In this new series, BootsnAll highlights indie travel trips that you can’t do yourself.
Independent travel is what we love here at BootsnAll. Nothing gets our juices flowing more than taking off on a trip, not knowing what’s in store. Just heading to a new locale, exploring, and going with the flow is how we like to travel.
But sometimes that’s not possible. While blue hair big bus tours aren’t the most intriguing thing to us, sometimes a guided trip or tour is a necessity or the only way to see something.
Two epic places to go to as part of an RTW trip, or just to go when you have 10 days of vacation are Halong Bay in Vietnam and trekking in Nepal. Both are once in a lifetime experiences, that can’t be done without a guide/tour company. Both places are regulated by the local governments to tax and “limit” the number of tourists who visit these natural monuments.
Visiting Vietnam’s Halong Bay
One of the most visited sites in all of Southeast Asia, Halong Bay is a Vietnam treasure that shouldn’t be missed if you’re traveling in the region. But unless you have your own boat in Vietnam, you’re going to have to take a tour of some kind. While there’s no shortage of options, there is a shortage of reputable tour companies offering tours to this world wonder.
Tourism in Vietnam isn’t regulated like other countries around the world. One of the main issues when travelers arrive in Hanoi to book their Halong Bay trips is that they find many companies with the exact same names. So you may read in your guide book that Ocean Tours is the best company to use, but when arriving in Hanoi, you may find 5 different Ocean Tours. That’s because new companies will clone the most popular ones, using their established name to garner business, then they deliver less-than-stellar trips.
So instead of dealing with the headaches that come with booking tour once in Vietnam, consider booking that trip before you leave. Here are a few options for those heading to Vietnam, both for a short time or as part of a longer trip:
- Vietnam: Off the Beaten Track in Halong Bay – if you are going to be in Vietnam and want to visit Halong Bay, skip the frustrating search around Hanoi looking for a tour that isn’t a scam and book this 3 day trip
- 14 Day Tour Through Vietnam – this tour will show you the best that Vietnam has to offer from north to south
- Vietnam Northern Overture – this 7 day tour highlights the best of northern Vietnam
Trekking to Everest Basecamp in Nepal
While you certainly can trek in certain areas of Nepal without a guide or a tour, it can be difficult to do, and your experience may suffer as a result. If planning to trek to Everest Basecamp, then using a tour company is most likely your best option. Again, this can be done without a guide, but when trekking at altitudes as high as Everest, you never know what’s going to happen. Falling ill with no one else around can literally be a death sentence, so for safety’s sake, going on a guided tour is a great option.
There are lots of options for trekking to Everest Basecamp, but not all have to cost you your life savings or your indie-travelness to do it. We have options for both the hardcore trekker and those who love the outdoors and wilderness but don’t quite have the stamina to pull off a 10-day trek.
Check out the following trips and articles that can help you while trekking on the world’s tallest mountain – Mount Everest.
- Everest Basecamp Trek – This 15 day trip takes trekkers through some amazing landscapes, including views of some of the world’s tallest and most famous peaks, on the way to Everest Basecamp. Good for pretty serious hikers looking to hike the world’s most famous mountain.
- Everest View and Lukla Trek – This 5 day trip allows a little more flexibility that gives travelers the chance to explore certain areas at their own leisure. You will also trek through the Nepal countryside and stay in lodges along the way. Better for those who like some action but don’t want to push it too much.
- Everest: Need I Say More? – Tips and advice for those taking the plunge and trekking to Everest Basecamp. Find out when to go, what to pack, and tour options.