I have so many wonderful things to say about this Southeast Asia travel agency! Thank you so much for making this a wonderful trip!
Pre-trip: They really cared & listened. I had a lengthy couple hour conversation with a rep (who is Thai but lives in LA). She asked me so many questions about what my ideal trip would be, where I want to go, what I want to do and provided many suggestions. She really listened and took the time to help us craft the vacation of a lifetime. We ended up crafting a personal, tour with private guides and private driver in Angkor Wat, Bangkok, Chaing Mai & Chaing Rai. They then arranged for us to join a couple group boat excursions in Phuket. I really felt that we got a value for our money.
Tour Guides: They were amazing!!!! Especially in Angkor Wat. He had a degree in history and really knew his stuff. He was so knowledgeable and could explain most of the scenes carved in the ruins. He also did a phenomenal job of helping us avoid the crowds. At one ruin, we were the only ones there so the guard let us go into the roped off areas. Amazing! He planned things very well so that we could beet the crowds and have an enjoyable experience. All our guides were great and spoke good enough English. There were a couple times where the language was a challenge, but nothing big. Also, they were also willing to provide any recommendations or make any accommodations and most of the recommendations were great!
Drivers: Again, Amazing! Some reviews I read described the drivers as dangerous. What many people in the US or UK don't realize is that in SE Asia, the rules of the road are just suggestions. For example, we suggest that there be only 4 lane of traffic, but they will consistently turn a 4 lane road into 6 lanes. With that as my perspective, I believe that the drivers I had were the safest on the road.
Hotels: I think of hotels as the place you go to crash at the end of the day, it's not where you spend your Vacation. For that reason, we asked to be put in budget hotels with nicer hotels as available. That being said, we actually spent a lot of time in the hotels and found them to be wonderful! I would consider many of the hotels we stayed in to be luxury hotels and we thoroughly enjoyed the massages at 3 of the hotels. In fact, our hotel in Phuket, while out of the way, was a beautiful resort with a private beach. If I had to do this over again, I would have spent more time at the hotel in Phuket.
Overall, I had a great experience with this company. I would use them again in a heartbeat!
I really loved our time in Cambodia. If you are on the fence about going, go. The ruins were very well preserved with so much history! Every part was awesome: the food, the people, the history, the nature....
While in Bangkok, I really wanted to go to the floating markets, so we booked the Market excursion. The floating markets were the low point of the day. We hit 3 markets: floating market, a fish market, and a local food market. the food market was the best! Our guide took us thru and explained all the different foods, then we went back thru and ate our way thru the market. A little green curry here, some fried duck there, some hmoung bean dumplings, pork satay, sauted bok choi, and don't forget the mangos with sticky rice and coconut milk sauce. Yum!
If I could take it again, I would skip Chaing Rai, Chaing Mai and the Golden Triangle.
With the golden triangle excursion, we were able to enter Myanmar and Laos. However, we only hit the touristy markets. There wasn't a bunch of stuff to see. It was the same old trinkets sold everywhere, plus a plethora of bootlegs and roloxxes. The white temple, while cool, is overrated. It is really more of an art piece instead of a temple. It was weird that there was a mural of action-figures and pop-culture characters in the temple. Somehow I don't see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as belonging in a Buddhist temple. Besides the golden triangle and the White temple, everything else worth doing in these cities can be done in Phuket or Bangkok. You see a bunch of temples there; however, you will see so many temples that you will get 'templed-out'. That's why I would just skip it. I'd do the elephant camp elsewhere (like Phuket) and spend more time there.
Also, if I could do it again, I would only go to the Phi Phi Islands and not do any other snorkeling adventure in Phuket. We had 3 days of boat excursions. Avoid the Semillon Island excursions. It was 3 hours by car and then 2 hours by boat each way to get to the Semillons. All the cool spots are inaccessible. Everything we saw at the Semillons, we also saw in the Phi Phi Islands. I would have liked to have more time to enjoy the private beach at our hotel or do something else adventurous.
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