Day 1 – USA – Bangkok
Depart on your flights to Bangkok, Thailand.
Day 2 – Bangkok
Arrive in Bangkok where your local guide will meet and assist you with your transfer to the hotel. Thailand means “land of the free“ and throughout its 800 years of history, Thailand can boast of being the only country in South East Asia never to have been colonized.
Day 3 – Bangkok
Take a city tour of Bangkok this morning, to include the Grand Palace, home of the Emerald Buddha. Also see Wat Pho, mainly famous for the huge Reclining Buddha statue it houses. The gold plated Buddha is 46 meters long and 15 meters high, and is designed to illustrate the passing of the Buddha into nirvana. Make a stop at Temple of Dawn, composed of material that arrived as ballast on boats from China. Broken porcelain plates were used to decorate the walls and the temple is dotted with Chinese statues. This afternoon, board a boat and tour the network of villages along the waterways called klongs. Experience a special Thai dinner show this evening.
Day 4 – Bangkok
Travel the short distance to Ayuthaya to tour this former capital of Siam. At its height in 1700 the population here grew to over 1 million. Today, the area is known for its high concentration of wats, or temple-monasteries. Visit Bang Pa In, the summer palace of the kings of Thailand. Return to Bangkok by boat and enjoy the balance of your day free to explore with your group.
Day 5 – Bangkok – Kanchanburi
Begin a full day excursion, first stopping in Kanchanburi to visit the Jeath War Museum. The Museum structure is an exact copy of the original construction of huts that housed the POW’s, many of whom perished during the construction of the Death Railway, including the immortalized bridge on the River Kwai. Later, visit the famous bridge and tour the WWII cemetery.
Day 6 – Kanchanburi
Experience more of Thailand’s natural wonders today as you visit Sai Yoke Yai Waterfall, famous for its idyllic beauty. The falls are widely celebrated in Thai poetry and songs and were once honored with a visit from King Rama V. Also see the work of prisoners of war at Hellfire Pass. It is a 73m long and 25m high rock cutting accomplished by the hands of Australian and British POWs. This afternoon, visit Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, well-known as Tiger Temple. This rescue center for wild animals houses tigers, pigs, deer, antelopes, water buffalo, apes and many other species that you can see up close!
Day 7 – Kanchanburi – Chiang Mai
Fly to Chiang Mai, the “Rose of the North”. Ascend Doi Suthep mountain to visit the most sacred temple in the region, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Later, travel further up the mountain and get a glimpse of northern tribal culture in a Meo Hill village.
Day 8 – Chiang Mai
Take a short trip into the countryside. In the lush jungle north of the city, enjoy a demonstration of trained working elephants who assist in the lumber industry. Using their tusks, trunks and feet, they push, pull and roll logs in unison. On returning, stop to visit an orchid farm filled with magnificent orchid blooms in a dazzling array of colors. Cruise down the river using the local means of transportation, bamboo rafts.
Day 9 – Chiang Mai – Bangkok
Return to the capital city and spend your day free to explore this extraordinary city, packed with sightseeing destinations.
Day 10 – Bangkok – USA
Return to the USA or continue your travels in Thailand with an optional three day extension at Thailand’s longest white sand beach.
Day 11-13 – Bangkok – Cha Am – USA
Bask in Thailand’s sunshine, white sand beaches and sparkling blue waters in this lesser-known beach town only two hours outside of Bangkok. The setting is a traditional fishing port settlement, unaffected by the metropolitan influences nearby. Enjoy great seafood, blue skies & lazy days. Return to the USA.