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Hong Kong and Thailand: Goway’s Sam Cottar Discovers Asia’s Perfect Pairing

What cities/places did you visit?

Our Group visited Hong Kong, Phuket, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, and Khao Sok.

What was your highlight and why?

There were several highlights; but my best experience was at the Rainforest Camp in Thailand. This was a real ‘digital detox’ experience as there is no cell phone coverage and the unique luxury floating tents are solar powered. We swam and kayaked on the Cheow Larn Lake and there is also opportunity to go on guided hikes/treks. The atmosphere was super tranquil and it was a true Zen moment on the trip.

Visiting Lantau Island in Hong Kong on an exciting 30-minute glass bottomed cable car ride (for someone scared of heights) was extraordinary. The glass bottom cable car offers an astonishing bird’s eye view of the magical blue sea and lush green mountainside underneath your feet. We also enjoyed the Ngong Ping Village with its wide array of shops and eateries. We also saw the renowned 34-metre Big Buddha, aka Tian Tan Buddha.

What was your favorite property and why?

Although our stay in Phuket was short, my favourite has to be the Layan Residences by Anantara, which offered stunning views of the sea from our upgraded Fam accommodation in the Residence wing of the resort. The private butler service was amazing and the private gourmet dinner was top notch. In fact all the Anantara properties that we stayed in Thailand were outstanding in terms of quality, service, cuisine, and accommodation.

What are some interesting excursions, or itineraries that you would recommend?
In Hong Kong, I would recommend the Walking Foodie tour and would recommend bringing along comfortable walking shoes as it can be a 3-4 hour walk. For a different kind of experience, I will recommend a Taichi session with a Master. Located on the 100th floor of Hong Kong’s tallest building the International Commerce Centre (ICC), SKY100 Hong Kong Observation Deck, the highest indoor observation deck in the city, offers incredible 360-degree views of Victoria Harbour. To get there, a high-speed lift will whisk you up 100 floors in just 60 seconds. You can also explore the observation deck’s state-of-the-art interactive exhibition with a fascinating multimedia tour of Hong Kong’s history and culture.

Thailand is a culturally rich country and there are several excursions that I would recommend including my favorite, the elephant interaction experience at the Elephant Hills in Thailand which was followed by a canoe trip down the river. For a great spiritual experience, visit the Chiang Rai Blue Temple or Wat Rong Seua Ten and Wat Rong Khun which has become famous in Thailand as the White Temple. Even for those who might consider themselves ‘templed-out’ on their trip to Thailand, these unique temples are highly recommended if you are visiting the Chiang Rai area.

And Food, Glorious Food…You have to the come to the right place as Thailand is a foodie’s delight. Make sure your spice tolerance is up there.

What’s your ‘Top Tip’ for agents selling HKG & Thailand?

Dress comfortably and bring good walking shoes as both destinations involve warm weather & long walks. Be prepared for different cultural, spiritual and food experiences in both countries. Both are tourist friendly, very safe and English is spoken widely. You may think you know Thai food, until you get to Thailand. As far as tipping goes, it isn’t necessary or expected in either country. Both men and women should be especially conscious of being properly covered when entering temples. Monks are highly respected. Keep your head below a monk as you pass by them and do not touch them (especially women). Also be aware of sitting areas that are designated for monks only, and give up your seat on a bus or at the airport for a monk.

Here are two of our most popular itineraries that could combine for your clients:


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