As we reflect on 2013, well after the Christmas and New Year buzz trails off, we at Ultimate Thailand are remembering all the wonderful things we saw and did last year. 2013 really was an ultimate year for Ultimate Thailand, and not just because it saw the beginning of our Thailand adventure!

Our tour guide Rich Ford, gives his personal highlights below:

“Growing up reading National Geographic and dreaming of travel, the first time I pulled out onto the lake in Khao Sok National Park on a long tail boat I felt like I’d driven into a spread from the magazine. It’s hard to describe that first experience, even harder to have it matched without fail every trip. The breath taking views, the fresh air, the uncanny experience of being on a long tail boat heading into, in my opinion, one of the most pristine National Parks in the world. For me, as the guide, it was a highlight every week to look back at the group as we round that first corner into the vast expanse of the lake and see, etched in every face, the same awe and wonder I myself experience on every excursion.

Koh Phi Phi is a stand out for the mixture of scenic serenity in Maya Bay, the beach from the film ‘The Beach’ and chaos in the nightly beach parties that combine pumping rhythm, neon face paint and epic fire shows. There’s no such thing as a dull night on Koh Phi Phi, beach parties frequently leading to bamboo tattoos and fond memories. The ferry over to the island is full of scenic views of the islands of the Krabi Province, culminating in arrival at the island without cars, Koh Phi Phi.

Full Moon in Koh Phangan started out calmly but boy did that one escalate quickly. Fire shows turned into fireworks, crowds turned into dance parties, mechanical bulls threw guests off left and right, face paint turned into body paint and as the night progressed the tide went out leaving a small sand island that turned into the greatest dance floor of all time. The scene was manic, a beach packed full of parties, fire shows, fireworks, lanterns, signs aflame and our group on our own ‘private’ sand island dancing till dawn.

The night train down south is always eventful but there’s one group that stands out. Some of the group had teamed up to buy speakers, a laser light machine and a box of mixed alcohol. We had the whole car rented out for the group and needless to say nobody slept as we staged our own cart wide private party. The party climaxed when one of the ladies working on the train selling beer had a dance off with one of the group members and turned out to be one of the best pop n’ lockers I’ve ever seen. At one point the police officers on the train came down to see what all the commotion was about and with the sternest face he could muster the lead officer looked as though he was going to scold us but instead broke into dance.

There’s no telling what’s going to happen in Thailand and the surprises always come from the most unlikely places for the best memories.”

Our tour dates for 2014 have just gone up until April, so help us make 2014 even more unforgettable. Book your spot now!