Cambodia & Vietnam community cycling holiday

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28 Dec 2017
£ 1450
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02 Feb 2018
£ 1450
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24 Jun 2018
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29 Jul 2018
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21 Nov 2018
£ 1550
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28 Dec 2018
£ 1600
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01 Feb 2019
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cambodia & Vietnam community cycling holiday

Environment

As we supply water for the riders from the support van during transit days, we provide the riders with their own water bottle and purchase water in the form of a 50L drum in an effort to reduce the vast amount of plastic from the many 330ml bottles.

WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene)
We partner with NGOs who are actively involved in the WASH program, manufacturing and distributing various water filters and tanks to people in need. From these NGOs, we engage with, learn from and at times, sponsor WASH program based projects.

Local Impact:
Being a cycle based operation, we are conscious of our carbon footprint and aspire to have a low impact on the environment. Our internal environmental policy ensures we only ever leave footprints (and cycle tracks) and only ever take photos.

Agricultural Wildlife:
We support, engage with and introduce you to NGO partners that are actively involved in many agricultural pass-on programs to enable positive animal welfare with people empowerment and resources. We also avoid all tourist orientated animal experiences where wildlife is taken out of it's natural surrounding for tourist interactions ie- Angkor elephant rides etc. Previous projects the groups on our tours have undertaken is the purchase of cows and buffalo's for families to assist with local farming. These assets have a pay it forward program where offspring of the animal is then donated to similar socio-economic status families within the village, in consultation with the village chief and local NGOs.

Fast Fashion:
The garment industry is one of the largest in Cambodia and provides employment to thousands of people. However, with international brands taking advantage of cheap labour, the end result is inexpensive fashion items for the international consumer. The questions we explore are the controversy around the wages and how it has evolved, the conditions of the factories and the roles and responsibilities of the international brands involved. We are actively engaged in activities that encourage the riders to be aware of the ‘fast fashion’ industry.

Community

We have recently become an official supporter of Child Safe, where we have pledged to support the practices to keep children safe. From this, we take all our riders to Friends International (or an official partner of) for the riders to witness a presentation as to what responsible tourism is all about. We engage in a healthy debate as to the current ‘orphanage crisis’ in Cambodia and other developing countries and the influence of tourists that have created this market. This incredibly powerful eye opening is a great introduction for the riders experience.

As part of our child protection policy, we do NOT interact or engage with any children at schools or nurseries. We do NOT offer or promote any short term unskilled volunteer opportunities, nor do we allow any photography of, or interaction with, children during any NGO visits.
We actively promote and support the ‘Children are not tourists attractions’ campaign from Child Safe.

Donations to charities:
For every tour, all riders are requested to contribute a nominal sum for the purpose of donation. Usually A$200 per rider. During the course of the tours, the riders are given the chance to engage with, and learn from, local NGOs. We visit no less than four NGOs during every tour and spend some time learning about their projects, strategies and challenges. At the end of the tour, the riders are then empowered with new found knowledge and have the opportunity to combine the allotted donation money and make an impact towards a project of their choosing. Of the four tours completed so far, we have already donated over A$5000 to various NGOs within Cambodia.

Some of these projects include going towards the salaries of local teachers, we have funded the construction of breakfast gardens (to feed the children from the local NGO supported pre-school), invested in vocational training for imprisoned youths in order to enhance the chance of rehabilitation, funded gender based violence awareness campaigns in rural areas and funded youth centers in order to reduce dependency on institutions for children.

Contributions to charities as partners:
In addition to promoting and marketing our partnered NGOs, we also pay each NGO for their time and resources of the tours interactions. This time usually lasts no longer than 1-2 hours and all NGOs are renumerated regardless as to whether or not there is a follow up donation from the group.

Local institutions and employment
We hire locally for transport assistance and support van. We also support local businesses as opposed to international franchises in all restaurant and hotel choices. In addition, we actively seek out social enterprise based restaurants to include in tour packages. These restaurants are often connected to local NGOs and use the restaurants as training facilities for empowering disadvantaged youth.

Places we visit:
In this particular tour, we visit three NGO supported social enterprise based training restaurants. These places not only offer exceptional food, but also work with the local community in providing vocational skills to disadvantaged youth. These thorough training programs form a fantastic grounding for a career in the hospitality industry upon completion of the program.

2 Reviews of Cambodia & Vietnam community cycling holiday

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 13 Feb 2017 by

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


Visiting th NGOs, cycling out of Phnom pehn, flighting through sand in the midday sun, cycling through rice fields, conquering a 20k mountain climb or cycling into the chaos of Saigon/ hoi chi mihn? Too many to mention....

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


Do some training .. get just some saddle time in so that you are used to a few hours on the bike. Don't expect western culture or cuisine ... it rice and noodles and mor rice and noodles. Delicious but a mental shift for breakfast.

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


Yes absolutely. Brett really made sure the hotels and ngo visits really focussed on local economy and culture.

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


Bloody brill ain't. Not life changing but a shift off the norm. Opened your eyes and brought me back to reality from 10 years of corporate safety net. Do these holidays ... really open your eyes to what is going on I our world and the wonderful, friendly smiley people who are out there.

Reviewed on 02 Feb 2017 by

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


Very hard to pick just one element of the trip, it was all memorable. Cycling through Vietnam and Cambodia gives you a chance to immerse yourself in
local life in a way that travelling by any other means would have been impossible. We cycled well off the beaten track, through villages and paddy fields, along dirt tracks and local paths. We ate incredible local, fresh food and visited some fascinating places on the rest days. Brett is a great tour leader,
knowledgable and committed to making a difference to the communities we visit, he genuinely enjoys sharing his passion for this part of the world and
encouraging others to see how they can make a difference.

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


Go with an open mind, a willingness to learn and be ready to enjoy all the experiences that the trip will bring you. Don't be put off if you are travelling on your own, you will be sharing this wonderful adventure with a group of great, like-minded people.

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


What makes this tour different to other cycling holidays is the opportunity to visit and engage with NGOs working with some of the most disadvantaged
communities. Their vision and commitment to making a lasting difference is inspiring and we were able to directly support their work. On a daily basis, we
stopped in cafes and markets in small villages and town along the route to buy food and drinks and stayed in local, family run hotels supporting local tradespeople.

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


This was, without doubt, the most memorable and wonderful small group holiday I have been on. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in
visiting and learning more about this amazing part of the world, who enjoys a physical challenge and/or want their travel to have a direct, positive impact on
local communities.

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