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Holiday type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are travelling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travellers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travellers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is a classic style of small group adventure. You'll find your trip combines a good mix of included activities and free time, with some meals included as per your itinerary. We don't want you to feel chaperoned, it's your holiday not ours. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with organising anything you might wish to do in your free time, but how you spend it is up to you. Anything listed as included in your itinerary will be included in trip price; whereas anything listed as optional will be at an additional cost should you wish to take part.

These trips are great value, including things that you would struggle to organise independently, such as a night at a homestay in a remote village, or local guides around a remote place of interest. Transport will be a combination of private vehicle and public transport, whichever is the most appropriate for the route we are travelling; this might include train, plane, camel, tuk tuk, bicycle, boatÖ

On a majority of these trips you'll stay in 2-3 star accommodation, locally owned and reflective of the region you are travelling through. All solo travellers will be automatically roomed on a twin share basis with another group member of the same sex, unless you opt to pay for your own room at time of booking. There are no compulsory single supplements for solo travellers willing to share. Single rooms aren't available on camping trips, and you will be expected to help out with camp tasks such as setting up and breaking down your camp.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.
“I have so many souvenirs from Laos, but the things that my passengers and I always buy are cotton trousers, which we call 'happy pants'!”

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Indochina tours

This trip allows for plenty of time to explore the culture of two very fascinating yet different countries. Travellers are encouraged to explore with the group and on their own, learn a few words of the language and interact with the locals as much as possible.

We always stay in small scale locally owned accommodation and in Laos we spend a night as guests in the homes of local villagers which provides an economic returns to local communities we visit.

By shopping locally we interact with local craft and trades people and make a positive contribution to the economy. In Luang Prabang we have the opportunity to join local weavers to learn their craft, or learn how to dye your own silk scarf. Individual cooking tuition will create an insight into the Laotian cuisine.

Our slow boat down the Mekong minimizes energy consumption and assists local families making their living on the river. Our small groups keep the impacts to a mimimum while we gently float down the river taking in the spectacular scenery.

In Cambodia we have a chance to visit a Wildlife Conservation and Environmental Education Centre where confiscated animals from the illegal wildlife trade are nursed back to health and kept safe from poachers. A changing exhibition gives visitors an insight into local and global environmental problems and possible solutions.

Reviews of Indochina tours

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 27 May 2014 by

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


Walking the Fitzroy track in Patagonia

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


Travel light. Wear a travel money belt which can carry money passport and mobile and KEEP it on at all times.

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


Definitely. And you can see the positive effects of tourism including in the care of the environment.

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


Very good.

Reviewed on 02 Apr 2013 by

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


I couldn't possibly choose one thing, but Laos is beautiful and the people are
gentle and kind. Vietnam is crazy, hectic with stunning beaches and Halong Bay,
Wow. Cambodia Khmer temples are deservedly among the wonders of the world and the people at the homestay were so welcoming. Thailand has everything going for it and I only saw a tiny bit.

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


Its very hot, don't forget the electrolites.

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


Yes.

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


Excellent.

Reviewed on 06 Feb 2013 by

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


The most memorable parts were the homestay where we experienced what life really is for the locals who were so welcoming and friendly to us. We learnt how hard their lives are but through it all they smiled, laughed and shared their homes with us. We also felt that we helped to contribute to a more hopeful future for them.

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


Donít take too much luggage. Wherever you go there are very cheap laundries (not hotels). Dont worry too much about dirt, squat toilets and the like! Be prepared! The markets are wonderful so also be prepared to buy up big with a spare bag to bring it all home. Also be prepared for plenty of other tourists good and bad. And when you get to Hanoi just go for it! (Crossing the road!)

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


The type of travel we did on this trip was responsible by learning about local issues as well as broader political and historical facts. We had the most amazing tour leader who has a wealth of knowledge and is a credit to Intrepid with his ethics and support for the environment, conservation and his hope to improve the lives of people in all the countries we visited.

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


This was one of the best trips I have ever done. We experienced all kinds of travel, visited many amazing sites and learned more in one month than most people do in a lifetime. I have to say though the two main reasons for the success was that the group got on extremely well together and our group leader was exceptional. His name is Kom and he is a young man from Cambodia who made our journey remarkable. I give him *****! (He is great fun too!)

Reviewed on 16 Dec 2011 by

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


For myself I really enjoyed the relaxing river trip on the mekong, I loved the peacefulness of the journey and the fact that you felt like you were in the middle of nowhere, the stops were great and the local guide savatt was really friendly and knowledgeable and helpful.

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


Basically to relax go with the flow and donít be afraid to try something new. Chill out for a while and watch the world go by you can be amazed at some of the sights right in front of you.

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


Yes especially when we would eat local and shop local, also a great idea to use local guides, it seemed to me our leader Harry always knew the right time to take a step back and let the local guide take over.

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


I think the whole experience was first class and the mix of travelling and stops was great even though I would have liked longer at the homestay. Also think I was very lucky travelling in a small group and having the leader we had. Harry was first class in all that he did for us that we could see and also in the things behind the scenes that went on because the whole thing seemed to me to flow without a hitch.

Reviewed on 22 Apr 2011 by

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


The most memorable parts of our trip must be the crazy cyclo tour through the streets of Saigon and eating insects in a bar overlooking Phnom Penh!

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


Go with an open mind, embrace the bargaining, the food and the culture.

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


Our trip used local guides everywhere we went, including a homestay and dinner with a local family. We were also able to eat at quite a few restaurants for good causes.

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


Thoroughly recommend the tour operator to anyone from any walk of life. It was such an amazing trip and we would never have been able to take it all in without the help of our leader.

Reviewed on 27 Mar 2011 by

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


There were so many that it is difficult to pick any one experience above others. Scary, hugging a tiger, awesome scenery in Halong bay, the dignity and grace of the people, relaxing along the Mekong, crossing the road in Hanoi, the glory of Ankor Wat and not wanting it to end.

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


I found the quality of the accommodation to be high, I expected more basic sleeping arrangements. We even had air con in most places. Do not take a lot of clothes etc because you can buy everything you need while there.

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


Definitely, the tour guide was very good on this we felt that we were able to help by buying ethically and eating in the right places.

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


There wasn't a day that didn't excite. The differences between the four countries was fascinating, the language, food customs and culture ensured that there were always new things to experience. The insight into the history of S.E.Asia was sad but enlightening. The local guides did have good knowledge and were very helpful. The tour guide, Bouna, was outstanding, everything was brilliantly organised and all the activities, transport, accommodation were of a very high standard definitely a 5 star experience.

Reviewed on 10 May 2011 by

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


So many to choose from, however I would go for gently cruising down the Mekong River in Laos. Visiting one of the local villages there and meeting the children who were delighted with the photos we took of them. Although the local cookery classes I took come a close second.

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


Do not arrange a transfer from the airport via the tour operator. I was ripped off almost £50 doing this when the hotel where you begin will arrange it for 500 Baht (about £10), which I consider slightly more than an admin fee. This was a very souring note to this holiday and makes me question where else I was ripped off. Chatting to others on the trip, I am not alone. Very disappointing.

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


Yes. Our guide explained many things that would help as we travelled (Including where giving makes things worse). Plenty of business for what seemed like local family affairs.

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


Splendid. A very fine adventure all told.

Reviewed on 10 Mar 2010 by

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


Visiting some of the smaller temples at Siem Reap at sunrise and shortly afterwards when few people were around. The views were beautiful and the local kids engaging. Breakfast at a local stall watched by the kids who had been trying to sell us coffee for the previous hour was memorable, and my husband will never forget the look of sheer delight on the face of one of the little boys when he finally said he would buy a coffee from him.

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


Enjoy the variety. The peaceful pace of life in Laos, and the chaotic traffic in Vietnam. A lovely river boat on the Mekong and the more basic train from Hanoi to Hue. The chilly weather in Hanoi and the heat of Cambodia. But friendly people throughout.

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


The tour operatorís foundation supports work in all the countries we visited. We visited a number of training restaurants that are supported by the foundation and they were excellent. We were encouraged to dress appropriately for local standards even when other westerners clearly weren't. Staying with a local family was fascinating and we were welcomed into their homes. Our main guide and all our trip guides were local which added another dimension - for example, learning about the Khmer Rouge from someone whose mother had lost 6 siblings to the regime. Some local transport used instead of flights which is both environmental and fascinating.

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


A great introduction to these fascinating countries.

Reviewed on 07 Feb 2009 by

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


Halong Bay, Angkor Wat.

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


All your packing advice is exact except for the water container.

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


Yes.

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


Great!!!

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