Visiting Angkor Wat, fantastic place
We had 4, all of them were organised, friendly and competent
Take as little as possible, buy everything there
Reviewed by John Staveley who travelled in March 2012
Scenery in Laos; one of the trip members falling off the elephant into the Nam Khan river (several times!); then capsizing us into the Nam Song in Vang Vieng on the very first rapid and losing her sarong.
Thinh Lai, our guide in Vietnam – the very best tour guide! We missed him on crossing to Cambodia. Other guides, with the possible exception of the Lao guide, were also very good, but Thinh was exceptional – informative, helpful, funny, friendly. He organised optional activities taiored to the group’s wishes and went far beyond the call of duty.
1. Read the pre-departure notes, and stick to the advice in it. You really don’t need to take anything other than what it recommends. 2.Make use of the tailors in Hoi An – excellent value and quality of work. If you have favourite garments you’d like copied, take them with you or bring photos/patterns. 3. Make sure your insurance covers itinerary changes caused by weather. We had to but extra flights because of flooding and not all of us manged to get our money back.
Reviewed by Magdalena Styles who travelled in October 2011
Laos and Cambodia.
Very good. Our Laos leader was slightly impeded by his grasp of the English language, but he was very helpful.
Yes – should have with all the handicrafts I bought!
Kick back and enjoy the experience.
Reviewed by Sadie Ellen Tobin who travelled in November 2010
Getting up early morning to see the Monks receiving Alms in Luang Prabang. Seeing the DVD about the horrors of the US bombing;walking from one site to the next on the Plain of Jars through the mine cleared area. I think the best was going into a local village where they are not spoilt by tourism in any form, and being invited to share the rice wine with them as friends in the head man’s house. They were just lovely people in all ways.
I found all the tour leaders extremely good and Ian is extremely knowledgable about the whole area and the people; for example taking us to a village he knew that is not on the tourist tat trial and they would not have dollar signs in their eyes just smiles of welcome.
I hope that we benefited the local people by buying their home made goods, being friendly and treating them with the respect they deserve. We were the funny foreigners not them.
To get under the skin of a country you have to live there a year or two and have a working knowledge of the language. Tourists only skim the surface. I lived and worked over a period of 13 years in Egypt, Jordan, The Lebanon and Iran and there I felt that I had got under the skin of the countries. This is why I say you must live and work with the locals not just a 2 week visit.
RESPECT all local customs and their way of life (even if you don’t agree with it). Remember that you are the funny foreigner not the locals, it is their country and no where, not even your home country, is perfect. Always SMILE with your eyes as well, it gets you so far with all ages and peoples. Learn some of the local language like hello, goodbye and especially please and thank you.
Reviewed by Gloria Percy who travelled in March 2008
Visiting local villages and interacting with the people.
The tour leader was excellent and managed to cater for a group of disperate tour members, helping us to get the most out of the trip.
Yes. We spent in locally run markets, shops and restaurants.
We scratched the surface of Lao, which is more than most tour company’s do.
Go on holiday with an open mind and experience all you can of the local people.
Reviewed by Peter Elliott who travelled in March 2008
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