In Spring 2013, Creative Media Alliance joins TCS & Starquest Expeditions on its world-spanning Extraordinary Cultures trip. Besides recording marketing videos and photography for TCS & Starquest promotions, we also share our experiences via CMA social media. Follow this web page and our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TourWrist pages for photos, videos, and 360-degree panoramic photography of amazing locations and exclusive accommodations.
The Extraordinary Cultures trip travels to:
- Kyoto and Nara, Japan
- Bali, Indonesia
- Ha Long Bay and Hanoi, Vietnam
- Kathmandu, Nepal
- Paro, Bhutan
- Jodhpur, India
- Kigali and Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
- Gorée Island, Senegal
- Lisbon, Portugal
TCS & Starquest Expeditions provides “experiences of a lifetime” and the ultimate in service, comfort, and convenience. World-class experts and expedition leaders accompany these private jet trips to some of the world’s most iconic places.
We’re packing our cameras to explore the world with TCS & Starquest Expeditions. This three-week trek will produce many amazing images and we’re looking forward to sharing them. We created a Vine video to share excitement on Twitter.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” -Lao Tzu
— CMA Seattle (@cmaseattle) March 14, 2013
A custom Boeing 757 takes us on our Extraordinary Cultures adventure. The private jet has 78 wide leather seats, configured two-by-two, with lots of legroom, Bose headsets, and in-seat power outlets. The spacious cabin features abundant storage and a spotless interior. Our expedition is accompanied by 3 pilots, 8 flight attendants, 2 engineers, an executive chef, a private physician, a catering officer, a luggage handler, and a team of world-class experts.
In the lap of luxury, our breakfast today included caviar and our lunch was lobster salad with mango and wild greens. Our executive chef is incredibly talented and flexible to dietary requests. Throughout the trip, our menu will feature fresh, local ingredients. Mmmmmm.
Kyoto, Japan was a whirlwind of wonderful activity. First, we visited the Fushimi Inari Shrine and the pathway with 10,000 torii gates. Afterward we went to a sake tasting at small family run brewery, a tea house, several gardens, and the massive Kofukuji Temple National Museum, featuring huge Buddha statues. At dinner, we were entertained by bunraku puppets and classical Maiko dancers. Maiko are Geisha, but the name Geisha is not used in Kyoto.
If our first destination is this beautiful, we can only marvel at what the entire trip holds.
Here is a 360-degree panoramic of the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan that we posted on TourWrist. If you are viewing this panoramic image on a tablet or smartphone, you can tilt the device or move your hand and the perspective shifts. Give it a try. It’s very cool. We’ll post more 360 panoramics as we reach more Extraordinary Cultures, in addition to still images and Vine videos. On to Bali next!
Our day in Bali was full of activities. We took great GoPro footage on our tour of the rice fields. We also presented local school children with backpacks as gifts and experienced authentic Bali dancing at dinner. The resort we stayed in was incredible. Positioned on the side of a mountain, the main building featured a gorgeous view of the lush valley and our private villas. Each villa had its own pool overlooking the jungle cliffs. We fly to Vietnam next, where we will stay on luxurious boats. Wifi may be limited. We’ll check in when we can.
The Royal Pita Maha in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia:
We had wonderful weather for our cruise into Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. The views were amazing and we took a kayak excursion to see the floating villages and hike into some impressive canyons. Local children visited our boat and sang for our group. Vietnam was yet another incredible experience. We’re on to Nepal next!
Just crossing the street in Hanoi, Vietnam brings an adrenaline rush.
Welcome to the Dwarika Hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal!
The food in Nepal is so good, with just the right amount of spice. The Nepalese momo, a dumpling is simply out of this world! We visited an amazing, ornate temple and listened to musicians in colorful traditional dress.
The landscape in Bhutan was mountainous, much like Nepal, but the architecture, color patterns and clothing definitely had their own distinctions. We met the most wonderful people, from locals relaxing to Buddhist monks to people selling items in the market.
India had it all. The accommodations were the best we’ve experienced, even better than having our own personal villas! We stayed at Umaid Bhawan Palace, where the Maharaja of the city lives. We toured Mehrangarh Fort in the heat and then we took Tuk Tuks (mini-taxis) through the old town market. Our dinner entertainment was mind-blowing, including singers, dancers, magicians, and even the winner of India Idol… no fooling.
The Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of the world’s largest private residences. It is located at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India. Here is a 360 panoramic of the gorgeous grounds and palace.
Here is another panoramic of Mehrangarh Fort.
Just when we thought our trip couldn’t get more exciting, we went gorilla trekking in Rwanda. It is as amazing as it sounds. During a 2-hour hike up a huge volcano and through thick bamboo forest, guides with machetes cleared a path through the forest because the gorillas were moving off the trail.
We found our first big silverback sitting on top of the bamboo canopy and stopped just 15 feet away to photograph him. Later, we found the biggest silverback in the jungle, “the King,” who passed so close to us that we could have touched him. However, no one was about to touch him. These powerful creatures are breathtaking and pretty intimidating. We were very ready to relax at the Kigali Serena Hotel when the trek was through.
Goree Island, Senegal was a perfect, peaceful end to our worldwide tour. The colorful, traditional dress and talented children singing for us made our blissful trip even more special. Our hotel in Dakar was remarkable, with a luxurious swimming pool and tasteful, modern decor. We’ve seen so many wonderful places and people on our trip, the feeling is almost surreal. We’re certainly glad that we have so many images and videos to look back on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure
We would like to thank our staff photographer, Mark Bauschke, for all of his hard work throughout our three-week adventure. His remarkable images and video truly captured the spirit of the locations we visited. It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it. Thanks, Mark!