People Drive Adventures

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Daniel Fraser emceeing Destination Thailand at Yonge-Dundas Square, September 14, 2014.

I had the great honor of hosting the first Destination Thailand festival held in Toronto last month and had an absolutely fantastic time.

The Destination Thailand event was organized by the Thai Embassy in Ottawa to promote Thai culture to the world, and what better place to start than Toronto, Canada. It was a wonderful big event, but what struck me most about the day was how involved and excited the people who participated were. We had a wide assortment of participants from across the Kingdom: Thai traditional dancers, musicians, culinary artists, boxers, and massage therapists were just some of them. The Smiling Albino team from Calgary was even able to come participate along with some long time SA customers and fans who came to support.

It was an amazing and energetic crowd and it reminded me of how special the people of Thailand and Southeast Asia are and how fortunate we have been to have had the opportunity over the past decade to interact with a great assortment of people – clients, partners and employees alike.

Many of you have met some of these special people over the years – Mr. Jeep in Chiang Khong, Mr. Bird in Chiang Rai, or Mr. Barang in Cambodia, Oi in Krabi, Lam in Vietnam, Mads and Clare in Nepal… That’s not even to mention all of you who have booked a trip with Smiling Albino have been touched by the people who work in our office and put the pieces of the puzzle in place to make sure you have an outstanding holiday.

Each of these people has made a difference to countless numbers of our friends and customers by just being their vibrant, enthusiastic and genuine selves.

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The young, and little known, Yonge-Dundas Hill Tribe dance troupe.

I’m taking this opportunity to thank all of these people who have touched my life and so many of your lives through your experiences with Smiling Albino. I would love to hear back from you about any anecdotes that have stuck with you over the years since your first Smiling Albino experience about some of these special people so that I reflect back on them the impact that they have had on you. Please send them to me at

I am lucky to be part of this, and thank you!

Safe travels!

Daniel B. Fraser


Adventure Highlights:

Bogged down in the rainy season preparing for the adventures of high season.

Surveying Chiang Dao

When we say that we personally scout every area, eat at each restaurant, source and train every guide/host, sleep in every hotel bed, ride the bikes, board the boats and scratch the elephants, we really do take our wholehearted promise to you, the traveller, seriously. We work hard to ensure every tour is highly original, well thought out, oozing value, and most importantly a trip we’d take our friends and families on.

During the seasons when there are fewer clients travelling and, at times, adverse weather conditions, our adventure specialists are often out in the field (literally) to discover and survey new resorts, sites of interest, outdoor activities and routes.

This is a tale of our intrepid Adventure Consultant, Queen who, along with our local guide, Eak, set out to survey a new trekking route in Chiang Dao.

Chiang Dao, an area dominated by national parks and a town of the same name, 80 km north of Chiang Mai, is regarded by many as the most beautiful scenery in Northern Thailand.

Chiang Dao’s most striking feature is Doi Chiang Dao, Thailand’s third highest mountain at 2225 m, which plays host to an abundance of wildlife and nature. It is one of the lesser-visited, but nonetheless interesting Thai birding sites. The area is also known for it’s famous caves.

Queen and Eak were on the final day of their survey of the region, driving into the jungle along a newly identified trekking route. Monsoonal rains, however, proved too unyielding, and their truck got hopelessly stuck in the rain-saturated red clay track. It took them hours to free themselves, and finally with the help of friendly passing locals, they made it out and back to Chiang Mai where Queen finally caught her thrice re-booked flight back to Bangkok.

The first-hand observations, incredible photos and new friends Queen acquired on this survey were immediately incorporated into our Northern Thailand Adventure Tours. Come the dry season, this trek will be a unique and rewarding experience.


Surveying Laos, in photos

Our Director of Sales and Business Development, Stephanie, spent a week surveying new resorts, activities and locations in Laos earlier this month, and she captured some great shots, a sampling of what our Classic Laos Trip has to offer. Don’t hesitate to contact our team for up-to-date Laos travel and accommodation information. Click here for inquiries.


What’s Going On


New Dynamic App Explores European Heritage Sites in Thailand

The European Union launched the “European Heritage Map and Cultural Calendar” smart phone application on October 13th, 2014. This content-rich app describes, illustrates and locates 250 European heritage sites throughout Thailand. The criteria for the entries were “remarkable locations that share common heritage resulting from centuries of Thai-European interactions”.

Smiling Albino’s Daniel Fraser emceed the intimate event, hosted by H.E. Mr. Luis Barreira de Sousa, Portuguese Ambassador to Thailand, on behalf of the European National Institutes for Cultural Thailand at his splendid riverside residence, the oldest European Diplomatic mission in Bangkok.

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And they’re off! On the inaugural European Heritage App Tour of Bangkok.

The comprehensive app, developed by Talisman Media, is a valuable resource for history enthusiasts, locals and tourists alike. It also provides an up-to-date “European Cultural Calendar” that lists up-coming events organized by EU member States’ embassies and cultural institutes in Thailand

It’s a really cool free app! Search “European Heritage” in your app store now. Available for Android and iOS.



Smiling Albino Wins Expat Entrepreneur Award

Winner in Travel and Hospitality category.
Winner in the “Travel and Hospitality” category.

On October 14th, Bangkok’s expat community gathered at the Rembrandt Hotel to drink free beer recognize outstanding expat businesses. For the first time, companies established in Thailand by the country’s expatriate community were honoured for their creativity, ingenuity, excellence and proven success in The Expat Entrepreneur Awards 2014. Supported by The BigChilli Magazine in conjunction with BNOW, Bangkok’s networking community group, the Award highlighted the contribution foreign operated businesses make to Thailand’s economy.

The awards night was well-attended, and as our own Adventurer-in-chief, Daniel Fraser was hosting a trip, SA’s Marketing Mahout, Andrew Clark was there to accept the award on behalf of the Smiling Albino team. Smiling Albino thanks all who participated.


PURE Life Experiences 2014

PURE Experiences 2014
PURE Experiences 2014

We will be back at PURE LIfe Experiences 2014, November 10-13 in Marrekech. We look forward to seeing you there at the global marketplace of high-end experiential travel!

New Connections

Soneva Kiri

Soneva Kiri is pleased to announce a new direct flight service to Siem Riep. Launching on 16th November 2014 with a special introductory offer! Two flights a week linking Indo China to the beautiful beaches of Koh Kood.

Halong Bay

Halong Bay

Seaplane Flights are now available from Hanoi airport to Halong Bay! A 30-minute flight or 45 minutes with some sight-seeing. Reasonably priced, quick and easy with fabulous aerial views over the countryside and experience the thrill of a water landing at the Tuan Chau Island Marina.

Contact Smiling Albino today for all your travel needs.