By traditional culture we mean customs concerning agriculture and human relations, and the art of making daily necessities such as utensils, clothing and basketry. The basis of the Thai customs and traditions lies in the family, whose structure is of bilateral descent. Like the Chinese and some other Asian peoples, the young are taught to pay respect to and follow the admonitions of parents, elders, teachers and Buddhist monks who, in the old days, formed a highly educated class.
Day 1: Arrival - Bangkok. On arrival at Don Muang Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel. The glorious history of Thai Capital, Bangkok is much interwoven with the Chakri dynasty which still reigns but no longer rules Thailand. In the midst of dynamic modern growth, this bustling metropolis still preserves plenty of cultural heritages making it the national treasure house. No activities planned for this afternoon; however our guide is on hand to advise some available options. Overnight in Bangkok.
Day 2: Bangkok. Today we commence our tour of Bangkok with a longtail boat trip on the Chao Phraya River and the many lively inner canals which offer some fantastic views of the local life close up. Along the way we make stopover at Wat Arum, the temple of Dawn, before continuing to the Grand Palace, dedicated to the Thai Royal Family’s ceremony. Nearby is the magnificent Wat Phra Kaew, which is famous for the Emerald Buddha Image. After seeing this complex we drive through the many vibrant streets of China Town to some of the most significant temples in Bangkok. The landmark of Wat Traimit is well known as the Golden Buddha Temple while Wat Po houses a gigantic Reclining Buddha. We visit these sights as well as the magnificent Marble Temple. Overnight in Bangkok. Includes: (B)
Day 3: Bangkok – Damnern Saduak – River Of Kwai. Heading out of the town we make our way to Kanchanaburi with stopover at the picturesque floating market of Damnern Saduak. The enchanting town of Kanchanaburi has plenty to see, some of which are the famous bridge over the River Kwai, the sobering War Cemetery and the Jeath War Museum. Board on the train for a trip across the infamous “Death Railway” to Namtok Station. Then exploring the beautiful countryside by driving out to the Hellfire Pass, where we visit the fascinating museum chronicling the events of World War II. Check into your hotel and rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Kanchanaburi. Includes: (B)
Day 4: River Kwai – Ayuthaya – Bangkok. This morning we travel by roads to Ayuthaya, stopping en route to see the country’s largest pagoda at Nakorn Pathom. At 90 km north of Bangkok, Ayuthaya was the capital of Siam from 1350 to 1767 AD. This former capital was all but ultimately suffered destruction at the hands of the Burmeses. On arrival we visit the largest temple of Wat Phra Sisanphet, which was used as the Royal Temple Palace by several kings. The following sight is Wat Chai Wattanaram whose the constructing patterns are very interesting. We continue to Bang Pa In which was served as the summer palace for many Thai monarchs from the 17th century. This structure has a captivating collection of marvelous pavilions in a variety of Thai, Chinese, Italian and Victorian architectural styles. Overnight in Bangkok. Includes: (B)
Day 5: Bangkok – Chiang Mai. The northbound journey begins as we board a flight to Chiang Mai. After checking into hotel we drive west towards the famous Doi Suthep Mountain and embark on a walk leading us to Wat Prathat Temple near the summit. At an elevation of over 1,000 m, the temple grounds affords a panoramic view over the surrounding countryside. We follow this with a visit to the old and new parts of the town featuring the great diversity. The “Rose of the North”, Chiang Mai has been always noted for exquisite handicrafts whose the combination with the traditional wares of the hill tribe people offers fantastic shopping opportunities. Heading out of town we drive to the neighboring villages of Sankampaeng and Borsarng to see the various cottages industries including silk weaving, wood carving, silver ware and umbrellas making. Overnight in Chiang Mai. Includes: (B)
Day 6: Chiang Mai – Chiang Dao – Thaton. Upon leaving the town we set off on an hour and half drive to the northern hill region around Chiang Dao, which is home to a wide array of hill tribe groups. The roads conditions are very poor; however the breathtaking mountain scenery makes for an interesting journey. Along the way we stop at an elephant camp to see these huge animals handling timber before we enjoy an exciting elephant ride past the forest to the hill tribe villages. We get well off the beaten track as we walk around the area, visiting the Red Lahu, Lisu, Karen and Akha people. These ethnic minorities still retain their age old cultural traditions, and are recognizably distinct from each other by their dress. Then transfer to Baan Thaton a small village near by the banks of Mae Kok River. Overnight in Thaton. Includes: (B)
Day 7: Thaton – Boat trip to Chiang Rai. An early morning we board a long-tail cruising downstream of Mae Kok River to Chiang Rai. This river trip takes anything from three to five hour depending the season. No matter how long it will take us, it is still a memorable experience as we pass by the breathtaking mountain landscapes and see many hill villages. After checking hotel in Chiang Rai we enjoy a short visit to the impressive Ethnological Museum which is dedicated to the region’s ethnic groups, some of which we have met on our excursion. Overnight at Chiang Rai. Includes: (B)
Day 8: Chiang Rai – Goldeng Triangle - Bangkok. The royal capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Saen is nestled on the Mekong riverbank which is now the border between Thailand and Laos. Today we travel by roads to Chiang Saen with a stopover at Ban Kiu Kaan, a white Hmong Hill tribe Village close to Chieng Khong. Arriving in Chiang Saen we visit some major sights, including Wat Phrathat Jom Kitti, Wat Chedi Luang and a nearby museum. Heading out of the town we drive through some verdant and rugged mountain scenery to the famous Golden Triangle in which powerful warlords have fought for control the opium trade. After exploring the border town of Mae Sai we return to Chiang Rai for flying back to the capital city. Overnight in Bangkok. Includes: (B)
Day 9: Bangkok – Departure. There is a free time for your own exploration of the town and catching up on some shopping areas. The trip ends after transfer to airport for departure. Includes: (B)
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Asia Thailand History Whiz Archeology/History Cultural Journey