Day 1 – USA to Bangkok
Today you will begin your Swain Destinations customized itinerary. Please note, international air has not been included in this package price.
Day 2 – Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand
Upon arrival and after clearing customs and immigration, a driver will meet you and transfer you directly to your downtown hotel.
The city of Bangkok provides sensory indulgence overload with ornate temples, spectacular food and endless activity. The city shines with color from its lavish temples including Wat Trimitir featuring a 5.5 ton Golden Buddha, Wat Po which is the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok, and of course, the magnificent Grand Palace. The tastiest cuisine is served up at the street stalls and tiny sidewalk restaurants where food is cheap and safely prepared so fill up on curries soups, fresh fish, rice, noodles, and fruit shakes. The night markets are a great time to experience the culture of the city that never sleeps.
An exciting brew of traffic and temples, luxury hotels and labyrinth-like streets, the “City of Angels,” is a hectic heaven. This inexhaustible energy is part of Bangkok’s charm, and it has made this feisty capital one of Asia’s favorite tourist destinations. Cutting through the heart of the city, the magnificent Chao Phraya River, “the River of Kings” provides easy access to Bangkok’s numerous Buddhist temples and the Grand Palace, as well offering insight into Thai life.Starting Accommodation:
Chatrium Riverside Hotel Bangkok
Day 3 – Klong Cruise and Grand Palace
The morning will be at your leisure to explore Bangkok.
Take an afternoon boat ride along the Chao Phraya River, known as the ‘River of Kings’ and its quiet canals, on the West Side of Bangkok. Life along the river and canals is very interesting especially in the Orchis area. Stop at the Temple of Dawn 'Wat Arun' which is one of the city’s landmarks and visit the Royal Palace to see Dusit Hall (funeral hall), holy Wat Phra Kaew (Emerald Buddha), and a fabulous Buddha image, carved from a single piece of Jade.Starting Accommodation:
Chatrium Riverside Hotel Bangkok
Day 4 – Floating Markets & Bangkok CityFloating Markets Tour
This morning your guide will meet you in your hotel lobby, and you will depart for the tour. A glimpse of everyday life in Thailand can be seen at the Damnoen Saduak Floating market, which is located some 50 miles from Bangkok near Ratchaburi. Your journey commences with a leisurely drive passing through salt fields and rice paddies before arriving at a jetty. Here you will board long tail boats to take you to the market.
The market is made up of Thai style canoes laden with colorful, succulent fruits, vegetables, sweets and meats. They gently ply their way through the canal selling as they go. Bangkok City and Temple Tour
This afternoon you will visit some other notable temples in the city. Thailand has over 26,000 temples (or Wats). This tour will bring you to three of the most distinguished temples in Bangkok. Wat Trimitr, the temple of the Golden Buddha, features a statue made from solid Gold weighing 5.5 tons. It is a fine example of Sukhothai art and was discovered by chance from a layer of stucco during construction of the temple.
Passing through Chinatown your next stop is Wat Po, the temple of the reclining Buddha which is the largest and oldest in Bangkok. Your last stop is at Wat Benchamabopit or the marble temple. This magnificent monastery was built with white Italian marble from Carrara.Starting Accommodation:
Chatrium Riverside Hotel Bangkok (B)
Day 5 – Bangkok to Chiang Mai
An English speaking representative will meet you in your hotel lobby for your private airport transfer for your flight to Chiang Mai. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your accommodation by private vehicle.
It would be difficult to find a city that reflects more of Thailand’s diverse cultural heritage and modern aspirations than Chiang Mai. Tour buses crowd Burmese-style temples ablaze with the color of saffron and humming with the chanting of monks, and narrow streets lined with ornately carved teak houses lie in the shadow of contemporary skyscrapers.
Chiang Mai is the gateway city to Thailand’s lush north and its rustic hill tribe villages. Dating back 700 years, the focal point is “Old City,” the walled and moated remains of an imposing fortress. Surrounding this historic site is a blossoming city containing all the characteristics of a modern town. Original gates have been lovingly restored and the chanting of monks drifts softly through the narrow streets from three of the area’s most revered temples. Travel by tuk-tuk (motorized three-wheeler) to the Night Bazaar where local tribes-people sell handicrafts alongside merchants hawking jade jewelry, hammered silver plates, and reams of silk.Doi Suthep and Meo Tour
A relaxing drive takes you up the slopes of Doi Suthep Peak. En route, make a brief stop at a local Meo hill tribe, who makes its home on the sacred mountain. The Meo hill tribe originated in South China and usually live on mountain peaks or plateaus above 3,000 feet. This is followed by a visit to the most sacred temple in the north, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep (A.D.1384), containing a holy relic of Lord Buddha, with a challenging flight of over 300 steps, flanked by enormous mythological Nagas. A panoramic view of the city can be seen from here at 3,500 feet above sea level. On a clear day the panoramic views of the city from the temple ground are truly spectacular!Starting Accommodation:
Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa (B)
Day 6 – Morning Sunrise Tour
One of the most unique experiences in Thailand is a visit to a Buddhist temple to offer alms to the Buddhist monks. Each morning before dawn, 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 of the temple may be made as well, religious festivals permitting.Starting Accommodation:
The remainder of the day will be at your leisure.
Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa (B)
Day 7 – Chiang Mai to Phuket
An English speaking representative will meet you in your hotel lobby for your private airport transfer for your flight to Phuket. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your accommodation by private vehicle.
Although Phuket’s name is derived from the Malaysian word “Bukit,” meaning “mountain,” it is the island’s sheltered coves and long stretches of pristine beach that draw most visitors to its shores. The warm waters of the Andaman Sea beckon a plethora of water sports ranging from snorkeling to windsurfing, and yield the best seafood in Thailand. If you can tear yourself away from that perfect spot on the beach, go on a safari and explore Phuket’s lush jungles.
Day 8 – Phi Phi Island by Speedboat
Morning pick up from hotel and transfer to pier. Depart from the pier to 'Phi Phi Island' which is about a 1 hour ride from Phuket. Arrive at 'Phi Phi Lay' explore the fantastic landscape of 'Maya Bay' (where the Movie 'The Beach' was partially filmed) swimming or snorkeling with colorful fishes. Discover 'Loh Samah Bay' and 'Pileh Cove' and sightseeing at 'Viking Cave'. Arrive at 'Phi Phi Don' enjoy snorkeling or relaxing on a white sandy beach at Yong Kasem (Monkey Beach). Enjoy a great lunch at a beachside restaurant at Phi Phi Don (food only). Arrive at 'Bamboo Island' free times on the beach enjoy your time for feeding fishes, swimming, snorkeling or relaxing. Afternoon departure from Hin Klang Island back to the pier.
Day 9 – At leisure, Phuket
This day is at your leisure. Explore the surrounding area on your own or on one of our additional day excursions
Day 10 – Phuket to Bangkok
Transfer to the airport by private vehicle for your flight to Bangkok. Upon arrival you will transfer to your Bangkok hotel for the night. Starting Accommodation:
Hotel Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (B)
Day 11 – Bangkok to USA
Transfer from your Bangkok hotel to the airport for your return flight to the USA.