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Baktrax itineraries allow you time to see everything there is to see in the region you are visiting and have that well earned holiday at the same time.
From the major tourist attractions to the culture and lifestyles of the locals.
Real eye-openers for many people. First-time Asian travellers may well look at life differently on their return home.
Not go go go every day but rather go, stop, look, smell, taste and relax with the locals. Then go again.
Apart from an overnight stop to break a long journey our philosophy is that if a place is worth going to at all then a minimum of at least two nights and one full day is needed to get the feel of it. A super highlight place means even longer again.
Baktrax itineraries will never highlight a well-known place, as such;
DAY 2. THE WHITE SANDY BEACH OF YYY Awaits you, followed by; After a morning tour of XXX you will then travel to YYY. DAY 3. Today after breakfast you will travel to ZZZ.
What they won’t tell you is that travel time between XXX and YYY is at least five hours and between YYY and ZZZ at least eight hours. Meaning a midnight swim at the white sandy beach at YYY, perhaps.
If YYY is worth going to at all you will always get a minimum two days there with Baktrax. YES! YYY has a fabulous white sandy beach.
When looking at itineraries be sure to read between the lines also. In particular be wary of tours that arrive in a place one day and leave the next as this may equate to only a few hours of daylight to see things. Baktrax won’t prey on your lack of knowledge to secure your booking. we tell it as it is.
Baktrax stays in clean and comfortable mid-range accommodation.
Hill tribe villages for a cultural experience with a difference being the exception
These are 2, 3 & occasionally 4-star accommodation. Baktrax doesn’t believe you want to travel halfway around the world to sit in your room and watch T.V. All our accommodation is selected on value, friendliness and the location.
Like our transport, Baktrax believes the accommodation should reflect the region you are staying in. First and foremost our hosts must be our friends rather than business people. In this regard, we have some of the most congenial hosts on earth. If they welcome us with open wallets instead of arms we go elsewhere.
Transport and accommodation should be a highlight rather than just how to get around and where to sleep.
Check out the link for the detailed facts; http://baktrax.com/transport-accomodation
Having a maximum group size of eight means we are the smallest in the business.
This means your Tour Coordinator can give everybody personalised service.
How can one tour leader interact with a fast moving herd of 15 to 50 in a group?
All group tours will be accompanied by a Baktrax tour coordinator. These people are English speaking ex-pats who have lived in the region for a long time. These people are neither guides, tour leaders or nursemaids. Their job is to make sure you get exactly what you paid for. They arrange everything for you in regard to daily activities such as transport, meals and sightseeing. They make sure you get on the right bus, train or flight. They coordinate with the locals who take care of you. When dinner is included they pay the bill after you have eaten. They are definitely not guides as such but their advice on where to go, what to do and a myriad of other information will be invaluable to you.
Our Ex Pat tour coordinators win hands down on local knowledge plus they know your cultural needs also.
Only by living in a place can you find the ins and outs about it.
Compare local knowledge from living in a place for years to somebody fresh out of University whose only experience was doing the trip as a paying customer before leading it. All they want is a fast reference on their C.V. before they burn out from the exhausting travel and return home in a few months time. While some of our tour coordinators may well have a degree also it’s for their local knowledge and love of the region why Baktrax get them to look after you.
And lastly, our tour coordinators are not employees but part owners in Baktrax who get a share of the profits on top of their pay. This means they also have a further vested interest in making sure you have a great time.
On day trips we use licensed local operators who will pick you up and take you to see the sights. Your tour coordinators job is to make sure of this.
When trekking we use licensed local guides who grew up in the mountains and villages. These local people speak the local languages as well as English. These guides will show you particular areas of cultural significance and will answer all your questions about the beliefs, history and politics of these fascinating cultures.
Everybody involved with Baktrax has also travelled extensively in the region as independent backpackers. This is the only 100% real way to see another country. Their knowledge and the way Baktrax travel is the only real way to experience another country apart from backpacking. We most certainly encourage you to go backpacking if you have the time and inclination. If time restricts then Baktrax is the next best thing.
As well as having the opportunity to see all the major tourist highlights you will also see many lesser known ones. It will most likely be the lesser known ones you are raving to your friends about upon your return home.
Some of these may be a local market where you are the only non-local or sometimes you may even have a whole town or village to yourself where you may well be treated like a star attraction as the locals come to stare.
All real travellers agree that the best part of travel is getting up close with the friendly locals. You certainly can’t do this in tourist restaurants and on private transport. Eating and travelling will be a major highlight in itself.
When meals aren’t included you are welcome to head off to a five-star hotel restaurant but after your tour coordinator points you in the direction of genuine local food we very much doubt you’ll want to eat anywhere else other than with the locals.
Why travel at all if all you want to do is eat western food and converse with your fellow countrymen?
Baktrax tours use anything and everything the locals use. If it’s going our way and we don’t want to wait, we jump aboard.
But at the same time, we don’t believe that travel in Asia should be an endurance test. So we have tried as much as possible to take the hard and exhausting work out of adventure travel while still showing you how the locals get around.
But by its very nature, travel in this part of the world may not be as easy as back home. In some countries in the region roads are substandard, buses are antiquated and are sometimes not even buses at all but rather a truck substitute.
Timetables can be irregular, to say the least, if there are any at all. Sometimes the bus just leaves when full, (think Laos). But with all our knowledge we have come up with the most comfortable and convenient transport available.
Baktrax does not use transport as accommodation also. So unless it’s a great train experience or the most convenient travel method we don’t put you on overnight trains and/or buses to save on accommodation costs. We like to see the scenery by day and sleep in a comfy bed at night.
All transport from the time you check in to your day 1 accommodation until the time you check out of your final night’s accommodation is included in your upfront price apart from any taxis, buses etc you may use in your free time. This also includes any international and/or domestic flights on the itineraries.
AS follows is a broad description of what we use:
- PLANES; International and domestic as per itinerary.
- BUSES; From up to date modern air-conditioned to antiquated third world models. A number of varieties in between.
- TRAINS; From Overnight sleeper and day trains in Vietnam to local commuter day trains in Thailand. Sleeper trains are the best soft class in Vietnam. Long day trips are also on the best available while shorter trips may be on local hard seat commuter ones.
- TAXIS: This covers a myriad of vehicles on wheels that can be hired to move people short distances. From new air-conditioned and metered cabs to bicycle rickshaws. It may be a tuk-tuk in Thailand to moto in Cambodia to jumbo in Laos, (no, not an elephant). It may be a shared pickup or a motorcycle with a cart attached. Some of these contraptions will astound first-time Asian travellers.
- BOATS; Again a variety ranging from Mekong river slow boats to recycled fishing boats. Some very cramped, and some with a kiosk offering a cup of coffee and biscuit. From fast, long tail ones to Mekong Delta rowboats. We only use deluxe safety conscious ones on Halong Bay.
Baktrax believe travel should be fun rather than an endurance test. But if on some occasions the travel does get a bit long and arduous, (again think Laos for the most part), which is not often, please remember you will be home again soon and the locals will still be here. So do as they do and be patient, keep smiling, stay relaxed and take it all in.
ENJOY rather than ENDURE.
While some overnight train journeys are more convenient or a great local experience in themselves we will never substitute a comfy bed for a train carriage or bus seat to save on accommodation costs. No itinerary will ever have any more than one night on a train apart from those visiting Sapa in Vietnam. More than that and you will know what true travel exhaustion is all about. Baht or Dong saving backpackers use overnight travel to save on accommodation. BAKTRAX DO NOT!
TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE.
- A LAID-BACK HOLIDAY.
- A REAL TRAVEL EXPERIENCE.
THE NEW WAY TO SEE THE WORLD.