Southeast Asia with Luxury & Style (12 Days): A Sample Itinerary
ID #: DT-SMTM-12-11-4-10-RAIJ
DavidTravel Itinerary Highlights include:
Travel in style through the
heartland of Southeast Asia. Hop aboard the opulent Eastern and
Oriental Express in elegant Singapore and make your way north to
vibrant Bangkok. Explore the temples, markets and palaces of
Thailand’s pulsating capital—and take a scenic cruise on the
Chao Phraya River. Then it’s off to Myanmar, a little-visited
land of golden temples and splendid natural beauty. Visit the
gilded Shwedagon Pagoda and explore lively Scott market. In
Mandalay—the cultural capital of the country—board your
luxurious ship, The Road to Mandalay. Spend the next three
nights on board, cruising the Ayerwaddy River on the way to the
plains of Bagan, home to hundreds of sacred temples.
Special Note: in order to accommodate the schedules of both the
Eastern & Oriental Express as well as the ms Road to Mandalay,
this Independent Journey is only available select dates in 2010
Experience a fascinating two-night train journey between
Singapore and Bangkok on the luxurious
Eastern & Oriental
Express, including stops at Penang and River Kwai
Discover the charming English colonial streets of Yangon
(Rangoon) and the city’s legendary, gilded
Enjoy three nights aboard the luxury river cruiser, ms Road to
Mandalay and Bagan with extraordinary service,
gourmet dining and onboard historians
Explore the astonishing concentration of temples and shrines in
Cultural melting pot and dazzling example of the region's
economic successes, wealthy Singapore assails the senses of the
first time visitor.
The former British trading post and colony has carved a unique
niche for itself in its two short centuries of existence,
nowadays offering a vivid combination of ultra-modern
skyscrapers, remnants of tropical rainforest and colorful
ethnic urban areas, each with a character very much of their
One of the most noticeable features of this tiny but bustling
city-state is its cleanliness - indeed, it is sometimes
criticized for its many seemingly petty regulations, such as the
banning of chewing gum - but crime is virtually unknown, and it
is one of the world's safest places to visit.
Despite its rather sanitized reputation, though, Singapore is
anything but dull. The visitor is spoilt for choice, for things
to see and do, and in terms of vibrant nightlife, its rich
cultural mix, and a whole planet's worth of culinary
Singapore is a veritable feast for the senses, a heady mixture
of the familiar and the exotic. It suits all budgets, too,
presenting a happy collision of opposites - grand and expensive
at the famed Raffles Hotel, but low-key and cheap (but good) in
the food markets of Bugis Junction and Clarke Quay.
Malaysia, which celebrated 50 years of independence in 2007, is
one of the rising stars of South-East Asian tourism, a nation
looking to the future while cherishing the ways of the past.
Centuries of trade combined with a vibrant mix of Malay,
Chinese, Indian and tribal influence have created a mix of
peoples and culture that make it a colorful and intriguing
place to visit.
Tropical island resorts and endless white, sandy beaches offer a
taste of paradise, while beneath warm coral seas, world-class
dive sites await exploration. Orangutans, the oldest rainforest
in the world, city skyscrapers and majestic mosques and temples,
plus a gorgeous coastline, are enough to tempt even the most
jaded visitor. And if that were not enough, Malaysia's culinary
credentials are among Asia's finest.
The British were relatively late arrivals to the region in the
late 18th century, following Portuguese and later Dutch
settlement, but they played a key role following the European
wars of the 1790s and, in particular, the defeat of the
Netherlands by France in 1795. The Federated Malay States were
created in 1895, and remained under British colonial control
until the Japanese invasion of 1942.
After Japanese defeat in 1945, the 11 states were once again
incorporated as British Protectorates and, in 1948, became the
Federation of Malaya. In 1963, the Federation of Malaya merged
with Singapore and the former British colonies of Sarawak and
Sabah, on north Borneo, to form modern Malaysia. Singapore
seceded to become an independent state in its own right in 1965,
leaving Malaysia in its present form.
Its convoluted history highlights why Malaysia is so ethnically
and culturally diverse. Even better, the magnificent landscape
is no less fascinating - dense jungles, soaring peaks and lush
tropical rainforests harbour abundant and exotic flora and
Each year Thailand is discovered by millions of visitors, drawn
to its pristine beaches and aquamarine seas, as well as its rich
culture, glitzy shopping malls, chic boutiques and colorful
markets crammed with bargains.
With its enticing mixture of established destinations such as
Phuket and Hua Hin, and out-of-the-way palm-fringed islands,
Thailand appeals to the most varied of travelers, whether they
are craving barefoot luxury or hippy chic. From staying on a
converted rice barge, clambering into a jungle tree house or
bedding down in a hill tribe village, Thailand offers a wealth
of choice for every taste and budget.
Pampering is an art form in Thailand, and throughout the country
spas offer authentic treatments whether it's in a 5-star luxury
resort or a beach-side hut. If it's pulse-raising excitement you
are after, head to the hectic sprawl of Bangkok's futuristic
Early morning is when the saffron-robed monks leave the
sanctuary of their wats (temples) to receive alms from the
people, be it in a dusty village or on crowded city streets.
Buddhism is a way of life here and the Thai's are also strong
supporters of their monarchy. In fact, His Majesty King Bhumibol
is the longest reigning monarch in the world, since coming to
power in 1946. Following the end of absolute monarchy, Thailand
moved towards democracy, but this was thwarted by the military,
which has often staged coups in protest at government policies.
With dense forests, abundant wildlife, friendly people, rich
culture and underdeveloped coastal resorts, Myanmar (previously
known as Burma) is certainly a beautiful corner of Asia. Sadly,
however, an unstable political situation substantially detracts
from Myanmar's credentials as an alluring tourist destination.
Would-be tourists face a difficult choice in whether to come. On
the one hand, Myanmar has many attractions: thousands of
pagodas, fascinating culture and ancient towns among them. Also,
tourists are welcomed with open arms by locals hungry for news
of the outside world, and for their economic contribution.