Our company

It's all about you really

From the windswept heights of Tibet, across the historic Silk Road, into the lush jungles of Indochina and the enthralling diversity of Japan, China, Burma and Thailand, let us show you the true face of Asia. We operate from the Far East and offer tailor-made Travel & Life Experiences for discerning clients.

Our company

It's all about you really

If you’re an avid traveller with a desire to experience Asia in a unique and customized way, with a small group of friends, your family or a special interest group, you have come to the right place.

Mandarin Journeys offers a travel concept well beyond packaged holidays and we prefer to call our trips Life Travel Experiences owing to their highly experiential and immersive nature

Our clients are typically successful, bright and inquisitive people with a thirst for global exploration but often lacking the time and insider knowledge to plan a truly memorable trip independently.

While it has never been easier to self-arrange a wide range of experiences and logistics worldwide, most people are overwhelmed by the sheer number of mostly anonymous and impersonal booking platforms, and it is quite difficult knowing who to trust.

Mandarin Journeys brings travel planning back to its artisanal roots; a tailored and highly individual service aimed at those discerning travelers looking for a concierge level of service, a rarity in today’s mass consumer society

After all, the only social networks worth subscribing to are the very real people you meet and the unbreakable, lasting bonds forged during intense and rewarding Life Travel Experiences.

Like most artisans in any discipline, our focus in on quality, service and satisfaction. As such we may not be a budget travel company, and our services are not for everyone.

If you recognize yourself in the definitions provided, strike up an obligation-free conversation about your travel dreams.

Values

What makes us tick

We believe that the real wealth of a company are its values and principles. Mandarin Journeys is and always will be a responsible, moral and sustainable business venture.

Values

What makes us tick

Our founder’s vision was to build a cultural bridge between the developed Western world, his world, and the often misunderstood Oriental world, a region he remains passionate about to this day. While a sustainable bottom line and growth matter in every business venture, we deliberately stay small and boutique, passing over high passenger volume for an artisanal approach to travel.

Discretion
Integrity
Flexibility

Mandarin Journeys is a low-impact company; by limiting our passenger volume and working exclusively with responsible local partners, our environmental footprint is extremely low for a travel company. Every guide must abide by our strict service guidelines and we lean heavily towards hotels with LEED certification or at the very least a verifiable sustainability policy. Mandarin Journeys guarantees all guides a fair service fee and we operate a strict no-commision shopping policy in all destinations.

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People

Thoroughbred Travellers

With a global presence and associates in all corners of Asia, Mandarin Journeys' operations are handled by and for real travellers. With a collective five decades worth of Asia travel experience and continuous regional research we are the ultimate Asian travel authority.

People

Thoroughbred Travellers

With backgrounds as diverse as the countries we promote, the Mandarin Journeys lineup of team members, guides and local operatives are examples of integrity, knowledge and dedication. Without exception, the people listed below will happily go above and beyond the call of duty to assure our clients a truly memorable, trouble-free and unique Travel Life Experience.


Mr Marc Mekki | General Manager

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Marc hails from Belgium and is Mandarin Journeys’ founder and General Manager. During his 10 years in China, as a guide, travel planner and GM, Marc has travelled in every province and lived in 5 cities: Beijing, Chengdu, Guilin, Hong Kong and Shanghai. When not running day to day operations Marc enjoys long rides on his motorcycle, photography and exploring new destinations. Marc also runs Platinum Private Journeys, an elite private travel club in Shanghai for discerning Chinese travelers.

Mr Matthew Dagher-Margosian | USA Head of Operations

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Matthew spent several years in Shanghai as a teacher and spent his free time exploring the quirkier side of this great city, the country and the wider Asia region. Known for his attention to detail and eloquence, he is the perfect client liaison in the USA and Canada. Matt enjoys and excels at the service aspect of his job and his prior career in Education and Curriculum Development provide him with the necessary experience to handle complex dossiers. When not talking to clients, building itineraries and sharing his deep knowledge of Asia Matt can be found enjoying great food, local culture and music.

Ms Lara Nuque | Customer Service & Logistics

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Lara is from the Philippines and takes up the Customer Service & Logistics Manager role within Mandarin Journeys. She graduated Mass Communication from Silliman University. Lara previously worked in Customer Care Service and she thrives in diverse administrative roles. In her spare time Lara enjoys Photography, travel and DIY projects.

Ms Klaudia Laurincova | VIP Liaison

klaudia@mandarinjourneys.com

Mr Diego Morodo | Marketing & PR

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Born in Spain with Basque and Mexican roots, Diego has lived in 3 countries and travelled through most of Europe and Asia before settling down in South East Asia. Former Brand Manager for different premium-market and adventure-related goods, Diego is also a photographer and avid enthusiast of different board sports and nature. He takes his hobbies around the world while finding new and thrilling adventures, another one of his passions.

Mr Robert Elsen | Partner

Mr Robert Elsen is MJ senior partner and investor. Mr Elsen is a seasoned entrepreneur and the founder of a major European tour operator.

Contact

From Dream to Reality

You could be on your way to planning a rewarding, eye-opening and quite possibly life-changing Travel Life Experience in Asia... just reach out to us and start the dialogue!

Contact

From Dream to Reality

Even if you are only in the early stages of planning and would like to keep your options open, please do contact us for a preliminary discussion. We are happy to set up a free consultation with one of our experts so that you have an opportunity assess our expertise and we have a chance to learn more about you.

We regret that we can only reply to serious enquiries. Complex itineraries may incur a planning fee, fully refundable at the time of booking. Our quotations are obligation-free and highly customizable.

Social Networks

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Enquiries - North & South America

USA, Canada & The Americas
Mr Matthew-Dagher Margosian
matt@mandarinjourneys.com
(+1) 734-649-5783

Enquiries - Asia Pacific

Asia Operations & Enquiries
Mr Marc Mekki
marc@mandarinjourneys.com
(+66) 095-824-7303

Skype Call or Chat





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History

How it began

There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.

History

How it began

The beginnings of Mandarin Journeys are rooted in a profound and seemingly predestined love for travel. With a parent working in the airline industry I was born into a world of travel and exploration. having seen large parts of the world at a very young age, a desire to explore was kindled early in life.

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From an earlier career in the marketing industry, fast forward to a traveller’s life in China…

Life as an adventure tour guide in China led me to a dozen provinces and into the heart of Chinese culture. I fell in love with this enigmatic nation, its peculiarities, its scenic beauty, its compelling history, the culinary diversity and of course the people.

Beyond China, I made use of my time in Asia to explore the wider region in great detail, the result of which is a strong network of contacts and a comprehensive portfolio of experiences in our other destinations.

Having now spent the better part of 12 years traveling in Asia, the region has become a part of me, and I hope to share that experience with our esteemed guests for years to come.

We remain to this day one of the few truly top level Far East and South East Asia specialists in the region and I am proud to serve, with my fantastic team, an ever growing number of discerning clients from all over the world.

I hope to add you to our guest list soon too…

– Marc Mekki, GM & Founder

Reviews

What others say

We're good at what we do. We love Asia, we know it and we have all the connections you would expect and need to make for a fantastic Travel Life Experience in Asia.
But don't just take our word for it...

Reviews

What others say


If you are contemplating a holiday and are interested in what we have to offer, you will naturally want more assurances than only these pages. A customized top holiday experience is a considerable investment after all.

We urge you to research our credentials and make sure we are the right agency for you before committing to a holiday. That will involve speaking to us of course, but also checking our references carefully.

Many of our past clients are also happy to speak with you directly once you are close to booking but need some further reassurances.

In the next tab are several testimonials from past clients as posted on several partner sites and LinkedIn, a highly respected professional network, with a review feature that is virtually impossible to falsify. We invite you to connect to us or simply browse our profile.

Our family recently used Mandarin Journeys for a 3 week/5 destinations trip to China and Thailand, and we highly recommend them. They were attentive and responsive during the planning process, which for us involved multiple changes along the way, and they helped us manage everything seamlessly. They designed a premium, customized program with activities suited to us and expert guides who completely enhanced the experience. And they were in touch throughout to ensure things went according to plan. They took the time to understand what we were looking for and delivered beyond our expectations. I’m sure we will be “repeat” customers.
M. Gerzema - VP Media, The Estee Lauder Company
MJ planned an excellent leisure trip for me to Japan and China in July-August 2014. The trip was 2 weeks and included all hotels, both long haul and short hall flights, trains, local transportation, dinner reservations each night, and full day guides in each city. Cities visited included Tokyo, Kyoto, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. The trip was planned and executed flawlessly. There was not one detail, reservation, travel arrangement that was miscommunicated or out of order. For this to occur on a two week, complex, international itinerary speaks volumes to the quality, reliability, and thoroughness of Mandarin Journeys. The guides in each city superb and highly knowledgeable re. the local sights, culture, languages, and transportation. Stayed in a older courtyard house/hotel in Beijing (Hans Royal Garden) and 300 year old Ryokan in Kyoto. The trip was thoroughly enjoyed. Marc even arranged vintage motorcycles with side cars as the transportation from central Beijing to a non touristy, less travelled part of the Great Wall. I highly recommend Mandarin Journeys for anyone that wants a non touristy, comprehensive trip to the Far East
Steven Randich - EVP & CIO Finra
Mandarin Journeys did an incredible job planning our honeymoon! We were thrilled with the little details they implemented into our trip and would recommend them to plan your next vacation. Thank you for a wonderful time. It was an experience of a lifetime. We would not have been able to have such a good time if it weren’t for Mandarin Journeys.
N. Trehan - Attorney at law
One thing we’d most definitely do is use the same travel agency, Mandarin Journeys. There were too many other places to go. So I looked into
package tours. Some were surprisingly inexpensive but in reading Tripadvisor reviews I realized they were very much a one-size-fits-all kind of a journey. Not knowing how Kate’s back would,
pardon the pun, stand up, I needed something more tailored to her needs. Simultaneously I had Abercrombie and Kent (referred by American Express travel) provide a
quote and itinerary for our 3 week journey, giving them the same specs I gave Mandarin Journeys. What I got from them was detailed, obviously boiler plate, and twice as expensive as Mandarin Journeys. They gave me a journey truly tailored for us, bespoke journey. After committing to them, they worked with me to refine our journey, adjust our hotels preferences, and upgrade our intra-china travel. The additions meant some additional expense, but always more than reasonable. In the end we got a trip of a lifetime. I would urge any of you considering
a trip to East Asia (not just China) to contact them.
Charles Redick - AFS & Associates
Recently I retained Mandarin Journeys’ services to plan my honeymoon in Thailand. It is an understatement to say that Marc and his team (Matt in particular) planned an exquisite trip for my wife and I, and it also became more and more apparent throughout the trip that they had paid attention to all of the details my wife and I had talked about during the planning process.
Mandarin Journeys kept in touch in Thailand to make sure that everything was going according to our wishes, and they were very flexible in helping us to change plans and hotel reservations during the trip when my wife got sick. I would definitely like to use their services in the future. Thanks!
R. Bickford - Analyst at Boeing
Mandarin Journeys did a fantastic job planning a 10-day vacation for my husband and me to Laos and Cambodia. They were able to put together an itinerary that showcased the natural beauty of the countries and let us dive deep into the culture. It’s not every day a person gets to cruise along the Mekong to our island hotel at sunset or dive off of waterfalls into clear blue pools. We were able to check multiple experiences off our bucket lists – riding an elephant and exploring Ankor Wat!
P. Stageberg - Account Manager
We had a very ambitious trip to Tokyo, S. and N. Korea, China and Mongolia. It was not inexpensive, but, it was worth every dollar that we paid . Every meet-and-greet was perfect. There was not one delay. Our drivers and guides were courteous. the guides were very knowledgeable and spoke excellent English. I would highly recommend this travel company and their resources.
I. & R. Moro - Retired
The trip was truly magical. Reading the itinerary was exciting enough but actually getting to experience the journey far exceeded our expectations. The company was incredibly professional and the guides that we had at each location made our 20 year anniversary trip even that more memorable. What were the most enjoyable or memorable parts of your trip? It is incredibly difficult to even qualify any day as being better than another. Tai Chi was amazing in the park, the Black Sesame resteraunt was great, the great wall, the Forbiddedn City, the Terra-Cotta warriors, the food, the Spice Market in Chengdu, the food, the Giant Buddha, the food, my wife would definitely say the pandas, the Himilayans, the hotels, and then finally Hong Kong. It was all just so awesome and a journey that my wife and I feel was truly special.
B. Bounds, Entrepreneur
Mandarin Journeys arranged my family’s first trip to China. They were the only travel agent we met (and we spoke to many) who made an effort to understand what we actually wanted and how we wanted to do it, rather than making assumptions about what he thought people like us would like. In other words, they actually listened to what we told them, and the holiday arranged for us was different from the holidays they would have arranged for someone else. We went back to them for our second visit to China and the same was true.
R. Freeland - Partner, Simmons & Simmons
MJ did an amazing job in setting up our Malaysian honeymoon for my wife and me. They listened to our requests and tailored something specific to our needs. They contracted out excellent guides and helped us experience some incredible excursions and outings. Almost everyday, a representative for them would call to confirm our day and keep us informed if anything was changing. I would highly recommend using their services if you plan on travelling to SE Asia.
J. Kvidera, Account Executive
Mandarin Journeys are fabulous when it comes to planning and executing Asian travel experiences. I am well-travelled, and was still amazed at the level of personal service I received on a trip to China. First class all the way, and Marc and the individuals he contracted with went the extra mile to ensure my comfort, yet made sure that I had more than just a “surface” experience of the country. I would happily work with Mandarin Journeys and his team again when I plan my next trip to Asia.
C. Baldassano, The Dr. Laura Program
Excellent trip. They did what they promised
Guide and driver were both great. We asked for vegetarian food and were taken to lots of different locations with great food for us.Hotels and lodges were lovely.
M. Cohen, The Wharton School
It was a first rate trip, well organized by an energetic and very helpful travel company. Marc was extremely attentive to our wishes and desires and assembled a very interesting cross section of China, both modern China and ancient China; just what we had asked him to do. Our guides in each of the 5 locations that we visited were very knowledgeable and a wonderful source of information about the local culture. We considered each one a new friend that we were sad to leave behind. A few issues did arise during the trip and were quickly and skillfully dealt with by Marc and his team.
Mr R. Gallant, Architect




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Affiliations

Partners & Affiliates

Our partners, our collaborators, and our friends, the people we trust and the people that trust us. An exclusive network of individuals, companies and organizations who we proudly work with in the craft of the ideal travel-life experiences for our guests.

Affiliations

Partners & Affiliates

Zicasso

Zicasso is a remarkable platform where discerning travellers and exclusive luxury travel experts join to create personal travel experiences.

Ciao Bambino!

Ciao Bambino is an award-winning Family Travel resource offering comprehensive tips and advice on where to go, what to do, and where to stay in the world’s top destinations with kids.

Jetsetter

Jetsetter is a private community of travelers that provides members with insider access, expert knowledge and exclusive deals on the world's greatest vacations.

ILTM

Mandarin Journeys is a frequent guest company at the prestigious ILTM gatherings taking place around the world and connecting the elite travel planners and tour operators around the world.

The Family Travel Association

The Family Travel Association is bringing together the leaders in family and multigenerational travel to inspire families to travel. All members have been thoroughly vetted to ensure they meet the highest standards of quality and service with the goal of having the public recognize and respect them as leaders in their respective categories.

XO Private

XO Private platform comprises not only the finest accommodations around the globe, but also the most extraordinary destination specialists, luxury lifestyle events and the necessary must haves. The XO Private label is awarded to only the highest quality operators and hotels worldwide.

EAO

The Executive Assistants Organization (EAO) is the largest organization of Executive Assistants in the USA. A select group of individuals that are involved in the biggest decision-making processes of their corporations.

Tiketers

Tiketers is a luxury travel agency that takes discerning travelers of Mexico to tailor-made experiences around the world. Tiketers is based in Monterrey, Mexico.

TriWives Club

A resource platform for Triathletes and their families, TriWives Club is the meeting point for the mothers, wives and triathletes living life through Triathlon.

Ning Space

Ning Space is an exclusive gallery that specializes in both classic and contemporary Chinese art and cultural pieces.

Travel Spinner

Travel Spinner is an online platform that connects discerning travelers with the best travel experts of the world.

Real Family Trips

Real family Trips is a dynamic family travel planning resource. With inspiration on where to go, as well as what to do and how to save, Real Family Trips makes family vacations more realistic and exciting.