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.
This stunning journey encapsulates the best of Thailand, from the temples of Chiang Mai to the beaches of Phuket, via rural communities, tranquil Sukhothai and bustling Bangkok. Explore Thailand with us and you can be confident that not only that you will see some of the countryís most iconic sites, but also that you will be on a holiday designed to cause minimal environmental and cultural impact. Working with the concept of low and hopefully positive impact tourism, your tour will support local businesses; directing money spent back into regional economies rather than towards bigger organisations and will tread carefully from an environmental perspective.
Youíll travel mainly on a combination of public and local transport; taking a local bus from Bangkok to Sukhothai, journeying from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and then onto Surat Thani on overnight trains, using a combination of bus and songthaew to Ao Nang and longtail boat to the island of Ko Yao Noi. Travelling like a local is part of the experience that our travellers love in Thailand and public transport has the added benefit of being the most environmentally sound option. We are very aware of the negative effect carbon emissions have on our environment and as such operate a carbon neutral policy on all our trips. We offset the ground emissions of all our passengers on all our trips, equating to 492kgs of carbon offset per passenger, per departure on this particular Thailand holiday.
Our staff Ďon the groundí are all recruited locally from within Thailand, from your tour leader who will accompany your group throughout, to the drivers we use when travelling in private vehicles. Using locals not only supports economies by creating employment in country, but it also gives you, our traveller some unique insights into Thai culture and day to day life that you just donít get from Ďoutsidersí. We believe that local knowledge really does go a long way.
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! Youíll spend one night as guests of a local family at a rural homestay. Facilities will be basic, but itís a great chance for some community interaction over a delicious Thai khantohk dinner, along with music and traditional dancing.
You will later visit one of the projects we support in Thailand in Lampang, Friends of the Asian Elephant. We have made the decision to remove elephant riding from all of our itineraries due to animal welfare considerations and a visit to this project will give you an insight into how we came to this decision. You will also visit a second conservation project in Phuket, the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre, dedicated to the conservation of the animals in the region. These visits are included in the trip cost and our entrance fees go directly toward the work being done by the centres.
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.