Thailand holiday, culture and beach

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Departure information

This trip is only for tailor made departures throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Thailand holiday, culture and beach


As with all our holidays, the accommodation you will stay at has been chosen to meet at least our basic environmental criteria, which include putting in place measures to conserve energy and reduce water usage and providing advice on how you can reduce your own footprint while you’re there. All the places you stay at buy their food locally, cutting down transport emissions and helping local farmers. Many of them have also been awarded the ASEAN Green Leaf certification which additionally covers air quality, waste management and co-operation with communities, amongst other areas.

On this particular itinerary, we’ve incorporated a river journey up to the north of Thailand in order to cut out the usual internal flight, which also allows you to experience Thai rural life up close and the splendid former capitals of Sukhothai and Ayuthaya. Along the way you’ll stay at the ‘Country Lake’, a forest lodge created by our partners, which aims to develop ecotourism in the less-visited central region of Thailand. In Chiang Mai you’ll visit elephants at the Elephant Nature Park, which we have chosen for their high standards of animal care.

We see protecting the environment as crucially important, so we have chosen Thai partners that active promote higher environmental standards in Thai tourism as part of the Green Leaf Foundation. They are also developing new kinds of holidays that combine ecotourism and community tourism, for example working with the Doi Tung royal project which helps hill tribe people to protect their lands and traditions, or creating holidays at organic farms and the Petchaburi wildlife centre.


Creating social and economic benefits for local people is the central goal of our company and as such we try to incorporate meaningful encounters with local people throughout our trips, never ‘human zoos’. For example, on the Thailand Highlights tour you will have the chance to stop at a villager’s house near the famous floating markets to learn about traditional methods of making brown palm sugar, part of the rich culinary heritage of the area.

We support community-based tourism projects which help preserve traditional culture and resource management, especially with hill tribes in the north. Our Thai partner is also working with CBT-I to implement best practice in visits to these communities, training their guides to act as a bridge to the people they visit and letting them show what they want and are proud of to visitors (which may be ‘non-traditional’). This concept of the community being in control is very different to the mainstream of hill tribe tourism which tends towards pre-packaged ‘ethnic’ experiences and degrading gawking. On a national level, they have pioneered synergy training, bringing together hotels, tour operators and communities to better understand each others’ needs and so create more sustainable and enjoyable holidays. We are proud to be taking part in the push for stronger responsibility in the huge, and often destructive, Thai tourism market.

1 Reviews of Thailand holiday, culture and beach

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 12 Nov 2013 by

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

The elephant trekking in Chiang Mai. We were a bit apprehensive before we went having heard/read about how many of the elephants were treated before we left. However, the elephant appeared to be well cared for and it was an experience we will never forget (even if our thighs were quite sore afterwards).

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

Check where about you are staying during the beach part of the holiday. We stayed at the Beyond Resort which was located in a nice quite part of Krabi. This suited us but wouldn't be any good for people wanting to go out in the evening really. However, the people at Responsible Travel were very good at arranging the type of holiday that would suit you and your budget.

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

I am not sure how much the holiday benefited the local people. We did tend to stay in smaller hotels and eat in some more local restaurants (outside Bangkok where it was all tourist buffets which were terrible) but most of what we did was the major attractions.

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

The holiday overall was an experience of a lifetime and I could not have wished for a better honeymoon (although some of the mornings were very early).

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