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Here's your chance to experience an epic train journey that's like no other, as you traverse CHINA, MONGOLIA & RUSSIA for 22 Days!

This train journey has captured the imagination of travellers' since the early 20th Century and our superb itinerary combines the classic route from Beijing, with many exciting stopovers enroute to St Petersburg.

Beginning in Beijing, we will have ample time to view the iconic attractions of this great city, before continuing to the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. Our time on the Mongolian Steppe provides us with a taste of nomadic life and a chance to experience the genuinely warm hospitality of the local people as we stay in a ger camp.

The next part of our journey enters the heart of Siberia to Lake Baikal, the world's deepest and largest freshwater lake. Finally, we first head to the city of Moscow to soak up its history and then to St Petersburg to be awed by the magnificence and sheer beauty of this Imperial city. 

Highlights include: Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and Summer Palace in Beijing and a remote section of The Great Wall. Dine on traditional roast Peking Duck dinner in Beijing and overnight with a local nomadic family in Mongolia.

After national park visits in Mongolia, well visit Lake Baikal in Siberia as well as Red Square, St Basil's Cathedral & Kremlin visits in Moscow.

You'll enjoy this special hand-crafted itinerary with included sightseeing, scenic drives and excursions accompanied by local English speaking Tour Leaders in each region. EuroVista's Paul Leigh and Ken Bowie will escort you from Beijing to Moscow.

For the full itinerary, travel dates and more, visit this link: https://www.mondotravel.co.nz/article/2105

You can also contact: david.boyce@mondotravel.co.nz or ph: 0274 776619.

 

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Peabody Ducks - These ducks live on the roof at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. Every day at 11am they come down the elevator with the ‘duck master’ and head to the fountain in the hotel lobby where they spend the day. This has been going on since the 1930s! You need to get there early to get a good spot to see the ducks - a drink in the lobby bar gives you a good vantage point!

 

 

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With winter getting colder, many super city commuters may be dreaming of some freedom from the rat race. Fortunately, real estate website Curbed has made a helpful list of car-free cities around the world. Some are historic town centres that have banned cars; some have streets that are simply too narrow for vehicles. Others, like Venice, rely on boats. 

Ghent, Belgium

In an effort to end traffic chaos and air pollution, the Ghent city centre banned cars in 1996. The streets are now free for exploring on foot, by bike or public transport.

Lamu, Kenya

Lamu is a car-free island in Kenya, and is the oldest, most well-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa, earning it a listing as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The narrow streets of the old town only permit walkers, bicycles, and donkeys.

Fes el Bali, Morocco

Another UNESCO World Heritage site - Fes el Bali is one of the largest car-free urban areas in the world. Like Lamu, the preferred way of travel is on foot, by bike, donkey or cart. There are about 9,400 winding streets to explore, Curbed says.

Fire Island, New York

Off the coast of Long Island, Fire Island is a car-free oasis for the US. The only means of travel is by foot, bicycle or golf cart.

Hydra Island, Greece

The only big vehicles in this ancient town are the rubbish trucks. Part of the Saronic Islands, residents get around on foot, by donkey, or water taxi.

La Cumbrecita, Argentina

La Cumbrecita is known as Argentina's first pedestrian-only town. Strangely it features alpine-inspired Bavarian-style houses.

Venice, Italy 

The most famous car-free city - Venice boasts 416 bridges, 177 canals and beautiful, brightly-painted buildings.

Giethoorn, the Netherlands

Giethoorn is often nicknamed "the Dutch Venice" for its waterways filled with boats, and its plethora of bike trails. It's also famous for its thatched-roof buildings.

Dubrovnik's Old Town, Croatia

Dubrovnik is a busy city, but its Old Town centre is a pedestrian-only UNESCO World Heritage site.

Sark, Channel Islands

Off the coast of France, the island of Sark could be the perfect place for travellers to unplug. The only motors are the island's tractors. Even the ambulance is pulled by a tractor.

Source: NZ Herald

 

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Twice-a-week return flights to Niue from Auckland will now operate year-round following an agreement between the Niue Government and Air New Zealand.

 

Previously the airline has operated one service a week between early November and late March; it is now extending operations during that period to twice-weekly.

 

Niue Tourism Director of Marketing Felicity Bollen says growing visitor numbers and an increasing demand for seats has prompted the airline to extend the service.  

 

“We’re seeing not just an increase in international travellers wanting to experience the unique attractions of the island they’re hearing so much about, but also increasing numbers of Niueans overseas returning to visit friends and relatives on the island – particularly through the summer months.”

Felicity Bollen says the growth in tourist numbers and the tourism developments taking place on Niue, such as the current expansion of the Scenic Matavai Resort to add accommodation and a conference centre, have given the airline confidence in extending the service.

Flights to Niue from Auckland operate on Saturdays and Wednesdays, using an Airbus A320 aircraft with a capacity for up to 168 passengers. The flight time is 3.5 hours.

Let Mondo get you there in style - ask our travel specialist for the best deals at the best prices!

0800 1110 108

 

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CHIHULY in the Bronx - a major exhibition at The New York Botanical Gardens

Blooming in the Bronx this spring is CHIHULY. A major exhibition at The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) from world-renowned sculptor Dale Chihuly, dynamic glass installations in brilliant colours will be on display, complementing over one million plants across a 250-acre landscape. Running April 22 through October 29, 2017, not only will the changing seasons create beautiful vistas for the artwork during the day, but evening events will also allow guests to view the sculptures by illumination.

While in the Bronx for NYBG’s CHIHULYNYC & Company (nycgo.com), the City’s official destination marketing organisation, invites visitors to stay in the northernmost borough to discover more attractions, culture, and dining, all only a short distance from Manhattan’s Midtown.

How to Get There:

First, speak to your Mondo Travel Specialist about flights, deals and accomodation offerings!

Once there:

  • Begin at Grand Central Station in Midtown Manhattan. While there, experience the Whispering Gallery and the 2,500 stars on the main concourse’s ceiling mural. To reach NYBG, the Metro-North train to Fordham Road is a 20-minute trip. The Bronx is also easily accessible by the B, D, 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 MTA subway lines.

Where to Go:

  • Arthur Avenue / “The Real Little Italy”. Famous Arthur Avenue haunts is the Arthur Avenue Retail Market which is home to Mike’s Deli, Mario’s, Calabria Pork Store, Artuso Pastry Shop and Randazzo’s Seafood. While at the Retail Market, enjoy hyper-local brews at Bronx Beer Hall.
  • The Bronx Museum of the Arts - Located along the Grand Concourse, the Bronx Museum of the Arts showcases the borough’s emerging artists and its culturally diverse background.
  • The Bronx Zoo - One of the largest zoos in the world with 6,000 animals.
  • The Edgar Allan Poe Cottage in Fordham, where poet Edgar Allan Poe spent the last years of his life from 1846 to 1849, is a must-see for fans of his work. 
  • With Hush Hip Hop Tours, groups board a bus led by entertaining musicians who showcase important sites throughout the Bronx that played a role in the early days of hip hop, including the Bronx Walk of Fame.
  • Van Cortlandt Park is a sprawling 1,146 acre park is the third largest in the City and features the nation’s first public golf course. Also home to the nine-hole Mosholu Golf Course. The park offers endless green space for picnics, athletic grounds and playgrounds.
  • The 28-acre public garden and cultural center at Wave Hill allows guests to take in vistas of the Hudson River and beautiful landscapes. Their ongoing concert series continues this spring with music for the whole family at the Wave Hill House.
  • Yankee Stadium - Home to the 27-time World Series champion New York Yankees, the stadium is now also host to NYCFC soccer.

More of The Bronx?:

Check out A Bronx Tale the musical, now playing on Broadway in Midtown Manhattan.

 

Call us to chat about an itinerary to suit you!

0800 110 108

 

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The Walking Dead, you ask ..... here's a little background ....

The Walking Dead is a tumunu or traditional bush bar on Atiu, an island of fewer than than 500 people about 45 minutes by plane from Rarotonga. The name comes from tumu, the Cook Islands Maori word for trunk, and nu, or coconut, because the brew was originally made in the hollowed-out stumps of coconut palms.

Tumunu were around long before disapproving missionaries had them banned, and remained illegal until the mid-1980s. That long prohibition explains why even now they are hidden deep in the bush.

Each tumunu has its own clientele and closely guarded recipe, but all brew something that can loosely be described as beer using the oranges that grow wild on Atiu. The result, which takes about three days to ferment, tastes more like a slightly fizzy fruit wine than beer. It's surprisingly palatable but deceptively strong - usually around 12 per cent - which only becomes apparent when you try to stand up.

You can read more on the NZ Herald article HERE.

Then have a look at some of our Cook Island deals HERE.

 

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G Adventures has introduced the Jane Goodall Collection, a selection of wildlife-focused tours endorsed by the world-renowned primatologist.

Under the guidance of its founder and namesake, the Jane Goodall Institute has worked tirelessly for 40 years towards fostering a deeper understanding of great apes and to protect their natural habitats. G Adventures and Dr Jane Goodall have designed these trips to bring you into close contact with our planet’s most fascinating creatures in a manner that respects their freedom.

G Adventures is proud to partner with the institute to create awareness of and support its mission to protect wildlife and empower local communities. Every Jane Goodall Collection tour sold helps G Adventures support the Jane Goodall Institute’s mission to protect wildlife and empower local communities.

Trips in the Jane Goodall collection include:

Mozambique, Kruger & Swazi Discoverer - 12 nights from $2,852pp

Galapagos Camping Adventure - 8 nights from $2,429pp

Explore Costa Rica - 13 nights from $2,989pp

 

 

 

 

 

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After four days of fun festivities on the bank of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River, the 15th King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament wrapped up on Sunday 12th March. A total of ten teams with over 40 players from around the world created many memorable moments on and off the pitch during the annual charity event.

A total of 25 unemployed ex-street elephants took part in this year’s tournament, during which time they received full veterinary checks from the Zoological Parks Organisation of Thailand (under the patronage of His Majesty the King of Thailand) and the Department of Livestock Development. In addition, all elephants were given essential vitamins, food and care which are not available to them during their normal daily lives.

The tournament was introduced to Thailand in 2001 by Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas and is now one of the biggest charitable events in the Kingdom, raising funds for projects that better the lives of Thailand’s elephant population. THB 6 million has been raised this year, taking the total raised to date to over THB 50 million (US$1,400,000)

Funds will be donated to various projects including the Positive Reinforcement Target Training programme for mahouts and vets, the Zoological Parks Organisation of Thailand which supports veterinary and educational projects to improve the year-round lives of the 300 elephants and mahouts in Ban Ta Klang, Surin Province where ex-street elephants face ongoing hardship.

Other significant benefits from the money raised by the tournament include: the ongoing Thai Elephant Therapy Project which has been underway since 2009 in conjunction with Chiang Mai University’s Department of Occupational Therapy, with future clinics to include children with Down’s syndrome and other conditions; a THB 500,000 gantry to help lame elephants stand donated to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC); 4,000 trees planted in Hua Hin for elephant corridors to stop farmer/elephant conflicts; funding a conservation curriculum for schools to teach children the importance of conservation and protection of wild elephants in Thailand, and funding Asia’s first workshop to show traditional elephant trainers and camp owners the benefits of Positive Reinforcement Training for captive elephants.

The event had something for everyone, kicking off with a colourful opening parade, with the opening ceremony overseen by the Kru Ba Yai, Thailand’s ‘elephant spirit men’, traditional dancers, plus the daily trunk-to-trunk action on the pitch.

Day two saw the tournament host hundreds of children from local schools in Bangkok. Known as Chang Noi Day (Little Elephant Day), the children were invited to get up close with the elephants and learn more about their national animal. A range of educational walks, games and activities all teaching the benefits of elephant conservation and wellbeing were showcased by the organisers.

Saturday was ‘Ladies Day’, popularly known as ‘Bangkok Ascot’, where ladies dressed to impress with the best dressed lady winning a stay in the Maldives.

The highly anticipated final was presided over by the King of Thailand’s Royal representative, H.E. Air Chief Marshal Chalit Pukbhasuk, Privy Councillor. Reigning champions King Power went head to head with Mekhong, culminating in a thrilling end to the tournament, with Mekhong clinching the title in the last moments of the match, resulting in a final score of 10-11.

Final Leaderboard for 2017 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament: 

  1. Mekhong
  2. King Power
  3. Casillero del Diablo
  4. Johnnie Walker Blue Label
  5. Arabian Knights
  6. Citi
  7. PWC All Blacks
  8. IBM
  9. Benihana
  10. Anantara

For more information on the 15th Annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, please visit www.anantaraelephantpolo.com

Make sure you're at next year's tournament ... stay tuned by subscribing to the Mondo weekly newsletter for holiday deals and airfares.

 

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