Vietnam small group explorer holiday

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Date
Price
Basis
12 Mar 2017
£ 2495
including domestic flights only
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 12 Mar 2017 departure
24 Sep 2017
£ 2495
including domestic flights only
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 24 Sep 2017 departure
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Vietnam small group explorer holiday

Environment

We have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the environments we visit are not damaged or spoilt in any way. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to this trip and as tour operators, it is something we are careful to promote. Your guide on this trip will have been trained to uphold this policy and all clients are fully briefed on appropriate/responsible behaviour whilst in wilderness areas.

We are very aware of the economic, ecological and ethical impact tourism can have on ancient cultures and fragile environments. We realise that taking clients through the varying regions and landscapes of Vietnam can have a negative impact on the environment if not handled responsibly and as such, on this trip we go to great lengths to minimise the negative and accentuate the positive - after all, there are also many good things that the traveller can bring.

During this trip there are multiple opportunities to visit national parks like - Phong Nha national park and Bach Ma National Park, as well as some other beautiful and undisturbed natural landscapes like the Mekong Delta. Whilst we want to experience rural life and admire some of the wildlife that inhabits these regions it is important to consider the human impact of our visit on these fragile ecosystems. It is for this reason that we keep our group size to a maximum of 12 and we adopt environmentally sensitive modes of transport to explore these areas such as hiking, cycling and rowing on Sampons. We also choose suitable and eco-friendly accommodation where possible such as the simple, rustic guest house on day 9 of the tour within Bach Ma National Park.

When you take one of our trips, we make a contribution to “Carbon Clear” – an organisation devoted to ‘offsetting’ or ‘neutralising’ harmful greenhouse gas emissions caused by your flight. This is done by funding projects across the world that will reduce greenhouse gases on your behalf through sustainable energy or rainforest restoration.

Community

In Vietnam we use local ground handlers - this means that all the operational costs go directly into the local economy and helps to improve employment opportunities in remote regions. By incorporating homestays (like in the Mekong Delta day 12), locally owned hotels, family run restaurants and the services of guides and drivers into our itineraries, we ensure that money you spend on your trip goes directly into the local economy and local communities benefit from tourism.

As a show of our support for local communities we consider it an important feature of our trips to provide opportunities to sample local culture and deepen our own understanding of local history. The water puppet show on day 2 in Hanoi is a great chance to learn about northern Vietnamese art with its depictions of rural life and famous local stories. Visiting landmarks of historic significance, like the DMZ Vinh Moc Tunnels on day 7 and the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh on day 14, is similarly essential in giving visitors an awareness of Vietnam's social and economical development.

We also make efforts to meet and interact with smaller, more isolated rural communities throughout our trip. Visiting local fishermen in nearby villages during our exploration of Halong Bay, watching locals at work in the rice paddies and peanut fields along the Son River and learning about the process of making rice-wine and Vietnamese-style popcorn from villages within Phong Nha National Park are all great insights into rural lifestyles within Vietnam.

In order to facilitate an enduring support structure for the communities we visit, and to show a commitment to these values, in January 2009 we set up a charitable foundation through which we can directly channel funds to both existing NGOs and our own development projects. In addition to organising ethically sensitive tours, having our own charitable foundation allows us to raise money – through the cost of our tours, charity trips and fund raising events – which can then be used to fund various projects in education, sanitation, reforestations and a number of other important issues facing developing communities. We also support several other Aid agencies and NGOs around the world which are all carefully selected to improve the standard of living for the communities we visit such as: Mines Advisory Group, which clears and destroys the landmines and weapons that make areas unsafe after war. Today, they have field activities in Angola, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, northern Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Somaliland, southern Sudan and Vietnam.

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