13 Day Classic Thailand


Tue, Oct 14, 2014, DAY 1, Tuesday - Depart for Thailand
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Video of Thailand video=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLqVxDSThjg

  • 11 nights First Class accommodations
    • 4 nights Bangkok, 1 night Ayutthaya, 1 night Sukhothai, 2 nights Chiang Rai, 3 nights Chiang Mai
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout

Special Features

  • Wat Po Temple & Reclining Buddha, Bangkok
  • Bang Pa In Royal Palace, Ayutthaya
  • Chai Wattanaram Temple, Ayutthaya
  • Historical Park, Sukhothai
  • House of Opium & Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai
  • Wat Phrathad Doi Suthep Temple, Chiang Mai
  • Authentic Thai Dinner at Chiang Mai Private Home

October 14, DAY 2, Tuesday, Century Park Hotel, Bangkok, THAILAND - Arrive in Bangkok, Arrive in exotic Bangkok, Thailand's capital city; transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to rest, relax and acclimate to the new time zone. Staying at Century Park Hotel. This superior first class hotel is located in Pratunam, a bustling shopping and commercial area. It is minutes from the Victory Monument.Overnight: Bangkok

October 15, DAY 3, Wednesday - Bangkok City Tour, Orientation meeting this morning with your tour manager highlights the exciting journey that awaits you. Afterwards, continue on a city and temple tour of Bangkok, a fascinating mix of ancient and modern. Begin the tour at Chinatown and then on to the colorful Indian Market. Visit serene Wat Po, the oldest and largest temple in the city, with the astonishing giant Reclining Buddha, over 150 feet long and almost 40 feet high.

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We drove to Royal Avenue where most of the Government offices are located and the King's Palace before returning to the hotel in  Bangkok. It was all very nice.

Thursday, October 15, DAY 4, - The morning tour of Wat Phra Kaew, also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the elaborate 18th century Grand Palace, symbol and ceremonial heart of the kingdom - together they form the most impressive sights in Bangkok. Despite the proximity of the two, there's a distinct contrast in style between the Thai-inspired Wat Phra Kaew and the European design of the Grand Palace. In the evening, attend the Buffet Dinner and stunning performance of the "Journey to the Enchanted Kingdom of Siam". Boasting over 150 performers, this lavish production delves into Siam's history and culture.

Bangkok Thailand is loaded with beautiful buildings for honoring. Gold is predominant but there are also palaces made from ceramics. This country is not to be missed. 120 degrees today and very humid. Beautiful flowers everywhere and orchids growing from the middle of the trees.

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Siam Niramit Show & Dinner (PM) Enjoy a delightful Buffet Dinner at the Siam Niramit Restaurant before attending this evening's stunning performance of "Journey to the Enchanted Kingdom" of Siam. This $40 million production, with over 150 performers, explores the Kingdom of Siam's history and culture, with scenes highlighting the Ancient Kingdom of Lanna, Khmer heritage, and traditions of the central plains. Then, venture into the heart of Thai mythology with scenes of Fiery Hell, the mystical Himapaan Forest, and Blissful Heaven. Lastly, enjoy a montage of joyous celebrations honoring the Buddhist tradition. Approximate tour duration is 4 hours.

We just returned from an evening at Siam Niramit. The show was incredible. Beats any performance I've seen at the opera or Las Vegas or Hollywood and I've been to many live shows. It was 80 minutes and about 80 performers and goats and elephants inside the colossal theatre. The floor even opened up in an area and people dove in and swam and small boats and other items used the water. The flying animal people beats out Wendy in Peter Pan any way.It is the Trip Advisor award of excellence the last three years. Be sure you go when you get to Bangkok. We had to check our cameras sadly but look at http://www.siamniramit.com/ to get a feel of the performance. They tell of the history of Siam

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October 16, 2014, DAY 4, Friday Morning tour of Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the adjoining Grand Palace. Together they form the most impressive sights for visitors to Bangkok. Wat Phra Kaew consists of over 100 brightly colored buildings, golden spires and glittering mosaics, dating back to 1782, when Bangkok was founded. From Wat Phra Kaew continue to the Grand Palace. Despite the proximity of the two, there's a distinct contrast in style between the Thai-inspired Wat Phra Kaew and the European designs of the Grand Palace. It is important to note that this palace is used now only for occasional ceremonial purposes and is no longer the royal residence.

Today we went to the Grand Palace -- incredible! 14 million people in Bangkok and 2 million tourists.Very difficult going through the crowds when it is 120. We saw the Wat Po Temple & Reclining Buddha. It was worth it. I'll put more photos on our trip page when I have a better connection. Our trip is at http://krane.net/Thailand/ (this site).


October 17, 2014, DAY 5, Friday - Travel to Ayutthaya, Ayutthaya City Tour
Depart Bangkok to Ayutthaya, the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai for over 400 years, once glorified as one of the largest cities in Southeast Asia. Ayutthaya Historical Park, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies in the center of the city. Here, you can see the ruins of the former capital and its remaining palaces, monasteries and towers - one can envision the grandeur and splendor that was once the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. Visit Bang Pa-In Palace, a collection of beautiful buildings in various architectural styles, surrounded by a lake. Originally built by King Prasattong in 1632, Bang Pa-In served as the Royal Summer Palace for the Thai Kings. If time permits, there may be a visit to a local school on the way to Ayutthaya. Continue to the Chai Wattanaram Temple, built by King Prasat Tong to honor his mother, conceived as a replica of the Angkor Temple - this is a serene place where one can reflect and enjoy the tranquility.

Wish I could tell you about how we feel. This place is so peaceful and beautiful. The people are so kind and happy. Today as we drove our leader saw a kind of a parade so she stopped the bus and we ran until we caught up with it. There were many money trees going to the temple as a man was becoming a monk. But there were a number of young males drinking whiskey following the parade who were quite drunk. An interesting experience. We also stopped several times to see different Budda's - you know they can be in 64 positions and they are supposed to be male but they can take on the appearance of the neighborhood so some Budda's look like the other gender!


Oct 18, 2014, DAY 6, Saturday - Classic Kameo Ayutthaya, Ayutthaya, THAILAND   Travel to Sukhothai. Travel northward to Sukhothai, birthplace of the Thai nation, founded in the 13th century by King Ramkhamhaeng. The country's first capital was established here in 1238 and lasted over two centuries. Sukhothai is world-famous its over 100 historical sites and treasures, including some of the most beautiful Thai art and architecture in the country, created during the city's "golden era", between the 13th and 14th centuries. Visit to the Old Town of Sukhothai with its impressive Historical Park, immaculately restored and set among leafy hills and peaceful lotus ponds, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At this astonishing site, most of the remains of the original city can be seen. Marvel at the ancient Buddha figures, palaces, temples and historical monuments and feel yourself drift back in time to a bygone era
Overnight: Sukhothai

Sunday October 19, 2014, Legendha Sukhothai, Sukhothai, THAILAND   DAY 7, Sunday - Travel to Chiang Rai, Full day at leisure to explore Sukhothai on your own. Later in the day, depart Sukhothai and drive to scenic Chiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand for overnight. Overnight: Chiang Rai

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When we started the trip I asked Ranee if we could see the white temple. She took us there and it was incredible but it is not a temple. A wealthy man wanted something special so he built it and continued building. It represents the five ways you can be as a Buddhist. It is quite scary when you see the way you can go when you are bad. It depicts the skuls and souls from the dead.

We are staying at a LaMariden .. one the the top French hotels in the world. Everything is quite posh and we again were treated to specials in our room. They even have roses floating in the tub and cake or fruit.. Gate1travel is the best we have ever traveled with even though it is the least expensive. The dinner was supurb .. look at the sea food alone.


Monday October 20, 2014, Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort, Chiang Rai, THAILAND DAY 8, Monday - Mae Sai Border Town & Golden Triangle, Travel to the border town of Mae Sai, at the tip of Thailand. At this border crossing, arrangements may be made to enter Myanmar*. Ascend to the hilltop viewpoint to see the famous "Golden Triangle" of Southeast Asia - meeting point of the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. The locals call it "Sop Ruak", as this is also where the Mekong meets the Ruak River. We did some shopping and also and then we took
a short cruise that takes you along the banks of the Mekong to the small island of Don Sao in Laos; shopping time at the lively markets before returning to Thailand. Continue to the dramatic House of Opium at Golden Triangle Park, offering an informative exhibition on the history of opium which dates back almost 5000 years. Later, savor a locally prepared lunch in a nearby farming village before returning to Chiang Rai for overnight * Crossing into Myanmar (Burma) requires a visa which may be obtained locally at the border crossing, at your own expense Overnight: Chiang Rai

We rode in the TukTuks.

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We passed many open food markets. The motorcyclists pulled the tuktuk. We visited the nunnery in Burma.
We visited children in a preschool in Burma. We did not go to the school in Thailand because they were closed for vacation. We ate lunch in the rain forest at a small outdoor restaurant run by an ex-guide. As this was a new start up business by a women, I had to buy things to support her, of course.

As there were children doing work outdoors, Walt gave away his drawing pencils to the children and his pens to the teachers. We have now seen growing many things and among them teak, sugar cane, papaya, banana, bamboo, rice, etc. Then we went to see an opium museum. The government is very strict about drugs. The penalty if caught with them is death.

At the "Golden Triangle" of Southeast Asia - meeting point of the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos is where the Mekong meets the Ruak River. Our guide took us on a boat ride to Laos. We only had time for the market. We had young coconut juice and coconut meat. I am sitting next to Ranee, our leader. We did not have to pay Laos. We had to pay to enter Burma about $36 per couple to enter the country.



We arrived home about 2 hours later and were so tired we took our showers and ordered in. The food is so outstanding in Thailand. We love the Thai Pad.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014, DAY 9, Tuesday - Travel to Chiang Mai, Morning at leisure before departing to Chiang Mai,ancient capital of the Lamma Kingdom. En route, stop at a local gem gallery before arriving in Chiang Mai, cultural heart of Northern Thailand, located in the rolling foothills of the Himalayas. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure.  Half Day Mae Salong Hill Tribe (AM)

The tour departs Chiang Rai City in the morning for the drive to visit Hill Tribe at the foothill of Mae Salong. Upon arrival, change vehicles to the local Thai Combi which takes you up to the hill tribes, namely the Akha, Long Neck and Mien(Yao).This unique way of life and culture of the tribes is still maintained today.


Optional: Kantoke Dinner & Show, This evening, delight in an authentic Kantoke Dinner and performance featuring traditional dances from Northern Thailand. As guests of this unique event, it is customary that you sit on the floor while you dine and watch the acted scenes depicting local culture. After dinner, villagers from various hill tribes perform an exciting array of cultural dances, including the Fon Lep (Fingers Dance), Sword Dance, Fon Thien (Candle Dance), and Ramwong. All guests are invited to participate.


October 22, 2014 DAY 10, Wednesday, Kantary Hills Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, THAILAND  - Full Day in Chiang Mai, Morning at leisure to explore Chiang Mai independently. In the afternoon, visit Sankampang Street, center of handicrafts, for on-site demonstrations on how the silk, lacquer, silver, wood and bronze wares are made. Later, visit the world's largest gem factory, to watch while the gem stones are cut and set.

Half Day Mae Sa Elephant Camp with lunch (AM) Travel northwest along the Mae Sa Valley, with its scenic botanical gardens and ten-tiered waterfalls, to visit the Mae Sa Elephant Training Camp. Here, see elephants bathing in the running streams, or, demonstrating their daily feats of skill and strength in a show with music and dance, a soccer match, or an abstract painting demonstration. Even more impressive is the camp's goal to protect the endangered Thai Elephant by controlled breeding, a program which has flourished since its establishment in 1995. At an additional charge, you may choose to ride on the back of a Thai Elephant -- a truly memorable experience. Time is allotted to walk along the beautiful nature trails or visit the exhibition and greenhouses.


Traditional Thai Massage, A trip to Thailand is not complete without experiencing a traditional Thai Massage! Unlike other types of massages, in Thailand your masseuse will stretch, bend, and contort your body into various positions, known to quickly ease the stress of muscle tension and aids in curing minor illnesses. A set of personal cotton clothing with a Gate 1 logo will be given to you to wear during the massage.  Approximate tour duration is 1 hour. Overnight: Chiang Mai


October 24, DAY 11, Thursday - Chiang Mai City & Temples Tour, Dinner at Private Home, Morning tour of the most interesting temples in Chiang Mai. Begin at Wat Suan Dok, where the remains of the Chiang Mai Royal family are enshrined. Continue to Wat Phrathad Doi Suthep, Northern Thailand's most sacred temple, containing a holy relic of Lord Buddha. Equally impressive is the mythological Naga (dragon-headed serpent) staircase, with 290 steps leading up to the temple grounds. Visit to a local jade factory, followed by an afternoon at leisure to wander independently in Chiang Mai. Tonight, a unique experience. Join a local Chiang Mai family at an authentic Thai Dinner in their home. Enjoy a tour of the home, conversation about life in Chiang Mai and savor the great flavors of home-cooked food, Overnight: Chiang Mai, Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

October 25, 2014 DAY 12, Friday Century Park Hotel, Bangkok, THAILAND  - Flight to Bangkok
Depart Chiang Mai this morning on your flight to Bangkok; arrive and transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy all of the delights of Bangkok on your own. Shop to your heart's content, visit to the many amazing markets, and try some of the fabulous restaurants in this energetic city. Overnight: Bangkok, Meals: Breakfast

October 26, 2014 DAY 13, Saturday - Depart Thailand, Transfer to the airport for your departure flight, Meals: Breakfast