If you fancy checking out some ruined Khmer temples in the jungle, island hopping in Thailand’s Andaman Sea or exploring Sri Lanka’s remarkable collection of World Heritage sites then, at present, you have 2 basic choices; joining a group tour or independent travel We’re hoping our upcoming range of self-guided tours will offer a compromise option and go some way to filling the gap.
Group tours have plenty of obvious advantages – which is why we’ve been running them for 20 years now – with logistics and travel arrangments taken care of and accommodation and, in our case many restaurants, selected and booked by local experts with years of experience in the region. You’ve got a guide on hand to explain, enlighten, show you things you would have otherwise missed and facilitate interaction with the locals you’ll meet along the way. You also have the bonus of a ready-made group of like-minded travelling companions with whom you can share your travel experiences as well as sharing a curry or cold beer in the evenings. Last but not least those travelling costs – private transport, guides and so-on – are much reduced in a group context.
However, we accept that group style isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and to some, ideas such as schedules, meeting times, planned itineraries and so-on may even be their antithesis of a holiday!
Travelling independently means you can of course – given plenty of time and a flexible budget – just wing it. This can be tempting in theory but in many cases, your new-found freedom can be compromised by a world of stress and errors. In this day and age pre-booking everything on-line is feasible enough as long as you’ve planned a simple enough itinerary and keep to the well-worn trails and more popular destinations. Longer and/or more complicated itineraries are…well, more complicated, and with either, you’re not immune to surprises.
What our self-guided tours aim to do then is to facilitate independent travel by offering suggested itineraries designed by our on the ground experts, reserving accommodation at recommended sites and organising travel and ticketing from reliable sources. At each destination on the itinerary we’ll include certain not to be missed activities and visits while suggesting a variety of alternative options that are easily booked on the ground. The intention is to remove the sometime stress, hassle (and insecurity) of hotel choices and reservation, transport hire, train tickets, domestic flights etc while leaving your day to day preferences and timing completely flexible.
You’ll receive relevant vouchers and e-tickets prior to departure as well as professionally written travel PDFs for each destination, while you’ll be met on arrival and briefed by one of our guides who will also provide local, All Points East contact details should any issues occur or even if you’re just after some advise or info.
We’re currently working on our site but our self-guided tours to Thailand, Malaysia (Borneo), Laos and Sri Lanka should be up very soon with more to follow.