Hardly the most beautiful vessel I’ve ever seen were my first impression on seeing “Jahan”, but this reminds me of the old adage “Never judge a book by it’s cover”.
Named after the Emperor Shah Jahan, who constructed the Taj Mahal in his wife’s honour. Built in 2010 at around 70 metres in length, she has 26 cabins with private balconies over 3 decks, with a crew of 37. With this ratio of staff to cabin, you know you are going to receive impeccable service.
Once on-board all doubts evaporated when you see the stylish interior of a floating 5 star boutique hotel.
There are 4 levels of cabin varying in size and cost, but all have floor to ceiling sliding doors that make the most of the views along the Mekong River and give access onto the large balconies with table and chairs. They include individual air conditioning and the most luxurious cotton bedding imaginable, stylish en-suite and mini-bar. The decor is “Raj era design” at its most opulent.
The Superior Stateroom (Qty 12) is the introductory level but still packs a punch at 30 sqm. The in-cabin bathroom features an out-sized shower and the lounge partition is inviting for a rest on a sofa with an all around river view.
The Deluxe Stateroom (Qty 8) are 30 sqm designed in a warm orange hue filled with colonial furniture and hand painted Indian inspired designs.
The Signature Stateroom (Qty 4) ranging in size from 32 sqm to 36 sqm,
with stunning cream and indigo detailing.
The Lord Byron Suite (Qty 1) is an impressive 50 sqm and has its own private Jacuzzi. The design can only be classed as sheer theatre.
The Taj Suite (Qty1) is the same size as the Lord Byron and fitted with its own private Jacuzzi. The design is more understated than the Lord Byron Suite, but nonetheless regal.
All this and fine cuisine in a Silver Service restaurant, on-board bar, sun decks, fitness centre and spa. That’s if you ever want to level your cabin. Once you’ve seen the rest of Jahan, you’ll never want to set foot on dry land again.
To find out more about River Cruising Cambodia to Vietnam along the Mekong or any other River Cruises contact Tracy Allen on 01455 240522.
This slow-paced paradise island is Vietnamese, but is located off the northern coast of Cambodia, so what makes Phu Quoc Island so special?
With just a 40-50 minutes flight from Ho Chi Minh City to the islands airport of Duong Dong it is easily accessible. For those who have been touring mainland Vietnam, you can catch an express boat from either Ha Tien, taking around 75 minutes or Rach Gia taking 2½ hours.
Because of the Phu Quoc Islands tropical climate, the best times (least rain) is between November and March when the average temperature is 26-28°C, although April to June and late October can be good and hotels tend to be cheaper. The temperature can soar to 35°C with high humidity, so stay close to the beach for that cooling breeze and make sure you’ve got air-con in the hotel.
The island has pristine powdery white sand, fringed with tropical palms and remains unspoilt. Inland is a national park with lush tropical jungle for hiking and exploring, rich with wildlife, fauna and flora.
La Veranda Resort and Spa is the leading luxury hotel on the island and part of the MGallery collection. On a 20km stretch of beach, the hotel is reminiscent of a French seaside mansion. With 70 rooms inspired by the colonial style with private balconies, mixed between suites (x49) and villas (x21) set in either tropical gardens or with Ocean views, 2 restaurants, WIFI, spa and pool.
Chen Sea resort comes a close second, a boutique hotel with only 36 villas mixed as sea view, beach front, jacuzzi and two-bedroom villa with pool, restaurant, WIFI, spa and pool.
Cuisine on Phu Quoc is dominated by seafood as you would expect, although there is a mix of cuisines with influences from French (Le Cap Breton), Indian (Ganesh Indian Restaurant), Mediterranean (Mondo Restaurant) and typical Vietnamese.
With boat trips to its neighbouring islands, fishing, snorkelling and diving the crystal-clear waters or wandering around the shops in Duong Dong.
Would you like to tour Cambodia and Vietnam? We can explore a range of itineraries with you – Call Not Just Travel on 01455 240522 for more information.
More than just a beach destination, sprawling Goa is also attracting wellness tourists, wildlife enthusiasts, culture seekers enthralled by the melange of Portuguese and Indian architecture and lovers of its spicy regional cuisine.
“Goa is a gentle and rewarding introduction to India. It is the country’s smallest state – from the stunning beaches and dense jungle to the striking Hindu temples and dramatic churches, nothing is too far”
KATIE BUSHNELL, PRODUCT MANAGER, THE GOA EXPERIENCE
Rumble in the Jungle
Take a jeep safari in Mollem National Park, in the Western Ghats, where Nilgiri blue robins flit among foliage and sloth bears roam
The night market at Arpora is a great place to pick up souvenirs, including silver jewellery and block printed fabric. Reluctant shoppers can sip cocktails and listen to live music
Colourful facades in Panjim’s Fountainhas quarter and the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception’s white staircases count among urban scenery popular with photographers
With 63 miles of coastline Goa is home to several of India’s best beaches. The sandy shores at Agonda, Palolem, Mandrem, Arambol, Varca, Benaulim and Cavelossim feature in Trip Advisor’s Top 10
Take to the water
Try activities on water, from banana boat rides to parasailing, off the Goan coastline
Goan cuisine is a delicious blend of Portuguese and Indian influences. In the UK vindaloos are renowned for their fieriness but the original is far tastier, featuring meat marinaded in vinegar and garlic
See the ‘Sea of Milk’
That’s how the name of the Dudhsagar Falls translates into English. The waterfalls, in the Western Ghats, are a popular excursion and are at their most spectacular after the monsoon rains
Glide along the River Siolim on a houseboat and see the sun setting beneath the palm trees. Overnighting on one of the boats means opportunities to view fishing villages and landmarks such as Chapora Fort, a legacy of Portuguese colonialism
Spend a day visiting the churches and convents, including the impressive Se Cathedral and Basilica of Bom Jesus, at Old Goa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Dotted with colonial properties with easy access to beaches, Goa makes for a cosy getaway. Summertime, a luxury hilltop villa, was named Asia’s most romantic retreat at the 2016 Boutique Hotel Awards
Goa – Getting There
Goa – Deals
With seven-night offers including international flights, transfers and breakfast staying at the 3* Colonia Santa Maria hotel in North Goa from £ 699 pp, it really can be affordable.
Would you like to tour Goa? We can explore a range of itineraries with you – Call Destinasia from Not Just Travel on 01455 240522 for more information.