The Grand Palace, the Bridge over the River Kwai, Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom – from Bangkok to Siem Reap, this in-depth trip explores the icons of Thailand and Cambodia.
You'll enjoy Insider moments like…tracing the carvings of an ancient civilization, as your passionate Khmer scholar shares tales of Angkor Wat's history.
Board your overnight flight to Asia (not included).
Welcome to Bangkok. Transfer to your centrally located riverside hotel and relax before meeting your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Welcome Reception drink with local appetisers.
For the early risers, start your day with a visit to Lumpini Park to join the locals and learn the basic principles of T'ai Chi, a Cultural Insight. Alternatively, enjoy a leisurely start to the day before joining your fellow travellers on your City Tour, starting with a visit to Bangkok's most well-known fruit and flower market, Pak Klong Talad. Next visit the Grand Palace, which served as the official residence of the Kings of Thailand from the 18th to the mid 20th century. The most famous building in the palace grounds is Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. Afterwards visit Wat Pho, Bangkok's oldest temple, which features the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand. Wat Pho is also famous for Thailand's first University, and is a centre for traditional Thai massage. Enjoy a Thai massage, a Cultural Insight, in the grounds of the temple. Later cross the river to visit Wat Arun with its impressive ceramic covered pagoda. Have some free time this evening to relax or take part in an Optional Experience.
Today learn the secrets of traditional Thai recipes in a cooking class with a Local Specialist located in a charming Thai style house with wooden décor and furnishings. Before the start of the class visit a local market to buy fresh ingredients. Discover the exotic fruits and vegetables found in Thailand that will be used to prepare the meal, a Cultural Insight. Later enjoy the various exciting dishes you have prepared. Spend the afternoon and evening at leisure or opt to join an Optional Experience.
Make an early start this morning to travel to the famous floating fruit and vegetable market at Damnoen Saduak and arrive there before the crowds. The colourfully clad merchants at this lively market paddle along the congested canals in sturdy canoes, laden with fresh fruit and vegetables to sell to shoppers on the banks. En route make a short stop at a coconut palm sugar plantation and discover how the farmer extracts the sap from the palm trees to eventually be turned into sugar, a Cultural Insight. After lunch at a local restaurant head to Kanchanaburi and the Hellfire Pass, a section of the Thailand-Burma Railway. It was built during Second World War under very difficult conditions and said to have resembled hell on earth. Then transfer to your hotel for dinner and a relaxing evening.
After a leisurely morning visit the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum, a facility dedicated to presenting the history of the famous railway line. It was built during the second world war by the Imperial Japanese army, using Allied prisoners of war alongside Asian labourers. Visit the War Cemetary, the final resting place for over 6,000 Allied prisoners before reaching the world famous Bridge over the River Kwai. After lunch board the train for your Cultural Insight, a thrilling ride across wooden viaducts offering fantastic scenery along the Kwai River. Dinner this evening is in a local restaurant.
After breakfast leave Kanchanaburi heading north towards Sukhothai, the ancient capital city of Old Siam. On the way visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ayutthaya which was the 2nd most important ancient capital of Old Siam, built after the fall of Sukhothai. Visit the remains of this historic city founded in 1350, which was one of the world's largest and most cosmopolitan urban areas and a centre of global commerce. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and continue your journey through the beautiful Thai countryside to Sukhothai. This evening during dinner experience an authentic Thai cultural dance in an open-air theatre at the hotel.
Start the day with a visit to the Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of the other, much larger ancient capital of Thailand founded in 1238. See thousands of years of history in this extensive and elaborate park and find the temple with the 15 metre seated Buddha secreted away amongst the trees. Your choice of exploring the large area by bicycle or on the internal tram which services the historical park. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before visiting the village of Natonchan where the community started an eco-tourism project. Interact with the local people, meet one of the elders to learn about doll making and the typical 'mud soaked clothes' worn by the villagers, a Cultural Insight. The local woven cotton clothes soaked in mud to make them waterproofed and excellent for working in the fields. Later return to the hotel for an evening at leisure.
Depart early this morning with a stop at the unique temple of Wat Prathat Lampang Luang built on the site of an 8th century fortification that guarded the routes to Lampang. The temple has been preserved in it's original state from the 15th century, whereas many Thai temples have been renovated to conform to modernity. Stop for a visit at a local market before continuing to your Be My Guest experience in a typical stilt house where the family will welcome you for a northern Thai style lunch. Continue to Chiang Mai and check in at the hotel. Later visit Wat Doi Suthep one of Thailand's most sacred temples and observe the chanting of the monks at sunset; a magical experience. This evening is yours to enjoy at your own pace.
This morning meet the kids and teachers at a local school before continuing with a city tour of Chiang Mai. Visit the temple of Wat Suan Dok and take part in a talk with a local monk about Buddhism, a Cultural Insight. Later enjoy a cyclo ride around the old city walls which are still mostly intact. This afternoon enjoy some free time for shopping, exploring further or alternatively participate in an Optional Experience - the choice is yours.
Spend the morning at leisure or choose to join an Optional Experience. Later visit the handicraft villages in the Sankamphaeng district of Chiang Mai, which has long been known as the heart of the handicraft industry. Many of Thailand's major producers are here and all the traditional crafts such as the famous umbrella and fan making can be found. This evening have a delightful Farewell Dinner with your fellow companions and Travel Director at a local restaurant.
Transfer to the airport for the short flight to Bangkok and onward to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Have some free time this afternoon to relax and enjoy the hotel's facilities.
This morning, visit Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most important religious monuments in the world, with a renowned Khmer Scholar as your Local Specialist. Take a stroll through the elaborate carved hallways of Angkor Wat as the Khmer Empire is brought to life through the scholar's explanations of the various stories contained in each of the bas reliefs and murals. Next head to Banteay Srei temple which is one of Angkor's most significant structures. Made of red sand-stone, its walls are decorated with elaborate carvings and it is in an amazing state of preservation. Make a stop for lunch at a local Khmer restaurant before taking a guided walk around the fascinating corners of the Old Town of Siem Reap. Visit Artisans d'Angkor, for a Cultural Insight into the training school and shop which creates job opportunities for young people living in rural areas, while at the same time reviving traditional Khmer craftsmanship. Cross picturesque Siem Reap River to Wat Damnak, a living temple, and receive a special blessing from one of the monks, which includes the tying of a blessed string around the wrist. Walk back across the Pedestrian Bridge to the Old Market. Be lead through the maze of undercover stalls selling fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and household goods, as well as an array of local handicrafts and souvenirs. In the evening perhaps take an Optional Experience sunset cruise on Tonle Sap Lake to see Siem Reap's famous floating village and to observe the lifestyle of the people living on the lake.
Start the day with a visit to two other UNESCO listed sites - Angkor Thom the ancient royal city of the Khmer Empire and its centrepiece, the Bayon Temple. Continue to the Terrace of the Elephants, which served as a platform from where the King could welcome back his victorious army. Next head to the picturesque temple of Ta Prohm which was used as the location for the film 'Tomb Raider'. The magnificent tree roots have merged with the temple remains over the years, giving the feeling of a forgotten city. Return to Siem Reap and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. This evening join your fellow travellers for a Farewell Dinner accompanied by traditional Apsara Dancing.
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
All features as per Treasures of Thailand itinerary, 13 buffet breakfasts, 8 lunches (including Be My Guest), 6 dinners.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|16 Sep 17||30 Sep 17||$3,625pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|30 Sep 17||14 Oct 17||$3,675pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|18 Nov 17||2 Dec 17||$3,775pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|9 Dec 17||23 Dec 17||$3,825pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|16 Dec 17||30 Dec 17||$3,850pp||Request Quote Book Now|
Solo Travelers: These dates offer a discounted single supplement rate.
Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.
Single Room Supplement: from $1,370.
Room Share: Guaranteed Room Share is not available on this trip.
All inter-trip air related charges in economy class for Chiang Mai to Siem Reap are included in the Land Only price shown based on accurate airfare as of June 14, 2016. At the time you purchase your trip the inter-trip air prices may be higher.
Visas are generally required for Cambodia, please call for details.
Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.
AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.
Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.
Special Discounts: At times we offer discounted departures. These discounts are valid for new bookings only and are not combinable with any other discounts other than our Frequent Traveler Discount and $100 AARP Member Discount. Other restrictions may apply, please call for details
U.S. citizens traveling to Thailand must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering Thailand. Visas are required for U.S. citizens entering Cambodia, and may be obtained at the airport. Visa costs and entry requirements are subject to change at any time. Please visit travel.state.gov to learn more.
The currency in Thailand is the Baht, and in Cambodia it is the Riel, however many places also accept US dollars. The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM or debit card at local banks in Thailand. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling. It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.
One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local food, and Thai cuisine is one of the most popular in the world. You’ll find an emphasis on lightly prepared dishes and interplay of flavors including sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy. Glass noodles, curries, and hot and sour soups are popular meals and are usually served family style. You’ll also encounter a delicious selection of exotic fruits in Thailand such as lychee, durian, papaya and jackfruit.
We suggest bringing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that can be layered for your trip. Sturdy walking shoes are important for sightseeing excursions; a hat, lightweight jacket, and shawl or scarf could also come in handy. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.
Tipping in Thailand is not expected but always appreciated. It is common to leave extra change at most bars and restaurants. At nicer restaurants it is appropriate to tip your waiter 5-10 percent.
At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director. Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit. A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.
Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.
You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions. All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers. In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group.
If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.
We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.
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