Our trip was well prepared and well executed. Our travel agent was very active in his responses and communication with me along the way during the planning process, taking my feedback and requests into account. The trip was certainly an enjoyable experience, partially due to the region but also due to the seamless transfers and friendly guides organized by the tour operator.
Highlights of the trip included the cruise down the Mekong from Thailand to Laos (& the visit to Luang Prabang), the floating market in Bangkok and the wide array of temples we saw. We were impressed with the hotel selections along the way. The promptness of our guides, as well as their friendliness and English speaking capabilities was appreciated and helpful. The food everywhere we went was amazing. The dinner organized for us in Krabi was quite a nice surprise.
I would have given ourselves an extra night in Bangkok versus Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai was underwhelming to us...not sure if that was due to being misdirected by our guide as to skipping the old city or whether the crowds during the time of year swayed our experience. I also wish I had asked for a hotel that did not force guests into a compulsory New Years gala, as it did not feel worth the expense but more importantly, took a night out of our limited time to see Chiang Mai.
I would also have appreciated better direction from the local guides as to restaurants and unique opportunities. To me, that should have been a great benefit of having access to this person but instead all of the guides we had were not savvy when asked for suggestions about authentic restaurants and non touristy experiences. This was a big disappointment.
While all of our hotel properties were nice, I would have appreciated more of a detailed disclosure in advance regarding the location of the properties in relation to the city centers. Mostly all the properties we stayed at were a bit outside of the areas...which was for the most part ok...but took me by surprise upon arrival and did hamper our nighttime options. In particular, the most challenging situation was with the Tubkaak Boutique...I wish I had known the Tubkaak was so far from Ao Nang/so hard to get back and forth without spending a fortune.
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