A Taste of Thailand

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from$1649Tour + Flights from$1149Tour Only 10days
  • Flights
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
price per person, double occupancy,* based on Apr 30, 2019 departure from LAX

Check prices & book now

$300 Early Bird Discount. Expires Jan 24, 2019.*   All prices reflect savings.

Overview

Featuring The humming capital of Bangkok, historic Kanchanaburi & the River Kwai, plus ancient Ayutthaya; optional extensions to Angkor Wat & Phuket
Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of 15-24 likeminded travelers escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
24 travelers max, dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures Scheduled Dates: 3 open departures, March – May 2019
Price Includes
  • Round-trip airfare from Los Angeles via China Airlines including fuel surcharges, taxes and fees
  • Intra-Thailand transportation and transfers
  • Accommodations at Superior First Class hotels
  • 9 Meals; buffet breakfast daily plus welcome and farewell dinners
  • Comprehensive touring program including entrance fees
  • Professional, English-speaking tour guides
Optional
  • Optional Angkor Wat post-tour Extension
  • Optional Phuket post-tour Extension
  • Flights from Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Houston (IAH), Seattle-Tacoma (SEA). Request pricing when making your reservation.
Highlights
  • Take a boat ride along the Chao Phraya River
  • Visit Wat Arun, the temple of Dawn
  • Experience a traditional Thai Set dinner
  • Tour the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha
  • Enjoy a long-tail boat ride at the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
  • See the historic bridge over the River Kwai
  • Explore the Mongkol Bophit Temple Market in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ayutthaya
Departs Los Angeles (LAX), New York Kennedy (JFK), San Francisco (SFO) (flight schedule)
Themes History & Culture
What to Expect This moderately-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness.
As Seen in
Budget TravelChicago TribuneFrommer’s
USA TodayWall Street Journal

Prepare for your trip Already booked? Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.


A Taste of Thailand itinerary

Even the most sophisticated travelers long to visit Thailand, with its beautiful beaches and islands, fascinating culture, exotic architecture, and ancient ruins. This tour to Thailand showcases some of the highlights of this magnificent country, including the bustling capital city of Bangkok, the historic River Kwai, and the ancient city of Ayutthaya—all for an amazingly affordable price. At prices this low, you can be sure that this tour will sell out quickly, so hurry to reserve your space soon!

 
 

 

Dates, Prices & Options

Departure Dates & Prices

Early Bird Discount: Save up to $300 per person if you book by Jan. 24, 2019!
Departures & Prices, with flights
per person, double occupancy*
2018 DEPARTURES
Depart / Return Package Price Early
Bird
Early Bird
Good Thru
Your
Price
Departs: Tue, Nov 27, 2018
Returns: Thu, Dec 6, 2018
Nov 27 – Dec 6 $1649 Departed
Departs: Tue, Dec 4, 2018
Returns: Thu, Dec 13, 2018
Dec 4 – Dec 13 $1799 Departed
Departs: Tue, Dec 18, 2018
Returns: Thu, Dec 27, 2018
Dec 18 – Dec 27 $2299 Closed
2019 DEPARTURES
Depart / Return Package Price Early
Bird
Early Bird
Good Thru
Your
Price
Departs: Tue, Jan 8, 2019
Returns: Thu, Jan 17, 2019
Jan 8 – Jan 17 $1699 Closed
Departs: Tue, Feb 19, 2019
Returns: Thu, Feb 28, 2019
Feb 19 – Feb 28 $2099 Closed
Departs: Tue, Mar 5, 2019
Returns: Thu, Mar 14, 2019
Book by Thu, Jan 24, 2019 (midnight ET) to get the current early bird discount!
Mar 5 – Mar 14 $2099 –$300 Jan 24 $1799 Select
Departs: Tue, Mar 19, 2019
Returns: Thu, Mar 28, 2019
Mar 19 – Mar 28 $2099 Closed
Departs: Tue, Apr 2, 2019
Returns: Thu, Apr 11, 2019
Apr 2 – Apr 11 $2099 Closed
Departs: Tue, Apr 16, 2019
Returns: Thu, Apr 25, 2019
Apr 16 – Apr 25 $2099 Closed
Departs: Tue, Apr 30, 2019
Returns: Thu, May 9, 2019
Book by Thu, Jan 24, 2019 (midnight ET) to get the current early bird discount!
Apr 30 – May 9 $1949 –$300 Jan 24 $1649 Select
Departs: Tue, May 14, 2019
Returns: Thu, May 23, 2019
Book by Thu, Jan 24, 2019 (midnight ET) to get the current early bird discount!
May 14 – May 23 $1949 –$300 Jan 24 $1649 Select

If you want a few extra days to explore on your own, we may be able to arrange for you to stay later than the scheduled dates, including extra hotel nights and separate airport transfers, for an additional charge. Ask us about prices and availability when you reserve. More information Want to extend your trip?

Options & Fees

Taste of Thailand
Rooming selection
Double occupancy included
Single Room Supplement +$250
Angkor Wat Extension
Angkor Wat Extension1
Dec 18, 2018 +$1099
Feb 19, 2019 unavailable
All other departures +$899
Cambodia Departure Tax2 (paid separately) +$25
Cambodia Visa Fee3 (paid separately) +$30
Rooming selection
Double occupancy included
Single Room Supplement +$189

1. The Angkor Wat extension is subject to availability and requires a minimum of 2 passengers to operate. Flights for this extension must be confirmed separately with the airlines, which typically takes 3 to 5 business days after we receive your booking, and we will notify you immediately upon confirmation.

2. Departure Tax is paid locally

3. Visa Fee is paid locally

Phuket Island Extension
Phuket Island Extension1
Jan 8, 2019;  Mar 5, 2019;  Mar 19, 2019 +$599
Dec 18, 2018 +$849
Feb 19, 2019 unavailable
All other departures +$549
Rooming selection
Double occupancy included
Single Room Supplement
Apr 2, 2019;  Apr 16, 2019;  Apr 30, 2019;  May 14, 2019 +$249
Dec 18, 2018 +$499
All other departures +$299

1. The Phuket Island extension is subject to availability and requires a minimum of 2 passengers to operate. Flights for this extension must be confirmed separately with the airlines, which typically takes 3 to 5 business days after we receive your booking, and we will notify you immediately upon confirmation.

Optional Airport Transfers for Land Only Passengers1
Arrival Transfer: Bangkok airport to hotel +$34
Departure Transfer: Bangkok hotel to airport +$34

1. Prices based on a minimum of 2 passengers.

So that we can offer you the best deals, our packages are, like most hotels and cruises, priced based on double occupancy rooms or cabins. We charge solo travelers an extra fee to cover the extra costs of single occupancy rooms or cabins. (Consider: if you booked a $200/night hotel room solo, you would pay the $200 yourself; but if a couple booked the same room, each one would pay only $100.) But you only pay extra for the rooms or cabins, nothing else, including meals, sightseeing, tips, etc.

Want to find a roommate and avoid single occupancy fees? We can help! Learn more
Why are single rooms more?

Flights & Departure Cities

Departure Airports
Los Angeles (LAX)1 included
New York Kennedy (JFK) +$50
San Francisco (SFO) +$50
Land Only (no flights)2 –$500

1. For flights from LAX, upgrades may be available to Premium Economy starting from $1,000 and to Business Class starting from $4,000. For actual prices and availability from this or other cities, please make your request during the reservation process so that our air team can check the availability and provide you with the exact rate for your chosen travel date. Rates and space are subject to availability with the airline, an increased deposit may be required to confirm a seating upgrade.

2. If selecting Land Only, arrival and departure transfers are not included. You may select private airport transfers for an additional fee, or make your own arrangements to join the tour in Bangkok on Day 3 and to depart from Bangkok on or after Day 10, or for the extensions from Bangkok (Phuket or Siem Reap) on Day 13, flights should not depart earlier than 5:00 pm.

This package offers round-trip flights from the cities listed above, subject to availability. Please review the flight schedule, especially if you're booking connecting flights.

Want to fly from another city? Unfortunately, we don't offer flights from other cities, but you can book your own.

How to Make a Reservation

To make a reservation, simply select an available departure date and reserve online using our secure booking system. Or call one of our travel specialists at 800-555-5765. 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. 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.

Deposit
Deposit $800

Itinerary

Day 1: Depart USA

  • Your exotic journey begins as you check in for your flight to Thailand, via Taipei

Day 2: En Route

  • Cross the International Dateline and lose a day (which you will recover on the return leg of your trip)

Day 3: Bangkok, Thailand

Accommodations: 3 nights Rembrandt Hotel or similar, Bangkok.

  • Arrive in Bangkok, and after customs formalities, transfer to your centrally located hotel for check-in and a welcome briefing with fellow travelers
  • Balance of the day at leisure

Day 4: Bangkok

Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • Enjoy the morning at leisure or take part in an optional excursion
  • Afternoon boat ride along Chao Phraya River
  • Visit to the Royal Barge Museum
  • Stop by Wat Arun, the magnificent temple of Dawn
  • Traditional Thai Set dinner at a local restaurant

Wat Arun, BangkokFull Day Itinerary: Enjoy the morning at leisure. This afternoon, experience an exhilarating boat ride along the bustling Chao Phraya River and the quiet Klongs (canals) in a long tail boat. Be taken back in time to a more traditional way of life, far removed from Bangkok's modern skyscrapers. Visit the Royal Barge Museum to witness the beautiful barges used by the King on state occasions, then visit Wat Arun, the magnificent temple of Dawn with its 79-meter pagoda or 'prang', built in the Khmer style.

Tonight, enjoy a traditional Thai Set dinner at a well reviewed local restaurant, Supatra River House Restaurant, located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.

Optional Excursion: Old Bangkok Street Food Tour, $40 pp (purchased locally). This morning, venture on a street food tour of Bangkok! Stop by Wat Suthat, one of the oldest and largest Buddhist temples in Bangkok. Wander down quiet streets to a small, historic coffee shop for old-style Thai coffee, then continue to a stall making ‘khanom thua paep,’ a unique rice crepe. A few steps away sample another local specialty, ‘qui chaii,’ a dumpling stuffed with delicious vegetables.

Along your walk you will come to the Chinese Chao Phor Suea Shrine to view its unique tiger god image. Then, enjoy a visit to a coconut ice cream shop. More food awaits as you discover a small market and browse the stalls selling fresh seafood, fruits, spices and more. Learn about the local market culture and uses for some of the more exotic ingredients on sale.

After this tasty experience, walk through the neighborhood to visit a Buddha statue manufacturer to witness the process of making the statues. Afterwards, transfer back to the hotel with a full belly and a greater understanding of Thailand’s food culture.

Day 5: Bangkok

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Tour The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha
  • Balance of the day at leisure or enjoy one (or both!) of our optional excursions

Grand Palace, BangkokFull Day Itinerary: 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. This morning, depart for 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 jadite (jasper). Continue to Wat Po, founded in the 17th century and the oldest temple in Bangkok. This temple is also home to the amazing Reclining Buddha, one of the largest in the world, whose face depicts the attainment of Nirvana and whose feet are inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Balance of the day is at leisure.

Optional Excursion: Chinatown Walk, $35 pp (purchased locally). This afternoon, drive to Chinatown square where you will start an exciting walk through one of the oldest parts of Bangkok. Walk along Yaowarat Road where you'll visit interesting shops selling unique objects. Continue to an old tea shop to enjoy a cup of Chinese tea with the locals before heading to Talad Kao for a busy local market with a variety of fresh food, fruits, and Chinese herbs. End the walk at Wat Leng Nei Yi to visit the Taoist temple, and continue to Wat Trimitr on the edge of Chinatown, which houses the world’s largest solid gold Buddha.

Optional Excursion: Calypso Cabaret Show, $45 pp (purchased locally). This evening, transfer to the Thai dance show at Calypso Cabaret, one of Bangkok’s renowned shows. Calypso Cabaret is located at Asiatique the Riverfront, which is a famous night venue for dining, shopping and entertainment, and features its unique setting with a panoramic view of the Chao Phraya River. Afterwards, transfer back to your hotel.

Day 6: Bangkok, Kanchanaburi & the River Kwai

Accommodations: 2 nights Royal Riverkwai Resort or similar. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Scenic morning drive through Thai countryside to Samut Songkhram Province
  • Visit Damnoen Saduak Floating Market on a long-tail boat ride
  • See the historic bridge over the River Kwai before touring the Death Railway museum
  • Visits today also include the war cemetery

Floating market, Ratchaburi © Tourism Authority of ThailandFull Day Itinerary: After breakfast this morning, drive about an hour south of Bangkok to Samut Songkhram Province, enjoying the beautiful Thai countryside along the way. See an amazing country market that has sprouted up along the tracks of the Maeklong Railway Market. The true marvel here is watching as vendors skillfully move their stalls out of the way of trains passing right through the market.

Next, visit Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and take a long-tail boat ride through the canals and see how Thai people live alongside the labyrinth of canals in this area. Arrive at the famous market where you can stroll around the colorful floating stalls bustling with boats and vendors selling tropical fruits and other delights.

Bridge over the River KwaiContinue to Kanchanaburi. Upon arrival, visit the historic bridge over the River Kwai, part of the infamous Death Railway built by the Japanese using Allied prisoners of war during World War II. At the Death Railway museum, you'll learn more about life in the camps, the building of the bridge, and the more than 8,000 POWs who died during construction. Visits today also include the war cemetery.

Day 7: Kanchanaburi

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Panoramic train ride viewing the Kwai gorge
  • Afternoon at leisure

Train ride, Death RailwayFull Day Itinerary: This morning, take a one hour train ride on the famous Death Railway passing the breathtaking panoramic view of the Kwai gorge. The rest of the afternoon is yours at leisure. We suggest a visit to the resort's spa for a Thai massage, steam bath, or a dip in the pool.

Day 8: Kanchanaburi & Ayutthaya

Accommodations: 1 night Kantary Hotel or similar, Ayutthaya. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • This morning drive to the ancient city of Ayutthaya and visit some of its historic sights
  • Visit the Wat Chaiwattanaram monastery
  • Discover the sculpture of a Buddha head woven in tree roots
  • Visit Wat Yai Chaimongkhol and see the statue of the Reclining Buddha
  • Explore the Mongkol Bophit Temple Market and local shops
  • Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore on your own

Buddha statue, AyutthayaFull Day Itinerary: After breakfast this morning, board your motor coach and drive to the ancient city of Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. King U-Thong founded the city of Ayutthaya in 1350 as the capital of his kingdom of Siam. By 1700, Ayutthaya had as many as a million inhabitants, making it one of the largest cities in the world at the time. But in 1767, the city was invaded and destroyed by the Burmese army. Magnificent ruins of the old city still remain, some having been restored. Exciting archaeological excavations are still proceeding at many sites in the area.

Upon arrival, you’ll visit some of Ayutthaya's historical sites. Among the ruins, you will see the Wat Chaiwattanaram monastery, Wat Mahathat to discover a Buddha head entwined in tree roots, and Wat Yai Chaimongkhol to view the reclining Buddha statue. Continue to a vibrant market located next to the Mongkol Bophit Temple. Here, you’ll see how they make Roti Sai Mai, a Thai dessert similar to cotton candy and sometimes served in a sweet, colorful crepe. After you’ve explored the market, you’ll get a chance to see artisans in a local shop make fish-shaped ornaments from woven palm leaves. The balance of the day is at leisure to explore Ayutthaya independently.

Day 9: Ayutthaya & Bangkok

Accommodations: 1 night Rembrandt Hotel or similar, Bangkok. Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • Half day sightseeing tour of Ayutthaya
  • Visit the Bang Pa to view King Rama IV's summer palace
  • View the Gothic style architecture of Wat Niwet Thammaprawat
  • Return to Bangkok in the afternoon
  • Enjoy a final evening with your fellow travelers over a Farewell Dinner 
  • Optional visit this evening 

Bang Pa, AyutthayaFull Day Itinerary: Today's sightseeing tour takes you first to Bang Pa to view King Rama IV's summer palace, used occasionally by the king and queen to host receptions and banquets. The palace and its surrounding temples represent an appealing fusion of Thai, Chinese, and European architectural styles.

Continue to Wat Niwet Thammaprawat, one of the most distinctive Buddhist temples with its remarkable Gothic style architecture and stained glass windows. Continue to Bangkok this afternoon.

This evening, join your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner. Later, you can join an optional excursion to see the Muay Thai Live Show!

Optional Excursion: Muay Thai Show, $72 pp (purchased locally). In the evening, transfer to your Muay Thai live Show. Created by acclaimed director Ekachai Uekrongtham, Muay Thai Live: The Legend Lives is a spectacular stage show about the history of Thai boxing, from its origins to present day. The show is presented in five thrilling chapters – The Tiger King, The Prisoner with Eight Limbs, The Warrior with Broken Swords, The Lethal Art of Muay Thai, and The Modern Action Hero. It also includes Muay Thai Live Boxing: Warrior Rising. A unique program that shows how the ancient and sacred art of Muay Thai has evolved into one of the most spectacular martial arts in the world.

Day 10: Depart Bangkok/Arrive USA

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Enjoy a morning at leisure or take part in an optional excursion
  • Today, bid farewell to Thailand as you transfer to the airport to board your return flight to the USA via Taipei
  • Or take advantage of your already-included international airfare and join our optional extensions to Angkor Wat or Phuket Island...or both!

Optional Excursion: The Silk Route of Jim Thompson, $40 pp (purchased locally). This morning, visit the Jim Thompson House. Located along a canal in the city center, this beautiful teak mansion was the former residence of Jim Thompson, the charismatic American silk merchant. Wander around the leafy compound, exploring the traditional teak buildings to learn more about his involvement in the silk trade and his mysterious disappearance. Admire the priceless antiques on display while gaining insight into Thai heritage and tradition.

After the tour of Thompson’s home, cross the canal to Baan Krua Thai Silk Weaving Community. This community is home to remarkable local artisans, many of whom used to weave for Jim Thompson. Today, two original weaving families still remain. Visit their local workshops, witness artisans producing high-quality Thai silk products and learn about their traditional methods of weaving.

*NOTE: Due to high water levels during and closely following monsoon season (summer into early winter), select sites among the canals may have restricted access. If any sites are temporarily restricted, equally enjoyable visits will be added in its place.

Angkor Wat Extension

Take advantage of your already-included international airfare by joining our extension to Cambodia for a special opportunity to visit Angkor Wat, a massive complex of temples that ranks among the most fascinating religious sites in the world. For JFK passengers, the Angkor Wat Extension must be arranged on a custom basis to be coordinated with China Airlines' JFK schedule which may require flying from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh on Day 12 and overnighting in Phnom Penh; please contact us for details.

Day 10: Bangkok/Siem Reap, Cambodia

Accommodations: 3 nights Sokha Angkor Resort or similar. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Transfer to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap, gateway to the Angkor Archaeological Park. After customs formalities, transfer to your hotel for check-in.
  • A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park contains the ruins of more than 1000 stone temples dating from the 9th to the 13th centuries

Day 11: Angkor Explorations

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Tour the royal walled city of Angkor Thom
  • Visit the Bayon Temple in the exact center of the city
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Explore the temples of the Small Circuit
  • Discover the famous Angkor Wat archaeological site
  • Dinner at a local restaurant

Aerial view of Angkor WatFull Day Itinerary: Built by the Khmer civilization between 802 and 1220 AD, the temples at Angkor and the great city that surrounded them represent one of mankind's most astonishing and enduring architectural achievements. The structures you see today are the surviving remains of a grand religious, social and administrative metropolis whose other buildings—palaces, public buildings, and houses—were built of wood and have long since decayed and vanished.

Satellite photographs reveal Angkor to have been the largest preindustrial city in the world, with an urban sprawl of 3000 square kilometers (the closest rival is Tikal in Guatemala, at most 150 square kilometers) and supporting a population of up to one million people. Mysteriously abandoned in the 15th century, the Angkor site remained largely cloaked by the forest until the late 19th century, when archaeologists began to clear away the forest and embark on a long restoration process that continues today.

Angkor Thom west gate

After breakfast, begin your explorations at the mysterious walled city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire. The city is surrounded by an 8 meter high wall, drawing a perfect square, 4km on each side. Enter the city through the South Gate, an impressive stone entryway flanked by larger-than-life carved elephants and capped with four giant smiling faces of the Buddha. On each side of the entrance path stands a row of 54 gods and demons, each holding a sacred Naga snake.

Continue to Bayon Temple, located in the exact center of the city of Angkor Thom. This monument includes dozens of towers featuring faces that some believe depict King Jayavarman VII represented as a Buddhist deity. While the scores of faces are nearly identical, the staggered height of the towers and the different viewpoint of each keep the design from appearing repetitious. Atop the temple, you are engulfed by the silent, enigmatic gaze of those faces, through half-closed eyes, staring out from a remote time in history. 

Ta Prohm doorwayAfter lunch at a local restaurant, explore the temples of the Small Circuit. The most famous is Ta Prohm temple, built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground, giving it the most mysterious atmosphere of the temples in the Angkor area.

Continue to the magnificent Angkor Wat archaeological site, built by Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the history of the region. This evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 12: Angkor Explorations

Included meals: Breakfast & lunch.

  • Visit the "Citadel of Women"
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Afternoon tour of the Roluos Group: Preah Ko, Bakong, and Lolei temples
  • NOTE: JFK schedule may require flying from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh for overnight

Banteay Srei Full Day Itinerary: This morning's excursion takes you to the "Citadel of Women" of Banteay Srei and Banteay Samré, considered to be the birthplace of Khmer classical architecture. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit three early-Angkor era temples of the Roluos Group: Preah Ko, Bakong, and Lolei, built by King Indravarman I and his successor in the 9th century. 

NOTE: JFK schedule may require flying from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh for overnight continuing back to the USA from Phnom Penh on Day 13.

Day 13: Depart Siem Reap/Arrive USA

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Transfer to the airport for the short flight to Bangkok, then continue to the USA via Taipei

Phuket Extension

Take advantage of your already-included international airfare and enjoy a luxurious and relaxing stay on Phuket Island, Thailand's most famous resort.

Day 10: Bangkok & Phuket

Accommodations: 3 nights Amari Phuket or similar. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Fly to Phuket and transfer to your hotel upon arrival
  • Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure

Days 11-12: Phuket

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Full day at leisure or enjoy an optional excursion

Aerial view of PhuketFull Day Itinerary: 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. 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. Phuket is a melting pot of Buddhists, Thai-Chinese, Muslims, and even sea gypsies, whom you'll find warm and welcoming.

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.

Crown-of-thorns starfish 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, 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 tour to the breathtaking Phi Phi islands. Take a trip by boat and bus to Phang Nha Bay and to the limestone spire known as "James Bond Island" for its role in The Man with the Golden Gun.

Optional Excursion: Day Cruise by June Bahtra (purchased locally). Departing early this morning, experience the spectacular limestone scenery of Phang Nga Bay onboard the June Bahtra, a traditional Chinese junk bearing designs from Thai, Malay and Dutch influences. Recline on comfortable deck cushions below the schooner’s striking red sails as the scores of beautiful islands and towering limestone spectacles unfold before you. Stopping at a deserted white sandy beach, a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters beckons. Later, a ride on a long tail boat will take you to the caves and grottoes scattered throughout the mangrove delta, with birdsong and monkey chatter keeping you entertained along the way. At James Bond Island, revel in the views of the iconic rock formation jutting out of the azure bay. Back onboard, enjoy a delicious buffet lunch of freshly caught seafood followed by a leisurely afternoon of swimming, sunbathing and relaxation. Sailing the open sea on this idyllic cruise will definitely make an unforgettable memory. (Lunch included)

Optional Excursion: Day Tour of Phi Phi Island by Speedboat (purchased locally). Departing this morning, escape to a quieter and more natural side of southern Thailand with this day trip from Phuket. Travel by speedboat across the Andaman Sea to the six scenic Phi Phi Islands. The journey to Phi Phi takes around 45 minutes, passing by spectacular limestone karsts that jut out from the blue seas. Sit back and relax, enjoying the views as the boat cruises closer to paradise. 

Continue around the islands, visiting Lho Sa Mah, Phi Phi Lay Cove and Monkey Beach. Each of these stretches of island boasts swaying palm trees and white sands. There are also calm, clear waters brimming with fish for those who wish to discover Thailand’s underwater beauty. 

During the day, lunch will be served at Tongsai Bay. This southern stretch of Phi Phi Ley Island offers sweeping views of the surrounding sea. The afternoon is spent cruising to Bamboo and Khai Islands, for more chances to snorkel and swim in the Andaman Sea. (Lunch included)

Day 13: Depart Phuket/Arrive USA

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Transfer to the airport for the short flight to Bangkok, then continue to the USA via Taipei
  • Passengers returning to JFK must leave Phuket early in the morning before breakfast is served at the hotel

Combining Extensions

Travelers may take both Angkor Wat and Phuket extensions, in that order. On Day 13 of the Angkor Wat extension, passengers will continue to Phuket Island for 3 nights returning to LAX on Day 16. JFK passengers will overnight in Taipei en route back to New York.

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