Travelers Explore More of China, Vietnam, Europe with Backroads

Backroads Active Travel Company Takes You to Backroads of China, Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos, Croatia, Tuscany, Umbria, Czech Republic, Austria

Olympic Games in BeijingThe eyes of the world was on China when the 2008 Summer Olympic Games overtook the land where intrigue and history mesh with the world’s largest population.

After the final medal has been awarded and the media frenzy subsides, Backroads will help travelers explore China’s nooks and crannies far removed from the crowds during a tour designed for complete cultural immersion. And you don’t need to be an Olympian to enjoy this trip because Backroads, the World’s #1 Active Travel Company, now offers tours without the bikes and hiking boots.

The Backroads China Insider Trip will allow guests to experience firsthand tai chi with a master, visit a Tibetan village and drink yak-butter tea with a local family, and sit down with a local craftsman and learn to make prayer flags. Travelers will visit renowned landmarks such as the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square and will benefit from longtime personal relationships with locals for an insider’s perspective of these historic and cultural landmarks.

Discover the Real Backroads of Hundreds of Destinations with Backroads Active Travel

“Backroads is really excited to add our latest way to explore the world to our award-winning biking, hiking and multisport vacations,” says Tom Hale, Backroads President and Founder. “These are experiences you cannot have behind the wheel of a car, or on a train or a tour bus, or in a few excursions from a cruise ship or a secluded resort.”

Backroads, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2009, has learned that active travel extends well beyond activity to an attitudinal approach of engaging with the world. When on a Backroads trip, travelers do not tick off guidebook highlights or passively wait for the next stop on the coach tour. Backroads guests fully explore a region, immersing themselves in a fascinating culture or an area of pristine natural beauty, having illuminating conversations with experts and meeting local people they’d never otherwise encounter.

Backroads Insider Trips for Fall, Winter and Spring

China Insider: Ancient and Modern
Oct. 18-28, April 19-29, May 31-June 10; Cost from $5,698 (excluding internal airfare)

Daoist monkThis unique trip will appeal to adventurous travelers looking for a vast array of experiences, epic landscapes, ancient cultures and welcoming locals eager to share their traditions. Not only will guests visit hot modern cities-Shanghai and Beijing-and view well-known Chinese icons, but travelers will also enjoy the more personal and intimate cultural encounters that only Backroads provides. Meet a Daoist monk who helps you make offerings for a successful journey. And witness the fascinating dichotomy between people holding tightly to ancient traditions while simultaneously riding the tidal wave of modern Chinese-spurred development. Go here for more information.

Indochina Insider: Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos
Sept. 27-Oct. 7, Jan. 25-Feb. 4, March 23-April 2; Cost from $5,998 (excluding internal airfare)

Angkor WatThe beauty of Indochina exists not only in the stunning Khmer carvings at Angkor Wat, but also in the smiles of young monks at a village wat, the sight of Vietnamese fishermen paddling on the South China Sea and an impromptu encounter with giggling school kids at a centuries-old pagoda-things that are easily missed unless travelers slow their pace to match the richness and diversity of your surroundings. In tandem with Backroads’ team of extraordinary local guides and experts (from a Buddhist monk to an art historian), the intertwined cultures of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos come to life, as well as the traditions, landscapes, political histories, languages and lifestyle that make each country unique. Guests will delve into Indochina’s deep and fascinating cultural roots, as well as its wildly dynamic modern culture, which will likely intrigue them just as much as the ancient. Go here for more information.

Dalmatian Coast Insider: Sarajevo and Croatia’s Island Jewels
Sept. 26-Oct. 1; Cost from $3,998

Stari MostThe enduring multiethnic tapestry and stunning natural beauty of southeastern Europe sets the stage for a memorable journey stretching from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Croatia‘s Dalmatian Coast. As the region reemerges as a destination to rival established European vacation spots, Backroads helps guests discover architectural treasures, distinctive cultural and religious history, and gorgeous coastline. Travelers will stroll the bustling streets of Sarajevo, site of the 1984 Winter Olympics, and visit Mostar’s famous bridge Stari Most, a World Heritage site. And on the Dalmatian Coast, renowned for having some of the most beautiful islands in the world, guests will explore the Old Walled Town of Dubrovnik, “The Pearl of the Adriatic,” and navigate turquoise waters aboard a private boat in search of sun-drenched beaches, fields of lavender and picturesque villages. Go here for more information.

Tuscany & Umbria Insider
Sept. 14-19, May 31-June 5; Cost from $4,798

TuscanyAgeless scenery, rich history and, of course, stellar wine and cuisine make Tuscany and Umbria ideal destinations for culturally curious travelers. Over 20 years of operating in the region has allowed Backroads to cultivate its knowledge of central Italy. Thanks to relationships with locals who know this area intimately, Backroads peels back layers to reveal Tuscany’s deep heart. The trip is filled with special events and encounters-from a behind-the-scenes exploration of Florence to fun-filled cooking classes-to offer the most in-depth and authentic Italian experience. Guests will meet and interact with artists, chefs and historians who are happy to tell you their stories and share their expertise. Travelers will return home, feeling like they’ve become part of an extended famiglia internazionale! Go here for more information.

Czech Republic/Austria Insider
Aug. 24-29, Sept. 21-26, June 2-7; Cost from $3,298

Czech RepublicBackroads helps guests explore the stunning Bohemian landscape from the peaceful countryside and perfectly restored Ceský Krumlov to the authentic Czech city of Tabor and magical architecture of Prague, where spires, turrets and onion-shaped domes are surprising pleasures. Guests will discover the terraced vineyards of the Wachau, Austria‘s premiere wine region, and the historical and architectural gold along the Danube River, including the famous Melk Abbey and the castle ruins of Dürnstein. Regional experts and guides will help travelers uncover the history and culture of these two intriguing countries, highlighted by World Heritage sites and subtle treasures. Go here for more information.

Backroads Active Travel Company: find out more at today!

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