Our People in America and Asia
Julia started work as our Asia Specialist in North America in 2011. She’s traveled all over the world including Vietnam and Cambodia, and counts Hoi An as one of her favorite places on earth. Her passion for history culture and cuisine make Asia one of her ideal destinations, and she can’t wait to discover her next Asian destination.
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- Julia Yacker Asia Specialist
Managing Director & Co-founder
In 1993 Paul Hole co-founded Insider Journeys and in that time Paul has moved the organization 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.
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 traveled 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.
Communications & Online Marketing Manager
Bronwyn started with Insider Journeys in 2004. She has traveled to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and India and every one of them has something special which makes it a favorite. 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.
National Operations Manager
Amy, has been working with Insider Journeys since 2001. She’s traveled 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.
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.
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.
Country Manager - Vietnam
Based in the Saigon office, Darren has been with the company since 2003 and in Asia, he has traveled 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.
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 traveled everywhere in Asia and his favorite cities are Luang Prabang and Siem Reap.
Senior Product Manager - Indian sub-continent & Vietnam
One of our longest serving staff members, Eric has been with Insider Journeys since 1998. He’s traveled 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.
Senior Product Manager - China, Burma & Mongolia
Jackie has worked at Insider Journeys since 2009. She’s traveled to India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam, but her recent trip to Burma has cemented it as her new favorite spot in Asia. When traveling 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.
Senior Product Manager - Thailand & Japan
Since 2002 Angela has held many positions at Insider Journeys. In her time with us she’s traveled 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.
Product Manager - Vietnam
Aaron is a true Asia expert, having traveled 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.
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- Paul Hole Managing Director & Co-founder
- Alastair Scott General Manager - Product & International Operations
- Bronwyn Cook Communications & Online Marketing Manager
- Amy Pethers National Operations Manager
- Lesley Wright General Manager Commercial UK
- Mark Yacker Director - North America
- Darren Szwarcburg Country Manager - Vietnam
- Antony Giblin Country Manager - Laos
- Eric Finley Senior Product Manager - Indian sub-continent & Vietnam
- Jackie Firmstone Senior Product Manager - China, Burma & Mongolia
- Angela Ferres Senior Product Manager - Thailand & Japan
- Aaron Edgington Product Manager - Vietnam
Tour Leader Manager
As the tour leader manager, Martin looks after all our tour leaders. He’s traveled 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!
Dave has been with Insider Journeys since the beginning of 2010, and his favorite part of the job is living and traveling in Asia. He’s spent time in Indochina, Thailand and Malaysia, but his favorite 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.
Nikki has been leading like-minded travelers 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 favorites are the charming towns of Luang Prabang, Hoi An, Siem Reap and Bagan.
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 travelers.
Kathelijne van Soldt
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 favorite place is the jungle in northern Laos and she also enjoys exploring Hoi An. The only thing she misses is her racing bike!
In early 2012, Jacqui joined Travel Indochina as a tour leader. Her favorite place in Asia is Japan and she loves the food, history, culture and friendly locals. Listen closely! Jacqui’s voice has featured on many Japanese television commercials and in the early 2000’s she made the English announcements on Japan’s Shinkansen-Bullet trains.
Pam England started working with Insider Journeys in 2012, but has lived in Asia on and off for 13 years, traveling 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 was a natural fit for Travel Indochina with her love of Asia and her experience traveling 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.
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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
Phnom Penh 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 travelers 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 travelers receive the best possible experience when traveling with us in Asia.
Meet some of our local guides:
Mr Tuang in Vietnam
Mr Phath at Angkor wat
Local guides & our trainee guides
Local guide & travelers in Beijing
Local guide & travelers in Laos
Saigon guide, Nghia, in action