Cambodia and Laos holiday

Description of Cambodia and Laos holiday

Explore two of the least known, but most fascinating and friendly destinations in Asia on this 14 day guided tour. From ancient temples and colonial towns to rural villages and mountainous landscapes, visit the very best of what these captivating countries have to offer.

Beginning in Siem Reap, we pay a visit to the ancient temples of Angkor, home of the Angkor Empire almost a millennium ago. From the ancient to modern day, journey to the city of Battambang, a booming art and culture hub where you can jump on two wheels to cycle through the colonial heart of the city to the surrounding villages, and through some beautifully green scenery before travelling to Cambodia’s bustling capital, once known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’.

Laos’ laid back capital of Vientiane is of stark contrast to Cambodia’s. Settle into the slow paced Laotian lifestyle, sampling local cuisine on a night ‘safari’ in the city, before enjoying a private audience with a local weaver at her workshop over cocktails and canapés.

Swapping cultural capitals for spiritual heartlands, you will continue to the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang. Wander its ancient streets, and escape the tourists heading to a rarely visited part of Laos, visiting rural villages and local pagodas before travelling by boat onwards into the rural and mountainous countryside to Nong Khiaw. Enjoy optional trekking through the beautiful karst landscapes, visit local ethnic villages and astonishing cave systems by boat and by foot.

Ending the tour with a night back in Luang Prabang, where you will have time to relax or to venture further into its ancient streets and picturesque landscapes.

Whilst this is a complete tour of the major highlights of both Cambodia and Laos, what makes this trip special is that should you wish, it is possible to break up the journey and travel to just one country, or take the full experience of these beautifully diverse destinations.

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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

“Reduce, reuse and recycle” are common terms and practices in the UK, however in Southeast Asia the reality is quite the opposite. We have decided to take the initiative to try and reduce our impact on travelling to Cambodia and Laos by offering refillable water bottles for all our clients, which will in turn reduce the amount of plastic that is consumed.

In all transportation there will be a much larger reusable filtered water bottle where clients can refill their smaller bottles from, and plentiful opportunities to refill at the hotels and local restaurants that we visit. With the average tourist travelling to Cambodia and Laos drinking two or more litres of water a day, equal to four small water bottles, the potential saving and impact is 56 small water bottles for the trip, which may have subsequently ended up in landfill sites or working their ways into rivers and oceans.

We believe that protecting the integrity of our staff, our local suppliers and destinations comes above any other concern. Toward this aim we strongly believe in the importance of sustainable tourism, which we see as the need to protect the environmental, social, and economic fabric of all the areas in which we work. We carefully select partners in the region to work with that share the same ethos as us. Not only does our current partner have their own foundation, which helps a large number of local organisations, NGO’s and social enterprises, they are also Travelife certified. The Travelife standard integrates the ISO 26000 Corporate Social Responsibility themes, including environmental efforts, biodiversity, human rights and labour relations, and is formally recognised to be in full compliance with the UN supported Global Sustainable Tourism Council criteria. This award further cements their position as leaders in corporate social responsibility, within the global tour industry.

The Impacts of this Trip

As well as supporting the sustainable development of Laos and Cambodia by arranging responsible trips for our clients, we like to give something back more directly by supporting local charities. Our chosen charity in this region is called "Child's Dream". This charity focuses on offering education to the children of Laos, Cambodia, Burma and Thailand as they believe that it is the most important element required for successful social and economic development. They are strong believers in a grassroots, community-based approach, whereby they listen closely to each community they work with to understand their true needs and the best way to support them.

Currently, we raise money for Child’s Dream in two ways. Most of the money is raised through in-house fundraising events and additional funds comes in through client donations as we point them toward donating in our Info Packs and the emails we send when asking for client reviews.

On our Cambodia and Laos tour we have partnered with a number of different experiential NGO’s and social enterprises. This is not only to include memorable experiences for our clients, but also to help raise awareness for the needs of these organisations and also to have our clients’ money go straight into the hands of those that need it locally.

In Battambang our clients will have a bicycle tour arranged by a local social enterprise. They are set up to provide local university students vocational training by employing them as guides, provide a scholarship to staff for their university or foreign language studies, conduct workshops on responsible tourism, wild life conservation, and help their student employees by providing training on subjects such as environmental protection, Microsoft Excel, bicycle repair and maintenance.

We also take clients to a Phare circus show in Battambang, part of the Phare Ponleu Selpak school that provides vocational arts training for disadvantaged youths in Battambang Province.

In Luang Prabang our clients will pay a visit to an association that works with landmine victims, a tragic legacy of the American-Vietnam war era. Here, guests will visit the in-depth displays to learn about the lasting impact of unexploded ordinances and the efforts underway to rid the country of them.
And in Vientiane, clients on this tour will visit a textile workshop, a social enterprise that employs over 40 local women from the surrounding area to produce hand-made quality silk products. Clients will visit the workshop, talk with the local women working there about their lives and also have a chance to purchase any responsibly made souvenirs should they wish to.


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