BOULDER, CO, July 14 – A first-time visitor to Burma saw a young couple with a baby walking counter-clockwise together around the gold-leaf Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon, a simple act of devotion repeated by countless thousands each day. Returning two years later, this visitor saw the same family, the baby now a toddler, walking counter-clockwise around the Shwedagon once more.
Saffron-clad monks, including novices as young as eight, circle with rice bowls to be filled; young women ply a wooden loom round-the-clock to ready a garment by the full moon.
Here and elsewhere in far-flung Asia, time seems to stop and ancient rhythms reign, rhythms that Asia Transpacific Journeys (ATJ) explores day in and day out with guides whose life work is committed to sustaining cultures while sharing nuances with visitors.
“Three of our small-group itineraries departing early in 2007 continue to amaze our clients,” says Marilyn Downing Staff, CEO of the company that for over 18 years has delved into the heart and soul of one Asian destination after another.
The itineraries include Burma, former French Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) and Thailand.
“Some folks choose to combine these areas in the same trip,” says Downing Staff. “That’s more or less the Europe-in-seven-days approach. Our preference is to single out each region so that the cultures and personalities can be experienced and savored.”
“Exploration and in-depth interpretation are what set us apart. However, our sophisticated travelers also enjoy the crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me of meals and lodgings,” says Downing Staff, who notes that ATJ can also arrange Custom Journeys to these and other Asian destinations.
ATJ’s Winter 2007 Small Group Trip departures of up to 16 passengers include:
Jan. 20, 22 Days PASSAGE TO INDOCHINA (VIETNAM, LAOS, CAMBODIA)
Think Catherine Deneuve in Indochine. The exquisite French colonial architecture of Hanoi, Saigon’s markets, the textiles of Vientiane, the glittering golden city of Luang Prabang, and Angkor Wat, Asia’s archaeological equivalent of the pyramids, combine with elephant excursions to create the definitive journey to this corner of the world. Land cost per person of $7,395 includes expert tour leadership, insurance, and elegant accommodations.
Jan. 21 and Feb. 18, 16 days BURMA, LAND OF THE GOLDEN PAGODA
Float down the languid Irrawaddy River, overnighting on a classic, restored colonial-era river barge, then journey by rail, car, horse cart and foot to explore golden pagodas, exotic markets and tribal villages. Considered the hands-down Burma experts in the industry, ATJ offers the definitive journey to this enchanting land. Land cost per person of $4,395 includes expert tour leadership, insurance, and exceptional accommodations.
Feb. 16, 14 days, ROYAL THAILAND
This superlative journey celebrates Loy Krathong, Thailand’s magical festival of light and water. Explore Bangkok by long tail boat; ride on bamboo rafts down rivers and atop elephants through hill-tribe villages. Visit Ayutthaya, the former imperial capital and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a remote Burmese border town, Golden Triangle tribes, and the stunning world-class beaches of Phuket. Land cost per person of $4,895 includes expert tour leadership, insurance, and stunning accommodations.
Included in the per person rate on all Small Group Trips are accommodations, nearly all meals, transfers, visa fees, tips, entrance fees, medical and emergency insurance and a comprehensive pre-departure packet. ATJ can also arrange Custom Journeys to these and other Asian destinations. ATJ can also arrange international air through its in-house air department.
Asia Transpacific Journeys has been crafting private Custom Journeys and Small Group Trips to the Asia/Pacific region since 1987.
Says CEO Downing Staff: “Our intimate, in-depth style promotes cross-cultural understanding, encourages environmental sustainability, and fulfills long-held personal dreams.” She notes that ATJ’S regional expertise also makes ATJ the operator of choice for dozens of America’s most demanding universities and museums.
For 2006 ATJ’s ever-expanding itineraries of 18 Small Group Trips and Custom Journeys encompasses 20 countries in North Asia, South Asia, SE Asia and the Pacific. Some trips also support global conservation and cultural preservation. ATJ’s own non-profit Asia Transpacific Foundation, established in 1998, works with rural Asian communities to provide clean drinking water through locally made ceramic water filters.
For more information please see www.asiatranspacific.com or call toll free 800-642-2742.
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