Travel with Smartours?

Old May 17th, 2007, 06:27 PM
  #1  
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Travel with Smartours?

Have anyone had any experience traveling with an organized tour "Amazing Thailand" which is organized by Smartours? They offer a pretty comprehensive 12 day trip plus a 5 days in Pukhet. We were thinking of doing in ourselves, but the price is right and they seem to hit a lot of good places (Bangkok, Ching Rai,Ching Mai, etc) Considering traveling with them in April of 2008? Any concerns with the weather around that time of the year?
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Old May 17th, 2007, 08:54 PM
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pat
 
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Do a search for smart tours. They are a reputable company. A few discussions have been on this board about them. April is the hottest month of the year. Will that bother you?
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Old May 18th, 2007, 04:03 AM
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If you were "thinking" about doing it yourselves - go ahead and do it yourselves! Yes, Smartours seems to offer some very good deals and comprehensive itineraries. But I'd only go with them if you enjoy traveling with a crowd of other tourists. There are advantages and some people like it, but it insulates you from interactions with locals. I'd decide based on the kind of travel you like to do more than the itinerary/cost. Thailand is easy to do on your own and also inexpensive.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 05:07 AM
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We've taken 2 smarttours trips. We prefer to do things by ourselves, but some trips it just works out better to do a tour. I think that Thailand is easy to do on your own. However I do think that Smarttours offers tremendous value for the money and eliminates the hassle of doing it yourself. You can always take the tour and spend some of the time off on your own too.
We always leave the group periodically do to our own thing.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 08:26 AM
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Thailand is so easy to do on your own. And doing it on your own will give you more interaction with locals, a choice of places to stay and things do, and will allow you to choose the places you want to visit and stay there long enough to have some experience of them. As Karen notes, April is absolutely the hottest time of the year (often termed hell-hot by some of the regulars on the board). Any other time of the year would be better for travel to Thailand.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 01:11 PM
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Did Vietnam, Siem and Bangkok with SmarTours in November 2006. The group was friendly and always prompt. Most people had taken numberous tours with SmarTours. We've booked South Africa with them for Ocotber 2007.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 04:12 PM
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Thanks for everyone's feedback. Unfortunately we can only go in March or April, and frankly, the price of Smartours for the whol trip is not much more than the price of airfare alone, making it a difficult decison to justify doing it on our own. A few more questions. 1) Do we need any kind of shots 2) Any issues with drinking water or any other special health issues with Thailand that we need to know, 3) Things to avoid in Thailand, 4)Experiences not to miss in Thailand. Thanks
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Old May 18th, 2007, 06:39 PM
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Read about health issues at www.cdc.gov/travel WHile there aer no required immunizations, note that there are a number that it would be wise to have. Read about food and water precautions at that website as well.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 04:45 AM
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Those of you who traveled with Smartours before, what is the demographics of the typical group? are accomodations generally nice?
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Old May 19th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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I went to China with them, not Thailand. We had a variety of ages from 8 years old to quite old. Several parents brought their children, and they were no problem. One lady brought her granddaughter. A lot of people were in their 40`s. I went to china with them, since I didn`t want to go alone. Smart tours has a lot of optional tours, which does drive the price up. You don`t have to take any of them and can go off on your own. The hotels we stayed in were good. I went off one morning in Beijing by myself, went to a pedestrian mall, and watched a street show and had lunch. I was the only non Asian there in a sea of faces. One of my friends has been on the smart tours Thailand tour 3 times now, mainly because she doesn`t want to go on her own either. Be sure and figure out airport taxes, etc. when figuring out the cost. I agree Thailand is easy to do on your own.
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