Trip: My wife and I traveled to Bangkok, Chaing Mai, Phuket, and Hong Kong (for a long layover). Overall, the trip was excellent. We cannot say enough about the places we visted:
1. Bangkok: While a large city, it has a special charm. You can see amazing historical Buddhist temples and then quickly transition to the local street vendors/markets and/or modern stores/hotels, etc. We stayed at the Mandarin Oriental (great location, awesome staff - would highly recommend). Peter was an amazing guide!!
2. Chaing Mai: Great city and more of the "local" Thailand relative to Bangkok. Great place to do elephant camps and we did an amazing private cooking class. Four Seasons hotel is a must! Hong, our guide, was great!!
3. Phuket: Beautiful coastal town. Would highly recommend going to the Phi Phi islands via a private boat charter. Thanks to Arun, our amazing guide!!
4. Hong Kong: We were here for ~12 hour layover for our flight, but had a great time shopping and eating dinner overlooking the harbour. Joyce was incredible - - we did the "must sees" in 1/2 a day, plus got to sample the local flavor via some neighborhoods and a local tea shop
A special thanks to each one of our local guides - - you all made a great trip absoulutely unforgettable!! Also, the local Thai people are so so nice and welcomed us everywhere we went.
Travel Company: We used this Thailand travel company and would highly, highly recommend using them. Their staff (special thanks to Vu and Chuong) were incredible - - they put together multiple alternatives for us to consider, provided "local" insights/opinions as we were deciding between options, and we very responsive to our every need. Most importantly, the guides we had were incredible in every locale - - they made the trip!! Every logisital aspect of the trip went off exactly as our travel agency said it would (and the itenerary was very informative/detailed). Perhaps the best way to summarize how much we thought of this company and the experiences they coordinated for us is that upon returing from our trip, we have already contacted the team about returning to SE Asia again next year....and there was absoulutely no question that we are going to use to arrange everything for us again!!
Everything we did was incredible so difficult to choose just a few to mention - - the ones below were a few of our favorites, but also represent some suggestions for future travelers to consider to enhance their experience
1. Private cooking class in Chaing Mai
2. Crusiing the canals of Bangkok in a long-tailed boat
3. Private speed boat tour of Phi Phi islands
The hotels we stayed in were great and would highly recommend: Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Four Seasons Chaing Mai, and Sri Panwa Phuket
Stay longer! We were there for only 10 days....that's why we are already planning to return to the region next year!
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