(Bangkok, Chiang Mai)
Created with the support of family travel connoisseur Jamie Pearson of TravelsavvyMom.com, this customizable private guided adventure makes for a kidtastic take on Thailand. Showcasing bustling Bangkok, the River Kwai & the tropical rainforests of Chiang Mai, it is packed with animals & kid friendly fun at a pace that`s ideal for families with little ones or even just the young at heart! From monkey filled temples, offering alms to Buddhist monks, meeting tigers cubs & mountain biking to a jungle raft sleepover, swimming in waterfalls, receiving good luck blessings, seeing pandas at the zoo, zip-lining with gibbons apes & visiting local villages, adventure awaits! Another highlight for children 1-99 is sure to be a day at an elephant park where you`ll safari, swim & splash with friendly Asian elephants. Featuring private expert guide, driver, great kid friendly hotels (all with pools!) & 24/7 support, this is the stuff family legends are made of.
Book by June 15th and save $200 per person or $800 for a family of four. Travel by September 1, 2013
A private vehicle with English-speaking guide and driver will transfer you between the airport and your hotel. The driving time is roughly 45 minutes.
Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok, is comprised of 802 luxurious guestrooms in two adjacent towers, Shangri-La Wing and Krungthep Wing. The luxurious rooms have a Thai-inspired décor with high ceilings, silk and teak finishing’s, and spacious balconies offering memorable views of the Chao Phraya River. Shangri-La, Bangkok is a luxurious oasis for both leisure and business travellers. Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, the hotel is also close to Bangkok’s shopping, sightseeing and business districts.
Experience a half day trip along the bustling Chao Phya River and the quiet Klongs (canals) in a long tail boat enjoy scenes of life by water. We bring you to a more traditional way of living, more serene and traditional, away from all the high-rise and modern buildings of Bangkok City Centre, as we gently pass Thonburi residential areas. A stop will be made at the “Temple of Dawn” (officially named Wat Arun). A visit to the Royal Grand Palace, the nation’s landmark and most praised royal monument in Thailand is a must. Situated close to the Chao Phraya, Bangkok’s River of Kings, the palace occupies nearly one square mile. The former royal residence of the Chakri Kings, the palace is the perfect example of an ancient Siamese court. Built in 1782 by King Rama I, it was the centre of power for more than 150 years. Today, the palace is Bangkok's major landmark and most popular tourist attraction. Photography is permitted in the Royal Palace Grounds and in the compounds of the Emerald Buddha Temple, but not inside the buildings. Participants on this tour should note that the chapel is a national shrine and you will be required to wear proper attire (no bare shoulders, knees or strapless-heel shoes). Shoes must be removed before entering the temple buildings as a matter of respect. The Palace may be closed without prior notice during Royal ceremonies and officials/head of state visits. The inner courts of Grand Palace are frequently closed on Sundays; we recommend not to book this excursion on Sundays to avoid disappointment.
Thai boxing (or Muay Thai) is a sport developed long ago from combat training and has become well known throughout the world. Foreigners who watch never cease to be amazed by the strange rules (or lack of them) that allow the boxers to not only use their fists for punching, but their feet and knees for kicking or pushing, and their elbows for jabbing while striking any part of the opponent's body. Still, the matches of today are greatly refined (and less bloody) from those that took place years ago. Back then, there were no gloves, the boxer's hands and arms were bound only with knotted starched cord, and the rules were much different. Visitors to the Kingdom should not hesitate to witness this thrilling and unforgettable spectacle. There are fights on weeknights at the city’s two major boxing stadiums and there is absolutely not a more energetic sport available than Muay Thai.
Pick up this morning from your hotel in Bangkok. Your first stop will be the former capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya, which is situated approximately 75 kilometres north of the city. The tour starts en route at the Summer Palace of the late King Rama V, commonly known as “Bang Pa-In”. Continue on to Lopburi where you will visit Sarn Prakarn, an ancient Khmer sanctuary. It has been told that in ancient times there were many gigantic fig or Krang trees, where monkeys had lived. Later, people brought food and fruits to make a votive offering to the shrine. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Next, proceed to Phra Prang Sam Yod, another ancient Buddhist compound comprised of 3 prangs linked to one another by a corridor. Today, the sanctuary and surrounding city have been overtaken by monkeys coming in from the nearby jungle as local monks continue to feed them. As visitors you can wander the grounds watching the lively action on the temple, and explore the markets nearby where the monkeys continue to live. The next stop is Phra Narai Ratchaniwet, a palace built in the 1600’s. Although the buildings were designed by with the contributions of French architects, the Khmer influence was still strong. The Palace was a perfect blend of both worlds, an awesome mixture of Khmer-European styles. After that transfer back to Bangkok, and arrive at your hotel in the late evening.
In the early morning, you will be picked up by private car with an English speaking guide from your Bangkok hotel and transferred to Kanchanaburi.
Upon your arrival in Kanchanaburi, you will visit the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre Museum, War Cemetery and the Bridge of River Kwai. Enjoy a special lunch prepared for you at a local Thailand restaurant. Afterwards, continue on to visit Hellfire Pass Memorial; where you will get on board a long tail boat from the pier to get to River Kwai Jungle Raft. Dinner will be served at the raft followed by a 45 minute presentation of Mon dances. You will overnight at River Kwai Jungle Raft.
All guest rooms are approx. 28 sq. m. each, stunningly floating on the River Kwai. River Kwai Jungle Rafts is an authentic relaxing getaway as one of the main aims is to grant guests to be close to nature with natural cooling from the river underneath the raft. You will be one of a few people who experiences living and sleeping on the world’s historic river. At night, in this “hassle-free” hideaway, instead of using electricity, wick lamps are used for lighting purposes so as to conserve the natural surroundings and concept. The light from wick lamps wonderfully awards the romantic ambience at night. Guests will truly have a warm and comfortable stay on board the River Kwai Jungle Rafts.
Today, enjoy breakfast onboard the raft and then take an exciting boat ride upstream where you will visit Saiyoke Yai Waterfall & National Park, experience nature at its best. After, you will return for lunch at River Kwai Resotel. In the afternoon, relax in paradise, visit Lava Cape, and explore the fascinating rock formations inside. Enjoy dinner and overnight at River Kwai Jungle Raft. Other optional activities include Canoeing or Mountain Biking.
In the morning, take pleasure having a relaxing breakfast onboard the raft before visiting the nearby ethnic Mon Tribal Village. Other optional tours include an elephant ride through the bamboo forest. Check out and depart for your lunch at the pier. To end this amazing tour take a historic ride on Death Railway Train, passing lush forest.
Proceed to Bangkok where you will be dropped off at your hotel.
Fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai on Bangkok Air.
You will be greeted at the airport by an English speaking guide and transferred by private car between the airport and your hotel.
Tamarind Village is set in the heart of Chiang Mai, just 15 minutes from the airport, and close to the local bus and train links. The world famous night bazaar is a short stroll away, along with various temples and cultural points of interest. This boutique property boasts 42 guest rooms and 3 suites reflecting a range of styles accustomed only to northern Thailand. All rooms are decorated with contemporary elegance. On-site facilities include a spa, travel desk and car rental service.
You will be picked up from your hotel by private car with an English speaking guide in Chiang Mai Town and transferred to Chiang Mai Zoo. The zoo is located next to Huay Kaeo Arboretum. It is a well-managed large zoo, which occupies the lower forested slopes of Doi Suthep Mountain. The zoo contains more than 200 types of Asian and African mammals and birds. The most popular star here is a couple of Pandas, the friendship Chinese ambassador and you will have the opportunity to see the cutest baby Panda's here at the Chiang Mai Zoo. Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant before being transferred back to your hotel.
You will be picked up at the hotel and transferred to Mae Rim district. You will visit Orchid Farm and Butterfly Farm on your way to the Tiger Kingdom. Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai is a park and restaurant where you can play with and touch tigers. At the Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai Park you can choose from various programs. You can choose to play and touch puppy tigers, small tigers for 15 - 20 minutes (depending on tiger's size). Lunch will be provided.
The Tiger is a beautiful and majestic creature. They are highly adaptable and can be found in and from the Siberan Taiga to the tropical swamps to grasslands. Tiger’s stripes are individually as unique as the human finger print. Most tigers have more than 100 stripes and no two tigers have identical stripes. When a tiger roars you can hear it from over a mile away! There are nine subspecies of tigers, the Bengal tiger, the Indochinese tiger, the Malayan tiger, the Sumatran tiger, the Siberian tiger, and the South China tiger. Unfortunately, there are three extinct subspecies, the Balinese, Javan and Caspian tigers. The Siberian tiger is the largest one of all the subspecies and this beast can reach an average head and body length of 9ft 8’ with an estimated weight of 540 pounds. Imagine a tiger can eat up to 100 pounds of meat a night, that is almost 400 hamburgers!
A private vehicle will pick you up from your hotel and take you on one of the most unique experiences in Thailand, a visit to a Buddhist temple to offer alms to the Buddhist monks. Each morning before dawn (pick-up from your hotel is at 06:00 hrs), the monks put on their distinctive saffron robes and quietly pad in their bare feet along the streets, carrying alms bowls and receiving boiled rice and condiments from the citizens of Thailand In return people receive the monks’ blessings. You can participate in this very special Thai custom by personally presenting alms; a brief exploration at the Sri Soda temple may be made as well, religious festivals permitting, including see the monks pray in the early morning.
Visit the most sacred temple in the North of Thailand; the Wat Prathat Doi Suthep is the most sacred temple in Chiang Mai containing a holy relic of the Lord Buddha. Tucked away in the mountains at an elevation of 1,056 meters (3520 feet), the temple is reached using a Naga (7- headed dragon head serpent) railing rising along both sides. The temple compound – reachable via a 300-step staircase - offers an exhilarating view of Chiangmai city and surrounding countryside. Drive back down to the city centre to visit some of the other impressive temples of Chiangmai. Wat Suan Dok is one of them, which dates back to the 14th century when it served as the pleasure gardens to the Thai monarchy. Nowadays it houses several white Chedi’s, containing the ashes of Chiang Mai’s former Royal family. This temple also houses one of the most famous Monk Schools in the whole of Chiang Mai and the Wat Jedyod, also known as The Temple of Seven Spires. Please dress respectfully by not wearing sleeveless T–shirts, shorts or strapless sandals, when visiting the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep.
Join Adventure Ecotours on an exhilarating ride through the rainforest canopy on zip lines and sky bridges in the mountains outside of Chiang Mai. This Jungle Canopy Adventure is a unique zip line canopy tour through pristine, 1500 year old rainforest outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand. 18 platforms, sky bridges and lowering stations connect 2km of zip lines that take you through different layers of the rainforest canopy. You zip line easily from tree to tree on a spectacular and gradual downhill course, taking time to linger in your favorite places, soaking up the fragrance, clean air and animal life. The safety team accompanies you and teaches you how to move through the trees with the speed and grace of a young gibbon. It is a one day tour. You spend about three hours in the forest canopy on cables and bridges, one hour trekking along Mae Kompong waterfall, about one hour having time for lunch and visiting the village. Add 45 minutes to one hour travel time each way. So allow 7 hours from pick up time.
Elephant Nature Park is a unique project set in Chiang Mai province, Northern Thailand. Established in the 1990's the aim has always been to provide a sanctuary and rescue centre for elephants. The park is located some 60km from the city, and has provided a sanctuary for dozens of distressed elephants from all over Thailand. Set in a natural valley, bordered by a river, and surrounded by forested mountains, the area offers a timeless glimpse of rural life. You will start the tour with a picturesque drive through agricultural Thai countryside, along Mae Taeng Valley which is on the way to the Elephant Nature Park. You will hear the personal stories of rescued elephants as told by expert guides. You will learn about the problems elephants face in Southeast Asia, and how the Elephant Nature Park is helping in the treatment, and care of Thailand's dwindling elephant population. After unloading you will have a chance to feed the elephants from the viewing platform. When you are done feeding these magnificent creatures, you will indulge in a sumptuous buffet lunch. Upon finishing lunch, you will take a guided walk to the local river that skirts the park. Here you will learn bathe the elephants. Should you not wish to partake in this part of the tour, you may stay dry and watch from the sandy shore. Around 5pm, it will be time to say goodbye to the elephants and transfer back to your hotel.
The Elephant is the largest of all land mammals and they can live for up to 70 years. Elephants normally walk at about 4 mph and are able to swim for long distances. Elephants spend about 16 hours a day eating and consuming as much as 495 pounds of food per day. Despite the size of Elephant’s ears their hearing is poor and their eyes are small leaving them with bad eyesight. But, they have the largest brains in the animal kingdom.
Fly from Chiang Mai to Bangkok on Thai or Bangkok Air.
Spend half a day today visiting South East Asia's largest open air market, Chatuchak. Open only on Saturday and Sunday, this market spans many miles, and is the perfect place to barter for souvenirs, eat some truly authentic Thai street food, or simply sit back, grab a drink, and watch the excitement. Your guide will accompany you through the maze of stalls, and help you with your haggling skills.
VISA/PASSPORTU.S. and Canadian citizens staying for fewer than 30 days do not require a visa, but must possess a valid passport and may be asked to show an onward/return ticket.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Thailand for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is required. Medical facilities are not widespread and poor quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/thailand.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Bangkok. Government: Constitutional monarchy. Language: Thai is the official language. English is widely spoken, especially in establishments catering for tourists. Religion: The vast majority adhere to Buddhism (Theravada form), 5% are Muslim and there are Christian and Hindu minorities. Time: GMT + 7. Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin plugs are standard. Telephone: Country code +66. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with many international mobile phone companies. There is good coverage, especially around main towns. Internet: There are plenty of Internet cafes, some even found in remote areas visited by tourists.
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