Amazing and Mystical Thailand

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Dates 12 Feb '11 to 25 Feb '11

Flexible? No, not really

Est. Cost 2,600 - 3,400 USD (USD United States Dollars)

Type Travel Partners Wanted

Name Amazing and Mystical Thailand

I am leading a group to Thailand. This is a group of people from all walks of life who belong to my travel club. This will be a fantastic trip, so far I have taken groups to Italy, Paris, Egypt, Greece and Turkey.

2/13 Sun. Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand - One night hotel before tour to adjust to time zone!
2/14 Mon. FREE DAY
2/15 Tues. Bangkok
Today’s sightseeing starts with a BOAT RIDE through the klongs, Bangkok’s canals, to see the family homes, temples, and the way of life that give this city the nickname “Venice of the East.” We stop at Wat Arun, the TEMPLE OF THE DAWN, whose 260-foot-tall spire has become identified with Bangkok. Then we move on to the GRAND PALACE, comprised of the Funeral Palace, the Reception Palace, the Throne Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Royal Guest House, and the beautiful EMERALD BUDDHA TEMPLE. The afternoon is at our leisure. Perhaps an optional tour to The Jim Thompson House and silk shop. In evening, we enjoy a special THAI WELCOME DINNER featuring traditional cuisine and dancers performing stories from classical Thai literature. (Breakfast, Dinner)
2/16 Wed. Bangkok
Excursion to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market In the morning, depart Bangkok for the DAMNOEN SADUAK FLOATING MARKET. This colorful market provides an interesting glimpse into local life. Take a longtail BOAT RIDE through the canals filled with small flat boats expertly paddled by mature ladies ready to stop and bargain at a moment’s notice. The afternoon and evening are at our leisure to explore Bangkok. Perhaps an optional dinner cruise aboard a luxurious teak barge along the Chao Phraya River. (Breakfast)
Thurs. Bangkok–Kanchanaburi
A short drive this morning brings us to Kanchanaburi. Visit the THAILAND-BURMA RAILWAY CENTER, an interactive museum with eight main galleries depicting the story of the railway. A short walk takes us to the CEMETERY OF THE ALLIED PRISONERS from World War II before stopping to see the BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI. After a short stop, we ride on the THAILAND-BURMA RAILWAY, commonly referred to as the “Death Railway.” Built by the Japanese during World War II using forced labor, approximately 25,000 of the 160,000 workers died during its construction. After lunch in a local restaurant, we visit Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, the TIGER TEMPLE, a sanctuary and conservation center for the many Indochinese Tigers that are cared for by the monks. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Fri. Kanchanaburi–Ayutthaya–Phitsanulok
We travel to the ancient capital of Ayutthaya, one of the world’s largest cities before falling to the Burmese in 1756. Visit WAT PHRA SRI SAN PHET, the largest temple on the Royal Palace grounds, and WAT MONGKOL BOPHIT, featuring a giant 55-foot-tall bronze Buddha. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before continuing to Phitsanulok on the banks of the Nan River. Upon arrival, visit the much-venerated shrine of WAT PHRA SI RATANA MAHATHAT, typical of ancient Thai religious architecture. This evening, enjoy dinner at our hotel, then depart by rickshaw for a fascinating visit to the NIGHT MARKET. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Sat. Phitsanulok–Sukhothai–Chiang Mai
A short drive this morning brings us to the SUKHOTHAI HISTORICAL PARK, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will admire the beautiful standing Buddha statues as we explore the ruins of temples and monasteries. Then, continue north to Chiang Mai, the “Rose of the North.” Chiang Mai has a rich cultural and agricultural heritage, and is famous for the production of high-quality handicrafts. This evening is an optional Thai family-style dinner in a local restaurant. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Sun. Chiang Mai. Hill Tribe Excursion
We rise early this morning to witness and participate in the ALMSGIVING CEREMONY, a very special Thai custom. Each morning before dawn, Buddhist monks don their distinctive saffron-colored robes and walk along the streets, carrying alms bowls and receiving boiled rice and condiment donations. Personally present alms to the monks and we will receive their blessings! After breakfast in the hotel, we drive up a winding mountain road to visit the WHITE HMONG PEOPLE, one of northern Thailand’s HILL TRIBES. Here we will witness life in the village and visit a local school (if in session). Then, visit the temple of WAT PHRA THAT DOI SUTHEP, which offers a spectacular view of Chiang Mai and the surrounding valley. After a long day, we'll enjoy a TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE at our hotel. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Note: We will travel on rough dirt roads in a utility pick-up truck to visit the White Hmong people.
Mon. Chiang Mai–Ban Thaton
This morning, we visit an ORCHID FARM and an ELEPHANT CAMP. Here we will see skilled mahouts show how elephants have worked for centuries and we will RIDE AN ELEPHANT through the jungle. For the more adventurous, we can join the optional river rafting trip on handmade bamboo rafts. Then, continue on to Ban Thaton to visit a KAREN VILLAGE, home to the PADUANG LONG-NECKED WOMEN. Early in life, brass rings are placed on the necks and legs of the village girls. As they age and mature, additional rings are added, creating the visual illusion of stretching their necks. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Tue. Ban Thaton–Chiang Rai
Today, we enjoy a BOAT RIDE on the Kok River and visit BAAN MAI, a silk- and sa paper-making village. Then, we visit the HILL TRIBE VILLAGE of the AKHA, known for gorgeous headdresses decorated with silver coins. After lunch, continue on to Chiang Rai. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Wed. Chiang Rai. Excursion to the Golden Triangle
Climb the narrow mountain roads with stunning views and visit several villages en route to DOI MAE SALONG, a settlement founded by Kuomintang soldiers who fled China in 1949. Continue to MAE SAI, a market town on the Myanmar border, then drive to the renowned GOLDEN TRIANGLE, where the Ruak and mighty Mekong Rivers meet. Enjoy views over Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand, and we can consider an optional boat trip on the Mekong River. Next, we visit the HALL OF OPIUM, built to educate people on the history of opium in the area and to help combat illegal drugs. En route back to Chiang Rai, stop in CHIANG SAEN, where we can still see evidence of the original 13th-century city. This evening our Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Thur. Chiang Rai–Bangkok
A short flight returns you to Bangkok. The rest of the day is at leisure. (Breakfast)
Fri. - Bangkok
Homebound flight arrives the same day. (Breakfast)
****You can extend trip til Monday with a trip to Siem Riep/Angkor Wat****
$2139 per person plus $89 extra pre-hotel night as outlined above
***IMPORTANT: Air from Chicago to Bangkok not included, approx. $1399***
$250 nonrefundable deposit by Aug. 18th Meetup!
Final Payments Due Dec. 8, 2010
Call or email Aynne or Meg with questions
Bangkok: Guided sightseeing; boat ride through the klongs; visit the Temple of the Dawn, Grand Palace, and Emerald Buddha Temple; excursion to Damnoen Saduak floating market with boat ride; Thai welcome dinner and show
Kanchanaburi: Guided sightseeing; visit the Thailand-Burma Railway Center, Cemetery of the Allied Prisoners, Bridge on the River Kwai, and the Tiger Temple; ride the Thailand-Burma Railway
Ayutthaya: Guided sightseeing; visit Wat Phra Sri San Phet and Wat Mongkol Bophit
Phitsanulok: Guided sightseeing; visit Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat and a night market
Sukhothai: Visit Sukhothai Historical Park
Chiang Mai: Almsgiving ceremony; guided sightseeing; visit a White Hmong village, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, and an orchid farm; ride an elephant; traditional Thai massage
Ban Thaton: Guided sightseeing; visit a Karen village with long-necked women, Baan Mai, and Akha village; boat ride on the Kok River
Chiang Rai: Excursion to the Golden Triangle; visit Doi Mae Salong, Mae Sai, the Hall of Opium, and Chiang Saen; farewell dinner
All Intra-Tour Flights

Amazing and Mystical Thailand

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Meg Meg

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Southeast Asia


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