13 Jan 2014

An adventure in the Greater Mekong Region with Khiri Travel

Travel insights from across the stunning and diverse Greater Mekong Region by Khiri Travel

A 25-year Indochina travel veteran, Willem Niemeijer, CEO, Khiri Travel, unveils rewarding travel insights from across the stunning and diverse Greater Mekong Region. Here he hand selects some of his most cherished high-end experiences for those in search of a fulfilling, multi-destination trip.

THAILAND

Howie’s Homestay in Chiang Mai: 

This is a homestay – luxury style. The Bill Bensley designed homestay consists of two compounds (Teak Pavilion and The Family Suite) with four private areas, a saltwater swimming pool and a magnificent garden. It really is a homestay, as in the evenings Mr Howie and his Thai wife (Jerri) cook the meals and eat together with the clients. In total, four luxurious rooms are available.

Art Deco Cruising in Phuket: 

Charter a luxury 1930’s Art Deco cruise boat called Maid Marian II and sail the seas around Phuket. Guests can sail around Phang Nga bay or travel to secret beaches. The boat comes with a crew, lunch and snacks, two kayaks and snorkelling gear. The boats are docked at the Trisara pier, the only pier on the west side of Phuket where most luxury hotels are located. The Maid Marian (originally called Cleopatra) was launched in 1931 in New York. She served in World War II as a patrol boat for the US Coast Guard. After the war her owner retired to Florida and lived on board until the early 1990s. Her current owner, film director, Roland Emmerich, fell in love with the boat and purchased it in 2007. He then commissioned British designer, John Teall, to complete a remarkable refurbishment, returning her to her Art Deco splendour. 

CAMBODIA

Song Saa Private Island: 

After visiting the splendid ruins of Angkor or having fun in the vibrant wine bars of Phnom Penh, relax on Song Saa Private Island, a secluded resort off the Cambodian Riviera. It is Cambodia’s first luxury private island resort. But it’s not just about magnificent white powder beaches. Founders Rory and Melita Hunter wanted to create a sustainable sanctuary in a diverse tropical maritime environment, ensure protection of the nature, and support local communities. Find yourself on a speed boat trip to a quiet island for a picnic; learn new water sports; and spot macaques and sea eagles on a mangrove eco-discovery. Song Saa Private Island takes a refreshingly holistic approach to beach holidays away from the crowds. 

LAOS

Luang Prabang Heritage Tour by Tuk-Tuk: 

A great way to see the UNESCO heritage town of Luang Prabang in northern Laos is by way of a quiet and comfortable purpose-built Tuk-Tuk operated by Khiri Travel. A pleasant trip through the peaceful heritage town stops at temples such as the 500-year old Wat Xieng Thong, with its exquisite designs indicative of the Luang Prabang temple tradition. From here, explore small side streets, back alleys and markets. Luang Prabang is a town that could have been designed with slow travel in mind. Visit the National Museum, the former Royal Palace. Overlooking the palace is Phousi Mountain. It is said that those who do not climb the 328 steps up have not really made it to the city. Venture up the hill and be rewarded with remarkable views of the area.

MYANMAR

Yangon Heritage Walk: 

Downtown Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, still has much of its colonial-era architecture still standing. We visit some of Asia’s most impressive collections of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century buildings, both religious and secular, such as the ornate High Court. Starting after lunch this guided walking tour takes you through the back streets in a relaxed tempo. It explains the history of each building, some of them empty, some restored and some being used for different purposes than when built.  Enjoy high tea at the famous Strand Hotel. After the tour you will have time to enjoy a gin and tonic in the Union Bar & Grill in the old Red Cross building, a new place where many of Yangon’s expatriates of today meet up for a drink or a meal.