Indochina holiday adventure
(Visas & local tips not included.) Return flights from the UK from £850, optional single room supplement £325 (Fully licensed, ATOL protected.)
Description of Indochina holiday adventure
This fascinating Indochina holiday adventure takes you through Laos and Cambodia and the heart of tropical Southeast Asia.
Our 2-week, small group tour, begins in picturesque World Heritage Luang Prabang, the ancient capital of Laos and widely recognised as one of the best-preserved towns in the region. We'll discover its elegant colonial architecture and ancient temples, before travelling through the mountains to the remote, enigmatic and also UNESCO-listed, Plain of Jars.
From here head south to discover the two contrasting modern-day capitals: laidback Vientiane on the banks of the Mekong River and chaotic but captivating Phnom Penh, before travelling overland through timeless Cambodian landscapes to Siem Reap. The lively provincial town is the gateway to spectacular Angkor and our base for a comprehensive 3-day exploration of the evocative jungle-clad ruined temples and palaces.
On this journey you'll discover highly varied landscapes and destinations, meet the exceptionally friendly local people and sample the equally delicious but contrasting cuisines of Laos and Cambodia as well as having time to visit local markets and soak up the vibrant street life of this captivating corner of Southeast Asia.
1. Explore the ancient temples, colonial architecture, narrow lanes and bustling markets of World Heritage Luang Prabang
2. Visit the mysterious and unusual 'Plain of Jars' archaeological site in remote northeastern Laos
3. Discover the charming riverside modern capital of Laos, Vientiane; markets, temples and riverside cafes
4. Check-out the sites and street-life of Cambodia's chaotic but fun capital, Phnom Penh
5. Experience dawn at Angkor Wat - watch the sunrise over the iconic silhouette of the world's largest religious building
6. ..and last but not least, sample the sumptuous, varied and contrasting local cuisines of Laos and Cambodia
1. Stay at a beach-side resort on Thailand’s unspoilt tropical island of Koh Mak
2. Beach extension to jungle-covered Koh Chang, Thailand
3. Stop off for a 2-day guided exploration of Thailand’s vibrant capital, Bangkok
Note groups sizes are 2 to maximum 12 persons with most meals (local-style) included and accommodation in 3* boutique-style hotels.
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1 Reviews of Indochina holiday adventure
Reviewed on 04 Feb 2016 by Katherine Aucott
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
the most memorable was learning that I was to be the sole traveler on the Group Tour!
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
If you want a group tour, check how many in the group first. 1:1 when you don't want it is very oppressive and exhausting. It is also quite lonely & not what you expect
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
We did visit organisations that supported the local community and hilltribes
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Read the operator's response here:
PlanetAs a Company, our intention is always to combine the well-known tourist sites with off-the-beaten-track ones, thus diverting tourist revenue and contact into areas not usually benefiting, as well as providing a more authentic view of the region visited.
On this Indochina Adventure tour this includes travelling to rarely visited destinations such as Phonsavan, The Sangkar River and Kompong Chhnang. By keeping our group sizes deliberately small (a maximum of 12 persons) we can limit our impact on sites and communities as much as possible. Small numbers also permit us to use local cafes plus street and market stalls for drinks, meals and shopping.
Hotels we use are small and independently owned with proven responsible travel credentials and all, fully-licensed guides and drivers are locally employed.
All hotels and several of the restaurants used on this tour participate in educational and training projects for underprivileged youths.
We support various projects and this tour includes visits to the following: Free the Bears (Luang Prabang), Mines Advisory Group (Phonsavan), COPE (Vientiane) and the Osmose community based tourism project, Saray, in Prek Toal village Cambodia, as well as participating in a tour with Butterfly Tours in Battambang. In Battambang, the handicraft and cottage industries tours are organized by local students who, as well as helping to finance their studies and practice their language skills, also provides training for underprivileged rural youths.
In addition, during free time, we suggest organisations our guests might like to such as Artisans Angkor which is involved with the education and welfare of people from poor rural communities, and Phare Ponleu Selpak which supports children, young adults and their families with educational programs and social support.
Entrance fees and/or donations go towards restoration, conservation and local development in among other places visited: Free the Bears (Luang Prabang), Mines Advisory Group (Phonsavan), COPE (Vientiane) while a portion of ticket fees at: The Plain of Jars, Luang Prabang Fine Arts Centre, Luang Prabang National Museum, Wat Saket, Wat Phnom, Tuol Sleng Museum, Prasart Kuhanokor, the Angkor Archeological Park, Prasart Ek Phnom (Battambang), Beng Melea Temple Phnom Penh Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, support conservation.
PeopleWe endeavour to make our tours as supportive to the communities we visit as we possibly can. We do this in various ways including avoiding any chain or international hotels - all accommodation used on this tour is independently owned by local residents. Meals are provided in either locally-run restaurants or local-style cafes, market and street stalls. All products are locally sourced and all staff are local residents. The emphasis is also very much on regional, traditional Lao and Khmer food which we hope increases an interest and pride in the region’s cuisine.
Additional food products - for takeaway lunches, picnics etc – is deliberately purchased from local bakeries and /or fresh produce markets rather than chain supermarkets.
All transport is locally owned – whether minibuses or boats and tuk-tuks for shorter journeys.
With regards souvenirs our clients are also encouraged to buy directly from fabricants’ houses in the case of our or either markets or outlets attached to aid and educational organizations such Artisans Angkor for example rather than the large, purpose-built souvenir stores.
Our Phnom Penh Hotel funds educational projects for local children and orphanages, providing corresponding information for guests as well as suggesting appropriate donations. All staff members are local residents.
Our Siem Reap Hotel has a policy of employing all of its staff members from underprivileged families. The aim is to educate, train and reintegrate young people and orphans from poor backgrounds whose opportunities are otherwise limited by a lack formal education.
As a small company our support projects are localised and targeted and we currently assist aid schemes in both northern Thailand and Myanmar’s Shan State. But on a micro-level we support and assist the the: Free the Bears (Luang Prabang), Mines Advisory Group (Phonsavan), COPE (Vientiane) and Saray community based eco-tourism project.
All guides and most leaders are local, while any foreign leaders employed have lived in the local communities for long periods and are experienced in customs, culture and as much as possible, language. They all provide suitable, relevant information for our customers; to help them to gain a wider understanding of our style of tourism that focuses on learning; genuine interaction with the local communities, reciprocity and cultural exchange processes; to be aware of the potential impact of tourism on the local society, culture and environment, and to behave and dress appropriately with a respect and appreciation for local customs, mores and traditions and a respect for the ecology of areas visited. Our guides and leaders thus facilitate communication of our values to both travellers and local communities, educating them in sustainable tourism practices
By explaining our methods and the reasons behind them local agents, guides and hotels are encouraged by us to adopt further responsible tourism practices themselves and guides and drivers are provided with additional training in this respect.
By limiting groups to a maximum of 12 persons we aim to reduce the impact on both local communities and the environment whilst allowing for greater genuine interaction with said communities. It also results in a higher guide/customer ratio thus offering a greater facility for supervision and individual assistance and allowing us to use smaller hotels and restaurants and employ the services of more genuinely ‘local’ operators on a personal and friendly basis rather than dealing with establishments primarily equipped for larger groups of tourists.
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