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Meet Our Local Experts: Rich from Bangkok

Rich is one of our busy local experts in Thailand.  We caught up with him in Bangkok recently to find out what he thinks are the most important aspects of visiting his native land.

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

I’m a proud native of Bangkok, but my family now lives in the Sisaket Province.  I’m a graduate of the tourism program at Dhurakit Bundit University.  My job keeps me fairly busy and on my feet, so when I do have some spare time, I usually open a book or enjoy a movie.  I love to travel — I think most guides would tell you that— and more than anything, I enjoy traveling around my own country.  There is so much to see and do in Thailand!

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

I think people are amazed by the beauty of our historic monuments, such as our ancient temples and of course, the Royal Grand Palace.  It’s one thing to see a picture of them, but when you are face-to-face with the real thing — it’s truly amazing!   I also notice that my guests become very interested in our food: it’s much more diverse than you find in Thai restaurants abroad, and because we use so many fresh ingredients, it really is delicious.  

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

In many ways it hasn’t changed: same amazing monuments, same fantastic beaches and wonderful coastline.  However what has really changed is the dynamic growth of our infrastructure that has meant we can welcome many more guests and at the level of service they can both afford and enjoy.  That’s a very positive development, and it’s a virtuous cycle:  more tourism has meant continual improvements to roads, public transportation, new hotels, and lots of smaller private businesses such as restaurants.  This is very good for our overall economy, so we are happy!

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

I insist you visit the Grand Royal Palace and temples I mentioned before.  They truly are awe-inspiring!  And it is essential that you visit the Damnoen Saduak’s floating market.  I don’t think there is anything like it anywhere in the world: imagine thousands of little wooden boats selling everything from silk to vegetables.  You will love it!   After that, I do think it is great to visit Ayutthaya, which is our old capital, better known as Siam.  Here you can get a sense of how old our culture is, but how little it has actually changed.  Be sure to find some time to sample some real Thai food at one of our wonderful restaurants, and if you enjoy shopping, Bangkok is one of the world’s best places to find beautiful silks, precious gems, and all kinds of souvenirs. 

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

We smile.  We smile because we are happy.  I know it sounds too simple to be true, but it is.  We are very friendly and we want our guests to be happy. 

6.  What are three books I should read before visiting your country?

A History of Ayutthaya: Siam in the Early Modern World by Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit
LUXE Bangkok, By LUXE City Guides
Thailand: The Cookbook by Jean-Pierre Gabriel

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

I’ve noticed that guests who travel on Hill Tribes of Thailand come away with a really deep understanding of our country’s culture and history.  We get out of the big city and deep into the countryside and do things that many beach holiday tourists wouldn’t dream of.  Learning about the diverse hill tribes is a fascinating thing— I learn something new each time I visit.  I think it’s a well planned trip and keeping the group small is great:  we all get to know each other very well and it’s easy to move about. I highly recommend it! 

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

You have to visit us to understand us!  Once you are here, there is so much to see and do and experience!  Thailand has a warm welcome for all its visitors and there is something for everyone here!  I look forward to seeing you here soon! 

Rich is one of our team of global local experts who share their deep knowledge of their country with our guests.  Speak to one of our knowledgeable reservation agents to learn more about Rich’s favorite itinerary Hill Tribes of Thailand, which is just one of Alexander + Roberts many carefully crafted itineraries in Asia.

Posted: 6/2/2017 10:16:49 AM by Alexander + Roberts