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Customized 12 day trip - loved every minute!

We (mother and daughter) corresponded at length with Smiling Albino before trip. We said we loved... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Lynda T
,
Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Great tailored private tour of Bangkok sights

We stayed at the Siam Hotel (amazing) in Bangkok and they arranged a cultural sights tour through... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
NapaTJ
,
Yountville, California
via mobile
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Reviewed 1 week ago

We (mother and daughter) corresponded at length with Smiling Albino before trip. We said we loved nature, history, food, culture, cooking, and beaches. We said no elephant rides so they took us to an extraordinary sanctuary/rehab center for formerly slave elephants. We did a terrific cooking course in the mountains of Chiang Rai province. They took all our wishes into account and presented an itinerary that thoroughly delighted us. From start - fast track through immigration in Bangkok - to final car to airport for return trip Smiling Albino had thought of everything. Our two guides and driver were superb, knowledgeable and great fun. They even insisted on checking out our choices of massage parlors before we booked! We had great laughs! They were prepared to improvise to satisfy our last minute requests! Choices of hotel (with one exception) were terrific and the Smiling Albino office were in touch with us along the way to make sure all was well. We loved every minute and cannot applaud the Smiling Albino team loudly enough. Highly recommend and would joyfully travel again with them.

Thank Lynda T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
smiling_albino, Manager at Smiling Albino - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

What a lovely review Lynda, thank you, the whole Smiling Albino team hears your applauding! We are so happy that you and Naomi loved your trip! Your detailed info and preferences helped us design the trip tailored to your interests. Where next? :)

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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We stayed at the Siam Hotel (amazing) in Bangkok and they arranged a cultural sights tour through Smiling Albino tours. Our guide Khun Tee was very friendly and did a great job of facts / stories and pace. He also knew how to go through the sites to avoid the crowds as best as possible.

Our tour started with a pick up at our hotel’s dock and then down the river to see Wat Pho Temple (reclining Buddha) and then to the Grand Palace and finally a tuk tuk ride home. He quickly picked up on our pace and adjusted time accordingly. Highly recommend.

Thank NapaTJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
smiling_albino, Manager at Smiling Albino - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

This is great to hear Napa! Thank you so much for your kind review and we are so glad to hear you enjoyed your Bangkok day trip with us. Guide Tee is one of our best and has been with us for over ten years. Let us know when you are back in the region, maybe we can show you Siem Reap or Hanoi as well!

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Reviewed 16 April 2018

Smiling Albino went above and beyond. The vacation started the moment my fiancee and I stepped off the aircraft in Hanoi. We were met at the gate and whisked away to the Hotel Apricot which was absolutely amazing. Our tour guide in Hanoi was great. He answered all of our questions and showed us all the amazing sites. Smiling Albino even pulled some strings so that we could get into the see the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh prior to leaving for Halong Bay(the line was backed up the first day).

We were then taken to Halong Bay for a 3 day 2 night cruise. Halong Bay is a must and Smiling Albino put us on the less touristy side of the Bay.

Then 3 days in Hoi An. The town is a must see. The old quarter is amazing and the ancient temple of My Son was breathtaking. Our guide in Hoi An was great.

Then on to Bangkok. Our guide showed us all the sights and he went above and beyond, I really cannot say enough about him. From the golden mount to the grand palace and so much more. It was an experience of a lifetime.

Next was Chiang Mai. This is city is a national treasure. The temples and the ancient city were amazing. Plus the Petara Elephant farm was amazing. Our guide here was amazing and the Hotel here was world class.

To sum it all up, if you get the chance to visit Southeast Asia and need a tour guide go with Smiling Albino. They experience went well beyond our expectations and if I get the chance to go back to Southeast Asia, I will be booking with them again. Thank you Smiling Albino for making this a vacation of a lifetime.

Thank Patrick A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
smiling_albino, Public Relations Manager at Smiling Albino - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 25 April 2018

Thanks so much for your glowing review of your Southeast Asia trip with us Patrick! We are incredibly pleased you both had a great time and have passed on your praises to all your hosts you had in each location. We strive to surpass our guests' expectations and it's wonderful to hear this great feedback. Laos or Myanmar next?

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Reviewed 15 January 2018 via mobile

For the forth time in as many years the Smiling Albino team has blown our minds with another amazing adventure. This time we ate our way around Bangkok. We rode scooters, long tailed down rivers, saw some little known temples and ate and drank some amazing local specialties. We headed north to Chiang Mae met our guides, and mechanic. Our dirt bikes were delivered and we left our amazing boutique luxury hotel and head for 7 days of riding in Laos. We saw so much of this amazingly beautiful country. The best part was how much of the local life we were able to experience. Every where we went Dan and his team took care to ensure we had amazing hotels and great food. We traveled with my wife’s parents who have never traveled to Asia and they were blown away at how well we were taken care of. We spent several days in Cambodia which was an amazing surprise. This is a beautiful country with stunning people. We felt at home here thanks to Dans recommendation of Jaya House. We will be back again. We ended our trip on the beach and again the team read our minds and put us in rooms next to each other were we shared our own private pool. Thank you Dan and team you exceeded ours and anyone’s expectations. If you get a chance travel with Smiling Albino.

Thank Ken A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
smiling_albino, Owner at Smiling Albino - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 17 January 2018

Wow, thanks for your great review and overwhelming praise Ken! We are so happy to hear you had a great trip and your wife's parents enjoyed it so much as well. We look forward to hosting you on trip number five!

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Reviewed 15 January 2018

What can I say that isn't fantastic about this company. We have used them several times over the last 6 years and absolutely love them. We trust them exponentially, and have learned to love their guides like family as they have been the same for most trips. This is a company that will take a dream vacation on what ever crazy level that you have in mind and make that dream come true.

We just came back from a trip with them where we used them for the whole 3 weeks with my parents, husband and myself. This included Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. We did the elephants in Chiang Mai but we chose Patara Elephant Sanctuary (Sometimes you have to do your own research on where to go) We have done this 2x and Smiling Albino were very happy to accommodate. The food tour in BKK was great. We had tons of different local dishes but the one that stands out was the fried chicken stand it was the best fried chicken we ever ate. We even stopped at a little shop to try some local "hooch" lol. We dirt biked through Chaing Mai to Chiang Rai and crossed the border into Laos. Our guides cooked for us and we picnicked along the way in the jungle and amongst small tribes in the mountains. My Dad got a little "Thai Tummy" while we were in Cambodia (no more guide cooking) and we received emails from the company (In BKK) wondering if he was ok and if there was anything that we needed to help him feel better. Wow.

The care and consideration that Smiling Albino provides for their customers is one of the best that we have ever encountered and will continue to book with them in our future travels.

Thank you Dan, Eak, Jen, Mr T, Ra, and of course Mr Song the driver. There is always cold beers, ice coffees and cool towels waiting during and after your big days of adventure.

~ Crystal

1  Thank Crystal S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
smiling_albino, Owner at Smiling Albino - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2018

Thanks for your wonderful review Crystal! Your enthusiasm and adventurous family really made this trip come alive. We're so pleased you had a great time and we are all looking forward to your next adventure with us!

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Reviewed 14 January 2018 via mobile

I’ve been traveling with Smiling Albino and their amazing team for the past 15 years through most of Asia and even into Nepal.

This trip was another that left me smiling :) After an amazing stay in southern Thailand, we headed to Vietnam for a week of relaxation and adventures. Seamless transfers and expedited airport and immigration are always a welcome treat and a signature of the Smiling Albino brand. Our guide Duc was friendly and accommodating and very knowledgeable. The hotel in Hanoi was outstanding as was the service.

We then headed south for some Nha Trang beach heaven! Even having to accommodate our pained schedules, the Smiling team met us at 3:30am for early transfers with a smile!

After a week of beach we headed back to Bangkok for two amazing nights of food and adventure. Dan and his team have an incredible ability to keep a finger on the pulse of a constantly changing and dynamic city. 80/20 was one of the best meals I have ever had - Michel starred or not. The layered and colorful evening showed the best and hidden and evolving spots in Bangkok - a treat when you want to avoid the zombied travel blog masses.

Overall another perfect trip!

1  Thank davidcC416RW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
smiling_albino, Owner at Smiling Albino - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2018

Thanks David! You are the special type of guest that Smiling Albino has evolved over the years to provide great experiences for. We couldn't have done it without you. And that meal at 80/20 was exceptional. We've added it to our recommendation list!

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Reviewed 11 January 2018

Really disappointing experience for both of our tours. I'm a food reporter in Chicago, so the Bangkok experience had been recommended by others. Tour guide was great, and some of the stops were o.k. (satay skewers, pad thai, congee and noodle soup in Chinatown), but we spent too much time in the van, and $170 per person for four of us was just obscene. Also, having to wire the money ahead of time via bank transfer was a pain. Also, they don't take pics of the experience like every other tour company.

The Chiang Mai experience was worse. Told that the cave visit was cancelled due to low oxygen there, we drove 90 min. to see a very touristy (and sad) elephant camp where we spent 30 minutes. Great tour guide had the sense to stop on the way to show us a local market that was super cool. Then they drove us another hour to a touristy orchid farm, where we spent 20 min. Had a leisurely raft ride, but nothing special. Spent 4 hours in car for a 6.5 hour tour day. Have asked about partial refund, but company dragging its feet. Again, extremely expensive for the experience you get. Would seek out other tour companies.

2  Thank Steve D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
smiling_albino, Owner at Smiling Albino - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 15 January 2018

Hi Steve and Amy, we are sorry to hear of your disappointment and do appreciate your feedback here. It is a rare review and we have examined every aspect of your trip. We don’t usually visit touristy elephant camps or orchid farms on our trips, and in this case were trying to find the best fit with the time available and your interests, and we can see that the experience did not live up to your, or our own expectations.
Our trips are carefully planned and tailored for each guest. The challenges of peak high season can sometimes interfere with these plans as on your Bangkok excursion on Christmas day and your Chiang Mai adventure on New Years Eve. In both cases, our guides made changes to the itinerary to avoid crowded sites and heavy vehicle traffic. They had learned from you that these were important concerns of yours.
On a happier note, we are pleased you enjoyed your Smiling Albino guides. The training and experience they have are part of the crucial difference that make trips memorable and sets us apart from other touring companies.
Once again we do appreciate your comments and thank you.

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Reviewed 6 January 2018

We did two Smiling Albino Tours on our trip - one night food tour in Bangkok and one day trip in Chiang Mai. Our guide on the food tour was great but it was a lot of stops so beware. The food was incredible and she found some of the most unique and interesting places. One of the best soups I've ever had was on this night street food tour of Bangkok.

The day trip in Chiang Mai was disappointing. We were picked up in a very nice van with a great driver and tour guide but were told we could not do the cave part of the tour we had booked. Instead we would be visiting an orchid farm. He did make a quick stop on the way out of town so we could see a local market. That addition was the highlight of the trip as it was the most local and least touristy aspect.

After that we drove 90 minutes to an elephant ride that was very disappointing and rather upsetting. The elephants are forced to take tourists on a ride and for a 90 min drive we had a 20 minute ride. I also felt terrible for the elephants as I suspect they are beaten with the hooks the riders have in their hand. I should have researched more before the trip and asked that we go to a sanctuary instead of doing a ride. We then drove another 45 minutes to a touristy orchid farm where we only spent 20 minutes there. So it was a lot of driving for not a lot of sightseeing. Lastly we did a raft ride which was nice but not that special. If you are booking a day trip make sure you know what you are getting and if all of the driving will be worth it.

Thank amydordek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
smiling_albino, Owner at Smiling Albino - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 15 January 2018

Hi Amy and Steve, we are sorry to hear of your disappointment and do appreciate your feedback here. It is a rare review and we have examined every aspect of your trip. We don’t usually visit touristy elephant camps or orchid farms on our trips, and in this case were trying to find the best fit with the time available and your interests, and we can see that the experience did not live up to your, or our own expectations.
Our trips are carefully planned and tailored for each guest. The challenges of peak high season can sometimes interfere with these plans as on your Bangkok excursion on Christmas day and your Chiang Mai adventure on New Years Eve. In both cases, our guides made changes to the itinerary to avoid crowded sites and heavy vehicle traffic. They had learned from you that these were important concerns of yours.
On a happier note, we are pleased you enjoyed your Smiling Albino guides. The training and experience they have are part of the crucial difference that make trips memorable and sets us apart from other touring companies.
Once again we do appreciate your comments and thank you.

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Reviewed 30 June 2017 via mobile

This company was fabulous!!!! They heard what we wanted to do and customized the trip for us. Fabulous guides, unique ideas and wonderful surprises for us!! They could not have done a better job in any way!!!!!!!

Thank Sfpol40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
smiling_albino, Owner at Smiling Albino - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 3 July 2017

Wow! Thank you so much for the rave review! We'll pass your kind words along to the entire team. Fabulous guests make our work so much easier. We hope this trip's experiences remains with you forever. We'd be overjoyed to host the next big family adventure!

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Reviewed 16 February 2017

Our guide Pete tailored our time in Bangkok to our interests, allowing us to cover a lot of ground in our short 3 days! We were greeted in our hotel room with a personalized guide book from Smiling Albino that included a variety of recommendations around the city. We traveled by foot, BTS, tuk-tuk, city boat, long tail boat, and taxi to incredible pagodas, the flower market, the Grand Palace, and through canals. Pete knew a ton of history at each landmark, as well as the best restaurants and sights that weren’t overrun by tourists so that we could get the best local experience! Would definitely use Smiling Albino when traveling back to SE Asia.

Thank bridgetsp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
smiling_albino, Public Relations Manager at Smiling Albino - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 21 February 2017

Thanks so much for this great review Bridget! We are so happy you and Thomas enjoyed your trip with us. Your experience in Bangkok is exactly what we try to custom make for each one of our guests, and we are glad Pete showed you both a good time! We look forward to helping you plan any Southeast Asian adventures in the future! Vietnam next? :-)

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