Environment Low Impact Transportation: This trip gives you the chance to try out the local bus from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, overnight sleeper trains from Saigon to Nha Trang, Nha Trang to Danang and Hue to Hanoi, you also will have the option to do a cyclo ride around the center of Phnom Penh and using the local tuk tuks to get around in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Getting around as the locals do not only allows you to experience the culture on a deeper level, but the same way it is at home, using public transport is the most sustainable way to go – after walking and cycling of course! Supporting local culture and businesses: There are a multitude of opportunities to support local businesses and immerse yourself into the culture of Indochina on this trip. From the colourful markets to the bustling food stalls and cafes, the choices for eating and handicrafts are endless and the money is staying in the local economy - a vital way for tourism to make a positive impact. Activities that take you to markets, locally-owned restaurants, locals’ homes and villages are vital to the local peoples’ ability to truly benefit from tourism.
Other optional unique experiences on this trip that allow you to support the local economy and learn about Cambodian and Vietnamese culture include: A boat tour up on Tonle Sap lake in Cambodia to see how local people live on the lake either on floating houses or on houses on stilts, boat trip in Shianoukeville, boat trip on Mekong and motor bike tour in Chau Doc, bike ride in the country side of Hoi An exploring the Vietnamese life outside the city, having lunch in a local family’s home. Or why not do a photo tour either in the morning or afternoon and get close to the locals and learn more about using your camera. Amazing day on a motorbike exploring both Hue city and the country side around. Get up early in the morning in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City or Phnom Penh and see the locals doing exercise, and if you like join in.
This company has operated on responsible tourism values since its inception. From an environmental perspective, our initiatives extend from our company offices to our tours. Our head office and stores are powered by a local green energy provider, we encourage cleaner transportation methods for staff, and purchase all supplies from a local green business supplier. Our office is as paperless as possible and our brochures use 100% FSC certified sustainable paper. Getting Dirty for Earth Day: Every year we hold clean-ups in our office locations around the world. This year we worked with a local community centre on their community gardening efforts by planting flowers, trees, and prepping plots for vegetable planting.
Our style of trip, traveling, eating and staying with the locals, puts you right at the heart of the culture in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. In Siem Reap on day two we will have an included local meal either at New Hope Cambodia (Planeterra project) or in a small village outside Siem Reap. In Vietnam we will enjoy some of the local food, sitting on small plastic chairs on the side of the street or café da, Vietnamese ice coffee or if you like join in with the locals drinking Bia Hoi (cheap fresh beer also served on the street or in small local shops). Chatting with the locals will give you an amazing insight in local life. It may not be apparent that learning about and respecting other cultures is part of being a responsible traveler, but we believe that this discovery is a natural way for people of all backgrounds, nationalities, and religions to interact and learn from each other, fostering peace and understanding. And it’s just plain fascinating!
Support World Heritage: On this trip there are numerous opportunities to visit important heritage sites on foot or by bicycle such as the famous temples of Angkor, Hoi An old town, the Citadel in Hue and the old quarter in Hanoi. We also visit the limestone karst mountains in Halong bay by boat, among others. Celebrating world heritage is an important way to participate in sustainable tourism. Many world heritage sites are designated for protection so that all the world’s people can share in these fascinating and historical wonders for generations to come
Small Group Tours With an average of 10 travelers on every trip, we ensure that local communities do not feel the impact of a tour group in their vicinity. We continually educate our tour groups on the culture and heritage of local people and this allows the area to reap the benefits of tourism without changing the local way of life.
Charity Contribution When you take a trip with us, you are helping to fund charity work across the globe. We fund our charity foundation’s administrative costs and contribute $30,000 a year in donations, meaning that 100% of donor funds go directly to the projects they were designed to serve – over 35 projects spanning the globe.