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52Download holiday itineraries fromwww.mountainkingdoms.come: info@mountainkingdoms.comThailand & Vietnam Southeast AsiaT his trip takes us from Hanoi to the hill town of Sapa, where the French came to relax during the long hot summers during the colonial era. After visiting the exotic market, we embark on the adventurous trek to the peak of Mt Fansipan. This is a five-day trek, often through steep jungle, but with the reward of fantastic views into China and Laos. Our last night in the hill country is spent in a delightful eco-lodge before we catch the overnight sleeper train back to Hanoi. Private Departures for a minimum of two people sharing for £1,395 per person, Land Only. International flights available from £650. Extend your holiday - why not consider exploring the islands of beautiful Halong Bay on a converted junk cruise? F ollowing time in Hanoi, the cosmopolitan centre of Vietnam, we take the overnight sleeper train northwest to the old French hill station of Sapa. We then head off to spend a few days trekking on gentle paths through classic terraced fields and woodland, visiting some of the most interesting hill tribe villages. Porters will carry our baggage, and our own cooks will prepare delicious Vietnamese meals. We'll sleep in village houses, in settlements largely untouched by modern life. Undoubtedly, we shall meet village headmen and sample some of the local delicacies and brews. The trip ends with a relaxing cruise around scenically stunning Halong Bay on the eastern coast, on a converted junk.O ur trek starts with an easy day walk to the top of Thailand's highest mountain, Doi Inthanon, 2,565m/8,415ft, vehicles having taken us most of the way. With our 4WDs we then journey westward for eight days of trekking, elephant-back riding, and river journeys, during which we will meet Karen and Hmong tribes people. We enjoy plenty of great hill walking, some jungle experience, and the chance to meet genuine tribes people away from the over trekked 'Golden Triangle'. Accommodation has been been carefully selected and we stay in comfortable, beautifully located eco lodges, hotels and simple village houses.The Mount Fansipan Adventure 3,143m/10,308ft Explore beautiful Vietnam and summit the highest peak in Indochina.Hill Tribe Trekking in Vietnam Trek amongst the fascinating Tay, Tai, Hmong, Zao and Muong hill tribes. Gentle Trekking Northwest Thailand Experience the traditional culture and splendid scenery of northwest Thailand.£1,195£1,255£1,435£1,495£1,495£1,595£1,555£1,995£2,095£2,235£2,345£2,175£2,395£2,235Land OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedSat 26 Feb - Thu 10 Mar 11Sat 29 Oct - Thu 10 Nov 11Sat 25 Feb - Thu 08 Mar 12Sat 05 Mar - Sat 19 Mar 11Sat 01 Oct - Sat 15 Oct 11Sat 03 Mar - Sat 17 Mar 12Sat 12 Feb - Sat 26 Feb 11Sun 18 Dec - Sun 01 Jan 12Sat 29 Oct - Sat 12 Nov 11Sat 11 Feb - Sat 25 Feb 12On Trek: 5 days Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 3 Lodge: 1 Camping: 4 Train: 2 Optional: Single Room £275 Single Tent £30Insurance: £95On Trek: 5 days Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 4 Lodge: 1 Village Houses: 3 Camping: 1 Train: 2 Boat: 1Optional: Single Room £275 Single Tent £15Insurance: £95Day Walks: 5 Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 5 Lodges: 5 Village Houses: 2 Train: 1Optional: Single Room £330Insurance: £95Trekking Peak | Duration: 13 DaysTrek | Duration: 15 DaysTrek | Duration: 15 DaysGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 3 clientsGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 3 clientsGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 4 clientsGrade: Vigorous Grade: Gentle/Moderate Grade: Gentle Eco lodge, Gentle Trekking ThailandFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comSee also page 4 for more trekking peak information Other Trekking Peaks - pages 34, 44, 65,69 & 70 Other Christmas trips - pages 12, 14, 26, 30, 32, 36, 40, 45, 50, 51 & 73

53telephone: 0845 330 8579 (local call rate, UK only)international telephone: +44 1453 844 400www.mountainkingdoms.comW e start our adventure in remarkable Tokyo, where we explore parks, temples and museums. We visit the shogun capital, Kamakura, and from the hot spring town of Hakone there are excellent views of Mount Fuji. We then travel by bullet train to historic Kyoto, which was the Japanese capital until 1868. There is much to see and do in Kyoto; markets, traditional craft shops, former palaces, temples and shrines, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites.Our hotels have been carefully selected and include a stay in an old-fashioned, traditional inn (ryokan) and a couple of nights in an elegant temple lodging at Mount Koya. Finally we visit Hiroshima, now a bustling city once more, for a sobering reminder of man's inhumanity to man.O ur trek follows historic kaido (roads) that twist their way through mountainous country from imperial capital to provincial town, stopping at villages along the way. The walking is gentle in nature and allows us to immerse ourselves in the beautiful scenery and traditional rural life of Japan. Walking days are interspersed with days spent exploring some of Japan's most important cultural centres such as Kyoto and Nara. Here we visit temples, shrines and parks and gain an insight into Japan's fascinating heritage.Whilst on trek we stay in small traditional inns called ryokan or minshuku, and even in temple lodgings for one night. Hot spring baths, futons and delectable Japanese food await the weary traveller and offer welcome relaxation at the end of the day.B etween 1020 and 1220, four of Japan's emperors undertook a total of nearly one hundred pilgrimages to the Kumano shrines in the southern reaches of the mountainous Kii Peninsula. We spend the first week exploring these sacred mountains, staying in Buddhist temples and ryokan (comfortable family run guest houses), before travelling north to visit the ancient capitals of Asuka, Nara and Kyoto. Travel in Japan is a joy - we will eat delicious Japanese food and sleep in the traditional way on tatami mats. The Imperial Pilgrimage trek takes place in spring, when rhododendrons flower and fresh green foliage cloaks the mountains, and autumn, when the maples turn scarlet. Cultural Highlights of JapanA fascinating tour providing a genuine insight into ancient and modern Japan.Old Trails of Japan Delightful walking along ancient Japanese trails combined with historical Kyoto and stylish Tokyo.The Imperial Pilgrimage Route A mountain trek into the spiritual and cultural heartland of Japan.£3,150£3,885£2,995£3,895£4,595£3,775Land OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedSun 08 May - Mon 23 May 11Sun 30 Oct - Mon 14 Nov 11Sat 16 Apr - Sat 30 Apr 11Sat 22 Oct - Sat 05 Nov 11Sat 07 May - Sun 22 May 11Sat 15 Oct - Sun 30 Oct 11Sat 31 Mar - Sun 15 Apr 12Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 10 Lodge/ Ryokan/ Temple/ Minshuku: 4Optional: Single Room £495Insurance: £132Day Walks: 7Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 8 Lodge/ Ryokan/ Temple/ Minshuku: 5Optional: Single Room £395Insurance: £150On Trek: 5 days Day Walks: 2 Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 4 Lodge/ Ryokan/ Temple/ Minshuku: 9Optional: Single Room £175Insurance: £150Trek | Duration: 15 DaysCultural Tour | Duration: 16 DaysTrek | Duration: 16 DaysGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 4 clientsGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 4 clientsGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 5 clientsGrade: Gentle Grade: Moderate Mount Fuji, reflections, JNTOFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comJapan Modern Japan presents a bustling, high-tech image to the outside world. However, away from the ultra-modern tower blocks exists an unhurried land of mountains and monasteries linked by winding trails, where traditional Japan can still be experienced. Other cultural tours - pages 12, 13, 20, 26, 41, 42, 43, 47, 50, 51 & 58