Back to Listing

Hello from our newest sales consultant, Catriona


Travelling to Asia is an exciting and exhilarating experience. It can be quite nerve-jangling at first, but once into the swing of things, it is impossible not to love it. I recently took 3 months out to explore the region and as soon as I touched down in Bangkok I knew that my expedition would turn into an adventure, full of new landscapes, people and cultures.

My friend and I swiftly tucked in to our first Thai green curry and immediately forgot Western cuisine – it was the most amazing thing I had ever tasted. And the food isn’t confined to restaurants: wherever you are in Thailand, and all over Asia, the streets are filled with food carts where locals dish up the tastiest meals at bargain prices. We spent many evenings eating delicious street food, occasionally splashing out at the top restaurants in the city.

Lunch on the go in Bangkok draws you into everything the city has to offer. Wander through the stunning Grand Palace complex and lose yourself for hours marvelling at the intricate mosaic work adorning the buildings. Some temples are more famous for what they hold within and this is very true for Wat Pho where you’ll find an enormous reclining Buddha – tricky to get the whole length of this wonder into a photograph, but a rewarding challenge! Wat Indrawiharn in Bangkok, with its 32 meter standing Buddha adorned in gold, is also well worth a look. Pop into the temple to get a blessing from the high monk – a wonderfully peaceful and humbling experience.

Temples, however, are not all that Thailand has to offer, as we soon discovered. There are, of course, some of Asia's most gorgeous beaches and I'm not ashamed to say I took full advantage of that! But my most special memories were further north, in Chiang Mai, where I acquired my love for elephants. The Mahouts were amazing and their love and admiration for these wonderful animals shone through – and boy, it was infectious! After spending a day with the elephants at a local camp in Chang Baan, feeding, trekking and bathing them, my friend had to practically drag me away from the camp. Even though this experience is not the cheapest, if there is one thing I would thoroughly recommend, it is this. Where else can you say you had a kiss from an elephant?!

Moving on from Thailand, my adventure continued through Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia… but I will save those for another blog ;)

Since joining Ampersand, one thing is abundantly clear: this team will provide you with the most extraordinary holiday. But to make it truly yours, you have to put in a little effort. Here are my top 3 tips for getting the most out of your holiday:

    1. Get to know the locals – they will help provide you with knowledge, advice and inspiration you can’t find in guide books. Also very important: eat where the locals eat!

    2. If in doubt, say yes. You never know what you could be turning down. Holidays are about experience and adventure – seize the opportunity!

    3. Take time out to learn about the destination you are travelling to. It may be simple like learning a few key phrases in the local language, but they will love it, and in turn, will exceed your expectations in the service and friendship they offer.

 



I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka

From our Instagram

Don’t miss out on #Teardrop’s new boutique hotels while touring #SriLanka 🇱🇰
.
Each sleek property brings a fresh twist to the traditional hill country - from #NineSkies in #Ella to #CamelliaHills in #Dickoya, plus #Goatfell in #NuwaraEliya 🍃
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Atmospheric rural villages, mirror-still lakes and gracious locals sum up #Myanmar (#Burma) for us 🌅
.
📸 courtesy of @zayyarlin84
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Monks in #Myanmar (#Burma) 🇲🇲
.
Buddhism runs strong through the country’s veins - not only are 90% of the Burmese Buddhist, but many children are monks in training and call ancient monasteries home 🧘🏽‍♂️
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
We’re dreaming of #Bali’s reflective sunsets today 🌅
.
Enjoy particularly striking views from @thelegianbali in #Seminyak
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Perched up high in the Himalayan Kingdom, the new #SixSenses lodges sit in prime positions in #Bhutan
.
Our favourites are the sleek properties in #Paro and #Thimphu, for these offer phenomenal sweeping views over the pristine valleys below to the mountains beyond, which sit perfectly at eye-level
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
The buzzing metropolis of #Shanghai promises an unforgettable stay 🇨🇳
.
Visit this city as part of a tailor-made tour of #China with us to discover its heady mixture of impressive skyscrapers, colonial history and incredible gastronomy 🏙🥟🍜
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Peek into the Himalayan Kingdom of #Bhutan & discover its extraordinary natural beauty with us 🇧🇹
.
Vibrant hues compliment earthy tones at every corner, especially within the hotly-anticipated #SixSensesBhutan lodges 🍂✨
.
📸 captured by @jamesjayasundera along his @sixsensesbhutan journey
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
The exhilarating city of #Tokyo has a world-renowned culinary scene & rightfully so! 🇯🇵
.
Be tempted to join ‘salarymen’ for an evening drink and #yakitori in restaurants and bar likes this 🏮🏮
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
✨Beautiful Udaipur✨
.
A pleasure palace built in the 1700s, the location for Octopussy and many a love story, @tajlakepalace is so magical, you can’t quite believe your eyes
.
📸 @the_adventuresofus during their whirlwind tour of India 🧡🇮🇳
. 
#AmpersandTravel
#LuxuryIsInTheExperience

Let us keep you up to date

Sign up to our newsletter and never miss out on unmissable exclusive luxury experiences