Our team

Your tour leader - known to many as ' the orchid man'

     Peter studied commercial horticulture in the UK and spent his youth progressing from being a grower to senior management in the garden centre industry. His interest in orchids began while he was on vacation in Thailand - where he went trekking in the northern forests and found a stunning plant of Rhynchostylis gigantea in full flower. 

     He became fascinated by orchids and found out how to import them into the UK - and then started a small business importing and selling orchid plants. This grew and a defining moment came in 1990 when he decided to move to Thailand and set up his own orchid farm. He then proceeded to grow his own orchids in Thailand and send them back to the UK where the consignments were split up and redirected to customers on his mailing list by his sister. As the quantities required increased he started to return to the UK twice a year accompanying his orchid shipments - and while there he sold plants at orchid shows and talks he conducted for orchid societies.

     Time passed and illegal sales via e-commerce / auction sites increased, this combined with several other foreigners moving to Thailand to set up orchid farms resulted in the decision in 2015 to stop exporting plants. He now has a thriving business in selling exotic insects! However, his interest in orchids has not waned and he maintains a comprehensive collection of plants at his home in Thailand and now also has more time to promote and conduct research for his orchid study tour.

' the orchid man'

     Peter has been growing and studying Thai orchid species for over thirty years and with his knowledge of the plants he will be able to identify most of the orchids seen on the tour, even when not in flower.

     He has written many articles about Thai orchids for leading orchid publications both in the UK and abroad. Over the years he has learnt to speak Thai which is essential to conducting a successful tour and he knows the customs of the local people - which helps avoid any awkward misunderstandings. 

     He has been leading and guiding these specialist orchid tours for twenty-four years and has now organized and conducted thirty-seven group tours as well as eight private tours.

 

Our assistant - Pin

     Pin and her sister run their own horticultural enterprise in Thailand, growing vegetables / fruit / herbs etc which are sold on the local market.          

     She first helped us with a tour in 1997 and over the years has progressed from being a porter to a valued member of our team.

     She accompanies us on the treks and is an excellent orchid spotter -frequently finding plants in flower which the group has walked past. She also helps with the organization of the daily activities of the tour and has built up a good working relationship with our driver and guides.

Our driver - Pan

     Pan first worked for us on a tour in 2005 and unlike some of our previous drivers he appreciates and understands the philosophy - that being honest and trustworthy means having work every year.

     He is self-employed and owns his own minibus, which has resulted in him being a lot more conscientious and reliable than previous drivers which we employed from local tour companies. He is a careful competent driver and we are lucky to have met him.

     The knowledge and experience he has gained from past tours all help to ensure the tour is completed without any problems.

Air - our eastern guide

     Air is our guide for the most rewarding trek in the east. He works as a full-time ranger in a wildlife sanctuary and after many years he has learnt to trust us and shows us plants in areas which are off limits to other visitors.

     We met him before he was married and he now has two 13 year old twin daughters. His parents worked as rangers in the sanctuary their whole life and he has followed in their footsteps.     

     He is the kind of person who can simply walk out into the forest with only the clothes on his back and a machete. He knows where to find food / water and can survive from the land.

Gung - our northern guide

     Gung is a local villager who has lived in the trekking area his whole life. Many years ago he was a hunter / gatherer living on the bounty of the forest. Because of his knowledge of the surrounding area he is now employed by the forestry department.

     He is one of those guides who can stand amongst a range of mountains - and pointing to them can tell you what can be found growing on each mountain.

     He has worked with us for 15 years and we have established a firm friendship. He appreciates the work we give him and is always keeping an eye out for new productive trekking areas. 

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