How was your Explore Tour Leader?
"Our guide, GiGi, was great fun! Together we giggled about an American tourist who just didn't stop talking with his non-stop commentary about the history of the banana, the difference between Asian elephants and African elephants, the peculiarities of the Thai language etc.
GiGi took us to a local cafe in Bangkok to eat as the locals did and advised us to try the delicious masaman curry, the fruits and vegetables which looked totally alien to us - and afterwards to have some sweet sticky rice.
She told us how the tsunami had affected the coast at Krabi - and told us her own tsunami story, whereby she narrowly avoided death when plans with friends fell through at the last minute. If they hadn't, she would have been on Phi Phi island, which was devastated by the disaster back in 2004."
What tips would you give to someone else booking this tour?
"Pack some trainers or walking boots and some thin, long trousers. You will need these for the trekking. It's best to cover up in the rainforest to avoid leeches.
Or shop once you are there at the markets in Bangkok, with items a fraction of the price they are in the UK.
Try to learn a little of the language before you go - it's not easy, but it's worth the effort, although all I managed was hello, thank you, yes and no! But everywhere we went our efforts were greatly appeciated.
Try to get your head around the money too - so that you know as soon as you arrive if you are getting a bargain, or if you are being ripped off, and so that you know how much you should be tipping the hotel porter as he carries your luggage to your room (20 baht is fine)."
Do you have anything else to add?
"Our trip was fabulous! I was nervous beforehand, as it was just myself and my 16 year old daughter travelling.
But I need not have worried as everything was very well organised and went without the slightest hitch.
We enjoyed an elephant ride, trekking through the jungle, visiting temples and palaces in Bangkok, travelling by long tail boat on the coast to neighbouring islands - and even meditating with Buddhist monks on our last day after being invited to join a group meditation class. Our trip was everything we had hoped for and more and the memories will stay with us for a lifetime."