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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
SINO TRAVEL SERVICE LTD (DBA ‘MANDARIN JOURNEYS’)
77-79 Gloucester Road, 2410 Fortis Bank Tower, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
IMPORTANT TO NOTE Please read these booking conditions carefully. All holidays advertised here are operated by Sino Travel Service Ltd, DBA ‘Mandarin Journeys’, (hereinafter called ‘the Company’ or ‘we’).
1) To make a booking you must complete Booking Form and pay a non-refundable deposit of up to 35% of your selected travel arrangements (minimum USD $500 per person or equivalent or $800 per person if a Yangtze cruise is part of the confirmed itinerary). We will then invoice you for the remainder of the cost, which you must pay not later than 4 weeks before departure. If you book less than 8 weeks before departure, full payment must be made on booking. The booking is not accepted and no contract shall exist between us until the date shown on the confirmation issued by the Company. Notification of cancellation must be made to the Company in writing and will be effective upon receipt. Exceptions to the payment conditions above may be granted on a case by case basis.
2) Bookings made will not be deemed accepted until we have received a signed booking form in our office by fax or email and we have issued a confirmation. If a signed booking form is not received within 10 days of the direct booking being made, the booking will be cancelled, any paid deposit will be forfeit. Direct bookings made by credit card less than 8 weeks before departure (i.e. when full payment is due on booking) will be subject to the cancellation conditions in clause 4 below and clients will be deemed to have read and accepted our booking conditions regardless of whether a booking form has been received in our office.
3) If you cancel your booking after you have paid in full the following cancellation charges will be made:
between 43 and 56 days before departure: 40% of the holiday cost
between 29 and 42 days before departure: 60% of the holiday cost
between 15 and 28 days before departure: 80% of the holiday cost
14 days or less before departure (or fail to join the holiday): 100% of the holiday cost
These dates refer to the date we receive written notification of your cancellation, signed by at least one of the individuals listed on the booking form. Cancellations notifications must be clearly dated, signed and sent by registered post. Failure to comply can result in 100% cancellation charges. We strongly recommend you to take out insurance against irrecoverable cancellation costs.
4) If you are prevented from travelling, you may transfer your booking to another person provided they meet all the requirements relating to that holiday. A transfer fee of $100 will be payable, or $180 if the transfer is less than four weeks before departure. Additional costs such as non-transferable airline tickets and permit fees may also be payable. Should you transfer your booking to another person, you will both be jointly and severally liable for payment of the holiday price and other associated expenses. We require a written transfer notification for all transfers, clearly dated and signed by transferor and transferee.
5) If you do not pay the balance of your holiday cost by the due date of 8 weeks before departure your booking may be terminated and any monies paid may be forfeited.
6) We will let you know as soon as we can if, we are forced to significantly alter or cancel your holiday. In these circumstances you can choose one of the following options.
a) accept our offer of a replacement holiday of lower quality (if available) and we will refund the difference in cost; or b) accept our offer of a replacement holiday of equivalent or higher quality (if available); or c) ask us for a refund of the money you have paid.
Your decision about which alternative you accept must be made as soon as possible after we notify you.
We strongly advise you not to incur any non-refundable incidental expenses, e.g. for visas or flights, before we send you final confirmation of your itinerary. This is because scheduled airlines regularly vary their timetables. We shall however endeavor to send you your final confirmation between 21 and 16 days prior to departure.
7) Before your booking is confirmed and a contract comes into force, we reserve the right to increase or decrease quoted prices. Where our allocation of air seats has been fully utilized or where it is not possible to offer an air seat from an allocation, we reserve the right to pass on any extra costs incurred. You have the right to withdraw from the booking at this stage if you do not accept the price revision. The contract will exist when you have accepted or not objected to any price revision and we have issued a confirmation invoice. We reserve the right to impose surcharges once you have booked but no surcharges will be imposed within 30 days of departure and any downward revision in the price will be refunded to you. Surcharges will only be imposed for variations in:
a) transport costs, including the cost of fuel. b) dues, taxes or fees chargeable for services such as landing taxes or embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports and airports; or c) the exchange rates applied to the booking.
Price increases and surcharges will be calculated according to the full extra cost compared to the costs and exchange rates obtained when the quote was calculated and exchange rates for our products are as follows:
In any event we shall absorb any such surcharge up to 2% of the original holiday cost. Any increase to the price which exceeds 10% of the total holiday cost will entitle you to the options outlined in clause 6 above.
8) A general indication is provided here of the itinerary for each holiday, the type of accommodation used, what is included in the price, passport and visa requirements, and health formalities. Changes in all of these items may be made at any time and we will notify you of any changes that we become aware of as soon as we are reasonably able to do so.
For every holiday booking we create a detailed confirmation voucher which contains the up-to-date definitive information about the booked holiday, and which will be sent on to you by email, fax or post. If after reading these documents you feel you have misunderstood what is included in the price, or the nature of the holiday, you may cancel your booking without penalty and we will refund any monies paid to us (except for initial deposits, if any). Such cancellations will only be allowed during the week following our sending the confirmation voucher to you, and will not be allowed if your booking is made less than 8 weeks before departure, when you should ensure that you are fully aware of the contents of the holiday itinerary before booking. The information and conditions relating to your holiday (and extensions/options where applicable) contained in the confirmation voucher will be deemed to be part of the contract, and you should therefore read them carefully. Should there be a discrepancy between the information on the website or any other publication and the confirmation voucher, the information in the confirmation voucher supersedes any other published information and will be considered the most up-to-date and accurate.
9) Any information or advice provided by the Company on matters such as permits, visas, vaccinations, climate, clothing, baggage, special equipment, etc. is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of the Company, and the passenger accepts responsibility for obtaining any necessary visas and travel documents required for the holiday.
10) If any significant changes to the holiday have to be made before departure, we undertake to inform you, and you are entitled to the options detailed in clause 6 above. A ‘significant change’ does not include a change of carrier, transport or named accommodation, but is normally considered a change of more than 24 hours (12 hours for holidays of 10 days’ duration or less) in departure or return timings, a change of Chinese domestic departure airport or a major itinerary re-routing.
11) Your booking is accepted on the understanding that you realize the inherent hazards and annoyances involved in this kind of holiday, including injury, disease, loss or damage to property, inconvenience, delays and discomfort due to travelling in significantly different cultural surroundings. Changes in itinerary may be caused by local political conditions, flight cancellations, mechanical breakdown, weather, border restrictions, sickness, or other unforeseeable circumstances. Pro rata refunds will be given for services not utilized wherever possible at the Company’s discretion.
It is a fundamental condition of joining any of the holidays described in this brochure that you accept this flexibility, and acknowledge that delays and alterations and their results, such as inconvenience, discomfort, or disappointment, are possible: we will always endeavor to provide suitable alternative arrangements. If it is impossible to make alternative arrangements or if a passenger is unable, or does not choose for good reason, to complete an itinerary outlined for a holiday, the Company is not liable to supply alternative itineraries, excursions, accommodations, services or staff for the period when the client is not present with the group, but in these circumstances we will arrange transport back to your point of departure if you wish.
12) On any China holiday it is necessary that you abide by the authority of the leader or guide, who represents the company. Signing our booking form signifies your agreement to this, and if you commit any illegal act when on the holiday or if in the reasonable opinion of the leader or guide your behaviour is causing or likely to cause danger, distress or annoyance to others we may terminate your travel arrangements without any liability on our part. If you are affected by any condition, medical or otherwise, that might affect your or other people’s enjoyment of the holiday you must advise us of this at the time of booking or risk immediate termination of your travel arrangements without any liability on our part.
13) Before you come on the holiday you must be covered by insurance, which must include adequate cover for baggage, medical expenses and the cost of repatriation, should you become too ill to continue, including helicopter rescue and air ambulance. If you join the holiday without adequate insurance you may not be allowed to continue on the holiday, with no right of refund.
14) Our responsibility does not commence until the appointed time and place in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau as stipulated in the confirmation voucher. We shall not be responsible for any additional expenses incurred by you to meet up on time and at the designated place as stipulated in the Confirmation voucher. Should you be unable to arrive on time for the start of the scheduled tour you must inform us at the latest 24 hours before your new arrival time. We will endeavor to resume the scheduled trips as per the Confirmation voucher and we will charge any necessary additional local costs accordingly. We reserve the right to cancel all further holiday arrangements if no contact has been made with us within 24 hrs after the scheduled arrival time.
15) If you have any complaint about the holiday, you must make it known at the earliest opportunity to the guide and/or our local representative, who will normally be able to take appropriate action. If you are not satisfied with their response and you feel your enjoyment of the holiday is likely to be significantly affected, you should notify our regional manager and we will do our best to resolve the problem. If at the end of the holiday, you feel your complaint has not been properly dealt with, we shall try and agree a settlement with you, but you must first notify us of your complaint in writing within 35 days of your scheduled date of return. Please note we only deal with complaints via letter, telephone or email, and not in person.
16) We are responsible to you for the proper performance of our obligations under the contract irrespective of whether those obligations are provided directly by us, or by third party service providers engaged by us acting within the proper course of their employment. We are liable to you for any damage caused to you by our failure to perform the contract or by our improper performance of the contract, unless that failure is:
a) attributable to you; b) attributable to a third party unconnected with the provision of the services and are unforeseeable or unavoidable; c) due to unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control and could not have been avoided even if all due care had been taken d) due to an event which even with all due care we could not foresee or forestall
17) In any event, you are strongly advised to insure yourself against any possible risk that may occur and in particular to ensure that you have sufficient insurance in respect of dependent relatives. You are required to carry proof of insurance with you and produce it if reasonably requested by company employees or suppliers. Except in instances of personal injury or death, where the Company is found to be liable for damages in respect of its failure to carry out the contract, the maximum amount of such damages, compensation and loss of enjoyment will normally, but not necessarily, be limited to three times the basic holiday price shown on the invoice.
Where the damages relate to the provision of transport by air, sea or rail, or hotel accommodation, any compensation payable will be further limited by the EU Charter of Passengers Rights, the Warsaw Convention as amended by the Hague Protocol (air), the Athens Convention 1974 (sea), the Berne Convention 1961 (rail), and the Paris Convention 1962 (hotel accommodation), or any such statute or regulation as may from time to time amend or supersede any of the above. Copies of the conditions of carriage and any conventions which may apply are available on request. Any independent arrangement that you make which is not part of the holiday are entirely at your own risk.
You must comply with the conditions of carriage applied by land, sea and air carriers. The provisions of the Warsaw Convention 1929 (as amended) concerning the carriage of passengers and their luggage by air, and the airlines’ conditions of carriage, may apply to you and your party during your flight, and during boarding and disembarkation. These provisions and conditions may limit or exclude liability for death or personal injury, or loss of or damage to luggage, and may make special provisions for valuables. We will supply a copy of the conditions of carriage applicable to your holiday, and of the Warsaw Convention, if you request them.
In the case of sea travel the provisions of the Athens Convention 1974 relating to the carriage of passengers and their luggage by sea may apply. This Convention and the sea carriers conditions of carriage may continue to apply to you and your party throughout your stay on board the ship, and during boarding and disembarkation. The Athens Convention, and the carriers’ conditions of carriage, may limit or exclude liability for death or personal injury, or loss of or damage to luggage, and make special provisions for valuables. A copy of the conditions of carriage applicable to your holiday, and the Athens Convention referred to above, can be supplied on request.
18) Any flights forming part of the holiday arrangements are subject to the conditions of the carrying airline, which in most cases limit the airline’s liability to the passenger in accordance with International Law and conventions. Copies of the conditions of carriage and any conventions which may apply are available on request.
20) Any likeness or image of you secured or taken on any of our holidays may be used by the company without charge in all media (whether now existing or in the future invented) for bona fide promotional or marketing purposes, including without limitation promotional materials of any kind, such as brochures, slides, video shows and the internet.
21) To ensure that your holiday runs smoothly, we need to use information such as your name and address, special needs, dietary requirements etc. We will apply appropriate security measures to protect this data. However, we must pass it to suppliers of your travel arrangements including airlines, hotels and transport companies. We may also supply it to security or credit checking companies, and to public authorities such as customs and immigration or Public Security Bureau. We will only pass data, including sensitive information regarding disabilities or dietary and religious requirements, to people responsible for your holiday arrangements. If we cannot pass this information to the relevant suppliers, we cannot provide your booking. When you make this booking, you consent to this information being passed to the relevant people. We can supply a copy of your information held by us; there is a small charge for providing this.
22) The booking conditions may only be waived or amended by written mutual consent. When you complete the booking form you agree to accept all these conditions, and when we accept your booking we agree to carry out our obligations to you as defined in this brochure and other information provided to you.