The New York Times’ Practical Traveler published an article today about the state of Thailand’s tourism (and the subsequent deals you can now find) amidst some of the recent unrest in Bangkok. The Tourism Authority of Thailand predicts the number of tourists will drop this year, in part because of the anti-government protests that have recently taken place.
As a result, Thailand has become an even more ideal destination for finding great deals. Thailand is already established as the place to find affordable luxury, and now prices for "five star treatment" is dropping even lower than "three star prices."
When writing the article, Practical Traveler reporter Michelle Higgins asked what I thought about touring in Thailand, since our travel agency frequently books tour throughout the country.
As I said to her, we haven’t had a single cancellation to the Treasures of Thailand tour as a result of the protests (even to the tour that was over there in the middle of the action earlier this month), and we don’t have any concerns about sending tourists today. In fact, I’m heading out for my first trip to Thailand in a few weeks, and I can’t wait!
If you have an interest in international travel (as I assume you do, since you’re here), and especially if you have an interest in Thailand and Asia, the article is definitely a worthwhile read. So have a look!
A group of Friendly Planeteers recently returned from our Treasure of Thailand trip. The Thailand vacation includes 12 days of beautiful beaches and islands, exotic architecture, fascinating culture, and ancient ruins.
And it looks like the author of this customer testimonial found the Friendly Planet Travel Thailand adventure as marvelous as we do. Here’s the e-mail, completely unedited:
"Dear Friendly Planet, I just returned from your Treasures of Thailand tour. I wanted to let you know that I was so impressed with every aspect of this trip! When I booked this tour I was honestly apprehensive. The price was so good it seemed too good to be true. I really expected to have problems along the way, but there were none! Our tour guide, Ms. Atchara, was outstanding! She took a personal interest in everyone on the tour. There were many times she stopped and bought small presents for our group, like local food to sample or tiger balm for sore feet. The one thing that I really felt was over and above was the fact that she personally picked me up from the airport on my return from Phuket! I expected a private car for a transfer, but she came along just to see me again and to make sure I had a good time in Phuket! I feel like I’ve left a friend behind in Thailand, and I wanted to make sure you know what outstanding people you have working for you there! I can definitely say after this wonderful experience that I would highly recommend Friendly Planet Travel to anyone looking to see the world at a great price. I will absolutely be traveling with you in the future! Thank you again!
– Jenny Gontz, Chambersburg, PA"
I always say that seeing the world is the only way for people to understand it. And unless you experience a different culture for yourself, you’ll never truly grasp it. Traveling changes you forever; whether you’re touring ancient temples in Thailand, digging a well for a family in Borneo, or sipping wine in Italy.
And once you catch the bug — like so many of our vacationers have — you’re a traveler for life. That’s why I was thrilled when this particular customer testimonial rolled in last week. As always, here it is, completely unedited:
“I’ve been on six tours with Friendly Planet so far, and I have to say that those tours have opened up my understanding of the world. The thing about travel to foreign countries is that it changes you, leaving you with a much better understanding of the world, long after you’ve returned. Each tour I’ve been on has been exciting and different, even repeat tours to the same destination. One of the great things about the FP tours has been the amazing diversity of people on each tour; I’ve met everyone from newlyweds to retirees, all looking for adventure. Most of my fellow travelers on FP tours have tended to be well-read, well-traveled, and not fussy at all. They’ve come to taste the amazing foods and walk the amazing streets, not to buy trinkets and eat at McDonalds. Not surprisingly, many of us keep in touch long after the tours are over, and I’ve met more than one “repeater” on the trips to China. And I’m always surprised to find how nice the hotels are. One more thing is that going on these tours is really a good use of your time overseas, since you don’t have to waste time with paperwork, check-ins, deposits, etc. You just go have a drink or walk around the block and come back to pick up your room key. The guides are always funny, helpful, and go out of their way to make sure you have a good time. And there’s always plenty of time to explore on your own. Thanks again for the great experiences. I’ll be back in April to re-visit Thailand!
– Jeff Jenkins, Boca Raton, FL”