I would highly recommend using a small group travel company if you plan to see a lot of places in a developing country like Thailand. The #1 reason is that the itinerary has been decided for you based on places and things that other people recommend and they provide lovely air conditioned vans or flights for you to get around. I never would have planned a train ride, visit to a war museum and a cemetery but that is where we visited on day two.
We walked across the Bridge over the River Kwai (The one from the movie). During WWII the Japanese forced the POWs and many Thai people to build a railway from Burma to Siam (now called Myanamar to Thailand). Over 130,000 people died due to terrible conditions. The motto above the museum said “forgive, but never forget”.
The#2 reason for a tour is the tour guide. Ours is from Thailand and she gives us information on the culture, history and language. She also brings us to places where the food is safe and there are western toilets. Sometimes we do have to use the Thailand toilets and squat over a hole. We all have our own TP but can sometimes buy it as well.
My 3rd and last reason today for traveling with a small group is you have instant travel buddies. So after you visit war museums and such, you can hang out at the hotel pool, order drinks and dine together in nice outdoor restaurants.
You also have friends to hike with and swim together with at the waterfalls.
Best you can pose with friends so that you don’t have an album full of selfies; maybe just a couple.
Ok. That’s a bit scary but worth a giggle! Finally it is fun with a group when all three things are combined. Tonight our tour guide took us on a river cruise around Ayuthaya. The sun set and we enjoyed a delicious meal on board the boat. She told us the history of the ruins and temples that we passed. We enjoyed each other’s company and the country that has welcomed us.