Craving Authentic Travel? Go Local!

Hira and Girls, photo by Go Erin GoWhen I travel, I always hope to have an authentic experience in the countries I’m visiting – taste local food, get off the beaten path, get a glimpse of how people really live. One of the ways to really get a more intimate understanding of the people and communities in foreign countries is to hire a local guide.

I did this several times during my RTW trek and I had a great experience every time. From hiring day-guides at temples in the countryside of Sri Lanka, to getting the inside story behind Cambodia’s infamous Killing Fields.

In fact I wrote a post about the advantages of hiring a local guide and how to go about doing it. This article highlighted my experience traveling with Yia, a local Hmong guide in Sapa, northern Vietnam. You can check out the article and beautiful photos here: Go Local!

I’m re-thinking the benefits of local guides as I start to plan my next overseas adventure. I’ve also recently heard from some of my friends that I met in-country and are now guiding independently. So if you’re heading to any of these exotic locales – Look up my buddies!

Vandy So, photo by Go Erin GoAnnapurna, Pokara, Nepal – I trekked with my good friend Hira while with 3Sisters Trekking, an organization dedicated to training local women to be mountain guides. After many years with 3Sisters, Hira struck out as a guide with her own business. If you’re planning to hike the Himalayas, contact Hira for the full scoop:

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia – Vandy was my guide to the incredibly magical Angkor Wat temples. We spent several days together touring around in a tuk tuk and exploring the temples in the cool mornings. He climbed every temple with me and was super friendly as he told me all about the historical and spiritual significant of the royal ruins. Vandy can be reached at

New York City, USA – NYC is definitely a place with multiple layers, and if you want to do more than just scratch the surface, a local with insider knowledge is the way to go!  Laurie recently wrote a guest post here, Hiring a Personal Guide, about her perspective on guiding in NYC.  Headed to the Big Apple? Get in touch with Laurie at

Note: I don’t get any sort of kick-back or sponsorship from Hira, Vandy, or Laurie – they’re just friends and I trust they’ll show y’all a really great time! So remember to think “local” on your next adventure!

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 2nd, 2013 and is filed under Asia Pacific.

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