Bangkok to Saigon cycling holiday
Description of Bangkok to Saigon cycling holiday
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
Cycling holidays in small groups, limited to 16 visitors, are a relatively sustainable way to travel as they have less negative impact on the local infrastructure, environment and people while encouraging positive interaction with local people. The cycle routes we take are away from mass tourism, creating less pollution, noise and traffic. When using motorised transport we work with small, locally owned transport companies.
Travelling by bicycle enables us to visit fascinating places not otherwise possible with motorised transport such as Bangkrajao Island in Bangkok, Koh Dach Island in Cambodia, as well as alongside the waterways of the Mekong Delta along narrow paths. In Angkor, where there is a lot of pressure on the environment caused by a high volume of traffic to access the temples, we predominantly cycle between the temple groups.
To limit the use of plastic we carry reusable water reservoirs along the journey so clients can refill water bottles throughout the day. Buying fruit and supplies in local markets helps limit wasteful packaging and transportation. We encourage visitors to avoid using plastic bags and other packaging by reusing bags and not accepting bags in shops unless they are really needed.
As a travel company we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key, and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage.
PeopleA fair deal:
We work with local tour leaders only, and encourage newly qualified guides to try cycling to increase their range of work choices. We invest in regular training of the tour leaders and local crews to help them deliver responsible tourism holidays and encourage the practices to be taken on in their home communities as well. Wherever possible we offer equal opportunities and access to work for both sexes, to help address inequalities in an industry that is traditionally dominated more by men. Our Thai tour leader is supported by Cambodian and Vietnamese guides in Cambodia and Vietnam.
Local crafts and culture:
We encourage visitors to buy local products wherever possible by visiting local markets and shops when stocking up on fruit, snacks and supplies to direct spending into the local communities. On our route each day we aim to make lunch stops at local cafes and eateries that are off the beaten track. In the Mekong Delta we spend a night in a homestay and in Cambodia we include a home-hosted lunch near Siem Reap.
On Koh Dach Island and Pourk village in Cambodia we visit local silk weavers and a silk farm to learn about the craft from raw material to finished product and as a result our clients can buy directly from the makers, helping to distribute money into the local communities.
In the Mekong Delta we visit locally-run cottage industries where clients can learn about local arts and crafts and again buy directly from them – for example the sedge weavers in Dinh Yen village, coconut candy makers and rice candy makers.
Our groups have been dining in ‘Friends’ restaurant in Phnom Penh for many years. This restaurant and NGO organisation works with street children, training them in hospitality skills, food preparation and service and therefore giving them employment opportunities.
As a company we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of the UK travel industry body AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.