Unique itineraries enable travellers to explore the lush natural jewel of Southeast Asia

Bespoke travel experts Experience Travel Group are excited to launch their first programme of holidays to the beautiful island of Borneo. Despite being the world’s third largest island, Borneo is still relatively undiscovered by tourists and has much to offer. Shared by Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia, the island boasts dramatic landscapes, breathtaking beaches and is a must-see for all wildlife lovers – a vast number of exotic species such as orangutans and pygmy elephants call it home. Having quietly designed holidays to Borneo for repeat clients for several years, Experience Travel Group has steadily built up an expert Borneo team and created the exciting new experiences that form the basis of the new full programme of Borneo holidays.

Experience Travel Group’s new Borneo holidays are truly bespoke, covering all bases from in-depth adventures around the whole island to highlights tours that combine astounding wildlife with exotic beaches and cultural hotspots. The following three tours demonstrate just some of the unforgettable experiences on offer.

Beach and Wildlife: The Classic

From £2,990 per person, including all accommodation, experiences, entrance fees, guides, transport, flights and a number of meals.

This 15-day itinerary enables travellers to explore the exotic flora and fauna of Borneo, while also allowing plenty of time to relax on its beautiful beaches. Visiting the states of Sabah and Sarawak, this holiday starts in the city of Kuching and finishes at the stunning Gaya Island Resort, taking in Bako and Mulu National Parks, Kota Kinabalu and the Kinabatangan River en route. Highlights include getting up close to orangutans in Kuching and exploring the majestic Mulu caves. With accommodation in the best hotels included throughout, this trip takes visitors off-the-beaten track and into the wilderness, without compromising on comfort.

Borneo Adventure

From £2,650 per person, including all accommodation, experiences, entrance fees, guides, transport, flights and a number of meals.

A unique 16-day tour of Borneo with some truly magnificent adventures, this itinerary allows travellers to get a true feel for the depth and variety of Borneo’s wildlife, village life, culture and tradition. Highlights include a five-day adventure in Mulu National Park, incorporating the adventurous 11.5km ‘Headhunters Trail’, which follows the route taken by the Kayan headhunting parties as they launched raids on the Limbang people; scaling Mount Kinabalu; and exploring some of the world’s biggest caves. Accommodation ranges from traditional longhouses to basic lodgings during the treks, but there is a chance to relax in high-quality hotels too – especially at Pantai Dalit Beach, where the holiday concludes in very comfortable surroundings.

Borneo Encompassed

From £4,249 per person, including all accommodation, experiences, entrance fees, guides, transport, flights and a number of meals.

This three-week in-depth adventure takes in Borneo’s finest natural wonders and is as inspiring as it is relaxing. From traversing rainforests and cruising down rivers and mangroves to exploring caves and relaxing on sun-drenched islands, this itinerary has it all. Whether it’s hearing the call of gibbons, seeing orangutans swinging in the trees or spotting dolphins, travellers will be taken aback by the incredible wildlife throughout the trip. Highlights include a night safari in Tabin National Park and a trek through the stunning jungle of Danum Valley – and an optional visit to Selingan Island to learn about turtle conservation. Accommodation ranges from basic lodges to the stunning Bunga Raya Resort.

Find out more about Experience Travel Group’s new Borneo holidays here.

Experience Travel Group specialises in bespoke holidays for passionate travellers. Offering adventures in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Borneo, Indonesia and India, Experience Travel Group expertly tailor-makes trips that enrich their clients’ travel experiences.

For more information about Experience Travel Group, please visit the website, or find out what the team has been up to recently by checking out their blog or Twitter page.

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When I visited Singapore for the first time I instantly fell in love with this city-state: its futuristic design, the combination of different cultures and the diverse food. I was lucky to meet Jaclynn Seah there, who is from Singapore and writes on her blog „The Occasional Traveller“. She showed me around and we had a great time. She tells you her insider tips for the Lion City – the best time to travel there, accommodation, restaurants and sights.

Jaclynn is The Occasional Traveller, a Singaporean girl with a full-time day job who loves to travel. She started her blog in 2010 to encourage fellow deskbound wanderlusters like herself to remember to take that time off and get away. She is always looking forward to that next trip!

Here are her insider tips for Singapore :

Why should everyone travel once in a lifetime to Singapore?

There’s nowhere in the world quite like Singapore!

When is the best time to visit it?

Singapore is hot all year round and we hardly have any seasons. Year end tends to be cooler but also more rainy, though really it can rain any time of the year.

June and December are school holiday periods in Singapore so your tourist attractions will be more crowded with families, so you might want to avoid those periods.

Which attractions of Singapore are worth to see?

The Marina Bay area (which you usually see on TV during the F1 Grand Prix in September) is a tourist hotspot but for good reason – Singapore is prettiest in the evening when the buildings are all lit up.

I recommend starting from the Esplanade, walking clockwise around the bay area across the Helix Bridge until you reach Marina Bay Sands.

Other tourist attractions that I think are worth seeing are Gardens by the Bay (18 Marina Gardens Dr) – the alien-looking Super Tree Grove is mostly free (unless you want to go on the Skywalk, a rickety walkway suspended near the top of the tree structures).

But it is worth going into the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest as well – beautiful and cool, a good way to spend your time ‚indoors‘ if Singapore is being all humid or rainy.

If you want a proper outdoor garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens (1 Cluny Rd) is centrally located in the downtown area and was just awarded a UNESCO award.

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Known as the Lion city, the Garden city and the Red dot, Singaporeis one of the most popular tourist destinations of South-East Asia. So ifyou’re thinking of a short holiday not too far from India? Look no further thanSingapore – the dynamic city-state, a short flight away from all major citiesin India. A heady combination of Chinese, Indian, Malay and Western influences,Singapore is truly a cultural melting pot. Delicious food, high streetshopping, contemporary arts – find all this and more. Here’s a three day itinerary toexperience the best of Singapore.

Day 1

Book a direct flight to Singapore and try and get there early tomake the most of your short vacation. Begin your holiday in Singapore’scultural heart – Chinatown. Dotted with pagodas, mosques and shops, it is abustling ethnic neighbourhood. You can take a walking tour of Chinatown or ifyour visit coincides with either the Singapore Heritage Festival or Mid AutumnFestival, you’ll have plenty to do. Shop for some ethnic products and artifactshere. Then, head to Kreta Ayer’s Food Street or to one of the trendyrestaurants in Telok Ayer for lunch. Visit Orchard Road, Singapore’s shoppingdistrict, for high-end shopping in world-class malls housing multi-nationalbrands. Orchard road gets it’s name from the all the surrounding orchards thatexisted during the 20th century. After rehabilitation, The Orchard Road isflanked by pedestrian shopping centres, upmarket cafes, coffee chains,nightclubs and hotels. It is also the official site of residence and office of thePresident of Singapore, The Istana.

Day 2

Head out to explore the city’s Civic District with its imposingbuildings housing the City Hall, the Parliament House and Supreme Court. ThePadang Cricket Club is also worth a visit. Then, head to see one of Singapore’smost important landmarks – the Merlion statue in Merlion Park. The park wasinitially designed to act as an emblem of The Singapore Tourism Board. Takeyour picture with this mythical part lion, part fish creature. The picturesqueMarina Bay with its long promenade, the Marina Bay City Gallery and the101-hectare Gardens by the Bay are other must-dos.

Day 3

Visit Asia’s only Hollywood theme park Universal Studios, and loseyourself in the magical world of movies. The state-of-the-art rides take you ona journey through Hollywood favourites including Shrek, Madagascar, JurassicPark, Revenge of the Mummy, Transformers, Battlestar Galactica and many others.Stroll down Hollywood Boulevard and its Walk of Fame. With loads of restaurantsand food courts to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice.

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TransportingWork-Weary Londoners to the Sun-Kissed Portuguese Shores

13 July 2016 – No matter what the Britishweather has in store, Canary Wharf’s Montgomery Square will offer a tantalisingtaste of the Algarve this summer, with the arrival of the Pine CliffsBeach Club. Open each weekday from 11am to 11pm throughout the summerseason, the chic pop-up bar will bring the sun-kissed vibes of Portugal’sleading lifestyle destination, Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort, to theheart of London’s financial centre.

Set to be a popular hotspot for work-weary Londoners, the PineCliffs Beach Club will be run in partnership with award-winning travel specialist QuintessentiallyTravel, to celebrate the re-opening of the famed cliff-top retreat following amulti-million pound transformation of its rooms and facilities, including thedebut of a state-of-the-art destination spa, that will firmly place Portugal onthe radar of discerning spa connoisseurs.

In the true spirit of The Luxury Collection, Pine Cliffs BeachClub brings a taste of the Algarve to London providing global explorerswith authentic experiences that reflect the local spirit, lifestyle and design.The al-fresco Pine Cliffs Beach Club will offer a wide selection of chilleddrinks including fine Portuguese wines, Pine Cliffs Resort’s signature whiteport cocktails, Moet Ice and Sagres beer – the Algarve is just a Tube rideaway! Throughout the summer, customerswill also have the chance to win a 7-night stay for two at Pine Cliffs Hotel, aLuxury Collection Resort, including breakfast, a green fee at Pine Cliffs Golf &Country Club, return flights from the UK and transfers from and to FaroAirport.

One of Europe’s leading lifestyle destinations, Pine Cliffs enjoysa spectacular, unrivalled location on the Algarve coastline. Set across 72hectares, the resort offers a wide range of luxurious accommodation options forcouples, groups and families. There are exceptional leisure and sportsfacilities, with 11 different restaurants and bars, including the poolsideseafood restaurant O Pescador; Beach Club on the golden shore of Praia Falésia;Piri Piri Steak House; and Zest, a new outlet offering guests an array ofhealth-conscious drinks, snacks and dishes. In addition, the hotel features sixswimming pools, Porto Pirata kids club, an Annabel Croft Tennis Academy, anine-hole golf course with panoramic views, complemented by a world-classwellness and fitness offering comprising the new Serenity The Art of Well Beingdestination spa and Pine Cliffs Goes Active gym and health club, as well asnumerous shops and boutiques.

Pine Cliffs Beach Club is located in Montgomery Square, CanaryWharf, London E14 5JJ. Opening times from 11am to 11pm Monday to Friday untilSeptember.

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The iconic TheDhara Dhevi Chiang Mai, situated on a peaceful 60-acre estate in Northern Thailand, offers amagical backdrop in which children and adults alike can absorb Thai culturewith a fantastic range of experiences, guaranteeing lasting memories for thewhole family.

This fantasticalresort, conceived as an ancient walled city, offers a sense of place likefew others and this is reflected in its carefully curated activities, designedto immerse guests of all ages into local culture. Perfect for all the family, from little onesto adults, the resort’s Artand Craft Village offers an array of creative craft activities, fromumbrella painting and paper making to bamboo weaving, which is led by a groupof local village women who will help guests create beautiful artefacts andtraditional toys from the plant’s leaves.

Housed in the same building, The Lanna Kids Club is openevery day from 9am-5pm and offers half or full day programmes for children from4 to 12 years old. The building’s tinyresident petting ponies and llamas are sure to make a great ice breaker forchildren who can then choose from a varied range of activities to stretch andstimulate them mentally and physically, whilst offering an insight intotraditional Lanna (the ancient kingdom of northern Thailand) and Thaiculture. Classes include Thai dancingand music and traditional Thai games and toys – children can also benefit forThailand’s rich culture of wellness with mini Thai kick boxing classes and yogafor kids.

A must-try for visitors of all ages is the rice planting:donning a traditional protective tunic, the instantly recognisable Non La hatand waterproof socks, the session will teach budding rice farmers how the grainis grown from seed to harvest and includes the opportunity for all to wade intothe squidgy warm mud and plant a few rows for themselves. Children will adoreriding the water buffalo, which will obligingly walk little ones through theplantation.

Meanwhile adults can enjoy the Dhara Dhevi Cooking Academy,which stages daily Thai cooking classes, relax in the Jum Sri Hall Library,with one of its 5,000+ books, browse the 20 boutiques in Kad Dhara ShoppingVillage, or unwind and reboot at the Health and Fitness Centre and legendaryDheva Spa where in depth Ayurveda-based programmes are carried out in 11spacious treatments suites.

Parents keen to make the most of the wide array of gourmeteating and drinking options at the resort can book the baby-sitting service,which is available on request. Alltastes and nationalities are catered for with international cuisines of thehighest calibre, from Japanese dishes at the light and airy Ren; Chinese atFujian, formal French at Farang Ses and contemporary international cuisine atthe Akaligo, which offers views through wall to ceiling windows. There is evena Victorian Style tea salon, the Dhara Dhevi Cake Shop which caters to thesweet toothed serving decadent treats. Fabulously chic watering holes includethe louche Horn Bar, an after dark cocktail bar, the al fresco Loy Kham Barwhich overlooks the serene infinity pool and the Colonial Pool Bar, whichcenters around the heart of the resort, the spectacular and imposing blue andwhite tiled swimming pool.

Easily accessible via a 15-minute car transfer from ChiangMai International Airport, the Dhara Dhevi makes for an immersive culturalexperience perfect for crafting lasting family memories.

ABOUT THEDHARA DHEVI:

The Dhara Dhevi is one of Asia’s foremost luxury hotels. More an experience than simply a hotel, thisiconic property represents extravagant Thai luxury at its finest. Nestling in 60 acres of beautifullylandscaped tropical grounds, enjoying a picturesque and secluded setting in thecountryside in the North, the resort has established itself as a classic ‘mustvisit’ for high end travellers to Thailand. Its location on the outskirts of historic Chiang Mai, a walled ancientcity known for its rich history of art and culture, is reflected throughout theresort. The spectacular accommodationwas built in keeping with traditional Lanna and colonial style architecture,set among lush paddy fields. 69traditional Thai villas each boast a private swimming, or plunge pools, Jacuzzitubs and separate showers. 54 ColonialSuites featuring separate living and bedroom areas with private terracesoverlook the pool, lake or stunning verdant gardens.

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