An Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

An Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner touched down in Hong Kong this morning after its inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Flight EY834 departed Abu Dhabi last night and arrived in Hong Kong at 10:25am today.

The deployment of the larger 787-9 Dreamliner to Hong Kong is part of the airline’s plan to operate all 28 weekly services to China’s four main gateways – Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Hong Kong – using next-generation Dreamliner aircraft. At the beginning of this year, the airline upgraded its daily service from Abu Dhabi to Beijing to the 787-10 Dreamliner. It has also announced that effective 1 July 2019, the daily service from Abu Dhabi to Chengdu will be upgraded to B787-9, and the current 787-9 daily service from Abu Dhabi to Shanghai will replaced by the larger 787-10 Dreamliner.

The new 787-9 Dreamliner features Etihad Airways’ next-generation Business and Economy Class seats. It will operate with 299 seats, including 28 in Business Class and 271 in Economy Class, representing a 27 per cent increase in Business Class capacity, and a 14 per cent capacity increase across all cabins.

Etihad Airways’ Boeing 787-9 aircraft feature innovative, award-winning cabin designs and products, complemented by the airline’s acclaimed service and hospitality offerings. Flights include Food and Beverage Managers in Business Class and a Flying Nanny in Economy Class to provide extra specialised care for families with young children.

Etihad Airways provides business and leisure travellers with convenient flight timings between Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong, and seamless onward connections via Abu Dhabi to major destinations in the Gulf region, Europe, Africa and North America.

Furthermore, Etihad Airways operates an extensive codeshare partnership with Hong Kong Airlines (HX), allowing travellers enhanced connection options between Australasia, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America.

Flight schedule for Abu Dhabi-Hong Kong:

 

Flight No. Origin Departs Destination Arrives Frequency Aircraft
EY834 Abu Dhabi

(AUH)

10:05pm Hong Kong

(HKG)

10:05 next day Daily 787-9
EY833 Hong Kong

(HKG)

07:45pm Abu Dhabi (AUH) 12:05

next day

Daily 787-9

 

Notes: All departures and arrivals are listed in local time.

Eastern Oriental Express and Save Wild Tigers fight the plight of wild tigers with the launch of the Tiger Express

Eastern & Oriental Express and global tiger conservation charity initiative, Save Wild Tigers, are partnering to launch the ‘Tiger Express’ on 7th September 2019 – raising awareness of the plight of the world’s last remaining wild tigers.

To mark the occasion, a selection of inspirational personalities will be helping to spread the message globally. Chinese pop artist and Save Wild Tigers Ambassador, Jacky Tsai – the name behind Alexander McQueen’s famous floral skull – will provide a visual reminder throughout Asia by curating two of the train’s external carriages with a tiger flair.  Whilst on board, Ping Coombes MasterChef UK 2014 champion – another Save Wild Tigers’ Ambassador – will be cooking up a storm for guests.

The ‘Tiger Express’

The six-night itinerary will see guests travel in luxury from Bangkok to Singapore through the historic tiger territories in Malaysia and Thailand with a stay at the Siam Bangkok and Raffles Singapore included in the package. During the journey, guests will embark on several excursions including a guided visit to the River Kwai and a tour of Kuala Kangsar. Additional tiger themed touches on board will include bespoke Jim Thompson scarves for sale.

‘Art in Motion’

For the carriage design, Tsai will draw on his love of pop art combined with traditional Chinese values to create a vibrant and eye-catching design which will be unveiled ahead of the journey in September. To tie in with the theme of this special journey, tigers will be a prominent feature in the art work along with the Asian landscape and nature. This third generation of ‘Art in Motion’ for the Eastern & Oriental Express will remain on the train for year.

The Current Situation

The wild tiger has huge cultural and historical significance throughout Asia but it is a little-known fact that worldwide tiger numbers are now at critical levels with only 3,800 tigers left in the wild globally & few as 400 in Thailand & Malaysia combined. These 3,800 remaining wild tigers are for the most part spread across Indian sub-continent, Asia & Russia but within a decade based on current rates of decline could be completely extinct. This special journey aims to raise awareness of their plight.

‘A Worthwhile Cause’  

“It is a sad fact that today there are more tigers in captivity than there are in the wild, our train travels through the heart of the historic tiger territories in Malaysia and Thailand and we are proud to lend our support to this worthwhile cause. We find that our guests are increasingly looking to give back to have an impact on the places they are visiting in a bid to travel more consciously. Following the success of the last ‘Tiger Express’ we are very excited to run this journey again to help spread the message worldwide” said Gary Franklin, Vice President, Trains & Cruises, Belmond.

 

Simon Clinton, Founder, Save Wild Tigers comments, “With potentially as few as 10 years left to save this iconic species from extinction, the clock really is ticking. We are really proud & grateful to be working with the Eastern & Oriental Express once again in providing passengers a chance to experience a trip of a lifetime, for what surely must be the cause of a lifetime. Profits from our all of our campaigns go towards creating global awareness campaigns for the cause & funding targeted tiger conservation projects.”

The Background

The ultimate in slow travel, the iconic green and gold carriages of Eastern & Oriental Express transport guests away from the fast pace of everyday life for an adventure on the rails. Journeying through some of the world’s most untouched destinations, guests disembark for daily immersive excursions before sitting back and relaxing in the comfort of their luxury cabin or the open-air observation car as the scenery changes around them.

The Reverie Saigon Takes to the Water with the launch of The Reverie Yacht

The Reverie Saigon, the hotel that has redefined luxury hospitality in Saigon has once again raised the bar with the launch of its very own yacht, The Reverie. With the debut of its latest acquisition, a 60-foot Monte Carlo 6, The Reverie is weighing anchor with a crew of three and a private butler with champagne picnic in tow for bespoke excursions along the storied Saigon River.

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Spacious enough to very comfortably accommodate 10 guests yet suitably petite to navigate tributaries that lead to picturesque mangroves and tucked-away local villages, The Reverie yacht will start off by offering private charters of two-and-a-half, five and eight hours that start at 50 million — Vietnamese dong.

The three voyages chart journeys that take in the wonders of the city’s dynamic thrust for the skies and also reveal the day-to-day living and traditional commerce that still take place along the riverfront. Further from the heart of the burgeoning metropolis, the yacht threads the natural splendour of the tropical country’s verdant delta.

The cruising options begin with Saigon Intermezzo, a non-stop, 2.5-hour sunset cruise that departs in the late afternoon and includes a champagne picnic for two served as dusk settles on the city and the spectacular lights of its landmarks begin to paint the skies.

The champagne picnic includes a bottle of Louis Roederer, five prix-fixe menus to choose from, round-trip transfers in a Mercede-Benz S-Class or a BMW 7 series and service by a Reverie butler. 

The second option, Saigon Avventura, luxuriates over five hours and includes all of the Intermezzo elements – by day – while enjoying an exploration of the Can Gio UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Encompassing approximately 80,000 hectares of the lush river delta, the ‘green lungs of Saigon’ are blanketed with a rich mangrove forest brimming with wildlife as well as flora and fauna.

And to top, Saigon Spettacolare offers a full-day, 8-hour excursion anchored by a stop at Taekwang Jeongsan Country Club for a round of golf. Designed by American golf course architect Ronald Fream, the riverside greens comprise of two 9-hole courses located on the ecological island of Dai Phuoc, an approximate 60-minute ride from central Saigon by boat.  Full lunch and dinner service can also be arranged, depending on the desired schedule.

Just as the vessel’s namesake hotel transcends location to give guests an experience in Italian opulence, The Reverie yacht design also hails from the country renowned for its exceptional taste. Italian yacht designers, Carlo Nuvolari and Dan Lenard, are responsible for the Monte Carlo 6’s overall design while the interiors were fashioned by fellow countryman, Pierangelo Andreani. 

The 32-ton yacht is decked out in teak wood and exquisite leatherwork and comes outfitted with spacious interior living and dining areas as well as additional spaces in which to lounge and dine al fresco out on the main deck and on the Monte Carlo 6’s characteristic flybridge above (complete with a retractable roof). Out on the foredeck are electronically controlled sun loungers complemented by a built-in outdoor sound system with Bluetooth connectivity, while below deck is a spacious master bedroom with ensuite, a fully equipped walk-in kitchen, a separate powder room and a multi-purpose seating area. A built-in outdoor barbeque on the back deck beckons the hire of a private chef.

The pairing of The Reverie yachting experience with the Saigon River as a background sets the stage for any occasion imaginable – whether they be romantic sunset cruises, family outings, bridal showers or corporate executive retreats.

Top Ten Alternative Travel Destinations for 2018

Lightfoot Travel, a leading luxury tour operator specialising in designing holidays for families, honeymoons and corporate travel, introduces its top ten alternative travel destinations to inspire avid travellers in 2018.

Mongolia

There’s no stopping Mongolia in 2017 with the opening of a new state-of-the-art airport, new roads being built across the countryside as well as big hotel groups entering the market. Visit now to experience culture previously untouched by ‘Westernisation’ eg. Eagle Hunters combined with vast landscapes and still in its infant stages of tourism. An Adventure Through Mongolia is a great option for the more off-the-beaten track family holiday.

Iran

Since international sanctions were lifted, it has become one of the hottest travel tickets in town. One of the most culturally rich and colourful countries in the world, Iran is an open-air museum brimming with architectural wonders and bustling bazaars, rural mountain villages and dramatic, unexpected landscapes at every turn. The 9-day Classic Iran itinerary will certainly appeal to those looking for a completely unique destination experience.

Tibet

Tibet is very much a place that should be visited sooner rather than later. It is a staggeringly beautiful region with dramatic landscapes, centuries-old sacred sites and wonderful people. Discover the Lhasa and the surrounding areas with The Highlights of Tibet itinerary to truly immerse in the spectacular scenery, Tibetan culture and history.

Cuba

Whether one’s mind conjures images of powdery Caribbean beaches, cigars or the old-world charm of Havana, there’s no doubt that Cuba is an evocative place. Historically complicated, culturally rich and surprising at every turn, Cuba is a country of an endless interest provided you jump in with both feet. Explore Havana, Trinidad and Vinales Valley with the Classic Cuba.

Fiji

With direct flights now operating from Singapore and Hong Kong via Fiji Airways, this archipelago is the perfect option for a tropical island escape. Combined with the warm hospitality of the Fijians, pure white sand, sparkling clear waters, balmy breezes and bright sun, Fiji satisfies the needs of both families and honeymooners with an abundance of resorts ranging from over water villas, private islands and secret hideaways. Comprised of over 300 islands, Island Hopping in Fiji is perfect for experiencing the country.

Colombia

This South American country shot to fame last year thanks to an addiction to Narcos and Netflix, and is on everyone’s list to visit this year. Blessed with sublime beauty and staggeringly diverse topography, Colombia has emerged from years of civil strife to become one of South America’s ‘must see’ destinations. The Classic Colombia 10-day itinerary takes in the sights, sounds and smells of Colombia’s finest attractions.

Croatia

One of the hottest beach spots in Europe, combining Medieval history with the glorious beaches reminiscent of the Mediterranean. You won’t be short of places to stay as 50 new hotels and resorts will open in 2017. For blissful Mediterranean holiday surrounded by sapphire waters and ancient towns, Highlights of Croatia offers a perfect mix of beach and culture experiences for travellers.

Rwanda

Despite its painful past, Rwanda has come a long way to become one of the most stable and welcoming countries in eastern Africa. There are less than 800 mountain gorillas left in the wild and Rwanda is one of the best places in Africa to see the animals. Join the 4-day Gorilla Tracking Rwanda itinerary to learn about the history of Rwanda and come face to face with some of the endangered Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.

Jordan

As travellers look to discover more during their holidays and see lands far removed from their own, Jordan has quickly risen to the top of people’s travel lists due to its compact nature. From

being transported back in time whilst exploring the lost city of Petra to the white sands of the Red Sea coast, travellers can go from traversing the Wadi Rum by camel to luxuriating in the Dead Sea in a matter of days with the Highlights of Jordan 5-day itinerary.

Ethiopia

With its magnificent architecture, enchanting culture and dramatic scenery, Ethiopia is one of the most rewarding, diverse and unknown travel destinations in Africa. With tourism still being quite a new concept, an adventure in Ethiopia is an opportunity to discover the secrets of a nation less travelled and is far from short of astonishing experiences. For travellers who are keen to visit the ancient city and relive the history, they can choose The Churches of North Ethiopia and for those interested in nature, wildlife and tribes can opt for The Lakes and Forests of Southern Ethiopia.

Local Vendors sell fruit and baked goods on the side of the street in Cartagena Colombia

For more information, please visit www.lightfoottravel.com

AFRICAN WILDERNESS ADVENTURES Inspiring Itineraries for Discerning Travellers

 

Hong Kong based boutique travel agency Charlotte Travel launches three new exclusive Africa itineraries exploring this fascinating continent, offering exciting journeys for travellers to discover the African wildlife, its unique culture and extraordinary scenery. From colonial architecture to safaris, iconic red dunes to national parks, Charlotte Travel creates authentic travel experiences and unforgettable journeys for all its clients.A leading, family-run travel company headed by the mother and daughter team of Jackie and Charlotte Harris, Charlotte Travel prides itself on providing exceptional personal service. With a team of experienced Travel Advisors, Charlotte Travel leverages their solid reputation and close relationships in the global travel industry to craft tailor-made experiences that match the specific needs and desires of each traveller.

Botswana Exploration – Great Wilderness Journey

On this journey, travellers will visit the world-famous Victoria Falls and cruise down the Chobe River in search of elephant herds. Guests will also explore one of the most sought after wilderness destinations in the world, the Okavango Delta, which gives entrance to the spectacle of wild Africa such as the heart-stopping excitement of big game viewing, the peacefulness of an untouched delta, and evocative scenes of natural beauty. Beginning at HKD95,500 per person, the 11-day package is inclusive of all internal road transfers, charter flights, laundry service and alcoholic beverages.

Diverse Namibia

This adventure begins with the magnificent soaring red dunes of Sossusvlei followed by a “Dolphin and Seal” Catamaran Cruise from Walvis Bay to explore the ice-blue Atlantic coast. The journey continues to Damaraland, where guests will encounter the world’s largest concentration of black rhinos before moving onto the Ongava Game Reserve of Etosha – the highest density wildlife area in Namibia, for a guided game drive to see the Big Five and rare species such as the black-faced impala, Hartmann’s mountain zebra or the smallest antelope in the world, the Damara dikdik.

Iconic African Safaris – Kenya, Zambia & Zimbabwe

Charlotte Travel has assembled the best selection of safari experiences in this iconic 9-night itinerary, featuring game drives in the Masai Mara great plains of Kenya, where guests can marvel at the Great Wildebeest Migration. The journey then continues to the Mosi-oa-tunya National Park in Zambia for encounters of impala, giraffe, white rhino and buffalo. Complete the adventure with a visit to Zimbabwe’s iconic Hwange

National Park – a diverse habitat for desert and woodland species as well as first-class predators including lion, cheetah, leopard and spotted hyaena.

Partnering with luxury safari lodges and camps throughout the journey, guests can experience excellent services and hospitality at the Little Governors’ Camp, Hemingways Hotel, Toka Leya and Linkwasha Camp. Charlotte Travel also organises VIP packages, ensuring a spectacular once in a lifetime experience of Africa away from the tourist crowds.

All journeys are inclusive of a professional guide, accommodation, road transportation and National Park fees. For reservations, please email info@charlottetravel.com.hk

See the Glamour of Greece, One Island at a Time

With picture-perfect scenery, its warm welcoming climate and rich cultural traditions, it’s little wonder Greece is a favourite island destination.

The country boasts over 6,000 islands and islets scattered across the Aegean and Ionian Seas, over 220 of which are inhabited, spread across eight groupings.

With so many islands to choose from, tour specialist Europe Holidays (www.europeholidays.com.au)recommends starting with two of the most well-loved and well-known islands – Santorini and Mykonos – as the basis for exploring Greek life. Even amidst the hustle and bustle of these two glamorous islands popular with the jet-setting crowd, there are secluded beaches, quiet towns and architectural gems to discover.

Europe Holiday’s Managing Director, Chip Popescu, says Santorini and Mykonos embody the beauty of the Greek islands.

“Santorini is sometimes called the ‘supermodel’, or most beautiful Greek island, while Mykonos is portrayed as the ‘glamour’ island,” says Popescu.

“Greek islands are more than just playgrounds for the rich and famous. The reality is they are both beautiful and full of beautiful people, but there is so much more to these two jewels in the crown.

“Without much effort, it is possible to get away from the throngs, and see the true local traditions come to life. And what better way to see these islands than by the trademark of Greek summer, via the ferries plying its waterways.”

 

Santorini

Resting in the middle of the beautiful Aegean, Santorini covers the vast crater left by one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in history.

Actually a group of islands, Santorini has an intriguing past with the fascinating Minoan site of Akrotiri and the gorgeous traditional hilltop village of Oia just two of its highlights.

Simply beautiful, Santorini will take your breath away with its multi-coloured cliffs soaring over a sea-drowned caldera, as well as colourful and white Cycladic houses lining the cliff tops.

On the main island of Thira, the main town is ‘Fira’. The cultural and commercial hub, Fira is a highly photogenic town, with cobbled streets and a range of retailers, restaurants, cafes and bars.

Santorini’s beaches are iconic, uniquely influenced by the island’s volcanic past. Some of the best include:

  • Red Beach: 12 kilometres southwest of Fira, Red Beach acquired its name due to its black and red pebbles, and hot water. It’s one of Santorini’s most famous beaches.

Southeast of Fira:

  • Kamari Beach: Nestled at the base of the northern side of the impressive mountain, Mesa Vouno, the cosmopolitan Kamari beach has a popular beach promenade along its black sand, and offers a variety of water sports and diving.
  • Perissa and Perivolos: Located on the southern side of Mesa Vouno, collectively the two beaches are the longest on the island, with Perivolos the more upmarket of the two.

Northeast of Fira

  • Koloumbo Beach: one of the most isolated and unspoilt beaches on Santorini, Koloumbo has fine black pebbles and a striking rock overhang at one end. There are no provisions available at the beach, so visitors need to bring everything they need with them from nearby Oia.

MykonosWith a long and colourful history dating back to 5,000 BC, Mykonos casts a spell on visitors from the moment they arrive, with its beautiful white buildings that glow in the sunlight, narrow marbled streets, hidden churches and windmills watching over the city. It’s also renowned for its extraordinary sandy beaches and buzzing nightlife.

A premier destination in its own right, it also serves as a stepping stone to the ancient site of Delos, famous for its antiquities and history.

Mykonos offers something for every kind of travellers. Its lively waterfront is home to fleets of fishing villages, as well as a wide range of water sports, including diving, sailing and windsurfing. It’s also appreciated for its gastronomical delights, stunning scenery, culture and history and partying.

From the main city of Hora as a base, there are a range of beaches, including the party-styled Paradise Beach, the family-friendly beaches of Ornos and Psarou, and the more secluded and serene northern coast beaches such as Ayia, Anna and others.

Fast facts
Peak time to visit is from April – November.

Europe Holidays Greek Island Hopping tour
Europe Holidays offers a 8 day/7 night Greek Ferry tour from Athens – Santorini – Mykonos back to Athens from $995 per person twin share.

https://www.europeholidays.com.au/index.php/island-hopping-cruises/island-hopping/greece/item/115-athens-santorini-mykonos-athens

The package includes 3 nights’ accommodation in Athens, 2 nights’ accommodation in Santorini and 2 nights’ accommodation in Mykonos, 7 breakfasts, transfers, and ferry tickets from Piraeus – Santorini, Santorini – Mykonos and Mykonos – Piraeus.

Gold Coast Is Meeting Hot Spot

A long lunch at Miami Marketta, drinks at Palazzo Versace and a day out at Polo By the Sea – these are some of the Gold Coast gems that will help entice meeting planners to choose the city for industry get-togethers.

A record-breaking 56 decision makers from fields ranging from childcare and fitness, to medical and construction, have descended for the latest This is Gold Coast Business Exchange to tour the city’s unique venues and meet specialist suppliers.

Each year, conferences, exhibitions and trade shows inject more than $565 million annually into the local economy. As an added boost, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will leave a legacy of prestige sites suitable for hosting thousands of delegates from around the world.

“Every part of This is Gold Coast Business Exchange is designed to deliver the Gold Coast wow factor and leave no doubt that we’re the best choice for business events in Australia,” says Anna Case, director of Gold Coast Business Events.

“Seeing first-hand the venues, sampling our cuisine and seeing our specialist suppliers create world-class events leaves meeting planners with the ideas and connections to create an unforgettable event.”

The 2017 This is Gold Coast Business Exchange is Commonwealth Games themed, and will include a performance and speech by Olympic gymnast Brennon Dowrick at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday.

Delegates will meet with representatives from 50 venues, from the city’s new sporting arenas to its top-end hotels, as well as specialist suppliers at the trade show until Saturday 27 May.

This is Gold Coast Business Exchange is expected to generate more than $18 million in leads for future conferences and meetings in the city.

https://www.destinationgoldcoast.com/

Escape to Tahiti Like a Rock Star

Tahiti Tourisme is offering Australian travellers the chance to relax like a rock star or take time out like a talk show host with a series of star-studded holiday packages now on sale.

Proving it’s the world’s pre-eminent island destination, some of the most famous people on the planet have chosen The Islands of Tahiti as their ultimate getaway in recent weeks.

Once owned by Marlon Brando, The Brando – an exclusive eco-resort on Tetiaroa – has been a playground for celebrities on “spring break”, hosting a former president and talk show host on its idyllic shores.

A rock star and Oscar-winning actor have also taken advantage of the privacy of a luxury yacht to sail around the Society Islands, anchoring in the crystal clear lagoon of island paradise Huahine.

Meanwhile one of the music industry’s most iconic couples took time out from their busy schedules to enjoy a babymoon at a Bora Bora resort.

Tahiti Tourisme Director Australia New Zealand Robert Thompson said the Islands of Tahiti had always been popular with celebrities as it offered the chance to truly get away.

 

“The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for their picture-perfect lagoons and palm-fringed beaches but what some visitors enjoy most is the destination’s exclusivity and privacy,” Mr Thompson said.

“Privacy is the ultimate luxury and it comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti, which offer all visitors the freedom and space to truly relax in their own private haven.”

Tahiti Tourisme is inviting holidaymakers to experience the Islands of Tahiti like a VIP with a range of great packages:

  • Indulge in a babymoon like a pop star with a seven-night package including five nights in an overwater bungalow at the Intercontinental Bora Bora Thalasso Resort, return economy flights with Air Tahiti Nui from Australia and transfers throughout including inter-island flights, from $5799* per person twin share.

 

  • Sail around the Society Islands like a movie star onboard the 24-passenger luxury small ship Island Escape, which offers the ultimate comfort as guests explore coves and islands that are inaccessible to larger ships. Prices start from $7199* per person twin share including the seven-night cruise, two nights at Manava Suite Resort Tahiti, return economy flights with Air Tahiti Nui from Australia, transfers throughout and inter-island flights.

 

  • Escape like some of the most famous couples in the world with a five-night package including three nights in a luxurious private beachfront villa at the Brando on Tetiaroa, two nights at Intercontinental Tahiti Resort, return economy flights with Air Tahiti Nui from Australia and transfers throughout including inter-island flights, from $8799* per person twin share. The all-inclusive resort offers all meals, beverages, excursions and a spa treatment.

For more information or to book visit www.tahititravel.com.au

AVANI Quy Nhon Resort & Spa Paves the Way to Rarely Seen Ancient Champa Kingdom Sites

Peppering the hillsides and valleys around the city of Quy Nhon in central Vietnam are venerable relics of the lost Champa civilisation that dominated the country’s centre and south between the 2nd and 15th centuries. Despite the towers’ status of an architectural marvel, the temples’ remoteness means that travellers venturing further afield to explore them are likely to have the spectacular sites all to themselves.

With AVANI Quy Nhon’s new History Buff offer, guests staying at the beachfront resort can take advantage of a full-day Champa tour conducted by a local travel guide. Either perched on the back of a motorbike in true Vietnamese style or in the comfort of an air-conditioned car, travellers get to visit some of the province’s most striking and well-preserved ancient complexes.

The journey through the quaint villages is as exciting as the destination, with guests whizzing past emerald-green rice fields, grazing water buffalos and centuries-old pagodas. After an early start fuelled by a cup of Vietnamese coffee at a local café, the first stop is at the Banh It Towers. Built in the late 11th – early 12th century on top of a hill at a few dozen meters above sea level, a spectacular panorama of winding rivers, scattered country houses, green farms and villages unfolds in all directions.

After a spectacular ride through the postcard-perfect countryside, the travellers will reach the blissfully tourist-free Duong Long Towers. At 24 meters, the central tower is the tallest of all Champa structures in the area. The complex features some impressive carving details and the grounds are strewn with artefacts that can be explored up-close.

Celebrated for its elegant style and built in the 16th century, the Canh Tien Tower features unique sandstone pilasters and roof edges carved with twisted rope pattern. The corners of each of the tower’s four storeys are decorated with a phoenix tail motif giving it, from a distance, an aspect of having intricately decorated fairy wings.

Back in Quy Nhon, floating above a serene park within the city limits, are the Thap Doi (Twin) Towers.  Steep steps climb to temples topped by curved pyramidal roofs – rather than the Champa temples’ usual terraced turrets – opening up to a dome of blue sky. The perfect finale is a visit to the nearby Binh Dinh Museum with its impressive collection of Cham sculptures.

For further information, guests can contact AVANI Quy Nhon by calling +84 56 384 0132 or by visiting the website.

Explore Croatia’s Coastline on Foot and By Sea

Cultural tour specialist Peter Sommer Travels is offering a very special way to explore the stunning coastline of Croatia, with a new eight-day walking and cruising tour.

A first for the company, the Walking and Cruising Southern Dalmatia Tour offers an enticing combination of a coastal cruise on a wooden gulet and escorted walks exploring ancient forts, beautiful towns and magnificent castles in the company of expert guide, archaeologist Dr Helen Tomas.

Departing from Slano near Dubrovnik, guests will cruise through the Elaphite Isles before spending their first two days exploring one of Europe’s most unusual fortifications, the five kilometre medieval Great Wall of Ston and the picturesque island of Mljet, known for its beautiful lakes and Roman palace.

After cruising through the Korčula channel, the tour takes guests to Croatia’s most unusual UNESCO World Heritage site – the Stari Grad Plain, a field system laid out by the ancient Greek settlers of Pharos 24 centuries ago which is still in use today.

Travellers will also visit the wonderful island of Brač for spectacular views of the Dalmatian coast and to hike through a magnificent gorge to the monastery of Blaca,before exploring Split and the stunning fortress of Klis.

During their eight-day experience, guests will enjoy a delicious selection of local produce including fresh seafood, fine wines and superb meat and cheese dishes, served onboard and ashore.

Catering to a small group, the Walking and Cruising Southern Dalmatia Tour departs on September 30, 2017 and is priced from £3395 (approx A$5800) per person twin share, including most meals, all accommodation, all activities and excursions with expert guides, ground transport and airport transfers. The tour can also be coordinated for private groups at other times.

Specialising in small-group expeditions, Peter Sommer Travels offers more than 20 different expert-led tours and gulet cruises among the ancient sites of Croatia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Turkey and the UK.

For full details and bookings contact Peter Sommer Travels on 0011 44 1600 888 220, email info@petersommer.com or visit www.petersommer.com.