Just back from our 3rd trip booked through one of Wendy’s fabulous travel arrangers. In this case we worked with Daniel Fraser’s office for a 3 ½-week itinerary that started and ended in Singapore with Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Luang Prabang, Siem Reap, Saigon, Hue, Hoi An, and Hanoi in between.
Dan and the team did a great job attending to all of the details, especially the VIP arrival treatment in the many airports we traversed. The diversity of the trip was amazing, starting with a festive New Year’s Eve party at 137 Pillars in Chiang Mai. A great rock band interspersed with traditional Thai dances performed amazingly well. Other events included fabulous street-food adventures in several of the cities, ringside seat in Bangkok for Muay Thai boxing, a cruise on the Mekong River from Luang Prabang to the Pak Ou caves (with a stop at a whisky distillery whose bottles contained snakes and scorpions—a bit too much for my taste), sunrise at Angkor Wat, incredible acrobats at the Phare circus, thrilling rides in several cities on cyclos, tuk-tuks, and scooters, and various museums and places that are etched in memories of those of us that grew up in the Viet Nam war era. Lots of lessons to be learned from that time.
But perhaps the most interesting part of our visit involved a dinner and musical performance at the Ben Xuan Garden House. When we saw this on the agenda, we thought OK, that could be a nice evening. Well, the host, Camille Huyen, is 6 generations removed from the emperor and is an incredible artist. She designed the home using bricks from the rubble of the destroyed Imperial Palace area, has her paintings on display throughout the home and provided vocals alongside some fabulously talented musicians whom she personally selected and developed from the local university. After the performance we were treated to an amazing dinner and wonderful conversation with Camille and Ngo Truong Dinh, her husband and a former banker during their time in Switzerland. This evening was one of the more remarkable events of many years of travel around the world. If you make the trip to Viet Nam, this is a must-do!
This was the second time we used Dan’s office. They helped us plan the trip of a lifetime to Vietnam and Cambodia. We loved all the hotels and the excursions. The guides were fabulous. I would go with anything they recommend. They really got what our family wanted to do and where we wanted to stay. We did a wide range of activities, including motorcycle riding through Hanoi and visiting a family farm in Hoi An. Siem Reap was magical! Dan and his team were always available and responded to all my emails immediately and professionally. We love them!
Dan’s team was fantastic and we had a wonderful trip in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. I can’t recommend them more highly. Dan is the best!
We highly recommend Dan’s office, which provided great guides, hotels, and activities for our family trip to Thailand and Laos. They planned a fun and memorable WOW Moment in Bangkok, but also incorporated other nice surprises. Even though it wasn’t on the itinerary, our guide Son took us to a large festival at a university in Chiang Mai after the day’s planned bike ride through the countryside, which ended up being my son’s favorite activity. We were the only tourists, and Son surprised us with foot massages. We also loved the visit to the Patara elephant camp. I’ve been to several elephant camps, and this was my favorite. I’ll never forget the time I spent with a baby elephant. In Bangkok, Nadia took us to a rooftop bar with stunning views and a great tour of old Thailand through the canals; we felt like we were out with a friend. In Laos, Kham treated us to a baci ceremony and a dance performance to wish us luck for our journey home, which wasn’t an official “WOW Moment” but definitely qualified as one. He also took us to meet with a shaman in a Hmong village.
Dan’s recommendation of the Six Senses on Ko Yao Not for the beach part of the vacation was perfect, especially since I’ve already been to other resorts in southern Thailand. The hotel staff is amazing, and the views from the villas and the main pool are incredible (check out the website). We also enjoyed visits to the resort’s chickens and feeding the goats, and of course, an amazing private boat trip to Phang Na Bay. The Luang Prabang Rosewood hotel rooms, many of which have views of a natural waterfall, are also lovely. We recommend the hotel’s alms-giving experience with Noi at a nearby village with no other tourists (at around 5:30 a.m.), which is booked through the hotel. We hope to return to Thailand and will definitely plan our next trip through Dan’s team.
Our family (4 couples) just completed a trip to Thailand in November of 2023 which had been postponed from April 2020 due to COVID. We relied on Dan’s team to advise us and make arrangements for our 12-day adventure. We began in Bangkok, which I was hesitant to include because it is such a big city. We loved it, much different than we expected because our guide Nemo took us to so many small local villages and we experienced daily life along the river, traveling in long boats rather than cars. The beautiful Siam hotel was a fantastic choice right on the river so we could hop on a long boat for a lot of our sightseeing. We learned a great deal about Thai culture by visiting temples, royal palaces, amazing markets such as floating – flower – produce – local crafts and merchandise in addition to thousands of food vendors selling delicious tastes to sample. Our guide Nemo was very accommodating, knowledgeable, friendly, truly loved and cared about the Thai people and really wanted to make sure we had the best experience.
We took a short one-hour plane ride to Chiang Mai in the north and checked into The Four Seasons Resort. A much slower pace and quite beautiful. Our guides “Moon” and “Sun” as we called them (officially Mr. Mont) were great, full of information and truly were able to show us their culture through visits to temples and markets. They made sure we tasted our way through Chiang Mai also. We had one day at the Patara Elephant Farm, which was very educational and certainly got us out of our comfort zone by being an elephant caretaker and rider. A once-in-a-lifetime experience.
We took another one-hour flight to Phuket to finish our Thailand stay at a gorgeous private beach house at Trisara. We were not aware that the home came with so many staff to wait on us! We did venture into Phuket one evening for the night market but did more relaxing here. One day we had a chartered boat take us out to the Phi Phi islands for a picnic lunch and scuba diving/snorkeling. The crew was awesome, the weather did not cooperate, however, and we ended up racing to shore early as a result of a thunderstorm. The scuba diving and snorkeling did get completed but some of the gorgeous sights have to wait for another visit. The owner of the charter still managed to bring out a birthday cake in the rain for our son-in-law and when we returned to the house, our staff had decorated in honor of his birthday!
Our guides this entire trip were flexible, able to improvise if needed and just plain fantastic, the transportation and transfers were flawless. We all enjoyed our first visit to Thailand; felt very safe, always smiled watching the locals maneuver through crazy traffic on scooters, felt comfortable trying so many different foods at the markets, so easy to exchange money, sweet people. Dan’s office was great to work with and planned a very memorable trip for us. Highly recommend!
We are forever spoiled on traveling based on the amazing trip that Dan and Obb planned for us. We just got back from 11 days in Thailand and loved every minute of our once-in-a-lifetime trip.
I had a last-minute business trip scheduled in China, so my husband and I decided to add on a vacation in Thailand — a bucket list destination for us. Normally I begin planning our vacation trips months in advance. However, with the short lead time of about 2 weeks due to my last-minute China business travel, we decided to use Wendy Perrin’s travel service. We were matched up with Dan and Obb, focusing on Southeast Asia travel. We corresponded via email and had a video call where they learned our travel preferences. We wanted to focus on food, culture and markets, and Dan and his team were able to pull together an itinerary that met our expectations. We were very impressed with the detailed itinerary we received prior to the trip.
Our trip started seamlessly. I was coming from Beijing, China and my husband was coming from Houston Texas. We met in the airport within 20 minutes of our flights arriving in Bangkok. We were whisked through immigration using the fast-track service and met by our first guide, Dao. She quickly learned our preferences and did a great job adjusting the activities to our speed and interests. We had a great time experiencing the street food of Bangkok and enjoyed her suggestion of taking us to a “local” pad Thai restaurant that was delicious. Thail street food is amazing. We ate many things but skipped any food preparation with bugs. Surprisingly, we thought that American Thai food is close to but not as good as what is available in Thailand. We also loved our longboat tour to see the sights in Bangkok from the river. From the water, we saw the Wat Paknam giant Buddha that was incredible and one of many highlights from our trip!
From there, we were off to Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. We loved our guide, “Yawan,” for this portion of the trip. He knew so much about Thai culture and history, and we enjoyed talking with him. Our hotel in Chaing Rai was very remote — at first we thought it was too quiet, but it wound up being perfect for unplugging and relaxing after a few days in busy Bangkok and traveling. Yawan knew that we liked coffee over tea, and he took us to several delicious coffee shops in the mornings. We loved our hike through the tea and coffee fields in Chiang Rai. Yawan knew all the different types of plants along the way and it was very interesting to see all the different herbs, fruits, and vegetables growing along the roads. Yawan also helped us arrange a great dinner at the Cave restaurant outside our resort in Chiang Rai. Finally, we had a great stop at the Elephant Nature Conservation Sanctuary Park outside of Chiang Mai. The stories behind some of the elephants were heartbreaking, but it was good to know that they could live out the rest of their lives being well taken care of by the staff at the camp. Each tour group was accompanied with a tour guide. We were totally impressed with our tour guide, “Johnny,” detailed history of each elephant’s struggles and why they ended up in the park.
We were then onto the final leg of our trip in Phuket and Dan/Obb saved the best activities for last! Our guide Pong gave us a great overview of Old Town Phuket and took us out for some delicious food at some local favorite restaurants. The next day was our favorite excursion of the whole trip. The John Gray sea kayak tour was the highlight of our trip. Dan had asked us before we left if we wanted to do a private or group sea kayak tour. We said it didn’t matter, and Dan arranged for us to have a private tour — and we are so glad he did! Without question, the private tour was far superior to the group tour — thanks for making the right choice for us, Dan — it really mattered. We had a huge boat and two guides all to ourselves. The food on the boat was wonderful (and plentiful!) and the guides did an amazing job taking us around. Everywhere we looked was incredibly beautiful, and we will forever remember the night kayaking where we made an offering to the water goddess and got to see the luminescent phytoplankton, which was an amazing sight! It was tough to follow up the sea kayaking, but we also had a great time at our cooking class the next day. Chef Pui at the Brass Wok was so much fun to talk with about food and restaurants, and she showed us how to make several delicious Thai dishes. I’d always been intimidated by Thai cooking. However, when I arrived back home the following week I headed to the Asian grocery store for supplies and was able to reproduce the same delicious dishes that Chef Pui taught us to make.
It was very thoughtful that our guides in the different areas communicated with each other so that it felt like the guides already knew us when we arrived. When we told Dao in Bangkok that we were interested in getting some kaffir lime leaves to take home with us, she contacted Yawan in Chiang Mai, who gave us a bag of dried lime leaves from the tree at his home.
Our accommodations were all top-notch, and our rooms were upgraded at the various properties — no doubt to the connections that Dan and his team had made with the hotels. The private pool that we had at our hotel in Phuket was the icing on the cake to an already perfect trip. Our drivers were all great during the trip, comfortable vans with plenty of A/C and well stocked with drinks and snacks. It was so nice not having to worry about transfers between the hotels and airports.
Dan and our guides also suggested we use the Grab app (aka Uber of Thailand) for times when we were on our own. This is a must-do for anyone in the area and much easier than trying to negotiate with taxis. We were able to see some areas off the beaten path. It was a little spendy but worth every cent for the once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Thanks again to Dan/Obb and their team, and thanks to Wendy for connecting us with him. We would highly recommend for anyone considering a trip to Southeast Asia!
Dan Fraser and his team (especially Hahn) were extremely responsive and organised a wonderful trip for my Mum and I. They listened to all my concerns regarding mum’s mobility at 80 years old and planed an interesting itinerary that was paced well enough for her to enjoy. There was not a hitch during the entire trip. All the accomodation was excellent and the drivers and private guides went above and beyond expectations. The 2 guides we had were well versed in the local knowledge but also extremely patient and gentle, helping my mum up steps, into cars and letting her take her time with any activity. It was wonderful to see Hanoi and Halong Bay and a very easy flight to Hue and Hoi An. All the locations and activities were ideal for what we wanted. Noting Mum tires easily in the heat (& some days it was 42 degrees Celsius) the activities were never more than 3 hours in one go, which worked well for our requirements. Asia can be a harder place for senior travellers to navigate but the itinerary set was great for Mum. Having a trip planner was essential to be able to see the amount of things we did but have the comfort of private cars and guides who could adjust anything if needed at a moment’s notice. It was Mum’s request to go to Vietnam for her 80th and she loved it. It was a special trip thanks to the thought and care Dan and his team put into arranging it. I would highly recommend them and the team they use for anyone interested in visiting Vietnam.
Dan, our WOW List contact, his associate Bank and Dan’s whole team named our 15-night trip from June 4th through June 18th, 2023 the “Thailand Grand Slam.” After my wife, 26-year-old son and 23-year-old daughter and I experienced this long-time bucket list Thailand adventure, the only word I’d add is…Perfection!
Briefly, things we loved about our experience with Dan’s office…
1) The most comprehensive, informative and interesting pre-trip package we’ve ever received.
2) “Fast Track” International Airport arrival and departure service enabling us to skip the long immigration lines and expediting us through customs was fantastic! Moreover, all domestic airport transfers were an absolute pleasure and so easy (I didn’t have to think! Lol!).
3) Incredibly well planned and, equally important, paced trip.
4) Amazing guides who understood and applied the “art” of being an effective guide.
5) Extremely comfortable air-conditioned vans with excellent, safe drivers and always well supplied with cold waters, cold towels and snacks.
6) The suggested hotels and our ultimate choices were some of the best we’ve stayed anywhere in the world.
7) The food recommendations from “street food” to Michelin restaurants were all delicious. Moreover, those meals, all breakfasts as well as several lunches and dinners, included as part of our paid itinerary, were exceedingly generous.
8) Flexibility — Due to how we were feeling at certain times we wanted to make some last-minute itinerary changes and Dan’s office made it easy for us and was always very accommodating.
9) Our son needed to go to the hospital in Bangkok. He’s fine and thank God his issue ultimately turned out to be minor than major, but until we knew we were scared. Dan’s team, our amazing guide, the Hotel Manager, the Dr. who came to the Hotel and the Dr.s who were waiting for us when we arrived at the hospital exhibited a Master Class in poise under pressure, responsiveness, sensitivity, calming and reassurance. We will always be grateful and never forget how Dan’s office handled this very stressful situation.
10) The pricing for everything (i.e. Hotels, room choices, breakfasts, several lunches and dinners, private guides, drivers, tours, transfers, Fast Track, tickets, internal flights, etc.) we received per our itinerary we thought was extremely fair and in fact lower than what we expected. Bravo!
Bottom line, we LOVED our Thailand experience that Dan orchestrated and executed on our behalf. We HIGHLY recommend them and no doubt will work with them again.
For those who like more detail, hotels and highlights, is below…
We stayed 3 nights each at 5 different locations. Our first 3 nights per Dan’s smart suggestion were in KOH SAMUI island at the Four Seasons, enabling us to rest and recover from our long journey, 2 flights and 20 hours of flying, from New York City to Thailand. Moreover, it gave us ample time to acclimate to the 11-hour time zone difference. The Four Seasons was one of the nicest we’ve ever stayed at, dramatically built into a mountain and offering incredible views of the Gulf of Thailand. If a room with a view is very important to you, as it is to my wife and me, the Panoramic Ocean Pool Villa room, there are only 3 of them, was absolutely amazing and arguably the nicest hotel room we’ve stayed anywhere. Those first 3 days of leisure were just what we needed to start the trip.
BANGKOK was next for 3 nights, where we stayed at The Siam, a stunningly beautiful boutique Thai-themed hotel on the Chao Praya River. The River View Suite here was perfect. Highlights include but are not limited to an amazing “street food” experience; a private longtail boat ride exploring the very diverse and fascinating riverside neighborhoods; learning about Buddhism from our outstanding guide through some significant temple visits; tuk tuk rides; ringside seats to Muay Thai fights at the famous, historic and modernized Rajadamnern Stadium; and a Ladyboy Show (the “Hava Nagila” number had our entire family hysterically laughing and was unforgettable!). We had a blast in Bangkok with long days and nights by design.
It was a welcome reprieve to then go to the northernmost part of Thailand, CHIANG RAI, beautifully nestled in the misty mountains bordering the countries of Laos & Myanmar (Burma) at the confluence of the Mekong and Ruak rivers. We stayed at the Anantara Resort Golden Triangle. We loved our Three Country View Suite. Everyday we all enjoyed the expansive, heated and inviting infinity pool overlooking the 120-acre elephant reserve. One of our absolute favorite experiences during our entire Thailand trip was our 90 minutes with Anantara’s elephants — “Walking with Giants.” Our family has done a lot of memorable animal experiences over the years (i.e. Big 5 in Africa; Tigers in India; Gorillas in Rwanda; Chimpanzees in Mahali; Penguins in Antarctica; Polar Bears in the Arctic; Migration in Tanzania; Giraffes at Giraffe Manor; Kangaroos on Kangaroo Island; Whales in Alaska & Mexico; et al) but this 90 minutes with the elephants at Anantara was especially special. A must!
We took a 7-hour relaxed scenic road trip with some memorable experiences along the way from Chiang Rai to our next 3-night stay in CHIANG MAI. The most of which was our visit and lunch with a remote (and primitive) Lahu hill tribe village comprised of 200 members who literally live off the land. They prepared from scratch one of the best meals we had in Thailand. From start to finish this hill tribe village visit was fascinating and fun for us…and them.
We arrived at the Four Seasons CHIANG MAI. Simply exquisite. We’ve stayed at many Four Seasons all over the world and we all agreed the Four Seasons in Chiang Mai & Koh Samui are #1 and #2 on our list, in no particular order. Our Upper Rice Terrace Pavilion rooms overlooking the stunningly beautiful resort and the Four Seasons’ own rice paddies was phenomenal. Highlights were a 30-kilometer bike ride with our amazing guide through the beautiful countryside; visiting the Old City; seeing and learning about some unique and historical temples, but perhaps most of all a private session we had with an English-speaking Buddhist monk where we could ask him anything…and we did. Truly enlightening.
Our final 3 nights and also per Dan’s smart recommendation we stayed in the Phuket area, to relax and recover from the past touring and to rest up for the long journey home. Dan suggested several hotel recommendations, one of which, The Six Senses, was located on the nearby island of KOH YAO NOI in Phang Nga Bay. Dan described it as “sublime.” After spending 3 nights I could not agree more. The Six Senses built into a mountain with incredible, dramatic and awe-inspiring views of Phang Nga Bay and the limestone islands felt surreal. Their infinity pool at the very top of the resort has the best views and is the nicest infinity pool we’ve ever experienced. We loved our Panoramic Ocean Pool Villa. All in all, mesmerizing! Dan’s team also arranged a half-day private longtail boat and sea kayaking tour in Phang Nga Bay; exploring the islands, visiting “James Bond Island” and sea kayaking through caves was an awesome highlight.
On our final night dinner our kids remarked to my wife and me, “This was an EPIC trip! You guys did a GREAT job planning it!” We replied, “We love hearing that and greatly appreciate it but…Dan & his team did ALL the planning!”
THANK YOU Dan & team!
The trip was seamless. Our initial flight from MSP to Seoul was delayed, so we missed our connection to Bangkok and had to take a later flight. We communicated with them from Korea as we were in transit and they were there to greet us at 1 AM! Great service! The trip involved 3 internal flights and several hotels as well as guides throughout, and everything was executed perfectly. The guides struck a great balance of providing structure but adapting to our wishes on the fly; I highly recommend Dan Frasier and his team!
In February, several friends and I volunteered at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand. After our week there we wanted to spend more time traveling on our own, so we called Dan Fraser.
Our instructions were minimal… a leisurely pace with some hiking and biking and small, beautifully designed hotels.
Taking it from there, Dan and his experience planner, Bank, put together a perfect itinerary with just the right amount of activity. They suggested three nights in Chiang Rai, three nights in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and the last three nights in Bangkok.
In northern Thailand, we hiked through coffee and tea plantations, through rice paddies and cherry orchards. A highlight was a visit to the Royal Villa and Gardens In Doi Tung. Learning about Mae Fah Luang, the princess mother who developed this area, was fascinating as well.
Next, it was on to Siem Reap, where we visited the UNESCO World Heritage site Angkor Wat, along with several other temples. The town itself was a surprise, with upscale hotels and sophisticated restaurants. We really enjoyed our visit to Theam’s Gallery, where Cambodian artist Lim Muy Theam and apprentices are reestablishing Khmer art and culture.
In Bangkok we stayed at a lovely small hotel right on the Chao Phraya River that was in walking distance of the royal palace.
We loved our morning bike ride through neighborhoods and temples in an area of the city not often frequented by tourists. In the evening we enjoyed a tour of the local food scene with many opportunities to try unusual fare! Fermented fish, water beetles, and live shrimp if you are brave enough!
Our last morning was spent at a Floating Market about an hour outside of Bangkok. This was very touristy, but a lot of fun… a way of life that we couldn’t have imagined!
That evening we celebrated our wonderful adventure with drinks and dinner on the 59th floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel. It was the perfect ending to a great trip.
More important than anything we saw were our guides, who made each destination come alive for us. Moon, Woodsey, and Tee were incredibly knowledgeable and a joy to be with! We enjoyed getting to know each one of them, and always felt so well cared for.
Dan and Bank created the perfect trip and kept in touch with us throughout our visit. We would highly recommend Dan’s team for your next Southeast Asian adventure!
This was truly a trip of a lifetime. We really appreciated all the little extras included throughout—the unexpected free massages; all the included meals; the lovely happy birthday messages (whether cards or flowers spelling out HBD on the bed!; the fruit baskets)—we felt so cared for throughout, whether with the lovely snacks and cold towels in the vans or just the willingness of the all the guides to go above and beyond, to listen to us and adapt our itineraries, to usually spend more hours with us than indicated on our schedule. Dan’s guides are all top-notch personality-wise, knowledge-wise and language-wise. Also, the logistics were impeccable—getting through immigration, all the flights, transport, guides meeting us on time—etc. It made for a totally stress-free experience in every way.
Some of the highlights/most memorable moments of the trip, and a few things that might be improved:
The food was UNBELIEVABLE and Lam, our guide, helped us dive into the cuisine—he took us to some wonderful restaurants, ordered for us, and was always super-enthusiastic, which made us enthusiastic too. (He couldn’t convince me to try worm pancakes, though I did try finger snails in Saigon) :-)
Hanoi—we loved this city, especially the old part; going around on motorbikes with the college students driving was a huge highlight, as was sharing coffee with them and talking about their lives and finding out their perspectives. I think we were both pretty surprised at the poverty and the level of repressiveness of the government in all of these countries—something that I was very aware of throughout.
Outing: Cycling to Co Loa Citadel: I’d say this outing was a bit disappointing for a few reasons—several things on the itinerary for that day (noodle making) were no longer valid after Covid so we didn’t do them, including having lunch at the home of two artists. Also, it was not the most scenic ride—lots of trash along the roads, etc. We were a bit disappointed that throughout, our trip didn’t have as much of a focus on contemporary art and architecture as we had hoped—but all the positives outweighed that.
Heritage Cruise to Halong Bay, 2 nights, 3 days: very enjoyable/gorgeous scenery, and we enjoyed the excursions to the village and caves; very pretty vessel and fun to meet fellow travelers. Obviously touristy but can’t be helped—spectacular scenery and everyone wants to see it.
Hoi Ann: Lovely, lovely city and our guide, Minh, was absolutely hilarious and so lively. Highlights here for us were the very early 5 am trip to the fish market at dark, followed by coffee and bahn mi at Minh’s favorite place with all the locals, and an early-morning walk on the empty streets of Hoi An. We loved the Allegro Hotel (though rooms pretty small but lovely) and spent some enjoyable down time at their gorgeous pool.
Motorbikes to My Son were totally fun—so great going through the villages—always something interesting to see and the site itself was amazing. The bamboo boat excursion was pretty touristy; could have skipped.
Another highlight was going to the tailor shop Yali: Both my husband and I had many clothes copied; he had gorgeous shoes made and the whole place was just AMAZING. I feel like I got a whole new gorgeous wardrobe in 24 hours.
Yet another highlight was a trip to an organic farm—my husband literally did a dance in the field with one of the older women working there who had us hoeing and seeding—and we LOVED our cooking lesson there. The food we made was amazing, the teacher was so charismatic; despite her not speaking English, we really connected; and the foot massage at the end was a lovely surprise.
Saigon: I think we were most struck by the Cu Chi tunnels and surrounding museum and exhibits—so unbelievably haunting and really pointed up the brutality of the war (and made it clear why the Americans lost). Our guide, Long, gave us a great narrative throughout; he was also a great food guide, taking us to some incredibly local places, including a seafood place where I tried finger snails. We loved our evening motorbike ride, too; especially getting off to see people socializing, sitting on the ground and drinking coffee and chatting, right on the curb; and the people who lived on the houseboats; we also did a sidecar excursion the next morning which was fun (but maybe not in tandem with motorbikes—too similar—but we enjoyed those guides too and especially loved going to the neighborhood where the Americans built houses for locals in the 60s and talking to the people who have lived there since then.
Other highlights of Saigon were a trip (off the itinerary) to the former government building/palace—loved the mid-century modern architecture and all the war-related memorabilia. It was also super interesting to note some of the different attitudes toward the war in the north and the south—that still remain to this day. There is a thriving art scene in Saigon and another highlight (not on our itinerary) was going to the Quin gallery, where the Vietnamese-American woman there spoke with us about emerging artists and showed us their work.
Cambodia: Our guide, Barang, was so knowledgeable and really made an effort to educate us, and arranged what was, for us, probably a highlight of our trip: Driving through a fishing village about 90 minutes from Siem Reap, getting out and interacting with so many adorable children and friendly people, taking a gorgeous boat ride to Tonle Lake where we felt so far away from it all, and, as I mentioned, arranging an AMAZING dinner in a stilted house with a Cambodian family, with Champagne as the sun set. We were thrilled.
Angkor Wat was of course amazing, but what we did also diverged from what the itinerary promised—we were supposed to go to more far-flung temples first, then see Angkor Wat midday after the tourists left; instead, we saw it first thing (peak crowds) followed by the Bayon temple (which was my personal favorite), and one more with the trees growing through which we absolutely loved.
Another highlight was going to see the “circus” in Siem Reap one night—amazing. Intimate, beautiful, great athleticism and showmanship. Highly recommend.
We also loved Treeline Urban Resort—the art and design, breakfast and staff and our room—all perfect. Spent a bunch of time at the pool there too—was a great place to relax and beat the heat.
Phuket—the Surin and its beach were of course gorgeous. I do think if we were to do it again, we might want to go to a more off-the-beaten-path, more rustic-type place (perhaps in Krabi?). But the room, service, beach, pool, etc.—impeccable. Unfortunately, I had a bit of stomach trouble for one day, but the staff was incredibly solicitous and it was a great place to lay low and recover.
Chiang Mai: Not to play favorites, but Berm was our favorite guide of the trip! :-) So easygoing, so solicitous, so kind, such a wonderful personality and sense of humor—we felt comfortable and easy with him always. He was also great with FOOD—a real foodie, he introduced us to kao soi (I need to find some in NYC!) and ALWAYS kept us eating well. Weirdly, given our expectations, Chiang Mai wasnt our favorite city (maybe we were expecting more beauty? or the fact that it was hazy and v touristy?), but we loved our first evening with Berm, where he basically took us to his favorite street-food stands and we made an amazing meal of it.
We did a few things we could have skipped, like going to a Karen village, which was kind of sad and touristy, and going to a market nearby that also felt like a tourist place vs. all the authentic markets we saw….
Doi Inathon mountain hike was terrific. Loved it and we had a lot of laughs with Berm. Beautiful despite the haze. I do think it’s considering that March is not the ideal time to be in Chiang Mai—the haze was palpable. It didn’t especially interfere with our fun but there are definitely better, more beautiful months to be there, as well as in Mae Hong Son.
Finally, Kanlaya’s Aerie guest house in Mae Hong Son was AMAZING. Worth a visit in and of itself. Perfect way to end the trip—we ate there every night and really got to know owners Philip and Gail; Philip advised us to do our exploration of the nearby caves at dusk instead of in the morning (as scheduled) so we could see the swifts entering the caves and flying around madly, and that is something I’d HIGHLY recommend. We loved walking around the village near the hotel; also loved the boat ride to the long-necked women village, but I’d say I had some mixed feelings about it—I’m glad I went but also felt very touristy—gawking at the locals which felt kind of odd—but in general, loved learning about all the hill tribes in this area—not sure if there is a better way to immerse in a more authentic way?
To sum up: Dan’s office might want to replace a few of the more cookie-cutter things (bamboo boats; tourist villages) with more tailored, behind-the-scenes experiences. On other trips we’ve arranged through Wendy Perrin, in Cuba and Morocco, we went into artists’ studios and homes to talk and see their work; met architects and had meals with them; met writers who had lunch with us (both of the latter in Cuba), and did some very unique things that we could never have done on our own. With a trip like this and an outfit like Dan’s, would have liked a bit more of those kind of totally bespoke touches that get us meeting people and really immersed in the culture.
All in all, we will HIGHLY recommend Dan’s services to our friends; the guides and logistics and everything else were just top-notch—it was a luxurious, stress-free, beautiful trip filled with lovely surprises and adventures. We will remember it for the rest of our lives.
Dan Fraser and team did a very good job of helping us plan a trip back to Thailand. My wife is Thai, but due to the pandemic and work, we hadn’t been to Thailand for many years. We knew that we wanted to spend our time in the South (Krabi, Islands or other ideas) and in Chiang Mai, with some time in Bangkok for my wife to visit family before we left. I had been clear that we wanted to spend at least 4 nights in any location we visited, because we too often come back from vacation tired, because we want to travel everywhere and see everything. Dan convinced us that we had never really seen or enjoyed Phuket, even though we had been there (passing through) before. He suggested that we spend time on Koh Yao Yai (a one-hour speedboat ride from Phuket) and then suggested several resorts, which he felt would let us experience a completely different side of Phuket. He suggested a few options for resorts in Chiang Mai, all of which were beautiful. All of the resorts we chose were beautiful, unique and we may not have found them on our own. Dan & team put together a few tours for us, one in Phuket, two in Chiang Mai and one in Bangkok. The guides were truly excellent (there was one who we felt was just ok, not bad, but nothing special). They were very knowledgeable and were happy to go off the planned itinerary and take us to special sights and locations when we spoke about areas of interest that wouldn’t usually be covered in the tour. All logistics were handled flawlessly. We are very grateful to Dan and team for helping us plan a smooth and enjoyable return to Thailand.
My trip to Thailand in late January was extraordinary, and no way would it have been possible without Daniel and his associates.
Let’s start from how it came about. I impetuously signed up for a one-week cooking trip in the Bangkok countryside starting on February 2, led by two women I know. After my husband said he wasn’t interested in accompanying me I asked myself if it would be worthwhile to go all the way to Thailand and not experience more of the country. I’ve never been to Southeast Asia so I decided to add on a day or two to get used to the time change (a mere 12 hours]). I thought about that for a while and then said to myself, why not some more time. After all, the cost of the flight is the same. So I went to the Wendy Perrin website and connected with Dan. We took our time planning as I knew nothing about Thailand.
I arrived in Bangkok at 6 am on a Sunday and my driver and guide dropped me in the mountains the following Thursday early evening. I had five absolutely wonderful days in Bangkok and environs, and got to feel, taste, and experience the city in a way I never could have by myself or with a group.
I loved every minute of my solo adventure. I had the most wonderful guide, Dao (pronounced Dow, which means star in Thai), who was completely devoted to me. With Andrew Clark’s assistance at the agency, we planned a very busy five days, from the moment I landed (literally). With a dedicated driver and Dao, we did the city and accomplished much of what was planned. And that was part of the beauty of it: We could improvise. Dao called for me each morning at my hotel, the charming Riva Surya, an inspired choice suggested by Andrew, neither too upscale or downscale, in a neighborhood, and right on the river.
A longboat from the dock at my hotel took us to various neighborhoods along the Chao Phraya River. I loved visiting a floating market about an hour south (by car) of the city. I loved tasting all the delights of the city. Dao knew everything and everyone as we explored Chinatown one evening.
My birthday fell during my visit and it was strange to be without family on that day. But Dao was there in the morning to greet me with gorgeous roses and we shared a special drink at night. Dao let me into her life a bit: It’s special when you feel like you are getting to know someone from such a different culture and it allowed me to imagine living an alternative life.
By the time I was dropped off I felt that I had “done” Bangkok—not that I wouldn’t go back in a heartbeat.
Many people have asked me if I really needed a private guide. The answer is definitive: yes. I never would or could have done this on my own. Thank you all for making me feel so welcome, and safe, and being so accommodating. I can’t recommend the services of Dan’s team enough.
We were really very glad we worked with Dan’s office when planning our trip to Thailand and Cambodia. This trip was originally scheduled for 4 people before COVID; three years later, we were down to 2 (the others had a baby and couldn’t come), with less time to spend than before. We had changed physically, too, in those years. Thus, the trip had to be completely recrafted as well as rebooked. Our agent worked closely with us, finding ways to make things accessible and fun. The deposits we paid before COVID were all safe and secure during the shutdown, and we never had a moment’s worry about loss. The hotels were wonderful; the guides were flexible, knowledgeable, and really good company. Dan’s office is particularly adept at scheduling to avoid crowds—we never felt like we were part of a mob—closer to private viewings. They are also highly flexible as you go through a day: If a venue is unexpectedly jammed, or traffic is more (or less) than expected, our guides re-arranged the days, suggested alternatives that would be less frantic, and generally worked with us to make sure we got the most out of every day with the least frazzlement or annoyance. We traveled to hill towns that are not widely visited and saw unusual small local temples, markets, fields, schools—not just the cities. We got a real sense of the huge diversity of these countries. It was wonderful.
One suggestion: Be very clear about any physical limitations when you plan. A few of the activities we scheduled sounded good on paper, but ended up being more strenuous than we were comfortable with when it was hot and steamy out. Our guides were wonderful about re-arranging our plans as we went, but we could have avoided this by being more explicit at the outset.
In summary, this was a wonderful trip. The flexibility of our guides and the support from the head office made everything go smoothly, even when circumstances changed and we needed to adapt what we were doing or how we were doing it. I highly recommend Dan’s team.
Outstanding tour through Thailand starting in Bangkok with a stay at the Siam, a truly unique boutique hotel that is very peaceful within the walls from the chaos outside in the city. As a solo traveler, Mr. T made me comfortable as we toured the nighttime in a tuk tuk and ended with a beer on a rooftop patio overlooking the river. Fast track at the airport is a godsend.
Four Seasons Golden Triangle is one of the top 3 most atmospheric resorts I’ve ever stayed at, with an unbelievable luxury tent for your room. My room, 14, is next to the Burma Bar for happy hour but the farthest from the restaurant and pool, a walk on an up-and-down path of 3/4 mile, so be aware that you will get exercise if you stay in the teens rooms. Mine had a tub on the deck but this is NOT a hot tub. It’s filled with water when you arrive but it’s cold water and if you drain and fill with hot water it takes a good 20 minutes. My opinion is the outside tub rooms are not worth the extra cost given that it’s basically a wood bathtub. Excellent food and acceptable wines on the all-inclusive program. Wines in Thailand are extremely expensive due to their taxes. Staff here is exceptional, just a perfect place.
137 Pillars in Chiang Mai this time instead of the Four Seasons Chiang Mai, and I was glad I stayed there. In town vs 30-45 minutes out of town for the FS so you can walk to the night market and restaurants. Stayed in a William Bain suite that was beautiful and incredibly spacious—huge. Another very quiet, elegant hotel in a city with very good restaurant, outstanding staff especially up in the dining room. I loved my guide from Dan’s office, Mr. Eak; he took me to his house to meet his family and show me his motorcycle collection and then on a bike tour through the countryside and nighttime tour of the city.
Then to Phuket for beach time at Amanpuri, the original Aman resort, and still gorgeous. Perfect service, extremely friendly staff, excellent food and wine, and a stunning beach. Room had a pool, unheated, so I only got in it once as it was shaded most of the day (901). Beautiful views from this room of both Surin bay and the next one north. Very large room with really nice bathroom and dressing area. Loved sitting outside overlooking the beach for a lazy lunch. Day boat trip to the Phi Phi islands, very nice snorkeling, rough ride over and smooth coming back—the opposite of boat trips on Maui. Take some Zofran prior to the trip if you get motion sickness.
Last stop was a quick overnight at the Peninsula Bangkok, which I’ve stayed at several times over the years, a classic luxury city hotel, nothing amiss, love having dinner and breakfast watching the boats ply the river.
This is the second SE Asia trip that I have used Dan’s team and I highly recommend them.
My husband and I wanted to go to Chiang Mai and Phuket, and revisit Bangkok, so we used some points and hired Dan Frasier to fill in. We were very pleased. Everything went extremely well. I have mobility issues after multiple joint replacements, and Dan was extremely caring and arranged an itinerary that would be easier on me. For example, we did a canal tour in Bangkok, a tuk tuk tour in Chiang Mai, and a speed boat tour to the Phi Phi Islands in Phuket. We loved 137 Pillars in Chiang Mai, which Dan suggested. With 11 flights and 5 hotels in 13 days, all was perfect. His transfers were waiting for us everywhere, as were the tour guides. It was truly amazing. I highly recommend them.
We are very glad to have chosen Dan’s team for our honeymoon planning. They were responsive throughout the entire process, gave us great guidance on off-the-beaten-path excursions, and overall helped us to create a lot of beautiful memories! You can feel confident that you will enjoy your trip without headaches or scheduling snafus, and the guides on the ground will be friendly, flexible, and extremely knowledgeable. Thanks so much for everyhing!
We worked with Dan’s office based on your recommendation, and they were terrific. They were flexible when we needed to postpone our planned trip to Vietnam in April 2020 due to COVID, and on several subsequent potential dates, until we actually got to go with our adult daughter in early December 2022. The two-week trip went without a hitch and included some truly special private experiences with local families. Each guide had a high level of expertise, spoke English well and brought something unique to the table for each of us. We feel like we really got to cover the country from north to south and never felt we were not in safe hands — even when hanging onto the back of a motor bike in Hanoi or Saigon. There were several times when our domestic flights were delayed or canceled and Dan’s office handled the logistics professionally. After action-packed days, we ended the trip at a Six Senses resort for some R&R, which exceeded expectations!
Our trip was arranged by the fabulous folks in Dan Fraser’s office. Dan and Som were amazing to deal with. Nothing was too difficult for them to do or arrange. Last-minute changes were no problem.
Where to start? Let’s start at the beginning. Thailand was amazing! Bangkok was a great intro to the food, culture and hustle-and-bustle of a large city in Southeast Asia. The temples were beautiful, the cities and towns incredible! Then Cambodia—Angkor Wat is beyond description. The ancient history and the stories of recent history, though very sad, were fascinating. Lastly Vietnam—what a diverse country! From the large cities, to the small towns and the mountains of Sapa. All so different.
One of our main focuses was the food. We asked our guides to take us to their favorite restaurants and street-food stalls. We wanted to eat like the locals, and indeed we did. We ate crickets, river worms, bamboo worms and even balut! All the more “standard” local food was even more delicious than expected.
Speaking of our guides, all were superb!! Knowledgeable and lots of fun! We toured on foot, by bicycle, motor scooters, kayak. Our long walks in the mountains of Sapa were exceptional, exploring caves and many local villages!
This is a highly recommended trip and and Dan’s is a highly recommended tour company. Thanks to Wendy and team for hooking us up with them.
We unexpectedly found ourselves with several free weeks at the end of the summer and wanted to take advantage of the opportunity for a two-week vacation. We contacted Dan Fraser and his team to plan a trip in Thailand for my kids (16 & 18) and me. Unfortunately my husband was unable to join us for this trip, so I asked that the itinerary be geared to teenagers (minimize temple visits, etc.).
Dan and his planning team (Sidney in particular) were responsive and easy to deal with. They pulled together a memorable trip in less than 2 months. They were extremely accommodating when we arrived 24hrs late due to a series of flight delays (huge thank you to Cranky Concierge for helping us reach Thailand each time we hit an obstacle with our flights). Our guide in Bangkok even bought my son some basic clothes when his bag arrived 3 days after we did.
We wanted to see Thailand, not sit on a beach, so opted to skip Phuket and the islands. Instead we visited Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai with an amazing side trip to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat. We were incredibly lucky in that this area of the world is just re-opening from Covid and many typically very crowded sites (Grand Palace, Angkor Wat, etc.) were relatively empty and we were really able to explore. The lack of crowds was good for us, but these countries rely on tourism so hopefully things pick up with the lifting of restrictions. The teen-friendly activities included food tours, kayaking in Cambodia, bathing and riding elephants in Chiang Mai, and mud skiing with the monkeys outside of Bangkok. The kids would say that we still visited too many temples but will admit that the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) in Chiang Rai is a fun one to see.
Logistically, I liked that we had the same guide and driver the entire time we were in each location and not someone new every day. And we could contact the home office over WhatsApp at any time. The hotels were amazing and the vehicles always had sanitizer, cool drinks and snacks, which really helped in the heat of summer.
Overall, we had a fantastic trip! We had a few activities that didn’t quite work out as they should, but that’s traveling. One of the most disappointing was the floating markets, which was a highlight of a previous tour of Thailand, but it was empty this time around. And I think the highlight of any trip to Thailand is the elephants in Chiang Mai—do not miss!
We are extremely happy with our decision to go to Vietnam and Cambodia. We are lucky to have been able to see this part of the world before the masses of tourists come back. Our trip planner was excellent. We started off with a few emails back and forth. He asked me about previous trips we had done in southeast Asia. We then had a Zoom meeting for about an hour to discuss. After that we had many emails back and forth to solidify the plans. He listened to our goals, previous experiences, etc. and worked these ideas into our itinerary.
Our guides throughout the trip also got to know us and honed our days/tours to our specific likes. For example, we like to try all the foods. Our guides did not disappoint. Throughout the trip we went to various markets and even stopped randomly on the side of the road to try things. We had a lot of fun trying some very interesting things! We wanted to have some suits made for my husband, so for 3 days in a row, we made time to go to the tailor for fittings. We wanted to experience everything we could, so even when a torrential downpour interrupted the end of our street-food scooter tour (instead of taking a taxi back to the hotel in the rain), we rode through the streets of Saigon in the rain on the scooter…so much fun and we were soaked! When I said I really wanted to find mangosteens, we did, even though they’re out of season. Etc, etc. I could give so many more examples. Our guides really were at our disposal and were happy to modify. I decided last minute that I really wanted to see Angkor Wat at sunrise. No problem, done! One of our guides even took our laundry to get done while we were on our cruise in Ha Long Bay so we didn’t have to pay the exorbitant costs at the hotels.
We ate at wonderful restaurants, street food, market stalls, and in the homes of local villagers. One of my favorite experiences was a hot pot lunch at a local’s home near the Chinese border in Bac Ha. We bonded with the local hosts, chatting with facial expressions, hand movements and of course our guide translating, all the while drinking home-brewed plum wine. We also cooked food both at a local’s home and at a cooking class.
We learned so much more about the Vietnam war. We met a Vietnamese pilot who shot down 2 American planes during the war. What an interesting and moving interaction that was. We visited the Cu Chi tunnels, the War Remnants Museum, and a hidden weapons bunker.
We partook in the Vietnamese coffee culture on numerous occasions in every city. We stayed active, hiking, biking, and kayaking. We visited a couple schools, one planned ahead of time by our guide and one impromptu. We used multiple modes of transportation… trains, planes, automobiles, tuk-tuks, cyclos, rickshaws, motorcycles and scooters. We met locals in bars, eating street food, in locals’ homes, drinking coffee, etc. We saw beautiful landscapes, historic architecture, ancient ruins, modern architecture, etc. We learned about the Khmer Rouge and visited the S-21 prison. We awed at the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat. We did all of this and more with the help and knowledge of our incredible local guides or hosts, as Dan’s office calls them. Host really is a better description than guide. Our hotels were all wonderful. All of our transfers were meticulously timed. Even when our flight from Vietnam to Cambodia was canceled, we were booked on another flight before we even knew there was a problem.
And then, the surprise for me was our WOW Moment. We had a special tuk-tuk ride to the start of our boat ride. On the boat ride on the river we had cocktails, appetizers, entertainment with a traditional singer and a musician playing the Dan Tranh, (which we got to try our hand at), and even lit lanterns. All of that was followed by an incredible multi-course dinner at a beautiful restaurant where our musician was playing another instrument. Everyone involved was amazing. Even the weather cooperated and it didn’t rain! Thank you Wendy!
Dan’s team did a wonderful job. I would definitely use them again and recommend them to friends and family. If you’ve considered a trip to Southeast Asia, do it now!
PANDEMIC TRAVEL Dan did an absolutely incredible job of making our December 2021 trip to Thailand unique and unforgettable. As seasoned travellers with a healthy budget, we expect top service and want to be shown places/experiences off the beaten track. Thanks to Dan, we got routes, visited destinations and met locals that blew our minds. I even ended up buying great contemporary art pieces from a little art gallery we visited along the way (something I would not typically do). When I chatted with friends who have been living in Bangkok for more than 20 years and told them about our experiences, they weren’t even aware of a majority of the places we visited. My wife and I can’t stop talking about our incredible time with Dan’s team. Thanks again, Dan, you are the best. And, of course, a big thanks to Wendy and WendyPerrin.com. It will continue to be our go-to site for the best guides around the world.
Kae on Dan’s team planned a wonderful adventure for my husband and I. We traveled through Thailand, including Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Yao Noi, and island near Phuket. The trip planning was so easy as right away the hotels and activities fit exactly what we asked for. I tried to give as much info as possible about us and what we like to do and this proved to work well and our expectations were exceeded. Each hotel was an oasis. Our guides were very engaging and so enthusiastic about showing us their cities.
Ms. Ann in Bangkok was a delight. Not only did we see all the major sites but she adjusted on the fly to help us find some intriguing contemporary art galleries. We had a very memorable food and dinner tour through the streets of Bangkok’s Chinatown.
In Chiang Mai, Mr. Ack was equally fun and took us on a bike tour through his village. We saw flower fields and tried our hand at rice planting. As well, he took us to a favorite place for coffee, lunch, foot massages and a super interesting fresh market tour tasting new foods and delicious exotic fruits. In both cities my husband enjoyed some impromptu jam sessions with local pop music enthusiasts. They were so happy to have a guitar-playing visitor. It’s those unexpected moments that make for such a memorable trip.
The Six Senses Yao Noi was a luxurious spot to finish our trip. We had an exciting day boating to the local islands, enjoyed wonderful massages and a cooking class where I was the sole student. The food was delicious and staff so kind.
Thank you Wendy, Dan and Kae!
We absolutely loved our trip designed by Kae in Dan’s office. We built the trip together. There is not one thing that we did not love about our trip. The guides, drives and excursions were all top-notch. Kae was available throughout our trip. We had no challenges at all. We HIGHLY recommend Dan and his team for trips to Thailand.
The trip to Thailand was possibly our best family holiday ever because of the great things that we did as planned by Dan. The local guides, Pe and Noom, did a wonderful job of bringing the culture to life. From Temples to food markets to the elephants and kayaking down the Ping River. They asked a lot of questions while planning the trip and it showed because it was right for us. We felt very well taken car of when moving between cities which took any stress of travel out of the equation. I highly recommend using Dan Fraser.
I worked with Stephanie, on Daniel’s team, to tailor a 2 week trip to Thailand for my husband & I, mindful of our budget, and she knocked it out of the park. We felt well taken care of and felt she really understood the types of hotels we wanted to stay at, places we wanted to visit (elephant sanctuary, Wat Rong Khun – white temple, etc.) and suggestions for places to eat. They even made reservations for us at Gaggan, voted the best restaurant in Asia. It was one of the best meals we’ve ever had!
Our guide in Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai, Berm, was very knowledgeable and so enthusiastic. When we told him we were foodies, he took us to the Sunday walking market and had us try all sorts of street food – it was all phenomenal.
Would highly recommend them and would not hesitate to use them again.
Daniel and his staff were extremely responsive through the entirety of our trip. We booked two hosts for the different areas we were visiting and they were well versed and gave us the local view we were hoping for.
Thank you for a wonderful honeymoon! We’d certainly recommend using for trips where you want your logistics, hosting experience sorted for you.
Dan Fraser and his team knocked it out of the park. Last year we had to end our trip early to Thailand due to an injury. We were determined to go back and finish our trip. Throughout the planning stages, I could tell they had processed our likes, dislikes, style and preferences and that had been used to craft our new trip. We added Saigon, Hue, and Hoi An to the beginning of our trip for a 15-day adventure. We stayed at fabulous luxury hotels like the Park Hyatt Saigon where we were upgraded to a suite and the St. Regis Bangkok. We stayed at historic properties like La Residence in Hue and a swanky boutique hotel Rachamanka in Chiang Mai furnished with antiques. All of our private guides and drivers were knowledgeable, personable, and flexible. We seldom waited in line, so all the temples and sights without the crowds. Dan calls their guides hosts and they do just that. Go to the market? You get opportunities to try local drinks and fruits. At the temples, you get to participate in local customs and traditions. We are foodies and we had such amazing lunches at non-tourist places. Dan’s office team also helped us make reservations at two of the top restaurants in the world, Gaggan, and Nahm. And when we had a mini-crisis of food poisoning, our guide was there to make sure I got the treatment I needed and figured out how to reconfigure our next day so that we still got to see the main sights. The transfers between cities were seamless. One of my most favorite moments was at Ayuthayya when I dressed in traditional clothes and wandered amongst the temple ruins. Dan and his team not only gets the big things right but the details that take a trip from great to lifetime memories. Thank you, Wendy, for making this introduction.
Our trip to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam was excellent. Daniel Fraser’s staff were all really good and helpful and did an excellent job planning the trip. Some of the guides were better than others but overall very well-planned. My only complaint was with the accommodations on the junk boat in Ha Long Bay. It was an old boat with a very tiny room. I did not realize that you could do a one-night stay on these boats or even take a speedboat to see the Bay. I was only given the choice of the two-night cruise and assumed that that was the necessary time to see the Bay and the only option. In hindsight, I’d rather pay more, take the speedboat everywhere, and save the other two days for a place that absolutely requires it.
My wife and I traveled to Thailand in January for our honeymoon and Daniel and his staff were amazing. We had many planning calls to discuss what we wanted to do on our trip. They were accommodating to any requests and changes we wanted to make. Their suggestions were spot on and all enjoyable. They were easy to contact and responsive. What went above and beyond was the fact that they put together a beautiful book which included our itinerary, some history of the country, helpful words and translations, food and attraction suggestions, contact info, and more. Overall really spectacular job!
My travel companion had an injury that required us to cut our trip short, but Dan Fraser and his team were with us at every step and their help was invaluable. We had an amazing few days, pre-accident. Their pre-trip planning was detailed, comprehensive, responsive, and well done. We were offered several private experiences such as a private monk blessing and early access to Wat pho, a visit to a private collector’s antique collection, private boats through the canals, and more. Our guide in Bangkok was beyond amazing and was so caring and accommodating. We truly had a local experience. They obtained reservations at two of the best restaurants on the Top 50 in the world list. Dan Fraser made sure we had anything we needed. We have experienced several trips in the past arranged by your WOW List travel specialists, and I can assure you that Dan is up to your caliber of travel specialist. We plan on completing our Thailand adventure with him in future. Wendy, thank you for the recommendation.
Daniel and Stephanie helped us create a completely individualized tour of Southeast Asia that included Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The pre-trip planning was highly collaborative, and their responses were informative and timely. The accommodations they booked were fabulous – real sanctuaries well located in the center of everything. The different guides and drivers were top notch and amenable to tweaks in the itinerary based on our desires. Some of the special experiences were so unique including the fabric workshop and elephant experience in Chiang Mai, bicycling and kayaking a few times and riding motorcycles in Hanoi. The assistance in our several airport arrivals and departures really helped us remain relaxed in what can be a stressful situation. I’d highly recommend Daniel and his team for their professionalism, knowledge and fun attitude.
Thanks to Daniel Fraser and his team, we had a wonderful time in Thailand. Our guide Poy and our driver were excellent, and the itinerary was fascinating. Poy was knowledgeable and easy to understand. She was able to modify things to fit with our interests and was totally responsive to our needs. She was always early to our rendezvous and would spontaneously go out of her way to do nice things for us. She and the driver made our visit to Thailand a great time. We would recommend her to anyone. Having a guide and driver is the absolute best way to see a country.
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