Yesterday I blogged about the flights I took and the hotels we stayed at using points and miles during my trip to Thailand and Cambodia with my wife. Today, I’m going to share some of the tours and excursions we did while on your trip. Of course, we could afford to “splurge” on activities and excursions because we kept flights and hotel costs to a minimum.
Here are some recommendations:
Phuket: Phuket Sail Tours tour of Phanh Nga. We were picked up at our hotel at 6:45 am and were driven to the speed boats for a quick breakfast. The breakfast was pathetic – 2 slices of bread and a Nutella spread; the coffee was also terrible. The speed boat tour took us to the lagoon for a swim, a 30 minute canoe trip through the stunningly-beautiful and serene mangrove forest, and we passed by the James Bond Island, famed for the movie “Man With The Golden Gun”. Thankfully lunch was much better and was held at the Kho Panyi fishing village, a village of over 1,800 people built entirely over water. Then we visited Sea Gypsy people, who still live a semi-nomadic lifestyle. The last stop on our tour was Krabi beach. Overall this was a great tour with a lot of photo opportunities. Price per adult: 3,700 Baht (~$114 USD)
Bangkok: Extraordinary Elephant Day Trip. This is a private tour that had great reviews on TripAdvisor. My wife and I were picked up at our hotel at 7 am in a new SUV. We visited the floating markets, where we canoed in the canal system. The next stop was the bridge over the River Kwai, famed POW camp in WW2. We had a buffet lunch at a local restaurant, and the food was absolutely delicious. We rode elephants for about 30 minutes, then the elephants took us into the river. My wife loved this part of tour; however, I personally did not enjoy getting dunked by the elephant more than once. Overall it was a great experience and tour. Price for 2 adults: 9,900 Baht (~$305).
Cambodia: In Cambodia, we hired a driver to pick us up at airport, take us to the hotel, and then to see the sunset. On the next day, he picked us up at our hotel and took us to all the temples, and then back to airport for under $40. His name is Chantra, but he goes by the name of Tom, and he speaks good English. Unfortunately, he was sick during the time we were visiting, so we did not actually meet him. He did send two other drivers to take his place. Both drivers spoke good-enough English, were always on time, and very pleasant to deal with. Tom followed up with us multiple times. We would definitely use him again if we are back in Cambodia. His email is Chantra.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hopefully my recommendations are helpful to you as you plan your own budget trip to Southeast Asia. My wife and I just came back from South Africa last week, and believe it or not, we did it entirely on points and miles and even did a safari on a budget.
That trip completed my initial bucket list that I created on September 11 ,2001, when my building at 2 WTC fell. My last piece of advice is to enjoy life and create memories with your loved ones, and only worry about what you can control. My family and I would like to wish all our readers a happy and healthy spring holiday season.