Thailand, Vietnam & Laos vacation

“Discover a spectacular, little known region on this three week tour through remote northern Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.”

Highlights

Thailand: Chiang Mai | Mae Fah Luang | Sob Ruak Opium Museum | Mekong River | Chiang Saen | Chiang Khong | Laos: Lanten people | Eco lodge on banks Tha river | Hike in Nam Ha National Protected Area | Akha people | Hmong village and Lao hill tribe | Boat ride on Nam Ou River | Cave temples at Pak Ou | Luang Prabang temples | Phonsavan and Plain of Jars | Xieng Khouang or Mouang Khoun | Mine Action Group | Visits to Hmong and Khmu settlements | Vieng Xai Caves | Vietnam: Pu Luong National Park | Stay in White Tai village | Mountains of Northern Vietnam | Mu Cang Cha rice fields | Sapa | Fansipan Mountain | Sleeper train from Lao Cai town to Hanoi | Tour of Hanoi

Travel Team

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Date
Price
Basis
25 Oct 2019
US $2675
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
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17 Nov 2019
US $2675
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18 Dec 2019
US $2675
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12 Jan 2020
US $2675
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08 Feb 2020
US $2675
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07 Mar 2020
US $2675
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04 Apr 2020
US $2675
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02 May 2020
US $2675
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27 May 2020
US $2675
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21 Jun 2020
US $2675
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18 Jul 2020
US $2675
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15 Aug 2020
US $2675
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15 Sep 2020
US $2675
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15 Oct 2020
US $2675
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16 Nov 2020
US $2675
excluding flights
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17 Dec 2020
US $2675
excluding flights
Available
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Vouchers
Accepted
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

Thailand, Vietnam & Laos vacation

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

This tour covers a lot of kilometres - from Chiang Mai, Thailand, across northern Thailand, northern Laos and via Sapa to Hanoi – without, we’re happy to say, using a single domestic or regional flight. All journeys are either by road or rail and in the former case we use, where available, vehicles run on LPG. All road vehicles are hired at the destination points to avoid long haul journeys.

Furthermore, accommodation is specifically chosen with location in mind so that at any given destination on the tour most key sites are within easy walking or cycling distance thus keeping vehicle use to a minimum on the itinerary. This also negates the need for any form of taxis during free time as guests can walk or cycle to any points of interest.

To reduce transport all staff are locally employed. Lunches and dinners are all Vietnamese style and taken in local eateries which use 100% locally sourced products. Again, any inclusive meals consist of traditional Vietnamese fare so are heavy on vegetables and sustainably-sourced fish, light on meat and lack any dairy products.

Environment

Our aim is to provide a genuinely small group, low impact tour including a mixture of popular and off the beaten track sites on our itinerary. By limiting groups to small sizes (maximum 12 persons) we aim to reduce the impact on both local communities and the environment whilst allowing for greater 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.

By combining the well-known tourist sites with rarely visited destinations this diverts tourist revenue and contact with responsible tourism into areas not usually benefiting as well as providing a more authentic view of the region visited. Rarely visited sites and districts on this tour include: Luang Nam Tha, Nam Ha Protected National Biodiversity Area, Xieng Khouang ancient city, Sam Nuea and Viengxay Caves, (all Laos) plus Pu Luong National Park, Tu Le and Nghia Lo districts, Vietnam.

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 is also a key element of this tour.

As with all our tours national park visits are included and activities such as birdwatching offered which we hope will encourage protection of the natural environment and provide financial incentives for doing so.

All hotels are small and independently owned with proven responsible travel credentials and all (fully-licensed) guides and drivers are locally employed.

Meals are provided in either locally-run restaurants or local-style cafes, market and street stalls. All products are locally sourced and all staff are local residents. The emphasis is also very much on traditional Thai, Lao and Vietnamese food which we hope increases an interest and pride in the region’s cuisine.

Additional food products - for takeaway lunches, picnics etc – are deliberately purchased from local bakeries and /or fresh produce markets rather than chain supermarkets.

All transport is locally owned – whether minibuses or boats and tuk-tuks for shorter journeys.

With regards souvenirs our clients are also encouraged to buy from either markets or outlets attached to aid and educational organizations such as Luang Prabang’s Ock Top Pop for example rather than the large, purpose-built souvenir stores.

We ensure to the best of our ability that all accommodation used on this tour employs sound environmental and social practices in terms of recycling, water conservation and product sourcing as well as employment policies.

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.

Community

This tour includes visits to the following projects: Free the Bears and Ock Top Pop (both Luang Prabang) and Mines Advisory Group (Phonsavan).

Entrance fees and/or donations help the following aid projects: Free the Bears (Luang Prabang), Ock Top Pop sustainable silk weaving organisation, Mines Advisory Group (Phonsavan) while a portion of ticket fees at: The Plain of Jars, Luang Prabang Fine Arts Centre, Luang Prabang National Museum, Kuang Si Waterfall, Viengxay Caves and numerous other sites goes towards restoration, conservation and local development as well as providing revenue and employment.

On a general level, leaders and guides provide 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.

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