Going it alone: John Crook, 64, County Durham

As a solo traveller, I prefer to do escorted tours, as everything is taken care of and I would rather tour with a group because meeting other travellers is part of the experience. It gives me peace of mind and means that I can enjoy a holiday more because I know that the logistics are taken care of. I don’t have to constantly worry about getting from one place to another and haggling with taxi drivers.

I love Asia – everything over there fascinated me. The culture is so vibrant, the people are incredibly friendly and the food is like nowhere else on Earth. It really is a unique destination.

I booked with Cosmos for their 15-day Thailand Experience, which included visits to ancient sites such as Chiang Mai and the abandoned town of Sukhothai. We also got the chance to see the famous River Kwai bridge and visit an elephant sanctuary in the jungle. A lot of bucket‑list experiences.

The places we visited were fantastic. Everything was so well-organised. In just two weeks, we covered quite a distance over the whole country – including the Golden Triangle, where Laos, Myanmar and Thailand meet. All of the hotels were of a high standard, as were the arrangements. While this is expected, it is always a relief to know that a company is able to handle everything.

Our guide, Duke, was very informative and always asking if we were okay, or needed anything. The driver was also very good in helping to ensure the tour went smoothly and to schedule. Nothing was too much trouble for the tour director or driver that guided us around. I felt looked-after for my entire time in Asia, which is a huge thing for anyone travelling on their own.

There were so many highlights that it is difficult to pick out just one. I particularly enjoyed the rickshaw ride to the night market in Bangkok. The trip to the bridge over the River Kwai – built by Allied prisoners of war during World War Two, thousands of whom died during its construction – was something that will stay with me forever, as well as the day we went to the elephant sanctuary. 

I’ve done several escorted tours as a solo traveller before and it is vital that you do your homework prior to booking. Unfortunately, a lot of travel companies do not seem to be sympathetic to solo travellers, and can charge almost as much for a single traveller as they would for a couple. I booked my Thailand tour with Cosmos because the single supplement was set at a reasonable cost, and I was thoroughly satisfied with the holiday.

The next holiday I am booked on is a Caribbean cruise next Christmas. However, after spending 15 days with Cosmos I am now really tempted by the company’s tour to Malaysia and Borneo which it introduced this year.

This was my first holiday with Cosmos and the time I had with them was nothing short of amazing. Everything from the pick-up to the airport to my returning home three weeks later, went smoothly and without any problems. The tour director, the hotels, the itinerary and the driver were all perfect.

Cosmos’ 15-day Thailand Experience: £1,626pp  including home pick-up (within 50 miles), flights from London Gatwick, services of a tour director, accommodation, selected meals, all airport taxes and transfers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *