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sarahhatfield Feb 23rd, 2011 10:06 PM

Peregrine- Amazing Thailand + Tropical & Angkor Extensions
I am considering booking a trip with Peregrine on their "Amazing Thailand" Tour, along with extensions for Phi Phi Island and Angkor Wat. What experiences have you had with Peregrine as a whole, or specifically with these tours? I've never traveled with a tour group before, and warmly welcome any and all feedback. Thanks in advance...

KimJapan Feb 23rd, 2011 10:44 PM

I have not traveled with them. Having looked at their itinerary, inclusions and pricing, it strikes me as being a pretty good itinerary. One thing that is odd is that you go to the Thai Elephant Conservation Center for an overnight and a morning, but then to Chiang Dao to ride elephants. The TECC has an excellent program for elephant experience, that includes riding them on your own, learning commands to control them, learning about how to care for them...but you are not doing that on this tour, just stopping by there. Odd. There is also a fair bit of time spent on a b us between cities...

The other thing that strikes me is the cost. For what you are getting, it is very expensive. The Angkor extension is especially expensive. Consider that you can hire a private guide and driver for around $60 per day (not per person) and see much more than they list. A very nice hotel with swimming pool (like Bopha Angkor or Royal Bay Inn for example) costs around$50/night with breakfast included, or $25/per person. A very nice guesthouse, like Seven Candles, is around $20/night per room. Meals are cheap, averaging $5/person with a drink. Transport around town by tuk tuk $2/trip (not per person). So for two of you, in a decent hotel with a private guide for 3 days would cost you $500 total, or $250 each, and that is generous (3 nights in a decent hotel, 3 days guide & driver, tip, meals, shopping, temple passes).

If you are traveling alone and want the companionship benefit of a tour, that is one thing that may make it worthwhile for you. If you think a tour will be cheaper or easier, it's just not so, and a bit of research and planning will yield you a trip that goes where you want to go, hotels that you choose based on what you like, and a schedule that is infinitely flexible.

silverwool Feb 24th, 2011 12:26 AM

I agree with KimJapan, Cambodia is very easy. I went to Myanmar with Peregrine because i was too busy to do my own research. I enjoyed the tour and was very happy with the service. Cambodia on the other hand, I do independently. Admittedly I've been there several times but you could put together a great trip for a lot less money and the satisfaction of knowing you'd done it all yourself. Remember with Peregrine, there are still tips and (probably) some meals to add on. I pay $15 a night at a nice guest house with a small pool.

Last year I had a friend with me who had not been before and we paid $20 a day for a very good guide and $15 a day for a tuk tuk. The latter is for temples close to Siem Reap. If you go to Banteay Srei or Beng Mealea it will cost more for the tuk tuk.

Kathie Feb 24th, 2011 06:27 AM

As others have said, both Thailand and Cambodia are very easy to do on your own. Doing it on your own will also be cheaper, and you can decide exactly what you want to do, where you want to stay and how long to spend at each place.

Unless there is some reason you want to go with a group, I'd recommend you travel independently. People here on the Asia board are glad to answer questions and help you with logistics if you need it.

simpsonc510 Feb 24th, 2011 07:03 AM

Sarah, will this be your first trip to S E Asia? If so, I can fully understand the desire for the security of a group, and for someone else who knows the ins and outs to be responsible for the places you will go.

If you like S E Asia as much as most of us here do, then you will probably go back again (and again) and can then be an independent traveller. Once you know the ropes, it can be easier to do! I was glad I had someone to show me around (my son) my first time to Bangkok... I've now been 22 times.

I do understand group travel!

SusanM Apr 29th, 2011 06:32 AM

Sarah, you still around?

Imagine my surprise when I logged on this morning and saw you as today's featured member! (I'm M Gray's wife - he says Hi and you owe him a birthday email!)

So, are you going to Thailand?

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