Highlights of Vietnam holiday

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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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.

Environment
Our priority is giving you an authentic and unique local experience in Vietnam while making positive contributions to the environment, society and economy.

We choose small, locally owned hotels for all our trips and avoid large international chains. Wherever possible, we use accommodation that goes beyond the norm in terms of the environment, such as the ecolodge in Can Tho which is built from natural, renewable materials from the local area (stone, wood, palm leaves, and bamboo) and decorated in traditional style by local artisans, helping to sustain their trades. The lodge uses solar energy, natural water and biomass energy in order to keep waste to a minimum and by-products of the hotel operations are recycled.

Also the community lodge in Pu Luong uses locally grown food, local building materials, methods and decoration and special filters in every water tap to reduce water consumption. Its pool is filled with clean mountain water and to change it they empty it into the rice field once per week so there is no chlorine or other chemicals released into the environment.

We also aim to make our experiences as green as possible by carefully selecting the suppliers, particularly where there are many doing similar things and undercutting each other as often happens in Southeast Asia. For example, there are many Ha Long cruise companies to choose from but we use one that has been dedicated to responsible travel from the beginning. Their guides collect rubbish on the bay or beach during kayaking and drinking water refill stations are available to reduce consumption of single use plastic. We provide large water bottles while in cities so you can refill your own as you go.

We also include low carbon ways to explore wherever possible, such as the walking and bicycle tours in Hanoi, Pu Luong, Trang An and Hue, or the kayak and rowing boats in Ha Long Bay and Mekong Delta.

We try to reduce food miles by using hotels that grow produce for their meals on site and the cooking class uses herbs from their own garden, seafood from local fisherfolk and fruit and vegetables from local growers to deliver fresh and crisp flavours.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Our local partner has been a leader in sustainable travel since the start and helped found the key group of travel companies that have pushed standards forward in Vietnam. They were the first locally-owned company to achieve the international Travelife certification which covers environmental and social sustainability.

They were the first to support ethnic minorities in Pu Luong to benefit from tourism since 2004, which has led to economic development without sacrificing their cultural heritage. The lodge where you stay was founded and is co-owned by our partners and aims to give you a deeper connection to the local area. As well as sourcing materials and food from the area, over 90% of the staff are local.

New jobs have been created including local guides to off-the-beaten-paths which are unknown to Hanoi guides, food supplier and distributors for picnic lunches, motorbike taxi for carrying luggage to rural villages and hosts for homestay services. This is reflected in average local household incomes that have increased 300%+ between 2010 and 2019, from $1300pp to over $5000pa. Pu Luong is now a great alternative to over-touristed Sapa for trekking and visiting hilltribe villages.

We always use local guides and look for new ways to delve deeper into the culture and have more local interaction. On this tour we support Dong Ngac village in Hanoi in their community based tourism initiative with the participation of 4 households. We commit to distribute benefits fairly and directly among the local community and it is also a good chance for cross cultural learning. In addition, this tour promotes the preservation of artistic traditions in the handicraft village in Hue where you have chance to make traditional folk paintings with the artisans.

Climate

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