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Fly to Singapore, where you’ll be met and taken to your luxury hotel.
Singapore is a city state that has a world-wide reputation for clean streets, shopping and leading edge architecture. Some of the world’s most inspired and impressive buildings enhance the city’s skyline – from monuments in steel and glass, to a vast ‘liner’ standing in the heart of the metropolis on gigantic legs.
A fitting tribute to one of the world’s richest cities, with its busy sea port. On a more human scale are Singapore’s lively Chinese, Indian and Malay quarters, and its fantastic shopping.
Stay: Two nights in a garden wing room at the Shangri La Hotel.
On day four you take a quick flight to Yogyakarta. You’ll be met at the airport and taken to the Amanjiwo Hotel, set in a natural amphitheatre, fringed by the Menoreh Hills. You’ll spend the next couple of days exploring the hills and admiring fantastic views of the Sumbing, Sundoro, Merbabu and Merapi Volcanoes.
There’s a half-day tour of the impressive shrines dedicated to Shiva, at Prambanan. You can also take an angong – or a bicycle – ride to local villages and discover the temples of Kedu Valley, as well as the huge Buddhist monastery at Borobudur. You’ll immerse yourself in the local culture, including traditional craftsmanship, semadi (silent Javanese meditation) and the busy markets at Muntilan and Borobudur. You’ll dine on authentic Javanese street food in a warung, and indulge in an Amanjiwo feast of makan malam.
Stay: Three nights in a garden suite at Amanjiwo.
Today you take a two and a half hour flight to Bali, then drive through sumptuous scenery to the cultural capital of the island – Ubud. Even the outskirts of this astonishing city are picturesque; comprising tier after tier of lush rice paddies marching off into the blue distance.
The town itself features intricately carved temples, with lotus pools and decorative dragons – not to mention a centuries-old market place, surrounded by handicraft shops, galleries and silversmith workshops. The nightlife here is vivid, with traditional dancing, fine restaurants and colourful ceremonies.
Stay: Three nights in a hillside villa complete with pool, at the Samaya Ubud Hotel.
Your guide will escort you to Padang Bai Harbour where you’ll board the Blue Water Express Fast Boat and skim across the sea to Teluk Nare, Lombok. Watch out for dolphins and Mount Ayung Volcano as you cross. From Lombok’s harbour you’ll be taken to your beach-side resort.
Stay: Five nights in an Aloon Aloon Villa at Tugu Lombok Resort.
Now you have time to luxuriate on one of the fine beaches for which Indonesia is famed. As well as pure white sand and a welcoming, warm sea you’ll have six hectares of mature palm plantations to explore. There’s a golf course within easy reach and Mount Rinjani – Indonesia’s second highest mountain – provides rewarding hikes. The Gili Islands are also close by, offering you exceptional sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling over a coral reef.
Time to begin your journey home. You’ll fly from Lombok to Singapore, where you’ll meet your connecting flight home.
It was a great experience and now I have dipped my toes in the Ultimate waters I shall be back for more.- JE, October 2014