The very ethos of our style of travel is responsible; small groups on fully escorted tours, experiencing the very best of a region, a culture and a landscape, with a friendly local hand guiding the way. Our itineraries are designed to give our travellers real life experiences without compromising the part of the world we are exploring; to travel responsibly is at the heart of our commitment as a global tour operator.
On this epic no frills itinerary from Bangkok to Hanoi, youíll stay in small, locally owned, fairly basic hotels with homestay accommodation in rural Cambodian border and on the Mekong Delta. Our focus on this trip is to give travellers a genuine, real life experience and so this isnít an organised tour in the most traditional sense. As well as staying in accommodation reflective of the local area, weíll travel using a combination of private vehicle and local public transport including buses, ferries and an overnight sleeper train.
Weíll eat at small, often family run restaurants and cafes that source food locally, using traditional ingredients and recipes; weíll dine on street food in Siem Reap and Bangkok, sample seafood in Nah Trang and taste fresh coconut in Ben Tre.
Youíll have lots of free time to tailor your days to your own interests (itís your holiday not ours!), and be accompanied by an English speaking local guide who will be on hand to help you with any arrangements or activities you might want to do.
Travelling in this way not only gives travellers a great independent holiday experience with the safety net of a group and leader, but itís also very effective at directing the money created by our tourism straight into the pockets of the communities we are visiting. We support the smaller businesses; from the places where we sleep and eat, to smaller local companies like the ones hiring out bikes in Kompong Cham and Hoi An, the cyclo operators in Phnom Penh and the traditional craftsmen and women selling their work at the various bustling markets we visit en route.
When travelling through South East Asia, we encourage our travellers to dress conservatively and respect the culture, particularly outside the major cities where more traditional values are dominant. For example, knees and shoulders should be covered particularly when visiting temples and places of religious significance. This is another of the areas that your guide will come into their own offering advice and guidance as you go.
As well as being aware of cultural sensitivities, we are also very conscious of the potential environmental impact of our trip. Our use of local transport reduces our carbon impact somewhat, but we know that isnít enough. As a carbon neutral company for a number of years we offset all of the ground emissions of our passengers travelling with us. On this particular trip, that equates to 474kg offset per passenger, per departure.
Throughout your trip you will be encouraged to take steps to ensure that your journey is environmentally responsible as possible. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with the appropriate disposal of rubbish en route, recycling wherever possible. We also encourage all our travellers to use refillable water bottles rather than purchasing regular supplies of bottled water.
The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. Once discarded a large proportion of these end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments and we believe that their use should be discouraged.