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From the Ground: Exploring Kampot – From the Villages to the River and Beyond

By Jay Austin

What was once a sleepy riverside town has now become Cambodia’s hub for adventure tourism.  Attracting more and more people each year, locals say this destination is set to take off!  This is a small town offering unique and individual touring which is unmatched anywhere else in Cambodia!

Our cycling partner, Butterfly Tours, is a tour business created by a group of entrepreneurial Cambodian university students to support student guides who are attending university. The ‘Backroads by Bicycle’ tour takes guests on shopper bikes through Kampot’s red-dirt roads and visits local families to see their trades, including noodle making & rice wine production and concludes with a visit to a riverside pagoda that offers spectacular views of the adjacent river inlet before returning to town.

Our partner, Cambodia Kiteboarding, offers everything to kitesurfing enthusiasts from 2 hour introduction lessons to 2 day beginner courses with a range of options also available for the more advanced kitesurfer. Led by internationally certified kitesurfing guides with a paramount focus on safety for all involved, this is a sensational skill to learn in Cambodia which offers the opportunity at better rates than neighboring Thailand and Vietnam.

A visit to Kampot would not be complete without spending some time on the stunning Kampot River. Our partner, Supasia, offers a 3 hour Stand Up Paddle-boarding trip provides the opportunity to meander along the river and take everything in at your own pace. The trip is combined with a SUP lesson for those who have never attempted the sport led by confident guides who patiently assist you whilst you master the board.

If you are looking to head to Kampot, chat with us to help arrange the perfect tour for you, including any of the options above!

From the Ground: New Sunset Hoi An Kayaking Tour

By Jay Austin

Our new Sunset Kayaking Tour in Hoi An provides guests with the opportunity to see Hoi An from a different viewpoint and take in the serenity of life along the river and escape a little of the tourist bustle from old town Hoi An. This is the perfect addition to the beach portion of a tour, as it provides a little activity without intruding too much on your relaxation time at the beach.  This tour also pairs well with our ‘Wander the Ancient Town’ tour, which leads guest through the historical houses and community halls of beautiful Hoi An.

What you can expect from this tour:

Enjoy a leisurely paddle through the palm islands as you explore the Thu Bon River from the islands to the ancient town of Hoi An. The tour starts at 3pm allowing plenty of time to capture stunning images from your kayak of the passing scenery before you reach your sunset location. As the sun goes down enjoy the reflections of the ancient houses in the calm waters, while the area takes on a fantasy-like glow. For the more adventurous guests, there is an option to swap your kayak for a Stand-Up Paddleboard, providing a higher viewpoint of the surrounding scenery.  This tour is guided by an adventure guide, highly trained in safety procedures.

Please note: Dry bags are not provided, so those who are planning on bringing camera equipment should be sure to carry either a waterproof camera or a dry bag for the experience.

Ha Long Bay – Reflections on the Dragon’s Pearl Junk 3 Day Cruise

By Courtney Ridgel

Guests Julia Cuthbertson and Carlos Jimenez share their experience in Bai Tu Long Bay (the peaceful northern part of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, commonly overlooked by most visitors) while on their honeymoon:

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On board the Dragon’s Pearl Junk

I just wanted to emphasize that we LOVED our 2 night/3 day boat trip to Bai Tu Long Bay – amazing to be the only boat within sight for almost the entire time. The scenery was stunning and we really loved the boat itself – we expected the rooms to be as small, but we didn’t expect them (and the bathroom) to be so nice! I still think about our dinner in the cave our second night – so awesome!  I would highly encourage other travelers to do this tour.

For that matter, we thought our entire itinerary was perfect – we really thought it was the perfect mix of nature, city and temples. We actually have multiple friends and some family who are so amazed by our pictures that they want us to send them over all the details so they can do the same exact trip!

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Relaxing on the upper deck

Information about the Dragon’s Pearl Cruises: The Dragon’s Pearl Junk Cruise offers 2- and 3-day cruises, and includes delicious multiple-course meals. Admire the hundreds of fascinating rock formations rising from the emerald green water as you cruise through Bai Tu Long Bay. You’ll have the opportunity to visit a few of these islands, explore Thien Canh Son Cave, relax on the beach, swim, kayak or relax in the comfortable sun chairs on the top deck. You’ll also have the chance to visit the local floating village of Cong Dam that survives from fishing in Ha Long Bay and learn about their daily lives, the floating school and their fish farms.

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Our Cabin
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An arch in one of the many islands
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Julia and Carlos kayaking in Baid Tu Long Bay
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Kayaking into a cave
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A delicious dinner in Thien Canh Son Cave
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Bai Tu Long Bay
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The Dragon’s Pearl Junk