Visits: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai Tour Code: OAM
Our Thailand vacation starts as we board an international flight bound for Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand better known as the "City of Angels."
Due to the time difference and travel time, the day is spent onboard our jetliner. Cross the international date line and cross the Pacific.
Arrive Bangkok (DS)
Upon arrival in Hong Kong, board a connecting flight to Bangkok. In Bangkok, we're met and greeted at the airport by the Ritz representative. After check in and washing up, we attend a traditional Thai Classical Dance Welcome Dinner Show.
Bangkok (AB, L)
Bangkok was founded in 1782 by the first monarch of the Chakri dynasty. It is now the spriritual, cultural, commercial, and educational heart of Thailand. It is also a large city, home of some 10 million residents. This morning after breakfast, we visit and admire the royal splendor of the Grand Palace and Coronation Hall. Buddhism is one of the cornerstones of Thai culture, and we appreciate the level of devotion as we view the Emerald Buddha Temple. After visiting the Gems Factory and Thai Silk, the rest of the afternoon is free at leisure.
Bangkok (AB, L)
For tourists, Bangkok has a wealth of attractions to offer. The city is dotted with 400 glittering Buddhist temples and magnificent palaces, classical dance extravaganzas and numerous shopping centers. Today, we explore the world famous Damnern Saduak Floating Market on Bangkok's timeless klongs (canals). This is a must for photo enthusiasts. After lunch the entire afternoon is free for leisure activities. Some of us may elect to go on an optional excursion to the Rose Garden featuring an exciting Thai Cultural Show with elephants.
After two days of sightseeing, no sightseeing has been planned for today. Spend time exploring Bangkok at our own pace, doing some shopping on our own or relaxing at the hotel.
Bangkok - Chiang Mai (AB, DS)
After breakfast we are free until the transfer takes us to Bangkok's domestic airport for departure to Chiang Mai, a city of great historical interest and noted for its handicraft villages and colorful ethnic hilltribes. The past twenty years of Chiang Mai has seen its development into a bustling modern city with a population of over 1.5 million. Upon arrival today we check into the hotel, assembling later in the evening to attend a Khantoke Lanna Dinner Show.
Chiang Mai (AB, L, D)
This morning's tour visits the historical Doi Suthep Temple and the Holy Pagoda containing a relic of Lord Buddha. After lunch, our tour continues on to the Thai Handicraft Village, Sankhempeng Silk & Cotton Handweaving Factories, and Borsang, a village famous for its umbrellas and primitive paper making. Tonight, we can enjoy shopping local Chiang Mai products at the Night Bazaar, then take a leisurely walk back to the hotel.
Chiang Mai (AB, L)
Today's tour start off with a visit to see the elephants at work in the jungles. Experience a close-up encounter with the elephants and see how they behave in their natural environment. An optional 1/2 hour elephant ride as well as bamboo rafting are available if we so choose. After lunch, head back to the city where the rest of the day is free at leisure.
Chiang Mai (AB)
The entire day is free for leisure activities. Also known as "Lanna," Chiang Mai enjoyed its golden ages during the 15th century. Today's free time allows us to gain a deeper understanding of this city as we explore its streets on our own. An optional tour to the most magnificent and oldest temple in Lamphun and a city tour by horse drawn carriage (lunch included) is available.
Chiang Mai (AB)
Enjoy the morning at leisure as no activities have been planned. Later in the afternoon we embark on our "temple tour." First we visit the 700 year old temple Wat Chiang Mun, the largest one in Chiang Mai. It contains a small Buddha rumored to have the power to bring rain. Continue on to Wat Pra Singh (AD 1345) and Wat Chedi Luang (AD 1411) where a special lecture has been arranged for us to learn about the role of Buddhism in Thailand's social, cultural, and political life.
Chiang Mai - Hill Tribes - Chiang Rai (AB, L, DH)
There are many tribes around Chiang Rai and along the Mae Kok River. Each group speaks its own language and follows animist customs. Upon arrival to Chiang Rai we have a stop to visit the Hill Tribes of Karen Long Necked and Big Earings Hill Tribes. Dinner is served at the hotel this evening.
Chiang Rai (AB, L, D)
Chiang Rai is famed for its scenic views and close proximity to the legendary "Golden Triangle." After a visit to Chiang Saen, a small town and an old capital of the Lanna Kingdom with a milliion rice fields, we continue our tour to the world famous Golden Triangle where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar (Burma) meet the Maekhong River. Following a delightful lunch, we proceed to Mae Sai, the northern-most town in Thailand well known for its crisp mountain scenery, hilltribes and falls. Returning to Chiang Rai, enjoy a local Thai dinner after which we can do shopping at a Chiang Rai Night Bazaar.
Chiang Mai - Bangkok (AB)
Board a quick flight back to Bangkok to overnite. No activities have been planned for today.
Bangkok - USA (AB)
Bid Thailand a fond farewell as we board the homebound international flight.