vietnam hue rural farming with locals

Travel, Live and Learn with Rickshaw Travel’s top 5 authentic learning experiences

As more travellers opt for authentic peer-to-peer experiences the interest in homestay options where you dine and spend time with locals continues to grow. For the ultimate ‘local’ experience Rickshaw Travel recommends travellers not only get a taste of local life but they live it through learning the traditional trades and skills of a culture.

Rickshaw has observed a trend of more people wishing to travel in a more meaningful way and because of this growing interest they continue to introduce and tailor trips that provide the opportunity to meet, experience and learn from the locals. These trips can be selected and combined with other experiential travel options to suit every travellers needs.

Rickshaw Travel’s concept of building a unique holiday using bite-size trips is individual in the UK market and their new website allows them to communicate the process more clearly to customers. The website helps travellers fulfil the desire of booking independently but with the security of a bonded tour operator.

Rickshaw Travel shortlist the top 5 ‘learn with the locals’ experiences

Learn Batik in Malaysia: Creative Kampung Life

Travellers can get creative on this bite-size trip and try their hand at Batik, the local art of creating a patterned cloth with the use of wax and dye. Malaysian Batik is famous for its light colouring and geometric designs, such as spirals and floral motifs and in recent years has been recognised and endorsed as a form of national dress. On this bite-sized cultural trip, guests can really experience Malaysia’s culture without having to go completely back to basics. They spend two nights in a welcoming and creative Kampung tucked away on a riverbank outside Kota Bharu. The cosy wooden cottage is next to the home of a Dutch family who have been living in this small village for decades. Malay culture still plays a large part in daily life in this Kampung homestay; nearly all Kelantanese are Muslim and strongly value local traditions. During the Malaysia homestay, guests can test their patience on a batik-painting lesson in the next door neighbour’s tiny workshop. Batik-painting is still done by traditional methods using warm candle wax instead of the mass-production of the batik factories in western Malaysia. Friendly hosts will teach guests all about local Kampung life and offer an authentic view of Malaysia.

Prices for the bite-size tour include 2 nights accommodation with breakfast and Batik workshop and painting.

Vietnam: Lend a hand in Hue

For a real taste of life on the Mekong River travellers can get behind the scenes of Rural Vietnam and experience a day in the life of a local farmer. Out in the countryside near Hue, travellers will find rows of lush green rice paddies, quaint bridges over peaceful rivers and farmers ploughing the fields with buffalo. This excursion is a very special way to become immersed in the local culture. The trip begins by bike to Thanh Toan village where guests join a local farmer and his family. They can try their hand at traditional fishing on the Perfume River (a tributary of the Mekong), help out in the rice fields and learn all about the harvest or make local handicrafts to take home. They will then help select home-grown ingredients from the fields before helping to prepare lunch with the family. Life revolves around the harvest here and at the end of the day travellers will cycle back to Hue with a deeper understanding of the village and its cultural traditions that date back to the 17th Century.

The 3-day bite-size trip includes accommodation with breakfast, excursion with English-speaking guide, bicycle hire and lunch.

Learn to roll a smoke in Nicaragua: Take in the Tobacco Hills

Cigars have made Esteli in Nicaragua a rich town. The land around the city is ideal for growing tobacco and became a refuge for Cuban cigar makers after the Cuban Revolution in 1959. Now the award winning cigars have made Estelí one of the most important cigar-producing cities in the world. During this bite-size trip guests will visit the surrounding Tobacco fields before learning about the process of tobacco making from the moment the seeds are planted to when the cigars hit the shop floor. They will visit one of the local tobacco plantations and then a local cigar factory to watch the cigar-making process before having a go at rolling one themselves. The locals make it look very easy!

The 3 day bite-size trip includes accommodation with breakfast, cigar tour, bilingual guide and souvenir cigar.

To capture the true flavour and traditional dishes of a destination Rickshaw Travel recommends cooking with the locals.

Learn to cook in Kandy, Sri Lanka: At Home in the Curry Kitchen

Travellers will get a real taste of Sri Lanka on this traditional homestay experience. It’s an authentic way of learning the secrets of traditional Sri Lankan cuisine and getting a glimpse of daily life with a friendly local family in Kandy. Aspiring chefs will join the family in a tuk tuk to the local market to gather ingredients then pick the herbs and spices fresh from the garden before preparing a famous curry with the cook of the house. It’s a very tasty introduction to everyday life at home with the locals.

The 3 day bite-size trip includes accommodation on a full board basis, excursions and transport with private driver.

Learn to cook traditional Chinese: Classic Cuisine in Dali

Whip up authentic Chinese dishes during a cooking class in bohemian Dali, a picturesque old town with a deliciously laid-back vibe and friendly locals. Home of the minority Bai tribe, it’s caught between the mountains and Erlai Lake, creating a beautiful backdrop for a classic culinary break. Guests will spend two nights in Dali, in the heart of the old quarter with its relaxed Tibetan atmosphere. They’ll explore the small lantern-flanked alleyways of the walled town and meet the minority tribes. On the second day, they’ll head for the market with a guide to pick up ingredients and learn all about the local specialities. Guests will then learn to cook three classic Chinese dishes, from tofu salads to Gong Bao chicken.

The 3 day bite-size trip includes accommodation, transport and cookery course.

All these options and many more can be found on Rickshaw Travel’s brand new website at: where travellers can combine three or more bite-sized trips to create an individual journey or select from a series of recommended itineraries.

Vicky Knight, Senior Manager at Rickshaw Travel said: “Many of our customers are time rich, so love the idea of travelling to more than one country. With our new website we are able to help them see how easy it is to do this with bite-sized trips that are specifically aimed at connecting two countries. The Rickshaw team are passionate about the places they have travelled to and love being able to help others have similar authentic experiences. The new website helps us give our customers more information about the people behind the emails and phone calls, so they can get excited about the trip together!”

For more information visit:, email “”, or call +44 (0) 1273 322 399