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A Land of SmilesEscorted Tour, Thailand

This adventure through Thailand begins as you discover the exciting city of Bangkok by tuk-tuk, where dazzling sights include the Grand Palace and the Wat Pho temple, home of the incredible Reclining Buddha.

Hotel Details

  • A Land of Smiles
    Escorted Tour, Thailand

Solo traveller escorted tour

Departs From Heathrow. 7th February 2021 for 14 Days . Prices From £2,799 per person

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This adventure through Thailand begins as you discover the exciting city of Bangkok by tuk-tuk, where dazzling sights include the Grand Palace and the Wat Pho temple, home of the incredible Reclining Buddha. You'll then travel northwards to discover the UNESCO-listed ruins of Ayutthaya and in the company of a local history expert, you can admire some of Thailand's finest architecture at Sukhothai. You'll stay in Lampang in a traditional Lanna style hotel set in beautiful grouns befire taking a tour of the area and learning more about local customs in Lampang and Chiang Mai. Highlights here include a private blessing ceremony with monks and a visit to an elephant rehabilitation centre. The rest of your holiday is spent at the coastal resort of Cha-Am, so spend days of relaxation on the beach. You can also opt to learn how to cook Thai cuisine, a wonderful skill to take back home.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Return flights

Use of an airport lounge in the UK

11 nights in 3 & 4-star hotels plus 2 nights in flight

23 meals: 11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners including a welcome dinner & drink

Tour Manager as your host & Specialist Local Guide

Overseas transfers, internal flights, other transportation & porterage

Dedicated representative to greet you at selected UK airports

Audio Guide

INCLUDED EXCURSIONS & VISITS

Discover Bangkok at night by tuk-tuk

Bangkok city tour

Thai classical dance show

Visit the ruins of Ayutthaya

Boat trip in Uthai Thani

Admire the Wat Yai temple in Phitsanulok

Discover UNESCO-listed Sukhothai

Discover the art of Sukhothai Noodles and create your own lucky charm

Tour of Lampang including visit to textile weaving

Chiang Mai tour including visits to a local family, plus the Wat Palat & Doi Suthep temples

Receive a blessing from a monk

Visit the Elephant Nature Park

Enjoy an authentic Thai dinner at Kinnaree Gourmet Thai by Vanessa Wu 

ITINERARY

DAY 1 UK - BANGKOK

Depart on your overnight flight to Bangkok, arriving on day 2.

DAY 2 BANGKOK

Welcome to Bangkok - the quintessential eastern metropolis and Southeast Asia’s most vibrant capital city. Known in Thai as the city of angels, Bangkok is a city of mind-boggling history and spirituality, where you can expect ancient Thai temples that rise magnificently from the riverbanks, colourful palaces that glisten spectacularly in the sunlight, and a snaking river that audaciously wind its way through the heart of the city. Fabulous shopping awaits you, whether you’re after high quality artisanal handicrafts or excellent bargains in Asia’s most stylish shopping centres. If you’re a food lover, you will delight at the exceptionally delicious meals that can be enjoyed at every corner of the city. On arrival in Bangkok this morning you'll transfer to your hotel for a three-night stay.

There's plenty of time to relax at your leisure this afternoon, before you get to know one another better over a wonderful authentic Thai dinner at Kinnaree Gourment Thai, prepared by Vanessa Wu, where you'll sample a wide selection of traditional dishes.

Later you'll head out to discover the delights of Bangkok at night. You'll travel by tuk-tuk, an open-air vehicle invented in Thailand more than 50 years ago. As you wind your way through the city's streets, you'll soak up the unique atmosphere and aromas and see many of its famous landmarks. Look out for the spectacular Grand Palace, the Wat Pho temple and Sanam Luang Park, also known as the Royal Field. Be ready to witness a side of Bangkok that you would never normally have the chance to see and experience.

Meals included: Dinner

DAY 3 BANGKOK

Situated on the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok is Thailand's exciting capital and you'll see many of its highlights on today's included sightseeing tour. You’ll begin with a visit to Wat Pho, one of the city's largest temple complexes and home to a leading school of massage. You'll hear the morning chant of the saffron-robed Buddhist monks and see the 46-metre-long golden Reclining Buddha. Next, you'll head to the magnificent Grand Palace, Bangkok's most famous landmark and for 150 years the home of the Thai kings, the Royal court and the government. Within its grounds you'll see the sacred Wat Phra Kaew, the temple containing the Emerald Buddha, a small revered image carved from a single piece of jade.

After lunch you'll take things at a slightly slower pace as you step aboard a long-tail boat for a cruise on the Thonburi klongs on your optional excursion. Thonburi is the old capital of Bangkok and on your journey along the klongs, or canals, you'll see traditional wooden townhouses and local people going about their daily life. Along the way you'll visit the Royal Barges National Museum and you can admire the stunning exterior of the Wat Arun temple with its majestic spires rising from the water's edge. Alternatively, explore more of Bangkok at your pace at leisure.

This evening you'll gather together and enjoy a Thai dinner, where a variety of local dishes will be served.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4 BANGKOK

After breakfast this morning you'll begin your explorations at the beautiful Bang Pa-In Palace, which was once a royal summer residence. You'll then continue to the UNESCO-listed ruins of Ayutthaya. You'll take a stroll around the impressive remains, which include a head of Buddha embedded in a tree trunk surrounded by tangled roots. Lunch is included at a restaurant, and this evening there's an opportunity to see Bangkok from another perspective with an optional evening dinner cruise on¬ board a converted teak wood barge with traditional Thai dance entertainment.

Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 5 BANGKOK - PHITSANULOK

You'll depart Bangkok after breakfast and drive to Phitsanulok, one of Thailand's most historic cities. En route you'll make a stop at Uthai Thani to enjoy lunch on board a boat. On arrival in Phitsanulok you'll visit the 14th century Wat Yai, a stunning temple which houses a bronze statue of Buddha and an array

of decorative features.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6 PHITSANULOK - LAMPANG

Your journey continues today as you drive to the ancient city of Sukhothai, which flourished during the 13th and 14th centuries. This walled city was the birthplace of some of Thailand's finest art and architecture, and as you explore the UNESCO-listed site you'll discover magnificent Buddha images, wall paintings and beautifully carved elephants supporting a towering stupa. Next, you'll meet a local history expert to learn about the heritage and traditions that live on in this area, and get a hands on experience making your own lucky charm, before you sample Sukhothai noodles – rice noodles served in a broth, usually with meat and green beans – for lunch.

This afternoon, you'll drive to Lampang for your overnight stay.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7 LAMPANG - CHIANG MAI

After breakfast this morning, you'll head to Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang - an incredible example of Lanna-Buddhist architecture, comprised of an ancient fortress wall guarding the central chedi. Then visit to Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao, a temple built on the site of an 8th century fortification that once guarded the routes to Lampang. This temple is one of the few places known to have enshrined the Emerald Buddha - one of the most sacred images of the Thai Kingdom. Continue to visit Ban Sao-Nak - a teak-wood house in a combination of northern Thai and Burmese architectural styles, which is distinctive and individual with its 116 teak pillars. Lunch will be at a local restaurant.

This afternoon, journey to Chiang Mai with a drive through the ancient city of Lamphun. In Lamphun, northern Thailand’s historical home of textile weaving, learn firsthand the centuries-old Yok Dok weaving technique. Later, visit Wat Ton Kaew, marveling in the eclectic mix of architectural styles, and admire the cascading gold structures at Wat Phrathat Haripoonchai before transferring to Chiang Mai. Check in at your hotel in Chiang Mai. The remainder of the evening is at leisure or you can joing us on an optional excursion to Chiang Mai night bazaar with your guide where you can shop for souvenirs and enjoy something to eat.

Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 8 CHIANG MAI

Chiang Mai was once the capital city of the Lanna Kingdom, which covered much of northern Thailand in the late 13th century. Today you'll visit a local family to learn about Lanna traditions which live on to this very day. The family will be happy to tell you all about local architecture, handicrafts and food, and after you've explored the traditional houses and gardens, you'll enjoy a meal cooked over a fire.

This afternoon you'll take the winding road up to the sacred temple of Doi Suthep. Considered to be the most important temple in Chiang Mai, it sits on a hilltop overlooking the city. En route you'll stop at Wat Palat, a peaceful temple tucked away in the jungle and surrounded by hills, forest paths, shrines and a tumbling waterfall. When you reach Doi Suthep, there will be plenty of time to explore this intriguing site and you'll get an insight into the importance of religion in Thai society at a private monk blessing ceremony.

This evening has been left free for you to dine at leisure. Why not head out with your travelling companions and sample the delicacies on offer at one of Chiang Mai's outstanding eateries.

Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 9 CHIANG MAI

You've got a great day planned today, as you head to the Elephant Nature Park, just an hour's drive out of Chiang Mai. The sanctuary is home to many of these majestic creatures, which roam free in this rural setting. You'll learn all about how the elephants are rescued and get the chance to feed them from a special viewing platform.

After a buffet lunch, you'll head to the river where you can see these gentle creatures as they bathe and play in the water.

Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 10 CHIANG MAI - CHA-AM

After breakfast you'll transfer to Chiang Mai airport for your flight back to Bangkok. Upon arrival you'll transfer to the laid-back coastal resort of Cha-Am, your base for the next three nights. Your hotel is set beside a long sandy beach and the rest of the day is free for you to relax and enjoy this lovely location.

Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 11 CHA-AM - AT LEISURE

Spend today enjoying the facilities at your hotel, perhaps take a dip in the outdoor pool or Jacuzzi, or go for a stroll along the beach.

If you like to cook, there is also a fantastic optional excursion today as you head to the nearby beach resort of Hua Hin, where you can learn the art of Thai cookery. Start by visiting a local market to shop for your fresh ingredients. During your class you'll cook with ingredients such as fish sauce, herbs, spices, limes and coconut milk, and whatever you cook you'll eat for lunch.

Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 12 CHA-AM - AT LEISURE

Enjoy a final day at leisure. You could choose to soak up the sun on the beach and later, perhaps head out with your travelling companions to one of the nearby seafood restaurants for lunch.

If you're feeling energetic, you could rent a bicycle and explore the hotel's grounds, or perhaps try out the well-equipped fitness centre. Your hotel also boasts a fabulous spa, so maybe book yourself in for a pampering session.

This evening you'll gather together for a farewell drink before dinner.

Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

DAYS 13 & 14 CHA-AM - UK

You'll transfer to the airport in Bangkok on day 13 for your flight back to the UK, arriving on day 14.

Meals included: Breakfast

A Land of Smiles is located in Escorted Tour, Thailand. Accommodation rating is the operators own rating and may not be the official rating. Hotel details correct at 10/06/2020

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