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Independent travel vs. Private tour--which would suit us?

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Okay, I've been asking questions here about SE Asia, and have settled on an approximate itinerary.

Some background--I am 65, my husband is 70. We want to do about 16 days or so Bangkok - Siem Reap - Luang Prabang - Chiang Rai in February. We are pretty adventurous travellers, but like a fairly relaxed pace (old bones), and realize the heat will also slow us down. Aside from a business trip I made to Mumbai 10 years ago, and my husband's business trip to Singapore last winter, we have never been to Asia!!

We like to wander around town making our own discoveries, love local food, bars, markets, whatever's going, but we also want to see major sights like Angkor Wat/Thom, Ayuttaya, and whatever else is suggested (I have loads of suggestions.)

I've been working with a couple of tailor-made specialists (Exotissimo and IOT), and they are doing proposals for us for private itineraries, private drivers, many meals, hotels, airfares, transfers included. No final prices yet because they haven't quite given me what I want yet, in terms of free time versus planned time with excursions, although I do have one quote for about $2700 per person. In both cases they have suggested various interesting-sounding excursions, plus the overnight boat trip up the Meking, Luang Say.

I realize we could do this a lot cheaper if we planned it out ourselves. I like planning travel--sussing out hotels, etc. but there's something attractive about being taken care of in this case.

So, what do you think?

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