As a war history buff, I'd recommend adding Kanchanaburi to your itinerary. Located only three hours outside of Bangkok, Kanchanaburi is the historical site of the Burma Railway (aka Death Railway) that was built by World War II Japanese prisoners of war, as well as the infamous bridge over the River Kwai and Hellfire Pass. We arrived to the bridge aboard a long boat and took a local 90 minute train ride to Hellfire Pass. Along the route we visited World War II museums and trekked a short portion of the route through Hellfire Pass.
Matthew, Southeast Asia Specialist
Matt started his career in travel more than 17 years ago as a commercial pilot. Not wanting to miss the action on the ground, he soon changed gears and began organising group travel to destinations throughout North America.
In 2013, Matt joined Audley as a founding member of their Boston office, originally specialising in travel throughout Southeast Asia. Through annual trips over the past years, Matt has significant travel throughout both Southeast Asia and North America. Some of his most memorable trips include island hopping in Thailand, sunrise ballooning in Myanmar, trying the street cuisine in Vietnam, craft beer tasting in Montreal, and sleeping under the stars in the remote jungles of Borneo.
Matt currently resides just south of Boston with his wife and two daughters where he enjoys short weekend trips throughout the New England and also working on his historical house, owned by the last direct descendent of the legendary Paul Revere.
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We have travelled quite a bit and have worked with a number of different travel companies over the years, and as a result I feel confident in sharing our highest praise of Matt and the Audley team.
From our first interaction with Matt enquiring about doing this trip, to the wheels of the plane touching down at O’Hare after almost three weeks abroad, our experience has been incredible. We have travelled quite a bit and have worked with a number of different travel companies over the years, and as a result I feel confident in sharing our highest praise of Matt and the Audley team. Our trip was made even more extraordinary because of the professional care and attention to detail that allows a trip with so many moving parts to come off seamlessly. Thank you!
I'd highly recommend staying a night in the Governor's Residence in Yangon. The hotel was built on a colonial style mansion and the teak wood rooms are luxurious by any standard. The hotel is still small enough to be considered boutique but has all the amenities of a world class resort — a gem in the bustling city. My favourite part is the quiet pool area where the staff will cut fresh coconuts to make the best coconut drinks.
I'll never forget when…
My most memorable experience in Thailand was jumping in the water with the elephants in Kanchanaburi. My guide arranged a one-on-one experience after the other tourists left the camp. Not only did I get to enter the river where the elephants were bathing, I also got to ride one of them out of the water with the careful guidance of its mahout. This experience would have never happened without the personal knowledge of my private guide.