December 23rd, 2014

First day of school

Leaving for Thailand tomorrow...

Tomorrow we are leaving for Thailand for 14 days! Woo! I'm not sure what the internet will look like, but here is our itinerary. If I can post, I will. Happy holidays!

Day 1
Depart USA.
Your exotic journey to Thailand begins as you depart today aboard your wide-body jet.

Day 2
Arrive Bangkok.
Welcome to Thailand, the “Land of Smiles”. Evening arrival in Bangkok, the breathtaking capital. You’ll be met by your Tour Director and escorted to your upscale hotel located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Menam Riverside Hotel

Day 3
Bangkok.
Special “orientation breakfast”, then embark on an included tour introducing you to some of the outstanding Buddhist temples in Bangkok. Visit Wat Trimitr with its invaluable 5-tons solid gold statue of Buddha and Wat Po, featuring the colossal 150 foot long “Reclining Buddha”. See the White Marble Temple representing the finest example of Thai architecture. Afternoon at leisure or join an optional canal boat ride across the river for a glimpse of local daily life ($30). This evening enjoy a welcome dinner. (B,D)

Day 4
Bangkok.
Two days at leisure to discover Thailand’s vibrant and exotic capital at your own pace. Your Tour Director can make suggestions for independent exploration. Join an optional excursion to the colorful Damnoen Saduak floating market, reached by a rice barge followed by a visit to Phra Pathom Chedi, the tallest stupa in the world ($45). A tour of the spectacular Grand Palace, former residence of the Kings ($40) is also available. Both tours can be on either days 4 or 5 depending on the departure date. (B)

Day 5
Bangkok Continued.
Continue to enjoy your independent exploration of one of the world’s greatest cities! (B)

Day 6
Bangkok/Ayutthaya/Phitsanulok.
Over the next few days venture into some of Thailand’s most fascinating regions, rich with culture, history and stunning landscape. In Ayutthaya, the ancient capital, see the giant bronze statue of Wat Mongkol Borpith and the three ancient pagodas at Wat Phra Sri. Continue to Lopburi to view the magnificent stone carvings of Phra Prang Sam Yod as well as the Monkey Temple. Drive via beautiful scenery of rice paddies to Phitsanulok, the gateway to Northern Thailand, visit the Bronze Case Factory and view how Buddha Images are made in an authentic way. Topland Hotel (B)

Day 7
Phitsanulok/Sukhothai/Lampang.
Today travel to Sukhothai to see the famous ruins of this 13th century first capital of Siam. Visit the Textile Museum, a unique private collection. Continue to Sri Satchanalai, the northern outpost town of the Kingdom of Sukhothai, built by King Ramkamhaeng where you’ll visit an ancient Ceramic Kiln before proceeding to Lampang for overnight. Wiang Lakorn Hotel (B)

Day 8
Golden Triangle/Chiang Rai.
Lampang is famous for its narrow streets and traditional horse-drawn carriages. Visit a local paper and ceramic making village. Depart for Phayao, a rural lakeside town and once princely state. Proceed to Chiang Saen, situated on the border with Laos. Enjoy a short boat trip on the Mekong River towards the Golden Triangle – the meeting point of Thailand, Burma and Laos. Visit Mae Sai, the Northern-most point of Thailand, stroll through the colorful local market and shop for Burmese handicrafts before arriving in charming Chiang Rai. Phowadol Resort & Spa (B)

Day 9
Chiang Rai.
Day at leisure. Your hotel is located within easy access to the Mae Kok River. Today join an optional boat trip down the river and visit the fascinating local hilltribe villages, learn about their culture and observe the colorful costumes ($35). (B)

Day 10
Chiang Rai / Chiang Mai.
Morning drive to Chiang Mai, the “Rose of the North.” Your hotel is centrally located within a short walking distance to the renowned night market. Afternoon at leisure. Tonight we suggest an optional “Kantoke Dinner” featuring local specialties as well as breathtaking performance of songs and dances by a local hilltribe dressed in traditional costumes ($35, dinner included). Centara Duang Tawan Hotel (B)

Day 11
Chiang Mai.
Today visit an elephant camp and see a demonstration of the role of the elephant in Thai agriculture, commerce and culture. Later visit an Orchid Farm. Afternoon at leisure to discover the charm and beauty of this ancient city. (B)

Day 12
Chiang Mai.
Morning optional city tour visits Chiang Mai’s most interesting temples as well as fascinating Wat Doi Suthep located high in the mountains ($30). Tonight, why not celebrate with your fellow travelers in an optional farewell dinner at a famous riverside restaurant ($30). (B)

Day 13
Chiang Mai/Bangkok.
Final day at leisure for shopping or independent pursuits. Late today, fly back to Bangkok (B)

Day 14
Bangkok/USA.
Connect in Bangkok for your flight home. Your magical journey ends as you arrive the USA later today.