To Asia Transpacific Journeys, Luxury Means Providing Experiences Beyond What the Guidebooks Say

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In-depth cultural explorations equate to highest end value to some travelers.

BOULDER, CO May 17, 2006 -– Individuals have different expectations of luxury when it comes to vacation travel. For some it’s highest possible thread counts and staff waiting to be in service outside a guest room door. For others luxury means leaving no stone unturned regarding the possibilities of learning about a new culture, about experiences that go far beyond the expectations of guidebooks to delve into the heart and soul of a country.

That’s when a company such as Asia Transpacific Journeys (ATJ) comes into play. After 18 years of exploring Asia from the perspective of how to awe and amaze its travelers, ATJ’s Fall 2006 departures to China, Burma, India, Bhutan, Indochina and Thailand include elements such as festivals, visiting locals in their own homes, detailed studies of flora and fauna, and much more.

“Exploration and in-depth interpretation are what set us apart. However, our sophisticated travelers also enjoy the crème de la crème of meals and lodgings,” says Marilyn Staff, CEO, who notes that ATJ can also arrange Custom Journeys to these and other Asian destinations.

ATJ’s Fall 2006 Small Group Trip departures of up to 16 passengers include:

Oct. 4, 20 days CHINA BEYOND THE WALL

Explore the great metropolises of Beijing and Shanghai, trek on a section of the Great Wall with no one else in site, see the Terracotta Warriors in Xian, visit a research center near Chengdu where giant pandas are studied, and take a Yangtze River cruise. This pioneering mix of cultural, historical and natural sites most fully captures China in all its amazing complexity. Land cost per person of $6,995 includes expert tour leadership, insurance, and superb accommodations.

Oct. 7 and Nov. 25, 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.

Oct. 15 and Nov. 5, 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.

Oct. 22, 17 days TREASURIES OF INDIA, FESTIVALS, TEMPLES & TIGERS

Experience the fabled Pushkar Camel Fair (October) or the untouristed Jaisalmer Desert Fair (January) then delve deep into a culture that invented algebra and created massive fortresses of red sandstone—where women in saris of butterfly colors draw water from the village well. Explore a national park for a glimpse of the Bengal tiger, wild boar, jackal, Indian bison and more. This itinerary focuses on the treasures of Rajasthan then gets its finger on India’s spiritual pulse at Varanasi, and culminates in a visit to the wondrous Taj Mahal. Land cost per person starts at $6,795 and includes expert tour leadership, insurance, and overnights in restored maharaja’s palaces.

Oct. 26, 14 days BHUTAN INSIDE THE DRAGON KINGDOM

Nestled deep in the Himalayas, Bhutan is the last intact Buddhist Himalayan kingdom and one of the few populated places on the earth to enjoy a pristinely healthy environment—perhaps because it was isolated from the world until 30 years ago. This journey visits monasteries, farms and cultural centers, and culminates in the spectacular Jakar Tscechu festival in remote central Bhutan, the destination for only 20% of Bhutan’s 8,000 annual visitors. Land cost per person of $5,595 includes expert tour leadership, insurance, and beautiful accommodations in traditional style.

Oct. 27, 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 customized private 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 http://www.asiatranspacific.com or call toll free 800-642-2742.

Press contact: Sara Widness

802 234 6704

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