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Elephant Conservation Camp in Laos (Photo Essay) I just returned from a custom three-week trip through Southeast Asia and one of the highlights was our time at the Elephant Conservation Camp (ECC). The camp is located about 2 1/2 hours from Luang Prabang in the Nam Tien Protected Area just outside the village of Sayaboury on the edge of Nam Tien Lake. The camp is home to 9 rescued elephants from around Laos. Here's a rundown of what you can expect and what we experienced during our 3 days and 2 nights at the camp: Once you arrive, the first step is to get to know the elephants.  You'll learn how the mahouts (professional elephant riders) work with the elephants on a daily basis and they will introduce you to the elephants and give you the basics about their training and the commands they use. This is a great time to learn about the mahout's culture and the history of...
Meet & Greet with Kelsey, Wildland's Asia Program Director Hello! It’s nice to “meet” all of you! My name is Kelsey and I’m the new program director for Wildland’s trips to Asia. I’m coming into this position with what I like to consider both hard and soft skills. I have the travel experience and academic knowledge (Asian Studies minor in college) to be a specialist for many parts of this sprawling continent. My first of many trips to Asia took me through six different countries in 9 months and it was love at first sight (and taste). I’m always planning my next trip back to Asia and I like to say that we’re in a committed and successful long distance relationship.  I’m also coming in with a lot of enthusiasm, I love traveling and I love connecting with people who are excited about traveling. The people I have met through Wildland so far have been so wonderful and it’s great...

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The Ins and Outs of Family Travel to SE Asia One of my fondest memories occurred while floating down the Mekong on a slow boat. A two-day journey between Northern Laos and Luang Prabang, this voyage allows for ample time to get to know your fellow passengers. This particular group was a family of 10. Every year one of the 3 kids plans a trip and then the parents fund it. This one was a roaming 17-day exploration of SE Asia – from Thailand to Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam and the travelers ranged from ages 6-75. They told me that this had been a party favorite to date as this area of the world had something for everyone – beaches where kids could build castles and adults could lounge, ancient temples that allowed kids to feel like Dora the Explorer and adults like Indiana Jones, and a great range of choose your own adventure food options depending on if you...

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Navigating the Skies of SE Asia It seems rare to hear someone say they’re traveling solely to Vietnam...or only to Cambodia. More often than not, people are traveling to the ethereal region of Southeast Asia, combining several countries into one trip. In the past few years, the region has worked hard to increase the number and quality of flights, to expedite border crossings, and to reduce the hassle of getting multiple visas. Until recently, 2 weeks might have only been enough time to see Vietnam due to the hassle of traveling overland or the limitation of just one flight per week to Cambodia. Now, with improved overland routes and abundant air connections, we can offer 12 day itineraries that span Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia without breaking the bank. If you want your next trip to SE Asia to cover a lot of ground, be sure to take advantage of the frequent flights between major cities. The...

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Vietnam and Cambodia through the eyes of locals The Wildland difference is we send our travelers into remote corners of our world to see countries through the eyes of the locals. Our new Ultimate Vietnam and Cambodia is a perfect opportunity to do just that: work alongside a Vietnamese farmer in a valley near Hoi An and talk to a war photographer in Ho Chi Minh City. Stay with a family in Cho Lach and learn how they make a living with crafts such as weaving and brick-making. Explore the isolated Khmer ruins in Cambodia and relax as guests at a family home in a small village. Meet street kids at a restaurant in Pnomh Penh where they work to gain experience in the hospitality industry. There are plenty more amazing historical and natural sites we will visit on this incredible new journey, too many to list in just one blog! With these intimate experiences at hand, you will...
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