Yangtze & Yunnan holiday in China, explorer

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Small group adventure holiday

These small group journeys have a maximum of 18 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: Yangtze & Yunnan holiday in China, explorer

Environment

Unlike our other destinations, travelling in an environmentally fashion in China can be challenging. However, in this and all other itineraries we strive to be as responsible as realistically possible.

WALKING TOURS:

Within major cities we aim to use walking tours (or rickshaws) where possible to give you a genuinely intimate experience of the Chinese way of life. As China’s major cities do suffer from pollution problems this also assists with reducing emissions within built areas. City tours include Xian, Beijing and Shanghai.

WHAT ELSE WE DO:

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

As well as having offices in Australia, the United Kingdom and North America, we have offices in several cities in Asia. Our direct presence in Asia means that we are much better able to control the content of our itineraries, the actions of our suppliers, and the style of our Small Group Journey and tailor-made travel arrangements. In short, our offices in Asia give us leverage in implementing our responsible travel policy.

In more rural areas (the Great Wall and Chengdu) we can guard against any potentially damaging actions like hiking in delicate areas, littering and avoiding certain shops/industries.

CARBON OFFSET JOURNEYS:

We now offer carbon offset on 12 of our best-selling journeys in Asia. With this program we will offset the carbon emissions for every passenger on every departure.

CLEANER CLIMATE CONSULTANTS:

We work with Cleaner Climate carbon consultants to fully offset emissions from our Australia and UK offices. The funds from the offsets support clean energy projects in China. Moreover, as a local and international operator we are in a unique position that allows us to better mitigate our effects on the local environment. Examples include using modern vehicles that reduce carbon emissions, avoiding poorly run hotels and educating our local guides on environmental issues.

Community

Community:

A GENUINELY SMALL GROUP TOUR:

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.

Our small group tours in China 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.

We believe that travel should entail an exchange of knowledge and perspectives, a sharing of wealth, and a genuine appreciation of China’s natural and built environment. 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.

LOCAL EXPERIENCES:

Experience the incredible diversity of China from the might of Beijing to bustling Shanghai. In the capital enjoy a delicious home-made lunch and cooking class with a local hutong family – an experience which allows for cross-cultural exchange.

Indeed, throughout this journey you will have the opportunity – with guidance from our expert local guides – to visit small and independent run restaurants, avoiding the big chains. This is especially apparent in Dali where we journey through the local countryside visiting monasteries and small villages, helping to support local enterprise whilst earnestly trying to understand the issues facing many of the minority communities or diaspora.

Then hop on rickshaws for more close-up glimpses of local life in these laneways. These environmentally friendly rickshaw tours benefit drivers who tend to be socio-economically disadvantaged. During this journey we also actively encourage our travellers to patronise or financially assist numerous not-for-profit organisations in China including the blind masseur centres in Beijing and Shanghai.

LOCAL GUIDES WITH A DIFFERENCE:

On this journey our local guides are trained by us 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 provinces in China. 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.

SCHOOL AND ORPHANAGE VISITS:

Although sincere, many attempts at responsible travel can breed dependence (an increasingly disturbing and typical example is the rise of 'orphanage tourism') and are not always as they seem. By working through NGO's and local groups we are able to avoid such pitfalls.

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