Thai Indo China vacation

“Follow a classic Indochina overland trail from Saigon to Siem Reap, via the Mekong Delta, Cambodia beaches and Angkor Wat, before flying to Bangkok.”

Highlights

Ho Chi Minh City tour | Cu Chi Tunnels | Mekong Delta walking tour | overnight homestay | Sam Mountain at sunset | free day in Sihanoukville | free afternoon in Phnom Penh | visit the Royal Palace and the 'Killing Fields' | 2 days at Angkor Wat | tour of Bangkok |

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06 Jan 2017
US $ 1855
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03 Feb 2017
US $ 1855
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03 Mar 2017
US $ 1855
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04 Aug 2017
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06 Oct 2017
US $ 1855
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03 Nov 2017
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24 Nov 2017
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22 Dec 2017
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12 Jan 2018
US $ 1965
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09 Feb 2018
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02 Mar 2018
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03 Aug 2018
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05 Oct 2018
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09 Nov 2018
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23 Nov 2018
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21 Dec 2018
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Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Thai Indo China vacation

Local Craft & Culture:
We do a lot to celebrate the cottage industries on this tour, as this is not only a way to directly benefit the locals but it is also hugely fascinating and enjoyable for travelers. For example, we have some time shopping in Mai Chau, where we can support local villages by purchasing handmade crafts, such as cloth, scarves and accessories made from coconut shell. In Mekong, we visit a lot of these small businesses and factories which sell handmade coconut sweets, soya bean sauce, popped rice and popcorn amongst other things. There is also the option to see a traditional folk dancing or water puppet show. This encourages local customs to continue and, of course, creates employment opportunities.

Accommodation & Meals:
We will spend most nights in comfortable hotels and also in some more unique accommodation such as a houseboat, a local longhouse, a sleeper train and a village guesthouse. This combination of locally run hotels contributes directly to the community as staff are from the area and food is grown and sold locally. Where meals are not provided, your guide will be able to point out several smaller restaurants, cafes and markets, like in Mai Chau, Hanoi, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta. Clients often enjoy the floating markets at Cai Rang the most, as this is the biggest and most lively market at in the Delta. It is a maze of hundreds of boats with fresh produce from fruit and veg to fish where we can really get an authetic view of local life.

A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. Our leaders and guides have been trained in responsible travel and actively encourage our suppliers, drivers, and other members of our team to respect the environment, protect the culture and support the local economy. They have also completed Child Safe training which enables them to take positive action should they encounter children at risk as well as educating clients re child protection within tourism.

Charity:
In Hanoi, we encourage groups to have a communal meal at KOTO, which is an NGO that provides a two year course in hospitality, English and life skills training to groups of 16-22 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds. Students also receive accommodation, food, medical check-ups and treatment whilst they are being trained. Many of the 400+ graduates have gone on to continue developing their careers at KOTO restaurants or have gained employment elsewhere with their training so this is a great initiative to support.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

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