Indochina vacation adventure

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26 Aug 2017
US $ 1900
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25 Sep 2017
US $ 1900
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24 Oct 2017
US $ 1900
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22 Nov 2017
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18 Dec 2017
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26 Dec 2017
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16 Jan 2018
US $ 1900
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07 Feb 2018
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08 Mar 2018
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03 Apr 2018
US $ 1900
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30 Apr 2018
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26 May 2018
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22 Jun 2018
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19 Jul 2018
US $ 1900
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14 Aug 2018
US $ 1900
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13 Sep 2018
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08 Oct 2018
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31 Oct 2018
US $ 1900
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25 Nov 2018
US $ 1900
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21 Dec 2018
US $ 1900
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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 12 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: Indochina vacation adventure

Environment

We instigated the visits to a Lanten tribal village close to Huay Xai in N.W. Laos with the assistance of the local schoolteacher who has since set up a small village co-operative stall where local handicrafts can be sold as souvenirs. This has led to an increase of interest amongst the villagers in traditional handicrafts as well as the locally produced mulberry paper the production of which had almost disappeared.

Depending on local conditions, this trip sometimes includes a home stay in the Hmong village of Loung Lao near Luang Prabang. As well as educating our passenger to the ways of life of another lesser-known people of the region, it provides income directly to the owners of the houses in which we stay as well as indirectly for other members of the village. Passengers are encouraged to make purchases from the village shops and from individual crafts-people. Thus completely cutting out 'the middle man' and providing fair trade opportunities for both the vendor and the buyer. On these visits we also take supplies to the village such as equipment for the school and vegetable seeds.

Our passengers are issued with a Staying Healthy in Cambodia leaflet, which was produced by an English doctor who works with The Cambodia Trust. In payment for her time and knowledge in compiling the leaflet we made a donation to the trust, whose aim is to help people with disability regain their mobility, dignity and self-sufficiency, so they can lead full and productive lives as part of the community. We encourage our passengers to make contribution to the rust at www.cambodiatrust.org.uk.

Passengers are taken to a family home just outside Siem Reap to enjoy traditional Khmer food which we purchase then enjoy with the family. This provides a unique insight into the everyday lives of the Cambodian people as well as fostering deeper understanding of the people themselves. It shows our passengers that there is more to Cambodia than stunning temples and a tragic history.

Through regular visits to their sites (and if present souvenir shops) we help sustain local businesses and enterprises, such as the handicraft school for handicapped persons in Siem Reap, to the 'land-mine museum' in Siem Reap where we help support the organizer's mine clearance operations through donations.

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.

Community

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.

2 Reviews of Indochina vacation adventure

2.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 04 Feb 2016 by

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


the most memorable was learning that I was to be the sole traveler on the Group Tour!

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


If you want a group tour, check how many in the group first. 1:1 when you don't want it is very oppressive and exhausting. It is also quite lonely & not what you expect

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


We did visit organisations that supported the local community and hilltribes

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


Read the operator's response here:

As discussed in our emails with you, we are so sorry that your otherwise enjoyable tour of Laos and Cambodia was compromised by your being the only traveler for part of the time. When people book, we do always ask to be informed if you do not wish to travel in groups smaller than 4. In your case there seems to have been confusion as we guaranteed the departure at your request, in order for you to book your own flights, despite informing you that we had not got the usual minimum number.

Reviewed on 05 Feb 2009 by

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


Treking through the jungle and then meeting a hill tribe in Laos - drinking local whisky with the "chief." Meeting other lowland tribes in Laos. These visits gave us an appreciation of how people live (very different to our own lives!) A day sailing down the Ou river into the Mekong river and another day sailing down the Sangker river in Cambodia. Visit to the Golden Triangle and a very enjoyable stay in Luang Prabang. Eating with fellow travelers, enabling us to sample different local dishes chosen by our guide (who was obviously much more knowledgeable about this and could also communicate in the relevant language). Visiting the killing fields in Cambodia - very thought provoking and sombre experience. Having a really excellent company guide in Thailand and Laos and getting on well with other travelers (most important).

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


Take a couple of sweaters and a fleece. We visited in January and although days in Laos were warm nights were cold in the northern part (had electric blankets on the bed at the riverside chalet in Nong Khiaw). This was a complete contrast to Thailand and Cambodia which were both warm enough in the evening for no sweater. Waterproof your walking shoes before setting out on your vacation. Make sure you have lots of small denomination notes in the different currencies (including dollars) to use for tips. Make sure you build in a substantial allowance for tips. These do add up as, whilst not compulsory, they can include company guide, local guide, drivers of the various transports and accommodation staff.

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


Yes we stayed in small local guest houses, lodges/chalets and hotels. We ate locally produced food at smallish restaurants and visited local enterprises where we could buy their products. In Laos our group size was 8 so visits to different tribes were not as intrusive as they might have been with a large group.

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


Thoroughly enjoyable, we had a variety of very stimulating and interesting experiences. We felt we were in the company of likeminded fellow travelers, which obviously added to the enjoyment.

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