Author Archives: leonieclay

Solo Sister Sought For Mekong Expedition

2013 was when Julie last managed to travel the waters of the Mekong, and in doing so discovered the dichotomy of the lifestyles where Ancient Worlds and Modern Times clash on a daily basis. Spellbound and enchanted Julie has been waiting to get back, and now having chartered a vessel unlike any other, is doing just that in the best way possible, and invited you to join her!

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With just 5 cabins left on the voyage travelling from the ancient stone ruins of Angkor Wat at Siem Reap to the busting modern hub of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon), this is your chance to not only visit some incredible destinations and experience a way of life totally different to that here in Australia, but to journey one of the worlds longest rivers.

$6666 Per Person Share Twin
20th August – 2nd September 2018, Sydney to Sydney

VISITING: Siem Reap, Angkor Wat, Kampong Tralach, Kampong Louang, Phomn Penh, Wat Hanchey, Angkor Ban, Long Khong A, Chau Doc, Cu Lao Gieng, Ben Tre,
and Ho Chi Minh City

Includes: Sightseeing throughout with inside visits as shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable. Airport transfers; private, deluxe, air-conditioned coach while touring; internal flights. 4 star hotels as stated or similar. Fully Guided with Escort  ex-Sydney based on 30 Travellers. International Air with Thai Airways including taxes , surcharges and fees.

EXTEND TO HANOI: Extend your discovery of Vietnam with an extension to the North to take in the beautiful Hanoi and the iconic Halong Bay aboard a traditional Junk Cruise

Not Sure About River Cruising?

If you enjoy ocean cruising or even touring and are wondering how you would find a river cruise this is the perfect opportunity. With free flights, time in Siem Rep and Saigon and a 7 day cruise this is the best way to experience river cruising for the first time.

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Solo Sister Sought: We also have a solo traveller ready to sign aboard if we can find her a “bunkmate” for the voyage. If you are willing to travel please let us know and we can see if you are a match for this voyage!

For More information or to book aboard our Mekong Voyage call us today on (02) 4421 5577 or email us at nowra@mytravelexpert.com.au

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Itinerary:

20th August, Day 1: DEPART AUSTRALIA, ARRIVE SIEM REAP,  CAMBODIA.  We depart Australia this morning aboard Thai Airlines, transiting Bangkok enroute to Siem Reap. Welcome to Siem Reap, your base during your visit to Angkor, considered by many to be the most  spectacular architectural ruins on Earth! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

21st August, Day 2 : SIEM REAP. This morning, start your sightseeing of the TEMPLES OF ANGKOR. Constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries, the temples were built around the Khmer interpretations of Indian religious and political beliefs that ultimately evolved from Hinduism to Buddhism. The complex architectural grandeur of the Angkor temples is arguably unmatched among ancient ruins anywhere in the world. First, visit the best preserved and most famous of all the temples: ANGKOR WAT, honouring the Hindu god Vishnu. Featuring five trademark towers and stunning bas reliefs, it has become a symbol of Cambodia. Then, visit BANTEAY SREI, a unique temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Unlike other temples, it is built on a small scale from red sandstone, which can be carved like wood. This evening, enjoy a PRIVATE APSARA DANCE PERFORMANCE, where the ancient Khmer culture is brought to life by talented dancers, singers, and musicians. (B,L,D

22nd August, Day 3: SIEM REAP. Today, continue your sightseeing of the Angkor temples by tuk-tuk. Start at ANGKOR THOM where you will explore BAYON TEMPLE. One of the few Buddhist temples in Angkor, it features some 200 striking faces carved in 54 towers and impressive bas reliefs. Next stop is TA PROHM, which, unlike the other temples, has been left relatively untouched. Tree roots grow over and through the ruin walls, allowing you to experience the temple with the same wonder as the early explorers who discovered it. Lastly, stop at LES ARTISANS D’ANGKOR, a development project teaching young adults traditional handicraft techniques. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore this charming town. (B)

23rd August, Day 4: SIEM REAP (EMBARKATION). This morning, transfer to the port and board your river cruise vessel for your CRUISE down the Mekong through Cambodia and Vietnam. This afternoon, enjoy time on board the ship as you cruise through Tonle Sap (Great Lake). After the rainy season, this massive body of water can cover around 26,000 square kilometres (10,000 square miles) and provides the perfect breeding ground for fish, which provide food for people living on the lake. This evening, enjoy a welcome reception. (B,L,D) NOTE: During low water conditions, generally mid-December to August, we will not be able to cruise on Tonle Sap. In these cases, we will fly from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh for embarkation. No included sightseeing will be missed. Low water conditions vary from year to year, so this will be evaluated on a cruise-by-cruise basis.

24th August, Day 5 : CRUISING: KAMPONG TRALACH-KONPONG LOUANG-PHNOM PENH. Today, visit Kampong Tralach for an OX CART RIDE past rice paddy fields and the beautiful Cambodian countryside. Along the way, stop to MEET WITH A LOCAL FARMER and learn more about his daily life. Lastly, visit the SILVERSMITH VILLAGE of Konpong Louang. Here you will see talented craftsmen use age-old techniques to turn pure silver into works of art. Then sail to the capital city of Phnom Penh. After lunch, your sightseeing tour by private cyclo includes visits to the ROYAL PALACE with the spectacular SILVER PAGODA and the NATIONAL MUSEUM, featuring an outstanding display of Khmer artifacts. (B,L,D)

25th August, Day 6: CRUISING: PHNOM PENH. Sightseeing this morning provides a glimpse of the atrocities inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge regime. Visit the TUOL SLENG GENOCIDE MUSEUM, a former high school that housed over 17,000 prisoners. Of this number, it is believed that less than 15 survived the torture and avoided being sent to the Killing Fields. You will also visit one of the KILLING FIELDS, where over 200,000 people were killed by the Khmer Rouge. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore the city. Just before dinner, children from a local orphanage will put on a SHOW featuring local song and dance. (B,L,D)

26th August, Day 7: CRUISING: WAT HANCHEY-ANGKOR BAN. This morning, visit WAT HANCHEY, a temple dating back to the 8th century and the Chenla Empire. Located on a hilltop, enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area and partake in a TRADITIONAL WATER BLESSING given by local monks. After lunch, enjoy a WALKING TOUR through the rural village of Angkor Ban. Here you will see traditional Khmer houses and visit a LOCAL SCHOOL. (B,L,D)

27th August, Day 8: CRUISING: BORDER CROSSING-LONG KHONG A, VIETNAM-CHAU DOC. Cross the border this morning into Vietnam. A sampan brings you to the village of LONG KHONG A, where cotton weaving is a well-preserved tradition. Spend time at one house for a COTTON-WEAVING DEMONSTRATION and a chance to talk with the family. After lunch, join a sampan excursion down the backwaters of the river to the religious sites at the base of SAM MOUNTAIN. Along the way, see traditional floating homes, speedboat merchants, a market selling dried goods, and more. Before returning to the ship, walk through the LOCAL MARKET and absorb the atmosphere as locals are busy buying and selling fish, meat, and produce. (B,L,D)

28th August, Day 9: CRUISING: CU LAO GIENG. This morning, enjoy time at leisure on board the ship as we sail to Cu Lao Gieng. In the afternoon, board a sampan and enjoy scenes of daily life along the river. Stop at a LOCAL HOME, where a skilled family works together to hand-craft sampans for a living. Then, ride a specially designed MOTOR CART to one of Vietnam’s oldest churches for a special INTERACTION WITH A CATHOLIC PRIEST. (B,L,D)

29th August, Day 10: CRUISING: BEN TRE. This morning, board a sampan for a scenic cruise to Ben Tre. Visit a LOCAL WORKSHOP to see how rice wine and traditional coconut candy is made. Then, continue on to a LOCAL GARDEN where several types of fruit indigenous to the area are grown. This afternoon, enjoy time on board the ship as we sail to exciting Ho Chi Minh City. (B,L,D)

30th August, Day 11: HO CHI MINH CITY (DISEMBARKATION). Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon to many. This morning, enjoy a WALKING TOUR of the city’s famous and historic landmarks as you stroll through the heart of the city along Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat) past Ho Chi Minh Square, the Municipal Theatre, the Central Post Office, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Stop at the Rex Hotel for a refreshing DRINK at the popular ROOFTOP BAR where the U.S. Military held the infamous “Five O’Clock Follies” during the war. Next, visit the WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM followed by BEN THANH MARKET, the largest and oldest in the city. For lunch, participate in a hands-on VIETNAMESE COOKING CLASS. Head into the classroom and learn how to prepare different local dishes and the techniques necessary to recreate them once you return home. Last but not least, sample your delicious creations! The afternoon is at your leisure to explore this lively city. (B,L)

31st August, Day 12: HO CHI MINH CITY. EXCURSION TO CU CHI TUNNELS. This morning, leave the city and drive through vast expanses of rice paddies to visit the CU CHI TUNNELS, an extraordinary network of tunnels more than 193 kilometres (120 miles) in length that was used by the Viet Cong as a hideout and secret village during the war. Here you will learn about how the tunnels were constructed and have a chance to walk through a section to experience what life would have been like underground. Return to Ho Chi Minh City and enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at your leisure. This evening, join your travelling companions for a special farewell dinner hosted by your Cruise Director. (B,D)

1st September, Day 13: HO CHI MINH CITY Departure. This morning, transfer to the airport for your homeward bound or extension Flight.

2nd September, Day 14: ARRIVE SYDNEY: Transferring via Bangkok we arrive in Sydney late this evening where our tour programme ends.

Time Is Running Out!

Want to show us your support? Then help us out and give us a vote in the Peoples Choice Awards for Retail Travel Agency of the Year! All you need to do is CLICK HERE and follow the prompts!

Don’t forget that by adding your vote you also go in the chance to win a Mekong Cruise for 2 with APT! So don’t delay, vote today!

 

As always our thanks for your support!

My Travel Expert & The Shoalhaven Solo Sisters
(02) 4421 5577 or nowra@mytravelexpert.com.au

My Mekong Morning Tea

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What:  Single Ladies (& Gents) Morning Tea
Where:  My Travel Expert (Nowra)
When: Friday 16th March at 10am
RSVP: Thursday 15th March by 3pm
With only a few cabins left on our Mekong Charter, and several single ladies looking to join and find a suitable travel companion, we are hosting a small morning tea for anyone that is considering travel in 2018, and more importantly willing to consider travelling to and sharing along the Mekong.   The Mekong Charter will run in a uniquely built ship that allows us to get in closer to ports than most and whose shallow draught and minimal height means we can p[ass under more bridges and discover more. Plus by charter the vessel we have managed to put together some fantastic prices which means you are basically getting flights for free!
If you are unable to join us for the Morning Tea and are still interested in being matched up for this journey please let us know and we will see what we can do to find you a suitable travelling companion!

My Travel Expert & The Shoalhaven Solo Sisters

(02) 4421 5577 or nowra@mytravelexpert.coma.au

 

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No Single Supplement With Cunard

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TRAVELLING SOLO HAS NEVER BEEN SO GLAMOROUS

With stylish and comfortable staterooms and so many activities on offer with opportunities to meet their fellow shipmates, your clients are sure to settle right in. Travelling solo doesn’t mean they have to be alone — unless of course that’s what they’re looking for, in which case they’ll find plenty of space to enjoy their holiday exactly as they wish.

For a strictly limited time, you can enjoy no single supplements on selected voyages onboard the  Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria! For more details call us now to discuss voyages and options!

My Travel Expert & The Shoalhaven Solo Sisters
(02) 4421 5577 (Nowra) (02) 4442 9077 (St Georges Basin)

Looking For Share

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Just a quick update on Solo Travellers seeking travelling companions for upcoming voyages!

  • Trans-Siberian Railway: Single Lady seeking suitable companion to join her in a Trip on the Trans-Siberian in 2018
  • Murray River: Single lady seeking a travel companion to join her on our 2018 Murray River & Kangaroo Island Programme
  • Italian Experience: Single Lady seeking possible travel companion to join her on our 2018 Italian Experience Programme
  • Canada Journey: We have a single lady still looking for a companion on our 2018 Canada Journey – if interested please let us know ASAP!

If you are interested in getting away in 2018 we still have availability on the Murray, Japan, Italy and Mekong Journeys. Some have limited space so if you are interested please let us know asap!

For More Information Contact
My Travel Expert on (02) 4421 5577 or nowra@mytravelexpert.com.au

 

 

Update Session @ St Georges Basin

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As some of you may be aware, we have opened a satellite office at the St Georges Basin Country Club, which means that any of you living in the area out there, you can now drop in at the satellite office to make payments and deposits rather than needing to come into the office in Nowra each time.

As a bit of a welcome, for everyone to meet the expanded team, including Maree who is returning to us after a 4 year hiatus, we are holding an information session on the 6th September at 10:15am at the Function Room at the St Georges Basin Country Club.

Where we will be talking briefly about what we are doing in 2018 for Group Tours, explaining about the Shoalhaven Solo Sisters Initiative for Solo Travellers, and the benefits our satellite office has to offer club members and locals in the St Georges Basin area. If you would like to attend please RSVP to our St Georges Basin Office on (02) 4442 9077 or by email to sgbcc@mytravelexpert.com.au

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Cherry Blossom Special

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Sakura, that is Cherry Blossom Season, see’s Japan bathed in tones on light pink, with flowers blossoming from Tokyo to Kyoto, from Hikone to Hiroshima, and it is a vision that enthralls locals and foreigners alike. Which is why in April 2018, we have put together a departure to Japan that will highlight this incredible seasonal event!

For those that want to experience Sakura this is the perfect time to head over to Japan but we do realise that this might not be a draw card for everybody which is what the tour we are operating takes in a steady balanced mix of modern and ancient Japan, with a few twists of our own thrown in.

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We are going to start the tour for example with an exclusive day out for our guests, beginning with a trip to Tsukiji Fish Markets – the largest market of it’s kind in Asia, where we will learn of the importance of  fishing and seafood to the Japanese people before we head off to learn how to make one of Japans most iconic meals in a Sushi Preparation Workshop. The days even’ts don’t end there however as we head out in the evening to get a glimpse of the Japanese love of Robots, Animatronics and Anime as we visit the almost infamous “Robot Cabaret Show”, followed by a dinner at a rather unusual restaurant.

This though is just the start of getting a true taste of Japan, from here our trip unfolds and covers all sorts of evens and sights that people love about the Land of the Rising Sun. We will take a trip on the Bullet Train, which is one of the highlights for many people, we will visit the floating Shrine of Hiroshima, experience the extraordinary view of Mount Fuji, partake in a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, take a look at the famous Bamboo Forests at Kyoto, visit the iconic Castles of Matsumto and Ninja, and much more.

This is a truly incredible trip, visiting Japan at a time of the year like no other!  With visits and sightseeing in Tokyo, Nikko, Matsumoto, Nagano, Toyama, Shirakawam Takayama, Nagoya, Toba, Osaka, Matsuem, Hiroshima, Kyoto and Hakkone National Park.

The package includes return airfares from Sydney, 4 star accommodation throughout, sightseeing daily, entry to a number of sights and locations, transport by air-conditioned coach and more! Full details can be reviewed here (please click to read.)

Running from the 8th to the 23rd of April this is slated to be an incredible touring experience and with a limited number of spaces available at AU$7994 per person in share twin if you want to join then to book, or enquire about more details,  please contact us on (02) 4421 5577 or by email on nowra@mytravelexpert.com.au

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Seeking Canada & Solo Specials

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Seeking Canada Solo

First off I would like to let everyone know that we have a single lady seeking a travelling companion for My Canadian Experience in May 2018, this is a fantastic voyage travelling with Scenic on Holland America, the Rocky Mountaineer and Brewsters around Western Canada, staying at the incredible Fairmont Properties and taking in some of the world most breathtaking vistas from Banff & Lake Louise to Juneo, Skagway and Victoria.

IF you are a single lady and would like to join this departure, and would be interested in possibly matching up with our other single traveller, please let us know and we can put you in touch with each other to test the waters for compatibility!

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Russian Cruise Solo Special – 2018

We have a fantastic Solo Offer for an 11 August 2018 Solo Cruise from Saint Petersburg to Moscow, thanks to our friends at the Russian Travel Centre. Save from AU$1480 on the single cost and get away from AU$2692 on a Main Deck Outside Cabin for sole use.

Visits: St Petersburg * Mandrogi * Kizhi * Yaroslavl * Uglich * Moscow Includes: * Cruise on a popular 3-star river cruise vessel – MS Shashkov  * Accommodation in outside cabin with private facilities and large picture window * Sole Use of twin cabin  * All meals – buffet breakfast, full service lunch and dinner * Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Reception and Gala Farewell Dinner * Full sightseeing program in each port of call and onboard entertainment * Port taxes

For more details please give us a call on (02) 4421 5577

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Scenic River Cruise Discounts

Our friends at Scenic currently have a 50% off special for limited River Cruises across Europe in 2018 – both down the Danube as well as the French Rivers. Whether you want to take in Bordeaux, the Christmas Markets or the highlights of places like Bamburg, Vienna, Budapest and Prague there may be an opportunity for you. If you are interested in doing a cruise, and looking to travel solo, then give us a call to discuss what options may be open for you on this limited special.

My Travel Expert & The Shoalhaven Solo Sisters
(02) 4421 5577 or nowra@mytravelexperts.com.au

Mekong Charter – Singles Match Up’s

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As many of you have no doubt heard, in August 2018 we are chartering the Avalon Siem Reap from Avalon Waterways for a private cruise from Siem Reap to Saigon. This has allowed us to package together a Mekong River Cruise with all its highlights with airfare and time and touring in both Siem Reap and Saigon for over a thousand dollars less per person in share twin, then what the programme usually operates for with all those inclusions.

While this is fantastic news for those couples signing aboard, those single travellers though are still left with a huge single supplement – nearly double in cost from the base fare! Having said that, thanks to the Shoalhaven Solo Sisters we can look at doing a “singles match up”, where by pairing you with other single travellers you can the share a cabin and save having to pay any single supplement.

This is the perfect style of trip for such a Match Up. As a chartered vessel all travellers will be from the local region (Shoalhaven) or nearby and as a single group you won’t find yourself feeling the need to spend all of your time with your Cabin-mate, in fact between dining, touring and enjoying watching the world float by from the bar, lounge or Topdeck there is very little cabin time involved for many doing river cruising – so the amount of time you spend with your cabin-mate would be entirely your call on such a voyage!

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So if you want to join our Mekong Departure and would like to look at a Singles Match Up, what do you do to get the ball rolling?

Step 1: Call My Travel Expert and the Shoalhaven Solo Sisters on (02) 4421 5577, and let us know that you want to join our Mekong Charter and that you are looking for a singles match up.

My Travel Expert and the Shoalhaven Solo Sisters will then attempt to find another single traveller for you to share with on this cruise departure. If we find someone we move onto step 2 …

Step 2: Catch up with the possible Cabin-Mate, then let My Travel Expert & The Shoalhaven Solo Sisters know whether the match up is acceptable.

Step 3: Pay cruise deposit and proceed down the standard booking path.

What prices would you be looking at to join this Voyage?

Should we be able to match you up with another traveller you would be looking at the standard share twin costing, which is AU$6666.00 per person.

If you decide that despite everything you want a cabin/room all to yourself the single supplement payable in addition to the standard share twin costing is AU$4346.00

This covers your airfare to Siem Reap from Sydney and back from Saigon/Hanoi with all pre-payable taxes, the nights accommodation and touring in Siem Reap, the Cruise from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City (inclusive of all meals and activities) and then the accommodation and touring in Ho Chi Minh City.

If you want to join the Extension to Hanoi and Halong Bay you are looking at a cost of AU$1500.00 per person in share twin if you are matched with another traveller. Should you desire a room/cabin on your own the single supplement cost payable in additional to the share twin rate is AU$571.00

The Extension Cost covers the flight from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to Hanoi, the accommodation in Hanoi, the Cruise on Halong and all the touring in both Locations.

When is this Charter Programme Running?

This is a one off Cruise Charter, for those that do the standard package the Trip will depart Sydney on the 19th August 2018 and arrive back into Sydney on the 2nd September 2018. For those taking the Extension to Hanoi & Halong Bay you will arrive back into Sydney on the 6th September 2018.

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If you want to look into a “Singles Match Up”
then call us on (02) 4421 5577 as soon as possible,
as finding a travelling companion may take some time!

You can review the entire voyage here, to see what will be seen, covered and experienced during the entire period of travel including the Extension! Just Click on “read more”!

Read the rest of this entry

No Single Supplement with Avalon

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If you are interested in cruising the waterways of Europe and you are a single traveller then now is  the time to go!

Avalon is offering a waiver of the single supplement on 2017 European River Cruises (subject to availability, cruise and T&C’s), which in some cases – such as the Danube Delta to Prague Cruise, could see you saving as much as AU$7301

With a range of Cruise duration’s from 7 nights to 14 nights, and covering sailings on the Maine, the Upper & Lower Danube, the Moselle, the Rhine, the Rhone, the Saone and the Seine there are plenty of options to choose from.

This offer ends on the 4th August 2018, so if a river cruise in 2017 sounds like something you would like do not hesitate to call us today at My Travel Expert & Shoalhaven Solo Sisters on (02) 4421 5577 to discuss options!