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Arranging tours/excursions in Asia?

Travel Forums Asia Arranging tours/excursions in Asia?

1. Posted by ianwij (Budding Member 2 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

My family and I will be basing ourselves in Kuala Lumpur (at my wife's parents house) and plan to tour around SE Asia, India and China over a period of seven months.

I'm looking for advice on the best method of arranging travel tours and excursions.

I've looked at lots of glossy brochures here in the UK but they're way overpriced. They're nice in that they offer the least hassle and are covered by insurance schemes if anything goes wrong. They tend to stick to the beaten track but some specialists do offer pretty unique tours.

Another option is to book tours from travel agents in Malaysia when I'm there since I know the price of a package varies depending on the country you originate from.

Alternatively I can try to book ahead of time directly with a tour operator based in the country I want to visit. For example there's lots of tour operators in New Delhi that you can find using the 'net. But you really don't have any idea of the quality of the organisation you pick.

Or I can fly to a starting city (New Delhi, Hanoi, Shanghai) and walk into a local operator. I expect that might be the cheapest but I expect they will often be very mainstream. It's hard to assess the quality of the operator too.

And of course there's always just hitting the open road but it's not so easy when you're bringing a family along - kids are 8 & 12.

The regions I'm particularly looking at are Rajasthan, North Vietnam and China.


2. Posted by ddwnz (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

For China:
Try this website, they have very comprehensive tours in China, with good price, it also have online help function which allows you to speak to a real person!!!

Of course, there are others similar websites too...

Don't know about other countries, sorry.

3. Posted by sandokan (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

i case you might be interested in visiting North Sumatra i can forward to you further details, especially about diving, jungle-rafting and -trekking in Gunung Leuser Park and Aceh.

4. Posted by ianwij (Budding Member 2 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the China link.

I'm not planning on visiting North Sumatra. Considering Bali though.

I'm coming to the conclusion that its generally better to arrive at a start city and give oneself a few days to check out local operators and book on site.

Another thought I have is to try to contact local freelance tour guides and then make arrangement through them. The trick of course is to find someone reputable.

Any thoughts on good ways to find local guides. Maybe work through local charities?