Q – We are enthusiastic followers of your various web sites. Traveltruth is our favorite and we love the fact that it covers anything remotely limited to travel. We love to go to exotic locales where we have a serious chance of catching something that might bring us down for a few days or longer. But the fact is that when it came to exotic travel, the risk is well worth the reward. So now, we are looking at a river cruise on the Amazon or something to Myanmar. Love to have specific recommendations. If it helps, we in our early forties, in good shape, and we can afford to travel well. We’re a bit too young to join the country club but it wasn’t so very long ago that I caddied.
A – At the moment, large portions of the Amazon rain forest are in flames so the decision is rather easy. Brazil suffers from leadership by ego – a condition, of course, that we know nothing about in the States, But, in the best of times, Seeing the Amazon River on a small boat gives us caution. Aqua is a wonderful Expedition River Cruise Line and they do the Amazon better than anyone else. But you will really feel the contrast of wealthy Americans and Europeans visiting small villages where locals exist on a bare subsistence, hawking small curios to the rare visitor. It can be upsetting to some although there are programs set up that, we suppose, can justify a visit to the area.
Myanmar also has its political issues. The best boat is Belmond’s Road to Mandalay but the Sanctuary is another top choice. We are, quite frankly, surprised that this area of the world is not even more popular with riverboat enthusiasts. The sightseeing can be memorable, the boats are smaller and more luxurious than those in Europe, and there is a sense of place and spirituality that impresses many visitors. We hear repeated compliments about the crews aboard these boats. They are dedicated to war, top-of-the-line service and they seem motivated by more than money. We suggest you do Asia before doing the Amazon.