Your tour begins:
Optional – WELCOME DINNER CRUISE – Meandering along the Chao Phraya River on board an antique rice barge, travel past some of Bangkok’s most historic riverside landmarks. Enjoy dinner accompanied by soft Thai music in the background and traditional dance presentations during the dinner. D
AYUTHAYA EXCURSION – BUS & RIVER CRUISE TRIP – Depart for Ayutthaya by bus. Visit the Bang-Pa-In Summer Palace (the summer palace of Thai monarchs since the 17th century), Wat Phra Sri San Phet (the largest temple in Ayutthaya used as the royal temple-cum-palace by several Ayutthaya kings. Built in the 14th century. Wat Chai Wattanaram (built in 1630 by King Prasat Thong, a replica of Angkor wat with a huge prang surrounded by smaller ones, symbolizing mount meru, the abode of the heavenly gods. Embark the cruise boat at the Bang Sai pier & enjoy buffet lunch while cruising back to Bangkok.
KANCHANBURI – BRIDGE ON RIVER KWAI – Travel to Kanchanaburi to see the famous Bridge on the River Kwai. The original bridge inspired the movie of the same name, which dramatized how Allied prisoners of war during WWII were coerced into building the bridge by Japanese troops. Visit the World War II museum & Bridge over the river Kwai. Lunch at Local Restaurant. After Lunch visit the Tiger Temple & learn about tigers and their lives in domestication inside the boundary of the temple run by Buddhist monks. Watch the Monks accompany tigers on walks etc. Return back to Bangkok in the evening.
HALF DAY TOUR OF WAT RONG KHUN & BAAN SI DUM – Wat Rong Khun, the White Temple is very different to any of temple you are likely to see in Thailand. A lifetime project of artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, the temple has a fine blend of traditional Buddhist art with contemporary themes. It is almost entirely white, decorated with small pieces of mirrored glass which add substantially to the temple’s spacious and airy feel, designed to be viewed in moonlight.
Continue to visit the residence of Dr. Thawan Duchanee, renowned Thai National Artist. The area consists of many unique buildings. The main building “Baan Si Dum or The Black House” is very unique. There is a great collection of furniture designed by the artist, animal skins, and wood carving. Each building consists of different of categories of things that inspire the artist.
ELEPHANT SAFARI – Full day tour including lunch – Visit Mae Taeng elephant camp to see the elephants taking their morning bath before giving a demonstration of how they were trained to help in hauling timber logs in the forest and other task. Afterwards take a ride on elephant back through the forest and across the stream to the hill tribe village. Take an ox-cart ride passing by rice fields and small farms. After picnic lunch, take an exciting bamboo raft trip down the Mae Taeng River.
Optional – THAI COOKING CLASS – includes introduction to Thai Spices, making Thai Curry Paste, tour of the Local Market, shopping at the Market and Vegetable Carving. Begin with a shopping at the local market, an introduction to Thai ingredients followed by cooking 4 dishes. Each dish will be demonstrated by Chef Sompon or qualified instructors in English. Participants will then cook each dish themselves with the assistance from expert staff including written instructions. Enjoy the dishes for lunch before returning back to Hotel.
Optional – BIKING TOUR – through the southern part of Chiang Mai known as “Colors of Chiang Mai” biking tour. The route is through country roads, passing by the former capital of Lanna; visit temples and ruins dating back hundreds of years. Next visit a Chinese temple; the McKean rehabilitation center; a former leper colony; a special school for monks or an elementary school mostly attended by hill-tribe children; a local pottery place to see handmade artifacts made in front of you. Ride along the Ping River, enjoying beautiful scenery that makes Chiang Mai so special. Sample some of the delicious candy that Chiang Mai is famous for; a local bakery to watch them make a variety of products by hand. At the village market explore the small traditional shops and opportunity to sample some of the most delicious and exotic fruits and other snacks. Water or a soft drink is provided during 4 hr ride with ample stops and sampling Thai meal (Kao Soy Kai) in a local restaurant. Bicycles are all US design – 24 speeds, front suspension, and all terrain comfort bikes. Note: The visit to the school is subject to school schedule.