• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Enchanting Vietnam

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Vietnam located on the South China Sea is known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities with Hanoi as its capital known for its centuries-old architecture and a rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences.

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Vietnam

Vietnam located on the South China Sea is known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities with Hanoi as its capital known for its centuries-old architecture and a rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences.

Day 1: Hanoi

Day 3: Halong Bay

Day 5: Hue

Day 7: Hoi An

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City

Day 13: Depart Ho Chi Minh City

Lang Co Fishing Village

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

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Description

 

With stunning scenery, a fascinating history, enchanting culture and friendly people, Vietnam has all of the ingredients to make for a fantastic holiday destination. Whilst it is often included as part of a wider Indochina holiday combined with Cambodia and Laos, Vietnam has so much to offer that it can easily offer a varied holiday experience on its own. Here is just one itinerary to show you how.

 

Day 1: Hanoi

Arrive into Hanoi, located in the north of the country. Here, visit the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the One Pillar Pagoda and the Hoa Lo Prison (more commonly known as the Hanoi Hilton). Take a walking tour through Hanoi’s Old Quarter or experience a Water Puppet show – a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form.

Two nights Hanoi

Consider slotting in a visit to Sapa from Hanoi – an inland mountainous region accessed by overnight train or by road. A stay here would provide an opportunity to see rural Vietnam.

Day 3: Halong Bay

Travel by road to Halong Bay, providing a chance to enjoy the scenery – predominantly farmland – en route. Look out for farmers on scooters transporting water buffalo! World Heritage listed Halong Bay is a beautiful place, comprised of limestone rock formations dotted throughout the bay. The best way to view this is from a cruise on a traditional junk ship.

Two nights Halong Bay Cruise

Day 5: Hue

Leaving Halong Bay behind, returning to Hanoi before flying down to Hue. Here explore the Imperial Citadel, take a ride through the ‘Old City’ to Tinh Tam Lake with its lotus flowers in summer, visit the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Mausoleum of Tu Duc.

Two nights Hue

Day 7: Hoi An

Travel by road to Hoi An, a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th Centuries. The scenic route passes through the wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co before climbing over the Pass of Ocean Clouds (Hai Van Pass). Take a walking tour of the ancient town centre to visit former merchant’s houses, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the colourful market.

Three nights Hoi An

At certain times of the year, Hoi An provides a good beach stay destination, in which case a longer stay might be preferred.

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City

Fly down to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon). From here, take a tour out to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters (Viet Cong) during the wars. In the city itself, visit the War Remnants Museum, the History Museum and the former Presidential Palace. The Old Saigon Post Office, Dong Khoi Street, Continental Hotel, the Opera House and City Hall provide an insight into the colonial past.

Three nights Ho Chi Minh City

Day 13: Depart Ho Chi Minh City

Today, depart the city for the onward or homeward journey.

Halong Bay

Imperial Citadel Hue

Pictures courtesy of Angie Watson

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Little Gems

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Client Feedback

 

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Malaysia

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Avatar

 

Malaysia – the very word conjures images of Far Eastern magic, of a delightful mix of culture with stunning beaches, world-class diving and snorkeling, and exotic bird and wildlife.

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Malaysia

Malaysia – the very word conjures images of Far Eastern magic, of a delightful mix of culture with stunning beaches, world-class diving and snorkeling, and exotic bird and wildlife.

Day 1: Kuala Lumpur
Day 3: Cameron Highlands
Day 6: Taman Negara National Park
Day 9: East coast beach
Day 15: Depart Kuala Lumpur
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Unmistakably Malaysia

Malaysia – the very word conjures images of Far Eastern magic, of a delightful mix of culture with stunning beaches, world-class diving and snorkelling, and exotic bird and wildlife and using Malaysian Airlines daily direct service, this tropical paradise is closer than you think.

This itinerary concentrates on Peninsular Malaysia – a two week self drive holiday taking you on a journey through the colonial past, with a mixture of city, highlands, rain forest and beach.

Day 1: Kuala Lumpur
Arrive in Kuala Lumpur today – the swift and efficient rail link whisks you into the city centre avoiding the crowded roads. Two nights in the city – and time to explore the cultural mix that makes up this extraordinary city. Take a city tour and visit the royal palace, bird and orchid gardens, and the old station, built in colonial times with a roof carefully designed to withstand at least a metre of snow!!
Kuala Lumpur 2 nights

Day 3: Cameron Highlands
Return to the airport to collect your hire car, and drive north, skirting the city, and into the Cameron Highlands for a three night stay. Re-visit the colonial past in the delightfully cool climate of this hill station, and discover homes that would not be out of place in leafy Surrey, complete with cream teas. Visit tea plantations, and learn of the process’s involved in producing some of the world’s best tea.
Cameron Highlands 3 nights

Day 6: Taman Negara National Park
Driving west today using the new highway, to the river port of Kuala Tembeling. Take the river boat deep into the jungle for a three night stay at Taman Negara National Park. Explore the river and rainforest habitats here, swimming in deserted rock pools, and perhaps walking the treetop canopy walk.
Taman Negara 3 nights

Day 9: East coast beach
Return to civilisation, with a boat trip back to Kuala Tembeling, retrieve your hire car, and head east for a final 5 nights on the beach. The east coast has some of the best beaches in Malaysia – and is relatively undiscovered. If you are a diver, plan to spend some time exploring the underwater wonderland of the off-shore islands – or simply relax in tranquil surroundings enjoying the very best of Malaysian cuisine at your hide-away hotel. You’ll have your car to hand should you decide to explore further.
Beach stay 5 nights

Day 15: Depart Kuala Lumpur
Say farewell to the east coast today, and return across the peninsular to Kuala Lumpur. Skirt the city and head to the airport, dropping your car on arrival.

Cameron Highlands

Credit Jackie Appleton

 

Diving Tenggol Island

Credit YTL Hotels

Tanjong Jara Beach

Credit YTL Hotels

 

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Little Gems

Every once in a while, we come across a property or group of properties that truly exceed all our expectations, and the YTL group of properties are exactly that. With several properties in Malaysia, and an expanding portfolio in other parts of the world, these hotels deliver in every way, from comfortable rooms, to exquisite locations, exceptional staff and superb dining – we are confident that you won’t be disappointed here.

Tanjong Jara is located near the little town of Dungun on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. A small but delightful property, with an excellent spa, superb restaurant, beach front location and delightful staff. Rooms are spread across the property in three categories, and all are spacious, tastefully decorated with every amenity you possibly need. The property is open all year, but as the monsoon season hits from December through to the end of March, you may prefer to avoid this period.
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Client Feedback

‘What a delight – the seven nights spent here at the end of our Australian holiday was simply not enough and if we return, it will be for a holiday split between Tanjong Jara and Pangkor Laut’
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Japan Itinerary

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Posted by:

Amanda Skingle

 

Japan is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean with high-rise-filled cities, imperial palaces, mountainous national parks and thousands of shrines and temples. Tokyo is known for its neon skyscrapers and pop culture. In contrast, Kyoto offers Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, gardens and cherry blossoms. Sushi, the national dish, is served everywhere from casual pubs to gourmet restaurants.

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Summary

Day 1: Tokyo

Day 4: Mount Fuji & Hakone

Day 5: Kyoto

Day 8: Nara

Day 9: Hiroshima

Day 11: Nagasaki

Day 13: Kumamoto

Day 14: Osaka

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Day 1: Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan’s bustling capital mixes the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers and anime shops to cherry trees and temples. The opulent Meiji Shinto Shrine is known for its towering gate and surrounding forests. The Imperial Palace sits amid sprawling public gardens. The city is famed for its vibrant food scene, and its Shibuya and Harajuku districts are the heart of its trendy teen fashion scene. Tokyo 3 nights

Day 2: Tokyo Tour

You will visit TokyoTower, the Imperial Palace Plaza, Sensoji Temple and Nakamise shopping arcade. In the afternoon, you can enjoy a half day tour of Sumo with a visit to the Sumo Museum and watching a tournament.

Day 4: Mount Fuji & Hakone

Travel by coach to the foot of Mount Fuji via expressway. Then drive halfway up Japan’s highest mountain to enjoy a spectacular view from a height of 2,300 meters. Enjoy a Japanese style lunch, which is included. In the afternoon, proceed to Hakone for a cruise on Lake Ashi and Mount Komagatake Ropeway. This is a great place to stay at a traditional Ryokan and relax in a Japanese Hot Spring & Spa. Hakone 1 night

Day 5: Kyoto

Kyoto, once the capital of Japan, is a refined city on the island of Honsh with thousands of classical Buddhist temples, as well as gardens, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. It’s also known for formal traditions such as kaiseki dining, consisting of multiple courses of precise dishes, and geisha, female entertainers often found in the Gion district. Travel from Hakone to Kyoto on the iconic Bullet Train. Kyoto 3 nights

Day 6: Kyoto Tour

Enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Kyoto. In the morning you will visit Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), Nijo Castle, which is noted for its gorgeous interiors and Kyoto Imperial Palace. There will be a stop for lunch at the Kyoto Handicraft Centre which is included. After lunch you will visit the Kiyomizu Temple, Sanjusangen-do Temple and Heian Shrine.

Day 8: Nara

Nara is the capital of Japan’s Nara Prefecture, in south-central Honshu. The city has significant temples and artwork dating to the 8th century, when it was Japan’s capital. Deer freely roam in Nara Park, site of Todai-ji Temple. At Todai-ji, Daibutsu, a 15m-high bronze Buddha, is displayed in a grand, wooden hall. The Shinto shrine Kasuga-taisha, founded in 768 C.E., has 3,000-plus lanterns. Nara 1 night

Day 9: Hiroshima

Hiroshima, a modern city on Japan’s Honshu Island, was largely destroyed by an atomic bomb during World War II. Today, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park commemorates the 1945 event; on-site is Genbaku Dome, the surviving portion of a structure that crumbled in the explosion. Other prominent sites include Shukkei-en, a formal Chinese-style garden, and Hiroshima castle, a fortress surrounded by a moat and a park. Hiroshima 2 nights

Day 10: Hiroshima and Miyajima

Today you have a full day sightseeing tour of Hiroshima and Miyajima. This will be by coach and involves a short ferry ride to Miyajima Island to see the picturesque Itsukushima Jinja Shrine. Return to Hiroshima to visit the Peace Memorial Park, Memorial Museum and the Atomic Bomb Dome.

Day 11: Nagasaki

Nagasaki is a Japanese city on the northwest coast of the island of Kyushu. It’s set on a large natural harbor, with buildings on the terraces of surrounding hills. It is synonymous with a key moment during WWII, after suffering an Allied nuclear attack in August 1945. The event is memorialised at the city’s Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Park. Nagasaki 2 nights

Day 13: Kumamoto

The capital of Kumamoto Prefecture, Kumamoto is a major city on Kyushu’s west coast with a population of 650,000. The city is most famous for its castle, which is one of Japan’s largest and most complete. Kumamoto 1 night

Day 14: Osaka

Osaka, a large port city and commercial centre on the Japanese island of Honshu, is known for its modern architecture, boisterous night life and hearty street food. The 16th-century shogunate Osaka Castle is its main historical landmark, surrounded by a moat and park with plum, peach and cherry trees. The Shinto Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine is among Japan’s oldest. You’ll have a final overnight stay before you return home. Osaka 1 night

Picture credit JNTO

Picture credit JNTO

Picture credit JNTO

Picture credit JNTO

 

Picture Credit JNTO

Picture Credit JNTO

Picture Credit JNTO

Picture Credit JNTO

 

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Little Gems

If you plan your trip during the months of March, April and May you will be able to see the beautiful cherry blossoms through out the country but a favourite place to see them is in the city of Kyoto.

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Client Feedback

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