21 independent reviews for Thailand tailor made holiday, elephants, jungle & beach

Reviews for Thailand tailor made holiday, elephants, jungle & beach

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review 8 Sep 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

I think there were 2 things... meeting the elephants and white water rafting.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

In the rainy season, don't leave your hotel without a kagool!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

More apparent in some places than others. The elephant sanctuary was clearly there for the elephants, not the tourist, and we were aware that the money raised from our visit was going to good use. Joyes House in Chiang Mai was also helping children with work experience, learning English (which guests were able to help with) and schooling.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Though there was much to do and see and visiting different areas enabled that, we felt that too much time was wasted packing and travelling. Maybe OK if you can travel light which is something we are not good at. With hindsight we would probably skip the tree house (it was very basic) although it was a base for the forest walk and the trip to the raft house, which was the bast part of that leg of our holiday. We all thought that we would like to have spent more time in Chiang Mai. Perhaps the answer is to go for longer, rather than take things out!

review 23 Apr 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

all of it!!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

dont think about it , book it!! Was the best holiday we have ever had.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes and that was one of the lovely things about the whole experience. We never felt part of mass tourism and believed we were meeting the real face of Thailand.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I can't recommend our tour operator enough. They deserve all the credit.

review 19 Apr 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Everything! Khao Sok National Park, our Jungle House really stood out as being a spectacular part of our holiday! Having our own private tour guide (Bum) to show us the rainforest was special- he was very hospitable and went out of his way to add personal touches- he cut the bamboo to enable us to drink directly from the bamboo, made us bamboo cups whilst we were bathing in the waterfall, we spotted gibbons, a tarantula and a snake! Ok route back to the Jungle House, he found pomelo and carved it for us to eat. CoCo cottages in Ko Ngai were paradise!! The guide at Phutawan rafthouses couldn't have been any sweeter and more welcoming. The private boat trip to arrive to our rafthouse was brilliant and the morning tour of the lake was simply stunning! Our tour of Bangkok was amazing, thanks to Snakie who was very knowledgable and again added little touches such as finding us special drinks and food to try along the way. The kayak experience in Khao Sok was great fun, the boys who took us out on the kayaks spotted snakes in the trees and stopped us halfway to have a swing from the branches whilst they made us coffee on an open fire!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Having an itinerary was really beneficial to us (planned by the operator) when trying to see many different parts of a country in a really short space of time. It was no hassle and we could just enjoy the holiday :)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We felt it supported individuals and the accommodation definitely supported Reducing environmental impacts.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was amazing!!

review 20 Mar 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

It was all memorable, we couldn't have planned it better if we'd tried, highlights included the visit to the elephant sanctuary, the stay in the jungle treehouse, the stay on the lake and the relaxing days had at Koh Tao Cabana. Perfect.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take earplugs if the sound of the jungle might keep you awake. Don't pack too many clothes and take advantage of laundry services. Take footwear that can take punishment, you'll need it!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

All three, we felt very comfortable with all the responsibilities taken to ensure all these factors were taken into consideration.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Pretty much perfect from start to finish, we'll be using Responsible Travel again and recommending them to others without a doubt. Thank you so much!

review 30 Jan 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The best part of our whole trip was our 3 night stay in Chaing Mai at Joy's house. The white water rafting, zip lining and elephant Park were all such incredible fun but the best part was Joy's house; what a place. It's so welcoming there, it's like staying with family. All the trips were organised to perfection as was the whole holiday.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

My tip is to chill out and relax because I wound myself up a little worrying about the transfers all over Thailand to and from the airports and to the various activities. We didn't have to worry at all, everything was in hand. Every transfer was ready and waiting for us.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We learnt a lot about Elephant welfare at the sanctuary and how riding elephants is extremely bad for them. Since returning were actively spreading the word.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Absolutely incredible holiday, could not have been better. The places we visited were perfect and not on your normal tourist routes so they were quiet and unspoiled. We didn't want crazy over populated Thailand, we steered clear of the crowds and our experience was all the better for it.

review 3 Apr 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

My day tour of Bangkok was fantastic. My guide was so interesting and made it all fun - from the flower market to China town, the temples to the Palace - it was fantastic. As an added bonus the hotel organised an evening bike tour of the old city - which was real icing on the cake!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Joy's House is a great place to stay but it is a long way out of the centre of Chiang Mai - if you like get around on foot and have easy access to the city centre then it's not the best location for that.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes - my excursion to the Elephant Sanctuary supported the work there, plus the stay at Joy's House supported their programme.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I loved Bangkok, not so sure about Chiang Mai and really enjoyed the beaches of Koh Lanta!

review 10 Jan 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Everything was special.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

To be ready to get muddy in the jungle.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Dave was great in helping us making it the way we wanted.

review 27 Nov 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Everything about this holiday was fantastic, we were treated like royalty. if we had to pick anything it would be... the elephant sanctuary is a must see with some sad stories told of the elephants, the zipwire was great and the whitewater rafting was amazing.. all the tours were great, all the accomodation was clean and welcoming, it was just a fabulous holiday.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take some plastic bags for wet clothes, ear plugs for the bug noises, insect repellant as there are are some mosquitoes.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, especially at lisu lodge and the floating bungalow as it was people native to the villages who were working and helping there.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Ten out of ten definitely, the best holiday we have had by far.

review 27 Dec 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The long tail boat ride around the canals of Bangkok, the zip wire in the jungle, the elephant feeding, jumping in the river Kwai and hoping we could catch onto the the raft again in time! So many amazing memories.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Look at distances between hotels and the different activities as some of our long transfers could have been avoided. Take lots of insect repellant spray (incognito worked much better than the DEET ones)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We certainly felt that the local people benefitted in places and all the tour guides and drivers were locals. The elephant sanctuary and Joy's Guest House were real highlights too

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Thailand is an amazing place - the country has very diverse regions each with their own flavours and challenges.

review 28 Nov 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Elephant Nature Park and the Praiwan Rafthouse on Rachabrapha Lake (Chiew Laan) were amazing. We got to spend the whole day feeding, bathing, and walking with elephants. The owner (aka Elephant Whisperer) happened to be there, and it was wonderful to see her rapport with the elephants. The lake was one of the most beautiful places I've been, and our guide was wonderful at pointing out wildlife we would have missed on our own. We even got to kayak close to a group of monkeys and got to enjoy watching them in their natural habitat.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Maybe keep the number of wats you visit to a manageable size. They are beautiful, but after 8 or more they start to run together. Also, be prepared for geckos. They are abundant in Thailand.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

All of our guides seemed to be local. I feel that at least a portion of our activities benefited local people. I'm not sure one way or another about impacts on the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We enjoyed our trip!

Read the operator's response here:

Thankyou for your comments are we're happy to hear you enjoyed the trip so much, especially Elephant Nature Park and Chiaw Laan lake. These 2 places - a top elephant sanctuary and one of the best wildlife habitats in Thailand - illustrate that conservation, low environmental impact and enjoying nature are integral to how we develop all our tours. For example, this trip also included walking nature trails on Doi Inthanon with a local community guide and swimming in waterfalls in Erawan national park. We're also happy that this trip was able to cover all of central and northern Thailand by train and overland, cutting out several potential flights. Most importantly, we do a lot of behind the scene work to build in environmental benefits throughout your holiday in ways you might not notice, especially the hotels. We chose ones that are either low impact (such as the forest cabins), encourage ecosystems in their properties (in Chiang Mai) or actively reduce their impact (in Bangkok and Khao Lak) by recycling materials, reusing kitchen and garden waste, reducing energy and water usage and sourcing food locally.

review 5 Sep 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Where do I start - meeting the elephants, being suspended upside down on the zipwire, white water rafting, scuba diving in Koh Tao

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take a few days off work after you get back as you will need to rest and relax first as its so full on. I made the mistake of being back in work the day after I arrived back.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes - that's why I was happy I was booking a holiday where responsible tourism is priority.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very Good Indeed :)

review 16 Aug 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The holiday was packed with diversity from the beaches to the cities to the jungle. Each part had its captivating, unique appeal. Family unanimously agree that we cannot identify a single moment that stood out from the rest as it was all total fun, yet different. Adrenalin highs certainly came from white water rafting and later zip lining across the same valley near Chaing Mai. The evening food tour of Chinatown, Bangkok is definitely worthy of guide and an eye opener.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

There are certain parts that I would highly recommend using an organised tour or guide to see the best in a limited time especially like in Bangkok where places can be over crowded. Chai our guide in Khao Sok National Park showed incredible knowledge of the area & its inhabitants. Our time with him was too limited & in the short while, he spotted an owl sleeping in a tree, a rare monkey, vipers & made us bamboo coffee while we cooled off in the river.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Absolutely! Appreciated the fact that the guides showed a personal commitment to promoting conservation & discouraging non ethical activities. We were horrified seeing the number of restaurants serving shark fin, selling & displaying fins in windows in Bangkok. Our guide inoffensively explained why it was wrong and I'm sure she would discourage anyone in her group from supporting the industry. Jacky, our guide in Chiang Mai, also diplomatically condemned the selling of captured wild birds & other wildlife for tourists to buy & release for good luck - sadly we saw many tourists thinking they were helping the animals by supporting it. Our driver & guide on the lake trip apologised for suddenly braking & swerving to avoid riding over a snake crossing the road. He showed a deep commitment & appreciation of nature throughout our 2 days with him. Great that only local guides and drivers are used to benefit the local communities. Hotels encouraged recycling & reduced water consumption. We feel that our environmental impact was lower than the average international holiday.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent. We were well taken care of and small hiccups were efficiently resolved.

review 25 Dec 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Most of the places we visited were great. The elephant farm, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, the Bridge over the River Kwai, (although it is really far and not everyone would appreciate it as we did), the war memorial, Koh Samui, Bangkok, a fascinating city, with some amazing buildings. Some of the Temples and Buddas were also stunning.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't take a tuk-tuk in Bangkok.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Not really.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We had a wonderful time, but you have to make the most of it. I had just been on a similar trip through Burma and found your people on the ground lacking slightly, not as polished as our guides in Burma.

Read the operator's response here:

"Thankyou for your comments are we're happy to hear you enjoyed the holiday. Our ethos is to create holidays that have positive impacts, without those being the defining feature. We do a lot of behind the scene work to build in environmental benefits throughout your holiday in ways you might not notice, especially the hotels. We chose ones that actively reduce their impact by (amongst others) recycling materials, reusing kitchen and garden waste, reducing energy and water usage and sourcing food locally. The Elephant Nature Park is also a wonderful experience in itself and helps support ongoing work to improve the lives of Thailand's elephants. Social responsibility is equally important to us, for example we included the lodge because of its support for the Lisu culture and the jobs it has created in the local community. Thanks again for your comments and we hope we can help again in future."

review 19 Aug 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The Elephant Nature Park, meeting the people at Lisu Lodge and staying at Chiaw Laan Lake really stand out. But all the activities were good, the guides were excellent and the food delicious.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

It was always warm weather but expect a fair bit of rain. For some of the transport the air conditioning was pretty nippy so take a warm jacket. We weren't too attacked by mosquitoes but it was good to have some itch cream.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I think there were some benefits to the Lisu people. I suppose we supported conservation at the Elephant Nature Park and Khao Sok. I guess I could say there were reduced environmental impacts compared to a more luxurious holiday, although we did quite a bit of travelling around. We made a point of trying to find vegetarian restaurants, although where we couldn't do that it was still always easy to get a normal restaurant to produce vegetarian food.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was a really great holiday, very well organised, and enjoyed by everyone in the family.

review 24 Dec 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The most memorable part was our stay at the Lisu Lodge, especially our meeting with the Lisu tribe and tha Aka also. It was surprised to see how these people (mainly the elder generation) are detached to this world and how the latter generation now are connected to the world trend. The food at Lisu Lodge was good and the service was world class. My wife (who looks like the Thai people) wore the traditional Lisu dress and this please the local people. The most exciting experience was the walk in the cave and jungle at Kao Lak. It was amazing to see bats suspended above our heads during all the walk. We had seen big spiders, frogs, fish and other insects in there. In the jungle (this one on a hiking during our stay at the Jungle tree house) we had the chance to see monkeys and 2 snakes suspended on a tree. I cannot close this paragraph without also mentioning our experience at the Elephant Nature park.There, our conception and the way we look at animals have changed.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

I will advise the travellers to learn some basic Thai or bring a Thai translation dictionary with them. As I've seen that very little people there understands english; even taxi drivers. We were dropped at a wrong Hotel after a day doing shopping because the driver couldn't understand english. Also if you take taxi, always bring with you your hotel address written in Thai. You can show it to the driver.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes it benefited local people mainly at the Elephant Nature park. Our days spent there (as those of all other tourist) allow the Nature park to have a revenue to continue the good job they are doing as a sanctuary for the elephants. I think it is the same for the Lisu lodge. As the concept there is very interesting. All the staff of the Loges are local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

9/10 Everything was well organized.

review 28 Nov 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

All of the different activities eg. cooking school, elephant camp, lake stay, train ride to Chiang Mai, Koh Tao.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared to be on the move

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

For sure......

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Great holiday..... I would probably skip the over night train to Chiang Mai and just fly next time. The night at the floating raft house might be better as a day trip and not stay over. Maybe just lunch etc. I would use this company again for a tour. I feel that I got my monies worth for sure. No complaints with accommodations or food.

review 24 Aug 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Floating bungalow

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent

review 12 Aug 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

For me, trekking through the jungle with an amazingly knowledgeable Guide was the highlight, despite the rain! And then there was the white water rafting, and the elephants, and the night noises, and the night markets...but let's not forget the unforgettable Thai people!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't feel you need to pack everything plus the kitchen sink! You can buy everything in Thailand, and much cheaper than in the UK!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I hope so!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Brilliant!

review 19 Jun 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The Junge House. It was so remote, and felt really exclusive. They had set our room and stay up for a honeymoon, and prepared a private dining area for us.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Prepare for sleep deprivation, and it'll be hot hot hot!! Keep your eyes peeled for the wildlife!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, I felt the guides used were appropriate, and all the resorts were certainly eco-friendly.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

An exciting , exhausting time of a lifetime!

review 23 Sep 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Elephant Sanctury in Chaing Mai

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't bring many heavy clothes and buy light shorts and trousers while there. Bring good shoes for walking and always listen to what you are being advised like take a guide when in the National Park in Thailand.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Absolutely. Cambodia was very inspiring.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I would say break it down into areas where 10/10 or 9/10 is assigned. I loved the way in which I was with Elephants and then in a city.

review 27 Aug 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The whole experience will be memorable as we did such a variety of activities but for me the highlight was the 2 days spent at The Thai Elephant House. The owner Jo and his team were all so welcoming and spent time explaining their ethos and the way they care for the elephants and we were lucky enough to stay overnight, so as well as spending a lot of time with the elephants and their mahouts, we also got to cook a delicious Thai meal at night.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared for quite a lot of travelling and early starts - but it's well worth it. The trip we did would not be suitable for families with infant or young children under the age of about 10. Some of the accommodation was very basic with minimal washing facilities so if you're looking for luxury you may be disappointed. We found it useful to have a variety of sizes of waterproof bags as you can get quite wet and sometimes need to carry a change of clothes etc.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Certainly the places we stayed were set up for the benefit of the locals and everyone of them, without exception, was run by people who genuinely cared about their communities and wanted to support them. It was very evident that people are aware of the importance of conserving natural resources and keeping rubbish/ waste to a minimum.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A very memorable holiday with lots of different experiences - a great mixture of travel, activity and finally relaxation!

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