Cosatal scenery in Thailand (Photo: urlaubsstrand in thailand image by fomo from Fotolia.com )
To experience all the varied sights of Thailand-the vibrant, bustling cities and remote farming villages, sunny beach resorts and exquisite Buddhist temples-you need to travel to multiple destinations. Choose a guided tour for an adventure in Thailand and you will benefit from a fully planned itinerary, pre-arranged accommodation and transportation, and the expert guidance of knowledgeable tour leaders.
A Taste of Thailand
Friendly Planet presents this nine-day guided tour of Thailand’s treasures. The journey begins in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. Take an afternoon canal boat ride, see the gleaming temple at Wat Arun, then enjoy a traditional Thai meal. Spend two more days in Bangkok visiting some of the city’s most impressive temples, Buddhas and palaces before continuing to Ayutthaya. This ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage Site is the former capital of the Kingdom of Siam, constructed in 1350. You’ll see the ruins of the old city, an enormous reclining Buddha statue at a temple, King Rama IV’s summer palace and a circa-1630 monastery complex. On the seventh day, see the infamous bridge over the River Kwai and tour its museum; ride a train through Kwai Noi gorge; then bathe elephants in the river (for an extra charge). Activities the next day include visiting an elephant camp, riding elephants through the jungle and bamboo-raft river rides. Return to Bangkok for your final departure, or extend your trip to Phuket Island or Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Friendly Planet Travel, Inc. 1 Abington Plaza 101 Old York Road, Suite 204 P.O. Box 505 Jenkintown, PA 19046 800-555-5765 friendlyplanet.com
Treasures of Thailand
Red Lantern Journeys suggest this 10-day “Treasures of Thailand” itinerary for a customizable, privately guided, nongroup tour. Spend three nights each in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket with your choice of three-, four- or five-star hotel accommodation. Private hotel transfers are included, and all your tours and excursions are lead by an English-speaking guide. While in Bangkok, Red Lantern Journeys suggests visiting the Grand Palace and Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn); getting a traditional Thai massage or perusing the flower market. In the northern city of Chiang Mai, choose your excursions from temple visits, elephant-back jungle safaris, ox-cart rides, river rafting or visiting hot springs and local hill tribes. For your final days in Phuket, enjoy the beaches, cruise to Phi Phi Island and snorkel or kayak in the Andaman Sea. Red Lantern Journeys 1000 N. Northlake Way, Suite H Seattle, WA 98103 877-362-2793 redlanternjourneys.com
Travel Indochina’s “Northern Encounter” tour is a somewhat adventurous eight-day excursion in Thailand’s mountainous north. The group tour (group sizes range from seven to 16 people) begins and ends in Chiang Mai. Here you’ll see the hilltop Doi Sutheo temple; enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city by samlor (Thai rickshaw); visit an elephant training camp; then explore Chiang Mai’s lively street markets after dark. Spend your third day in Mae Hong Don near the border with Myanmar. Stay in an eco-resort, shop in local markets and see some superb Burmese temples. The fourth day of the tour begins with a longtail boat ride along the Pai River, then a visit to the small village of Pai with treks to local villages. From your base at Lisu Lodge, spend the final days of the tour getting to know your hosts, the people of the Lisu hilltribe, and take an elephant ride or a bamboo rafting excursion. The tour prices include seven nights in hotels, all road transport, sightseeing, local English-speaking guides and Western tour leaders, daily breakfasts, one lunch and one dinner. Travel Indochina 866-892-9216 travelindochina.com