We’re excited to release our list of brand-new tours for 2020. We’ve expanded to another corner of the globe, created multi destination tours, added river cruises, new area’s and trips to famous carnivals!
Let us take you on a tour of what’s new….
Ancient Empires of China & Japan
Why not tick two countries off the bucket list at once? Two of our most popular destinations, put together in one fantastic tour! Starting in Beijing, you work your way down through China via Xian, stopping off at the Terracotta Army, Guilin, Yangshou and back up to Shanghai, where you can experience a panoramic river cruise at night.
From Shanghai, fly to Osaka and start soaking up city life. See sights such as Osaka castle and explore Japan’s most vibrant city. From there you’ll ride the bullet train to Okayama & Kurashiki, take a ferry to Miyajima Island and visit Hiroshima before jumping back on the bullet train to Tokyo’s old imperial capital – Kyoto. You’ll visit Japan’s most famous zen garden and the Golden Pavilion, visit Fushimi Inari Shrine and to Nishiki food market, finishing off your time in Kyoto with an Origami class and a ritual tea ceremony. On route to Tokyo, you’ll take a quick stop in Hakone to enjoy the landscapes and views of Mount Fuji with a boat trip on lake Ashi. Once in Tokyo, you’ll get the chance to experience everything, from the neon lights and non-stop delights to temples, peaceful shrines and tranquil backstreets. See the full tour itinerary.
Whilst we’re talking about China & Japan, let us take you through what’s new in our flagship destinations.
As per its name, it’s what we consider to be the ultimate trip to China. For those looking to get a real feel of the country and explore everything this beautiful country has to offer, then this 27-day tour is perfect for you! Starting in Beijing, you explore everything this city and surrounding area has to offer, before heading to see China’s biggest marvel – the iconic Great Wall!
You then take the bullet train to Xian and enjoy a traditional meal and show, before seeing the Terracotta Army and Xian Old Town the next day. From here, take an internal flight to Guilin and see the Little Wild Goose Pagoda and take a river cruise along the beautiful river Li. The next stop is Kunming where you’ll see the UNESCO spectacle ‘The Stone Forest’. The bullet train will take you to Dali, Lijiang, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Tiger Leaping Gorge, and Zhongdian in Tibet. Your journey continues with a flight to magical Lhasa in Tibet and the Barkhour Circuit before seeing the architectural wonder that is the Potala Palace (the former winter palace of the Dalai Lama) sitting at the base of the Red Mountain.
The final part of the tour could be considered the most memorable, fly to Chengdu and enjoy a trip to the world-famous Panda Conservation centre, before transferring to the vibrant city of Chongqing to board your Yangtze River cruise vessel for a 3-day sailing you’ll never forget. You’ll disembark the cruise for your flight to Shanghai. Explore Shanghai and end your trip in the best way possible (and Wendy’s favourite highlight of the tour) with a night river cruise and panoramic views along the Huangpu River. The next day, depending on your flight time, you have time at leisure before your flight home.
Sichuan & Yangtze Delights
Hot off the press! This tour is our newest addition and is something we are really proud of. Spend 14 days travelling from the heart of the Sichuan Province to the imperial highlights of Beijing, admire some of China’s most impressive UNESCO World Heritage sites and natural landscapes. Immerse yourself in stories of 9th Century China from the rock carvings of Dazu and relaxing in the wonderful surroundings of the Yangtze River as you cruise along China’s most beautiful waterways.
Highlights include Dazu, Wulong National Park and seeing the world-renowned Giant Pandas. View the Sichuan & Yangtze tour page for the full itinerary or see our blog for more info!
Japan & The Scenic South
A homage to the lesser known southern island of Japan, Kyushu. This brand-new 13-day tour is perfect for those who don’t like following the beaten track. This tour takes you from Fukuoka in the south of Japan, up to the heart of Japan, Tokyo, stopping at famous sites such as Hiroshima, Mount Fuji and Kyoto on the way.
Soak up the beauty of unknown Japan, and have out of this world experiences, such as bathing in thermal mud springs, walking the Kintaikyo Bridge and riding the bullet train. Japan & The Scenic South is not one to be missed in 2020!
Journey through Japan
Perfect for those who want to take in the whole of Japan in 14-days. Start at the top of Japan in Sapporo, located on the northern Island Hokkaido, and work your way down the spine of Japan’s main island Honshu. You’ll embrace the winter Olympics with a trip up Okurayama – the Olympic Ski Jump, where the views over the mountains are breath-taking. After a walk around the pretty port town Otaru, you’ll visit the Sapporo Beer Museum (with a tasting, of course!), and a have a traditional Genghis Khan meal in the Beer Garden.
Taking the bullet train, for a majority of this tour, you’ll find an experience at every stop. From visiting a traditional Japanese Onsen, a Sake brewery, Tokyo, Mount Fuji and Kyoto you’ll feel fully immersed into Japanese culture by the time you fly home from the booming city of Osaka.
Let’s show you the new areas of Asia that we’ve put our stamp on. We believe these tours are perfect for those wanting to explore new cultures, traditions and countries.
Treasures of Taiwan
A complete loop of Taiwan, from Taipei to Kenting taking in all the sights including Sun Moon Lake, a tea plantation, Tainan (Taiwan’s oldest city), Kaohsiung City and the Dragon and Tiger Tower. From there it’s onto Spring & Autumn Pavilion before visiting Taiwan’s largest monastery, Foguanshan. You’ll visit Kenting National Park at Taiwan’s most southernly tip, before heading up to Sheding Nature Park and taking an ocean drive to Chihpen hot springs for relaxation time.
Travelling northwards on a scenic drive to Taroko, you’ll spot wild monkeys and view the serene Chishingtan Lake before visiting one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. From there you’ll head back towards Taipei with a few scenic stops along the way, and a trip to a whisky distillery. Once in Taipei, you’ll have a farewell dinner before heading back home. For a look at this tour in more detail, head to our ‘Treasures of Taiwan’ blog or view the tour itinerary.
Scenic South Korea
South Korea is one of Asia’s most underrated destinations, with complex history, stunning countryside and full of ancient temples and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This tour covers the circumference of South Korea, showcasing the well-known areas such as Seoul and Busan, as well as stopping at scenic marvels such as the Juknokwon Bamboo Forest, Jongmyo Royal Shrine (UNESCO), Gyeongju – the museum without walls, Naksansa Temple and Mount Seorak National Park.
With trips up the N-Seoul and Busan Towers, a traditional cooking class, a handkerchief dyeing experience and tickets to a performance of the award-winning show ‘Nanta’ you are guaranteed an unforgettable and unique trip. For a more detailed look at this tour, have a read of our Scenic South Korea blog or view the tour itinerary.
Mongolia & Naadam Highlights
Unlike anywhere you’ve seen before, Mongolia is a place of remote history. Starting in Ulaanbaatar, soak in the local culture by visiting the Ganda Monastery, National Museum of Mongolia, Chinggis Square and other highlights, before heading to a traditional wrestling camp to spectate the local athletes practice their skills. From there you’ll head to an archery camp, and then spend the night in a traditional ger (yurt) whilst learning how to cook an authentic Mongolian BBQ meal.
Visit the Gorkhi Terelj National Park and see Turtle Rock before heading to Khustan National park for the beginning of the Naadam festival, in Ulaanbaatar. You’ll also get to explore the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan and have time to shop for souvenirs such as cashmere and felt. The Naadam Festival is an unforgettable experience and this will be the highlight of your journey. After the festival go wildlife spotting, explore sand dunes and the flaming cliffs on a 4WD.
Nepal & Bhutan Adventure
Somewhat underrated areas of Asia, Nepal and Bhutan are brimming with culture, history and some of the most beautiful scenery you’ll ever lay your eyes on. This tour has a high physical rating, so it’s not suited for those who find walking long distances on uneven terrain a challenge.
Our Nepal & Bhutan Adventure covers the spine of the country. Starting in Kathmandu, you’ll have time to see the delights and culture of Nepal’s capital city before arising early for a sunrise walk to watch sunrise over the Himalayan landscape and see the flights of butterflies dancing in the orange-soaked skies – this is one of our favourite parts of this tour! You’ll then travel onto the neighbouring village of Blastula to meet the local people and take part in a traditional cooking class. Your tour will continue the next day to Bhaktapur where you will visit the medieval square, Potter’s Square and take part in a pottery masterclass with a Master Potter. Before leaving Kathmandu you’ll get to visit the Bodhnath Stupa, which is a great monument dominating the skyline. Experience a special Lama Blessing from a traditional Tibetan Buddhist Monk, and then take a moment to reflect in the Pashupathinath Temple before heading to Bhutan.
Starting in Thimphu you’ll be fully immersed into the centre of the government, religion and commerce of Bhutan with visits to the Institute of Zorig Chusum, the Handicrafts Emporium and Folk Heritage Museum, the Textile Museum, the National Library and the Trashi Chhoe Dzong. There’s a reason it’s the busiest town in Bhutan and to this day it remains the only capital city in the world without traffic lights! Taking a breather from city life, head to rural Bhutan and take a hike through the paddy fields and local villages to the Chimi Lhakhang – the Temple of Fertility.
Whilst making your way through rural Bhutan, you’ll discover many temples and historic monuments with a stop at one of the most famous of all – The Tigers Nest Monastery, before heading back to Kathmandu to travel home.
Journey Through Central Asia.
Meet the countries we call ‘The Stans’ as you embark on a tour of five nations across (yes you guessed it), central Asia.
Starting in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, travel through the country up to Uzbekistan stopping at the famous Samarkand, before travelling slightly more north to the southern tip of Kazakhstan and the famous Tashkent. From here you’ll journey southwards into Tajikistan and spend time in Dushanbe, before flying to your final destination of Kyrgyzstan. For a more in depth look at this tour, read our ‘Meet the Stans’ blog, or view the tour itinerary.
Visit Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia as you meander across the northern and southern coasts of Eurasia in our brand-new tour – Eurasia Explorer.
Starting your trip in Baku, you’ll visit Martyr’s Lane and the Alley of the Martyr’s on your way to a spectacular viewpoint overlooking Baku’s coastline. The city of Baku is one not to be missed with time spent in the Carpet Museum, Main Market Square, Maiden Tower and the Shirvanshah’s Palace finishing up at Fountain Square. Visit Yasnardag Fire Mountain (also known as Burning Hill) where natural gas has been ablaze for hundreds of years, as well as visiting the Ateshgah Fire Temple, Mardkan Medieval Fortress and Gobustan National Park to visit the Petroglyph Museum and rock carvings.
Travel through the Caucasus Mountains, visit the historical Juma Mosque and take part in a yoghurt-making class, explore Gabala and the renowned ruins of the ancient walled city, meet native Udin people and visit a Sheki Bazaar, which contains every possible food item you could ever think of, from freshly baked bread to honey, cheeses and sweets.
From here it’s onto Georgia visiting Ganja Lake, a traditional Georgian market, a local family and enjoy a home-made lunch with them followed by a wine tour and tasting. Travel north west through Georgia visiting Tbilisi City, Mount Kazbegi, Uplistsikhe Cave Town and the breath-taking (Okatse Canyon). Take part in a cooking class learning to make Khachapuri (a traditional Georgian dish of cheese filled bread) and work your way through local villages, taking in the architecture and beauty of one of Georgia’s UNESCO protected villages – Ushguli.
You’ll end your trip by entering Armenia, where you will visit Haghpat Monastery, the medieval kingdom of Dzoraget, Dilijan (often described as ‘Little Switzerland’) and the Dilijan Monastery and onto Goris – which was an important trading post for the Great Silk Road. One of the last parts of the trip is one that many will love as you learn how to make local cheese and wine before heading to the Garni village for another cooking class, and to enjoy your last day of Armenian life before flying back to the UK
The Victoria Mekong
Here’s something completely new for Wendy Wu Tours, which is already proving popular. Meet our new cruise Vessel – The Victoria Mekong.
As part of six amazing new tours cruise the river Mekong from Phnom Penh – Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon) or Ho Chi Minh – Phnom Penh depending on your choice of route taking in the gorgeous scenery of the Mekong and the way of river village life. ‘The Best way to see Vietnam and Cambodia’ according to our very own chairwoman and Founder, Wendy Wu.
To help preserve the Mekong and the people that live and thrive off it’s banks we are proud to announce that the Victoria Mekong is one of the Greenest Ships on the Mekong, with its state of the art water recycling system, slow cruising pace and the use of refillable water bottles on board. We are dedicated to showing you the Mekong in all it’s glory, and help preserve it for years to come.
Last, but by no means least, our eight remaining new tours take place in a whole new area of the globe. Find out how Wendy Wu Tours takes Latin America by storm with our new variety of tours, departing from Feb 2020:
Carnival Edition & Essence of Argentina & Brazil.
Exclusive to Wendy Wu Tours, have a seat in the grandstand at the world’s most colourful party – Rio Carnival! Departing in February, we’ll take you on a tour around Argentina, starting in Buenos Aires where you’ll get a real flavour of the country with a city tour and a tango dance class. From here you’ll hop over to Uruguay and visit the picturesque town of Colombia before coming back to experience rural Argentina and the Pampas.
The highlight of the tour (and our Latin America Expert Gemma’s favourite part) is a visit to Iguazu Falls. Starting in the Argentinian side, you’ll get up close to this incredible wonder. This is where you’ll cross the border into Brazil and view the falls from the Brazilian side – which is a completely different experience in itself!
Then it’s onto Rio for a city tour, a visit to the famous Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugar Loaf Mountain before having a full day to enjoy the carnival festivities and parade from your seats in the grandstand. Our Rio Carnival Tour itinerary is different to our usual Essence of Argentina & Brazil tour itinerary, with a special carnival version departing in February, with other departures in Sept, Oct & Nov of 2020.
Find out more about this tour from our Argentina & Brazil Blog.
Colombia Discovery & Colombia Discovery – Carnival
We’re bringing the world-famous coffee region to life with two epic tours. One of which coincides with the famous Barranquilla Carnival where you will be able to witness exciting parades, vibrant colours and see the creative costumes. View the full Colombia Discovery Carnival tour itinerary to discover more.
This tour takes a lively zigzag through Colombia starting off in Bogota with sightseeing and a city tour, followed by a visit to the Salt Cathedral (built 200m below ground!). Take part in a traditional Salsa class, a coffee tour and a guided walk through the cloud forest. Explore Medellin, Santa Marta and Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona before spending time in the UNESCO-protected Caribbean port city of Cartagena. View the full itinerary of our Colombia Discovery tour for more info.
Colours of Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a natural wonderland, filled with bountiful nature and incredible wildlife. Explore the abundant rainforest and cloud forest, keeping your eyes peeled for the monkeys, sloths and colourful birds that call it home on our Colours of Costa Rica Tour.
Start your journey in San Jose, and travel in a triangle around the country visiting La Paz Waterfalls, Tortuguero Village and National Park, stay in a rainforest lodge in Sarapiqui before embarking on a chocolate tour – where you will learn everything from where the plant is picked, to how it is manufactured into the chocolate we know and love today.
In the shadow of Arenal Volcano you’ll find the Mistico Park – known for its hanging bridges through the forest (at canopy level!). Walk across the bridges and admire the beauty and nature of the forest, spotting wild monkeys, toucans and sloths! Round this off with a boat trip across Arenal Lake with views of Arenal Volcano and Monteverde, before embarking on a coffee tour in the Don Juan Estate.
Closing the trip with a tour of Monteverde cloud forest, Antonio National Park before heading back to San Jose for a farewell meal and final night.
Chile Top to Toe
The second longest country in the world (missing out on Brazil’s top spot by only 95 kilometres!) sits the splendid slither of land known as Chile.
Travel the entire length of Chile, from the barren beauty of the Atacama Desert and Altiplano of the north, via the lakes and volcanoes of the Lake District, to the spectacular mountains and glaciers of Patagonia in the south as part of our Chile Top to Toe tour. To learn more about this spectacular tour, read our Chile Top to Toe Blog, or head to our Chile Tours page.
Peru is one of those country’s that truly captures the imagination – it’s the enchanting tales of long-lost settlements high in the mountains, all conquering conquistadors, romantic colonial towns and cities and plethora of woolly llamas that do it.
Peru enjoys a rich and complex heritage that combines Latino, Incan and indigenous traditions in a colourful and fascinating tapestry that is easy to stumble on around every corner. Crowned by the magnificence of Machu Picchu, Peru is a country brimming with treasures to discover.
Starting in Lima, discover the country’s capital and its famous Peruvian cuisine along with a tasting of Peru’s national beverage – Pisco. Head into rural Peru to see ancient ruins, local village life and observe a hand-weaving demonstration before getting stuck into a cooking demonstration with the locals and enjoying a Quechua dish.
Board the train to the world famous Macchu Picchu for sightseeing and a choice of optional tours including a challenging hike to the Huayna Picchu viewpoint. Enjoy a soak in the Aguas Calientes thermal baths or venture up to Intipunku or Sun Gate. The tour continues through Cusco, Puno, Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon and Arequipa, before transferring back to Lima for a farewell dinner. Depart for the UK the next day. For more information, have a look at the tour itinerary – Panoramic Peru Tour.
The final journey we’re going to take you on is our all-in-one tour, and one that our Latin America product team are pretty proud of. How does spending 28 days travelling through the whole of South America, visiting all the countries listed above and many of the featured sights? Your ultimate trip of South America can be found right here at Wendy Wu Tours in our ‘Ultimate Latin America Tour’.
Ultimate South America
Introducing our Ultimate tour of South America, this all-encompassing journey will take you through the landscapes of Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil on an epic adventure.
Start in Lima, Peru, and work your way down through Bolivia and Chile visiting sights such as Machu Picchu, Cusco, Puka Pukara, the Bolivian Salt Flat, the Atacama Desert, El Tatio Geysers, the Andes Mountain Range and Santiago.
From here head into Argentina and visit the beautiful Mendoza for a wine tour and tasting, Buenos Aires, The Pampas and up to the Argentinian side of the world-renowned Iguazu Falls. Make your final boarder crossing onto the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls before heading to the airport for your flight to the most colourful city in the world – Rio de Janerio.
Explore Rio de Janerio and see many of the iconic sites from Mount Corcovado, Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain, Copacabana Beach and time at your leisure in the city, before boarding your flight home to the UK.
Let us know which tour takes your fancy for 2020.