Natsumi Kami recently went on the Overland Indochina trip and came back raving. She was so excited to share her stories that we've been able to put together a two-part blog!
Read all about Nat's travels, including her feelings on group travel, visiting a third world country and how she felt about eating a huntsman!
Why did you decide to take a Gecko's trip?
Most of my friends have partners, kids and mortgages or work through the holiday season. The rest were pregnant or too broke to go on holidays. I couldn’t get a single person to come with me! I secretly think it was fortunate that no one came with me as I had the time of my life on a Gecko Adventures tour!
How did you decide which trip to choose?
The process of deciding which tour to go on was calculated at first, then turned into an obsession. In the beginning I knew I was going for two weeks to be back for work. My mind was wandering over Egypt and the Himalayas but ration kicked in when I learned it would take two days to get there and flights were too dear (during holiday peak period). From the few shortlisted tours that suited my dates, the Overland Indochina was The One. Flight prices, dates and travel time was perfect for my escape!
Where did your trip take you?
The Overland Indochina took us through the main cities of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand to give us a taste of each country. The overall trip is ten days with three in Ho Chi Minh, five in Cambodia and two in Bangkok. We collectively loved Cambodia and came to understand why half the tour is dedicated to the beautiful country.
What was your tour group like?
I met such outgoing, intelligent, open-minded people who were all so funny! We all got along like mates on a school camp. They were a large contribution to my amazing trip and I still remember the many conversations we had like it was yesterday. We were aged between 25-31 years and predominantly from Australia, with the exception of one couple from Switzerland. Near one of the border crossings, we needed to split into two mini-buses for five hours. For the first time ever in my adult life, I believe I suffered minor separation anxiety from the rest of the group!
What are some of the pros and cons of group travel?
Group travel can have its pros and cons. My group was made up of 13 people. It definitely makes the days of travel more lively and fun being able to hold several different conversations across the group. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know a wider range of individuals, especially when there were three scientists in my group!
On the flipside, with a large group, there is more chance of losing wanderers and keen photographers. A group of more than 20 people would become time consuming, eg. during check-ins, queues and border crossings. Meal times would also take longer as not all meals come out at once for everyone. When it comes to payment, the restaurants are very organised and split bills for us, however, it takes a good 30 minutes to get through everyone eg. to confirm the orders and calculate change.
I was fortunate enough to be in a group with no trouble makers or complainers. No one was injured or was a victim of local crime and there were definitely no clashes of personality either! I doubt when you’re in such amazing places there is much time for the aforementioned group issues.
OK, that's all for Part 1 folks! Tune in tomorrow for the remainder of Nat's interview. You'll find out plenty more, including her aforementioned meeting with a huntsman!
If you'd like to tell us about your story please email email@example.com and we might get in touch.
If you want to see this amazing part of the world, check out all our trips to South East Asia.