Central Thailand cycling & culture tour

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Tuesday departures throughout the year
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Central Thailand cycling & culture tour

We passionately believe that Responsible Tourism can be of immense help to local communities; providing income, positive cultural exchanges and an incentive to protect the natural environment. Recognising that there is always room for improvement, we continually strive to narrow the gap between principle and practice.

Prior to our tours, we liaise with local community leaders to ensure we are welcome and in a manner that minimizes negative social and cultural impact. We visit local development and community projects specific to the region, encouraging our clients to donate and/or assist such projects in appropriate and sustainable manners.

In Thailand’s most underprivileged communities, educational programs tend to remain highly anaemic. We realized inline with our social responsibility program, that not only did we have the capacity to help change this, but we had the obligation to do so. By working to improve educational programs within the region, there is a corresponding positive trickle effect. We are committed to being a catalyst for this effect by raising awareness and financial support. Every catalyst needs ignition and we found ours in the fall of 2006. It came by way of creating a cycling event called “The Tour of Hope.” The Tour of Hope is a 26 day cycling tour from Singapore to Bangkok, Thailand, tasked to raise money for two significant purposes: to fund educational programs for underprivileged regions in Thailand, and for cervical cancer research and treatment within Asia. All proceeds from the event were donated to JHPIEGO (a John Hopkins University non-profit affiliate).

Through sensitive hands on experience, we encourage cross cultural interaction and education between clients and the local communities. This is achieved by limiting tour group sizes, which also minimises any social and environmental impact. We also assist in the development of local infrastructure such as rural pathways.

We make sure that where and whenever possible our tours positively benefit the local community. We stay at locally owned accommodation and visit cottage industries for local handicraft souvenirs, generating income for local businesses. We employ and train local guides, drivers and assistants on all trips to ensure that the local community benefits not only short term but with increased employment opportunities for the future.

Adopting a “carry in – carry out” policy, we actively engage in environmentally responsible practices to minimise tourist impact upon the local habitat. From biodegradable soaps to re-usable water containers, we provide clients with the best information and means to help them identify and implement effective ways to positively protect local nature and communities. It is a vital ethos that can be passed on and abided by all, long after the trip has ended.

Reviews of Central Thailand cycling & culture tour

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 24 Jul 2014 by

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


Seeing the huge water monitor near where we were cycling

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


I can't think of any

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


Yes, we ate locally, were accommodated locally. And no, we went through many plastic water bottles. I think I would have preferred one large water container in the back of the van that we could fill our bottles from, rather than all the single use 1.5l bottles.

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


Excellent!

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Lisa,

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on your experience. I can see
from your review that you had an enjoyable trip and we really appreciate your
intention of recommending the tour to others.

As you have pointed out, we try to use local business' where possible, and
benefit the community and country through our practices.

Regarding water bottles, this is an issue in which we are constantly striving
to find a suitable balance. The 1.5litre bottles, can be kept cool in the
cooler whereas the larger 5 & 10 litre drums cannot.

The re-useable cycling water-bottles which we provide for riders are sourced
from a Thai company, and are 100% bio-degradable, including the inks which are
non toxic food grade.

We do insist on recycling the waste supply bottles, however we will continue to
search for a more sustainable solution to cool drinking water distribution.

If you do have any more comments or suggestions, please feel free to contact me
directly.

Kind regards,


Daniel Moylan
Chief Adventure Manager
SpiceRoads Cycle Tours

Reviewed on 19 Feb 2010 by

An awesome time. Insightful, and picturesque. Stimulating and relaxing. Not as high a level of biking as I expected (was fairly pedestrian) so would recommend over-estimating your ability when booking a similar holiday. But overall enjoyable and recommendable.

Reviewed on 29 Jan 2009 by

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


Riding on the back roads and seeing life outside of Bangkok was amazing! The riding was relaxing and we could stay longer at places that we were especially interested in. We wouldn't have had this freedom in a large tour group. We also loved eating at local restaurants and markets.

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


If you're not in great shape, opt for the easier fourth day route. Since you're burning calories riding, try lots of local foods when you stop.

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


The markets, restaurants, and even many temples were not what we would typically see on a large group tour. We were happy to give small, local people our business.

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


Thailand was one of the best vacation spots I have ever visited, but this tour was by far the best part. Our driver and guide could not have been more helpful, but also let us have time to wander alone.

Reviewed on 06 Aug 2007 by

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


Seeing such a massive range of scenery, plus having a knowledgeable guide with us, to explain some of the history and culture of the places we visited. Awesome trip! Highly recommended.

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


Enjoy it! Book this trip if you're keen on seeing a wide range of places in a short time.

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


Yes. We bought all of our meals from local outlets and markets, which contributes to the economies of those places.

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


AMAZING!

Reviewed on 05 Aug 2007 by

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


The tour guide was fantastic - I really liked the way he showed us round the markets, gave us the opportunity to try foods, had a great local cultural and historical knowledge and was generally really helpful and really interesting to talk to.

Seeing as there's not a 'what was bad about this holiday' section on this feedback form I'm going to say here I was extremely disappointed to be taken to an elephant park - the elephants looked miserable and I feel quite strongly that people should not be encouraged to visit these parks and ride the elephants.

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


Just be aware of how hot it can get - the bike ride is a relatively easy 30-35kms a day but at points the heat was punishing. The tour guides provide plenty of water and lovely fresh fruit but make sure you take lots of sunscreen!!

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


It was hard to tell how much it benefited the local people - obviously the guide was local and we visited local restaurants and markets during the day. I am not sure if the hotels/resorts we stayed at were also owned locally.

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


Excellent. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Was a different way to see the countryside and the things we learned along the way made a real difference to the rest of our time in Thailand as well. I would highly recommend this tour.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for the review and recommendation. We try hard to make sure that everyone enjoys their experience on our tours. Thailand has so much to offer, and this tour is a fabulous way to get off the beaten track and get a different perspective. We are glad you agree.

Regarding the hotels we use: When we selected the hotels for this tour, we attempted to select hotels that were owned locally, and/or have direct beneficial impact to local area and community.

Please be aware that touring the elephant park is not something that we actively promote. And, in fact, it’s not on the tour’s itinerary. However, the tour does go past this park and some guides have indicated that some guests have requested to visit it, and so they have obliged.

We look forward to cycling with you again in the near future!

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