ASIAN ODYSSEYS: BANGKOK TOURS
DAY 1: ARRIVAL BANGKOK Transfer from Bangkok International Airport to hotel by private air-conditioned vehicle with English Speaking Guide
1400-1730 Rice Barge Cruise ( Joint tour) A visit to Bangkok would not be complete without spending some time on the Chao Phraya River. An ideal way to take in the “River of Kings” is to join a tour on an old style wooden rice barge converted to accommodate passengers. You will be picked up at your hotel by van or coach around 14:40hrs At 15:00hrs, depart from River City pier by taxi-boat, touring along the Chao Praya River. An English-speaking guide points out all the famous landmarks such as the Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun), the Grand Palace and Royal Barge Museum. The river is teeming with boats of all shapes and sizes. On all sides, cross-river ferries, speeding long-tails, river taxis and trains of massive barges pulled by tugboats a fraction of their size haul their cargoes to and fro. Disembark near Wat Nairong in Klong Bangkok Noi and board a converted rice barge for a leisurely trip back to the starting point. As an added bonus to your languid journey down the lazy river, the barge has a centerpiece table full of the country’s delightful tropical fruits. Rambutan, mangosteen, pineapple, bananas and more are offered for you to sample away to your heart’s content. Soft drinks and Thai whiskey are offered on the rice barge without extra charge. Disembark at River City pier at around 17:00hrs and transfer back to your hotel.
DAY 2: BANGKOK
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – GRAND PALACE (Private tour)
There are countless floating markets throughout the country, many within a couple of hours’ of the capital. The colorfully clad merchants at these lively markets paddle along congested canals in sturdy canoes laden with fresh fruit and vegetables to sell to shoppers on the banks. There is lots of chatter and activity – bargaining is common – that’s all part of the fun -- but don’t expect to get the price down more than a few baht. The most famous of the floating markets is Damnoen Saduak, about 100 kilometers southwest of Bangkok. This buzzing market is at its best in the early morning before the crowds arrive and the heat of the day builds up. Our tour further includes a visit to Phra Pathom Chedi in Nakorn Pathom, supposedly the largest pagoda in Southeast Asia.
In the afternoon we will proceed to the Grand Palace, , for a tour of this spectacular Palace. The Grand Palace was the seat of not only the king and his court, but contained within its crenellated walls the entire government administration. The architecture is vibrantly Thai with some European designs as well. Brilliantly colored and gilded, and decorated with intricate detail, the overall effect is dazzling. The palace served as the official residence of the kinds of Thailand from the 18-mid 20th C.
Rest of afternoon at leisure at the hotel, or a visit to the Jim Thompson House and Museum.
DAY 3: BANGKOK/ RIVER KWAI (-/L/-)
0700-1700 River Kwai incl.lunch ( Joint tour)
Fascinating, nostalgic and memorable sums up this day tour to Kanchanaburi province. The famous bridge and the beginning of the 'Death Railway' is a poignant reminder of the thousands of POW’s and forced laborers who lost their lives in the Second World War during the construction works of the railway. Transfer from your hotel in Bangkok to Kanchanaburi. Visit the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum, an interactive museum, information and research facility dedicated to presenting the history of the Thailand-Burma Railway. The fully air-conditioned center offers the visitor an educational and moving experience. After a visit to the War Cemetery, enjoy a scenic long-tail boat trip along Maeklong River to the famous Bride over the River Kwai. After lunch at a local restaurant, board the local train for the thrilling ride across wooden viaducts, which offers fantastic scenery along the Kwai River. Coach-transfer back to Bangkok.
Meals included: Lunch during the tour
DAY 4: BANGKOK (-/L/-)
0900-1600 Fullday Bangkok Behine the Scenes (Private tour)
09:00 AM Our guide will meet you at the lobby of your hotel. Walk to the nearest skytrain station and travel to the Chao Phraya River. Embark on a public taxi boat to Tha Tien pier. Take a ferry boat across the river to visit Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn). Then continue to Bangkok’s oldest temple (founded in the 17th century), Wat Pho with its Reclining Buddha. King Rama III turned the temple into a center of learning, making it in essence Thailand's first university. Walk back to the pier and depart by taxi boat towards Memorial Bridge and the largest flower and wet market of Paklong Talad. Here you find a dazzling display of orchids and flowers grown in the cooler northern regions of the country as well as vegetables and fruit on sale. A short tuk tuk ride brings you to Bangkok's vibrant Chinatown district. Ready yourself for a unique experience at a typical Chinese Dim Sum Restaurant. Take in the atmosphere and try some of the local delicacies! Explore Pahurat Market, located more or less in the heart of “Little India”. This is the place to shop for fabrics, clothing and wedding keepsakes. In Thailand, it is customary, that guests invited to a wedding reception receive some small memento of the occasion. Along Pahurat road will see numerous shops sell them by the dozens in hundreds of varieties. Then continue on foot to visit Sri Gurusingh Sabha Temple, where local Sikhs come to worship and walk through Sampang Lane, a labyrinth of small alleys. Here you will find a large variety of stalls and shops selling cheap clothing and household goods. Walk along Yaowarat Road located in “The Heart of Chinatown”. The street is lined with gold shops, Chinese herbalists, food stalls selling a large variety of snacks, household goods, incense and just about everything else. Continue to Ratchawong pier and return by taxi boat to Taksin Bridge and by skytrain back to your hotel.
Meals included: Dim Sum Lunch
DAY 5 :BANGKOK DEPARTURE
Transfer from hotel to Bangkok International Airport by air-conditioned vehicle