Mathew Smith

Mathew Smith, a former language teacher from the UK, went to Thailand to teach in 1987 and fell in love with Southeast Asia. Fluent in Thai, Mathew is revered by trip members for his extraordinary knowledge of Southeast Asia’s politics, history, and culture, and also for his easygoing style and sense of humor. Mathew has led Wilderness Travel’s Indochine trips for almost twenty years, yet he’s still constantly intrigued, surprised and delighted by the people he meets and the places he explores. “It is seldom that you get to lead a trip to three such fascinating countries--Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia--whose histories and cultures, although unique, complement each other so well.” He also explores Burma frequently, enchanted by the country’s quiet beauty. “I particularly love the rural areas and am inspired by the nature of the relationships between the Burmese people and their environment…this is an especially exciting time to travel there.” Mathew is a gentleman and scholar with an uncanny ability to run a smooth trip. His home base is in Chiang Mai where he lives with his wife and daughter.

Upcoming Trips:

Burma: Wonders of the Golden Land, December 22, 2014-January 4, 2015
The Arc of the Sacred Symposium: Indochine, January 25-February 6, 2015
Burma: Wonders of the Golden Land, February 16-March 1, 2015
Indochine, November 7-22, 2015
Burma: Wonders of the Golden Land, December 19, 2015-January 1, 2016
Indochine, January 9-24, 2016
Burma: Wonders of the Golden Land, February 6-19, 2016

Client Testimonials:


Excellent! Low-key, unflappable, great leader! Margaret M., Orange CA
Indochine
Mathew was an excellent leader. He made us all feel comfortable and really tried to accommodate us in every way. He made special things happen. Jean B., Carmel CA
Road to Mandalay
I’d gladly add Matt to the pantheon of WT guides I’ve had the pleasure of traveling with over the last 10 years. He is warm, easy-going, and has a fabulous sense of humor. He is also extraordinarily knowledgeable about Indochina. Sarah M., Seattle WA
Indochine
Mathew Smith was a 5 star leader—always helpful, sociable, efficient, caring and topped off with a great sense of humor. We could not have asked for a better leader! Deborah H., New Orleans, LA
Indochine
I can’t say enough about Matt. He was fun, pleasant, extremely knowledgable and unflappable. Very easy to be with. Had a lot of confidence in him. Helaina T., San Mateo, CA
Indochine
Mathew Smith was extremely knowledgeable and was able to explain the history in a manner that really kept one's attention. He's a very witty and wonderful guy, an asset to WT. Mary M., Stillwater MN
Indochine
Mathew was simply outstanding. Extremely knowledgeable with a terrific sense of humor. Sandra B., Oakland CA
Indochine
Matthew was oustanding in every respect. His blend of humor and cheerfulness, combined with a quick mind and abundant facts, made the trip far more enjoyable and meaningful than we had expected. Jim C., Phoenix, AZ
Indochine
I have never had a better trip leader than Mathew. He has an infectious sense of humor, is warm and fun to be with, and imparts a sense of adventure to the trip. He has a tremendous knowledge of history and tells the tale in an interesting manner. What a gem! Mark L., Melbourne Beach, FL Fantastic leadership in a relaxed, efficient manner. He's the best we've ever had. Emily A., Jackson, WY
Indochine
Need I say more? Mathew was great! We travel to gain knowledge and understanding of the world's different cultures. Mathew's depth of knowledge and understanding of the culture is incredible and greatly added to our experience. BJ F., Alexandria, VA
Burma: Wonders of the Golden Land
We were all amazed by Mathew's comprehensive knowlege regarding every aspect of the trip. And, he was fun to be with. Francine B., Armonk, NY
Burma: Wonders of the Golden Land
Mathew is by far the best guide we have ever had. He is always in great spirits, patient, well organized, and he is highly educated about Indochine. He makes the trip engaging, informative, and fun. Marjo K., Bend, OR
Indochine
Matthew has an amazing depth of knowledge about the history and cultures of the countries we visited. He is so casual and unpretentious that at first you don't realize how much he must have studied to understand and work in these cultures so effectively. He also has that amazing ability to get along with almost anybody! Great leader! Linda L., San Antonio, TX
Indochine
Probably the best trip leader we have had the pleasure of being with. Ken K., Charleston, WV
Indochine
Matthew was great. He is personable, knowledgeable, and patient. We enjoyed his considerable knowledge of the culture and history. Couldn't imagine a better leader. Dick S., Pound Ridge, NY
Indochine
I've taken perhaps a dozen trips with a leader(s) and Matthew is at the top. His combination of knowledgeability and warmth is unusual. Norman M., Urbandale, IA
Indochine
Mathew makes his leadership seem effortless, while it is far from that! Absolutely fascinating stories, filled with knowledge and detail, and always absolutely hilarious—what a great personality! Susan S., Riverwoods, IL
Indochine
Matthew was like having Herodotus and John Cleese rolled into one. Logan R., Bloomfield Hills, MI
Indochine
Mathew seemed to enjoy the trip as much as we did—which made it that much more fun, and encouraged everyone to have a good time. I would go with him again in a heartbeat! Ed W., Santa Rosa, CA
Indochine
Mathew is extremely good at what he does. He has an ability to read the people in his group and then knows how to work with them as individuals. He has a great sense of humor and always had me laughing or smiling. His knowledge of the sites and history was amazing. Darren L., Howard, CO
Indochine
I can't imagine a better trip leader than Mathew. He excels in all regards, is deeply knowledgeable, driven by his own infectious curiosity, a masterful storyteller. He's always looking out for the welfare and comfort of his group and goes to great lengths to ensure that our experience is superlative. Jim A., New Orleans, LA
Burma: Wonders of the Golden Land
We look forward to going on another trip with Mathew...what more needs to be said? Lauren P., Santa Fe, NM
Burma: Wonders of the Golden Land
Probable one of the best, if not the best tour guide I’ve ever had. He really, really makes everything happen. Alice G., Houston, TX
Burma: Wonders of the Golden Land
Mathew is incredibly knowledgeable about all aspects and places in the trip. The fact that he was at one point a teacher of history is a bonus. He brought a depth of detail and knowledge to each place that was unexpected and helped me connect to each place. Anna B., Mt. Kisco, NY
Indochine