South East Asia is one of the world’s most popular tourist regions. However as so much of the tourism is centred in just a few places tourist income is not widely distributed. Our new Beijing to Bangkok overland trip is one of a kind – it’s the only overlanding trip through South East Asia. We will be visiting parts of Thailand and Laos that don’t see mass tourism. We will be camping in local villages or staying in small locally owned hotels. Not only will you see the ‘real’ country but also your money will be spent at a grass routes level benefiting local communities. We are committed to ensuring that we have a positive impact on the local communities we travel through and believe that local culture and communities must be an integral part of our trips. We recognise that we are guests of the local communities we travel through and strive to make these communities into our partners.
One of the unique benefits of traveling overland on a trip such as this is the wealth of opportunity for interaction with the local people and communities. Whether camping out on the edge of a remote village, or staying as guests of local people as part of a homestay, you will have plenty of opportunities to engage with the locals and learn about their culture and way of life. We also aim to benefit the communities we travel through by making sure we shop for food and other provisions in local markets and small shops along the way – and by staying in small, locally owned guesthouses and hotels. On this trip we will be hiking the stunning Tiger leaping Gorge along the way we stay in home stays ran by families of the Naxi community. This is a great way to support a minority culture in China and a fascinating insight into everyday life in the community.
During the course of your trip you will be joined by a local guide – providing employment and income generation opportunities directly in the host communities we travel through. The employment of local guides also adds value to your trip because you can gain specific local knowledge and expertise from the people who actually live permanently in the area you are visiting.
We are dedicated to minimising the effects our trips have on the environment, and are committed to trying to reduce, re-use and recycle as much as is possible, both out on the road and back in our offices in the UK. By traveling in overland truck we are completely self-sufficient meaning that we do not have to take water or other environmental resources away from the local populations.
We follow these environmental guidelines, including:
- For cooking we generally use gas instead of wood, a cleaner fuel and leaves natural resources for local people
- Local fuel sources are used but they must be from plentiful resources and not where it would encourage local people to squander resources or compete with local peoples need for precious supplies
- All our overland trucks conform to UK emission controls when they leave the UK. These are much higher than in most developing countries
- All our trucks are regularly serviced and maintained ensuring that trucks run as efficiently as possible
- Passengers and crew are encouraged to use rechargeable batteries for items such as cameras, personal music systems etc. These can be charged from mains supplies or on our trucks as we travel
- Recycling is practiced wherever possible, in many places this is informal projects with local people collecting materials for recycling
- Biodegradables are either buried or given to local people feed livestock
- Purchase of drinks in returnable bottles where possible
- The use of re-useable shopping bags is encouraged instead of throw away plastic bags.
- Wherever recycling is available we endeavour to use it