HANOI, Vietnam - Transporting travelers from an at-home screen experience to paths blazed by silver screen stars across Asia, luxury tour operator Exotic Voyages is taking the armchair out of armchair travel.
The two new tours, “Recreating Top Gear’s Glory Days” and “A Modern Take On Classic James Bond,” which both launched this month, were made possible by in-depth, on-the-ground sleuthing by local guides who researched not just exact filming locations but how future travel clients could best relive the experience.
“We want to introduce travelers to the shows and films that have inspired our own travels,” said Andrew Carroll, global head of sales and marketing at Exotic Voyages. “But we also wanted to make the journey more comfortable. There’ll be no motorbike breakdowns or foes with golden guns on our itineraries.”
“Recreating Top Gear’s Glory Days” traces a 2008 journey by the trio from the famous British motor show. The 15-night itinerary spans the length of Vietnam, taking in Ho Chi Minh City, the former French colonial retreat Dalat, the beach town of Nha Trang, and cultural centers of Hoi An and Hue, along with the capital Hanoi and UNESCO World Heritage site Halong Bay.
Top Gear memories are recreated with such experiences as: a Vespa tour of Ho Chi Minh City; the chance to drink locally homebrewed spirits in Dalat; dinner and drinks at The Sailing Club in Nha Trang, where host Richard Hammond was comically presented with a model of a Spanish galleon; a motorbike ride along Vietnam’s greatest driving road, the Hai Van Pass; tailor-made suits in Hoi An, and ending the epic journey relaxing in the tranquil waters of Halong Bay.
The 1974 James Bond flick, The Man with the Golden Gun, introduced many Western movie-goers to the Far East. Spanning Hong Kong, Macau, and Thailand, Exotic Voyages’ 13-night trip follows in Bond’s footsteps and indulges his penchant for luxury. Visitors can play a hand at the floating Macau casino, made famous by the film, stay at the Mandarin Oriental, be transported to Hong Kong by hydrofoil like Bond was, take a green Rolls Royce to The Peninsula Hotel--40 years after the movie was set the iconic cars are still only used by the hotel--and cruise Hong Kong Harbor.
The next leg of the itinerary follows Bond to Bangkok, with dinner and a room at the iconic Mandarin Oriental. Like the star the itinerary takes in the waterways of the capital by long tail boat, as well as a Muay Thai kickboxing match. The trip ends in Phuket with a visit to Khao Phing Kan, commonly known as James Bond island, by speedboat, and a sunset sail on a junk.
These tours are fully customizable, and are not in any way affiliated with or endorsed by any television or film studios. Rates for “A Modern Take on Classic James Bond” start from US$7,561 per person. Prices for the “Recreating Top Gear’s Glory Days” package start from US$3,225 per person. For more information and inclusions visit www.exoticvoyages.com