No tour escort; explore at your own pace
|Departures||September – December 2015|
|Departs||Los Angeles (LAX), New York Kennedy (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), Washington Dulles (IAD), Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Houston (IAH), Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) (flight schedule)|
|Highlights||Independent stay in Dubai and Bangkok and an included temples tour of Wat Trimitr (Golden Buddha) and Wat Po (Reclining Buddha)|
|Themes||History & Culture|
|What to Expect||This leisurely-paced, independent package requires minimal walking and is suitable for most levels of physical fitness.|
|As Seen in|
Prepare to be dazzled twice on this innovative tour package to Dubai and Bangkok. Dubai is home to the world’s tallest building, a man-made island archipelago created for luxury living and vacationing, an indoor ski resort complete with ski lift, plenty of fine dining, and an ancient culture that has leapt from desert tent to skyscraper condo in less than 50 years.
In Bangkok, Thailand you'll tour Asia's most popular city, with 24-hour a day bustle, incredible shopping, phenomenal cuisine, sky trains, and amazing nightlife, all amid an ancient, fascinating culture, exotic architecture, temples, canals, markets, ruins and among the most friendly people on earth.
But don't wait to reserve your place. Space is definitely limited, and at these prices, it will surely sell out fast!
Departures & Prices
per person, double occupancy*
|Sun||Aug 16||2015||Mon||Aug 24||2015||$2899||$2599||Closed|
|Sun||Sep 6||2015||Mon||Sep 14||2015||$2449||$2149||Closed|
|Thu||Sep 10||2015||Fri||Sep 18||2015||$2499||$2199||Available|
|Sun||Sep 20||2015||Mon||Sep 28||2015||$2449||$2149||Available|
|Sun||Oct 4||2015||Mon||Oct 12||2015||$2449||$2149||Available|
|Sun||Oct 18||2015||Mon||Oct 26||2015||$2449||$2149||Available|
|Sun||Nov 8||2015||Mon||Nov 16||2015||$2449||$2149||Available|
|Sun||Nov 22||2015||Mon||Nov 30||2015||$2499||$2199||Available|
|Sun||Dec 6||2015||Mon||Dec 14||2015||$2799||$2499||Available|
Want to stay longer? We may be able to arrange for you to stay later than the scheduled dates, including extra hotel nights and separate airport transfers. Contact us about prices and availability.
|Dazzling Dubai & Bangkok|
|Single Room Supplement||+$699|
|Dubai Optional Excursions Package1||+$290|
1. Includes: Half Day Dubai City Tour, Burj Khalifa, Desert Safari with Dinner, and Abu Dhabi Day Tour
|Phuket Island Extension|
|Phuket Island Extension|
|Aug 16, Sep 6, Sep 10, Sep 20, Oct 4, Oct 18||+$599|
|Nov 8, Nov 22, Dec 6||+$649|
|Single Room Supplement|
|Aug 16, Sep 6, Sep 10, Sep 20, Oct 4, Oct 18||+$249|
|All other departures||+$349|
|Chicago O'Hare (ORD)|
|All other departures||included|
|New York Kennedy (JFK)||included|
|Washington Dulles (IAD)|
|All other departures||included|
|All other departures||+$75|
|San Francisco (SFO)|
|All other departures||+$150|
|Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)|
|All other departures||+$200|
|Los Angeles (LAX)|
|All other departures||+$250|
|Sep 6, Oct 18, Nov 8, Nov 22||unavailable|
|All other departures||+$300|
This package includes round-trip flights from the cities listed above, subject to availability. Please review the flight schedule, especially if you're booking connecting flights.
Coming from somewhere else? Unfortunately, we don't offer departures from cities that are not listed, but you can book your own connecting flights separately.
Transfers: Transfers for this package are provided on a group basis only. For passengers deviating in any way from the group program, transfers are not provided. Individual, private transfers can be arranged at a supplement in price. Taxis and other forms of transportation are also available and may cost less than private transfers. If you wish to arrange private transfers, please request this service at the time of reservation.
To make a reservation, simply select an available departure date and reserve online using our secure booking system. Or call us one of our travel specialists at 800-555-5765, Mon–Fri 9:30–6:00 Eastern time. But first, check out our Things to Know section.
We only require a per-person deposit payment, which you can pay with your credit card or PayPal account. This deposit will be applied towards the cost of your package, and is generally non-refundable (details). The balance is due 75 days prior to departure (or within 72 hours, if you're booking less than 75 days prior to departure), and can be paid by credit card, PayPal, check or money order.
Day 1: Depart USA. Your exciting journey to Dubai and Bangkok begins today as you check in for your wide-body jet flight via Emirates Airlines, voted one of the world's 5 best.
Day 2: Dubai. Arrive today in Dubai. After completing arrival formalities, meet our representatives, and transfer to your centrally located hotel. Accommodations: JW Marriott Marquis.
Day 3: Dubai. Enjoy the day at leisure in one of the most dazzling cities in the world. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Half Day Dubai City Tour, $65. Today’s exciting optional morning tour will take you Dubai's picturesque Creek, which divides the city into two parts, the Deira on the northern side and Bur Dubai to the south. This is your first photo opportunity and one that gives you a magnificent panorama of the city and its amazing futuristic skyline.
Next stop is the Bastakiya district, where traditional courtyard houses, with characteristic wind towers that cleverly catch the breezes to cool the houses, line the narrow alleys. Many of the houses in this picturesque area of Dubai, previously home to the city's merchants, have been lovingly restored by proud locals who wish to preserve the unique ambience of the district. Continue to the Dubai Museum, housed in the massive, restored Al Fahidi Fort. Inside, lifelike dioramas offer a fascinating view of life in Dubai before the discovery of oil. You'll learn the importance of the date palm to the desert culture, the maritime traditions of fishing and pearl-diving, boat building and much more. Take a walk through the bustling, exotic souks, where you'll find beautiful and bargain-priced textiles, spices and gold. Another highlight of your city tour is a chance to take one of Dubai's most reliable and inexpensive forms of transportation, the Abra Water taxi. Your coach will bring you back to your hotel.
Optional Excursion: Burj Khalifa, $59. In the afternoon, you may choose to independently visit the Burj Khalifa (formerly known as Burj Dubai) “At the Top” observation deck, which officially opened in 2010 as the tallest building in the world. This miracle of international cooperation and coordination houses a luxury Armani hotel, offices of some of the world’s most successful companies, and for a lucky few, residences that are as high as the clouds.
Optional Excursion: Desert Safari & BBQ Dinner, $90. For those in the mood for adventure, in the late afternoon, set out on an optional desert safari tour, where you'll discover the vastness and stark beauty of the sand dunes that surround Dubai. You'll also enjoy a BBQ dinner and live belly-dancing entertainment on this exciting optional tour.
Day 4: Dubai. Relax and explore on your own, or join an optional day tour to Abu Dhabi. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Full Day Abu Dhabi, $120. Today, see another sophisticated city of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi. Enjoy a panoramic view of Jebel Ali, the largest man-made port en route to the iconic symbol of Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Later, drive along the Corniche, a contrast of sparkling water of the Persian Gulf and modern skyscrapers, which create a very unique skyline. Visit the Heritage Village, and learn about the history of Abu Dhabi in a reconstructed oasis. Walk through the open-air museum and see craftsmen demonstrate traditional skills. Later, visit the Zayed House, home of the late Sheikh Zayed, the “Father of the Nation”. Stop at Yas Island, where the Ferrari World theme park and Formula 1 race track are located. Return to Dubai.
Optional Excursion: Dhow Dinner Cruise, $85 (purchased locally). This evening, we recommend an optional dinner cruise by dhow boat on the Dubai Creek. A magnificent view of both sides of Dubai Creek illuminated by night adds to the charm of this wonderful way to experience Dubai
Day 5: Dubai & Bangkok. Enjoy your final breakfast in Dubai, and then transfer to the airport for your flight to Bangkok. Upon arrival, our representatives will assist you with passport and customs formalities and escort you to your hotel. Accommodations: Royal Orchid Sheraton. Breakfast provided.
Day 6: Bangkok. This morning, your included city tour takes you to Bangkok center. Temples, along with the monarchy, are the fabric that binds together the national identity that is Thailand, and some of the most interesting of Thai temples are found in Bangkok. Begin at Wat Trimitr where you will view the 700-year-old Golden Buddha, the largest in the world weighing approximately 5 tons. At Wat Po, founded in the 17th century and the oldest temple in Bangkok, you'll view the amazing Reclining Buddha, whose face depicts the attainment of Nirvana and whose feet are inlaid with mother-of-pearl. You'll also visit Wat Benchamabophit, also known as the "Marble Temple" and one of Bangkok's most important tourist attractions. Built of white Italian marble, it is a wonderful example of Thai temple architecture. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha (purchased locally). In the afternoon, you can choose an optional excursion to The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. For 150 years, the Grand Palace, served as the home of the King and his court as well as the entire administrative seat of government. Within its grounds, you'll also visit the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), a structure built to house a large Buddha image carved from a solid piece of green jadeite. This optional excursion is only available for purchase locally.
Day 7: Bangkok. Today is at leisure in Bangkok. Explore on your own, or join the optional excursions. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Thonburi Klongs (purchased locally). This morning's optional excursion will take you to the Thonburi Klongs (canals), the Royal Barge Museum, and Wat Arun. Experience an exhilarating boat ride along the busting Chao Phraya River and the quiet Kongs (canals) in a long-tailed boat. This is where you'll see the traditional way of life, far removed from Bangkok's modern skyscrapers. Visit the Royal Barge Museum to see the beautiful barges used by the King on state occasions. See Wat Arun, the magnificent Temple of Dawn, with its 79 meter pagoda or "prang", built in the Khmer style. This optional excursion is only available for purchase locally.
Optional Excursion: Siam Niramit Show with Dinner (purchased locally). Tonight's optional excursion offers you buffet dinner and a visual extravaganza at the Ratchada Grand Theatre, one of the biggest stages in the world. Travel back in time through the Kingdom of Siam and experience Thai history and culture during this spectacular show. This optional excursion is only available for purchase locally.
Day 8: Bangkok/USA. Your last day in Bangkok is at leisure, so take advantage of some last minute shopping and independent sightseeing by visiting one of Bangkok's colorful markets on your own, like the famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, where merchants and villagers buy and sell fruits, vegetables and many other items from small boats. This evening, bid farewell to Bangkok, as you transfer to the airport to board your return flight to the USA via Dubai. Or, take advantage of your already-included international airfare and join our optional extension to Phuket Island! Breakfast provided.
Day 9: Arrive USA. Your amazing adventures come to an end as you arrive in the USA.
Take advantage of your already-included international airfare and enjoy a luxurious and relaxing stay on Phuket Island, Thailand's most famous resort. You will return home 3 days later than the return dates listed.
Day 8: Bangkok & Phuket. Today you'll fly to Phuket, where the balance of the day is at leisure. Accommodations: Avista Hideaway Resort. Breakfast provided.
Day 9: Phuket. Two full days at leisure to relax, shop or tour this scenic island, Thailand's largest. Phuket and the 39 smaller islands to the southeast are studded with tropical forests, mountains, gravity-defying limestone formations, and pristine beaches, surrounded by coral reefs and the aquamarine water of the balmy Andaman Sea.
With warm, humid weather year-round, you'll enjoy plenty of sun-drenched days lounging on the beach and all manner of water sports, including jet-skiing, parasailing, surfing, scuba and snorkeling. Most of the dive locations are suitable for all skill levels, and the waters abound with colorful coral forests, tropical fish and other marine life, including leopard sharks, moray eels, octopus and turtles. Phuket is also the sailing and yachting center of Thailand and adjacent countries, with several races and regattas happening throughout the year. And in the unlikely event that you can pull yourself away from the beach, you'll find opportunities to ride horses or elephants, hike, mountain bike, and even golf. Afterwards, unwind at one of the many spas or one of the excellent acrobatic, theatrical or cultural shows.
Join an optional excursion (available for purchase locally) to the breathtaking Phi Phi islands, filming location of The Beach. Take a trip by boat and bus to Phang Nha Bay and to the famous limestone spire known as "James Bond Island" for its role in The Man with the Golden Gun. Phuket is a melting pot of Buddhists, Thai-Chinese, Muslims and even sea gypsies, whom you'll find warm and welcoming. The west coast of Phuket was hit severely by the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, but the resilient people have quickly rebuilt, and almost no evidence of the damage now remains. Breakfast provided.
Day 10: Phuket. Enjoy another day relaxing in Phuket. Breakfast provided.
Day 11: Phuket/USA. Today, transfer to the airport for your return flight to USA via Bangkok and Dubai. Breakfast provided.
Day 12: Arrive USA. Your amazing adventures come to an end today as you arrive in the USA.
Save by pre-booking a discounted package of our most popular optional excursions in Dubai:
You can book these excursions individually in Dubai. But you can save over $40 if you purchase this special package ahead of time—with or before your final payment. These are not "seat in coach" excursions that pick up passengers at various hotels; all are operated for Friendly Planet groups only. (A minimum of 4 passengers is required for optional excursions to operate).
We booked this trip instead of going to Hawaii for our honeymoon. It was less expensive to fly half way around the world and stay for 3 extra days than what it would have cost to go to Hawaii. As for the trip, it was by far the best trip of my life. Lek, our guide, is a wonderful person; very accommodating, friendly and seemed to genuinely care about making our experience enjoyable. Thailand is an amazing country that combines beautiful scenery, a unique culture, friendly people, a good nightlife, and is very inexpensive. What more could you ask for? We are looking to book our next trip (Africa) and are definitely looking at Friendly Planet.
Wade Honeyfield, Denver, CO