My annual visit to Thailand allowed me to visit areas that I had not previously seen, and it also allowed me to see some very special events usually not visited by foreigners.
I also participate in the annual TTM+ Travel Conference put on by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
All of this in order to be able to provide excellent rates for my clients when they visit Thailand.
I spent ten days in Kanchanaburi province, and my amazing friend Bee took time off from her job to take me around the province to areas I had not seen before. We traveled up into the mountains to Sai Yok, visited outstanding temples, nature and cultural parks, and saw fantastic nature. Some of the food we ate at local restaurants was some of Thailand's best.
I was invited to her house where her family had gathered for the blessing of a newborn. A monk came to the house and performed the blessing where during that ceremony a few locks of the baby's hair was cut. Later after the ceremony the baby's head was completely shaved. Bee also took me to two local temples in Sai Yok where I also had the privilege of seeing three novitiates receive full monk status. We spent part of a day at the hot springs up in the mountains where I met some Russian tourists.
My base this year was at U Inchantree Resort at the River Kwai. I should have followed my instinct and stayed at the Felix River Kwai Resort as I did last year! I initially contacted the U Inchantree resort's manager via email, but never had the courtesy of a response. I then contacted the 'reservations' desk via email with the same no response. They say leadership starts at the top so perhaps that is what reservations learned from their manager. Still determined to stay I booked my reservation for a suite through my hotel sources for 10 days.
The U Inchantree Resort sits on the River Kwai very close to the Bridge on the River Kwai in downtown Kanchanaburi. It is well kept and clean with a staff trying its best to make your stay welcoming. A few things did not hold up well during my stay. I noticed that when taking a shower if I turned the water towards hot then the shower would bounce between warm and lukewarm as well as the water would begin to pulsate from normal to light. When I contacted maintenance they came right up to the room and checked. I was told they determined what the problems was. Their answer was "don't turn the shower towards hot and you won't have the problem"!!! Breakfast was from 6AM to 10AM, but many mornings when I arrived at 7-7:30 many of the tables were not set nor was a lot of the food out yet.
So I cannot recommend U Inchantree Resort, and still consider Felix River Kwai Resort a much better place to stay with a very committed management and a top customer relations manager that takes her job seriously.
Later after the travel conference I was invited by TAT to visit Ayatthuya - an ancient city of Thailand. There were only two travel agents invited, Myself and Derrick, and a few media representatives.
We were treated to a stay at a wonderful boutique resort along with a free massage while there.
The first evening we had an enjoyable dinner cruise with entertainment by traditional Thai dancers while traveling up and down the river.
The following day we were invited to visit a local rice farm. After changing into the local farmers clothing we were shown how rice is grown and harvested. We also learned that this was the only area where a special red rose rice is grown.
The farmers family then showed us how certain local food was prepared while preparing an amazing lunch for us. The ladies were fantastic and fun to be with, and the day was totally enjoyable and sorry it had to end.