South East Asia holiday

“From the ancient monuments of Myanmar to a slow boat along the Mekong, this trip brings you the best of Southeast Asia, with seamless organisation and comfortable, varied travel making it a stress-free and exhilarating experience.”

Highlights

Yangon | Bagan | Mt. Popa | Kalaw | Inle Lake | Tachileik | the Golden Triangle | Opium Museum | Doi Mae Salong | tea plantation visit | Wat Rong Khun | slow boat down the Mekong River | Tam Ting Caves | Luang Prabang | parade of monks receiving alms |Hanoi | Halong Bay

Description of South East Asia holiday

Travelling overland on a Southeast Asia holiday really gives you a chance to understand how one country’s landscapes and cultural customs slip into the next, and it’s the diversity in culture, landscape and history that make this 18-day tour so exciting.

Along with a small group of fellow travelers, travelling by road, by plane and on water, you’ll explore the fast-paced cities of Hanoi and Yangon, view mystical temples at Bagan and ancient religious rituals in Luang Prabang, learn about the dark history of the Golden Triangle and visit remote destinations where you can experience rural life and take in some of the region’s greatest natural highlights.

The fact that the region is home to some of the world’s best cuisine makes a visit here even more appealing. There will be plenty of opportunity to taste fiery curries at local restaurants, tuck into street food in city markets and sample fresh seafood.

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

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Date
Price
Basis
29 Jul 2018
£ 3199
including UK flights
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21 Oct 2018
£ 2999
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11 Nov 2018
£ 2999
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16 Dec 2018
£ 3349
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06 Jan 2019
£ 3099
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03 Feb 2019
£ 3099
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10 Mar 2019
£ 3099
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14 Apr 2019
£ 3099
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28 Jul 2019
£ 3349
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13 Oct 2019
£ 3129
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17 Nov 2019
£ 3129
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15 Dec 2019
£ 3449
including UK flights
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Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: South East Asia holiday

Accommodation and meals:
On this trip most of the hotels are locally owned and all employ local staff. This has a positive impact on the local community by providing jobs and keeps the money being invested within the area. Many of these places also have environmental policies which reduce waste, water usage and energy expenditure.
Breakfasts are included in the itinerary; they are prepared using local produce which has the benefit of being fresher and tastier, whilst also supporting the local economy. Needless to say, the environmental impacts are also reduced by not using imported foods. Only one lunch and two dinners are included. Where meals are not provided, your guide will be able to point out several smaller restaurants, cafes and markets, like in Hanoi old quarter, Luang Prabang or Chiang Rai. The advantage of paying locally for a meal is that you ensure the money goes directly to those who are working hard to make our visits welcome. There are some weird and wonderful regional specialties to try with plenty of fresh produce available in most areas. We even have the opportunity to eat in a delicious home cooked local Vietnamese house – an experience which is always enjoyed thoroughly by our clients.
The Luang Prabang Night Market in Laos is not one to miss. The market place comes alive between 17.00 and 23.00. Hill-tribe traders and local people gather to sell a variety of handicrafts, scarfs, lamps etc and traditional foods; discover side street stalls selling noodles and Beer Lao.

Water:
With the increase use of single use plastics becoming an ever growing global concern we are actively looking for ways to reduce/limit the need for small water bottles where possible. We have an agreement with some of the hotels to provide purified drinking water. Likewise we have a similar arrangement with the transport suppliers who provide a big drinking water barrel on the bus allowing clients to refill whenever needed.

Activity:
We do believe in leaving no more than footprints and encourage the disposal of litter and even the collecting of existing litter on this tour. However, this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants, use markets to purchase traditional gifts and crafts and get a real impression of Burma, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. Whilst in the markets, leaders will recomend some social enterprises which clients can support by purchasing souvenirs to take home. Old Buddhist images and ancient wood carvings are often on sale however leaders will encourage clients to buy new carvings and sculptures instead. We hope, therefore, what is left behind is a positive cultural exchange and the feeling that the tourism industry can grow in these countries.

A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. During the trip we use 4 separate leaders so that clients have a Burmese leader in Myanmar, a Thai leader in Thailand, a Cambodian leader in Cambodia and so on. This ensures that leadership skills and pay are not retained exclusively by one country and provides clients with first- hand knowledge of the culture, customs and history of the places they visit. The leaders will give a briefing on Responsible Tourism issues to help you understand how you can help reduce your impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from your visit. They have also completed Child Safe training which enables them to take positive action should they encounter children at risk as well as educating clients re child protection within tourism.

Charity:
In Kalaw we are accompanied by local guides from the Rural Development Society (R.D.S) as we explore the area on foot. The tracks we use are century’s old trading routes used by the Pa-O, Palaung and Danu ethnic minorities for moving their cattle and harvesting their crops, and afford spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. The R.D.S. was founded by several chiefs from ethnic tribes in the surroundings of Kalaw and helps fund wells, filtering systems and schools in many remote villages. As our walk is run in conjunction with the R.D.S we help to support those villages that are not reached by other companies and will have a warm welcome from the local villagers.

UK office
It all starts at home so we have first worked to reduce our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies in place, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group size
We operate small group tours that have a low impact on the communities we visit and we always ensure our operations do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. This allows us to stay in unique and characterful accommodation that would not have benefitted from tourism due to their limited size.

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