Hands-on, art and cultural travel experiences
I have organized and led some 17 ceramic art and language learning vacation excursions since 1996. Destinations include: San Miguel De Allende and Oaxaca in Mexico; Istanbul and Cappadocia in Turkey; Tuscany in Italy; and a tour of folk potteries in Thailand. I have blended my experiences as a Ceramic Artist, Traveller, Instructor, Photograher, Workshop Organizer and lover of new things, to develop this unique small art travel company-Discovery Art Travel. Laos is a new destination for 2005 and 2006.
I have always been excited when I find a Turkish, Mexican or Thai potter using century old methods and local materials to make vessels for daily use, or whimsical figures to inspire. I then began to take others with me to experience the excitement and mystery of alternative educational travel.
We explore below the surface of the tourist routes to experience local artisans at work. We visit small both traditional studios as well as cutting edge contemporary artist spaces.Local artists teach hands- on courses in their own studios. This experience will give you a chance to be influenced by the rich traditional and contemporary artists at work, history, culture and then to provide time and place for your individual expression. We try to use local artists, craftspeople, guides, and transportation facilities wherever possible.
Airfare is from Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Vancouver group departures provide considerable group discounts and the opportunity for people get to know each other a little enroute. However, exceptions can be made, if you wish to join the group at the destination city.Generous flexibility in return dates, at little additional cost, encourages one to explore the region further after the group itinerary is over. Local transportation varies considerably from country to country. However, every attempt is made to find small, local, unique, and safe ways to move throughout the county. One is also encouraged to have contact with the local people through use of public transportation.
Group sizes are small (generally 12 people, except when the focus is primarily touring). We believe smaller groups are less intrusive to culture and environment, allow genuine cultural interaction, and on a social level prove to be more fun.
Respect for Local Culture
Respect for local cultures and positive environmental impact is essential to our tours. We contribute to local economies in various ways, e.g. working with local guides, using public transport and trying to stay in independently run guest houses and hotels. Our worldwide "artventures "emphasize individual responsibilities for the environment.
Village Development Aid
We will be helping a small village in Laos develop a water system. A portion of the Laos 2005,6 excursion profits will finance the purchase of a water pump which will be used as part of a community water system. This is a project conceived of and executed by local villagers, and our help will be strictly financial.
Your creative holiday adventure will combine fabulous destinations and 'hidden places' with a wide range of existing activities, whilst still allowing ample time to relax and unwind. Our extensive knowledge of the region enables us to offer original itineraries, including places far removed from the well trodden tourist trails. We'll share with you some best kept secrets and give you a real insight into fascinating cultures, art, history, landscapes and natural world.Note that itineraries are flexible - changes may be made due to weather or transport considerations etc. or to accommodate exciting new opportunities that invariably present themselves!
Accommodation varies from guesthouses, restored heritage buldings, hotels, and occasionally private train sleeper rooms. As much as possible we will use smaller, friendly places with local character and avoid the larger anonymous hotels. All accommodation is offered on the basis of two people sharing. If you are travelling on your own we'll discuss arrangements for room sharing in advance. In most places you may be able to pay a single room supplement.
Passports, Visas, Health regulations
Please consult the details for each specific excursion as requirements vary from country to country.
Personal Holiday Insurance
It is a condition of booking (It is strongly recommended) that you take out an adequate personal insurance policy for the full period of travel.
Payment Schedules, Cancellation policy
Please consult the details for each specific excursion.