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.
Travel with us from Bangkok to Hanoi on a journey through the vibrant, culturally rich highlights of South East Asia and you can be confident that not only that you will see some of the country’s most iconic sites, but also that you will be on a holiday designed to cause minimal impact to the region. Working with the concept of low impact and hopefully positive impact tourism, our tour will support local businesses; direct money spent back into regional economies rather than towards bigger organisations and will tread carefully from an environmental perspective.
This holiday is designed to immerse you into the heart of Cambodia and Vietnam. You’ll get the opportunity to eat street food purchased from local vendors in Siem Reap, Bangkok and Hue, try the local speciality of deep fried spiders in Skun and see rural cottage industry at the Santuk Silk Farm. You’ll shop in the markets of Siem Reap and Hue and maybe even get some clothes made up in the famous streets of Hoi An. You’ll spend a night with a local family in rural Cambodia, touring the village and then discovering more about everyday life with your local hosts. Throughout this trip we do everything we can to ensure that the financial benefits from our travels find their way to local businesses and community initiatives. We stay in smaller, often locally owned properties and tend to favour traditional, often family run restaurants when dining together; great for sampling traditional local specialities! We also visit KOTO for a meal in HCMC, a project that our foundation has long supported which works with street children to develop hospitality skills.
Our staff ‘on the ground’ are all recruited locally, from your tour leader who will accompany your group throughout, to the drivers we use when travelling in private vehicles, to the local site guides we use at the Angkor complex and at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Using locals not only supports economies by creating employment in country, but it also gives you, our traveller some unique insights into the regions and into recent history that you just don’t get from ‘outsiders’. We believe that local knowledge really does go a long way.
You will be made aware of cultural sensitivities particularly regarding dress prior to travel and also during the trip. We encourage all our travellers to dress conservatively and respect the culture of this region, particularly outside the major cities where more traditional values are dominant.
We do use some local transport on this trip, travelling by public bus from Phnom Penh to HCMC and taking the overnight sleeper train onto Hoi An. Public transport is the most environmentally responsible method of travel and we are very aware of the negative effect carbon emissions have on our environment. As such we operate a carbon neutral policy on all our trips, offsetting the ground emissions of all our passengers on all our trips, equating to 405kgs of carbon offset per passenger, per departure on this particular tour.
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 alongside purification products 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 the 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.