“Journey through the lush north of Thailand and beautiful Laos for a taste of the less-developed side of South East Asia.”

Highlights

Bangkok | Chiang Mai | Chiang Khong | Mekong River | Luang Prabang | Vang Vieng | Vientiane
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Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Holiday in Japan

This trip is a fantastic introduction to a wonderful country that contrasts modern development with traditional beliefs. A key feature of this trip is immersion into the Japanese culture.

Environment
Much of the travelling on this trip is done on the famous Bullet train. Journeying by rail produces significantly less carbon emissions per passenger than travel by either air or car, making this one of the most environmentally responsible methods to explore this magnificent country. In fact, when it comes to carbon emissions, as a company we operate a carbon neutral policy, offsetting all passenger travel Ďon the groundí while on tour.
All travellers in the group will be encouraged to travel with refillable water bottles and purification tablets rather than purchasing water in plastic bottles to minimise waste and your group leader will also be on hand to advise on the responsible discarding of rubbish throughout the trip, recycling wherever possible.
We are a huge supporter of the protection of endangered species around the world. It is against our Responsible Travel policy for leaders to take passengers to places that use cruel practices or supply or serve foods that are on the endangered species list, such as whale, turtle, tiger, birdís nests, pangolin and shark.

Community:
There are many activity options enabling you to interact with local people and learn and understand their traditions. We of course do what we can to demonstrate respect for local culture and tradition. While Japan is known for its 'out there' fashions overall, it is quite a conservative country. We spend time at temples, working monasteries, holy shrines, recreated villages and castles, cooking schools and ancient gardens. At these places it is important to be respectful to the staff and other visitors by wearing clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. During your visit you will receive hospitality from local families and people. A great way to reciprocate is to bring a small gift from your country, eg. animal figurines, pens, flags or stickers.
The accommodation for this trip is a mix of small locally owned and operated ryokan (traditional Japanese inns) and guesthouses, where our patronage is directly supporting local families. Our gracious hosts will help guide you around traditional practices and living arrangements. An outdoor ones (hot spring bath) is a real highlight of a guesthouse stay. There are separate baths for males and females, and as no clothes or swimming costumes are allowed in the hot springs - it's time to shed those inhibitions!

Reviews of Holiday in Japan

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 09 Oct 2009 by

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


Climbing Fuji at night to get to the top for sunrise. Absolutely brilliant. Additional mention to the 'off the beaten track' aspect - accommodation, food, etc. Annamarie did have really good knowledge of where to go, what to do, etc.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Two main points on this one.

1. Fuji. The website says we climb in the day, we climbed at night. Definitely the best way to do it - but you need to tell us beforehand so that we bring proper kit. I didn't take a fleece, as thought that I'd take the chance as to whether it would be cold at the top during the day. If I'd have known that I was going to be at the top at 5am, I'd definitely have taken it.

2. Transport. The website says get a 14 day rail pass, we looked at the itinerary, deduced that we'd only use it for 7 days. We then CHECKED with 'you' by email as to whether we really needed the 14 day - you said no, so we bought the 7 day. Turns out we needed the 14 day for two reasons: we took the train to Fuji instead of the bus, and it gets you from Kyoto to Tokyo. Definitely put on the website that you need the 14 day one as itinerary is subject to change. ALSO, put on there that the best way to get from Kyoto to Tokyo is by rail. We booked a flight for that, which actually took a lot longer than the train would have done, and was more expensive (it would have been free if we had the 14 day pass). Annamarie was surprised that we'd booked a flight, we were surprised that we hadn't been told not to....

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


Minimized impact in the best way that you can when you fly half way around the world. Carbon footprint was huge. Yes, I feel that it benefited local people: staying in ryokan, eating at local places, etc.

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


Superb. Would recommend it wholeheartedly. Thanks very much.

Reviewed on 05 Jan 2009 by

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


A lot of good experiences - elephant ride on Christmas day - meeting a monk for meditation - Thai massage (ouch ouch ouch) and some great pampering. Food was often an adventure too. The train ride was memorable - so well organised as it turned into a little dorm for the night and we were well taken care of.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


This is a small group holiday - things donít always go to plan - this happens - try to learn something of the Far Eastern culture before arriving to prepare yourself.

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


I think so - we ate locally and used the train and were encouraged to use local shops, rather than more expensive hotel facilities. I was surprised at the amount of plastic bottles - no one seemed to carry water carriers or have a place to fill them.

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


A memorable experience.

Reviewed on 26 Feb 2008 by

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


So many... Really enjoyed visiting the ethnic minority villages in Sapa - our tour leader Hue enabled us to visit the villagers and take part in their new year celebrations.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Pack more warm clothes!!

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


As much as possible, yes.

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


Overall I would rate it very highly - the trip was very well organised with every effort made to make the most of each experience. I think a large degree of the success of our trip was thanks to our great tour leader Hue Tran... She was fantastic!

Reviewed on 01 Apr 2007 by

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


Getting my fortune at a temple in Tokyo. According to the translation, my wish will not be "ranted".

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Do your own reading about the cities so that you can help the guides show you things that are of interest to you, and not just the generic tourist attractions.

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


As this was a city holiday, I don't feel that the impact I had was any greater than in the city I live in.

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


Attached are two pictures from the Heian Shrine in Kyoto. I'm officially cherry-blossom obsessed now.

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