Having travelled extensively ourselves and witnessed first-hand how tourism can have either positive or negative effects on local communities and the environment, we always endeavour to leave a positive mark on all places we send clients and promote awareness of the local environment.
Our South-East Asia itinerary has been designed with the intention of showing our travelers the beauty and wonders of this spectacular part of the world. A tour that combines four different countries, each of them rich in traditions, culture, history and unique nature. However, it is due to the wide diversity offered by this tour that we needed to take extra care and use different approaches in order to safeguard the diverse environments.
To begin with, we wanted to engage travelers in local activities with the aim of creating awareness about important environmental facts. During the stay in Thailand, you will have the chance to meet the Hmong Tribe and experience handkerchief making with local Hmong ladies as well as taking part in planting trees for the Herbal Plant Nursery Project.
Similarly, once in Laos, activities such as rice planting and fishing will be undertaken with instructed local guides in order to bring a positive impact without damaging the environment and the eco-systems inhabiting the areas. Also in terms of accommodation, traditional thatched roof tents will be used during your river cruise in Laos, guaranteeing a more sustainable and eco-friendly stay.
We tried to minimise CO2 emissions as much as we could without sacrificing comfort and fun. In fact, we thought that an electric-bike tour through Wat Aham and Wat Visoun in Cambodia could be the perfect combination for a responsible traveler who likes comfort and style. Likewise, the visit to the floating market in Vietnam is on a rowboat helping minimising pollution and noise.
• As a company: We strive to operate as a paperless company as far as possible, and recycle wherever facilities are available. We use toxic-free fair trade products whenever we can.
• Where we stay: As a boutique travel company we strive to offer unique and authentic travel experiences in line with sustainable accommodation. Many of the resorts and operators we work with are eco-friendly and run their businesses in a more environmentally friendly manner. For instance, guests are offered free drinking water refills to minimise wastage of plastic bottles. While in remote areas, we carry rubbish with us and ensure we do not disturb anything in the natural environment.
• While we are there: We ensure that our clients are given the correct guidance while visiting protected areas and/or heritage sites in order to minimise impacts on the environment and respect the natural wonders of the area. We collaborate with guides who are local to the area and have been trained, bettering their communities. Typically these areas also ask for a fee to appreciate the protected area. These fees go to conservation and infrastructure efforts directly supporting the reserve.
Our tours are designed with the intention of maximising the benefits that our guests can have on the host community. This is the reason why we endeavour to follow responsible guidelines and teach guests about responsible tourism in order to encourage them to be mindful of the environment and respectful of local people and culture. With all our tailor-made trips we enjoy offering new routes and encourage travel to areas that are not on the main tourist trails and which further support smaller, local communities.
This tour will give you the chance to meet and engage with several communities and tribes. It will take you to a completely new world full of bright colours, delicious food and joyful people. However, we also know that tourism has often exploited the resources of South-East Asia without giving credit to the people who live their humble lives in these countries.
First of all, we believe that getting to know the locals and their daily life can dramatically help us to become better travelers and more respectful people. This is why we included cultural exhibitions and city tours where you will have the possibility to better understand the background of these counties, with a sometimes truly tormented history, as in the case of Cambodia.
Furthermore, a charitable activity such as “Bucket of books” has also been implemented in Laos, with the intention of making you a spokesman of education and civilization among locals.
Last but not least, we wanted to economically support the communities. We will take you to visit the unique floating market in Laos and the local coconut candies and rice paper factories in Vietnam, where you can purchase authentic souvenirs.
• As A Company: We believe in the importance of showing respect for local people and their customs and try to emphasis this in the way our tours are arranged. Where possible we aim to create a bond between staff and traveler so our clients gain insight into the real life of local communities. We endeavour to keep our groups small, minimising the environmental and social impact that the participants have on the destination. Through travel with us, we aim to help meet an important local need by contributing to the area’s economy, creating jobs and by eating locally sourced food and using locally sourced products.
• Where we stay: As a boutique travel company we search for authenticity and uniqueness from the local suppliers and whenever possible, encourage our travelers to stay in privately owned accommodation. We believe that working with hotel/accommodation owners who source staff, products, services and produce from within the community gives the local people an opportunity to gain from the increase in tourism to the area.
• While we are there: As previously mentioned, we work in partnership with locally employed guides who having been professionally trained, better their communities and provide insight into the local culture. We encourage interaction with local communities, however we keep our group sizes small and provide advice during the trip to ensure our impact on the indigenous way of life is minimised. Typically these areas also ask for a fee to appreciate the protected area, which go to aid conservation, employment and infrastructure efforts directly supporting the community and surroundings. We also encourage our clients to support the livelihood of the local community by purchasing locally produced crafts wherever possible.