Thailand: The Golden Kingdom

12 days
From bustling Bangkok, you’ll travel north to ancient ruined capitals, hill tribe villages and mountaintop temples to investigate all sides of this vibrant country of contrasts. The spice and rice will nourish your body; the scenery and history will nourish your soul.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 18 - 35 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 1 hour daily across uneven terrain with some hills.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of Thailand & Cambodia

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Thailand today.

Bangkok 3 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Bangkok

Welcome to Thailand! Settle in to your hotel tonight.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Bangkok

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, your Tour Director leads a sightseeing tour of Bangkok.

• Explore the sprawling Grand Palace complex, built in 1782 for the king of Siam

• See the city’s vast array of Buddha statues at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho), and the Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit) 

• Tour the city’s canals, called klongs, on a speedboat and converted rice barge

This evening, get acquainted with your fellow travelers at a welcome dinner.

Day 4: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market & River Kwai

  Included meals: Breakfast

Explore the region on a series of stops at local cultural sites.

• Experience the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, where locals sell produce from their small boats

• Journey to Kanchanaburi, home to the River Kwai and the Thai-Burma Railway bridge that was made famous by the novel and film about its construction

• Visit the World War II Cemetery, resting place of over 9,000 Allied soldiers

Phitsanulok 1 night Hotel info

Day 5: Ayutthaya & Uthai Thani

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Journey to Ayutthaya, Thailand’s capital from 1350 to 1767. 

• Tour the ruins, decorated with beautiful images of the Buddha draped in saffron robes, just like living monks

• Continue on to Uthai Thani to visit the beautiful Wat Chantaram

Enjoy a free evening in Phitsanulok or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Rickshaw Ride & Market $29pp* Details

Take a cycle rickshaw to the Phitsanulok Night Market, where you’ll find fresh food cooked and served to order. Watch as local cooks perform their signature "flying vegetables show," in which vegetables are fried in a wok, then tossed high into the air. Be sure to try the finished product, Pak Boong Loy Fah (or "Flying Morning Glory" in English). In addition to the food, you’ll discover an astounding variety of local handicrafts, souvenirs and clothing for sale.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $39)

Chiang Rai 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Sukhothai Historical Park

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

On your way to Chiang Rai, stop to tour the Sukhothai Historical Park. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, this park includes classical Buddha statues and temple ruins.

Day 7: Mae Kok River, oolong tea plantation & the Mekong River

  Included meals: Breakfast

This morning, board a long-tail boat and venture along the Mae Kok River to a hill tribe village. 

• Learn about the traditional life of the hill tribe people, who live in bamboo houses raised on stilts and are skilled at crop rotation and hunting with spears and crossbows

• Stop in Mae Salong, an ethnically Chinese town where various agricultural products are produced—including oolong tea, which you’ll learn about at a tea plantation visit

• Visit the Golden Triangle, where the three countries of Burma, Thailand and Laos meet on the Mekong River

• Take a short cruise across the Mekong River to visit a local market in Laos

Chiang Mai 3 nights Hotel info

Day 8: Wat Rong Khun & Doi Suthep

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

On your way to Chiang Mai, stop at Wat Rong Khun, the otherwordly “White Temple.” Then, enjoy the stunning scenery as you stop at some of the region’s most impressive temples and historic sites.

• Discover Doi Suthep, the regal mountain overlooking the city from the northwest and  home to some of the most deeply loved symbols in the Kingdom

• Walk the 290 steps skyward or take a cable car to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, a major temple and pilgrimage destination during the important Buddhist holidays of Makha Buja and Visak

• Visit Wat Suan Dok, a temple constructed for a revered priest visiting from Sukhothai, to learn about Buddhism from one of the resident monks

Day 9: Elephant Nature Park

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Drive through the countryside to the Mae Taeng Valley and the Elephant Nature Park, a camp dedicated to caring for the elephant population thought conservation efforts and ending  mistreatment. You’ll learn about Asian elephants as you watch them feed and bathe.

Enjoy a free evening in Chiang Mai or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Khantoke Dinner $39pp* Details

Revel in a delectable, entertaining khantoke dinner. The customary northern Thai style of eating, khantoke-style dining became popular in the early 1950s, though it has been a Lanna Thai tradition for centuries. Relax as traditional food is served on large platters, and enjoy your meal as you are entertained by a variety of cultural performances.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $49)

Day 10: Local handicraft market

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to San Kamphaeng to see how regional products are made by visiting local artisans, a silk factory and a paper umbrella manufacturer.

Enjoy a free afternoon in Chiang Mai or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Traditional Thai Cooking Class & Dinner $69pp* Details

Venture outside Chiang Mai to a secluded part of Sankhampaeng village, amidst the stunning rice field scenery of Northen Thailand. Start at a local market and learn about fresh ingredients which you will cook. Culinary school chefs will teach you how to prepare four traditional Thai dishes. Enjoy your meal with your fellow travelers.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $79)

Bangkok 1 night Hotel info

Day 11: Flight to Bangkok

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Fly to Bangkok for your final day in Thailand. After reaching the capital city, spend time relaxing or exploring on your own. 

Later, join your group for an included farewell dinner.

Day 12: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your early morning flight home or continue your tour in Cambodia.

Add Cambodia Starting from $999 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Learn about the dramatic history of the Khmer civilization and see how Cambodia is reinventing itself today. Wander among Angkor’s temples and terraces and discover one of humankind's most astonishing and enduring architectural achievements. From the layout of the temple sites to the intricate bas-relief and the iconographic sculpture, the sites of Siem Reap will mesmerize and amaze.

Siem Reap 2 nights Hotel info

Day 12: Sunset at Angkor Wat

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia and arrive in time for lunch. At sunset, tour the majestic temples of Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument and an outstanding example of Khmer architecture. Honoring Hinduism and Buddhism, its five layers of rectangular walls and moats are said to represent mountains and the ocean.

Day 13: Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm & Preah Khan

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Spend the day exploring evocative temple ruins with your Tour Director. 

• Experience Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Kmer Empire and home of the Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the Bayon Temple 

• Explore Ta Prohm, a 12th-century temple that has been largely reclaimed by the jungle, known as the setting of the Tomb Raider movie as nature takes over the man-made 

• Stop at the ruins of the nearby Preah Khan temple

Bangkok 1 night Hotel info

Day 14: Flight to Bangkok

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a morning tour of Banteay Srei and Banteay Samre, the latter meaning “Citadel of the Women.” 

Later, fly back to Bangkok for a group farewell dinner.

Day 15: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your early morning flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Phitsanulok, Thailand
  • Chiang Rai, Thailand
  • Chiang Mai, Thailand
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & visa requirements

  • In order to enter Thailand and Cambodia on the tour extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of return. 
  • We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens to enter Thailand.
  • U.S. and Canadian passport holders must obtain a visa to enter Cambodia on the tour extension. You may choose to obtain your visa at the port of entry (you will need $30 USD and two passport-sized photos).You may also obtain your visa in advance by applying directly to the Cambodian consulate, or by using a visa provider, such as our partner company, VisaCentral.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country's consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Tour pace

  • You will walk for about 1 hour daily across uneven terrain with some hills.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own luggage at times, as well as getting in and out of pick-up trucks and small boats.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.

Transportation & arrival information

  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead arrive in  and depart from Bangkok. A Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead for an additional cost.
  • Small boats rides and a flight from Chiang Mai to Bangkok are included in the price of your tour. (The tour extension also includes round-trip flights between Bangkok  and Siem Reap).
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.

Baggage allowance

  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.
  • Contact your airline for detailed information regarding baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights. We recommend that you limit your baggage to under 44lbs to avoid charges on included flights within Thailand.
  • One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height).
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing. Please note that you will be required to remove your shoes at all Buddhist religious sites.
  • Waterproof shoes or sandals, a swimsuit, sunscreen and insect repellent are recommended for outdoor activities 
  • Binoculars are handy for a closer look at local wildlife and scenery.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • It is preferable not to visit temples or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • Please be sure to take proper care with sun exposure, the sun can be especially strong in some of the areas you are visiting. 
  • Drink bottled water only. Refrain from drinking tap water, including when brushing your teeth.
  • Bring a small first aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication, motion sickness medication and any prescription medications in your carry-on bag. 
  • Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they are cooked or washed in clean water and peeled.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour and any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to goaheadtours.com and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.

Cuisine

  • Traditional Thai cooking uses market-fresh ingredients seasoned with a mix of herbs, spices and condiments such as chili peppers and fish sauce. The main staple is rice. Most meals include a soup, a curry, a steamed or fried dish and a salad.
  • On the tour extension, international influence is evident in the Khmer cuisine of Cambodia, where full flavor is created through the mix of herbs and spices such as sweet basil, Asian coriander, mint, lemongrass and pepper. The base of almost all Cambodian dishes is rice or noodles, served with a curry, soup or vegetable stir fry. Grilled freshwater fish is popular, and the fermented fish paste known as prahok is a traditional seasoning.

Electricity & air conditioning

  • Thailand (and Cambodia on the tour extension) operates on 230 volts. 
  • Thailand uses Types A, B, C or O plugs with two flat prongs, two flat and one rounded prong, or two or three rounded prongs, respectively.
  • Cambodia uses Types A, C or G plugs with two flat prongs, two rounded prongs or three flat prongs, respectively.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
  • The strength of the air conditioning in Asian hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. 
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches. 
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges. 

Time zones

  • Thailand (and Cambodia on the tour extension) is 11 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
  • When it's noon in New York, it's 11pm in Thailand.

Currency

  • You will use the Thai baht in Thailand (plus the Cambodian riel on the tour extension). 
  • (Tour extension) In Cambodia, U.S. dollars are accepted everywhere, though change may be given in riel. Most hotels, restaurants, shops, taxis, buses and airlines list their prices in U.S. dollars, but small transactions (less than a dollar) are usually conducted in riel. Always carry small amounts of riel for motorcycle taxis, snacks and other small purchases. 
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available abroad, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.

Tipping

  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD/CAD to $10USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director, $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $2USD/CAD per person per day for your bus attendant. 
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. 
  • Tips can only be paid in cash. 

Purchasing excursions on tour

  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa or MasterCard as payment for excursions. 
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged. 
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/24/2017

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Bucklet List Trip

This was my first solo tour and my first tour ever with Go Ahead. Everything from being picked up from the airport and all my flights that they arranged for me went seamlessly. It was incredible how easy it was. I'm so glad none of my flights were canceled or delayed. I was a little nervous that I wouldn't find the tour director at the airport when I arrived but they're standing right there with a big GO AHEAD sign and it was easy as pie from there. I loved all of the sights we visited, the temples (White Temple, Doi Suthep, Grand Palace) but what stuck out in my memory the most is the Monk Chat, that was one of the best and most humbling experiences ever. The elephant rescue camp was so so so so awesome. Feeding and bathing the elephants has always been on my bucket list. May (our tour director) was beyond amazing. She bought us snacks along the way and even organized tuks tuks to pick us up from our hotel when some of us that wanted to go to the night market in Chiang Rai to get massages and in our last night in Bangkok, she also organized for us to see the Calypso show (which was a lady boys cabaret) it was amazing! Great experience. You can't go to Thailand without experiencing that. I also did the tour extension to Cambodia and let me tell you, Cambodia is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!! It was a nice change of pace from a huge bustling city like Bangkok, even though I love big cities (I'm from LA) Cambodia was the perfect way to end my South East Asia experience. Rat was our tour guide and he was so awesome and helpful. He brought us to different parts of the temples where we could get the best shots and he had great historical facts and information to tell us about each of the Angkor Temples. Angkor Wat is majestic in person and definitely something to see once in your lifetime. The food was good but I do recommend trying food at the night markets to get the authentic taste of Thailand, since most of the food provided are buffet style in hotels. The food at the Khantoke Dinner in Thailand was the best meal I had in Thailand, it was superb. The accommodations were great, especially Dusit Resort in Chiang Rai and the Siripanna Villa in Chiang Mai, absolutely gorgeous accommodations. Topland was my least favorite, since it was a stop over hotel and it was just 1 night, it wasn't too bad and you don't really spend too much time in your hotel anyway when you're busy adventuring. I do recommend the Rickshaw ride excursion, that was awesome!! Riding through town in the rickshaw as the sun was setting was beautiful. The pools at Dusit and Siripanna are definitely something to experience if you have the time. This is definitely a fast paced tour with lots of temples and lots of walking, bringing comfortable sandals and walking shoes were life savers. I do want to mention to bring clothes that cover the shoulders and knees for females in both Thailand and Cambodia when visiting the temples as some of us in Cambodia had to do last minute shopping when we got there. All in all, it was an awesome solo trip and it won't be my last with Go Ahead. THANK YOU!!!

 

Thank you for choosing Go Ahead for your first solo tour! We know that planning a solo trip can be a bit daunting and we are glad that we were able to help you with the planning. Many of our solo travelers have expressed that they had similar feelings before their first trip, but are pleasantly surprised by the ease of traveling with Go Ahead once they experience it for themselves. It sounds like you really made the most of your time on tour! We appreciate all of the great recommendations you have made for future travelers. Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding your visit with the monk. We have heard from many travelers that this was a very meaningful experience and we are glad that it stuck out to you as well. We also appreciate your thoughts about visiting the elephant sanctuary. We are glad to provide an opportunity for our travelers to see these incredible animals and learn about the conversation efforts underway to protect them. We loved reading about your experience in Cambodia. It is definitely a change of pace after the earlier parts of the tour and we are glad that you were impressed with your guide. We agree that Angkor Wat is not to be missed and are so glad you found it to be memorable. Thank you for highlighting the need for good walking shoes. This is certainly an active tour and they are a necessity. It is also helpful for future travelers to know about the dress code at some of the religious sites on this tour. We want to thank you again for taking the leap and joining us for your first solo trip! We hope that we will see you on tour again when you plan your next adventure!

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | April 28, 2017

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 2/10/2017

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: ON

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Our trip to Thailand

The accommodations were very good in general. However, one -The Topland Hotel was dirty, smelly and in very poor condition. Many of the laid on meals were buffet style which is fine, except that the food was consistently served cold. The a la carte set meals were excellent (and warm!) The tour director "Louis" was good. Due to a death in his family, he was replaced by "May". She was excellent. The tour was very busy and active with many early mornings, several very long "bus" days (12-14 hours) and far too many temples and Buddhas. We suggest touring only the most interesting temples (the White, the Chrystal and the Golden). We would have liked to have some"down time" to spend at the beautiful resorts in Chiang Mei and Chand Rei. The airline package was very disappointing. We tried to upgrade to Economy Plus to have extra leg room on the long flights. GoAhead said to contact the airlines directly. The airlines told us we had to deal with GoAhead as they were responsible for the tour. We went around in circles for several days in Canada and in Thailand to try to organize this with absolutely no luck. Fourteen hour flights in very cramped seats that do not recline, is very uncomfortable for Seniors to endure.

 

Dear Cynthia, Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. We’re glad that overall you had a nice time and that you enjoyed your replacement Tour Director. We thank you for your patience, understanding, and flexibility regarding this change. We’re happy to learn that you enjoyed most of your accommodations, but we regret that one of them did not meet your expectations. We will be sure to communicate this to our Operations team for further review. We are also sorry that the included meals did not always appeal to you. This will also be shared with our team internally. Regarding time in transit, this tour does cover a considerable amount of ground and sites, which poses a challenge to cutting down on time in transit without reducing the amount of experiences and places visited. It’s important for us to know that you felt the longer days were challenging, and we will continue to monitor traveler feedback surrounding the matter. In terms of the amount of temples and Buddhas encountered on tour, we regret that you felt a bit of religious culture fatigue. We can certainly understand your position, and we can take a look at how we might address this for the future. That said, the religious sites and practices of Thailand are central to the culture of the country, and therefore, provide a considerable amount of historical and cultural context for visitors. Regarding the airline package, we regret that this was unclear and that the airline was apparently unhelpful. Go Ahead has unique contracts with each of our airline partners, some of which allow us to arrange upgraded seating and some which don’t. Additionally, all of the airlines have different seating policies. We can confirm that Go Ahead is unable to arrange seating policies with the airline you used, but we apologize that the airline did not resolve your concerns. The airlines are an entirely separate entity from Go Ahead, and therefore, we cannot provide further explanation on their behalf. However, we always encourage customers to voice their concerns when they encounter an issue with the airlines, as it’s important for them to know about your experience. Again, we thank you for taking the time to provide such detailed feedback, and we hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | March 03, 2017

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 1/25/2017

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: ON

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Thailand so photogenic!

THAILAND THE GOLDEN KINGDOM Plus Cambodia January 25 2017 I was going to write my review of Thailand after looking through our photos however, the landscapes, architecture and archeological sites are so spectacular that it will take me a month to look at all the photos. So I will review now instead. First I will say that we arrived two days early so that we would have time to adjust to the 12 hour time difference before setting off on tour. We were very pleased that GoAhead was able to get us rooms in the same hotel that the group was to convene in. It simplified our plans. We enjoyed our two pre-stay days because the neighborhood around the Bangkok hotel, Magestic Grande, was safe and very walkable. We were able to orient ourselves and get a tourist sim card for our phone ($10 at True in the nearby Embassy Center Mall) and acclimatise. We had an excellent guide, May, for the Thai portion of the trip. She was very well informed and gave us a lot of both practical and educational information .She had clear delivery and a great sense of humor. May enriched our visit in numerous ways. On our way to the River Kwai , she played the movie “Bridge on the River Kwai” to help us prepare. She also helped by suggesting and facilitating free time activities. She arranged group transportation for several events when a sufficient number of our group wanted to go. For instance, on our last night she made it possible for us to go to the Calypso Cabaret and shops at the Asiatique complex along the river. She arranged for two minivans to take us there and pre- purchased tickets for the show. Despite the fact that it was her free time, she accompanied us. She did the same for several night market adventures, one in Bangkok and the other in Chiang Mai. She also had great suggestions for meals on the nights when dinner was not included. One such restaurant was Cabbages and Condoms (Funky restaurant with family planning concept, serving Thai cuisine, plus outside dining area.) One of May’s practical tips was to skip doing the fish pedicures that were being offered in many of the places we encountered during free time. She was concerned about sanitation and diseases. I looked up this practice when I got home and confirmed that she was wise. Many countries, states and provinces have banned the practice for the reasons she cited. Another event that May included even though not on the itinerary was one of the highlights for me. She took us to a small rural elementary school during the drive from Phitsanulok to Chiang Rai. She had asked the night before if we’d be interested and everyone agreed. After dinner that night, many of us hit the market stalls and found sports equipment, teaching tools like maps of Thailand and the world, Thai alphabet chart, Lego and more. We also took up a collection and gave the teachers some cash to use for classroom enrichment. We were well received by the shy but excited little ones. They sang us some of their songs and we went into their classrooms to play with them for a while. It was most memorable. It was also a perfect way to break up a long drive. All of the hotels were good and the food at all of them was excellent. I really liked the Magestic Grande Hotel . Its dining room by the pool on the 7th floor had great breakfast and dinner buffets. There is also a really pleasant Indian restaurant on the main floor but I must note that although they offered Wi-Fi it was very poor. The first night we thought that it was just us but on the bus the next morning, most other group members agreed that it was hard to impossible to log in. If you did get logged in, it could drop off before you could get a message sent. Our second hotel :Topland” was the one I liked the least. It did have good food but the décor throughout was dark and gloomy and it felt like it was about 30 years overdue for redecoration and better lighting. Looking around town near the hotel I wondered if it was possibly the only hotel so that there was no alternative to choose from. However it was only for one night and it was clean. Dusit Island Resort in Chiang Rai was my favorite hotel of all on this tour. It was perfect and beautiful. The food was superior. Outside the gardens and pool were so refreshing. Siripanna Villa resort in Chiang Mai was a very close second. It too had superior food and a lovely pool. In Cambodia, Prince D’Angkor Hotel was a beautiful building. We enjoyed the pool over the lunch break when it was too hot to be touring. Some people were not happy with the food but I thought it was fine. There was a lot to see near the hotel when out walking. Highlights of the trip May (the guide ) Elephant reserve Boat trip to Laos School visit White Temple and Blue Temple Angkor Wat Suggestion: make sure that it is clear in the preparation literature that all the temples in Thailand and Cambodia have strict dress codes for both sexes. Shorts and capris are not allowed for men or women. Both sexes must have shoulders covered. Women can wear a skirt as long as it covers the knees. Many members of our group had trouble cobbling up an outfit that was suitable. Some of us had to wear our North American winter cardigans in the 93 F/ 34C temperatures. Note that, for some reason, scarves and pashminas are not permitted cover-ups for shoulder.

1 / 1
 

Hi Penelope! We’re so glad you got around to writing a review! We had a great time reading it, and we’re pleased to learn that you enjoyed every minute of your time in Thailand. It’s great to know that your Tour Director was a highlight for you and that you feel she added lots of value to your trip. We’re a little biased, but we think it’s pretty fantastic having an expert to go to for suggestions, help, questions, or anything that you need in general. We will be sure to share all your kind comments with her. We appreciate your feedback on the hotels and meals, and we’re glad that you were generally pleased with most. We regret that one of the hotels didn’t quite meet your expectations, and we will be sure to communicate that to our Operations team for further review. Regarding the proper attire for temples, we do state in our On-Tour Info section of both the website and materials that legs and shoulders must be covered. We regret that that was unclear prior to your departure, and we can certainly take a look at how we might disseminate this messaging in other ways in the future. Again, thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thorough review! We’re thrilled that you enjoyed yourself, and we can’t wait to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | March 10, 2017

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 1/20/2017

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: IL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Smiles for miles

Thailand is an amazing place! We visited a lot of temples but they were all beautiful and unique in their own ways. My favorite things we did were going to the White Temple and seeing the elephants. The White Temple looks amazing in pictures but you don't realize just how amazing it is until you're standing in front of it. Any art lover or person that appreciates architecture should see this place. The elephant sanctuary we visited was so much fun! You get to feed and bathe elephants and when I went I felt like a child because I was so excited about it. The tour guide, Louis was fantastic! He went out of his way to make sure everyone got to do what they wanted and he fed us snacks and fruits along the way. He made sure we all got the complete Thailand experience. He was SO knowledgeable and patient with everyone. He is such an interesting guy and I felt so lucky to have had him on a longer tour. I also did the Cambodia extension. This was completely worth it! Cambodia is obviously a third world country but seeing Angkor Wat is worth going along. The tour guide for this, Rath was also amazing! He was such a genuine guy and he shared so many amazing stories with us. Some of these stories were very sobering and for that I am grateful because we just don't realize or always know the history of countries on the other side of the world. I will never forget anyone I met on this trip or any of the things I learned. I don't think this tour could have been any better and it was a great experience for my first adventure in Asia.

 

Hi Amber! We loved reading your review, and we’re thrilled that you enjoyed Thailand! It’s great to know which experiences stood out to you, such as visiting the iconic White Temple and interacting with elephants. We’re glad you felt your Tour Director did a great job and that his knowledge enhanced your experience. We will be sure to share your kind words with him. We’re also pleased that you enjoyed the Cambodia extension! Angkor Wat is truly an amazing place, and we’re glad you could see it. Thank you for your wonderful review, Amber. We hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | February 13, 2017

2 / 5

2 / 5

Tour Date: 1/20/2017

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: MA

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Not our favorite tour I'm afraid

Let me explain my title. The content of the tour was absolutely fine but the pace was very heavy. We were up at 6.30 most mornings and then out and about every day till the evening. We spent hours on a bus, 2 whole days in fact with brief stops to visit places along the way. We used the same bus to travel the whole length of the country. If I never travel on a bus again it will be too soon! The bus itself was not in the best condition with many seat belts broken, drink holders broken or missing and stained upholstery. Our guide, Louis, chatted non-stop during every journey, maybe to keep us amused but it just got to be annoying. Others seemed to appreciate his sense of humor but I found his often racist jokes offensive. A question of taste I suppose. On a one-to-one basis we had no problem with him at all but in a group situation he was too over the top, for us anyway. Our main gripe about the tour is the time spent/wasted in the bus. We moved to this tour immediately after the Vietnam & Cambodia tour. We had travelled around there by plane, very short flights but in Thailand we spent 2 whole days on the bus whereas we could have taken a couple of short flights and had more time to spend at the final destinations. Yes, we saw odd things along the way but the time wasted and the discomfort from so many hours in the bus ruined that for us. The internal flights are not expensive, I checked, and would not add too much to the total cost of the trip. This honestly made all the difference for us when I compare the Vietnam trip to the Thailand trip. The saving grace on the bus was the bus-boy, Nop who was wonderfully helpful and always had a smile, a bottle of water or a snack to hand out. He would also tag along at the back of the group sometimes and it was only thanks to him that some members did not get lost or left behind when we were in a busy area. A couple of the hotels we stayed in were very nice though we hardly had time to appreciate them as we arrived late and left early. One in the middle of the long bus ride was pretty awful, another reason to change this part. We took some time off on a couple of days just to be able to catch our breath. This was a shame really as I wanted to see what was on the itinerary those days but just couldn't face more time on a bus listening to inane stories. I absolutely love Thai food but, with a couple of exceptions, was not really impressed by the food we were given as it was almost always buffet style which gets tired after a while. I appreciate that buffets are quicker for a large group but not every single day and almost always chicken. I like chicken but won't be eating any for a few weeks yet. I'm sorry to be so negative. We really enjoyed the Vietnam tour and most of our fellow travelers in Thailand seemed happy enough but it just wasn't right for us. We are very active and very well-traveled seniors.

 

Dear Bernadette, Thank you for speaking with a member of our Quality Control team today. We regret that the tour pace and time in transit did not meet your expectations, including your experience with the bus. We will be sure communicate this to our Product Development team, as we are constantly using customer feedback to evaluate our tours. This tour covers quite a bit of ground and includes a lot of stops, but we can certainly look at how we might slow it down a bit for the future. We also appreciate your feedback regarding your Tour Director. While we understand that some personalities are not as appealing to everyone, it is important for us to know how your Tour Director made you feel. The goal is for your Tour Director to enhance your experience. Regarding your tour guide assistant, we’re glad you found his assistance useful and pleasant. We appreciate your thoughts on your included meals on this tour. It’s true that often buffets are generally easier for a group and provide a greater variety of options; however, the menu options for included meals depend on a number of different factors, such as the time allotted for the meal, the capabilities of the kitchen, and the size of the group. Again, thank you for discussing your concerns with a member of our Quality Control team. We sincerely hope you will travel with us again.

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | February 13, 2017

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 1/20/2017

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Trip far exceeded our expectations!

They couldn't have found a better person to guide this tour; we got so lucky to have Louis as our guide! There is no way we'd have seen/done/tasted/experienced as much as we did without him. We learned so much about Thai culture and history and really enjoyed every day of the trip. Already planning our next trip and we got home less than 24 hours ago!

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Hi Krystal! We’re delighted that you feel your Tour Director was an asset throughout your trip, and we’ll be sure to let him know. Looking forward to welcoming you on tour again!

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | February 06, 2017

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 1/20/2017

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

My first GoAhead Tour

Thailand/Cambodia was my first Go Ahead Tour (also my first guided tour). I've always liked to travel doing my own plans, but my girlfriend had done Go Ahead before and said we should give it a try. Our Tour Director, Louis, was the best! There is no way I would have got to see all the things we did if it wasn't for Louis and Go Ahead. We went to all the best sight-seeing spots, he bought us lots of different foods to try, set-up police escorted rides around town, got us into places where the line was around the block. There were a few times where I did really want to break from the group and explore, but you are kind of on a leash (probably in everyone's best interest). All in all, had a great time!

 

Hi Jordan! We’re thrilled that you feel you were able to see and do more than you would have had you traveled alone. Our Tour Directors add immeasurable value to our trips, and we’re so glad you found this to be true. Regarding free time, some of our tours build in more free time than others, depending on the length of the tour and the amount of stops included. This is a fairly fast-paced itinerary, designed to optimize the travelers’ time, and therefore has less free time than some of our other tours. We will be sure to let our Product Development team know that there were some instances where you wished you had time for independent exploration. Thank you for your review, Jordan. We hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | February 06, 2017

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 1/13/2017

Number of Past Tours: 9

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

"Thailand is your home"

We experienced Bangkok for the first time on a Go Ahead extension three years prior to this trip. At that time, our Tour Director was Kong. We were inspired by that experience with Kong to return to Thailand for this more extensive tour. It was a thrill to learn that he would again serve as our host to our travels in his country, and he again fulfilled that role in a truly outstanding fashion. Kong is deeply passionate about his work, extremely knowledgeable, organized to the smallest detail, and the epitome of kindness and thoughtfulness (e.g. finding spots in the shade to address the group on hot days, providing hand sanitizer for everyone in the group after each stop, finding out about a significant birthday and having the hotel provide a small cake complete with a candle, … ). Indeed, he wanted us to feel welcome and as if Thailand were our home. Our hours of riding in the coach were punctuated by regular rest stops and marked by efforts to provide some comfortable facilities; Kong purchased and served delightful surprise snacks (bags of fresh pineapple, small bananas, peanut candy, crispy rice crackers, banana fritters, ice cream, and many more); “free” lunch stops were often planned for places serving quality foods; we were briefed on items of safety and etiquette (temples, dining, …). In sum, Kong truly set the standard for Tour Directors! Our bus driver, Mr. Sam, was excellent, and his bus assistant, Top, provided us with cool, moist towelettes and bottles of water, while keeping the bus very clean. We were extremely pleased with the itinerary and optional offerings. The ambiance in Bangkok was different from that of our previous experience as the country was still officially in mourning from the death of monarch Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX, on October 13, 2016. We enjoyed seeing the major sites and the river cruises. Nevertheless, the chance to see much more of Thailand held great appeal. Yes, there were several long days of riding in the coach, but we were grateful for the opportunity to view so much more of the countryside than would have been possible with flea-hop flights: towns, houses, shrines, salt flats, fish farms, water buffalo herds, roadside stands and restaurants, cultivated fields, rice paddy “nurseries,” brightly painted trucks filled with cut sugar cane or timber, watermelon harvesting, coconut and banana trees, hillside rows of pineapple plants, a market on a railroad track, etc. The day trip to the Kanchanaburi region was a definite draw. The walk across the bridge on the River Kwai and the image of the rows of almost 7,000 graves in the nearby pristine allied cemetery triggered the memory of the haunting melody from the 1957 movie about the construction of the bridge and images of very dark times. We were awed by magnificent historical sites like Ayutthaya and Sukhothai. We appreciated the sights and experiences of the northern territory near Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. The Wat Rong Khun (“White Temple”), enveloped in a light early morning fog, provided a modern, ghostlike contrast to the temples we had previously visited. We appreciated the opportunity to see and learn about the traditional dress of several hill tribes. A true highlight was the opportunity to interact with elephants (feeding, touching, bathing) at the Elephant Nature Park where the antics of eight-month-old elephant Dok Rak (“the flower of love”) captured our hearts! We’ll never forget the moment when this calf, exhausted, suddenly collapsed for a nap on the pile of stalks that members of his family group were gulping down! During this trip, we also benefited from some incredible surprise activities arranged by Kong, like our visit to the Ban Khonoi primary school where we viewed the school facilities, participated in classroom activities and played a charade-type game with the children. We further appreciated the optional activities: the rickshaw ride to the night market in Phitsanulok provided a venue for learning about edible insects and the opportunity to taste some; we enjoyed the traditional music and dances at the Khantoke dinner; we loved the afternoon at the cooking school where we watched demonstrations for the preparation of four Thai dishes (soup, salad, two dishes with chicken) and then individually prepared the same dishes for our meal. The covered dining terrace overlooked an out-of-season rice paddy and grazing water buffalo. I would conclude information about our visits by saying that only once were we somewhat disappointed, and that was with the excursion by boat to a market in Laos. Yes, we can say that we set foot in Laos, but the market itself was less than appealing since a majority of the merchandise offered consisted of knock off leather goods. A few tips: 1. Major credit cards are accepted at hotels and large, well-established shops / restaurants. Otherwise, transactions will take place in the local currency (baht). The Tour Director regularly indicated the location of ATM machines for those who needed to make cash withdrawals. Try to keep small bills on hand (20 baht) throughout the trip to handle very small additional tips (at this writing, $1.00 = approximately 35 baht). 2. Kong made every effort to pay for any fees for restroom use for the entire group. Efforts were also made to provide us with toilet paper. However, it is a good idea to always have some paper on hand. When using the facilities, used paper is placed in a garbage bin and is not flushed. Depending on the location, the number of western-style facilities available varies; in a few spots “squatters” outnumbered the sitting variety. 3. It can be convenient to wear non-lacing shoes for temple visits since shoes must be removed each time. The Tour Director did an excellent job of informing the group about appropriate clothing prior to each visit. 4. Complimentary bottles of water were provided in hotels and on the bus. We only purchased a few other bottles during the whole trip. Convenience stores (7-Eleven stores being very popular) can be found just about everywhere. We highly recommend this tour of Thailand during which we were made to feel very much “at home”, and we definitely plan to travel again with Go Ahead in the future. We close these remarks with an expression of deep appreciation to Kong and with a shout-out to all in our most congenial group as you made our time together great fun!

 

Hello! Thank you so much for your detailed review. It’s wonderful to know that you had a great time exploring Thailand, and you offer some valuable tips for future travelers, too! We’re glad you found your Tour Director warm and welcoming. It sounds like his attention to detail, in-depth knowledge, and thoughtful demeanor were assets throughout your trip, and we’ll be sure to let him know. We’re also happy to learn you were pleased with the itinerary and optional offerings. Our Product Development team works hard to design educational and eye-opening itineraries, providing an authentic look into the history and culture of each destination. We’re delighted the elephant nature park was a highlight for you, and we can certainly understand why. Experiencing these majestic animals up-close-and-personal is very moving, for animal lovers and curious travelers alike! We regret to learn that your brief time in Laos did not meet your expectations. It’s not too uncommon to find knock-off goods at markets throughout Asia, but we regret that this was a frustration for you, and we will be sure to let our team know. Thank you again for taking the time to provide such a thorough review. We’re thrilled that you recommend this tour, and we look forward to welcoming you on your next one later this year!

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | February 06, 2017

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 1/13/2017

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

The Best of the Best

Thailand and Cambodia were not on my travel bucket list until a friend and travel guru organized a trip to these two countries with GoAhead Vacations. Her pre-trip information and photos were interesting and intriguing, making the trip irresistible. Thus, my 15-day adventure began on January 13 opening the doors to dozens of wow photo opportunities around every corner. The long and tiring flight from Austin to Bangkok was quickly forgotten as the sights of Bangkok unfolded. The itinerary also included overnight stays in Phitsanulok, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, Thailand and Siem Reap, Cambodia. In the Bangkok area, we visited the sprawling Grand Palace complex built in 1782 for Rama I, the King of Siam; Wat Trimit (Golden Buddha); Wat Phra Kaew (Emerald Buddha), Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha); the extremely crowded Damnoen Saduak Floating Market; Kanchanaburi’s famous bridge over the River Kwai; the somber Death Railway Museum and nearby WWII cemetery. We cruised the Thonburi canals in a speed boat stopping to feed eager catfish and the Chao Phraya River on a converted rice barge enjoying a variety of fresh fruit and local desserts. Ayutthaya was Thailand’s capital from 1350 to 1767 when it was destroyed by Burmese armies. Today, the Historical Park houses the ruins of this ancient empire named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. An outdoor reclining Buddha, gallery of saffron-robed Buddhas, Buddha Prayer Hall and beautiful multi-colored bougainvillea greeted us at the Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon. We enjoyed lunch at the Uthai River Lake Resort, a beautiful serene setting far from the paved path. In Phitsanulok, we hired numerous rickshaws to take us to the night market where we enjoyed shopping, sampled a variety of deep-fried insects, and watched the ”flying vegetable show.” Several group members volunteered to participate in the show and catch a clump of cooked morning glory tossed to them by a chef who had dramatically torched the greens as the rickshaw drivers serenaded us. I did not volunteer to be part of the show, but I did quickly eat one crunchy bamboo worm. The next day we experienced a long day driving over 250 miles passing rice fields, salt fields and small villages. We stopped at Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1991. Sukhothai means “Dawn of Happiness” and was the capital of the Sukhothai Kingdom in the 13th and 14th centuries. The most important and impressive temple was Wat Mahathat. A tram scurried us around the huge complex stopping at important sites passing several moats adorned with picturesque lotus blossoms. At the Ban Khohoi School, we talked to elementary school children, played games and gave them snacks and treats. In Chiang Rai, our hotel for two nights was the lush Dusit Island Resort. A long-tail boat ride for an hour on the Mae Kok River took us to the Karen Ruammit Elephant Club for feeding time. A closed pick-up truck bus bounced along the road up to the verdant Choui Fong oolong tea plantation passing numerous fields of pineapple, rice and tobacco. At the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet, we visited the House of Opium Museum, walked under the giant elephant statue for luck and took a short cruise on the Mekong River to a dusty local market in Laos. From a distance Wat Rong Khun (White Temple) appears exceptional, impressive and stunning. For a closer look you see demons, other-worldly creatures and skulls. It is not an ancient or historical temple, rather a contemporary temple owned and designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat which opened to the public in 1997. An art exhibit of his other works is adjacent to the temple as is the golden bathroom facilities. At a local rice mill, we learned about and watched as the rice was processed. At a jewelry store specializing in jade, we learned about the various jade colors, mining and carving jade. A winding road up the mountain led us to the top of Doi Suthep and Wat Prathat. Several group members walked the 290 steps to the Wat while others rode in a funicular. Once at the top, we received a blessing from the monk. We stayed three nights at the Siripanna Villa Resort in Chiang Mai. At the Elephant Nature Park, the elephants roam free; there are no chains, pens or enclosures. We spent several hours at the park learning, feeding, touching and bathing these massive creatures. Various breeds of dogs and cats roam the grounds freely as well. Options for these unemployed elephants are bleak; releasing them in the jungle is a death sentence and feeding and caring for them is a great expense. This sanctuary and rescue center offers an ethical and sustainable eco-tourism option. We visited the Maetaeng Hill Tribes Village, home to the Akha, Kayor, Palong, Karen, Mhong, Yao and Lisu tribal members. Cultural traditions were evidenced in the long necks, long ears and colorful beaded dress. Additional cultural traditions, dress and performances were on display at the Khantoke dinner at the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center. Shopping was easy at the precious stones store, the silk factory, the paper umbrella manufacturer and the very crowded Walking Street night market. I rode on the hotel’s shuttle to the market and flagged a tuk tuk for the return trip. In Siem Reap, Cambodia we used our 3-day pass to visit Angkor Archeological Park’s Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Ta Prohm (Jungle Temple seen in the Tomb Raider movie), Bateay Srei (Citadel of the Woman) and Preah Khan. Over the centuries, the temples alternated between Hinduism and Buddhism. The Angkor Wat temple complex is the world’s largest religious monument and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992. The area served as the capital city of the Khmer Empire from the 9th to the 15th centuries. Throughout the journey, our tour director, Mr. Kong, provided local snacks and treats including bananas, rice cookies, chocolate candy, ice cream bars and fresh pineapple slices. Our bus assistant met us at the bus door with cold wet cloths and frequently distributed ice cold water to help combat the hot humid weather. The hotels were quite nice with large rooms and ample breakfast buffets. The food choices, quality and quantity were outstanding meeting the needs of vegetarians and the non-spicy, no peppers and no fish requests. I would highly recommend this trip to other adventurers with the caveat of good health and long distance walking capability. Ask for Mr. Kong as your tour director. He is the best.

 

Hi Ellen! Thank you for writing such a detailed review! We’re delighted that you had a great time exploring Thailand. You mention so many of the incredible highlights included in this itinerary, such as the visit to the elephant sanctuary and Sukhothai Historical Park. There’s certainly so much to explore in this beautiful, enchanting country! We’re really glad that your Tour Director ensured that you were comfortable and happy throughout the trip. We will be sure to share that feedback with him, as well as the kind words about your bus assistant. It’s great to know that you feel the hotels and meals were exceptional. Our Operations team strives to provide the most optimal accommodations and culinary experience, so we will be sure to communicate your comments to them. Thank you for recommending this tour, Ellen. We hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | February 21, 2017

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 1/13/2017

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Thailand: The Golden Kingdom

Thailand with its rich culture, smiling people, colorful temples and picturesque landscapes lends itself for a unique travel experience. Kong, our tour director, is one of the very best in the business. He has great organizational skills and a wonderful sense of humor and he tended with compassion to all of our wants and needs. His love for his country is evident as he readily shared his knowledge about all aspects of the culture with us. As a group organizer, I can truly say that Thailand is one of the most rewarding destinations of all.

 

Hi Ursula! We couldn’t agree more that Thailand offers a uniquely beautiful travel experience. We’re so glad your Tour Director made a great impression and proved to be an asset throughout your trip. We will be sure to let him know. Thank you for your review, and see you on tour again later this year!

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | February 01, 2017

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 11/4/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

I love Thailand!

I had the best time in Thailand, our tour director was amazing! This was my dream to always go and it was wayyyyyy better than what I had imagined!

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Hi Jessica! We're thrilled that you could fulfill your dream of visiting Thailand. Let us know when you're ready to live another travel dream!

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | January 16, 2017

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 11/4/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Land of Smiles

My tour of Thailand led by Mr. Kong was outstanding. He shared so much with us and taught us about the lives and culture of the Thai people. Not a day went by when we were not spoiled with a treat and a wonderful sentiment or story. He went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure we all enjoyed this trip. Go Ahead has raised the bar with this gentleman. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for Mr. Kong. Thailand is a country to be loved!!!! Thank you!

 

Hi Gail! We’re thrilled that you found this tour to be outstanding. It sounds like the efforts of your Tour Director contributed to its success, and we are delighted to hear it. We will be sure to let him know that he raised the bar! Wow! We agree that Thailand is a fascinating country, and we’re glad you could explore it with Go Ahead. We can’t wait to see where you’ll go next!

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | December 02, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 10/21/2016

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: MD

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

I Cooked it my self!!!

This was my first trip to Asia and I couldn't have thought of a better country to start in. Our Tour Guide, Kong, was the most accomodating individual on earth. We arrived in Thailand two weeks after the beloved King died but were still able to explore the country. Our Guide left no stones unturned he had black ribbon rosettes made on pins to attach to our clothing. This was a wonderful gesture of respect from our group to the people of Thailand. We saw so much of the country along with great food, boat rides, elephant rides, fantastic massages and 30 thousand Temples. It was all good. The icing on the cake was the cooking class and the food was delicious.

 

Hello! We’re thrilled that you enjoyed exploring Thailand! This is indeed a great trip for getting your feet wet in Asia. We’re glad that, despite the king’s recent death, your itinerary wasn’t disrupted or limited in any way. It’s also great to know that your Tour Director’s expertise and cultural insights added value to your trip. We’ll be sure to let his supervisor know. We’re thrilled to read of all the fantastic experiences you had on this tour, and we thank you for sharing your experience with us. We hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | December 23, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 10/7/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MT

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Thailand: The Land of Smiles & Great Fun

This tour was absolutely incredible! I would recommend this tour to anyone interested in seeing Southeast Asia. Our tour director was hands down amazing and took great care of our group. Nothing but good things to say about this tour, great job GoAhead!

 

Hi Justin! We're so glad you recommend this tour! Thank you for sharing your experience, and we hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | October 25, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 7/15/2016

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

The Land of Smiles!

Thailand, the Land of Smiles, left me with nothing but smiles! This was my sixth Go Ahead tour, and it was exceptional from start to finish. Temples abound in Thailand, and I enjoyed seeing such stunning architecture, rich colors, and incredible design. From major sites to tiny spirit houses, every site was unique but vibrant. The sprawling Sukhothai Historical Park showed the “old” while the modern White Temple by artist Chalermchai Kositpipat (Thailand’s most famous) showed the “new.” Just be sure to cover shoulders and knees (both ladies and gentleman) in temple sites; pack a wrap skirt, shawl, or long pants in case. Also, shoes are removed for going inside Thai temples, so pack accordingly. Food was exceptional. Buffets were delicious, but also try eating outside the hotel when you can. The same goes for massages. Get a Thai massage, but if you step outside the hotel setting to do so, the experience will be more authentic and about a fourth of the price you would pay in the hotel spa. Up close nature encounters were a surprise delight of this trip. The Elephant Nature Camp was a touching sanctuary for at-need elephants, and we got to feed and bathe them. Bus travel is easy, with lots of comfortable stops. From rest areas to a tea plantation to a butterfly and orchid farm, our tour guide, Kong, kept the surprises coming. His enthusiasm and love for Thailand was contagious: we loved it too! In Cambodia, our guide, Rath, was as enthusiastic. He made us feel at home and shared with us an incredible wealth of knowledge and personal experience that made us understand Cambodia’s complex history and its progressive future. The temples held unspeakable beauty, and seeing them early, late, and at midday gave us a gorgeous range of scenery. Each tour guide offered personal touches that made the trips especially memorable. Kong encouraged us to go the Night Market, bought and explained different types of homemade Thai treats for us to try, arranged excursion options for our small group of 9, and took excellent photos that he shared with us. Rath took us to a special restaurant, kept us laughing with jokes, taught us Khmer words each day, and helped us exchange money (although American dollars were used everywhere in Cambodia). These two guides are top-notch! Thailand and Cambodia are not to be missed, and any time is the perfect time to go!

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Hi Audrey! We’re happy to learn that you enjoyed your sixth Go Ahead tour! We couldn’t agree more about the beautiful architecture of the Thai temples. It’s wonderful to know that you enjoyed the included food, and we’re glad you were able to get a Thai massage. We’re also pleased to hear that your guides had a wonderful impact on your experience. Between their expertise and unwavering support, it sounds like they added a lot of value to the tour, and we will be sure to share this feedback with their supervisors. Thank you for your review, and we look forward to welcoming you on your next tour!

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | August 11, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/18/2016

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Amazing!!!

This trip was totally amazing. From the Airport pick up to when I was dropped off. I played with Tigers, took a elephant ride. Food was amazing, well except the bugs. The Hotels were top notch. We visited a school and sang with the children there, then surprised then with snacks. We took a boat ride to Laos and did a little shopping. Our Tour Guide "Hong" went out of his way for us and for this I want to say Thank You! This was my 3rd trip with Go Head and I have already booked my 4th to the Greek Islands. October 10, 2017. Join me! Go Head Tours is the way to Go!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/18/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

The Best Tour Ever

My dream from childhood was to visit Thailand. This far exceeded my expectations. With Go Ahead , we got to see some places we would have never found on our own. Thanks to having the best tour guide, we learned about the beautiful culture of Thailand people. From exotic landscapes, wild life, and ancient ruins, and temples we saw it all. Food that was provided every morning for breakfast. But more than a breakfast.There were choices there, in American,Korean,Thai, and Japanese, that made for an excellent breakfast, lunch,or dinner. We experienced many modes of transportation, from a large comfy bus, to trucks, and 3 or 4 different type of water cruisers. Massages , oh the best! One a day is recommended. Average price is only $20 for an hour. The tour guide was with us there, day and night to make sure we were all safe and happy. Available on some long days, any time to help, and answer any questions. A new adventure, every day, and something you would not experience anywhere else in the world. Be sure to try the Kan thong dinner and culture show. Thanks Go Ahead for the time of my life!

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Hi Wendell! Between the gorgeous landscapes, the excellent food, and the daily massages, we can understand why you had the time of your life! We’re thrilled to hear this. We’re also pleased to learn that your Tour Director was helpful and made you feel cared for. Thank you for sharing your experience, and we hope to welcome you on tour again soon!

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | April 22, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 2/5/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Absolutely Amazing

I would go back in a heart beat. And our guide Lewis was a gem from heaven. What a great person!

 

Hi Leo! Thank you for your review. Let us know if you'd like to go back!

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | September 29, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 1/29/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Amazing Adventure

My sister and I booked the grand tour of Thailand this February. Must say that is the perfect time to go. No rain the entire time we were there and the weather was beautiful. Ranging from the 90s in Bangkok to mid 80s in Chiang Rai. Was a whorl wind tour. We were always on the move. Our guide Kong was amazing. Always adding to the tour by giving us some of the local snacks and taking us to some of the local spots. He also tried to give us a broader view of Thailand then what was planned. Best Tour Guide ever!!!. Our driver was perfect. Got our bus into and out of places I would never have thought possible. Our bus boy made sure we always had water and the bus was always clean. Thailand is a fabulous country that is moving forward quickly. The road and transit systems seem very up to date. I did not feel that the pollution is extreme. Certainly nothing like Beijing. The sites we went to were amazing. Mostly temples each more detailed and extensive then the next. Seeing them and all the detail and time to make the temples was humbling. I can barely make my bed in the morning and the Thai people are up and moving it seems like at all hours. I have a greater understand and a deeper respect for the Buddhist people. Its a perfect way of life. Seeing the original tribes that form Northern Thailand was wonderful. Learning the about their heritage gave us greater insight to why Thailand is such a great place to visit. Playing with Elephants and Tigers is an experience I will carry with me for life. Can't wait to come back and visit. There are two reasons I did not give this tour a 5/5; the food and the time spent at each site. I have to say buffet after buffet really detracts from the experience. I don't want to eat American, Spanish, or Japanese I want to eat Thai food!! I understand that buffets are easy and appease everyone but many times the food was cold or old. We did stop at a few stops just to grab a quick bite while we were one the fly and those were amazing local places. Great food. I just wish we could have done that with more of the meals. Even the hotel dinners were buffets. I know that might be a little thing but its a big thing for me. The time spent at each site is limited I realize that. However, having only 10 minutes to spend on my own isn't enough. I wish our tour guide would have set a meeting spot and said ok we have an hour here. Meet me at this spot at --- time. Then he could have done his commentary and we could have chose to follow and listen or wondered around on our own. Many of the sites we had very limited time to spend taking pictures or buying souvenirs. Our guide was so proud of his country that he would spend 30-45 minutes telling us about the details of the site. It was wonderful information but I feel I missed out on spending some time getting the pictures I wanted, taking in the sites, or purchasing souvenirs. While these are some cons to the tour overall it was amazing. The hotels were grand and accommodating. The people were friendly and helpful. I felt very safe and was not concerned at any time. I will go on another tour! I just have to decide where. :)

 

Hi Ester! Thank you for your detailed review. We’re so glad you had a great time on tour. We completely agree that Thailand is a fabulous country that boasts an incredible culture and rich history. February is a particularly ideal time to visit. We’re pleased to hear you enjoyed your Tour Director. Our Tour Directors are passionate about their destinations and always go out of their way for our travelers. Regarding your culinary experience, our Operations Team conducts extensive research to ensure food quality on tour, as well as variety. As everyone has different tastes, it can be challenging to appeal to everyone’s palette. We appreciate your feedback about the meals and will definitely be communicating your experience to our Operations Team. Similarly, structuring and balancing time spent at various stops can be tricky, as varying interests and a packed itinerary are major factors which come into play. We completely understand your desire for more time on your own, and again, we do our best to provide opportunities for that as much as possible while also making time for our Tour Directors to educate travelers about a particular site. We appreciate your feedback on these two matters as we continue evaluating this itinerary in the future. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your experience. We hope to welcome you on tour again soon!

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | February 11, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 1/29/2016

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: WA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Thoughts on Thailand Trip

I enjoyed everything about this trip except I thought the rickshaw ride & market excursion was not worth the money or time spent. The rickshaw ride was enjoyable but at the market we watched a chef toss cooked vegetables to our fellow travelers. We got a chance to sample insects also which was interesting. The Khantoke dinner with entertainment was very good, and the cooking class was interesting in that we got to meet a Thai couple and spend time with them besides cooking Thai dishes and eating what we cooked. There are a lot of temples included in this tour so be prepared! The time spent at the elephant park was fascinating.

 

Hi Rose! Thank you for your review. We’re glad to hear that overall you were happy with your tour in Thailand. We’re pleased that you enjoyed the cooking class, sampling unique foods, and visiting the Elephant Nature Park. You’re right that there are a number of temple visits included in this itinerary. When designing itineraries, our Product Development team takes a cue from the central themes of the local culture, one of which is the religious aspect. The Thai are very proud of their ornate and impeccably designed temples and enjoy sharing this part of their culture with visitors. We regret to hear that you felt the market excursion wasn’t worthwhile, but we are glad you enjoyed the rest of the itinerary. We thank you for taking the time to review your tour experience, and we hope to welcome you on tour again soon!

Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | February 17, 2016

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