Day 1 | MADRID – DUBAN – BANGKOK
Arrive at Madrid airport three hours before departure. Boarding formalities and departure at 14.25 on EMIRATES FLIGHT EK142 to DUBAI. Arrival at 00.25 local time the following day. Transfer and departure of flight EK384 to Bangkok, at 03.05 hrs.
Day 2 – Arrival BANGKOK
Arrival in Bangkok 12.05 hrs. Arrival formalities, reception and assistance at the airport by our incoming representatives in Thailand.
Called Krung Thep (“City of Angels”) by its inhabitants, BANGKOK has developed rapidly, but unlike other places in Asia, it has managed to preserve its culture and the charms of its past. With a population of more than 8.5 million (its metropolitan area exceeds 12 million) and almost 400 temples, Bangkok is today the economic, religious and political centre of the country.
Day 3 : BANGKOK
Buffet breakfast. Lunch menu at Supatra River House (Thai Set Menu).
We will visit Wat Traimitr, a temple which houses the largest golden Buddha in the world. Discovered in 1955 during the enlargement of the port of Bangkok, it is almost 700 years old. In the same area, you will find Chinatown, with its vibrant colours, overwhelming cacophony and frenetic hustle and bustle. We will stroll along Yaowaraj Street, the most important, and one of the most dynamic and exciting shopping districts in the city. Continue to Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), the oldest and largest temple in the city, built in the 16th century by Rama III, and featuring a huge Reclining Buddha, 45 m. long and 15 m. high, covered with gold leaf, representing the Buddha on his deathbed at the moment of attaining Nirvana.
In the afternoon we will take a cruise along the Thonburi Khlong, where we will discover the canals of the Thonburi district, where you can still see images of traditional Bangkok. During the tour we will arrive at Wat Arun (“Temple of Dawn”), one of the most emblematic temples of the city. Continuing the cruise, we arrive at the National Museum of Royal Barges, a gigantic ship that exhibits eight splendid gala boats of the royal fleet.
As you know, night markets are a tradition in Bangkok. The most popular is the Patpong Market, located in Silom, the city’s nightlife hotspot. Once you’ve finished visiting, you can wander around the area (on your own). Here you can find all kinds of articles, T-shirts, souvenirs, counterfeit clothes and watches, CDs and DVDs. It is an essential visit.
Accommodation at Hotel Amari Watergate Bangkok.
Day 4 | BANGKOK – Damnoen Saduak – BANGKOK
Buffet breakfast. Lunch at Sampran Riverside Restaurant (International Buffet).
Drive to Talad Rom Hubun (train market), a quaint local market that sits on both sides of the railway tracks for 200 metres. A few minutes before the train arrives, a horn sounds and all the vendors fold up their stalls at a frantic pace to make room for the locomotive. We continue to the famous Damnoen Saduak floating market, a colourful market, which sits on a maze of narrow khlongs (canals) and where we take a boat and, through the maze of canals, visit the surroundings of the market and experience first hand this way of life, which is still practised in this area since ancient times.
After lunch, we will join the arts and crafts workshops in the Rim Khlong area. These workshops range from coconut leaf weaving, pottery, clay figurines, garland making, fruit and vegetable carvings, banana leaf arrangements, traditional cloth weaving and natural dyeing.
Overnight at Amari Watergate Bangkok Hotel.
Day 5 | BANGKOK – River Kwai – AYUTTHAYA
Buffet breakfast. Lunch at Tham Krasae Restaurant (Thai food).
Early departure to KANCHANABURI, a place surrounded by sugar cane fields and limestone hills that became sadly famous for one of the darkest episodes of World War II, due to the hundreds of thousands of people who lost their lives during the construction of the “Death Railway”. We will walk along the 300 m long Bridge over the River Kwai, a symbol of the suffering during World War II. Visit the peaceful Allied Soldiers’ Cemetery, where the remains of 6,982 of the victims are laid to rest. We will ride the famous Death Train, a journey that takes about an hour and winds through a spectacular natural setting. Finally we visit the JEATH War Museum, which is intended to recall the camps in which the Allied POWs lived.
We will then depart for the mythical city of AYUTTHAYA, one of the most important cities of antiquity. Founded in 1350 by King Ramathibodi I, the city became one of the largest and most cosmopolitan cities in Southeast Asia. It was the centre of Thai power for over 400 years and its empire spread throughout the central plains, as well as to other parts of the Far East and the south.
Accommodation at the Classic Kameo Hotel & Serviced Apartments.
Day 6 | AYUTTHAYA – Lopburi – Phitsanulok – SUKHOTHAI
Buffet breakfast. Lunch at Chaba Restaurant (Thai food).
We will spend the morning at Ayutthaya Historical Park, which at its peak had more than 1500 temples, many of them covered with gold. We will visit Wat Phra Mahathat, one of the oldest and most impressive temples in the city. Built by Bormaraya I in 1374, it has large stupas surrounded by walls and rows of statues of headless Buddhas. Equally impressive is Wat Chai Wattanaram (1630), a replica of an Angkorian temple on the riverbank. Undoubtedly one of the most romantic ruins in the area. A solitary Buddha, perched on a high pedestal, watches over the temple. We will have the sensation of being in a city lost in the jungle. We will walk around the archaeological site, and depending on the time available, we may visit another temple.
We continue to LOPBURI, one of the oldest cities in Thailand. Capital of the Khmer empire, the city became a melting pot of local art, giving its name to the “Lopburi style”, which combined the Mon and Khmer styles. We will visit the 13th century Khmer temple Wat Phra Prang Sam Yot, famous above all for its intrepid inhabitants: the mischievous monkeys are the masters of this beautiful temple.
We continue to PHITSANULOK, an important city in Thailand for 500 years, of which only a few traces of the past remain, due to a great fire that razed it to the ground in 1960. Fortunately, the fire spared the Phra Si Ratana Mahatat shrine, founded in 1357 by the Li Thai. Here stands the Phra Phuttha Chinarat, a magnificent 19th century gilded bronze Buddha, a true masterpiece of Sukhothai art, which is among the most revered figures in Thailand.
Continue to Sukhothai.
Overnight at Sriwilai Sukhothai Hotel.
Day 7 | SUKHOTHAI – Lampang – CHIANG RAI
Buffet breakfast. Lunch at Wianglakorn Restaurant (Thai food).
SUKHOTHAI was part of the Khmer Empire until 1238 when they were expelled and the Kingdom of Sukhothai (“dawn of happiness”) was founded, which dominated the area for almost 200 years. There was a remarkable political and cultural flowering, with the creation of superb temples. We will visit the historic city of Sukhothai, whose most interesting remains are inside the royal enclosure, set over romantic ponds filled with lotus flowers. We will see, among others, Wat Mahathat, the main Buddhist monastery of Sukhothai and the spiritual centre of the kingdom, built in 1345. We will arrive at Wat Si Chum, which contains a huge 15 m high seated Buddha made of brick and covered with stucco. Those who wish can take a fun bike ride through the gardens among the ruins and ponds, and depending on the time available, you may be able to visit another temple.
Depart for LAMPANG, the second largest city in the north of the country, with a history dating back to the 7th century. Here we will visit Wat Phra That Lampang Luang, for many the most beautiful temple in Thailand. Within the grounds are several wooden pavilions surrounding a monumental 45-metre high chedi, which is believed to hold the authentic relics of the Buddha.
On the way to Chiang Rai, stop at PHAYAO to admire the beautiful and relaxing scenery of Phayao Lake, a vast wetland surrounded by mountains. The sunset is really beautiful. We will try to arrive in time to see it.
Continue to Chiang Rai
Overnight at The Imperial River House Resort Hotel.
Day 8 – CHIANG RAI
Buffet breakfast. Lunch at local restaurant (Thai food).
Founded in 1262, and protected by the Mae Kok River and three small hills, CHIANG RAI has a strategic location, close to the border, which made it an important commercial centre, as well as a very vulnerable place during the frequent wars between Burma and Thailand. Transfer to Mae Chan, to visit the different ethnic groups in the mountains such as the “Akha”. Continue to Mae Sai, a village on the border with Burma, where we will find a curious Burmese market and witness the continuous bustle of goods and people.
We then drive to a Karen village of the giraffe women, a nickname that comes from the custom of some Karen women to wear heavy metal rings around their necks that make their necks abnormally long.
Continue to the “Golden Triangle”, so called because it was the world’s leading producer of opium, later converted into heroin. The landmark is the border between Thailand, Burma and Laos, bordered by the scenic Mekong River. Visit the Opium Museum, which shows an interesting history of opium, from its appearance in the West to its importation into Asia.
Afterwards we will take a relaxing boat trip on the Mae Kong River for about an hour, on what will be a colourful trip, accompanied by the colourful boats of the Laotian fishermen, and skirting the charming little villages with their wooden houses. We will include a short stop at Don Xao Island (Laos), where we will be able to buy some souvenirs.
We will end the day with a visit to Wat Rong Suea Ten (“Blue Temple”), in what is an example of a combination of the usual Buddhist temple characteristics and a certain eccentric and modern touch, and where the colour blue is omnipresent.
Overnight at The Imperial River House Resort Hotel.
Day 9 | CHIANG RAI – CHIANG MAI
Buffet breakfast. Lunch at Bua Restaurant (Thai food).
Depart from the hotel to the pier for a traditional boat ride along the Kok River to visit Karen and Lahu (Muser) ethnic minority villages. On the outskirts of Chiang Rai, the Wat Rong Khun (“White Temple”) is one of the most striking temples in Thailand. Dazzlingly white, everything in the temple is allegorical.
We then depart for CHIANG MAI, the most important city in the north, with many attractions, combining culture, nature, entertainment, tourist infrastructure, and also its markets. In the afternoon we will visit the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, or mountain temple, one of the most revered in the country, which is located in a beautiful enclave, at 1,601 metres, from where we will be able to appreciate the city of Chiang Mai in all its splendour.
Our hotel is located on the same street as the Chiang Mai night market. From 6 p.m. onwards, the place is transformed, and the stalls are set up where we can buy everything.
Accommodation at Hotel Le Meridien Chiang Mai.
Day 10 – CHIANG MAI
Buffet breakfast. Buffet lunch at Orchid Farm.
Start the morning with a visit to Mae Taeng Elephant Camp where you will watch the tame elephants perform trunk work, juggle, draw or perform with the public, all under the control of their handlers. Then our elephant-back safari will begin, which will take us through the thick jungle vegetation for approximately one hour, following the course of the river. This is followed by an exciting 45-minute bamboo rafting trip down the river, ending with a buffalo cart ride through the lush jungle landscape of the north. We will continue with a visit to an orchid plantation, Thailand’s national flower and one of its most evocative symbols.
In the afternoon, we will visit the popular San Kamphaeng (handicraft street), where most of the traditional decorative objects of the north are made, and where we will have the opportunity to have a garment or bag decorated with drawings painted in bright colours, and to buy some souvenirs.
Finally, visit Wat Ban Den, one of the most beautiful temples in northern Thailand. Although the temple complex is relatively new, it has already become an important place of worship for local people and Buddhists from all over Thailand.
Overnight at Le Meridien Chiang Mai Hotel.
Day 11 | CHIANG MAI – BANGKOK
Buffet breakfast. Lunch at local restaurant (Thai food).
Depart for CHIANG MAI airport to take our flight with BANGKOK AIRWAYS. Departure at 10.10 hrs to BANGKOK. Arrival at 11.35 hrs.
Upon arrival, we will drive to the Royal Quarter, a real city within the city. We will visit the Grand Royal Palace, which was the official residence of the kings from 1782 to 1946. It contains numerous outbuildings that combine Italian Renaissance and traditional Thai forms. In one corner of the Grand Palace complex is Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), where the kings perform their religious duties. A dazzling and dizzying collection of golden spires and truly impressive pavilions and mythological gods. This temple was built by Rama I in 1782 to house the Emerald Buddha (it’s actually made of jade), discovered when lightning cracked an old stupa in northern Thailand in the early 15th century and exposed a stucco Buddha covered in gold leaf. After some time, the stucco cracked, revealing a beautiful jade statue, the most revered in Thailand.
Our last visit will be to the Jim Thompson House, a curious Thai-style construction built by Jim Thompson, an American who revived the silk industry, making it known to the rest of the world. In 1959 Thompson dismantled six teak houses in Ban Khrua, Ayutthaya province, and rebuilt them here in an unconventional manner. He also devoted himself to collecting Southeast Asian antiquities, turning the place into a veritable museum.
Accommodation at the Amari Watergate Hotel Bangkok.
Day 12 | BANGKOK
Buffet breakfast. Lunch FREE
Today we leave you a FREE DAY so that you can enjoy this immense Asian city at your leisure.
Here are some suggestions so that you can make the most of your time until we leave for the airport, which will be later in the day:
Suan Pakkad Palace, which is surrounded by a beautiful tropical garden. It consists of five traditional Thai pavilions connected by walkways that have been renovated and converted into a museum. It is itself an architectural masterpiece. Each house exhibits a variety of objects, ranging from prehistoric bronze jewellery and painted ceramics to a beautiful collection of Khmer statues, royal family artefacts and Ban Chiang pottery.
Vimarnmek Palace, built in 1900 by Rama V, this large 3-storey, 81-room mansion is built of golden teak without the use of any nails. It is the largest teak building in the world. The palace, abandoned after the death of Rama V, was restored by Queen Sirikit in 1982, and today houses royal treasures from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Do your final shopping at the Asiatique Market, a night market in Bangkok that combines shopping, food, sightseeing, activities and events. It is a modern market selling Thai designer clothes and accessories and medium-high quality souvenirs. But there are also attractions, restaurants, ice cream parlours, and even a train that runs through the market. It is open from 17:00 to 00:00 hours.
We will have a “late check out” at the Amari Watergate Bangkok Hotel, that is, we will be able to use our room until the time we leave for the airport.
Day 13 | BANGKOK – DUBai – MADRID
At the indicated time, pick up and transfer to the airport. Customs formalities, check-in and boarding of EMIRATES FLIGHT EK371, departure scheduled at 02.00 hrs. arrival in DUBAI at 06.00 hrs. Connection and departure on FLIGHT EK141 at 07.25 hrs.
Arrival at MADRID airport at 12.40 hrs. Luggage collection.
PRICE PER PERSON in double room
(including air taxes)
Single room supplement 700,00 €.