“An amazing overview of Laos in its entirety, this well-organised tour takes in must-sees and ancient architecture, but all wrapped up in the mystery and adventure of river travel ”
Luang Prabang | Kuang Si Waterfalls | Phonsavan | Plain of Jars | Visit to a traditional Hmong village | Vientiane | Visit to a hill-tribe market | Konglor Cave | Nong Thao Lake | Pakse | Boloven Plateau | Champassak | Wat Phu | Four Thousand Islands | Khon Phapaeng Falls | Phnom Penh
Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.
Families are encouraged to book this trip as the itinerary is very flexible and can be adapted easily.
Small group. 4-12 people (no min. age).
16 nights, hotel and eco-lodge.
Solo travellers welcome. Single rooms available.
Full board except 2 lunches and 5 dinners.
Accomm., transport, listed activities, tour leader, flights and transfers (if booked).
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.
Accommodation at Sala Phae and Sala Don Kone These places both have a practice of community responsibility in using the skills and resources of the local community, local produce where available is used, the building materials for construction, decoration and maintenance is identified, researched and utilized. Bamboo, lantel, grass and timber are all selected from rapidly renewable resources. Much of the “safe water” is processed on site through an internal reticulation system. The staff are selected generally from the local community and hospitality education is offered and expected from those who are part of the team.
Ban Kone Neua primary school The original 70 year old building was in disrepair without maintenance and had to be condemned and dismantled. It was a difficult decision because there was no funding for a replacement of the building. The Abbott at the local temple offered an area under the novices’ accommodation quarters and an informal agreement that this would be available for a period of two years. Our travellers and other independent tourists have generously supported a rebuilding project. The school is now operational and we continue to provide support for the next phase which is the outside area and some play equipment.
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.
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.
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.
This trip benefits and strengthens the local communities through capacity and confidence building so that they have total control over tourism development in their area. We provide community information to tourists, to help them to gain a wider understanding of this type of tourism that focuses on learning and a cultural exchange process and we inform our travelers how to behave appropriately with an appreciation for local customs and regulations. We also buy and use local products and services in order to support and stimulate the local economy.
We use local public transport where possible to minimise demand for special tourist vehicles and fuel. We choose small-scale locally owned accommodation and homestays where available and local restaurants and markets for dining, retaining revenue in local communities. Our tour leaders facilitate communication of our values to travellers and local communities, educating them in sustainable tourism practices. We employ local guides to aid travellers' understanding of local culture and etiquette. Our small group size allows travellers to experience cultures at first hand, offering greater opportunity for cross- cultural understanding.
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.
Reviews of Mekong adventure holiday, Laos & Cambodia
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
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 24 Nov 2015 by Colin Smith
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Every day was something different, we walked through jungle; rode elephants; explored caves and sailed in wooden boats, sometimes we used a wooden plank, sometimes we were knee deep in the river! We saw amazing temples and wooden huts that the locals lived in, we saw how people lived and how they dried peppers in their satellite dishes! There were sad parts too, understanding the legacy of the Vietnam war, unexploded bombs everywhere and maimed people. However, the people were great fun, as curious about us as we were about them.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
This was our first trip to S.E. Asia, so we were unsure about what to expect. The hotels were all ok or good, with showers and proper toilets, but when you are out and about it's mainly squat toilets. The guides and drivers wouldn't let us carry our bags, the staff in all the hotels were all helpful and the guides couldn't do enough to help. Everything was well organised, and the guides and transport were always on time. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Just book it, and have an amazing time, we did!
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
The guides used local restaurants, transport and services, so it looks like most of our money went into the local economy. It didn't feel like a normal corporate style package holiday, there was time to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of local markets.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?