sep 15 Sep 22 Sep 29 Oct 06 Oct 13 Oct 20 Oct 27 Nov 03 Nov 10 Nov 17 Nov 24 Dec 01 Dec 08 Dec 15 Dec 22 Dec 29 Jan 05

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 3 Age Group: Any age Accommodation (Nov-Apr): Guesthouses/ hotels (9 nts), sleeper train (2 nts), simple bungalows (4 nts, fan-cooled), camping (1 nt), homestay (1 nt) Accommodation (May-Oct): Guesthouses/hotels (15 nts), sleeper train (2 nts) Transport: Train, public bus, taxi, songthaew, bicycle, long-tail boat, plane, elephant Meals (Nov-Apr): 15 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners Meals (Nov-Apr): 15 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD $325-425 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAATDT

south east asia

south east asia

Departures 2014

Highlights

Take a step back as Thailand throws everything it’s got at you; friendly people, sacred sites from days gone by and the beaches... oh, the beaches *sigh*. Words can’t describe the bliss of sitting on some of the best beaches in the world, lazing on pure white sands and dunking yourself in sparkling blue seas. Take an unforgettable ride on an elephant, explore Chiang Mai and the Golden Triangle and cycle the streets of ancient Sukhothai. The southern section of the trip varies seasonally: Nov-Apr departures travel down the West Coast and May-Oct departures travel down the East Coast. Either option is perfect for chilling out.

DAY ITINERARY 01

04

My Own Room Available: Fr £449

Golden Triangle

Chiang Rai

Chiang Mai

Nov-May May-Nov

05-06

T H A I L A N D

Railay Beach

07-09 10

Krabi Koh Phai Koh Klang

you might like

Why not add an optional theme pack to customise your trip? Thai Adventure Pack Fr £155 Jungle ziplining (Bangkok, half day), elephant nature park (Chiang Mai, full day), sea kayaking (Krabi, 2 hours)

44

Continue to Lampang, the temporary capital of the Lanna Kingdom from 1776-1791 when Chiang Mai was deserted as a result of successive wars with the Burmese. Free afternoon to explore. (B) Drive to Chiang Rai Province stopping at the Lampang Elephant Conservation Centre. Tour the facilities of the elephant hospital and see how young and sick elephants are cared for. Opt to take a ride on the back of these majestic animals, which many find to be a highlight of their trip to Thailand. Head onwards to Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle where Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet. In the morning of Day 6, visit the border town of Mae Sai where you can observe Burmese traders at work and pick up a few souvenirs. There is also time for a visit to the fascinating Opium Museum. (2B)

Chiang Mai

Sukhothai

Koh Tao Koh Phangan Koh Samui

Lampang

Head off to Chiang Mai, an important Buddhist centre since the 14th Century and home to more than 300 temples. Explore the best known of these, Doi Suthep, perched on top of a hill outside the city. Optional activities on offer include a cooking class, bike tour or a visit to the Mae Sa waterfall. You’ll also get the chance to enjoy a home-cooked meal, kantoke-style, with a village family. The rest of your time in Chiang Mai is free to explore; not to be missed is the vibrant Night Bazaar, with shops and stalls showcasing the best of Thailand’s handicrafts. Overnight train back to Bangkok. (3B, D)

Bangkok

Arrive back into Bangkok this morning for a free day to continue to explore the capital city. Some of the options available include the Grand Palace, Jim Thompson’s House or the Baiyok Tower.

Island Hopping

11-17 18

Nov-Apr (West Coast): Fly from Bangkok to the chilled-out town of Krabi and head for a homestay on Koh Klang. Visit a community project before returning to Krabi to experience the beachside vibe of Ao Nang, with optional rock climbing, kayaking, snorkelling or diving. Travel by private long-tail boat Koh Phai to snorkel its coral reefs. Transfer to Railay Beach to indulge in its huge array of activities such as jungle trekking, cooking classes, whitewater rafting and quad biking. Return to Krabi for one last night before catching the overnight train back to Bangkok. (7B, L, D) May-Oct (East Coast): Fly from Bangkok to the tropical island of Koh Samui where you can take an optional snorkelling trip to Ang Thong Marine Park. Ferry to nearby Koh Phangan to swim in lagoons and explore the island’s waterfalls. Time your trip right and you could also enjoy the Full Moon Party. Next up is Koh Tao, a haven for snorkelling and diving and a good spot for a few cocktails. On Day 17, transfer back to the mainland in time to catch the overnight train back to Bangkok. (7B, L)

Bangkok

Arriving from your overnight sleeper train, bid farewell to your fellow travellers as your journey ends.

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

DAY ITINERARY

Arrive into Bangkok at any time. Explore the city’s many sights such as the Wat Po Temple and the glittering Grand Palace, check out the atmospheric klongs by boat and go on a street food crawl with your new tour mates. Thailand is a city of immense contrasts, from towering skyscrapers and fashionable rooftop bars, to Chinese shophouses, pushcart vendors and countless temples, pagodas and other cultural sites. On Day 2, take the overnight train north. (B)

01-02

Arrive into Bangkok at any time. Spend your day adjusting to the frenetic pace of the city. Your trip starts with a chance to see Bangkok from the ‘klongs’, the canals that wind their way through the city. Watch local life in the city as you cruise by in a traditional long-tail boat. Stop off at Wat Po, home of the giant reclining Buddha, before travelling to the town of Sukhothai with its impressive historic ruins. Check out the awe-inspiring Buddha images. Day 3 will be spent cycling around the remains of this ancient royal realm, now one of Thailand’s World Heritage Sites. (2B)

Highlights

• Enjoy a cooling long-tail boat tour through the klongs of Bangkok • Cycle through the lush, green scenery of Sukhothai Historical Park • Visit Chiang Rai’s fascinating Opium Museum for a historical insight

Bangkok

Chiang Mai

Arrive into Chiang Mai, the most culturally significant of the northern cities. A long-term travellers’ favourite, you’ll soon see why tourists flock here. Visit the famous Doi Suthep temple, wander through the old city and night markets or get some schooling in Thai cooking.

03

Hilltribe Trek

Spend three days trekking through Northern Thailand’s rolling hillsides and meeting diverse hill tribes, each with their own culture, traditions, language and costumes. Climb aboard an elephant for a ride through the jungle and speed down the river on a bamboo raft. (3B, 3L, 2D)

04-06

Chiang Rai / Golden Triangle

Lampang

Bangkok

DAY ITINERARY

Bangkok

Sukhothai

02-03

• Explore Bangkok with its many markets and countless temples • Barter for bargains in Chiang Mai’s brilliant Night Bazaar • Trek through the pristine jungles of Northern Thailand

Chiang Mai

Return to enchanting Chiang Mai where you have time for activities such as further temple explorations or perhaps a relaxing post-trek massage. Later, board the overnight train back to Bangkok. (B)

07

Bangkok

08

Arrive back to Thailand’s capital where your tour ends mid-afternoon on Day 8. (B)

Inclusions

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 3 Age Group: Recommended for 18-39s Accommodation: Simple hotels (3 nts), basic hilltribe huts (2 nts, multishare), sleeper trains (2 nts) Transport: Local bus, songthaew, train, elephant, river raft Meals: 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners Budget: Allow USD $100120 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), trekking staff Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAATHV

Bangkok / Sukhothai

01-03 04

Arrive into Thailand’s capital any time. On Day 2, visit Wat Po Temple, home of the reclining Buddha, before enjoying a long-tail boat cruise of Bangkok’s canals, an opportunity to see the city from a different perspective. Travel on to the ancient capital of Sukhothai and cycle through the national park, famous for its 13th Century pagodas. (2B)

Lampang

Take a stroll through the temples of this old-style Thai town and maybe see the vista from a traditional horse and cart. (B)

Chiang Rai / Golden Triangle

05-06

With the days of the opium trade well in the past, the Golden Triangle is now a peaceful area where Laos, Thailand and Burma meet. Learn about the production of the drug at the Opium Museum before visiting the Elephant Conservation Centre where sick animals are cared for. An optional elephant ride here is a real highlight! (2B)

Chiang Mai

07-09 10

Check out the Night Bazaar for trinkets and climb Doi Suthep temple. If you’ve enjoyed the included home-cooked dinner, served khantokestyle by a local village family. If that’s inspired you to cook for friends and family when you return home, sign yourself up for a cooking class which, along with bike tours and massages, is just one of the optional activities available. Catch the overnight train to Bangkok on Day 9. (2B, D)

Bangkok

Arrive back to Thailand’s vibrant capital where your trip comes to an end at the train station mid-afternoon on Day 10.

Inclusions Hilltribe Trek Chiang Mai

T H A I L A N D

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (8 nts), sleeper train (1 nt) Transport: Train, public bus, taxi, elephant, songthaew, bicycle Meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD $170225 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAATBC

Chiang Rai Chiang Mai

Golden Triangle

Lampang Sukhothai T H A I L A N D

My Own Room Available: Fr £89

Departures 2014 Jan - Dec

Most Saturdays and twice-monthly on Mondays

Bangkok

My Own Room Available: Fr £159

Departures 2014 Jan - Dec

Bangkok

Every Friday

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

45


northern thailand experience Bangkok

thailand hike, £699 bike & Kayak

£1,089

FR

12 DAYS

Bangkok

Bangkok

FR

14 DAYS

Bangkok

southern thailand sojourn Bangkok

thai £499 island hopping

£729

FR

9 DAYS

Bangkok

Bangkok

FR

9 DAYS

Bangkok

south east asia

south east asia

Highlights

• Contrast Bangkok’s frantic pace with the unique vibes of Chiang Mai • Trek through the northern jungles and stay with the local hill tribes • See the Bridge over the River Kwai & go rafting in Erawan N.P.

DAY ITINERARY 01

DAY ITINERARY

Bangkok

Arrive into Bangkok at any time and feel free to explore.

01-02

Kanchanaburi

02-03

Travel to Kanchanaburi and board your raft to float down the river in Erawan National Park past a multitude of stunning waterfalls and the famous Bridge over the River Kwai. Stay overnight aboard your floating raft house which promises a great night’s sleep. (2B, D)

Ayutthaya / Chiang Mai

04-06

Highlights

• Cycle along the backstreets and hidden quarters of Bangkok • Refresh yourself under a waterfall at Erawan National Park • Meet the hilltribe people of Northern Thailand on a multi-day trek

Arrive into Ayutthaya and tour the city’s historic sites, many of which date from the 1350-1767 period when this was Thailand’s capital. Opt to visit the Chan Kasem National Museum and Chao Sam Phraya Musuem, packed with cultural treasures. On Day 6, travel to Chiang Mai and explore the city with its many optional activities. (2B)

05

Hilltribe Trek

07-09

Lace up your boots for an amazing three-day hilltribe trek visiting diverse ethnic minority groups to discover their unique languages, clothing and religions. Walk for 4-5 hours per day and spend starry nights in village huts dining on traditional delicacies. Rest your legs for a while as you traverse the jungle on elephant back. (3B, 2L, 3D)

12

Bangkok

Return to the glorious chaos of the capital from where onward travel arrangements can be booked any time after 3pm.

Inclusions

My Own Room Available: Fr £129

Arrive in Bangkok and spend the evening bonding with your group before jumping onto two wheels the next day to explore the city. In the afternoon, travel by private van to historic Kanchanaburi. (B) Set out and explore the historic past of Kanchanaburi. First grab your wheels for a cycling tour of the town itself before spending the night on a floating raft house. Day 4 is spent visiting Erawan National Park where you can hike the many tiers of its famous waterfall and swim in crystal-blue pools, before an afternoon transfer to Ayutthaya. (D)

Ayutthaya

06-08 09-13 14

Arriving into Chiang Mai in the morning, head to the mountains for an unforgettable jungle hike. Emerge to discover remote hilltribe villages. Spend time with your hilltribe hosts, learn about their unique cultures and sleep in traditional bamboo houses. (2B, 2L, 2D) Following an early lunch in Chiang Mai, you take a flight south to Phuket before travelling to the laid-back resort of Krabi. The following day set off on a sea kayaking safari along the Andaman coast and relax on untouched beaches. On Day 13, return to the mainland and catch the overnight train back to Bangkok. (2B, 3L, 2D)

Bangkok

The trip ends with a late morning arrival at Bangkok train station.

Inclusions Hilltribe Trek Chiang Mai

T H A I L A N D

Kanchanaburi

Ayutthaya

Trip Style: Active Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 3 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Guesthouses/hotels (5 nts), hilltribe villages (2 nts, multishare), sleeper train (3 nts), camping (2 nts), rafthouse (1 nt, multishare) Transport: Train, minibus, local bus, bicycle, raft, long-tail boat, plane Meals: 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners Budget: Allow USD $265-350 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAATHB

03

DAY ITINERARY

Bangkok

Delight in Bangkok’s dazzling Grand Palace and countless pagodas and temples. Shop your heart out in the malls and markets or explore the ‘klongs’ on a boat tour. Head south by overnight train tonight. (B)

Chiang Mai

T H A I L A N D

Kanchanaburi

Ayutthaya

Bangkok

Koh Samui

04-05

Justifiably one of Thailand’s most popular resort spots, you’ll soon see why this place is so visited! From the buzzing beach of Chaweng to the quieter coves, you’re sure to find your own little piece of beach paradise. Water activities abound on this island, so you can opt to go snorkelling through a national marine park or, if you prefer to stay on ‘terra firma’, sign up for a Thai cooking class. (B)

Departures 2014 Jan - Dec

Saturdays, typically 2 departures per month

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

02-08

Koh Tao

06-08 09

Snorkel or scuba dive around what are arguably some of the best reefs in the world. The underwater world here is truly fantastic. On the evening of Day 8, you’ll jump on the overnight train back up to the capital, Bangkok. (B)

Bangkok

Arrive into Bangkok train station where your tour comes to an end. Say farewell to your group and make any onward travel arrangements for 3pm or later.

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Recommended for 18-39s Accommodation: Simple hotels (3 nts), sleeper trains (2 nts), simple bungalows (3 nts) Transport: Train, local bus, air-conditioned bus, boat, tuk-tuk, songthaew, taxi, ferry Meals: 3 breakfasts Budget: Allow USD $200-250 for meals not included. Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAATSS

Departures 2014 Jan - Dec

Every Saturday & twice-monthly on Mondays

Arrive into Bangkok at any time and explore! You are free to discover the many fascinating markets, shopping centres and temples. Spend time wandering round the Grand Palace or take a river taxi down the Chao Phraya River and the smaller canals, before meeting your tour leader and the rest of your group this evening. Don’t worry too much about adjusting to the frantic pace of Bangkok - the rest of the week you’ll be super-chilled!

Island Hopping

Arriving into the naturally beautiful Khao Sok National Park is like stepping into paradise. It’s perfect for hiking, swimming and outdoor pursuits. Chill out in a riverside hammock and watch the monkeys.

09

Nov-Apr (West Coast): Fly from Bangkok to the chilled-out town of Krabi and head for a homestay on Koh Klang. Visit a community project before returning to Krabi to experience the beachside vibe of Ao Nang, with optional rock climbing, kayaking, snorkelling or diving. Travel by private long-tail boat Koh Phai to snorkel its coral reefs. Transfer to Railay Beach to indulge in its huge array of activities such as jungle trekking, cooking classes, whitewater rafting and quad biking. Return to Krabi for one last night before catching the overnight train back to Bangkok. (7B, L, D) May-Oct (East Coast): Fly from Bangkok to the tropical island of Koh Samui where you can take an optional snorkelling trip to Ang Thong Marine Park. Ferry to nearby Koh Phangan to swim in lagoons and explore the island’s waterfalls. Time your trip right and you could also enjoy the Full Moon Party. Next up is Koh Tao, a haven for snorkelling and diving and a good spot for a few cocktails. On Day 8, transfer back to the mainland in time to catch the overnight train back to Bangkok. (7B, L)

Bangkok

Your trip ends upon arrival at Bangkok train station this morning, but please ask for further ideas should you wish to extend your stay!

Inclusions T H A I L A N D

Bangkok

Koh Tao Koh Samui Khao Sok NP

Krabi

01

Khao Sok National Park

Inclusions Hilltribe Trek

Bangkok

Arrive into Thailand’s capital city at any time. Head out into the chaotic streets with your new tour buddies for a street food crawl!

Bangkok

Jan - Dec

46

02

Highlights

• Browse the markets, temples and palaces in bustling Bangkok • Island-hop down the East or West Coasts (seasonally dependent) • Spend a chilled week sunbathing, snorkelling and swimming

Bangkok

My Own Room Available: Fr £249

Departures 2014 Alternate Wednesdays

01

Enjoy a cycling tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ayutthaya, marvelling at its huge monasteries and past splendour. Tonight, take the overnight train to the capital of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai.

Krabi / Andaman Sea / Krabi

Return to Chiang Mai where you can opt to indulge in a traditional Thai-style massage, explore more of its temples, hire a moped to visit the rice paddies and waterfalls in the surrounding countryside and stock up on souvenirs at the world-famous night markets. (2B)

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 3 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Guesthouses/hotels (6 nts), rafthouse (1 nt), hilltribe village huts (2 nts, multishare), sleeper trains (2 nts) Transport: Train, minibus, local bus, songthaew, long-tail boat, elephant Meals: 9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners Budget: Allow USD $150-200 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAATNE

Bangkok

Chiang Mai / Hilltribe Trek

Chiang Mai

10-11

DAY ITINERARY

Kanchanaburi / Ayutthaya

03-04

Highlights

• Explore the frantic and colourful streets of Bangkok • Relax in the lush green paradise of Khao Sok National Park • Enjoy the beachside nightlife of idyllic Koh Samui

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation (Nov-Apr): Hotel (1 nt), sleeper train (1 nt), simple guesthouses with fan (4 nts), homestay (1 nt), camping (1 nt) Accommodation (May-Oct): Hotels/ guesthouses with air-con (7 nts), sleeper train (1 nt) Transport: Train, bus, boat, tuktuk, songthaew, taxi, ferry, plane Meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch (plus 1 dinner Nov-Apr) Budget: Allow USD $150-200 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAATTW

Departures 2014 Jan - Dec

Saturdays

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

T H A I L A N D

Bangkok Koh Tao Koh Phangan Koh Samui Railay Beach Krabi Koh Phai Koh Klang Nov-May May-Nov

47


THAI ISLAND HOPPER EAST Koh Samui

• • • • • • •

£539

FR

9 DAYS

Koh Samui

Highlights

Experience laid-back island life Discover the underwater world Chill out on white sand beaches Hunt for treasures in local markets Go wild at Koh Pha Ngan’s party spots Explore Chaweng Beach’s epic nightlife Chat to locals on the island ferries

THAI ISLAND HOPPER WEST Phuket

• • • • • • •

9 DAYS

Phuket

Highlights

Explore bustling night markets Watch a sunset at Phi Phi lookout Check out Patong’s pulsing nightlife See the sun set over the Andaman Sea Snorkel in crystal-clear water Enjoy beautiful white sand beaches Admire the stunning views in Ao Nang

Departures 2014

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Apr 08 May 08 May 11 May 21 May 28 Jun 06 Jun 09 Jun 14 Jun 18 Jun 21 Jun 25

Apr 16 May 16 May 19 May 29 Jun 05 Jun 14 Jun 17 Jun 22 Jun 26 Jun 29 Jul 03

Jun 28 Jul 02 Jul 07 Jul 10 Jul 13 Jul 19 Jul 23 Jul 26 Jul 30 Aug 04 Aug 09

Jul 06 Jul 10 Jul 15 Jul 18 Jul 21 Jul 27 Jul 31 Aug 03 Aug 07 Aug 12 Aug 17

Aug 13 Aug 16 Aug 20 Aug 23 Aug 27 Aug 30 Sep 02 Sep 10 Sep 17

Aug 21 Aug 24 Aug 28 Aug 31 Sep 04 Sep 07 Sep 10 Sep 18 Sep 25

Feb 01 Feb 05 Feb 08 Feb 12 Feb 15 Feb 19 Feb 22 Feb 26 Mar 01 Mar 05 Mar 08 Mar 12 Mar 15 Mar 19 Mar 22 Mar 26 Mar 29 Apr 02 Apr 05 Apr 09 Sep 24 Sep 27 Oct 01 Oct 04 Oct 08 Oct 11

Feb 09 Feb 13 Feb 16 Feb 20 Feb 23 Feb 27 Mar 02 Mar 06 Mar 09 Mar 13 Mar 16 Mar 20 Mar 23 Mar 27 Mar 30 Apr 03 Apr 06 Apr 10 Apr 13 Apr 17 Oct 02 Oct 05 Oct 09 Oct 12 Oct 16 Oct 19

Oct 15 Oct 18 Oct 22 Oct 25 Oct 29 Nov 01 Nov 05 Nov 08 Nov 12 Nov 15 Nov 19 Nov 22 Nov 26 Nov 29 Dec 03 Dec 06 Dec 10 Dec 13 Dec 17 Dec 20 Dec 24 Dec 27 Dec 31 2015 Jan 03 Jan 07

Oct 23 Oct 26 Oct 30 Nov 02 Nov 06 Nov 09 Nov 13 Nov 16 Nov 20 Nov 23 Nov 27 Nov 30 Dec 04 Dec 07 Dec 11 Dec 14 Dec 18 Dec 21 Dec 25 Dec 28 Jan 01 Jan 04 Jan 08

Jan 10 Jan 14 Jan 17 Jan 21 Jan 24 Jan 28 Jan 31 Feb 04 Feb 07 Feb 11 Feb 14 Feb 18 Feb 21 Feb 25 Feb 28 Mar 04 Mar 07 Mar 11 Mar 14 Mar 18 Mar 21 Mar 25 Mar 28 Apr 01 Apr 04 Apr 08

Jan 18 Jan 22 Jan 25 Jan 29 Feb 01 Feb 05 Feb 08 Feb 12 Feb 15 Feb 19 Feb 22 Feb 26 Mar 01 Mar 05 Mar 08 Mar 12 Mar 15 Mar 19 Mar 22 Mar 26 Mar 29 Apr 02 Apr 05 Apr 09 Apr 12 Apr 16

Additional departure dates are available, please ask for details.

Inclusions

Service Level: Superior Age Group: Exclusively for 18-35s Accommodation: 3 star hotels/ resorts (5 nts), bungalows (3 nts) Transport: Local ferries Meals: 8 breakfasts, 2 dinners Group Leader: Tour Manager Group Size: Max 30, Avg 25 Tour Code: COTIKS

Beaches, bikinis and the ultimate relaxing holiday. that’s this trip in a nutshell, plus it’s designed exclusively for 18-35 year olds. Let’s start with beaches; this holiday hotspot definitely boasts some of the best in the world. Catching the sublime rays will be unavoidable on this trip and you’ll need to be ready to dive into that clear blue sea at any moment. Get ready for long days of sunkissed swimming, sunbathing and sipping cocktails. Top this off living it up at the party spots of Koh Pha Ngan and try to fit in a Full Moon Party for the absolute once-in-a-lifetime Thai party experience.

DAY ITINERARY Koh Samui

01

Koh Tao

Arrive at the unbelievable paradise island of Koh Samui, check-in to your hotel then hit the streets for some exploring. With its amazing white-sand beaches with palms blowing in the wind, green sparkling seas and out-of-this-world food, you’ll be sure to feel chilled out right away as you settle quickly into island life. Later, you’ll meet with your Tour Manager and fellow travellers before heading out to indulge in a delicious Thai meal and enjoy the Chaweng nightlife.

Koh Samui

02-03 Koh Pha Ngan

With two whole free days here, relax and soak up the sublime rays and feel totally chilled as you explore Koh Samui’s many divine beaches. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy a therapeutic atmosphere and get a fabulous Thai massage, so lie back and let relaxation flow from your head to your toes. If you’re feeling more energetic you can try your hand at water sports in the azure seascape that glitters a mile away. Fancy seeing some of the local sights? Sign up for a tour of the island where you can experience beautiful lagoons and cascades, as well as a much-needed waterfall swim. Enjoy unwinding to the absolute max for two days before you leave one Thai gem onward to the next, Koh Tao. (2B)

Jan 11 Jan 15

Additional departure dates are available, please ask for details.

Inclusions

Service Level: Superior Age Group: Exclusively for 18-35s Accommodation: 3 star hotels/ resorts (8 nts) Transport: Local ferries Meals: 8 breakfasts, 2 dinners Group Leader: Experienced Tour Manager Group Size: Max 30, Avg 25 Tour Code: COTIPH

Koh Samui

04

Stay longer on Koh Samui Check out pages 60-63

06

Today, you have plenty of free time so choose to sit back with a good book or take the opportunity to explore this world-renowned island by foot. Alternatively, jump on an optional cruise out to stunning swimming spots and some beachtime on a private island! Grab a snorkel and get acquainted with the brightly-coloured tropical fish. (B)

DAY ITINERARY Phuket

02-03

09

05-06

Today, you’ll jump on a ferry and set sail to the famous party island of Koh Pha Ngan. This island combines laid back beachlife with euphoric buzzy nightlife. Get involved and dance the night away at one of the island’s legendary Full Moon Parties (specific tour dates only). (B, D)

07

48

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Koh Phi Phi is an incredible island whether you choose to explore or relax. Check out the perfection that is Phi Phi on a day cruise around nearby islands – dip your toes in the sea and feel the sand beneath your feet as you stare in awe at the seaside vista around you. You’ll have the chance to snorkel and swim in the warm waters of the Andaman Sea before lying on the beach to unwind. Tonight, you can kick back on the sand and relax as you’re mesmerised by the amazing fire dancing right on the beach. (2B)

Koh Phi Phi / Krabi

Today you’ll sail to one of the most popular beaches on Krabi – Ao Nang. Set amongst the limestone karsts, Krabi is home to unspoilt islands and beautiful beaches. Tonight, you can grab a meal at a cool beachside restaurant or party by night in popular Bar Street. (B, D)

Krabi

Choose how to spend your next few days: lying on the beach surrounded by coconut trees with an occasional wander down white sands to the sparkling sea, or laze about in a hammock... sounds like bliss! By night there is plenty to keep you entertained with many restaurants, bars and beach parties. (2B) Say ‘la gon’ to Koh Pha Ngan as you catch a ferry to your final destination of Koh Samui where it’s time to bid farewell to your island-hopping buddies. You can either take a free transfer to the airport or back to the start hotel in Koh Samui. (B)

Chat with the locals as you board a ferry and travel to picturesque Phi Phi Island, setting for the movie ‘The Beach’. You’ll take a stroll around the island to get your bearings, ending with an unbeatable panoramic sunset from a hill top. Later head out on the town and take in beach-side bars and the atmosphere of Phi Phi by night. (B, D)

Koh Phi Phi

Phuket Koh Phi Phi

Take your pick of the beaches over the next few days. If you’re looking for action, shopping and partying into the night, head for Patong Beach; quieter than Patong and great for watersports is Karon Beach, with its fine powdery sand; whilst Kata Beach is a good choice for anyone who enjoys a great selection of restaurants and bars, but prefers it a little less wild than in Patong. Beaches not your thing? Don’t worry, there’s something for everyone on Phuket - hit the shops or sip cocktails while watching the sun slip over the horizon. On the other hand if you feel like taking it up a level, try out some of the many watersports on offer or opt for a day tour out to the popular ‘James Bond Island’, so called after its starring role in the James Bond film, ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’. (2B)

Phuket / Koh Phi Phi

Krabi

Koh Tao / Koh Pha Ngan

Koh Pha Ngan / Koh Samui

Arrive into the beach-fringed island of Phuket. Get yourself settled in your hotel before heading out to explore Phuket’s exotic sights. In the evening, you’ll meet your Tour Manager and fellow travellers. Then head out for some tasty Thai food together and explore Patong’s pulsing nightlife.

01

Koh Pha Ngan

07-08

Phuket

04

This morning you’ll cruise to nearby Koh Tao – an island known for its spectacular underwater scenery. When people think of this island they would usually think of world-class diving, vibrant coral reefs, laid-back island attitude, glistening beaches and heart-stoppingly blue seas... and well, they would be 100% right! Koh Tao is everything you could possibly dream of! So grab your diving gear or snorkel and experience it. (B, D)

Koh Tao

05

Get ready to chill on some of the world’s best beaches with a bunch of new travel mates. Hop from the buzzing island atmosphere of Phuket to the famous getaway of Koh Phi Phi, lazing in the sun on blindingly white beaches or canoeing through beautiful clear waters. Finish up in Krabi with its incredible scenery, sit back and relax as you get used to the daily view - white sands and blue waters. Who couldn’t get used to a view like that? With multiple nights in each place the mix is just right so you can get as active or be as chilled as you like, plus travelling by regular ferry is a great way to mingle with the friendly locals.

T H A I L A N D

Koh Samui / Koh Tao

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south east asia

south east asia

Departures 2014

£615

FR

08

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Explore South East Asia Big Indochina Adventure (25 days, Bangkok to Hanoi) (COBICA) see page 24

09

A day for you to laze about on the beach, take a boat trip out to isolated Rai Leh or, if you are feeling adventurous, try climbing the 1,237 steps to the amazing view at the Tiger Cave Temple. Located near Krabi Town in southern Thailand, this is one of the most interesting temple complexes in southern Thailand with monks living and worshipping within a maze of natural caves nestled within overgrown jungle. You could also go explore some of Krabi’s jungle at a different angle... on the back of an elephant at a nearby elephant camp. (B)

Krabi / Phuket

Rise early to make the most of your island stay before heading back to Phuket, where your trip started and where, today, it sadly must come to an end. You have a choice to travel to the airport or back to the starting point hotel in Phuket. (B)

Fr £2,755

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

49


THAi SAILING ADVENTURE

THAI SAILING ADVENTURE Phuket

What Life’s Like At Sea Small Group Sailing Meet your new home at sea: a 37ft sailing catamaran. Sailing takes all of the hassle out of island hopping and is a fantastic way to avoid the crowds. On board, there is ample space inside the vessel and on deck for eating, drinking and for those who like to indulge in a spot of sun worshipping! You’ll be taken care of by an experienced skipper who will navigate you from island to island and will even teach you the ropes if you fancy. If that’s not your thing, sit back and enjoy the beautiful scenery of southern Thailand passing you by.

Itineraries These itineraries will allow you to explore the Andaman Sea without a worry in the world. Cruise for seven awesome days or hop on for a quick three-night taste of paradise – the choice is yours! We’ve shown just three of the many options available, please check with us for more details. With fantastically flexible itineraries, you’ll sail to pristine islands and the region’s best snorkelling spots, waking up in a new sunkissed heaven every day.

4 DAYS

Kho Phi Phi

Please note the itinerary may need to change due to inclement weather conditions. This decision will be made solely at the skipper’s discretion, based on the safety of the group and the vessel.

Relaxing Nights

Highlights

T H A I L A N D

Learn To Sail With just a skipper on board, there’s always an opportunity to get involved if you’ve ever fancied yourself as a crew member. Pick up the basics of sailing from the skipper, or just sit back and let your shipmates take the wheel. There’s no pressure!

Meals & Food Kitty Any of these sailing itineraries will set your taste buds buzzing as you enjoy traditional Thai and international meals, freshly prepared with local produce by your on board cook. A range of very reasonablypriced drinks are available for purchase on board the vessel. When meals aren’t included, you can dine with locals on shore.

DAY ITINERARY

James Bond Island Phang Nga

By night, you’ll anchor up in the most beautiful bays and picturesque harbours. Sleep in your bunk or camp out on the deck under a blanket of Thai stars.

• Sail to beautiful southern Thai islands • Enjoy tantalising traditional cuisine • Laze on pure white secluded beaches

Kho Phi Phi

4 DAYS

Phuket

Phuket

Krabi Railay Beach Koh Yao Yai Koh Khai Nai

Arriving no later than 1pm today you’ll meet your group and skipper to start your Thai sailing adventure. Later, choose to go on a dinghy exploration, suntan on the deck or go for a swim under the stars before a delicious dinner of Thai-style cuisine. (D)

01

Phuket Koh Phi Phi

£949

Phuket

FR

7 DAYS

Phuket

Meet your fellow sailors and your skipper at 3pm in Koh Phi Phi today before setting sail for Phi Phi Leh to visit Maya Bay, where ‘The Beach’ was filmed with Leonardo di Caprio. (D)

01

Visit a Sea Gypsy village and Koh Phing Kan, popularly known as ‘James Bond Island’ in the idyllic Phang Nga Bay. Opt to take a tour to see mangroves and pre-historic cave paintings. (B, L, D)

02

Southern Phuket Islands

Prepare for a full day sailing as you make your way through the beautiful Southern Phuket Islands. Enjoy snorkelling with the stunning sea life and a lunch break amongst remote islands and sandy beaches. In the evening, step off the boat and enjoy dinner with your new friends at a local restaurant. (B, L)

02

Krabi Islands / Railay Beach

Set sail this morning for magnificent Railay Beach where you’ll enjoy a stunning beach and beaming sunshine. Railay Beach is also famous for its rock-climbing options and a great nightlife. (B, L)

03

Koh Khai Nai / Phang Nga Bay

Continue your wonderful sailing adventure as you move on to the tiny island of Koh Khai Nai where you can swim and snorkel as much as your heart desires! Sail into Phang Nga Bay and ejnoy dinner in a secluded anchorage. (B, L, D)

03

Koh Phi Phi

This morning you’ll sail towards the Phi Phi Islands, one of the most beautiful of all Thai island groups! Prepare for a snorkel stop in Monkey Bay and the unmatchable beauty of Koh Phi Phi Beach. Your adventure will finish around 3pm. Please see page 72 if you’d like to extend your stay at Koh Phi Phi. (B)

04

FINISH

START

FINISH

Jan 04 Jan 11 Jan 18 Jan 25 Feb 01

Jan 07 Jan 14 Jan 21 Jan 28 Feb 04

Feb 08 Feb 15 Feb 22 Mar 01 Mar 08

Feb 11 Feb 18 Feb 25 Mar 04 Mar 11

START

FINISH

Mar 15 Mar 18 Mar 22 Mar 25 Mar 29 Apr 01

Inclusions

Trip Style: Marine Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Sailing catamaran (3 nts) Transport: Sailing catamaran Meals: 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners Budget: Allow USD $40-50 for meals not included Group Leader: Skipper, assistant/cook Group Size: Max 14, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAATSK

Phuket

01

Arriving around 1pm today you’ll meet your fellow sailors and skipper. (D)

Koh Ping Kan

Set off sail to Phang Nga Bay including a visit to the world-famous ‘James Bond Island’ and one of the last Sea Gypsy villages. (B, L, D)

02

Krabi Islands / Railay Beach

Raise anchor and sail around sandfringed islands, stopping to dive into the clear blue sea as you go, before arriving to the laid-back Railay Beach. (B, L)

03

Koh Phi Phi / Maya Bay

Next up; Koh Phi Phi! Along the way you’ll pause at stunningly beautiful Maya Bay for a swim. Think you recognise it? Possibly, as this is where the movie ‘The Beach’ was filmed. (B, D)

04

Southern Phuket Islands

05

Enjoy snorkelling to view marine life and cruising amongst remote islands. (B, L)

Koh Yao Yai / Koh Khai Nai / Phuket

Phuket

It’s an early start this morning as you depart for Phuket. After a stop for a swim, arrive into Yacht Haven Marina just before lunch where your adventure concludes. (B)

04

Departures 2014

START

Highlights

• Sail aboard an exclusive catamaran • Hop between beautiful paradise islands • See the filming location for James Bond

DAY ITINERARY

Koh Phi Phi Leh / Maya Bay

Phang Nga Bay

Please ask for departure dates from Nov 2014-Mar 2015.

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Highlights

• Relax on the deck of your sailing yacht • Swim and snorkel in stunning bays • Visit the filming location for ‘The Beach’

DAY ITINERARY

Departures 2014

50

THAI SAILING £529 ADVENTURE

FR

south east asia

south east asia

Get out there and island hop from one idyllic Thai island to the next! This mesmerising corner of Asia is brimming with sublime rays, rugged landscapes, mouthwatering Thai cuisine and azure snorkelling hotspots. Anchor up under the stars at these wellknown and off-the-radar islands in a catamaran, complete with an experienced skipper. Get face to face with southern Thailand and prepare to enjoy a little slice of paradise!

THAI SAILING £529 ADVENTURE

FR

More opportunities for snorkelling and swimming as you continue sailing. Enjoy dinner in a secluded anchorage in Phang Nga Bay. Cruise ends in Phuket just before lunchtime on Day 7. (2B, L, D)

06-07

Departures 2014

START

FINISH

START

FINISH

Jan 07 Jan 14 Jan 21 Jan 28 Feb 04

Jan 10 Jan 17 Jan 24 Jan 31 Feb 07

Feb 11 Feb 18 Feb 25 Mar 04 Mar 11

Feb 14 Feb 21 Feb 28 Mar 07 Mar 14

START

FINISH

Mar 18 Mar 21 Mar 25 Mar 28 Apr 01 Apr 04

Please ask for departure dates from Nov 2014-Mar 2015.

Inclusions

Trip Style: Marine Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Sailing catamaran (3 nts) Transport: Sailing catamaran Meals: 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners Budget: Allow USD $40-50 for meals not included Group Leader: Skipper, assistant/cook Group Size: Max 14, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAATSH

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

START

FINISH

START

FINISH

Jan 04 Jan 11 Jan 18 Jan 25 Feb 01

Jan 10 Jan 17 Jan 24 Jan 31 Feb 07

Feb 08 Feb 15 Feb 22 Mar 01 Mar 08

Feb 14 Feb 21 Feb 28 Mar 07 Mar 14

START

FINISH

Mar 15 Mar 21 Mar 22 Mar 28 Mar 29 Apr 04

Please ask for departure dates from Nov 2014-Mar 2015.

Inclusions

Trip Style: Marine Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Sailing catamaran (6 nts) Transport: Sailing catamaran Meals: 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners Budget: Allow USD $85-120 for meals not included Group Leader: Skipper, assistant/cook Group Size: Max 14, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAATSA

51


Bangkok

travelling around thailand

SUVARNABHUMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPOR T: 25km mm ro Bo

11 9

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8

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KHAO SAN ROAD

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MBK SHOPPING CENTRE

10

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5

Routes & Passes Starting in Bangkok Fr £58 Starting in Samui Fr £46 Starting in Phuket Fr £92

run

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PATPONG MARKETS

1 4 4 14

GLAMPACKER

LUB D SILOM

GLAMPACKER

LUB D SIAM SQUARE

£9 DORM £11 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

THTRPA

Shoestring

£11 DORM £15 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

NEW WORLD CITY HOTEL

rock solid

£27 SINGLE £14 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

viengtai HOTEL

£32 SINGLE £18 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

• People-watch with a beer at the streetside café • Watch your favourite movie in the lounge • Chill out in your comfy, funky dorm room

• See all of Bangkok from this central location • Have a beer with new friends in the streetside bar • Laze on beanbags in the movie room

• 10/10 for location, five minutes from the infamous Khao San Road • Re-charge your batteries using the spa and massage service • 24-hour reception - no curfew!

• Enjoy a top location close to Bangkok’s famed Khao San Road • Take time out from sightseeing at the relaxing outdoor pool • Spotlessly clean and comfortable rooms

This is one of the hottest properties on the Bangkok hostel scene with funky communal areas and cool rooms. Each dorm bed has its own reading light and plug socket and all the rooms have air con. Spacious female-only dorms are available as well as private rooms. There’s free Internet and a movie lounge to take time out in.

This hostel has super-trendy rooms, free Internet and a buzzing bar. There’s a choice of rooms from the four-bed deluxe dorms and ladies-only dorms to private rooms with queen-sized beds, LCD TV and en suite bathroom. The location is near Siam Square and less than a minute’s walk from the Skytrain to whiz you around the city.

Looking for convenience? Then this large, modern hotel is the perfect hassle-free option. All rooms come with balconies, private bathrooms and satellite TV. There’s also a restaurant, massage service and Internet access - meaning you can relax, get out there and enjoy the delights of vibrant Bangkok to the max.

With a restaurant, bar, spa, outdoor pool and shops all onsite, this hotel is a great place to stay. Adjacent to the bustling Khao San Road, it’s just steps to all the street stalls, cafés and backpacker bars. All the guestrooms come fully equipped with great facilities, air con, TV’s and en suites.

BKKLUB

5% discount when bookied 30 days in advance

SHOESTRING

TOP INN

£14 SINGLE £10 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

BKKTOP

52

rock solid

BANGKOK PALACE

£37 SINGLE £19 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

Located right in the heart of the action in backpacker heaven on Khao San Road, this simple hotel is a great base for your time in Bangkok. Clean, comfy and well-located and all for a price that won’t blow your baht! Rooms have private bathrooms and air con to escape Bangkok’s heat and there’s 24-hour Internet in the communal area.

BKKLUS

5% discount when bookied 30 days in advance

£45 SINGLE £23 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

BKKBAN

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Elegant, artistic and exuding an air of luxury from the moment you step inside, it’s fantastic service all the way! The little extra touches are what make this hotel special, from the free Wi-Fi to the complimentary daily bottled water and fresh fruit on arrival to the pillow menu. Cool off with a dip in the refreshing pool! STAY 4 PAY 3, STAY 8 PAY 6, STAY 12 PAY 9 - 01Apr14- 31Oct14, BOOK EARLY FOR FREE BREAKFAST UPGRADE

BKKvie

glampacker

buddy boutique inn

£24 SINGLE £12 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

BANGKOK STARTER PACK

£108

FR

4 DAYS

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

This tried and tested favourite won’t disappoint. Go for a dip in the pool and a work out in the gym before you head to the Thai massage parlour. The staff are ultrafriendly and will give you a few tips on what to do at the travel desk. The simple rooms contain everything to make you feel happy, comfy and relaxed. STAY 3 PAY 2 - 01Apr14-31Oct14

A=-List

rembrandt hotel

BKKNWL

ISIC CARD HOLDERS GET LATE CHECK OUT

BKKRHT

• A touch of class in the heart of the backpacker district • Exclusive feel with just 23 rooms • Rooms with every amenity you could possibly need

Stay right next to bustling Khao San Road but with a big serving of style at this chic little boutique hotel. With LCD TVs, air con, fridge and free Wi-Fi in all the rooms, you will be living it up in the backpacker district. For a small fee you can also use the pool, gym, sauna and steam room at their sister hotel Buddy Lodge. ISIC CARD HOLDERS GET 10% discount on food & beverage at buddy’s outlets

Bangkok can seem a little daunting to visitors, especially if it’s your first time in Asia. So get organised and make sure that your first few nights are hassle-free. Grab this smart little starter pack - a great intro to Thailand’s cart wheeling capital. You’ll be picked up at the airport and safely deposited in a great central hotel and you can enjoy a half-day ‘City and Temples’ tour and a half-day ‘Thonburi Klongs’ spin along the city canals. Accommodation: Royal Hotel (3nts) Transport: Coach Included Touring as specified Meals: Daily breakfast Tour Code: BKKROP

BKKBOU

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

53

south east asia

south east asia

ek Ratchadaphis

13 2

Lan

Travel & Island Hopping Passes Need unbeatable value and flexible transport between the Thai Islands but not sure when you’re travelling or where? Keep your options open and sort yourself out with a handy transfer from Bangkok or an island hopping pass. Valid for up to three months, the passes can start in Bangkok, Samui or Phuket and take in between 2 and 9 Thai islands and resorts. Multiple services daily are offered on all routes. Add on a Nomads Bed Hopper Pass for greater flexibility - see page 63.


rock solid

BANGKOK CHA DA HOTEL

£40 SINGLE £20 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

STAY 2 PAY 1, STAY 4 PAY 2 - All Year

PATHUMWAN PRINCESS HOTEL

£100 SINGLE £50 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

This leading hotel is smack bang in the centre of the city adjacent to the MBK shopping centre. Pay a trip to the hotel’s health club on the 6th floor, one of the best in town. There, you can relax at the end of the day with breathtaking views of the city from the hot and cold Jacuzzi pools. Bliss! STAY 3 PAY 2, STAY 6 PAY 4 - 01Apr14-31Oct14, STAY 4 PAY 3, STAY 8 PAY 6 - 01Jan14-31Mar14

BKKCHD

rock solid

TRANG HOTEL BANGKOK

FR

This hotel combines a great location, near Khao San Road, with slick service and a relaxing atmosphere. Check out the stunning indoor pool set under an enormous skylight. The rooms ooze style and modernity with plush beds and free Wi-Fi. You’ll notice that extra touch of care and attention throughout.

BKKPAp

BKKtra

£50 SINGLE £25 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

SIAM@SIAM DESIGN HOTEL & SPA

£95 SINGLE £48 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

• After a day of sightseeing, treat yourself to a massage • Unwind in the lounge and listen to some live music • Relax in your stylish room and take in the views

Right in the heart of Chinatown, this is a little gem of a hotel. Rooms are beautifully decorated with luxurious facilities and the hotel boasts a trendy restaurant and jazz bar. It’s easy to get around the city thanks to its top location near the river, and a free shuttle service to take you to other city sights is also available.

Hotels don’t get much trendier than this masterpiece in the heart of Bangkok. Each of the elegant rooms feature high ceilings, large window bays and plenty of modern amenities. Overlooking the city, The Roof Wine and Champagne Bar is the place to take in the view. In search of relaxation? Check out the amazing spa and sauna.

BKKSHA

BKKSIA

STAY 3 PAY 2, STAY 6 PAY 4 - 01Apr14-31Oct14

rock solid

Truthai experience Bangkok to Koh Phangan

£425

FR

8 DAYS

Take a breather from tumultuous Bangkok and embark on this exciting historic tour. Visit the Summer Palace on the banks of the Chao Phraya River before discovering the ancient ruins of World Heritage listed Ayutthaya. Next, it’s on to Kanchanaburi to delve into its WWII history. See the Bridge over the River Kwai and the beautiful Erawan N.P. Enjoy three days of delicious Thai food, swimming under waterfalls and admiring fascinating temples. Departs: Daily Accommodation: Tourist class hotel (2nts) Meals: 2 breakfasts Tour Leader: Local English speaking guide Tour Code: BKKRKW. We also offer a day trip to River Kwai - please ask for details.

Bamboo rafting, a trip to spectacular Khao Sok National Park, traditional Thai massages, a night in a floating bungalow, elephant riding, snorkelling in idyllic Koh Tao, plus dining and beach partying aplenty! This truly is an action-packed, adventure-filled tour to start your backpacking trip or an equally ideal one week holiday. Sample the infamous Bangkok nightlife and meet some awesome people on this fabulous trip! Departs: 3-4 times monthly Accommodation: Guesthouse (2 nts), overnight train (1 nt), floating bungalow (1 nt), villa (2 nts), beach bungalow(1 nt) Meals: 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 2 dinners Tour Code: BKKTTE

river kwai FLOATHOUSE

£188

FR

2 DAYS

FLOATING MARKETS

£46

FR

HALF DAY

bangkok food expedition

£42

FR

HALF DAY

Head out into the unspoilt mountainous jungle scenery of Kanchanaburi, just over two hours from Bangkok and home to the iconic River Kwai. Visit the museum, the Allied POW Cemetery and take a historic train ride on the Death Railway. Come nightfall, bed down in an elegant floating villa, complete with private terrace, DVD player and rain shower at the luxurious Float House. Enjoy a guided jungle trek on Day 2 before returning to Bangkok. Departs: Daily Accommodation: Luxury twin shared room in boutique, floating villa (1 nt) Includes: Transfers & admission fees Meals:1 breakfast, 2 luches, 1 dinner Transport: Air con van/coach, boat Tour Code: BKKRKF

Go bargain hunting at Damnoen Saduak, the most famous of Bangkok’s floating markets. Colourfully clad merchants at these lively markets paddle along the canals selling fresh fruit and veg to shoppers. Also included is a visit to South East Asia’s largest pagoda.

Visit the local fresh market of Phra Khanong to buy the raw ingredients for your cookery course that will follow. Board a longtail boat to tour Phra Khanong canal before arriving at the house for your cookery course where you will prepare four amazing dishes.

BKKDAM

BKKBFE

a-list

£66 SINGLE £33 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

SIVATEL BANGKOK

£113 SINGLE £57 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

CHINATOWN & NIGHT MARKETS

£40

FR

half DAY

Damnoen Saduak & TIGER TEMPLE

£57

FR

FULL DAY

BANGKOK CITY & Temples TOUR

£22

FR

HALF DAY

TEMPLE & RIVER OF KINGS

£45

FR

HALF DAY

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Minutes away from buzzing Patpong and shopping hotspots • Cool down in the outdoor pool, with a cocktail from the poolside bar • Work up a sweat in the fitness centre and sauna

• Make a splash in the infinity pool with a view • Check out the idyllic retreat, The Eight Spa • Munch on international cuisine at the pool-side restaurant

Steps away from shopping Meccas Asiatique, Siam Paragon, Central World and Platinum Shopping Mall and near the nightlife district of Patpong, Novotel offers a comfortable sanctuary from Bangkok’s hustle and bustle. Its newly-designed, stylish rooms come with free Wi-Fi and great views of Bangok’s skyline.

Get the five-star experience at this high-rise haven. Just 75 suites all come with modern decor and flat screen TV’s plus a relaxed and friendly atmosphere; this place has all the luxury and style you could ever need! Contemporary and chic with outstanding views across the capital, you can be sure of a fantastic stay.

54

3 DAYS

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Surf the free Wi-Fi in your oriental-style room • Daily replenished mini-bar, free of charge • Enjoy live music and tasty food at Cotton

STAY 3 PAY 2 - 01Apr14-31Oct14

£243

FR

a-list

FR

Novotel bangkok fenix Silom

RIVER KWAI & ANCIENT KINGDOMS

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

a-list

SHANGHAI MANSION

£37 SINGLE £23 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

BKKFEN

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

BKKSVT

Immerse yourself in the culture, soak up the atmosphere and learn how the community originated hundreds of years ago. Explore and visit a 100 year-old coffee shop and the world’s largest golden Buddha. Try different foods and bag some bargains at the markets!

Bag a bargain at Damneon Saduak, Bangok’s most popular and colourful floating market before heading to the ‘Tiger Temple’ rescue centre, where you’ll get up close with these majestic wild animals. Finish up with a trip to the world-famous River Kwai Bridge. Grrrrreat!

BKKCHI

BKKSTT

Feed your inner culture-vulture and check out several of Bangkok’s most magnificent temples, including the famous reclining Buddha. There’ll also be plenty of sightseeing, shopping and eating opportunities. A great way to find your feet!

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

BKKCTT

The Grand Palace, the Emerald Buddha and Wat Po (Bangkok’s oldest Buddhist temple) are all ticked off on this exciting tour. You’ll also hop on a long-tail boat to visit Bangkok’s canals. Escape the chaotic streets and explore the city’s longforgotten nooks and crannies. BKKRIV

55

south east asia

south east asia

Conveniently located in the bustling heart of the city, rises the 14-storey Bangkok Cha-Da Hotel. Combining modern design and comfort, expect 24-hour smiling, traditional Thai hospitality. Relax and let yourself be pampered at the spa, sauna and steam room or take a dip in the rooftop swimming pool.

a-list


CHIANG MAI

hilltribe hut experience Chiang Mai

£181

FR

3 DAYS

Chiang Mai

Eco Resort

Rock Solid

IMM THAPHAE HOTEL

£10 DORM FR £17 TWIN/DOUBLE FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Expect polished wood and sumptuous silks. Set in lovely gardens, each of the dorms boast air con, Wi-Fi and lockers. It’s located close to downtown Chiang Mai and a short walk from the Night Bazaar. When you’re not chilling in the coffee corner, have a game of table soccer, take a dip in the outdoor pool, or maybe even rent a bike! STAY 3 PAY 2, STAY 6 PAY 4 STAYS 01May14-30Sep14, BOOKED 18Mar13-30Apr14

rock solid

CENTARA DUANGTAWAN

£21 SINGLE FR £11 TWIN/DOUBLE FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Located in the centre of the old walled city and near to Tha Phae Gate you’ll escape the humid hustle of Chiang Mai in this beautiful haven. Fresh colours are the decor of this amazing hotel, where simplicity meets comfort, combined with floor to ceiling glass wherever you look. Check out the games room for some fun!

CNXECO

£35 SINGLE FR £20 TWIN/DOUBLE FR

• Explore rural villages by foot and see local cultures • Snooze in jungle surrounds in authentic accommodation • Get a taste of city life in Thailand’s northern capital

Take to the hills on this adventure-packed trip taking in the unique sights of northern Thailand. Set out from Chiang Mai into the surrounding region, absorb the local culture and try the different cuisine (deep fried pork fat with a fiery chilli dip anyone?). You’ll hike through remote villages, learn the secrets to jungle survival from local minority tribes and get immersed in this beautiful area. Feast on delicious local food and spend two nights shacked up with the locals in traditional bamboo huts. If you’re looking to escape the cities and get a taste of the real Thailand, then this whirlwind journey is for you.

Get in touch with the local lives of unique and intriguing hilltribes in the ethnic north of tantalising Thailand. These hills are home to stunning landscapes, colourful minority groups and rural outposts where communities live in small, thatched houses sitting on stilts. Hike from village to village through fresh forests and over rolling hills and see the eclectic local culture first-hand where tribes have their own language, clothing and belief systems. Sleep in traditional local huts as the jungle sounds soothe you to sleep. There’s also time to explore the city wonders of Chiang Mai with a nights’ accommodation pre and post your adventure.

Departs: Daily Accommodation: Hilltribe villages (2 nts) Meals: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners Tour code: CNXHUT

Departs: Daily Accommodation: Hotel (2 nts), floor mats in a local bamboo hut (2 nts) Meals: 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners Tour Code: CNXHIL

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

glampacker

STAY 3 PAY 2, STAY 6 PAY 4 04Jan14-28Dec14

CNXCDH

CHIANG MAI & GOLDEN TRIANGLE Chiang Mai

a-list

£280

FR

3 DAYS

Chiang Mai

Highlights

• Trundle through the jungle on an elephant’s back • Take a long-tail boat to the ancient capital of Chiang Saen. • Explore the five interconnected Chiang Dao Caves

£20 SINGLE FR £10 TWIN/DOUBLE FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

MANATHAI VILLAGE CHIANG MAI

£80 SINGLE FR £40 TWIN/DOUBLE FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Chill out and watch a DVD in the comfort of your room • After the sun goes down hit the G-Bar for a cocktail • Explore the surrounding atmospheric streets

• Have a private dinner with 24-hour room service • Get your knots massaged out at the spa • Eat tasty Thai food in the fantastic restaurant

A quaint and trendy hotel tucked away in the old town of Chiang Mai. With a ‘loft art’ concept, the design is intimate yet funky. Enjoy cracking views, with a backdrop of mountains. After a day’s sightseeing take a refreshing dip in the pink-coloured plunge pool before tucking into a meal at the rooftop restaurant.

In a great location next to the Night Bazaar, this is a chic and charming resort. Most areas are open-air with poolside menus and drinks. Rooms feature high ceilings, dark wooden floors and white decor splashed with coloured accents. The bathrooms boast huge tubs, large shower heads and luxurious smellies.

DCNXDH

56

honeymoon extras available

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

5 DAYS

Deep in the heart of the ancient city of Chiang Mai, just moments away from the stellar Night Bazaar. You’ll love the beautiful outdoor pool and sun terrace surrounded by lush land with panoramic views. Other facilities include a gym, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. All rooms offer air con, mini-bar, satellite TV and Internet.

CNXIMM

SMALL HOTEL

£214

FR

Chiang Mai

Highlights

• Sleep in authentic bamboo huts in local villages • Go jungle trekking through remote Northern Thailand • Opt to go river rafting

GLAMPACKER

Chiang Mai

CNXMAN

Kiss the mayhem of Chiang Mai goodbye as you head north to a land of myth and fable... Actually, it’s the area where Thailand, Burma and Laos meet, but it still conjures up images of poppy fields, Chinese warlords and smugglers! Ride elephants in the jungle, meet friendly Akha people, visit an opium museum and perhaps step a sneaky foot into laid-back Laos. Take a breather with a cup of tea in a traditional Chinese tea house overlooking the misted mountains. Absorb the rich history, scenic beauty and melting pot of cultures and cuisines and return to Chiang Mai more serene and with great memories. Departs: Daily Accommodation: Hilltribe homestays (2 nts) Transport: Return transfer from local accommodation, boat, walking, elephant Meals: 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches Tour Code: CNXGOL

GOLDEN TRIANGLE TREK Chiang Mai

£185

FR

Chiang Mai

3 DAYS

Highlights

• Experience the real Thailand staying with hilltribe communities • Get up close and ride elephants • Take a refreshing dip in a waterfall, relax in hot springs

For an authentic Thai adventure, get off the beaten track on this three-day tour of the picturesque Golden Triangle. Heading straight out of Chiang Mai, you’ll pass great scenery before getting the chance to trek to a number of traditional villages (including Karon, Lahu and Akha) where you will stay in a different one each night. Take a three-hour scenic motorboat ride down the Kok River, cool down in a refreshing waterfall and visit an elephant camp. And yes, you’ve guessed it, there will be a chance to ride on one of these gentle giants too! Enroute back to Chiang Mai, visit hot springs for a relaxing pitstop. Departs: Daily Accommodation: Basic hilltribe accommodation (2 nts) Transport: Transfer from local accommodation, walking and motorboat Meals: 3 lunches, 2 dinners Tour Code: BKKG3D

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

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south east asia

south east asia

Highlights

CHIANG MAI & HILLTRIBE ADVENTURE


Northern Thailand HILLTRIBES TREK Chiang Mai

KOH SAMET, KOH TALU & HUA HIN

£199

FR

5 DAYS

Chiang Mai

THAI ELEPHANT CONSERVATION

Mae Taeng District (Chiang Mai)

£399

FR

1 - 8 WEEKS

south east asia

south east asia

Highlights

• Assist with local conservation • Bathe and feed elephants • Learn about elephant health and treatment

Highlights

• Explore the vibrant and laid-back northern capital of Chiang Mai • Visit the hilltribes of Northern Thailand and meet friendly locals • Get to know the Karen tribe and witness their traditional weaving

DAY ITINERARY Chang Mai

01

Arrive to the cultural centre of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai, at any time today and start exploring this charming city. This moated old city is surrounded by rolling hills and houses hundreds of sacred temples, great cafés and shops.

Set in a valley surrounded by forested mountains, this project offers a peaceful home for over 30 neglected and abused elephants. Headed up by Lek, a co-founder of the park, also known as the ‘Elephant Whisperer’ by locals for her affinity with these majestic grey, giants, her focus on the elephants’ wellbeing is inspiring. Providing an essential role in caring for this endangered species, you will treat and feed residents onsite as well as learning how they communicate and make friends. All the mahouts (elephant caretakers) bring the elephants down to the river so that everyone can have a go at bathing them - the best part of the day! Project Start Date: Mondays Location: Mae Teng District (60km north of Chiang Mai) Accommodation: multi-share volunteer huts (6 nts) Meals: most meals included Extra Weeks: Fr £389 per week Trip Code: GATATECT

Hilltribes Trek

02

River Rafting / Chiang Mai

04-05

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 3 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (2 nts), basic huts (2 nts, multi-share) Transport: Open truck, van, elephant, raft Meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners Budget: Allow USD 50-75 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, avg 12 Tour Code: GAATHH

Departures 2014 Jan - Dec

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Every Sunday, Tuesday & Friday

STAY 7 PAY 5, STAY 14 PAY 10 11Jan14-19Dec14

CHIANG MAI EXPERIENCE

Bangkok

Wake up to a day of real fun as you set off down the Mae Tang River on a bamboo raft! Stop at a Lahu village before continuing to a Shan village for lunch. Return to Chiang Mai this afternoon for your last night on the town with your new friends. Your amazing adventure ends on Day 5 and you are free to depart at any time. (2B, L)

Chiang Mai

THA IL A N D

Sai Kaew BEACH Resort, Koh SaMet

£56 SINGLE £31 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

Located on Noi Na beach on the quiet northern part of Koh Samet, this small, intimate resort offers just 30 simple but modern bungalows and cottages set around a pool. Just a few hours from Bangkok, close to Sai Kaew beach and Na Dan village with its local bars and restaurants, this is the perfect beach break.

Hilltribes Trek / Baan Mae Ma Nain

03

Samed club, Koh Samet

a-list

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Early start this morning as you travel in an open pick-up truck to Mae Malai where you will enjoy lunch before starting your trek. Trek through forests and rural terrain to visit some of the most colourful and unchanged traditional hilltribe villages. As you trek through the tropical forest from one village to another, you will be impressed by the variety of languages, clothing styles and beliefs that differ hugely from one another. (B, L, D) This morning you will set off on a two- to three-hour trek in the forest, visiting rice and vegetable fields along the way as you pass the villages and learn about their traditional methods of cultivation. Re-charge your energy levels over lunch and then continue trekking to the Karen village of Baan Mae Ma Nain where there’s a chance to ride an elephant through the forest. Experience local ways and learn how to construct a bamboo raft, then go fishing at Mae Tang River using local tools. (B, L, D)

rock solid

rock solid

KOH TALU BEACH RESORT, Koh Talu

£70 SINGLE £40 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

This place is all about the vibe. From the modern minimalist rooms and the glass-walled fitness centre suspended above the pool to the cool beachfront cocktail bar, the facilities are young and fun. Choose from lively Sai Kaew beach or secluded Pineapple beach, the hotel is between the two so take your pick. STAY 7 PAY 5, STAY 14 PAY 10 11Jan14-19Dec14

KSZSAM

£131 SINGLE £66 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT FULL BOARD

Enjoy an authentic Robinson Crusoe experience. The idyllic beach location is great for diving and snorkelling and all chalets come with air con, private deck, satellite TV and garden views. Dine at the pier-side restaurant or chill at the beach bar. This is a very chilled resort on a very chilled island. DBPQKT

KSZSAI

£111

FR

Bangkok

6 DAY

a-list

Highlights

• Adrenalin-pumping white water rafting • Once-in-a-life chance to feed, ride and interact with elephants • Whizz through the jungle’s treetops on a zipline (optional)

This adventure-packed tour takes you from Bangkok to the mystical city of Chiang Mai, home to the ethnic tribes of Northern Thailand. There’s tons to experience - not just what you’ve seen in ‘The Hangover’! Arrive by overnight train, then explore this colourful city. Flex your bargaining skills at the local night bazaar, take a cooking class or fly through the jungle as part of the ‘Flight of the Gibbon’ ziplining experience (optional - at own expense). Head deep into the jungle on a guided trek and learn about local life as you rest your head at a village homestay. Top it all off with time at an elephant camp followed by a white water rafting trip down the jungle river! Return to Bangkok by overnight bus. Departs: Daily Accommodation: Overnight train (1 nt), guesthouse (2 nts), overnight bus (1 nt), multi-share homestay accommodation (1 nt), Meals: 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 1 dinner Transport: Train, bus Tour Code: CNXEXP

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

ANANTARA HUA HIN, Hua Hin

£82 SINGLE £41 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

bangkok to Koh Samet adventure

£366

FR

6 DAYS

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Pure luxury, set in 14 acres of stunning, exotic gardens • Stylish rooms with beach views and large terraces • Unwind al fresco with a massage in the spa’s garden courtyard

‘Wow’ is probably the word that best describes this swish beachfront hotel. With lush, tropical gardens, an outdoor pool, tennis courts and even an onsite cookery school, you won’t be straying far. Should you choose to venture further afield, the night market is a five-minute drive away. 10% Discount if booked 45 Days in Advance - 08Jan14-20Dec14

Get under the skin of bustling Bangkok with a sensory-filled visit to buzzing Silom Road and Chinatown followed by a trip out of the city to historical Kanchanaburi’s seven-tiered Erawan Waterfall and National Park, plus Thailand’s best floating markets. Continue on to the tranquil island of Koh Samet in the Gulf of Thailand. Relax, soak up the sun and enjoy a day on Koh Samet’s magnificent beaches. Why not extend your stay here for a few extra days. Departs: Tuesdays Accommodation: Hotel (5 nts) Meals: 5 breakfasts Transport: Air con minibus and ferry Tour Code: BKKCNB

HHQANA

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

59


Koh Samui - Chaweng Beach

FULL MOON PARTY TRANSFERS SAMUI AIRPORT

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3

2

9

5

It’s not often you get to party at one of the most famous beach bashes in the world. See our Koh Phangan accommodation options on pages 64 & 65 although we recommend taking one of the following hassle-free packages:

10 8 6

4 day Full Moon Experience from Koh Samui (see page 63) 6 day Hacienda Party Phangan on Koh Phangan Island (see page 65)

7

SHOESTRING

NORA LAKEVIEW HOTEL

rock solid

AL’S RESORT

£29 SINGLE £15 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

rock solid

chaweng resort

£48 SINGLE £24 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Nora Lakeview offers no frills accommodation in a great location just across the road from Chaweng Beach. In terms of value for money the rooms are huge and well appointed with flatscreen TV’s and air con. This is a fantastic bargain if you don’t want a pool and all the trimmings.

Enjoy a laid back and relaxed ambience at this chilled resort overlooking Chaweng Beach. Take a cooling dip in the outdoor swimming pool, work up a sweat in the gym or unwind with a massage. Feeling hungry? Check out the resort’s hotel restaurant, relax with a drink at the bar or check out the shops and nightlife a short walk away. stay 7 pay 6 - 01apr14 - 30dec14. book 30 days in advance for a 10% discount

USMNLH

£43 SINGLE £22 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

A slice of paradise, these bungalows are tastefully furnished, spacious and come with air con. Take a dip in one or both of the two beachside swimming pools and sample fresh, tasty cuisine at the seaside restaurant. The location is fab for access to the shops, stalls, restaurants and nightlife of the island plus the beach!

USMALR

ROCK SOLID

stay 7 pay 5, stay 14 pay 10 - 11jan1431oct14. early booking discount available

USMCHA

rock solid

SAMUI NATIEN RESORT

£74 SINGLE £40 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

NORA CHAWENG HOTEL

shoestring

THE ROOM

£42 SINGLE £21 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Cool, modern and unashamedly avantgarde, this place has everything you need for a comfy stay. There’s a gym, sauna, Jacuzzi and freshwater pool. The terrace restaurant is one of the best in town and the bar is open till the early hours. Rooms are bright with lush garden or partial sea view from their private balcony or terrace. STAY 5 PAY 4, STAY 8 PAY 6 - 01-30 Apr14, 01May14-20Jul14, 21Aug14-30Sep14, 01Oct14-30Nov14

ROCK SOLID

Baan Samui Resort

However, if all you want is to pre-book your transfer from Koh Samui to ensure you’re there for a timely arrival, then our speedboat transfers arrive into Koh Phangan at about 7pm and leave the following morning at 7.30am. Fr £35 return. For details of Full Moon party dates, see page 65. USMFUL

£27 SINGLE £14 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Offering clean rooms and great value for money, the beauty of The Room lies in its central location. A five-minute stroll from Chaweng Beach, one of the best in Samui, and just ten minutes from the market, bars and shops of downtown Chaweng, everything’s in easy reach. All 30 rooms come with Wi-Fi, satellite TV and mini-bar. dusmtr

USMSAN

rock solid

CHABA CABANA BEACH RESORT & SPA

£63 SINGLE £32 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

CHAWENG regent beach resort

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

With its tropical surrounds, this charming hotel is a beachside paradise. Welcome to a land of sea, sun and fun! Rooms are very well equipped and comfy. The hotel has two outdoor swimming pools, a bar, a restaurant and a team of beachfront masseurs. With all this there’s no doubt you’ll leave this resort full of happiness. STAY 6 PAY 3, STAY 8 PAY 4, STAY 12 PAY 6, STAY 14 PAY 7 01Apr14-31Jul14 & 01Sep14-27Dec14

a-list

FR

£100 SINGLE £53 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

USMCHC

a-list

£139 SINGLE £78 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

NORA BEACH RESORT & SPA

£112 SINGLE £56 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Laze by the fabulous beachfront pool • Check out vibrant Chaweng, steps from this hotel hideaway • Watch the sun set from the beachfront restaurant

• Catch up with folks back home in the Internet café • Cool off with a dip in the stylish swimming pool • Pamper yourself with a facial or massage in the spa

• Prime location. Enjoy the atmosphere or shop ‘til you drop! • Indulge in happy hour cocktails at the beachfront restaurant • Take the plunge with the scuba diving service or simply relax poolside

• Go snorkelling and admire the colourful fish and coral • Swim up to the bar for a cocktail and lap up the view • Dine in and try ingredients from the resort garden

Relax and take in the atmosphere of this beachfront hotel. Start your day diving into the sparkling sea or head for the pool. Book in a massage on the beach or grab a jetski. Get to grips with delicious Thai food at the hotel restaurant before retiring to your room, designed for maximum comfort after a long day in the sun.

This great hotel in downtown Chaweng Beach offers those little extras such as complimentary bottled water, bathrobes and slippers. There’s also free Internet throughout the property. Facilities include a stunning pool, restaurant and luxury spa and sleek Thai-style rooms complete with free Wi-Fi and satellite TV.

Shaded by majectic coconut trees, this beachfront hotel is just a short walk from Chaweng’s entertainment and shops. Add to this two swimming pools, two restaurants, a bar, health spa and fitness centre and you’ve the perfect recipe for a hassle-free holiday. Rooms are modern and spacious with Wi-Fi and DVD players.

Set in a spectacular hillside setting, this secluded resort feels like a little village, yet is close enough to all the action of Chaweng. With stunning beach views, a pool and a sensational spa, there’s a permanent ambience of tranquillity and relaxation. The wonderful rooms fuse classical Thai style with contemporary luxuries.

STAY 3 PAY 2, STAY 6 PAY 4, STAY 9 PAY 6, STAY 12 PAY 8, STAY 16 PAY 11 01Apr14-24Dec14, STAY 4 PAY 3, STAY 8 PAY 6, STAY 12 PAY 9, STAY 16 PAY 12 - 07Jan14-31Mar14

60

USMBAS

STAY 7 PAY 5, STAY 10 PAY 7, STAY 13 PAY 9 - 11Jan14-31Mar14

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

USMNRA

STAY 3 PAY 2, STAY 5 PAY 3, STAY 7 PAY 4, STAY 9 PAY 5, STAY 11 PAY 6, STAY 14 PAY 7 - 01-15Apr14, 01May14-31Jul14, & 01Sep14-19Dec14

USMCHN

STAY 6 PAY 4, STAY 10 PAY 7, STAY 12 PAY 8 01Apr14-31Jul14 & 01Sep14-19Dec14

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

USMNBR

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south east asia

CHAWENG BEACH


Koh Samui - other beaches

KOH PHA NGAN: 16KM

MAENAM

nomads bed HOPPER pass

CHOENG MON BEACH

6

BOPHUT

SAMUI AIRPORT

CHAWENG

south east asia

2

3 1

LAMAI

5 nights  Fr £92 10 nights Fr £165 15 nights Fr £251

4

5

NATIEN

AUSHOP

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SAMAYA BURA, Lamai

£42 SINGLE £21 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Open, airy and typical of Thai architecture, the absolute draw card of this resort is the beachfront pool and bar. Feeling peckish? Check out the hotel bakery or sample the restaurant’s tasty, fusion food served up on a private beach. Work off those excess calories using the yoga and thai boxing classes or opt for pure relaxtion in the spa.

rock solid

Thai house beach resort, lamai

£83 SINGLE £42 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

STAY 7 PAY 5, STAY 14 PAY 7, STAY 21 PAY 15 16Apr14-15Jul14 & 01Sep14-31Oct14, STAY 7 PAY 6, STAY 14 PAY 12, STAY 12 PAY 8 - 11Jan1415Apr14, 16Jul14-31Aug14, BOOK 60 DAYS IN ADVANCE FOR 20% DISCOUNT - 11Jan14-31Oct14

USMBUR

BUDDY ORIENTAL BEACH RESORT,Lamai

£48 SINGLE £24 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Nestled in a lush tropical garden right on the white sandy beach of Lamai, Thai House offers comfortable, modern Thai-style accommodation, with bars, restaurants and shops on your doorstep. Take a dip in the pool, unwind in the spa, not forgetting to indulge in the hotel’s 2-4-1 cocktails as the sun goes down. USMTHA

a-list

ROCK SOLID

rock solid

Whether you’re munching your dinner with the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, dancing to live music in the Irish pub or sipping a cocktail with your feet in the sand at Coco bar, this plush place will not disappoint. The location on Lamai Beach is second to none, there are two pools and gorgeous rooms come with free Wi-Fi. USMBOS

10% discounts at selected outlets

IBIS SAMUI, BOPHUT

a-list

£36 SINGLE £18 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

£86 SINGLE £43 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

CENTARA VILLAS, Natien

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Bright and trendy with an idyllic beachfront location and beautiful views, this hotel is packed with things to do. Relax by the pool, chill out in the bar, try tasty Thai food in the restaurant or explore the authentic fishing village nearby. The rooms are modern with amenities including Wi-Fi, LCD TV, air con and en suite facilities.

Located along the white sands of Bophut Beach, this resort boasts stylish and spacious rooms with excellent facilities. The rooms ooze class, with private balconies, pillow menus, home entertainment system and free Wi-Fi. If you’re feeling flush and fancy your own private plunge pool, go for one of the villas.

10% Discount When Booked 48 Days in Advance 01Apr14-14Jul14 & 01Sep14-25Dec14

£74 SINGLE £40 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Swim in the lovely beachside pool • Grab dinner overlooking the beach • Chill out in the quiet surrounds of Bophut

• Unwind in the privacy of 80 metres of Natien Beach • Relax in Thai-style villas with picturesque views • Experience the Lamai nightlife just 15 minutes away

If you want something a little bit special, look no further than these beautiful bungalows. In a quiet location on Bophut Beach yet just a short taxi ride from Chaweng’s nightlife, you can chill out by the beachside pool or at the bar and restaurant. All bungalows are set within garden surroundings and have private terraces.

Nestled on a stretch of private beach, this resort will wash away all your worries. Steps from the pool, you can choose to unwind on the hotel’s very own beach instead. The exotic villas cascade down a gentle hillside to the beachfront, all boasting modern amenities and private balconies with views of the gardens or ocean.

STAY 7 PAY 5, STAY 10 PAY 7, STAY 14 PAY 10 - 01Apr14-15Jul14 & 01Sep1423Dec14, BOOK 60 DAYS IN ADVANCE FOR A 10% DISCOUNT - 06Jan14-31Mar14

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USMPEA

STAY 7 PAY 5, STAY 10 PAY 7, STAY 14 PAY 10, 07Jan14-31Mar14 & 01Jul1431Aug14. sTAy 5 pay 4 - 01apr14 - 30jun14 & 01sep14 - 24dec14

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

FR

• Bliss out with some well-deserved pampering in the outstanding spa • Enjoy a sumptuous seafood dinner at the beachside restaurant • Relax in the tropical gardens, pools and white sands

usmibh

STAY 8 PAY 4 - 01Apr14-15Jul14 & 01Sep14-21Dec14, STAY 7 PAY 5, STAY 10 PAY 7 - 06Jan14-31Mar14 & 16Jul14-31Aug14

£90

FR

4 DAYS

Highlights

PEACE RESORT, Bohput

£107 SINGLE £54 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

• A stunning hotel, right on the beach! • Indulge your Thai food cravings with some traditional dishes • Explore an authentic fishing village closeby

FULL MOON EXPERIENCE

ROCK SOLID

BANDARA RESORT & spa, Bohput

Departs: See Full Moon dates on page 65 Accommodation: Guesthouse or hotel (3nts) Transport: Speedboat Note: Entry to the party is approx US$4 payable on the island Tour Code: USMFU3

Koh Tao & Koh Nang Yuan

USMban

£62

FR

1 DAY

Highlights

• Samui accommodation as your base • Return transfers to the Full Moon Party • A hangover to remember!

• Zoom around on an awesome speedboat • Spend a full day of top-class snorkelling • Chow down on a scrummy Thai lunch

Calling all party animals! Experience the world famous Koh Phangan Full Moon Party on this great four day package. Choose between guesthouse or hotel accommodation and chill out during the day before taking a speedboat transfer late afternoon to Koh Phangan for the party of your life. A bucket or two of booze later, whenever you’re ready to rest your weary head, take the boat back to Samui and sleep it off in the comfort of your own bed. The speedboats run every 30-60 minutes on party days so you’re never stuck!

Enjoy a breathtaking day out to the beautiful islands of Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan. Picked up from your hotel and taken to the pier, you’ll travel by speedboat. The first stop is at Muang Bay, a shallow dive site with lots of colourful fish where you can snorkel. You’ll stop for lunch at a restaurant on another Koh Tao beach and then the speedboat takes you to the picturesque island of Koh Nang Yuan. Here, you can relax on the white sands of the three-pronged beach or snorkel in the clear waters before speeding back to Samui. USMKOK

USMCVS

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

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south east asia

This pass allows you to explore the Land of Smiles without the confines of planning your trip in full and booking all your hostels ahead of time. Choose the number of nights you want to stay and move on at your leisure. Enjoy hostel-style accommodation but in hotel-style surroundings, with fab facilities. Hostels are located in: Chiang Mai, Phuket and Koh Tao. Why not add on an Island Hopping Pass to maximise the flexibility? See page 53 for more details. Travelling on to Australia or New Zealand? You can use your Bed Hopper Pass there as well which is a result if you ask us!

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Koh Phangan

FULL MOON FACTS & DATES

BOTTLE BEACH

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The first Full Moon Party was held in 1985 at an improvised wooden disco near Haad Rin beach. About 20 people were invited.

NAI PAN NOI BEACH NAI PAN YAI BEACH

4

Attendance now averages about 20,000 to 30,000 people on Full Moon Party nights. Full Moon Parties are complemented by twice monthly Half Moon festivities in the eerie surrounds of the Ban Tai jungle.

PHAENG WATERFALL

1

BAN THAI BEACH

6

YUAN BEACH

2

south east asia

south east asia

3

2014 Full Moon Party dates: Wednesday 15 Jan Sunday 13 Jul Saturday 15 Feb Sunday10 Aug Saturday 15 Mar Monday 8 Sep Monday 14 April Friday 10 Oct Wednesday 14 May Thursday 6 Nov Thursday 12 Jun Saturday 6 Dec

HAAD RIN

SHOESTRING

HACIENDA BACKPACKERS

£7 DORM £8 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

BEST WESTERN PHANGANBURI

£62 SINGLE £31 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Located in the heart of Koh Phangan and in easy reach of all the parties, this is a great choice for large groups and solo travellers alike. Choose from private double and twin rooms or mixed dorms. All come with air con and en suites, plus guests have full use of facilities at Hacienda Resort & Beach Club, which is a five-minute walk away. Free pick up from Thong Sala Pier – Must send travel details or call upon arrival

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Set on a quiet and serene sunset beach on the south side of Haad Rin town, it’s a mere ten-minute walk from the infamous Full Moon beach. Facilities at this resort include two swimming pools, an outdoor pool bar, a beach restaurant and even a minimart. You can also experience a traditional Thai massage at the spa. STAY 3 PAY 2, STAY 6 PAY 4, STAY 9 PAY 6 - 01Apr14-14Jul14 & 01Sep14-23Dec14, STAY 4 PAY 3, STAY 8 PAY 6, STAY 12 PAY 9 - 05Jan14-31Mar14 & 15Jul14-31Aug14. early booking discount available

PHAHAC

KHPPRH

ROCK SOLID

Havana Beach Resort

HACIENDa RESORT & BEACH CLUB

£13 SINGLE £7 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

£82 SINGLE £41 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

A five-minute drive from Thong Sala port, this funky hotel has private, air con rooms with en suites. By day, lounge around the hotel’s pool, complete with swim-up seats at a magnificent bar. Come nightfall, catch all the must-see games on big screen plasma TVs, then party ‘til late with the resident local and international DJs. Free pick up from Thong Sala Pier – Must send travel details or call upon arrival

KHPHRB

£46 SINGLE £23 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PANVIMAN Resort

£105 SINGLE £53 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

SANTHIYA KOH PHANGAN RESORT & SPA

£131 SINGLE £66 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Near the action of Haad Rin yet in a peaceful and secluded location • Local beachfront restaurants on your doorstep • For those with plenty of energy - try some diving

• Enjoy a veranda or balcony, satellite TV and DVD player • Take a refreshing dip in the huge outdoor pool • Traditional teak wood rooms and villas

Situated on the private Yuan Beach on the south eastern coast of the island, Haad Rin Beach is only five minutes by boat. Relax after a Full Moon Party at the beachfront swimming pool or pamper yourself in the spa. There is also a restaurant, bar, dive centre and Wi-Fi. The villas’ amenities even include an aromatherapy burner!

Experience paradise on Koh Phangan. Relax in this eco-chic hideaway, stretched out over18 acres of tropical landscape. Lush forest, a crystal clear bay and private beach set the perfect backdrop for gourmet meals, delicious cocktails and luxurious spa treatments. Sounds pretty close to paradise to us.

STAY 4 PAY 3, STAY 8 PAY 6, STAY 12 PAY 9 - 10Jan14-14jul14 & 01Sep14-31Oct14. must book 90 days prior to arrival.

KHPCEN

STAY 3 PAY 2, STAY 6 PAY 4, STAY 9 PAY 6, STAY 12 PAY 8, STAY 15 PAY 10, STAY 18 PAY 12: 01May14-14Jul14. 16Sep14-31Oct14 & 01Nov14-22Dec14, STAY 4 PAY 3, STAY 8 PAY 6, STAY 12, PAY 9, STAY 16 PAY 12 - 06Jan14-31Mar14, 1-30Apr14, 15-31Jul14 & 01Nov14-22Dec14.

USMSRS

koh PHANGAN PACKAGE

£216

FR

7 DAYS

Hacienda Party Phangan

£148

FR

6 DAYS

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Triple rooms available which make this hotel very affordable • Rooms offer tasteful decor and a large balcony • Indulge in kayaking, snorkelling or fishing

• Indulge in a massage with stunning bay views at the hillside spa • Choose from a range of watersports; dive, snorkel and kayak • Savour a variety of cuisines at its hillside and beachfront restaurants

With picture postcard views of the beach and bay framed by a backdrop of tropical mountain ranges, this charming resort has it all. Take a dip in the pool or make some time to soothe your body with a Thai massage. This is a geat option for longer stays due to the idyllic setting. Transfers to Full Moon Party are available.

This dreamy retreat amongst tropical greenery overlooks Thong Nai Pan Bay and boasts its own private beach as well a pool and lush gardens. Luxurious air con rooms come with Jacuzzi bathtubs and postcard-perfect views, some with private balconies. Come nightfall, enjoy live music or hit the hotel’s very own nightclub!

64

PARIYA RESORT & VILLAS

a-list

a-list

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

STAY 7 PAY 6 - 01Jan14-15dec14, STAY 4 PAY 3 - 01Nov14-15Dec14

a-list

GLAMPACKER

KHPHAV

STAY 3 PAY 2, STAY 6 PAY 4, STAY 9 PAY 6 - 01Apr14 – 14Jul14 & 01Sep14-22Dec14, STAY 4 PAY 3, STAY 8 PAY 6, STAY 12 PAY 9 - 08 Jan 14-31Mar14

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

KHPPAN

Head south to the popular party island of Koh Phangan for this fab week-long package. It includes travel from Bangkok by overnight train, bus and ferry and a five-night stay at the island’s Best Western Phanganburi. Once you’re all Phangan partied out, you decide what to do next - take it easy and extend your stay or move on to the nearby islands of Koh Samui or Koh Tao. Alternatively head back to Bangkok - it’s up to you! Accommodation: Hotel (5 nts) , overnight train (1 nt) Transport: Overnight train, bus, ferry boat Meals: 5 breakfasts Tour Code: BKKPHA

With Hacienda Backpackers as your base, get loose with an allyou-can-drink party kicking off from 8pm ‘til 2pm the next day (pace yourself!) Day 2, energy levels permitting, freshen up with an afternoon dive or chill by the hotel’s infinity pool. Day 3, it’s time to hit the world-famous Full Moon Party followed by a day’s rest before rounding off your trip with full-day tour covering off snorkelling, beachtime, a temple visit and cruise to a waterfall. Departs: Selected dates Jan-Oct Accommodation: Beach backpackers (5 nts) Meals: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch Includes: free pick-up from Thong Sala pier Tour Code: KHRFU5

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

65


KOH tao

LEARN TO DIVE PADI OR SSI COURSE

£282

FR

4 DAYS

Highlights

• See the best of Thailand’s marine world on this PADI/SSI Open Water Course • Experience the dive community meeting travellers from all over the world • Spend your days in the ocean and your free time in Koh Tao’s chilled surrounds

Starts: Daily Accommodation: Thai chalet (3 nts) Equipment: Open Water Dive Course and certification fees, online training materials & all scuba equipment Group Size: Maximum of four Meals: One meal per day Tour Code: FJJKTL

SHOESTRING

LEARN TO DIVE PADI Open Water Diving Course

ROCK SOLID

£210

FR

5 DAYS

Highlights

KOH TAO BACKPACKERS HOSTEL

KOH TAO CORAL GRAND RESORT

£6 Dorm

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

• Air con or fan-cooled dorm-style accomodation either steps from the beach or pool • Learn the theory and get practical experience in the pool and sea • Get your PADI Open Water certification with a professional PADI IDC Resort

£74 SINGLE £37 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Swap stories and make mates at the free, weekly BBQ • Central but quiet location - great for those up early dives! • Sociable vibe and staff available 24/7 to help with trips, tickets etc.

• Great beachfront location on Sairee beach • National Geographic PADI 5* Gold Palm Dive Resort • Sleep in traditional air con Thai cottages with bamboo ceilings

Located in the heart of Sairee and just minutes from the beach, this is a cheap and cheerful budget option associated with the Davy Jones Locker dive school. Clean, mixed dorms come with air con and lockers to store your valuables. Make new friends at the hostel bar and pool or catch up with mates online using the Wi-Fi.

Coral Grand is an excellent mid-range option, located right on Sairee Beach. This beachfront resort offers 42 charming cottages complete with free Wi-Fi. Its dive centre, Coral Grand Divers, operates PADI diving courses and packages as well as fun dives. Why not take a Thai cooking course while you’re here! STAY 3 PAY 2, STAY 6 PAY 4, STAY 9 PAY 6 - 11Jan14-30Jun14 & 01Sep14-31Oct14

FIJKTB

rock solid

Inclusions

Starts: Daily Accommodation: air con dorm/fan-cooled bungalow (4 nts) Equipment: All equipment & manuals, plus e-manual for after course Group Size: Maximum four participants per instructor Meals: None Tour Code: FJJLEA

Your days will be taken up with learning to dive, hanging out on cool beaches and staying in dorm-style bungalow accommodation. The course involves theory as well as practical (dives, of course!) and all instructors are experienced and 100% certified. The course is a starting point for those who want to continue on to more advanced courses and even more challenging dive sites around the world. Over four full days you’ll have a mix of theory time in the classroom, shallow dives in the pool and deeper dives out in the sea at depths of up to 18 metres. Savour the first taste of Thailand’s fantastic underwater world. On Day 4 this will be captured on film as you head down to the deeps with an underwater videographer. In the evening you can watch your diving film back and celebrate with a beer as you receive your PADI Open Water certification.

FJJKTO

Learn to Dive week

A-list

£400

FR

7 DAYS

Highlights

KOH TAO MONTRA RESORT

£84 SINGLE £42 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Combining comfort and service with Thai charm and hospitality, this beachfront hotel offers rooms, suites and two beachfront villas. The multi-level swimming pool is surrounded by a lush garden. Facilities include free Wi-Fi, massage, restaurant, pool side bar, fitness centre and in-house dive centre offering all types of diving. STAY 3 PAY 2, STAY 6 PAY 4, STAY 9 PAY 6 11Jan14-30Jun14 & 01Sep14-31Oct14

66

usmkoh

charm churee villa

£91 SINGLE £46 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

KOH TAO FUN DIVING PACKAGE

• Hang out with new friends at the beach or in the bar • Complete eight Open Water dives and a memorable night dive • Gain a diving qualification for use all over the world in the future

£254

FR

7 DAYS

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

White sands and beachfront villas, this is the perfect place for you. Charm Churee Villa is a rustic hillside retreat located on one of Koh Tao’s most beautiful and secluded beaches on the southwest section of the island. Dive into the clear blue sea, chill out at the restaurants, sip a drink at the beach bar or spoil yourself at the spa. STAY 7 PAY 5 - 01May14-30Jun14, 01Sep1414Dec14, STAY 7 PAY 6. STAY 12 PAY 10 15Jan14-30Apr14, 01-31Jul14

USMCCV

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

For those who are already qualified to scuba dive and just want to dive! No course, no test, no pressure - just lots of amazing moments exploring the fish-filled waters of Koh Tao. Enjoy ten fun dives plus one night dive. You’ll have a varied schedule, planned to take you to sites when they are at their quietest. Perfect.

Inclusions

Starts: Daily Accommodation: Thai chalet (6 nts) Equipment: Open Water Dive Course and certification fees, training manuals & scuba equipment Group Size: Maximum four Meals: One meal per day Tour Code: UDMLTD

Spend a full week learning to dive on the beautiful island of Koh Tao. You’ll learn everything from the basics upwards to ensure you feel 100% confident when diving down into the depths of Thailand’s tropical waters. This PADI/SSI Open Water Diver course includes theory sessions, shallow beach sessions and local open water dives. Complete your theory online before arriving for less classes and more diving! Groups are small and personalised (maximum four per group) with highly qualified and experienced instructors. The package includes learning manuals and use of all dive equipment, certification as well as traditional Thai-style chalet accommodation. And because you have a whole week, you also get to spend two days doing fun dives, including a night dive - an experience not to be missed!

UDMFUN

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

67

south east asia

south east asia

Inclusions

Complete your dive theory online before you arrive so that you can spend more time relaxing in paradise and enjoying the underwater world. Learning to dive this way ensures that you don’t spend any of your precious time on the idyllic island of Koh Tao in the classroom and instead spend more time in the sea. When you arrive you will complete a quick review of your online theory before your first dip. Groups are kept to a maximum of four to ensure your safety and enjoyment and a small, professional dive centre with experienced instructors will make learning easy. This course will certify you to dive to a depth of 18 metres. Accommodation is in traditional Thai chalets which are simple but clean and comfortable. Spend your days in the ocean, your nights out with new friends! Koh Tao is one of the cheapest places to learn so take advantage.


Phuket - Patong Beach

phuket’s beaches

PHUKET AIRPORT: 30KM

Patong Beach Action-packed, great for shopping and partying the night away. Karon Beach One of the best beaches for watersports, with calm seas and powdery sands.

1 8 3

PATONG

4

11 9 5 10

Head out to Phi Phi Island Explore this stunning island on a day tour from £54 or chill out on the beach and stay a little longer. See page 72 for accommodation choices.

2 6

SHOESTRING

PATONG LODGE HOTEL

£21 SINGLE £11 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Set amongst tropical gardens on a hill with views out over the water, this hotel is close to all the action of Patong. You’ll love the large outdoor pool to soak up the sun, the open-air restaurant and the all important cocktail bar. En suite rooms have air con, TV, Wi-Fi and private balconies with outstandingly beautiful views. hktpat

rock solid

PATONG MERLIN HOTEL

£94 SINGLE £50 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

This popular resort boasts an awesome location in the heart of Patong Beach. The entire hotel weaves its way around four sculptured swimming pools in a labyrinth of curved walkways and swaying palm trees. Rooms come with satellite TV, Wi-Fi access and a balcony all wrapped up in a modern Thai style. STAY 5 PAY 4,STAY 8 PAY 4, STAY 10 PAY 5, STAY 12 PAY 6 - 01Apr14-31Oct14

rock solid

ROYAL PARADISE Hotel

£40 SINGLE £24 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

In the heart of popular Patong beach, this tall, comfy hotel is the perfect place to destress. Stroll to nearby shops and nightlife or retreat back to the hotel with its many facilities including a split-level swimming pool, sauna and a traditional massage centre. There’s plenty of cuisine choice to tickle those tastebuds. STAY 2 PAY 1, STAY 4 PAY 2, STAY 6, PAY 3, STAY 8 PAY 4, STAY 10 PAY 5, STAY 12 PAY 6, STAY 14 PAY 7 - 01Apr14-31Oct14

68

HKTRPH

HKTPMH

IBIS PHUKET PATONG HOTEL

£48 SINGLE £24 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

An oasis in the heart of buzzing Phuket. Laze by the pool before you load up on Singhas and Mai Tais at the 24-hour bar. If you miss out on the tasty Thai restaurant, you can order from the takeaway service. The modern and spacious rooms are amazingly well equipped with a cosy bed, climate control and Wi-Fi access. HKTpph

stay 8 pay 4 - 01apr14-31oct14

rock solid

BANTHAI BEACH RESORT & SPA

£71 SINGLE £38 TWIN/DOUBLE

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Set in five acres of land amid lush gardens and facing the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea, it would be easy to forget you’re just steps from buzzing Patong Beach. Renovated in 2012, there are plenty of amenities. The resort also has three large free-form swimming pools with swimup bars and a luxurious spa. STAY 5 PAY 4, STAY 8 PAY 6, STAY 12 PAY 9 - 01Apr14-31Oct14

HKTbbr

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

DEEVANA PATONG RESORT & SPA

£105 SINGLE £53 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

Burasari

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Sophisticated style, privacy, tranquillity and first-class international dining - this gem in the heart of Patong has it all! Visit the luxurious spa, grab a drink from the juice bar or enjoy authentic regional cuisine and traditional dance in the restaurant. Contemporary Thai-style rooms come with flatscreen TVs, free mini-bar and Wi-fi. STAY 4 PAY 2, STAY 6 PAY 3, STAY 8 PAY 4, STAY 10 PAY 5, STAY 12 PAY 6 - 01Apr14-31Oct14

HKTBUR

a-list

phuket graceland Resort & SPA

£44 SINGLE £22 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT ROOM ONLY

£71 SINGLE £36 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Now which bar will you try first - you’re spoilt for choice • Enjoy in-room flatscreen satellite TV, balcony and free Wi-Fi • Escape the madness in this tranquil location

• Great location, just across the road and on to the beach! • Sunset Wing is stylish with an expansive azure pool • Stylish rooms, satellite TV, minibar, bath and separate shower.

A subtle blend of classical Thai and contemporary Asian styles. The tropical gardens and friendly ambiance create an oasis of calm, combining a Garden Wing and Spa Wing, each with its own swimming pool. The resort is located in the centre of Patong, near to the beach, nightlife, entertainment and shopping malls.

This fabulous resort is packed full of amenities, from the pool and the bubbling Jacuzzi, to the fully-equipped fitness centre and even its very own bowling alley; you definitely won’t get bored! Top off your day with a blissful massage before dining, Thai-style, in the elegant restaurant. Lively Bangla Road is just a short stroll away.

STAY 3 PAY 2, STAY 5 PAY 3, STAY 7 PAY 4, STAY 9 PAY 5, STAY 11 PAY 6, STAY 13 PAY 7 - 01Apr14-19Dec14

A-List

FR FR

rock solid

rock solid

STAY 8 PAY 4, STAY 10 PAY 5, STAY 12 PAY 6, STAY 14 PAY 7 - 01Mar14 – 20Dec14

HKTDPR

rock solid

Patong beach hotel

£76 SINGLE £41 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

This place has a list of fantastic facilities; restaurants and bars, an onsite spa and glistening swimming pool. It’s also in a great location in the heart of bustling Patong on a gorgeous stretch of sandy beach. Rooms are styled like a traditional Thai home with the addition of a balcony, TV, minibar and pool or garden view. STAY 3 PAY 2, STAY 6 PAY 3, STAY 8 PAY 4, STAY 10 PAY 5, STAY 12 PAY 6, STAY 14 PAY 7 01Apr14-31Oct14, STAY 5 PAY 4, STAY 8 PAY 6, STAY 12 PAY 9 - 01Nov14-24Dec14

HKTPBH

HKTPGR

rock solid

HORIZON PATONG BEACH RESORT

£48 SINGLE £29 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Right in the heart of Patong, this is a great central location. All the goodies the area has to offer are on your doorstep, but here you can relax with a drink in the swim-up pool bar, a massage in the spa or some Indian food in the award-winning restaurant. Spotless rooms with air con mean a good night’s sleep is a sure bet. STAY 4 PAY 2, STAY 6 PAY 3, STAY 8 PAY 4, STAY 10 PAY 5 - 16Apr14-31Oct14

HKTHPB

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

A-LIST

THE KEE RESORT & SPA

£79 SINGLE £42 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

A spectacular hotel and plaza complex, offering a quiet oasis in the heart of buzzing Patong Beach. The hotel’s stunning modern rooms are luxurious and full of the latest gadgets. By day you can perch on the swim-up bar and have a drink without ever having to leave the water. By night, check out panoramic views from the rooftop bar. STAY 7 PAY 5 - 01Apr14-31Oct14

HKTKEE

69

south east asia

south east asia

Kata Beach Just a few minutes south of Karon Beach, Kata has many great restaurants and bars but things are less wild than in Patong.

7


Phuket - other beaches

volunteer £995 & teach kids 2-24 WEEKS

PHUKET AIRPORT: 15KM

SURIN BEACH

FR

PATONG BEACH

TRI-TANG BEACH

PHUKET TOWN

6

KARON BEACH

KATA NOI BEACH

glampacker

Nomads PHUKET, Chalong

rock solid

CENTARA KARON RESORT, Karon

£14 DORM £24 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Located on the sands of Chalong Beach on Phuket’s south east coast overlooking the islands in the Andaman Sea. This is a hostel set within a four-star resort as the facilities would suggest - three restaurants and bars, two pools - one with Jacuzzi, a spa and daily speedboat to stunning nearby Coral Island with free sunb ed on the beach. STAY 4 PAY 3 FOR DORMS - 01Mar14-31Oct14, STAY 6 PAY 5 FOR PRIVATE ROOMS 01Mar14-31Oct14

rock solid

PEACH HILL HOTEL, Kata

£58 SINGLE £29 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

A modern, mid-rise hotel split into four resort zones caters to everyone! The resort has three swimming pools, tennis courts, gym and a spa, plus a variety of bars, restaurants and cafés - so if you’re really feeling lazy, you won’t have to walk very far! All rooms, suites and villas offer warm décor in beautiful Thai-style. STAY 5 PAY 4, STAY 8 PAY 4, STAY 10 PAY 5, STAY 12 PAY 6, STAY 14 PAY 7, STAY 16 PAY 8, STAY 18 PAY 9, STAY 20 PAY 10 - 01Apr14 – 31Oct14

HKTCLP

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Located on the west coast of Phuket between Kata and Karon Beach, and looking out to the Andaman Sea, this hotel is superbly situated! Lounge by the pool surrounded by lush greenery, head to the beach, or hang out at the nearby shops and eateries. All the airy rooms are en suite and have cable TV, air con and Wi-Fi access.

HKTKAR

ROCK SOLID

SUGAR PALM KATA RESORT, Kata

£66 SINGLE £33 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

STAY 3 PAY 2, STAY 5 PAY 3, STAY 7 PAY 4, STAY 9, PAY 5, STAY 11, PAY 6, STAY 13, PAY 7- 16Apr14-31Oct14

HKTPEA

£49 SINGLE £25 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

KATA BEACH RESORT, Kata

CHALONG BAY

1

9

rock solid

MERLIN beach RESORT, Tri Tang

rock solid

HORIZON KARON BEACH RESORT & SP,A, karon

£108 SINGLE £57 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

This resort is located on its own secluded beach on 12 acres of swaying coconut palms so you’re guaranteed maximum privacy. Patong is super-easy to get to, only minutes away using the resort’s free shuttle. All rooms feature balconies overlooking the sea or pool and have Wi-Fi. You can even splash out for pool access rooms. STAY 8 PAY 4, STAY 10 PAY 5, STAY 12 PAY 6 - 01Apr14-31Oct14

a-list

FR

Most days will be spent assisting teachers in the local school in Phang Nga, two hours north of Phuket. Help lead English classes and with the kids’ homework. By volunteering you’ll help to provide children with better opportunities and a way of breaking the poverty cycle. The project starts on selected Saturdays and costs from £995. Ask your Travel Expert for more details. STAGVIKID

£52 SINGLE £33 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

If escaping the crowds but still being close to white sand and clear blue waters is your bag, then Horizon Karon is the place for you. It prides itself on offering peace and privacy with two wings each set around a pool (or two!). Rooms come with TV, DVD player and mini-bar. Why not treat yourself to a poolside massage while you’re at it! STAY 4 PAY 2, STAY 6 Pay 3, STAY 8 PAY 4, STAY 10 PAY 5 - 01Apr14-31Oct14

HKTMBR

HKTHOR

a-list

£87 SINGLE £48 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

KATaTHANI PHUKET BEACH RESORT, Kata Noi Bay

rock solid

ANDAMAn CANNACIA, Kata

£71 SINGLE £36 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Nestled on a peaceful green hillside, 400 metres from Kata beach, pamper yourself on an indulgent break at this island escape. Marvel at the stunning setting and enjoy the Thai hospitality. For total bliss throw in a spa treatment, salon appointment and dip in the pool. This hotel does not accept guests under 18 years old. STAY 3 PAY 2, stay 5 pay 3, STAY 7 PAY 4, STAY 9 PAY 5, STAY 11 PAY 6, STAY 13 PAY 7 - 16Apr14-31Oct14

HKTACR

a-list

£178 SINGLE £89 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

MOVENPICK KARON, Karon

£121 SINGLE £61 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Soak up the rays on the white sandy shores at Kata • Try the delectable seafood caught fresh each day • Hang out with the locals at the beachfront clubs

• Stunning beach location, with views of Kata Bay and Pu Island • Work up a sweat at the fitness centre and sauna or chill by the pools • Enjoy a Happy Hour sundowner at the poolside bar

• Indulge in a garden massage and enjoy the six restuarants on offer • Choose from six pools, three Jacuzzis and a mini water slide! • All rooms have balcony, TV with DVD player and tea/coffee facilities

• Set in lush tropical gardens steps away from Karon beach • All rooms have a sitting area • Choose from Brazilian, Asian or delicious Italian cuisine

This fashion hotel is a mix of simplicity and sophistication. You’ll be grinning from the moment you step into your room overlooking the central swimming pool, with air con, free Wi-Fi and mini-bar. After relaxing on the sundeck for the day, why not sample some freshly caught seafood at the onsite restaurant?

Embodying quiet luxury, the gardens, spacious pools and great facilities of Kata Beach Resort combine to create a peaceful yet exotic experience. Contemporary Thai-style rooms all come with private balconies, air con, satellite TV, free Wi-Fi and mini-fridges. There’s also a beauty salon, restaurant and bar. Perfection!

Enjoy your own slice of paradise at this exclusive, award-winning hotel on the golden sands of secluded Kata Noi Bay. Choose from two separate wings and a wide range of facilities, take a Thai cookery class, do some yoga or simply spoil yourself rotten in the luxurious spa. Heaven!

Four is the number of choice at this premium resort in Karon. There are four swimming pools and four restaurants, giving you plenty of options! You can relax in the spa, work out in the fitness centre or spend hours in the tropical gardens. The rooms all have private balcony or terrace, satellite TV and mini-bar as standard.

hktspk

70

STAY 8 PAY 4 - 01Apr14 - 31Oct14, STAY 7 PAY 5 - 01Nov14 - 26Dec14

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

HKTKBR

HKTKAT

STAY 8 PAY 4, STAY 10 PAY 5, STAY 12 PAY 6 - 01Apr14-31Oct14, STAY 7 PAY 5 - 01Nov14 - 24Dec14

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

HKTMOV

71

south east asia

south east asia

KATA BEACH

2 10 7 3 4 5 8


Koh Phi Phi

KRABI & RAILAY BEACH

south east asia

south east asia

ROCK SOLID

ROCK SOLID

BAYVIEW resort

£69 SINGLE £35 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Arayaburi Resort

rock solid

£63 SINGLE £32 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

£48 SINGLE £24 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Enjoy some comfort and seclusion on the private beach • Take advantage of the benefits of a relaxing Jacuzzi • Learn to dive at the Diving School

• A stunning resort overlooking Tonsai Bay • Phi Phi Town is only a ten-minute walk away • Enjoy a candlelit dinner on the beach

Stay in split-level bungalows dotted along the hillside of Laem Hin Beach, surrounded by lush tropical gardens. Offering enviable comfort and privacy on the island, relax on the hotel’s own beach, swim in the free-form pool, try a traditional Thai massage, enjoy a seafood BBQ on the beach or learn how to dive at the school.

Quality bungalows, nestled amongst tropical rainforest gardens on the hillside which overlooks spectacular Tonsai Bay, this resort provides the best of both worlds. Just walk down to the small quiet beaches for a relaxing holiday or take a ten-minute walk into town. Why not end your day with a candlelit dinner on the beach?

KBVBAY

KBVARA

rock solid

KRABI CHA DA

In the heart of Ao Nang, this hotel reflects Thai and Chinese charm. It is set within lush gardens with amazing views of the sea. The rooms personify style with funky furnishings and intimate private balconies. There’s a restaurant, a bar, a Jacuzzi pool, Wi-Fi and free shuttle buses to the private beach club, with sunbeds and showers. STAY 3 PAY 2, STAY 6 PAY 4, STAY 9 PAY 6, STAY 12 PAY 8 - 16Jan14-31Oct14 & 01Nov14-15Dec14

KVBKRA

A-List

RED ginger chic resort

£65 SINGLE £33 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

With stunning views of nearby Nopparat Thara National Park and just 200 metres from Ao Nang Beach, this chic resort has a very exclusive feel. The rooms boast bold, contemporary design, all well-equipped and with private balconies. Enjoy the pool with its swim-up bar or laze in the bubbling Jacuzzi. STAY 3 PAY 2, STAY 6 PAY 4, STAY 9 PAY 6, STAY 12 PAY 8, STAY 15 PAY 10, STAY 18 PAY 12 - 01Apr14-31Oct14

KBVRED

RAILAY Experience

a-list

Krabi Town

A-List

KRABI THAI VILLAGE RESORT

£105 SINGLE £53 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

A short walk to Phra Nang Bay, this is one of Krabi’s best resorts. You’ll be calmed by the traditional Thai design, earthy colours, huge interiors and breezy walkways. Add to this a spectacular swimming pool complex with waterfalls and fountains, a private beach club and free shuttle service and you’ve got the makings of a luxurious stay. STAY 3 PAY 2, STAY 12 PAY 9 - 1APR14-31OCT14, STAY 8 PAY 6 - 16JAN14-31MAR14

KBVTVR

£133

FR

5 DAYS

Krabi / Phi Phi

Highlights

PHI PHI NATURAL RESORT

£56 SINGLE £28 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

outrigger PHI PHI ISLAND resort & spa

£121 SINGLE £61 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Enjoy a TV, balcony or terrace and tea/coffee facilities in your room • Get away from the crowds on the north of the island • Choose from hillside townhouses, rooms or cottages

• Grab yourself a sun lounger on the private beach • Dive into the stunning infinity pool • Thatched roof bungalows with TV, DVD player and balcony

Located right on the stunning unspoilt beach of Laem Thong on the northern shores of Phi Phi. Facilities include a stunning beachside pool, restaurant and bar. Spend your days lazing on the private white sand beach, doing laps in the pool or diving into the crystal clear sea under brilliant blue skies.

Unwind in one of Koh Phi Phi’s most exclusive resorts. Overlooking the spectacular scenery of the Andaman Sea and surrounded by lush vegetation, this stunning resort oozes tranquillity. With a massive private beach, infinity pool, fitness centre and eight sumptuous restaurants and bars - this is pure heaven.

PHZNat

72

• Marvel at the tropical paradise of Railay Beach flanked by towering limestone cliffs • Speedboat tour of four stunning islands • Try your hand at rock climbing if you’re feeling adventurous

STAY 4 PAY 3, STAY 6 PAY 4 - 01May14-31Oct14

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Inclusions

Departs: Daily Accommodation: Beach resort (4nts) Transport: Transfers to/from Krabi Meals: Packed lunch on Day 2 Tour Code: KBVRAI

With no road access and famous for its gorgeous white, powdery sands, Railay Beach is truly idyllic. Kick off your chilled out stay with a long-tail boat transfer from Krabi Town to Railay. The rest of Day 1 is yours to spend as you please - dive, snorkel, kayak or simply veg on the beach. The following day, take an exhilarating speedboat tour of the area, weaving through the cliffs and secluded beaches of Phra Nang Bay. Snorkel in the crystal clear waters, visit the sacred Phra Nang Cave, Tup Island, Chicken Island and Poda Island, stopping to refuel with a picnic lunch. Day 3, test your nerve with a spot of rock climbing (optional) or soak up some rays by the pool and beach. Half day climbing adventures with all equipment are available. Your final day is a relaxed affair with the choice of forward travel on to Phi Phi or back to Krabi.

PHZOUT

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

73


Khao Lak

south east asia

rock solid

SENTIDO GRACELAND KHAO LAK RESORT & SPA

a-list

£61 SINGLE £31 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

LA FLORA RESORT & SPA, KHAO LAK

£93 SINGLE £47 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Beached out? Work up a sweat at the four bowling lanes instead! • Relax in the sauna and steambath or unwind with a yoga class • Choice of Italian, Thai and International fusion restaurants

• Modern yet classic, well appointed, air-con rooms • Close to Khao Lak’s restaurants • Extensive watersports, mountain bikes and tennis courts

Away from the hustle and bustle, this sprawling resort offers luxury with 5-star service. Built in 2013 on Bangsak Beach, the resort boasts three restaurants, two swim-up bars, plus tennis and squash courts. Rooms are decorated in contemporary Thai style and come with private balconies with either sea or pool views.

Just an hour from Phuket, this luxurious hotel is paradise. With a wide selection of rooms on offer, including poolside and villas, you will be spoilt for choice. Chill out in the sun and take a dip in the free-form pool before getting a relaxing Thai massage in the spa. You can’t beat cocktails at sunset for the perfect end to the day.

STAY 8 PAY 4, STAY 10 PAY 5, STAY 12 PAY 6, STAY 14 PAY 7, STAY 16 PAY 8 - 22Jul14 - 31Oct14

KHAO sok & elephant hills SAFARI

FLYSEN

£491

FR

5 DAYS

A unique way to experience Southern Thailand - by safari truck! You’ll meet amazing people, kayak along mangrove channels, explore Khao Sok National Park - home to rich wildlife, and sleep close to nature at Elephant Hills luxury tented camp. Discover the jungle on foot, accompanied by an experienced guide, spotting monkeys and wild boar. Visit interesting temples and historical sites, enjoy amazing Thai food and sample local delicacies. Departs: Every Wednesday from Phuket or Khao Lak Accommodation: Campsite with folding beds (1 nt), Luxury tents (2 nts), floating luxury tents with en suites (1 nt) Meals: All meals included Transport: Safari truck Tour Code: FYLSAF

74

STAY 8 PAY 4, STAY 10 PAY 5 - 01May14 – 31Oct14, STAY 7 PAY 6, STAY 14 PAY 12 - 11Jan14-31Mar14

SIMILAN ISLANDS Camping

FYLFLO

£285

FR

3 DAYS

Grab your swimmers and snorkel gear for a trip to paradise in the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea. Bed down under the stars in tents, falling asleep to the sounds of nature. Snorkel in beautifully diverse coral reefs, explore the pristine Similan Islands and keep those energy levels up with fresh and delicious Thai food rustled up aboard your boat. Soak up the rays, get in some serious beachtime and forget about life as you know it for three days. Departs: Daily from Phuket or Khao Lak (15Oct-15May)Accommodation: Camping tents (2 nts) upgrade to fan/air con rooms at extra cost Meals: 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners Transport: Car, speedboat Tour Code: XYZSIC

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK


BURMA SOUTH EAST ASIA

TOP 5 MUST-DO’s 1. witness a different way of life 2. see the fishermen of inle lake 3. watch dawn break over bagan 4. take in yangon’s colonial charm 5. cruise down the irrawaddy MYITKYINA

mandalay lashio

bagan kalaw

Nay pyi taw

Yangon MAWLAMYINE


CLASSIC BURMA ADVENTURE Yangon

• • • • • • •

£1,799

FR

MALAYSIA

14 DAYS

Yangon

Highlights

Uncover the mysteries of Yangon Hike to the summit of Golden Rock Stroll Mandalay’s humbling temples Float down the Irrawaddy River Admire ancient Bagan’s imperial ruins See Burma’s largest reclining Buddha Relax at the tranquil Inle Lake

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Departures 2014 Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 04 Jan 11 Jan 18 Feb 08 Feb 15 Feb 22 Mar 08 Mar 22 Apr 12

Jan 17 Jan 24 Jan 31 Feb 21 Feb 28 Mar 07 Mar 21 Apr 04 Apr 25

Apr 26 May 10 May 24 Jun 14 Jun 28 Jul 12 Jul 26 Aug 16 Aug 30

May 09 May 23 Jun 06 Jun 27 Jul 11 Jul 25 Aug 08 Aug 29 Sep 12

Sep 13 Sep 27 Oct 11 Oct 25 Nov 15 Nov 29 Dec 20

Sep 26 Oct 10 Oct 24 Nov 07 Nov 28 Dec 12 Jan 02

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (12 nts), simple guesthouse (1 nt) Transport: Private bus, public bus, plane, boat, bicycle Meals: 13 breakfasts, 1 lunch Budget: Allow USD $250350 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAABCB

My Own Room Available: Fr £929

As a relative newcomer to adventure travel, the enigmatic and fascinating nation of Burma (Myanmar) is a well-hidden Asian gem, and often feels like an untouched planet. With few other travellers to contend with, it’s guaranteed to give you a truly fulfilling and unforgettable experience. Turn back the clock and get face-to-face with a country that has barely changed and still happily uses horse and cart in place of cars, buses and trams. Burma will awaken and shake up your senses in every way possible, mesmerising you with its lakes, floating gardens, imperial ruins, palaces and friendly locals.

TOP 5 MUST-DO’s

DAY ITINERARY Yangon

01

Start today off at your own pace and explore Yangon’s quirky warren of historic streets that ooze with an endearing colonial charm. Formerly known as Rangoon, Burma’s capital is an intriguing place and there is plenty to explore. Later on, you’ll meet up with your tour leader and the rest of your group and, if you fancy, head out for some mouth-watering local cuisine.

1. scale the petronas towers 2. explore penang’s colonial past 3. chill on the beaches of langkawi 4. see dawn break at Mt. Kinabalu 5. volunteer with orang-utans

Golden Rock

02 Mandalay Bagan Kalaw

Inle Lake

03

B U R M A

Today kicks off with a visit to the world-famous golden Stupa of Shwedagon Pagoda, the absolute heart of Buddhist Myanmar and believed to be around 2,500 years old. The glittering Stupa is surrounded by dozens of intricately-decorated buildings and statues. Later, you will travel through the delta and over the Sittang River to Kyaikhtiyo, before continuing by truck towards the Golden Rock. Enjoy a one-hour hike to its summit, where a simple but beautifully-located hotel awaits. (B)

Bago / Mandalay

First stop this morning is Bago, the ancient capital of the Mon people and home to the biggest reclining Buddha in Burma. After you’ve strolled the markets and visited the Kyaikpun Pagoda with its four Sitting Buddhas facing the cardinal points, head back to Yangon for a flight to Mandalay. (B)

Mandalay / Mingun

04-05 Yangon

Golden Rock

Today you’ll visit the famous Golden Monastery, Shwe Nandaw, the only building still existing from the more than one hundred that once stood on the palace grounds of the Konbaung Kings. Pay a visit also to the Mahamuni Temple, which houses the country’s holiest Buddha, made from pure gold. On Day 5, you’ll visit the nearby ancient royal capital of Amarapura, where you can opt to traverse the world’s longest teak bridge if you’re brave enough! Visit the Mahagandayong monastery, home to over 1,000 monks, and travel by boat along the mighty Elephant River enjoying sights of washerwomen, buffalo carts and daily life en route to the charming village of Mingun. (2B)

Bagan

06-08

You might like

Upgrade your trip Burma Adventure (12 Days, Yangon to Yangon) (GAABBA) Fr £1,899

09-10 11-12

If you cruise down the Irrawaddy River (Burma’s ‘Super Highway’) you’ll find yourself stumbling across ancient Bagan, the first and most beautiful capital of the Burmese. Along with Angkor Wat in Cambodia, it’s also the most important temple and pagoda system in Asia. Pretty impressive, hey? During your time in Bagan you’ll meander the Nyaung U marketplace and get a glimpse into the lifestyle of the delightful Burmese folk. (3B)

Kalaw

76

13-14

MT. KINABALU PENANG

•CAMERON HIGHLANDS TAMAN NEGARA N.P. KUALA LUMPUR

KOTA KINABALU

Brunei MALAYSIAN BORNEO

On today’s itinerary: sun-parched plains sprinkled with Palmyra Palms, the Mountain of Deities and Mt. Popa. Enjoy a half-day trek up Mt. Popa (Sanscrit for flower), passing local food stalls and stores selling Burmese herbal remedies. You’ll also get to hang out with a local Kalaw hilltribe. (2B, L)

Inle Lake

On Day 11, you’ll travel to serene Inle, home to the Intha people. The life of the Intha, who originally came from the south of Burma, revolves completely around the lake. On Day 12, you’ll visit some of the intriguing floating villages and gardens, stopping en route to visit the Pindaya Caves. (2B)

Yangon

facebook.com/statravel.uk

LANGKAWI

Today, you’ll fly Burma’s length and head back to Yangon, where the afternoon is yours to explore the markets and sights of Yangon, with plenty of time for some last-minute shopping! Bid farewell to your new travel buddies over an optional traditional dinner later this evening. The tour ends after breakfast on Day 14, and you’re free to depart at any time. (2B)

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

INDONESIAN BORNEO

SANDAKAN/ SEPILOK


BORNEO SABAH ADVENTURE Kota Kinabalu

• • • • • • •

£1,299

FR

10 DAYS

Kota Kinabalu

Highlights

Explore Mt. Kinabalu National Park Trek to the top of mighty Mt. Kinabalu Cruise the Kinabatangan River Get close to wild orang-utans See turtles in their natural habitat Snorkel and swim in tropical waters Visit the POW Memorial Park

Kota Kinabalu

• • • • • • •

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 18 Feb 01 Feb 15 Mar 01 Mar 15 Apr 05 Apr 19 May 03

Jan 27 Feb 10 Feb 24 Mar 0 Mar 24 Apr 14 Apr 28 May 12

May 17 Jun 07 Jun 21 Jul 05 Jul 19 Aug 09 Aug 23 Sep 06

May 26 Jun 16 Jun 30 Jul 14 Jul 28 Aug 18 Sep 01 Sep 15

Sep 20 Oct 04 Oct 18 Nov 01 Nov 15 Dec 20

Sep 29 Oct 13 Oct 27 Nov 10 Nov 24 Dec 29

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 4 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (5 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts), national park lodges / mountain huts (2 nts, multishare) Transport: Private van, local bus, speedboat, plane Meals: 9 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners (or 3 dinners if not climbing) Budget: Allow USD $170-225 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAASA

From lush powdery beaches to smiling longhouse villages and through wild jungles in between, Borneo offers a medley of highlights. This fantastic 10-day trip guarantees oncein-a-lifetime experiences by the bucket load. Meet one of mankind’s closest relations, the orang-utan, at a unique rehabilitation centre and have a chance to watch baby turtles inch past you searching for the great blue sea. Top this off with an epic journey to climb one of the mightiest peaks of Asia, Mt. Kinabalu, and you’ll be left speechless. Every day on this trip brings a new adventure, so jump on board and enjoy.

DAY ITINERARY Kota Kinabalu

01

Highlights

Marvel at views from Mt. Kinabalu Observe turtles at their nesting site Spot amazing wildlife on jungle walks Meet an orang-utan face-to-face Explore the biggest caves in the world Visit Borneo’s oldest museum Sleep in a local tribe’s longhouse

Arrive at any time and feel free to go exploring. Kota Kinabalu, which is the capital of Sabah, is set between the jungles of Borneo and the South China Sea. In your free time, you can immerse yourself in history at the Sabah State Museum or visit the Monsopiad culture village, before meeting your tour leader and the rest of your new travel companions this evening.

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 26 Feb 23 Mar 23 Apr 20 May 18

Feb 08 Mar 08 Apr 05 May 03 May 31

Jun 22 Jul 20 Aug 24 Aug 31 Sep 14

Jul 05 Aug 02 Sep 06 Sep 13 Sep 27

Sep 28 Oct 12 Oct 26 Nov 16 Dec 21

Oct 11 Oct 25 Nov 08 Nov 29 Jan 03

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 3 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Simple hotels/guesthouses (9 nts), traditional longhouse (2 nts), national park lodges/mountain huts (2 nts, multishare) Transport: Private van, kayak, ferry, minibus, plane Meals: 13 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners Budget: Allow USD $270-350 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAAHB

My Own Room Available: Fr £579

02 03-04 Mt.Kinabalu Turtle Island

05-06

Set off early on Day 3 to tackle the mighty Mt. Kinabalu, whose summit stands at an impressive 4,095m (13,435 feet)! It’s a fair slog to the top but well marked and with shelters along the way to take brief rests. The surrounding scenery is varied and should be enough to take your mind off the journey ahead of you. Altitude can be a problem for some people so take your time, enjoy the pristine environment around you and hopefully you will successfully reach the top of this monumental peak. Night three is spent sleeping in a basic mountain hut before rising early to climb upwards towards the peak. After reaching the summit, pat yourself on the back before heading back down, a walk of around five to seven hours. What an achievement! (2B, 2L, D) Journey along the Kinabatangan River, Sabah’s longest river and home to an incredible variety of wildlife. Take an afternoon cruise and look out for kingfishers, macaques and proboscis monkeys. If you’re lucky, you may also spot more elusive species including elephants, otters and orang-utans. Stay overnight in the jungle where you can check out all kinds of species in their native environment before being soothed to sleep by the sounds of the surrounding wilderness. (2B, 2L, 2D)

Sepilok Orang-utan Centre

07 08

Upgrade your trip Wonders of Borneo (12 days, Kota Kinabalu to Kota Kinabalu) (GAAABE) Fr £2,239

Kota Kinabalu / Kudat

01-02

Kudat

Kota Kinabalu

Passing through rainforest and Sabah’s arable farming areas you reach Sepilok. You’ll now experience one of the highlights of this trip, coming face-to-face with orang-utans. You’ll spend time at the centre where they focus on re-introducing domesticated, injured and orphaned orang-utans back into the wild. Visit one of the feeding platforms and explore the many walking trails. (B)

Poring

03-04

Weston Miri

MALAYSIA

Mt Kinabalu Mulu

05-06

INDONESIA

07-08 09-10

Sandakan / Kota Kinabalu

12

09 10

Kota Kinabalu

Your adventure finishes on Day 10. (B)

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

You’ll reach the summit on Day 5 in time for an awe-inspiring sunrise which will more than make up for your efforts (and the early start). Head back down the mountain with the promise of relief for your muscles with a dip in Poring’s hot springs. Spend the next day exploring Poring with a host of activities – go wildlife-spotting at the Lupa Masa jungle and a sun bear sanctuary or visit the famous Sabah tea plantations and, if you haven’t had enough walking, take to the local hiking trails. (2B, L) The quaint town of Weston is your next destination where you can visit the oldest wooden school in Borneo and a 100-year-old jetty before kayaking down the river to spot wild proboscis monkeys and other exciting wildlife. After dinner, opt to take a boat ride to see fireflies light up the night. On Day 8, a speed boat will zoom you up to Labuan to catch a flight to Miri – take advantage of the city’s famous music scene and stock up on supplies for a long day of travel to Mulu. (2B)

Mulu

After a day of travelling by boat, stretch your legs and get active on Day 10 with cave exploring, wildlife night parks, abseiling and traipsing along the Headhunters Trail’s in lush green forests. At dusk you can even watch thousands of bats flutter out of some of the world’s largest caves! (2B)

Kuching

11

Explore the former POW camp that has become Sandakan POW Memorial Park and perhaps there’ll be time to check out the historic town and waterfront markets before the short (45-minute) flight back to Kota Kinabalu. Look out for Mt. Kinabalu peeking through the clouds as you fly past! (B)

Top up your tan on the beach in the morning before heading to Kota Kinabalu Park. You’ll attend a briefing on the next day’s hike up Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea! If trekking up a mountain isn’t your thing, ask for the tour guide to arrange for a place for you to stay on the base of the mountain. Start your journey with a climb to Laban Rata on Day 4, with a reward of a buffet-style dinner at the end. Take in your beautiful surroundings and keep your eyes peeled for the rafflesia, the world’s largest flower! (2B, L, D)

Weston / Miri

Selingan (Turtle) Island

Head out on a boat to Selingan Island, otherwise known as ‘Turtle Island’. On arrival you have free time to snorkel, swim, explore the island, or just relax on the tropical beach. Tuck into a sumptuous dinner as the sun sets before visiting the Island Discovery Centre where you can learn about turtles and see them in their natural habitat. (B, L, D)

Arrive at any time during the day and feel free to venture out into the city to explore. Don’t forget to save room for a delicious local home-cooked dinner after meeting the rest of your travel group! On Day 2, drive to secluded Kudat on the northern tip of Borneo for a magical day visiting a turtle nesting site and lounging on secluded beaches, or there’s fishing, surfing and jungle trekking for the more adventurous. You can even get involved in a local beach clean-up project if you wish. (B, D)

Mount Kinabalu Summit / Poring

Kuching

Kinabatangan River

M A L AYS I A ( SA BA H )

DAY ITINERARY

Mount Kinabalu

Today, you travel out to Mt. Kinabalu National Park and to the base of the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea. Catch a glimpse of the summit, often shrouded in cloud. The huge rock monolith looms over you as a daunting reminder of the climb you are about to embark on but don’t be discouraged, it’s a hugely rewarding experience! Spend the afternoon exploring the trails around the park or opt to travel to Ranau and the Poring Hot Springs for a relaxing soak. (B)

Mt. Kinabalu

Kinabatangan

Borneo’s lush rainforests engulf the island’s jagged mountains, exotic wildlife, and a diverse tribal people that have lived there for thousands of years – and it’s all there just waiting to be explored! This two-week long journey keeps you on your feet and takes you to the tip of northern Borneo to watch turtles nest and complete their pilgrimage to sea, up steep Mount Kinabalu to marvel at the sunrise that peaks above the horizon, trekking through caves and jungles teeming with fantastic animals, and curling up for a night in a tribal longhouse. You’ll explore every inch Borneo has to offer and it’ll only leave you wanting more!

Mt. Kinabalu National Park

My Own Room Available: Fr £259

78

14 DAYS

Kuching

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Start

You might like

FR

Departures 2014

Departures 2014

Kota Kinabalu

£1,699

best of borneo

After your flight to Kuching, you have a free day to explore! Your tour guide will help you get the lay of the land with an orientation walk and then you can venture off to what takes your fancy. Opt to take a cooking class or go for a walk along the promenade. If you want to learn more about Kuching’s culture and history, hit up the Sarawak Museum, Borneo’s oldest museum, the Chinese History Museum and don’t forget to save time for Fort Margherita. (B)

Longhouse Stay

Get some insight into the local way of life when you stay at a tribe’s longhouse just outside Kuching, soaking up their culture and feasting on all the incredible food! (B)

Kuching

13-14

Go wild at the Semenggoh Nature Reserve on Day 13 for an afternoon of feeding orang-utans and exploring the centre which has been rescuing orphaned, injured or animals in captivity since 1975. On Day 14, it’s time to say your final goodbyes to Borneo and head home. (2B)

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

79


KUALA LUMPUR

Jalan

n Ism

KUALA LUMPUR CITY TOUR

all

2 6

PETRONAS TOWERS

Wang l

Su

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nI

g an P in

sm

all

5

Jalan K uchi

ng

an

an

ma n l Rah

Jal

ja Chulan

hulan

DAY TOUR TO MALACCA

TIMES SQUARE

Bi

Im Ja lan

it

uk

nB

a al

Abdul Rahman

J Jal

an

Ha

ng

Jeb

al

KUALA LUMPAR AIRPORT: 35KM

Chinatown Inn

£16 SINGLE £8 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

CORUS HOTEL

£83 SINGLE £42 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

FULL DAY

Check out medieval churches and Chinese temples at one of Malaysia’s most historical cities. Visit the Christ Church, the Cheng Hoon Teng Chinese temple and take a stroll along Jonker street - Malacca’s antique row. An English speaking guide and a local lunch are included. KULDAY

ROCK SOLID

rock solid

£57

FR

HoTEL SENTRAL PUDU

a-list

£39 SINGLE £20 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

RENAISSANCE EAST WING

£88 SINGLE £44 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Affordable accommodation in the heart of Chinatown • A lively night market right on your doorstep • Spacious, comfy rooms all with en suites

• Contemporary style rooms come with air con and Wi-Fi • Sample tasty Chinese and Japanese food at its two restaurants • Take advantage of the shuttle service to/from major shopping hotspots

• Within walking distance of the ‘golden triangle’ - Bukit Bintang • Enjoy daily complimentary brekkie in the hotel’s restaurant • Free area shuttle service, the ultimate convenience for city exploring!

• Cool off with a refreshing dip in the free-form pool • Soak up the rays amongst the tropical greenery • Catch a game with your friends in the Mezzo Bar

This cheap and cheerful budget hotel has basic but comfy and clean rooms, all with en suite bathrooms, TVs and free Wi-Fi. Deluxe rooms also have air con to keep you cool on those tropical nights. Step into Chinatown, great for shopping and cheap tasty food. Good value for money in a vibrant area.

A five-minute walk from Suria KLCC shopping mall and next door to the LRT station - location-wise Corus is hard to beat. Surrounded by a garden terrace, the pool has cracking views of nearby Petronas Towers. There’s also a gym, sauna and steam room, perfect to unwind in after a night out on the tiles!

This brand new hotel is excellently located within walking distance of the monorail station, Times Square and Pavilion Mall. Dishing up real urban appeal, its rooms are stylish and modern with LCD flatscreen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Grab a bite to eat in the restaurant before heading out to shop ‘til you drop!

This centrally located, luxurious hotel in the ‘golden triangle’ district has eight restaurants and an Olympic-sized free-form pool - an ideal retreat amongst the tropical landscaped greenery. All rooms offer contemporary style and include a sofa, air con and marble bathroom. You even get your own bathrobe and slippers.

KULCHI

rock solid

Berjaya Times Square

KULCOR

STAY 5 NIGHTS OR MORE FOR ROOM UPGRADE - 01Apr14 - 14Dec14

£116 SINGLE £58 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

Hotel Sentral

£36 SINGLE £18 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

KUALA LUMPur STOPOVER PACKAGE

£92

FR

3 DAYS

KL to Penang - a GLIMPSE OF the NORTHERN PENINSULAR

£536

FR

4 DAYS

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• In the heart of the shopping district with easy monorail access • Enjoy live entertainment and cocktails in the vibrant lounge • Fine dining and fab views from the 14th floor restaurant

• After sunset cocktails pop out to enjoy the nightlife • Try yummy local dishes at the Starmint Coffee House • Enjoy some channel surfing in your comfortable room

A very handy location within a huge shopping mall with many restaurants, bars and entertainment venues on your doorstep! The rooms are stylish with Internet access and cable TV. There is a swimming pool, squash courts, a gym, steam and sauna rooms, as well as three great restaurants to enjoy.

In the heart of KL and walking distance to the main transport hubs, you won’t miss out staying here. The rooms are stylishly furnished with LCD flatscreen TVs, mini-bar and free Wi-Fi. Don’t miss the Starmint Coffee House for mouth-watering cuisine, washed down with exotic cocktails at sunset in the Sentro Lounge.

80

KULREN

rock solid

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

STAY 4 PAY 3 - 06Jan14 - 31Mar14, 01Apr14 - 31May14 & 01Jul14 - 17Dec14

KULPUD

KULBER

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

KULSEN

This package ticks all the boxes for a stress-free stay in Malaysia’s exciting capital. Included in the price are return airport transfers, accommodation and breakfast in a fab, centrally located hotel. We’ve also thrown in a half-day city tour which includes all the highlights such as the National Mosque, Independence Square, Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Selangor Club, St. Mary’s Church plus a drive through colourful Chinatown. Accommodation: Hotel Sentral (2 nts) Transport: Return airport transfers included Meals: No meals included Includes: Kuala Lumpur city tour Tour code: KULLSP

Head out of KL to the Batu Caves - a huge limestone outcrop that houses ornate Hindu temples - before moving on to the hill resort of Cameron Highlands, standing a heady1,542 metres above sea level! Next up, is Banding Island. Explore the lush rainforest or swim to an uninhabited island. On your final day, head to Penang and be wowed at Kek Lok Si temple, a majestic Buddhist temple with 10,000 pagodas! This beats simply flying to Penang any day. Departs: Daily Accommodation: Hotels (3nts) Meals: 3 breakfasts Transport: Car / coach between KL and Penang Tour Code: KULGNP

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

81

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

1

ng

a nt

bi

3

CHINATOWN

shoestring

FULL DAY

KULKLC Jaian R a

ja C n Ra Jaia

4

£32

FR

Get artistic at a fab batik factory and pick up some gorgeous handicrafts. Get spiritual with a climb to an awesome temple cave and check out the country’s finest mosque. Top it off with a history fix at the National Museum and a time trip back to the Tudors at the kitsch Cricket Club!

Jal

Abdu

Jalan Dang

Sulta

aharu au B u ng nS a l Ja


Langkawi

Penang

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

rock solid

HOLIDAY VILLA BEACH RESORT & spa langkawi

a-list

CASA DEL MAR

£80 SINGLE £42 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Right on its own private stretch of sandy beach and a short stroll from all the action, this resort promises relaxation. There’s a womens-only indoor pool, a couple of great restaurants and a gym. All the rooms are spacious and well-equipped and time can be spent in the lobby lounge listening to music or try your hand at karaoke! STAY 5 PAY 4, STAY 7 PAY 5, STAY 12 PAY 9 01APR14 - 31OCT14

£183 SINGLE £92 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Set on lovely Pentai Cenang Beach, this resort is a true tranquil hideaway. It offers breathtaking sea view accommodation, innovative beachside dining and a stunning spa. Each of the 34 rooms is a peaceful oasis, with outside areas to enjoy stunning sunsets and all kinds of luxuries to make you feel a million miles away.

LGKHVB

A-LIST

THE WESTIN LANGKAWI

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

LGKCDM

STAY 7 PAY 5 - 11Jan14-31Mar14. STAY 5 PAY 4, STAY 10 PAY 8 - 01Apr14 - 24May14, 26Jun14 27Jul14 & 01Sep14 - 20Dec14

LGKWLR

a-list

£110 SINGLE £55 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

MERITUS PELANGI beach resort & spa

SYOK @ CHULIA STREET HOSTEL

rock solid

Rainbow Paradise BEACH Resort

£6 DORM

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Infused with breathtaking natural beauty, this luxurious resort combines white sandy beaches, the beautiful Andaman Sea and lush tropical foliage. Serene, modern rooms come with exhilarating views and opulent amenities - from rain showers to the delights of the ‘Heavenly Bed’. Soak up the sunshine on the resort’s private beach.

ROCK SOLID

BERJAYA langkawi BEAch RESORT

£165 SINGLE £83 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

glampacker

A melting pot of art, cultural design and homely comfort, this ‘flashpacker’ hostel, set in Georgetown, is ideal for creative types. Expect custom-made quality beds and roomy, bright dorms. Meet likeminded travellers in the large lounge area, equipped with free Wi-Fi and foosball table or catch some rays on the rooftop terrace. 50% off foUrth night 01oct13-21dec14

rock solid

THE BAYVIEW BEACH RESORT

£53 SINGLE £27 TWIN/DBL

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Right on the beautiful sands of Tanjung Bungah Beach, this great value hotel offers a range of watersports including jet skiing, snorkelling and parasailing. Studio-style rooms come with their own balcony, kitchenette (at extra cost), satellite TV and air con. Facilities include an outdoor pool, beach volleyball and gym.

PNGSYO

STAY 5 PAY 4 - 06Jan14 - 31Mar14

£173 SINGLE £87 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

SHANGRI-LA GOLDEN SANDS resort & spa

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

With a magical beachfront setting at the quieter end of Batu Ferringhi beach, this solid hotel delivers on every level. Its spacious rooms have private balconies, perfect for taking in the tropical view. In addition, there’s a spa, gym, tennis court, several restaurants and a cool outdoor pool with sunken swim-up bar.

PENPAR

a-list

FR

£60 SINGLE £30 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

STAY 5 PAY 4, STAY 7 PAY 5, STAY 10 PAY 7, STAY 14 PAY 10 - 01Feb14-31Mar14,01Apr1431May14 & 29Jun14-19Dec14

pngbbr

a-list

£113 SINGLE £57 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

PARKROYAL PENANG RESORT

£92 SINGLE £46 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Dine under the stars on the private beach • Have a cheeky one at the lagoon pool swim-up bar • Enjoy the buzzing Rimba lounge with its lively music

• Make yourself at home in your spacious Malay-style wooden chalet • Make the most of the expansive, attractive grounds • Enjoy in-room amenities like satellite TV and tea/coffee making facilities

• Choose from countless activities at the watersports centre • Stroll straight onto Batu Feringgi beach • Dine under the stars at the Sigis Bar and Grill

• Stroll out to the nearby lively nightmarket • Dive into either of the two pools • Sip a cocktail or two in the sunset bar

Nestled within a rainforest sanctuary, Berjaya embraces boundless views of emerald waters and tropical mountains. Spread over 70 acres, choose to stay amongst the rainforest or by the waters of the Andaman Sea. The chalets embody early Malay architecture and come with private balconies, air con and ceiling fan.

Covering 30 acres on a beachfront location, it’s time to think tranquility, white sandy beaches, stunning sunsets and romance. Relax in your wooden chalet and have a drink on your private veranda as the sun goes down. Facilities are immense and include pool, gym, steam and sauna rooms and squash courts.

This multiple award winning four-star resort is located along the vibrant Batu Ferringi Beach. The watersports centre, Adventure Zone, three tennis courts, mini-golf course, swimming pools and Segway will ensure an action-packed vacation. Added to this the chic, contemporary rooms all come with DVD players and Wi-Fi.

Situated right on Penang’s stunning Batu Ferringhi beach, this idyllic retreat effortlessly mixes great hospitality with stylish design and a lively location. Sip cocktails by one of the two pools, indulge in a soothing massage or work up a sweat on the tennis court. Reward your efforts with a cocktail at the sunset bar.

STAY 6 PAY 5, STAY 10 PAY 8 - 01Apr14 - 30Jun14 & 01Sep14 31Oct14

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LGKBLR

STAY 5 PAY 4, STAY 7 PAY 5, STAY 14 PAY 10 - 01Apr14-30Jun14, 01Sep14-19Dec14

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

LGKMPR

STAY 5 PAY 4, STAY 7 PAY 5, STAY 10 PAY 7 - 01Feb14-15JUN14 & 01Sep14 - 18Dec14

PENGOL

STAY 5 PAY 4, STAY 7 PAY 5, STAY 10 PAY 7, STAY 14 PAY 10 01Feb14-31Mar14,01Apr14-28May14 & 01Jul14-19Dec14

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

PENPRP

83


BORNEO

mt kinabalu trek SANDAKAN

1 2 3 MT. KINABALU SEPILOK

TURTLE ISLAND

SABAH

SARAWAK

£435

FR

3 DAYS

A jampacked three-day tour from Kota Kinabalu through some of Borneo’s most stunning panoramas as you aim for the summit of the mighty Mount Kinabalu! Spend two nights at a mountain resthouse and all your meals are included as well as an English speaking guide. BKIMKT

KUCHING

ORang-utans & turtles

£254

FR

2 DAYS

SDKTUR

rock solid

A-List

A-LIST

NATURALLY SABAH Kota Kinabalu

£656

FR

5 DAYS

Kota Kinabalu

Highlights

NEXUS BEACH RESORT & SPA

£125 SINGLE £63 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT including breakfast

Get away from it all at this great resort set in acres of natural surroundings, 30km from Kota Kinabalu. There’s an 18-hole championship golf course, eight restaurants, bars and a spa, meaning you don’t have to miss out on choice despite your secluded location. This is the perfect relaxing hideaway. STAY 5 PAY 4, STAY 10 PAY 8 - All Year

BKINRS

SHANGRI-LA RASA RIA

£129 SINGLE £65 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

SHANGRI-LA TANJUNG ARU

£131 SINGLE £66 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

In a tropical setting beside exquisite Pantai Dalit Beach, just 45 minutes from Kota Kinabalu, thie Shangri-La has its own nature reserve with an orang-utan rehabilitation centre and even a golf course. All ground floor rooms have a private lawn while the upper floors boast balconies with sea or landscape views.

Set in 25 acres of lush garden, this gem has its own private beach overlooking the islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. Providing modern luxury, guests are treated to a whopping 2,000-square metre pool with an infinity section, seven restaurants and bars, a health club and spa. Rooms come with air con and Wi-Fi.

STAY 7 PAY 6, STAY 12 PAY 10 - 05-27jan14, 04feb14 - 16apr14, 24Apr14 - 14Jul14, 01Sep14 - 20Dec14. FREE ROOM UPGRADE FOR 7nights STAY - 01Apr14-31Dec14, HONEYMOON OFFERS AVAILABLE

STAY 7 PAY 6, STAY 12 PAY 10 - 05-26jan14, 05feb14 - 16apr14, 24Apr14 - 14Jul14, 01Sep14 - 20Dec14. FREE ROOM UPGRADE FOR 7 nights STAY - 01Apr14-31Dec14, HONEYMOON OFFERS AVAILABLE

BKISRU

KOTA KINABaLu HIGHLIGHTS Kota Kinabalu

• Marvel at the towering peak of Mount Kinabalu • Get close to those cuddly, cute orang-utans! • Enjoy sun and fun on Coral Island’s coastal paradise

BKISLT

£219

FR

5 DAYS

Kota Kinabalu

DAY ITINERARY 01-02

Inclusions

Departs: Daily Accommodation: Hotel (3 nts), river lodge (1 nt) Transport: Coach, boat Meals: 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches (3 from 01Apr13), 2 dinners Tour Leader: English speaking guide Note: Internal flight cost is not included Tour Code: BKINAT

Departs: Daily Accommodation: 3* hotel with upgrade option to 4* (4 nts) Transport: Car, boat Includes: English speaking guide, entrance & boat fees Meals: 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches Tour Code: BKIKKH

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VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

03-05

Drive out to Sukau and ride up the Kinabatangan River to your lodge for the night. Take an afternoon cruise searching for proboscis monkeys, macaques, hornbills, pigmy elephants and orang-utans. On Day 4, you’ll visit the Orang-utan Sanctuary at Sepilok before a short flight back to the capital. Enjoy a day trip to Coral Island on Day 5 for swimming, snorkelling and beachtime before returning to Kota Kinabalu Airport, where your trip ends. (3B, 2L, D)

VoluntourING - Experience Borneo & Conserve Orang-utans Kuching

Matang

Bako

Sarawak

Highlights

Inclusions

Arrive Kota Kinabalu and transfer to your hotel. Explore the town at your leisure. Day 2, head to Kinabalu Park to enjoy the stunning mountain scenery and trek along forest trails. (B, L, D)

Sukau / Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary / Kota Kinabalu / Coral Island Day Trip

Semenggoh

Batang

£1,195

FR

Ai Kuching

14 DAYS

Highlights

• Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the world’s oldest rainforest from treetop walkways • Swim, snorkel or simply relax at one of the coral islands • Witness Southeast Asia’s highest peak at World Heritage Site, Kinabalu Park

Rebuilt after the Second World War, Kota Kinabalu is Sabah’s capital city and one of the fastest growing in Malaysia. A historic tour of KK (as the locals call it) will cover the City Mosque and Chinese Temple before you swing by the eclectic spice market. Here, you’ll learn about the special ingredients used in Malaysian cuisine and don’t forget to sample a local pancake, called roti canai - absolutely delicious! Join the jungle trail at Kinabalu Park, venturing onto the canopy walkway which is a series of bridges built 40 metres above the ground (just don’t look down!). Time permitting, take a dip in the theraputic sulphur baths. On your penultimate day, take a boat trip to one of the coral islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, spending the day snorkelling, swimming or just topping up that tan.

Kota Kinabalu

• Once-in-a-lifetime experience of visiting an orang-utan rehabilitation centre • Live with local indigenous rainforest tribes • Couple touring with volunteering - the perfect match!

Inclusions

Project Start Date: 3rd/17th of each month Getting There: Transfers to/from Kuching Airport included Accommodation: Basic shared rooms (4-6 per room) (13nts) Meals: Most meals included Trip Code: STACHVOL

This voluntour is designed to raise awareness of the conservation efforts made in Sarawak and to bring harmony between people and orang-utans. Be one of the special few who experience and help with orang-utans being rehabilitated and see the semi-wild orang-utans at the world-famous Semenggoh Nature Reserve. Postvolunteering, enjoy an exhilarating week’s adventure into the rainforest, where you’ll meet the descendants of the legendary headhunters of Borneo - the Iban tribe - who are now custodians of the wild orang-utans. Experience an incredible stay with them in a traditional longhouse. Please note, there will be no touching of orang-utans on the tour as this runs contrary to efforts to rehabilitate them back into the wild as well as carrying significant risks for injury or disease to both animals and humans.

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

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SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Enjoy some face time with two of Borneo’s most iconic creatures. Head out from Sandakan to Turtle Island to see the little guys lay eggs on the beaches followed by a visit to Sepilok Orang-utan Rehab Centre. Includes overnight chalet stay, plus breakfast, lunch and dinner.

KALIMANTAN


EXPLORE Malaysia

SINGAPORE SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

full Malaysia Ways hop-on hop-off travel pass

£184

FR

9 DAYS +

Create your ideal Malaysian holiday with maximum flexibility using a Hop-On Hop-Off bus pass. The route kicks off in Kuala Lumpur (with a free foodie tour) before continuing up to the Cameron Highlands for an included rainforest expedition. Cross over to the East Coast and the stunning Perhentian Islands before heading over to Penang, back down to Melaka and finishing in KL. All your transport is included and the minimum recommended time is 9 days but you can take much longer if needed. For more details on how the passes work check out pages 38-39.

Malaysia ROUNDTRIP

£554

FR

7 DAYS

Discover the amazing culture and heritage of Malaysia in this all encompassing trip. Start in KL and head up the west coast stopping at the Batu Caves before an overnight stop in the Cameron Highlands. Continue to Ipoh and the island of Penang for two nights before switching sides to the culturally rich east coast and overnighting in Kota Bharu, Terengganu and Kuantan or Cherating. Your final journey takes you back to KL. Departs: Every Wednesday Accommodation: Assortment of 3 - 4* hotels (6 nts) Meals: 6 breakfasts Transport: Coach Includes: All touring en route and a hald day tour of Penang Tour Code: KULRT6

TOP 5 MUST-DO’s 1. Night safari at singapore zoo 2. Hit orchard road’s mega-malls 3. sip a singapore sling in raffles 4. Explore sentosa’s theme parks 5. Dine out in little India

WOODLANDS

£229

Cameron Highlands explorer

FR

3 DAYS

Surround yourself with picturesque tea plantations at Malaysia’s largest hill station, standing 1,542 metres above sea level! Explore the famous limestone Batu Caves and pay a trip to a tea plantation and tea factory (the area is world-renowned for production of this tipple). After a visit to vegetable and strawberry farms, barter for fresh produce at a local market and gain a peek into the Highlands’ rich history at the Time Tunnel Museum. Cuppa anyone? Departs: Every Wednesday Accommodation: 4* hotel (2 nts). Meals: 2 breakfasts Transport: Coach Tour Code: KULCE2

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BUBU DivE PACKAGE Perhentian islands

£302

FR

• SERANGOON

5 DAYS

A tropical paradise, the Perhentian Islands, off the north east coast of Malaysia, are blessed with breathtaking white sand beaches lapped by crystal waters teeming with marine life. As part of this package enjoy four dives at world-renowned dive sites getting up close to spectacular coral formations. Witness stunning sunsets, fish-filled waters and colourful reefs. Suitable for certified and non-certified divers. Departs: Daily Mar-Oct only Accommodation: Twin share hotel (4 nts) Meals: 4 breakfasts Includes: Land transfers in private vehicles from Kota Bharu & boat transfers to the island Tour Code: KBRBDP

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

SINGAPORE CITY CENTRE

SENTOSA

KATONG


Singapore

THINGS TO DO IN SINGAPORE

tr al Ex py

CHIANGI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 12km

Ce n lan

Se

ra n

Be sa r

go on Rd

LITTLE INDIA

5

SINNIG

6

oast P East C

10 11

SINCIT

Singapore Tripper Pass

3

CHINATOWN

glampacker

hangout@ mt.emily

£23 DORM £34 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

hangout@mt.emily offers chic accommodation located near Little India close to the centre of the city, but away from the hustle and bustle. All dorms and private rooms have air con and free Internet, plus there’s a lounge that screens free movies. Enjoy a game of pool or chill out on the rooftop, taking in the cityscape. ISIC cardholders get early check in

glampacker

BUNC @ radius Little India

£21 DORM

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

This trendy and modern boutique hostel is located within the culturally rich Little India district, providing the total ‘flashpacker’ experience. Each dorm bed comes with a private reading light, a locker and you’ll definitely get a good night’s rest with comfy mattresses, two fluffy pillows and duvets provided.

£85 SINGLE £43 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

This great little property has its own inhouse hangout - a spacious restaurant/ lounge serving food throughout the day, perfect for meeting others. And if you need more, there’s also a pool and fitness centre. All rooms have air con and en suites. Orchard Road is just a 15-minute walk away or you can take the free shuttle. STAY 7 PAY 6, STAY 12 PAY 10 - 01Apr14 - 16Apr14, 24Apr14 - 14Jul14, 01Sep14 20Dec14. FREE ROOM UPGRADE FOR STAYS 7 NIGHTS OR MORE - 01Apr14-31Dec14 SINMET

88

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

SINQUA

rock solid

bayview HOTEL

£121 SINGLE £61 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

You’ll adore the rooftop swimming pool at this smart city centre hotel - perfect for a revitalising dip and taking in the city views. Other facilities include a restaurant, bar and gym. All the plush rooms have air con, cable TV and Wi-Fi. Singapore’s most popular shopping area is close to the hotel so you can shop ‘til you drop. STAY 3 NIGHTS OR MORE AND GET FREE ROOM UPGRADE

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

SINcbh

£24 DORM

FR

Style meets great value for money at this brand new boutique hostel based just off pedestrianised Boat Quay - aka restaurant central. Enjoy customised “bunc” beds with luxuries like two fluffy pillows, duvets, individual lockers, personal bed light and power outlets. As for location it just can’t be beaten.

SINBUN

SINHAN

shoestring

METROPOLITAN Y

BUNC @ RADIUS CLARKE QUAY

furama riverfront singapore

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

STAY 4 PAY 3 - 01Jan14-09Feb14, 16-28Feb14, 01-06APR14, 11APR14 - 31JUL14 & 01-30DEC14

SINPEN

furama city centre

£144 SINGLE £72 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

£144 SINGLE £72 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

• Award-winning property in a great location • Set in Chinatown where there are many funky restaurants • All the facilities you could need for a relaxing stay

This award-winning hotel is located just five minutes from the vibrant nightlife and entertainment belt along the river - Robertson Quay and Clarke Quay. Lounge on a sunbed by the pool or bubble away in the Jacuzzi. Rooms boast a huge range of amenities and overlook either the city skyline, greenery or the swimming pool.

A landmark in Singapore’s cityscape, this award-winning hotel is found in the heart of Chinatown with its fabulous choice of shops, bars and restaurants, and is a short distance from the waterfront dining district. The modern rooms boast fab amenities, while the hotel facilities include a Halal-certified restaurant, pool and gym.

sinfrf

STAY 4 PAY 3 - ALL YEAR

RENDEZVOUS GRAND HOTEL

£154 SINGLE £77 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

STAY 4 PAY 3 - 01Jan14-28Feb14, 01Jul1431Aug14 & 01Dec14-31Dec14

A-LIST

SWISSOTEL STAMFORD

£197 SINGLE £98 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

Rendezvous is a fresh blend of old and new - sleek and sophisticated, yet retaining the old-world charm and gracious style of a bygone era. Take a dip in the Balineseinspired pool or take it easy in the Jacuzzi. Enjoy the great central location close to Orchard Road and well equipped and comfy guestrooms. SINrhs

SINFUR

STAY 4 PAY 3 - ALL YEAR

rock solid

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

Looking for some comfort during your stay in Singapore, why not opt for this little gem? In the heart of the city, the location is pretty unbeatable. You can also take in the city from the 270-degree panoramic views this 22-floor hotel has to offer. As far as facilities go, there is a pool, gym, sauna and choice of restaurants.

rock solid

• Cool Robertson Quay location - great for nightlife • Chill in the pool or Jacuzzi • Shop in Clarke Quay’s little stalls and boutiques

rock solid

FR peninsula £121 SINGLE excelsior hotel FR£61 TWIN/DOUBLE

SINTRI

rock solid

glampacker

£164

FR

Take the hassle out of your Singapore trip. This two-day pass gives you access to all of the city’s top attractions and provides transportation wherever possible.

7 8

FR

Visit the waterfront (where Sir Stamford Raffles first landed), a Taosit temple, Mount Faber, one of the city’s oldest parks, and, finally, the botanical gardens.

kwy

ORCHARD ROAD

£20

Singapore City Tour

a-list

Marina Mandarin

£216 SINGLE £108 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

As one of South East Asia’s tallest hotels, you’re hard beat to find better views of Singapore. Everything is top-of-the-line here with comfortable chic rooms, a spa, tennis courts and two free-form swimming pools. There’s also a huge choice of places to eat with everything from Japanese to French cuisine up for grabs. Wow! QSINSS

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

A five-star luxury hotel in the heart of the city, with breathtaking views of Marina Bay and convenient access to the Marina Square Shopping Mall. Rooms offer a home away from home, with private balconies, Wi-Fi and large flatscreen TVs. Don’t forget to take a re-invigorating dip in the 25-metre mineral water pool. STAY 3 PAY 2 - 01Jan14-28Feb14, 01-30APR14, 01Jul14-31Aug14 & 15-31DEC14

SINMAN

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SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

xpy ral E Cent

9

2 d ir R Oph

Ja

Lebar Expy

1

FR

Check out the world’s first night wildlife park. Set in 40 hectares of secondary jungle, you are able to view over 1,000 nocturnal animals in naturalistic habitats.

a Pay ang Kall

4

£32

Night Safari


Classic Bali & lombok

INDONESIA & BALI

Sanur

• • • • • • •

£1,099

FR

14 DAYS

Sanur

Highlights

Hike up an active volcano, Mt. Batur Chill out on awesome tropical beaches Hike through stepped rice paddies Enjoy Bali culture in chilled-out Ubud Swim under tropical waterfalls Snorkel through the underwater world Marvel at floating palaces

south east asia

South east Asia

Departures 2014

TOP 5 MUST-DO’s

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 04 Jan 18 Feb 01 Feb 15 Mar 01 Mar 15 Apr 05 Apr 19 May 03 May 17

Jan 17 Jan 31 Feb 14 Feb 28 Mar 14 Mar 28 Apr 18 May 02 May 16 May 30

Jun 07 Jun 21 Jul 05 Jul 12 Jul 19 Jul 26 Aug 02 Aug 09 Aug 23 Aug 30

Jun 20 Jul 04 Jul 18 Jul 25 Aug 01 Aug 08 Aug 15 Aug 22 Sep 05 Sep 12

Sep 06 Sep 20 Oct 04 Oct 18 Nov 01 Nov 15 Dec 06 Dec 20

Sep 19 Oct 03 Oct 17 Oct 31 Nov 14 Nov 28 Dec 19 Jan 02

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels/simple guesthouses (13 nts) Transport: Mini-bus, local bus, ferry, private boat Meals: 13 breakfasts, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD $250- 320 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAESS

1. surf & party in kuta beach 2. enjoy balinese culture in ubud 3. snorkel the gili islands 4. visit a javanese tea plantation 5. climb smouldering mt. bromo

My Own Room Available: Fr £499

DAY ITINERARY Sanur Beach

01

Arrive into the resort of Sanur at any time. Explore its colourful main street, lined with interesting shops and restaurants, or wander to the beautiful white-sand beach to make a start on your tan!

Bedugal / Munduk

Ascend from the lowlands and soothe weary limbs in the Angseri Hot Springs. Continue via Lake Bratan Temple and over the mountains to the town of Bedugal, which is surrounded by serene crater lakes and majestic mountains. Continue to your overnight stop at Munduk, where you can experience true Balinese hospitality with an included dinner of flavourful local specialities. (B, D)

02 Bedugal/ Munduk BA L I

Kintamani Mt. Batur Candidasa Gili Islands L O M B O K Ubud

SUMATRA

Although these two wondrous islands are just across the sea from each other, they remain worlds apart in contrasting cultures, though both are undeniably beautiful in their own unique ways. On this epic adventure you’ll explore active volcanoes, snorkel and sunbathe to your heart’s content, peruse local markets and relax on the idyllic Gili Islands as you travel the length and breadth of this tropical paradise. With a perfect mix of guided excursions and free time to explore these fascinating islands at your own pace, after this two-week adventure you’re sure to have been bowled over by Bali and its laid-back neighbour.

Sanur

INDONESIA

Kintamani

Travel through lush rice paddies and up Gunung Batur to Kintamani, which has a refreshingly cool climate due to its location, perched 1,500 metres above sea level on the edge of a crater overlooking Lake Batur with Mount Batur towering above. Optional activities include a village walk, soaking in hot springs or a volcano hike, or you could just mix with the locals at the produce market. (B)

03

Ubud Senaru Tetebatu

04-05

V I E T N A M

06-07

JAKARTA

Head to the cultural and artistic town of Ubud, which is quite regarded as the home of Balinese culture. Surrounded by scenic rice paddies and ancient temples, this popular town has inspired artists from all around the world and attracts a diverse mix of backpackers, hippies and intrepid travellers. Opt to visit the Monkey Forest or explore the numerous temples and craft markets, and take time out to enjoy the Balinese and international cuisine on offer in the town’s smart restaurants. (2B)

Candidasa

Travel the short distance by bus to the coast and to the legendary beaches of Candidasa, for a relaxing two-night stay with plenty of time for swimming, snorkelling and diving. Opt to visit the water temple, Tirta Gangga, or visit some secluded beaches along the coast. (2B)

Tetebatu (Lombok)

java

LOMBOK

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BALi

bali

lovina

denpasar seminyak legian kuta

tulamben candidasa ubud

Senaru

Start your day with a visit to the tobacco plantations of Tetebatu, before a spectacular drive through the forested slopes of Lombok’s interior and the dry, eastern side of the island. Approaching from the north, you’ll once again climb the slopes of the Rinjani Volcano, to the idyllic town of Senaru. (B)

09

Gili Islands

10-12

NUSA LEMBONGAN

sanur nusa dua

Extend your trip Indonesia Java, Bali & Lombok (22 days, Jakarta to Sanur) (GAAEJL) see page 94 Fr £1,849 Indonesia Encompassed (29 days, Medan to Sanur) (GAAEIE) Fr £2,449

Head down to the port of Padangbai for the 4hr 30min ferry crossing over to the port of Lembar on the island of Lombok. Though every bit as beautiful as Bali, Lombok receives a fraction of the visitors of its more popular neighbour, so it’s a great place to escape the crowds. Continue by road to the village of Tetebatu on the slope of the Rinjani Volcano, and spend the afternoon exploring. (B)

08

NUSA PENIDA

Start the adventure

13-14

Jump on the local boat to Gili Meno, the smallest of the three Gili Islands, which makes its living from fishing, coconut plantations and small-scale tourism ventures. With a population of only 400 and no cars, and surrounded by pearlescent white-sand beaches and pristine waters, Gili Meno is the ideal place to relax and enjoy the sun, sea and sand. Take an optional snorkelling excursion if you want to explore the spectacular underwater marine life and coral reefs. (3B)

Sanur Beach

Return to Bali on Day 13 and transfer back to Sanur. Reflect on your adventure under a Balinese sunset, before your tour comes to an end on Day 14. (2B)

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

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CLASSIC BALI Sanur

Classic £599 Lombok

£599

FR

8 DAYS

Candidasa

Candidasa

FR

8 DAYS

Sanur

£949

JAVA to bali Jakarta

• • • • • • •

FR

15 DAYS

Sanur

Highlights

Trek in the shadow of Mt. Bromo Travel through winding rice terraces Soak up tranquil Balinese shores Admire Buddhist temple complexes Explore coffee plantations in Kalibaru Snorkel off Menjangan Island Hike through Bali’s tropical jungles

south east asia

south east asia

Departures 2014

Highlights

• Swim, snorkel and relax on Candidasa’s tropical beaches • Marvel at the power of active volcanoes amidst spectacular scenery • Absorb the unique atmosphere in the cultural arts centre of Ubud

DAY ITINERARY 01

Highlights

• Explore the volcanic landscapes and rice paddies of Tetebatu • Dunk yourself under refreshing tropical waterfalls • Snorkel to your heart’s content on the laid-back Gili Islands

Arrive at any time and explore Sanur’s beaches and colourful streets.

01

Bedugal / Munduk

02 03

Head upwards from lowlands towards Bedugal, pausing for a soak in the therapeutic waters of Angseri Hot Springs. Lie back and enjoy the bubbles as you take in the tumbling waterfalls and tropical plants. Spend the afternoon exploring the area around Bedugal with its impressive temple complex. Arrive into Munduk and get a taste of true Balinese hospitality with an included local dinner. Tasty! (B, D)

Kintamani

Travel through rice fields and up Gunung Batur to Kintamani. Marvel at the views of Lake Batur with the towering mountain behind it before an optional village walk, hot springs soak or volcano hike. (B)

03

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

May 03 May 04 May 18 May 31 Jun 01 Jun 15 Jun 29 Jun 29 Jul 13 Jul 26 Jul 27 Aug 10 Aug 23 Aug 24

May 17 May 18 Jun 01 Jun 14 Jun 15 Jun 29 Jul 12 Jul 13 Jul 27 Aug 09 Aug 10 Aug 24 Sep 06 Sep 07

Sep 07 Sep 20 Sep 21 Oct 05 Oct 18 Oct 19 Nov 02 Nov 15 Nov 16 Nov 30 Dec 13 Dec 14

Sep 21 Oct 04 Oct 05 Oct 19 Nov 01 Nov 02 Nov 16 Nov 29 Nov 30 Dec 14 Dec 27 Dec 28

Travel to the ferry harbour at Padangbai for the 4hr 30min ferry crossing to the port of Lembar, on Lombok. Drive to the village of Tetebatu on the slopes of the Rinjani Volcano, where you can explore the area’s rice paddies, tobacco fields and the small village. (B) Enjoy a spectacular drive through the forested slopes of the Rinjani Mountains and across the dry, eastern side of Lombok. Approaching the Rinjani Volcano from the north, climb its slopes once more to reach idyllic Senaru. (B)

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Recommended for 18-39s Accommodation: Simple hotels (13 nts), local homestay (1 nt) Transport: Minibus, local bus, ferry, train Meals: 14 breakfasts, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD $275-325 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAAEKS

My Own Room Available: Fr £389

04-06

Take a short bus journey to the southeastern coast of Bali and the renowned beaches of Candidasa. Soak up this awesome location either swimming off secluded white-sand beaches, chilling out or with optional snorkelling or scuba diving. You may also like to pay a visit to the water temple, Tirta Gangga, take a yoga class or treat yourself to a massage. After a final night out with your group, the tour comes to an end on Day 8. (3B)

Hike through the valley at the base of Mount Rinjani and enjoy the hospitality of local villagers before a refreshing swim at a secluded waterfall. Travel for around four hours to the harbour where you jump on an outrigger boat to Gili Meno, the smallest of the three Gili Islands, with coconut plantations and beautiful white beaches. With a population of just 400 people and no cars, there’s no doubt that this is an ideal place to relax and really get away from it all. If you’re feeling energetic, you can head off of an organised snorkelling trip. The underwater sealife is fantastic and well worth exploring. (3B)

Sanur Beach

07-08

Return to Bali by boat and transfer to the resort of Sanur to enjoy a final evening with your group, plus an optional dinner as you admire a beautiful Balinese sunset. Your Indonesian adventure comes to an end on Day 8 after breakfast. (2B)

Fancy a piece of mouth-watering Indonesian heaven? Well this all-singing, all-dancing Asian adventure will set your cultural tastebuds on fire and will lead you from the bustle of Java to the blissful shores of Bali. Imagine the busy city of Jakarta with its teeming streets and friendly faces, and now imagine tranquil beaches and serene Balinese culture. Are you still with us? Asides from daydreaming into its picture-perfect mountain, jungle and beach landscapes, you’ll soak up an plenty of culture and excitement along the way. This incredible corner of the world is an Asian Shangri-La and truly personifies spirituality and tranquility.

DAY ITINERARY Jakarta

01-02 03-04

Bandung Cianjur

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels/simple guesthouses (7 nts) Transport: Private van, public bus, boat Meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD $170-200 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAESU

Malang NP Mt Bromo

05-07

I N D O N E S I A

Kalibaru Yogyakarta Tawangmangu Pemuteran Sanur

My Own Room Available: Fr £319

Departures 2014

Kintamani Mt. Batur

BA LI

Ubud

Sanur

Candidasa

Begin Day 8 with another charming journey through Javan landscapes, stopping at the Prambanan Temples where you can hire a bicycle to tour around the largest Hindu temple complex in Java. From the Sukuh Temple, begin a beautiful walk through small villages and farms to Tawangmangu. (B)

08

Malang

10-11 BALI

Candidasa

My Own Room Available: Fr £199

You might like

Gili Islands LOM B OK

Senaru

Sanur

Tetebatu

Extend your trip Indonesia In Depth - Sumatra, Java, Bali (28 days, Medan to Sanur) (GAAEID) see page 95 Fr £1,749

Departures 2014

Jan-Jun & Sep-Dec

Saturdays, twice-monthly

Jul-Aug

Every Saturday

Jul-Sep

92

Today, you head eastward to Malang, the second-largest city in east Java. You’ll pay a visit to Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park and will have chance to check out the bird and flower market. (B)

Mt. Bromo / Kalibaru

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels/simple guesthouses (7 nts) Transport: Private van, public bus, boat Meals: 7 breakfasts Budget: Allow USD $170200 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAEUS

Jan-Jun & Oct-Dec

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

The day kicks off with a scenic train journey to Yogyakarta, once home to the Mataram Palace. This little stunner is nestled in the shadow of Mt. Merapi and is close to the famous 8th Century Buddhist temple complex of Borobudur. Get out and explore tranquil Yogyakarta on foot and take a stroll around the fascinating bird market or head to a local Wayang (puppet) show. (3B)

Tawangmangu

Inclusions Bedugal/ Munduk

Start today off with a bus journey south east to Cianjur, passing the 100 year-old Gunung Mas or ‘Golden Mountain’ tea plantation on the way. Here you can learn from wise locals how tea is hand picked and then processed throughout the year. Cianjur will also show you its floating villages and give you the chance to teach English to local children. This corner of Java sees very little tourism, and you can experience local life by sleeping at a family homestay this evening. On Day 4, travel to Bandung for an orientation walk and time to explore under your own steam. (2B, D)

Yogyakarta

Jakarta

09

Inclusions

You’re free to parade Java’s thriving political and economic capital as you see fit today, as you don’t meet the group until this evening. On Day 2, take an optional city tour, walk around the old Dutch colonial heart of Kota or, in true Indonesian style, find a roadside coffee hut and pick up an authentic cup of Javan coffee! It’s world famous and so damn tasty, we’re sure it won’t be your last! (B)

Cianjur / Bandung

Gili Islands

Head into inland Bali to beautiful Ubud which represents the heart of Balinese culture. Nestled amongst scenic rice fields and with a landscape dotted with temples and palaces, it’s easy to see why artists have found inspiration here for decades. You can visit the Monkey Forest or numerous temples and markets. (2B)

Candidasa

06-08

Arrive at any time into the beautiful beach resort of Candidasa and meet your tour leader and the rest of your group this evening.

Senaru

Ubud

04-05

Candidasa

Tetebatu (Lombok)

02

Finish

Jan 19 Jan 26 Feb 09 Feb 22 Feb 23 Mar 09 Mar 22 Mar 23 Mar 29 Mar 31 Apr 06 Apr 19 Apr 20 May 04

Inclusions

DAY ITINERARY

Sanur Beach

Start

Jan 05 Jan 12 Jan 26 Feb 08 Feb 09 Feb 23 Mar 08 Mar 09 Mar 15 Mar 17 Mar 23 Apr 05 Apr 06 Apr 20

Alternate Fridays Fridays, typically 3-4 departures per month

Make an early start today to catch a glimpse of Mt. Bromo’s enchanting moonscape. Wind through the tropical landscape of eastern Java and climb upwards through the area’s largest volcanic range. Mt. Bromo is only one of many peaks, but is distinct in appearance, having blown its top completely off and it constantly smoulders with white smoke. Day 11 starts with a journey to Kalibaru’s coffee plantations. Brought to Java by the Dutch, Indonesia is now the world’s fourth-largest producer and the name ‘Java’ has come to symbolise top-notch quality in coffee shops from Jakarta to Paris. (2B)

Pemuteran

12-13

Bali is calling! On your journey you’ll pass rolling hills, tea plantations and coastal lowlands as you bid farewell to Java. Pemuteran lies sandwiched between national parks containing pristine coral reefs and luxuriant rainforest. Opt for a snorkelling trip to Menjangan Island, one of the best dive sites in Bali. Wander up the beach and pass through countryside for magnificent coastal views, ornate temples and monkeys. (2B)

Sanur

facebook.com/statravel.uk

14-15

Today’s agenda is all about the exotic shores of Sanur. Passing naturally diverse and intense cultural wealth, you’ll see why Bali is such a sought-after destination. Enjoy hot springs and pristine cascades before your trip comes to an end on Day 15. (2B)

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

93


Indonesia java, bali & lombok Jakarta

• • • • • • •

£1,849

FR

22 DAYS

Sanur

Highlights

Soak in hot springs in Kintamani Stand in awe of the Rinjani Volcano Explore the hectic capital of Jakarta Discover the huge Borobudur temple Laze around the stunning Gili Islands Experience life in local villages Treasure hunt at busy marketplaces

Medan

• • • • • • •

28 DAYS

Sanur

Highlights

Visit the opulent Maimoon Palace Play with orangutans in Bukit Lawang Tuck into delicious Balinese cuisine Trek in the shadow of Mt. Bromo Sip coffee fresh from the plantation Climb to the top of Borobudur Explore Bali’s stunning Hindu temples

south east asia

south east asia

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 24 Feb 21 Mar 28 Apr 25 May 30 Jun 27

Feb 14 Mar 14 Apr 18 May 16 Jun 20 Jul 18

Jul 18 Aug 15 Aug 29 Sep 12 Sep 26 Oct 10

Aug 08 Sep 05 Sep 19 Oct 03 Oct 17 Oct 31

Start

Finish

Oct 24 Nov 14 Nov 07 Nov 28 Nov 28 Dec 19 Dec 12 Jan 02 Dec 19 Jan 09

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Simple hotels/guesthouses (21 nts) Transport: Plane, boat, private van/ minibus, horsecart, bike, bamboo raft, train, bus, ferry Meals: 21 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner Budget: Allow $450-620 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAEJL

Alight every sense with this Indonesian adventure – the perfect mix of natural splendour, bustling cities, serenely remote villages and exotic wildlife. You’ll see the best of what the country has to offer in a whirlwind 22 days! Soak in Java’s rich history and culture at its many temples and monuments, dive amongst some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs in Bali, and visit the looming Rinjani Volcano and enchanting waterfalls on the paradise island of Lombok. With some of the friendliest locals around, the only issue you’ll face is forcing yourself to go back home!

DAY ITINERARY

Finish

Mar 22 Apr 19 May 17 Jun 14

Start

Finish

Jun 15 Jul 12 Jul 13 Aug 09 Aug 10 Sep 06 Sep 07 Oct 04

Start

Finish

Oct 05 Nov 01 Nov 02 Nov 29 Nov 30 Dec 27

01-02 MALAYSIA

03-04

THAILAND

Settle in and get your bearings as you arrive into Java’s thriving capital, Jakarta. On Day 2, you’ll be taken around for a guided tour of the city. Wander through Kota and uncover its rich colonial past and tour Sunda Kelapa Harbour, a historic port filled with magnificent Makassar schooners. In the afternoon, depart for Bandung and make sure to opt for a traditional angklung children’s orchestra – the air will be filled with the sounds of its bamboo instruments. (B)

Candidasa

05-07

Gili Islands

Bandung Yogyakarta

Senaru Tetebatu

Sanur

From Sumatra, Java and on to Bali, traverse rich jungles, climb towering volcanos, sink your toes into white sandy beaches, and explore temples and sanctuaries, uncovering exactly why everyone loves Indonesia! This 28-day adventure will see you jump into the heart of the action in Jakarta, sightseeing and bargaining for souvenirs, or get back to the basics and live the life of a local, discovering new cultures and traditions along the way. Climb to new heights up a Buddha sanctuary before coming back down to earth for countless hours of relaxing and tanning in the balmy Indonesian sunshine. What more could you ask for?

DAY ITINERARY Medan / Bukit Lawang

CAMBODIA

Watch the sprawling countryside whizz past on a morning train to Yogyakarta before opting for a stunning dance performance by the Ramayana Ballet in the evening. On Day 4 drive to the village of Candirejo and get back to basics – take a horsecart tour and uncover the many customs, traditions and local ways of life. Later take in the majestic views atop the biggest Buddha sanctuary in the world, the Borobudur, a sight that stakes a claim to be one of the seven wonders of the world! (2B, L)

01-03

Bukit Lawang

Medan

Today you’ll head to Solo; the traditional capital of the Javanese Kingdom and offering a fascinating insight into the island’s identity. En route you’ll explore every twist and turn of the lavish Prambanan temple complex, a World Heritage Site. Massive and ancient, this is a sight that has to be seen to be believed! Across the agricultural heartland of Java, you’ll find Batu, a large hill resort. With stunning natural scenery, crisp mountain air, and famed for its delicious apples, you’ll never want to leave. On Day 7, the smouldering grandeur of volcanic Mount Bromo will take your breath away. (3B)

Malang / Sanur / Bedugal / Munduk

08-10

04-07

Berastagi

Samosir Island Bukittinggi Sipirok Maninjau

INDONESIA

Jakarta Cianjur Bandung

Mt Bromo Kalibaru Pemuteran Sanur

Malang Tawangmangu Yogyakarta

After driving to Malang, you’ll take a short flight to Sanur, a popular beach resort on the southern coast of Bali. Take advantage of some spare time the next day to lounge by the ocean as on Day 10 you’ll be up and at it on the way to Munduk. You’ll visit hot springs and the stunning Lake Bratan temple en route before tucking into mouthwatering Balinese cuisine. (3B, 1D)

08-10

You might like

Short on time? Classic Bali (8 days, Sanur to Candidasa) (GAAESU) see page 92 Classic Lombok (8 days, Candidasa to Sanur) (GAAEUS) see page 92 Best of Java (9 days, Jakarta to Sanur) (GAAEJV)

14-16

11-13 14-15

Fr £599

Fr £749

16-20

Candidasa / Tetebatu / Lombok

17-20 21-22

Sanur

Head back to Bali by boat for to say your goodbyes to your tour buddies over an optional farewell dinner. On Day 22, you can depart at any time you wish. (2B)

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Travel to Lake Toba, the world’s largest volcano lake, to chill out and swim in its warm waters, or opt for something more cultural with a visit to local Batak villages. Enjoy visits to local weavers and markets en route to the beautiful hilltop town of Sipirok which is surrounded by rice fields. (3B) It’s a long day travel today, but hopefully an orientation walk on arrival into Bukittinggi will make you realise the journey’s been worth it! Day 12 is free to go rafting, kayaking, visit Sianok Canyon or check out the Japanese Caves built during World War II. After a short drive on Day 13, hike the final hours down to the crater lake of Maninjau to enjoy the sunset and the easy-going pace of life. (3B)

Jakarta

Fly from Padang to Jakarta, and get to grips with this action-packed city on an optional guided tour before enjoying a street food crawl to dine on spicy satay and other Indonesian specialities. (2B) Travel by bus to Cianjur, where you can see its floating villages and have the chance to teach English to local children. This corner of Java sees little tourism, and you’ll experience local life by spending the night at a family homestay. On Day 17, travel to Bandung for an orientation walk and time to explore under your own steam. From Bandung, take the scenic train ride to Yogyakarta where there is plenty of time to explore sights such as Mt. Merapi and the magnificent Borobudur, the largest Buddha sanctuary in the world. (5B, D)

Tawangmangu / Malang / Mt. Bromo / Kalibaru

Drive to the relaxed resort of Candidasa for a beach day to swim with the fish, snorkelling or scuba diving below the azure waters. Once on the ferry to Lombok, plan your time carefully to see its many sweeping beaches, lush evergreen landscapes and imposing Rinjani Volcano. (3B) Hit the road and explore the lush tobacco plantations of Tetebatu, surrounded by countryside littered with fruit orchards, rice fields and gushing waterfalls. On Day 18, you’ll head to the stunning Gili Islands, scattered with beachside bungalows, white sandy beaches hiding vibrant coral reefs, and friendly locals – a perfect piece of paradise for the last leg of your Indonesia adventure. (4B)

Samosir Island / Sipirok

Cianjur / Bandung / Yogyakarta

Drive up north through lush rice fields to Kintamani to see the awe-inspiring sight of Gunung Batur, Bali’s second-highest volcano; unwind in steamy hot springs or opt to explore the village on foot. When you arrive at Ubud, the ‘heart of Balinese culture’, your CEO will help you get the lay of the land with an orientation walk. Optional activities in Ubud include a variety of cultural sites, the Monkey Forest, teeming markets, majestic temples and traditional rice paddies. (3B)

21-24

Senaru / Gili Islands

Fr £599

Traverse bumpy roads to reach the small jungle community of Tangkahan, where you can participate in an optional elephant feeding session, go hiking or ride an elephant. Hike from Tangkahan to Bukit Lawang, then continue by bus to quaint Berastagi to get a taste of Indonesian life without the tourist crowds. Opt to hike up Sibayak volcano at sunrise for breathtaking views of the valleys below. Don’t forget to treat your muscles to an afternoon unwinding at the local hot springs afterwards! (4B)

Bukittinggi / Maninjau

Kintamani / Ubud

11-13

Arrive into Medan at any time. Take in the many art deco buildings and Buddhist and Hindu temples on a city tour on Day 2, which also includes a visit to the opulent Maimoon Palace, the Great Mosque and the Vihara Gunung Timur temple. In Bukit Lawang, visit the orangutan viewing platform to see these adorable and intelligent creatures, and opt to go jungle trekking in Gunung Leuser N.P. (2B)

Tangkahan / Berastagi

Tangkahan

Solo / Batu

Kintamani

Solo Batu

My Own Room Available: Fr £909

Yogyakarta

INDONESIA

Bedugal/ Munduk

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 3 Age Group: Recommended for 1839s Accommodation: Simple hotels (26 nts), local homestay (1 nt) Transport: Minibus, local bus, ferry, train, plane Meals: 27 breakfasts, 1 dinner Budget: Allow $500-750 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAAEID

Jakarta / Bandung

My Own Room Available: Fr £739

Ubud

Start

Feb 23 Mar 23 Apr 20 May 18

Inclusions

Inclusions

94

£1,749

FR

Departures 2014

Departures 2014

Jakarta

INDONESIA IN DEPTH - SUMATRA, JAVA, BALI

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Short on time? Highlights of Sumatra (14 days, Medan to Padang) (GAAESH)

Day 21 begins with another charming journey through Javan landscapes, stopping at the Prambanan Temples where you can hire a bicycle to see Java’s largest Hindu temple complex. From the Sukuh Temple, enjoy a lovely walk through villages and farms to Tawangmangu. Travel via Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park to Malang, the second-largest city in east Java. Rise early on Day 23 to catch a glimpse of Mt. Bromo’s lunar-like landscape; it’s a distinctive volcanic peak having blown its top off completely. Travelling onwards, hit the top-quality coffee plantantations of Kalibaru. (4B)

Pemuteran / Sanur

25-28 Fr £749

On your journey to Bali, you’ll pass tea plantations and coastal lowlands to reach Pemuteran, which lies sandwiched between national parks containing pristine coral reefs and luxuriant rainforest. Opt for a snorkelling trip to Menjangan Island, one of the best dive sites in Bali. On Day 27, travel to the popular resort of Sanur to relax on its sandy beaches before the tour concludes on Day 28. (4B)

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

95


KUTA

beaches & beyond

N

3

2

Jal an Su ns et

n Legio Jalan

4

Kuta, Legian & SEMINYAK Party central Kuta is packed full of bars and clubs, as well as cheap restaurants and great surf. A little quieter than their brasher sister Kuta but still nice and close to the action, Legian and Seminyak still offer plenty of beach bars, a good restaurant scene and boutique shops.

Ro ad

Jalan Imam Bonjol

Jalan Patih Jelantik

10

South east Asia

6 des Jalan Ken De ya Kuta Jalan Ra

7 8

5

9

SHOESTRING

IDA HOTEL

£33 SINGLE £17 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Bask on your balcony, kick back in the gorgeous garden, paddle around the pool, unwind with a massage or enjoy a beer at the bar. There are endless options at this budget Bali hotel, plus you’re only ten minutes from Kuta’s crazy clubs! Your comfy room comes complete with en suite bathroom, air con, TV and fridge. stays 5 pay 4 - 04jan14-27dec14

GLAMPACKER

DEWI SRI HOTEL

£41 SINGLE £21 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

In the heart of Kuta, this budget boutique hotel is a quiet oasis within the bustling Bali streets. The hotel has a pool with a swim-up bar, perfect for quenching your thirst on a blue-sky, scorcher of a day! All rooms have garden views from their balcony or terrace, and come with private bathrooms and air con as standard.

DPSIDA

stays 5 pay 4 - 01apr14-27dec14

rock solid

WINA HOLIDAY VILLA

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Peace, quiet and relaxation, but still just 100 metres from Kuta beach, the main shopping area, restaurants and nightlife. This traditional hotel is surrounded by a tropical garden with two large swimming pools. All the bright, cool rooms have air con and their own private balconies. Enjoy a refreshing welcome drink on arrival.

DPSDSC

rock solid

BOUNTY HOTEL

£54 SINGLE £27 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

DPSWIN

rock solid

ramayana resort & spa

£68 SINGLE £34 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

BALI RANI Hotel

£85 SINGLE £43 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Tropical gardens, koi pools and cascading water features - who would believe this hideaway is a only a five-minute walk from raucous Kuta! Boasting the largest sports cafe in Bali, a choice of restaurants, two swimming pools and fun-packed activities such as Balinese dance classes and cocktail mixing, the Ramayana ticks all the boxes. STAY 6 PAY 5, STAY 12 PAY 10 - 01Apr14-25Dec14

rock solid

FR

UBUD Just an hour north of the southern beaches, the picturesque town of Ubud works perfectly as an add-on to any holiday.

rock solid

kuta paradiso

£99 SINGLE £50 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Just 50 metres from the beach and 50 metres from Kuta Square shopping centre makes this Balinese hotel hard to beat in terms of location. Tastefully decorated rooms overlook the ocean and the hotel has beautifully landscaped gardens. There’s also a pool to relax by and you can take your pick from a number of restaurants. STAY 7 PAY 5, STAY 14 PAY 12, STAY 21 PAY 18 - All Year

DPSRRT

dpskph

rock solid

£83 SINGLE £42 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

THE VIRA BALI HOTEL

rock solid

bali dynasty resorT

£87 SINGLE £44 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

A popular resort near to central Kuta with its shops and nightlife. The facilities include six restaurants, five bars, three swimming pools, a spa and gym; plenty of things to keep you occupied! Enjoy a Guinness at the famous Gracie Kelly’s Irish Pub or front crawl over to the swim-up bar and order yourself a colourful cocktail. STAY 7 PAY 6 - 04Jan14-30Jun14 & 01Sep1425Dec14 PLUS FREE GIFT WHEN STAYING MORE THAN 6 NIGHTS

dpstur

a-list

£70 SINGLE £35 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

hard rock HOTEL

£148 SINGLE £74 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Simple rooms with LCD TV, balcony or terrace and minibar • Legendary pool parties • Great central location

• South Kuta location • Bright, modern decor and a welcoming atmosphere • Great value for money

• Relax with a drink on your private balcony • Stroll straight out in to the nightlife of Kuta • Soak up the sun in the Balinese garden or pool

• Let the Centerstage bar entertain you every night • Dine al-fresco by the pool with wood-fired pizzas • Hit the San Island or why not learn to surf?

Partying dusk ‘til dawn? If you’re after a fun atmosphere, get yourself booked in here. Nurse your hangover on a sun lounger by one of two pools, or swim up to one of the pool bars which are open until midnight! Need some downtime? Crank up the air con and chill out with a free in-house movie available in your room.

A graceful hotel that exudes the mystical culture of the Balinese, but still with loads of modern comforts. Dive into the lavish swimming pool with bar, comfy sunbeds and two great restaurants. The rooms are decked out with everything including TV, mini-bar and private balcony. Treat yourself to a luxurious spa treatment.

Set amongst a leafy tropical garden, this chic and intimate hotel is beautifully designed with comfortable rooms and luxury facilities such as a pool, steak restaurant, bar and exotic spa. Just a few steps away from the excitement of Kuta, it’s close to an exciting array of restaurants, cafes, shops... and, of course, the beach!

Splash in Bali’s largest free-form swimming pool, indulge in a treatment at the luxurious spa, try out the popular poolside cabana or play the latest video games at TABU. Every room has its own private balcony and is fit for a rock star - literally - the walls adorned with music memorabilia and icons!

STAy 5 pay 4 & stay 10 pay 8 - all year

96

DPSBOU

STAY 5 pay 4 - 01Apr14-25Dec14, STAY 7 PAY 6 & STAY 10 PAY 8 - All Year

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

DPSBRH

stay 5 pay 4 - 06jan14 - 31mar13

DPSVHB

STAY 5 PAY 4 - 01-31May14, 01-30Jun14 & 01Nov14-20Dec14, HONEYMOON OFFERS AVAILABLE

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

DPSHRH

97

south east asia

Sanur The quieter side of Bali, this is the perfect destination to watch the sunrise as you walk along the white sand beaches with many beautiful temples nearby.

1


legian, seminyak & sanur beaches

rock solid

a-list

jayakarta beach resort & spa, legian

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Gaze out to sea with a cold drink in the beach bar • The first resort on the island with a star-lit pool • Several intimate restaurants to choose from

Situated in lush gardens on the white sands of Legian Beach, you’ll feel at peace here. Each room has a private balcony as well as cable TV, mini-bar and many other amenities. With a wealth of facilities including a swimming pool and a range of restaurants, you could almost be excused if you never left the hotel!

Located on Legian Beach and surrounded by spectacular lush tropical gardens, you will find a classic Balinese hotel with modern facilities. This paradise is set in expansive grounds, with a white sandy beach and panoramic ocean views. Features include two ocean view swimming pools, a beachfront bar and free Wi-Fi.

a-list

£25 SINGLE £14 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

O-Ce-N Bali by outrigger, legian

DPSJRR

£142 SINGLE £71 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

padma resort bali at legian, legian

GXZBMB

STAY 7 PAY 6 & STAY 14 PAY 12 - All Year

a-list

FR

FR

a-list

BREEZES BALI RESORT, Seminyak

£178 SINGLE £89 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

£98 SINGLE £48 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Indulge in blissful massages and poolside cocktails • Be spoilt with your own private balcony • It’s all about location with this hotel

• Sat on a palm-fringed beachfront, just south of Seminyak • Spoilt for choice with a seafood bistro and tapas bar • Relax in total harmony and luxury

• Enjoy a choice of swimming pools • Traditional Balinese decor with a stylish twist • Spa-style bathrooms with luxurious bathtubs in the rooms

• Bright and airy guestrooms all set round the centrepiece pool • Enjoy in-room LCD TV, luxury smellies and 200-thread count sheets • Work up a sweat on the tennis court or in the fitness centre

Less than five minutes from the white sands of Legian Beach and within stumbling distance of Kuta’s many bars, this hotel dishes up Balinese hospitality, massages, poolside cocktails and free Wi-Fi. The rooms have en suite bathrooms, air con, satellite TV, fridge and some even have their own private balcony too.

This little getaway is the perfect place for some serious downtime! Only half a mile north of Kuta, you can still enjoy all the action but with the peace and escapism only a resort of this standard can offer. Wake up to luxury surroundings in your chic and contemporary room kitted out with all mod cons.

More of a sanctuary than a hotel, Padma Resort is all about comfort and luxury. In your rooms you will be sure to get a good night’s sleep with spacious beds and even a pillow menu! There’s an infinity pool, a steam room and sauna and, if you can tear yourself away, a traditional art and fashion market close by.

Located in the heart of hip Seminyak, the centrepiece of this recently refurbished resort is the four-tiered lagoon pool running the length of the grounds, with its own beach on one side and a swim-up bar on the other. Add to this a 30-seater private cinema, spa and there’s almost no need to leave the hotel.

DPSLEG

STAY 7 PAY 6 - 11JAN14 - 31MAR14

Rock Solid

legian paradiso, legian

dpsout

STAY 7 PAY 6 & STAY 14 PAY 12 - All Year

£52 SINGLE £26 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

legian beach hotel, legian

£140 SINGLE £70 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

A pool with a swim-up bar? Check. Close to all the action? You got it. Beautiful setting away from the hustle and bustle? Of course. This place has all you could need for a relaxing stay in Bali whilst still being near to the best restaurants, bars and clubs in the area. All the rooms come with a balcony, TV, air con and a mini-bar.

Located right on the beach, Legian offers traditional Balinese-style rooms set amidst a landscaped tropical oasis dotted with coconut palms. Enjoy the range of amenities including two swimming pools, tennis courts, spa, diving and four places to eat. Take in the dramatic coastline and view the best fiery sunsets in Bali.

gxtleg

STAY 7 PAY 6 & STAY 14 PAY 12 - All Year

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

taman agung beach inn, sanur

£26 SINGLE £14 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Enjoy a tropical cocktail at the swim-up pool bar • Ride the thrill of the waves and learn how to surf • Relax in your authentically decorated room with TV and air con

STAY 5 PAY 4 - 01Jan14-31Mar14, STAY 7 PAY 5 & STAY 14 PAY 12 - All Year

qdpsbb

SHOESTRING

Rock Solid

• A Mediterranean-style building with spacious rooms • Within walking distance of Bali’s best shops, restaurants and bars • Set in tranquil, landscaped gardens away from busy streets

98

qdpspa

DPSLBH

Built in Balinese-style architecture, this hotel offers a peaceful atmosphere with all rooms centrally located to the beautiful pool with a sunken bar and restaurant. Rooms have air con or fans, mini-bar, TV and some even boast private terraces. This place is just 200 metres from the beach and close to local restaurants and bars. Free night when staying 7 - 10 nights - All Year

DPSTAM

rock solid

sanur paradise plaza hotel & suites, sanur

£77 SINGLE £39 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Set around the tropical poolside garden, all the rooms have air con, TV, mini-bar and free Internet access. A convenient shuttle bus transports guests between the hotel, suites, beach club and shopping area. For those seeking more space, the suites are perfect with two or three bedroom apartments. STAY 7 PAY 6 & STAY 14 PAY 12 - 05Jan14 - 26Dec14

DPSSPP

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

glampacker

diwangkara holiday villa beach resort & spa, sanur

£50 SINGLE £25 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

This boutique hotel is located directly alongside Sanur Beach and is surrounded by Balinese galleries, shopping arcades and temples. The swimming pool is set in relaxing gardens where guests can enjoy a cool drink and the onsite restaurant overlooks both the sea and Mount Agung for food with a view. 15% DISCOUNT IF STAYING 3 NIGHTS OR MORE - 01APR14-30Jun14 & 01Sep1420Dec14,

DPSDHV

99

south east asia

south east asia

legian village HOTEL, legian

£150 SINGLE £75 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

• Take a cooling dip in the beautiful pool • Pick from a choice of restaurants in the evening • Stroll along Legian Beach, right on your doorstep

STAY 4 PAY 3, STAY 7 PAY 5 - 06Jan14-30Jun14 &16Oct14-23Dec14

glampacker

bali mandira beach resort & spa, legian

£74 SINGLE £37 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR


ubud & beyond

south east asia

shoestring

Puri garden II

£29 SINGLE £15 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Housed in a typical Balinese building with red brick walls and a thatched roof right in the heart of Ubud. Relax at the outdoor swimming pool surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens and taste the restaurant’s Indonesian cuisine. The rooms are simple but comfortable with en suites, TV and fan cooler. STAY 7 PAY 6 - All Year

DPSPUR

rock solid

hotel tjampuhan spa

£61 SINGLE £31 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Located in a quaint spot in Ubud where sacred rivers meet, this is a rare setting for an exceptionally tranquil holiday. The rooms evoke a sense of peace with views of the river valleys of the 900 year-old Gunung Lembah Temple, complete with a terrace to enjoy the views. Delight your senses in the spa and spring water pool. STAY 4 PAY 3 - 01Jan14-31Mar14, 01Apr14–30Jun14, 01Sep14-31Dec14

DPSTJA

A-LIST

furama villas & spas

£163 SINGLE £82 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

This luxurious resort is located 20km southwest of Ubud in a gorgeous tropical setting surrounded by mountain views. Unwind in your Balinese villa with your very own pool, indulge in the luxurious spa or enjoy sumptuous cuisine at the restaurant serving local specialities. Jump on the free shuttle to Ubud’s buzzing market. FREE AIRPORT TRANSFER IF STAYING 2 NIGHTS OR MORE

G-LAND JOYO’S SURF CAMP

DPSSPA

£410

FR

4 DAYS

Plengkung, Southern tip of Java

Highlights

• Surfing! Some of the world’s very best waves right on your doorstep • Take in the jungle surrounds and explore its wild environment • Meet new travel buddies at the bar or on the beach

Departs: Regular selected dates Accommodation: camp bungalow/villa (3 nts) Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner every day, includes beer & soft drink vouchers Extras: Surf board hire & lessons available Tour Code: BGLJSC

Experience the best of Indonesia’s legendary waves whilst staying in funky, jungle accommodation! Spend your days in the surf, your nights chatting with new found friends. Choose from standard, superior or deluxe packages. The standard package, designed for those with their budget in mind, includes three nights in a rustic, fancooled bungalow complete with al fresco shower, all meals plus beer and soft drinks each day! If you fancy a bit more comfort, pick the deluxe package. You’ll get air con, plus your own shower and terrace. Want to go all out? Then opt for the superior package which offers all of the above, plus free massages! Return transport from Kuta beach in Bali is included, as are zodiac transfers to the main waves drop-off zone. There’s also the option to stay longer. Awesome!

100

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Inclusions


TOP 5 MUST-DO’s 1. catch sunrise over angkor wat 2. search for irrawaddy dolphin 3. give alms to a buddhist monk 4. explore colonial vientiane 5. sail on unique halong bay SAPA

LAOS

HALONG BAY HANOI

LUANG PRABNG VANG VIENG VIENTIANE THAKHEK HUE

Independent touring If you would like to travel on your own private tour, just for you and your party, please ask about our range of tours designed for the independent traveller. It’s much less expensive than you might think! Follow a similar itinerary to some of our most popular small group adventures, such as: • Cambodia On A Shoestring (page 102) Or ask us to customise a private tour designed to your exact requirements.

PAKSE DON DET ANGKOR WAT SIEM REAP

CAMBODIA

PHNOM PENH SIHANOUKVILLE

DA NANG

HOI AN

VIETNAM NHA TRANG DALAT

HO CHI MINH CITY

SOUTH EAST ASIA

CAMBODIA, VIETNAM & LAOS


CAMBODIA ON a SHOESTRING Bangkok

• • • • • • • •

£549

FR

10 DAYS

Ho Chi Minh City

Ultimate Cambodian ADVENTURE Bangkok

CAMBODIA £899 EXPERIENCE

£649

FR

14 DAYS

Bangkok

Ho Chi Minh City

FR

9 DAYS

Bangkok

Highlights

Catch the sunrise over Angkor Wat Swim the clear waters of Sihanoukville Make friends on a local homestay Chill on Cambodia’s golden beaches Journey along the Mekong Delta Brave Ho Chi Minh’s busy streets Explore Khmer temples and history See glittering palaces in Bangkok

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Departures 2014 Jan - Mar

Daily

Apr

Daily, except Thursday

May - Jun

Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday

Jul - Aug

Daily

Sep - Dec

Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday

Inclusions

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Recommended for 1839s Accommodation: Simple hotels (8 nts), homestay (1 nt) Transport: Local bus, air-conditioned bus Meals: 6 breakfasts, 2 dinners Budget: Allow USD $200-250 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAATRC

My Own Room Available: Fr £199

Highlights

Cambodia’s troublesome past, jaw-dropping natural beauty, laid-back vibes and goodhearted people all blend together effortlessly, to ensure you’ll want to know and experience absolutely everything about this Asian treasure. This adventure kicks off in the bright lights of Bangkok and will weave you through colourful Cambodia, witnessing the magnificent Angkor Wat temple complex, the historic yet sombre site of the Killing Fields, Sihanoukville’s glittering turquoise waters, the incredible Mekong Delta and rounds it all of with the charm and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City.

DAY ITINERARY 01

Bangkok

Arrive at any time and feel free to explore this energetic city. Take a tuk-tuk to the markets, a boat down the river or explore the maze of streets on foot. Be captivated by this extraordinary city’s sights, colours and aromas, amongst streets brimming with people from all walks of life.

• See sunrise over the world’s biggest religious building, Angkor Wat • Search for the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin in the Mekong Delta • Grab some beach time in Sihanoukville and dine on fresh seafood

DAY ITINERARY 01-02

02-03

Angkor Wat

Bangkok

Siem Reap C A M B O D I A

Phnom Penh

Sihanoukville

Chau V I E T N A M Doc

Ho Chi Minh City

Head across the Cambodian border and onwards to Siem Reap, where you’ll explore the intricate temples and palaces of the vast Angkor complex - the world’s largest religious building and one of Asia’s most incredible and most-visited sights. There is also time to visit Tonle Sap Lake to see one of its intriguing floating villages. Later, you can enjoy a delicious Khmer meal at a Planeterrasupported project in a village just outside of Siem Reap. This particular meal is kindly prepared and served by local partners who have set up a school to teach English to Cambodian children, whilst at the same time providing comprehensive healthcare and education for vulnerable kids and their families. So rest assured you’ll be contributing to help out and support this local grass roots project whilst enjoying an incredible Cambodian meal. (2B, D)

06-07

04-05

08-10

06-07

You might like

Extend your trip Cambodia and Vietnam on a Shoestring (20 days, Bangkok to Hanoi) (GAETCV) see page 28 Fr £1,079

Mekong Delta / Chau Doc

08

Ho Chi Minh City

09-10

102

Cross the Vietnamese border into the intriguing water world of the Mekong Delta. Absorb the green river world of orchards, rice fields, floating markets and cottage industries on an optional boat trip through its myriad waterways. Tonight’s stop is in Chau Doc where you can explore the town, market or river front park by foot. (D) After breakfast on Day 9, you’ll journey to Ho Chi Minh City, previously known as Saigon. This city was once a sleepy Khmer trading and fishing port, but is now a hub of activity. As you arrive later that day explore Ho Chi Minh’s myriad of rooftop bars, quirky restaurants or shop ‘til you drop at Ben Than Market. A fun way to spend your last evening in Ho Chi Minh City is to go on a street food crawl with your group, as your tour leader will know the best places to find the tastiest and most authentic snacks that represent the best of Vietnamese cooking. Those with an interest in Vietnam’s recent war history may like to visit the Reunification Palace, the residence of the presidents of South Vietnam before 1974 and the fascinating nearby War Remnants Museum. Also very interesting is Cholon, Saigon’s Chinese quarter. A cyclo can take you to any of these places for a very reasonable price and is a fun way to travel around Ho Chi Minh City. Bid your farewells to your new-found buddies as your trip ends shortly after breakfast on Day 10. (B)

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Journey to Siem Reap; home of the Khmer Empire and gateway to Angkor Wat. Your knowledgeable local guide leads you through the pages of history as you explore this astounding temple complex. Optional excursions include the ‘floating village’ of Tonle Sap. (2B, D)

01

At Kampong Cham, the third-largest city in Cambodia, visit the Bridge of Jayavarman VII, a silk farm and a rubber tree plantation, before an included dinner experience. An early start on Day 7 for the drive to Kratie on the banks of the mighty Mekong River. In the afternoon, take a boat excursion to spot the Irrawaddy River dolphin. (2B, D) Get your bearings on an cyclo tour of Cambodia’s capital, and take in the sombre history of this tenacious country with visits to the infamous Killing Fields and notorious Tuol Sleng Prison. Opt to visit the Royal Palace or National Museum. On Day 10, journey along the coast to Kampot, home of Bokor National Park. (2B)

11-14

Arrive in Cambodia’s laid-back beach town of Sihanoukville. Feast on fantastic fresh seafood, take a day trip snorkelling the coral reefs, or just sit back and let the warm waves wash gently at your feet. Fly back to Bangkok on Day 13 to perhaps enjoy a final night out with the group, before the tour concludes on Day 14. (3B)

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotel (13 nts) Transport: Private bus, local bus, cyclo, boat, plane Meals: 10 breakfasts, 2 dinners Budget: Allow USD $275-375 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAATUC

My Own Room Available: Fr £479

Jan - Dec

Saturdays, typically 2-3 departures per month

Arrive into the dynamic destination of Ho Chi Minh City at any time and head out onto the streets to explore.

02

The lush green serpentine waterways of the Mekong Delta are a thriving centre of cottage industries, floating markets and fertile orchards. Watch the watery world float by on a day trip into this intriguing aquatic wonderland, visiting candy factories en route. (B)

Phnom Penh

03-04

Cross into Cambodia. Witness the darker side of Cambodian history with visits to Choeng Ek, the site of the infamous Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Prison, the notorious Khmer Rouge jail. You then have free time to spend getting to know this fabulous city; exploring the lovely cafés, tree-lined streets and thriving markets, or perhaps make time to visit the Royal Palace or National Museum. (2B)

Siem Reap / Angkor Wat

05-07 08-09

The next three days are spent in Siem Reap and exploring Angkor, the former capital of the Khmer Empire. Spend time exploring this vast ruined city with a local guide, it won’t take you long to understand why this is fast becoming one of the most-visited sites in Asia. See sunrise over the magnificent temple of Angkor Wat and enjoy a traditional Khmer-style meal either at a village home or a community charity project. (3B, D)

Bangkok

Arrive in Bangkok with time to head out for drinks and an optional farewell meal with your travel buddies. On Day 9, it’s time to say goodbye to your group before heading for your next adventure! (2B)

Inclusions THAILAND

Angkor Wat Battambang

Bangkok

Kampong Cham CAMBODIA

Siem Reap Sihanoukville

Kratie Phnom Penh

Kampot

Departures 2014

Ho Chi Minh City

Mekong Delta

Sihanoukville / Bangkok

Sihanoukville

Today, travel by public bus to Cambodia’s southern coast and the sun-kissed beaches of Sihanoukville. Time to relax to the max on the white sand while perhaps enjoying a massage and eating fresh seafood, or why not join a boat trip for a day of snorkelling and lunch on an uninhabited island as the sun goes down? Sihanoukville’s breezy, laid-back attitude will ensure you unwind and recharge your batteries. (B)

Arrive at any time and get a head start on your sightseeing. On Day 2, cross the border to colonial Battambang, with time to explore the countryside or hone your culinary skills with a cooking class. (B)

Phnom Penh / Kampot

Phnom Penh

Absorb the spectacular scenery as you journey by local bus to the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. This pleasant riverside city oozes Cambodian charisma and is a hub of politics, history and cultural renaissance. You’ll experience a walking tour and check out the colourful cafés, shady streets and thriving markets full of vibrant textiles or choose to learn about Cambodia’s sombre past and its descent into the horror of the Khmer Rouge regime at Tuol Sleng Prison and the Killing Fields. Cambodia really is an inspirational country, but sadly dashed with an heart-wrenching past. (2B)

Bangkok / Battambang

Kampong Cham / Kratie

Siem Reap / Angkor Wat / Siem Reap T H A I L A N D

DAY ITINERARY

Siem Reap / Angkor Wat

03-05

Highlights

• Discover the rich green river world of the Mekong Delta • Visit the chilling Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Prison • See a sunrise to remember over the amazing Angkor Wat

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (8 nts) Transport: Local bus, air-con bus, cyclo Meals: 8 breakfasts, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD $150200 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAVCW

My Own Room Available: Fr £319

Departures 2014 Jan - Apr

Regular departures, typically 4 times per week

May - Jun

Every Fri/Sun, plus occasional Tue

Jul - Oct

Every Fri/Sun, plus additional departures

Nov - Dec

Every Fri, plus additional departures

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

THAILAND

Angkor Wat

Bangkok Siem Reap

CAMBODIA

Phnom Penh

Ho Chi Minh City

103


vietnam on a shoestring Ho Chi Minh City

• • • • • • • •

£599

FR

12 DAYS

Hanoi

BEST OF VIETNAM Hanoi

CLASSIC £899 VIETNAM

£649

FR

15 DAYS

Ho Chi Minh City

Hanoi

FR

10 DAYS

Ho Chi Minh City

Highlights

Bask on the beaches at Nha Trang Buy tailor-made clothes in Hoi An Explore the Cu Chi Tunnels Float along Halong Bay’s green waters Discover Hue’s citadels and pagodas Wander Ho Chi Minh’s hectic streets Dine on delicious local cuisine Bike around Hue’s lush countryside

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Departures 2014 Jan - Mar

Daily

Apr

Daily, except Fridays

May - Jun

Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays

Jul - Aug

Usually Daily

Sep - Dec

Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays

Inclusions

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Recommended for 18-35’s Accommodation: Simple hotels (8 nts), sleeper trains (3 nts) Transport: Train, local bus, air-con bus, boat Meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch Budget: Allow USD $225-300 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAAVRV

My Own Room Available: Fr £219

Highlights

Calling all budget travellers! Experience everything Vietnam has to offer in this 12-day steal of a tour. No one day will be the same; uncover Vietnam’s rich history in stunning temples and ruins, whizz around the countryside on bikes or cruise through the waters of Halong Bay on a traditional junk boats, all with an amazing group of travel mates. Add to that bustling markets overflowing with potential treasures and mouth-watering local cuisine just waiting to be devoured and you’ve got yourself a jam-packed holiday that makes every second count!

• Meet the Hmong people on a hilltribe village trek in verdant Sapa • Admire the blue, pink and yellow houses in French colonial Hoi An • Sail a wooden junk through the magical landscape of Halong Bay

DAY ITINERARY 01-02

DAY ITINERARY Ho Chi Minh City

01-02

The first day is free for you to ease yourself into the frenetic pace of Ho Chi Minh City. Make sure to return to the hotel at 6pm for a group meeting to meet your fellow travellers. On Day 2, explore the amazing sights the city has on offer. Head to the Cu Chi Tunnels, a complex network of tunnels that locals lived in during the war, the fascinating War Remnants museum or the Reunification Palace, the residence of South Vietnam’s presidents before 1974. Stop off at the Ben Thanh market for a delicious bite to eat from one of the stalls or take a cyclo tour of the city’s former colonial quarter. In the evening, catch an overnight train to Nha Trang.

06-07

Halong Bay

Hanoi

03-04

08-11

Hoi An L AO S

05-06

Hue Hoi An T H A I L A N D

The picturesque port town of Hoi An is your next destination. Walk through this living museum visiting cultural sights such as the Museum of History and Culture, the Tan Ky House, a preserved 19th Century merchant’s house, and the My Son ruins, an intellectual and religious centre built by the Cham civilisation. Opt to attend a cooking class to learn how to create delicious local cuisine, enjoy a river boat tour, or take advantage of this shopping Mecca and get clothing tailor-made for you at extremely reasonable prices! (B)

V I E T N A M

Nha Trang

07-08

Ho Chi Minh City

09

Head north to Hue via the Hai Van Pass for spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. In Hue, options include a trip to the Royal Citadel, modelled on the Forbidden City in Beijing, or a boat trip down Perfume River. Fit in a visit to the city’s oldest religious building, the seven-tiered Tien Mu Pagoda, and the Imperial Tombs to explore the resting places of Vietnam’s former rulers, all of which are like self-contained mini palaces. For nature lovers, grab a bike and cycle around the beautiful countryside for a breathtaking experience before getting another sleeper train to Hanoi. (2B)

Hanoi / Halong Bay / Bai Chai Harbour

Arriving into Hanoi in the early morning, catch a bus to the beautiful and famous Halong Bay. Take in the dramatic sight of thousands of islands rising from the waters of the Bay aboard a traditional junk boat. Tuck into deliciously fresh seafood and explore the islands and caves. (L)

Hanoi

You might like

Extend your trip Vietnam, Laos and Thailand on a Shoestring (22 days, Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok) (GAAVVL) see page 26 Fr £1,049 Cambodia and Vietnam on a Shoestring (20 days, Bangkok to Hanoi) (GAETCV) see page 28 Fr £1,079

104

10-11 12

After breakfast, head to Hanoi for an orientation walk of the city’s Old Quarter. Opt to visit the Buddhist temple of Tran Quoc Pagoda, the Temple of Literature, or Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and Museum, dedicated to the man who was leader of North Vietnam when the Vietnam War began. Follow this up with a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake and keep your eyes peeled for one of the famous 100 year-old turtles that live in its waters. In the evening, opt to attend a performance at the famous Water Puppets theatre and make sure to leave time to sample Hanoi’s amazing eateries. (2B)

Hanoi

Say your goodbyes and feel free to leave at any time. (B)

12-15

Take in the spectacular scenery of steep rice terraces and lush green hills as you trek the villages of Vietnam’s colourful hilltribe people. Experience local life spending the night in homestay accommodation before travelling by overnight train on Day 5 back to Hanoi. (2B, L, D)

Halong Bay

Sail through limestone karst islands, explore huge caves and swim in secluded bays as you travel through Halong Bay on a traditional junk boat with fresh seafood meals. Overnight train to Hue. (B, 2L, D)

01

Arrive into the crazy capital of Vietnam at any time and explore!

Halong Bay / Hanoi

02-03 04

Feast your eyes on the azure waters of magical Halong Bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the sea. Explore the illuminated caves, have a swim or splash about on a kayak before a sumptuous seafood dinner and a peaceful night beneath the stars. On Day 3, catch the overnight train to Hue. (2B, L, D)

Hue

Stroll past lacquered red pavilions and ponds covered with lotus buds. Take a guided tour of the Imperial Citadel and Tien Mu Pagoda, and an optional motorbike tour of the surrounding countryside.

05-07

Travelling over the spectacular Hai Van Pass you reach Hoi An. Wander through the colourful colonial homes, wooden shop houses and pagodas. Cooking classes, riverboat trips, bike rides and beach times could all be on the agenda. Hoi An is also a shopper’s paradise, the tailors here can produce virtually anything overnight! (3B)

Ho Chi Minh City

A short flight takes you to hectic Ho Chi Minh City, with time to enjoy an optional cyclo tour to soak up all its infectious energy. Send your postcards from the pretty French colonial-style post office. On Day 13, take a boat cruise through the countless waterways of the Mekong Delta and dine on traditional cuisine with a local homestay. Return to HCMC on Day 14 to visit the War Remnants Museum or pick up souvenirs at Ben Tranh Market. Tour ends on Day 15. (4B, D)

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (8 nts), sleeper train (3 nts), junk boat (1 nt), basic family homestay (2 nts) Transport: Train, local bus, air-con bus, boat, cyclo, plane Meals: 11 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners Budget: Allow USD $210250 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAVBV

Hanoi

Hoi An

In Hue, stroll past the ponds, pavilions and palaces of Vietnam’s last imperial court. Explore Tien Mu Pagoda and the Royal Tombs, before travelling via the stunning Hai Van Pass to the former trading port of Hoi An. Optional activities include cooking classes, riverboat cruises, bike rides, beach time or splashing out in the tailor shops. (3B)

Inclusions

08-10

A short flight south takes you to bustling Ho Chi Minh City. Discover the infectious energy of Vietnam’s biggest city, with its blinking neon lights and overflowing markets. On Day 9, enjoy a guided visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels where you can explore this underground network dug by the local Vietnamese to hide and fight during the war. Other options include the War Remnants Museum or a cyclo tour of the colonial district. Enjoy a last night out with the group before this short but sweet tour comes to an end at any time on Day 10. (3B)

Inclusions Sapa Halong Bay

Hanoi L AO S

Hue Hoi An T H A I L A N D

My Own Room Available: Fr £359

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (7 nts), sleeper train (1 nt), junk boat (1 nt) Transport: Train, local bus, air-con bus, boat, cyclo, plane Meals: 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD $200-230 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAVCH

My Own Room Available: Fr £319 C A M B O D I A

Departures 2014 Jan - Dec

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Arrive in Hanoi and navigate the scooter-filled streets of the vibrant Old Quarter. Check out the water puppets show, an age-old tradition from rural Vietnam. On Day 2, board the overnight train to Sapa. (B)

Ho Chi Minh City / Mekong Delta / Ho Chi Minh City

Hue C A M B O D I A

Hanoi

Hue / Hoi An

Nha Trang

Enjoy the next couple of days of rest and relaxation in Nha Trang, whether it’s taking a boat to explore nearby islands, snorkelling through warm waters or soaking in traditional mud baths. For another fun way to see the city, opt for a motorbike tour. On Day 4, it’s on to Hoi An, travelling via an overnight train. (B)

DAY ITINERARY

Sapa

03-05

Highlights

• Absorb the hustle and bustle of the hectic streets of Hanoi • Explore ancient Vietnamese culture and beautiful architecture in Hue • Take a guided tour of the remarkable wartime Cu Chi Tunnels

Sundays, typically 2-3 departures per month

Mekong Delta

V I E T N A M

Ho Chi Minh City

Departures 2014 Jan - Dec

Hanoi

Halong Bay

L AO S

Hue Hoi An V I E T N A M C A M B O D I A

Cu Chi Tunnels

Ho Chi Minh City

Regular departures, typically 2-4 times per week

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

105


Timeless Vietnam Hanoi

VIETNAM £1,299 HIGHLIGHTS

£899

FR

13 DAYS

Ho Chi Minh City

FR

Ho Chi Minh City

10 DAYS

Hanoi

£1,089

VIETNAM EXPERIENCE Ho Chi Minh City

• • • • • • • •

FR

12 DAYS

Hanoi

Highlights

Experience life on the Mekong Stay in a village guesthouse Climb through the Cu Chi Tunnels Explore progressive Ho Chi Minh City Soak up the rays on Vietnam beaches Stroll the streets in historical Hoi An Take a cyclo ride to Hue’s Citadel Sleep on a Chinese-style junk boat

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Departures 2014 Highlights

• Experience authentic Vietnam, meeting ethnic hilltribe villagers • Cruise the turquoise waters of Halong Bay in a traditional junk boat • Step back into a turbulent history at the legendary Chu Chi Tunnels

DAY ITINERARY 01

Highlights

• Explore cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh and gain insight into local history • Enjoy Nha Trang beach and design custom-made clothes in Hoi An • Explore rural Asia on a bike ride and tuck into local Vietnamese food

DAY ITINERARY

Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh City

Arrive at any time and take your transfer to Hanoi city (included). The day’s yours to spend exploring Vietnam’s northern capital.

01

Hanoi / Mai Chau

02-03

Enjoy breakfast at a local not-for-profit restaurant before heading to Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum. Travel to the lush Mai Chau Valley to your comfortable lodge where you can do a walking tour of the ethnic villages, cycling, rock climbing, kayaking or a cooking class. (2B)

Formerly known as Saigon, cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh City is a dynamic and progressive city with loads of things to experience. Enjoy your first night out with your crew trying tasty Vietnamese specialities and exploring the wealth of bustling nighlife.

04-05

Take a morning sightseeing tour of Ho Chi Minh City’s sights before catching a flight up to the beach paradise of Nha Trang. Get out amongst the islands on an optional cruise or do your own thing. (2B)

02-03

Hoi An

After a short flight to Da Nang this morning, you’ll then drive to Hoi An and absorb its blend of foreign influences. Check out the Old Quarter, spy the 400 year-old Japanese bridge and peruse the Chinese temples. Choose to head out to a tailor for bespoke clothes, or pick up some local culinary skills with a cooking class. (2B)

04-05

Hanoi / Hue

06-07 08-10 11-13

Spend a chilled morning on the bay before heading back to Hanoi for a flight to Hue. On Day 7, check out the walled Citadel containing the former Imperial Palace then head to the countryside to see the final resting place of former emperors and impressive royal tombs. (2B, L)

Hoi An

Take a scenic drive to ancient Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, enjoy a walking tour and a local cooking lesson. Ensure you see My Son ruins or visit a local tailors for a keenly-priced suit. (3B, L)

Ho Chi Minh City

Fly to HCMC. Enjoy a cyclo tour and visit the local markets and shops. Day 12, visit the legendary Cu Chi Tunnels, famous for their part in the Vietnam War. Your tour ends after breakfast on Day 13. (3B, D)

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 29 Feb 01 Feb 05 Feb 12 Feb 15 Feb 19 Feb 22 Mar 05 Mar 12 Mar 15 Mar 19 Mar 22 Mar 26 Apr 02 Apr 09 Apr 16 Apr 19 Apr 23 Apr 30 May 14 May 21 Jun 04 Jun 14 Jun 25

Jun 28 Jul 05 Jul 19 Jul 29 Aug 09 Aug 23 Aug 30 Sep 13 Sep 23 Nov 08 Nov 15 Nov 18 Nov 22 Nov 25 Nov 29 Dec 02 Dec 06 Dec 09 Dec 13 Dec 16 Dec 20 Dec 23 Dec 27 Dec 30

Jul 09 Jul 16 Jul 30 Aug 09 Aug 20 Sep 03 Sep 10 Sep 24 Oct 04 Nov 19 Nov 26 Nov 29 Dec 03 Dec 06 Dec 10 Dec 13 Dec 17 Dec 20 Dec 24 Dec 27 Dec 31 Jan 03 Jan 07 Jan 10

2015 Jan 03 Jan 06 Jan 10 Jan 13 Jan 17 Jan 20 Jan 24 Jan 27 Jan 31 Feb 03 Feb 07 Feb 10 Feb 14 Feb 17 Feb 21 Feb 24 Feb 28 Mar 03 Mar 07

Jan 14 Jan 17 Jan 21 Jan 24 Jan 28 Jan 31 Feb 04 Feb 07 Feb 11 Feb 14 Feb 18 Feb 21 Feb 25 Feb 28 Mar 04 Mar 07 Mar 11 Mar 14 Mar 18

Additional departure dates are available, please ask for details.

Ho Chi Minh City / Nha Trang

Hanoi / Halong Bay

Return to Hanoi to explore Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton) with a local guide. Transfer to Halong Bay on Day 5 where sculpted limestone islands rise from calm waters. Explore the caves, kayak or hike up one of the islands, and spend the night on a junk boat. (2B, L, D)

Start

Jan 18 Jan 21 Jan 25 Feb 01 Feb 04 Feb 08 Feb 11 Feb 22 Mar 01 Mar 04 Mar 08 Mar 11 Mar 15 Mar 22 Mar 29 Apr 05 Apr 08 Apr 12 Apr 19 May 03 May 10 May 24 Jun 03 Jun 14

Hue / Hanoi

Take a cyclo ride to the Imperial Citadel in Hue, then visit the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda. On Day 7, take a short flight to Hanoi. Check out the maze of backstreets in the Old Quarter and hang out with the locals at a simple bia hoi (draught beer) sidewalk bar. (2B)

06-07 08-10

Inclusions

Service Level: Superior Age Group: Exclusively for 18-35s Accommodation: 3 star hotels (9 nts), guesthouse (1 nt), boat (1 nt) Transport: Plane, private coach, junk boat Meals: 11 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners Group Leader: Experienced Tour Manager, local English-speaking guides Group Size: Max 30, Avg 25 Tour Code: COVIEP

V I E T N A M

Hanoi

Halong Bay

Departures 2014 Jan - Jun & Sep - Oct

Sundays, typically 1-2 departures per month

Jul - Aug & Nov - Dec

Sundays, typically 2-3 departures per month

106

Nha Trang

Ho Chi Minh City

Mar 15

Feb 15

Jan 15

Dec

Nov

Sep

Aug

Jul

THAILAND

CAMBODIA

Departures 2014-15 Jun

Hoi An

May

Hue

Apr

LAOS

Mar

My Own Room Available: Fr £579

Hanoi

Mai Chau

Jan

Trip Style: Comfort Service Level: Upgraded Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Comfort hotels (10 nts), junk boat (1 nt), lodge (1 nt) Transport: Bus, boat, cyclo, plane Meals: 12 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners Budget: Allow USD $275-350 for melas not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAAVHC

Da Nang

Service Level: Superior Age Group: Exclusively for 18-35s Accommodation: 3 star hotels (8 nts), junk boat (1 nt) Meals: 9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner Transport: Plane, private coach, junk boat Group Size: Max 30, Avg 25 Tour Leader: Experienced Tour Manager, local English-speaking guides Tour Code: COVIHI

20 03 03 07 05 05 07 11 01 10 08 01 02 02 23 06 06 10 12 16 21 25 15 13 11 05 05 05 27 10 10 14 26 30 31 25 17 15 08 09 09 13 13 21 20 18 12 12 17 17 24 22 15 16 20 24 27 25 19 19 24 31 29 22 23 26 26 29 Additional departure dates are available, please ask for details

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V I E T N A M

Hanoi

Halong Bay

Cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh is a medley of pagodas, streetside shops and high-rises. Tonight, you’ll meet your Tour Manager and fellow travellers before tantalising your tastebuds at the thriving Ben Thanh Market.

Ho Chi Minh City / Mekong Delta

Embark on a two-day journey into the Mekong Delta. Try out sampans (local boats), learn about local industries and observe life at the floating markets, giving you a glimpse of everyday life on water. Tonight check out a musical performance before having dinner at your local guesthouse. (B, L, D)

02

Mekong Delta / Ho Chi Minh City

Head back to Ho Chi Minh City via the Viet Cong’s legendary tunnels in Cu Chi. See traps, hidden doors and experience first-hand some of the 250kms of tunnels that Vietnamese resistance fighters dug by hand during the Vietnam War. (B)

03 04-05

Fly to Da Nang and travel down to Hoi An. On arrival, you’ll take a guided walking tour through the Old Quarter. Get your clothes order in at one of the many tailors this city is famous for. (B)

Hoi An

07

Free day to explore further. Wander the streets checking out galleries and antique shops or head to the temples of My Son. In the evening, stroll along the historic waterfront to the local market. (B)

Hoi An / Hue

Hoi An

T H A I L A N D C A M B O D I A

Today, you’ll travel over the ‘Pass of the Ocean Clouds’ with its far-reaching views to the city of Da Nang. On arrival to the former royal city of Hue you’ll take a cyclo to the Imperial Citadel, former home of Vietnam’s Emperors. It is then on to the impressive Thien Mu Pagoda with views of the Perfume River. (B)

08

Nha Trang

Hue / Hanoi

L AO S

Ho Chi Minh City

Hue Da Nang

Hoi An

Mekong Delta

Today brings a flight to Hanoi. Full of French flair, Chinese culture and Vietnamese vitality, Hanoi is a city like no other! On arrival, visit the Temple of Literature before walking the wide Parisian-style boulevards or relaxing with a bia hoi (draught beer). (B)

09

T H A I L A N D

Hanoi / Halong Bay

Climb aboard a Chinese-style junk boat for an overnight cruise on heavenly Halong Bay. Pass hidden coves, sheer cliffs and stunning beaches. You’ll check out the Sung Sot Caves before stopping for a swim amongst limestone karsts. Dock for sunset and be rocked to sleep by the ocean. (B, L, D)

10

C A M B O D I A

Nha Trang

In the morning, you’ll set off on a city tour to see Notre Dame Cathedral, the General Post Office and the Presidential Palace. You’ll then catch a flight to Nha Trang, famous for its golden beaches. On Day 5, sink back into laid-back beach life with a free day to enjoy the sun and sea. Indulge in a mineral mud bath and hot springs experience before getting a taste of Nha Trang by night. (2B)

Nha Trang / Hoi An

06

Hue

Inclusions

Halong Bay

Feb

VIETNAM

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City / Nha Trang

L AO S

Inclusions

DAY ITINERARY 01

Halong Bay / Hanoi

Today, you’ll drive to Halong Bay for an overnight cruise on a Chinese-style junk boat. Enjoy a sumptuous seafood dinner and a night of chatting under the stars. On Day 9, return to Hanoi and spend your last evening tucking into some delicious Vietnamese treats. Your trip ends after breakfast on Day 10. (3B, 2L, D)

There’s nowhere on earth quite like Vietnam. From the moment you step off the plane you’ll be absorbed in an intense explosion of colour, sights, sounds and experiences. From the hustle and bustle of city streets to golden temples glistening in the sun, to jade green waters lapping on the shores and paddy fields stretching into the distance, each day is different to the next. Cruise the waters of the Mekong, stay overnight with the locals, sleep in a Chinese-style junk boat - all of this against a backdrop of great nation of people and with a bunch of like-minded mates.

Halong Bay / Hanoi Ho Chi Minh City

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11-12

Wake to fantastic views before returning to Hanoi. There’s time to see Hanoi’s world-famous water puppet performance before a farewell dinner to toast an amazing adventure with your new friends. Depart on Day 12, shortly after breakfast. (2B, L)

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

107


Cambodia & Laos

Teach Children in Cambodia

£569

FR

2 - 8 WEEKS

Siem Reap

TARA ANGKOR, Siem Reap

£46 SINGLE FR £23 TWIN/DOUBLE FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

The elegant furnishings ensure you will enjoy luxury and feel like royalty! All rooms have air con, great views and boast beautiful bathrooms. There’s also an outdoor pool, courtyard and poolside bar for relaxing with cocktail in hand. The staff’s warm hospitality and sincerity will make you feel instantly at home.

rock solid

juliana hotel, phnom penh

£46 SINGLE FR £23 TWIN/DOUBLE FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

A 20-minute walk from The Royal Palace, this mid-range hotel offers facilities you’d usually associate with a resort, including tropical gardens, a beautiful swimming pool, Thai massage service, plus a choice of two restaurants serving Western and Chinese food. A perfect respite from the city’s hustle and bustle.

REPTAR

PNHJUL

GLAMPACKER

Chang inn, luang prabang

£29 SINGLE FR £15 TWIN/DOUBLE FR

Project Start Date: Sundays Accommodation: Guesthouse (13 nts) Meals: Some meals included Note: Background check required Stay Longer: Fr £229 per week Trip Code: GATAKSRT

FULL DAY

If you’re short on time, explore the amazing temples of Angkor on this nifty day tour from Siem Reap. Check out the famous Angkor Wat, Bayon with its 54 towers decorated with more than 200 enigmatic smiling faces and Ta Prohm, the jungle temple made famous in the ‘Tomb Raider’ movie. Regain your energy by enjoying an included sumptuous Khmer feast at lunchtime. Round off the day, time permitting, by climbing the brick temple of Pre Rup. Departs: Daily Transport: Car / minivan Meals: lunch Tour Code: REPADV

108

SECRETS OF ANGKOR

LPQCHA

STAY 4 PAY 3 - 18Apr14 - 30Sep14

£201

FR

3 DAYS

Uncover the secrets of Cambodia’s amazing history. Setting out from Siem Reap explore the incredible temples of Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, Bayon, Angkor Thom and Banteay Srei, followed by a trek through Cambodia’s jungle to see 1,000 year-old Hindu sculptures carved into a riverbed. Sample tasty Khmer cuisine and meet locals living in floating fishing villages on a boat cruise on a freshwater lake. Truly experience the very best of this fascinating region. Departs: Daily Accommodation: Simple hotel (2 nts) Transport: Car, minivan, tuk tuk & boat Meals: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches Tour Code: REPSEC

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Departs: Daily Accommodation: Hotel with a choice of Superior/Deluxe class (3 nts) Meals: 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners Transport: Tuk tuk, bicycles and some car/minivan transfers Tour Code: REPSB3

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

LAOS EXPERIENCE

£105

FR

4 DAYS

Luang Prabang

Highlights

£53

The formidable Angkor Wat is an absolute must on any bucket list and what better way to explore than by tuk tuk and your own pedal power! Throw in the temples of Banteay Srei and Kdei, the Srah Srang reservoir and Pre Rup and you’ve got a jaw-dropping tour steeped in Khmer culture and history. As well as visiting Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple and the Elephants Terrace, you’ll also stop at a local village to meet families that make palm sugar, take an excursion to a floating village on Tonle Sap Lake and visit the Senteurs D’Angkor workshop, which sells traditional, handmade products made by impoverished rural communities.

This centrally located eight-room hotel has bags of Laotian charm, decorated in traditional yet modern colonial style with polished hardwood floors, antique furniture and en suites. Rooms come with air con, free Wi-Fi and complimentary smellies. Take advantage of the free bike hire or use the Mercedes Benz 1970s transfer service.

• Enjoy a slice of authentic and untouched South East Asia • Two-day slow boat trip along the mystical Mekong River • Be privy to the traditional rituals of Buddhist monks

FR

4 DAYS

• Explore a floating village on one of Asia’s largest lakes • Stock up on fragrant, authentic souvenirs made by locals • Sunset at the iconic Angkor Wat, cameras at the ready!

The New Hope Community Outreach centre is based in Mondul Bai, one of the poorest slum areas on the outskirts of Siem Reap. This project aims to restore hope and dignity to these once-proud and prosperous communities by providing education, health and vocational training. You will be supporting Khmer teachers to assist with English, maths and computer lessons. Creative types are also welcome to lend a hand with sewing workshops. A portion of the cost of the trip will be used to buy a bicycle for you to transport yourself to and from the project. After you leave, the bike is donated back to the community for their use.

Chiang Mai

ANGKOR ADVENTURE

£317

FR

Siem Reap

Highlights

• Help families break out of the poverty cycle • Explore the formidable Angkor Wat • Get creative with art-based workshops

rock solid

Siem Reap

A truly off-the-beaten-track experience, this gem of a tour serves up picturesque mountains and heartbreakingly beautiful landscapes as you spend four magical days exploring Laos. Kick off your adventure by travelling from Chiang Mai up to the Chiang Kong border village. Day 2, cross the Laos border and begin your two-day boat trip along the Mekong, immersing yourself in local life as you pass small fishing villages on the riverside. On Day 3 you’ll overnight in Luang Prabang, a french-influenced city with a strong Buddhist presence. Day 4, rise early to witness the age old tradition of alms giving by locals to Buddhist monks. Departs: Daily Accommodation: Budget guesthouse on twin share basis (2 nt) Second night’s stay is at your own expense, budget US$10-35 (1 nt) Meals: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner Transport: Minivan & slow boat Tour Code: LPQEXP

LAOS CLASSIC TOUR Luang Prabang

£487

FR

Vientiane

5 DAYS

Highlights

• The crown jewel of Laos, charming Luang Prabang • Interact with traditional, local communities at weaving villages • Experience an unforgettable sunset on the Mekong River

Spectacular natural scenery, temples, waterfalls, caves and traditional boat trips on the mighty Mekong River - this tour may be short but is activity-packed, guaranteeing you bags of fab Laotian memories. Start in enchanting Luang Prabang, arguably South East Asia’s best preserved traditional city, explore the famous Pak Ou caves, home to thousands of Buddha statues, and meet minority villagers. Take a relaxing dip in the Khuang Xi Waterfalls, stock up on souvenirs at a night bazaar and discover the delights of the capital city, Vientiane, including the Buddha Park and impressive Friendship Bridge, linking Thailand and Laos. Departs: Saturdays Accommodation: Choice of 3/4* accommodation with en suite (4nts) Includes: tours, transfers (excludes airfare Luang Prabang to Vientiane) Meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches Transport: Coach Tour Code: LPQLCT

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

109

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Highlights

SIEM REAP BY BIKE & TUK TUK


Hanoi & Halong Bay

sapa Adventure Hanoi

£145

FR

4 DAYS

Hanoi

Rising Dragon estate hotel

rock solid

Prince Hotel

£19 SINGLE FR £10 TWIN/DOUBLE FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

An innovative hotel at the epicentre of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Staff put the guest experience at the heart of everything they do. Gaze out at the bustling streets of Hanoi from the balcony of your room complete with marble countertops, air con, free Wi-Fi and hardwood floors. Some even come with a full-size bathtub.

£19 SINGLE FR £11 TWIN/DOUBLE FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

free internet

hanoi amanda hotel

£21 SINGLE FR £13 TWIN/DOUBLE FR

• Action-packed rock climbing and kayaking • Half-day soft trek in Cat Ba Island National Park • Stunning, secluded scenery

Want to see the hilltribes but don’t have enough time to stay with them too long? Then this brilliant four-day trip up to Sapa is just for you. Take in all the awesome scenery whilst learning about these friendly communities and experience the famous Vietnamese sleeper trains! Sapa is famous for both its fine, rugged scenery and rich cultural diversity. It’s also host to many hilltribes, as well as rice terraces, lush vegetation, and Fansipan, the highest peak in Vietnam. With two days of trekking, village visits and trip to a waterfall thrown in, you’ll really get to experience what the area has to offer.

Get out of hectic Hanoi and experience the natural beauty of Cat Ba Island, a reserve lying on the edge of Halong Bay, a UNESCO natural World Heritage Site. Journey out of the city arriving at Cat Ba Island in the afternoon. On Day 2, board a traditional junk boat to cruise to unvisited parts of the bay. Kayak in secluded lagoons, explore a deserted beach or simply relax on the boat. Go on a rock climbing adventure on a massive limestone cliff before reaching Nam Cat Island, where you’ll stay in simple bamboo huts and enjoy a local barbecue dinner on the beach. On Day 3 enjoy a half day soft trek in the national park before returning to Hanoi.

Departs: Daily Accommodation: Hotel on twin share basis (2 nts), sleeper train (1 nt) Meals: 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch,1 dinner Tour Code: HANSAP

Departs: Daily Accommodation: Basic hotel (1nt), non air con bamboo hut (1nt) Transport: Local buses and ferry Meals: 2 breakfasts, 1 dinner, 2 lunches Tour Code: HANHOL

HANPRH

hangrn

Halong Bay Cruise 2 star

Hanoi

Hanoi

£171

FR

3 DAYS

Highlights

£32 SINGLE FR £17 TWIN/DOUBLE

Hanoi street food

£17

FR

HALF DAY

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Hook up with folks back home on the in-room computer • Take advantage of the 20% discount at the restaurant • Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Old Quarter

The stylish Boss Hotel is the perfect place to stay. Getting peckish? Enjoy 20% discount at the hotel restaurant. Need to exchange money? The currency exchange is there. The rooms are super-stylish with essential air con and the en suite comes with a shower and wooden bathtub! stay 6 pay 5 - all year

110

Hanoi serves up some of the world’s greatest street food and there’s no better way to sample authentic, local dishes away from the tourist trail than on this unique walking tour. Led by an expert guide, you’ll be taken to the city’s best-kept secrets, hunkering down with locals on the street at a variety of atmospheric stalls. Sample tasty French-inspired snacks, barbecued meats, bread specialities and - if you’re up for it - egg coffee, a local delicacy! Departs: Daily at 5pm close to Dong Xuan Market Includes: Touring as specified Tour Code: HANSFN

HANBOS

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Halong Bay Cruise 4 star

Hanoi

Hanoi

£208

FR

2 DAYS

Highlights

• Kayak in the gorgeous ‘Bright and Dark Cave’ area • Visit Halong Bay’s largest floating fishing village • Vietnamese and western dinner

FR

3 DAYS

You can’t beat the location of this place! It’s in the heart of the Old Quarter, just minutes from the night market and Hoan Kiem Lake. Open since 2010, everything is as good as new and each of the 35 rooms come with LCD TVs and air con. You’re ideally located for venturing out for dinner, although the hotel does have a restaurant.

glampacker

Boss hanoi hotel

£187

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

This modern hotel is well suited to the independent traveller, with friendly staff on hand to give advice on local tours and attractions. The spacious rooms are traditional in style and come with air con and satellite TV. The central location means you are just a short walk to the main attractions, such as Hoan Kiem Lake.

hanqah

rock solid

Hanoi

Highlights

• Mountain trekking through lush vegetation and rice terraces • Meet indigenous hilltribe communities • Bed down on a Vietnamese sleeper train

glampacker

Hanoi

• Experience Halong Bay untouched on an exclusive route • Visit caves, go kayaking, fishing and meet the locals • Relax on the sun deck of your traditional yet luxurious junk

Sail away from the crowd on this lovely trip taking you around the wonders of scenic Halong Bay. Departing from Hanoi, you will travel to your home for the next two nights, a traditional, wooden junk boat. Spend your days relaxing on the spacious sun deck, casting your eye over the views or jumping in the water - it looks so good you’ll find it hard not to! Explore Surprise Cave by foot, enjoy an hour’s kayaking or join in squid fishing from the boat. The junk has 5-8 roomy cabins, each with en suite facilities and a window for taking in those stunning views. Included local meals are served in the dining room with panoramic views out to the bay. Departs: Daily Accommodation: Junk boat in air con twin/double cabin (2 nts). Can also be done as 4-star or as a 2 day tour Includes: Bus transfers to/from Hanoi, all fees Meals: All meals whilst onboard Tour Code: HANCRU

To date, only about a quarter of the total area of World Heritage Site, Halong Bay, has been discovered. As part of this exclusive tour you’ll be privy to Bai Tu Long Bay, an area less travelled by other boats. Aboard the elegant Prince junk, limited to either three or four cabins, you’ll cruise the magnificent, primitive bay with countless small islets. Go kayaking and swimming, explore Thien Canh Son cave and relax on Hon Co Island’s white sandy beach. Visit a fishing village by rowing boat, check out the floating school and fish farms and meet with local people to understand firsthand about their fascinating culture. Departs: Daily Accommodation: Junk boat in deluxe air con twin cabins (1nt). Can also be done as 2-star or as a 3 day tour Includes: transfer to/from Hanoi, all fees Meals:1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 1 dinner Tour Code: HANPJC

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

111

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Highlights

CAT BA ISLAND EXPERIENCE


Ho Chi Minh City

vietnam beaches

SOUTH EAST ASIA

SOUTH EAST ASIA

rock solid

sanouva HOTEL

£38 SINGLE £22 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Expect smart, clean rooms with air con, free Wi-Fi, modern bathrooms and black out curtains at the Sanouva hotel. You’ll also get some pretty great views of the city thrown in too! The location is hard to beat, with the main tourist attractions close by. Friendly staff are always happy to help, so a good stay is all but guaranteed.

Rock solid

elegant hotel saigon city

£30 SINGLE £15 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

With a prime central location, you won’t be disappointed with this smart little joint. Rooms are bright and come with air con, flatscreen TVs, a fridge and en suites. Enjoy drinks at the bar, a coffee in the cafe or a choice of Asian or Western cuisine in the restaurant. Looking to explore? The helpful staff are more than happy to help.

SGNSAN

rock solid

grand silverland HOTEL & SPA

£72 SINGLE £36 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

It’s all about the rooftop at the Grand Silverland. There’s a pool you can enjoy cocktails by and a roof garden restaurant with spectacular views. This elegant hotel is located just one minute from Ben Thanh market in the main tourist hub of the city. For respite from the hustle and bustle, relax in your comfortable room.

SGNELE

rock solid

ASIA PARADISE HOTEL, Nha Trang

rock solid

Sunrise Nha Trang Beach Hotel & Spa

£62 SINGLE £31 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Located in the heart of Nha Trang and a short walk from the white sandy beach, this hotel offers you comfort and luxury at an affordable price. All the modern rooms have private bathrooms, air con, cable TV and a mini-bar. Enjoy relaxing by the pool, work out at the fitness centre and have your laundry done for you by the expert staff!

SGNGRA

rock solid

swiss-belhotel

£99 SINGLE £56 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

This great boutique hotel is the only colonial-style property in Nha Trang, located in the heart of the city - just steps from the beach and within walking distance of all the action. Boasting seafront balcony rooms with views over one of the most beautiful bays in the world. Indulge the senses in the spa! STAY 4 PAY 3, STAY 7 PAY 5 11Jan14-31Oct14

NHAASI

£183

FR

4 DAYS

MEKONG DELTA FARMSTAY

£115

FR

2 DAYS

THUY DONG 3 HOTEL, Hoi An

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

NHASNT

With its meandering waterways and flourishing farms, the Mekong Delta is one for the Vietnam checklist. Venture through this iconic landscape by boat and discover riverbanks dotted with coconut palms, sprawling rice fields and ramshackled houses on stilts. You’ll spend a fascinating evening staying at a farm with local hosts discovering their authentic culture and enjoy village cycling before bidding farewell to the Mekong on Day 2.

Departs: Daily Accommodation: 4* hotel twin share (3nts) Meals: 3 breakfasts Includes: coach transfers to/from Ho Chi Minh City Tour Code: SGNMNE

Departs: Sun, Tue & Fri Accommodation: farm homestay, shared accommodation (1 nt) Meals: 1 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner Transport: Boat (private & rowing), minibus Tour Code: SGNFAR

112

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SWIBEL

a-list

£39 SINGLE £20 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Mui Ne is an idyllic, laid-back beach town with palm trees, white sand beaches, great seafood and a range of hotel options making it a great short break getaway from the city. There’s also a range of exciting water-based activities to get your blood pumping, including kite-surfing and windsurfing. Three nights accommodation with en suite, air con and breakfast is included as well as return transfers from your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.

FR

Decorated in traditional Vietnamese style but with a modern twist, this beachfront hideaway surrounded by palm trees is pure heaven! With swimming pools, fitness centre and spa facilities on offer, the rooms come with air con and a terrace or balcony – the perfect place to enjoy a drink while watching the sun set in plush surroundings.

glampacker

mui ne beach package

£82 SINGLE £41 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

GOLDEN SAND, H0i An

VICTORIA HOI AN BEACH RESORT, Hoi An

£132 SINGLE £66 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

• Centrally located for easy access to Hoi An’s sights • Tasteful rooms with all the amenities you could want • Escape the heat with a swim in the pool

• Take a shuttle to the charming ancient town of Hoi An • Dust off the cobwebs with some early morning Tai Chi • Explore the rice fields on a free mountain bike

Situated in the centre of Hoi An, a charming 15th Century town, this hotel is an ideal location. It offers plenty of modern comforts with impressively designed rooms including air con, minibar and en suite bathrooms. Spend your days relaxing by the pool, working up a sweat in the sauna or sampling local delights at the restaurant.

This beachfront resort provides everything you need for rest and relaxation, mirroring a traditional fishing village with small streets and water ponds. All the rooms combine the elegance of Japanese and Vietnamese local handicrafts, plus amazing views. Indulge yourself with a herbal massage in the spa or chill out by the pool.

DADTH3

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

DADVIC

113


£1,299

hanoi to hong kong

oriental asia

Hanoi

• • • • • • • •

FR

15 DAYS

Hong Kong

Highlights

Hike along the Longji Rice Terraces Float past the dramatic Halong Bay Soak up culture in remote villages Belt out karaoke in Liuzhou bars Stroll over the bridges of Chengyang Party it up in glitzy Hong Kong Take in the views from Victoria Peak Explore and bargain in local markets

oriental asia

oriental asia

Departures 2014 Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 26 Feb 23 Mar 23 Apr 20 May 18 Jun 22

Feb 09 Mar 09 Apr 06 May 04 Jun 01 Jul 06

Jul 20 Aug 17 Aug 31 Sep 14 Sep 28 Oct 12

Aug 03 Aug 31 Sep 14 Sep 28 Oct 12 Oct 26

Oct 26 Nov 16 Nov 23 Dec 07 Dec 21

Nov 09 Nov 30 Dec 07 Dec 21 Jan 04

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 3 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels/guesthouses (12 nts), junk boat (1 nt), sleeper train (1 nt) Transport: Train, local bus, air-con bus, boat Meals: 3 beakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD $190-250 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAVHK

Get the best of both worlds on this 15-day tour across China and Vietnam. From sprawling countryside hills and trickling rivers to the sparkling lights and bustling streets of fastpaced cities, you’ll journey through the rural and urban charms of both countries! You’ll climb atop the stunning limestone karsts in Guilin, bamboo raft down the winding rivers of Yangshuo, and float past the breathtaking islands of Halong Bay. Get to know friendly locals in remote villages or buzzing city karaoke bars, and live the high life in Hong Kong. What more could you ask for? Grab that suitcase and get packing!

DAY ITINERARY

My Own Room Available: Fr £359

Hanoi

Arrive into Hanoi at any time. Before meeting your tour leader and fellow travellers in the evening, venture out to get a taste of the city. Wander through Hanoi’s Old Quarter, a maze of streets dating back to the 13th Century, each dedicated to a different product or industry, or opt for an evening performance at the famous Water Puppet Theatre, a real taste of rural Vietnamese traditions.

01

Halong Bay / Cat Ba Island

CHINA

Liuzhou

Chengyang Longji

02-03

Hua Shan Yangshuo Lang Son VIETNAM

Hanoi

Hong Kong

Hua Shan / Liuzhou

04-06 Halong Bay/ Cat Ba Island

Head back to the mainland and drive north into China. In the remote mountain village of Hua Shan, home to the local minority people, the Zhuang, stay in traditional wooden buildings and take in the splendour of the huge cliff fresco painted by their ancestors 2,000 years ago. On Day 6, visit the sprawling metropolis of Liuzhou, and wander the bustling city streets or try your hand at karaoke in a local bar. (B, L)

Chengyang

07-08 LAOS

09-10

Average High Temperature (ºC / ºF)

Come morning, it’s time to head to Halong Bay to witness the spectacular views of 2,000 or more limestone islands rising from the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Legend claims these islands were created by a great dragon in the mountains, and its beauty will definitely capture your imagination as you explore aboard a traditional junk boat. Opt for a pre-dinner swim and spend a peaceful night beneath the stars. The next stop is Cat Ba Island to take in the stunning scenery and explore. Dine on fresh seafood and sip cocktails overlooking the floating villages in the bay or whizz around the island on motorbike. (2B, L, D)

DEC

Another minority people, the Dong, reside in the lush landscapes of Chengyang. Lining the many waterways and sprawling paddy fields are the impressive ‘wind and rain’ bridges and lazy waterwheels that help the Dong farm their land. Take a guided tour of the village, catch the locals performing traditional songs and dances and marvel at their daily life activities.

Longji Rice Terraces

Head into the clouds to visit the Longji Rice Terraces, whose steep sides are said to resemble those of a dragon’s backbone. Traipse along the mountain on intricate slate paths carved out by the locals, drinking in the amazing scenery surrounding you.

City

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEPT

OCT

NOV

Beijing

1 34

3 37

11 52

19 66

25 77

29 84

30 86

29 84

25 77

18 64

9 48

2 36

Chengdu

8 46

10 50

15 59

21 70

25 77

27 81

28 82

28 82

24 75

20 68

15 59

10 50

Hangzhou

7 45

8 46

12 54

20 68

24 75

27 81

32 90

31 88

26 79

22 72

16 61

10 50

Hong Kong

19 16

19 16

21 70

25 77

28 82

30 86

31 88

31 88

30 86

28 82

24 75

21 70

A mix of rolling limestone hills, rice fields and trickling rivers, rural China is a sight to behold, and Yangshuo is the best place to experience it. Hike alongside stunning natural scenery, bamboo raft down rushing rivers, and get the heart pumping with an afternoon of rock climbing. For a more relaxed day, indulge in a Chinese massage, take a cooking class or catch a famous Light and Sound show. To get a true taste of the spectacular countryside, you’ll bike through the limestone karst mountains, passing rice paddies and water buffalo and the many bustling markets and villages. (L)

Osaka

8 46

8 46

12 54

18 64

23 73

27 81

30 86

32 90

28 82

22 72

17 63

11 52

Hong Kong

Shanghai

7 45

8 46

11 52

18 64

23 73

27 81

31 88

30 86

26 79

22 72

16 61

10 50

Tokyo

8 46

9 48

12 54

17 63

22 72

24 75

27 81

30 86

26 79

20 68

16 61

11 52

Xian

4 39

8 46

14 57

20 68

26 79

32 90

32 90

31 88

25 77

19 66

12 54

6 43

Yangshuo

11-13 14-15

Make your way to Hong Kong via an overnight sleeper train. Hong Kong is truly one of the world’s most exciting and invigorating cities, a fascinating blend of ancient Chinese traditions and modernday metropolis. Cruise the harbour aboard the Star Ferry (Hong Kong’s best bargain!) or search for souvenirs at Stanley Market, or take in the views of the twinkling skyline from Victoria Peak, the highest point in Hong Kong. Alternatively, pack in some theme park thrills at Ocean Park, or take a trip to one of the outlying islands such as Lantau where you can see the famous Buddha. The tour comes to an end at any time on Day 15.

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

115


tibet adventure Beijing

Ancient £1,699 empires

£2,699

FR

15 DAYS

Kathmandu

Beijing

FR

18 DAYS

Tokyo

NAADAM festival MONGOLIA Ulaanbaatar

LOCAL LIVING MONGOLIA £1,699 NOMADIC LIFE

£639

FR

15 DAYS

Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar

FR

8 DAYS

Ulaanbaatar

oriental asia

oriental asia

Highlights

• Explore bustling Beijing and hike along the Great Wall of China • Ride the rails on the spectacular Trans-Tibetan high-altitude railway • Absorb the amazing spirituality of Tibet’s historic capital, Lhasa

DAY ITINERARY 01-02

Highlights

• Combine two great tours - China Express & Japan Express • See Tiananmen Square and walk the most famous wall in the world • Get a bird’s-eye view of Mt. Fuji and stay in a traditional ryokan

DAY ITINERARY

Arrive in Beijing and start to explore this immense city, where the vast expanse of Tiananmen Square beckons. Enjoy a guided tour of the Forbidden City and an included trip to the Great Wall of China.

01-03

Depart Beijing on the world-famous 48hr train journey to Lhasa. Watch the scenery changing as this high-altitude railway climbs onto the Tibetan Plateau. Comfortable sleeper compartments contain six berths, all bedding is provided and meals are served in the dining car. This historic city is situated over 3,700m above sea level and dominated by the massive Potala Palace. Take an orientation walk around Barkhor Square and visit the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual heart of Tibet, around which prostrating pilgrims circle endlessly. (3B)

Gyantse / Shigatse / Sakya

09-11

04-05

12-15

06-09

The spectacular drive to Gyantse crosses three passes over 5,000m and skirts the shores of the beautiful Yamdrok Tso Lake. On Day 10, take a short drive to Shigatse, Tibet’s second-most important city and boasting the huge complex of Tashilhunpo. In Sakya you can visit its great monastery and the ruins of North Sakya across the river. (B)

10-11

Rombuk / Everest Base Camp / Zhangmu / Kathmandu

12-15

Take an exhilarating drive to Rombuk, at 5,200m, and embark on the 7km hike to Everest Base Camp, before visiting the highest monastery in the world. Later, cross to Zhangmu, via a most spectacular mountain pass. The historic city of Kathmandu reveals a world of colour and life. Take time out to explore before your tour ends on the morning of Day 15.

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 4 Age Group: Any Age Accommodation: Hotels (11 nts), guesthouse (1 nt, multishare), sleeper train (2 nts) Transport: Train, private bus Meals: 4 breakfasts Budget: Allow USD $225-325 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAACTA

My Own Room Available: Fr £199

Arrive to the vibrant Chinese capital, Beijing. Be blown away by the sheer spectacle of the Great Wall on an included tour, and discover China’s opulent past as you tour the Forbidden City. Take an evening flight to Xi’an on Day 3. Discover one of China’s greatest archaeological treasures - the Terracotta Warriors. Opt to cycle the ancient city walls before boarding a comfortable sleeper train to Suzhou, known as the ‘Venice of the East’. Take in a cultural Master of Nets performance. (L)

Explore Hiroshima’s history at the Peace Park and Museum, and witness the famous floating Torii Gate. On Day 14, head to historic Kyoto to visit the impressive Nijo Castle and the famous Kinaku-ji Golden Pavilion. Practice meditation in Daisen-in’s Zen rock garden.

Hakone / Mt. Fuji / Tokyo

16-18

Enjoy stunning views of Mt. Fuji, a boat ride on Lake Ashino-ko and stay in a traditional ryokan accommodation. Explore the frenetic streets of Tokyo on Day 17 before your tour ends the next day. (B, D)

Rombuk / Mt. Everest Shigatse Lhasa N E PA L

Gyantse

Kathmandu

C H I N A

Departures 2014

Departures 2014

Apr - Oct

Mar - Oct

116

Selected Saturdays (typically 2-4 departures per month)

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Hakone and Mt Fuji

CHINA

Beijing

Xi'an

Kyoto Himeji Hiroshima Suzhou

Shanghai

My Own Room Available: Fr £159

Departs most Sundays (Apr 06-Oct 19)

Next, it’s on to the Selenge River before hiking up Pot Mountain, actually a volcanic crater, to marvel at the views. On Day 4, learn about Mongolian nomadic culture by staying with a nomadic family, with a chance to try a delicious traditional barbecue! (2B, 2L, 2D)

03-04

Khovsgol Lake / Shine Ider / Great White Lake

05-09

Mongolia’s largest lake, Khovsgol Lake, is next. Hike around the protected National Park and take part in horse riding, fishing or archery. On Day 7, visit the beautiful Lake District of Mongolia and spot wildlife in the hills. At the Great White Lake on Day 9 visit a volcano, crawl inside lava tubes and drink in the views. (5B, 5L, 5D)

LAOS THAILAND CAMBODIA

Tokyo

Osaka Koyasan

Arrive into Ulaanbaatar at any time. Feel free to venture into the city to explore. On Day 2, travel to reach your first nomadic family hosts by oxcart or horse through a stunning mountain river valley in the Terelj National Park. The night will be spent learning Mongolian techniques to saddle a horse and prepare an oxcart before dinner and a night of traditional Mongolian games. (L, D)

01-02

Terelj National Park

Horseback ride through beautiful forests and landscapes to a well-known nomadic seamstress and learn how to make traditional Mongolian garments and tie a horse bridle. You may have realised by now that this is most definitely not your normal holiday?! (B, L, D)

03

Terelj National Park

Visit another nomadic family after a 9 km journey to learn the art of tying traditional knots to tether livestock and make buttons for traditional nomadic garments. (B, L, D)

04

Tsenger Hot Springs / Bayan Gobi

Visit a monastery museum in Tsetserleg, and sample some treats from its yummy bakery, en route to Tsenger. Stay the night at a ger camp after a soothing soak in the hot springs. Arrive at the Bayan Gobi and opt for a hike to an oasis lake to see local wildlife, ancient stone carvings and a terrific desert sunset. (2B, 2L, 2D)

10-11

Terelj National Park

05-06

Ulaanbaatar

Return to Ulaanbaatar on Day 12 for the opening ceremony to see wrestling matches and archery contests. Watch the finish line of the Naadam horse race before the festival closing ceremony. Depart at any time on Day 15. (3B, 2L)

12-15

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (12 nts), sleeper train (1 nt), ferry (2 nts, multishare), mountain monastery (1 nt), Japanese-style ryokan accommodation with hot springs (1 nt) Transport: Train, bus, ferry, boat, plane, bullet train Meals: 4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners Budget: Allow USD $400-590 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAACCJ

Ulaanbaatar / Terelj National Park

Selenge River

Explore Japan’s culinary capital and home to the nation’s funniest and friendliest locals. On Day 11, visit the centre of Japanese Buddhism and sleep on futons in an authentic monastic lodgings. (B, D)

Inclusions Beijing

01-02

Osaka / Koyasan

Hiroshima / Kyoto

DAY ITINERARY

Arrive in Mongolia’s capital and explore the city streets. The next day you’ll start a 350km drive to Amarbayasgalant Monastery located in the stunning Iven Gol Valley. Stargazing tonight takes on a new meaning with your first stay in a traditional ger camp. (B, L, D)

Shanghai / Ferry to Japan

Explore dynamic Shanghai. Take a walking tour along the Bund and opt to see an acrobat show. On Day 8, board a modern passenger ferry for the 48-hour trip across the East China Sea to Japan. (2B)

Highlights

• Horseback ride through the lush landscapes of Terelj National Park • Challenge local nomadic families to a friendly archery competition • Gain a deep understanding of Mongolian customs and tradition

Ulaanbaatar / Amarbayasgalant

Xi’an / Suzhou

Lhasa

05-08

DAY ITINERARY

Beijing

Beijing

Trans-Tibetan Rail Journey

03-04

Highlights

• Explore this remote land of steppes, sand dunes and Genghis Khan! • Experience stays in traditional ger camps and meet a nomadic family • Cheer on the archers, wrestlers and horse riders at Naadam Festival

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 3 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotel (4 nts), nomad family stay/camping (1 nt), Mongolian gers (9 nts, multishare) Transport: Private van Meals: 13 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 10 dinners Budget: Allow USD $55-75 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAMNF

Khovsgol Lake River

Amarbayasgalant Selenge River

Shine Ider

Great White Lake MONGOLIA

FINISH

START

FINISH

Jul 13

Jul 10

Jul 24

Learn to steer an oxcart with your nomadic hosts and tuck into a traditional lunch before travelling back to the Mongolian capital for a last night as a group. On Day 8, depart at any time. (B, L)

Trip Style: Local Living Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 3 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Traditional ger (5 nts), basic hotels (2 nts) Transport: Public bus, oxcart, horse Meals: 5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners Budget: Allow USD $55-75 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAAMNL

Ulaanbaatar

Terelj National Park

Bayan Gobi

Departures 2014 START

Terelj National Park / Ulaanbaatar

Inclusions

Tsenger Hot Springs

Jun 29

07-08

On Day 5, practice with Mongolian bows and arrows before challenging nomads to an archery competition. After, it’s back in an oxcart for a 6 km trip to the next family. On Day 6, rise bright and early to help the nomads milk the cows before learning how to make traditional dairy products. Sample your efforts at breakfast before heading on a 7 km journey to the next destination. (2B, 2L, 2D)

Ulaanbaatar CHINA

Departures 2014 START

FINISH

Jun 21 Jul 19

Jun 28 Jul 26

START

FINISH

Aug 06 Aug 13 Aug 24 Aug 31

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

MONGOLIA START

FINISH

Sep 14

Sep 21

117


£2,495

Mongolia & beyond St. Petersburg

• • • • • • • •

FR

19 DAYS

Beijing

Highlights

Travel the Trans Mongolian Railway Indulge in opulent St. Petersburg Explore the majestic city of Moscow Admire the beauty of Lake Baikal Live as a nomad in a ger camp Visit the land of Genghis Khan See the unique Great Wall of China Soak in the vibe of electrifying Beijing

START

extend your journey Vodkatrain has a range of VodkaPack FINISH

Jul 16 Aug 03 Aug 13 Aug 31 Sep 10 Sep 28

START

FINISH

Sep 24

Oct 12

from beijing

START

FINISH

May 04 May 22 Jun 12 Jun 30

START

FINISH

Jul 31 Aug 18 Aug 14 Sep 01

START

FINISH

Sep 04

Sep 22

Inclusions

Trip Style: Experience Tour - featuring local guides in each city rather than a tour leader to accompany the whole journey Service Level: Standard Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (7 nts), Mongolian ger (1 nt), guesthouse (2 nts), trains - 4 berth sleepers (8 nts) Transport: Train, minibus Meals: 11 breakfasts, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD $380-475 for meals not included Group Leader: Local guides in each city Group Size: Max 15 Tour Code: MBSB / MBBS

Twin berth supplement: Fr £860

Lose yourself on this extraordinary journey between two of the world’s most inspiring and action-packed cities; from the extravagant palaces of St. Petersburg to the electrifying vibe of Beijing. This unique alternative to conventional touring is designed for experienced travellers who enjoy the freedom and flexibility of independent travel combined with the benefits of travelling as a small group. Along the way, you’ll discover that Moscow is alive with culture, arts and buzzing nightlife, make new friends on the legendary Trans Siberian Railway, admire the beauty of Lake Baikal and have the chance to walk on the Great Wall of China.

city breaks and RailPacks through Europe, China, Japan and Vietnam to help you plan your journey. If Vodkatrain is part of a bigger trip and you are leaving or returning to Europe we’ve even made sure that the tour dates match up with those at Busabout (see our Europe brochure) so you won’t have to get on a plane between London and Hong Kong. That’s 12,000km overland!

DAY ITINERARY St. Petersburg

01-02

RUSSIA

Irkutsk

St. Petersburg

Lake Baikal

Ulaanbaatar

MONGOLIA

03-05

Ger Camp

Beijing CHINA

Arrive to the charming St. Petersburg and start exploring the richly-filled palaces and museums, wide boulevards and canals. The gilded halls of the Hermitage Museum are adorned with the works of Da Vinci, Rembrandt and many other great masters. Known as Russia’s ‘Window to the West’, St. Petersburg is sure to seduce with its dazzling architecture, whilst just beyond the city lie the incomparable summer palaces of the Tsars at Petrodvorets. If you are here in summer, experience the legendary white nights, when the sun barely dips below the horizon. In the evening of Day 2, jump aboard the overnight express to Moscow. Prepare to be amazed by the fascinating city of Moscow, bursting with energy and packed with contemporary art galleries and bohemian cafés. Discover Moscow’s metro system and experience the echoing vastness of Red Square. Admire the splendid twirled cupolas of St. Basil’s Cathedral, one of the most beautiful Russian Orthodox monuments, and the Kremlin itself, a treasure house of magnificent relics and monuments of art. In the evening, flock to one of Moscow’s great wine bars and restaurants or enjoy a buzzing scene of nightclubs and underground bars.

INDIA

Welcome on board the longest railway line in the world, the Trans Siberian Railway, for the scenic journey east, across spectacular mountains and rivers, into the heart of Siberia. Settle into life on board in your comfortable four-berth compartment, enjoy the company of your travel companions and meet some locals in the dining car.

Irkutsk / Lake Baikal / Trans Mongolian Railway

You might like

Classic Trans Siberian (14 Days) Fr £2,090 Board the Trans Siberian Railway for the world’s longest and most famous railway journey - one country, seven time zones and 9,288 kilometres (5,767 miles). Tour Code: CTSM Gobi and Nomads (15 Days) Fr £1,595 Complete a full Trans Mongolian journey and venture out into the realm of Genghis Khan, discovering the true hospitality of Mongolia’s nomadic people. Tour Code: GNBM/GNMB

118

09-12

Almost in the centre of Asia, Irkutsk is the nearest big city to the glorious Lake Baikal. Known as the ‘Paris of Siberia’, the town is filled with 18th Century churches, brightly-painted shutters and log houses decorated with wooden lacework. Explore the spectacular region around the world’s oldest, deepest and largest (by volume) freshwater lake from the sleepy village of Listvyanka. On the evening of Day 11 hop on a train for the two-night journey into Mongolia and on to Ulaanbaatar.

Ulaanbaatar / Mongolian Steppe

13-15 16

Arrive to the dynamic city of Ulaanbaatar, known for its great leader Genghis Khan. In the afternoon travel out across the grasslands where you will get to experience life as a nomad as you spend a night in a traditional Mongolian ger set among spectacular rock formations and wild rolling hills of Terelj National Park. On Day 14, return to Ulaanbaatar and enjoy your final night in this restless capital before a morning departure aboard the Trans Mongolian Express to Beijing.

Trans Mongolian Railway

Watch the changing landscapes as you travel over the steppe of northern Mongolia and the Gobi Desert, then through border formalities where the train wheels are changed and on to Beijing.

Beijing

17-19

Welcome to Beijing, China’s capital, and a city of staggering proportions. Use the opportunity to visit the majestic Great Wall, one of the greatest wonders of the world. The Great Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaux, stretching approximately 8,851 kilometres (5,500 miles) from the east to west of China. Visit the magnificent Summer Palace and enjoy the history and significance of the amazing Forbidden City with its complex of remarkable halls, palaces and gates. Soak in the colours and sounds, smells and tastes of this amazing city before your journey concludes on Day 19.

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Vodkatrain brings together young, like-minded individuals with different backgrounds from all around the world to travel together through some of the most unique and interesting destinations on routes less travelled. You’ll be travelling with the locals wherever you go and will discover each new city with the help of your local Honcho.

Transport & Accommodation

Trans Siberian Railway

06-08

Experience the Trans Siberian Railway, Mongolia and the Silk Road at ground level. Travel with the locals, explore cities with your local Honcho, decide what you want to see and do and pay local prices along the way!

Vodkatrain is a great combination of independent backpacking and small group travel at affordable do-it-yourself prices. If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional tour groups with fixed schedules and regimented sightseeing, Vodkatrain gives you the chance to do your own thing or let your Honchos show you around the cities they live in and love!

Moscow

Moscow

oriental asia

Oriental asia

FINISH

what’s included

Honcho services in every city stop All your train tickets Accommodation on shared basis Arrival / departure transfers en route All Trans Mongolian journeys include a stay in a traditional Mongolian ger • Visa support for pre-booked tours

From st.petersburg

START

Trans Mongolian Railway & the Silk Road

• • • • •

Departures 2014 May 14 01 Jun Jun 18 Jul 06 Jul 02 Jul 20

vodkaTrain

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Project Vodkatrain Complete a full Trans Mongolian journey and spend a week discovering Mongolia’s wilderness, learning the nomadic life and assisting with an environmental project. (19 days) (PVMB) Fr £1,735

The trains are a destination in themselves, especially the dining car! These are not chartered trains but regular scheduled services and they ferry families, traders, students, soldiers, business people, travellers and monks, so there is always an interesting mix of people. Overnight trains have comfortable bunk-bed style, mixed gender, four-berth compartments (sleeping configurations and facilities differ for some journeys) and they have bedding, reading lights, a big window, a small table, room for your backpack and constant hot water so you’ll never run out of instant noodles! At each stop a local Honcho will meet you and transfer you to and from your accommodation. They’ll also take care of the train tickets and make sure you’re on the right train and going in the right direction! You’ll stay in a mixture of hotels, hostels, guesthouses and traditional Mongolian gers (a real highlight); some accommodation may be multi-share but most will be twins. All are centrally located (or really close to public transport) and clean.

travellers around to share experiences with and to provide a support network so you don’t have to tackle any hard bits alone! Vodktatrain is a travel revolution born out of the bureaucracy and challenges of travel through some of Asia’s most incredible, unique and unusual destinations.

honchos Honchos have grown up in their city and love showing you around, not only to the tourist sites (they are important too) but to the real heartbeat of the city, its people and those underground places you normally need weeks to find! They can show you how to use local transport, where to change money, their favourite cafés, bars and restaurants, can translate all the latest gossip and if there is something they don’t know they have the language skills to find out.

Vodkatrain is 18-35 only, so you’ll be sharing your adventure with like-minded and independent travellers from across the globe. These are not ‘escorted’ tours but it is group travel. This means you’ll have other

Your Honchos are available from 9am ‘til 9pm each day and some choose to stay out later for a drink. All their expenses are covered to ensure they’ll only take you to the places they would want to go themselves so there’s no funny business! Your Honcho probably has some ideas about what you should see in their city - but there is no pressure to do any suggested activities; if you want to do your own thing, they will help you with directions, a few local sayings or maybe scrawl a basic map on a napkin - then leave you to it...

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

119

Group Travel as Individual As You


the vodkatrain St.Petersburg

£1,990

FR

21 DAYS

Beijing

£945

the budgeting bolshevik Moscow

FR

12 DAYS

Beijing

SMALL GROUP ADVENTURE (18-35s)

SMALL GROUP ADVENTURE (18-35s)

DAY ITINERARY Ulaanbaatar / Terelj National Park

Moscow

01-02 03-05

Meet your group, jump on the metro and start your journey in Red Square! On Day 2, continue exploring this great city before an afternoon departure to Irkutsk.

Trans Siberian Railway

Settle into life on board, spend time with the locals, share stories and watch the landscapes change out of the window.

Irkutsk / Lake Baikal

DAY ITINERARY St. Petersburg

01-03

Arrive to the beautiful St. Petersburg, known as the ‘Window to the West’. It boasts a maze of romantic canals and modern architecture that give the city a real European charm. If you happen to find yourself here in summer, experience the legendary White Nights, when the sun barely dips below the horizon. However, St. Petersburg is sure not to disappoint at any time of year; with its rich culture, opulent palaces, gardens and canals, the city dazzles and delights. Visit the grand avenue of Nevsky Prospekt and get to know your new travel buddies, enjoying the live music scene. In the evening of Day 3, board the overnight train to St. Petersburg’s big brother, Moscow.

Moscow / Trans Siberian Railway

Departures 2014 From st.petersburg

START

FINISH

START

FINISH

START

FINISH

Jan 06 Jan 13 Jan 27 Feb 17 Mar 03 Mar 17 Mar 31 Apr 14 May 05 May 12

Jan 26 Feb 02 Feb 16 Mar 09 Mar 23 Apr 06 Apr 20 May 04 May 25 Jun 01

May 19 May 26 Jun 09 Jun 16 Jun 30 Jul 07 Jul 14 Jul 28 Aug 04 Aug 18

Jun 08 Jun 15 Jun 29 Jul 06 Jul 20 Jul 27 Aug 03 Aug 17 Aug 24 Sep 07

Sep 01 Sep 08 Sep 15 Sep 22 Sep 29 Oct 13 Oct 27 Nov 17 Dec 08

Sep 21 Sep 28 Oct 05 Oct 12 Oct 19 Nov 02 Nov 16 Dec 07 Dec 28

04-06

START

FINISH

START

FINISH

START

FINISH

Jan 25 Feb 22 Mar 08 Mar 22 Mar 29 Apr 12 Apr 26 May 10 May 17 Jun 04

Feb 14 Mar 14 Mar 28 Apr 11 Apr 18 May 02 May 16 May 30 Jun 06 Jun 24

Jun 11 Jun 25 Jul 02 Jul 09 Jul 30 Aug 13 Aug 20 Sep 03 Sep 10 Sep 17

Jul 01 Jul 15 Jul 22 Jul 29 Aug 19 Sep 02 Sep 09 Sep 23 Sep 30 Oct 07

Oct 01 Oct 08 Oct 15 Oct 29 Nov 12 Nov 26 Dec 10 Dec 24

Oct 21 Oct 28 Nov 04 Nov 18 Dec 02 Dec 16 Dec 30 Jan 13

START

FINISH

START

FINISH

START

FINISH

Jan 27 Feb 10 Feb 24 Mar 10

Feb 07 Feb 21 Mar 07 Mar 21

Mar 24 Apr 07 Apr 21 Sep 15

Apr 04 Apr 18 May 02 Sep 26

Sep 29 Oct 13 Oct 27 Nov 10

Oct 10 Oct 24 Nov 07 Nov 21

18-21

Beijing

Your journey comes to an end as you arrive in Beijing early afternoon.

Watch the traders at the border and catch a glimpse of your first yak in Mongolia.

£1,240

the genghis khan Moscow

FR

14 DAYS

Beijing

SMALL GROUP ADVENTURE (18-35s)

DAY ITINERARY Moscow

01-03 04-07

Return to Irkutsk and head straight for Mongolia, to its capital Ulaanbaatar! Enjoy your two-day journey on the Trans Mongolian Railway, watch the traders at the border and catch a glimpse of your first yak. On Day 15, arrive in Ulaanbataar and travel to Terelj National Park, where you will get a chance to experience life as a nomad first-hand, with a stay in a ger camp. On Day 17, return to Ulaanbaatar, a pulsing hub of bohemian culture and great nightlife. The city is a clash of old and new; from horses to Hondas, throat singing to karaoke. Get back on the train to cross the Gobi Desert and your final border into China. Prepare for the crowds, mouth-watering smells and a city of staggering proportions. No other city in China can compete with the stunning historical panorama on display in Beijing. The city is home to fascinating temples, buzzing markets and enchanting ancient alleyways. Delve between the high rises to discover the secrets of hutong life, visit Tiananmen Square and encounter the dazzling array of dishes, from succulent Peking duck and delicious dumplings, to more exotic Asian cuisine. And of course, let’s not forget the majestic Great Wall snaking its way across the hills! Your epic journey comes to an end on Day 21 and you are free to depart at any time.

Morning departure on the Trans Mongolian Railway across the legendary Gobi Desert and into China.

TOUR CODE: BBMB

Make the most of your three-day journey, as you trundle through underpopulated landscapes. Head down to the dining car to practice your Russian or try some vodka with the locals. In the morning of Day 10, arrive in Irkutsk, situated in the heart of Siberia and the perfect base to explore the great outdoors and the glorious Lake Baikal. Known as the ‘Paris of Siberia’, Irkutsk offers traditional Russian hospitality, but laces it with a hefty shot of Siberian vodka when you’re not looking! Head to Lake Baikal, pack a picnic and enjoy a hike along its beautiful shores. Clean your pores in a toasty traditional banya (sauna) and discover the magic that a dip in the waters does for you!

Trans Mongolian Railway / Beijing

TOUR CODE: VTSB / VTBS

12

Trans Mongolian Railway

From Moscow

Trans Mongolian Railway / Ulaanbaatar / Terelj National Park

12-17

08

Trans Mongolian Railway

11

Return to Ulaanbaatar for a last chance to pick up some felt slippers and enjoy one more night of Mongolian hospitality.

Departures 2014

Trans Siberian Railway / Irkutsk / Lake Baikal

07-11

From Beijing

Lose yourself in the speldour of this action packed city. The commanding and progressive Moscow is alive with arts, culture and nightlife; from a wide range of museums and modern art galleries, to a vibrant scene of nightclubs, bohemian art cafés and underground bars. Discover the highlights around Red Square, known as the heart and soul of Russia. See one of the most famous pieces of architecture in the world, St. Basil’s Cathedral, as well as the constructivist pyramid of Lenin’s Mausoleum. Spend some time in Gorky Park, where you can find some of the best views of the city from the yellow and blue pedestrian bridge that spans the river. After a full-on couple of days of sightseeing and partying, it is time to relax on the train as you begin your journey for Irkutsk in the afternoon of Day 6.

06-07

10

Ulaanbaatar

Just because you are a bit tight on time doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the Trans Mongolian. Three countries in two weeks - that’s what we call an adventure!

Departures 2014 From Moscow

START

FINISH

START

FINISH

START

FINISH

Jan 13 Feb 10 Mar 10 Apr 07 Apr 21 May 05 May 19

Jan 26 Feb 23 Mar 23 Apr 20 May 04 May 18 Jun 01

Jun 02 Jun 09 Jun 23 Jun 30 Jul 07 Jul 14 Jul 28

Jun 15 Jun 22 Jul 06 Jul 13 Jul 20 Jul 27 Aug 10

Aug 04 Aug 18 Sep 01 Sep 08 Sep 22 Oct 20 Nov 24

Aug 17 Aug 31 Sep 14 Sep 21 Oct 05 Nov 02 Dec 07

FINISH

START

FINISH

START

FINISH

08

Meet your group and Honcho. Check out the Kremlin, pay a visit to Lenin or travel on the dazzling metro system. On the afternoon of Day 03, it’s all aboard the Trans Siberian!

11

Trans Siberian Railway

Settle in to life on board, spend time with the locals, share stories and watch the landscapes change out the window. Arrive into Ulaanbataar. Get a great view of the town from the Zaisan Memorial or mingle with monks at the Gaandan Khiid Monastery. Head out to Terelj National Park and your ger camp. Relax in the fresh air and sample some nomadic delicacies. Climb Turtle Rock and play some pool with the locals in the wilderness before returning to Mongolia’s capital city.

Board your final train and cross the mighty Gobi Desert before an impressive change of wheels on the train as you cross the border into China.

Beijing

12-13

Ulaanbaatar

Terelj National Park / Ulaanbataar

09-10

Ulaanbaatar / Trans Mongolian

Explore the hutongs, markets and Tiananmen Square here in China’s capital. Ride a bicycle around to get an idea of the scale of the city and the metro to grasp the density of the population.

Beijing

14

Your adventure concludes and it’s time to farewell your new friends. If you’d like to explore more of China, check out our RailPacks on page 123.

From beijing

START

*Jan 22 Feb 05 *May 14 May 28 Aug 14 Aug 28 *Feb 19 Mar 05 Jun 05 Jun 19 Aug 28 Sep 11 *Mar 19 Apr 02 Jun 12 Jun 26 Sep 11 Sep 25 *Apr 02 Apr 16 Jun 26 Jul 10 Sep 25 Oct 09 *Apr 16 Apr 30 Jul 10 Jul 24 Oct 16 Oct 30 *Apr 30 May 14 Jul 24 Aug 07 Nov 20 Dec 04 Due to rail schedules, dates marked (*) have one less night in Beijing and Moscow, two extra nights on trains and a day trip to Hohot.

tour code: gkmb / gkbm

120

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

121

oriental asia

oriental asia This is the classic Trans Mongolian journey. Visit all the best places from Russia’s ‘Venice of the North’ through to electrifying Beijing. You’ll live with the nomads in Mongolia and party in quirky Ulaanbaatar. Enjoy a dip in Lake Baikal after a few nights on the train and absorb fascinating history in Moscow or while strolling along the Great Wall.

If you want an iconic Trans Mongolian journey whilst watching your roubles this is the journey for you. Be prepared to travel in low season (that means less tourists) and in a lower grade of train compartment on the longest journey in order to take advantage of this moneysaving adventure. It might be thrifty but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the good times!

Early morning arrival in Irkutsk and then on to Lake Baikal. Enjoy a refreshing swim and try the famous lake’s tasty fish. On Day 7, return to Irkutsk and board an evening train to Ulaanbaatar.

09

Arrive in Ulaanbaatar and head out to Terelj National Park. Relax in the serenity of the wide open steppe and learn about the nomadic way of life as you stay in a ger camp.


£1,465

the ruski huski Moscow

FR

17 DAYS

Beijing

SMALL GROUP ADVENTURE (18-35s)

01-02 03-05

Trans Siberian Railway

Meet your room mates, swap some stories and have a picnic in your cosy compartment.

10 11-13

08-09

Irkutsk / Trans Mongolian Railway

Return to Irkutsk to catch an early evening train to Ulaanbaatar.

Experience life as a nomad as you stay in a ger camp. Prepare for a magical morning in the snow! On Day 13, return to Ulaanbaatar.

FINISH

START

FINISH

Mar 07 Mar 21 Mar 28 Nov 07

Mar 23 Apr 09 Apr 13 Nov 23

START

FINISH

START

14-16 17

Beijing

Get lost in hutongs and take in the smells, sights and sounds of traditional Beijing. Then it is time to bid farewell as your tour ends.

START

FINISH

Mar 16 Apr 01 Nov 06 Nov 22 Nov 20 Dec 06

START

START

START

£2,380

FR

23 DAYS

Beijing

05-07 See and do more on this once-in-alifetime adventure. You’ll have stops in the unusual and interesting destinations of Suzdal and Ulan Ude and spend more time in Mongolia enabling you to travel to Kharkhorin, the remote ancient capital of Genghis Khan. In the summer you can even enjoy some included extras!

Choose your own adventure in Moscow, maybe the Kremlin or a visit to Lenin? On Day 3, depart for Suzdal and on Day 4 experience your first Russian banya!

08-09

Get transferred to Murom and depart to Kazan. On Day 6, explore a mesmerising mix of cultures and religions in the capital of Tatarstan. Catch a train to Irkutsk in the evening of Day 7. Watch the scenery change as you pass from Europe into Asia across the Urals.

Irkutsk / Lake Baikal / Ulan Ude

10-13

Arrive to Irkutsk and head out to Lake Baikal for a magnificent hike along its shores. On Day 12, return to Irkutsk for the train to Ulan Ude where you’ll discover the world’s biggest statue of Lenin’s head.

Samarkand / Tashkent

14-17

Tehran / Isfahan

Arrive in Tehran early evening and spend the next morning exploring Iran’s modern capital before transferring to Isfahan.

18-20

Isfahan / Mashhad

Discover this ancient mosaic-clad jewel of Persia. In the afternoon of Day 8 depart for Mashhad to see the shrine of Imam Reza.

Mashhad / Ashgabat

Morning train to Samarkand and spend a couple of days exploring its breathtaking monuments before travelling to Tashkent on Day 16. Head for Almaty on Day 17.

Almaty

Stroll the leafy streets of Almaty before a late evening departure for Urumqi on Day 20.

Urumqi / Beijing

21-24

Depart for Ashgabat and on Day 11, exploring this white marble city before the night train.

FINISH

START

FINISH

25 Jun 16 Jul

01 Sep 22 Sep

24 Sep 15 Oct

START

FINISH

20 Jun 14 Jul 29 Aug 22 Sep

START

FINISH

19 Sep

13 Oct

Pass through the Dzungarian Gate, an ancient Silk Road trade route on your way to Urumqi, the farthest city in the world from the ocean! On Day 23, depart for Beijing where your epic journey concludes the next day.

START

FINISH

Jun 07 Jun 21 Jul 19

Jun 29 Jul 13 Aug 10

START

FINISH

START

FINISH

Aug 23 Sep 14 Sep 13 Oct 05 Oct 25 Nov 16

From beijing

Jun 23 Jul 16 Jul 28 Aug 20 Sep 01 Sep 24

START

£240

rail packs

FR

China, Vietnam, Japan

14 15 16-18

We can also book the following journeys for you: Moscow to Riga, Moscow to Berlin, St. Petersburg to Riga, St. Petersburg to Tallinn (bus), Beijing to Shanghai, Beijing to Hong Kong, and Beijing to Hanoi. Tailor-made independent options are available to and from all sorts of destinations in Asia - not subject to age restrictions. Please enquire for details.

Trans Mongolian Railway

Morning departure on the overnight train to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s modern capital.

Ulaanbaatar

Morning arrival in Ulaanbaatar and a chance to take in all the city sights.

Bayangobi / Kharkhorin

Inclusions

Spend your first night as a nomad in a ger camp. Then on Day 17 it’s on to Genghis Khan’s ancient capital on the sweeping steppe.

* Visa support for pre-booked services. * Rail tickets as outlined in the itinerary (all tickets must be picked up from the local office, delivery service is not available).

Ulaanbaatar / Beijing

19-23

Return to Ulaanbaatar and depart for Beijing the next day. Arrive on Day 21 and journey out to the Great Wall or wander the hutongs and markets. Chill out by Beihai Lake as you bid farewell to your new friends on Day 23.

Like the idea of continuing your journey by train but want to safeguard yourself from language barriers, incorrect ticket purchases, day-long waits at the station and unexpected fuss or confusion? Travel on your terms with the added assurance of pre-organised train tickets. RailPacks are the perfect way to travel, ensuring you get from A to B without any fuss! How do RailPacks work? Simply tell us the cities you’d like to travel to and your preferred travel dates and we’ll make sure your rail tickets are organised and waiting for you in each city upon arrival. En route all you need to do is simply exchange your RailPack voucher for a rail ticket at a local office in each city and you’re off! Too easy!

From Moscow

FINISH

Sep 29 Oct 22 Nov 03 Nov 26

TOUR CODE: CKMB / CKBM

122

Bus to Ankara and a chance to explore the city before departing on the Trans Asian Railway across Turkey on Day 3.

GETTING THERE AND AWAY

Trans Siberian Railway

Departures 2014

Mar 20 Apr 12 Apr 21 May 14 May 26 Jun 18

START

02 Jun 23 Jun

DAY ITINERARY Murom / Kazan

FINISH

Ankara / Trans Asia Express

Move on to Bukhara where you can relax by the ponds and watch daily life unfold.

TOUR CODE: MPIB / MPBI

01-04

START

FINISH

02 May 26 May 30 May 23 Jun

Moscow / Suzdal

FINISH

10-11

12-13

Bukhara

From Beijing

FINISH

Dec 04 Dec 20 Dec 18 Jan 03

SMALL GROUP ADVENTURE (18-35s)

START

FINISH

28 Apr 21 May 19 May 11 Jun

the cossack

Mar 15 Apr 06 Apr 19 May 11 May 17 Jun 08

07-09

Meet your new friends and begin your journey.

From istanbul

TOUR CODE: RHMB / RHBM

Moscow

Traverse deserts and mountains, exploring the fabled old Silk Road in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and of course, Marco Polo. Discover the jewels of ancient Persia and the caravanserai of Old Turkestan where tea, silk and spices have been traded for over a millennium, on this journey well off the beaten track.

Istanbul

Departures 2014

FINISH

Nov 28 Dec 14 Dec 12 Dec 28 Dec 26 Jan 11

From beijing

Jan 12 Jan 28 Jan 26 Feb 11 Feb 16 Mar 04

05-06

Trans Mongolian Railway / Beijing

Departures 2014 START

02-04

Terelj National Park / Ulaanbaatar

From Moscow

Jan 10 Jan 26 Jan 24 Feb 09 Feb 07 Feb 23 Feb 21 Mar 09

01

Set out to explore this quirky capital and make sure you grab some toasty warm felt slippers from the markets before you head out onto the steppe.

Depart for Beijing early in the morning. Arrive on Day 15 and start exploring. See the Great Wall covered in snow, check out Tiananmen Square or visit the bustling night markets.

DAY ITINERARY

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

code ITINERARY

price

VTRP01

Beijing – Xian – Shanghai

£260

VTRP02

Shanghai – Xian – Beijing

£260

Beijing – Xian – Shanghai - (Ferry 8 Berth) Kobe/Osaka

£645

VTRP03

Beijing – Xian – Guangzhou (Transfer) – Hong Kong

£470

VTRP04

Hong Kong – Guangzhou (Transfer) – Xian – Beijing

£325

VTRP05

Beijing – Xian – Chengdu – Kunming –Nanning - Hanoi

£595

VTRP06

Hanoi – Nanning – Kunming –Chengdu - Xian – Beijing

£365

VTRP07

Hanoi – Hue – Hoi An (Da Nang)* – Nha Trang – Ho Chi Minh

£240

VTRP08

Ho Chi Minh – Nha Trang – Da Nang (Hoi An)* – Hue – Hanoi

£240

VTRP09

£735

VTRP10

Beijing – Chengdu - Xian - Yichang // Chongqing** Guilin – Guangzhou (Transfer) – Hong Kong

* You’ll need to make your own way from Da Nang to Hoi An ** You’ll need to make your own way from Yichang to Chongqing

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

123

oriental asia

oriental asia

06-07

24 DAYS

Beijing

Ulaanbaatar

Lake Baikal

Marvel at the depth of the ice and perhaps a ride in a hovercraft? Opt for some dog sledding, snowboarding or even ice diving! Lake Baikal, in the heart of Siberia, offers a range of unique winter landscapes and activities for you to enjoy.

FR

SMALL GROUP ADVENTURE (18-35s)

Arrive Moscow

Think snow, big furry Moscow hats, temperatures well below zero, oh and probably some vodka too! The Ruski Huski is a special winter itinerary that apart from the usual basics also includes some added value winter activities such as dog sledding in Siberia and a Mongolian cookery class.

Istanbul

DAY ITINERARY Let the journey begin! Visit Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedral lit up like a fairytale in the snow. On Day 2, enjoy more of Moscow before an afternoon departure to Irkutsk.

£2,380

the MARCO POLO


china & hong kong

china ON A Shoestring Beijing

• • • • • • • •

£1,049

FR

18 DAYS

Hong Kong

Highlights

Walk along the Great Wall of China Wander Beijing’s old backstreets Live the city life in vibrant Shanghai Meet China’s most famous warriors Take in the sights of the Three Gorges Experience Chinese village life Marvel at the scenery on the Li River Explore the bright lights of Hong Kong

oriental asia

oriental asia

Departures 2014 Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Feb 24 Mar 03 Mar 10 Mar 17 Mar 24 Mar 31 Apr 07 Apr 14 Apr 21 Apr 28 May 05 May 12 May 19

Mar 13 Mar 20 Mar 27 Apr 03 Apr 10 Apr 17 Apr 24 May 01 May 08 May 15 May 22 May 29 Jun 05

May 26 Jun 02 Jun 09 Jun 16 Jun 23 Jun 30 Jul 07 Jul 14 Jul 21 Jul 28 Aug 04 Aug 11 Aug 18

Jun 12 Jun 19 Jun 26 Jul 03 Jul 10 Jul 17 Jul 24 Jul 31 Aug 07 Aug 14 Aug 21 Aug 28 Sep 04

Aug 25 Sep 01 Sep 08 Sep 15 Sep 22 Sep 29 Oct 06 Oct 13 Oct 20 Oct 27 Nov 03 Nov 10 Nov 17

Sep 11 Sep 18 Sep 25 Oct 02 Oct 09 Oct 16 Oct 23 Oct 30 Nov 06 Nov 13 Nov 20 Nov 27 Dec 04

Inclusions

TOP 5 MUST-DO’s

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 3 Age Group: Recommended for 1839s Accommodation: Simple hotels (10 nts), sleeper train (5 nts, 6-berth compartments), boat (2 nts) Transport: Train, local bus, air-con bus, boat Meals: None Budget: Allow USD $270-360 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAACRG

My Own Room Available: Fr £319

1. walk along the great wall 2. admire the terracotta warriors 3. volunteer with giant pandas 4. catch hong kong’s star Ferry 5. practice your tai chi skills

For ambitious travellers on a tight budget who are after an experience full of the very best this country has to offer, this trip showcases China’s scenic wonders without missing its most famous cities and sights. The majesty of China is on show at every turn as you absorb the grandeur of powerhouse urban mega-cities, learn the fascinating history of the Terracotta Warriors and discover a simple and beautiful way of life surrounded by the paddy fields of Yangshuo and the Yangtze. An undeniable highlight is the spectacular Three Gorges, where you’ll come face-to-face with the ferocious ambition of this country.

DAY ITINERARY Beijing

01

Arrive in Beijing at any time, setting out to explore the bright lights and big business this city is famous for.

Beijing

02-04

China’s capital is a world-class city with a remarkably well-preserved past. Walk in the footsteps of history as you explore the vast Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall of China and the Temple of Heaven. Be sure to venture into the backstreet hutongs for a look at how old-world China is still thriving today. In the evening of Day 4, board the overnight train south to Shanghai.

Shanghai

05-07

Beijing

Xi’an

C H I N A

Xi’an Shanghai Three Gorges

The vibrant pulse of new China and the country’s largest and most dynamic city; Shanghai is where new skyscrapers clash with the traditional architecture of the Bund. Take a stroll along this riverside path marvelling at the spectacular array of art deco-style buildings or take in the sights of Pudong, a modern financial centre, with its towering skyscrapers. Perhaps visit the world-famous Shanghai Museum, explore the busy Yu Yuan Bazaar, shop ‘til you drop in China’s hippest stores or witness the breathtaking Chinese acrobats. Take the overnight train to Xi’an on Day 7.

08-09

Yichang

This ancient city, the capital of China for many years, is home to one of the Middle Kingdom’s greatest archaeological treasures – the Terracotta Warriors. Spend time exploring this historical wonder. You also have time to check out the vibrant Muslim Quarter with its serene Great Mosque and exotic street food stalls and the majestic Ming Dynasty city walls. Cycle along these ancient city walls to see the city from a different (and lofty!) perspective. Catch the overnight train on Day 9.

Three Gorges Yangshuo

Hong Kong

10-13

Yangshuo

beijing

14-16

XI’AN three gorges shanghai

chengdu

hangzhou LHASA kunming

guangzhou hong kong

An inspiration to painters, poets and a source of international controversy, the Three Gorges remain one of the world’s natural scenic wonders, while the massive dam is an incredible feat of modern technology. Experience it first hand as you travel down the mighty Yangtze River in a Chinesestyle riverboat, stopping at various sites en route. Cabins are clean with private facilities, but not luxurious. There is basic Chinese food available for purchase in the on-board restaurant. Continue by overnight train on Day 13.

you might like

Why not add an optional theme pack to customise your trip? China Cultural Pack Fr £70 Kung fu dance show (Beijing, 1.5 hours), acrobat performance (Shanghai, 1.5 hours) & Li River light show (Yangshuo, 1 hour)

Arrive in Guilin in the early morning and then travel by bus to the small country town of Yangshuo. The scenery in this area is stunning, with the Li River and limestone karst mountains interspersed with picturesque riverside villages and markets. Experience real village life meeting locals and seeing rural China in action, or immerse yourself further with a cooking class or by practicing tai chi. You may also wish to see the sound and light show on the river produced by Zhang Yimou. On Day 16, head to Guilin for the overnight train to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong

17 18

Hong Kong is one of the world’s most vibrant and fascinating cities. It boasts an unbeatable array of cultural sights, shopping, restaurants and has an electric atmosphere. Ride the Star Ferry across Victoria Harbour, wander Stanley Market and catch the views of Hong Kong from The Peak. Don’t forget to pick yourself up some shopping bargains before heading home.

Hong Kong

The tour ends today, and you’re free to leave at any time.

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

125


£1,799

essential china Beijing

• • • • • • • •

FR

21 DAYS

Hong Kong

highlights of china Shanghai

best of £1,499 yunnan

£899

FR

14 DAYS

Beijing

Kunming

FR

10 DAYS

Kunming

Highlights

Find your way around bustling Beijing Walk on the Great Wall of China Stroll the streets of dynamic Shanghai Meet the unique Terracotta Warriors Fall in love with the Chengdu pandas Cruise along the Yangtze River Marvel at the huge Three Gorges Dam Live the high life in Hong Kong

oriental asia

oriental asia

Departures 2014 Start

Finish

Mar 02 Mar 09 Mar 16 Mar 23 Mar 30 Apr 06 Apr 13 Apr 20 Apr 27 May 04 May 11 May 18 May 25 May 30

Mar 22 Mar 29 Apr 05 Apr 12 Apr 19 Apr 26 May 03 May 10 May 17 May 24 May 31 Jun 07 Jun 14 Jun 19

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jun 01 Jun 08 Jun 15 Jun 20 Jun 22 Jun 29 Jul 06 Jul 11 Jul 13 Jul 20 Jul 27 Aug 03 Aug 10 Aug 17

Jun 21 Jun 28 Jul 05 Jul 10 Jul 12 Jul 19 Jul 26 Jul 31 Aug 02 Aug 09 Aug 16 Aug 23 Aug 30 Sep 06

Aug 24 Aug 31 Sep 05 Sep 07 Sep 14 Sep 21 Sep 28 Oct 05 Oct 12 Oct 19 Oct 26 Nov 02 Nov 09 Nov 16

Sep 13 Sep 20 Sep 25 Sep 27 Oct 04 Oct 11 Oct 18 Oct 25 Nov 01 Nov 08 Nov 15 Nov 22 Nov 29 Dec 06

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 3 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (12 nts), basic monastery (2 nts), sleeper train (4 nts), boat (2 nts) Transport: Train, local bus, airconditioned bus, boat, bicycle, plane Meals: 1 lunch, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD $350-420 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAACEC

My Own Room Available: Fr £449

Highlights

Next time you pop into your local takeaway for half a crispy duck, you’ll have more than just the weather to talk about. Over the tantalising smells of your dinner start planning an adventure of a lifetime. Prepare to indulge in the exotic and mystical and live the true essence of China in all its wonderful diversity. Visit cosmopolitan cities, quaint tea houses, the immense Great Wall and the alluring Three Gorges. Stand shoulder to shoulder with the remarkable Terracotta Warriors. This incredible journey delivers exactly what it says Essential China. And you thought you were just ordering a takeaway, huh?!

DAY ITINERARY 01-04 05-07

10

C H I N A

Beijing

Arrive at any time and meet up with the rest of your group before beginning your explorations. From the vast expanse of Tiananmen Square to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China, Beijing is a city of incredible sights. Don’t miss some of the best shopping, food and entertainment in the world.

Shanghai

Shanghai is China’s largest and most dynamic city, where traditional architecture sits in the shadows of brand spanking new skyscrapers. Visit the world-famous Shanghai Museum, shop on Nanjing Road or try not to wince as you take in an optional performance of the death-defying Chinese Acrobats.

Xi’an

Enjoy an orientation walk through Xi’an’s fascinating Muslim Quarter then visit one of China’s greatest archaeological treasures, the Terracotta Warriors. Dine on some of the best market food in the country and get on your bike with an option to cycle the ancient city walls.

Shanghai

11-12

Yichang

04-06

See giant pandas up close at the Panda Breeding Centre before continuing on to Emei Shan Mountain, one of the four sacred Buddhist peaks of China. Tonight you’ll sleep in a traditional monastery, definitely one of the highlights of the trip. Facilities are basic but the experience is unique and the views are breathtaking.

Chongqing Guilin Yangshuo

13-16

Hong Kong

Depart for Chongqing with an en route stop at Leshan, home of the largest stone carved Buddha in the world. At Chongqing, you’ll have the chance to sample the famous regional speciality dish, the delicious Sichuan hot pot. Cruise down the mighty Yangtze on board a Chinese-style boat through the Three Gorges. Enjoy the views from the deck and embark on riverside excursions up stunning tributaries and to historic sites. On Day 16, travel by overnight train from Wuhan to Guilin. (D)

Yangshuo

17-19

YOU might like

Why not add an optional theme pack to customise your trip? China Cultural Pack Fr £70 Kung fu dance show (Beijing, 1.5 hours), acrobat performance (Shanghai, 1.5 hours) & Li River light show (Yangshuo, 1 hour)

Arrive into Guilin on the morning of Day 17 and transfer by bus to the small countryside town of Yangshuo, where the Li River winds its way around thousands of limestone karst mountains. Take a boat ride along the stunning Li River, stop at markets and picturesque villages along the way or observe one of the local traditions - cormorant fishing. On Day 18, take a full-day bike ride through the surrounding countryside with a local guide and an included lunch. On Day 19, travel back to Guilin in the afternoon by public bus before boarding an overnight train to Shenzhen. (L)

Hong Kong

20-21

After an early arrival in Shenzhen, cross the border and catch the metro into the heart of Hong Kong. Prepare for the change of pace as you enjoy your last night in the most dynamic city in Asia - what a way to end your trip! Explore Stanley Market, make the trip up Victoria Peak for the great views, or take a harbour cruise. You’ll probably want to stay longer than a night as there’s so much excitement to be had here. This is undeniably one of the world’s most fascinating and impressively-situated cities. The tour comes to an end at any time on Day 21.

07-09 10-11

Shanghai

Arrive in Shanghai and meet your group over an optional dinner. Day 2 starts with a guided orientation walk before a free afternoon to explore both the historic and ultra-modern sides of this city.

Kunming

Arrive into Kunming at any time and, if time permits, explore the bird and flower markets or watch the locals practicing tai chi in Green Lake Park, before meeting your group this evening.

01

Hangzhou

One of China’s most historic and dynamic cities, enjoy an optional boat ride on Hangzhou’s West Lake before an afternoon visit to a tea plantation (with time to enjoy a brew) in nearby Longjing Village.

Dali

02-03

Take an evening flight to Guilin and travel through stunning limestone karst scenery to the riverside town of Yangshuo. Cycle through the surreal landscape past farmers and water buffalo or enjoy optional activities such as a cooking class, tai chi or Chinese calligraphy. (L)

04-05

Fly to Chongqing and travel by private bus to board a typical Yangtze cruise boat, which is comfortable but not luxurious. Spend two days exploring this powerful river passing the stunning Three Gorges and taking side trips to villages and riverside temples. (2B, L, D)

Xi’an

Visit the enormous Three Gorges Dam before travelling by overnight train to Xi’an, the ancient capital of China. Explore the Muslim Quarter and Terracotta Warriors before an overnight train to Beijing.

12-14

Arrive in the morning of Day 12 and throw yourself into the Chinese capital with included tours of Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. Shop for souvenirs either in world-class malls or timeless traditional markets before the tour concludes on Day 14.

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (9 nts), sleeper train (2 nts), Yangtze boat (2 nts) Transport: Train, plane, local bus, air-conditioned bus, boat Meals: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD $260-320 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAACHC

My Own Room Available: Fr £359

Sundays, typically 2-3 departures per month

Tiger Leaping Gorge / Zhongdian (Shangri-La)

06-08

Less well-known than the Three Gorges, but absolutely no less impressive, the narrow and dramatic Tiger Leaping Gorge takes its name from the legend that a tiger once escaped capture by jumping across. It’s a relatively strenuous hike on local tracks and, weather conditions permitting, you’ll ascend the ‘28 Bends’ to be rewarded with incredible views. Travel by bus to the unique town of Zhongdian on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau. Visit the Songzanlin Monastery to admire its gilded roofs, frescos and Buddhist sculptures. (3B)

Kunming

09-10

Enjoy a free morning in Zhongdian before catching a flight back to Kunming. Your tour comes to an end after breakfast on Day 10. (2B)

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 3 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels/guesthouses (9 nts) Transport: Train, private van, plane, public bus Meals: 9 breakfasts Budget: Allow USD $115150 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAACBY

Beijing CHINA

2

Xi'an

Guilin

LAOS

Home to China’s Naxi minority people, the World Heritage Site of Lijiang is packed with picturesque old buildings, fast-flowing canals and women in typical Naxi costume. Spend an afternoon resting in a pavilion in Black Dragon Pool Park, gazing at the reflection of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and listening to traditional Naxi music. (2B)

Inclusions

Three Gorges

Departures 2014

The ancient walled town of Dali nestles between Erhai Lake and the Cang Shan Mountains and is perhaps most famous for the beautiful Three Pagodas. It’s small enough to explore on foot or you could travel by bus or bike out to traditional countryside villages. (2B)

Lijiang

Beijing

Mar - Oct

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

DAY ITINERARY

Yangtze River

Chengdu

Take a full day to explore the teahouses and the streets of Chengdu, try a rejuvenating massage or sample some of the local culinary classics. There’s no shortage of delicious and fiery Sichuan food.

Highlights

• Slow the pace down as you wander the scenic highlands of Yunnan • Hike through the huge (and hugely spectacular) Tiger Leaping Gorge • Explore the Ming Dynasty-era streets in the ancient city of Dali

Guilin / Yangshuo

Leshan / Chongqing / Three Gorges

Leshan

126

03

Panda Research Centre / Emei Shan

Xi’an

Chengdu

DAY ITINERARY 01-02

08-09 Beijing

• Cycle through Yangshuo’s rice fields and dramatic limestone scenery • Relax on a Three Gorges cruise along the mighty Yangtze River • Customise Your Trip: see page 126 for our optional add-on packs

Shanghai

Chongqing

Yangshuo

Hangzhou

My Own Room Available: Fr £149

Zhongdian CHINA

Tiger Leaping Gorge Dali

Kunming

Departures 2014 START

FINISH

Jan 19 Feb 16 Mar 23 Apr 13 May 18

Jan 28 Feb 25 Apr 01 Apr 22 May 27

START

FINISH

Jun 08 Jun 17 Jun 29 Jul 08 Jul 13 Jul 22 Jul 27 Aug 05 Aug 10 Aug 19

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

Lijiang

START

FINISH

Aug 24 Sep 07 Sep 21 Oct 12 Nov 03

Sep 02 Sep 16 Sep 30 Oct 21 Nov 12

BURMA LAOS

127


CHINA EXPRESS Beijing

BEIJING to SHANGHAI £799 ADVENTURE

£649

FR

8 DAYS

Shanghai

Beijing

FR

8 DAYS

Shanghai

£1,599

wild china Beijing

• • • • • • • •

FR

21 DAYS

Hong Kong

Highlights

Walk on the Great Wall of China Marvel at the Terracotta Warriors Lose your heart to the Chengdu panda Explore the sacred Mount Emei Enjoy the lovely lakeside town of Dali Absorb Lijiang’s fascinating culture Trek the dramatic Tiger Leaping Gorge Discover village life in Yangshuo

oriental asia

oriental asia

Departures 2014 Highlights

• Visit Beijing’s highlights on this great ‘first-timer’ tour of China • See Tiananmen Square and walk the most famous wall in the world • Marvel at the ancient and well-preserved Terracotta Warriors

DAY ITINERARY

Highlights

• Trek along the world-renowned Great Wall of China • Visit Xi’an’s unique standing army of Terracotta Warriors • Practise tai chi with the locals in the historic town of Suzhou

Beijing

01-03

Arrive in the Chinese capital, one of the world’s most impressive and vibrant cities. Be blown away by the size and sheer spectacle of the Great Wall of China on an included visit, and discover China’s opulent past as you tour the Forbidden City. Wander through the vast and iconic Tiananmen Square and gain an insight into local life exploring the hutongs (backstreets). On Day 3, you board a flight to Xi’an, the ancient capital of China.

01-03

04 05

Discover one of the world’s greatest archaeological treasures – the Terracotta Warriors. This amazing army of statues were built to guard the tomb of Qin Shihuang and discovered only as recently as 1974. Check out the Great Mosque, scour souvenir stalls and indulge in superb street food. Opt to cycle the ancient city walls before joining in with tai chi or ballroom dancing in the parks. (L)

Suzhou

Today you will visit Suzhou, otherwise known as the ‘Venice of the East’. Explore the beautiful classical gardens and take in a cultural performance in the exquisite Master of Nets garden.

04-05

08

Explore exotic and dynamic Shanghai. See how east meets west and ancient rituals sit side-by-side with modern life. Take a stroll along the Bund, the old Colonial waterfront, or shop on the famous Nanjing Road before having a final dinner with your tour mates. Get ready to be amazed by an optional Chinese acrobatic performance.

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jun 08 Jun 22 Jun 29 Jul 06 Jul 20 Jul 27 Aug 03 Aug 10

Jun 28 Jul 12 Jul 19 Jul 26 Aug 09 Aug 16 Aug 23 Aug 30

Aug 17 Sep 07 Sep 14 Sep 28 Oct 05 Oct 12 Oct 26

Sep 06 Sep 27 Oct 04 Oct 18 Oct 25 Nov 01 Nov 15

Start with an orientation walk of Xi’an’s fascinating Muslim Quarter and then take the chance to visit the incredible Terracotta Warriors, a giant army of statues built to guard the tomb of Qin Shihuang. You can also cycle the remaining city walls and enjoy some phenomenal street food. Travel by overnight train to Suzhou on Day 5.

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 3 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Simple hotels (11 nts), guesthouses (4 nts), basic monastery (2 nts), sleeper trains (3 nts) Transport: Train, public bus, air-conditioned bus, plane Meals: 1 lunch Budget: Allow USD $315-450 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Group Size: Max 16, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAACWC

My Own Room Available: Fr £389

06 07-08

Your adventure ends on Day 8. You can leave at any time.

Check out the canal town of Suzhou, the ‘Venice of the East.’ This historic city has beautiful Chinese gardens, full of flowers and friendly locals and monks practising tai chi. If you want to take in a traditional Chinese performance complete with ancient costumes, folk singing and dancing, this is the place to do it!

Beijing C H I N A

Welcome to the dazzle of modern-day Shanghai, China’s boomtown that has lured millions with the promise of economic progress. You’ll start your time in this glamorous city with an orientation walk to help you get your bearings. On your final evening with your group, let loose like the locals with a karaoke session in a private room, this is sure to be an unforgettable night, Shanghai-style! On Day 8, your trip comes to an end at any time.

Xi’an Chengdu

My Own Room Available: Fr £159

Jan-Mar, Jun & Dec Apr-May & Oct-Nov

Regular Saturdays & Occasional Mondays

Jul-Sep

Every Saturday & Alternate Mondays

128

Every Saturday

Guilin Yangshuo

Lijiang Kunming

Xi’an

C H I N A

Xi’an

Suzhou

Shanghai

Departures 2014 Mar-Dec

Wednesdays, typically 2 departures per month

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

09-10

Leshan / Emeishan

Hike Mount Emei, one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains of China and stay the night in a monastery seeing how real monks live. Opt to board a boat and head out into the Mingjiang River to get an overall view of the world’s largest sitting outdoor Buddha in Leshan. Lijiang is a World Heritage Site and home to the Naxi minority. Old men smoking pipes and women in their traditional costumes are to be found everywhere. The best way to spend a day here is to get lost in the small pedestrian lanes that meander throughout the town. Every twist and turn reveals picturesque old buildings, local arts and crafts, canals and beautiful arched bridges. Optional visit to the Black Dragon Pool Park where you may be lucky enough to hear Naxi music.

Tiger Leaping Gorge

13-14

In the heart of Yunnan province, the fast-flowing Yangtze has cut a dramatic gorge so narrow in places that legend has it a tiger once escaped capture by jumping across it. Enjoy a two-day trek through this magnificent and unspoilt landscape. Be prepared for something more than an easy stroll - at times the trek can be hard work, particularly in the summer, but it’s more than worth it!

Dali

The ancient walled town of Dali nestles snugly between the towering Cang Shan Mountains and beautiful Erhai Lake. Check out temples, the old Muslim Quarter, the stunning ‘Three Pagodas’ and the colourful Bai markets.

Kunming / Yangshuo

15-19

Suzhou

Shanghai

Explore the Muslim Quarter and its Great Mosque as well as exotic street food stalls and the majestic city walls which you can cycle around. But the big highlight for most visitors are the magnificent and unique Terracotta Warriors. Re-discovered only as recently as 1974 after having been buried for over 2,000 years, all face east in battle formation complete with horses and chariots.

Lijiang

Hong Kong

Stay longer in Hong Kong Check out pages 134-136 Stay longer in Beijing Check out page 137

My Own Room Available: Fr £159 CH I N A

Departures 2014

07-08

Mt. Emei

You might like

Beijing

Arrive at any time and feel free to explore. China’s capital is a city on a grand scale - check out the vast expanses of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, see the Temple of Heaven and pay an included visit to the astounding Great Wall of China. Catch the overnight train to Xi’an on Day 3.

Things get considerably cuter today with a visit to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base just outside of Chengdu. Getting close to these beautiful and iconic Chinese animals is a real highlight.

11-12

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Recommended for 18-39s Accommodation: Hotel (5 nts), sleeper train (2 nts) Transport: Train, local bus Meals: None Budget: Allow USD $120-160 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAACBI

Beijing

Chengdu

06

Leshan Tiger Leaping Gorge

Inclusions Beijing

01-03 04-05

Dali

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotel (6 nts), sleeper train (1 nt) Transport: Train, local bus, air-con bus, plane Meals: 1 lunch Budget: Allow USD $160200 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAACCR

DAY ITINERARY Xi’an

Shanghai

Shanghai

Inclusions

China is home to a whopping 1.3 billion people, ultra-modern architecture, awesome natural sights and iconic historical wonders. But the real uniqueness of this amazing adventure lies in your interaction with the local cultures and people. Be whisked away from the tourist trail when you check out the real China and discover its ‘wild’ side with a visit to a giant panda breeding centre. Allow yourself to be immersed in a completely different way of life as you hike the beautiful Mount Emei and trek through the spectacular Tiger Leaping Gorge; all on a three-week tour that takes you down the road less travelled.

Suzhou

Shanghai

06-07

Arrive at any time today and meet your group on your first evening. Day 2 dawns and it’s time to get out there to see some of Beijing’s fascinating marvels. You’ll be bombarded with ornate temples, glittering towers and overpowering political architecture. You’ll visit the epic Great Wall of China, with the chance to stroll along a short stretch, and have the chance to check out the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. On Day 3, catch the overnight train to Xi’an.

Xi’an

Xi’an

Finish

Apr 12 Apr 19 May 03 May 10 May 17 May 31 Jun 07 Jun 14

Inclusions

DAY ITINERARY

Beijing

Start

Mar 23 Mar 30 Apr 13 Apr 20 Apr 27 May 11 May 18 May 25

Travel overland to Kunming and explore the Green Lake and local markets on an included city tour. Fly from Kunming to Guilin and then transfer to Yangshuo, which boasts spectacular scenery and a relaxed atmosphere. Surrounded by covered limestone hills and green paddy fields, spend three days exploring the peaks, rivers, caves and villages of the Yangshuo area, plus enjoy an included scenic cruise along the Li River. On Day 19, travel by bus and overnight train to Hong Kong. (L)

Hong Kong

twitter.com/STATravel_UK

20-21

Hong Kong is one of the world’s most energetic and vibrant cities. It boasts an unbeatable array of cultural sights, shopping and fabulous restaurants, and offers an irresistible mix of British colonial history with heaps of authentic Chinese atmosphere! Your tour ends on Day 21.

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

129


china adventure (ACTIVE) Beijing

hidden china £1,149 & inner mongolia

FR

15 DAYS

Hong Kong

Beijing

£999

china adventure

12 DAYS

Beijing

FR

Beijing

volunteer china pandas

£1,795

FR

12 DAYS

Hong Kong

Beijing

£1,449

FR

14 DAYS

Shanghai

oriental asia

oriental asia

Highlights

• Trek through timeless rice paddies and walk upon the Great Wall • Cycle along Xi’an’s ancient city walls and through Beijing’s hutongs • Relive those Bruce Lee fantasies watching the kung fu monks

DAY ITINERARY

Highlights

• Stroll the Great Wall and stare down the Terracotta Warriors • Stand in awe in front of 50,000 Buddhas at the Yungang Caves • Learn the ancient art of Chinese painting in Pingyao

DAY ITINERARY

Discover the history of the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square on a guided tour of China’s fascinating capital and on a bike ride through the atmospheric hutongs. On Day 3, travel to a lesser-known stretch of the Great Wall for a hike and the chance to stay in the home of a local farmer. Take the overnight train to Luoyang on Day 4. (B)

Shaolin / Longmen Caves / Xi’an

05-08 09-10 11-13

Transfer to the holy mountain of Song Shan and visit the Shaolin Monastery, founded in the 5th Century and known as the mystical birthplace of kung fu. See over 100,000 Buddha images carved into the mountainside at the Longmen Grottoes before travelling by highspeed train to Xi’an. It goes without saying that you’ll pay a visit to the Terracotta Warriors, but you’ll also get to cycle Xi’an’s city walls. Take an orientation walk around Yangshuo and a bike ride into the countryside to climb Moon Hill. Optional activities include a cooking school, tai chi lessons or a spectacular sound and light show. (L) Famous for their centuries-old rice terraces; hiking in the villages around Longshen affords an authentic, peaceful glimpse into rural China. The scenery is spectacular at any time of the year. Arrive into Shenzen and cross the border into Hong Kong, travelling by metro into the heart of the city. Spend your free time taking in all the many sights of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, not forgetting to ride the Victoria Peak Tram to look down on the skyscrapers lining one of the world’s most recognisable harbours. Tour ends on Day 15.

CHINA

Shaolin

Xi’an

Arrive into Ulanchap and head out to the vast expanse of grasslands that lie 70km west of the city. Here, you’ll visit a Mongolian family, enjoy a traditional Mongolian dinner and spend the night in a ger. (D)

03 04-05

Longsheng Guilin Yangshuo

Departures 2014 Saturdays, typically 2-3 departures per month

LAOS

Hong Kong

Xi’an / Shanghai

Enjoy breakfast in Xi’an and then a tour of the world-famous Terracotta Warriors. On Day 6, cycle the ancient Xi’an City Wall, visit the Muslim Quarter and shop for local specialities. Catch a flight to Shanghai this afternoon and soak up the city views from the 88th floor of the Jin Mao Tower. On Day 7, visit the temples, shops, eat or just take time to chill. Stroll along the Bund, Shanghai’s most famous promenade and marvel at the impressive architecture. (3B, L, D)

Datong

Once a political and economic powerhouse, Datong is now famous for its temples, pagodas and other treasures. Visit the Yungang Grottoes to see over 50,000 Buddha statues, and the Hanging Monastery. (2B)

05-07

Pingyao

06-08

Travel by train (an experience in itself!) through beautiful scenery to arrive into the traditional town of Pingyao in the evening of Day 6. On Day 7, stroll the city walls, market tower and Confucius Temple before visiting a local family for a Chinese painting lesson. (3B)

Xi’an

Start your stay in Xi’an with a visit to the seriously impressive Terracotta Warriors, thousands of soldiers, horses and chariots standing sentinel at the tomb of an emperor. Enjoy a traditional farmhouse lunch, tour the Great Mosque in the city’s Muslim Quarter and hop into the saddle for a bike ride round the ancient walls. (B, L)

09-10

Beijing

11-12

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (8 nts), ger (1 nt, multishare), sleeper train (2 nts) Transport: Train, private van, bus Meals: 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD $200-260 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAACNC

Catch a flight to Guilin this morning and head to Yangshuo. Explore the night markets of one of the ‘quietest’ bustling towns in China. On Day 9, try a local cooking class or just take Yangshuo at your own pace. Tonight, choose to watch the Liu Sanjie Impressions light show, a stunning performance set amongst the local mountains. (2B)

08-09

Yangshuo / Hong Kong

Ride through the magical scenery of the Guilin Province before you catch a flight to the bright lights of Hong Kong. On Day 11, gawk at the views over this exciting city from Victoria Peak, visit the fishing village of Aberdeen and shop for souvenirs at Stanley Markets. Enjoy a final dinner before your trip ends on Day 12. (3B, D)

10-12

FINISH

Apr 28 May 09 May 19 May 30 Jun 16 Jun 27

START

FINISH

Jul 14 Jul 25 Aug 11 Aug 22 Sep 08 Sep 19

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Inclusions

MONGOLIA

Inner Mongolia

Datong

Beijing

START

FINISH

Oct 17

CHINA

03-05 06-07 08

Beijing

Arrive into the bright oriental lights of Beijing at any time today.

Beijing

Explore some of the city’s greatest sites including Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.

Great Wall / Rural Volunteering Project

Venture into the countryside to experience the grandeur of the Great Wall of China. Volunteer with young people with learning difficulties at a rural farm and help to plant and harvest crops.

Xi’an

Visit one of China’s greatest treasures - the Terracotta Warriors. You will also have the option to cycle the ancient city walls too.

Chengdu

Time to yourself - indulge in Sichuan cuisine or enjoy an orientation walk. Classical music lovers could always catch a Sichuan Opera.

Volunteer Experience Bifengxia Panda Breeding Centre

09-11 12-13 14

The centre is designed to provide the ideal breeding environment for its pandas. Help care for them, clean their enclosures and gather behavioural data. On completion of your time volunteering at the centre, take a fast overnight train to Shanghai.

Shanghai

Get to know eclectic downtown Shanghai - cruise the Bund, check out the classy bars and generally make yourself at home.

Shanghai

Sadly your trip ends this morning, goodbye Shanghai.

Shanghai

Project Start Date: Mondays Project Location: rural Beijing & Bifengxia Panda Reserve Getting There: on arrival into Beijing, make your own way to the joining hotel on Day 1 Accommodation: hotels/guesthouses (11 nts), sleeper train (2 nts) Meals: some meals included Trip Code: GAACZJ

Beijing

Departures 2014 FINISH

Mar 30 Apr 10 Apr 13 Apr 24 May 11 May 22 Jun 22 Jul 03

START

FINISH

Jul 06 Jul 17 Jul 20 Jul 31 Aug 31 Sep 11 Sep 14 Sep 25

Rural Farm

C H I N A

My Own Room Available: Fr £259 Xi’an

START

Oct 06

Xi’An

CHINA

01 02

Inclusions

Beijing

Service Level: Superior Age Group: Exclusively for 18-35s Accommodation: 3 star hotels (10 nts), overnight train (1 nt) Transport: Plane, overnight train, private coach Meals: 11 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners Group Leader: Tour Manager, local English-speaking guides Group Size: Max 30, Avg 25 Tour Code: COCTCHIN

Pingyao

Xi’an

Departures 2014 START

Yangshuo

Travel by high-speed train to Beijing for a guided tour of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Tour ends any time on Day 12. (B)

My Own Room Available: Fr £159

My Own Room Available: Fr £359

Arrive into bustling Beijing and meet your fellow travellers. On Day 2, visit Tiananmen Square and explore the Forbidden City. Next day head out of the city and on to the spectacular Great Wall of China for a walk on this immense structure. On Day 4, wander the narrow streets of Beijing’s hutongs and later visit the tranquil Summer Palace, a world away from the hectic city vibe. After dinner at a local restaurant, board the overnight train to Xi’an. (3B, 2L, D)

01-04

Highlights

• Care for endangered pandas • Work with kids with learning difficulties • Walk the Great Wall of China

DAY ITINERARY

Beijing

Inner Mongolia / Ulanchap

Inclusions

Beijing

Trip Style: Active Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 3 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (8 nts), simple guesthouses (2 nts), homestay (1 nt), sleeper train (3 nts) Transport: Train, local bus, plane, bicycle Meals: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch Budget: Allow USD $275-375 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAACBH

130

01-02

Longshen / Guilin

Inclusions

Mar-Oct

Arrive into Beijing, perhaps with time to explore before meeting your group this evening. On Day 2, take a trip to one of mankind’s most incredible feats of engineering, the Great Wall of China, before returning to Beijing for the sleeper train to Inner Mongolia. (B)

Yangshuo

Hong Kong

14-15

DAY ITINERARY

Beijing

Beijing / Great Wall of China Trek

01-04

Highlights

• Visit historic Tiananmen Square and the impressive Summer Palace • Discover the Forbidden City and enjoy a local lunch in the hutongs • Marvel at the Great Wall of China and explore vibrant Hong Kong

Shanghai

Chengdu START

FINISH

Oct 12 Oct 23 Oct 26 Nov 06 Nov 09 Nov 20

Additional departure dates are available, please ask for details.

Bifengxia

Yangshuo

Hong Kong

Departures 2014 Every Monday

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

131


£1,113

THE dRagon Trip: Hong Kong To Hong Kong Hong Kong

FR

25 DAYS

Hong Kong

C H I N A

oriental asia

Oriental Asia • • • • • • • •

Highlights

Climb Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak Bamboo raft in Yangshuo at sunset See pandas in Chengdu Visit the Terracotta Army in Xian Kung Fu lesson with Shaolin monks Watch sunrise on the Great Wall Champagne on a skyscraper’s roof Authentic mountainside farmstay

China is a land filled with wonders and you can see it all on this affordable adventure tour. Travelling as part of a group of ready-made friends and a local guide on a route designed specifically for backpackers, experience China’s unmissable attractions; the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, learn Kung Fu with the Shaolin Monks and camp on China’s greatest Wall as well as visiting some off-the-beaten-track locations; stay overnight on a farm surrounded by waterfalls in the mountains or take a bamboo raft down the Li River. Each destination is connected by a sleeper train so you’ll waste no time during the day travelling.

Hangzhou / Shanghai

16-18

Shanghai

19-20

DAY ITINERARY Departures 2014 Every Monday, March - October

Inclusions

Accommodation: Hostels, choose from dormstyle rooms with shared bathroom or upgrade to single/twin/double rooms with private en suites (13 nts), night train/bus with fully flat beds (5 nts), lodge (1 nt), basic guesthouse/ camp (4 nts) Transport: Ferry, train, private minibus Includes: Tour guide, accommodation, transport, tickets for attractions listed Meals: Not included Tour Code: HKGHKG

01

06-07

An early start to kick off your 25-day adventure; today enjoy an optional guided hike up Victoria Peak for incredible views over the city and harbour below. In the afternoon, cross the border into China before taking a night bus to Yangshou.

21-23

Wake up in rural Yangshuo, one of the most popular backpacking destinations in China and famed for its stunning karst scenery. This afternoon’s activities include rafting down the Li River on bamboo rafts whilst the sun sets over the karst peaks. There are no shortage of optional activities to fill your three days here, you can visit mud-baths in underground caves, enjoy a guided bike tour to swimming spots and lookouts, sample snake liquor or take a Chinese cooking class! On the final morning, rise early to see an incredible sunrise over the karst peaks from an ancient pagoda before taking the night train to Chengdu.

24

Chengdu

25

Xian

08-09 10

QingLing Mountains

This morning you’ll head deep into the heart of the QingLing mountains, stopping enroute for tubing and sunbathing by a river. Enjoy hikes into the mountains visiting a series of waterfalls and in the evening enjoy a meal of organic food from the farm.

Today, take the bullet train to Nanjing in Fujian province arguably the most picturesque area in the whole of Asia. Here you spend the night in a Tulou; a traditional wooden roundhouse of the Hakka people. This provides an opportunity to not just observe, but actively experience their fascinating way of life. On Day 22, enjoy breakfast in the roundhouse prepared by one of your local Hakka hosts and then you can visit neighbouring round-houses, temples and beautiful countryside, sample the tea in a tea ceremony, and swim in the local river. In the afternoon head to a tea plantation in the hills and set up camp for a night around the campfire. The next morning try picking and drinking the local tea whilst taking in the stunning views. Cycle to a village famous for its beautiful rivers, mountains and original Tulou clusters for lunch. Take night train to Guangzhou.

Macau

On arrival in Guangzhou, you’ll be driven to Zhuhai and from there it’s on to the former Portuguese colony of Macau where you can try the World’s Highest Bungee Jump! There is also the opportunity to visit the Venetian Macau; a replica of the Venetian in Vegas only twice the size!

Hong Kong

Arrive in Chengdu and join an optional tour to the world’s largest statue of Buddha at Leshan before enjoying a traditional Sichuan Hotpot that night. In the morning visit the Panda Breeding Research Centre arriving in time to watch them tuck into breakfast. This evening, board the night train to Xian. After arriving in Xian, visit another unmissable and free attraction; the Terracotta Warriors. In the evening you have the chance help out at a soup kitchen for Xi’an’s homeless people. On Day 9, enjoy an independent walking tour of the Muslim quarter which finishes with a visit to the Great Mosque, or join an optional bike tour around the ancient city walls. Tonight, don’t miss the fountain and light show before experiencing a night out Chinese style; yes, there will be Karaoke, or KTV as it is known here.

There are plenty of optional activities in Shanghai to fill your days; see an incredible acrobatics performances, join a former French Concession Walking Tour including a visit to a hidden underground propaganda museum and visit a bar on the roof of a skyscraper where you can enjoy views of Pudong and the Bund whilst sat in a hot tub sipping champagne!

Fujian province

Hong Kong

Yangshuo

02-05

Today, there is time to enjoy more optional activities before boarding the train to Hangzhou, famed as China’s most beautiful city. On arrival in Hangzhou you’ll visit West Lake before heading into the countryside to a bamboo nature reserve called Moganshan. Spend the afternoon splashing in the crystal clear mountain lagoon and head to a mountain lodge for a BBQ and overnight stay. The next morning, hike to the peak of Moganshan Mountain passing Chairman Mao’s former residence, before travelling onto Shanghai where you can join China’s largest bar crawl and experience the famed nightlife.

This morning, enjoy a walking tour of the pretty Portuguese style streets of Macau visiting Saint Paul’s Ruins and sample some traditional Macanese food. In the afternoon catch a high-speed ferry back to Hong Kong. Say your final good byes to the group on the Hong Kong Pub Crawl having just completed an epic 3,984-mile journey around China!

You might like

The Dragon Trip runs on a backpacker loop which means there’s flexibility where you can start and end your adventure. If you don’t have time to do the full 25 days, the trips below pack in the same adventure in a shorter amount of time:

Shaolin

11-12

An early morning transfer back to Xian where you’ll take the train and then bus to Dengfeng where you’ll visit an orphanage in the evening. All the children at the orphanage are trained in Kung Fu and will put on a performance for you. Its then your turn to teach the children games and help them practice their English. The Kung Fu teacher who trained in the Shaolin Monastery will teach you the basics in an optional lesson. On Day 12, rise early to visit the Shaolin Temple before boarding the night train to Beijing.

Beijing / Great Wall of China

13-15 132

After arriving in Beijing you’re off to The Great Wall of China! You visit a deserted part of the wall where you can hike along as the sun sets without any other tourists around before pitching your tent for a night of camping on the wall. In the morning wake for what will be one of the most memorable sunrises of your life and then head back to Beijing. Over the next two days there is time to see all the highlights including the Forbidden City, Chairman Mao’s embalmed body in Tiananmen Square and the Olympic Village.

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

SHANGHAI to SHANGHAI 18 DAYS: Shanghai Yangshuo Chengdu Beijing Hangzhou Shanghai

£893

BEIJING to BEIJING

Shaolin

18 DAYS: Beijing Shaolin Xi’an

FR

Xi’an

Shanghai Beijing

£893

FR

Yangshuo

Chengdu

Hong Kong to Hong Kong 16 DAYS: Hong Kong Yangshuo Beijing Hong Kong Shaolin

Chengdu

£747

FR

Xi’an

Starting in Shanghai and then heading straight to Yangshuo, this includes all the best bits of our full circuit, but misses out Fujian, Macau and Hong Kong.

Similar to the Shanghai to Shanghai tour, but this route starts in Beijing. See all of the best bits of The Dragon Trip on your way back to Beijing!

This is the first half of the full circuit, however, after Beijing, you head straight back down to Hong Kong on the world’s longest bullet train!

Departures 2014

Departures 2014

Departures 2014

Every Monday between March & October

Every Friday between March & October

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

Every Monday between March & October

133


hong kong

HONG KONG WHERE TO STAY

HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPOR T: 25km

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Waterloo Rd

Lung Cheung Rd

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10

Kai Fuk Rd

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3

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nT ong

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ou rb

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Cross H

te r

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21

11

12 Tunnel arbour

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Kowloon Across the water from Hong Kong Island and on the same side as the airport, Kowloon is a colourful, crazy, full-on experience packed with Chinese restaurants and amazing local markets.

1 ƒ Lantau Island

8 1 9

GLAMPACKER

yes inn fortress hill & yes inn Causeway bay

rock solid

£31 DORM £31 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

the salisbury ymca

Hong Kong Island Hong Kong’s second largest of its 236 islands and home to numerous hotels, shopping centres and restaurants plus the infamous nightlife area of Lan Kwai Fong.

HONG KONG ISLAND

ROCK SOLID

£108 SINGLE £54 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

the cityview

ROCK SOLID

£92 SINGLE £46 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

metropark HOTEL kowloon

£78 SINGLE £39 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

• Central accommodation and a great atmosphere • Communal fridge and microwave but loads of restaurants nearby • Two of Hong Kong’s brightest and best hostels

• Amazing central location making exploring the city a doddle • Clean, smart rooms with everything you could want • Start the day with a refreshing swim in the indoor pool

• Unwind with food and drink in one of the three restaurants • Cool off in the 25-metre indoor pool • Step out and stroll to buzzing Nathan Road

• Grab a drink at the popular Sip Sip Bar • Chill out and take in the views at the rooftop pool • Work up a sweat at the fitness centre

New, small, clean, convenient and comfy - a rarity among Hong Kong hostels but these two tick all the boxes. Located either in or close to Causeway Bay, both hostels are great places to stay with a choice of dorms or private rooms, all en suite and with air con and free Wi-Fi. Causeway Bay also has a rooftop garden.

This one offers great value for money and an unbeatable location next to Kowloon’s harbour. The awesome facilities include an indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, gym and a choice of three restaurants. Rooms are clean and comfortable with private facilities and air con. Many boast brilliant views over the city too.

An excellent value for money hotel with a first-class location near bustling Nathan Road. Soothe aching muscles in the indoor pool or work out at the high-tech gym. Choose from three top restaurants serving everything from sandwiches to dim sum and high tea to buffet. Rooms are spacious and come with air con and TV.

This is a large, comfortable hotel with a good choice of facilities and well equipped rooms. Choose from two restaurants and either traditional Chinese or international cuisine before having a drink at the popular Sip Sip Bar. The rooftop pool is ideal for escaping the hot, crowded streets.

hkgyes/HYGYIH

HKGYMC

rock solid

Dorsett MONGKOK

HKGYHK

rock solid

£92 SINGLE £46 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

harbour plaza north point

ROCK SOLID

£82 SINGLE £41 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

the kowloon HOTEL

HKGMET

30% OFF THIRD NIGHT - 02Jan14-28Feb14 & 01May14-09Sep14

a-list

£111 SINGLE £56 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

cosmopolitan HOTEL

£92 SINGLE £46 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

• Fantastic Kowloon location and free daily shuttle service • Selected rooms offer free iPad use on request • Work out at the fitness centre or swing by the hotel’s Thai restaurant

• Sit back and enjoy the live band in the lobby lounge • Rooms all come with broadband Wi-Fi and satellite TV • Enjoy a sunset cocktail on the open sundeck

• Take a stroll to the world-famous Jade Market • Relax in the coffee shop for a drink or snack • Get around everywhere easily - the hotel’s above a Metro station

• Choose from 11 pillows with the hotel pillow menu • Speed around Hong Kong on the free shuttle service • Get connected with the ultra high speed Wi-Fi access

Situated on the cusp of buzzing Mongkok and Tai KikTsai, this boutique hotel is a relaxing, modish retreat. Fashionably designed rooms come with free Wi-Fi, flatscreen TVs and rain showers. The real selling point, however, is the location - four minutes from the Olympic Station and close to tons of attractions.

This high-rise hotel oozes class and stunning views. It also has a great location for exploring, close to public transport links. There is a 25m outdoor pool, well-equipped gym and several dining options. Rooms are small but have all you would expect from a four-star hotel - a great way to explore breathtaking Hong Kong.

This hotel is on the ‘Golden Mile,’ a street of pure shopping paradise and culinary heaven. Top this off with possibly the greatest harbour view in the world and there’s no doubt about the postcode credentials of this hotel. Chill out in your cosy room with flat screen TV and smart bathroom.

This contemporary hotel is located close to tons of dining and shopping options and also offers free shuttle service to get you around the city sights. The bedrooms boast indulgent extras including a pillow menu for a perfect night’s sleep, massage showers and mini-bar. Indulge in Sichuan cuisine at the restaurant.

STAY 4 PAY 3 - 02-30Jan14, 07Feb14-03Mar14, 01-11Apr14, 01May14-01Sep14, 23Sep14-11Oct14 & 31Oct14-29Dec14

134

hkgdor

STAY 4 PAY 3 - 02-30Jan14, 07Feb14-03Mar14, 01-11Apr14, 01May14-01Sep14, 23Sep14-11Oct14 & 31Oct14-29Dec14

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

HKGPLA

FREE ROOM UPGRADE FROM SUPERIOR TO DELUXE 02Jan14 - 31Mar14. HONEYMOON OFFERS AVAILABLE

HKGTKH

STAY 4 PAY 3 - 01Jan14-15Mar14, 01-10Apr14, 01May14 - 09Oct14 & 15Nov14-31Dec14. Late check-out until 3pm

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

HKGCOS

135

oriental asia

oriental asia

Ha

Most of Hong Kong’s accommodation is located either on Hong Kong Island or Kowloon. However the transportation network is highly developed with a great subway system (MTR), cheap bus network and frequent ferries so getting around couldn’t be easier.

Rd

ater Bay Clear W

KOWLOON


ROCK SOLID

beijing

ROCK SOLID

COSMO HOTEL

£86 SINGLE £43 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

METROPARK MONGKOK

£66 SINGLE £33 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

• Cheers Bar - where everybody knows your name! • Indulge yourself at the onsite cake shop • Walking distance to the Goldfish Market (yes, seriously!)

This modern boutique hotel is young and fun, with vibrant design throughout. You’ll be happy to retreat here. Enjoy the Breeze patio with its free coffee, fresh fruit and Wi-Fi or have a drink at the award-winning Nooch Bar or use the gym at the Cosmopolitan Hotel next door. Rooms are small but beautifully formed.

This good little 3-star hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Kowloon close to an MTR station. Rooms are bright and modern with satellite TV and mini-bar. Although you’re spoilt for choice with the variety of bars and restaurants on your doorstep, the hotel does have a restaurant, cake shop and great bar - Cheers.

STAY 4 PAY 3 - 01Jan14-15Mar14, 01-10Apr14, 01May14-09Oct14 & 15Nov14-31Dec14. Late check-out until 3pm

HKGCMO

hkgcon

a-list

HARBOUR GRAND KOWLOON

a-list

£138 SINGLE £69 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

THE MIRA HOTEL

shoestring

£172 SINGLE £86 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

• Sip stylish cocktails in the lush open-air lounge bar • Stay connected in your luxurious designer room with free Wi-Fi • Cool off in the infinity pool or melt in the heat zone at MiraSpa

Right next to Victoria harbour in the wonderland of Kowloon, this hotel offers luxurious rooms, many with harbour views. Swim in the rooftop glass-walled pool before taking a breather in the spa or working out in the fitness centre. Wondrous dining options include Japanese BBQ, classic grill, Cantonese and a continental buffet.

The Mira lures with a blend of urban luxe and cutting-edge technology. Every detail is designed to stimulate the senses and spice up your experience. Indulge in one of the six multi-awarded, concept restaurants and bars. Stylish decor, scrummy food, awesome sounds and a fabulous spa - this is a gem of a hotel.

LATE CHECK OUT - 02Jan14-31Mar14, 01May14-10Sep14 & 20Nov14-21Dec14

£119

FR

4 DAYS

Highlights

• Three nights at the Yes Inn Hostel • Arrival airport transfer • Hong Kong Island tour

Even the most experienced travellers can get lost in big and booming Hong Kong. It’s a brilliant place, but can sometimes get a little mad so being prepared is advisable. Plus, you’ll want a comfy, central base at a price that doesn’t blow your budget! With this nifty package, you’ll have an airport transfer included and two nights at Yes Inn Fortress Hill Hostel. Visit Stanley Market, Aberdeen Fishing Village, Repulse Bay Beach and Victoria Peak for awesome panoramic views on a brilliant included half-day Hong Kong Island tour. STAHKG

136

hkghgk

HONG KONG ISLAND TOUR

STAY 4 PAY 3 - 01-28Feb14 & 01May14-07Sep14

£30

FR

HALF DAY

AROUND KOWLooN

Beijing leo HOstel

£9 DORM £19 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

• Swim in the glass-walled rooftop pool • Relax in your luxurious room with views to die for • Fancy rooms with marble bathrooms

HONG KONG WELCOME PACKAGE

oriental asia

oriental asia

• Get the drinks in at the award-winning cocktail bar • Located close to Happy Valley Racecourse • Have easy access to the city on the free shuttle bus

BJSLEO

£33

FR

a-list

HALF DAY

Find the best bargains in Hong Kong and learn all about good and bad Feng Shui. Highlights include a fragrant flower market, a street selling songbirds and goldfish (meant to bring lucky Feng Shui), the ladies’ market for deals on clothes and bags and the famous Temple Street Night Market.

HKGHKI

HKGKOW

£59

FR

HALF DAY

LAND BETWEEN TOUR

£45

FR

HALF DAY

Take a break from Hong Kong’s high-end dining to chow down on tasty, famous snacks from independently-owned eateries and open-air markets. Sample delicious dim sum, wonton noodles, Hong Kong French toast and learn the local way of preparing food and drinks.

See what makes Hong Kong such a great place to live and visit! Witness how new towns exist next to century-old woodland and how housing estates soar skyward, shadowing small traditional villages, rice fields and old-fashioned duck farms. Visit a monastery and Hong Kong’s highest peak.

HKGMUN

HKGLBT

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

international youth hostel

£8 DORM £16 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

£298

FR

4 DAYS

Highlights

hotel kapok

£125 SINGLE £63 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

Within walking distance of Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the popular Wangfujing shopping district is this fashionable, boutique hotel. Its 89 rooms are elegantly decorated with dark wood floors, flatscreen TVs and views of either the city or courtyard. Enjoy a variety of Asian and Western dishes in the restaurant. BJSKAP

chongwenmen HOTEL

£59 SINGLE £30 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

This three-star hotel is just a minute’s walk to the metro station and 15 minutes by foot to Tiananmen Square. The rooms are an air con oasis and the perfect chill-out base for beating the summer heat. When you’re done with pavement pounding, surf the cable TV, check out a Peking pub or chow down some real Chinese nosh.

BJSJAD

free bicycle rental

total beijing

rock solid

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

In unique ‘east meets west’ design style, this hostel has the globetrotting, international traveller firmly in mind. It’s packed with backpacker essentials, including a cosy bar, imperial-style restaurant, guest kitchen, Internet cafe, air con rooms and free bicycle rental so you can ride around Beijing like a local.

• One great, big, long wall • Cycle Beijing’s backstreets • Visit all the key city attractions

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

Hong Kong Munchies Walking tour

jade PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

This friendly and fun bargain hostel is a mere ten-minute walk from Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. With a lively bar, free Wi-Fi in the communal areas, free luggage storage and free security lockers, you would be hard-pushed to find a better place to dump that backpack! The English speaking staff here are super-helpful too.

HKGMIR

Spend half a day delving into this city. Visit Stanley Market and stroll through the famous seaside village bazaar, go to Aberdeen Fishing Village, visit a prestigious jewellery factory, pass by Repulse Bay (an exclusive ex-pat enclave) and proceed to Victoria Peak for a panoramic view.

shoestring

A fab tour of Beijing’s highlights with accommodation and transfers included - it couldn’t be simpler! Day 1 includes a visit to the impressive Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven followed by an intriguing bike ride through the ancient backstreets of the city on Day 2. Witness Chinese life as it has been lived for centuries. The next day, explore Beijing’s local art and architecture scene before a trip to the Great Wall and a chance to experience reflexology to ease those aching limbs. BJSTOT

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

BJSCHO

juongguan great wall & city sights

£43

FR

full DAY

Replete with military installations, watch towers and temples, Juongguan Great Wall is the site of an ancient military town dating back to the Ming Dynasty. As well as climbing the wall for two hours, you’ll visit a jade carving factory, swing by the main Olympic Stadium and enjoy a rickshaw tour. BJSFUL

urban adventures great wall experience

£90

FR

HALF DAY

Of all the trips to the Great Wall this one definitely has the ‘wow’ factor! Get your adrenalin pumping as you trek along with your guide. Enjoy breathtaking views and steep climbs as you walk at your own pace. You even get a soothing reflexology foot massage at the end of the day! BJSWAL

137


SHANGHAI

JApan ORIENTAL ASIA

oriental asia

SHOESTRING

MINGTOWN PEOPLE’S SQUARE YOUTH HOSTEL

£13 DORM £20 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

SHOESTRING

HIKER YOUTH HOSTEL

£10 DORM £20 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

In the backstreets, just five minutes from People’s Square, this hostel provides traditional Chinese-style, relaxed surroundings. Choose from clean air con dorms or private rooms with en suites. Swap stories with like-minded travellers over a game of pool, in the bar or explore the nearby restaurants and snack stalls.

NANJING HOTEL

£46 SINGLE £23 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

A simple, clean and convenient hostel, just a five-minute walk from local attractions and transport networks. Rooms are decorated in typical Chinese décor with air con and shared bathroom facilities. Chill out in the TV lounge and games room or rent a bike and explore the streets of Shanghai on two wheels.

SHAMIN

rock solid

Based in the midst of the bright lights of Nanjing Road, this hotel is perfect for exploring this vibrant city. The famous Bund (promenade along the river) is nearby where you can view the Pudong area on the other side or enjoy a drink in a cafe. Rooms are of varying sizes but all come with air con and are comfy and super-clean.

SHAHIK

SHANAN

Shanghai Express

TOP 5 MUST-DO’s 1. get lost in translation in tokyo 2. ride a super-fast bullet train 3. soak in a traditional onsen spa 4. smell the cherry blossom 5. dine on octopus balls in osaka

£119

FR

3 DAYS

Highlights

• Hop-on hop-off at all the best bits • Travel on the world’s fastest train • Convenient airport pick up

Shanghai for Food Lovers

£31

FR

HALF DAY

Made by foodies for foodies, this tour offers a truly local lowdown on all the delicious treats Shanghai has to offer. With your expert guide, you’ll uncover the full spectrum of the city’s eating scene - from top restaurants and authentic food stores, to veggie picking and local cooking tips at a fresh produce market. Yummy!

Departs: Daily Accommodation: Hostel (2 nts) Meals: None included Transport: Air con vehicle, bus, train Tour Code: SHAWPK

SHALOV

138

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

This short but sweet tour includes two nights’ hostel accommodation and packs in all of Shanghai’s best bits. You will be picked up at Shanghai’s airport and whisked into the city to a central hostel. The following day jump on a hop-on hopoff bus to enjoy sa city tour including the famous YuYuan Gardens, the financial district of Pudong, the atmospheric French Quarter and the colonial riverfront - The Bund. On the final day ride the Maglev, the world’s fastest train, as it torpedoes you back to the airport.

tokyo mt. fuji • kyoto hiroshima

fukuoka

osaka


£2,649

DISCOVER JAPAN Tokyo

• • • • • • • •

FR

14 DAYS

Tokyo

Highlights

Ride the bullet train around Japan Inhale the alpine air of Takayama Behold the beauty of tranquil gardens Take in Hiroshima’s moving past See the famous ‘floating’ Torii Gate Absorb Kyoto’s traditions and history Climb imposing Mt. Fuji (seasonal) Shop for the latest gizmos in Tokyo

£1,749

JAPAN EXPRESS Osaka

• • • • • • • •

FR

9 DAYS

Tokyo

Highlights

Travel by super-fast ‘bullet’ trains Stay a night in a mountain monastery See how Hiroshima looks to the future Enjoy an excursion to Miyajima Island Look out for Kyoto’s geisha girls Check out Mt. Fuji’s imposing peak Soak in a natural open-air onsen Sleep in a traditional-style ryokan

ORIENTAL ASIA

ORIENTAL ASIA

Departures 2014

Departures 2014 Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 06 Jan 27 Feb 24 Mar 03 Mar 10 Mar 17 Mar 24 Mar 31 Apr 07 Apr 14

Jan 19 Feb 09 Mar 09 Mar 16 Mar 23 Mar 30 Apr 06 Apr 13 Apr 20 Apr 27

Apr 21 Apr 28 May 05 May 12 May 26 Jun 09 Jun 23 Jul 07 Jul 21 Aug 04

May 04 May 11 May 18 May 25 Jun 08 Jun 22 Jul 06 Jul 20 Aug 03 Aug 17

Aug 18 Sep 01 Sep 15 Sep 29 Oct 13 Oct 27 Nov 10 Nov 24 Dec 08 Dec 22

Aug 31 Sep 14 Sep 28 Oct 12 Oct 26 Nov 09 Nov 23 Dec 07 Dec 21 Jan 04

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (9 nts), traditional inns and onsen spas (4 nts) Transport: Bullet train, public bus, ferry Meals: 2 breakfasts, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD $420-600 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAJDJ

Summing up Japan is kind of like describing the sneaky hit of wasabi in your sushi surprising and startling! It might be the juxtaposition of ultra-modern and charmingly traditional, the mind-blowing speed of the bullet trains, the spirituality of the beautiful temples or the unspeakable beauty of the geishas. Whatever it is, on this wonderful twoweek adventure you’ll savour the region’s culinary delicacies, stay in a traditional ryokan guesthouse and immerse yourself in Japanese culture with a visit to an onsen spa. You’ll very quickly fall in love with this astounding country.

DAY ITINERARY 01

Tokyo

Arrive in Tokyo, take a deep breath and throw yourself into exploring this ultra-modern metropolis.

Takayama

02-03

Get up early to make an optional visit to the famous Tsukiji fish market and watch the theatrical bidding at the tuna auction! Your first ride on Japan’s famous Shinkansen bullet train takes you high into the Japan Alps to Takayama, a world away from bustling Tokyo. Here you’ll find many finelycrafted old wooden houses, uniquely designed to withstand the harshness of the climate and terrain. Take a full day to explore this beautiful landscape, visiting the Hida No Sato traditional folk village and stopping for a refreshing cup of sake at one of the local breweries. An optional bike ride can take you out into the lovely countryside.

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Mar 03 Mar 10 Mar 17 Mar 24 Mar 31 Apr 07 Apr 11 Apr 14 Apr 16 Apr 21 Apr 23 Apr 28 May 07 May 12 May 19

Mar 11 Mar 18 Mar 25 Apr 01 Apr 08 Apr 15 Apr 19 Apr 22 Apr 24 Apr 29 May 01 May 06 May 15 May 20 May 27

Jun 09 Jun 16 Jun 30 Jul 07 Jul 14 Jul 21 Jul 28 Aug 04 Aug 11 Aug 18 Aug 25 Sep 01 Sep 10 Sep 15

Jun 17 Jun 24 Jul 08 Jul 15 Jul 22 Jul 29 Aug 05 Aug 12 Aug 19 Aug 26 Sep 02 Sep 09 Sep 18 Sep 23

Sep 22 Sep 24 Sep 29 Oct 06 Oct 13 Oct 20 Oct 27 Nov 03 Nov 10 Nov 17 Nov 24 Dec 01 Dec 08 Dec 15

Sep 30 Oct 02 Oct 07 Oct 14 Oct 21 Oct 28 Nov 04 Nov 11 Nov 18 Nov 25 Dec 02 Dec 09 Dec 16 Dec 23

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (6 nts), traditional inn and onsen spa (1 nt), mountain monastery (1 nt) Transport: Bullet train, train, public bus, tram, ferry Meals: 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners Budget: Allow USD $350-400 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAAJJR

Offering the perfect first-time introduction to Japan, this short but sweet adventure captures the many faces and flavours of this intriguing and unique country. From the neon lights of Osaka to the fascinating history of Hiroshima, and from the magnificent temples and gardens of Kyoto to the sheer craziness of Tokyo, this tour packs quite a punch. Take time out at a serene mountain monastery to learn the lifestyle of Buddhist monks, relax in an open-air onsen at a traditional Japanese ryokan and tuck into something weird, wonderful and deliciously different for dinner every night!

DAY ITINERARY Osaka

Arrive into Osaka any time today, or better still arrive a few days early to really make the most of this very modern city. Arm yourself with a map, an appetite and a sense of adventure, and head out to explore Japan’s culinary capital. Try some tako-yaki (octopus balls), head over to the Osaka Aquarium or USJ - Japan’s very own Universal Studios theme park - and pick up electronic gadgets to make your mates jealous in Den-Den Town. Spend tonight partying in the neon streets of Dotomburi.

01

Koyasan

Leave the bright lights of Osaka and take a scenic train into the mountains, where the final ascent to Mt. Koya is so steep you’ll need to switch to a funicular railway. Koyasan was founded in 816AD and is the most important religious centre in Japanese Buddhism. Explore the many temples and the atmospheric moss-covered cemetery before settling into tonight’s shukubo, monastery lodgings run by monks. This is your chance to experience the monastic lifestyle, to dine on beautifully presented ‘shojin ryori’, or Buddhist vegetarian cuisine, and to take part in morning prayer ceremonies. (D)

02

Kanazawa Takayama

Kanazawa

Tokyo

JAPAN

Kyoto

04-05

Mt Fuji

A short train ride takes you to the beautifully-preserved castle town of Kanazawa. Step back in time with a stroll through the Nagamachi samurai and Higashi geisha districts and head to the Teramachi Temple district to visit the famous Ninja Temple, with its hidden doorways and secret escape routes. The highlight of any visit to Kanazawa is Kenroku-en; ranked one of the top three formal gardens in Japan, its breathtaking beauty shines through in any season.

Hiroshima JA PA N

Kyoto

Hiroshima

Hiroshima/ Miyajima

06-07

Perhaps more than any city in the world, Hiroshima is famous for one moment in history. On 6 August 1945, it became the first target of an atomic bomb. Hiroshima has risen phoenix-like from the ashes and rebuilt itself as one of Japan’s most laid-back, vibrant cities full of wide boulevards and art museums. Visit the Peace Park, an extremely moving place dotted with museums and memorials to those who lost their lives as WWII drew to a close. A burning flame waits in the park to be extinguished when all nuclear weapons in the world have been destroyed, and at the top of the park lie the remnants of Gembaku Dome, directly above which the bomb was detonated. Ironically, this made it one of the few buildings to be spared the full force of the blast. In the afternoon, you’ll take a short ferry ride to Miyajima Island where you’ll find perhaps the most photographed site in Japan, the ‘floating’ Torii Gate. Watch the sun set behind this beautiful structure and snap away!

Osaka

Hiroshima

Tokyo

Mt Fuji

Koyasan

Kyoto

05-06

Kyoto

08-10

It is said there are 2,000 temples, shrines, palaces, museums and traditional gardens in Kyoto, the former Imperial capital of Japan. Wander past wooden castles and multi-storied pagodas, and marvel at the huge temples of the Hongan-ji sect or the beautiful Kinaku-ji Golden Pavilion. Take time out to enjoy the Zen gardens and the Silver Pavilion. Evenings can be spent strolling the narrow alleyways of the historic Gion district, trying to catch a glimpse of a geisha girl flitting from teahouse to teahouse.

Mt. Fuji Region / Kawaguchiko

11-12 13-14 140

Mt. Fuji, at 3,776 metres, is by far the highest mountain in Japan but what makes it unique is its perfect volcanic cone shape. How you tackle it depends on the season: from 01 Jul-27 Aug, you’ll trek to the summit overnighting at a simple guesthouse; in May/Jun and from 28 Aug-01 Nov you’ll spend two nights in Kawaguchiko and drive midway up Mt. Fuji to walk the descent; and from 02 Nov - 30 Apr you’ll do an alternate trek in the beautiful Five Lakes region where it will be the views of Mt. Fuji, rather than the climb, that leave you breathless. (2B, D)

Tokyo

Take in more sights, visit more museums and gardens, do more shopping... it’s your last chance to see everything this fantastic city has to offer before heading home at any time on Day 14.

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

03-04

Re-trace your steps back down the mountain, and continue by bullet train to Hiroshima. This modern city offers a more manageable scale and pace than other Japanese urban centres, but will forever be marked for the 1945 explosion of the first atomic bomb. It has since become a peace-promoting place, working towards the day when all nuclear weapons are abolished. You can’t fail to be moved as you pause for a moment’s reflection at the ruined frame of the Gembaku Dome, which stood directly under the explosion, and you can learn the city’s story at the Peace Museum. Legend has it that if you fold 1,000 paper cranes, your wishes can come true - and one little girl’s wish to be cured from illness is commemorated at the inspiring Monument to the Children. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit beautiful Miyajima Island, where the ‘floating’ Torii Gate is one of Japan’s most photographed sights. The island is dotted with shrines and temples, its laneways are full of tasty treats including local oysters, and you’ll soon become acquainted with Miyajima’s friendly deer population. (B)

You might like

Extend your trip & include China Ancient Empires (18 days, Beijing to Tokyo) (GAACCJ) see page 116 Fr £2,699 Get off the beaten track Backroads of Japan (12 days, Tokyo to Kyoto) (GAAJMS) Fr £2,299

Kyoto, the former Imperial capital, is an essential part of any visit to Japan housing magnificent temples, palaces and gardens that date back centuries. You’ll see the impressive Nijo Castle, walk through the Inari Gates, catch a traditional tea ceremony and can practice meditation in Daisen-in’s Zen rock garden. Evenings can be spent in historic Gion, the traditional home of the iconic geisha girls. If you’re lucky, you will get to see these elegant ladies dashing between appointments dressed in full kimono and make-up. And girls... if you’ve ever wanted to try on the full gear, this is the place!

Hakone / Mt. Fuji

Head for the hills today, to Hakone which is famous for its natural hot springs. Travel through the beautiful Hakone-Izu National Park by bus, boat, cable car and train, and cross your fingers for a glimpse of Mt. Fuji (though she’s a notoriously shy mountain). You’ll spend the night at a traditional ryokan hotel/guesthouse, where you can relax in your dressing gown, dine on a delicious buffet-style meal of traditional dishes, and enjoy a relaxing soak in the rooftop onsen. Feeling super-relaxed, you’ll turn in for a good night’s sleep on a traditional futon. It’s an ‘only in Japan’ experience! (D)

07

Tokyo

08-09

Return to Tokyo with free time for shopping and for one final night out with the group. The tour comes to an end at any time on Day 9, but don’t forget Tokyo is the biggest city on the planet, so we strongly recommend extending your stay for another two or three days. You’ll need it to even scratch the surface! (B)

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

141


Tokyo

MT FUJI & HAKONE National Park.

£87

FR

FULL DAY

Depart from Tokyo and take a memorable trip up the perfectly formed Mt Fuji. Enjoy a cruise on beautiful Lake Ashi and a cable car trip up Mt Komagatake for a view of Hakone National Park, one of the prettiest parks close to the city. Enjoy a thrilling ride on the bullet train back to Tokyo.

1 3

TYOFJA

IMPERIAL PALACE

TOKYO CITY TOUR

5

2

£29

FR

HALF DAY

TOKYO TOWER

4 TOKYO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 10km

TYOTMT

SHOESTRING

GRAND HOUSE CHANG TEE

rock solid

Blue Wave Inn ASAKUSA

£46 SINGLE £30 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

HOTEL METROPOLITAN

£55 SINGLE £31 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

As clean and simple as sushi, this great value place makes the perfect base for pretty much anywhere in Tokyo. Right in the middle of Ikebukuro, you’re well connected to all four corners of the capital by train. Choose between Western or Japanese style rooms. All come with air con, en suite bathrooms and free Wi-Fi. ISIC cardholders get 1 hour free internet

rock solid

FR

This recently renovated and modern hotel is located in the Ikebukuro district of central Tokyo, close to the STA Travel store, with plenty of cafes, shops, bars and clubs on your doorstep. Amenities include a swimming pool, several bars, Wi-Fi in the tastefully decorated rooms and even a wedding chapel!

TYOBLU

rock solid

£510

FR

3 DAYS

MT FUJI & HAKONE TOUR WITH ONSEN

£237

FR

2 DAYS

TYOCRO

This three-day tour offers the best of rural and metropolitan Japan. View Mount Fuji’s stunning silhouette, enjoy the bubbling Owakudani Valley and experience an exhilarating gondola ride and scenic cruise across peaceful Lake Ashi. Stay overnight in an Onsen (hot spring resort) before you head to Japan’s ancient capital and home of the Geisha, Kyoto, to overnight and enjoy a morning tour before returning back to Tokyo on the famous bullet train. Departs: Daily Accommodation: Onsen (1 nt), basic hotel (1 nt) Meals: 2 breakfasts,1 lunch Includes: Full-day Mt Fuji & Hakone tour, 2nd class bullet train ticket, Kyoto tour Tour Code: TYOHAO

Combine a trip to Japan’s towering national symbol, Mt Fuji, with a day tour of scenic Hakone and an overnight stay at an onsen (hot spring) hotel. Departing from Tokyo, you’ll head to the infamous peak, taking in the views from the fifth station (8,000ft altitude!) before cruising across the serene Lake Ashi. Bliss out that evening in your hotel’s many onsens. Day 2, explore Hakone, ride an ariel cableway up Mt Komagatke and take the bullet train Tokyo-bound. Departs: Daily Accommodation: Onsen hotel, western-style room with air con (1 nt) Meals: 1 lunch Includes: Bus transfers to/from Tokyo, 2-day Hakone transport free pass Tour Code: TYOFUJ

rock solid

SHIBA PARK HOTEL

£120 SINGLE £60 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

SHINJUKU WASHINGTON HOTEL

£93 SINGLE £51 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

TOKYO RYOKAN STAY

£216

FR

3 DAYS

Tokyo, MT FUJI, HAKONE & KYOTO discovery

£728

FR

4 DAYS

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

• Try bar Fifteen’s unique aging malt in the barrel • Eat out in one of 100 little restaurants nearby • Browse the gift shop for amazing Japanese souvenirs

• Located in the heart of funky Shinjuku • Convenience store on site open 24 hours • Try the famous shabu-shabu at one of the many restaurants

The Shiba Park always gets rave reviews about its friendly and efficient staff. The hotel has Japanese and Western restaurants and all the cosy rooms come with TV, fridge and a Japanese tea set. In addition, you’re just minutes away from local attractions, great restaurants, bars and the subway.

This large hotel guarantees comfort, convenience and culture - perfect for any first-time travellers to the city. Rooms come with Internet access, bathrooms with loads of smellies and even traditional yukata robes. Friendly staff are always on hand to help you and you’ll love the great restaurants.

TYOSPH

142

hakone & kyoto Tour

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

This super-clean and friendly hotel has an excellent location and homely rooms that are more spacious than most. With complimentary Internet access, keeping in touch with folks back home is easy. There’s also a great restaurant which offers up the local delicacy of puffer fish for those brave enough!

TYOGRA

£126 SINGLE £74 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

TYOSWH

Nowhere in the world combines ancient and modern quite like Tokyo - home of Harajuku girls and a futuristic neon cityscape. Shopping, dining and the entertainment district are on the todo list but this package gives you a true taste of the Japanese lifestyle staying in a traditional ryokan (guest inn) complete with futon bed, tatami mat and kimono. Enjoy daily breakfast with your hosts and a guided walking tour. Departs: Daily Accommodation: Japanese ryokan (2 nts) Transport: Arrival transfer Meals: 2 breakfasts Additional: Tokyo walking tour with English speaking guide Tour Code: TYORYO

Short on time but want to cover off Japan’s best bits? Departing from the capital, you’ll head to iconic Mt Fuji, enjoying awesome views from the fifth station. Next up, cruise across Hakone’s beautiful Lake Ashi, ride the Mt Komagatake Ropeway, then jump on the bullet train to Kyoto on Day 2. Visit temples, lantern-filled shrines, the impressive Nijo Castle and exclusive Imperial Palace before heading back to Tokyo on Day 4. Departs: Selected dates Accommodation: Hotel (3 nts) Meals: 3 lunches Transport: Coach, train Tour Code: TYOTYO

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

143

ORIENTAL ASIA

ORIENTAL ASIA

Travel into the high-rise jungle to see amazing sights including panoramic city views from the Tokyo Tower. Continue on to Akasaka Guest House (now host to many visiting dignitaries), take a walk through the Imperial Palace East Garden and drive past the Ginza shopping area.


KYOTO & BEYOND

See a different side to Japan’s bright lights, neon colours and top-of-the-range gadgets. Stray from the stupefying historical sights, captivating architecture and mysterious local people. Wind your way instead into the mountains for a taste of this country’s incredible and largely unadulterated beauty.

There is simply no better way to get around Japan than on the world-famous Shinkansen, or ‘bullet’ trains, which whizz you effortlessly from the southern tip of Kyushu to the northern tip of Honshu at speeds of up to 300km/h. Not just fast, these wonderful trains are super-efficient, almost silent and depart so punctually you could set your watch to the exact second!

ORIENTAL ASIA

Japan Rail Passes

ORIENTAL ASIA

hakuba powder PACKage

rock solid

Karasuma KYOTO Hotel, Kyoto

£59 SINGLE £34 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT

rock solid

HEARTON HOTEL, Kyoto

rock solid

OSAKA NAmBA

£64 SINGLE £47 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

WASHINGTON HOTEL, Osaka

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

This popular little gem is simply great and offers a friendly and attentive service, two onsite restaurants and a coffee shop. The staff will even get your laundry sorted for you! All rooms are en suite and come with free Internet, TV, super-cool air con and typical Japanese toiletries, bathrobes and slippers.

The Hearton has a fantastic location - just ten minutes’ walk to Nijo Castle. All the rooms are clean and comfortable with en suite, air con, cable TV, free Internet, complimentary toiletries, robe and slippers. Take advantage of the restaurant and coffee shop or head out into the city like a local with free bike hire.

UKYKKY

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Positioned at the southern end of Osaka, this hotel is stumbling distance from the castle and the National Bunraku Theatre, perfect for those that want to explore the city. The rooms are clean and comfortable. Nearby you’ll find Dotonbori and Den Den Town, both great for a night out and places to eat.

KYOHHK

KYOTO RYOKAN PACKAGE Kyoto

£51 SINGLE £34 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

OSAONW

£237

FR

3 DAYS

Kyoto

Highlights

• Sleep soundly in an authentic Japanese Ryokan • See Japan’s contrast of traditional versus modern • Check out Buddhist temples on a walking tour

Accommodation: Choice of traditional inns/ Ryokans (2 nts) Includes: arrival shuttle from airport, walking tour with English speaking guide Meals: 2 breakfasts Tour Code: KYOKRP

With 17 Unesco World Heritage sites, more than 1,600 Buddhist temples and over 400 Shinto shrines, Kyoto is one of the world’s most culturally rich cities! At first glance, it may seem no different to its more famous neighbour Tokyo, but give it a little time and you will soon see the real Kyoto - traditional restaurants, golden temples, bamboo groves and Geisha girls. This fab package will give you enough guidance and freedom to get to know this astounding Japanese city, all from the comfort of your carefully selected Japanese guest inn. You’ll stay in a charming, traditional ryokan, just minutes from Kyoto station, that comes complete with futon bed, tatami mat, kimono and slippers. Airport transfer, a walking tour and daily breakfast are also included. It couldn’t be easier!

144

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Inclusions

Japan is well-known for its on and off-piste activities so what better reason to take a detour into the hills? Staying in Hakuba, the beating heart of Japan’s snow scene, take your pick of seven different mountain resorts to perfect your snow skills. And when you’re not skiing the slopes, sample the local sushi, soak away your hangover in steaming hot springs or just kick back with a keg of Kirin. Your package includes transfers from Tokyo Narita airport to the resort and comfy cosy accommodation for the duration of your stay. The lodge is located only 200 metres from the Happo One ski lifts, a few minutes from the busiest pub in town and a short stroll from the many restaurants on offer. A shuttle bus stop is just next door for transfers to the many other ski resorts in the Hakuba Valley. Ski season runs from early December to the end of March.

Inclusions • • • • • • • •

7/14 nights stay in Hakuba, 5mins walk to ski lifts and night life. 5 or 6 day Hakuba 9 mountain lift pass/10 or 13 day Hakuba 8 mountain lift pass. Return coach from Tokyo Narita airport to Hakuba accommodation. Optional central Tokyo drop off. Shuttle bus to all ski resorts in Hakuba. Airport meet and greet and Hakuba orientation. Daily breakfasts and one group dinner. Tour guide and nightly activities. Entry and sightseeing at Matsumoto Castle.

Optional Extras (not included): Deposit for lift pass chip, night skiing or boarding, traditional japanese ‘Onsen’ bathhouse, snow monkeys and zenkoji temple day tour. Departure point: Tokyo Narita airport terminal 2, international arrivals lounge Tour Code: TYOPOW (7N)/ TYOH14 (14N)

7 NIGHTS FR £548 14 NIGHTS FR £978

Departures 2014 Wednesday & Saturdays

The good news is that if you purchase a Japan Rail Pass, which is specifically designed for travellers and can only be bought prior to arriving in Japan, the trains are much less expensive than you think. In fact, you can buy a 7-day ‘ordinary’ pass for about the same price as one return ticket from Tokyo to Kyoto. In addition to the Shinkansen, the Japan Rail Pass also includes the regular trains, plus affiliated buses and ferries. They’re available for seven, 14 or 21 consecutive days of travel, in either 1st (‘green’) or 2nd (‘ordinary’) class.

japan rail

Valid on all trains operated by Japan Railways, including the Shinkansen ‘bullet’ trains, JR Limited Express, JR Express, local trains in city/rural areas plus affiliated bus and ferry connections, for unlimited travel across the whole of Japan.

Travel Validity

2nd Class (‘Ordinary’)

1st ( ‘Green’)

7 consecutive days

Fr £244

Fr £326

14 consecutive days

Fr £388

Fr £527

21 consecutive days

Fr £497

Fr £685

Japan Rail passes are only available to foreign travellers visiting Japan from abroad for sightseeing purposes, travelling under the status of ‘temporary visitor’. The voucher must be exchanged in Japan for the pass within 3 months of the issue date. At present, the pass does not include travel on the Nozomi-type Shinkansen ‘bullet’ trains on the Tokaido and Sanyo lines, nor the ‘Mizuho’ type trains, nor on the super-deluxe ‘Gran Class’ on the Hayabusa train which also runs on the Shinkansen lines.

JAPAN RAIL WEST PASS (KANSAI) Travel Validity

2nd Class (‘Green’)

1 day

Fr £18

2 consecutive days

Fr £35

3 consecutive days

Fr £44

4 consecutive days

Fr £53

Japan Rail West Pass (Kansai) is a cheaper option covering cities such as Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara and other destinations in Kansai. It includes local, rapid and special rapid services, but supplements apply for the Shinkansen Express and Limited Express. It may not be used on the Shinkansen Super Express.

JAPAN RAIL WEST PASS (sanyo) Travel Validity

2nd Class (‘Green’)

4 consecutive days

Fr £53

8 consecutive days

Fr £173

Japan Rail West Pass (Sanyo) covers the western end of the island of Honshu including cities such as Osaka, Okayama and Hiroshima, plus the city of Hakata on the island of Kyushu. This pass includes travel on local, rapid and special rapid services, the Nozomi and other Shinkansen Super Express trains, plus the ferry connection to Miyajima Island.

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

145


delhi to kathmandu ‘yolo’ adventure

indian sub-continent

Delhi

14 DAYS

Kathmandu

Highlights

Explore the urban vibrancy of India Sail the incredibly energetic Ganges Glimpse local life in traditional villages Admire mountain vistas in Nepal Photograph Agra’s iconic Taj Mahal Visit the holy city of Varanasi Witness rugged Himalayan landscapes Relax in Pokhara’s tranquil beauty

indian sub-continent

indian sub-continent

• • • • • • • •

£799

FR

Departures 2014 Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 14 Feb 04 Feb 25 Mar 04 Mar 18 Apr 08 Apr 29

Jan 28 Feb 18 Mar 11 Mar 18 Apr 01 Apr 22 May 13

May 20 Jun 10 Jun 24 Jul 08 Jul 22 Aug 05 Aug 19

Jun 03 Jun 24 Jul 08 Jul 22 Aug 05 Aug 19 Sep 02

Sep 02 Sep 23 Oct 14 Nov 04 Nov 25 Dec 16

Sep 16 Oct 07 Oct 28 Nov 18 Dec 09 Dec 30

Inclusions

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Recommended for 18-39s Accommodation: Simple hotels (13 nts), sleeper train (1 nt) Transport: Train, metro, local bus, charter bus, rickshaw Meals: None Budget: Allow USD $215-280 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAAHDU

My Own Room Available: Fr £249

The ‘YOLO’ in this tour’s name stands for ‘You Only Live Once’ and with India’s fast pace and its approach to making the most out of life, we think it’s pretty much spot on. This in-yourface country is less of a place to see than a place to do and this budget adventure ensures you get face to face with everything it has to offer. Only a stone’s throw away, you’ll also uncover the hypnotic beauty of Nepal, think snowcapped peaks, monasteries, yaks, yetis and Sherpas and you’ve got it in one! Witness classics like the Taj Mahal, sail the Ganges, take a jeep safari in Chitwan National Park and inhale the crisp air of the Himalayas.

DAY ITINERARY Delhi

01

Arrive in Delhi at any time, and wake up your senses in one of the most historic capitals in the world. Check out Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb. Later, visit India Gate and Connaught Place with the group.

Pushkar

Travel to the important pilgrimage town of Pushkar, a place so sacred to the Hindu religion that no alcohol, eggs or kissing is allowed! See the weathered domes and milky-coloured temples and watch the daily activity from the sacred lakefront ghats. There’s also the option for an afternoon camel ride.

02 03-04

Delhi N E PA L

Agra

Kathmandu

Lumbini

Jaipur

Pokhara

Pushkar

05-06

Chitwan NP I N D I A

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEPT

OCT

NOV

DEC

31 88

31 88

32 90

32 90

31 88

30 86

30 86

30 86

30 86

30 86

30 86

30 86

5 41

6 43

10 50

13 55

15 59

16 61

17 63

17 63

16 61

15 59

10 50

7 45

Goa

25 77

26 79

27 81

29 84

29 84

27 81

26 79

26 79

26 79

30 86

27 81

26 79

Kathmandu

15 59

17 63

21 70

25 77

26 79

26 79

26 79

26 79

25 77

30 86

20 68

16 61

Colombo Darjeeling

Kochi

27 81

28 82

29 84

30 86

29 84

26 79

26 79

25 77

26 79

27 81

27 81

27 81

Kolkata

25 77

28 82

32 90

35 95

34 93

32 90

31 88

31 88

31 88

30 86

28 82

25 77

Mumbai

29 84

30 86

31 88

32 90

32 90

31 88

29 84

28 82

30 86

31 88

32 90

30 86

New Delhi

20 68

22 72

28 82

35 95

38 100

38 100

38 100

32 90

33 91

31 88

27 81

21 70

You might like

Upgrade your trip Delhi to Kathmandu Adventure (15 days) (GAAHDK) see page 148 Fr £899

Agra

Head to the Muslim city of Agra, site of India’s most famous landmark, the Taj Mahal. As well as seeing the iconic piece of Mughal architecture, you’ll embrace the walled palatial city of the Agra Fort with its splendid red sandstone and intricate white marble decorations. Overnight train to Varanasi. As you arrive in the morning into Varanasi, the quintessential Indian holy city where millions of Hindus travel for pilgrimage, to worship, to mourn or to die. You’ll walk the narrow twisting alleys, poke around some of the hundreds of shrines and temples, and experience Ganges boat trips at sunrise and sunset that encapsulate the energy of the Hindu dawn rituals of bathing and burnings.

Lumbini

Leaving the spiritual Varanasi behind you, you’ll head for the Nepalese border. Crossing at the border town of Bhairawan you’ll continue on to the great Buddhist pilgrimage centre and the birthplace of the Buddha, Lumbini. Lumbini rolls off the tongue and pleasantly translates in Sanskrit as ‘Lovely.’

09 City

Start your visit with a morning hike up to the Savitri Temple. Opt to visit the Palace of the Winds and learn about the Hindu-Rajput and Islamic-Mughal architectural styles of the Amber Fort. Browse Jaipur’s markets brimming with jewellery and eye-catching textiles, or catch a Bollywood movie.

Varanasi

Varanasi

07-08

Average High Temperature (ºC / ºF)

Jaipur

Chitwan National Park

10-11

Next up, Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The landscape you will travel through today is a horizon of marshy grasslands, savannahs and forests at the base of the Himalayas. This national park is the oldest in Nepal and is home to endangered Indian rhinoceros and Bengal tigers. Opt to explore this incredible national park by jeep safari.

Pokhara

12-13

Travel from the plains to the mountains to Pokhara. This Nepalese treasure is nestled in a tranquil valley at an altitude of 827m, Pokhara is a true place of natural beauty. The most stunning of Pokhara’s sights is the spectacular panorama of the Annapurna Range. Opt to travel out to Sarangkot to experience a spectacular sunrise over the surrounding mountains

Kathmandu

14-15

As you embark on the last leg of your adventure you’ll dart through wild, rugged Himalayan landscape to Nepal’s magical capital. On your way you’ll visit Swayambhunath, the ‘Monkey Temple’ which sits comfortably above the city of Kathmandu. As you journey on, you’ll learn that this sacred city has been a crossroads of culture since hundreds of years before Christ, a tradition still very much alive today. Enjoy a final night in this fascinating city and bid farewell as your adventure draws to a close on Day 15.

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

147


delhi to kathmandu adventure Delhi

15 DAYS

Kathmandu

Highlights

Explore Delhi’s exotic culture Check out the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur Absorb the romance of the Taj Mahal Watch the bathing rituals in Varanasi Visit the birthplace of Buddhism Go searching for tigers in Chitwan N.P. Marvel at Pokhara’s natural beauty Check out magical Kathmandu

INDIA INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

indian sub-continent

• • • • • • • •

£899

FR

Departures 2014 Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 04 Jan 06 Jan 11 Jan 13 Jan 18 Jan 20 Jan 25 Feb 01 Feb 03 Feb 08 Feb 10 Feb 15 Feb 22 Mar 01 Mar 03 Mar 08 Mar 10 Mar 15 Mar 17 Mar 22 Mar 24 Mar 29 Mar 31

Jan 18 Jan 20 Jan 25 Jan 27 Feb 01 Feb 03 Feb 08 Feb 15 Feb 17 Feb 22 Feb 24 Mar 01 Mar 08 Mar 15 Mar 17 Mar 22 Mar 24 Mar 29 Mar 31 Apr 05 Apr 07 Apr 12 Apr 14

Apr 02 Apr 05 Apr 12 Apr 14 Apr 19 Apr 26 May 03 May 10 May 17 Jul 19 Aug 02 Aug 04 Aug 16 Aug 18 Aug 23 Aug 30 Sep 06 Sep 08 Sep 13 Sep 15 Sep 20 Sep 27 Sep 29

Apr 16 Apr 19 Apr 26 Apr 28 May 03 May 10 May 17 May 24 May 31 Aug 02 Aug 16 Aug 18 Aug 30 Sep 01 Sep 06 Sep 13 Sep 20 Sep 22 Sep 27 Sep 29 Oct 04 Oct 11 Oct 13

Oct 04 Oct 08 Oct 11 Oct 13 Oct 18 Oct 20 Oct 25 Oct 27 Nov 01 Nov 03 Nov 08 Nov 10 Nov 15 Nov 17 Nov 22 Nov 24 Nov 29 Dec 06 Dec 08 Dec 13 Dec 15 Dec 20 Dec 22

Oct 18 Oct 20 Oct 25 Oct 27 Nov 01 Nov 03 Nov 08 Nov 10 Nov 15 Nov 17 Nov 22 Nov 24 Nov 29 Dec 01 Dec 06 Dec 08 Dec 13 Dec 20 Dec 22 Dec 27 Dec 29 Jan 03 Jan 05

You might consider yourself an experienced traveller. You’ve lazed on sun-scorched beaches, paraded around exotic cities and had your bag go missing on many an international flight. But if you’re looking to contrast the kaleidoscope of colour that is India with the pristine serenity of Nepal’s Himalaya mountains, then this 15-day trip across the ‘roof of the world’ has got your name written all over it! From the ghats of the Ganges to an elephant safari in Chitwan National Park, this amazing adventure opens up a magical part of our beautiful planet to anyone who hasn’t yet “seen it all”.

DAY ITINERARY

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (12 nts), sleeper train (1 nt), deluxe air-conditioned tent (1 nt) Transport: Train, metro, local bus, private bus, auto-rickshaw, cycle-rickshaw, tempo, riverboat, jeep Meals: None Budget: Allow USD $215-280 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAHDK

Delhi

01 02-03 04

My Own Room Available: Fr £259

05-06

Arrive at any time and explore the wealth of culturally interesting options that this city has on tap. Old Delhi has mosques, forts, markets and other monuments depicting India’s Muslim history. New Delhi, on the other hand, is a modern city with wide tree-shaded avenues. Take an evening visit to the India Gate and Connaught Place, where shops, restaurants and bars abound!

Jaipur

Travel to the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur and visit the Palace of the Winds. Follow in the footsteps of the royal harem, by opting to ride an elephant to the Amber Fort Palace or groove along to the singing and dancing action of a Bollywood film at the art deco Raj Mandir cinema.

Agra

Travel by early morning train to the Muslim city of Agra, home to India’s most famous landmark, the Taj Mahal. Visit in the late afternoon for the best viewing experience and for the best light for photography. Ride on a cycle-rickshaw to visit the Red Fort and Itimad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb.

Orchha

TOP 5 MUST-DO’s 1. admire the ‘pink city’ of jaipur 2. search for tigers in ranthambore 3. photograph the taj mahal 4. cruise the keralan backwaters 5. party on the beaches of goa

Travel by train from Agra to Jhansi before jumping in a ‘tempo’ - a large type of auto-rickshaw, to the picturesque town of Orchha. You’ll spend two days enjoying the peaceful rural charm of this riverside town, experiencing the ‘real’ India, the perfect antidote to the chaos of India’s cities. Relax and enjoy!

Varanasi

07-08 Delhi

N E PA L

Lumbini Agra

Kathmandu

Bhairawa

Jaipur

Pokhara Chitwan NP Orchha

Varanasi

I N D I A

09 10-11

Varanasi is the quintessential Indian holy city. Walk the narrow twisting alleys, check out some of the thousands of temples and experience the rituals of bathing along the ghats. Sit back and contemplate what it means to be in Varanasi, the oldest continually-inhabited city in the world. You’ll take to boats and head out onto the sacred Ganges River, both for sunrise and sunset. On your evening journey, you’ll enjoy a candle flower ceremony and some sitar and tabla playing.

Lumbini

Travel to the Nepalese border. Crossing at the border town of Bhairawa you’ll continue on to the great Buddhist pilgrimage centre and birthplace of the Buddha, Lumbini - now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

NEW DELHI JAIPUR JAILSALMER VARANASI

Chitwan National Park

Travel along the base of the Himalayas through marshy grasslands, savannahs and forests to the UNESCO World Heritage Chitwan National Park. Ride an elephant through the park and spend your free time on a canoe ride, jeep safari or enjoying a spot of bird watching.

KOLKATA (CALCUTTA) MUMBAI (BOMBAY)

Pokhara

12-13

Travel from the plains to the mountains. Nestled in a tranquil valley at an altitude of 827m, Pokhara is a place of natural beauty. One of the best sights is the spectacular panorama of the Annapurna Range. Travel out to Sarangkot for sunrise over the surrounding mountains, then walk back down through farms and forest to Pokhara. Truly awesome and very inspiring.

Kathmandu

facebook.com/statravel.uk 148

14-15

Travel through the wild, rugged Himalayan landscape to Nepal’s magical capital city, stopping at the ‘Monkey Temple’ of Swayambhunath en route. Surrounded on all sides by some of the highest mountains on earth, Kathmandu has been a cultural crossroads for years. Finish on a high with an optional sightseeing flight to glimpse Mt. Everest, before your tour comes to an end on Day 15.

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

GOA CHENNAI (MADRAS) KERALA


HOLY COW LEG 1: DELHI TO KOCHI

SMALL GROUP ADVENTURE (18-35s)

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

Extras: Add arrival/departure transfers and pre/post accommodation to your itinerary please ask your Travel Expert for details. Tour Code: HCL1

vivid journey through India with Vodkatrain’s Holy Cow! Full of diversity, from the palaces and temples of the north to the beaches and backwaters of the south, and everywhere in between, witness the contrasts of extremes living side by side.

Departures 2014

If you are travelling on legs 2, 3 or 4, you will also have a unique overnight experience of sleeping in an Indian desert camp on a camel safari, as well as a palace stay in Rajasthan!

Your accommodation is included in the price. You will stay in a mixture of hotels, hostels and guesthouses; some may be

150

Days

not just to the tourist sites (they are important too!) but to the real heartbeat of the country, its people and those underground places you normally need weeks to find! They can show you where to change money, their favourite cafés, bars and restaurants, they can translate all the latest gossip and if there’s something they don’t know they have the language skills to find out. Honchos are available from 9am to 9pm and some choose to stay out later for a drink (they love their job that much!). All of their expenses are covered to ensure that they only take you to the places that you want to go. Your Honcho probably has some ideas about what you should see - but there is no pressure to do any suggested activities; if you want to do your own thing they will help you with ideas and directions, then leave you to it! Please note: Due to the number of stops on our Holy Cow journeys your Honcho will be with you for more than one city and will be travelling on some rail sectors with you.

I•nHoncho clusionsservices to accompany your journey • Camel Safari and overnight stay at a desert camp (Legs 2, 3 or 4) • Sleeper berth train tickets on overnight trains, sitting class on all day services • Accommodation on a shared basis • All departure and arrival transfers en route (excludes first and last days) • Visa support for pre-booked services

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

  LEG 1

At each station, your Honcho will transfer you to your accommodation and, when it’s time, back to the station, making sure you’re safely on board the right train, going in the right direction.

There is no single supplement either, so solo travellers pay the same as couples. Share with other travellers (same sex) or receive your own room at no extra cost! Depending on group size, you may be sharing with locals and members of the opposite sex on train journeys.

Honchos Honchos love showing you around,

1: Arrive in Kochi (start Leg 4) 2: Morning train to Alappuzha where you can enjoy a cruise on the famous backwaters of Kerala 3: Morning train from Alappuzha to Trivandrum and short transfer to Kovalam 4: Kovalam - relax and unwind on breathtaking beaches under coconut palms 5: Depart Trivandrum by afternoon train for Madurai, home of the colourful and architectural highlights of Sri Meenakshi Temple 6: Madurai and overnight train from Madurai to Chennai 7: Early morning arrival into Chennai - the heart of Tamil Nadu 8: Chennai and overnight train to Mysore, the city of palaces & Maharajas 9: Mysore and overnight train to cosmopolitan Bangalore 10: Bangalore and evening train to Kolkata 11: On train 12: Early morning arrival into the busy and vibrant city of Kolkata 13: Kolkata & overnight train to Varanasi (start Legs 2 & 3) 14: Early morning arrival into Varanasi, one of the holiest cities of India. Visit the sacred waters of the Ganges and witness the colourful and chaotic ceremonies 15: Varanasi and afternoon train to Agra 16: Early morning arrival into Agra. Time to visit India’s most famous monument, the Taj Mahal 17: Agra and evening train to Jaipur, the fabled pink city of Rajasthan 18: Jaipur - hilltop forts, palaces and bazaars 19: Jaipur and overnight train to Udaipur 20: Morning arrival into Udaipur where you can visit the Lake Palace, used in the James Bond movie ‘Octopussy’ 21: Udaipur and transfer to Jodphur 22: Jodhpur - climb up to the Mehrangarh Fort & marvel at this blue city 23: Depart Jodhpur and late afternoon arrival in Bikaner 24: Enjoy a camel safari & overnight stay in a desert camp in Bikaner 25: Bikaner and overnight train to Chandigarh 26: Early morning arrival into Chandigarh and afternoon transfer to Amritsar where you can watch the proceedings at the incredible Sikh Golden Temple 27: Amritsar and afternoon arrival in Dharamsala, the residence in exile of the Dalai Lama 28: Dharamsala - mingle with pilgrims and monks 29: Depart Dharamsala and late afternoon arrival in the hill station of Shimla 30: Shimla - enjoy the old summer capital of the Raj 31: Depart Shimla by train, via Kalka and late evening arrival into Delhi by train 32: Delhi - explore the winding backstreets of Old Delhi, visit the Red Fort & Jama Masid and sample incredible local food from street markets (start Leg 1) 33: Delhi & overnight train to Aurangabad (end Leg 2) 34: Aurangabad - take time out to visit the Ellora or Ajanta caves 35: Aurangabad and overnight train to Mumbai 36: Early arrival into Mumbai, the glittery home of Bollywood! 37: Mumbai & late departure for overnight train to Goa 38: Goa - prepare to relax on the pristine beaches 39: Goa - see yesterday’s instructions and repeat! 40: Goa - yeah, you guessed it! You must be chilled out by now, right? 41: Goa and overnight train to Calicut 42: Early morning arrival into Calicut - welcome to the city of spices! 43: Morning train from Calicut to Kochi (end of itinerary Legs 1, 3 & 4)

  LEG 2   LEG 3   LEG 4

multi-share but most will be twins with private or shared facilities. All are centrally located (or really close to public transport) and clean. Off the train you will be sharing with group members of the same sex and on the train you may be sharing with local travellers and members of the opposite sex.

GROUP TRAVEL AS INDIVIDUAL AS YOU

hundreds of people (and employ over 1.5 million!). Overnight trains have comfortable six-berth sleeper compartments and two attendants on hand to provide information, keep communal areas clean and tidy and to provide regular supplies of hot tea and delicious Indian snacks and meals. For overnight trains your attendant distributes pillows, sheets and blankets.

Feb 03

Mar 10

Sep 29

Oct 20

Nov 24

Dec 29

Feb 14

Mar 21

Oct 10

Oct 31

Dec 05

Jan 09

LEG 2: KOLKATA TO DELHI

You’ll be travelling with the locals (literally millions of locals!) along the Indian railways, the lifeline of the country. Vodkatrain’s Holy Cow is perfect for travellers who prefer not to have the restriction of a ‘tour’ but You’ll travel with other young, independent recognise the advantages of someone else travellers all aged 18-35 years, so you taking the red tape and bureaucracy. can share the costs and experiences. Your group will be maxed out at 15; enough to These really are journeys packed with form a group of mates, small enough to adventure, all you need to decide is how blend in and unlike a big coach tour, you long to go for and how much to fit in! can choose to hang out with the group or do your own thing at each stop!

Transport & Accommodation Indian trains are noisy and fun! They carry

Start Finish

21 DAYS

£940

FR

The famous Taj Mahal, stunning Golden Palace, vast deserts of Rajasthan, the ‘pink city’ of Jaipur, the Ganges and Little Tibet; if you’re looking for India’s most famous highlights coupled with fun travel in three weeks, then the Holy Cow Leg 2 can’t be beaten. Extras: Add arrival/departure transfers and pre/post accommodation to your itinerary please ask your Travel Expert for details. Tour Code: HCL2

Departures 2014

Start

Jan 15

Feb 19

Sep 10

Oct 01

Nov 05

Dec 10

Finish

Feb 04

Mar 11

Sep 30

Oct 21

Nov 25

Dec 30

LEG 3: KOLKATA TO KOCHI

31 DAYS

£1,435

FR

If you can’t decide whether you want laid-back beaches or world-famous monuments, why not try the Holy Cow Leg 3 and cover it all? East to west then north to south, this must-do monthlong trip should be on every backpackers list. Extras: Add arrival/departure transfers and pre/post accommodation to your itinerary please ask your Travel Expert for details. Tour Code: HCL3

Departures 2014

Start

Jan 15

Feb 19

Sep 10

Oct 01

Nov 05

Dec 10

Finish

Feb 14

Mar 21

Oct 10

Oct 31

Dec 05

Jan 09

LEG 4: DELHI TO KOCHI

43 DAYS

£1,975

FR

The whole kit and caboodle, the big trip, the circumnavigation; this is the journey for the complete enthusiast, over six weeks travelling the length and breadth of this mysterious country and we think this is the best and most fun way to do it. Extras: Add arrival/departure transfers and pre/post accommodation to your itinerary please ask your Travel Expert for details. Tour Code: HCL4

Departures 2014

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

Start

Jan 03

Feb 07

Aug 29

Sep 19

Oct 24

Nov 28

Dec 26

Finish

Feb 14

Mar 21

Oct 10

Oct 31

Dec 05

Jan 09

Feb 06

151

INDIAN SUb-CONTINENT

If you want great Indian beaches plus Bollywood and you only have a couple of short weeks to travel then the Holy Cow Leg 1 is the trip for you. Start in the bustling capital Delhi, before heading out to Aurangabad to check out the Ellora or Ajanta caves and onto colourful and full of contrasts Mumbai, through Goa and finishing in laid-back Kochi.

IPrepare NDIA yourself for an incredibly

Ride the Indian rails to some of the most amazing and off the beaten track places in the world. This is an all-round Indian extravaganza, which takes you from the beaches of Goa to Dharamasala - home of the Dalai Lama - and all points between. It encompasses the razzle-dazzle of Bollywood in Mumbai, the magnificent Taj Mahal and the inspiring ghats at Varanasi. Experience the highlights of Rajasthan and the quiet backwaters of Kerala.

12 DAYS

£495

FR


£699

UNCOVER INDIA Delhi

15 DAYS

Goa

Highlights

Discover the vibrant city of Delhi Sample India’s delicious, varied food Fall in love with the Taj Mahal Check out the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur Absorb Pushkar’s exotic spirituality Be enthralled by Udaipur’s palaces Soak up Mumbai’s glitz and glamour Party all night in Goa’s bars and clubs

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 18 Jan 19 Jan 20 Jan 25 Jan 26 Jan 27 Feb 01 Feb 02 Feb 03 Feb 08 Feb 09 Feb 15 Feb 16 Feb 17 Feb 22 Feb 23 Mar 01 Mar 03 Mar 07 Mar 08 Mar 10 Mar 14 Mar 15 Mar 16 Mar 22 Mar 24

Mar 13 Mar 15 Mar 16 Mar 24 Mar 29 Mar 31 Apr 05 Apr 08 Apr 12 Apr 19 Apr 21 Apr 26 Apr 28 Aug 16 Aug 18 Aug 23 Aug 25 Aug 30 Sep 06 Sep 08 Sep 13 Sep 15 Sep 20 Sep 22 Sep 27 Sep 28

Mar 27 Mar 29 Mar 30 Apr 07 Apr 12 Apr 14 Apr 19 Apr 21 Apr 26 May 03 May 05 May 10 May 12 Aug 30 Sep 01 Sep 06 Sep 08 Sep 13 Sep 20 Sep 22 Sep 27 Sep 29 Oct 04 Oct 06 Oct 11 Oct 12

Oct 04 Oct 06 Oct 11 Oct 13 Oct 18 Oct 25 Oct 27 Nov 01 Nov 02 Nov 08 Nov 10 Nov 15 Nov 16 Nov 17 Nov 22 Nov 24 Nov 29 Nov 30 Dec 06 Dec 07 Dec 08 Dec 13 Dec 14 Dec 15 Dec 20 Dec 22

Oct 18 Oct 20 Oct 25 Oct 27 Nov 01 Nov 08 Nov 10 Nov 15 Nov 16 Nov 22 Nov 24 Nov 29 Nov 30 Dec 01 Dec 06 Dec 08 Dec 13 Dec 14 Dec 20 Dec 21 Dec 22 Dec 27 Dec 28 Dec 29 Jan 03 Jan 05

Inclusions

Everything in India is just a little bit more daring. The colours, the tastes, the architecture you won’t encounter even a suggestion of the ordinary during your time here. This 15-day adventure ensures that you’ll be delightfully exposed to all of India’s wonder. Snake your way through mysterious temples, magical palaces, shimmering lakes and some incredible cuisine. Check out the big brazen cities of Delhi and Mumbai and soak up the amazing vistas of Rajasthan. Finish up in the party capital of Goa – time to get your shades on to soak up the sunshine as you’re consumed by the laid-back beach vibe.

DAY ITINERARY 01 02 03-04

Delhi Pushkar

Agra Tordi Sagar

Arrive any time and feel free to explore. Slightly intimidating but exceptionally invigorating, Delhi will set your imagination running wild in a fury of colour and commotion. Jump in an auto-rickshaw or catch the smart new metro system to explore both Old and New Delhi, taking in the Grand Mosque and Connaught Place, one of the most prominent architectural remnants of British rule. Here, you can also visit the Ghandi Museum, built on the site of the great leader’s assassination.

Agra

My Own Room Available: Fr £339

Jaipur

05

Udaipur

Travel by early morning train to the city of Agra. No visit to India is complete without a trip here to see the Taj Mahal, an icon of Mughal architecture best visited late afternoon for the best light. Ride a cycle rickshaw to visit the Lal Qila or Red Fort; the Taj Mahal’s less famous but no less impressive sister monument. This palatial walled city is built from intricately-decorated red sandstone inlaid with white marble, and was the site an important battle in the 1858 Indian Rebellion.

Jaipur

06-07

Mumbai

Goa

20 DAYS

Delhi

Highlights

Explore the busy streets of Delhi Check out the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur Absorb the romance of the Taj Mahal Enjoy an amazing camel safari Watch the bathing rituals in Varanasi Drink in a kaleidoscope of cultures Visit Jodhpur’s ‘Palace of the Winds’ Watch a super sunset on the Ganges

08-10

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 05 Jan 06 Jan 13 Jan 20 Jan 27 Feb 03 Feb 10 Feb 16 Feb 17 Feb 24 Mar 03 Mar 10 Mar 17 Mar 24 Mar 31 Apr 07 Apr 14 Apr 21 Apr 28

Jan 24 Jan 25 Feb 01 Feb 08 Feb 15 Feb 22 Mar 01 Mar 07 Mar 08 Mar 15 Mar 22 Mar 29 Apr 05 Apr 12 Apr 19 Apr 26 May 03 May 10 May 17

May 05 May 12 May 19 May 26 Jun 02 Jun 09 Jun 16 Jun 23 Jun 30 Jul 07 Jul 13 Jul 14 Jul 21 Jul 28 Aug 04 Aug 11 Aug 18 Aug 25 Sep 01

May 24 May 31 Jun 07 Jun 14 Jun 21 Jun 28 Jul 05 Jul 12 Jul 19 Jul 26 Aug 01 Aug 02 Aug 09 Aug 16 Aug 23 Aug 30 Sep 06 Sep 13 Sep 20

Sep 08 Sep 15 Sep 22 Sep 29 Oct 06 Oct 13 Oct 20 Oct 27 Nov 03 Nov 10 Nov 16 Nov 17 Nov 24 Dec 01 Dec 08 Dec 15 Dec 22

Sep 27 Oct 04 Oct 11 Oct 18 Oct 25 Nov 01 Nov 08 Nov 15 Nov 22 Nov 29 Dec 05 Dec 06 Dec 13 Dec 20 Dec 27 Jan 03 Jan 10

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Recommended for 1839s Accommodation: Hotels (15 nts), sleeper train (3 nts), camping (1 nt) Transport: Train, metro, local bus, private bus, rickshaw, small riverboat, camel Meals: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner Budget: USD $350-400 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAAHRH

My Own Room Available: Fr £309

Before leaving Tordi Sagar, enjoy a lunch prepared by traditional methods at a village hamlet. Visit a children’s community learning centre en route to Pushkar, the site of the world’s only temple to the Hindu god of creation - Brahma. No Hindu pilgrimage is considered complete until the pilgrim bathes in the sacred waters of Pushkar Lake. Before dawn on Day 7, climb the hilltop Savitri Temple to watch the sun rise over this holy place. Later, there’s an optional dinner with entertainment in the dunes. (L)

Bikaner

Pushkar

Delhi

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Extend your trip Discover India (incl. Keralan Backwaters) (21 days, Delhi to Kochi) (GAAHDC) Fr £1,049

Jodhpur

Jaipur Agra Varanasi

Udaipur I N D I A

Continue to Udaipur, India’s most romantic city and famous worldwide for its breathtaking lakes and Raj-era palaces. The most famous is the Lake Palace, where white marble buildings entirely cover a small island in Pichola Lake - you an enjoy an optional visit here and an orientation walk in town.

152

Bikaner / Camel Safari

Arrive into Bikaner and head out into the dunes on a unique mode of transport, the Indian camel. Ride past isolated villages and marvel at your guides’ abilities to find their way across this empty landscape. Camp out under the stars with only the dunes and camels for company. (B, L, D)

Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer, known as the ‘Golden City’, stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone in the heart of the Thar Desert. Spend an enjoyable two days absorbing these legendary and exotic surroundings, wandering the maze of streets and checking out the mud fortress and walled townships.

Jodhpur

At Jodhpur, stark desert landscapes meet palaces, forts and temples, all enclosed within imposing city walls. Six enormous gates provide entry to the city centre. Overlooking it all stands the imposing Meherangarh Fort, one of the largest in India. Climb up and admire the breathtaking view of the city.

10-11

14-15

Visit Mahatma Ghandi’s ashram in Ahmedabad, the capital of Gujarat and a cosmopolitan city that straddles the Sabarmati River. It’s a tolerant place with a beautifully restored old city, and plenty of fine restaurants and vibrant night markets. Continue on to the exciting city of Mumbai where you can take an orientation walk with your tour leader to check out the ‘Gateway to India’. In the evening, visit one of Mumbai’s top-notch restaurants and sample the buzzing nightlife.

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

05-06

Arrive into Delhi and dive straight into the heart of India’s capital. Explore vibrant Old Delhi, visit Jama Masjid and climb the minaret for a bird’s-eye view, or stroll the busy market at Chandni Chowk. Take part in a walk led by rehabilitated street kids from our partner Planeterra’s New Delhi Street Kids Project. On the evening of Day 2, board the overnight train to Bikaner.

Udaipur

Continue to Udaipur, famous for its breathtaking lakes and Raj palaces. Most famous is the Lake Palace, where white marble buildings entirely cover a small island in Pichola Lake.

Pushkar

Drive over Snake Mountain on your way to Pushkar, site of the world’s only temple to the Hindu god of creation, Brahma. No Hindu pilgrimage is complete until you’ve bathed in the sacred waters of Pushkar Lake; indeed Pushkar is so sacred that no meat, alcohol or eggs are allowed within the city..

Jaipur

Travel to the capital of Rajasthan. Clothed in pink, Jaipur is home to India’s second most-visited site, the magnificent Hawa Mahal, or ‘Palace of the Winds’. You’ll have plenty time to explore.

Agra

16-18

Goa

13-15

03-04

12-13

Udaipur

This morning you fly from Mumbai to chilled-out beach paradise, Goa. Relax on a beach, visit the many Portuguese-built monuments, wander around Old Goa - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The local cuisine is recognised throughout the world for its fiery punch and strong Portuguese influences. Eat as much of this incredible Goan food as you can, you won’t find anything like it back home! Your tour ends on Day 15.

01-02

08-09

Jaisalmer

Ahmedabad / Mumbai

11-12

Delhi

07

Tordi Sagar

Dive into rural life with a traditional village stay. Visit potters, cobblers and markets, take a camel cart ride to the dunes for sunset or head into the hills for a spot of hiking. There’s also a chance to enjoy jewellery making with the local villagers, or to improve your understanding of henna painting.

This is your all-encompassing Indian wonder trip! You’ll tick off a whole host of amazing experience over 20 action-packed days and all for an absurdly low price. Experience the wonders of Rajasthan and North India - witness life-affirming sunsets, mystical temples, opulent palaces, utopian lakes and beautiful landscapes. Come face to face with a spirituality far removed from the shallow complexity of the western world as you interact with people in some truly unique places. India is also home to great and varied cuisine, so there’ll be plenty of opportunity to enjoy a few spicy curries along the way.

DAY ITINERARY

Inclusions

Take a bus ride to the capital of Rajasthan. Clothed in pink stucco, wide-avenued Jaipur is one of the most important heritage cities in India and home to the Hawa Mahal, or ‘Palace of the Winds’. Follow in the footsteps of the royal harem or ride an elephant to the cliff-top palace at Amber Fort.

Pushkar

Ahmedabad I N D I A

£749

FR

Departures 2014

Delhi

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Recommended for 1839s Accommodation: Simple hotels (14 nts) Transport: Train, metro, local bus, private bus, jeep, plane Meals: 1 lunch Budget: Allow USD $280-380 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAAHUH

Delhi

• • • • • • • •

Departures 2014 Jan 04 Jan 05 Jan 06 Jan 11 Jan 12 Jan 13 Jan 18 Jan 19 Jan 20 Jan 25 Jan 26 Feb 01 Feb 02 Feb 03 Feb 08 Feb 09 Feb 15 Feb 17 Feb 21 Feb 22 Feb 24 Feb 28 Mar 01 Mar 02 Mar 08 Mar 10

india on a shoestring

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

• • • • • • • •

FR

Start the adventure

19-20

Continue to the Muslim city of Agra, best known as the site of India’s most famous landmark - the Taj Mahal. This instantly recognisable building was constructed between 1631-1654 by a workforce of 22,000 as a mausoleum for the favourite wife of the Emperor Shah Jahan. It is perhaps the romantic origin of the Taj Mahal, as much as its architectural splendour, that has led to its worldwide fame. Visit this icon of Mughal architecture either in the early morning or late afternoon for the best light.

Varanasi

Journey to legendary Varanasi where millions of Hindus travel to worship, to mourn or to die. Walk the narrow alleys, visit temples and shrines and experience the energy of the dawn rituals as you float past the famous ghats of the Ganges. In the evening, you will enjoy a candle flower ceremony.

Delhi

Overnight train back to Delhi. Explore this hectic fast-paced city. Your adventure ends on Day 20.

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

153


£899

essential INDIA Delhi

FR

15 DAYS

Delhi

BEST OF southern iNDIA Kochi

BEACHES & £799 BACKWATERS

£379

FR

14 DAYS

Kochi

Kochi

FR

7 DAYS

Kochi

Highlights

Check out chaotic and colourful Delhi Inhale the aroma of the spice markets Wander the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur Explore the Palace of the Winds Let the Taj Mahal break your heart Slow down the pace in rural Orchha Take a sunset sail down the Ganges Absorb Varanasi’s raw spirituality

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

• • • • • • • •

Departures 2014 Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 05 Jan 07 Jan 12 Jan 17 Jan 19 Jan 24 Jan 26 Feb 02 Feb 07 Feb 09 Feb 16 Feb 23 Mar 02 Mar 09 Mar 16 Mar 23 Mar 30 Apr 06 Apr 13

Jan 19 Jan 21 Jan 26 Jan 31 Feb 02 Feb 07 Feb 09 Feb 16 Feb 21 Feb 23 Mar 02 Mar 09 Mar 16 Mar 23 Mar 30 Apr 06 Apr 13 Apr 20 Apr 27

Apr 20 Apr 27 May 04 May 11 May 25 Jun 08 Jun 15 Jun 22 Jun 29 Jul 06 Jul 13 Jul 20 Jul 27 Aug 03 Aug 10 Aug 17 Aug 24 Aug 31 Sep 07

May 04 May 11 May 18 May 25 Jun 08 Jun 22 Jun 29 Jul 06 Jul 13 Jul 20 Jul 27 Aug 03 Aug 10 Aug 17 Aug 24 Aug 31 Sep 07 Sep 14 Sep 21

Sep 14 Sep 21 Sep 28 Oct 05 Oct 12 Oct 17 Oct 19 Oct 26 Nov 02 Nov 07 Nov 09 Nov 16 Nov 23 Nov 30 Dec 07 Dec 12 Dec 14 Dec 21

Sep 28 Oct 05 Oct 12 Oct 19 Oct 26 Oct 31 Nov 02 Nov 09 Nov 16 Nov 21 Nov 23 Nov 30 Dec 07 Dec 14 Dec 21 Dec 26 Dec 28 Jan 04

Highlights

Many choose to spend months travelling India. If you’re only visiting for a few weeks, it’s important to know where you’re going and how. This trip takes away some of the hassle and gives you more time to immerse yourself in the local culture. Take your time to stroll through bustling city streets, discover beautiful temples, munch your way through explosive curries and come face to face with an ocean of wondrous spirituality. From the extravagant Taj Mahal to the riverbank ghats of Varanasi and the unforgettable temples of Khajuraho you’re sure to be caught up in India’s incredible tapestry of life.

DAY ITINERARY

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (13 nts), sleeper train (1 nt) Transport: Train, local bus, charter bus, auto-rickshaw, small riverboat, plane Meals: None Budget: Allow USD $250-300 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAHEH

My Own Room Available: Fr £259

01

Take a morning walk through the city accompanied by a young adult from a streetkids project supported by our partner, Planeterra. Later, dive straight into India’s capital with time to explore Old Delhi and explore the spice markets. Visit Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India and wander through the Chandni Chowk. Marvel at the splendour of Connaught Place, a shopping and restaurant quarter that provides a perfect place to take a break from the hectic surrounds of the city. Clothed in pink stucco, Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and a superb example of urban planning according to the principles of Hindu architectural theory. It’s home to the magnificent Hawa Mahal, or ‘Palace of the Winds’ whose 953 windows provides perfect natural ventilation. On Day 4, check out the ruined city of Amber, 15km out of town, where the palace complex and fort are connected by well-guarded passageways. Jaipur has one of the most spectacular movie theatres in India, so it’s the perfect place to take in some Bollywood magic!

01-04 05

N E PA L

05-07

Delhi Jaipur

08

Abhaneri Gwailor Varanasi Khajuraho

09-11

I N D IA

Travelling via the fortress town of Gwalior, retreat to the peaceful riverside town of Orchha. Explore the many temples and palaces spread along the river and surrounding countryside, making sure to see the town’s imposing 17th Century fort, Chaturbhuj Temple. Orchha is the perfect antidote to the chaos of India’s cities, and you can even opt to join a local family for a cooking class and lunch.

Alipura / Khajuraho

Stay in the rural village of Alipura - a princely state since 1757. Take a day trip to one of the most popular destinations in India, Khajuraho - home to India’s largest group of medieval Hindu temples, famous for their erotic sculptures depicting scenes from the Kama Sutra. Saucy!

Varanasi

12-13

Start the adventure 154

Arrive into colourful Kochi where churches, mosques and synagogues bear witness to its chequered history as a spice trading centre. Enjoy an orientation walk and a typical kathakali dance show. On Day 3, catch the morning train to Kozhikode, followed by a scenic drive to the Wayanad region of Kerala where the rolling hills are covered in rainforests and tea, coffee and rubber plantations. Enjoy a nature trail at a wildlife sanctuary and visit the Eddakal pre-historic caves.

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary

Spend the night at Mudumalai, one of the most important refuges for elephant and bison in India. Look out for varied wildlife and more than 120 species of birds including herons and falcons, on a safari.

Kochi

01

06-09

Imagine life as a Maharaja on a guided tour of Mysore Palace and Chamundi Temple. Catch an overnight train to Chennai on Day 7, and connect by private bus to Mamallapuram to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the 7th Century Shore Temple.

Alleppey

02

Spend the morning in the former French territory of Pondicherry, and stroll the atmospheric boulevards of the French Quarter. Catch the train to Madurai and, on Day 11, enjoy a cycle-rickshaw tour of the town and the Sri Meenakshi temple complex.

03

12-14

Enjoy an orientation walk of Kollam, a commercial centre which once did a roaring trade amongst British, Dutch and Portuguese sailors eager to get their hands on prized and valuable spices. Kollam is also the southern gateway to the Keralan backwaters and you’ll enjoy a full-day boat cruise to observe its unique ecosystem. (B, L)

Varkala

04-05

Thekaddy / Kerala Backwaters / Kochi

Drive to Thekaddy for a tour of the spice plantations in the aptlynamed Cardamom Hills. On Day 13, travel to Alleppey to board a boat along the backwaters to an authentic village homestay. Travel back to Kochi where the tour ends in the afternoon of Day 14. (B, L, 2D)

Enjoy an orientation walk of Fort Kochi, the Dutch Palace and the Jewish synagogue before travelling to Alleppey, a golden streak of land woven with rivers, lakes, lagoons and canals. The area is famous for its ‘snake boat’ (chundan vallam) races and for the fact it is one of the few places where farming is done below sea level. Experience local life with a homestay, and a guided walk along the lagoon. (L, D)

Kollam

Pondicherry / Madurai

10-11

Arrive at any time and the day is yours to explore. There’s plenty to do in Kochi, this seaside Indian city with its Portuguese and Dutch history, architecture and style. Wander to the impressive fort or watch the sun set as fisherman pull up their traditional Chinese nets.

06-07

Known for its yoga, massage centres and awesome beaches, Varkala is the only place in southern Kerala where you find cliffs next to the sea. The quiet, isolated beach is perfect for relaxing, and you’ll have time for an Ayurvedic massage and to visit the Varkala Temple.

Kochi

Travel from Varkala to Kochi, where there’s free time to check out the Jewish Quarter and the spice market, or take in a Kalaripayatt, a show of local martial arts. Tour ends in Kochi at any time on Day 7.

Orchha

Agra

Orchha Alipura

DAY ITINERARY

Mysore / Mamallapuram

Tordi Sagar / Abhaneri / Agra

Visit the typically Rajasthani rural village of Tordi Sagar to learn how locals here form a close bond with the land. Next up, Abhaneri, an ancient village set in the desert and known for its beautiful baoris (stepwells) and the famous Harshat Mata temple, the ruins of which you’ll have time to visit. On the way to Agra you’ll visit Fatehpur Sikri, the former capital of the Mughals. On arrival into Agra, check out Itimad-ud-Daulah, also known as the ‘Baby Taj’ and the epic Taj Mahal, either in the early morning or late afternoon for the best light. You’ll also ride a cycle rickshaw to visit the Agra Fort

Highlights

• Spend the night with a local family for an authentic cultural feel • Drift through the tranquil backwaters of Kerala on a boat cruise • Stretch out on the white sand beaches at laid-back Varkala

Kochi / Wayanad (Kalpetta)

Arrive in Delhi at any time - get out and explore this crazy city!

Jaipur

03-04

DAY ITINERARY

Delhi Delhi

02

• Look for native wildlife and chattering birds in beautiful sanctuaries • Uncover ancient temples in the spiritual tourism resort of Mysore • Explore plantations of tea and exotic spices in Thekaddy

Journey to legendary Varanasi, where millions of Hindus travel to worship, to mourn or to die. Walk the narrow twisting alleys, explore some of the thousands of temples and shrines and experience the energy of the dawn rituals of bathing and burial. You’ll take boats onto the River Ganges, both for sunrise and sunset, a truly unique experience and a wonderful way to see the city as it comes alive in the early or late hours of the day. On the evening boat trip you’ll enjoy a candle flower ceremony accompanied by sitar and tabla playing.

Varanasi / Delhi

14-15

A free morning in Varanasi to wander the ghats and do some last-minute shopping before returning to the colour, noise and excitement of Delhi on an afternoon flight. Your adventure ends on Day 15 and you’re free to leave at any time of your choosing.

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (12 nts), homestay (1 nt, multishare) Transport: Train, charter bus, cycle-rickshaw, auto-rickshaw, ferry Meals: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 2 dinners Budget: Allow USD $280-340 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAHBS

My Own Room Available: Fr £319

Departures 2014 Jan - Dec

Sundays, typically with 2-4 departures monthly (additional departures in Jan)

Inclusions Mamallapuram I N D I A

Mysore Wayanad

Chennai

Pondicherry Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary

Kochi Alleppey Madurai Thekkady

Trip Style: YOLO Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Recommended for 18-39s Accommodation: Homestay (2 nts), hotels (4 nts) Transport: Bus, boat, rickshaw, taxi Meals: 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 1 dinner Budget: Allow USD $115-150 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAAHBB

My Own Room Available: Fr £159

Departures 2014 Jan-Mar

Every Monday

Apr-Dec

Regular Mondays (no departures 06May-31Aug)

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

I N D I A

Kochi Alleppey Kollam

Varkala

155


GOLDEN TRIANGLE Delhi

RAJASTHAN £499 ADVENTURE

FR

8 DAYS

Delhi

DAY ITINERARY

Delhi

03

Highlights

DAY ITINERARY

Agra / Taj Mahal

Visit the magnificent Taj Mahal at first light to see this iconic site in its full glory. During your time here, you will also visit the magnificent Red Fort and see the Itimad-ud-Daulah, known as the ‘Baby Taj’.

01-04 05-06

Jaipur

05-06 07-08

Depart early morning to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. See the Hawa Mahal, a spectacular site also known as the ‘Palace of the Winds’, and enjoy a visit to the Amber Fort, famous for its mixture of Hindu and Muslim architecture. There’s an optional chance to take in a Bollywood movie at the fabulously-designed cinema at Raj Mandir.

Delhi

Return to Delhi and gain a unique insight on a guided walk through the backstreets, led by a young adult taking part in a Planeterrasupported streetkids project. Tour ends any time on Day 8.

Inclusions

Departures 2014

Arrive into Delhi. On Day 2, dive straight in with an orientation walk accompanied by a young adult from a Planeterra-supported streetkids project. Visit Old Delhi, Jama Masjid and Connaught Place before jumping on the overnight train to the ‘Blue City’ of Jodhpur. Check out its ancient markets and towering Meherangarh Fort, before travelling to see Ranakpur’s beautiful white marble Jain Temples. (D)

Udaipur

Drive to Udaipur, one of the most serene places in Rajasthan. Its photogenic Lake Palace has an island setting on Lake Pichola. You’ll also see the City and Eklingji Palaces, and enjoy a cultural show. (B)

07-09

The garrison fort of Jojawar represents Rajasthan at its best, while Pushkar is so sacred that no meat, alcohol or eggs are allowed! On Day 9, climb to the hilltop Savitri Temple at sunrise before watching the sun set over the desert from camelback. (B, D)

10-13

Travel to the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur. Visit India’s second most-viewed site, the Hawa Mahal or ‘Palace of the Winds’, plus the Amber Fort. Visit the ancient stepwell of Abhaneri and experience rural village life in Bharatpur. En route to Agra, visit Fatehpur Sikri, the deserted former capital of the Mughals and check out the Baby Taj.

01-02 03-04

14-15

I N D I A

Delhi

Jaipur

Agra Bharatpur

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (13 nts), sleeper train (1 nt) Transport: Train, metro, charter bus, cycle-rickshaw, auto-rickshaw, camel Meals: 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners Budget: Allow USD $280330 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAHRA

My Own Room Available: Fr £319

Agra Jodhpur Jaipur Ranakpur Fatehpur Sikri Pushkar Jojawar Udaipur I N D I A

Most Sun/Fri, plus occasional Mondays

Apr - Oct

Every Sunday, plus occasional Fridays

Departures 2014

Nov - Dec

Most Sundays, plus occasional Fri/Tue

Jan - Dec

Alternate Sundays

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Arrive into Delhi any time and catch the included transfer to your hotel. On Day 2, discover the Jama Masjid mosque and climb its minaret, visit the hectic Chandni Chowk market, and learn of the Sikhs’ rich religious history at Gurduwara. Drive to Mandawa village in the colourful Shekhawati region, coined an open-air gallery. (B) In the desert city of Bikaner, stay in a heritage property once home to noble families. Explore the 16th Century Junagarh Fort before testing your love of rodents at the infamous Rat Temple or opt for an exhilarating ride atop a camel at a camel breeding centre. (2B) Drive to the ‘Blue City’ of Jodhpur and visit the towering Mehrangarh Fort and clock tower in the market square. Next morning, take a jeep safari into the countryside to meet villagers in tribal hamlets before continuing on to the rural Chandelao Garh village. (3B, 2D)

13-15

Visit the stunning Ranakpur Jain temples en route to Udaipur. Take to the waters on a Pichola Lake boat ride and see the magnificent City Palace museum and Jagdish Temple. In Jojawar, mix with locals on a train safari through the Aravali ranges. Drive to the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur the next day and take in the magnificent City Palace, Amber Fort and Hawa Mahal before bargaining away at local bazaars. (5B, D)

Agra / Delhi

In Agra, visit Fatehpur Sikri, the Ghost City, before seeing the majestic Taj Mahal at sunset. Explore the Agra Fort then it’s back to Delhi to explore for the afternoon. Depart any time on Day 15. (3B)

Inclusions Delhi

Highlights

• Search for tigers, leopards and monkeys on a Rathnambore safari • Take in ancient local ceremonies floating along the Ganges River • Discover Delhi’s bustling backstreets with a local youth guide

Delhi

Arrive into Delhi any time. On Day 2, discover the city with a former streetkid as your guide. See the wondrous Jama Masjid mosque, meander through India’s oldest market, Chandni Chowk, and learn about the Sikh religion at Gurduwara, their place of worship. (B)

01-02

Varanasi

03-04

Trip Style: Comfort Service Level: Upgraded Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Comfort hotels/heritage homes (14 nts) Transport: Van, bus, jeep, train, cycle-rickshaw Meals: 14 breakfasts, 3 dinners Budget: Allow USD $500-600 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAAHLM

05-08

Jan - Apr

Sundays, typically 2-3 times monthly

May

No departures

Jun - Dec

Sundays, typically 1-2 times monthly

Fly to Khajuraho’s Western Temples to see infamous Kama Sutra sculptures then unwind with a yoga class and a local Kandariya dance show. Board a train on Day 6 to Agra to mix with locals and explore the famed Taj Mahal and great Red Fort. Next, it’s on to Ranthambore National Park for safaris in search of the elusive Bengal tiger, and to tour the Ranthambore Fort ruins and Ganesh Temple. (4B, 2D)

Jaipur / Rawla Jojawar

Drive to Jaipur, the Pink City, and wander around the regal City Palace, Palace of the Winds and Amber Fort. On Day 11, head to Jojawar and stay at an 18th Century heritage hotel and opt to take a train safari through the lush Aravali Hill ranges. (3B, 1D)

09-11

Udaipur / Delhi

At Udaipur visit Lake Pichola and its historic island palace. Treasure hunt at the royal City Palace, one of the largest in India, and explore every nook and cranny at Jagdish Temple. On Day 14, fly to Delhi and opt for a delicious farewell dinner. Depart on Day 15 at any time. (4B)

12-15

Inclusions PAKISTAN

Mandawa Jodhpur Bikaner

Delhi Agra Jaipur

My Own Room Available: Fr £519

Departures 2014

Fly to holy city Varanasi and take a serene sunset boat trip on the Ganges while the sunrise boat ride lets you see bathing and burial rituals. Eat at a café set up to help India’s underprivileged then head to Sarnath where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon. (2B)

Khajuraho / Agra / Ranthambore

Udaipur / Jaipur

08-12

15 DAYS

Delhi

Jodhpur / Chandelao Garh

05-07

£1,729

FR

DAY ITINERARY

Bikaner

Agra / Delhi

Rising before sunrise to get the best light, you’ll be amazed by Agra’s white marble masterpiece, the Taj Mahal. Hop onto one of the cycle rickshaws to visit the Red Fort before travelling back to Delhi. The tour concludes at any time on Day 15.

Delhi

Delhi / Mandawa

Jaipur / Abhaneri / Bharatpur / Fatephur Sikri / Agra

Jan - Mar

156

DAY ITINERARY

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (7 nts) Transport: Charter bus, auto-rickshaw, cycle-rickshaw, taxi Meals: None Budget: Allow USD $135-175 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAHGT

My Own Room Available: Fr £199

Highlights

• Drink in the sight of the renowned Taj Mahal at sunset • Discover rural culture in tribal hamlets of Bishnois and Prajapats • Take in the hustle and bustle of the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur

Jojawar / Pushkar

Stop at Fatehpur Sikri, the now deserted former capital of the Mughals. Considered the crowning architectural legacy of Akbar and still almost perfectly preserved, today the site is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the afternoon, arrive into Bharatpur where you can relax or take a rickshaw ride in Keladeo National Park.

15 DAYS

Delhi

Delhi / Jodphur / Ranakpur

Arrive in Delhi and set out to explore before meeting your tour leader and group. On Day 2, dive into the heart of India’s capital to explore Old Delhi on an orientation tour. Visit the famous Jama Masjid (Great Mosque) and climb its minaret for a bird’s-eye view of the old city. Bag a bargain in Chandni Chowk, one of India’s oldest markets. In the afternoon, drive to Agra, home to the Taj Mahal.

Fatehpur Sikri / Bharatpur

04

Delhi

• Admire the kaleidoscope of colour in the vibrant cities of Rajasthan • Check out the aromatic spice markets in the ‘Blue City’ of Jodphur • See the Taj Mahal at its magnificent best in the early morning light

Delhi / Agra

01-02

15 DAYS

INDIA £1,399 EXPLORER

FR

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

Highlights

• Wander the colonial monuments and labyrinth streets of Old Delhi • Optional elephant ride to the palace courtyard at the Amber Fort • Stand awestruck in front of the mesmerising Taj Mahal

Delhi

£799

LAND OF THE MAHARAJAS

FR

Jojawar Udaipur Chandelao Garh

INDIA

Trip Style: Comfort Service Level: Upgraded Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Comfort hotels (14 nts) Transport: Minibus, train, riverboat, plane, cycle/auto-rickshaws Meals: 14 breakfasts, 3 dinners Budget: Allow USD $500-600 not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAAHSS

My Own Room Available: Fr £519

Departures 2014 START

FINISH

Jan 25 Feb 08 Feb 22 Mar 08 Mar 22 Apr 05

START

FINISH

Apr 19 May 03 Oct 18 Nov 01 Nov 01 Nov 15

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

CHINA

PAKISTAN

Varanasi

Delhi NEPAL

Jaipur Agra Udaipur

Khajuraho Ranthambore

START

FINISH

Nov 15 Nov 29 Nov 29 Dec 13 Dec 13 Dec 27

Rawla Jojawar INDIA

157


DELHI & MUMBAI

GOLDEN TRIANGLE express Delhi

£444

FR

5 DAYS

Delhi

Delhi

£491

FR

7 DAYS

Delhi

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

Highlights

GOLDEN TRIANGLE explorer

Highlights

• All the best bits on one short but very sweet tour • Private touring for maximum flexibility • Tick off the Taj Mahal and the Amber Fort

• Explore crazy, chaotic Delhi from Old to New • Marvel at the world’s most famous mausoleum - The Taj Mahal • See the ‘Pink City’, Jaipur and its many palaces

This trip packs more punches than a Vindaloo! You’ll explore the most popular cities in the country’s northwest: Old and New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Savour the mystical romance of the Taj Mahal it’s not just its stunning architecture that captures the imagination but also the romantic back story of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enroute to Jaipur, stop at 16th Century Fatehpur Sikri. The complex of monuments and temples, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid. Continue on to Jaipur to explore Amber Fort’s history. Finally, return to Delhi with memories that will last a lifetime. Departs: Daily Accommodation: Simple hotel with breakfast (4 nts). Upgraded hotels available Transport: Private air con car/minibus with English speaking guide Note: 3/4 days options available Tour Code: DELGSI/DELGSM/DELGST

Your adventure kicks off on arrival into Delhi, where you’ll check out ancient forts, tombs and ruins and be treated to a full day’s sightseeing tour of all the major sights. Next up, drive to Agra, home of the majestic Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort with gorgeous views from its lofty walls. You’ll then head to Jaipur via the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri, an almost perfectly preserved 400 year-old Mughal capital. Enjoy a full day’s sightseeing, including a trip to the Amber Fort, riding its lofty heights by jeep, City Palace (still a royal residence), Palace of the Winds and the Jantar Mantar Observatory! Leaving Jaipur you’ll drive back to Delhi on Day 7. Departs: Daily Accommodation: Hotel (choice of level, 6 nts) Transport: Private air con car with driver Meals: 6 breakfasts Includes: English speaking guides & entrance fees Tour Code: DELGTB/DELGTM/DELGTS/DELGTY

SHOESTRING

Hotel Vanson Villa, DELHI

£32 SINGLE £16 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

Close to New Delhi Railway, this budget hotel is a good base for exploring the city. Whilst facilities are somewhat limited, rooms are spacious with en suites and Internet. Enjoy complimentary breakfast each morning and a daily newspaper. Helpful staff are on hand to make your stay more comfortable.

BEST OF KERALA Cochin

£636

FR

9 DAYS

Cochin

Highlights

• Overnight stay on a private houseboat with your own chef • Experience the friendly vibe and unique culture of Cochin • Soak up rays on stunning Marari beach

Experience the peaceful lifestyle of the South, journeying through the tranquil water channels and beaches of Kerala. Encounter some of India’s most fascinating cultures, scenery and a pace of life a world away from the chaotic cities of the North! Stay overnight on a converted rice-barge, boating through the beautiful backwaters past villages and serene scenery. Relax on the beach of Alleppey and enjoy the endless sand and surf at Marari, gaining an insight into the authentic world of Kerala’s traditional fishing villages and an ancient, harmonious way of life. You’ll also get the opportunity to explore the charming Portuguese-influenced town of Cochin. Departs: Daily Accommodation: 2-3-star hotels twin share basis (7nts), air con houseboat (1 nt) Transport: Private air con car with driver Meals: 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner Tour Code: COKBKM/COKBES

158

Indian Discovery Delhi

Goa

FREE AIRPORT TRANSFER - 01Apr14-30Sep14

DELVSV

rock solid

HOTEL AJANTA, DELHI

£35 SINGLE £19 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

This family-run hotel is in the heart of the backpackers’ district of Pahaganj, close to the railway station. The comfortable and spotless rooms are all en suite and feature a personal safe, cable TV, mini bar and air con. A restaurant and Internet cafe can also be found onsite, as well as a tour desk to help with travel plans. FREE AIRPORT TRANSFER, BOOKED 14 DAYS IN ADVANCE AND GET 10% DISCOUNT - All Year

rock solid

GODWIN HOTEL, MUMBAI

£117 SINGLE £68 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

This friendly hotel is the perfect base for exploring Mumbai, situated next to the fashionable shopping area of Colaba Causeway on one side and the Gateway of India on the other. The rooms are spacious and come with cable TV (upgrade for air con). Admire the views of Mumbai from the rooftop terrace.

DELAJA

BOMGWH

£919

FR

15 DAYS

Highlights

• See world heritage site, the Taj Mahal up close and personal! • The beautiful City of Lakes - Udaipur • Witness the holy rituals at spiritual Pushkar Lake

A journey to historic highlights and vibrant cities, this two-week tour covers the most popular places in Rajasthan followed by two days chilling on the beach in Goa. Kick off in Delhi before heading to the breathtaking Taj Mahal and pink-painted city of Jaipur and its incredible Amber Fort. Witness rural life at Tordi, one of the holiest places for Hindus, before continuing on to Pushkar and the beautiful City of Lakes - Udaipur. Visit Gandhi’s Ashram in Ahmedabad and the financial capital of India - Mumbai, before your internal flight down to the sparkling beaches of Goa. Actionpacked and exciting, this is an insight into the real India! Departs: Daily Accommodation: 2-3-star hotels (14 nts) Meals: 14 breakfasts Transport: Air con car with English speaking guide, 2 x train & 1 x plane Includes: domestic airfare Mumbai to Goa, entrance fees Tour Code: DELI14

VISIT WWW.STATRAVEL.CO.UK

Delhi Welcome Package

£121

FR

3 DAYS

Don’t land in Delhi, jump into a taxi and risk being ripped off. You’ll be met at the airport and taken to a central, clean and comfy hotel. Spend your second day being expertly guided around both Old and New Delhi with an English speaking guide. See the dramatic Red Fort, Jama Masjid and medieval bazaars of Old Delhi before relaxing with a frothy coffee in modern New Delhi. Day 3, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. Departs: Daily Accommodation: 2-star hotel (2 nts). Upgrades available Transport: Private vehicle Tour Code: DELSIM/DELSMA/DELDGP

MUMBAI WELCOME PACKAGE

£170

FR

3 DAYS

Mumbai oozes exhilaration. Glitzy and gargantuan, it’s great to visit - just make sure you’re organised. On this package (available at budget or smart level), you’ll be greeted at the airport and taken to your centrally based hotel. Day 2 is a half-day of sightseeing with an English speaking guide. Take in the Gateway of India, St John’s Church, the Prince of Wales Museum and Marine Drive. Day 3, you’ll be transferred back to the airport. Easy! Departs: Daily Accommodation: 2-star hotel (2nts). Upgrades available Transport: Private vehicle Tour Code: BOMMUM/BOMSMA

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

159


Sri LANKA

£1,149

CULTURAL SRI LANKA Negombo

14 DAYS

Colombo

Highlights

Cruise along the serene Dutch Canal Admire the Golden Cave’s Buddhas Explore the rock fortress at Sigiriya Learn all there is to know about tea! Make friends with an elephant Watch the famous stilt fishermen Relax on beautiful, pristine beaches Go shopping in Colombo’s bazaars

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

• • • • • • • •

FR

Departures 2014 Start

Finish

Jan 11 Jan 24 Feb 08 Feb 21 Mar 08 Mar 21

Start

Finish

Apr 05 Sep 06 Oct 11

Apr 18 Sep 19 Oct 24

Start

Finish

Nov 08 Nov 21 Dec 06 Dec 19

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 2 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (13 nts) Transport: Public bus, van, boat, train Meals: 13 breakfasts, 1 lunch Budget: Allow USD $280340 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 16, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAASSL

My Own Room Available: Fr £479

This gorgeous, teardrop-shaped island has been off the travellers’ map for too long. Well, good news, it’s back and it’s better than ever. Discover the vibrant colours, diverse cultures and swaying palm trees on this totally tropical two-week trip. You’ll explore tea plantations and rock fortresses, see stilt fishermen in Galle and get in touch with nature at an elephant sanctuary. Your senses will be overwhelmed with the sweet fragrance of cinnamon, tea, orchids and exotic spices and your body will thank you for some down time on the glorious beaches of Sri Lanka’s south west coast.

DAY ITINERARY Negombo

TOP 5 MUST-DO’s

S R I

01-02

L A N K A

Sigiriya

1. CLIMB THE SIGIRIYA ROCK FORTRESS 2. VISIT A HIGHLANDS TEA PLANTATION 3. VOLUNTEER WITH ELEPHANTS 4. WATCH STILT FISHERMEN AT WORK 5. RELAX ON INDIAN OCEAN BEACHES

Sigiriya

03-04

Drive through the countryside to visit the paintings and statues of Buddha at the World Heritage Site of the Golden Cave Temple of Dambulla, some of which date back to the 7th Century. In the evening, arrive at Kandalamma Lake to witness what will hopefully be an idyllic sunset. On Day 4, enjoy a village walking tour and a home-style lunch prepared for you by a local family, before a guided tour of the dramatic Sigiriya Rock Fortress. You’ll have to negotiate some 1,200 steps to reach the summit of this volcanic outcrop, but with well laid-out gardens, caves, monasteries and palaces waiting to be explored, the climb is well worth it! (2B, L)

05-06

Fill your senses with a stop at a spice plantation en-route to Kandy, where you will enjoy a guided visit to the famous Temple of the Tooth (which houses a dental relic from the Lord Buddha in a golden casket) and an evening cultural dance performance. In your free time, make an optional visit to Kandy’s Royal Botanical Gardens, boasting over 300 varieties of beautiful orchids. (2B)

Negombo Kandy Nuwara Eliya

Colombo Uda Walawe Hikkaduwa Beach Galle

Kandy

Mirissa

07-08

Unawatuna Beach

10

Free day to explore this gorgeous beach town, where you can choose from relaxation on the beach, surfing, snorkelling or ferry-based whale watching cruises. (B)

Galle / Hikkaduwa Beach

11-12 KANDY

BENTOTA

induruwa hikkaduwa

colombo

NUWARA ELIYA

bentota

Take the train from Kandy into the Central Highlands to gain an insight into the process of growing tea with a visit to a tea plantation that produces some of the finest Ceylon teas. Opt to visit Horton Plains Nature Reserve for a hike in the forest or take it easy browsing the local markets. (2B) As you drive back down towards the beaches of Sri Lanka, look out for elephants in the famous Uda Walawe Reserve. If you don’t see them strolling alongside the road, you’ll definitely see them on your visit to the Elephant Transit Home. Arrive at the beach in Unawatuna in time for some R&R. (B)

POLONNARUWA

NEGOMBO

Nuwara Eliya

Uda Walawe / Unawatuna Beach

09 SIGIRIYA

Arrive at any time and head out to explore before meeting your group in the evening. Negombo first flourished as a centre for the export of cinnamon and the Dutch and Portuguese settlers left a legacy of beautiful colonial architecture and churches. Mix with the fishermen at the market as they bring in their catch and dry their nets; not as fragrant as the cinnamon perhaps but a real slice of Sri Lankan life! Enjoy an included boat ride on the Dutch Canal, a serene way to explore the marshy backwaters of Negombo, where the coconut plantations are inhabited by a huge variety of birdlife. (B)

Start the day observing the age-old traditions and techniques of the stilt fishermen of the Kathaluwa region before moving on to Galle. Here, you’ll visit the 16th Century fort which was founded by the Portuguese but occupied by the colonial Dutch. Following the city tour, head to Hikkaduwa Beach whose pristine beaches offer the perfect setting for watersports or simply chilling out. (2B)

Colombo

13-14

Travel to Sri Lanka’s capital city of Colombo, a trading town with 2,000 years of history. Its natural harbour at the mouth of the River Kelani was known to Chinese, Arabic, Greek, Persian and European traders and seafarers. Enjoy an orientation tour of the fort area and visit Pettah Bazaar in the afternoon to pick up some last-minute souvenirs of your trip. Your tour of this teardrop-shaped island sadly comes to an end on Day 14, leaving you to try to fight back the tears! (2B)

UDA WALAWE N.P galle

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

161


NEPAL SRI LANKA HIGHLIGHTS

£553

FR

6 DAYS

Colombo

Colombo

Colombo

• See Sri Lanka with a difference - adventure junkies step forward! • Raft and trek the rainforest and hunt for wildlife on a jeep safari • Visit a tea factory and plantation

This whistlestop tour includes Sri Lanka’s best highlights and is ideal for independent types wanting to travel when you want but with attentive personal service. Starting in the capital, you’ll visit the ancient city of Sigiriya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before heading to Polonnaruwa, the former capital city, now famed for its spectacular statues. Discover Dambulla Caves, take an exotic Spice Garden tour and continue on to Kandy, the second largest city in the country. Explore the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, hit the cool tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya and finally a tour of Colombo, before your transfer back to the airport. Departs: Daily Accommodation: Hotels (5 nts) Transport: air con car with driver Meals: 5 breakfasts Includes: English speaking driver/guide Tour Code: HSLCMB

Experience the great outdoors, stunning landscapes and wildlife of Sri Lanka on this fly in, fly out tour. Trek through jungle-clad forest or white water raft down grade three and four rapids, marvel at the lush surroundings of a hill plantation and go on a safari adventure into Udawalawe National Park. Here you may spot monkeys, buffalo and elephants. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit a tropical rainforest as well as spending time in the capital, Colombo. There, explore the Hindu temples, shop or enjoy a relaxing massage before your onward flight. You could even stay a bit longer for some relaxing beach life before you depart. Departs: Daily Accommodation: Hotels (5 nts) Transport: air con car with driver Meals: 5 breakfasts Includes: English speaking driver/guide Tour Code: ASTCMB

EXPLORE SRI LANKA

• • • • • • •

£938

FR

13 DAYS

Colombo

Highlights

Explore the stunning city of Kandy Discover the Dambulla Caves Temple Matale’s aromatic spice garden Tea making tour in Ceylon. Cuppa? Climb the ancient fort of Sigiriya Soak up the sun on white sands Trek through lush green vegetation

Inclusions

Departs: Daily Accommodation: 2-3-star hotels (12 nts) Includes: English speaking chauffeur guide, entrance fees to Dambulla Cave Temples, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Temple of Tooth & Royal Botancial Gardens Transport: Air con vehicle Meals: 12 breakfasts Tour code: FJNESL

Polonnaruwa

Negombo

Colombo

Kandy

Hikkaduwa

01-02 03-04

Welcome to Sri Lanka! Enjoy a Tambili (king coconut) to quench your thirst before heading to Negombo, where you’ll overnight. Sip a beachside cocktail, watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean. Day 2, visit one of the country’s busiest fishing centres, where colourful boats litter the blue waters of the lagoons. Stop at a pineapple plantation, before moving on to the Dambulia Caves Rock Temple. Overnight at former Sri Lankan capital and UN World Heritage Site, Polonnaruwa. (B)

Polonnaruwa / Hiriwaduna

DHANGADHI

Day 3, explore and admire the spectacular statues of Polonnaruwa. Day 4, drive to Hiriwaduna for an exhilarating day’s trekking, including climbing to the top of Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress. (2B)

Matale / Kandy / Nuwara Eliya

05-07

Head to Matale on Day 5 to tour its exotic spice garden, before moving on to the last stronghold of the Sinhala Kings and World Heritage Site, the Hill Country capital of Kandy, where you’ll stay overnight. Day 6, explore the city’s Royal Botanical Gardens and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Rug up Day 7 - you’re heading to cooler climbs to see how the infamous Ceylon tea is made on a tea factory tour in Nuwara Eliya. (3B)

Kitulaga / Hikkaduwa / Colombo

Start the adventure

1. trek to everest base camp 2. walk upon ancient glacial ice 3. explore remote sherpa villages 4. search for tigers in chitwan N.P. 5. bathe in natural hot springs

Colombo / Negombo / Polonnaruwa

Nuwara Eliya S RI L A N K A

TOP 5 MUST-DO’s

DAY ITINERARY

Sigiriya Dambulla Rock Temple

162

6 DAYS

Highlights

• Marvel at Sigiriya’s fantastic ‘Fortress in the Sky’ • Admire the spectacular statues at Polonnaruwa • Explore the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy

Colombo

£521

FR

Colombo

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

Highlights

ADVENTURE & SAFARI TOUR

08-13

Day 8, stop at Kitulaga - the breathtaking scenery here was featured in award-winning ‘The Bridge Over the River Kwai’. Overnight in the beach resort of Hikkaduwa. The next four days are to be spent are your leisure - grab a sunbed, a good book and bask in the tropical sunshine. Day 13, return to Colombo and bid farewell to Sri Lanka. (6B)

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KATHMANDU POKHARA LUKLA EVEREST BASE CAMP ITAHARI


£999

EVEREST ADVENTURE Kathmandu

15 DAYS

Kathmandu

Highlights

Trek to Everest Base Camp Conquer high passes, and valleys Walk around glaciers and ice walls Witness your first Himalayan sunset Stay in high-altitude teahouses Hike through remote Sherpa villages Gawk at stunning views of Mt. Everest Relax in Kathmandu’s chilled-out cafés

Kathmandu

• • • • • • • •

Departures 2014

£799

NEPAL ADVENTURE

FR

10 DAYS

Kathmandu

Highlights

Wander the streets of Kathmandu Check out historic Bhaktapur Chill out in serene Pokhara Trek against a Himalayan backdrop Visit monasteries and temples See isolated local life as you walk Take a safari on elephant back Search for tigers in Chitwan N.P.

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

• • • • • • • •

FR

Departures 2014

Start

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Finish

Jan 05 Jan 12 Jan 19 Jan 26 Feb 02 Feb 09 Feb 16 Feb 23 Mar 02 Mar 09 Mar 16 Mar 21 Mar 23 Mar 30 Apr 06 Apr 13

Jan 19 Jan 26 Feb 02 Feb 09 Feb 16 Feb 23 Mar 02 Mar 09 Mar 16 Mar 23 Mar 30 Apr 04 Apr 06 Apr 13 Apr 20 Apr 27

Apr 18 Apr 20 Apr 27 May 04 May 11 May 16 May 18 May 25 Jun 01 Aug 31 Sep 07 Sep 14 Sep 19 Sep 21 Sep 28 Oct 03

May 02 May 04 May 11 May 18 May 25 May 30 Jun 01 Jun 08 Jun 15 Sep 14 Sep 21 Sep 28 Oct 03 Oct 05 Oct 12 Oct 17

Oct 05 Oct 12 Oct 17 Oct 19 Oct 26 Nov 02 Nov 07 Nov 09 Nov 16 Nov 23 Nov 30 Dec 07 Dec 14 Dec 21

Oct 19 Oct 26 Oct 31 Nov 02 Nov 09 Nov 16 Nov 21 Nov 23 Nov 30 Dec 07 Dec 14 Dec 21 Dec 28 Jan 04

Inclusions

Trip Style: Active Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 5 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels/guesthouses (2 nts), teahouse lodges (12 nts) Transport: Plane, bus, trekking Meals: None Budget: Allow USD $420-550 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), trekking support staff Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAANEA

You’ve seen mountains and climbed some pretty impressive peaks in your time, right? Wrong. When the world was put together, the majority of its ridiculously massive mountains were perfectly placed in one spot - the Himalayas. This fantastic trip will take you all the way to Everest Base Camp. Along the way, you’ll have every single emotion tested as you climb amongst the planet’s most awesome scenery. From gargantuan glaciers and mystical monasteries to lonely Sherpa villages and fields of flowers, this 15-day adventure promises everything and delivers so much more.

DAY ITINERARY Kathmandu

01

Arrive at any time and go exploring. Kathmandu has been attracting travellers since the 1960s, but the early hippie pioneers have largely been replaced by backpackers and well-equipped hikers intent on conquering some of the highest peaks in the Himalayas. First impressions can often deliver something of a culture shock, it’s an exhilarating place full of sights, sounds and crazy traffic! Head over to Durbar Square to see its amazing architectural heritage, or just hang out in the travellers’ district of Thamel, where there are plenty of shops, bars and other distractions.

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Finish

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Jan 12 Jan 26 Feb 09 Feb 23 Mar 09 Mar 16 Mar 23 Mar 30 Apr 06 Apr 13 Apr 20

Jan 21 Feb 04 Feb 18 Mar 04 Mar 18 Mar 25 Apr 01 Apr 08 Apr 15 Apr 22 Apr 29

May 04 May 18 Jun 01 Jun 15 Jun 29 Jul 13 Jul 27 Aug 10 Aug 24 Sep 07 Sep 14

May 13 May 27 Jun 10 Jun 24 Jul 08 Jul 22 Aug 05 Aug 19 Sep 02 Sep 16 Sep 23

Sep 21 Sep 28 Oct 05 Oct 12 Oct 19 Oct 26 Nov 02 Nov 16 Nov 30 Dec 14

Sep 30 Oct 07 Oct 14 Oct 21 Oct 28 Nov 04 Nov 11 Nov 25 Dec 09 Dec 23

Inclusions

Trip Style: Classic Service Level: Standard Physical Grading: 4 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels (6 nts), teahouse lodges (3 nts) Transport: Bus, trekking Meals: None Budget: Allow USD $200-250 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides Group Size: Max 15, Avg 12 Tour Code: GAANNA

My Own Room Available: Fr £199

Touch down in this trekking Shangri-La and you’ll be amazed by the serenity and beauty of this awe-inspiring country. Take a hike, take an optional flight (over the one and only Mt. Everest of course) or just take time out. Digest the colourful world of local markets before overwhelming your senses with fresh mountain air and stunning mountain vistas. See the sights from the back of an elephant and come face-to-face with local yak herders in their far-flung villages. Leave with an endless and absolute appreciation of this beautiful and diverse land and a burning desire to come straight back!

DAY ITINERARY Kathmandu

Arrive in Kathmandu at any time and make your way out to wander through this fascinating city, which is at once exhilarating and exhausting! Check out the bustling modern city centre, lose yourself in the tangle of backstreets and hidden courtyards, or just chill out in the vibrant backpackers’ district of Thamel which is packed with shops, bars and restaurants. This evening, meet your tour leader and the rest of your group.

01

Kathmandu / Bhaktapur

Pakding / Namche Bazaar CH IN A

Everest Base Camp

02-04

Annapurna

02 C H I N A

05

N E PAL

Leaving Namche, the route is unbelievably beautiful. The Dudh Kosi is far below and Thamserku, Kantega, Ama Dablam, Lhotse and Everest rise in front of you. Hike through Sherpa villages, forests of fir and rhododendron and across meandering streams to reach Tengboche Monastery. The morning view from Tengboche is considered one of the most magnificent in the world.

Pokhara

Pokhara

Kathmandu

Dingboche

06-07

Stone steps lead down through birches and conifers. At the bottom lies the small village of Dingboche and its convent. Rising above the tree line, the trail enters meadows of scrub juniper and in summer there’ll be a profusion of wildflowers. The mountain views are outstanding. An acclimatisation day here can be used to hike up the Imja Khola to Chhukung - a small summer settlement from where the views of Island Peak, Lhotse and the fluted ice walls are an absolute highlight.

Chitwan N.P.

08-10 11-13 14 15

Walk through alpine meadows and summer pasture toward the end of the Khumbu Glacier where there is a steep, tough climb. From Lobuche the view is straight towards Nuptse and sunset is truly magnificent. On Day 9, deal with dizzying altitude as you climb onto the Changri Glacier, before you head off in the afternoon for Everest Base Camp. The route to base camp follows the Khumbu Glacier with its intriguing 15-metre high seracs of ice; a feature unique to Himalayan glaciers. Colourful expedition tents give a bizarre appearance to this desolate place surrounded by walls of rock, snow and ice. Early on Day 10, you’ll make a side trip up Kala Pattar for sunrise where you can see the best views of Everest before the scenic descent back to Pheriche.

Tengboche / Mongo / Lukla

Descend the Imja Khola past Pangboche, the highest permanent settlement in the valley. Its gompa is built over the religious retreat of Khumbu’s Saint Lama Sanga Dorje. The juniper trees here are said to have sprung from hair cut from his head. Continue through Namche Bazaar and Phakding to Lukla.

Kathmandu

You made it! Fly back to Kathmandu where you can rest, shop, go sightseeing or just enjoy your last day with your fellow trekkers in one of Kathmandu’s many rooftop cafés. Step away from the bustling modern city centre and head into the backstreets to discover hidden temples.

Kathmandu

Your adventure comes to an end - but the memories will last a lifetime!

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Journey along past stunning scenery to Pokhara, an enchanting city of beautiful lakes and panoramic views to the Himalayas. You’ll soon understand why travellers flock here to absorb the peace and tranquillity. You have free time to explore - pay a visit to the striking temple of Brindabasim, relax in a café, hire a boat on the lake or shop for souvenirs in the endless stalls and shops.

03

N E PA L

Annapurna Foothills Trek

I N D I A

04--06

Lobuche / Everest Base Camp

164

Today, you take a tour around the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kathmandu’s Durbar Square. Durbar Square dates from the 16th Century and contains the Royal Palace and many temples. Then move on to another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the unique and historic royal city of Bhaktapur. Famed for its position on the trade route between Tibet/China and India, it was a rich and prosperous town, which in turn fed the cultural life of the city. Today, it’s a living gem of Hindu temples, pagodas, palaces and monuments. Spend the rest of your time wandering through Bhaktapur’s colourful markets or treat yourself to a once-in-a-lifetime flight over Mount Everest for epic views!

Tengboche Mt Everest

Lukla

Kathmandu

The mountain flight into Lukla is spectacular and the landing an exciting start to the trek – one end of the runway is 60m higher than the other! Heading through pine and cedar woods along the Dudh Kosi, you’ll encounter your first yak caravans carrying equipment and supplies. Spend a day acclimatising on an excursion to Thame where intricately-carved stones mark the path to the valley.

You might like

Stay longer in Kathmandu See page 168 Combine Nepal with Tibet High Road to Tibet (14 days, Kathmandu-Kathmandu) (GAANRT) Fr £1,699

statravel.co.uk/travel-blog

At 8,091m, Annapurna 1 is one of the highest mountains in the world. Its surrounding sister mountains are equally imposing, creating magnificent panoramas from any viewpoint. Spend the next few days trekking against this incredible backdrop. Stumble upon isolated mountain communities, meet welcoming locals herding their yaks on the grassy pastures and visit hillside monasteries and temples. The terrain is varied and you’ll encounter waterfalls, icy rivers, broad plains and high mountain passes along the way. At the end of your trek you can reward yourself with a soak in natural hot springs (boy, have you earned this!).

Pokhara / Chitwan National Park

07

A last couple of hours trekking and you finish at Phedi before returning to Pokhara for a welldeserved lunch break. Continue on to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Chitwan National Park.

Chitwan National Park

Today is spent in Chitwan National Park, the oldest national park in Nepal and renowned around the world for its concentration of rhinoceros and tiger. Also home to at least 43 species of mammals, 450 species of birds and 45 species of amphibians and reptiles, there is plenty of wildlife-spotting action to be had! Ride an elephant through the park on safari before heading out on a half-day game walk. You also have free time to go on a canoe ride or to enjoy a spot of bird watching.

08

Kathmandu

09-10

Return to the hustle and bustle of the city where you have the afternoon free for your own explorations. If you have not done so already, you could visit the burning ghats at Pashupatinath and Swayambhunath, the Monkey Temple. More than almost any city in the world, Kathmandu is fascinating at every turn and many travellers prefer to just wander and see where the city leads them. Your tour finishes up on Day 10.

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165


ANNAPURNA SANCTUARY Kathmandu

15 DAYS

Kathmandu

Highlights

Enjoy trekking without the altitude See panoramic views and prayer flags Visit tiny hamlets to meet yak herders Trek to Annapurna Base Camp Expert support from the Sherpa team Stay in mountain teahouse lodges Soak in restorative natural hot springs Meet fellow travellers in Kathmandu

TREKKING ANNAPURNA Kathmandu

• • • • • • • •

Departures 2014

18 DAYS

Kathmandu

Highlights

Explore Kathmandu’s backstreets Behold the mighty peak Annapurna 1 Gasp at awe-inspiring mountain views Discover traditional rural villages Reach the challenging Thorung Pass Laze in bubbling natural hot springs Watch sunrise over the pristine peaks Enjoy peaceful lakeside Pokhara

Departures 2014

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

Jan 05 Jan 26 Feb 16 Mar 02 Mar 16 Mar 30 Apr 13 Apr 27

Jan 19 Feb 09 Mar 02 Mar 16 Mar 30 Apr 13 Apr 27 May 11

May 11 Jun 01 Jun 22 Jul 13 Aug 03 Aug 24 Sep 07 Sep 14

May 25 Jun 15 Jul 06 Jul 27 Aug 17 Sep 07 Sep 21 Sep 28

Sep 28 Oct 12 Oct 19 Oct 26 Nov 09 Nov 23 Dec 07

Oct 12 Oct 26 Nov 02 Nov 09 Nov 23 Dec 07 Dec 21

Jan 11 Jan 25 Feb 08 Mar 01 Mar 22 Apr 12

Jan 28 Feb 11 Feb 25 Mar 28 Apr 08 Apr 29

Inclusions

Trip Style: Active Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 5 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Simple hotels/guesthouses (4 nts), teahouse lodges (10 nts) Transport: Local bus, minibus, trekking Meals: None Budget: Allow USD $335-440 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), trekking support staff Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAANAS

You don’t just want to visit the roof of the world, you want to climb all over it! This mindblowing trip will enable you to do just that. Confront your couch potato demons on a 10-day trek through the mother of all mountain ranges, the Annapurnas, where challenging trails reward you with unforgettable views of dramatic valleys and towering peaks. Top this off with captivating local encounters and you’ll not only see the view, but become part of it. So take yourself out of your comfort zone, reconnect with a lifestyle the modern world forgot and return home intoxicated by everything this awesome country has thrown at you.

DAY ITINERARY 01

Start

Finish

Start

Finish

May 03 May 24 Jun 14 Jul 05 Jul 26 Aug 16

May 20 Jun 10 Jul 01 Jul 22 Aug 12 Sep 02

Sep 06 Sep 27 Oct 18 Nov 08 Nov 29 Dec 20

Sep 23 Oct 14 Nov 04 Nov 25 Dec 16 Jan 06

Inclusions

Trip Style: Active Service Level: Basic Physical Grading: 5 Age Group: Any age Accommodation: Hotels/guesthouses (3 nts), teahouse lodges (14 nts) Transport: Bus, trekking Meals: None Budget: Allow USD $380-500 for meals not included Group Leader: Chief Experience Officer (CEO), trekking support staff Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10 Tour Code: GAANTA

02 C H I N A

03

N E PA L

Kathmandu

I N D I A

04-13

14-15

166

DAY ITINERARY Kathmandu / Syanje / Jagat

Arrive at any time. Venture out to explore the narrow lanes and buzzing markets of Nepal’s capital. On Day 2, it’s an early start to climb the Swayambhunath Temple, otherwise known as the ‘Monkey Temple’ due to the fact that holy monkeys live in certain parts. Situated on a hilltop, the instantly recognisable stupa with its Buddha eyes attracts a steady stream of pilgrims and the views out over the valley are outstanding. You’ll also walk through the heart of the old city to Durbar Square to check out the many temples and palaces before having free time to explore or relax as you want.

o1-02 Annapurna

Leave the Kathmandu Valley behind as you journey towards alluring Pokhara. Sitting beside a lake beneath the snow-capped peaks of the Annapurna Range, Pokhara is a true trekkers’ retreat and a great place to get your energy up before heading into the mountains. At 8,091m, Annapurna 1 is one of the highest mountains in the world. Its surrounding sister mountains are equally imposing and create magnificent panoramas from any view point. This trek covers a wide variety of terrain, from lowland pastures and peaceful villages to powerful glaciers and stunning views. In this rugged scenery, you’ll stay in teahouses in mountain communities and meet friendly Nepali hill people as they go about their daily lives. The expedition is not only visually superb but also a chance to learn about local cultures. Along the way, pass thundering waterfalls of melted snow, cross icy rivers and high mountain passes and reward yourself with a soak in natural hot springs. Whilst the trekking is challenging, averaging 4-6 hours walking a day on steep terrain, this expedition into the Himalayas allows you to experience ‘the roof of the world’ without the major issues associated with high altitude. The highest point on the trek is Annapurna Base Camp at 4,130m. Spend 10 days completing this hugely satisfying trek before rewarding yourself with a wellearned shower, cold beer and a hearty meal!

Now you have 11 days of total immersion into the breathtaking mountain wilderness of the Annapurna Range where, at 8,091 metres, Annapurna 1 is one of the world’s highest peaks. On this challenging trek, you’ll visit isolated mountain communities where the local inhabitants tend to their herds or enjoy showing you around their temple. The varied nature of your surroundings will ensure you never get bored of the view with gushing waterfalls, icy rivers, plains and lofty mountain passes all making an appearance. The trek averages six to seven hours walking a day, often at high altitudes. The highest point you reach is the 5,416m Thorung Pass.

Day 4: Trek to Tirkhedhunga approx. 3-4 hours Day 5: Trek to Ghorepani approx. 6-7 hours Day 6: Early morning excursion to Poon Hill approx. 90 minutes. Trek to Tadapani approx. 4-5 hours Day 7: Trek to Chhomrong approx. 4 hours Day 8: Trek to Himalaya Hotel approx. 6-7 hours Day 9: Trek to Annapurna Base Camp approx. 7-8 hours Day 10: Trek to Bamboo approx. 6-7 hours Day 11: Trek to Jhinu Danda (Hot Spring) approx. 5 hours Day 12: Trek to Pothana approx. 6-7 hours Day 13: End trek at Phedi approx. 2 hours

Kathmandu

Return to Kathmandu where you can enjoy a well-earned celebration in one of the many bars. You also have free time to do some last-minute shopping or further explore the city sights. Depart at anytime on Day 15.

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Pokhara Syanje

Kathmandu

I N D I A

Arrive at any time. The day is free for you to start discovering the varied sights of Nepal’s capital city. Your trek starts on Day 2, with a short walk from Syanje (1,100m) to Jagat (1,350m). You will head upwards on a two-hour ascent past rivers and natural hot springs, a gentle introduction to the serious trekking that lies ahead on this spectacular trip.

Annapurna Circuit Trek

C H I N A

Pokhara

Annapurna Ranges Pokhara

For a country dwarfed by its much larger neighbours, Nepal offers an incredible profusion of sights and experiences. On this incredible trekking adventure, you’ll spend 13 challenging days traversing forests of rhododendron, isolated hamlets and mountain villages. Make your way along the trails on and around one of the world’s highest peaks while encountering temples, monasteries and breathtaking landscapes. Led by expert guides and assisted by support staff throughout, you’ll be warmly greeted by locals who offer a fascinating glimpse of traditional rural Nepalese customs.

Kathmandu Kathmandu

Annapurna

£799

FR

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

• • • • • • • •

£699

FR

N E PA L

03-15

Day 3: Trek to Bagarchhap approx. 5 - 6 hours Day 4: Trek to Chame approx. 6 hours Day 5: Trek to Pisang approx. 7 hours Day 6: Trek to Manang approx. 6 hours Day 7: Rest day at Manang Day 8: Trek to Yak Kharta approx. 6 hours Day 9: Trek to Phedi approx. 5 hours Perhaps the highlight of the trek as you cross the Thorong Pass (5,416m). It is a long, tough ascent via a number of small hills, but when you reach the prayer flags at the top you are more than amply rewarded with stunning scenery Day 10: Trek to Muktinath approx 8-9 hours Day 11: Rest day at Muktinath Day 12: Kalopani Drive to Kalopani, located between the Daulagiri and Annapurna with great views to the mountain peak of Annapurna 1. The hike descent follows an increasingly narrow valley through one of the world’s deepest river gorges. You’ll pass the beautiful Rupse Chaharo waterfall, with the lure of an evening soak in natural hot springs at the end. Day 13: Drive to Tatopani Day 14: Trek to Sikha Day 15: Trek to Ghorepani approx. 5 hours

Pokhara

Early morning excursion to Poon Hill for a memorable Himalayan moment as you watch the sun rise over the mighty peaks. Head to Pokhara where you can take a well-deserved shower and rest up after your trekking adventure. You’ll leave Pokhara refreshed and revived from its peaceful lakeside location and lazy atmosphere.

16 17-18

Kathmandu

On Day 17, travel back to Kathmandu where the rest of the day is free to explore all the urban attractions of Nepal’s exciting and exhilarating capital city. Be warned, you may experience a bit of a culture shock after the awesome natural surroundings of the past two weeks! Tour ends on Day 18.

CALL 0333 321 7852 TO BOOK

167


KATHMANDU

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

GLAMPACKER

KATHMANDU GUEST HOUSE

£33 SINGLE £19 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

With a guest list that includes The Beatles, this converted mansion has comfortable, clean rooms and is popular with travellers from all over the world. It’s located in the heart and soul of Kathmandu, bursting with shops and restaurants. The Royal Palace is just a seven minute walk and the Monkey Temple is 20 minutes away.

rock solid

PARK VILLAGE HOTEL & RESORT

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

£170 SINGLE £93 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

FR

PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT INCLUDING BREAKFAST

This 100 year-old palace is the embodiment of history, legend and tradition, a perfect blend of contemporary international standards and Nepali architecture. Located in Durbar Marg, it boasts serviced rooms complete with a large pool, gym, sauna and spa. Dine at the Sunrise Cafe, offering fun themed nights.

KTMPVH

£131

FR

3 DAYS

Experience an unexpected side of Nepal by visiting Royal Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Departing from Kathmandu, you’ll travel overland to your hotel, just outside the park. Day 2, don’t forget your camera - be prepared to pap rhinos, Bengal tigers, monkeys and crocodiles that you’ll come across as part of a jungle walk and canoe trip. Take an elephant safari and meet local Tharu people before returning to Kathmandu on Day 3. Departs: Daily Accommodation: 2* hotel with shared bathroom (2nts) Meals: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners Includes: Bus transfers to/from Kathmandu, entrance fees, English speaking guide Tour Code: KTMCHI

168

HOTEL YAK & YETI

£58 SINGLE £31 TWIN/DOUBLE

FR

This eco-friendly hotel is set in four acres of woodland at the foothills of Shivapuri National Park, yet only a 20-minute drive from downtown Kathmandu. The attractive rooms are en suite with TV, mini-bar and stunning views over the grounds. A short drive from Tibetan monasteries, you can take a glimpse into a whole other world.

KTMKMD

CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK

A-LIST

HIMALAYAN & EVEREST VIEW TREK

KTMYAK

£118

FR

3 DAYS

Dreamt of seeing the ‘roof of the world’ without the hassle of actually climbing it? Enjoy sweeping Himalayan views on this short and easy trip, taking in five of the world’s ten highest peaks, the mighty Mount Everest included. Departing from Kathmandu, you’ll get to marvel at breathtaking sunrises and sunsets in the hilltop villages of Chisapani and Nagarkot and discover the traditional lifestyles of local villagers, before returning to Kathmandu. Wow! Departs: Daily Accommodation: Guesthouse (2 nts) Meals: None included Includes: bus transfers to/from Kathmandu, all permits, English speaking guide, luggage porters during trek Tour Code: KTMAKP

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2014


IMPORTANT BOOKING CONFIRMATION Terms & CONDITIONS Our Agreement With You In these terms and conditions, references to “STA Travel”, “we”, “us” or “our” mean STA Travel Limited (our registered office is at Priory House, 6 Wrights Lane, London, W8 6TA and our company number is 01263330). References to “you”, “your” and “your party” are references to you and all of the persons named in your booking.

Our Agreement With You

Your Travel Booking When you make a booking, you guarantee that as the lead name, you have the authority to accept and do accept, on behalf of your party, these terms and conditions and those of any other suppliers of travel services applicable to your booking. It is your responsibility to ensure that all of the details on your travel documents are correct and to bring to our attention any errors or discrepancies immediately.

Who your contract is with and the legal protections that apply to your booking will depend on the type of arrangements you book. A contract will exist (either between you and us or you and the other suppliers of travel services, as described below) as soon as we issue our confirmation invoice. The types of arrangements we offer are as follows:

The relevant supplier’s terms and conditions will apply to the supply of the services by the supplier to you. These will be provided to you by the relevant supplier or, if they are not, they are available on request from us or the relevant supplier. Please read the supplier’s terms and conditions carefully as they are incorporated into the contract between you and the supplier for the supply of the relevant services.

Although your contract for the services within the Flight-Plus will not be with us (it will be with the relevant third party supplier(s)), if we have arranged a Flight-Plus for you, it is protected by the ATOL Regulations. For full details of what this means, please ensure you familiarize yourself with “Your Financial Protection” section of Terms & Conditions.

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Packages Unless otherwise stated on your booking confirmation, your contract will be with us if we sell you a Package. These terms and conditions are incorporated into the contract between you and us in relation to the sale of the Package.

Your holiday will be a Package if: (1)

it is a pre-arranged combination of at least two of the following components: a) transport; b) accommodation; and c) other tourist services not ancillary to transport or accommodation which account for significant part of the arrangements; and

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Flight-Plus Your arrangement will be a Flight-Plus if you request and we arrange the following for you: a) a flight (provided that the outbound flight departs from the UK or the flight is into the UK and you have commenced your journey in the UK and departed the UK using another means of transport); and b) accommodation outside the UK or self-drive car hire outside the UK (or both) in connection with the flight, provided that: (1) the accommodation or self-drive car hire is requested to be booked on the same day, the previous day or the day following the day that you requested to book the flight; and (2) the arrangement covers a period of more than 24 hours or includes overnight accommodation.

Other services supplied in connection with the flight which were requested to be booked on the same day, the previous day or the day following the day that you requested to book the flight and which account for a significant proportion of the arrangement (but which are not ancillary to the flight or accommodation) will also be included in the Flight-Plus.

Your arrangement will not be Flight-Plus if your flight begins and ends in the UK or if you are purchasing the flight and other services in the course of your business or trade (i.e. not as a consumer).

Your arrangement will stop being a Flight-Plus (and the protections set out in the “Your Financial Protection” section below will not apply to your arrangement) if you cancel any part of your Flight-Plus and, as a result of that cancellation, the requirements set out above are no longer met.

170

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The airline and other suppliers’ terms and conditions will apply to the supply of the services by the airline and/or any other suppliers to you. These will be provided to you by the airline or other suppliers or, if they are not, they are available on request from us or the relevant airline or other suppliers of travel services. Please read the airline and any other suppliers’ terms and conditions carefully as they are incorporated into the contract between you and the airline and/or the other supplier of travel services for the supply of the relevant services.

Unless otherwise stated in your booking confirmation, Flight-Only, accommodation only and other individual services are not covered by the Regulations or the ATOL Regulations and the protection described in the “Your Financial Protection” section below does not apply to these services.

Your Financial Protection All the Package and Flight-Plus holidays we sell come with protection for your money. If you buy a single travel service (such as Flight-Only, accommodation only or other individual services) then this might not apply.

Our Package and Flight-Plus holidays are ATOL-protected (our ATOL number is 3206). If we are not the organiser of your Package, the Package is still protected by the Package organiser and we will provide you with their confirmation.

When you buy an ATOL protected flight or flight inclusive holiday from us you will receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and who to contact if things go wrong. On all Flight-Plus holiday arrangements, your money is ATOL protected meaning that you will be able to continue with your holiday or receive a refund of the amount paid to us in the unlikely event of our insolvency or the insolvency of your suppliers. Please note however that we have no liability beyond that for insolvency as set out in the ATOL scheme, because we act as agent of the suppliers.

The price of our Packages and Flight-Plus holidays includes the amount of £2.50 per person as part of the ATOL Protection Contribution (APC). This amount is paid to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as part of the ATOL scheme. This charge is included in our advertised prices for Packages and Flight-Plus arrangements.

In respect of our Flight-Plus holidays, we are obliged to tell you: •

We or the suppliers of the services you have bought will provide you with the services you have bought (or a suitable alternative). In some cases, where neither we nor the supplier are able to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder may provide you with the services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances, the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract

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to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable).

• If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL certificate, are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to those Trustees any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us, the travel agent (or your credit card issuer where applicable). You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ATOL scheme.

For further information visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk.

Period before departure when a significant change is notified

Compensation payable per person

More than 56 days

£0

55-29 days

£10

28-15 days

£20

14-7 days

£30

7-0 days

£40

Important note - changes beyond our control Compensation will not apply if a significant change is made for reasons beyond our control. These reasons include (but are not limited to): war, threat of war, riots, civil disturbances, terrorist activity, industrial disputes, natural and nuclear disasters, fire, epidemics, health risks, changes due to rescheduling or cancellation of flights by an airline or alteration of the airline or aircraft type; closed or congested airports or ports, hurricanes and other actual or potential severe weather conditions, and any other similar event.

Deposits and Payment Deposits are non-refundable. Payment of a deposit enables us to hold a reservation for you but does not guarantee the price. The price can only be guaranteed once we receive full payment and tickets and/or other travel documents have been issued. We will advise you of the date that full payment is required. All prices shown are ‘from prices’ and we reserve the right to alter the prices of any of the holidays shown in our brochure. You will be advised of the current price of the holiday that you wish to book before your contract is confirmed.

If payment for your booking is made by credit card, an administration fee is payable, as advertised. No charge is made for payments made by debit card. We reserve the right to refuse personal cheques as a method of payment.

After full payment, if we are your Booking Agent or Airline Ticket Agent, the conditions of the contract with your airline or other supplier of travel services may permit them to increase the cost of your arrangements. We will pass on the details of any such increase to you and we will collect the additional amounts from you on behalf of the airline or other supplier of travel services (as their agent).

If we have arranged a Package for you, changes in transportation costs including the cost of fuel, taxes, fees and exchange rates mean that the price of your Package may change after you have paid in full. You will not be charged for any increase equivalent to 2% or less of the price of your Package. You will be charged for any amount over and above that. No price increases will be charged to you in the period of 30 days or less prior to your departure date.

Documentation Our general practice is to send documents to our customers electronically whenever possible. We reserve the right to charge an administration fee should you make a request for such documents to be sent as hard copy.

Your travel documents are valuable and should be safeguarded as if they were cash. It is not always possible to replace travel documents in the case of loss, theft, damage etc.

Cancellations and Changes If we are your Booking Agent or Airline Ticket Agent, your contract with your airline or other supplier of travel services may permit them to cancel or amend bookings. We will ensure that you are promptly notified of any significant changes to your booking, but we accept no liability for any changes or costs incurred which may result.

If you have booked a Package and we make a significant change to your booking, we will inform you as soon as reasonably possible if there is time before your departure. You will have the choice of either accepting the change of arrangements, accepting an offer of alternative travel arrangements of comparable standard from us (we will refund any price difference if the alternative has a lower value), or cancelling your booked arrangements and receiving a full refund. We will pay compensation in respect of any significant changes that we make to your booking, using the scale below. These may include (but are not limited to) the following changes: a change in accommodation to that of a lower official category, a change of UK departure airport (except between London airports), a change of supplier, a change in the time of your departure or return flight by more than 12 hours.

This standard payment will not affect your legal or other rights. We will only make one payment for each full fare paying adult in the booking. Any children not paying the full adult fare will receive 50% of the listed amount. If the value of your booking is less than the compensation outlined, we will pay compensation only to the value of the booking.

If you have booked a flight and we are alerted to a significant schedule change by your airline before you leave the UK, we will contact you by email to advise you of this. Please ensure that you have given us your contact email address and that you regularly check for messages before you leave. We have no control over airline schedule changes and we accept no liability for costs which may arise as a result of such changes. After you have left the UK, it is your responsibility to check with the airline that any onward flights you have confirmed are operating as booked. We strongly recommend that you contact your airline at least 72 hours before the scheduled departure of each flight to do this. Please note that for some airlines it is mandatory to confirm with them your intention to fly.

Our Responsibility For Your Arrangements Nothing in this section or elsewhere in these terms and conditions is intended to or shall operate to exclude our liability for performance of our obligations under the Regulations and/or the ATOL Regulations.

In all circumstances, we will not be liable where any failure in the performance of the contract is due to: you (including, without limitation, unacceptable behaviour by you); or a third party unconnected with the provision of the travel arrangements and where the failure is unforeseeable or unavoidable; or due to unusual or unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised; or an event which we or the other suppliers of travel services, even with all due care, could not foresee or forestall.

If we have arranged a Package and the contract we have with you is improperly performed by us or the other suppliers of travel services, we will pay you appropriate compensation if this has affected the enjoyment of your travel arrangements.

Our liability to you in relation to any Package arranged by us, except in cases involving death or injury caused by our negligence or fraud, shall be limited to a maximum of three times the cost of your Package.

Our liability will also be limited in accordance with and/or in an identical manner to: (1) the contractual terms of other suppliers that provide the transportation and other services for your Package (the terms and conditions of those suppliers are incorporated into our contract with you); and (2) any relevant international convention, for example the Montreal Convention in respect of travel by air, the Athens Convention in respect of travel by sea, the Berne Convention in respect of travel by rail and the Paris Convention in respect of the provision of accommodation, which limit the amount of compensation that you can claim for death, injury, delay to passengers and loss, damage and delay to luggage. We are to be regarded as having all benefit of any limitation of compensation contained in these or any conventions.

In relation to Flight-Plus and Flight-Only, accommodation only and other individual services, we have taken all reasonable care to make sure that all the services that make up the arrangements are provided by efficient and reputable suppliers. These suppliers should follow the local and national laws and regulations of the country where the services are provided (however, please be aware that overseas safety standards may be lower than in the UK).

Except as otherwise stated in these terms and conditions, any relevant international convention and in cases involving death or injury caused by our negligence or fraud, we have no liability to you for the actual performance of the services by the other suppliers of travel services unless it is proved that we have breached our duty to select the suppliers with reasonable care and skill and damage to you has been caused as a result of that breach.

Please note that any other suppliers of travel services who provide services as part of your arrangement may also limit their liability to you. We cannot accept responsibility for any services which do not form part of the contract between you and us. As such, you are advised to read the terms and conditions of any other suppliers of travel services who are supplying services to you.

You can ask for copies of the suppliers’ terms and conditions, or the international conventions, from the relevant supplier or from us by contacting Customer Relations, STA Travel, St Georges House, 56 Peter Street, Manchester M2 3NQ. Or email your request to us at http://www. statravel.co.uk/customer-services.htm.

Your Agreement With Us By finalising your arrangements with us, you are accepting that these terms and conditions and the terms and conditions of any contract made with any other suppliers of travel services within your arrangements apply to your booking and your travel arrangements. You also consent to our processing personal information about you and other members of your party for the purposes of performing our obligations in relation to your booking (which includes, but is not limited to, giving your personal information to airlines, other suppliers of travel services and public authorities (such as customs or immigration) where this is required for the fulfillment of your arrangements).

If you travel outside the European Economic Area, controls on data protection may not be as strong as the legal requirements in this country. If we cannot pass this information to the relevant suppliers of travel services, whether in the EEA or not, we will be unable to provide your booking. In making your booking, you consent to this information being passed on to the relevant persons. The protection of your personal information is important to us, please see our privacy policy (available at www.statravel.co.uk/general-policy.htm) for further details of how we use your information.

Your contract with us is subject to the laws and jurisdiction of England and Wales. You may, however, choose the law and jurisdiction of Scotland or Northern Ireland instead.

If You Change Your Booking Where a change to your travel arrangements is permitted and possible, STA Travel service fees apply in addition to any additional supplier charges. Please see the ‘FAQ’ pages on www.statravel.co.uk for details of how to request changes. Please note that all reservation changes are subject to availability and the terms and conditions of the services purchased. Changes to name details are not allowed by many airlines and other suppliers of travel services. Whilst we do our best to make such a change if necessary, please bear in mind that most airlines and other suppliers of travel services treat a name change as a cancellation, to which standard conditions and cancellation charges apply.

Flights must be taken in the sequence they appear on your ticket or eticket confirmation. If you plan not to take a flight as booked, please contact the airline as far in advance as possible to discuss your options. If you do not check in on time for a confirmed reservation, the airline may register you as ‘no-show’, which could result in extra charges and/or your whole flight itinerary being cancelled and/or render your ticket void.

If You Cancel Your Booking If you cancel your arrangements, you may be entitled to a partial refund. In addition to any cancellation fees set out in any supplier of travel services’ terms and conditions (which may be 100% of the cost of the travel arrangements), we will also charge the cancellation fees outlined on your receipt. We need to receive written notification of cancellation and your original ticket/voucher from you before any refund can be considered. If you decide to cancel arrangements before the balance due date, any deposits paid are non-refundable. Refunds will only be paid to you once we have received the funds back from the relevant supplier of travel services. Generally flight tickets cannot be refunded if they are partially used. If the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your travel insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim your cancellation charges through your insurer.

If the person paying for the booking (the paying customer) is different from the travelling customer, and the paying customer wishes to cancel or withdraw the funding of any booked tickets, STA will notify the travelling customer of the paying customer’s funding withdrawal and give the travelling customer the option of continuing with the booking, subject to payment of the full cost of the travelling customer’s booked ticket by the travelling customer. If, following this notification, the travelling customer does not pay the full cost of his or her booked ticket, the booked ticket will be cancelled and the amount paid by the paying customer in relation to the booked ticket will be refunded to the paying customer (subject to the relevant supplier of travel services’ terms and conditions and the provisions of previous paragraph of these terms and conditions). Any airline costs/ charges associated with the cancellation will be deducted from the refund due to the paying customer. STA Travel will not charge a cancellation fee in these circumstances.

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If You Have A Complaint If you have a problem during your holiday, please inform the relevant supplier of travel services (e.g. your hotel or airline) immediately. Should they be unable to resolve the matter, please contact us in the UK, either through the office where you made your arrangements, or through http:// www.statravel.co.uk/customer-services.htm. If you fail to contact us, we will not be able to investigate your complaint and rectify any error whilst you are away and this may affect your rights under this contract.

We are a member of ABTA (membership number V1958) and operate according to ABTA’s Code of Conduct. ABTA can also offer you an arbitration scheme for the resolution of disputes involving us or another ABTA member. Further information can be found at www.abta.com.

Passport, Visa and Immigration Requirements It is your responsibility to fulfill the passport, visa and other immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. You should confirm these with the relevant High Commissions, embassies and/or consulates. We do not accept any responsibility if you are unable to travel due to not complying with any such requirements.

Insurance Travel insurance is a vital part of your arrangements. We strongly recommend that you have taken out adequate insurance for the duration of your journey. Travel insurance is a mandatory element of some travel arrangements. We can arrange travel insurance for you and provide you with a quote and answer any queries you may have regarding the insurance we can offer.

Travel Advice and Vaccinations British Citizens should refer to the travel advice posted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk for all the countries you intend to visit. You should take advice about the health precautions you need to take prior to departure.

Vaccinations may be required for some or all of the places you are intending to visit. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have arranged necessary vaccinations for your itinerary. Information on health and any vaccinations required to travel is available from your GP and on the Public Health England website www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ public-health-england. Alternatively, the STA Travel Clinic offers a full range of travel vaccinations, anti-malarials and expert advice as well as other services for your travel health needs. Locations, open hours and consultation appointments can be viewed/booked online at http://www. statravelclinic.co.uk/.

It is your responsibility to behave in a reasonable and responsible manner over the course of your travels, including abiding by any local laws and bilaws. We reserve the right to immediately cancel any travel arrangements in the event of unruly behaviour towards airline/ hotel / supplier representatives or other guests and you will be liable in full for cancellation charges and the costs of purchasing replacement accommodation and air tickets.

EU Notice Requirements Under EU law (Regulation (EC) 2111/2005), we are required to bring to your attention the existence of a ‘Community List’, which contains details of air carriers that are subject to an operating ban within the EU. The Community List is available for inspection at http://ec.europa.eu/transport/ modes/air/safety/air-ban/index_en.htm. We are also obliged to notify you of the airline(s) to be used in your booking. For details please see your booking confirmation or itinerary. You will be notified if any carrier changes as soon as possible and in all cases at check-in or at the boarding gate. Please note that a change of carrier is not considered to be a significant change to your arrangements.

Under EU law (Regulation (EC) 261/2004) you have rights in some circumstances to refunds and/or compensation from your airline in cases of denied boarding, cancellation or delay to flights. Details of these rights will be publicised at EU airports and will also be available from your airline. The airlines are responsible for compensating you in these circumstances. Please note that, if affected flights comprise part of a Package arranged on your behalf, any reimbursement from the airline under these regulations will not automatically entitle you to cancel and/or obtain a refund of your Package cost from us. Further information about your rights is available from the CAA www.caa.co.uk.

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TERMS & CONDITIONS

TERMS & CONDITIONS

Our agreement with you sets out what you are legally entitled to expect from us and other suppliers of travel services (for whom we act as a booking agent) when you purchase travel services through us. Because we sell a variety of travel products, you should make sure you understand the terms and conditions which apply to your particular arrangements in addition to these general terms and conditions (which apply to all bookings made through us).

If we arrange a Flight-Plus for you, the contract for each of the services within the Flight-Plus will be between you and the supplier(s) of those services. The name(s) of any supplier(s) who will be supplying the services will be stated on your booking confirmation. Where the services are supplied by other suppliers of travel services, we act as a Booking Agent and we accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions made by other suppliers of travel services in relation to the relevant services.


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