Travel to Thailand
Upon arriving in Bangkok, Thailand you will be met by our local representative in the arrivals area of the airport, before being transferred to your hotel.
You will have the remainder of the day at leisure to unpack, relax and explore the surroundings of your hotel. At 6.00 P.M. you will have an Introductory Talk on Thailand, its features, culture and people by your guide Dr Tom Curtis.
Jim Thompson’s House Museum
After breakfast, visit Jim Thompson’s beautiful Thai-style house and garden filled with his priceless collection of Asian antiques, pottery and other curiosities. Jim Thompson was the legendary American architect and entrepreneur who settled in Thailand after World War II and almost single-handedly revived the moribund silk industry. No trace was found of Thompson after he disappeared in 1967 while hiking near the Cameron Highlands.
Suan Pakkard Palace
In the afternoon, discover the charming Suan Pakkard Palace which holds and exhibits one of Thailand's leading Asian art and antique collections. Within the royal complex there are eight traditional Thai houses overlooking a beautifully kept garden. In each building you can find differing pieces such as a collection of Thai musical instruments which belonged to the late H.R.H. Prince Paribatra, a large collection of Buddha images, Khon masks, puppets, clay figurines and Chinese porcelain.
Rama IX Park
Set off this morning to visit Rama IX Park, built in 1987 to celebrate King Bhumibol’s 60th birthday. It is the largest green space in Bangkok with a beautiful botanical garden, lake and gardens inspired by countries around the world.
The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Enjoy an afternoon excursion to the impressive Grand Palace, considered one of the most stunning examples of an ancient Siamese court. The complex incorporates several palaces and halls used for different occasions. Bangkok’s former royal palace is an intriguing blend of Italian Renaissance architecture and classical Thai roofing. Continue to admire the Emerald Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Kaeo), Bangkok’s most important and sacred wat. Built at the end of the 18th century by King Rama I, this splendid example of Thai aesthetics and religious architecture houses the Emerald Buddha, Thailand’s most venerated image.
Asiatique The Riverfront
Spend the evening at Asiatique The Riverfront, Bangkok’s first large-scale riverside community mall, combining shopping, dining, sightseeing, activities and events under one roof. Enjoy a tasty dinner at Joe Louis Thai Restaurant, including a Thai Puppet Show before arriving back at your hotel.
Enjoy a morning at leisure where you can relax and enjoy your surroundings. Your guide would be delighted to recommend activities to suit your interests.
Boat Trip along Chao Phraya River
After lunch, board a private boat to explore the Thonburi Klongs. The network of klongs (canals) highlights the traditional Thai way of life that once gave Bangkok the title of “The Venice of the East”. The trip provides a glimpse of the still-active waterborne life of the residents of Thonburi, from their stilted homes to floating bank barges, as you sail along the mighty Chao Phraya River (the River of the Kings) to Taksin Bridge where you will be met by your coach and transferred back to your hotel.
In the morning depart for Ayutthaya, the former capital of Thailand. Although sacked, looted and razed by Burmese invaders in the 18th century, the surviving ruins stand as a testament to the former glory of what was once the most magnificent city in the Orient. Stroll around Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, the royal temple which originally stood within the compound of the king’s palace. Built in the 14th century, the main compound once held a 52 foot long Buddha image covered in 550 lbs of gold, which was later melted down by the Burmese conquerors. Go on to look at the enormous bronze Buddha statue in Phra Mongkol Bopit, one of the largest in Thailand and finally visit Wat Phanan Choeng, believed to predate Ayutthaya by 26 years, which houses a massive image of the seated Buddha.
Bang Pa In
Continue on to Bang Pa In, the former royal summer retreat, where you will have the opportunity to tour the impeccably manicured grounds and the assortment of royal buildings within the complex before returning to Bangkok.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
After breakfast, depart for a visit to Chatuchak Weekend Market, the biggest outdoor shopping market in Thailand. Here you will find almost anything your heart desires. This market is more than just a paradise for shopping. It also offers a unique glimpse of the wide range of goods produced in Thailand. Get ready to use a few words of Thai you have picked up along the way and make sure to smile to get those super special prices!
In the afternoon, your guide will take you on a tour through Bangkok’s Chinatown, famous for its gold shops, always painted red and making much use of mirror glass. You will also find many fascinating goods for sale, including traditional medicines. Afterwards, visit Narai Phand Handicraft Centre, known for their wonderful selection of beautiful Thai crafts.
Amphawa Floating Market
This morning, travel overland to the town of Kanchanaburi, originally established by King Rama I as the first line of defence against the invading Burmese army. During WW II, the Japanese occupation in Thailand used Allied Prisoners of war to build the infamous Death Railway along this same invasion route. Stop en route at the Amphawa District to view its fascinating floating food market.
King Rama II Memorial Park
Continue to the King Rama II Memorial Park where you will find many places of interest, including the King Rama II Museum, built in the traditional Thai architectural style. Afterwards, transfer to your hotel in Kanchanaburi.
Wat Tham Khao Poon, Chung Kai & Kanchanaburi Cemetery
Depart for a morning excursion to the caves at Wat Tham Khao Poon. There, you can find one big Happy Buddha image placed at top of the hill. One of the highlights of this place is the limestone cave which visitors can walk through to the other end. Continue on to visit the Chung Kai Allied War Memorial contains the graves of 1,740 Australian, New Zealand, British, French and Dutch Prisoners of War in neat, well-kept grounds. Each grave has a headstone with plaque stating names and epitaphs for the fallen. Next, visit Kanchanaburi Allied War Cemetery which contains the graves of 7,000 predominantly British and Australian prisoners. The Commonwealth War Graves commission supports the site and as a result it is exquisitely kept with wonderful green lawns and colourful flowers.
Enjoy an afternoon at leisure where you can relax and enjoy your surroundings. Your guide would be delighted to recommend activities to suit your interests, including an optional visit to the JEATH Museum and Japanese war memorial.
Train Ride to Namtok Station
Depart this morning to Kanchanaburi Station and board a train to Namtok Station. The journey will take you across the famous 'Bridge over the River Kwai', immortalised in the classic David Lean film. You will have the opportunity to walk and take a picture on the infamous Death Railway before transferring to your hotel by coach.
Botanical Garden and Thai Village
After breakfast, transfer from Kanchanaburi to Sampran Riverside Resort (formerly Rose Garden Resort) and visit the Botanical Garden. Admire the different species of vegetation and herbs, many of them rare and exotic. Continue to Thai Village and experience the sustainable way of life in this village through various workshops (to be advised locally).
Transfer from Sampran Riverside Resort, with guide assistance, to Bangkok Airport for your return flight home.