Following passion for travel, couple will lead Asian tour

Following passion for travel, couple will lead Asian tour
Carlsbad couple Carolyn and Tom “TR” Roberston during one of their trips by a series of Moai statues on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). The couple, who has worked at Carlsbad High, are championing a Southeast Asia Tour in the fall. Courtesy photo

CARLSBAD — There are some people in this world who like to travel, and others, who love to travel.Tom “TR” and Carolyn Robertson fit into the “love” category so much that they are championing an upcoming Southeast Asia tour.

The adult tour trip, scheduled to leave on Dec. 26, promises to deliver an adventure with destinations to Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Burma.

Combined, the couple has been employed at the Carlsbad Unified School District for more than 60 years. Carolyn Robertson recently retired, and her husband remains at Carlsbad High School as Associated Student Body student services director.

And luckily for those who like to travel, Tom Robertson has had a penchant for hosting tours.

“For the past 15 years, I have run student tours that have taken them all over the world including the countries of Europe, Egypt, Australia, South America and adult trips to China and Greece,” Tom Robertson said. “My love of travel and educating adults and students about present day cultural practices and past cultural history of countries led me many years ago to develop an anthropology/archaeology class at Carlsbad High school which I taught for over 20 years. Now, my son Christopher Robertson teaches it.”

The tour breakdown is five days in Vietnam, three days in Cambodia, and four days for both Burma and Thailand. The other days are dedicated to travel.

On average, adult tour members range from 30 to more than 60 years of age. And some are repeat tour travelers.

Tom Robertson wants people to know that their trip to Southeast Asia is an 18-day adventure through a company called Passports, an educational group travel company.

“This company specializes in more than just a trip to the country as travelers get an in-depth guide through cities and sites visited with local, professional guides,” he said. “They allow us to customize the trips to our specifications, offer the best bargain for traveling to these countries and their accommodations have always been very good for the places we stay.”

A handful of trip highlights in Vietnam will include Halong Bay, a cruise on a Junk, Hanoi City, Hue, Imperial Citadel and a stop at the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc of the Nguyen Dynasty.

“A special treat in the Vietnam portion of the trip is an afternoon cooking class,” he said.

After the Vietnam excursion, everyone will fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Scheduled excursions are the Angkor Wat Temples, Cambodian Cultural Village and a boat ride on Tonie Sap Lake and Cambodian fishing villages.

“After Cambodia, the travel group will fly to Rangoon, Burma, now called Myanmar,” Tom Roberston said. “The trip to Burma is especially exciting as Myanmar has just recently begun allowing groups in to see the country.”

There, tour members will see sites including the Ananda Ok Kyaung Monastery, Htilominio Temple, Ananda Pagoda and the cave temple and frescoes of Wetkvi-in Gubyaukgyi.

Other features will be a sunset river cruise on the Irrawaddy River and a visit to a Palm Farm.

The tail end of the trip will be in Bangkok. While in Thailand, Tom Robertson said, the group will visit floating markets, take a long tail boat ride through the riverside villages, and visit the Temple of the Reclining Buddha and the Grand Palace.

“A highlight will also include a Ruen Thep dinner show where beautiful Thai classical dancers will perform as well as other Thai cultural shows,” he said. “The tour will end with a flight to Phuket Island and a chance to see how this island of Thailand has recovered from a devastating tsunami.”

Tom Robertson said that for him and his wife, the best part of traveling is seeing different parts of the world. “We don’t like to go back to a country more than twice unless we are adding an additional country we have not traveled to as part of the trip,” he said.

For more information on this Southeast Asia tour and complete trip details, visit and type in tour ID crobertson2013-2. Tom Robertson can also be reached at (760) 758-3497 or by e-mail at


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