Short and comprehensive for 1 week in Thailand, this trip is an excellent introduction to the Kingdom of the Thai. Steamy but exciting Bangkok, the historic River Kwai, the colorful floating market, ancient Ayutthaya, tranquil Chiang Mai and the hill tribes in the highlands are all that you will be experiencing in this trip, unforgettable.
Discover the exciting Bangkok and see the highlights this city has to offer
Experience the colors and bustle of a traditional Thai’s float market
Turn back in the history of River Kwai with interesting related history
Feel the quiet Chiang Mai and to get around with its tranquil ambiance
Visit an Elephant Camp and to spend your time playing with the elephants.
Welcome to Thailand! After getting to the hotel, take a moment to relax before a leisurely introduction starts. Bangkok, like most Thai cities, was built around canals and rivers and the best preserved neighborhoods are still right there, on the water’s edge. By boat you explore Chao Phraya River and the lesser known canals and slide through these quite, green places where local families still live like in the past. That feeling continues in Wat Arun, “the Temple of Dawn” which you can climb to have a great, welcoming view across the Chao Phraya River and the Grand Palace on the other bank. Your hotel in Bangkok could be beautifully located on Chao Phraya River.
Day 02: BANGKOK (B, L)
Discover Bangkok in style with your own expert guide and private car to calmly find your way from highlight to highlight. You will learn of the history of the City Pillar on Ratchanakosin island where Bangkok was founded, enter the always bustling Wat Po; home to the 45 meter long Reclining Buddha and the perfect place to make your offering for your wish to be granted. Explore the lanes and stalls of China Town, full of smells and colors, traditional products and Chinese temples. Marvel at the sea of flowers on the orchid market where house wives come pick the best flower to put on their family-alter at home. And of course the majestic Grand Palace; a glistering spectacle of color and the most photographed sight of Bangkok. Climbing up into sky on Golden Mount Wat Saket. The end of the afternoon is at leisure to maybe sip a fresh mango juice while people- watching around Nana station, do some shopping on Siam Square or drive into the famous Patpong-night bazaar.
Day 03: BANKOK – KANCHANABURI (B, L)
Hidden in a street market across the river you discover a set of rusty train tracks. You join the locals and their merchandise of chickens, vegetables and gold fish in plastic bags to find out where they lead to. You will bump along the rails between the houses of people who seem to live right on the tracks and stop at every station there is. The scenery becomes greener and the air smells like salt; you reach the Gulf of Thailand and disembark right into one of the country’s biggest fish markets! Enormous shrimp, bright red lobsters, tons of squid and big, big fish actually caught in Burmese waters. No tourists here, people go about their daily affairs and smile at us, posing for your camera. This is a delta area, criss-crossed by canals, highly fertile and full of coconut plantations and fruit orchards. Green and wet. By boat we navigate narrow canals and enter the floating market of Damnoen Saduak, where old ladies sell noodle soup, pomelos, rambutans and other colorful fruit and of course souvenirs from their little wooden boats. Take a moment to step behind the souvenirs stalls to discover wooden houses and bridges still lining the waterways from the past. Dark side of history comes to life in the Museum and war-cemetery in Kanchanaburi on the river Kwai. A chance to learn about the hardships of the prisoners before walking across the notorious railway bridge is part of your program. Enjoy a cold beer at a riverside bar after a day filled with fantastic impressions.
Day 04: KANCHANABURI – CHIANG MAI (B, L)
Make a leisurely start this morning before driving into the central plains which are filled with sugar cane or corn depending on the season. Trucks are piled up high and workers ride on top of them. Make sure to ask for a stop and taste a refreshing freshly pressed sugar cane juice. Arrive in the former royal capital of Ayutthaya, where Unesco declared the ruins of temples and surrounding structures a world heritage site. Wat Chai Wattanaram is particularly beautiful and was built in the same style as the famous temples in Angkor, Cambodia. Your guide transforms the ruins into their former glory when explaining what happened when the Burmese army sacked and destroyed the place, taking away all the gold once covering the temples to Burma. After this begins your journey miles up north to in another world, by a short flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
Day 05: CHIANG MAI (B, L)
Chiang Mai has two sides; the city and the province. You will start by exploring the south of the province, the historical towns of Lampang and Lamphun. Lampang which feels more like a provincial town then a city, especially along the river in the center where the low-rise wooden houses dominate. The back streets and Don Tao temple which once held the Emerald Buddha are fun to explore by horse card. In the south where rivers full of clay are abundant, you visited temples made out of brick. Here in the north, the supply of wood determines how houses and temples are built and a fine example of a teak wooden house in Ban Sao Nak. A temple busy with pilgrims is the Lanna-style Wat Pha That Lampang Luang. Lamphun is a sleepy little place built around the beautiful and small Wat hariphunchai, which is a fine example of Lanna-style northern architecture. The region around Chiang Mai is famous for traditions and creativity. Combine these and you will see beautifully crafted painted umbrellas, carvings and silk weavings. San Kamphaeng Village is a major center for traditional handmade products in Northern Thailand. Make sure to take peek into the workshops in the narrow alleys away from the main street. This is the perfect spot to bring original and authentic souvenirs back home.
Day 06: CHIANG MAI (B, L)
“Mae Sa Elephant Camp” which is home to one of the largest assembly of elephants in northern Thailand. The philosophy of the camp is to create a natural and healthy environment for the elephants while working to conserve and breed them, due to the dwindling number of Asian elephants left in the wild. You will get to see trained elephants demonstrating their formidable and valuable forestry skills, taking a bath and you could optionally experience a jungle tour on elephant‟s back. Orchids shine in all colors and varieties in the jungle; marvel at them from upclose at an orchid farm on the way today. The Lisu tribe is one of the smaller tribes home to northern Thailand. You will support them by visiting the community- based, award winning Lisu Lodge, aimed at teaching visitors about the Lisu culture and daily life, and help the local people learn about modernization and benefit from tourism. The Lisu have settled in this part of Thailand after having migrated down from Tibet through southern China and Burma. Guided by a Lisu villager you will walk you through the village to visit the Ton Lung temple and the herb garden. You will have a cup of tea with the shaman or „miracle doctor‟ at his house to learn about his life, his curing rites and the Lisu traditions. In the small cultural centre you will find many local tools and household items used by both Lisu and Akha people. Tonight you should browse the night bazaar in Chiang Mai, famous for all kinds of souvenirs and many different flavors of local food; a perfect last evening!
Day 07: CHIANG MAI – DEPARTURE (B, L)
Overlooking Chiang Mai is Doi Suthep and its golden pagoda. Driving up the winding forest road, but the last bit you do on foot on a long staircase framed by multi headed snakes. The temple is a beauty and always buzzing with religious activities. Make sure to walk around the chedi in clock-wise direction and burn your incense sticks for good travels in the next part of your trip. Then, enjoy a spectacular view over Chiang Mai and the surrounding area. Exploring the center and its maze of lanes and alleys dotted with temples is best done on foot. The northern style is a feast for the eye and camera. Leisure until your transfer to the local airport or train station. From here you could either travel onwards to the (beach) destination of your choice or go home with a suitcase full of memories. End of the service.
Price valid from Jan 1st – Dec 31th, 2018 (per person in US dollar)
LIST OF ACCOMMODATION
Ibis Bangkok Riverside, Standard room
Aetas Lumpini, Deluxe room
Ariyasom Villa, Studio room
River Kwai Jungle Rafts, Raft room
River Kwai Resotel, Standard Chalet
Float House River Kwai, Floating Villa
Empress Hotel, Superior room
Rimping Village, Superior room
De Naga Chiang Mai, Deluxe room
Include & Exclude
Accommodation in twin/double sharing with breakfast
Private transfer with air-conditioner van
Shared or public transport as indicated
Regional English speaking guide
Drop off/pick up at the hotel in the city
Local drinks and snacks where indicated
Meals as indicated (without beverage)
Admission fees as indicated
Any indicated train tickets
All International & Domestic Airfare.
Any passenger service charges at the airport
Personal expenses i.e. laundry, telephone billing, tipping, etc.
Beverages during meals.
Visa fee and its arrangement.
Tips and gratuities
Peak season surcharges by hotels/Compulsory dinner if there is any
Early check in & late check-out at all hotel
* Check in time: 02.00pm – Check out time: 12.00pm
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