Winter 2018

The Edge Of The World / Least Visited Countries Tour

TBA

Azerbaijan & Nakhchivan

TBA

Armenia

September 2018

Japan

Early 2019

Extreme Oz

In May of 2010, Calvin started The Monsoon Diaries as his personal travel blog where he would post daily updates to let the world (and his mother) know he was okay. As his readership expanded, a large humble following of good people asked if they could join on his adventures.

So what began with a trip for a few friends now has blossomed 5 years later into the popularly recognized travel style known as monsooning, and has featured on TEDx, The Huffington Post, USA Today, National Geographic, Business Insider, and Rachel Maddow. Every few months Calvin himself, and some of his most dedicated repeat monsooners, will lead scores of international young-at-heart travelers on their premier expeditions around the world.

Take a look at any of the offered trips below and sign up even if you’re just curious about travel; we will take care of the rest!

TBA

Azerbaijan & Nakhchivan

Baku, Azerbaijan

Yanardag

Mud Volcanoes

Nakhchivan

Gobustan National Park

Alinja Tower

Azerbaijan & Nakhchivan

TBA

Join us as we return to alluring Azerbaijan and explore the South Caucuses of Eurasia!

We first came here 2 and a half years ago back in the winter of 2015 and we’re returning to better weather by beginning at Baku, the “city of winds” and curiously enough, the lowest lying national capital and largest city in the world located below sea level. From Baku we’ll drive to Gobustan National Park, home to prehistorical paintings from 40,000 BC. Then we’ll head onwards to the unique and famous Mud Volcanoes, a surreal moonscape found nowhere else on Earth. Finally, we’ll spend the evening at the hellscape of Yanardag to see unbelievable burning natural gases coming out from the rocks (photos above!)

Afterwards we’ll take a out flight to Nakhchivan, an autonomous and land-locked area of Azerbaijan still reeling from the Azerbaijan-Armenia war. From there we’ll explore the city and watch the sunset from recently-opened Alinja Tower, Azerbaijan’s very own “Machu Picchu.” We’ll then return by air the next day to Baku to conclude our trip.

For a low price of $520 USD (inclusive of all lodging, accommodations, day tours and the roundtrip airfare to and from Nakhchivan), don’t miss out on this getaway of a lifetime!

  • Day 1: Baku
  • Day 2: Gobustan National Park, Mud Volcanoes, Yanardag
  • Day 3-4: Nakhchivan & Alinja Tower
  • Day 5: Baku

How do I pay? A 50% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), mailed check, PayPal, Chase Quickpay, Square Cash, or Venmo.

What if I have dietary restrictions?

Let us know if you have any dietary restrictions beforehand and we can totally accommodate.

What are accommodations like?

Boutique, top-end hostels, or boutique hotels all with running hot water, good people, and great amenities.

What days should I book my flights to arrive?

Depends on what part of the trip you sign up for; please confirm with Calvin directly before purchasing tickets!

Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?

Yep! We boast expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.

I’d love to come, but I’m limited on budget.

Contact us anyway and we can come up with a deal or financial aid packages.

Can I come alone?

Yes, many of our monsooners have joined our trip by themselves and end up meeting a whole new group of friends. We usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.

What if I don’t usually like traveling with people?

Our trips are designed by independent travelers with independent travel in mind — we want to provide everyone with the opportunity and experience of traveling alone should they choose to. Therefore, there’s zero pressure to stick with the group anytime.

So if you want to venture off to a museum or try a different restaurant, by all means: Do it! The group will only be expected to stay together for transportation between cities.

Will you accommodate food restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal, cardiac, diabetic, lactose intolerant, peanut allergies, etc.)?

Of course. Just tell us ahead of time when you sign up and we can make accommodations easily.

Do I need visas?

Most passports require an e-visa that can be easily arranged online in advance. Please contact to discuss depending on the type of passport you have.

Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials

Yes, of course!

Do I need travel insurance?

Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones at: http://www.travelinsurance.com/

Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions. BOOKING POLICY

  • A 50% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 4 weeks before the tour commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
  • Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
  • Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
  • In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.

CANCELLATION POLICY All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by MD. Tour refunds will be given according to the table below.

  • 8 weeks (60 days) prior to the tour customers receive a 100% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 15 – 60 days prior to the tour customers receive a 50% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 8-14 days prior to the tour customers to receive a 10% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • Cancellations received on the day of or within 1 week of departure are non-refundable

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

  • MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
  • It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
  • Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
  • MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
  • Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
  • If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.

VISAS As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason. If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit. FORCE MAJEURE In the event of an uncontrollable event, such as war, revolution, and or natural disaster, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund. What constitutes force majeure is decided solely by the company. Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer. TRAVEL INSURANCE Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance. LOCAL LAWS

  • Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
  • Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.

  TOUR ITINERARY Due to the nature of travel/tourism of certain countries, itineraries do not provide or imply a guarantee of the tour’s contents. Though we will make every effort to keep itineraries as described and to find suitable replacements, the company reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in response to unforeseeable events.   TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs.   TRANSIT VISA In the event the customer intends to travel to and from a country using a transit visa they bear full responsibility for ensuring the transit visa is organized correctly. MD will of course offer assistance in the event of issues arising with customer’s transit, but will in no case be held liable for any costs incurred in arranging customer exits.

Price inclusive of:

  • All Transportation
  • All Accommodation
  • Rountrip flight to/from Baku to Nakhchivan
  • Listed itinerary
  • Visa guidance
  • Entrance fees

Price exclusive of:

  • International Flights to begin and end the trip
  • Food/drink
  • Personal expenses/souvenirs
  • Personal/Optional cab rides, public transportation, and/or Uber rides
  • Optional activities/day-tours/excursions/scuba dives
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa application process & fees ($83 USD for most, including USA Passports)

Interested in joining us?

E-mail us at calvin[at]monsoondiaries[dot]com if you want to sign up for updates (replaced bracketed text with appropriate punctuation, obviously).

TBA

Armenia

Yerevan, Armenia

Gyumri, Armenia

Dilijan, Armenia

Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin & Garni

Armenia

TBA

After 5 days in Azerbaijan, we’ll head onwards to neighboring Armenia. We’ll spend our first 2 days in atmospheric Yerevan, one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, from where we’ll explore nearby Etchmiadzin Cathedral — the world’s oldest cathedral still in use today — and Garni Temple, the only standing Greco-Roman colonnaded building in the former Soviet Union and the symbol of pre-Christian Armenia.

The next day we’ll drive up to Lake Sevan, a high altitude lake with gorgeous views of the mountains in the backdrop that’s further accentuated by 9th-century Monastery Sevanavank. Afterwards, we’ll visit the photogenic resort town of Dilijan, famous for its amazing surroundings and also nicknamed the “Armenian Switzerland” due to a backdrop of densely forested valleys and mountains with alpine meadows. 30 minutes away is Goshavank Monastery and further up Haghartsin Monastery, set in the woodlands of Tavush region with a history that stretches back to the 10th century.

The next day we’ll detour to Dashtadem medieval fortress before reaching Armenia’s second largest city of Gyumri and its foreboding black fortress. Afterwards we’ll see Marmashen Monastery: a huge complex on the banks of the Akhuryan River. Afterwards it’s free reign as we’ll spend the next 2-3 days going off-road and exploring the rest of the country to our heart’s content.

  • Day 1-2: Yerevan
  • Day 3: Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Garni
  • Day 4: Lake Sevan, Dilijan, Goshavank Monastery, Haghartsin Monastery
  • Day 5: Dashtadem medieval fortress, Gyumri, Marmashen Monastery
  • Day 6: Yerevan
  • Day 7-9: Free time! (Please contact Calvin directly to discuss details)

How do I pay?

A 50% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), mailed check, PayPal, Chase Quickpay, Square Cash, or Venmo.

What if I have dietary restrictions?

Let us know if you have any dietary restrictions beforehand and we can totally accommodate.

What are accommodations like?

Boutique, top-end hostels, or boutique hotels all with running hot water, good people, and great amenities.

What days should I book my flights to arrive?

Depends on what part of the trip you sign up for; please confirm with Calvin directly before purchasing tickets!

Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?

Yep! We boast expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.

I’d love to come, but I’m limited on budget.

Contact us anyway and we can come up with a deal or financial aid packages.

Can I come alone?

Yes, many of our monsooners have joined our trip by themselves and end up meeting a whole new group of friends. We usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.

What if I don’t usually like traveling with people?

Our trips are designed by independent travelers with independent travel in mind — we want to provide everyone with the opportunity and experience of traveling alone should they choose to. Therefore, there’s zero pressure to stick with the group anytime.

So if you want to venture off to a museum or try a different restaurant, by all means: Do it! The group will only be expected to stay together for transportation between cities.

Will you accommodate food restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal, cardiac, diabetic, lactose intolerant, peanut allergies, etc.)?

Of course. Just tell us ahead of time when you sign up and we can make accommodations easily.

Do I need visas?

Depends on your nationality and type of passport. People with USA and EU nationalities do not need visas. Otherwise, we can help you with this if you need any visas. Please ask!

Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials

Yes, of course!

Do I need travel insurance?

Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones at: http://www.travelinsurance.com/

Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions.

BOOKING POLICY

  • A 50% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 4 weeks before the tour commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
  • Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
  • Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
  • In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.

CANCELLATION POLICY

All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by MD. Tour refunds will be given according to the table below.

  • 8 weeks (60 days) prior to the tour customers receive a 100% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 15 – 60 days prior to the tour customers receive a 50% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 8-14 days prior to the tour customers to receive a 10% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • Cancellations received on the day of or within 1 week of departure are non-refundable

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

  • MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
  • It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
  • Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
  • MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
  • Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
  • If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.

VISAS

As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason.

If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit.

FORCE MAJEURE

In the event of an uncontrollable event, such as war, revolution, and or natural disaster, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund.

What constitutes force majeure is decided solely by the company.

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance.

LOCAL LAWS

  • Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
  • Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.

 

TOUR ITINERARY

Due to the nature of travel/tourism of certain countries, itineraries do not provide or imply a guarantee of the tour’s contents. Though we will make every effort to keep itineraries as described and to find suitable replacements, the company reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in response to unforeseeable events.

 

TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS

MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs.

 

TRANSIT VISA

In the event the customer intends to travel to and from a country using a transit visa they bear full responsibility for ensuring the transit visa is organized correctly. MD will of course offer assistance in the event of issues arising with customer’s transit, but will in no case be held liable for any costs incurred in arranging customer exits.

Price inclusive of:

  • All Transportation
  • All Accommodation
  • Listed itinerary
  • Rental Car
  • Gas
  • Visa guidance
  • Entrance fees

Price exclusive of:

  • International Flights to begin and end the trip
  • Food/drink
  • Personal expenses/souvenirs
  • Personal/Optional cab rides, public transportation, and/or Uber rides
  • Optional activities/day-tours/excursions/scuba dives
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa application process & fees

Interested in joining us?

E-mail us at calvin[at]monsoondiaries[dot]com if you want to sign up for updates (replaced bracketed text with appropriate punctuation, obviously).

September 2018

Japan

September 2018

Japan

September 2018

Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Kyoto, Japan

Kobe, Japan

Mount Fuji, Japan

Hiroshima, Japan

Osaka, Japan

Nagasaki, Japan

Okinawa

Sapporo, Japan

Japan

September 1-18, 2018

We begin in the semi-tropical southern island chain of Okinawa, home of the independent Ryukyu Kingdom until it was annexed by Japan in 1879. Separated both geographically and culturally from mainland Japan, Okinawa’s traditional customs and architecture are significantly different from what we’ll see in the rest of Japan. While there we’ll visit the famous world-class Churaumi Aquarium, housing to one of the world’s largest tanks with huge whale sharks and manta rays.

After 3 days there we’ll fly to mainland Japan, beginning with 3 days in Nagasaki. This was Japan’s only harbor that permitted foreign ships to dock, hence the Dutch, Portuguese, and Chinese influences that still permeate this city to this day. While Nagasaki has reclaimed its pre-war identity as a culturally and religiously diverse port town, our next stop of Hiroshima would be instead completely reshaped by the devastating split second on August 6, 1945, when it became the site of the world’s first atomic bomb attack. Nevertheless, life always finds a way, and Hiroshima is now a modern, cosmopolitan city that boasts a population of 1.1 million people.

After 2 days in Hiroshima we head onwards to Kobe for an optional, glorified, almost-obligatory meal for its world famous Kobe beef, before heading onwards to Japan’s third largest city of Osaka, where it can be argued that it “remains Japan’s best place to eat, drink and party.” We’ll find out for sure!

We’ll then spend our longest time in Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital, witnessing a magical city unravel itself over the course of 4 days as we explore its numerous temples, shrines, and parks in an otherwise urban sprawl. Then it’s one more train ride to the capital city of Tokyo, a fitting place that needs no introduction. Here we’ll celebrate the end of a journey for some, before an optional extension trip to Japan’s northernmost hub of Sapporo.

 

  • Sept 1-3: Okinawa
  • Sept 3-5: Nagasaki
  • Sept 5-8: Hiroshima
  • Sept 8: Kobe
  • Sept 8-10: Osaka
  • Sept 10-13: Kyoto
  • Sept 13-16: Tokyo
  • Sept 16-18: Sapporo

How do I pay?

A 50% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), mailed check, PayPal, Chase Quickpay, Square Cash, or Venmo.

What if I have dietary restrictions?

Let us know if you have any dietary restrictions beforehand and we can totally accommodate.

What are accommodations like?

Boutique, top-end hostels, or boutique hotels all with running hot water, good people, and great amenities.

What days should I book my flights to arrive?

Depends on what part of the trip you sign up for; please confirm with Calvin directly before purchasing tickets!

Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?

Yep! We boast expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.

I’d love to come, but I’m limited on budget.

Contact us anyway and we can come up with a deal or financial aid packages.

Can I come alone?

Yes, many of our monsooners have joined our trip by themselves and end up meeting a whole new group of friends. We usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.

What if I don’t usually like traveling with people?

Our trips are designed by independent travelers with independent travel in mind — we want to provide everyone with the opportunity and experience of traveling alone should they choose to. Therefore, there’s zero pressure to stick with the group anytime.

So if you want to venture off to a museum or try a different restaurant, by all means: Do it! The group will only be expected to stay together for transportation between cities.

Will you accommodate food restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal, cardiac, diabetic, lactose intolerant, peanut allergies, etc.)?

Of course. Just tell us ahead of time when you sign up and we can make accommodations easily.

Do I need visas?

Depends on your nationality and type of passport. People with USA and EU nationalities do not need visas. Otherwise, we can help you with this if you need any visas. Please ask!

Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials

Yes, of course!

Do I need travel insurance?

Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones at: http://www.travelinsurance.com/

Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions.

BOOKING POLICY

  • A 50% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 4 weeks before the tour commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
  • Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
  • Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
  • In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.

CANCELLATION POLICY

All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by MD. Tour refunds will be given according to the table below.

  • 8 weeks (60 days) prior to the tour customers receive a 100% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 15 – 60 days prior to the tour customers receive a 50% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 8-14 days prior to the tour customers to receive a 10% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • Cancellations received on the day of or within 1 week of departure are non-refundable

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

  • MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
  • It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
  • Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
  • MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
  • Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
  • If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.

VISAS

As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason.

If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit.

FORCE MAJEURE

In the event of an uncontrollable event, such as war, revolution, and or natural disaster, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund.

What constitutes force majeure is decided solely by the company.

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance.

LOCAL LAWS

  • Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
  • Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.

 

TOUR ITINERARY

Due to the nature of travel/tourism of certain countries, itineraries do not provide or imply a guarantee of the tour’s contents. Though we will make every effort to keep itineraries as described and to find suitable replacements, the company reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in response to unforeseeable events.

 

TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS

MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs.

 

TRANSIT VISA

In the event the customer intends to travel to and from a country using a transit visa they bear full responsibility for ensuring the transit visa is organized correctly. MD will of course offer assistance in the event of issues arising with customer’s transit, but will in no case be held liable for any costs incurred in arranging customer exits.

Price inclusive of:

  • All Transportation And Trains within Japan
  • All Accommodation
  • Listed itinerary
  • Visa guidance
  • Entrance fees

Price exclusive of:

  • International Flights to begin and end the trip
  • Food/drink
  • Personal expenses/souvenirs
  • Personal/Optional cab rides, public transportation, and/or Uber rides
  • Optional activities/day-tours/excursions/scuba dives
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa application process & fees if applicable

Interested in joining us?

E-mail us at calvin[at]monsoondiaries[dot]com if you want to sign up for updates (replaced bracketed text with appropriate punctuation, obviously).

Winter 2018

The End Of The World / Least Visited Countries Tour

Majuro, Marshall Islands

Eneko Island

Nauru

Yaren

Buada Lagoon

Tarawa, Kiribati

Honiara, Solomon Islands

Vanuatu

Fiji

Tuvalu

Suva

The Edge Of The World / Least Visited Countries Tour

Winter 2018

Join us and our longtime partners at YPT for an essential adventure for all country collectors. We’ll visit 3 of the 10 least visited countries in the world, as well as the 15th least visited one: the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, and the Solomon Islands. These destinations are all unique, beautiful and in vintage Monsoon Diaries style, very off the beaten track.

Our trip begins in the US pseudo-colony of the Marshall Islands, where we check out the capital before going camping on an island that was fraudulently declared “independent” in the 90’s.

After that we head to Nauru for New Year’s Eve, heading straight into a Pacific island to welcome in the new year! For the next five days, we’ll explore every inch of this island as everyone else gears up to head back to the office.

Following this, we’ll have two nights and three days in Kiribati, another island paradise, and home to some of the fiercest fighting of WW2 – a very interesting place for history buffs.

We then finish our trip at the 15th least visited country in the world – the Solomon Islands, which lies next to Papua New Guinea, but is thankfully much safer.

Friday 28th December

  • Arrival at own leisure to Majuro, the capital of the US freely associated state of the Marshall Islands! We will arrange for pickup to take you to Hotel Reimers
  • Once all the group arrive we will have a quick orientation at 6pm before heading out for dinner
  • We take the very short journey to the Tide Table Restaurant, a popular place with locals and expats alike for a dinner, drinks and a chance to make some new local friends and learn about life in the Marshall Islands.
  • Overnight at Hotel Reimers

Saturday 29th December

  • At 9 am we go take our boat for the one hour journey to the paradise of Eneko Island. The trip is worth it for the journey itself, with us passing through a number of islands and atolls. Eneko Island itself is famous for being part of a fraudulent 90’s micronation, but taking that aside it is genuinely an island paradise and a great place to spend the day.
  • We now expertly cook our BBQ on the beach using coconut shells as the fuel, giving it a unique taste. Eat and drink to your heart’s content.
  • We have lots of options for stuff to do for the rest of the day on the island, with kayaks, a pontoon to jump from, snorkeling, and of course pristine beaches to simply hang out on. If this island was anywhere else in the world it would be packed with people, it’s not packed, but there’s usually some locals hanging out playing volleyball that might let you join in.
  • We head back on our boat at around 6pm stopping halfway through the journey for you to get perfect sunset shots.
  • We head for dinner at the other hotel on the island the Marshall Islands Resort, which has some of the best sashimi in the world (in our opinion)
  • Overnight in Robert Reimers Hotel

Sunday 30th December

  • Very early start to take the bus to Majuro airport
  • We board our 3 hour 40 minute flight from the Marshall Islands to country number two, and the world’s least visited nation: the Republic of Nauru, at 9.25am (arriving at 13.05)
  • Met at the airport by our guide for the next 5 days. Our guide is one of the many asylum seekers living on the island and will be happy to answer any questions that you might have.
  • We check into the Hotel Nauru (Menem Hotel), the main international hotel of Nauru
  • We have lunch at the international restaurant at the hotel
  • We head to Anibare Bay, which is where the best beaches are to make the most of this tropical island with swimming and beach time
  • Go for dinner and drinks at Bay View Restaurant, renowned as being the best restaurant in Nauru. This bar is also popular with the expat community, which will give us a chance to learn about what it is like to live in Nauru
  • Overnight at Nauru Hotel

Monday 31st December

  • Get up relatively early and head out after breakfast to explore World War 2 relics In Yaren. Spot the remains of Japanese guns, bunkers and pillboxes left over from the Pacific Theatre of the war!
  • We head to Island Restaurant, one of the newest and most popular restaurants in Nauru, run by Iranian refugees, that offers great food.
  • NEW YEAR’S EVE – Luckily the best party in town is held right at our own hotel, so we head down for dinner in the hotel, a few drinks in the disco, before heading poolside to join the eclectic mix of refugees, expats and locals to see in a very unique 2019 in style and drinks!
  • Overnight at Nauru Hotel

Tuesday 1st January

  • After our busy new year’s eve, we start new year’s day in relaxed fashion with a late start, or for early risers a chance to explore the island at your own leisure
  • Lunch at Od’n Aiwo Hotel
  • After lunch, we grab our supplies and head on a short hike to the Buada Lagoon, the only fresh water lagoon on the island, a beautiful place surrounded by palm trees, and offering great photo opportunities, and a great place for us to hang out and start the new year.
  • After this, we explore the other side of the nations recent past by looking at the detention center at topside, as well as doing some serious urban exploration at the former phosphate mine of Nauru, as well as checking out the abandoned industry and shipwrecks at the port.
  • Sunset drinks at the local Jules bar, before heading opposite to one of the other popular pop-up refugee restaurants to sample Pakistani food in Nauru!
  • Overnight at Hotel Nauru

Wednesday 2nd January

  • Ever walked around a country? Ok, maybe you have, but have you ever done it in one day? Nauru is the only country in the world where it is genuinely possible to do this in a few hours! Due to the heat, we start at 6 am usually finishing by around 9 am depending on your pace. For those feeling slightly less energetic, we can arrange for scooter rental at an extra charge.
  • Following this, we give the walkers some time to rest, before heading out for Chinese food for lunch. Believe it, or not 8% of people in Nauru are Chinese, and that means great quality food
  • Whilst Nauru is famous for being a city without a capital, it does have a capital village (where the airport is), and we head there to check out the parliament building, high court, and all the other little quirks that make Nauru a country.
  • We also know how important it is for people to buy fridge magnets, t-shirts and postcards, so we head the main gift shop and post office to deal with this.
  • At night we head to Od’n Aiwo Hotel, for dinner, drinks, pool, and maybe a bet on the pokeys!
  • Overnight at Nauru Hotel

Thursday 3rd January

  • Free morning in Nauru, with us being able to arrange transport to anywhere you would particularly like to see again, or you being free to simply wander around the island at your own leisure
  • We head to the fish and chips restaurant for locally caught fish and a few beers for lunch.
  • After lunch, we finish our trip in Nauru with a boat trip around the island (the sea can be quite choppy) for a chance to do some deep sea fishing, swim in the sea, and if we are lucky to witness a real island sunset.
  • If we manage to catch anything we stop at a local restaurant for a final meal with drinks, and a goodbye to Nauru
  • Overnight in Hotel Nauru

Friday 4th January

  • Up early for the 5.15am one hour flight from the world’s least visited country to the 3rd least visited – Kiribati, arriving at 6.30am. Kiribati was formerly the Gilbert and Elise Islands before it gained independence, with Tarawa the capital island/city
  • Picked up at the airport and transfer directly to Mary’s Motel for a relax and freshen up (as well as internet)
  • Lunch at Mary’s Hotel
  • Tarawa was where one of the bloodiest battles of WW2 occurred, so we meet our local guide and head out to explore the island’s WW2 past and see some of the many relics of the war, such as coastal defence guns, bunkers and pillboxes, tanks, shipwrecks, as well as having the history explained to us. If you like WW2 history Kiribati is heaven.
  • As well as checking out the WW2 stuff we get a chance to explore the villages enclosed within Tarawa, where we will see real Kiribati life almost unchanged for centuries. So few foreigners come here that you can expect the locals to be very friendly!
  • Dinner and drinks at the Lagoon Club, where they serve some amazing fresh sashimi, as well as other fish dishes
  • Overnight at Mary’s Motel

Saturday 5th January

  • After an early breakfast, we take a boat over to Abaiang island not too far from Tarawa. We’ll be met and given the traditional welcome ceremony and then taken on a walk, anticlockwise, around Ribono village. This very real island life!
  • Then we have a whole day to explore the island, it’s shrines and churches, villages, lagoons and beaches, either by motorbike or on foot. The locals here hardly see any foreigners but they’re amongst the most friendly people in the world!
  • Fresh locally cooked lunch is provided on the island with us offering the optional chance to try the narcotic drink kava
  • Boat back to Tarawa
  • Head out for a dinner and few last drinks in one of the cool local bars near our hotel in Tarawa, karaoke optional
  • Overnight at Mary’s Motel

Sunday 6th January

  • We get up early for the 11.50am 3 hour flight to Honiara, the capital city of the world’s 15th least visited country – the Solomon Islands, arriving at 3pm
  • Met at the airport and transfer to the Honiara Hotel where we will have a chance to freshen up
  • The Honiara Hotel is an institution with us getting a chance to talk to the eccentric owner Mr Chan about his life in politics on the island, as well as his experiences being made a Sir, and meeting various member of the British Royal Family
  • We head for dinner and drinks at the vibrant Chinatown which is within easy walking distance from our hotel before finishing with drinks by the pool at our hotel
  • Overnight at Honiara Hotel

Monday 7th January

  • Up early to explore Honiara central market, which is where real Soloman life occurs, and where we will have a chance to buy local souvenirs
  • Following this, we do a full city tour including all the monuments to WW2, parliament and the national museum
  • The way to really discover a country is through its street food, so on the journey to the next part of our tour we stop on food street heaven, where the choices are pretty much chicken, or fish served with rice and pumpkin
  • #TRIPHIGHLIGHT# We head to a beach which has a major Japanese WW2 wreck for some wreck snorkeling, and underwater photography, as well as great views of the city of Honiara, whilst enjoying the beach
  • All good things must come to an end, including tours to the least visited countries in the world, so we enjoy a specially cooked meal for us put on by the Honiara Hotel, a few snaps on the bed that Kate Middleton slept in, and goodbye drinks by the pool, and a general end to our Least Visited Countries Tour
  • Overnight at Honiara Hotel

Tuesday 8th January

  • Up early to explore Honiara central market, which is where real Soloman life occurs, and where we will have a chance to buy local souvenirs
  • We then meet our guide before spending the rest of the day trekking to the Matanikau Falls, a superb waterfall where we will get a chance to swim and generally relax after the hike. On the way we will stop for lunch.
  • After the hike we return to our hotel in Honiara for a shower and a relax before heading out for our last night
  • All good things must come to an end, including tours to the least visited countries in the world, so we head to the Honiara Casino for dinner, drinks and to try our luck on the tables
  • Farewell drinks at wherever takes our fancy, whilst celebrating the end of our trip that has taken in 4 of the most beautiful, but least visited countries in the world
  • Overnight at Honiara Hotel

Wednesday 9th January

  • Arrival in the Republic of Vanuatu. We are picked up from the airport and transferred directly to Hideaway Island Resort. This resort is on Imere Island and is the ancestral home of the people of Mele village
  • Least Visited Countries group arrive in Vanuatu at 15:05 from the Solomon Islands
  • We check into our beachside huts and settle down for dinner and drinks by the sea
  • Overnight on Hideaway Island

Thursday 10th January

  • After breakfast in the resort, we make the most of our last full day in Vanuatu.
  • Port Vila is famous for its underwater post office, so we arrange a morning diving trip which will include the underwater post office (extra charge, and you will need to bring your PADI)
  • Lunch near the beach
  • After lunch, we one: head to Port Vila for a walking tour of the city; or
  • Two: Fly over a Volcano option – we can arrange a day tour from the early morning to the afternoon where you will fly out to Tanna Island for the flight of a lifetime over the live Tanna Volcano, before going by 4×4 through the rainforest to as close to the volcano as we can get (extra charge, roughly $500 USD, let us know if you are interested)
  • Try out the local drink, kava, made from a type of pepper and usually drunk from a coconut shell but not to be mixed with alcohol!
  • We head for a local dinner and a look around at Mama’s Market and for the non-kava drinkers a few rums by the port.
  • Return to resort and overnight

Friday 11th January

  • Breakfast and morning on the beach, taking advantage of our free access to the resort’s snorkeling gear
  • Transfer to the airport for the 15.50 2-hour flight to country number two, Fiji, and the city of Nadi
  • The flight takes just over 2 hours, but due to the time difference we arrive at 19:05 and transfer directly to Nadi Bay Hotel
  • Dinner, drinks and overnight in Nadi

Saturday 12th January

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • City tour of Nadi including the Hindu Temple, and the Nadi Garden of the Sleeping Giant – former garden of the actor Raymond Burr of Perry Mason and Ironside fame
  • Lunch in Nadi
  • In the afternoon, we head to Wailoaloa Beach where there are a number of resorts, as well as the beach to entertain ourselves
  • Dinner of beach BBQ and drinks on the beach!
  • Overnight at Nadi Bay Hotel

Sunday 13th January

  • Up nice and early for the 07.50 flight to Tuvalu
  • #TRIP HIGHLIGHT# Arrival in the third least visited country in the world, Tuvalu, where we arrive at 9am – this is where the trip gets really into least visited territory!
  • Funafuti is hardly a metropolis and the islands only hotel is conveniently only 50 meters walk from the airport, we head for a freshen up, and an early lunch before beginning our adventures in country number three
  • The best way to navigate Funafuti is by scooter, so we rent our own and head out with our local guide for a driving city tour including the government buildings, conservation area, and most excitingly being able to drive down the airport runway on our bikes. Listen out for the siren that signals for incoming aircraft!
  • We head out to the local disco (yes, you read that correctly) at the Matagigali bar to experience a proper Tuvaluan Saturday night
  • Overnight at Viaaku Lagi Hotel

Monday 14th January

  • After the previous day’s early morning we take things at a slower pace with a late morning
  • Seeing as we are on an island surrounded by other islands we do what should only come natural and take a boat out for the day to explore some of the other islands, whilst enjoying the odd drink
  • Picnic lunch on the boat or an undisturbed beach that we come across
  • For those aquatically inclined we take out our snorkeling masks and check out various reefs and parts of the ocean during our island-hopping cruise
  • Head back to Funafuti
  • Dinner and overnight at Viaaku Lagi Hotel

Tuesday 15th January

  • After breakfast, we head out to the village of Nanumea for a bit of history. Tuvalu was a base for Allied forces, from which they attacked the enemy on Kiribati. We’ll check out the old airstrips and plane wreckage and get great views of the aircraft carrier wreck on the reef
  • Relaxing lunch and rest in the early afternoon – for anyone interested in stamps and sending postcards we can arrange a visit to the Philatelic Bureau or if a bit of souvenir shopping is your thing we can arrange a trip to the Tuvalu Women’s Handicraft Centre to pick up some locally made memorabilia
  • In the late afternoon, we pack our swimming gear and drinks of choice and go for a beach barbecue and party to celebrate our last night on the island!
  • Overnight at Viaaku Lagi Hotel

Wednesday 16th January

  • All good things must come to an end so after breakfast we head to the airport for the 12.20 flight back to Fiji, but this time to the capital city – Suva
  • Transfer to our hotel in the centre of the city
  • We head out for a city tour of Suva, taking in the main municipal market and handicraft markets where you can get all kinds of Pacific souvenirs.
  • Visit the Fiji Museum
  • Head for our last dinner at Singh’s Curry House to sample delicious Fijian curry
  • We end this mega tour in the appropriate way, with a bar crawl through Suva’s nightlife, from Traps to the appropriately named Shenanigans and ending in O’Reilly’s, where Guinness is not available but we party like a local with a Fiji Gold or a cocktail or two
  • Overnight at the Raintree Lodge

Thursday 17th January

  • End of tour – we can advise about onward travel from Fiji

How do I pay?

 

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), mailed check, PayPal, Chase Quickpay, Square Cash, or Venmo.

What if I have dietary restrictions?

Let us know if you have any dietary restrictions beforehand and we can totally accommodate.

What are accommodations like?

Hotels all with running hot water, good people, and great amenities.

What days should I book my flights to arrive?

Depends on what part of the trip you sign up for; please confirm with Calvin directly before purchasing tickets!

Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?

Yep! We boast expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.

I’d love to come, but I’m limited on budget.

Contact us anyway and we can come up with a deal or financial aid packages.

Can I come alone?

Yes, many of our monsooners have joined our trip by themselves and end up meeting a whole new group of friends. We usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.

What if I don’t usually like traveling with people?

Our trips are designed by independent travelers with independent travel in mind — we want to provide everyone with the opportunity and experience of traveling alone should they choose to. Therefore, there’s zero pressure to stick with the group anytime.

So if you want to venture off to a museum or try a different restaurant, by all means: Do it! The group will only be expected to stay together for transportation between cities.

Will you accommodate food restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal, cardiac, diabetic, lactose intolerant, peanut allergies, etc.)?

Of course. Just tell us ahead of time when you sign up and we can make accommodations easily.

Do I need visas?

Depends on your nationality and type of passport. People with USA and EU nationalities do not need visas. Otherwise, we can help you with this if you need any visas. Please ask!

Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials

Yes, of course!

Do I need travel insurance?

Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones at: http://www.travelinsurance.com/

Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions.

 

BOOKING POLICY

  • A 40% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 4 weeks before the tour commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
  • Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
  • Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
  • In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.

CANCELLATION POLICY

All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by MD. Tour refunds will be given according to the table below.

  • 12 weeks (90 days) prior to the tour customers receive a 100% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 60 – 89 days prior to the tour customers receive a 50% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 8-59 days prior to the tour customers to receive a 10% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • Cancellations received on the day of or within 1 week of departure are non-refundable

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

  • MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
  • It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
  • Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
  • MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
  • Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
  • If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.

VISAS

As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason.

If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit.

FORCE MAJEURE

In the event of an uncontrollable event, such as war, revolution, and or natural disaster, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund.

What constitutes force majeure is decided solely by the company.

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance.

LOCAL LAWS

  • Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
  • Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.

 

TOUR ITINERARY

Due to the nature of travel/tourism of certain countries, itineraries do not provide or imply a guarantee of the tour’s contents. Though we will make every effort to keep itineraries as described and to find suitable replacements, the company reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in response to unforeseeable events.

 

TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS

MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs.

 

TRANSIT VISA

In the event the customer intends to travel to and from a country using a transit visa they bear full responsibility for ensuring the transit visa is organized correctly. MD will of course offer assistance in the event of issues arising with customer’s transit, but will in no case be held liable for any costs incurred in arranging customer exits.

Price inclusive of:

  • All flights between the islands and travel as per itinerary
  • Accommodation in twin share hotels/guest houses
  • Breakfasts and Lunches
  • Local guide fees

Price exclusive of:

  • International Flights to the Marshall Islands or Solomon Islands before the tour and from the Solomon Islands or Fiji after the tour
  • Visa fees if needed (we can provide visa support)
  • Dinners and drinks
  • Other personal expenses
  • Tips for the local guides

Interested in joining us?

E-mail us at calvin[at]monsoondiaries[dot]com if you want to sign up for updates (replaced bracketed text with appropriate punctuation, obviously).

January 2019

Extreme Oz

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Lea, Papua New Guinea

Melbourne, Australia

12 Apostles

Hobart, Tasmania

Richmond, Tasmania

Bay of Fires

Cataract Gorge

Hastings Caves

Port Arthur

Extreme Oz

January 2019

After we finish our epic trip to the edge of the world with YPT, join us or continue your travels with us when we replant our feet onto greater land mass with a return to Australia, Tasmania, and New Caledonia.

  • Port Morseby, Papua New Guinea
  • Lae, Papua New Guinea
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • 12 Apostles, Australia
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Launceston, Tasmania
  • Bay of Fire, Tasmania
  • Launceston, Tasmania
  • Hobart, Tasmania
  • Richmond, Tasmania
  • Hastings Cave, Tasmania
  • Hobart, Tasmania
  • Port Arthur, Tasmania
  • Hobart Tasmania
  • Auckland, New Zealand

How do I pay?

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), mailed check, PayPal, Chase Quickpay, Square Cash, or Venmo.

What if I have dietary restrictions?

Let us know if you have any dietary restrictions beforehand and we can totally accommodate.

What are accommodations like?

Hotels all with running hot water, good people, and great amenities.

What days should I book my flights to arrive?

Depends on what part of the trip you sign up for; please confirm with Calvin directly before purchasing tickets!

Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?

Yep! We boast expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.

I’d love to come, but I’m limited on budget.

Contact us anyway and we can come up with a deal or financial aid packages.

Can I come alone?

Yes, many of our monsooners have joined our trip by themselves and end up meeting a whole new group of friends. We usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.

What if I don’t usually like traveling with people?

Our trips are designed by independent travelers with independent travel in mind — we want to provide everyone with the opportunity and experience of traveling alone should they choose to. Therefore, there’s zero pressure to stick with the group anytime.

So if you want to venture off to a museum or try a different restaurant, by all means: Do it! The group will only be expected to stay together for transportation between cities.

Will you accommodate food restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal, cardiac, diabetic, lactose intolerant, peanut allergies, etc.)?

Of course. Just tell us ahead of time when you sign up and we can make accommodations easily.

Do I need visas?

Depends on your nationality and type of passport. People with USA and EU nationalities do not need visas. Otherwise, we can help you with this if you need any visas. Please ask!

Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials

Yes, of course!

Do I need travel insurance?

Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones at: http://www.travelinsurance.com/

Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions.

 

BOOKING POLICY

  • A 40% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 4 weeks before the tour commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
  • Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
  • Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
  • In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.

CANCELLATION POLICY

All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by MD. Tour refunds will be given according to the table below.

  • 12 weeks (90 days) prior to the tour customers receive a 100% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 60 – 89 days prior to the tour customers receive a 50% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 8-59 days prior to the tour customers to receive a 10% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • Cancellations received on the day of or within 1 week of departure are non-refundable

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

  • MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
  • It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
  • Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
  • MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
  • Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
  • If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.

VISAS

As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason.

If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit.

FORCE MAJEURE

In the event of an uncontrollable event, such as war, revolution, and or natural disaster, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund.

What constitutes force majeure is decided solely by the company.

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance.

LOCAL LAWS

  • Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
  • Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.

 

TOUR ITINERARY

Due to the nature of travel/tourism of certain countries, itineraries do not provide or imply a guarantee of the tour’s contents. Though we will make every effort to keep itineraries as described and to find suitable replacements, the company reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in response to unforeseeable events.

 

TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS

MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs.

 

TRANSIT VISA

In the event the customer intends to travel to and from a country using a transit visa they bear full responsibility for ensuring the transit visa is organized correctly. MD will of course offer assistance in the event of issues arising with customer’s transit, but will in no case be held liable for any costs incurred in arranging customer exits.

 

Price inclusive of:

  • All flights between the islands and travel as per itinerary
  • Accommodation in twin share hotels/guest houses
  • Breakfasts and Lunches
  • Local guide fees

Price exclusive of:

  • International Flights to the Marshall Islands before the tour and from the Solomon Islands after
  • Visa fees if needed (we can provide visa support)
  • Dinners and drinks
  • Other personal expenses
  • Tips for the local guides

Interested in joining us?

E-mail us at calvin[at]monsoondiaries[dot]com if you want to sign up for updates (replaced bracketed text with appropriate punctuation, obviously).

TBA

Pacific Island Hopping

Apia, American Samoa

Cook Islands

Fiji

French Polynesia

Marquesas Islands

Niue

Norfolk Island

Tonga

Tuvalu

Vanuatu

Wallis & Fortuna

Noumea, New Caledonia

Voh, New Caledonia

Pacific Island Hopping

TBA

Depending on how many people would be interested, we’ll make this happen. E-mail us that you want to come (contact details below) and we’ll let you know when we’re ready to make plans!
  • Auckland, NZ
  • Niue
  • Auckland, NZ
  • Rarotonga, Cook Island
  • Auckland, NZ
  • Port Vila, Vanuatu
  • Noumea, New Caledonia
  • Voh, New Caledonia
  • Nadi, Fiji
  • Nuku’alofa, Tonga
  • Nadi, Fiji
  • Wallis Island, Wallis & Futuna
  • Futuna, Wallis & Futuna
  • Wallis Island, Wallis & Funtuna
  • Nadi, Fiji
  • Funafuti, Tuvalu
  • Suva, Fiji
  • Apia, American Samoa
  • Auckland, NZ
  • Tahiti, French Polynesia
  • Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia
  • Tahiti, French Polynesia
  • Auckland, NZ

How do I pay?

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), mailed check, PayPal, Chase Quickpay, Square Cash, or Venmo.

What if I have dietary restrictions?

Let us know if you have any dietary restrictions beforehand and we can totally accommodate.

What are accommodations like?

Hotels all with running hot water, good people, and great amenities.

What days should I book my flights to arrive?

Depends on what part of the trip you sign up for; please confirm with Calvin directly before purchasing tickets!

Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?

Yep! We boast expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.

I’d love to come, but I’m limited on budget.

Contact us anyway and we can come up with a deal or financial aid packages.

Can I come alone?

Yes, many of our monsooners have joined our trip by themselves and end up meeting a whole new group of friends. We usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.

What if I don’t usually like traveling with people?

Our trips are designed by independent travelers with independent travel in mind — we want to provide everyone with the opportunity and experience of traveling alone should they choose to. Therefore, there’s zero pressure to stick with the group anytime.

So if you want to venture off to a museum or try a different restaurant, by all means: Do it! The group will only be expected to stay together for transportation between cities.

Will you accommodate food restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal, cardiac, diabetic, lactose intolerant, peanut allergies, etc.)?

Of course. Just tell us ahead of time when you sign up and we can make accommodations easily.

Do I need visas?

Depends on your nationality and type of passport. People with USA and EU nationalities do not need visas. Otherwise, we can help you with this if you need any visas. Please ask!

Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials

Yes, of course!

Do I need travel insurance?

Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones at: http://www.travelinsurance.com/

Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions.

 

BOOKING POLICY

  • A 40% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 4 weeks before the tour commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
  • Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
  • Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
  • In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.

CANCELLATION POLICY

All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by MD. Tour refunds will be given according to the table below.

  • 12 weeks (90 days) prior to the tour customers receive a 100% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 60 – 89 days prior to the tour customers receive a 50% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 8-59 days prior to the tour customers to receive a 10% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • Cancellations received on the day of or within 1 week of departure are non-refundable

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

  • MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
  • It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
  • Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
  • MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
  • Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
  • If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.

VISAS

As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason.

If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit.

FORCE MAJEURE

In the event of an uncontrollable event, such as war, revolution, and or natural disaster, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund.

What constitutes force majeure is decided solely by the company.

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance.

LOCAL LAWS

  • Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
  • Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.

 

TOUR ITINERARY

Due to the nature of travel/tourism of certain countries, itineraries do not provide or imply a guarantee of the tour’s contents. Though we will make every effort to keep itineraries as described and to find suitable replacements, the company reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in response to unforeseeable events.

 

TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS

MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs.

 

TRANSIT VISA

In the event the customer intends to travel to and from a country using a transit visa they bear full responsibility for ensuring the transit visa is organized correctly. MD will of course offer assistance in the event of issues arising with customer’s transit, but will in no case be held liable for any costs incurred in arranging customer exits.

 

Price inclusive of:

  • All flights between the islands and travel as per itinerary
  • Accommodation in twin share hotels/guest houses
  • Breakfasts and Lunches
  • Local guide fees

Price exclusive of:

  • International Flights to the Marshall Islands before the tour and from the Solomon Islands after
  • Visa fees if needed (we can provide visa support)
  • Dinners and drinks
  • Other personal expenses
  • Tips for the local guides

Interested in joining us?

E-mail us at calvin[at]monsoondiaries[dot]com if you want to sign up for updates (replaced bracketed text with appropriate punctuation, obviously).