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Asia Transpacific Journeys

Recent Reviews and Press

We're pleased that our outstanding trips have received recognition as among the world's best. Read our recent reviews and press accolades to learn more about our award-winning Asia travel experts.

Travel + Leisure | Myanmar's Moment | December 2014

"This is Myanmar's Moment," journalist Andrew Solomon declared to Travel + Leisure. We couldn't agree more— there is a palpable sense that now is the time to explore this jewel box of a country before its transformation to modernity is complete. We are honored that our A-List Award-winning Travel Specialist, Rebecca Mazzaro, is featured in the article as a go-to resource for in depth, culturally-immersive travel experiences in Myanmar.


Travel Weekly | Magellan Award - Gold | October 2014

Each year, Travel Weekly magazine selects winners from the world’s top travel organizations worldwide that exemplify the best and most innovative practices in the industry. Asia Transpacific Journeys is proud to have been awarded top-honors for their unique, creative approach to culturally immersive luxury travel to Asia and the Pacific.


Travel + Leisure | A-List Travel Specialists | September 2014

Every year, Travel + Leisure magazine determines the top travel experts in each region of the world for their highly selective A-list awards—a feat that takes passion, dedication and experience. This year, two of our our top Travel Specialists were awarded this honor. For the fourth year running, Rebecca Mazzaro was acknowledged for her unsurpassed expertise in planning trips to Burma. And for the third time, Jarrod Hobson was recognized for his wealth of knowledge about Indonesia.

Travel + Leisure | Best Adventure Travel Destinations—Bhutan | June 2014

Hailed as a "rising star" of adventure tourism, Bhutan's unique mystique is a gem waiting to be discovered. Within the last decade, the nation's first luxury hotels have arrived, providing discerning travelers with comfortable access to the country's pristine environment and rich cultural heritage.

Travel + Leisure | A-List Travel Specialists | October 2013

Making the A-list takes passion, dedication and experience—qualities in which Asia Transpacific Journeys’ travel experts excel. Each year, Travel + Leisure recognizes the top travel experts in their highly selective A-list awards. We are proud to announce that for the second year running three of our Asia Travel Specialists have received this sought-after honor. Congratulations to Jarrod Hobson, Rebecca Mazzaro and Pat O’Connell for being recognized.

Travel + Leisure | International Homestays | Septmber 2013

Travel with Asia Transpacific Journeys to Kangaroo Island, Australia for the ultimate homestay experience on the 3,500-acre Stranraer Homestead. The owners, Graham Wheaton and his wife, Lyn, have four guest rooms furnished with fireplaces and antiques. They go to great lengths to make travelers feel at home—savor Lyn's home cooking, help Graham herd sheep with his Australian kelpie dogs or take a night walk to spot wallabies.

Travel + Leisure | Educational Travel Vacations | May 2013

Asia Transpacific Journeys exclusive new itinerary Papua New Guinea Through the Lens travels to remote villages, visits sacred spirit houses on the Sepik River and offers hands-on photography instruction from Michele Westmorland, an award-winning photographer who has visited the country 27 times.

Travel + Leisure | Ultimate Guide to Trekking, Walking & Hiking | May 2013

Experience a spiriutal retreat in Bhutan. This carefully preserved landscape is steeped in Buddhist culture. The Merak-Sakteng Trek goes to the country’s east, where you’ll pass hillsides filled with wild rhododendrons to reach remote monasteries

Travel + Leisure | A-List Travel Specialists | October 2012

Every year, Travel + Leisure magazine determines the top travel experts in each region of the world for their highly selective A-list awards. This year, we are proud to announce that three of our Asia Travel Specialists have received this sought-after honor, confirming them as leading authorities on travel to Asia. Congratulations to Jarrod Hobson, Rebecca Mazzaro and Pat O’Connell who each were individually recognized.

National Geographic Traveler | Where is Shangri-La? | August 2012

Only one placeZhongdian in China’s southwestern Yunnan Provincehas officially gone by the name Shangri-La County since 2001. Chris Dunham, of Asia Transpacific Journeys, recommends visiting during the late summer Khampa Horse Festival for three days of celebration, song and equestrian shows.

Travel + Leisure | World's Best Awards | August 2011

Asia Transpacific Journeys is honored to be named "Top 10 Tour Operator" in the "World's Best Awards" by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine. We are the only company specializing in Asia to win that coveted award. The honor is particularly gratifying for being democratic in nature--winners are not picked by an editor, but rather determined by people who have actually traveled with us.

Travel + Leisure | World's Top Travel Agents | September 2011

Travel + Leisure evaluated thousands of agents to come up with their highly selective list of the best travel specialists in the business. Rebecca Mazzaro was named an "A-List Travel Specialist" for her expert travel planning for Myanmar (Burma) and India.

National Geographic Traveler | 20 Best Trips of 2011 | December 2010

Looking for an out-of-the-ordinary destination for your next vacation? Check out our Papua New Guinea trip, hand-picked by National Geographic Traveler editors as one of the best for 2011.

1,000 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE | New York Times #1 Bestseller by Patricia Schultz

Schultz's impeccably researched life list is the subject's definitive tome. Like a gemologist with a keen and discerning eye, she has collected the earth's greatest travel-worthy destination jewels, sifted them down to a manageable 1,000, and polished them with historical insight, clear-eyed candor and a sense of wonder. We are delighted to be mentioned as the go-to expert for countries throughout the Asia/Pacific region.

Travel + Leisure | Global Vision Awards

The Asia Transpacific Foundation received a Global Vision award for their efforts to provide clean drinking water via simple ceramic filters in Myanmar (Burma). Says Scott Harrison, founder of Charity: Water and on the Travel + Leisure Award Committee, "Asia Transpacific (Foundation) has made a huge impact in what I believe is the most important issue facing us today-access to clean and safe drinking water."

Travel + Leisure | Fifteen Trips to Change Your World

Cultural Odyssey: Vietnam -- "Asia Transpacific Journeys, with over 20 years experience in the region, is the ultimate guide to the country's history and culture. This journey takes you to some of Vietnam's greatest landmarks - along with lesser-known places such as the hill-tribe villages and markets of the northern highlands."

In the News

The Los Angeles Times | Sunday Travel Section | May 8, 2011

The Huli Wigmen are the highlight of Asia Transpacific Journeys' 15-day Papua New Guinea Kundu Festival itinerary, which features hundreds of other tribes that flock to Milne Bay for canoe races set to the beat of traditional war drums. The trip also includes visits to sacred spirit houses, a Sepik River cruise and wildlife viewing.

The New York Times | Sunday Travel Section | March 29, 2011

Practical Traveler; Travel to Asia.  Planning a trip to Asia this year? Better get booking. Simone Farbus, air travel manager at Asia Transpacific Journeys, notes the Discover Asia Airpass, offers flights between 22 Asian destinations, ranging from $145 to $345 per segment.

National Geographic Traveler | 20 Best Trips of 2011 | December 2010

Looking for an out-of-the-ordinary destination for your next vacation? Check out our Papua New Guinea trip, hand-picked by National Geographic Traveler editors as one of the best for 2011.

The Los Angeles Times | Sunday Travel Section | May 16, 2010

Sri Lanka- Exploring wilderness and ancient cultures. The 16-day Splendid Sri Lanka tour features the South Asian island nation's principal highlights, emphasizing its lush wilderness and ancient cultures.

Westlake Magazine | Venture into Mongolia | Spring 2010

How about camel riding in the Gobi Desert? The 14-day Mongolia group trip - In the Path of the Nomad excursion from Asia Transpacific Journeys (from $6,995) explores one of the world's last remaining nomadic cultures.

Travel + Leisure | Ask T + L | December 2009

China Silk Road

Q: We're planning a trip to China this spring. Which outfitters offer packages with classic itineraries? -Michael, Bellevue, Wash.
A: The 17-day  tour of China's Silk Road from Asia Transpacific Journeys (from $6,195) retraces parts of the 5,000-mile trading route-from Beijing to Urumqui-with a detour at the carved temple grottoes at Mogao.

National Geographic Adventure | 25 Best New Trips for 2010 | November 2009

Laos: An Off-Limits Jungle

Guests can leave the planning to Asia Transpacific Journeys, the first (and so far, only) outfitter to run trips to this region of Laos. Spend four days exploring the region's trails by bicycle, foot or four-wheel drive, and ventured into untouched Ahka villages."

Once in a Lifetime Trips: The World's 50 Most Extraordinary and Memorable Travel Experiences | Summer 2009

Wild Borneo

"This tour de force lets you experience some of the world's greatest jungle and marine habitats and their rare inhabitants-including wild orangutans. Biologists believe that there could be thousands of additional plant and animal species that have yet to be identified on Borneo."

National Geographic Traveler | 50 Tours of a Lifetime | May June 2009

Three Faces of Buddha

"From the raked rock gardens of Kyoto to the temple architecture of Laos to the traditional paintings of Bhutan, explore how Buddhism informs three different cultures in this ambitious journey inspired by a longstanding interest of the operator's founder. Highlights include an overnight in a shukubo (traditional Japanese temple lodgings) and a hike to the cliffside Tiger's Nest Monastery in Bhutan." Asia Transpacific Journeys: "The Cultures of Buddhist Asia-Japan, Laos, and Bhutan."

National Geographic Adventure | The Adventure Ratings | February 2009

The Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth

"More regional than global, Asia Transpacific Journeys sends some clients to Australia, but most familiar territories are India, China, and Vietnam. It teaches clients local ways, such as how to barter for a camel at India's ancient Pushkar camel fair. And if getting your new camel home proves too big a challenge, Asia Transpacific Journeys will arrange to donate it to a local charity."

The New York Times | Sunday Travel Section | January 11, 2009

Practical Traveler; Where the Pros Are Heading

"Asia Transpacific Journeys has a 14-day trip (from $6,995) to  Yunnan Province in China, where local ethnic groups continue to hold fast to their tribal cultures."

Travel + Leisure | Travel Changes Everything | November 2008

20 Trips You'll Never Forget

Travel + Leisure recommends Papua New Guinea Featuring the  Tumbuna Sing-Sing. "Attend the Tumbuna Sing-Sing, the astonishing song-and-dance 'challenge' among tribes wearing their proudest costumes and performing their most mesmerizing chants."

Condé Nast Traveler | Roads Less Traveled | October 2008

Central Asia - Roads Less Traveled

"Asia Transpacific Journeys can help you minimize the challenges and maximize the rewards of a journey through  Central Asia's forbidding landscapes and byzantine bureaucracies. The Colorado-based operator offers an 18-day Lost Jewels of the Silk Road trip led by a Central Asia scholar."

Condé Nast Traveler | Friends in the Right Places | September 2008

Travel companies provide relief after Cyclone Nargis, Myanamar

"Asia Transpacific Journeys had a charitable foundation in place prior to the cyclone. Asia Transpacific Journeys reacted to the Cylcone Nargis crisis by stepping up its distribution of clay water filters, which can be lifesavers during a natural disaster where clean, running water is scarce."

Andrew Harper Traveler | Island Hopping | July 2008

Idyllic Islands

"Asia Transpacific Journeys notes many of the upscale Fijian beach resorts are accessible by ferry, helicopter or sea plane. Private yachts and sailboats with or without crew may also be chartered."

National Geographic Traveler | Winning the Currency Game | April 2008

"Thailand remains a superb value, and Bali is the bargain of the century," says Marilyn Downing Staff, CEO of Asia Transpacific Journeys. Staff also recommends Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia for affordable, exotic travel, at prices well below trips to Europe. Land costs in once pricey Japan have also moderated.

Condé Nast Traveler | 40 Trips of a Lifetime - The Dream List | December 2007

India | Tailing the Tigers - Asia Transpacific Journeys suggests, track Bengal Tigers on elephant-back in Bandhavgarh National Park with the president of the World Wildlife Fund- India. This big-cat specialist will also help you spot clouded leopards, boars, jackals, foxes, bison and monkeys in the park, formerly the private hunting grounds of the maharaja of Rewa.

Indonesia | The Lost Kingdom - Asia Transpacific Journeys suggests experiencing authentic village life in a remote hamlet that the Balinese consider a "lost kingdom". The village was isolated for centuries because of an ancient curse. To this day, it can't be found on any map.

National Geographic Adventure | Best Outfitters on Earth | November 2007

Passage to Indochina
When planning the adventure trip of a lifetime, the most important decision you'll make is not where to go, but who to go with. Asia Transpacific Journeys was selected by National Geographic Adventure as one of the Best Outfitters on Earth, in the Do-it-All Category with the signature trip Passage to Indochina.

National Geographic Traveler | Tours of a Lifetime, 50 of the World's Best | October 2007

Exploring the Undiscovered Waters of the Mergui Archipelago | Snorkeling Burma

Off the coast of Myanmar lies the Mergui Archipelago, host to thriving coral reef systems teeming with fish and limestone karst formations that jut from crystal clear waters. It is also the home to the Moken people, who live on the sea in small boats for more than half of the year. Explore these far-flung islands by snorkel, nature walks and Zodiac boats.

Cooking Light | Points to consider before booking a walking trip/tour | October 2007

Experience. Find out what type of guides a tour company uses. "Local guides can describe the intimacies of a location, while outside experts provide a broader overview," says Marilyn Downing Staff, CEO and founder of Asia Transpacific Journeys. Group size. Look for a group numbering 16 or fewer. "This helps optimize social dynamics and prevents a crowd from overwhelming a location," Downing Staff says.

AARP magazine| A Group Can Go Anywhere | September/October 2007


Be one of the privileged few to visit this Buddhist Himalayan kingdom, with an 11-day trip that includes time at the ancestral home of Bhutan's royal family and a stop at the Taktshang Monastery, which clings to a vertical granite cliff 3,000 feet above the valley floor.

Condé Nast Traveler | Honors Top Travel Specialists | August 2007

Condé Nast Traveler has conferred three "Top Travel Specialists" awards for 2007 to three members of our staff. We're delighted at being recognized for our unsurpassed commitment to first-hand knowledge in Asia Travel. The recognition is part of Condé Nast Traveler magazine's annual review of the industry's most knowledgeable experts. The three Asia Transpacific Journeys "Top Travel Specialists" are Eric Kareus, Jarrod Hobson and Rebecca Mazzaro.

Business Week | Adventures of a Lifetime | July 2007

Trekking through Bhutan by Patricia Schultz
A policy of limiting visitors means only 10,000 a year travel to Bhutan, one of the most remote and tantalizing corners of Asia. The last independent Buddhist mountain kingdom in the Himalayas feels light years from anything familiar. Television didn't even arrive until 1999. Its youthful, environmentally sensitive king ensures that the nation treats nature with respect. Trekking is the natural way to see the country. Amid its countless highlights is the 8th century monastery called Taktshang, the Tiger's Nest, clinging to a sheer mountain ledge about 3,000 feet above the terraced Paro Valley. Hook up with a reputable outfitter who will introduce you to the whirling festivals and gracious residents of this Himalayan Shangri-la now, before the first traffic light arrives.

Condé Nast Traveler |20 Places to See | May 2007

What's at Stake Borneo's rain forest, along with hundreds of species of plant and animal life, including the world's largest population of wild orangutans.

Best Way to See It A guide and permit are required for entering the Tanjung Puting National Park. Asia Transpacific Journeys can arrange both. Don't Miss Orangutan feeding time at Camp Leakey. When to Go The driest time is March through October.

The Today Show | Where in the World is Matt Lauer? | May 2007

Matt Lauer traveled to Bhutan -- as part of his Where in the World series. Asia Transpacific Journeys Group Trip to Bhutan, was featured and higlighted by NBC Travel Editor, Peter Greenberg. View the video clip here. (The video starts with a :32 second commercial.)

National Geographic Traveler | Tours of a Lifetime, 50 of the World's Best | October 2006

Myanmar | Secrets of Burma

It's no wonder that Burma, officially known as Myanmar, is one of the least visited countries in Asia. Some travelers may be put off by the country's repressive military regime, but Asia Transpacific Journeys rejects government-run agencies in favor of local contacts and guides cultivated since its first foray here nearly 20 years ago. The newly revamped tour ventures deep into the countryside, including a visit to the 17th-century ruins in the Shan State. ATJ's charitable arm-Asia Transpacific Foundation- continues to support Burmese refugee camps along the Thai border.

Travel + Leisure | Ask T + L | October 2006

Q: Can you recommend a few great culinary tours of China? --Lauren S, Lancaster, PA

A: Have Asia Transpacific Journeys (800/642-2742; www.AsiaTranspacific.com; from $300 per person, per day, double) customize your China tour, arranging trips to Xian, a former royal city, and lessons in making dumplings fit for an emperor.

National Geographic Traveler | Family Volunteer Vacations | July 2006

New Family Values, Today's summer vacation is all about learning, giving, doing

Asia Transpacific Journeys, for example, has seen a 22 percent rise in family bookings to places such as Australia, Borneo, and Thailand in just the past year. CEO Marilyn Downing Staff says its clients are looking for vacations with an educational component. "They want to expose their kids to things they wouldn't ordinarily see, to dig deeper."