Bangkok – Chiang Rai – Chiang Mai – Luang Prabang

4 MAR 2019 - 13 MAR 2019

USD$5,153

Bangkok – Chiang Rai – Chiang Mai – Luang Prabang

4 MAR 2019 - 13 MAR 2019

USD$5,153

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Participate at dawn in the living Buddhist ritual of alms giving (‘Tak Bat') to saffron-robed monks in Luang Prabang
  • Enjoy a three-day adventure deep in the mountainous Golden Triangle region and take a long tail boat to visit a remote hill tribe village
  • Learn to cook authentic Thai food with a hands-on cooking class, hosted by a celebrity chef at his countryside farm
  • Explore an excavated archaeological site and its ruined temples of a Northern Thai ancient capital city
  • Day 1-2: Bangkok | City of Angels Sights and Gourmet Dinner River Cruise

    Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, ranks as one of the world’s top tourist destinations and food capitals. Few international cities can seamlessly balance east meets west and tradition and modernity. Our early morning visit to one of this ‘City of Angels’ oldest temples, Wat Pho, coincides with the Buddhist monks’ mesmerizing chanting ritual. This first school of traditional Thai massage also houses a sacred 45m (148ft) reclining Buddha. Take a Tuk-Tuk ride to themagnificent Grand Palace, its vast 94ha (233ac) grounds contains Wat Phra Kaew, housing Thailand’s most revered Buddha image, the Emerald Buddha. Stop at riverside Wat Arun, iconic for its striking 82m (269ft)-high, Khmer-style tower. Cross the river to vibrant Chinatown, evocative of Old Bangkok and crammed with Chinese shop houses, temples and street-side eateries. Stroll along Yaowarat Road, Chinatown’s high street and delve into the old central market, Talad Kao. In the evening, we board the Apsara, cruising along the Chao Phraya River, while enjoying a gourmet dinner of authentic Thai cuisine.

  • Day 3-4: Bangkok – Chiang Rai | From City Floating Markets to Northern Thailand’s Dense Jungles

    Departing early, we make a two-hour drive to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, one of the few places to experience up-close a traditional Thai floating market. Typically, this photogenic market is at its liveliest in the morning, crowded with hundreds of sellers and visitors. We navigate through the maze of narrow canalson a sampan, passing countless boats laden with exotic and colourful produce. Soak up the vibrant atmosphere and purchase some tasty snacks. Depart Bangkok for Chiang Rai, in Thailand’s northernmost province, transferring to a luxury jungle hideaway embedded in bamboo forests. Set at the convergence of two rivers, deep in the Golden Triangle region, marvel at the simultaneous views of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. Once one of the world’s most prolific opium-producing regions, nowadays, this naturally beautiful, mountainous region is a peaceful tourist destination. During your exciting two-night jungle adventure, activity highlights include mahout training at the resort’s Elephant Camp and touring three countries in one day

  • Day 5: Chiang Rai – Chiang Mai | Long Tail Boat Ride to Hill-Tribe Villages

    Set beside the Mae Kok River, encircled by mist-shrouded mountains, the charming city of Chiang Rai boasts abundant cultural, historical and natural attractions. From here, we embark on an adventurous long tail boat ride on the Mae Kok River bound for Phatai. En-route, we glide past dense jungle and rustic hill tribe villages, distinguishable by bamboo stilt huts. We stop at one such village, secluded along the riverbanks, a marvelous opportunity to meet with the local minority people. Continue on with a drive through stunning mountainous scenery to Chiang Mai. Surrounded by pristine rainforests and verdant countryside, Chiang Mai (‘Rose of the North’) is the hub of northern Thailand and former seat of the ancient Lanna Kingdom.

  • Day 6: Chiang Mai | Ascend a Sacred Mountain Wat and Cook Thai on a Farm

    In the morning, visit a local food and flower marketand Wat Suan Dok, the final resting place for Chiang Mai’s former royal family. We drive westwards to Doi Suthep Mountain and its mountainside temple complex, Wat Phra That, en-route marvelling at spectacular mountainous terrain. One of Northern Thailand’s most sacred temples and a revered pilgrimage destination, Wat Phra That wasfounded in 1383 to enshrine a bone shard relic from the Buddha’s shoulder. The Wat is accessed by climbing 309 steps (a cable car is also available), rewarded with panoramic city views. North of Chiang Mai, participate in a hands-on, Thai cooking class with a celebrity chef at his countryside organic farmand farmhouse. After hand-selecting ingredients, learn how to create authentic Thai curry, enjoyed later for dinner.

  • Day 7: Chiang Mai – Luang Prabang | Explore a Historic Archeological Site

    Head south to Wiang Kum Kam, an important archaeological site, located in a riverside village.  This  ancient capital city was built by King Mangrai in the late 13th century, before moving the capital to Chiang Mai. Due to frequent flooding, Wiang Kum Kam was abandoned from the 16th century, rediscovered by archaeologists in the mid-1980s. Today, these excavated ruins feature numerous interesting relics, including 1,300 inscribed stone tablets with Mon inscriptions and key temples. The landmark monument, Wat Chedi Liam is the site’s soleworking temple. It features a five-tiered chedi, set on a square base, a signature of the early Lanna period. Later, we arrive in Luang Prabang, an ancient royal capital set at the confluence of two rivers. Considered the heart of Laotian culture, this UNESCO World Heritage Site retains a unique, ethereal-like charm.

     

  • Day 8: Luang Prabang | Alms Giving Ritual, Bear Rescue Centre and Gilded Temples

    At dawn, participate in the Buddhist alms giving ritual (‘Tak Bat’) to a procession of saffron-robed monks. A truly spiritual experience. Spend the morning exploring around Luang Prabang’s picturesque Kuang Si Waterfall. Hike through jungle parklands to Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre, located nearby, which has rescued countless bears from wildlife traffickers and traditional medicine traders. A one-hour private guided tour presents efforts to protect this endangered species and assisting with the bears’ midday scatter feed. Afterwards, stroll to Kuang Si Waterfall, where cascading tiers plummet into azure pools. Later, a guidedwalking tour takes-in Luang Prabang’s must-see sights. These include the Royal Palace, now a National Museum and amongst many gilded temples, Wat That Luang – the royalcremation site.  

  • Day 9: Luang Prabang | Riverside Cave - Temples and Ethnic Villages and Private Museum Tour

    Explore Luang Prabang’s lush forested countryside on a traditionallong tailed boat along the Mekong River. Stop at Pak Ou Caves, perched high on a cliff on a river islet. These two grottoes contain over 4,000 multi-sized Buddhist statues and images. Worshippers, including Lao royalty, have visited this revered cave-temple for centuries. Continue to Ban Pak Oufishing village for lunch, returning to Luang Prabang with a stop at an ethnic minority village to observesticky rice production. Visit the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre, an engaging museumdedicated to the preservation and celebration of the arts and traditions of Laos’ ethnic groups. A private tour with the Museum Director offers valuable insight into these diverse indigenous ethnic cultures.

  • Day 10: Departure

    Transfer to Luang Prabang  International Airportfor your onward flight.

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