Tailor-made adventure in Thailand: A trip review

Insight Guides planned the ultimate adventure around Thailand’s capital city and coast for Kate and her husband for her birthday. Here she shares her experiences on a tailor-made trip to Thailand
Bangkok tuk-tuk. Photo: Shutterstock
Bangkok tuk-tuk. Photo: Shutterstock

Bangkok tuk-tuk. Photo: Shutterstock

After Kate Juszczak returned from her tailor-made holiday to Thailand, exploring the cultural highlights of Bangkok, the coast around Phuket and neighbouring islands, she wrote to me explaining their best moments.

Firstly, without a doubt, everyone involved in the organisation of my trip worked hard to make my birthday extra special. On arrival in Bangkok, a small gift was waiting for us in the room, as a surprise from our local partner company. The chocolate cake was delicious!

As part of our itinerary, we had organised to tour Bangkok’s cultural attractions including Wat Arun temple and Bangkok’s Grand Palace, two of the most famous attractions in Thailand. We jumped in a tuk-tuk to see other famous Thai temples around the city too. Some we could only see from the outside, as there were traditional Buddhist ceremonies in progress.

After visiting a couple of Buddhist sites dotted around the city, we took another tuk-tuk to see China Town and the Khao San Road. Before our trip to Thailand, I had heard so many good things about the country's street food. I am a real fan of pad Thai (stir-fried rice noodles), and the first thing I did when we arrived was to order pad Thai with shrimps for 50 bahts (around £1). Honestly? It was the best pad Thai I’d ever eaten.

The Khoa San Road is a real tourist hotspot and a good place to buy things: street food, local fruits, clothes, paintings, souvenirs etc. When night falls, the streets turn into bars where a whole range of music is played. It is also full of food stalls where you can try various insects and exotic snacks. Another similar night market is located towards the south of the city, called Patpong.

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Thai food in its best shape. Photo: Bart JuszczakThai food at its best. Photo: Bart Juszczak

After a few more days of sightseeing, our Bangkok experience was over and we moved onto our next Thai destination: Phuket. A short flight took us south, where we met our second travel expert, who accompanied us to our hotel. We were quickly told that the Thai New Year's celebrations had started and we needed to be ready...

Can you imagine thousands of people (adults and children) on the streets armed with water guns and buckets of cold water? Nobody was safe... Even people driving motorbikes were soaked! We were drenched after two minutes outside. We purchased our own water guns to join in with the fun during the festival. 

Island hopping

If you want to feel like you're in paradise, you should take a day trip to Phi Phi island. We organised a visit to a couple of famous local destinations, including Maya Bay – famous for the movie “The Beach” – and Monkey Beach. Next to Phi Phi we also stopped for snorkelling. This was a beautiful experience, as the water in this area is very clear. We saw different, colourful types of fish and coral reef systems.

After a busy time in Bangkok and Phuket, we travelled to our last destination: Koh Yao Yai island. The island is totally different from noisy Phuket. It is still an unspoilt place, perfect for discovering natural landscapes and meeting local people. We stayed in a private bungalow in Koh Yao Yai Village, which felt like it was in the middle of the jungle. This quiet resort is well known for its peaceful atmosphere. The two infinity pools were among the best we have ever seen.

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Koh Phi Phi snorkelling. Photo: Bart JuszczakKoh Phi Phi snorkelling. Photo: Bart Juszczak

For our first two days, we simply relaxed at the resort (that's what holidays are for, right?). The island is quiet and small so we decided to rent motorbikes and explore the island under our own steam. Koh Yao Yao island is home to amazing beaches with gold sand, pure water and barely any people. Visit if you are looking for a restful few days as part of your trip. 

Following a few more days on the island, our tailor-made trip to Thailand was coming to an end. After an incredible journey around the country's best destinations, I am sure that one day we will return to see more and more...

A few final thoughts

Our local experts throughout the entire trip were fantastic and I want to thank them for always recommending great places to visit; in Bangkok they even organised a small birthday gift for me. Our handlers often went to the trouble of taking us to the airport and escorting us through check-in to ensure that everything was OK with our flight and booking.

Overall, the booking process with Insight Guides through to the trip itself was quick, easy, simple and well prepared. Insight Guides were able to point us in the right direction of very experienced local agents, who were able to recommend and advise us on each segment of our trip.

I would definitely recommend booking with Insight Guides to other travellers. Especially those who like to take the hassle out of organising a trip: the agents will guide you through the planning process, ensuring everything you want to do is included in your itinerary, they then organise every transfer, hotel, activity etc.

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Tips from a traveller in Thailand: Kate shares more of her highlights and insights from her trip

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