Meet the Team


Nui – Managing Director

Mrs. Varunyapron Sinanan, known to all as Nui, is the founder of SmileyThai Travel. She is proud of our kingdom and has travelled extensively throughout the country for more than 35 years. If you were to sit down and chew the fat, then she would doubtless tell you that “to know oneself is to know one’s roots”.

Nui was born in the south of Thailand, later moved to Bangkok and for the last ten years has resided near Chiang Mai, in the north of Thailand. Here she uses her house as a base for in-depth exploration of northern Thailand.

Nui is passionate about Thai wildlife, history, countryside, cuisine and culture. She enjoys going to traditional festivals, learning the native folk dances, talking with the locals, and delights in sharing her vast experience with others. These are the inspirations that lead Nui to open her travel company in 1989.


Pipe – Director

Nui’s son, Pipe, has returned to northern Thailand after gaining much experience in the travel and hospitality industry abroad.

Pipe was the manager of a chateau hotel in France, but now lives in Maetang, near Chiang Mai, with its splendid river, elephant camps and waterfalls. It is from here that Nui and Pipe oversee the running of SmileyThai Travel. Pipe follows European football, especially his beloved Liverpool FC.

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Lamduan – Guide (Southern Thailand)

Lamduan, known as Chanakan, and also known as Ann (!), gained her license to guide from the Chiang Mai Guiding Association. She graduated from Rajabhat University with a degree in Business and English, specialising in the history of the Thai tourist industry.

She has a love of art, history and traditional Thai customs. Ann is now based in Pattaya and is our lead guide in the south of the country.

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Pong – Guide (Chiang Mai)

Nangnoi Sukwong (Pong) has been a fully licensed tourist guide since 1995. She also attended Rajabhat University where she read Communication and Cultural Studies. She is an expert on the history of Chiang Mai, which she likes to share with our guests and she is our expert in the hotel business industry.

Pong loves to meet new guests and looks forward to teaching them her ‘Chang Chang Elephant’ song and dance!

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Wang – Guide (Northern Thailand)

Yawan Thungphisanphluek (Wan) was born in a remote Karen hill tribe in northern Thailand and qualified as a tour guide from the Far Eastern University in 2009. His expertise lies in his knowledge of the mountains.

If you wish to visit, or even stay with, the hill tribes of Thailand, then Wan is the guide for you. He leads our mountain treks and delights our guests with his ability to craft toys from bits and bobs that he finds in the forest.


Thach – Guide (Bangkok and Central Thailand)

Thach Sankad (Mr Tee) has been a professional tourist guide since 1992. After studying tourism at Chiang Mai University, Mr Tee qualified as a teacher at Mahamakut Buddhist University. He is fluent in Chinese as well as English.

Thach now lives in Bangkok, from where he leads our tours of the city and Central Thailand.