New Off-the-Beaten-Path and Luxury Tours to Asia

Various tour operators deliver one-of-a-kind experiences in India, Malaysia and Myanmar By: Deanna Ting
Orangutans are just one of many species of wildlife that clients can 
encounter while exploring the jungles of Borneo with International 
Orangutans are just one of many species of wildlife that clients can encounter while exploring the jungles of Borneo with International Expeditions. // © 2011 International Expeditions/Kitch Bain

The Details

Asia Transpacific Journeys

Indus Travels

International Expeditions

Jungle Jaunts
Satisfying growing demands for exotic travel among consumers, four different tour operators are offering unique tour packages to some of Asia's most exotic and intriguing destinations -- India, Malaysia and Myanmar.

In India, Indus Travels recently added a new luxury tour to its program India tour packages, the Maharaja Tour. The 15-day tour takes travelers to Dehli, Varanasi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur, Udaipur and Mumbai with luxury accommodations provided at Oberoi properties located throughout the country. Daily buffet breakfast; escorted return airport transfers; sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary; transportation by deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach; the services of an English-speaking tour guide; intra-India airfare; and executive-class train fare from Agra to Jhansi are included. Featured activities include an elephant ride at Fort Amber in Jaipur; a morning boat ride on the Ganges; a welcome dinner in Delhi; a Canter safari in Ranthambore; and an evening Aarti ceremony on the Ganges in Varanasi.

Clients who book the new tour and pay in full by Feb. 15 will receive free return airfare from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Toronto or New York. Additionally, every agent who books clients on the new program will receive an additional $100 per booking bonus commission for all scheduled departures in 2011 and 2012, in addition to regular commission rates. 

In Malaysia, photography enthusiasts may want to book a Photographic Tour to Borneo with Jungle Jaunts, departing in July 2011. The all-inclusive tour (land only) takes clients to the Mulu Show Caves, various wildlife reserves in Sabah and Sarawak; and the Iban Longhouse with the services of a professional photographer and tour guide throughout their trip. A Wildlife River Safari is also included and accommodations include stays in jungle lodges and luxury hotels. Clients are advised to book the tour by Jan. 31. Prices for the tour are $2,991 for four to six persons, based on double occupancy.

Also in Malaysia, International Expeditions is offering a 20-day Borneo Wildlife Tour for wildlife and nature enthusiasts, priced from $6,498. The tour begins in Kuching, Sarawak and then takes travelers to Mulu where they will be able to explore Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park features 17 different vegetation zones alone and is home to the world's smallest mammal, the Savi pigmy shrew. After spending two days in Mulu, clients then travel to Kota Kinablu where they will tour the Likas Wetland Bird Sanctuary and Mount Kinablu National Park. The tour continues to Sepilok Forest Reserve, Selingan Island, Sandakan, Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary and Danum Valley, returning to Kota Kinablu for departures back to the U.S. Departure dates for this year are offered on June 6 and June 13.

In Myanmar, Boulder, Colo.-based tour operator Asia Transpacific Journeys is reporting increasing interest in its travel packages to Myanmar. The tour operator attributed the increase in bookings for trips to Myanmar (up 150 percent from last November over the same period last year) to the recently highly publicized release of Nobel Peace Prize winner and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest.

The tour operator currently offers custom trips to Myanmar as well as three Small Group Trips that feature the destination. One of the three, Burma: Land of the Golden Pagoda, is a 13-day itinerary featuring accommodation in boutique hotels; a visit to a traditional Shan State tribal market; the tour guide services of an expert on Asian culture; access to the 16th-century ruins in Shan State; a visit to Sagar; an overnight cruise on the Irawaddy River; a visit to Inle Lake and a trip to Bagan to see its 1,300-year-old ruins. The tour is priced from $5,695 per person, based on double occupancy, for departure dates taking place on Oct. 13 and Nov. 10, and each trip is limited to a maximum of 18 travelers.
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