Our People
  • Amy Waters snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Deborah Brock-Doyle

  • Asia, Australasia and Oceania

My Expertise

  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Polynesia and South Pacific
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Myanmar
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Laos
  • Iran
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Uzbekistan

My first journey for Steppes was in 1999 when I set off to explore Thailand to gather those little details that constitute Steppes Travel’s trademark knowledge. I have since been lucky enough to travel extensively in Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East and India. A few special memories include being joined at dinner by an otter in Laos, proudly being shown an illicit picture of the Dalai Lama in Tibet and diving with manta rays on Christmas day in Indonesia. I’m pretty sure I always leave a country wishing I had done more, seen more, learned more ….. but I also always hope to return …

In 1999 when I first started travelling for Steppes I was astonished at how much ground I could cover by planning in advance and how much I learnt from my local guide. Elementary you may think but revolutionary to me following an 18-month backpacking trip. With time being one of my biggest challenges, both in maturing years and available leave, I am a convert to information and preparation but still retain an open mind and always look for my own memories.

Deborah Brock-Doyle, Papua New Guinea
Deborah with the Highland clans
Kumbarumba, Sepik River village girl with shells, Papua New Guinea
Sepik River, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea … its all about the people

The preconception of primitive tribal people, perhaps even cannibalism, is not the reality. While many of the clans do live a simple life, without the need for western trappings, I found a deep community spirit, a pragmatic approach to religion and a progressive attitude to family planning. I also loved their vibrant and exuberant manner of celebrating with spectacular makeup, costumes and headdresses, all with a story and tradition that they are keen to share with you.

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Deborah cycling along the Red River delta in Vietnam
Sunset, Mekong River, Vietnam
Sunset on the Mekong
Outdoor Top Deck Plunge Pool, Aqua Mekong, Mekong Delta, South East Asia
Aqua Mekong

The Majestic Mekong

I sailed on the waters of just a tiny section of this grand river far from the source, high up in the Tibetan plateau. My journey began in Cambodia’s Phnom Penh and then on to the shores and villages of the Vietnam Delta all from my temporary home aboard the delightful Aqua Mekong. A kaleidoscope of fishing, markets, monks, farming and everyday life; a photograph around every corner.

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Yellow seahorse swimming in emerald green water.
Deborah's seahorse

The Pleasure and the Plight of the Seahorse

Seahorses have always seemed magical creatures to me, akin to unicorns and, sadly, nearly as rare. The uninvited demands of Chinese medicine, the souvenir trade and the trapping of these unique animals for the use as pets, are all threatening a species that already has a tough start; for fewer than one in a thousand seahorses survive natural predators to reach adulthood. This makes moments, such as the one in the Coral Triangle off Papua New Guinea, where I followed a dancing seahorse making its way across a shallow bay, all the more enchanting.

Swimming Pool, Anantara Hoi An Resort, Hoi An & Hue, Vietnam
Anantara Resort, Hoi An
Lamps, Hoi An, Vietnam
Lamps in Hoi An

Escaping the Crowds in Vietnam

Travelling in Asia can be a crowded experience so planning and information are key. Having first travelled to Hoi An in 1996, I was worried that my latest experience would be disappointing. Not at all! Although it may seem contradictory, I stayed centrally at the Anantara Resort, which provided a handy oasis retreat. I structured my day with military precision: early morning yoga practise by the pool; after breakfast, I headed out to explore the market and the wonderful old merchants’ houses; and as the town became busier, I ducked into a lovely coffee house and then on for a delicious lunch.

The afternoon was spent catching up with my reading by the pool and then I wandered in for shopping and dinner amidst the festival atmosphere which depicts Hoi An at night.

Plan your holiday to Vietnam

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Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 880 980

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Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.


Deborah, our main contact was quick to respond and thoughtful. We requested a guide who was excellent in the history and lore of the region and she secured us the best guide we have ever encountered. Great team, great trip!



Gold Panning in New Zealand

Riverside camping with nights spent star gazing and days spent searching for gold amidst incredible mountain scenery.

Exploring the Temples of Angkor

One of my favourite places on the planet, I love exploring these sprawling ruins where nature constantly tries to reclaim this ancient site.

Diving in Indonesia

Having learnt to dive on the Gili islands, I jump at the chance to be underwater and have been lucky enough to explore the waters around many of Indonesia’s islands.

Some holiday ideas that inspire me

I love to travel to those countries that might not be on everyone’s bucket list. It is there that one meets like minded people in search of adventure. Take a look at some of my favourite holiday ideas and do call and chat if you want help planning your holiday or are just in search of some inspiration.

Why Choose Steppes?

These may be uncertain times but they are, without a doubt, still full of opportunity to discover the extraordinary safely. Through knowledge and expertise, we can connect you to those destinations embracing travellers with the added confidence of flexible booking and decades of insight.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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