Vietnam cycling vacation, Hanoi to Saigon
Description of Vietnam cycling vacation, Hanoi to Saigon
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetThe natural landscapes that you travel through on this cycling trip in Vietnam are fragile; the cultures and traditions that you encounter go back hundreds of years; and the communities you pass through are often reliant on tourism. As visitors, it is our responsibility to protect these environments, minimise the impact of our presence and, wherever we can, leave a positive mark.
In Halong Bay we use a boat company that is a pioneer of responsible travel: they organise ‘Clean the Bay’ events and partner with local stakeholders to protect endemic Langurs primates in the National Park of Cat Ba, supporting the people of the secluded village of Viet Hai.
In addition, the itinerary of the trip includes visits to, and therefore helps support, Ba Vi National Park, as well as the Pu Luong and Van Long Nature Reserves.
Elephant tourism experiences are very popular throughout Asia and some travelers may find it difficult to resist the temptation to ride these beautiful and incredibly intelligent creatures. However, in recent years there has been much research into the impact of these activities on the animals’ wellbeing: from the brutal taming of baby elephants (called ‘the crush’) to ongoing confinement and the mere fact that the mammal’s spine is not meant to carry heavy weights, there are many instances where incorrect management results in a negative impact for the animals. Because of this, we advise against riding on the back of elephants and we do not include elephant rides in any of our itineraries.
Travelers are encouraged to follow our company-wide Waste Management Policy, which advocates taking your own reusable water bottles and reusable stuff sacks to avoid single-use plastics. We follow this same philosophy in our office as well as on the tour: in our London premises we have banned single use coffee cups and water bottles; we use recycled paper and we are working towards reducing the overall amount of paper we use; and we recycle all of our waste, both plastic and paper.
Over the years our award-winning Responsible Travel Guidebook, which presented our Travel Group’s comprehensive policies on sustainable travel, has evolved and in March 2018 the Thoughtful Traveler booklet was launched. Before your trip to Vietnam, you are encouraged to read this easy-to-read document, which empowers travelers with suggestions about how they can be part of the solution and collectively make the world a better place when they travel.
Since 1 January 2019, by joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include promoting climate action, endorsing affordable and clean energy and reducing poverty. On this tour, we have offset the carbon emitted by purchasing credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole; these are then invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries such as Vietnam.
In addition, as part of our commitment to reduce overall carbon emissions, the itinerary of this trip has been revised and one domestic flight has been replaced by an overnight train ride.
PeopleWe believe that walking and cycling are the best ways to experience a destination. This slower pace of travel takes you out of the main cities and major tourism sites, but it also helps contribute to a more even distribution of wealth and resources. When cycling on this trip we will often have the chance to stop at snack stalls and shops in small Vietnamese villages; the locals’ curiosity often translates into invitations to visit their homes, allowing for further cultural exchange opportunities.
The trip has been designed to utilise local services that directly benefit the community. These include: boat rental, homestays and meals in the Da Bia (Muong ethnic community); meals in local homes in Mai Hich and Pu Luong (White Thai ethnic community); as well as boat rentals from the rower community in Van Long Nature Reserve and the fishermen on Tam Giang Lagoon.
Throughout the trip we use local guides, as they bring so much value to the tour. They can explain to you the local customs, clarify the dos and don’ts and help you navigate through Vietnam’s cultural sensitivities.
All our guides are highly experienced and have strong local knowledge of the area and a deep love and understanding of Vietnam that they are always happy to share with you. This not only provides travelers with a richer experience but, just as importantly, also creates valuable employment that helps to keep income within the community.