I have to admit it - I was a little apprehensive about using a foreign travel agent. After reading a glowing review in Travel & Leisure magazine, I decided to reach out to Exotic Voyages to discuss ...
I have to admit it - I was a little apprehensive about using a foreign travel agent. After reading a glowing review in Travel & Leisure magazine, I decided to reach out to Exotic Voyages to discuss planning a two-week trip to Thailand in celebration of my 30th wedding anniversary. I could not have made a better decision.
My initial concerns were quickly allayed when I requested and received from Ha Vy local references from her clients in the US. Each of those references proved to be happy and satisfied customers who were more than willing to share their experiences working with Exotic Voyages and specifically, Vy as their travel agent.
I usually plan and book my own travel however, in this case, being a first-time visitor to Asia and in unfamiliar territory, I decided to use a professional travel agent and boy am I glad I did so.
Vy was an absolute pleasure to work with. Her knowledge, attention to detail, and responsiveness far exceeded my expectations. We communicated via email, phone, and WhatsApp. WhatsApp was probably the easiest communication mechanism we used. Vy answered all of my questions (and there were many) quickly and professionally. She took care of everything and communicated with me before, during, and after the trip. Vy made sure we were happy throughout our adventure and that we got home safely - we were lucky to have just missed by two days the airport closure in Hong Kong which was our connection point back to NY.
My initial guidance to Vy was as follows - I wanted unique local experiences coupled with five-star luxury boutique accommodations and personalized service. And, that is exactly what she delivered. We were taken care of from the moment we stepped off the airplane in Bangkok until the moment we left Koh Samui. We had a private air-conditioned van with driver and knowledgeable guides (thank you Nud and Aree) throughout our trip who ensured our safety, helped communicate with the locals, and made sure we had experiences "off the beaten path".
Our trip started at the Anantara Golden Triangle Resort in Chiang Saen, Northern Thailand (border of Myanmar and Laos). This is a beautiful resort and elephant sanctuary and was probably the highlight of our trip. We walked with the elephants and learned from the mahouts who care for them. This was followed by wonderful massages in the spa. We also crossed the border into Myanmar where we visited local markets and temples and rode in tuk tuks. Lastly, we took a long boat up the Mekong River and stopped briefly in Laos.
August is the rainy season in Thailand but in my opinion, it is a great time to visit as the weather is not so hot and there are fewer tourists. Rain showers did not prevent us from doing any of the activities and in fact, contributed to the romantic appeal of these exotic locales.
Other stops along our journey included: Khum Lanna, Pai, Chiang Mai, and finally Koh Samui. Each boutique hotel was spectacular and the staff greeted us warmly.
I can go on and on about how pleased we were with this trip but suffice it to say that Exotic Voyages is a first-class travel agency who provides real value to their clients. I highly recommend this fantastic company and specifically Ha Vy for all of your journeys to SE Asia.
I have already forwarded my itinerary to many colleagues and friends and expect that they will be contacting Vy in the not too distant future.
Finally, I anticipate returning to SE Asia (perhaps Vietnam and Cambodia) in the coming years and will certainly call on Vy once again.