Borobudur, Indonesia. Image courtesy of Mike Aquino.
An 8-day, 7-night visit to Southeast Asia's key exponents of high culture: Yogyakarta and its Javanese way of life; Bangkok and its gentle Thai arts; and Bali's Hindu-inspired crafts.
Bangkok, Thailand is this tour's starting line, and what a show it puts on: from the dazzling selections for shoppers at the Bangkok Night Market and the Siam Paragon mall; to the many historic structures down the Chao Phraya River, among them Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) and the Grand Palace complex.
From Thailand, you'll jet off to the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta, which retains much of the magic left over from successive Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms that once ruled the region.
Starting with the present-day Sultan of Yogyakarta's Keraton, or royal palace, you'll proceed to the Taman Sari water palace before traveling back to kingdoms long gone, through structures like the majestic Buddhist mandala of Borobudur, featuring impassive Buddha statues staring out at the four cardinal directions; and the fragmented but still magnificent Hindu Prambanan Temple.
Explore Yogyakarta's cultural traditions hands-on when you visit a local Batik village and the Kota Gede Gold & Silver district, before shopping at the city's busy Malioboro retail street.
Finally, you'll make the short eastward hop to Bali, where the island's gorgeous Hindu temples will bowl you over: the gorgeous water temples of Pura Ulun Danu Bratan and Tampak Siring; the magnificent seaside temple of Tanah Lot; and the placid beauty of Gunung Batur in Kintamani.
Between stops, you'll have a romantic dinner al fresco on Jimbaran Beach, and stop for shopping at the Kuta tourist district near the airport.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple, Bali, Indonesia. Image courtesy of Tourism Indonesia
Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand. Image courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand
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