About Silk and Stones Travel


“Thanh was the best guide I ever had.  He not only could speak Hmong but he really liked them and had compassion for them.  I really came to admire him as a human being.  Our driver on the northern road trip, Hai, was also great and came to look out for me, ....  We came to call ourselves, "The Team."  Thanks again for your help in what became a great adventure and learning experience.”

Silk and Stones Travel is led by Barbara T. Bauer, an experienced international executive and travel leader.   Barbara is also a 2012 Princeton in Asia Senior Fellow working on solutions for Myanmar refugees.  She is the President of GlobalSight Partners, a management consulting organization supporting companies with international interests and initiatives.  Barbara has worked and traveled extensively in remote corners of the world, especially in Southeast Asia and started Silk and Stones Travel to support the interest of friends, colleagues and clients for small group travel to exotic locations that integrated history, culture, and traditions. 

She also provides consulting to international educational organizations, government ministries, and non-governmental organizations to improve business and education opportunities in developing countries.  She is on the Board of Directors of Teachers Across Borders, supporting educational initiatives in Southeast Asia, especially in Siem Reap, Cambodia.  In 2005, Barbara was inducted into the international Women In Technology International Hall of Fame.  In 2007 she was awarded the Colorado Software Industry Association’s Technology Supporter of the Year.  She is a frequent invited speaker at the Asia Pacific Economic Coalition (APEC) Digital Economy Forum. 

Matthew T. Bauer, Controller, utilizes his years of customer service in the finance industry experience to insure the operational details of each trip are successful.

Why Travel with Silk and Stones Travel

Our tours are designed for very small groups, using suppliers and partnerships with local providers, and with sensitivity to the unique environmental, ecological, and cultural opportunities in each country. We brings the best of travel to unusual places with comfort, safety, and with cultural and environmental sensitivity.  It’s become easy to travel in Europe and also in South and Central America.  It can be easy to travel in Southeast Asia, Indonesia and North Africa, but it will take your time and energy to research and find the best routes, hotels, guides, sights and activities.  And it will be pretty difficult to personalize your trip so, like the wonderful quotes from customers on the home page, you may not achieve the “trip of a lifetime”.  We can make that happen.

And our value proposition is unbeatable:  A similar trip to Vietnam and Cambodia with one the most well-known and well-respected travel companies is about $8000.  Our comparable trip with the same high quality guides, more personalized service, and additional activities and access to local homes, schools, business colleagues is significantly less.  We just don’t have the overhead of these larger firms, but we do have the same flights, guides, food, transport, and other services.  $ for $, we’re more fun, and much less expensive.

What We Do

Through constant research, we improve and extend our knowledge of the remote and exotic destinations in order to create unusual trips perfectly tailored to client interests, experience, travel habits, and activities.  Silk and Stones Travel tours are the opposite of “package” trips - providing detailed plans for everything from architecture, art, cuisine, visiting schools and companies, and wonderful, unusual lodging and transport.  Guides are hand selected for their deep knowledge, humor and flexibility, language fluency, and their delight in sharing their country with others.

Cultural Respect and Environmental Sensitivity

We are guests in the countries in which we travel, and we deeply respect their culture, traditions and the beauty of their lands, forest, rivers, beaches and oceans.  We guide our clients to learn about and respect the unique local traditions and etiquette.  Our objective is to form friendships with our colleagues and the local people we encounter as we move about a country.  These friendships must be based on our respect and regard for their heritage and culture.  

Click on Destinations to learn about the  group tour itineraries, or to gain insights for designing private, custom trips.

See photos of some of our guides, guests and staff in action.

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Thanh singing with children in Sapa, Vietnam