Travel Thailand Like a Local

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OK, so there is always a first time for everything. My buddy Ken and his fiancée Apple, who happens to live in Bangkok, Thailand, have convinced Anna and I to come to Thailand this November. It sounded like such a good itinerary that we decided to go in with Ken and Apple and host a 19-day vacation that starts in Bangkok and moves around Thailand following floating lantern festivals, elephant reserves and beaches, all up north away from the tourist crowds.

Ken and Apple
Ken and Apple

This would be the first time we have co-hosted a trip like this and we have been thinking about this since 2013 when Ken and Apple hosted their first group of vacationers. I know a number of the people who went on that first and then subsequent trips and they rave about just how beautiful the place is and how friendly the people are. The most common comment was how well the trip was organized and how effective it was to have local representation at the restaurants and hotels.

Thailand 2014
Thailand 2014

I have included a number of pictures in the gallery below from previous trips hosted by Ken and Apple, to give you a flavour of what this trip will include. We will go to the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha as well as the White Temple to be sure. Last time Ken and Apple arranged for guests to spend the whole day looking after elephants at the Patara Elephant Farm. By spending the whole day here, you will look after the animal, bath with them and even ride them. This would be a highlight of the trip for me!

Matt and Daisy
Matt and Daisy

Ken has a tailor in Bangkok he likes to take the men to. These guys make suits for the world’s elite and if you’ve never had a bespoke suit, this is the opportunity to have one made at ½ the price for the same suit in Vancouver.

Ken's Tailor

Apple, who lives in Bangkok is putting together the “on the ground” portion of the trip which is a fancy way of saying she will look after all transportation including long boats to floating markets and motor-coach transportation to some of the more remote areas we plan to go into.

 

Floating Markets
Floating Markets

While we are travelling, we will be staying in local beach towns. Unlike Phuket in the south, these beaches will be almost deserted. We hope to be able to find a good place to snorkel. Caves and waterfalls are beautiful and easily accessed but there will be a fair amount of walking that will be done.

Deserted Beach
Deserted Beach

This year marks the last year of Yi Peng or the sky lantern festival in Chiang Mai. Turns out there are so many lanterns floating around the sky they have become a hazard to air traffic navigation. So, we will take in Yi Peng and Loi Krathong which is the floating lantern festival.

Yi Peng Lantern Festival
Yi Peng Lantern Festival

And because this is an extravagant trip, we can get a massage every day for just a few dollars!

We’ll be staying at some upscale hotels in Bangkok but in local hotels or B&B when in the country; like La a natu bed and bakery in Chaing Mai, or the Teak hotel where literally everything is made from local teak forests.

Teak Hotel
Teak Hotel

Perhaps best of all, there is the food! The freshest and bestest ordered on a local scale (means more than a 50% discount). Prawns, fish, crab….what can I say. Apple told me that she even convinced the owner of one of the local hotels to conduct a cooking lesson. Last time, they went to the market then back to the hotel and learned to cook a traditional Thai meal.

Cooking Class
Cooking Class

We will be travelling by long boat, Sky-train, motor coach and jet. This will be an action packed vacation that is 19 days long.

Floating Markets
Floating Markets

Details as of March, 2016:

  • Departing Thursday November 10, 2016
  • Returning Monday November 28, 2016
  • Hosted Vacation
    • Unlike guided vacations, hosted vacations do not provide an all-inclusive vacation package; each guest is responsible for their own expenses. Neither the tour hosts nor the travel agent can be held responsible for additional expenses caused by any situation beyond their control.
  • A detailed travel itinerary is being developed from which pricing calculations will be made. This spreadsheet will be available to everyone.
  • Due to the fluctuation of the Canadian Dollar against the USD, prices cannot be guaranteed
  • First commitment date is April 15, 2016
  • Travel services will be provided by John and Anna Travel

We will be taking as many as 10 people (5 couples) on this moderately strenuous trip. There will be lots of walking and a little hiking and potentially some swimming, and the temperature could hover around 30 degrees C. Bangkok will be our base but we will travel by air to Chaing Mai, motor-coach to Chaing Rai and other locations.

This trip is currently in its final stage of development and we will soon have to lock and load onto an itinerary. If you are interested in hearing more, including the price, click below and send me an email.

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