Thailand
November 13, 2021 - November 21, 2021

Buy Trip
  • RSVP: Monday, August 16, 2021
  • Final Balance Due: Monday, August 16, 2021
  • Member Fees: $4,399.00
  • Non-Member Fees: $0.00
  • Deposit Amount: $900.00
  • Single Room Supplement (optional): $615.00
ITINERARY
DAY 1, November 13, 2021 | Bangkok
Bangkok

Well known as the City of Angels, Krungthepmahanakorn (Bangkok) is the present capital city and the focal point of Thailand.  It was made the country’s capital in 1782 by the first monarch of the present Chakri Dynasty.  It is a vibrant city, a national treasure house, and Thailand’s spiritual, cultural, political, commercial, educational, and diplomatic center with endless choices for sightseeing and entertainment.  In addition to the many temples and historic buildings, such as The Grand Palace and Wat Arun, the list of interesting places to visit is truly impressive. There are numerous canal (klong) networks along the Chao Phraya River, giving it the nickname, “Venice of the East”.  Also noteworthy are the many bustling markets and shops, such as the Chatuchak Weekend Market and Mahboonkrong Shopping Centre. Travelers can also enjoy a visit to Jim Thompson’s House, or to religiously significant spots such as Wat Po and Wat Benchamabophit.  

Upon arrival at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport, you and your group will be met and transferred privately to your hotel for check-in and leisure.

DAY 2, November 14, 2021 | Bangkok
Bangkok

Begin your day with breakfast at the hotel.   

Today, you will take part in a full-day Bangkok Highlight Tour.   

To begin, you will visit The Grand Palace, one of the “must-see” attractions in Bangkok. It is an architectural wonder of golden stupas, walls, and pillars encrusted in shining and colorful mosaics. Previously the residence of past Kings of Thailand, you will see palaces once used for a variety of occasions; the Reception Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Throne Hall, the Royal Guest House, and Wat Phra Kaew. The architecture is predominantly Thai, though there are some European influences. The palace served as the official residence of the kings of Thailand from the 18th to the mid-20th century. The most famous building within the palace grounds is Wat Phra Kaew and is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. Continue to Wat Po, home to a colossal reclining Buddha and a traditional massage school. The temple garden contains a Bodhi tree grown from the cutting of an original tree in India under which the Lord Buddha sat while awaiting enlightenment.   

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.   

After lunch, enjoy the Thonburi Klong Tour—one of the best ways to explore Bangkok, via boat. This cruise along the Chao Phraya River and the canals of Thonburi on the east side reveal a scene that offers a stark contrast to the frenzied activity of the modern metropolis that is Bangkok. You will travel along the city’s network of waterways by long-tail speed boat to see family homes and temples.   

On the return journey, your group will stop at the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun) whose towering spire has become an iconic symbol of Bangkok. There will be ample opportunities to photograph the magnificent multi-colored, porcelain-studded tower of this temple.   

Return to your hotel and enjoy a welcome dinner.

DAY 3, November 15, 2021 | Bangkok
Bangkok

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel.   

Today, you will enjoy a full day of tasting the Thai countryside.   

During this experience, you will not only discover the Thai countryside through food, but you will also learn about the day to day life of Thai people through visits to a local village, a sugar palm factory, and beautiful neighborhood Buddhist temples. Visit an organic Thai farm and learn about the different herbs and vegetables that are included in some of the most famous Thai dishes; try some of Thailand’s most delicious snacks. Learn about the country’s magnificent culture through food and culinary traditions. This relaxing day will give you an authentic impression of Thai life and the beauty of its people, culture, and love for Thai food.   

Later, you will travel from Bangkok to Nam Tan Sot, a charming local community where Thai people still live a relatively simple life. The area is famous for its sugar palm plantations, a natural sweetener for many Thai dishes. You can see with your own eyes how they climb up the trees and harvest the seeds the traditional way. Taste the delicious, sweet sugar palm for yourself, before continuing on to a local Buddhist temple. The locals call this the “Golden temple” and it is famous for its large standing Buddha. If the water levels permit, you will take a short boat ride, passing local houses to the next stop, the “Flying Fox temple.” Featuring a mix of the Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin architectural styles, Wat Pho Bang Kla is believed to have been built during the reign of King Taksin the Great. Aside from a beautiful century old Buddha, the temple is famous for its group of large fruit bats that has made this temple home.   

Next you will visit a local organic garden; here, you will be welcomed with a traditional herbal snack that originated from Thai royal cuisine in the central part of the country. During your visit to this unique garden, you will learn about the different Thai herbs like lime, chili, and various vegetables that are included in famous Thai dishes. Take some time to stroll about the garden, also having the chance to see a beautiful flower field. Next, it’s time for lunch and a delicious, traditional Thai dessert. After indulging in the taste of real Thai food, it’s time to head back to Bangkok   

Optionally, you will have the chance to enjoy a dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya River. Board the White Orchid River Cruise and spend a memorable evening partaking in a luscious buffet dinner while experiencing the enchanting atmosphere of Bangkok after sundown.

DAY 4, November 16, 2021 | Bangkok – Chiang Rai
Bangkok – Chiang Rai

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel.   

This morning, you will be transferred privately to Bangkok Domestic Airport for your flight to Chiang Rai.   

The northernmost province of Thailand, Chiang Rai is situated on the Kok River basin, 1,387 feet above sea level.  It is about 490 miles from Bangkok, mostly mountainous, reaching the Mae Khong River to the north and borders on both Myanmar and Laos.  The province is rich in touristic opportunities in terms of natural attractions, antiquities, and evidence of its past civilization.  It is also home to several hilltribes who follow fascinating ways of life.   

Upon arrival at Chiang Rai Domestic Airport, you will collect your luggage and meet your guide at the exit of the arrival hall. You will then be transferred to the hotel to drop off your luggage.   

Next on your agenda is a private boat ride along the Mae Kok River, ending with a visit to a traditional Karen hill tribe village. The Karen has the largest hill tribe population in Thailand, with an estimated 250,000 people residing in the kingdom.  Then, board a boat for a short trip to a local hot spring. Later, a visit will be made to the second hill tribe of the tour—the Lahu, who hail from Tibet and consist of five main groups: Red; Black; White; Yellow; and Lahu Shelehn. After exploring the village, there is one more final boat ride along the scenic river that takes us back to Chiang Rai.

DAY 5, November 17, 2021 | Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel.   

After breakfast, you will visit a Tea Plantation & Chinese Village. Travel into the mountains north of Chiang Rai, into an area famous for its tea plantations. Visit local Chinese Yunnan villages in an area that sees few tourists and enjoy the spectacular views the area has to offer. See the terraced tea plantations and sample some local tea in the traditional way.   

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.   

Then, drive to visit the infamous Golden Triangle which was once a hub for the opium trade. A hilltop vantage point gives a view of the splendor of the mighty Mekong River joining forces with the Ruak River and forming the actual “Triangle” with Laos, Myanmar (Burma), and Thailand. Continue to Mae Sai, the northernmost point of Thailand. This is the perfect spot to observe border life as many Burmese traders come over daily from Thakhilek, hurrying back before sunset and the border’s closure. Burmese lacquerware, gems, jade, and other goods from Laos and Myanmar are sold in shops along the main street. Aside from these excellent and unique shopping opportunities, this is a great place to take some photographs of an exceptional destination in which three countries meet up.   

On the way back, you will visit the local orphanage.   

Dinner will be under your own arrangement.

DAY 6, November 18, 2021 | Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai
Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai

Start your day with breakfast at your hotel   

This morning, you will be driven to Chiang Mai.   

Stop en route to visit Wat Rong Suea Ten Temple (also known as the Blue Temple), a little known temple located just north of the Kok River. Built in 2005, the temple takes on the colors of blue and gold, blue representing Dharma in tribute to Buddha. There are two imposing statues as you arrive at the temple and as you enter, you will be greeted by a beautiful temple which sits in the middle of 6 acres of land.   Take a walk inside the temple to truly marvel at the masterpiece, as the walls and ceilings are decorated in fine art, making this temple one of the most unique in Chiang Rai.   

Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple) is a stunning white temple with wonderful craftsmanship. The sculptures, statues, and paintings are distinctively created by the contemporary renowned artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, who opened the compound in 1997.   

Popularly known as the Rose of the North, Chiang Mai is blessed with stunning natural beauty and unique indigenous cultural identity.  Founded by King Mengrai the Great as the capital of the Lanna Thai kingdom, various city states in the region were merged in 1296 to create the current-day city.  Today, Chiang Mai is the economic, communicational, cultural, and touristic center of Northern Thailand.   

Upon arrival at Chiang Mai, transfer to the hotel for check-in and time at leisure.   

In the evening, you will be transferred privately to a local restaurant for shared Khantok Dinner and show.   

Enjoy a superb "Kantoke" northern style dinner served on large platters on low tables and while being entertained by a selection of traditional Thai cultural and folk performances.

DAY 7, November 19, 2021 | Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel.   

Today, you will be transferred by shared minivans to Elephant National Park for a half day of Elephant Conversation.   

In the morning, you will be picked-up at your Chiang Mai accommodation, followed by a picturesque drive to Elephant Nature Park in mountainous Mae Taeng district. Upon arrival, you will immediately be greeted by the resident dogs (most of whom have also been rescued) who will be eager for a scratch behind the ears from the new visitors. Over the next several hours, you will hear the personal stories of our rescued elephants as told by one of the park’s expert guides. You will also have the chance to view Vanishing Giants, the award-winning National Geographic documentary profiling the work Lek is doing on behalf of Asian elephants in Thailand. One of the biggest highlights of a visit to the Park is feeding time. You will have the chance to feed the elephants from the viewing platform and observe the incredible giants as they roam the park with their family groups and in smaller groups. You can expect to have some wonderful photo opportunities during this time.   

Take a walk around the park with your expert guide and elephants to the river that boarders the park. You can watch these gentle elephants splash around and play while you stay dry on the sandy shore. You may have a chance to see the elephants socializing in their herds and playing in the mud pit or covering themselves with sand after bathing too. After the guided walk through the park, it's time for you to enjoy a sumptuous and varied vegetarian buffet of Asian and Western dishes. You can chat with your guide as well as the park volunteers during lunch time, the perfect way to learn even more about the elephants at the park. Occasionally, the stories will be interrupted by the noises and interactions between the park's elephants, at which time it is most fun to sit back and watch everything unfold before your eyes.   

Say farewell to the elephants and the Elephant Nature Park, after which all that remains is the hour-long drive back to Chiang Mai where you will be dropped off at your hotel.    

The remainder of the day will be at leisure.   

Optionally, you can choose to attend the Yi Peng Lantern Festival at Doi Thi. You will be picked up at the hotel and driven to Lamphun, where you will get to enjoy a traditional market, dinner, entertainment, and the release of hundreds of thousands of lanterns into the night sky.

DAY 8, November 20, 2021 | Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel.   

Today, you will experience the “Way of Life Tour” at Mae Kampong.   

An approximately one-hour drive will take you to Mae Kampong, a rustic little village set along a stream in the mountains near Chiang Mai. You will get to meet local people at a traditional market—an essential form of daily life in these remote communities and that is much more than just a place to sell and buy things. You will then embark on a gentle walk through the forest with local experts who will point out areas of interest and explain how their conservation of the forest is progressing.   

Enjoy lunch in the afternoon, followed by a relaxing massage. You will then explore the village to see daily activities such as fermented tea being made. Take the opportunity to see inside traditional village homes, many of which are adorned with exquisite local handicrafts. Then, you will get to try your hand at cooking dinner in a village home and experience a wonderful sunset from the mountain top before the return to Chiang Mai.

DAY 9, November 21, 2021 | Chiang Mai – Phuket
Chiang Mai – Phuket

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and a morning at leisure.   

Later today, you will be transferred privately to Chiang Mai airport for your flight to Phuket.     

Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and is a province in itself.  Phuket is a beautiful island with many great beaches, rocky capes, mountains, and forested hills as well as lush farmlands incorporating crops such as rubber, pineapple, and tapioca.  The island is also a central point from which travelers may discover alternative but equally exciting destinations.  

Phuket has a major International airport, hotels of all categories, excellent infrastructure, established international standard restaurants, small local eateries, shopping centers, excellent nightlife, marina, movie cinemas, and a wide choice of recreational activities.   

Upon arrival and after collecting your luggage, you will be met by your guide outside of the airport and transferred privately to check-in at your hotel for an afternoon at leisure.

DAY 10, November 22, 2021 | Phuket
Phuket

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.   

This morning, you will enjoy a Tasteful Phuket Old Town Walking Tour.   

A must-do in Phuket is taking a walk through the historical neighborhoods of this charming city. The beautiful Sino-Portuguese architecture along the roads in Phuket’s old towns reflects the European & Chinese influence on the island and will take you back to the charm of a century ago.  Along the way visit local markets, try delicious Southern Thailand snacks, and learn more about the history of Phuket’s rich past.   

In the morning, you will be picked up from your hotel and escorted to old-town Phuket, the starting point of a tasteful walking tour. You will enjoy the beautiful Sino Portuguese architecture, boutique shops, and even get a chance to explore the busy morning market, while getting a taste of local fruit.  Visit Baan Chinpracha, a fine example of a Sino-Colonial mansion. Along the route, there will be the chance to try local Thai snacks and drinks. Walk along soi Romanee, the street that connects Thalang Road with Dibuk Road, which display Phuket’s interesting history. Like many streets in Phuket’s old quarter, there are lots of colorful Sino-Portuguese style shop-houses. On charming central Talang Road, try roti, a typical southern food, and watch the making of “Cha Chuk”, Thai iced milk tea –“pulled” in a fascinating process. It is said that this process is what makes the tea so flavorful!   

Visit the Thai Hua Museum, one of the finest looking and most well-maintained historical buildings in Phuket. These days, it is used as an exhibition space and has a lovely garden that exhibits large and heavy tools and machines from Phuket’s tin-mining years. Enjoy roadside fresh coconuts for some refreshments. Finally, finish this active morning with a nice Southern style lunch at one of the boutique’s “Sino Portuguese style” restaurants in Phuket old town.

DAY 11, November 23, 2021 | Phuket – Phi Phi Island – Phuket
Phuket – Phi Phi Island – Phuket

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.   

Today, you will enjoy Phi Phi Island Tour by speedboat.   

This excursion introduces you to the wonders of the ‘Phi Phi Islands’. On the way, you will cruise past the Phi Phi Ley and the picturesque MayaBay. At Phi Phi Don, discover the amazing limestone cliffs, long sandy beaches, and the clear emerald water. One advantage of this trip is that you will get to Phi Phi before the morning crowds arrive on the long, tail boat taxis. Guests can snorkel over the amazing reefs that are abundant with colorful tropical fish and then enjoy lunch at a restaurant.

DAY 12, November 24, 2021 | Phuket
Phuket

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and take the day at leisure.

DAY 13, November 25, 2021 | Phuket
Phuket

Enjoy your final breakfast at the hotel.   

Take your morning at leisure and check-out at in the afternoon.   

Later today, you will be transferred privately to Phuket Airport for flight home.

TRIP DETAILS
INCLUSIONS

The following is included with your registration fee:

  • Full Itinerary
  • Hotel Accommodations
  • Airport Transfers
  • Motor Coach Transportation
  • Bilingual Tour Guide
  • Porterage
  • Admission Fees
  • 24 Hour Emergency Assistance
  • Domestic Flights
  • 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 2 Dinners
  • Gratuities

The following is NOT included with your registration fee:

  • International Airfare
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of Personal Nature
  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Optional Activities

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