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 – Day of Touring, BangkokKlongs and Grand Palace Tour
Take a morning 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. Bangkok City and Temples 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 4 – Floating Market 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 we 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. Treat your eyes to a parade of colorful canoes laden with everything from juicy mangoes to jolly-faced souvenirs; or paddle up to one of the floating markets and order a bowl of steaming noodles.
The afternoon is at your leisure to explore the city of Bangkok. Try out some Pad Thai from a local street vendor or souvenir shop - it's up to you!Starting Accommodation:
Chatrium Riverside Hotel Bangkok (B)
Day 5 – Bangkok to Singapore
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Singapore. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your accommodation by private vehicle.
The island nation of Singapore is a blend of East and West, old and new. It is a modern and clean city where English is widely spoken. Places of interest include Raffles Hotel, a Singaporean institution; Chinatown, which is Singapore's cultural heart and is home to numerous temples, decorated terraces and shops and activity. Orchard Road is the area where the high-class hotels, shopping centers, nightspots, restaurants, bars and lounges are most dominant, and also possesses some sights of cultural interest. Sentosa Island is the city-state's most visited attraction. It has museums, aquariums, beaches, sporting facilities, walks, rides and food centers.Starting Accommodation:
Novotel Clarke Quay (B)
Day 6 – Singapore City Tour
Enjoy the city's irresistible combination of a touch of the exotic, and the famous efficiency that makes it easy to explore and enjoy. An Orientation tour of the city begins with a drive through the 'Colonial Heart' for a view of the Padang, Cricket Club, Parliament House, Supreme Court and City Hall. En route to Thian Hock Keng Temple, one of the oldest temples in Singapore, we pass Chinatown before stopping at Mount Faber for a panoramic view of the harbor and on to a local handicraft center. The tour then continues to the National Orchid Garden located within the beautiful Botanic Gardens. The final stop is at Little India, before returning to your hotel.Starting Accommodation:
Novotel Clarke Quay (B)
Day 7 – Perankan Trail
Today's colorful journey is into the history, lifestyle and unique character of the Peranakan, the descendants of the very early Chinese immigrants to the Nusantara region (including Singapore, the British Straits Settlements of Malaysia and then Dutch-controlled island of Java among other places). The Peranankan (or Baba-Nyonya / Straits Chinese), partially adopted Malay customs in an effort to be assimilated into the local communities. Over the centuries, the Peranakans have evolved a unique culture that maintains many Chinese traditions, such as celebrating the Lunar New Year and the Lantern Festival, while adopting the customs of the land they settled in, as well as those of their successive colonial rulers. There are traces of Portuguese, Dutch, British, Malay and Indonesian influences in Baba culture. Walk through a Spice Garden which sits on the original site of the first Botanic Gardens and uncover the intricacies of spices and herbs that go into Peranakan cooking. See a fascinating display of Peranakan costume, embroidery, bead work, jewelry, porcelain, furniture and craft work which provides insight into the captivating culture of the Peranakans. Wander through the bustling enclaves of Katong & Joo Chiat that showcase the rich and baroque Peranakan architecture. Admire rows of colorful traditional shop houses that date back to the 1920s and 1930s. A samplings of Nonya delicacies complete the tour before you return to your hotel.Starting Accommodation:
Novotel Clarke Quay (B)
Day 8 – Singapore to Hong Kong
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Hong Kong. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.
This dazzling city is crowned by the imposing Victoria Peak, which soars above Hong Kong’s hustle and bustle, providing stunning views of the shopper’s seventh-heaven, Kowloon Peninsula, across the bustling harbor.Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Hong Kong Island Orientation
Meet in hotel lobby for a sightseeing tour of Hong Kong Island with a visit to Victoria Peak bypassing Wan Chai; then on to Aberdeen Fishing Village-haven of the fishing fleets and floating restaurants. You will have a chance to take an optional 20 minutes sampan ride to explore the life of the floating community that has not changed much since the early days. The tour will continue with visit to a jewelry factory where you can see artists at work carving on semi-precious stone and gold metals. You will visit to Stanley Market before return to hotel.Starting Accommodation:
Day 10 – Evening Foodie Tour
Your journey will take you to five family-run tasting locations in the Central and Sheung Wan neighborhoods. Each eatery has been specially selected not only to represent the best examples of Hong Kong cuisine but also for the unique and interesting stories behind them. Along the foodie tour, your local Foodie guide will share stories behind Hong Kong&;s development, introduce you to important historical figures, and lead you to beautiful colonial architecture that still remains. The guide will also tell you fun facts about Central and Sheung Wan. The tour will have you meander from one tasting location to another, walk through an open market, and watch how locals buy fresh fish and produce. Delicious food specialties are served on the Central & Sheung Wan Foodie Tour (subject to change). Wonton Noodle Shop: A brother and sister team now runs this award-winning family restaurant started by their grandfather. Relish the wontons, noodles and broth with intense flavor. Fresh Juice Shop: Feeling a little tired? Sample some refreshing juice before continuing on our walk. Discover how the elements of this juice help balance the other tastings on the tour. This shop is one of the oldest shops in the neighborhood. Oreserved Fruits Specialty House: This little gem has been serving Hong Kong for more than 100 years. It offers a huge array of traditional Chinese preserved fruits. Try various kinds and learn about their benefits. Dim Sum: A truly family-run business, with brothers, sisters, in-laws, nephews and nieces all pitching in. Savor a selection of dim sum and look out for others you could try when you return. Local Bakery: Check out this tiny bakery on a side alley. For dessert, sample one of the tarts hot out of the oven. Starting Accommodation:
Day 11 – Hong Kong to USA
You will be met at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your departure flight.