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Our People in the UK and Asia

Paul O’Brien

Sales and Operations Manager

Specialist destinations: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China, India Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan and Burma.

Paul has a lifelong passion for travel and exploration and has over 15 years of experience and knowledge of the travel industry. As well as studying Geography at University Paul has travelled the globe, from Zambia to Antarctica, but Asia remains his first love. His favourite destination is Hoi An in Vietnam, but he’ll never forget cherry blossom season in Japan.

Liz Giannone

Asia Specialist

Specialist destinations: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, China and India.

With over 10 years in the travel industry, Liz is hard to please but Asia's rich culture, pristine beaches and exceptional scenery keep her returning year after year. Since joining Insider Journeys Liz has experienced first-hand our India Spice of the SouthCambodia and Vietnam Explorer and Inside Laos small group tour as well as tailor-made research trips in Thailand, China and Indochina.

Michelle Wong

Asia Specialist

Specialist destinations: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China, Thailand, Japan and Mekong river cruising.

Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Michelle started travelling in Asia at a young age and has developed an exceptional talent for helping our clients develop their ideal Asian experience. Her latest research trip was a Mekong river cruise aboard The Jahan.

Nancy Triggs

Asia Specialist

Specialist destinations: Vietnam (and Sapa), Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and India.

Nancy got the travel bug at just 16 after taking an epic trip around India by train. Since then Nancy has been to Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Borneo and South America. Her favourite travel experiences thus far include eating Pad Thai in Chang Mai's night markets and exploring her favourite country, Laos.

Clare Fisher

Asia Specialist

Specialist destinations: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China, Thailand, Burma, India and Japan.

Already boasting an impressive travel background in Asia, Clare was a natural addition to the team here in Oxford and she joined us in September 2010. Since then Clare has experienced first hand our 14-day Vietnam and Cambodia Explorer tailor made holiday in Burma and our 12-day Three Gorges Discovery in China.

Richard Swain

Business Development Manager

Richard has worked in the travel industry for over six years, after catching the travel bug on his gap year, when he travelled to the Far East. Since working in the industry, Richard has travelled back to the Far East visiting Thailand and most recently Vietnam & Cambodia where he has seen first-hand the unique experience that Travel Indochina offers.

Andy Roberts

Business Development Manager - Southern UK

Andy joined Insider Journeys with a plethora of travel experience. His favourite travel moments to date include star gazing in Sri Lanka and seeing India's Taj Mahal at dawn. Having already travelled through much of Indochina, next up on Andy's travel list is Laos

Lucy Butler

Sales and Operations Executive

Lucy is the newest member of the Insider Journeys team, she has just finished her degree at the University of Nottingham. Lucy has a passion for travel and is looking forward to experience Asia first hand!


Paul Hole

Managing Director & Co-founder

In 1993 Paul Hole co-founded Insider Journeys and in that time Paul has moved the organisation into a full Asian travel specialist. Paul thinks he has the perfect job, and though based in Sydney, he’s on a plane to Asia at every opportunity. In fact, he is pushed to name an Asian city that he’s not yet visited. He is particularly fond of the mountains around Sapa in Northern Vietnam, and also rates the first time he stood in front of the Terracotta Warriors in Xian and the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia as two very special memories.

Alastair Scott

General Manager - Product & International Operations

Having worked at Insider Journeys since 2002, Alastair is originally from the UK, his first visit to Asia was to play cricket in Hong Kong, but since then has travelled to Asia extensively, visiting almost all of our destinations. An early riser, he loves to be in Asia at sunrise, when daylight reveals just how much is already happening.

Bronwyn Cook

Communications & Online Marketing Manager

Bronwyn started with Insider Journeys in 2004. She has travelled to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and India and every one of them has something special which makes it a favourite. If she had to choose, Luang Prabang in Laos would be her top pick, and it is no wonder as it is absolutely packed with two things she loves about Asia, friendly people and tasty cuisine.

Amy Pethers

National Operations Manager

Amy, has been working with Insider Journeys since 2001. She’s travelled to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, India, Maldives, Malaysia, and recently took her family to Thailand. Being a real foodie and a great cook, she loves the fantastic cuisine in Asia, and keep an eye out because one day you might see here trying out for Masterchef Australia.

Lesley Wright

General Manager Commercial UK

After studying geography Lesley headed off on the field trip of her life, backpacking through Southeast Asia, which led to a seven year period handling the marketing activity for a student travel company. This didn’t stop her from exploring temples of exorcism in India, elephant mahouting in Northern Thailand or taking a slowboat down the Mekong in Laos.

Mark Yacker

Director - North America

Since graduating from University of Massachusetts in 1994, Mark has worked for a selection of top small group tour operators covering destinations across the globe, and has traveled to over 25 countries. Since joining Insider Journeys in 2011, Mark has visited Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and India, all of which exceeded his expectations. Highlights include exploring the Mekong Delta in a traditional long boat, learning the art of Lao cooking, and walking through the jungle in Cambodia to watch the sunrise at the Angkor Wat. Next on his wishlist? Southern Laos.

Darren Szwarcburg

Country Manager - Vietnam

Based in the Saigon office, Darren has been with the company since 2003 and in Asia, he has travelled to Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. Darren loves the heat, so living in Saigon suits him perfectly, and after 14 years in the region, he is still blown away by the amazing food.

Antony Giblin

Country Manager - Laos

After a brief sabbatical from Insider Journeys, Antony Giblin returned in 2013 as the Country Manager for Laos. Even after eight years with us, there are many interesting things we still don’t know about Antony. We do know he is captivated by Asia’s enchanting scenery, dignified people, captivating history and yummy food. He has travelled everywhere in Asia and his favourite cities are Luang Prabang and Siem Reap.

Eric Finley

Senior Product Manager - Indian sub-continent & Vietnam

One of our longest serving staff members, Eric has been with Insider Journeys since 1998. He’s travelled to all corners of Asia, but returns to India time and time again to destinations like the Himalayas, Varanasi and the tropical south. He loves the living history found in Asia and the amazing buzz of the cities and towns.

Jackie Firmstone

Senior Product Manager - China, Burma & Mongolia

Jackie has worked at Insider Journeys since 2009. She’s travelled to India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam, but her recent trip to Burma has cemented it as her new favourite spot in Asia. When travelling she loves to try the weird and wonderful street food and meeting the warm, fun-loving people. She is especially interested in learning about the history and cultures, especially the ethnic minorities and hilltribes.

Angela Ferres

Senior Product Manager - Thailand & Japan

Since 2002 Angela has held many positions at Insider Journeys. In her time with us she’s travelled to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Borneo, Singapore and China so is definitely an expert on Asia. She is always struck by the mix of religions and tribal culture that have shaped Asia, and loves returning for the diverse scenery and friendly people.

Aaron Edgington

Product Manager - Vietnam

Aaron is a true Asia expert, having travelled to fourteen countries in the region. He never tires of the friendly people, fantastic food and amazing contrasts he finds in Asia, and loves the feeling of peace, even amongst the chaos. It’s a real change from back home in New Zealand, where Aaron was a regional break dance champion.


Martin Cooke

Tour Leader Manager

As the tour leader manager, Martin looks after all our tour leaders. He’s travelled to most of Travel Indochina’s destinations and, since joining Travel Indochina in 2007, he’s most enjoyed getting to know the locals when he travels. He loves the laid-back vibe in Luang Prabang, Laos, and though many people don’t know this, plays the trumpet!

David Hardy

Tour Leader

Dave has been with Insider Journeys since the beginning of 2010, and his favourite part of the job is living and travelling in Asia. He’s spent time in Indochina, Thailand and Malaysia, but his favourite of these is Luang Prabang in Laos. He’s pictured here at the Hai Cafe cooking class in Hoi An, something he enjoys sharing with his passengers.

Krista Routledge

Tour Leader

Krista joined Insider Journeys as a tour leader at the start of 2010. She loves being able to share her favourite parts of Asia with her passengers and says there are too many to mention, but Hoi An in Vietnam and Luang Prabang in Laos are definitely at the top of the list. She’s also travelled through Thailand, Cambodia and China.

Nikki Zimbler

Tour Leader

Nikki has been leading like-minded travellers around Asia with Insider Journeys since mid-2011. She is drawn to Asia’s welcoming people and wide array of delicious cuisines. She admits the weather is much more agreeable than that in her native London. From Indochina to Borneo to Sri Lanka, Nikki has traversed much of the region, and of all the places she’s visited her favourites are the charming towns of Luang Prabang, Hoi An, Siem Reap and Bagan.

Ian Richards

Tour Leader

Starting with Insider Journeys in 2010, Ian has a keen interest in photography and loves to capture Asia on camera. He seeks out the friendly smiles of the locals and is most at home when he is off-the-beaten-track. Ian has been based in Asia as a tour guide for many years and his experience and enthusiasm make popular with our travellers.

Kathelijne van Soldt

Tour Leader

Joining the Travel Indochina team in late 2012, Kathelijne brings with her a passion for Asia. She loves the climate, wide variety of food and the easy going happy people. Her favourite place is the jungle in northern Laos and she also enjoys exploring Hoi An. The only thing she misses is her racing bike!

Pam England

Tour Leader

Pam England started working with Insider Journeys in 2012, but has lived in Asia on and off for 13 years, travelling all across Asia, from Indonesia right through to China. She enjoys being deep in the jungle or by the ocean, but most of all she loves the diversity each country has to offer. A bit of a foodie, she is also devoted to Asian Cuisine.

Nancia Leggett

Tour Leader

Nancia was a natural fit for Travel Indochina with her love of Asia and her experience travelling in over 20 countries in the region. She joined the team in 2013 and says she especially loves the great food, great weather and great people in Asia. Hailing from Britain, Nancia also has family in Taiwan, where she taught English and learned both Mandarin and her family’s local dialect.


Our people in Asia

Not only are our local offices in Asia able to source innovative touring experiences and regularly inspect our hotels, they also offer you complete peace of mind. With offices across the globe and over 90 staff in six offices across the region you can take comfort in the knowledge that we are always there for you, no matter what happens.

Meet a few of the teams that make it all possible:

Saigon office staff

Saigon office staff

Phnom Penh office staff

Phnom Penh office staff

Hanoi office staff

Our Saigon office on a weekend away

Our local guides in Asia

Our guides love to show you around their hometown and the regions in which they grew up and it is this local insight, passion and knowledge that take our travellers beyond the tourist trail for an experience that no guidebook could ever offer.

When you join one of our Small Group Tours, you’ll get the best of both worlds with the unique combination of our professional English-speaking local guides and expert Western tour leaders.

We directly employ over 50 local guides with another 75 guides and drivers and we pride ourselves on providing guides that are at the top of their field. We don't rest on our laurels, we continually run training programs to help our guides develop professionally and we nurture talent wherever possible by running apprenticeships with local universities in Vietnam. These unique endeavors ensure our travellers receive the best possible experience when travelling with us in Asia.

Meet some of our local guides:

Mr Tuang in Vietnam

Mr Tuang in Vietnam

Mr Path at Angkor Wat

Mr Phath at Angkor wat

Our local guide training day

Local guides & our trainee guides

Beijing - local guide in action

Local guide & travellers in Beijing

Local  guide - Laos

Local guide & travellers in Laos

Saigon - local guide Ha in action

Saigon guide, Nghia, in action