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Asia Product Manager Visits the North of Thailand

I had the privilege of joining Thailand Tourism Canada and Singapore Airlines on a trip to Thailand this past February and it was one of my favourite trips to the country so far.

It started with premium economy class seating on the new Singapore Airlines ULR from Newark direct to Singapore in just under 18 hours. Many people gasp at that amount of time spent on a flight, but I actually think anything over 13 hours feels roughly the same. It just means another movie and another meal. The seats were quite comfortable and the food was delicious. Of course, the service was impeccable as expected of Singapore Airlines.

When we arrived in Bangkok, we actually did an overnight at the Novotel at the airport as we waited for the West Coast group to arrive the following morning. I would highly recommend this option if your clients arrive late into Bangkok or are heading out the next day. The breakfast was great and the service was wonderful. They were very helpful in trying to locate the iPad I left on the plane.

Akha Hill Tribe Elder

The group travelled to Koh Samui as our first official part of the FAM and we stayed at the beautiful Avani+ Samui Resort, where we were super lucky to be given villas with our own private pool. It was way more space than I needed, but totally welcome. Although the beach is small here, the pool is fantastic and the food is outstanding. This property is highly recommended for your luxury clients who would like to experience the quieter side of the island. Keep in mind that it’s around an hour to get anywhere since cars have to use small back roads to get around.

We headed back to Bangkok after our Samui stay and were pleased to find out that we were being hosted by Anantara Siam, an iconic hotel just north of Lumphini Park. Although I must mention, it may not be for everyone as it seems like the ol’ dame of Bangkok. So for those who are into more modern or trendy options, they may find this hotel a little old school. One thing I would not recommend doing in Bangkok, which we experienced, is visiting the Grand Palace late in the morning. The crowds were too much, so we just popped in and out and almost felt that the visit wasn’t worth it. You will be pleased to know that Goway day tours that include the Grand Palace go first thing in the morning to avoid this sort of experience.

Elephants in the wild of Chiang Rai

After Bangkok, we flew to Chiang Rai, which was absolutely my favourite part of the trip. Being from Africa, I am always on the lookout for wildlife or tribal feeling and I truly felt the closest to home while visiting Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort. The ambience of the property is sublime with the mist rising up in the morning and views of elephants dotted around the hills—it was simply beautiful. Later that day we travelled a couple of hours north into the hills to visit and have a meal with the Akha Hill Tribe. We learnt all about their way of life and sat down with them for a meal, which was fabulous.

Our group then headed to Chiang Mai and we stayed at the 5-star RatiLanna property. This is one of Goway’s preferred hotels, so I was happy to be able to experience it. It really lived up to its name as a great family hotel, but it’s also suitable for couples of any age. We then had the opportunity to enjoy dinner and the dancing rooftop at the Anantara Chiang Mai. This hotel was quite impressive. It really suited its surroundings as I found Chiang Mai to be quite retro and arty in its ambiance and the Anantara was a perfect fit. We only got to stay one night, but clients could easily do a 3-night stay in this city here with plenty to do.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai, Thailand

This was my second time in Thailand and I feel I could do another few trips as there are so many areas to see and each of them is so unique. Those well-travelled clients who have been to Thailand before should consider the North of Thailand for a second or third visit.

Let your clients know to take advantage of our many Thailand-suggested itineraries or why not entice them with some summer special pricing.

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Belinda MacNeil

I was born in South Africa and have been living in Canada since 2008. The travel bug bit me early on when I started a career with South African Airways before working for large tour operator companies in various positions. I was offered the wonderful opportunity to immigrate to Canada in 2008 and jumped at the chance to experience this wonderful country and its incredible people.

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