Khan Do? At $2m, ‘World’s Priciest Trip’ Melds Nature with Opulence

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By William J. Furney
The Bali Times

LEGIAN, Bali ~ Retracing the conquering footsteps of 12th Century emperor Kublai Khan, a travel firm in Singapore plans to launch next month what it bills as “the most luxurious trip in the world,” a cosseted expedition through Mongolia and China with private jets and butlers on hand.

With an ambitious price tag of US$2 million, however, Urbane Nomads, which describes itself as “a luxury travel company specialising in creative itineraries and off-the-beaten-trek destinations,” is only hoping that a small, but eminently well-heeled, group will snatch up the high-priced travel offer, which lasts for 16 days and is scheduled for September 2010.

“The Most Luxurious Trip in the World” will be launched at the ADIHEX hunting and equestrian fair in Abu Dhabi in late September, Urbane Nomads’ Hajar Ali told The Bali Times.

The deluxe trip “combines the themes of equestrian, falconry and hunting,” he said.

“Attempting to recreate a little of the lavish hunting expeditions of Kublai Khan, the trip puts together unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, including travelling through the western part of Mongolia to experience horseback falconry,” he said.

The felicitous guests will take part in eagle hunting in Western Mongolia and afterwards have their portrait painted by “a famous painter and falconer whose patrons include Sheikh Suroor bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, the first president of the UAE, and Queen Elizabeth.”

The trip then moves on to Northern Mongolia and takes in a horseback-riding trek that will also focus on conservation efforts concerning the Mongolian reindeer, an endangered species.

Thereafter, Ali said, follows a trip on a private jet that will be staffed with a private chef and butler. Guests will sleep in personal gers – Mongolian felt tents – that will be “done up in absolute luxury and redefining standards of luxury in remote places.”

A separate tent will provide spa treatments.

Guests will start the trip in the Chinese capital Beijing, but flights to the city are not included in the price tag, Ali said. There, the wealthy adventure-seekers will stay at the Park Hyatt Beijing, which is near to the famed Great Wall. An early morning yoga session beside the visible-from-space, snaking structure can be organised, said Ali.

Urbane Nomad’s catalogue of elite experiences includes a number of tailored tours and luxury stay packages in Indonesia, including Bali.

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