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Meet Our Local Experts: Ya from Thailand

Like most of her fellow countrymen, Alexander + Roberts’s local expert Ya will tell you that Thailand boasts the most hospitable people in the world.  We aren’t going to disagree! 

We caught up with Ya in her native province of Chonburi province, a bustling seaport where Thailand’s picturesque Pattaya is located to see how she feels travelers can make the most of their visit to the beautiful kingdom.

1.  Ya, tell us a bit about yourself.  How do you come to be working in the travel business?

I’m from Chonburi province, which has one of the largest populations in Thailand with many expatriates and tourists thanks to our large seaport and beautiful Pattaya, which is only one of Thailand’s beautiful cities.  I became a tour guide primarily because I’m very proud of my country’s culture, architecture, and wonderful people.  It makes me proud and happy to share these with our visitors.  When I’m not working, I have five dogs and my favorite hobby is having a fun time with all of them.

2.  What is one thing about your country that foreign visitors find surprising?

You can visit many stunning places in the world, but what I think makes Thailand so special is that we really try to make people feel as if you are part of our family.  We open our hearts to our visitors and I think that is a big part of what people find so special about Thailand.

3.  How has visiting your country changed over the years?

We are beginning to see more tourists than ever and they are beginning to come not just from Europe and North America, but also from China and Russia.  I think we’ve done a great deal to improve our tourism infrastructure and I will say I think we do an excellent job.  There are modest hotels and luxury properties.  

4.  I’ve got three days to visit Bangkok.  What should I do?

You can’t miss The Grand Palace of our King, Wat Pho, our unbelievable Floating Market and lots of other attractions.  Try to get some sleep on the plane - because three days isn’t enough.  Of course, you also have to try our wonderful Thai food.  I especially recommend khao kan chin, which is pork and rice steamed in banana leaves and served with vegetables, or try kho phat kaeng khio wan, which is rice and green curry.  Most Americans know about tom yam soup, which is a hot and sour broth made from lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, chilly and lime juice.  We use a lot of vegetables and spices in our soups and curries, so please be warned: Thai dishes can be very spicy! 

5.  How would you characterize Thai people?  What makes them tick?

I’ve already said that I think we are very kind and welcoming people.  We sincerely like visitors: we aren’t afraid of foreign people or strange ways and we are very proud of our country and our culture, so we get excited when people want to learn more about us.

6.  What are three books I should read before visiting your country to prepare for my trip?

Roots of Thai Art by Piriya Krairiksh
Bangkok: Architectural Guide by Pattaranan Takkanon
Bangkok: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Thailand by Leela Punyaratabandhu

7.  What’s your favorite Alexander + Roberts itinerary, and why?

I like Bangkok, Chaing Mai & Phuket because we begin by taking people on the open air train, and I believe that is a great introduction to Thailand, as we visit the Mahachai Market with everything from street food to silks, lacquer and a wonderful atmosphere of brisk commerce and fun. 

8.  Tell us anything else you think would enhance our understanding of your destination.

A lot of people call Thailand “The Land of Smiles,” and I truly believe we are a happy nation of very friendly people.  Please come and learn more!

Ya is a valued member of Alexander + Roberts’s global team of local experts who help our passengers experience all that our carefully selected destinations have to offer.  Join Ya on one of our escorted Thailand itineraries such as Hill Tribes of Thailand or at your own pace on our independent Bangkok city stay.

Posted: 4/6/2017 10:06:32 AM by Alexander + Roberts