Laos holiday, small group

“Peace, petanque and some darn fine coffee make this relatively comfortable small group tour of Laos an excellent means of making new friends and seeking enlightenment.”

Highlights

Chiang Rai | Mekong River cruise | Kamu lodge | Luang Prabang | Plain of Jars | Vang Vieng | kayak trip to limestone caves | Vientiane | optional activities include: rice planting and traditional fishing.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Map

Check dates

2016: 4 Oct, 18 Oct, 8 Nov, 29 Nov, 13 Dec
Our top tip:
There's no better way to make friends and soak up the atmosphere other than over a game of petanque in the World Heritage town of Luang Prabang.
Trip type:
Small group. Max 16, Av 12. Min age 12.
Activity level:
Leisurely. Boat cruises, kayaking and market strolls.
Accomm:
10 x hotels and 2 x basic lodges.
Included:
Transport, entrance fees, Western tour leader (7+ travellers) and local guides.
Meals:
All breakfasts as well as 2 lunches and 2 dinners.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Single rooms available with surcharge.
Vouchers
Accepted
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 – something that’s 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: Laos holiday, small group

Environment

Tread lightly
We offer guidance, both verbal and written, on how our travellers can best help and preserve the local environment. Every traveller on our journeys in Asia is sent an e-guide on travelling responsibly. This 15-page guide has advice on products made from endangered species which should never be purchased to advice on reducing the use of plastic which is seldom recycled and tips on dining locally.

Local guides and tour leaders
On the ground through Asia we employ and train many of our own guides meaning we can ensure they are well-versed in sustainable travel. Many of our journeys will also have a Western tour leader and, being native English speakers; they can answer any questions or offer real-time advice on travelling responsibly.

We have a detailed responsible travel policy which we would be happy to send you. Having our own ground offices in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos means we are able to regulate the actions of our partners are review every aspect of our itineraries for their effects on the local environment.
Environmental projects in Asia
Working with Himmapaan we have also provided funding for the purchase of a block of land in Northern Thailand, for reforestation. In Burma we are also involved in a reforestation project, just outside Kalaw.

Carbon emissions
We are also committed to measuring and assuming responsibility for our carbon emissions. We have worked with Cleaner Climate to offset emissions from our Australian, United Kingdom and USA offices during 2014. The emission reductions are generated from Clean Technology (Kyoto compliant) projects in India (run-of-river hydro), Thailand (rice husk biomass), and China (hydro). These not only reduce emissions, but also contribute to the sustainable development of disadvantaged communities.

Local offices
Having local offices in Laos (Luang Prabang and Vientiane) means we are able to closely monitor and plan in detail every aspect of itineraries. This includes ensuring our travel arrangements are as environmentally responsible as is realistically possible.

Transport
Having a maximum group size of 16 means we can use small modern vehicles wherever possible, which reduces our local carbon footprint and environmental impact. In Luang Prabang and Vientiane most touring is done by foot. In Vang Vien we use kayaks to navigate the idyllic river.

Eat locally with local produce
Lunches and evening meals are not included in the price of our Small Group Journeys. Our tour leaders and local guides will be on hand to advise clients on the best locally run restaurants. Although Western and imported dishes are available, most of the cuisine is locally grown and prepared. This reduces the need for imported ingredients and helps support local enterprise while allowing our travellers to try the best local food around.

Community

We believe that travel should entail an exchange of knowledge and perspectives, a sharing of wealth, and a genuine appreciation of Laos’ beautiful natural environment. This philosophy underpins the heart and soul of our style of travel. We recognise that well-planned itineraries and well-informed tourists contribute positively to cross-cultural understanding and the livelihoods of local people.

On this journey through Laos 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 across the country. They share real experiences from their own lives and insights into 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.

On this trip travellers will have the chance to visit the interactive COPE centre and gain a valuable insight into the problems UXOs, unexploded mines and bombs, have caused in this peaceful land. Within Laos we also support the work of Big Brother Mouse (BBM), a project aimed at publishing books for children to increase literacy levels in Lao PDR.

In Laos’ capital city, Vientiane, travellers have the opportunity to dine at Makphet, a not-for-profit training restaurant which coaches young people, often from challenging backgrounds, in hospitality. In Cambodia travellers will also have the opportunity to visit Makphet’s sister restaurant, Romdeng, in the busy city of Phnom Penh. Both Makphet and Romdeng boast exceptional cuisine, as well as doing immense good in the local community.

Elsewhere in Laos we work with AFESIP, a French non-governmental organisation working to combat the causes and consequences of trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls in Laos. We have sponsored the provision of ‘Professional Starter Kits’ enabling rescued women to start their own business back in their village.

Our operations head offices in Laos (Luang Prabang and Vientiane) are also staffed with local people wherever possible and we have a long term aim of filling management roles with competent local staff. This presence in Laos 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 Laos holiday, small group

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 03 Aug 2011 by

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


There were a number of highlights of the trip to Laos. The stay at the Kamhu Lodge on the Mekong was memorable for its simplicity and peacefulness and the memory of having a massage whilst i overlooked the Mekong will stay with me for a long time. Luang Prabang was a beautiful town with many interesting historic buildings and the shopping was great. The journey from Phonsavan to Vang Vieng was a highlight because of the majestic scenery that we travelled through. Finally our tour leader was outstanding and helped to make the holiday so memorable.

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


Go prepared to be amongst people who are happy and a delight to be around and you must be prepared to be chilled and laid back with regard to the speed of service at times. Make sure you have big memory cards on your camera because you will take lots of photographs.

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


I felt that this company made a huge effort to ensure that most of the things that we did benefited local people and their communities - eating in local restaurants, staying at the eco lodge run by the local village, visiting the Mines Advisory Group, COPE and the UXO centres and using local boatman.

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


The trip to Laos is one of the most memorable that we have taken and we loved every minute of it. I would highly recommend it as a country to visit before it becomes too modernised and I would highly recommend this operator as a company to travel with as they looked after us so well but without smothering us and leaving us time to explore on our own from time to time.

Reviewed on 19 Feb 2011 by

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


Cruising down the Mekong on a local boat operated by a wonderful Laos family and staying in an eco lodge on the way.

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


Enjoy but make sure you have enough money to cover tips. Make sure you pack something warm. We were surprised how cold it was in the north of Laos in January.

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


Local guides and services were used and the company supported the local charity Big Brother Mouse.

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


One of the best holidays I have been on. Good company, well organised with a good balance of sight seeing and free time. Very professional company guide and local guides.

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