Thailand

Visit this land of natural beauty, renowned hospitality, robust cuisine and amazing ruins of ancient kingdoms. Explore the intricacies of Thai cooking during a day-long cooking class and savor two relaxing days on the lovely island of Phuket.

Country Information

Thailand

Thailand Enrichment Series

(Countries Visited)

Thailand


(Interest Type(s))

Adventure Travel


(Tour Length)

12 Days


Tour Highlights

Starting at: $6,430
  • Discover Bangkok, from its temples to its interwoven canals for a glimpse of life in Thailand today
  • Witness the strong bond between man and elephant at a Mahout training class at Maesa Elephant Camp
  • Travel to the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet
  • Explore the intricacies of Thai cooking during a day-long cooking class
  • Savor two relaxing days on the lovely island of Phuket

Day 1:  Arrive Bangkok, Thailand
Welcome to your Thailand adventure.  Upon arrive in Bangkok, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.  The remainder of the day is at leisure.  Peninsula Bangkok – Deluxe Room 

Day 2:  Bangkok
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and relax this morning or pursue your own interests.  This afternoon, your half-day tour explores the city beginning with the Grand Palace with Emerald Buddha.  Experience the bustling Chao Phaya River as well as the quiet canals, klongs, in a long-tail boat to see scenes of life on the water.  Encounter some of the traditional ways of living away from the high-rise modernity of Bangkok City center as you gently pass Thonburi residential areas.  Stop to visit the Wat Arun, Temple of Dawn.  Also on the agenda is the Royal Grand Palace, the nation’s most prized landmark situated close to the Chao Phraya, River of Kings.  It occupies nearly one square mile.  The former royal residence of the Chakri Kings, the palace is the perfect example of an ancient Siamese court.  Built in 1782, it was the center of power for more than 150 years.  Peninsula Bangkok – Deluxe Room (B) 

Day 3:  Bangkok
Today you delve further into life on the river, still so important to the Thai people.  Travel to Amphawa Floating Market (Open weekends) in Samut Songkram Province, about 43 miles southwest of Bangkok.  Along the way, you discover a most unusual market… the market on the railway tracks, locally known as “Talad Rom Hup” due to the necessity of the shop keeper having to quickly retract their awnings whenever a train passes.  In this market, the shopper bravely walks along the train tracks dodging the occasional train.  Lunch will be served at the local restaurant before you drive to Wat Bang Kung, which dates back to the Ayutthaya period, which existed from 1350 to 1767.  You have the option to see Ban Maew Thai, which is a must for every cat lover since it displays the history of Thai cats and information about the number of breeds.  Afterwards you will drive to Wat Amphawan Jetiyaram to see its beautiful paintings.  As the sun is setting, it is time to enjoy the major attraction on this trip – Ampawan Floating Market.  Here, you can still witness the traditional atmosphere of a floating market on weekend evenings.  You have enough time to experience this unique market with all your senses and try some of the exotic dishes such as the Mae Klong Mackerel, which is a favorite on the river, or the coconut sugar dessert.  Return to Bangkok this evening.  Peninsula Bangkok – Deluxe Room (B,L)

Day 4:  Bangkok / Chiang Rai / Chiang Saen / Golden Triangle / Mae Sai
After breakfast, you are free to relax until you are transferred to Bangkok’s domestic airport for a morning flight to Chiang Rai.  Arrive in Chiang Rai, and you are met and driven to the city of Chiang Sean, dating back more than 700 years.  This was the capital of the Lanna Thai Kingdom until the capital was moved to Chiang Rai in 1262.  It retains vestiges of its past glory through ruins of double city walls, antiques and its distinctive Buddhist sculpture style that evolved in the late 13th century.  Continue to the site where three countries meet:  Thailand, Laos and Myanmar.  The Golden Triangle.  The area was once known for its extensive opium trade.  Travel on to Mae Sai, a small trading town on the boarder of Thailand and Myanmar.  Enjoy lunch a local restaurant before going on to your hotel.  Le Meridien Hotel Chiang Rai – Deluxe River View Room (B,L)

Day 5:  Chiang Rai / Chiang Mai via Wiang Papao / Doi Suthep
On the way to Chiang Mai, via Wiang Papao, stop at the famous hot springs.  Locals believe in the healing powers of the springs.  After you check in to your hotel, you enjoy some free time.  Later this afternoon, drive to Doi Suthep to view Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, dating from 1384.  This is the most sacred temple in Northern Thailand, and is said to contain a holy relic of Lord Buddha.  You reach the top via 300 steps, which can be a challenge.  The stairway is flanked by enormous mythological Nagas.  A panoramic view of the city awaits those who make the climb.  Tonight you visit the popular night market, brimming with crafts from throughout the area as well as a myriad of other items from clothing to radios.  Your hotel is among Conde Nast's Hot List of the Best New Hotels in 2013.  137 Pillars House – Rajah Brooke Suite (B)

Day 6:  Chiang Mai - Elephant Encounter 
Today is reserved for an unusual cultural and natural encounter – a day at Mahout Training Camp at Maesa Elephant Camp.  You will learn about the relationship between a mahout and his elephant.  Greeted by the mahout instructors, you are led to the Maesa Elephant Nursery area.  You are given an overview of the mahout training course and an introduction on Maesa Elephant Camp.  Meet the camp’s veterinarian and the instructor team.  You witness a daily performance and practice elephant bathing.  Lunch will be served at the camp.  Then, learn basic commands to work with the elephants.  You get a treat watching the elephant artist at work.  This evening you are treated to a Khantoke dinner, featuring the northern foods of Chiang Mai.  Diners sit on the floor and share a succession of tasty dishes accompanied with sticky rice.  Local dancers in traditional dress will entertain you with several dances:  Sword Dance, Candle Dance, Fingernail Dance and the Rumwong, where you are invited to participate.  After dinner, there is a special hill tribe show featuring some of the noted hill tribes of Thailand.  137 Pillars House – Rajah Brooke Suite (B,L,D)

Day 7:  Chiang Mai
Explore Thai cooking during a cooking class at Baan Hongnual Cookery School.  A Lanna-style school located in a countryside village just 15 minutes from Chiang Mai.  The school offers lessons in how to prepare and cook classic Thai food, including sweets, fruit-carving and presentation.  Learn about local spices and other ingredients.  The atmosphere at the school represents traditional Lanna custom and culture.  After class, you will sit down to enjoy the results of your class for lunch. 137 Pillars House – Rajah Brooke Suite B,L)

Day 8:  Chiang Mai / Phuket
You are transferred to Chiang Mai Airport for your flight to Phuket, an exotic island getaway off the southwest coast of Thailand.  You are welcomed at the airport and transferred by road and by speedboat to your hotel.  Six Senses Koh Yao Noi – Garden Pool Villa (B)

Days 9/10:  Phuket 
Savor your next two relaxing days on this lovely island.  Relax on the beaches and swimming pool, or participate in activities and amenities offered by your hotel including a gym, award-winning spa, tennis courts, private beaches, cultural excursions highlighting Thai culture, boat and bicycle tours, exclusive excursions with resort speedboats, and scuba diving.  Six Senses Koh Yao Noi – Garden Pool Villa (B)

Day 11:  Phuket / Bangkok
You depart via speedboat and land transfer to Phuket Airport for flight to Bangkok.  At Bangkok domestic airport you are and transferred to your hotel.  Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport – Superior Room (B)

Day 12:  Bangkok / Depart
Relax at leisure until you are transferred to Bangkok International Airport for your flight to home.  (B)

Departure Dates:  Sept 30, 2013 to Oct 31, 2014. 

Land price, per person, double occupancy:  Starting from $6430. Seasonal variations apply.

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