Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

Listened to all my concerns regarding mum's mobility at 80 years old and planed an interesting itinerary that was paced well
Jane Wilson | August 15, 2023

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.

A private session we had with an English-speaking Buddhist monk where we could ask him anything...and we did
Andrew Shapiro | June 23, 2023

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!

Struck a great balance of providing structure but adapting to our wishes on the fly
Susan Truman | April 23, 2023

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!

We loved our morning bike ride through neighborhoods and temples in an area of the city not often frequented by tourists
Jeff Lonsinger | April 6, 2023

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!

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