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Heart of Thailand

(10 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)

Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Ayuthaya, Koh Samet

 

Thailand is perhaps best known for its beautiful beaches but away from the tourist hotspots you'll find a plethora of other attractions offering a fascinating and more authentic Thai experience. From the bustling modern metropolis of Bangkok to the ancient UNESCO-protected temples of Ayuthaya, the verdant scenery of Kanchanaburi and the traditional floating markets of Amphawa, this trip provides a unique insight into Thailand's past and present all within easy reach of Bangkok. The experience is made all the more engaging by encounters with the charming and hospitable Thai people.

 

** All our tours are Exclusive Private Tours, so you will not be put together with other guests **

 

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Day 1: Welcome to Bangkok

Fly to Bangkok, THAILAND

 

Welcome to Thailand. Upon arrival in Bangkok, obtain your Thailand visa (please refer to your Special Program Note), and then clear Immigration and Customs.  After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to the lovely boutique hotel. Bangkok Thailand’s capital city, known to Thais as “Krung Thep” (the City of Angels) is one of the world’s most exciting cities. It holds the essence of the Thai spirit, and is very much the heart of the country. Without doubt, this fast-growing metropolis of roughly 10 million people has something to offer to everyone. Its lively collection of nightlife venues, markets, shops, restaurants, magnificent “wats” (temples), museums, palaces and parks will assure that you never get bored. Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 3 nights in Bangkok

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Ariyasom Villa, Riva Surya Bangkok, Chatrium Hotel Riverside

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: The Peninsula Bangkok, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, The Siam Hotel

 

Day 2: The Klongs & Bangkok’s breathtaking Buddha’s and more

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Begin your full day tour of this city visiting three impressive temples. First drive through the morning flower markets to explore real Thai lifestyle. Visit Wat Traimit with its invaluable Golden Buddha (5 ½ tons of solid gold); Wat Pho, the largest temple in Bangkok, with the colossal Reclining Buddha and the Chedis of the Kings.

View the enormous Buddha covered in gold leaf and lying majestically on its side. Next, continue to the city's most important landmark, the Grand Palace, which is one of the most beautiful examples of ancient Siamese architecture and has been the residence of the Kings of Thailand for over two centuries. Here you will see palaces which were used for different occasions: the Funeral Palace, the Reception Palace, the Throne Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Royal Guest House and Wat Phra Kaew, containing the most revered Buddha image in the country, the Emerald Buddha, made from one solid piece of translucent green jade.

 

After lunch at a Thai restaurant near the Chao Phraya River, embark on a water excursion on the river and its canals. Board a long-tailed boat to explore the klongs (canals) of Bangkok’s Thonburi, in the west of Bangkok, situated on the right side of the Chao Phraya River. Its many canals had originally given Bangkok the name "Venice of the East." Passing along the canals in the boat gives you a first-hand impression of the scenic life along Bangkok‘s waterways. You will also visit the majestic Royal Barges and Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn, one of the most attractive temples in Thailand) and Santa Cruz Church before returning to your hotel.

 

Day 3: Bangkok, River & Canal Life at Ampawa

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

 

For those wanting to explore and experience true Thai river life style, we highly recommend to visit Ampawa. Just about 80 kilometers south of Bangkok, Ampawa district enchants visitors with traditional wooden Thai houses built along canals, coconut and fruit orchards and rural life style. An early start from Bangkok to see the unique fresh market along the railway tracks in Mae Klong. When the train approaches the station, watch the vendors dismantling their stalls, so that the train can pass through. A short drive by van brings us to Ampawa, a picturesque little town located on the Mae Klong River. Visit a family’s home to observe the production of palm sugar. Embark on a boat trip in a motorized long-tail boat to explore the numerous canals and observe traditional Thai way of living along Thailand’s waterways. Stops will be made to visit Wat Pumarin, which exhibits a beautifully painted wooden Kudi. Another stop will be made at Wat Bang Kung, built during the Ayutthaya period (more than 200 years ago). This interesting temple is completely embraced by the roots of a huge Banyan Tree. Disembark at Baan Amphawa Resort for lunch. In the afternoon, visit Pinsuwan Benjarong House and Museum, where you have the opportunity to watch the skilled artisans painting the delicate china ware with intricate designs. Take a stroll along Amphawa’s main canal with its lovingly restored wooden shop houses, many of them converted to small coffee shops, restaurants and souvenir shops selling local products. On weekends, this area is extremely busy with Bangkokians flocking to Ampawa to enjoy the weekend food market along the canal. Transfer back to your hotel and spend the remainder of the day at leisure.

 

Day 4: Bangkok – Kanchanaburi (River Kwai)

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Road & boat journey to River Kwai: Today you will continue your journey to Kanchanaburi, a journey of approx. 2 hours. This area is renowned for its time during the 2nd World War when Allied POWs were used by the Japanese to build the Burma-Thailand railway. Visit the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum, an interactive museum, information and research facility dedicated to presenting the history of the Thailand-Burma Railway. The fully air-conditioned center offers the visitor an educational and moving experience. Continue to the Allied War Cemetery, final resting place for over 6,000 allied prisoners of war, and the world famous Bridge over the River Kwai. Take a long-tail boat on the Kwai Noi River, passing unspoiled mountainous jungle scenery. Check in at the Float House River Kwai. After lunch, depart by long-tail-boat to the nearby Mon village. Late afternoon, return to your resort. Dinner, followed by a 45-minute presentation of Mon Dance.

 

Accommodation: Stay 2 nights at the Float House River Kwai (Floating Villa)

 

Day 5: Kanchanaburi (River Kwai)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

 

Full day guided tour of Kanchanaburi: After breakfast you will be driven to the Erawan National Park to take in the natural beauty of the Erawan Falls with its spectacular seven-tiered waterfall. Make sure you bring your swimming costume if you fancy a dip!

 

After lunch at a local restaurant, visit Hell Fire Pass. The tour includes a boat journey up the River Kwai and a train journey on the infamous Death Railway. In the evening you will be able to relax in the lovely river setting of your hotel and enjoy the unique experience of staying on your own floating villa.

 

Day 6: Kanchanaburi – Ayutthaya

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

 

After breakfast you will set off on the 2-3 hour drive to Ayuthaya. Among the "must see" attractions in Thailand is a visit to Ayutthaya, the former capital of Thailand situated 76 kilometers north of Bangkok. The Thai capital for 417 years, Ayutthaya is one of Thailand's major tourist attractions. Many ancient ruins and art works can be seen in the city, which was founded in 1350 by King U-Thong. 33 kings of 5 dynasties ruled the kingdom until it was destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. During this day trip you will visit the principal sights: Wat Sri Sanphet - this important and outstanding monastery was used as a residential palace in the reign of King Ramathibodi I. Next, visit Wat Mahathad with its iconic Buddha head entwined in the roots of a tree is among the most photographed sites in Ayutthaya. Built during the 14th century, the temple was an important venue for Royal ceremonies and later destroyed during the Burmese invasion in 1767, who also vandalized many Buddha images by cutting off their heads. Wat Yai Chaimongkhol: The chedi at this monastery is among the largest in Ayutthaya and was built by King Naresuan (1590-1605). There are many Buddha images and a beautiful garden behind this chedi. We’ll have a chance to walk around the local market, browsing snacks and handcrafts. For a different side local life, we’ll stop at the Elephant Camp to visit with Thailand’s national animal. This afternoon enjoy lunch at typical Restaurant, included with the tour, and our excursion concludes with a boat trip to Bang-Pa-In, the former Royal Summer Residence, which represents a fine example of Thai architecture. As we coast, we’ll see villagers going about their daily routines at temples, schools, markets, and even churches and mosques near the river banks.

 

Accommodation: Stay 1 nights at the Sala Ayuthaya (Deluxe River View Room)

 

Day 7: Ayutthaya – Koh Samet

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

The beach part of your holiday starts today. Your guide will join you for your private transfer to Rayong Ban Phe Pier where you will catch you boat across to Koh Samet. The whole journey will take approx. 3-4 hours.

 

Speedboat from Rayong Ban Phe Pier to Koh Samet: Join the resort's speedboat for the 20minute ride from the mainland to Koh Samet. Please note that this is a shared service with other guests.

 

Upon arrival at Koh Samet pier you will transfer to the hotel reception to check in. The island is part of the Khao Laem Ya Koh Samet National Park though all of Koh Samets beaches have been developed to cater to the large stream of Bangkok residents who flock to the island each weekend. Drawn by its 14 fine, white sand beaches that feature a number of beachside bars and restaurants, Thai and foreign visitors return again and again to Koh Samet to enjoy the excellent weather on the island and appreciate its great natural beauty, home to exotic wildlife species including monkeys, hornbills, gibbons, and butterflies.

 

Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 3 nights at the Le Vimarn Cottage & Spa, Paradee Resort & Spa

 

Day 8: Koh Samet

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Spend the day relaxing by the pool or take a stroll along the beach.

 

Day 9: Ayutthaya – Koh Samet

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Another day to catch up on your rest and enjoy your surroundings.

 

Day 10: Depart Koh Samet

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Speedboat from Koh Samed to Ban Phe Pier: Join the resort's speedboat for the 20minute ride from Koh Samed to the mainland. Please note that this is a shared service with other guests.

 

Private transfer to the airport: Upon arrival at the mainland you will be met by your private driver and transferred to the Bangkok airport in time for your flight home or onwards to your next destination, a journey of 220km which takes approximately 3 hour. We wish you a safe and pleasant journey.

 

 

Price guideline:

 

The above tour costs from $1,335*per person, based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room.

 

*Please note this price is subject to change at the time of booking, and depends on the date of travel and the availability of accommodation.

 

Our price includes (Private tour): 

• Accommodation base in a shared double or twin room throughout

Daily buffet breakfast at hotel and all hotels taxes and service charges.

Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary.

Travel by private, air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced, safe driver.

Private sightseeing with local, English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary.

Meals included as indicated as in program: B: breakfast, L: lunch & D: dinner.

Boat cruise as specified in the programmed.

Entrance fees according the above program.

Local bottled water while sightseeing and transfers.

VAT and all taxes and service charge.

 

The price does not include

International flight tickets and Visas

Any items of purely personal nature such as laundry and telephone calls

Personal, travel and health insurance

Early check in and late check out

Drinks during meals

Meals that are not specified

Gratuities/tipping to tour guide, driver and hotel staff and restaurant’s staff

 

 

All of our itineraries can customized as you wish, add extra days, change a hotel, and see different sights. For information on this or our other tours please email us at: info@globaltravel-asia.com