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With giant golden temples, monks wandering around in saffron robes, elephants, jungles and extraordinary beaches, Thailand offers exotic travel in a warm, welcoming atmosphere that kids will love! Situated along the Chao Phraya River in Central Thailand, Bangkok is a huge city of over 10 million people and can seem a bit overwhelming at first. But, peel back the layers and Bangkok shows its true colors in the colorful temples, markets and family-friendly attractions. Outside the big city, Thailand is famous for its white sand beaches, turquoise waters and especially its lumpy limestone rock formations that tower over the water as well as its lush green jungles, which are home to many Asian elephants.
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Start your journey in the vibrant city of Bangkok where colorful temples play host to monks in saffron robes. Visit Wat Pho, home to one of Thailand’s largest Buddha statues: a 150-foot reclining golden Buddha! If you feel inclined, visit the long-time backpacker’s haunt, Khao San Road. Next, head into the wild jungles of Thailand to the province of Kachanaburi, known for its famous bridge over the River Kwai. En route, stop at a floating market where vendors sell food, handicrafts and household items from boats.
Your unique jungle experience including a full day with elephants at a sanctuary that rescues injured and elderly elephants. Help in the conservation effort and have an up close encounter with these giant creatures as you pick food, feed them, and possible even bathe them (or get bathed by them!). Spend another day exploring the jungles near your hotel: Choose to walk to a Mon village or a sacred cave or temple. Or, optionally, kayak or take a bamboo raft down the river. Then, head north to Chiang Mai where adventure awaits in the mountains surrounding town. Spend a full day exploring: visit a Karen village where women wear brass rings around their necks, hike to a waterfall, go white water rafting and more! The next day, rise early to greet the monks of Doi Suthep Temple where you can offer alms and explore the temple. In the evening, get spicy in a Thai cooking class! Finally, head south to explore some of Thailand’s famous beaches and underwater vistas on the tiny island of Koh Tao!
Arrive in Bangkok where you will be met at the airport by your guide. After check-in to your hotel, board a tuk-tuk to explore Wat Pho, and visit one of Thailand’s most famous Buddha images, the reclining Buddha.
In the evening, optionally visit Khao San Road, a backpacker’s haven since the 1960s, which is now home to outdoor cafes, shops selling all sorts of items from t-shirts to Thai crafts, food stalls with everything from Pad Thai to scorpions on a stick and massage and fish spas to rejuvenate those weary feet!
After breakfast, your transfer will pick you up for your trip to River Kwai jungle area. En route, visit the Floating Markets, where you will take a boat through this unique market where vendors on boats sell everything from coconut pancakes to house wares to handicrafts. Next, make a stop at the famous Bridge Over River Kwai and learn about Thailand’s role in World War II before heading into the jungle and up the river to your hotel for the night.
Overnight River Kwai Jungle Raft Hotel or similar. (B, D)
Depart in the morning for a full day experience with elephants! At Elephant’s World, elephants are king and visitors are there to revere these gentle giants. Spend the day planting and preparing food for the injured and elderly elephants, hand feeding them and maybe even give them a bath in the river before you head back to your river hotel.
Overnight River Kwai Jungle Raft Hotel or similar. (B, D)
After breakfast, and hopefully a glimpse of resident elephants bathing and breakfasting in the morning, enjoy a free day to explore the rainforest and river surrounds. Hiking trails lead from the river banks near the hotel to the nearby Mon village, a Buddhist temple, a
school and a sacred cave. Spend the day swimming or experience optional activities (not included) like taking a bamboo raft ride or kayaking on the river, or climbing and zip lining through the trees at a nearby adventure trail.
After breakfast, take your transfer back to Bangkok to board a flight for Chiang Mai.
Former capital of the Kingdom of Lan Na, Chiang Mai is known for its hundreds of Buddhist temples, rich culture and colorful festivals. Tucked into the jungles of northern Thailand, the area surrounding Chiang Mai offers spectacular vistas of rural Thailand, a plethora of adventure activities and the chance to immerse in nature. The city of Chiang Mai is well known for its night market and cultural activities.
Transfer from the airport for check-in to your hotel.
In the evening, hop a Song Taew (open back truck) to the Night Market. Peruse the colorful handicrafts and other items at the Night Market, maybe taste some traditional Thai food, possibly followed up by a Thai foot massage. (dinner, shopping, massages are
at your own expense)
Overnight De Lanna Hotel or similar. (B)
After breakfast, head out into the lush green mountains surrounding Chiang Mai to experience nature at its finest. Begin the morning visiting a Karen hill tribe, famous for the gold bands they wear around their necks. Enjoy a simple, but traditional, Thai lunch then go for a trek to a waterfall, followed by white water rafting.
Overnight De Lanna Hotel or similar. (B, L)
Wake up early this morning to transfer to Doi Suthep Temple where you will give alms to local monks before visiting the temple. Explore the temple and the surrounding area before returning to your hotel for some rest.
Tonight, head by Song Taew truck to the market and shop for ingredients with your head cook, and then head to the cooking school where you will learn how to make some of Thailand’s most famous dishes. After your are done, enjoy your delicious creations!
Overnight De Lanna Hotel or similar. (B, D)
Transfer to airport for flight from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui. Once in Koh Samui, you will transfer to dock for ferry ride to Koh Tao.
Known as one of the top scuba diving and snorkeling places in Asia, Koh Tao offers amazing vistas both above and below the waves. This small island located off Thailand’s southeast coast feels a world away from its bigger sister island of Koh Samui. It has a laid back beach vibe with a small strip of restaurants and bars located on the main beach, and many remote bays and hidden beaches.
Overnight in 4-star hotel on Koh Tao. (B)
Spend the day snorkeling in the amazing waters around Koh Tao and visit the famous Koh Nang Yuan, one of the world’s only double-sided beaches! Your snorkel tour will take you to some of Koh Tao’s most famous snorkel spots where colorful fish shimmy around even more colorful corals! Option to dive as well.
Overnight in 4-star hotel on Koh Tao. (B, L)
Spend the day at leisure…you can take a taxi to Koh Tao’s main stretch of shops to
peruse, go for hikes, snorkel near your hotel, get a massage, and more!
Overnight in 4-star hotel on Koh Tao. (B)
Take the ferry back to Koh Samui for your return flight to Bangkok.
Overnight airport hotel. (B)
Awake and transfer to the airport for your return flight home. (B)
Wat Pho Tour
Travel by tuk-tuk (motorized rickshaw) to Wat Pho temple famous for its reclining Buddha. This 150-foot long golden Buddha is one of Thailand’s largest and most photographed Buddha images. Explore other areas of the temple, including the Hall of 1000 Buddhas, and learn about Buddhism in Thailand.
Floating Market Tour
Board a small boat to tour the canals of the famous floating market. Enjoy floating past vendors on boats selling everything from fruits and snacks to handicrafts to household items. Marvel at boats packed with items and bargaining taking place between locals balanced between boats in this “Venice of Thailand”.
Bridge Over River Kwai Tour
Visit the famous Bridge Over River Kwai and part of the infamous and eerily nicknamed “Death Railway” so named because of the many POWs who died building the rail line during World War II. Learn about the impacts of the war and its history here.
Full-Day Elephant Experience
Thailand is well known for its elephant population and in recent years conservation has become a major focus here as elephants move out of the work force (they were used for logging and other work) and into sanctuaries. At this sanctuary, injured and elderly elephants are cared for. Their motto is “We work for the elephants, not them for us!” Visitors are invited to volunteer for the day which could include planting new trees, picking food, making sticky rice balls for the older elephants, cooking, feeding the elephants and maybe even bathing them (or being bathed by them as often happens as they play in the river!).
Full Day Adventure Experience
Spend the day exploring the mountains around Chiang Mai in a full day of adventure. Begin your day with a visit to a Karen village where women wearing brass rings around their necks make and sell handicrafts to visitors. Next, head out through the jungle on foot with a hike to a local waterfall. And, finally, hop a boat to experience the exhilaration of bumping and swerving through the white waters of the river. At the end (if the river is low) change to a bamboo raft for a relaxing float to end your day.
Temple and Monks Half Day
Rise early in the morning in time to greet the monks and offer alms. Learn about the monks and their lifestyle before exploring the nearby temple of Doi Suthep.
Thai Cooking Class
Take an open back truck to the local markets where your instructor will teach you about Thailand’s fruits, vegetables and plants/herbs and their use in cooking and for medicinal purposes. Then, head to the kitchen where you will learn to whip these fresh ingredients into some of Thailand’s most famous dishes. After all that cooking, you will have worked up an appetite. So, sit down and enjoy the feast you have prepared!
Full Day Snorkel Tour
Spend a day in Koh Tao out on the water exploring hidden coves on the island as well as the areas best snorkel spots! Koh Tao is famous for its snorkeling and diving. In fast, it is one of the most popular destination dive certification spots in the world. Take a boat out to experience the best underwater vistas where colorful fish swim through layers and layers of colorful coral. Plus, visit the famous Koh Nang Yuan, one of the world’s only double-sided beaches!
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