Remote opportunities As the inevitable tentacles of tourism start to feel their way towards every corner of newly accessible Myanmar, Australian travel company Intrepid Travel www.intrepidtravel.com has started offering sailing trips around the country's relatively untouched 800-island Myeik archipelago. A pair of nine-day packages is available for departure later this year - one leaving from Bangkok, Thailand, the other from Yangon, and priced from US$2,060 and US$2,495, respectively. These prices include two hotel nights and six nights at sea, as well as most meals, and the maximum group size is kept to a cosy and sociable eight. The purported remoteness of the islands is more political than geographical, as they are only about 100 kilometres west of the popular Thai resort town of Hua Hin, but, for now at least, this is about as good as it gets for those seeking virgin territory in Southeast Asia.
Italy interactive Anyone considering a summer holiday in Tuscany this year, or those with one already booked, should take a look at the interactive map of the Italian region that has just been posted online by travel agency Tuscany Now. As the name suggests, the company specialises in Tuscan holidays and the interactive map is, of course, an enticement to use their services, but it is also a useful way of finding out what the region has to offer in terms of individual needs and interests. As well as Tuscany Now's fine assortment of rental villas, the map will show you, should you select that option, pop-up categories such as Food & Drink, Arts & Culture, Historic, Shopping and Sports/Active. There's also a category that brings up some interesting little day trips to places such as the spectacular Cinque Terre on the Mediterranean coast. These criteria can be further filtered through tags such as Family Friendly, Romantic, Accessible and Hidden Gems. You can bypass the Tuscany Now homepage and get straight to the map by going to www.tuscanynow. com/map-of-things-to-do and then backtrack to the main website if you get hooked.
Carnival capers With the Fifa World Cup taking place in Brazil next summer, the 2014 Rio Carnival, which kicks off in February, is expected to be bigger, brasher and more flamboyant than ever. Although that's more than seven months away, packages are already available and filling up fast. Based in Britain, Bespoke Brazil does quite a bit of business with the Hong Kong travel market and offers its packages without international flights so that people from this neck of the woods can organise their own as cheaply as possible. If you go to www.bespokebrazil.com and click on "I need inspiration", you'll find both a Luxury Rio Carnival and a Rio Carnival 2014 package. The former, which bundles several enticing extras, including a trip to the Iguassu Falls, costs just over HK$60,000 per person for 11 days, and the latter about half that amount for six days. Both include tickets to the Sambadrome and participation in the parade can also be arranged. Emirates flies to Rio de Janeiro several times a week from Dubai.
Deal of the week Air Seychelles started flying between the island nation and Hong Kong, via Abu Dhabi, earlier this year, and holiday packages are now beginning to appear online. Tiglion Travel is selling a three-night package that offers choices of accommodation at about a dozen hotels and resorts, with two of the best - the Banyan Tree and Raffles Hotel & Resort - offering bonus-night deals. These are both priced from close to HK$20,000 but you can stay more cheaply at places such as Le Meridien Barbarons from HK$10,790 with half board. This package, priced per person, twin share, also includes airport transfers and daily breakfast or half board. For a full list of hotels and more details on the bonus-night options go to www.tiglion.com