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Essence of India 16 Days 13 Nights

  

Early Booking Discount :  $ 150.00 / person
If booked before 12/15/2008

Tour Code:  AEAI

 

TOUR ITINERARY:

Day 1     USA- Bangkok

Check in for the transpacific flight to begin our Asian adventure. Our destination is Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.

 

Day 2     En route     

Spend the night aboard the jetliner as it flies across the Pacific Ocean, crossing multiple time zones and traverses the international date line to arrive at Hong Kong.

  

Day 3     Arrive Hong Kong - Bangkok

Upon arrival at Hong Kong, we board a connecting flight to Bangkok. Thailand was an absolute monarchy until 1939 and was known by the name Siam. Thailand today is divided into five administrative regions which are home to the over 63 million people which populate the country. The current era of Thai history began in 1782 when the capital was moved to Bangkok by King Rama I. Upon arrival to Bangkok we're met and transferred to our deluxe accommodations. After flying across the Pacific, it feels good to settle in to our room and catch up on some rest. Convene later tonight for a Thai Welcome Dinner with Classical Dance.

Meals: Dinner

 

Day 4     Bangkok

Founded in 1782 by the first king of the Chakri Dynasty King Rama I The Great, Bangkok is Thailand's capital city and also its largest with a population of 8.2 million. It serves as the cultural, spiritual and commercial center for the country. Buddhism is one of the cornerstones of Thai culture, and we certainly appreciate the level of devotion lavished upon the EmeraldBuddhaTemple. Admire the royal splendor of the GrandPalace and Coronation Hall. Later in the day, the group visits the Gems Factory before taking the remainder of the day at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 5     Bangkok

Today, we head to the outskirts of Bangkok to explore the world famous Damnern Saduak Floating Market, Thailand's largest and most photographed floating market on Bangkok's timeless klongs (canals). The klongs are full of flat boats piled high with fresh fruits, produce and other wares being peddled by their owners. Head back to town in the afternoon and spend the remainder of the day at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 6     Bangkok - Delhi

Depart Bangkok on a flight to India; our destination is Delhi. India is the second largest nation in the world (behind China) with a population of over 1.1 billion. The country's imperial era took place between the 3rd century BC until the 19th century when India was ruled by kings. Duri, Upon arrival we are welcomed in the traditional way - the guest's forehead is anointed with traditional red "tikka." India's capital and a major gateway to the country, Delhi is a bustling metropolis which successfully combines the ancient with the modern. The first impressions for any visitor traveling in from the airport are of a specious, garden city, tree-lined with a number of beautiful parks.

Meals: Breakfast

 

Day 7     Delhi

Following breakfast, we embark on a city tour of Old Delhi, then New Delhi. We first visit Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi; drive past the Red Fort continuing to the Jama Masjid, one of Asia's largest mosques. It was the built in 1656 with the help of 5000 craftsmen and is also known as Masjid-I-Jahanuma, meaning "mosque commanding view of the world." After lunch, we are driven to New Delhi, which reflects the legacy the British left behind. It is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards. Visit Qutub Minar, the tallest stone tower in India, built by Qutu-ud-din Aibak in 1199. Then visit Humayun's Tomb, built by the widow of the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun. The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the ParliamentBuilding and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the President's residence.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 8     Delhi - Agra 

Following breakfast, we board a motor coach bound for Agra, en route stopping at Tong's "horse carriages." Agra in terms of ambiance is still associated with its Mughal period. The Mughals besides being great rulers were also great builders and they preserved their best architectural wonders for Agra and its neighborhood. The greatest wonder of them all, the Taj Mahal, is everything that has been said bout it. Taking 22 years and 20,000 men to complete, its white marble was quarried 200 miles away and was transported to the site by a fleet of 1000 elephants. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of his love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, in the mid 17th century, the Taj Mahal is truly one of the wonders of the world. Our tour will also visit Agra Fort, the seat and stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 9     Agra - Ranthambore

After an early breakfast, check out and board the moto rcoach to Fatehpur Sikri. Built by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar in the late 16th century, Fatehpur Sikri was abandoned soon after it was built because the local wells went dry. Today, it remains much in the same condition as when it was finished. After our visit, we continue on to Ranthambore, checking in to the hotel upon arrival. RanthamboreNational Park is an outstanding example of Project Tiger's efforts at conservation in the country. The forests around the Ranthambore Fort were once the private grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur. More than in any other park or sanctuary in India, tigers are readily spotted here in daylight.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner at hotel

 

Day 10     Ranthambore

Proceed to the Jungle for a game-viewing safari before breakfast. Ranthambore is possibly the best place to see tigers in the wild and in the open. Other predators in the park are leopard, marsh-crocodile, jungle cat, and hyena. The park also has a large population of jackal, sambar, chital and Nilgiri. Bird life abounds at the park: Bonelli's eagle, the crested eagle, Great Indian horned owl, gray partridge, etc. Come back to the hotel for breakfast, then proceed to visit Dastakar Project. After buffet lunch, we're driven back to the National Park for another game viewing safari.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner at hotel

 

Day 11     Ranthambore -Jaipur

Drive just outside Jaipur to the ancient capital of Amber - here we view the Amber Fort. Maharaja Mansingh started construction of this fort in the 17th century. Before the CityPalace was constructed in Jaipur, Amber was the seat of power. It is surrounded by fortified battlements and overlooks the MoatLake. An elephant (or alternatively by jeeps) will spare us the trouble of reaching up to the fortress. After a lunch, continue to visit the CityPalace, an overwhelming complex of exquisite palaces, gardens and courtyards. Walk to the adjacent Jantar Mantar (astronomical observatory), built in 1726 and is one of the five such astronomical wonders built by Sawai Jai Singh. Stop and see the "Palace of Winds," otherwise known as Hawa Mahal.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at hotel

Bid Hong Kong a fond farewell as our Indochina Excursion draws to a close and we journey to the airport to board our homebound international flight.

 

Day 12            Jaipur

More time has been provided this morning to again venture to the National Park for a game viewing safari. Like before, return back to the hotel for breakfast. After early lunch at the hotel, board a motor coach to Jaipur. Jaipur's past is never too far from hand. The city of victory, Jaipur presides over the fascinating desert state and its people. The palaces and forts of yesteryear that were witness to royal processions and splendor are now living monuments, accepted quite naturally into the lifestyles of the people of the "pink city." Check in upon arrival. Dinner is served at the hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner at hotel

 

Day 13     Jaipur - Delhi

After breakfast, board the motor coach back into Delhi. Upon arrival, check in to the hotel. Today's itinerary is rather relaxed. Lunch is served at the hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free at leisure for last minute shopping, etc.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 14     Delhi - Hong Kong

Transfer to the international airport to board a flight bound for Hong Kong. Among Hong Kong's many nicknames are "Asia's WorldCity" and "Asia's Shopping Paradise." Once a colony of Great Britain, Hong Kong returned to Chinese control in 1997 and has continued to prosper. Upon arriving at Hong Kong, the group is met and transferred to the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast

 

Day 15     Hong Kong

Recognizing that Hong Kong is a destination that begs to be explored on your own, we have planned just a half day city tour this morning. Scenic spots visited include Stanley Market, RepulseBay and the Aberdeen Floating Community. Finally, take a cable car ride up to VictoriaPeak where you are presented with a jaw-dropping, panoramic view of Hong Kong and its harbor. The rest of the day is free at this point!

Meals: Breakfast

 

Day 16    Hong Kong - USA     

Bid Hong Kong a fond farewell as our Indochina Excursion draws to a close and we journey to the airport to board our homebound international flight.

Meals: Breakfast 

 

 Dates & Tour Costs (Per Person):

 

Departure

Return

Air & Land from LAX/SFO

Single
Supplement

03/05/2009

3/20/2009

$3899.00

$1600.00

03/19/2009

4/3/2009

$4199.00

$1600.00

04/02/2009

4/17/2009

$3999.00

$1700.00

04/16/2009

5/1/2009

$3399.00

$1700.00

05/14/2009

5/29/2009

$4099.00

$1100.00

09/24/2009

10/9/2009

$4199.00

$1800.00

10/08/2009

10/23/2009

$4199.00

$1900.00

10/22/2009

11/6/2009

$4199.00

$1900.00

11/05/2009

11/20/2009

$4199.00

$1900.00

11/19/2009

12/4/2009

$4199.00

$1900.00

12/03/2009

12/18/2009

$4199.00

$1800.00

12/24/2009

1/8/2010

$4299.00

$1800.00

01/14/2010

1/29/2010

$4099.00

$1700.00

01/28/2010

2/12/2010

$4099.00

$1700.00

02/11/2010

2/26/2010

$2999.00

$1800.00

02/25/2010

3/12/2010

$4099.00

$1800.00

* Prices listed are for Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO) departure

* Fuel surcharge and taxes apply and are additional

 

Tour Package Features:

-- Round trip international air ticket

-- Air tickets from Bangkok to Delhi, Delhi to Hong Kong (included only in conjunction with international air ticket

-- All deluxe hotels for your comfort

Bangkok- Sofitel Centara Grand

Delhi C Intercontinental The Grand New Delhi

Agra C JaypeePalace

Ranthambore CDev Vilas

Jaipur C The Trident Jaipur

-- Full American or buffet breakfast daily in hotels

-- Lunches at local restaurants

-- Local or western style dinners in hotels or at local restaurants

-- Special Entertainment

Bangkok C Floating Market Boat Ride

Delhi C Red Tikka Welcome Ceremony

Ranthambore C Ample time for game-viewing safari in NationalTigerPark

Jaipur C Elephant (or jeep) Ride in Amer Fort

-- Comprehensive sightseeing program

-- Experienced English- speaking tour guides

-- Admission and fees included

-- Local best tour coach with professional services of experienced drivers

-- Travel Protection Insurance is provided at no additional charge if final payment is received 60 days prior to departure date



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