Cambodia & Vietnam explorer holiday

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Departs weekly on Tuesdays throughout the year
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Holiday type

Small group adventure holiday

These small group journeys have a maximum of 16 like-minded travellers which ensures that all travellers have an amazing overall experience with the destination and that they enjoy the flexibility that comes with the small group dynamic. On this trip you will stay at boutique accommodation with character. Our numbers are discreet enough for us to interact with local families in their homes and meet people in markets, bazaars and temples Ė something thatís just not possible when you arrive as part of a large tour group. Along with our unique combination of Western tour leader and local English-speaking guide this will ensure an unforgettable travel experience.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cambodia & Vietnam explorer holiday

We believe that travel should entail an exchange of knowledge and perspectives, a sharing of wealth, and a genuine appreciation of both Cambodia and Vietnamís beautiful natural environments. This philosophy underpins the heart and soul of our style of travel. We recognise that poorly planned itineraries or poorly informed tourists contribute less to cross-cultural understanding and less to the livelihoods of local people.

In Cambodia we have facilitated a very significant donation to the World Monument Fund, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the maintenance of archaeologically precious temples in Angkor. We actively encourage our travellers to patronise or financially assist numerous not-for-profit organisations in Cambodia including Lotus Blanc in Phnom Penh (a restaurant which teaches skills to young people recruited from a rubbish tip), Made in Cambodia in Siem Reap (which sells items made by underprivileged Cambodians) and the Sunrise Orphanages in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Our offices also finance the Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, which provides health care services to poor Cambodians and through which we sponsor the training of a Cambodian nurse.

In Vietnam we experience wonderful diversity from industrial Saigon to beautiful Hanoi. At the latter there is the opportunity to visit Kotoís (know one, teach one) Ė a not-for-profit restaurant and vocational training centre staffed by disadvantaged young people Ė to try their infamous Koto smoothie. Our offices also finance the Loretto Foundation in Saigon (which assists disadvantaged, poor and disabled children through education), and The Fred Hollows Foundation (which provides ophthalmologic services to underprivileged Vietnamese).

This small group tour to Vietnam include visits to the Streets International in Hoi An and the Spiral Foundation in Hue. Both of which are not for profit organisations that aim to help Vietnamese form a grass-roots level

Often from significantly disadvantaged backgrounds Streets International provides young Vietnamese with skills, from front of house to qualified chefís, in the hospitality industry that will last them a lifetime. Based from the streets Cafe and Restaurant ,we have arranged for some of the students at Streets to give members of our groups a walking tour of one of one of Hoi Anís rarely visited markets as well as a walking tour of some of Hoi Anís back-streets that are rarely seen by tourists. In a group of two or three, and with a supervisor from the organisation present, these tours will help the students earn valuable credits towards their qualifications and give our travellers a truly unique insight into everyday life in Hoi An. Upon returning to Streets Cafe and Restaurant you can relax with a cold drink and sample some of the cafeís and students incredible food.

The Spiral foundation aims to help deaf and mute Vietnamese become self-sufficient and fully independent members of Vietnamese society. As artisans the employees of Spiral make jewellery and personal souvenirs with all profits going to various medical causes around Vietnam. As part of a small group you will see how they do this first hand and have a go at making your own souvenir to take away with you. We also make a donation for every client that visits the center that will hope will fund 15 open heart surgeries over the course of the year.

Furthermore, on this journey our local guides are trained to share their knowledge of cultural and other local issues in a balanced, informative way; in this journey alone you are likely to meet several local guides from different areas in Cambodia and provinces in Vietnam. They share real experiences from their own lives and insights into their family life, influences and beliefs, thus providing our travellers with a deeper understanding of the places they visit. This is what motivates our guides, not shopping commissions.

Our offices in Cambodia and in Vietnam are staffed with local people wherever possible and we have a long term aim of filling management roles with competent local staff. This presence in Cambodia and Vietnam means we are much better able to control the content, the actions of our suppliers, and the style of our small group journey.

Reviews of Cambodia & Vietnam explorer holiday

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 23 Jun 2015 by

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


The day at the Mekong river including the brick factory! ;) Loved tasting the local foods and the lunch in the jungle. Some lovely lunches and evening meals shared in local restaurants that we would never have found on our own.

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


Take your loosest, most lightweight clothes - British summer clothes are far too warm!

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


Yes to an extent though we stayed in nice hotels with facilities most locals could only dream of but they obviously provide a lot of employment opportunities. We were happy to tip the excellent service we received and to buy on the street stalls and in the charitable foundation shops.

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


The heat took me several days to get used to which is my own fault for travelling at that time of year but it would have been easier if we had started in Hanoi and ended up in Cambodia.
We were a little disappointed to feel a bit on our own as the rest of the party were different nationalities and we were sorry to lose the other British couple after the first part of the trip. It was not until the very end that we really felt relaxed with everyone and sorry to say goodbye - though it was really interesting to compare attitudes and life styles with people from very different parts of the world.
Our tour guide was very helpful, knowledgable and friendly but we did get a bit bored with one or two of the local guides reciting political history and statistics when we were travelling by bus, especially when we had a good book to read!

Reviewed on 02 Nov 2013 by

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


All was great. Cambodia's temples were amazing.

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


Book later in the year so as to avoid the heat.

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?


Fabulous!

Reviewed on 27 Jan 2011 by

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


Seeing the Bayan temple at Angkor Wat which I have dreamt of visiting for the last 30 years, it was even more magical than I had expected.

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


Be prepared for both hot and cold weather if going in January. No need to take many clothes as the laundry service is excellent and there are lovely garments to purchase from projects to support the local people.

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


Yes, we visited local projects where we were able to either contribute financially or support by buying their produce.

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


It was a wonderful experience and gave me an insight to the beauty of countries of Indochina as well as its warm and delightful people.

Reviewed on 24 Aug 2011 by

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


All of it!

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


Enjoy it! Don't take a jumper for the evening (August). Take extra money for all the tips: coach drivers, travel guides etc.

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?


5 star.

Reviewed on 14 Nov 2010 by

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


Cambodia and Halong Bay, Vietnam.

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


Be prepared for a mainly historical and sightseeing tour - quite busy with not much time to yourself. Very well organised with fantastic guides - excellent for nervous travellers as nothing was too much trouble for our Australian guide, Brad! I personally would not recommend Hua Hin as a beach resort for anyone who appreciates picturesque and idyllic beaches, also I personally wouldn't fly with Thai Airways again if there was a good alternative.

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


To some extent, but not heavily considering the amount of air and motorised travel.

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


Good introduction to the countries of Cambodia and Vietnam, which was very well organised. Definitely would not recommend the area I stayed in Thailand (although the resort was nice).

Reviewed on 16 Nov 2007 by

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


Cambodia generally. Hanoi - noisy, exciting, surprisingly attractive lakeside setting.

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


In Saigon, go and wander around on your own for a while rather than join every guided tour laid on.

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


That depends on how much of the holiday price went to Cambodia and Vietnam. I can't claim our internal flights minimized impact. All I know for sure is that everything I spent whilst I was there went into the local economy.

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


This operator organised very well. Very good hotels. Very useful booklets for each place we visited. Recommended good places to eat. Sometimes we were a little too organised. People travelling to Cambodia and Vietnam are likely to be experienced travellers who don't need to be herded on and off the bus for photo opportunities etc.

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