Judith Bennett review 9 Jan 2012
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The whole trip was memorable, but I particularly enjoyed the 4 days we spent in Luang Prabang. At a relaxed pace we visited ancient buddhist temples, watched the early morning ritual of alms giving, conversed with the monks, met the locals at the markets, visited remote ethnic minority villages far from the tourist trail, travelled on the mighty Mekong river, and learned how to cook Lao food. A photographer's paradise!
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
I would certainly recommend this tour to anyone who is interested in the culture and the people in this part of the world. The people are very friendly and generous. Learning how to say "hello" and "thank you" in their language, asking permission to take their photos, and showing them the photos, was a good recipe for establishing a rapport and having fun. Looking back, I found the interactions with people to be the most rewarding aspect of the trip, whereas my initial expectation was that Angkor Wat would be the highlight. (It was pretty good too!)
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?
I think our small group generated a lot of goodwill with local people. Jason, our tour guide, is an excellent entertainer and gave a great deal of joy to school children and villagers who had never seen juggling and magic tricks before. We stayed in boutique hotels operated by locals.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
This was an excellent holiday. The pace was comfortable, the photographic opportunities were many and varied, the food and accommodation was of a very high standard, the photographer and guide were friendly and helpful, and the weather was good. I would recommend this tour, with these leaders, at this time of year, to any photography enthusiast.