This Contiki tour was seamless as always. They sent us important updates along the way to ensure we didn't forget anything and to make the most out of our holiday.
Once we began our tour, we realised again why we love group touring so much.. Everything is done for you! There's no hassle about getting to the right train station on time, organising a taxi with someone who doesn't speak English etc. You just have to remember what time to wake up in the morning to get to breakfast, which is always included! Everything else is taken care of and there are endless inclusions, so many that sometimes you are on the bus talking with your group and next minute you're at an Elephant Conservation park! Then free lunch you didn't know about. Then there's more to see in the afternoon, then included dinner! Our trip manager #Contikicoops was incredibly invested in ensuring everyone got the most out of their holiday and was always willing to answer questions.
The pace of the tour was perfect for us as we got to see so many things but didn't feel like it was too rushed which is often the downside to group tours. I had plenty of time to set up and take plenty of photos which is really important to me. It also left us plenty of sleep at night to recover for the next day but if you wanted to go and party, the option is there too. The accommodation was much better quality than I was expecting for 3 stars in Asia. It felt more like 4-5 stars with most places having a nice shaded pool to relax as well. The quality of the breakfasts is really amazing, every morning it was buffet style and often at least 2-3 styles of cuisine at each buffet. Eg, Asian, French, western. I have coeliac disease but never had issues finding gluten free food even at communal breakfast or street food. I bought along a translated card for each country and this helped immensely (download free or by donation celiactravel.com).
This tour was extremely valuable for its money. We did a few days solo travel post tour and instantly noticed how much more you have to think about and be responsible for, how much waiting around you do and for not that much less cost! At the same time there isn't a private guide in the background telling you about the place you are visiting.
We went during monsoon season (July, Aug) and it only rained a couple of times usually while we were asleep, (which isn't good for the farmers) but I wouldn't avoid this time of year because of rain. The fields are lush and green and it's really sunny but also hot so if you like the heat it's the perfect time!
We made so many new friends on this trip from all over the world and I have so many great memories which will get me through the next few months of working to save up for the next one!