I always look back on my trip to Thailand with fond memories. One of the biggest reasons why I had such a memorable experience is due, in large part, to our local tour guide Lek, who was warm, welcoming, and extremely knowledgeable about Thailand’s history, attractions, and culture.
Now, as we end our Exotic Malaysia & Thailand Sweepstakes, is a good opportunity for Lek to share with our readers what makes Thailand special from a native’s perspective, and what travelers can look forward to seeing when they visit. Read on for our Q-and-A with her.
Q: Lek, could you please share a bit of your background with us?
A: I was born, raised, and educated in Bangkok. After graduating from high school, I attended the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus [for college]. I was a secretary major, and then joined the travel industry. I’ve worked for several agencies, but I’ve been with Exotissimo, Friendly Planet’s local supplier, for almost ten years!
Q: What made you decide that you wanted to get into the travel industry?
A: When I was young I had contact with foreigners because I attended Catholic school. The nuns who came from abroad taught me English, and I got to know them. My interactions with the nuns and priests sparked my interest in travel, and I envisioned joining the travel industry by possibly becoming a flight attendant.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about being a tour guide?
A: I’m passionate about travel and I enjoy learning. As a tour guide, I learn a great deal about foreign cultures, and I use this knowledge to provide travelers with a great tour experience.
Q: Do you have a favorite aspect of or attraction in Thailand that you enjoy showing travelers on tours?
A: I like to introduce them to the Buddhist culture in Thailand and showcase our many spectacular temples. I also enjoy explaining about Thai culture and people so travelers can better understand our way of life, which I think is very important.
Q: What can travelers look forward to seeing and experiencing when they visit Thailand?
A: Travelers will see and do a great deal on their trip, and, of course, enjoy our cuisine when they visit. On the tours I guide, I make sure we also have meaningful experiences and interactions with locals which teach travelers more about the Thai people. For example, I make sure we stop and see the paddy fields to teach them how rice is grown since 80 percent of our population is made up of farmers. I also share my volunteer experiences of working with the Thai tribe people, and, if time allows, I take my groups to visit a tribe.
Q: Can you elaborate on the outreach you do with the tribe people?
A: I was inspired by the nuns and priests of my Catholic school who did mission work for the poor. When I graduated, I too wanted to help others. So, I decided to do social work for the tribe people in the northern part of Thailand.
Q: At the end of the day, what makes Thailand such a fantastic place to visit?
A: Many travelers tell me they love to visit my country because of the friendly local people. Thailand is also lucky to be rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. We have amazing beaches and national parks. It is warm year round, so travelers can visit at any time of the year. We also have excellent food, including a wide array of fruits. In fact, I’ve seen many travelers come back after their first trip because there’s just so much to see and do here!
Thank you Lek for sharing a little about your life as a tour guide with us. If what you’ve just read about piques your interest, make sure to enter our Win Exotic Malaysia & Thailand Sweepstakes, where we’re giving away a free 11-day trip to Malaysia and Thailand!
You may even be lucky enough to have Lek as your tour guide if you win!