Responsible tourism: South East Asia holiday, 57 days
Travelling on local public buses, sleeper trains, trains, boats and minibuses, this tour gives you plenty of opportunities to get to know the local people of South East Asia while using public transport. This also minimises our impact on the local environment and provides income to local businesses. Local guides will also lend their expertise to the journey, explaining the historical background and cultural significance of the places we visit. They will help you to appreciate the importance of respecting the environment of these heritage sites and understand the conservation efforts undertaken at various parks.
We visit a number of destinations on this expansive tour that give a true insight into South East Asia and educate passengers on the history and culture of these destinations. For instance in Vientiane we visit the COPE Centre to learn about the disastrous effects that the bombing from the Vietnam War had on Laos. Here our passengers are urged to donate or buy gifts from the shop to support the victims that have been left with severe disabilities.
Local culture- All our travellers are encouraged to learn a few words and phrases of the language and interact with the locals as much as possible to enhance their social experiences on tour. In addition to the phrase books which are available for purchase, our tour leaders are able to teach you useful words and phrases on the road. Your tour leader will brief you on etiquette such as the clothing required and behaviour expected by visitors to temples and other sacred places. There are different guidelines for different cultures, so please bear that in mind so that as we travel we can avoid offense wherever possible. We will also visit many local shopping districts and markets along the way, giving you plenty of opportunity to support local merchants. We would encourage you to purchase traditional handicrafts from local artisans rather than mass produced goods from chain stores, as you will learn more about the skill involved in the production, while also support the craft.
Accommodation and Meals- Your tour leader will introduce you to many local restaurants and bars throughout the tour, helping you discover the authentic local cuisine. Staying in locally owned accommodation also allows us to give back to economy. For instance, in the Mekong Delta we stay at a family homestay on the Delta itself, giving us an authentic experience into the way of life of the locals.