390 messages
active 21 hours ago

Holly Richter

I love South East Asia! The food, the people, and the endless, rugged natural beauty – has drawn me into making it my home. Having spent five years living in Hanoi and Saigon, I was fascinated by the frenetic pace. Four years ago, I decided to change things up and move to Chiang Mai, Thailand. I will admit, I have a bit of an addiction to the outstanding cycling and trekking on my doorstep!

Each of us travels for so many different reasons. My approach to travel – listen to find out what you hope to gain, discover, rekindle, achieve. With this, I can tailor the trip that fits you, and set up realistic expectations so you thrive in the exotic craziness of SE Asia!

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Trekking, cycling, paddling and exploring in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Vacations mixed with opportunities for spontaneous engagement with local people: whether that is living with the nomadic, fishermen in Southern Thai Islands; cycling through the maze of paths in the Mekong delta of Vietnam; or laughing with the Khmer at the top of the holy mountain with a view of the Angkor ruins."

How did you get involved in travel?

"As a kid, when I figured out about studying abroad programs. I applied to any scholarship I could find. And after finishing school with years lived in Mexico, Spain, Denmark and France, I quickly jumped at the opportunity to become a guide for Backroads. Having guided over 200 active travel trips in 30 countries, I am amazed and humbled by all of the people I have met. "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"Having missed our scheduled boat to a remote camp in Northern Laos, we hired a boat that turned out to be a jet boat. Strapped in with motorcycle racing helmets on, we raced at mach speeds up the river with my 70 year old mother laughing in the background! But there are so many: exploring the worlds largest cave system in Vietnam to help my friend launch his caving company Oxalis, cycling along the Turkish coast...the world feels endless!

What is the next place I dream of, exploring? The largest waterfall in Thailand: Thi Lor Su!"

Featured trips & expertise

Warm hospitality of the Karin Villages

Northern Thailand: Village to Village Trekking - 5 Days

Set off on an active adventure through the forests and villages of Northern Thailand. Experience the local culture and food of the Chiang Mai area while trekking through in the natural beauty of the woods and villages that make up this rural and remote region.

James Bond Island in Phang Nag National Park

Thailand Family Adventure - 10 Days

Every member of the family will be satisfied on this trip, with a wide range of activities and experiences in both Northern and Southern Thailand. Sleep in a rural homestay as well as top-notch resorts by the beach. Scramble up waterfalls and kayak through peaceful mangroves. Go fishing with local fisherfolk and snorkelling in incredible bays. You'll see that Thailand is an amazingly diverse country with something for everyone.

Hmong woman moving her herd.

Trekking in Rural Vietnam - 8 Days

Vietnam is made up of over 52 different ethnic groups, all with their own customs, dress, architectural styles, and languages. Trekking through the mountains along the Vietnam-China border, you will stay in the homes of Red Yao (Dao), Zay (Dzay), Black Hmong, Xa Pho, and Tay villagers. This journey takes you through hills and valleys, terraced rice fields and farming villages, enjoying the simple hospitality of local people along the way.

Tat Kuang Si Waterfalls, Luang Prabang

Northern Laos Adventure: Biking, Hiking and Kayaking - 4 Days

Mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, cultural sightseeing in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a homestay with a local family, and a luxurious stay in a private bungalow — all in a four-day trip? You've got it. This active getaway is short but action-packed, well-suited to travelers who want to get away from it all, breathe some fresh air, and fit in a couple of workouts along the way.

A Taste of Southern Thailand - 5 Days

Go beyond the stunning islands and emerald waters of Phang Nga Bay, and get a taste of the local lifestyle on this 5-day trip to southern Thailand. You'll kayak through the lush jungle, unwind on pristine beaches, and eat authentic Thai food with a local family on your homestay in a small fishing village.

The northern Thai mountains are calling

Highlights of Northern Thailand Trekking: 7 Days

From the third highest peak in Northern Thailand to the authentic night markets of Chiang Rai, this 7-day trek is a great choice for avid hikers who also want a taste of Thai city life before heading home. Enjoy sweeping mountain panoramas, intricate temples, and bustling, colorful night markets.