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Take My Horse! Mongolia Trekking Tour, Tour of A Lifetime

In 2011 Summer Tours, China & Hong Kong Tours, Our Travel Stories on 2011/05/03 at 11:14 am

Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing  Leo Murray who’s going to lead his 12th Mongolia Trekking Tour this summer July 20th- Aug 5. Leo is a true experienced global traveler and among other things, he can easily draw a map and show you three different routes that he’s taken cycling around the United States. The energetic man, a former editor of the Reader’s Digest, has just come back from Nepal and will spend a month in Italy before Mongolia. ‘Mongolia,’ he said, ‘to me means vast open space and the horse riding culture. It’s an amazing country.’

‘The Mongolians use their horses to herd their sheep and they drink the horses’ milk. Horses are the most valuable thing to them besides their yurts, their wife might only come third!’

According to Leo, not only are the Mongolians good singers, they also possess the heart of gold. ‘They never ask for anything, we travelers come bearing gifts not because anyone ever asked for any gifts, but because the Mongolians are so kind that the instant you walk into their yurt, they provide you with everything they could. ‘ In other words, you’re merely exchanging gifts with some very welcoming hosts.

Among all the things Mongolians give out of hospitality, there was once an offer of a horse. Leo accounted a story that on a trip to Mongolia, upon departure, one of the horsemen who had been with him throughout the journey wished to give his horse away to Leo. Although he was touched (and very well traveled), Leo found it a challenge to ride a horse back home to America. Leo asked the horseman to keep his horse for him. The horseman said(guess what!), ‘ I will keep the horse for you, but besides you, no one will be allowed to sit on this horseback again. ‘ Imagine a friend said that to you under the starry skies in Mongolia!

Besides that they are great singers, Mongolians are well known great sportsmen too. The Naadam Festival, in which there are archery, horse racing and wrestling races, is held every year July 11-13. Worried you might miss it? Don’t fret, Leo said across Mongolia, there is Naadam everywhere held on various dates and very often, private sponsorships are enough to bring a local Naadam to life. If you join this trekking tour, you might as well find local Mongolians to wrestle you to the ground, if you’re eager for it! 🙂

I asked Leo what are the customs that travelers should beware of in Mongolia. He said no rubbish thrown in fire. Why? “Because Mongolians consider fire as sacred. Travelers can bury their rubbish instead.’

To experience such an exotic horse riding culture, and know a bunch of new friends, breathe in some fresh air in Mongolian mountains and pitch your tent next to yurts and be neighbors with authentic Mongolians–join this summer tour! Experience of a Lifetime.

Mongolia, Every Nomad's Dream

Mongolia, Every Nomad's Dream

Send an email to us and you’ll be able to get a collection of photos provided in the courtesy of Leo Murray, taken from his trips in Mongolia. You’ll also be able to obtain the itinerary, accommodation details and the costing. Act now!

Theme Park Obsessive: The Theme Park Guy

In Destination Guide, Our Travel Stories on 2011/04/19 at 4:04 pm

For those of us who love theme parks, the thought of quitting our jobs and going on trips to visit every theme park on earth is recurring and daily. Such an amazing dream to have, yet few have ever realized it. You might become jealous if you find a young German man is living this dream.  Since 2007, he’s been visiting theme parks around the world publishing online reviews, posting pictures and videos. His idea is simple:

“My ongoing journey to theme parks around the globe is also a study of diverse cultures and the different responses these playgrounds evoke in them. Japanese are crazy about souvenirs, Americans love roller coasters and Eastern Europeans like to flirt in water parks – there is so much to discover!…My aim is to give you an overview of all theme parks in the world through pictures, text and video, from the ground and from the air, whether they are under construction, up-and-running or half-demolished. “

The Theme Park Guy Picture from Thethemeparkguy.com

This man named Stefan Zwanzger wears a tailor-made roller-coaster-themed hat in bright red so he is hard to miss. You might find him in June when he comes to visit Hong Kong. Check out his website.

Concorde Travel

Here in Concorde Travel, we arrange hotels, private guide and transfer for all visitors visiting Hong Kong. We hold contract rates with many 3-5 stars major hotels and are able to prepare keenly priced arrangements for individuals and groups. Since we are on the theme parks theme, let’s have a look at theme parks in Hong Kong and our relevant tour packages.

  • Hong Kong Disneyland Magic Tour (duration 11 hours):

A world-class, unique family entertainment experience inspired by the original Disneyland in California. The park features some of the best & classic attractions & entertainment from other Disney parks around the world but was made with a hint of Hong Kong and Asian culture. The result is a familiar yet entirely fresh Disney experience. All year round Disneyland arranges special events, celebrating with ‘Disney’s Summer Fun’ from Jun to Aug, ‘Haunted Halloween’ from Sep to Oct and ‘Sparkling Christmas’ from Nov to Jan. Leave the outside world behind and enter a world of yesterday, tomorrow & fantasy.

Inclusive: seat-in coach transfer and one day admission ticket.

Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland

  • Ocean Park tour (duration 8 hours):

Ocean Park is Hong Kong’s premier theme park that offers memorable experiences that combines entertainment and education about conservation. The current park features a diverse selection of world-class marine attractions, thrill rides and shows.

Inclusive: seat-in coach transfer and one day admission ticket.

Ocean Park

Ocean Park

Other tours in Hong Kong:

  • Hong Kong Island Tour (duration 5 hours)- daily operate:

Inclusive: Seat-in coach, visit to the Victoria Peak with one way Peak tram ride, Stanley Market, Aberdeen Fishing Village

  • Symphony of Lights Cruise (duration 1.5 hours)- daily operate:
    At night time, the spectacular Hong Kong’s skyline on both side of the harbor will fire your imagination as the dazzling neon cityscape emerges. The cruise clematises as the Symphony of Lights show brightens up the skyline with spectacular display of lazer beams bouncing off skyscrapers from both sides of the harbor. “A symphony of Lights” has been awarded by Guinness World Records as the world’s “ Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show”.

Inclusive: Seat-in coach, unlimited free drinks on the Junk include cocktails, whisky, gin, beer, soft drinks, house red/ white wine.

  •  Highlight of the Night Tour (duration 5 hours)- daily operate:

Inclusive: Seat-in coach, air-conditioned coach transfer, guided service, open-top bus ride, buffet dinner on Harbour Cruise Bauhinia.

  •  Lantau Island Monastery Tour (duration 6.5hours)-daily operate:

Inclusive: Seat-in coach, one way Nong Ping 360 Cable Car ride and Chinese Vegetarian lunch.

Cheung Chau is a beautiful, fascinating South China Sea island. It is easily reached from Hong Kong’s main business district by high-speed ferry in thirty minutes, or preferably, if it’s a sunny day, by slow ferry that takes one hour. It’s a scenic boat ride, commencing with the spectacular high-rise commercial buildings of the Central business district and then the towering residential blocks which line the harbor foreshores all the way to harbor entrance. The contrast on arrival in the fishing harbor of Cheung Chau is extreme. There are no cars on Cheung Chau and the harbor front and bustling back streets are full of interest.

Hong Kong Island was ceded to Britain under the Treaty of Nanking, but the area was too small to be viable and the original territory stopped at Boundary Street, hence its name. Britain wanted more land on which to farm and build, so in 1898 leased the New Territories from China. This increased the size of the colony by more than 10 times. The Lease was for 99 years and the region became  known as the “New Territories”. The region consisted of Lantau Island (the biggest of the group), Lamma Island, Cheung Chau Island, Tsing Yi and numerous smaller islands. A large piece of flat land which finished at the Shenzhen River, formed most of the new boundary between Hong Kong and China. This is a tour of Hong Kong’s countryside, the rural and the traditional. Visit the Yuen Yuen Institute, Tai Mo Shan , Hong Kong’s tallest mountain and stop at Luen Wo Market to enjoy the atmosphere of this traditional community.  Continue along the border with mainland China to Luk King, passing through the Plover Cove Country Park to Sam Mun Tsai fishing village to see how local fisherfolk breed fish in submerged cages.

  •  Heritage Tour (Morning Tour):

When most visitors think of Hong Kong, Heritage is not a word that springs to mind. Although most are aware of the long history of the ex British Colony, they see it as being all sky-scrapers and banks. Perhaps surprisingly, there is still quite a bit of heritage left in Hong Kong; from temples and fishing villages, to ancestral halls and old defensive walled villages. An English speaking guide (other languages are available on request) will meet you in the lobby of your hotel.

  • A week with the YHA (Youth Hostels Association) including Hiking (7 days):
    A surprisingly inexpensive option. The superbly situated hostel is high on Mount Davis, overlooking the entrance to Hong Kong’s spectacular harbor. The nightly fireworks display at Hong Kong’s Disneyland can be seen in the distance, far across the island studded South China Sea. This tour package also includes a Hong Kong Island day tour, a climb up the Dragon’s back, visits to Shek O, Big Wave Bay and Sai Kung Country Park. An entire day spent on Lantau Island plus a day excursion to Macau.
  •  Macau Excursion (duration 10 hours)- daily operate:

Inclusive: Seat-in coach, lunch and round trip ferry tickets to Macau.

There are many more Hong Kong tour packages that we provide. For inquiries,  please kindly visit our website and feel free to send us an email.

WAT another-worldly experience! Cambodia: Compelling Pictures

In Destination Guide, Our Travel Stories on 2011/04/16 at 11:40 pm
Cambodia has always held a unique position in my heart, it represents life long friendships, spirituality and who can ignore the radiant beauty of its people who’s got amazing resilience weathering through stormy pasts? What can be seen in today’s Cambodia are pure gems in human history about surviving and hope. Follow my telescope and let us zoom in to view what it’s like in today’s Cambodia. Tuk tuk drivers chilling outside the coffee shops dotting the French style boulevards , suddenly all swarm in at the sight of you, pressing to ask ‘hello lady/sir, where you going? Need a tuk tuk?’ The experience in Cambodia is phenomenal, you need to push through the common hypes like the very dramatic and ubiquitous Cambodian music videos and the sometimes-you-wish-it-was-less-popular Cambodian karaoke that goes with it, in order to reach the pot of Wats on the other side of the rainbow. But there is a relaxing way to travel in Cambodia, and the option to take a regional tour to better compare and understand Southeast Asian countries’ cultures as a whole.

Take a look at the three Cambodian tours we offer: “Classic Cambodia 5 Days“, “THAILAND – BANGKOK – World Heritage Sites of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia 10 days”,MINERVA – Kingdoms of South East Asia – 20 nights“. All tours include excellent local guides and the finest accommodation and can be tailor made in order to suit your own needs. Request a brochure and send your inquiries here.

We’re pleased to deliver yet another feast to the eyes, all these wonderful compelling pictures below are kindly submitted by world traveler Janine Holzapfel from Germany, a traveler that has earned the writer’s great respect by her attention and care to the poor of the countries she has been. Cambodia is still a developing country that needs its economy strengthened and tourists can help by generous spending and volunteering on this land where giving is everything on its way to heal.

Can you see Cambodias future?

A moment for reflection

A moment for reflection

Its all emcompassing past

Its all emcompassing past

Day and Night

Day and Night

Day and Night

Day and Night

Our company has just received a testimonial from 2 American travelers who had taken  a 24 days trip with us to Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Here in Concorde, we are pleased when our customers are pleased!

Testimonial For Our SE Asia Tour

Send us an inquiry about our specially tailor-made all-inclusive packages or leave us a comment below!

Escape to Warm Waters in Fiji!

In 2011 Summer Tours, Destination Guide, Our Travel Stories on 2011/04/13 at 10:33 am

From my past experience of studying in a cold Nordic country, I know the pain you’ve been through every winter and the joy you must have when you can swim and dive into warm waters and get overwhelmed with tears because you are wrapped in the fantastic sunshine in Southeast Asia! What is better than to relax and chill on board, enjoy friends and nice cuisines, and have total freedom to wander off in exotic places when you reach the ports? Join us to cruise this summer, and in the royal way too! Concorde Travel proudly presents four summer Royal Caribbeans International cruise trips that will take you to Sanya, Vietnam, Japan, Shanghai, Taiwan and Korea. Excited? I think so. Set some time off in June and July and pamper yourself on a 4-star-vessel.

Legend of The Seas

Our summer cruises

Not everyone has tasted the sweetness of cruise travel like our company’s cruise specialist Sue Davis did. Here she is happy to tell you a personal story about the glamor and joy for cruise travel:

My favourite cruise destination is without doubt, The Mediterranean – so much choice, so much culture and the ability to have a different experience no matter how many times you visit. My most enjoyable cruise was spent in the French Riviera onboard the superbly splendid Sea Dream. The ship was docked in Monte Carlo and my jet set adventure started when my friend drove me to the port via the casino in his very fast, very black TVR. That was the start of a wonderful week of luxury – personal but unobtrusive service, beautifully appointed cabins, excellent dining, and as much champagne as I could drink. I hope they’ll invite me back again soon.”


So, a room with a view is nice, but what if the view is the timelessly gorgeous beauty of the Mediterranean? Imagine yourself self-willingly climb out of bed in early morning just to capture the first sunbeam shone on it. Imagine holding a finished absorbing novel on the deck as the sun sets or simply holding hands :). Everything is possible!

Pool

  • For inquiries about 2011 summer cruise tours, get in touch with Sue here.
  • Concorde Travel provides cruise tour packages to different oceans, please visit our ‘Oceans of   Choice‘ page for more cruising options.
  • Send inquiry for your next travel here
  • Coming up next week, we will post an article about cruising in ANTARCTICA! Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to make sure you get it. Very exciting Aurora Expeditions that are adventure focused, offered by one of the oldest Antarctica operators and they offer DIVING, kayaking and mountain climbing IN ANTARCTICA. Incredible!!

FACE OFF! Mt. Kinabalu 1985 VERSUS Mt. Kinabalu 2010

In Our Travel Stories on 2011/04/12 at 7:00 am

Our company’s director Graham climbed Mount Kinabalu in 1985. Twenty five years later in 2010, Kuma, the company’s new Assistant Product Manager, also climbed this highest peak in Southeast Asia. It’s interesting to compare how time has changed things for the climb, does time make the 4000+ meters climb easier?

 

Donkey's Ears 1985

Donkeys Ears 1985

Donkey's ears 2010

Donkeys ears 2010

Here you go, Mt. Kinabalu 1985 VERSUS Mt. Kinabalu 2010!

 

Differences: Graham accounted in his travel story that the

 

mountain was 4037 meters. On Kuma’s climbing certificate, it says the mountain towers 4095.2 meters, why? Is it growing? Indeed, according to Mount-Kinabalu-Borneo.com, the earth’s movement is  causing it to increase 5mm in height

per year. But if you do the math with figures from Graham and Kuma’s records (4037 and 4095.2 meters respectively), you will see in the 25 years between Graham’s and Kuma’s climbs, the mountain had grown an average 2.32 meters per year. With the technical difficulties involved in measuring the height of the mountain, the correct measurement has been debated. Although the real growth rate of Mt. Kinabalu seems unclear, something is for certain: the pain of climbing it!

Similarities: In his story, Graham wrote,

‘I did not find climbing Mount Kinabalu exhausting, nor did I experience any difficulty with the high altitude. I did, however, reach the point where I could not stand up and for the first time in my life, was totally crippled.’

Exactly the same was experienced by Kuma who was doing her climb in her 20s, had had no problem with altitude sickness thanks to plenty of what her guide would describe as ‘mountain food’, meaning peanut butter, chocolate and the pure goodness of fat and carbohydrates. She however was subdued by her jelly-like-knees climbing down.

Advice for climbing: Both Graham and Kuma agree that it’s advisable to make the ascent to the summit and return to the lodges which are  a short distance down from the peak ,  for another night before descending to Park Headquarter. This should make all the difference by helping you gain some strength back to your legs and knees before you head home all happily and proud that you’ve made the climb.

  • See Graham’s photos of his Mt. Kinabalu excursion here.
  • We offer tailor made itineraries for climbing Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, please feel free to look at this suggested itinerary. To send your inquiries about our specially tailor-made all-inclusive packages, please click  here.
Kuma's climb

Kumas climb

Graham's climb

Grahams climb

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