China Discovery

Unbeatable value, real experiences!

Looking for a holiday to China? Don’t miss this great offer.

Discover the historical Beijing, climb the Great Wall of China. Marvel at the Terracotta Warriors in Xian, considered as the eighth wonder in the world. Wander in the magnificent Forbidden City. Explore the Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu, with a unique opportunity to see the pandas in an environment similar to their natural habitat.

10 Day China Discovery Tour – Now at $1,869 pp (Twin share)

Departing from Melbourne or Sydney – normal price $3,320 pp, save $1,450 pp.

Trip highlights included:

  • In Beijing, walk on the Great Wall, stroll Tiananmen Square, explore the magnificent For-bidden City, wander in the Olympic Park, admire the unique Temple of Heaven.
  • In Xian, marvel at ancient Terracotta Warriors, visit the iconic Wild Goose Pagoda, browse the Provincial Museum and wander in the bustling Muslim Quarters.
  • In Chengdu, visit the Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base and stroll along the ancient streets.

Inclusions:

  • China Southern Airlines return economy class airfares with taxes ex Sydney or Melbourne
  • Domestic flights & taxes from Xian to Chengdu
  • 4 berth soft sleeper train from Beijing to Xian
  • 8 nights twin share accommodation
  • Guided sightseeing tours Local English speaking professional guide
  • Airport – hotel – airport transfers
  • Entrance fees
  • Local transport by air-conditioned coach
  • 9 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 2 dinners

Departures from Sydney or Melbourne: October 22, 2014

Best season to visit China, only a few spaces are left, inquire now!

To find out more about this adventure, contact Trans Otway Travel on (03) 9600 1482 or email contact@transotwaytravel.com.au

14 Day Asian Adventure on THE VOLENDAM

Inside cabin from $1,598pp, outside cabin from $1,798pp and suite from $2,998pp

Sails from 17 February to 3 March departing Singapore, via Malacca, Penang, Porto Malai and Port Klang in Malaysia, Phuket in Thailand, Thilawa (Rangoon) in Myanmar and Port Blair in India. Returns to Singapore.

Please contact us on 9600 1482 to find out more about this cruise, or other cruises currently on sale.

Chinese New Year Special

From $2,765 – 9 days fully inclusive from selected Australian cities.
Departures on 25 January and 28 January 2014.

Join the spectacular celebrations of the Spring Festival in China, including the colourful and vibrant Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year in Shanghai is loud, chaotic, beautiful, bright, exhilarating and red. Fireworks and firecrackers can be seen and heard in neighbourhoods and street corners. The city ignites, howls and cackles. We will show you Chinese New Year as the locals do. Experience the festivities that family and friends encounter during this national holiday. Before and after New Year the streets are alive with festivals and cultural activities, we will seek these out and aim to visit dragon lantern dancing and temple fairs, that are held in the cities we visit.

Tour Itinerary
Days 1-2: Australia to Beijing
Fly overnight to Beijing for a two night stay.

Day 3: Beijing – Great Wall & Summer Palace
Walk on the Great Wall to appreciate 2,000 years of history and admire the panoramic views. We also tour the exquisite Summer Palace. Our evening meal includes the local delicacy, Peking Duck.

Day 4: Beijing to Xian – Tiananmen Square & Forbidden City
Sightseeing today includes a stroll through Tiananmen Square, past Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum to the treasure-filled Forbidden City, which is the largest and best preserved collection of ancient buildings in China from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Fly to the former ancient capital of Xian.

Day 5: Xian to Shanghai & Terracotta Warriors
Visit one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th Century, the Terracotta Warriors and Horses. Later, fly to the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai.

Day 6: Shanghai for New Year’s Eve
Spend the day exploring Shanghai and experiencing the festive Chinese New Year spirit. In the evening join Wendy to celebrate the occasion with dinner, music and dancing. Board our exclusive Dragon Boat cruise past a welcoming committee of costumed dancers and drummers, and cruise the Huangpu River with night-time vistas of the historic Bund and futuristic Pudong.

Day 7: Shanghai
Visit the beautiful Yu Gardens and the Old Town as well as a visit to see the superb antiquities and fine arts of the Shanghai Museum. We also walk along the famous Bund with its colonial architecture.

Day 8: Shanghai to Australia
This morning is free at your leisure before you are transferred to Shanghai airport to board your overnight flight to Australia.

Day 9 : Arrive Australia
Arrive home today.

Burma Tour

Experience the beauty and intrigue of Burma

Travel to Burma and discover a country of mythical landscapes, ancient treasures and some of the friendliest folk you’ll ever meet. From golden-gilded Buddha’s in Yangon and the magical temples of Bagan to the tranquillity of Inle Lake, Burma will excite, impress and intrigue you. A visit to Burma is to experience the South-East Asia of twenty years ago, full of rarely seen sights and generations of stories just waiting to be told. Come and discover a little bit of Burma magic with us.

  • Explore the magnificent temples of Bagan
  • Relax on a riverboat cruise to Mandalay
  • Discover Burma’s ‘Jewel City’
  • Trek through rarely visited alpine villages
  • Delve into the underground at Pindaya
  • Admire Yangon’s golden Shwedagon Paya

Days 1-2 Yangon

Nestled in the shadow of the gold-encrusted Shwedagon Paya is Yangon, a melting pot of Burmese culture and colonialism. Visit this impressive holy site and be dazzled by its riches – both physical and spiritual.
ACCOM: Hotel – 1

Days 3-5 Bagan

Fly to Bagan and get the first taste of Burma’s crowning glory at sunset. Exploring this phenomenal area – spanning some 42 sq km and compromising of thousands of brick and gold-gilded stupas – is a remarkable experience. While here, perhaps take an optional hot air balloon ride at sunrise.
ACCOM: Hotel – 1

Day 6 Ayeyarwaddy River

Set sail on a riverboat cruise along the Ayeyarwaddy River. Soak up the serenity of life on the water and admire local villages and an ever-changing landscape as it rolls by. And, for a really authentic experience, sleep on deck under a canopy of stars.
ACCOM: Overnight boat – 1

Days 7-8 Mandalay

Meet some friendly locals on an energising morning walk before moseying on down the river. Spot fisherman hauling in their catch on the water’s edge before arriving in Mandalay by late afternoon. Known as Burma’s ‘Jewel City’, join a local guide for a sunset tour of Mandalay Hill. Perhaps take the river express to the sacred site of Mingun, take in a show at Mandalay Marionettes or visit Mahamuni Paya, resplendent in a layer of gold leaf.
ACCOM: Hotel – 1

Days 9-10 Kalaw

Continue on via the world’s longest teak bridge to Kalaw. Relish the temperate climate and stunning scenery of this mountain hideaway. Rise early and embark on a trek through rarely visited alpine villages, meeting locals who live simply as they have done for centuries.
ACCOM: Hotel – 1

Days 11-13 Inle Lake

Make tracks through the mountains to Pindaya. Explore the labyrinth of caves here with a local guide, admiring over 8,000 images of Buddha contained inside. Continue onwards to Inle Lake and spend time visiting the floating markets, cycling around the lake and admiring the skills of local ‘leg rowers’.
ACCOM: Guesthouse – 1

Days 14-15 Yangon

Leave scenic Shan State behind and travel back to Yangon. Explore more of this surprising city before this Best of Burma trip wraps up over a final group dinner.
ACCOM: Hotel – 1

Meals:
14 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Accommodation:
Guesthouse (3 nts), Hotel (10 nts), Overnight boat (1 nt)

Transport:
Bicycle, Bus, Horse Cart, Longtail boat, Plane, Private vehicle, Songthaew

Total:
AUD$2,675.00 p/p tour only, start and finish Yangon. Add relevant airfares.

Sri Lanka 17 Day Tour

From just $2,500 per person (not including airfares) or from $3,715 with airfares.

Day 01, Arrive Colombo  – Negombo

Upon your arrival in Colombo airport you will be met and assisted by tour co-ordinator in the arrival lounge followed by an assisted transfer to your hotel in Colombo.

Day 02, Negombo

Day is free at leisure to explore the city. (No transportation or guide services provided_. (B)

Day 03, Negombo – Anuradhapura – Habarana

After breakfast travel to Anuradhapura the ancient capital of Sri Lanka from 05th century BC to the end of the 10th century AD and was the most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities. The city’s greatest treasure are its dagobas constructed of bricks and are hemispherical in shape. The most notable of these dagobas are the Ruvanveliseya dating back to the 2nd Century B.C. and is 300 feet in diameter, the Jetawanarama is 370 feet and the Thuparama Dagoba is enshrined with the collarbone of the Buddha.

The city’s most renowned relic is the sacred Bo Tree, “Sri Mahabodhi” which is said to have grown from a branch of the tree under which the Buddha gained Enlightenment. It was planted 2250 years ago and is the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world. After that travel to Habarana for overnight stay. (B)

Day 04, Wildlife & Polonnaruwa

After breakfast enjoy a visit to Polonnaruwa, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka. As of today the city remains as one of the best planned archaeological relic sites it the country, a standing testimony to the discipline and greatness of the Kingdom’s first rulers. It is now declared a World Heritage site by the UNESCO.

Afternoon proceed for a wildlife safari at Minneriya National Park. The Park is based largely around a huge tank (reservoir) and serves as an important gathering place for Sri Lanka’s large elephant population. Besides elephants, Minneriya is also home to many species of mammals; like the deer, sambur and sloth bear. Enjoy Habarana lake excursion in the evening with local fish man. (B)

Day 05, Chena Village experience

After breakfast at hotel transfer to a point off the main road where you begin this amazing experience. Hiriwaduna is an archetypal Sri Lankan village which is traversed during the visit which begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a “Wewa” or manmade reservoir. The reservoir, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of early morning activity. Amazing birdlife, butterflies and possible sightings of crocodile only add to the charm of seeing the villagers as they go about their early morning tasks of fishing or washing clothes at the periphery of the lake. Experience the pleasures of village life as it awakens to a new day.

You wade through a shallow stream and the sense of adventure heightens when you need to get to a Chena Cultivation (Jungle Farmers plot) via a wider tributary which needs to be crossed on an obliging boatman’s catamaran!! It is then time to experience an ancient mode of transport mounted on a Bullock cart, as you plot your way through the winding country roads. Witness the green rice fields as you approach the village and Chena cultivation. A great opportunity to try authentic local cuisine for Lunch. Hiriwaduna is home to many forest birds and other wildlife including monkeys, bear, and elephant. Later return back to the hotel and in the evening visit Dambulla Cave temples. Overnight In Habarana. (B, L)

Day 06, Habarana – Kandy

After breakfast travel to Kandy stopping en-route at Sigiriya rock fortress. This world heritage site, consists of the remains of a palace on the top of the rock, a mid level terrace that includes the Lion Gate and the mirror wall with its frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’, the lower palace on the slopes below the rock, and the moats, walls and water gardens that extend for some hundreds of metres out from the base.

Thereafter you will be transferred to your hotel in Kandy en route stopping at Matale to a traditional spice garden for a cooking demonstration where you will learn about the unique uses of spices in Sri Lankan cuisine. You can assist in the preparation of some of the local dishes which you will then sample during lunch served out doors using lotus leaves instead of plates. Proceed to Kandy on reaching check-in at the hotel relax until 6:00 pm then get ready to enjoy a drum and dance cultural show before concluding the day. (B, L)

Day 07, Kandy

After breakfast enjoy an excursion to the elephant orphanage at Pinnewala. In the afternoon enjoy the city tour and visit the Market Square, Botanical Gardens and the fascinating temple of the Tooth Relic. Evening is free for you to explore the city. (B)

Day 08, Kandy

Day is free at leisure. (No transportation or guide services provided). Overnight at hotel. (B)

Day 09, Kandy – Nuwara Eliya

After breakfast leave for Nuwara Eliya in the Train (subject to availability and running on the day). Travelling by train in Sri Lanka is a unique experience. The railway track stretches across scenic hill country, magically untouched countryside, and secluded beaches of the Indian Ocean. The train still runs on the legendary route built in the 19th century. From Peradenya the road starts to ascend steadily and in the late morning, shortly before reaching Nuwara Eliya, you will have climbed 1’500 m. You are now in the tea country; where ever you look, you will see tea plantations, the rich full green of thousands and thousands of tea bushes. And out of the green in regular intervals the white coloured tea factories will enchant your eyes. Occasionally you can see a few rice fields and near the villages, vegetable plantations or gardens. The small resort town of Nuwara Eliya, situated at 2’070 m above sea level, lies on a little lake and is surrounded by mountains covered over and over by tea bushes. At the town boundaries there are a lot of vegetable plantations and flower fields, but also along the roads of Nuwara Eliya and in most of its gardens flowers are blooming. On arrival transfer to the hotel and stay two nights in Nuwara Eliya. (B)

Day 10, Trek to World’s End

In the morning leave for Horton Plains National Park – 20 miles (32 km) from Nuwara Eliya via Ambewela and Pattipola, is the Horton Plains only 3160 hectares in extent. Known to Sri Lankans as Mahaeliya, it became Horton Plains after Sir Robert Horton, British Governor from 1831- 1837.Horton Plains became a Nature Reserve in 1969 and upgraded as a National Park in 1988 due to its unique watershed and bio-diversity values.

Its flora has high level of endemism. The hills are covered with diverse wet low evergreen forest with even large trees grown flattened to the ground on the higher windswept slopes.

Horton Plains harbours 52 species of resident birds and 11 species of migrant birds. More than 2,000 to 3,000 Sambhur, Bear Monkey, Leopard, Barking Deer, Giant Squirrel, Fishing Cat, Wild Boar and Hares roam in the forests and grasslands but only seldom they could be seen other than the Sambhur in the evening and morning.

Two escarpments- “World’s End” and “Little World’s End” falling from the Horton Plains 1000 feet and 3000 feet respectively, to the land below and the Baker’s fall are places you should visit. This is the only Park where visitors could walk on their own on the designated tracks. Afternoon is free to relax or explore this small town. (B)

Day 11, Nuwara Eliya – Yala / Tissamaharama

Leave Nuwara Eliya this morning after breakfast, traversing the high misty plateaus of Horton Plains to Yala National Park. Tissamaharama is a town in south-eastern Sri Lanka. It used to be the capital of the Sinhalese Kingdom of Ruhuna as early as the 3rd century B.C. Only few buildings from that period can still be seen today. The large artificial Tissa Wewa Lake, which was a part of a sophisticated irrigation system, also dates from that time. Today, the town mainly serves as a starting point for visits to Yala National Park and Kataragama. Evening is free for you to explore. (B)

Day 12, Wildlife Safari

Today enjoy morning wildlife safari in Yala National Park to spot vast verities of wild animals, birds and reptiles including the leopards, elephants, langurs and crocodiles. Afternoon is kept free for you to relax or alternatively enjoy a long walk. (B)

Day 13, Yala – Galle

After breakfast drive to Galle. Galle was the most ancient and important harbour of the country, until the Colombo harbour was established. Galle is indentified as the ‘Tarshis’ of the bible. This was captured by the Portuguese in 1587 A.D, Dutch in 1640 A.D, and British in 1796 A.D. Most of the existing buildings date to the Dutch period. The Bastians are still using Dutch names such as Zwart, Akesloot, Aeloes etc. Explore the Bazaare for local hand-crafted souvenirs. (B)

Day 14, Galle – Bentota/ Beruwala

After breakfast drive to Bentota. Overnight in Bentota beach resort. (B)

Day 15, Bentota/ Beruwala

Day is free at leisure by the beach. (No transportation or guide services required). Overnight at hotel. (B)

Day 16, Bentota/ Beruwala

Day is free at leisure by the beach. (No transportation or g0uide services required). Overnight at hotel. (B)

Day 17, Bentota/ Beruwala – Colombo departure by flight (TBA)

After breakfast relax at the hotel. Check out around 1200hrs and visit the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery. Kosgoda is famous for its turtle hatchery- operated by the Wild Life Protection Society of Sri Lanka. It was established in 1981 to protect Sri Lanka’s turtles from extinction. The hatchery pays fishermen for eggs that they collect at night along the sandy beach. Visitors can see huge tanks filled with new born turtle hatchlings. After being fed, the baby turtles are taken to the sea and released when they are 2-4 days old, usually during the safer hours of darkness. Although October to April is the main laying season, some eggs can be found at Kosgoda throughout the year. Also do a Madu River Boat Safari.

Later in the evening transfer to Colombo International Airport to board onward flight back home. (B)

To book, call us on (03) 9600 1482 or email us at contact@transotwaytravel.com.au

Elephant Hills Jungle Lake Safari

Stay at Elephant Hills Camp in Khao Sok National Park, Thailand. Highlights of this independent tour include interaction with the resident elephants, a jungle river canoe trip, exploring the islands and lake by boat and discovering the flora and fauna on a jungle walk.

Elephant Hills Camp – From just $502 per person

During our Elephant Experience you will get close to and experience hands on these magnificent animals, interact with them and learn the secrets of their mahouts.

You must prepare and feed them one of their daily meals, scrub and clean and watch them bathe. Feed them their dietary supplements that help with digestion and overall well being and plant some of their food which will be ready for next year’s crop, you will not sit on or trek with our Elephants.

Our trained guides will also offer information on Elephants, their conservation and also about their handlers or Mahouts. Truly a once in a lifetime chance to experience the Asian Elephant, the largest land animal in this part of the world.

Day 1: Phuket – Elephant Hills

Transfer to Khao Sok with en-route glimpses of tropical rural life along the way. Arrive at the elephant camp, where you can learn about the life of Thai elephants, about the elephant project the company is running and the mahouts, the elephant’s carers. Participating in the Elephant Experience you will get close to and experience hands on these magnificent animals by feeding and cleaning them and plant some of their food. A once in a lifetime chance to experience this amazing creature. After lunch take a jungle river canoe trip down the Sok River. Drift along the jungle river passing limestone mountains and forest animals. On return to the camp enjoy a refreshing drink before dinner.  (L) (D)

Day 2: Elephant Hills

Transfer to Cheow Larn Lake where there is the opportunity to explore the lake by longtail boat. Check-in at the Rainforest Camp, before an afternoon of activities including selfpaddle canoes, and swimming in the emerald waters of the lake. You can also take a guided canoe safari for some wildlife spotting.  (B) (L) (D)

Day 3: Elephant Hills – Phuket

After seeing the jungle by boat, you can now trek on foot for the opportunity to discover this unique environment in a different way. Opportunity for more canoeing or swimming in the lake waters.Birds such as the hornbill live high up above, gibbon can often be heard calling to their mates, a macaque or leaf monkey may be heard swinging through the branches, every day is different. Return to Elephant Hills where you will be transferred back to your Phuket resort or the airport.  (B) (L)

*All prices shown are for low season, per person, twin share

To book, call us on (03) 9600 1482 or email us at contact@transotwaytravel.com.au

Phi Phi Island Village

This is the perfect island resort. Lots of travellers head off to Phuket every year and maybe take a day tour to the Phi Phi Islands, but you consider staying out at this superb 4.5 star resort for a number of days.

Phi Phi Village is like they used to design resorts. Their bungalows are all elevated above ground, are beautifully furnished using natural wooden materials, have thatched roofs, a/c and large balconies.

The resort has been buit in an old coconut plantation and fronts an expansive unspoilt white sand beach. Everything is meticulously looked after and the staff are particular in the presentation of this property. Food is superb with fresh fish and fruit particular highlights.

Excellent day trips snorkelling and island visiting are a must as well as your own exploring on a number of walking trails available from the resort. Phi Phi is best visited between Nov-Mar when it is hot with clear sunny days and is one of Thailand’s best hideaways that is close to Phuket but far away enough to be your own special place.

To book, call us on (03) 9600 1482 or email us at contact@transotwaytravel.com.au