Thailand tour, mountains & rainforests

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Date
Price
Basis
15 Jan 2017
£ 2430
including UK flights
Available
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12 Feb 2017
£ 2430
including UK flights
Available
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08 Apr 2017
£ 2430
including UK flights
Available
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27 May 2017
£ 2430
including UK flights
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21 Jul 2017
£ 2530
including UK flights
Available
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13 Aug 2017
£ 2430
including UK flights
Available
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09 Sep 2017
£ 2430
including UK flights
Available
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08 Oct 2017
£ 2430
including UK flights
Available
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12 Nov 2017
£ 2430
including UK flights
Available
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23 Dec 2017
£ 2580
including UK flights
Available
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Vouchers
Accepted
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: Thailand tour, mountains & rainforests

Environment

We and 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 neighboring Burma.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Community

The tour operator is winner of the 2012 Tourism Authority of Thailand Green Excellence Award for Nature, Marine and Heritage Tourism, the 2010 Tourism Authority of Thailand Green Excellence Award for Best tour operator for Local Communities and the 2008 Tourism Authority of Thailand Green Excellence Award for Best Specialist Tour Operator

Reviews of Thailand tour, mountains & rainforests

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 01 Apr 2012 by

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


Too many exciting experiences to recount. However we loved the alternative accommodation in the lodges - made a refreshing change from the usual soulless 5 star hotels. The spectacular scenery of the Andaman Sea on the boat trip from Koh Lanta - simply unforgettable! Kayaking down the River Kwai - just amazing.

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


Take as little luggage as possible. Be open to new experiences and try new foods including the infamous 100 year old eggs! Upgrade to first class on the night train!

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


Yes. We spent our money responsibly and this was easy because the local people were so helpful and friendly, the service was second to none. We embraced the local travel enthusiastically - even the night train which was a very relaxing experience.

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


Ten out of ten! The most memorable holiday ever! Can't wait to do it all again! The holiday was made especially memorable by our knowledgeable and personable guide - Pascal.

Reviewed on 28 Oct 2011 by

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


Grand Palace and Wat Pra Keow in Bangkok, Elephant ride in Jungle, boat trip snorkelling in Khoa Sok and getting absolutely soaked in a sudden monsoon downpour in the rain forest!

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


It's hot, so more shorts, less trousers, plenty of sun screen and mosquito repellent and a lightweight waterproof jacket.

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


No holiday where you fly half way around the world can be described as having minimal impact on the environment. We ate in local establishments rather than hotels, so I do feel holiday benefited local people.

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


Many activities, ably led by a great guide and overall very good value for money.

Reviewed on 26 May 2011 by

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


Kayaking down the River Kwai for 22km and getting caught in a torrential tropical downpour and storm - it was so exciting and like nothing we have ever experienced (we did pull over and shelter form the lightning). Also the day spent boating on the Lake in Khao Sok National Park was wonderful; we had sunshine for most of the day and it was simply spectacular. Swimming and snorkelling off Koh Lanta was wonderful. Walking the Death Railway was very moving, a good trek and we learned a lot. Going over the Bridge on the River Kwai in the train was great. Walking in the rainforests was so interesting and swimming in the streams was great. The tour around Bangkok using public transport was excellent. The Bangkok train south overnight made me feel young again, it was very civilised - we made good use of the bar and then slept very well. The Elephant ride was a bit challenging and I would opt out if I did the same trip again!

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


Be prepared to spend a lot of time with your fellow travellers and get on with them. We were a group of eight - four pairs who did not know each other, plus our guide; and in the end six of us really gelled (despite the age range of 29 years to us at 65) One couple obviously wanted more time to themselves and took this time on the last few days by the sea, which was fine, but in their effort to get away they did miss out on the snorkelling trip as a result. Travel light - but no need for rucksacks for luggage - soft bags with wheels are fine - not big hard suitcases though. Avoid thick cotton clothing; take light weight cotton or sporty tops and trousers and long sleeves to cover up at night in the forest as you eat outside all the time. Remember Hair gel to not have a constant frizz and a hair drier if you use one.

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


Yes, we used public and locally hired transport for all journeys. We ate in the restaurants either of the locally owned and run accommodation we stayed in, or in local cafes or restaurants and street markets using fresh local food. Local tour guides were local people who we tipped in addition to their pay. Not a hint of foreign ownership of anything we used. We felt people were pleased we were there.

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


We would rate it at four stars as at our age, as by now we have been on some pretty good trips - but only just off 5 stars!! Jean-Daniel Schrantz our guide was fantastic - he wanted us to know about all things Thai, but managed to do it in a kind of laid back, thoughtful way throughout, so we never felt he was dominating us; he was absolutely right for the job, fun and informative and always got us where we needed to be on time or ahead of time, without rushing us or ever bossing us around.

Reviewed on 22 Nov 2011 by

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


Visit to Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park.

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


Ask who your tour guide would be and avoid Aor who was a great disappointment as she was unable to answer almost everything asked.

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


Yes, the Thai people are wonderful and we were able to ensure payment for items went to local people

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


Very good, despite the tour guide as our fellow travellers were excellent and the scenery is stunning.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for your comments. We are so pleased you enjoyed your holiday and regret that you did not feel Miss Aor came up to our high standards for tour leaders. She is usually a very enthusiastic and warm person who is delighted to proudly show her country to our guests. We have taken your comments on board and will look into it.

Reviewed on 27 May 2008 by

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


Many memorable and exciting experiences: The awesome caves, the jungle trekking in Sangklaburi, canoeing down the river Kwai for 3 hours. The scenery was spectacular and the peace and tranquillity amazing. The overnight sleeper train. Elephant riding through the jungle.

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


Take a mosquito net - we used it in 2 of the accommodations.

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


Definitely.

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


Fantastic.

Reviewed on 28 May 2008 by

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


I have always wanted to visit Thailand and am so glad I did it with this operator because I had such a great guide. The one thing that I will never forget is the three day trek to Nan. Not only was it beautiful scenery with guides that were good fun and introduced us to so much flora and fauna, but a huge feeling of achievement after having completed the three days. I loved the basic accommodation, the lack of electric and the very cold but refreshing Thai showers. It is an amazing trip, where each day there is a new experience, new scenery and new adventure! Absolutely brilliant.

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


Revert to being a child, just do things and don't think about it. Be open minded and just have fun.

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


Every local Guide was very local; every place we ate was run by local people and completely away from any tourists. We were shocked when we did come across tourists, so I would say that local people rather than big enterprises definitely benefited from us.

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


The best experience I've ever had. Complete escapism.

Reviewed on 11 Dec 2007 by

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


The Mon bridge at Sangklaburi

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


Expect to get dirty: the combination of mosquito repellent, sun cream, sweat and jungle dirt has imprinted itself for ever in 2 of my favourite t-shirts!

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


Yes, most local guides are really local. Transport was on trains, or the back of trucks and jeeps, the same way than the locals do.

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


Very good. Great mixture of activities, very few gimmicks, great guide, superb food.

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