Remote Lands again wins Condé Nast Top Travel Specialist Award

23 December 2016
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Catherine HealdWith the festive season fast approaching, December is often a time for important news and pronouncements and so, in keeping with the spirit of tradition, we are delighted to announce that our co-founder and CEO Catherine Heald has once again been named by Condé Nast Traveler as a Top Travel Specialist, on behalf of Remote Lands; an honor we believe reflects the hard work, dedication and zeal we have put in during 2016, to create extraordinary itineraries that exceed expectation and push the boundaries of luxury travel.

For nearly 30 years the multi-award-winning monthly publication has been a luxury and lifestyle magazine for the refined and educated globetrotter. Committed to their motto of “Truth in Travel”, and with a literary take on journalism, it is considered a real indication of both personal and company-wide expertise - and a great honor - to receive the Condé Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist accolade.

These “experience makers” are described by the magazine as the men and women who “can get you a meeting with the Dalai Lama in a Buddhist temple [or] rustle up a private 737 for your wedding party when the scheduled flight is canceled,” and change a vacation into a “I’ll-tell-my-grandkids-about-this lifetime high point”. Understandably, we are very proud of this accomplishment; we hope you can forgive us our little pat on the back, and we will continue to strive towards this level of achievement throughout 2017 and beyond!

As Christmas is also a time of reflection, in this yuletide newsletter let’s take a look at five of our most spectacular itineraries from 2016, featuring Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar and of course, Thailand.

Uncovering Hidden Indochina by Private Jet

Stretch your wings and discover an elevated perspective of the exotic secrets of Indochina in this extraordinary adventure in the sky. With exclusive use of your own private jet and helicopter you can avoid all the bothersome aspects of international travel - such as queuing, or the risk of delays and cancellations - and soar straight into a world of luxury and discovery. From the numerous enticing distractions of Bangkok, to the serene setting of Sapa, the region is your oyster. Savor the unique hospitality of a 12th-century Hindu temple in Siem Reap, explore the dense jungles along the Mekong river by elephant, and reconnect with nature under the cleansing cascade of the Tad Fane Waterfall in Laos, on a fabulous itinerary which takes in seven countries over 15 days of pure pleasure, that will enrich your life forever.

Hotels featured in this itinerary include The Peninsula Bangkok, Amansara in Siem Riep, Amantaka in Luang Prabang, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Victoria Sapa Spa Resort and the Four Seasons Tented Camp in Chiang Rai.


An Epic Indonesian Adventure

Uncover the indescribable experiences that can be found beyond bustling Jakarta, or the sun-drenched beaches of Bali, on this month-long trip to the heart of Indonesia. Starting out in the populous capital you will journey to Borneo for a chance to encounter man’s closest relative - the orangutan - before heading to Java to explore the Buddhist temple at Borobudur. Next, you’ll take on the dizzying heights of Mount Bromo by horseback and jeep, for an unforgettable foray into volcano territory. To cap the journey off, there is a three-day jaunt cruising the Flores islands, and a chance to experience the fearsome majesty of the Komodo dragon while staying on a magnificent provate schooner. With your rest truly earned, it is time for a little relaxation on the famous island of Bali, where you can hike through the gorgeous rice terraces of Ubud, visit a Balinese Healer and have a private blessing in a hidden village temple.

Hotels featured in this itinerary include The Ritz Carlton Jakarta, Amanjiwo in Central Java, Tugu Malang in East Java and Amankila and Amandari in Bali.


Cruising the Spectacular Raja Ampat Archipelago

Like all vacation destinations there is so much to be found by stepping off the beaten track and onto the road less travelled. On this 10-day cruise through the Raja Ampat Archipelago, you will sail among the 600 islands of the area and experience world-class scuba diving and snorkelling. Stop off for an intrepid hike into the jungles of Gam, and maybe a glimpse of the elusive Red Bird of Paradise. After drifting through the unique topography of unspoiled Wayag - thought by many to be home to the most beautiful beaches in Indonesia - you can dive into the still waters of the stunning Boo Kecil lagoon on Kofiau, as well as hopping between Misool and Farondi Islands. Here you can laze in golden sunshine on the immaculate beaches of a tropical paradise, while taking in the some of the most magnificent views on the planet. This is an exclusive excursion of pleasure and adventure that will linger in your mind forever.


Culture and Coastline - Mrauk U to Ngapali Beach

Take an unforgettable journey into exotic Myanmar on this nine-day itinerary to Mrauk U and Ngapali Beach. From the country’s capital in Yangon, fly to Sittwe to board the new speedboat up the Kaladan River to the medieval Arakanese kingdom capital of Mrauk U, whose temples and pagodas rival Bagan. Visit Shittaung, “Temple of the 80,000 Buddhas”, Andawthein Pagoda believed to house a tooth of the Buddha, and take an excursion to a Laytu minority village distinguished by the spider-net tattoos on their faces. Finish at Ngapali Beach where you can enjoy the simple charms of beachfront cocktails and sunbathing, or further your adventure with sailing, snorkeling, boating expeditions into the mangroves and golf at the Ngapali Golf Course.
Hotels featured in this itinerary include The Governor's Residence in Yangon and The Mrauk Oo Princess.


The Golden Triangle: Northern Thailand and Kengtung

Thailand and Myanmar are two countries of endless cultural interests and this 11-day trip is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the very best the nations have to offer. In an itinerary packed with all manner of activities from the age-old sport of Muay Thai (Thai boxing) - one of the world’s most rigorous martial arts - to more gentle gastronomic pursuits with a cooking lesson in traditional Thai cuisine. Following a day trip to the ancient Thai capital of Ayutthaya, travel north to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, where you will feed and bathe your personal elephant, discover ancient temples, pet majestic tigers  and learn about the history of the infamous Golden Triangle. Drive across the Myanmar border and onto Kengtung for the final leg of the trip where you can hike into the mountains to meet Silver Palaung hill tribe villagers who still live as their ancestors have for centuries.

Hotels included in this itinerary include The Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok, Dhara Dhevi in Chiang Mai and Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in Chiang Rai. 



So there you have it, our overview of some of our favorite tours in Southeast Asia from 2016. Looking into 2017, Remote Lands will continue creating exciting new trips, tours and experiences that will inspire and delight the imaginative traveler; contact us at [email protected] and let us start planning your tailor-made dream vacation.

All that remains now is for us to wish you happy holidays to you and yours, and we look forward to working with you in 2017!

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