How was your Explore Tour Leader?
Reading the other reviews I can’t believe it was the same Tom who was our Tour Leader. Tom was friendly and accommodating to our needs. He was always there if we needed him and although we had local guides in each country some were not good and we still relied on Tom. We were never disappointed with any of the restaurants he found for us or the excursions he organised. Although we had to pay more on several occasions because there was only two of us on the tour. Tom arranged for a car to the Thai border rather than a public bus and although the trip from the Thai border to Bangkok was a public mini bus Tom asked the other passengers to relocate so we could sit together. He even got the driver to divert and drop us off out side our hotel rather than the bus terminus.
What tips would you give to someone else booking this tour?
It’s worth doing but be prepared for some long journeys at the end of the tour. Also the additional excursions can add cost so include this in your budgeting. This tour is about sampling the local culture in two countries and being immersed in their history and traditions. That’s part of the adventure. All the accommodation was of different standards but all were clean and acceptable and in good locations. If you want western facilities and standards throughout then don’t do this tour.
Do you have anything else to add?
"This was a very enjoyable and memorable trip. The home stays were basic as you would expect but the food good. On Don Daeng Island we spent the evening celebrating International Women’s day with the local village population. The owner of one home stay was a school teacher and he invited us to his school, which was very interesting.
It looks like you have taken on board past issues from other travellers and have now addressed these. I have no problems with this tour although you should perhaps emphasis the potential additional costs."