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March 2017: The latest trips from Insight Guides | Insight Guides Blog

March 2017: The latest trips from Insight Guides

Have an adventure this spring on one of Insight Guides' latest trips. From tracking elusive leopards in Sri Lanka to visiting ancient monuments in Vietnam and sailing on pretty lakes in Italy, one of these destinations is bound to take your fancy
Rice field and river, NinhBinh in Vietnam. Photo: Shutterstock
Rice field and river, NinhBinh in Vietnam. Photo: Shutterstock

Ninh Binh, Vietnam, is home to incredibly beautiful landscapes. Photo: Shutterstock

1. Italy

What? Touring the Italian Lakes and soaking up the culture of the surrounding towns and cities
Which trip? Enchanting Italian Lakes 

This exploration of northern Italy starts with the magnificent sites of Milan before heading out to the countryside and the glorious Italian lakes. First is Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, where you can relax in peaceful surroundings and tour pretty lakeside towns. Visit the romantic city of Verona, the setting of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Next, journey to Lake Como where the white-marbled gothic duomo will be the highlight of your morning walking tour. Take a boat from here to Bellagio to stroll amongst ancient villas and shop in the many boutiques and handicraft shops around. 

Reach Lugano on the Swiss-Italian border by driving along the twists and turns of Lake Lugano. Enjoy fine restaurants, bars and shopping in true Swiss-Italian style in this luxurious city. The final destination on this tour is Ernest Hemingway's summer hot spot, the Borromean Islands on Lake Maggiore. Spend a day exploring Stresa and the three islands offshore; Isola Madre houses peacocks, pheasants and parrots, which roam freely across the island.

2. Sri Lanka

What? Adventure and wildlife in the national parks of Sri Lanka
Which trip? Sri Lankan Wildlife Discovery

Arrive in Colombo for an action-packed wildlife and cultural adventure. Spend your first few days touring the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Udawalawe National Park and Yala National Park on Jeep safaris catching sights of elephants, leopards, deer, mongoose, reptiles and differing landscapes of evergreen vegetation, dunes and grassland along the way. Move on to Nuwara Eliya, stopping at Ella, where the incredible landscapes continue. 

Days 6 and 7 of this vibrant itinerary include visiting the cultural highlights of Kandy, as well as exploring Matale Spice Garden and the spiritual Dambulla Cave Temples. Experience an alternative view of the much-visited Sigiriya rock fortress with a hot air balloon ride at sunrise; here, you'll truly be away from the tourist crowds. Finally, end your trip watching baby elephants being bottle-fed and bathed at Pinnawala Elephant Camp, located on a 25-acre coconut plantation. 

A lone elephant walks through Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka. Photo: Shutterstock

3. Malaysia 

What? Exploring the tea plantations of the Cameron Highlands
Which trip? The Cameron Highlands in a Nutshell 

This 3-day express trip begins with a guided tour of the Batu Caves, to the north of Kuala Lumpur. The caves are a shrine to the Hindu deity, Lord Subramanya. Afterwards, head into the hills outside the city to the Cameron Highlands, famous for its tea plantations. Stop along the way to view the Lata Iskandar Falls and watch locals weaving traditional bamboo baskets. 

Once you've arrived in the highlands, take in the panorama of tea estates and farms on the surrounding hillsides. Tour a plantation near your hotel, to learn about the tea making process and taste delicious samples. Visit farms and markets in the region, exploring the land's full range of local, seasonal produce. Watch colourful butterflies flutter around Butterfly Farm and understand the history of the Cameron Highlands at the Time Tunnel Museum, before heading back to the city. 

4. Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam

What? A historic trip through the ancient cities of Southeast Asia
Which trip? Indochina's Unique UNESCO Treasures 

Start your UNESCO World Heritage tour in Hanoi, walking and cycling between museums and temples, and exploring the old quarter of the city. Travel to Ninh Binh, the ancient capital of Vietnam once called Hoa Lu; it is often referred to as Halong Bay on Land. Investigate the Thien Ha Cave carved into the Tuong Mountain – the mountain once served as a defence wall to the ancient capital city. Embark on a cruise on the real Halong Bay, winding through limestone rocks standing tall amid the emerald-green water. Watch sunset and sunrise on board a traditional junk, along with cooking demonstrations and Thai Chi. 

Next, fly to Luang Prabang to cruise the Mekong River, visiting villages that produce rice alcohol, coloured fabrics and paper as you go. Hop across the border to Cambodia with a stop at Siem Reap. Visit the temples of Angkor with its centuries-old architecture, including the infamous Angkor Wat. Round off your adventures in Indochina with cart rides through rice fields, royal baths and local markets at Tonlé Sap.

Walking on a suspension bridge on an early morning, with Mount Kinabalu as background in Malaysia. Photo: ShutterstockAn early morning walk with Mount Kinabalu in the background, Malaysia. Photo: Shutterstock

5. Malaysia

What? Wildlife conservation in rural Malaysia
Which trip? Malaysian Wildlife Explorer

Begin your Malaysian wildlife adventure at an orangutan centre, where injured orangutans are brought to be nursed back to health before being released into the wild again. If this wasn't enough cuteness for one day, you'll follow this up with a visit to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, where you can see the smallest bear in the world. 

Drive through rural Malaysia to the small villages of Sukau and Bilit. Embark on a number of river cruises to explore the countryside from the water. Capture the ambiance of the river in the early morning and spot different wildlife waking up. The final part of this thrilling tour takes you to the Gomantong Caves system, home to bats and swiftlets.

Insight Guides covers numerous destinations worldwide so if the latest holidays outlined above don't fit your requirements, there's plenty more to choose from: browse available itineraries online now or talk to a local expert to plan your perfect holiday from scratch