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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.

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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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

2018 Tour Launch, Spaces Still Available

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Good Morning Ladies and Gents,

Just a quick reminder that we still have a few spaces available on our 2018 Tour Launch evening on the 29th March 2018. This is being held at the Ex-Servicemans Club in Nowra and we would love to have you there as we unveil the fantastic destinations we will have on offer for 2018, as well as a very very brief look at what is planned beyond.

If you would like to join us for what promises to be a great evening please give us a call on (02) 4421 5577 or register your place directly here

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While we are on the subject of reminders, there are still spaces available for our Vivid Departures (on the 31st May or 7th June – $139 per person), Joadja Ghost Town Tour (2nd  September for AU$110 per person) and our Floriade Getaway (30th September – 1st October AU$390 per person share twin).

If you would like to register a place on any of these quick trips please give us a call on (02) 4421 5577

Exhibitor Intro: Wendy Wu & Carnival Cruises

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So today we have a couple of exhibitors to introduce to you! With just three days to go before our Expo we have plenty to still tempt you into coming down! Today I want to let you know about one of our fantastic River Cruise operators and one of our more popular Ocean Cruise Providers.

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Here in Australia one of the more popular tour operators headed into Asia is Wendy Wu Tours, and people love their journeys through China and India and beyond. What many do not realise is that Wendy Wu Tours also offer a fantastic range of Cruise and Tour Combinations that will allow you to explore the waterways of Asia.

Along the Mekong you can cruise the lower Mekong between Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City  – possibly the most popular area of the river for tourists. You can also take cruising options along the upper mekong starting at Kampong Cham in Thailand and cruising varying sections up until the island and waterfalls that will eventually flow down to tonle Sap! If we stay within the Indo-China region you can also explore the Red River in northern Vietnam

In China you can have the options of the standard 4 day short cruise along the Yangtze or a longer 8 day sailing. either are combinable with tours that can take in the waterways of the South around Guilin and beyond. In Myanmar you can journey the Irrawaddy (or Ayeryaddy as some call it) between Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake visiting some of the highlights of the country .. or you can take an off the beaten path trip and cruise the Chinidwan or Saleen Rivers.

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If that isn’t enough then Wendy Wu can also take you on some of the most relaxing boat trips in India either on a group tour or a solo adventure as you discover the backwaters of Kerala, the peaceful lake life in Srinigar or maybe even a cruise along the Ganges or Brahmaputra.  As you can see if Cruising the waterways of Europe is dominated by a small number of Cruise lines, Wendy Wu Tours has access to the best range of cruising options throught the Asian Region.

If river cruising though does not sound like the right choice at the moment, or you have a family with you that doesn’t necessarily enjoy sightseeing then the option remains to check-aboard with todays other Exhibitor – Carnival Cruises!

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While the name is now becoming familiar to Australian travellers with the new Carnival Legend arriving in 2015 and the Carnival Spirit a few years earlier, the Carnival Cruise Line has been around for some time and firmly established their place within the worlds cruise industry.

From Austrlian waters you will find cruises on Carnival that will take you out to discover Tasmania, New Caledonia, Fiji, Vanuatu, Singapore, Hawaii, the Great Barrier Reef and New Zealand. Internationally they have cruises that cover the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Mexico, Bermuda, Panama, Alaska, Canada and New England, Hawaii and Europe. A list of fantastic destinations though is not the only draw card that Carnival have up their sleeve.

Carnival Ships are often referred to as “Funships”and for good reason. Built as the ultimate floating resort they have giant slides, rock climbing, golfing, swimming and more to keep the kids and healthier adults active. There are kid clubs with special themes and shows, regular trivia and other events daily for the adults, and the nights are filled with dances, parties and shows. You can catch a movie at their in-house theatre, or for the adults you can retreat to an adults only R&R area to avoid the swarms of kids and families. With a range of dining options from burger joints to fine dining, from seafood to a kids breakfast with Dr Seuss there  is something for everyone to enjoy whilst aboard one of Carnivals Funships.

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So If exploring Asia on a river Cruise or taking the family out of a floating resort sounds like the way to spend your next Vacation then why not come down and speak with the experts from Wendy Wu Tours and Carnival Cruises at My Cruise Expo on the 17th March at Worrigee Ex-Servicemans Club from 5pm!

Register Your Attendance Today!

 

Red, Green and Black!

 

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We have still had a few people having difficulty locating us, having gone to the old office, or other nearby stores. We are on Kinghorne Street on the outside of the Nowra Mall. So, to clarify, we are perhaps 200 meters down the road from our old location .. simply continue on past best and less to the traffic lights, look across the road where Telstra Business Centre stands on  the corner and there we are right next Door in our flashy new Black and Green Colours! Just remember if you have pass HCF you have gone too far!

We are still contactable on (02) 4421 5577, though since the move our phones have been having issues – for which we are sorry! or by email on nowra@mytravelexpert.com.au . As usual you should be able to find someone here from 9 am to 5 pm Mondays through to Fridays, and from 9 am to Midday on Saturdays. So if you need to see us, or just want to place our location in mind, please feel free to stop by.

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For those that visit our website to get updates rather than just reading their subscribed e-mails or RSS feeds it will come as no surprise that we have had a bit of a facelift, with the website now more reflective of the My Travel Expert and Shoalhaven Solo Sisters branding – in otherwords, its very black and green. Based on feedback for the tours we have been planning and upcoming events we have seriously culled  our group departures and will be running no more than 4 departures per year. These will run with a minimum of 2 passengers and will be fully escorted by one of our staff with 16 travellers. For now our 2016 and 2017 tour schedule is as follows ..

  • May 2016:  My Mississippi (see below notice)
  • June 2016: My African Experience. A fantastic journey to take in the highlights of Kenya and Tanzania, run in concert with the African Safari Co.
  • August 2016: My Canada & Alaska Encounter. An incredible journey through the Rocky Mountains and Inside passage  run in concert with Travelmarvel
  • August – September 2016: My Rhine and Rhone Encounter. Two back to back river cruises taking in the best of the Western European River Highlights, run in concert with Travelmarvel
  • February 2017: My Mekong Encounter. A delightful Tour through Vietnam ending in Ho Chi Minh City over Vietnamese New Year where you then Cruise to Siem Reap along the Mekong, run in concert with Evergreen Tours.
  • 2017, My South American Expedition. is coming, for a first look at this we recommend you contact us and reserve your spot at our 9 September film night, but be quick spaces are limited!

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If you receive our regular updates and follow our blog, facebook, twitter or websites you will know that we have been organising a Mississippi Tour with Evergreen to cover the Sounds of the South, a cultural tour taking in the American Music Capitals from Nashville to Memphis to New Orleans, with some time spent aboard a traditional paddlesteamer. It is to our regret that the company owning the cruise boats – the American Queen Steamboat Company – has reallocated their ships in 2016 for a number of private charters, which means we are forced to cancel this programme!

Having said that, there is a similar programme being run with Scenic called the “Southern Belles & Mississippi Cruise”and if anyone would still like to do a voyage that mirrors our original programme then please feel free to contact us and we can give you details on the Scenic programmes.

Once again, My Travel Expert and the Shoalhaven Solo Sisters thank you all for your continued support!

My Film Night – 9th September 2015

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Travel in Luxury, it is not out of your reach! If you want an all inclusive trip, with secure departures, filled with friendly and like minded travellers out to see unique and exotic destinations, they we have the perfect options for you with a pair of companies who have a broad range of touring options and usually have a great selection of exclusive inclusions and fantastic booking discounts for those ready to plan ahead …

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My Travel Expert will be hosting an informational evening at our offices on the 9th September with a guest speaker down to talk with us about the amazing product range of Scenic and Evergreen Tours. From the majestic Rocky Mountaineer in Canada to the Incan Ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, from Crusing the Danube in Europe to Crusing the Chobe in Africa, these companies cover the globe and have a fantastic array of unique product, exclusive inclusions on their well paced and suitably priced tours.

We believe in their product so much that we are running our Mississippi, Mekong and South American Group departures with them, so that we know, that no matter our number, our travellers will be getting the best service, the destinations that will leave them in awe, and the product that will leave them not just satisfied with their trip buy looking for more!

So why not join us and discover the world with Scenic and Evergreen Tours, 9th September 2015 at 28a Kinghorne Street, from 5:30 for a 6pm start! Just click on the green button link below!

Attend