Happy Travelers ~ Great Civilizations Along the Silk Road

Happy Travelers ~ Great Civilizations Along the Silk Road

Recent travelers just back from The Great Civilizations Along the Silk Road tour have a lot to say!

We are just back from Bryn Mawr College’s tour, guided by Joseph Wang.  The tour was a complete success, full to the brim, overwhelming – as we hope it would be, and has given us much to digest and think about.

Our first order of business is to tell you how delighted we were to have Joseph as our National Guide.  From our Beijing pre-tour to our farewell at Shanghai Airport, Joseph was always a step or two ahead of us.  He anticipated needs we hadn’t even thought of and provided for them.

On the first day of our full group, Joseph had to address one traveler’s missing luggage containing medication, and another’s misplaced passport.  He resolved both matter flawlessly.

Joseph’s knowledge of his country – past, present, and likely future – is encyclopedic and was delivered matter-of-factly, one grown-up to another, with no airs or pretense.  His kindness was evident at every turn.  Xi’an required quite a bit of walking and I observed  the gentleness with which he suggested wheelchairs to several in our group who really needed them.  He made the idea seem to be the travelers’ rather than his own.  Remarkable diplomacy!  I marvel at his patience with my attempt to learn a few word of Mandarin, including the use of correct tones.

Joseph is also a teacher, and our questions yielded understanding from him everywhere we went.  His ability to explain nuance and shades of meaning on any subject is what we would expect at a university level but rarely on a travel tour.

As we said in our farewell dinner toast, we were enriched by not one, but two professors in our company

Bryn Mawr’s, Bob Dostal, gave us wonderful perspective on China’s history, economy, politics, and religion in two formal presentations and numerous sidebar conversations.

Barbara and I have traveled extensively in our 60-plus years, and only Salih Orgun in Turkey rivals Joseph as a guide.

Thank you for this extraordinary tour which we will remember the rest of our lives.  Xièxiè, Joseph.

Barbara and Bruce Morgan, Bryn Mawr Alumni

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An Insider’s Journey to Japan

An Insider’s Journey to Japan

Read the first-hand account of the owner and founder of Asia Sublime, Charlotte Xu Dewar, as she travels through Japan. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more pictures and observations from Charlotte.

With 30 years as a travel planner, Charlotte is a true travel expert, and you will find her observations to be amusing and helpful.

Luxury Japan Tours

Snow Monkeys of Yudanaka, Nagano (Japan)

Near Nagano in the mountains and valleys is the little hot spring town Yudanaka. 200 wild snow monkeys roam the area, living harmoniously with the locals. 1/3 of the year covers the area in deep snows. Monkeys manage to survive the winters soaking in hot springs.

They are gentle natured like the locals, almost has a Zen feel. I sat in front them for a long time smiling and taking close up shots. Japanese act so respectfully. Even kids don’t make loud noises among the monkeys as if they just know how to.carry the sense of harmony around. You are not supposed to have eye contact with the monkeys as it is considered a threat. But quite a few of them did look at me right into the eyes, particularly the babies, again calmly and pleasantly.

April to June is the time of new birth. Tiny babies just born hang on to their mom’s chest breast feeding. At 4:30pm, park staff cut apples top crossed and throw them hard to the rocks where monkeys wait. The apples splash into small pieces that monkeys pick up quickly before a fight start. Lots of joys from the visitors, particularly the children.

Female monkeys are pregnant for 180 days, giving birth at night. Every other year she has a new baby and is fully responsible raising her babies as fathers have no business, nor interest. She has average 10 babies in her life time.

The hot spring Japanese hotel I stayed is so elegant and artistic, a great place to bring American families…

Onto Matsumoto castle town…

Charlotte

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