The pollution and heat in Chiang Mai was oppressive and stifling. I would have cut that part of the trip down or eliminated entirely- I was deeply disturbed by the pollution, irritated by the staff at the hotel who gave my friends substantially superior accommodations (because they were clever enough to ask when they arrived, which I discovered on day 3 of 4)- so I realized we paid the same amount for a room worth $150 less per night which i did not like! You can imagine my shock comparing my dreary dark room when I eventually saw their bright suite with a kitchen, living room, piano, outdoor tub, etc.... And the hotel was virtually empty, so you would think they would have the good sense to upgrade us both (especially since I made the plans through zicasso!!) Sadly, my experience in Chiang Mai was not great.
I also found the guide in Bangkok average. Having been to Bangkok last year, I know how much we saw and experienced then- Strangely, on both trips, I found the Bangkok guides the weakest
TRAVEL COMPANY'S COMMENTSDear Sheila,Thank you so much for taking your time to write this review! I want to thank you again for the opportunity to help plan this trip and for bringing your friends to Zicasso. It was a pleasure to communicate with you throughout the trip via text and calls. It's great to hear that you enjoyed the company of our guides. I'm very glad to know what you enjoyed the trip to River Kwai - I remember this was one destination you weren't sure about during the planning process.I also really appreciate your constructive feedback on where the trip could have been improved and would like to respond to each point.Unfortunately this year Chiang Mai experienced historically bad air quality from around middle of March until late April. This is something that varies year by year and is hard to predict - for example last year, with an exception of a few days, this wasn't an issue. I completely understand how this had a negative affect on your time there. In the future, I will do a better job of warning those who wish to travel to North Thailand during these months about the potential risk. I am sure that had the air quality been better, your experience in Chiang Mai would have been much more positive.Regarding the hotel in Chiang Mai, as you mentioned, your friends checked in before you did and negotiated a room upgrade directly with the hotel. I had no knowledge of this until you brought it up to my attention. Indeed, it was very unprofessional of the hotel, especially it being a luxury property. Since we booked the same rooms for yourself and your friends, they should have upgraded both rooms, or neither. Unfortunately we both only found out about this on your last day, at which point it did not make sense to move rooms. Hotel did offer some amenities on your last day, though I understand it wasn't enough to make up for this error. I was very happy to learn that you did get upgraded to one of the highest villa categories at the hotel in Phuket to end the trip.I am sorry to hear that our guide in Bangkok wasn't as strong as in other destinations. We've always had very positive feedback for him but I will follow this up and work with him to help him improve. I appreciate your positive comment about our other guides throughout the trip.Once again, thank you so much for your feedback, Sheila. During our last phone conversation, you'd mentioned that you'd like to come back to Thailand one day with your grandchildren. I hope to welcome you here again soon!
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