Thailand, Laos and Cambodia vacation


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16 Jan 2017
US $ 1900
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 16 Jan 2017 departure
Vacation type

Small group vacation

This is a 'small group adventure' - you will be sharing your experiences with like minded people. Group sizes are limited to a maximum of 11 persons, a genuinely small group. Experience has taught us that smaller groups are less intrusive to local cultures and environments whilst allowing more interaction with local people. Furthermore it means greater flexibility on a day to day basis and on a social level it proves to be fun. Whether you are traveling alone or with friends/family its good value, and a great way to meet new people! The intention is to travel as a group of friends rather than a typical tour group, so don't expect stick-on name badges or any following the umbrella.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Thailand, Laos and Cambodia vacation

We work closely with local communities enabling us to not just give something back to those communities but also offer those who travel with us a more genuine, fuller and deeper understanding of the ethnic make-up of this fascinating region. Our small group size offers us the greatest opportunity to be effective responsible travelers.

Tourism is bringing in some cash into the communities of this area. The area around has been classified as a biodiversity conservation area and is unique in its wetland geography. Many migrating birds stop-over on the wet-lands. Responsible tourism supports the preservation of this area by offering some income reducing the pressure off the hunt for protected wildlife and agricultural use of the reserved wet areas.

Ban Kone Neua primary school: The original 70 year old building was in disrepair without maintenance and a series of foreign masters over this period. The buildings had to be condemned and were dismantled. It was a difficult decision because there was no funding for a replacement of the building. The abbot at the local temple offered an area under the novices’ accommodation quarters and an informal agreement that this would be available for a period of two years. A wing and a prayer, a better option than no school.

Our passengers and other independent tourists have generously supported a rebuilding project. The school is being built on the old foundations and local people are doing the construction work. The project is supervised and accounted for by a local businessman. The immediate target is for $2000 USD of which approx half has been raised and donated. The larger plan is to add areas for recreation and reserved spaces for administration and teachers planning. Originally it was hoped that the school would be operational by the beginning of the “wet” 2006 (approx June).

The Lao are very patient and the teachers keep on teaching the children under the floor of the temple during the rains.

Information: Providing suitable, relevant information for our customers; to help them to gain a wider understanding of our style of tourism that focuses on learning, genuine interaction with the local communities, reciprocity and cultural exchange processes. To be aware of the potential impact of tourism on the local society, culture and environment, and to behave and dress appropriately with a respect and appreciation for local customs, mores and traditions and a respect for the ecology of areas visited. Our guides and leaders thus facilitate communication of our values to both travelers and local communities, educating them in sustainable tourism practices

Group sizes: By limiting groups to small sizes we aim to reduce the impact on both local communities and the environment whilst allowing for greater genuine interaction with said communities. It also results in a higher guide/customer ratio thus greater facility for supervision and individual assistance and allows us to use smaller hotels and restaurants and employ the services of more genuinely ‘local’ operators perhaps not otherwise well equipped for larger groups.

Destinations: We combine the well known tourist sites with many off-the-beaten-track, rarely visited destinations thus diverting tourist revenue and contact with responsible tourism into areas not usually benefiting as well as providing a more authentic view of the region visited.

Local products: As much as possible we aim to employ local personnel, (guides, drivers, agents etc), use local restaurants and smaller privately owned accommodation. Customers are also encouraged to buy and use local products and services as much as possible in order to support and stimulate the local economy.

Instruction: By explaining our methods and the reasons behind them local agents, guides and hotels are encouraged by us to adopt further responsible tourism practices themselves and guides and drivers are provided with additional training in this respect.

Reviews of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia vacation

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 21 Jan 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The train Journey from Bangkok, the days on the Mekong and the guided tour of Bangkok.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

There are not too many high spots on this vacation, as it misses out the main sights. This is a rather low key trip and some of it is very beautiful. It does take you to less visited areas. Prepare for two full days of traveling at the end to get to Phenom Phen.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Definitely relations with local people were respectful and brought benefits to them.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Variable accommodation made it a rather stressful trip for some of the time. People on the tour did not have equal accommodation. Some participants had luxury accommodation while on the same nights others were in poor standard accommodation without bathroom facilities. The operator should commit to booking the same standard of accommodation for all participants.

Read the operator's response here:

We thank Ms Holly for her comments and glad that she appreciated the low key nature of this itinerary and the benefits brought to local communities. Regarding the comments concerning accommodation, it is highly unusual for accommodation to vary between a group within one tour. However, sometimes if people book at the very last minute and at Christmas it is not always possible to secure the best accommodation and we would not consider downgrading the accommodation of those who booked early - there were also two members of UK office staff traveling on this tour and neither they nor the tour leader would necessarily expect their accommodation to be of the same standard as our customers.

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