Best of Thailand (2013)
Tailor Made: Private travel customized to your interests
- Day 1: Bangkok, Thailand
You are met and given VIP assistance through immigration procedures. Afterward, transfer to your luxurious hotel in this fascinating city of klongs (canals) and Buddhist temples.Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
- Day 2: Bangkok
Start early to arrive in Wat Pho to hear monks perform their morning chants and view the 150-feet-long Reclining Buddha statue. Covered in gold leaf, its feet are intricately inlaid with mother of pearl. Wat Pho is regarded as the nation’s first center of public education and is sometimes called "Thailand's First University." Travel via tuk-tuk to the Grand Palace, a magnificent Siamese court begun in 1782 that borrows from the architecture of the Italian Renaissance.
Next, take an excursion along the klongs (canals) that once gave Bangkok the title of “The Venice of the East” and observe the traditional Thai way of life along the mighty Chao Phraya River (the River of the Kings). Pass the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), embedded with pieces of multi-colored porcelain that catch the rays of the morning sun. Continue to Bangkok’s Chinatown, an area of frenetic commercial activity, filled with fascinating shops. Continue to Wat Leng Neng Yee to visit its Taoist temple. Then immerse yourself in Thailand’s exotic flowers, including many species of orchids, in the Pak Khlong Talat flower market.Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok | Meals: B
- Day 3: Bangkok – Samut Songkhram/Ayutthaya – Bangkok
After breakfast, choose from two day-trip options.
Option One – A Countryside Experience: Drive south to Samut Songkhram province to visit an amazing country market set up along railroad tracks from which vendors pull their tables and set them up again as each train passes through. Continue to a Buddhist temple with an unseen chapel enclosed within the roots of a banyan tree. Enjoy lunch in Baan Amphawa and then head to Amphawa floating market, frequented by locals seeking the ingredients of authentic Thai cuisine.
Option Two - Ayutthaya: Travel to this former capital of Thailand (AD 1350-1767) and tour the ruins that remain after it was sacked and looted by 18th-century Burmese invaders. See the royal temple of Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, view the bronze Buddha statue in Phra Mongkok Bopit and the gold chedi at Wat Yai Chai Mongkoi. Enjoy regional cuisine at a local restaurant, and then continue to Bang Pa-In, a former royal summer retreat, to tour its brightly painted buildings and impeccably manicured grounds.Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok | Meals: B, L
- Day 4: Chiang Mai
After breakfast, fly to Chiang Mai to experience the northern Thai way of life with a visit to copious Waroros Market, and then take a trishaw ride along Tapae Road down through City Walls and along Rajdamnern Road to Wat Phra Singh, to view an enduring and sacred Buddha image.
Travel to the mountaintop temple of Wat Phrathad Doi Suthep, the most important temple in Chiang Mai. Enjoy the special atmosphere of dusk on the temple grounds after other visitors have departed, and receive a private blessing ceremony followed by a magical evening listening to the chants of monks and gazing down upon the glittering lights of Chiang Mai.Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai | Meals: B
- Day 5: Chiang Mai
Enjoy an early breakfast and then receive half a day of Thai culinary instruction, which includes a tour of a fascinating local food market, a traditional Thai spirit house blessing and introduction, and a cooking demonstration, after which you create your own Thai dishes under the guidance of a master chef. Savor your creation for lunch and then get a lesson in vegetable carving. Spend the rest of your day at leisure.Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai | Meals: B, L
- Day 6: Chiang Mai
Spend your last full day in Chiang Mai at leisure, enjoying the many amenities of your luxurious Four Seasons Resort, including world-class fitness facilities and options such as nearby golf, shopping and cooking classes.Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai | Meals: B
- Days 7-10: Koh Samui
After breakfast, board a flight to Koh Samui and spend the remainder of your sojourn in Thailand enjoying the many amenities of your luxurious resort accommodations, and the best that sun, sand and sea have to offer. On day 10, enjoy breakfast at your hotel before transferring to the airport for your departing flight.Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui | Meals: B