Serving the communities with Backroads

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

The vision of Backroads of China has always been to be a blessing to the communities that it visits. This ethos has led us to use local guides and drivers wherever possible and to choose guesthouses and restaurants that are run by local families so the financial benefit flows back into the towns and villages we visit. We have also strived to promote a form of tourism that is more to do with cultural exchange than with foreigners gawking and taking photos of locals. We have always encouraged guests to include homestays in their trips, to share meals with local families and to choose a more relaxed itinerary that allows time to sit in a drumtower and play mahjong with the local men or have a hit of table tennis with the kids in the village schoolyard.

Now Backroads of China is excited to see a deepening of its relationship with several communities with the introduction of community service trips. The first service trip ran in July 2009 on the request of an American student program. This group spent 3 days teaching English in Chengyang Dong Village Primary School (Guangxi Province) and a further 3 days laying the concrete floor for a evening school fin a small Tibetan community on the shores of Napa Lake in Shangrila (Yunnan province). Since then, we have had multiple groups visit these areas to teach English, build rubbish receptables  and participate in rice harvesting. It has been a wonderful way to overcome the language barrier, as our guests and their hosts roll up their sleeves and work together, knee-deep in mud in the ricefields or splattered with concrete.

We look forward to organising many more of these trips in future.