Our trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia, the site of Angkor Wat, was planned by Andy’s office. They specialize in Cambodia, and it shows. They came up with an excellent itinerary, and we had a very pleasant and knowledgeable guide and driver. Andy’s team recommended a great hotel with a very friendly staff and two lovely pools. Every time we returned, it was like returning home. In addition to visits to Angkor Wat, they incorporated a boat ride on a lake to watch a beautiful sunset with drinks, a Phaare Circus performance, and visits to the homes of locals who make handicrafts (my kids learned how to make paper baskets and we all made animals out of strips of colored paper). We also visited a villa next to rice fields for an excellent dinner, foot massages, and a class on making passionfruit mojitos. We reached the villa by boat and oxcart (but bicycles are also available). We also met with a monk at a local temple, who answered our questions about his life (our guide translated) and gave us a blessing. We also visited Tonlé Sap lake and the floating village. The itinerary was creative and interesting, and Andy’s team provided access to people and places that were special. We were able to do a great deal in just a short time.
We also asked to visit Angkor Hospital for Children, which was built in Siem Reap with foreign donations and which provides free health care for Cambodian children.
We highly recommend Andy’s office for trips to Cambodia, even if you are using a different agent for travel to other countries in Southeast Asia.
Our trip to Cambodia and Vietnam from January 21st to February 6th was spectacular. We started in Phnom Penh, and traveled from there to Siem Reap, the Angkor Wat temple complex, Saigon, Cu Chi, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi and Ha Long Bay. Sopisith Oun, from Andy’s team, prepared our itinerary and arranged for personal guides at each of our stops. The guides were knowledgeable, friendly, and provided both historical information and personal stories that placed the horrors of the eras of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the U.S. military activities in Vietnam within the context of our visit and our understanding of current life in both nations. Our guides also provided us with street food tours that allowed us to sample some of the most unusual dishes we’ve ever eaten. (The sand worm pancakes were delicious!) We had postponed our trip for three years because of COVID, and felt safe and comfortable traveling, especially because the tourist crowds are still minimal. There were multiple “wow,” bucket-list moments, including Angkor Wat at sunrise (get there early!) and Ha Long Bay, to name just two of them.
We have recently returned from our first trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. Travelling as a small group of friends (one celebrating a milestone birthday), having never been to either country, we knew we needed assistance in planning and executing a great trip. We worked with Josh (Clayton) on Andy’s team for several months in advance of our trip as he carefully listened and guided us through the planning stages (not always an easy task getting consensus from a group of seasoned travelers). Josh was extremely patient and informative throughout and ultimately came up with an itinerary that suited us perfectly.
These countries are amazing on their own, but we soon realized that many of the excursions on our itinerary included experiences we simply would have never known about or been able to arrange on our own: a Hanoi food tour that got us behind the storefront and into the “real” local experience, a sunset cycling tour in HoiAn through rice paddies and organic farms featuring a visit with a local family who prepared the most beautiful, fresh food, a private recital of traditional Vietnamese music followed by dinner in the stunning riverside home of a classically trained vocalist and her husband in Hue, a sunset boat ride on the moat of Angkor Thom in Siem Reap where we were serenaded by gondoliers (?) with the most brilliant red sunset as our backdrop, and a very memorable ride on the back of an oxcart through the beautiful Cambodian countryside to the private villa owned by Andy’s company, where we were treated to an amazing evening with local food accompanied by local musicians. I honestly believe we would never have had these enriching additions without the help of Josh and his colleagues.
The level of service and expertise of our guides and drivers who met us at every point were beyond compare. They made every transfer, pickup, excursion, so effortless and easy and were very open to our special requests or last-minute changes we might have made. All of our guides were not only extremely knowledgeable, but also funny, engaging and people you actually WANT to spend the day with. Every one of them went above and beyond the standard explanations of “tourism” and were open to sharing insight into the local culture and contemporary lives of the people.
Finally, every accommodation was perfectly suited to what we were looking for. I attribute much of this to Josh’s intuition and in guiding us towards the best places where he knew we would be comfortable hanging out either after a full day of touring or a day off. We truly appreciated that.
I would highly recommend Josh Clayton for anyone planning a trip to this part of the world. A trip we will forever remember.
Without hesitation, we recommend Andy Booth and his team for a SE Asia exploration. We worked with Joshua Clayton to plan a 3-week adventure to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia for mid-October/early Nov 2019. From our first contact, Joshua was always responsive to questions and requests and clearly he listened as our itinerary and the outstanding guides matched our historical, cultural, culinary and hiking interests. Since this was our first trip to Asia, we wanted to see a number of places (we had 7 stops) and Joshua provided excellent advice – his recommendation to add a few days at a slower pace in Luang Prabang was much appreciated and his hotel selections were terrific. Joshua arranged many memorable moments that would have taken us a lot of time and research to arrange, assuming we could even match the quality of what they provided. Among them were a Mekong Delta tour from Saigon; a market tour & cooking class in Hoi An; hiking in Bach Ma National Park; terrific street food tours in Saigon & Hanoi; and a private boat trip for a very different view of the Mekong River in Laos. Our final five days in Siem Reap were filled with special experiences that we will always treasure, capped by an enchanting afternoon in the countryside and an evening at Villa Chandara. The team’s expertise and their engaging, knowledgeable guides provided a magical adventure that we will long remember.