September 2017: The latest trips from Insight Guides

As the mornings begin to cool and autumn eases itself into the atmosphere, its time to head east and south where the climate is hotting up. From the mysterious mountains of Tibet to the little-visited archeological site of Mrauk U, see what we have in store for you this September...
Silhouette of locals playing ball game at sunset in Ipanema beach, Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Shutterstock
Silhouette of locals playing ball game at sunset in Ipanema beach, Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Shutterstock

1. Tibet

What? Monasteries and temples

Which trip? The Mystical Worlds of Shangri-La and Tibet

Travel from Kunming to Lhasa via the valley of Shangri-la on this exploration of Tibet. Start on the shores of Green Lake in Kunming, amid the limestone rocks of the imposing Stone Forest, before taking an overnight train to Dali. Embark on a cruise on the calm Erhai Lake, watching as the boat passes the reflection of the snowy peaks. On the way back, explore the old town of Dali and stop off to observe the three pagodas of the Chongsheng Temple. This is the first of many temple visits. You will find many in the Unesco World Heritage Site of Lijang and in Gyantse and Shigate. Take the opportunity to visit Bai villages and see Buddhist frescoes as you continue on your journey. 

Continue with a drive to Zhongdian county, where the infamous Shangri-la valley is. The drive takes you past a 180-degree turn in the Yangtze River. Your final stop of the trip is Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Tour numerous monasteries and temples here including the Jokhang Temple, which is roughly 1,300 years old. Perhaps the most impressive building of all though, is Potala Palace, the former home of the Dalai Lama and the universal symbol for Tibet. 

Burmese food on the table at a Myanmar restaurant. Photo: Shutterstock

2. Myanmar

What? Tea shops, local dishes and landmark sites in all the major destinations

Which trip? The Flavours of Myanmar: A Culinary Journey

Combine local cuisine with landmark sites on this tour of Myanmar. Start your holiday with a tea shop tour as soon as you land in Yangon. Savour national dishes and see the city sights as you walk from tea shop to tea shop. Stop in Little India and Chinatown to try some of the more unexpected national dishes. 

Fly to Bagan and discover the plains, rich in history, culture and wildlife. The vast expanse is dotted with thousands of ancient pagodas and temples. Enjoy guided tours of the larger, more relevant structures before feasting on a traditional lunch in a local village. A horse and cart ride around the remaining area of Bagan will give you a rest before climbing to a temple top for a stunning sunset view. 

Food markets are everywhere in Myanmar. Visit them in Bagan and on your next stop, at Mandalay, and then again in Inle Lake. You will be able to learn about the fresh, local produce available and why these ingredients are important in Myanmar cuisine. With this knowledge you will learn to cook some traditional dishes and even source the ingredients from organic gardens.

3. Bali

What? Yoga, massage, meditation, and temple tours

Which trip? Bali Yoga Retreat

Think relaxation and rejuvenation. Wake up and start each day with a group yoga class followed by a healthy breakfast. Meditation or jamu make up the afternoon activities on the first day to help you fully unwind. Shirodhara cure is on offer the following afternoon, a head massage using luke-warm oils to help stimulate memory, hair growth and sleep. Spend time laying and relaxing around the pool in the sunshine until you are ready to dip in and cool off. 

In Ubud you will have time to stroll the town. Get a glimpse of Bali as you visit coffee shops, galleries and book stores. Spend a day touring the main temples across the island. Begin at Kehen, and travel to Tirta Empul where you can bathe in the holy spring water, immersing yourself in the Hindu religion. Massage, Ayurveda treatments, personalised yoga classes and meditation are all in abundance on this trip so you can go home feeling fully rested.

Striking a vrikshasana yoga tree pose near Tanah lot temple, Bali. Photo: Shutterstock

4. Brazil 

What? Famous beaches and world class sights

Which trip? Brazilian Beaches: Copacabana, Botafogo and more  

Spend a day acclimatising before the activities, excursions and fun begin. The first adventure you will embark on is a trip to the magnificent Iguazu Falls. The largest waterfall system in the world, it lies on the border of Brazil and Argentina. Seize the opportunity to take stunning photos and listen to the cascades. A stop at the bird park on the way back to Rio will show you thousands of species of colourful, large butterflies and birds. 

The capital's sights await. Take a cog train to see the Christ The Redeemer statue as it towers over the city. Tour the beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema and Botafogo. Catch a cable car to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain and gaze over panoramic views of the bustling city and world famous beaches. Head back down for a tour of the old town's historical structures before exploring the streets of downtown Rio with its contrasting modern architecture. This trip includes free time to explore at your leisure or take some optional tours. 

5. Myanmar 

What? Culture, history and discovery 

Which trip? Mrauk U: Myanmar's best-kept secret 

After arriving in Yangon, take a one-hour flight to Sittwe where you will head straight off on a tour of the city. Visit the Rakhine State Cultural Museum and learn about the history and culture of the area. Take an afternoon stroll around the dockyard and linger over views of the Bay of Bengal as the sun sets. An early morning will allow you to see the night fishermen returning to sell their catch as the fish market opens. 

Board a private boat to Mrauk U, an ancient archaeological site. It was the capital of the Mrauk U Kingdom between the 15th and 18th centuries. A city tour will take you to the numerous temples and to the Pitakataik Library for a full-on day of exploration. Another early start to watch as sunrise clears the mist lingering on the mountain tops. Spend the day immersed in traditional life. Visit the market, see the Royal Palace ruins, tour the Shitthaung temple and the first pagoda built in this area, Laymyetnha.

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