In January, Sonia and I were able to use the last of the travel deals we purchased during Covid. There were two left, and both were for 6 nights each at hotels/resorts in Bangkok and Phuket. We ended up splitting our time in Bangkok, but taking the whole week at once for Phuket. One of our goals for this trip was to do and see as much as we could since we weren’t sure when we would get to go back to Thailand.
When planning our trips, my first stop for possible tours is usually Viator. It’s probably the most comprehensive site for tour information no matter your destination, and a great way to see the variety of possible tours available. Once we get an idea of the tours, then we due some additional research to make sure we’re getting the best possible tour at the best price. In most cases, I’ll book through Viator, but there have been instances where I’ve been able to book directly with the tour operator for less.
While looking at tours in Thailand, I noticed that there were a lot of private tour options that were reasonably priced. Normally, private tours have a significant markup since you are getting a personalized service and not having to tour with a sizeable group of people. For Thailand though, the private tours were almost the same price as group ones.
In the end, we found this amazing tour operator – ForeverVacation – and were able to book private city tours in both locations. From the moment we booked our tours until we completed them, someone from ForeverVacation was in contact with us to make sure the tour met our expectations and that we were enjoying our guides and our stops. Note that they do offer group tours as well, but we only did the private tours, so things may vary depending on your selections.
The first communication after booking your tour will include some simple questions asking about your interests and the type of tour you prefer (e.g., very active, shopping focused, or primarily focus on the tourist icons for that area). From your responses, they will start to craft your personalized tour. As your tour approaches, they will continue to coordinate with you on your pick-up location and time, and you will be introduced to your guide for the tour. All of this happens through WhatsApp, so it’s easy to work with them so that there are no hiccups on tour day. Your guide will be added into the WhatsApp conversation as well, which helps with communication and sharing pictures. In addition to the great communication, ForeverVacation connects you with certified guides who are better than any tour book when giving you background and history for each site. With all that is included in these private tours, you can’t help but feel like you’re getting an incredible steal on everything you see and experience.
Our first tour was the “Phuket Instagram Tour: The Most Famous Spots”. We primarily picked this tour because we were staying outside of the more touristy sections of Phuket and wanted to be able to see the areas of the island that were not easily accessible to us. Our guide picked us up from our resort and drove us to each stop with the overall tour lasting about 10 hours. Sites included Rock Swing Beach, Karon View Point, the Big Buddha, Wat Chalong Temple, and the Sunday market in Old Phuket Town. We were also treated to lunch at a local spot, and our guide bought us some local desserts at the market outside of the temple.
For our tour in Bangkok, we selected the “Bangkok by Night: The Ultimate Experience”. Breaking up Bangkok into 3 night at the start of our trip and 3 nights at the end, made it surprisingly hard to book our tours, but on our last night of our vacation, we were able to do a 4-hour night tour of the city. There’s something about seeing a place at night with all the lights on, and Bangkok didn’t disappoint. Our tour started with a sunset viewing at Wat Saket and was followed with dinner at Thipsamai, which has received Michelin’s Bib Gourmand for its pad thai. The rest of the tour was spent sightseeing around Bangkok and taking a tuk tuk ride. Stops included drinks at a rooftop bar overlooking the Riva River, walking through the night market on Khaosan Road, and shopping at the Asiatique night market.
VacationForever helped make our trip to Thailand memorable. They connected us with amazing guides, helped us plan the tours we wanted, and gave us an amazing experience. They primarily operate within Southeast Asia, so if you are traveling to a destination they cover, I highly recommend visiting their site and working with them to help plan your dream tours. Stay tuned to read more about our Thailand vacation. Until next time, wishing everyone happy travels and happy eating!