Single parent holiday in Thailand

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2017: 8 Apr, 29 Jul
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Holiday type

Small group holiday

This is a 'small group adventure' - you will be sharing your experiences with like minded people. Group sizes are limited to a maximum of 11 persons, a genuinely small group. Experience has taught us that smaller groups are less intrusive to local cultures and environments whilst allowing more interaction with local people. Furthermore it means greater flexibility on a day to day basis and on a social level it proves to be fun. Whether you are travelling alone or with friends/family its good value, and a great way to meet new people! The intention is to travel as a group of friends rather than a typical tour group, so don't expect stick-on name badges or any following the umbrella.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Single parent holiday in Thailand

Environment

Information: Providing suitable, relevant information for our customers; to help them to gain a wider understanding of our style of tourism that focuses on learning, genuine interaction with the local communities, reciprocity and cultural exchange processes. To be aware of the potential impact of tourism on the local society, culture and environment, and to behave and dress appropriately with a respect and appreciation for local customs, mores and traditions and a respect for the ecology of areas visited. Our guides and leaders thus facilitate communication of our values to both travellers and local communities, educating them in sustainable tourism practices

Group sizes: By limiting groups to small sizes we aim to reduce the impact on both local communities and the environment whilst allowing for greater genuine interaction with said communities. It also results in a higher guide/customer ratio thus greater facility for supervision and individual assistance and allows us to use smaller hotels and restaurants and employ the services of more genuinely ‘local’ operators perhaps not otherwise well equipped for larger groups.

Our group sizes are genuinely small, with scheduled tours usually limited to just 10 persons. Experience has shown that this offers major benefits in various areas, and is integral to our concept of responsible tourism.

Destinations: We combine the well known tourist sites with many off-the-beaten-track, rarely visited destinations thus diverting tourist revenue and contact with responsible tourism into areas not usually benefiting as well as providing a more authentic view of the region visited.

Local products: As much as possible we aim to employ local personnel, (guides, drivers, agents etc), use local restaurants and smaller privately owned accommodation. Customers are also encouraged to buy and use local products and services as much as possible in order to support and stimulate the local economy.

Instruction: By explaining our methods and the reasons behind them local agents, guides and hotels are encouraged by us to adopt further responsible tourism practices themselves and guides and drivers are provided with additional training in this respect.

Wherever practical we use public transport such as the local bus from Sangklaburi to Kanchanaburi and the sleeper train to Trang. This is not only contributing to the local economy, but results in fewer carbon emissions per head than does smaller forms of transport.

Off the beaten track: Providing a balance between the well known 'must sees' and the off the beaten track 'best kept secrets' is what we're all about. Not only taking in the famous sites and well known destinations, but also the rarely visited ones not usually included in tour itineraries, but which we believe provides a more authentic insight into the countries visited

Not only does this mean you will visit sites which are more remote and which most people don't get to see, but also that the people living in these less frequented areas will also get to benefit from the tourist dollar.

The vast majority of tourism in SE Asian countries only touches a few key sites: e.g. in Cambodia only a very small percentage of visitors get to see anything other than the temples of Angkor and at a push Phnom Penh. In the case of Thailand the vast majority of the country's tourism revenue is spent in Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Samui and Chiang Mai

People from Eastern Thailand hoping to benefit financially from tourism would more than likely end up having to go hundreds of miles to work in Bangkok or Pattaya; and anyone wishing to do the same in Western Cambodia would converge on Siem Reap, leading to social problems and depopulation in these rural areas and creating a serious imbalance in wealth between such regions.

Meals: Local food and meals are an essential part of any culture therefore an essential part of enjoying new and different cultures is discovering their traditional food. That's why on all our tours, meals are, as much as possible, based on authentic regional food eaten in local restaurants, and whenever possible, we avoid eating in hotels and flashy tourist establishments. A Thai green curry eaten in a Western chain hotel is probably going to be altered for the Western palate and identical to those found in many UK high streets, whereas one eaten in a bustling night market is going to be the real McCoy!

This means better and more authentic food, and also means our custom is going directly to small cafés and market vendors rather than big businesses - and again provides more opportunities for interaction with local people.

By eating in this manner we are encouraging local people to offer local alternatives to visitors and indeed to increase pride in their traditional cuisines. It's a sad state of affairs, and perhaps a reflection on many tourists, that in many areas, local people are of the impression that all foreigners want to eat pizzas and drink Nescafe!? It's nice to show the locals otherwise.

National Parks: If governments see that creating and maintaining National Parks can create revenue, then it is an incentive for them to preserve such areas and create new ones instead of short term gain from logging, plantations etc. If local communities can see that National Parks, Forest Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries etc bring in revenue for local communities and employment for local people then it is an incentive for them to respect such protected areas and participate in tourism schemes.

We therefore feel it is essential to incorporate as many such protected areas into our itineraries as possible – not only to show the scenery and exotic flora and fauna to visitors, but also to encourage authorities and local people to establish and take care of such areas.

Community

We are the current holders of the Tourism Authority of Thailand best Tour Operator for local communities.

We and our individual Tour Leaders have fostered healthy, respectful working relationship with the Karen villagers who lead us through the jungle trek in Thung Yai. This provides us with very knowledgeable friends on the trip who are excellent oral witnesses to the life of the Karens and are thus able to give our passengers a genuine understanding of this important ethnic minority in Thailand.

Our regular visits provide long term and sustainable extra income for these people. The benefits of our patronage are extended to local business people not immediately connected to the guides. We eat in small food shops and restaurants, encourage our passengers to make souvenir purchases at the local crafts market and make small purchases in the Karen villages such as water and locally make snacks.

We have also made financial contributions to the local orphanage and to Karen and Mon refugee camps housing people fleeing the oppression they encounter in neighbouring Burma.

Khao Lak village in Southern Thailand: A relatively poor farming community was inspired, partly through our interest, to organize a co-operative home-stay and trekking scheme and has since received grants, training and advice to that extent from the Tourism Authority of Thailand. We are also pleased to state that several local village lads are now keener to lead bird watching and nature tours than their traditional pastimes of shooting or trapping. We provided the co-operative scheme with textbooks on local bird and animal life.

Reviews of Single parent holiday in Thailand

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 17 Aug 2012 by

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


Hell fire pass, kayaking along the river, seeing a rubber 'production plant' in the jungle on the side of the road.

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


If you want to be in a group, don’t book until the last minute, or until you have been told who else is on the holiday. Pack light. You don’t need many clothes (it’s hot out there!) and you do need to move from place to place quite a lot.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes.... to a certain extent.

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


We were well looked after, and it was a great (though quite expensive) way to learn about and see various aspects of the country, by staying in quite a few different places.

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