D-Brief Edition 10 - Trains, Planes and Automobiles

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D-Brief Edition10 showcase show accessible Asia is with Diethelm Travel. We offer you a variety of exciting transportation choices guaranteed to spice upyour journey.


  • D - B r i e f

    T r a i n s , P l a n e s &

    A u t o m o b i l e s






  • D - B r i e f

    Bangkok, 16 June 2011

    Dear Partner,

    D-Brief Edition 10 showcases how accessible Asia is with Diethelm Travel. We offer you a

    variety of exciting transportation choices guaranteed to spice up your journey.

    Most of our customers fly for several hours, crossing mountains and oceans, to reach the

    continent we call home. Having arrived in Asia, we recommend thinking differently. Do not

    just hop on yet another plane; take the train and enjoy the panoramic vistas of an

    overland journey.

    We also look at novel ideas to get a birds-eye view of sightseeing attractions and, reserved

    for the privileged few, splash out on a helicopter charter or arrive in style at your hotel in a

    restored classic car from a bygone era. Alternatively, for the thrill seekers, soar high above

    the ground in a micro-light or strap yourself in for a fun ride through the countryside in an

    ex-army jeep.

    So this month, go wild and try something different.

    Sincerely yours,

    Your Diethelm Travel Team

  • You have, no doubt, been sitting on a

    plane for several long hours to reach your

    chosen Asian destination. So when you

    finally arrive, instead of opting for the

    obvious transportation method, why not

    choose to explore something out of the

    ordinary? Whilst some of the options,

    such as the Eastern & Oriental Express are

    well known, the possibilities of

    experiencing Southeast Asia with different

    modes of transport are endless.

    Travelling at an average speed of 200km/h

    or more, Chinas brand new bullet train

    network is fantastic to cover long distances

    and see the country at the same time. The

    Darjeeling Himalayan Railway chugging up

    the hills at a maximum speed of 15km/h,

    allows you to experience the India of a

    bygone era.

    Both Bagan and Angkor Wat offer

    opportunities to take in amazing aerial

    views of Asias most celebrated UNESCO

    World Heritage Sites. To top it all off,

    indulge and arrive in style at your final

    Thai destination in a privately chartered

    helicopter. Lavish to say the least!

    In Luang Prabang, consider turning your

    arrival transfer into a nostalgic experience,

    enjoying a ride in a vintage Mercedes. The

    more adventurous traveller will find a city

    tour of Ho Chi Minh on the back seat of a

    restored Vespa exhilarating.




    Trains, Planes & Automobiles

  • The benefits of travelling by train are

    obvious. No other mode of transport will

    get you closer to a countrys culture and

    people. Passing through villages, rice

    paddies, forests and along mountain

    ranges, you can watch the farmers at work

    and immerse yourself in breathtaking

    scenery. Exploring a country by taking the

    local train also gives you ample

    opportunity to interact and meet the

    locals, whether on the train or during


    Travelling by train, you are leaving a

    smaller carbon footprint behind than by

    taking a plane or car. Knowing the

    environmental benefits, your journey in

    either a historical train or the newest high

    speed train will be an even better


    The choice of trains ranges from Chinas

    new bullet train, Indias old steam engines

    that still pull their carriages like they did

    120 years ago, to local trains and luxury

    trains such as the Eastern & Oriental



    Did you know?

    The first commercial train passenger

    service in Asia was inaugurated in India

    in the year 1853. On 16th April of the

    same year, a train with 14 railway

    carriages and 400 guests on board left

    Bombay's Bori Bunder Terminal for

    Thane. The 34 kilometres long journey

    took an hour and fifteen minutes.

  • Chinas New High Speed Rail Network

    China has unveiled the worlds fastest high-speed

    train to date. With an average speed of 350km/h, this

    mode of transport is very efficient to say the least. It

    is projected that China has so far spent in the region

    of USD 50 billion on the infrastructure for this


    China has very ambitious development plans to roll

    out these high-speed trains throughout the country

    linking rural communities including around 42 new

    lines by the end of 2012. By 2020 its expected to

    consist of around 25749 km of track, the largest in

    the world. Main routes include Beijing to Shanghai

    and Guangzhou. Currently operational is Shanghai to

    Hangzhou, departing every 30 minutes with a journey

    time of one hour and an approximate cost of 23

    dollars per person each way.

    Mind boggling technology has revolutionized domestic

    travel within China. Contact us for more information

    on current operational routes we can pre-book for


    Picture source: http://nzexporter.co.nz

  • This world-renowned train has become an icon for

    nostalgic luxury train travel in South East Asia.

    Travelling from Singapore through the lush sweeping

    countryside of Malaysia and Thailand, this is a

    journey like no other.

    Transport yourself into a bygone era where dressing

    up for dinner in the opulent dining car is

    accompanied by fine wines, delicious cuisine and a

    relaxing ambience.

    Journeys include classic routes such as Bangkok to

    Singapore, as well as the new edition, Chronicles of

    South East Asia. Four odysseys exploring the region

    in much greater depth, from the ancient Khmer

    temples to the lush rice fields of Thailands interiors.

    These new options range from 4-day journeys to 7-

    day epic experiences.

    Diethelm Travel Group works in close partnership with

    Orient Express, so contact us for ideas of how to

    incorporate these memorable itineraries with city

    stopovers or relaxing beach breaks.

    E&O Express Experiences

  • Depart on an environmentally friendly tour taking

    you through the central plains of Thailand to the

    UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Ayutthaya,

    Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai.

    Taking local trains (non-air-conditioned), you have

    the opportunity to experience Thailands countryside

    and to interact with the locals, as you observe the

    passing by rice fields and visit small villages. En

    route, visit the sights by bicycle and local transport,

    such as pedalled rickshaws, horse carriage or ox-

    carts to make a positive contribution to the en-


    Northern Thailand by Train offers a sustainable and

    laid back way to discover the highlights of Thailand.

    Trains in Thailand are clean, reliable and used by the

    friendly locals. Whilst they are basic and not all of

    them are air-conditioned, you will be too busy taking

    in the beautiful landscape and impressions to miss

    any amenities you might be used to from your home


    Do not hesitate to ask Diethelm Travel Thailand for

    more information about this tour.

    Northern Thailand by Train

  • Nothing can match the experience of chugging up

    the hills, past little hamlets and terraced fields,

    making your way through tunnels and over

    breathtaking bridges. The Darjeeling Himalayan

    Railways leisurely pace offers you panoramic views,

    whilst the invigorating air and scenic hill resorts

    provide a welcome respite from the hustle and

    bustle of the city.

    The Railway is on the UNESCO World Heritage list

    due to its age, 1878 AD, as well as its remarkable

    feat of engineering. A tiny century-old engine, to

    every train connoisseur's delight, pulls the charming

    two carriage toy train for 87 km in 9 hours, from

    Siliguri on the Indian plains up to the hill resort of

    Darjeeling. On board are Nepalese women, who use

    the cheap transport to visit friends and relatives, as

    well as tourists, train enthusiasts, schoolchildren

    and wandering ascetics. At times the narrow gauge

    railway track and the road seem to move in

    tandem, twisting and crossing each other 150 times

    during its slow ascent.

    India by Train

  • Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

    A ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is not for

    the hurried and hassled traveller but for those who

    wish to dreamily gaze at rhododendrons, misty tea

    slopes, the distant snowy peak of Kanchenjunga and

    life along the tracks. Moving at a maximum speed of

    15 kilometres per hour, the train steams through the

    colourful bazaar of Kurseong, where people move

    away from purchasing for a second to allow the train

    through. The brakeman leans out to watch for any

    obstacles on track, whilst the driver of 40 years

    experience anticipates the long haul up to Ghum; at

    2247m is the highest railway station in India. No

    wonder Mark Twain described his trip on the Railway

    as the most enjoyable day I have spent on the


    Two additional narrow gauge trains worth

    experiencing are the toy train from Kalka to Shimla,

    as well as the Nilgiri Mountain Railway which chugs

    at a maximum speed of 33 kilometres per hour to

    the hill resort of Ooty. Should you be interested in

    booking one of these fantastic train journeys,

    Diethelm Travel India would be happy to assist you.

  • Having so much geographical diversity, Sri Lanka is

    the perfect place to hop on a train and watch the

    scenery pass by. Train journeys in Sri Lanka are not

    only cheap, but are a wonderful and unique

    experience for visitors wishing to explore the islands

    tea-growing hills.

    The Sri Lankan Railway offers two classes to choose

    from: second class or the Observation Car. We

    recommend you book an Observation Car ticket.

    While not quite as luxurious as the Eastern &

    Oriental Express (the car does not have air-

    conditioning), the Observation Car provides the best

    seats on this route. The car is at the rear of the train

    and has comfortable seats facing a large picture

    window looking back along the track. The scenery is

    breathtaking! Board the train in Kandy and on the

    way to Nanu Oya you will see Sri Lankas hill

    villages, glittering green tea fields, gushing

    waterfalls and observe the daily lives of the local


    Nuwara Eliya, a colonial hill station at 2000 metres

    above sea level, can be visited easily from Nanu Oya

    Sri Lanka by Train

  • train station. Home of the famous Ceylon Tea,

    Nuwara Eliya was modelled after an English country

    town, with red-brick houses and green meadows.

    Due to its all year around cool climate, the British

    made this little hill town into a summer retreat in the

    early 1800s and most of its colonial charm still

    remains. Travellers, who, after the 5-hour journey to

    Nany Oya, have not yet seen enough tea estates and

    rolling hills, can board the train again and continue

    through the heart of Sri Lanka to Bandarawela and


    Should you decide to book a train ride as part of

    your Sri Lanka tour, your driver will take your

    luggage and meet you wherever you decided to

    stop. Its hassle free!

    However, booking a train ticket in Sri Lanka can be

    time-consuming, as the procedures are still pretty

    outdated. We at Diethelm Travel are happy to

    provide this additional service to ensure you dont

    miss this great experience.

    Train through the Tea Plantations

  • Sometimes time is of the essence. Much of

    our time is spent at airports waiting at

    customs, working our way through security

    check points, only to then find out that the

    flight has been delayed. Chartering your

    own private jet or helicopter allows you to

    avoid this hassle and enjoy a luxurious,

    peaceful travel experience without the

    disturbance of long queues.

    Hiring your own aircraft, you are able to

    choose when to depart and where to go.

    With smaller aircrafts or helicopters the

    choices of different arrival airfields

    increase dramatically.

    Private charter makes your trip

    exceptional, entirely stress-free and,

    travelling with a group of friend or family,

    it can be unexpectedly cost-effective too.

    Alternatively, why not treat yourself with a

    flight over the UNESCO World Heritage

    Site of Angkor Wat or the crystal blue

    waters of southern Thailand?

    Aerial sightseeing gives you the

    opportunity to experience the grand sights

    of Southeast Asia from a birds eye view.

    Soar through the skies with qualified and

    experienced pilots and enjoy a fantastic

    view of the topographical gems of

    Thailand or Cambodias ancient ruins.

    There is no better way to take in and

    appreciate what these extensive sights

    have to offer than by circling over them.

    Read more about these and more exciting

    options to make every holiday exceptional

    over the next pages.


  • Micro-Light Flights over Siem Reap

    Enjoy a breath taking bird eyes view of Siem Reap

    and its surrounding countryside from aboard a Quik

    GTV-450 micro-light aircraft. Just 5 kilometres outside

    of Siem Reap, at the Jayavarman Airfield, hop in an

    ultramodern micro-light aircraft with a 9 meters wing

    span and a maximum take-off weight of 450

    kilograms. The pilot flies over the regions different

    landmarks with flights ranging from 15 minutes to 1

    hour. Choose from one of the four different routes,

    either following the Siem Reap River down to the

    Tonle Sap Lake flying over the floating villages and

    rice paddies, or over the ancient temples to see the

    area from a completely different perspective.

    Flying times are from early in the morning until

    sunset; however, during the rainy season clouds may

    form in the afternoon and thermal activity during the

    hot season might prevent the aircraft from flying in

    the middle of the day. Hence early morning flights,

    when there is still a fresh breeze, are highly


  • Marco Polo, the explorer himself, described Bagan as

    "one of the finest sights in the world". Visitors to

    Myanmar should not miss out on seeing Bagans

    breathtaking pagodas, spread over an area of 41

    square kilometres, comfortably from the basket of a

    hot air balloon.

    Imagine gently floating over hundreds of ruins built

    during the 11th and 13th century, the Ayeyarwaddy

    River slowly flowing southwards below you while the

    sun rises over the immense ochre and sandy plains.

    The balloon is travelling at a slow pace, not

    exceeding 25 kilometres per hour, allowing you to

    take in the serene and peaceful early-morning

    atmosphere. Gentle winds guide you over ancient

    temples, providing a perfect backdrop and a once-in-

    a-lifetime experience. The friendly and well-trained

    balloon crew will welcome you with a glass of

    champagne after the landing, rounding off the 45

    minutes to one hour flight in style.

    Sunrise as well as sunset champagne flights can be

    booked daily from October through to the end of

    March with Diethelm Travel Myanmar.

    Balloons over Bagan

  • When visiting Angkor Wat and its surrounding

    historical landmarks, it is impossible to not be

    impressed by the size and complexity of the ancient

    ruins. There is no better way to get an

    understanding and overview of the ruins than to

    have a birds eye view of the UNESCO World

    Heritage site from 200 metres above the ground.

    Located one kilometre from Angkor Wat, a tethered

    balloon lifts up to 30 people at one time in the air,

    offering exciting views of Angkor Wat and Phonm


    From the stationery vantage point you will see the

    city of Siem Reap, the old temple ruins as well as the

    West Baray, a large water reservoir of 8 kilometres in

    length, built in the 10th century. On a good day

    visibility can be up to 20 kilometres, giving views

    over the Cambodian countryside with its rice fields

    and villages. A ten minute ascent will only set you

    back around 15 USD. This spectacular experience fits

    every budget and c...


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