Asia Trip Leader

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.

Our Team

Client Testimonials

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

Mathew was a terrific guide. His easy-going manner and extensive knowledge of Buddhism and the country was much appreciated and made this a memorable trip. He gets an A+!

Bill B.

Portland, OR
Myanmar: Wonders of the Golden Land

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

Mathew was a wonderful leader. He was energetic, had a huge knowledge of the areas we visited, enthusiastic, and took really good care of all of us.

Carol M.

Bronxville, NY
Indochine

Mathew is a great tour leader. This was our second trip with him and we would do more. He is unflappable and fun to be with.

Colleen W.

Santa Monica, CA
Burma: Wonders of the Golden Land

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

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 good things about Mathew. He’s extremely well-versed in SE Asian culture and poliics and shares his knowledge in an engaging, often very funny way. He may be the best trip leader I’ve ever had on a group excursion.

Diana G.

Sonoma, CA
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

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

Fantastic leadership in a relaxed, efficient manner. He's the best we've ever had.

Emily A.

Jackson, WY
Indochine

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

I can’t say enough about Mat. 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 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 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

Mathew is a superb trip leader. His knowledge of the region and its history is inexhaustible, and his enthusiasm for the places we visited was infectious. His spirit and warmth knit our group together.

Jim A.

New Orleans, LA
Indochine

Mathew 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

Mathew was truly a terrific leader. He really had the best interests of the group at heart—to make sure each of us had the best possible experience on this awesome trip.

Jo Ann S.

Northbrook, IL
Indochine

Mathew's intellectual curiosity and genuine affection for each participant made the trip a joy!

Joyce L.

Floral Park, NY
Indochine

This was my second trip with Mathew. His knowledge, enthusiasm, humor, and organizational skills make him an ideal guide.

Kathleen H.

Champaign, IL
Burma: Wonders of the Golden Land

Probably the best trip leader we have had the pleasure of being with.

Ken K.

Charleston, WV
Indochine

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

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

I can't imagine having had a better trip leader. His overall knowledge, wit, personality, and leadership qualities were exceptional.

Linda M.

Little Silver, NJ
Indochine

Matthew was like having Herodotus and John Cleese rolled into one.

Logan R.

Bloomfield Hills, MI
Indochine

Absolutely top notch leadership! Great sense of humor, infectious enthusiasm, constantly on the lookout for highlights to share, including details at Angkor he was discovering anew.

Lucia C.

Santa Fe, NM
Indochine

Mathew is a real pro. You are lucky to have him. His knowledge and feel for the country is encyclopedic. On top of that, he's a great guy.

Marcel F.

Santa Barbara, CA
Burma: Wonders of the Golden Land

Excellent! Low-key, unflappable, great leader!

Margaret M.

Orange CA
Indochine

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

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

Matthew clearly loves SE Asia. He is extremely knowledgeable about the political history, cultural history, religion, and art of the area. He is easy to understand, fun to be with, and is a great travel companion in every way.

Marshall Y.

Los Altos, 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

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 was simply the best! He is knowledgeable, smart, funny and very engaging. I can't imagine a better guide.

Patricia B.

Laredo, TX
Indochine

Mathew was a fun guy to have in charge. His personal style kept us happy and laughing the whole way. He made us feel comfortable and important while interacting with us as a friend. His overall knowledge of every aspect of our trip’s itinerary sites was hard to believe. He was a key to our overal excellent rating for the trip.

Paul S.

Presque Isle, WI
Indochine

Matthew was a delightful leader, with very good communication skills and in-depth knowledge of the history and culture of the countries we visited. He had a great sense of humor, and not only responded to needs and interests but anticipated them.

Rami C.

Newtown, PA
Indochine

Mathew was unflappable, charming, masterful in a couple of tight spots, patient with us, informative, possessed of a deep perspective on these places; overall the ideal leader.

Robert W.

Santa Monica, CA
Indochine

Mathew was simply outstanding. Extremely knowledgeable with a terrific sense of humor.

Sandra B.

Oakland CA
Indochine

I’d gladly add Mat 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 is wonderful. We would take any trip he leads. He is empathetic, intuitive, very funny, and always available to share his love and respect for the places we visited.

Spencer S.

San Anselmo, CA
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

Mathew was fabulous! We all enjoyed his sense of humor, his easygoing nature, and his knowledge of the areas we visited was phenomenal.

Terry H.

Kalispell, MT
Indochine

Mathew's tremendous knowledge about all we saw and the countries we visited added enormously to our trip experience.

Thomas K.

Stamford, CT
Indochine

Book Your Trip Today

Our Area Specialists know every detail about our adventures around the world. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!

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He was energetic, had a huge knowledge of the areas we visited, enthusiastic, and took really good care of all of us.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Colleen W.","GuestLocation":"Santa Monica, CA<br \/>Burma: Wonders of the Golden Land","GuestReview":"Mathew is a great tour leader. This was our second trip with him and we would do more. He is unflappable and fun to be with.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Darren L.","GuestLocation":"Howard, CO<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"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.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Deborah H.","GuestLocation":"New Orleans, LA<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Mathew Smith was a 5 star leader&#8212;always helpful, sociable, efficient, caring and topped off with a great sense of humor. 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I would go with him again in a heartbeat!","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Emily A.","GuestLocation":"Jackson, WY<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Fantastic leadership in a relaxed, efficient manner. He's the best we've ever had.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Francine B.","GuestLocation":"Armonk, NY<br \/>Burma: Wonders of the Golden Land","GuestReview":"We were all amazed by Mathew's comprehensive knowlege regarding every aspect of the trip. And, he was fun to be with.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Helaina T.","GuestLocation":"San Mateo, CA<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"I can&#8217;t say enough about Mat. He was fun, pleasant, extremely knowledgable and unflappable. Very easy to be with. Had a lot of confidence in him.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Jean B.","GuestLocation":"Carmel CA<br \/>Road to Mandalay","GuestReview":"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.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Jim A.","GuestLocation":"New Orleans, LA<br \/>Burma: Wonders of the Golden Land","GuestReview":"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.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Jim A.","GuestLocation":"New Orleans, LA<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Mathew is a superb trip leader. His knowledge of the region and its history is inexhaustible, and his enthusiasm for the places we visited was infectious. His spirit and warmth knit our group together.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Jim C.","GuestLocation":"Phoenix, AZ<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Mathew 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.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Jo Ann S.","GuestLocation":"Northbrook, IL<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Mathew was truly a terrific leader. He really had the best interests of the group at heart&#8212;to make sure each of us had the best possible experience on this awesome trip.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Joyce L.","GuestLocation":"Floral Park, NY<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Mathew's intellectual curiosity and genuine affection for each participant made the trip a joy!","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Kathleen H.","GuestLocation":"Champaign, IL<br \/>Burma: Wonders of the Golden Land","GuestReview":"This was my second trip with Mathew. His knowledge, enthusiasm, humor, and organizational skills make him an ideal guide.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Ken K.","GuestLocation":"Charleston, WV<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Probably the best trip leader we have had the pleasure of being with.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Lauren P.","GuestLocation":"Santa Fe, NM<br \/>Burma: Wonders of the Golden Land","GuestReview":"We look forward to going on another trip with Mathew...what more needs to be said?","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Linda L.","GuestLocation":"San Antonio, TX<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"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!","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Linda M.","GuestLocation":"Little Silver, NJ<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"I can't imagine having had a better trip leader. His overall knowledge, wit, personality, and leadership qualities were exceptional.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Logan R.","GuestLocation":"Bloomfield Hills, MI<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Matthew was like having Herodotus and John Cleese rolled into one.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Lucia C.","GuestLocation":"Santa Fe, NM<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Absolutely top notch leadership! Great sense of humor, infectious enthusiasm, constantly on the lookout for highlights to share, including details at Angkor he was discovering anew.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Marcel F.","GuestLocation":"Santa Barbara, CA<br \/>Burma: Wonders of the Golden Land","GuestReview":"Mathew is a real pro. You are lucky to have him. His knowledge and feel for the country is encyclopedic. On top of that, he's a great guy.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Margaret M.","GuestLocation":"Orange CA<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Excellent! Low-key, unflappable, great leader!","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Marjo K.","GuestLocation":"Bend, OR<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"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.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Mark L.","GuestLocation":"Melbourne Beach, FL","GuestReview":"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!","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Marshall Y.","GuestLocation":"Los Altos, CA<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Matthew clearly loves SE Asia. He is extremely knowledgeable about the political history, cultural history, religion, and art of the area. He is easy to understand, fun to be with, and is a great travel companion in every way.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Mary M.","GuestLocation":"Stillwater MN<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"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.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Norman M.","GuestLocation":"Urbandale, IA<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"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.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Patricia B.","GuestLocation":"Laredo, TX<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Mathew was simply the best! He is knowledgeable, smart, funny and very engaging. I can't imagine a better guide.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Paul S.","GuestLocation":"Presque Isle, WI<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Mathew was a fun guy to have in charge. His personal style kept us happy and laughing the whole way. He made us feel comfortable and important while interacting with us as a friend. His overall knowledge of every aspect of our trip&#8217;s itinerary sites was hard to believe. He was a key to our overal excellent rating for the trip.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Rami C.","GuestLocation":"Newtown, PA<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Matthew was a delightful leader, with very good communication skills and in-depth knowledge of the history and culture of the countries we visited. He had a great sense of humor, and not only responded to needs and interests but anticipated them.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Robert W.","GuestLocation":"Santa Monica, CA<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Mathew was unflappable, charming, masterful in a couple of tight spots, patient with us, informative, possessed of a deep perspective on these places; overall the ideal leader.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Sandra B.","GuestLocation":"Oakland CA<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Mathew was simply outstanding. Extremely knowledgeable with a terrific sense of humor.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Sarah M.","GuestLocation":"Seattle WA<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"I&#8217;d gladly add Mat to the pantheon of WT guides I&#8217;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.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Spencer S.","GuestLocation":"San Anselmo, CA<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Mathew is wonderful. We would take any trip he leads. He is empathetic, intuitive, very funny, and always available to share his love and respect for the places we visited.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Susan S.","GuestLocation":"Riverwoods, IL<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Mathew makes his leadership seem effortless, while it is far from that! Absolutely fascinating stories, filled with knowledge and detail, and always absolutely hilarious&#8212;what a great personality!","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Terry H.","GuestLocation":"Kalispell, MT<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Mathew was fabulous! We all enjoyed his sense of humor, his easygoing nature, and his knowledge of the areas we visited was phenomenal.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Thomas K.","GuestLocation":"Stamford, CT<br \/>Indochine","GuestReview":"Mathew's tremendous knowledge about all we saw and the countries we visited added enormously to our trip experience.","TripName":""}]}