Meet Tiger Trail Outdoor Adventures in Laos!
Who we are, and our team.
My name is Markus Neuer and I am leading the Tiger Trail team in Luang Prabang, Laos. Born in Germany, I always had a passion for adventure and traveling but even more important, for other people. Within our Fair Trek projects I have found a way to perfectly combine community work with tourism and bring people together from all over the world to work with Lao communities. Our team is international yet all working and living in Luang Prabang. A big part of our company is regular interns, volunteers and students giving support. Our team members are currently from the US, Thailand, France, Germany and of course Laos. Tiger Trail was founded in 2000. I took over the company in 2008, and with the help of our incredible team it has become what it is today. We currently employ about 50 full time staff members.
My inspiration, our inspiration.
I believe that the world is not fairly developed and even its most beautiful landscapes can be the stage for poverty and degradation. I aim to approach these problems by seeking a better way. We make an impact through an ongoing effort to care for the community and our environment, while enjoying the beauty and diversity of the world itself. If everybody would do this, we could have a better world, not just better adventures.
Fair Trek is a key part of our adventure travel company
Fair Trek is an innovative community-based-tourism project aiming to assist in development of communities in need. In return, it allows visitors to have access to remote villages by trekking, biking and kayaking, to learn and absorb different cultural experiences in Laos. Fair Trek is the first responsible tourism project in Luang Prabang, and has been recognized widely as an example of community-based responsible tourism in the Mekong sub-region.
Fair Trek was first founded in 2007
I initiated Fair Trek in cooperation with local NGOs and the government. It resulted from striking and obvious needs that I have experienced myself during normal treks through surrounding communities and in other countries. After the initiative had been started up, reviewed and adjusted, the operation of the Fair Trek project in Luang Prabang was transferred and is now partly run locally by the Provincial Tourism Department and a pool of operators, raising awareness towards development of tourism and community alike.After years of development, Tiger Trail has continued to spread the Fair Trek initiative out to other areas of northern Laos, Nong Khiaw and Muang. Tiger Trail is also adopting the philosophy of voluntourism for an ecological school project, The Clay School Project, benefiting both the Fair Trek communities and volunteers.Each tour that is within the Fair Trek project pays into a community fund! Depending on the set up, the funds are handled by local government institutions or the communities directly. The village funds are raised from each Fair Trek Tour allowing each visitor to have an impact. Villagers are able to submit a request for needed financing, or propose their ideas on how to invest in improvements and development that benefits the whole community. A great side effect has been created through visitors who wish to assist more through donations. Through this the communities can achieve additional support through the awareness that Fair Trek provides to them.
The villagers also benefit directly
The villagers make an income selling food and accommodation, as well as traditional self-made handicrafts to the visitors. Individual villagers can earn from guiding around the communities and from helping out in tourism activities. Rental fees for land, blankets, cooking material, and other assisting services also contribute to the local income. Our tours are not only fair in terms of money; they also preserve local culture and traditions. Having visitors gives the villagers an opportunity to spread and preserve their traditional performances and practices such as singing, dancing and playing local music.
If you are coming our direction, give us a visit. Luang Prabang is a provincial capital city of Laos, where time still seems to stand still. Take a waterfall trek at Kuang Si and hang out on the Mekong to enjoy the stunning view. Also I recommend you visit Big Tree Caf for a great photography exhibition and enjoy some local grown coffee at either JoMa or Saffron Caf, both engaged in social projects in the region. Attractions in and around Luang Prabang are diverse, including various waterfalls, caves, ethnic minorities, textiles and handicrafts, elephant rides and mahout elephant care experiences. As part of the UNESCO reconstruction plan, new buildings have been limited and old houses and streets received refurbishment to keep Luang Prabang a magical place. The most practical way to explore the city is by bike or on a walk, its really that small! On our various tours, selected sights and highlights can be combined on day trips and offer individual experiences with experienced and friendly guides. For a short note on local weather, dry season lasts generally from October through April and wet season comes from the beginning of May to September. BUT I personally love and recommend the rainy season with its lush tropical green and powerful rain showers – its spectacular. Yearly average temperature is around 28C, but it can fall to 15C or 10C during the cold season and even lower in the mountains
View from office window
Well, not much to see but at least we see most of the visitors as they fly into Luang Prabang airport, just about 300 meters from our office. We also have a decent view of a metal shop and a cement work space on the opposite side of the road.
Thanks to Markus for sending that through to us! If you’re interested in experiencing one of their fantastic trips, why not check out Biking, Trekking, Elephant Riding and Kayaking in Laos, Living with the Akha, Muang Khua and Phongsali in Laos, or Help build a clay school for a small village in Laos!
If you are looking for other great holidays, then why not start at our ethical holidays page!