Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

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!

Jeff Gold | January 17, 2024

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.

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