2014 Guardian Travel Award Winners

28 11 2014


TV's Helen Skelton gets to meet InsideAsia's James Mundy twice at the Guardian Travel Awards

TV’s Helen Skelton gets to meet InsideAsia’s James Mundy twice at the Guardian Travel Awards  – voted by the readers and held in Morocco.

Just a quick post here to say a big ‘thank you’ to those of you who may have voted for us in the 2014 Guadian Travel Awards.

The reader voted awards ceremony took place in Agadir, Morocco (20-22 November) and we are delighted (and pleasantly surprised) that InsideAsia Tours have received not one, but two of travel’s prestigious awards. InsideAsia’s Japan speicalist brand, walked away with the accolades at the long-established travel awards with readers voting InsideJapan as 2014 ‘Best Small Tour Operator’ -

The BEST small tour operator

and ‘Best Online Booking Service’ -

Best online booking service

These are great testament to what we do throughout InsideAsia Tours from Japan to Vietnam, CAmbodia, Laos and Burma- We have vast amounts of personal experience living or travelling in each of our specialist destinations, we have vast amounts of knowledge about each place and we are passionate about the culture and the people….we love these places and we want our customers to love them too – Thankfully most of them do love it as you can tell from our live reviews on the websites and these awards. Thank you all for your support!

Japan won the ‘Best long-haul country’ award, but Indochina made a good appearance in the list with Vietnam coming in sixth and Cambodia close on its tail at seventh.

I couldn’t help but notice that the design for this year’s travels awards looks rather similar to the design on the front cover of our InsideBurma Tours brochure (on the flip side of our InsideVietnam Tours brochure)…more to come on that!

InsideBurma Guardian Travel award


Carry on up the Mekong: part 2

24 11 2014

Cambodia’s Conservation Conundrum

In an earlier blog we were following the progress of GBBO’s Sue Perkins on a BBC2 broadcast journey 3,000 miles up the magnificent Mekong River from the delta in Vietnam to the river’s source in Tibet.

Cambodian fisherman on the Mekong River

Cambodian fisherman on the Mekong River

Episode 2 saw Sue head away from the river in Cambodia to uncover some of the challenges the country faces in reconciling the need to provide income for its people following the ravages of the Khmer Rouge regime, and the desire to preserve and protect the country’s fabulous natural heritage. Illegal logging, poaching and animal trafficking remain a serious challenge for Cambodia’s authorities, but Sue also visited a number of our favourite conservation projects that provide hope for the future and demonstrate how thoughtful tourism can aid in the protection of the natural world.

Read the rest of this entry »

5 star toilet experience in Saigon

19 11 2014

There is a bit of rivalry between the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, but we think that Ho Chi Minh might just have it….beacuse of their “four and five star” toilets. Sacombank sponsored the building of classy toilet blocks in Tao Dan Park in Saigon’s District 1 at the cost of around $40,000 – $50,000 USD each according to Vietnam.net news.

Five Star Toilet

The toilets have been built to satisfy the toilet needs of tourists enabling them a bit more comfort when it comes to the call of nature. Saigon is due to invest in around 100 or so of these posh bogs to satisfy the expectations of travellers more used to conveniences of local five star hotels according to Thanhnien News.

Stylish WC

The toilets are paired up with ATM’s owned by the bank and although there is no advertising on the toilet block itself, the bank are still doing their bit to help travellers spend a penny or two whilst in the city (Apologies for the very poor pun).

Spend a penny

OK, perhaps toilets don’t make a city, but it is nice to know that they are there. These toilets are certainly a bit more stylish than some of the usual public toilets that we have seen around town…lets hope they stay that way.




Carry on up the Mekong!

10 11 2014

Part I: Vietnam and Cambodia

Well it seems that the BBC love Indochina almost as much as we do – no sooner have we finished delving into the Cambodian jungles to unearth the mysteries of Angkor, and exploring the magnificent Tonle Sap in the Wonders of the Monsoon, we’re back on the water in The Mekong River with the Great British Bake Off’s Sue Perkins (BBC 2 Sunday night at 8pm) at the helm.

Commencing amongst the bustle of boats and traders in Vietnam’s bountiful Mekong Delta region, over the coming episodes Sue is travelling 3,000 miles upstream through Cambodia, Laos and Burma to the Mekong’s source in Tibet, learning to love the incredible landscapes and fabulous people as we at InsideVietnam do.

We have long thought that getting out on the mighty Mekong was a wonderful way to experience the contrasting delights of the countries through which the river flows, and the Cruises in Indochina section of our shiny new InsideVietnam brochure lays out lots of the exciting options available for experiencing it yourself firsthand. Here’s a quick taste to whet the appetite…

Read the rest of this entry »

Inle Lake Pagoda Festival

3 11 2014

Inle style

Inle is (in my opinion) one of the most beautiful and unique places on this planet. I realise that is quite a bold statement, but the few days I spent there were really special.

Inle Lake is a 45sq mile mass of water surrounded by the mountians of the Shan highlands. Everything revolves around Inle; there are stilted villages, communities, markets, temples and of course the best way to navigate the waterways is by boat.

Waterways Read the rest of this entry »

Introducing our interactive Explore Vietnam guide!

27 10 2014

We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to introduce the delights of Vietnam and its neighbours to the intrepid travellers out there, and we’re excited to show off our brand new, fun and interactive Explore Vietnam guide!

Click on the link above or on the icon on our website homepage as shown below and you’ll be transported to a handy map of Vietnam, where you can explore the country and pick out the places that appeal most to you, whether you’re looking for culture and cuisine, relaxation or exciting activities.


Click on the theme that grabs your interest and a selection of our favourite spots across the country will appear – just click on any tab for pictures and a description of these fantastic destinations.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At the bottom of the page you’ll also find a handy month-by-month guide to Vietnam’s weather – a vital consideration when planning your trip.

We hope this simple planning tool helps to both inspire and inform, and we’re always here at the end of the phone to help take your plans to the next stage. We know our stuff and we can help you too!

Random little things you didn’t know about Burma

22 10 2014

As with most destinations it is the quirks and differences found in a place which makes it interesting and distinct and lucky for us, Burma is full of surprises.  With the ‘Beautiful Burma’ tour currently on the road out of Mandalay, we wanted to give you a list of random facts and tidbits you probably didn’t know about the country.

1. The cars are all right hand drive and they all drive on the right,……..

Cars2. On Inle Lake locals use one leg to row their boats. This unique technique allows the rower to stand high above the water and use their hands to cast fishing nets.

Inle fishing Read the rest of this entry »


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