Families will be arriving at all times today so there are no activities arranged. Please try to arrive by 6pm for an important group meeting where you can meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members. You have the day after you arrive to relax and adjust to the frenetic pace and humid heat of Bangkok.
On Day 2 begin our day with a visit to Wat Po, home of the giant reclining Buddha before heading off on a long tail boat to explore the canals of Bangkok.
You have free time this afternoon to enjoy this bustling city. Bangkok has plenty of appeal. With towering skyscrapers pressed up against Chinese shop-houses and brand-new Mercedes squeezing past vendors with pushcarts, this is a city of distinct contrasts. Culture fiends will delight in the dazzling Royal Palace and the city’s countless pagodas, while shoppers could spend weeks sifting through Bangkok’s malls and open-air markets.
Traveling by private van to Kanchanaburi, we visit Erawan National Park. The park contains the waterfalls of the same name (seven tiers of blue clear water with little fish that nibble at your feet), is well worth a visit. You can see Erawan, the 3 headed elephant that carries the Hindu God Indra, when you reach level seven (use your imagination!).
Situated alongside the River Kwai Yai amongst limestone hills, Kanchanaburi (golden city) is most famous (or infamous) for the death railway that was constructed during WWII using prisoners of war and Asian labor. The bridge on the River Kwai, the war cemetery, Thai Burma war museum all make up the major attractions of this town. Many veterans and descendants of the POW’s return here to honor those that died during the construction of the railroad. Around 100,000 Asian laborers and 16,000 POW’s died during its construction with the track only running for about 20 months.
Ayutthaya served as Thailand’s capital from the 14th to 18th centuries, when it ranked as one of the most magnificent cities in the world. Late in the 17th century its population reached one million, and foreign visitors wrote awestruck accounts of its size and splendour. Located 86km north of Bangkok, the ruins of this World Heritage Site include various pagodas and Buddha images.
We arrive into this spectacular town early in the morning and transfer to our hotel by local songthaew. Once we have checked in, had some breakfast and cleaned up we will take a leisurely bicycle ride around the Historical Park and look at the wonders of this ancient capital city.
Tonight we take an overnight train from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai.
Surrounded by rolling hills, Chiang Mai offers both pretty surroundings and architecture. Enclosed by a moat and crumbling walls, the old city features great cafes, shops and accommodations. An important Buddhist centre since the 14th century, Chiang Mai is home to more than 300 temples. Many visitors come here to attend meditation retreats, massage classes or yoga lessons. It is also a centre of handicraft production, with a long history of silverwork, woodcarving, pottery-making and weaving. Not to be missed is the Night Bazaar, a series of covered markets, shops and stalls that offer the best selection of handicrafts in Thailand.
On Day 6 in the late afternoon we visit the Temple of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, spectacularly situated on a mountaintop at an altitude of 3,520 feets. The temple’s golden pagoda contains Buddha relics, and attracts Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world throughout the year. Its compound offers an exhilarating view of Chiang Mai city and surrounding countryside.
We board an overnight train to take us from Chiang Mai back to Bangkok.
We arrive early in the morning of day 7 into Bangkok and from here travel to Koh Chang, a beautiful beach area conveniently located just a short distance from Bangkok. This island paradise is a long way from the busy streets of Thailand's cities, the ideal escape from the pressures of the city at the end of an adventure-filled holiday.
Spend 3 nights in this tropical paradise isle taking boat rides, exploring its many beaches and participating in all the water sports it has to offer. Justly famous for the delicious fresh seafood, indulge yourself on the plentiful fish, crab and squid that is on offer!
Return to Bangkok by boat and bus on the morning of day 11 you have time to finish up any last minute shopping. There will be time for one last optional meal with all of our new found friends.
Transfer to the airport and leave at any time.