Recent Highlights and Forthcoming Accompanied Tours
Our recent accompanied tour showed us how much Myanmar (as Burma is now known) is changing. There is cautious optimism everywhere, and local people are out and about more. New hotels are being built; restaurants and businesses are opening up to cater for the increasing numbers of visitors. ATM’s are now available in the cities and major tourist spots and credit cards accepted in more and more places. The Burmese people are also enjoying social media, taking selfies and using the internet, because all this is now possible! We would encourage you to go soon, if you can, and experience the charm of this beautiful country and people, before the crowds become too many. As Burma’s popularity is soaring we strongly advise you to book well ahead, and especially if you are travelling during the winter months. It is a gem and the charm and good humour of the Burmese people will work its magic on you!
You can read more about our recent tour to Burma and other recent visits on our blog. “The whole experience of seeing these delightful people was one of the highlights of our visit – their history, religion and Buddhism. Inle Lake and the River Cruise were both memorable. The final four days on the beach was paradise after a busy trip!”
Michael and Julia Hughes, Yorkshire
William and Kate in India & Bhutan
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s recent visit to India and Bhutan has been so obviously enjoyed. There have been many highlights – in the major cities of Mumbai and New Delhi; as well as the one-horned rhinos, wild elephants and wildlife at Kaziranga National Park in north eastern India, where William and Kate stayed at the wonderful Diphlu River Lodge.
In Bhutan, a land-locked kingdom ruled by a young king and queen, they enjoyed the most spectacular views, after a three-hour walk up to the Tiger’s Nest, perched dramatically 900m above the Paro Valley. Bhutan is a fascinating and unique country definitely worth visiting! In Bhutan, a land-locked kingdom ruled by a young king and queen, they enjoyed the most spectacular views, after a three-hour walk up to the Tiger’s Nest, perched dramatically 900m above the Paro Valley. Bhutan is a fascinating and unique country definitely worth visiting!
Two centuries after a British Army officer discovered the Ajanta Caves his descendant visits caves Both Ajanta and Ellora are UNESCO World Heritage Sites near Aurangabad in the Indian state of Maharashtra. They are a series of Buddhist rock-cut cave temples, some of which date back to the 2nd century BC.
Once inhabited by monks, artists and craftsmen who used them as prayer halls and monasteries, they feature some exquisite works of art including detailed murals depicting court scenes, princes and musicians, representing the life of a long forgotten era.
The caves were occupied for about nine centuries before they were abruptly abandoned and, over time, the surrounding jungle concealed their existence.
They were rediscovered quite accidentally on 28th April 1819 when John Smith, of the 28th Madras Cavalry, suddenly saw the top of the façade of Cave 10 during a tiger hunt. It is said that he marked his discovery with a hunting knife, inscribing his name and date on a mural. All these years later we were delighted to arrange a special first visit to India for Captain Smith’s descendant, Colonel Martin Smith, together with his wife, Margaret. They received a huge welcome at the Ajanta Caves from the Maharashtra government, and also at a special dinner in Mumbai.
They also visited the caves at Ellora. These are amongst the most splendid examples of rock-cut architecture in India and contain Hindu, Jain and Buddhist sculptures.
Their tour of India included Delhi, a visit to the iconic Taj Mahal, and the temples of Khujuraho. They also enjoyed discovering the history and heritage of Gwalior and Orchha, as well as Bhopal and the Satpura National Park where they stayed at the wonderful Reni Pani Jungle Lodge.
A memorable visit, which was well recorded in the Indian newspapers! Read the article in the Indian Express Easter 2017 Next year Easter is later – April 16 – which means that warmth and sunshine will make the break even more enticing for travel.
It is also closer to the May Bank Holiday – which means that there is a potential getaway of 18 days (from Good Friday on April 14 to the bank holiday on May 1st) available for just nine days’ annual leave.
This gives a great window of opportunity to travel further afield for a number of people and India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Bhutan would all be good destinations, although temperatures are rising. Something to think about and to start booking now… Accompanied Tours to North India & Sri Lanka November 2017
Accompanied tour to North India: Delhi, Lucknow, Agra and Rajasthan
We love the idea of escaping grey November days for some blue skies and sunshine before the countdown to Christmas starts!
International arrival is into Delhi on the 6th November 2017, for the start of a two-week discovery tour of some of North India’s highlights.
Rajasthan is a favourite of ours with its many fine forts and palaces, a kaleidoscope of colours and splendour set against a desert backdrop. We also look forward to visiting Lucknow, the fabled city of Nawabs, best remembered for their refined and extravagant lifestyles. From Lucknow we will travel to Agra and visit a sight you will remember forever, the Taj Mahal – before travelling further by road through Rajasthan.
Further details will follow, but if this is of interest to you then please let us know! Contact Amanda Kay by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone +44 1937 520677. February-March 2018 Accompanied tour to Sri Lanka
This exotic and beautiful island nation, located off the south-eastern coast of India in South Asia, is a land of clear, vibrant colours and incredible sights. It is a clean and safe country, and very friendly. There are some fantastic places to stay (with some tempting pools, spa and Ayurveda facilities) and some mouth-wateringly good food.
From the city of Colombo we will travel with our accompanying Sri Lankan guide, to the Cultural Triangle, known for its ancient cities and Buddhist monuments. Visits will include the soaring rock fortress at Sigiriya; the intricately carved temples and statues at Polonnaruwa; and the temple town of Kandy.
Then up by road to the rolling tea gardens, where paddy fields and small local villages offer stunning views and discoveries, and some great walking opportunities.
Despite its small size Sri Lanka is included amongst the top five biodiversity hotspots in the world and we will include one or two of Sri Lanka’s national parks in our programme. This gives a chance of a leopard sighting; there are herds of wild Asian elephants and the richest diversity of amphibians in the world. You might also like to know that birds are the glory of Sri Lankan wildlife. Our tour will end on the southern coast, near the fortified city of Galle and also Mirissa, where there is a chance to see one of the planet’s biggest creatures, the Blue Whale, before international departures from Colombo.
Sri Lanka is very definitely an up and coming destination and we are expecting a lot of interest in this accompanied tour. If you are interested in joining us in February 2018, please do let us know. As always we will travel in a small group of between 6-12, with Amanda Kay as tour leader, and together with our accompanying Sri Lankan guide.
The world’s tiger population increases As members of Travel Operator for Tigers (TOFTigers) we are thrilled that the world’s tiger population is increasing. A tiger sighting is hugely exciting; however there are no guarantees, so it really is luck, helped enormously by good guides and drivers!
“We went with the hope of seeing tigers and on the four game drives that we took part in, we saw a tiger on each occasion. Our guide and driver were outstanding and we consider that we have been most fortunate to have not only seen tigers but other fascinating wildlife.”
Mr and Mrs Crossley