The Kingdom of Thailand, known for decades as Siam, offers the group traveller a wide range of activities and scenic sights from pristine beaches to ancient temples and iconic landmarks. Exotic scenery is everywhere, the people are friendly and colourful and the cuisine is superb! Below is one of our favourite sample itineraries and our suggestion is to use it as a starting point to customize it to fit the needs of your special groups’ interests and budget.
Fly Hometown to Bangkok
Welcome to ‘The Land of Smiles’ and its largest city, Bangkok. On arrival, we will be met and transferred from the airport to our hotel. The remainder of the day is free.
Half day Grand Palace and Temple Tour
Today we will visit the famous Grand Palace, Chakri Maha Prasad, one of the most beautiful examples of an ancient Thai court. The palace was the former residence of the Thai kings. There are several things here to admire, including the Reception Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Funeral Hall, and the beautiful Temple of the Emerald Buddha, also known as "Wat Phra Keo". We will easily be able to visualize the splendour and pageantry of the past. Later, we will proceed to Wat Po, home of the enormous Reclining Buddha and one of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok.
Manohra Dinner Cruise
This evening we will be picked up from our hotel and taken to the Pier to join the Manohra Rice Barge Dinner Cruise, a romantic and unique cultural experience. The cruise sets sail at 7:30 PM. Cruising along the Chao Phraya River on this elegant, restored wooden rice barge, you will be introduced to Bangkok by night. It's a spectacular and memorable experience as Thai culinary delicacies are served as you glide down The River of Kings. Manohra can accommodate a maximum of 70 guest diners and en route, you will pass the famous Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn), the magnificent Grand Palace, The Royal Barge Boathouse, and numerous other temples and fascinating landmarks. A delicious Thai set Dinner (Gold Menu) is included and features delicacies such as Thai dumplings, prawn skewers, spicy soups, regional curries, stir-fries, fresh seafood, and a traditional Thai dessert. After our cruise, we head back to our hotel for our overnight.
|Meal Plan||Breakfast and Dinner|
Full day Floating Market and Cruise
After breakfast, enjoy a full day of sightseeing. Located at Ratchaburi Province, the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market dates back to 1866 when King Rama IV ordered that a canal 32 kilometres long be dug here to connect the Mae Kong and Tacheen. A Floating Market is an ideal place for us to see the old style and traditional way of selling and buying fruits, vegetables and other items from small boats. We will also be able to see traditional Thai houses and the way locals use boats in their everyday lives. After seeing Phra Pathom Chedi, the world's highest stupa, visit the Rose Garden. This tropical garden is filled with beautiful flowers including Thai orchids and roses. A major attraction of the Rose garden is the Thai Cultural Dance Show which includes Thai boxing, sword fighting, folk dance, an elephant show, and a traditional wedding ceremony.
|Meal Plan||Breakfast and Lunch|
Fly Bangkok to Chiang Mai
We will be transferred to the airport for our flight north to Chiang Mai where we are met and transferred to our hotel. Tonight we enjoy a delicious dinner at a local restaurant.
|Meal Plan||Breakfast and Dinner|
Half day Chiang Mai City and Temple Tour
Today we explore some of Chiang Mai's most notable temples including Wat Chiang Man, the city's oldest temple and famed for a Chedi supported by rows of elephantine buttresses; Wat Phra Sing home to the beautiful Lai Kham chapel with its exquisite woodcarving and northern style murals; Wat Chedi Luang and its enormous Pagoda (which was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1545); and last, Wat Suan Dok, which dates back to the 14th century when it served as gardens to the Thai Monarchy. Nowadays Wat Suan Dok contains the ashes of the Chiang Mai Royal family and also houses one of the most famous Monk Schools in Chiang Mai. Continue onto to see Chiang Mai's old city walls, moat and gate, and local market.
Our afternoon is free to relax or shop in all the markets and street stalls.
Half day Doi Suthep and Meo Tour
This morning we are off on a scenic drive through the most historic areas of Chiang Mai, including a pass through the old city walls, city gates and moat. The drive continues into Chiang Mai's tourist attraction area, past the local market, foreign consulates, government buildings and 'Tapae Gate' before continuing to the acclaimed temple Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, home to a holy relic of the Lord Buddha and considered by many to be the most sacred Wat in northern Thailand. Tucked away in the mountains at an elevation of 1,056 meters (3520 feet), the temple is reached using a Naga (a 7- headed dragon head serpent) railing rising along both sides. The temple compound, accessed via 300 stairs, offers a beautiful view of Chiang Mai city and the surrounding countryside. Continue on to visit the primitive Meo Pui village, a local community known for its unique culture and colourful costumes.
This afternoon a unique experience is waiting for us when we visit an elephant farm to see how these massive beasts have been integrated into the working like of Thailand. Elephants are Thailand’s working pride and one of the country’s national symbols. A 30-kilometre drive away from Chiang Mai, we will admire the strength of these immense gentle animals. At a local elephant training centre in a jungle area in the North of the city, we will see elephants at work and wonder at a formidable demonstration of how these trained elephants help the local community in logging work. Before ending the tour, we will stop by an orchid farm where we can admire gorgeous species of orchids, which are another national symbol of the Land of Smiles.
Fly Chiang Mai to Phuket
We are off to the airport for our short flight to the resort island of Phuket. On arrival, we are met and transferred tour our hotel. This afternoon we join our guide for a tour of Phuket including a road tour that passes by Phuket’s most famous beaches; a visit to the acclaimed Chalong Temple; famed for its Portuguese architecture. Loved by both Asian and foreign visitors, the temple's highlight is a wax sculpture of the abbot housed in an air-conditioned Thai-style house next to the chapel. We also take time to see the most famous lookout point on the island - Promthep Cape. Additionally, any group members who like to shop will not be disappointed as stops at local gemstone and cashew nut factories are also on the agenda.
Full Day Phi Phi Island Tour
Phi Phi Island located just 48 km East of Phuket is renowned worldwide for its natural scenic beauty with silver sand beaches fringed with palm trees, towering limestone cliffs and marine life. This morning we will be picked up from our hotel and transferred to the pier for the Phi Phi Islands. Arrive at Phi Phi Ley where we can explore the fantastic landscape of Maya Bay - the location where the movie "The Beach" was partially filmed. Enjoy swimming or snorkelling with the colourful fish and exploring Loh Samah Bay and Pileh Cove. Phi Phi Ley is also home to the Viking Cave, a large limestone cavern where ancient rock paintings can be found. These paintings are believed to resemble Viking ships and are predicted to be over 3000 years old. Due to the sea conditions, we are not able to go ashore in the cave but admire it from our boat. Arrive at Phi Phi Don to enjoy more snorkelling or simply relax on the white sandy beach at Yong Kasem (Monkey Beach). Have lunch at a beachside restaurant (included). Later arrive at Bamboo Island for more free time on the beach, to feed the fish, swim or snorkel. Depart back to the pier, later this afternoon and onto our hotel.
|Meal Plan||Breakfast and Lunch|
Day at leisure
Today enjoy a full day at leisure. You may like to do some additional sightseeing, shopping, or simply relax. Two great optional excursions we recommend are outlined below:
Optional Full-Day Phang Nga Bay Island by Road (Time: 07.30 – 17.00h)
This exciting all-day excursion takes visitors to the unique and spectacular seascape of Phang Nga (75 kilometres northeast of Phuket), one of nature’s most unusual and beautiful locations, and the site of the 1974 James Bond film “The Man With The Golden Gun,” (starring Roger Moore as 007 and Christopher Lee as the title character). This full-day tour departs from Phuket in an air-conditioned coach to enjoy more amazing scenery including the dramatic limestone mountains of Panak Island and Hong Island, before approaching Koh Tapu which has become known as ‘James Bond Island.’ From there, the boat outing continues through the mangrove and silent caves with many strangely shaped limestone rocks, with cliff faces that seemingly rise majestically straight up from the sea. Afternoon lunch will be served at Koh Pannyi (also known as Sea Gypsy Island) which is built over the water on stilts, before the day concludes, regretfully, at your booked hotel in Phuket
Optional Full Day Sea Canoeing in Phang Nga Bay (Time: 07.30 – 17.00h)
This full day of adventure and excitement begins as visitors depart from Laem Sai Pier and jettison off to Phang Nga Bay on a cruise boat. Upon arrival, they will be able to explore sea caves and tunnels, and lagoons by special ‘sea-canoes’. Discover a unique and hidden world as sturdy canoes weave their way through a network of brilliant crystalline limestone caves, to reveal the mysterious hidden world of the "Hongs" (or rooms, these are collapsed cave systems inside the rock) The interior of each island is different and provides with a whole new atmosphere, only accessed by tough, purpose-designed inflatable canoes through sea-caves at low tide. Upon returning to the cruiser, the adventurers will enjoy a Thai buffet lunch on board while slowly cruising to Lawa Island, where they can enjoy swimming, canoeing or sun-bathing on the sandy beach, before returning to Phuket.
Fly Phuket to Bangkok to Hometown
Transfer to the airport for our flights home.
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