3 independent reviews for Northern Thailand and Laos cultural vacation

Reviews for Northern Thailand and Laos cultural vacation

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review 2 Jan 2020

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

Most memorable was having to use the local style toilet facilities after spending hours sitting in the minibus....Enjoyable, Jungle trek with bbq, river trip with bbq our tour guide Phong.

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

Double check the standard of hotel accommodation matches your booking and expectations.Be prepared for long journeys in a not so comfortable minibus.Too much crammed into one day.Be prepared for early starts 08.30, late finish 17.30 with quick turnaround and out for dinner, no time to relax or use the pool if the hotel has one or take a shower. Travel light as recommended..

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

It definitely benefited locals as you visit many many villages and are expected to purchase local products which were nice but became monotimous and a burden on excess luggage, or just simply make a donation.I cant say there was any reduction to environmental impact or conservation, nowhere did i see people (locals) worry about using plastic bags or water bottles and in many villages or small towns garbage was strewn all over the place including in rivers and streams.

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

Too many Temples and Stupas, every village and town at least 3 or 4 each time, fortunately others in our group thought the same. Despite the downside elements it was different, exciting and enjoyable....minibus transport in Chiang Mai and in Vientiane was luxurious and very comfortable unfortunately for the main part of the tour through Laos with long journeys over horrendous terrible road surfaces the minibus was basic, hard seats and very uncomfortable it really done your back no favours...All guides were excellent especially Phong. 3.7 / 5.0, mainly due to long days and uncomfortable minibus.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you so much Timothy for your feedback. So glad you enjoyed the vacation overall, it is indeed one of our most off the beaten track tours and takes you into some of the more remote parts of Northern Laos complete with their lack of Western 21st century facilities. For some visitors, this is indeed the highlight Ė hope we made this obvious before your travelled, if not, at least your feedback will ensure others appreciate this. We do try and make things as comfortable as possible on the longer journeys and provide spacious air con minibuses Ė although, apart from saying itís part of the adventure, we canít do much about Lao roads. We particularly note your comments about how responsible you felt the tour is. Our aim is to conduct our tour in as responsible manner as possible and enlighten local staff and passengers as to good practices particularly with regards to such things as single use plastic, but in remote towns and villages it is slow progress . We certainly donít intend for you to ever feel obligated to make purchases, but any purchases you choose to make do enable remote communities to benefit from low level tourism. We also eat locally and stay locally in order to contribute.

review 3 Dec 2019

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

Visiting the Hill tribes and also the Plain of jars sites. The images of those people and places will stay with me as will the insights into the challenges of their lives. The COPE center about rehabilitation of those injured by ' bombies' was also very thought provoking about the whole situation.

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

Take clothes that will dry easily overnight and don't need ironing. Even if you used the laundry service it didn't always come back fully dry and definitely not ironed.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes although I would encourage people to buy more from the hill tribes direct as there is not only a big mark up in the city but middle men get the profit. ( night markets are also often people from the hill tribes selling direct as well). One area for development was the large number of plastic water bottles used. Could not a large container be used and then a bottle be refilled form this ( this happened on one of the boat trips).

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

You see a whole variety , with both a bit of Thailand and then in Laos both countryside and towns. Amazing differences in temperature and life style between them all. We learned so much about the challenges of development and the mixed blessing in having partnerships ( vast amount of Chinese investment and influence going on).

review 15 Feb 2014

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

Visiting Luang Prabang

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

Travel light as there are a lot of one night stays

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Certainly benefited local people because we ate in local restaurants

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

Very good

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