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A Taste of Thailand

The humming capital of Bangkok, historic Kanchanaburi & the River Kwai, plus ancient Ayutthaya; optional extensions to Angkor Wat & Phuket

Overview

from$2199Tour + Flights from$1399Tour Only 10days
price per person, double occupancy,* during sale,** based on Mar 18, 2025 departure from LAX
Save $450 on this package!
$150 Discount during our Great Escape Travel Sale. Expires May 28, 2024.**
$300 Instant Savings. Expires May 30, 2024.*   All prices reflect savings.
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Carefree Booking. Change your travel plans with no penalties. See details & restrictions.
Traveling with friends or family? Claim a departure as a private trip for you and your crew (minimum 10 travelers). Call us to learn more.
Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of no more than 16 likeminded travelers (and often much fewer), escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. (Some exceptions, including special promotional packages, may accommodate up to 30.) More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures September 2024 – April 2025 Group Size 16 travelers max
Themes History & Culture
Activity Level Moderate
What to Expect This moderately-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. Travel safely and confidently with our new health & safety protocols.
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Experience a taste of Thailand on this 10-day journey,  with its beautiful beaches and islands, fascinating culture, exotic architecture, and ancient ruins. Discover some of the best 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.

Package includes

  • Flights
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
  • Round-trip airfare from Los Angeles including taxes & fees
  • Intra-Thailand transportation and transfers
  • 7 nights at Superior First Class hotels
  • 8 Meals: 7 breakfasts & a welcome dinner
  • Comprehensive touring program including entrance fees
  • Professional, English-speaking tour guides

Optional add-ons

  • Flights from other select cities are available. Request pricing when making your reservation.
  • Optional Angkor Wat post-tour Extension
  • Optional Phuket post-tour Extension

Why you'll love it

  • For each traveler visiting, Friendly Planet contributes to a carbon-neutral program which supports reforestation, clean water, replenishing mangroves, and seeding coral reefs.
  • Visit Bangkok's colorful Flower Market & Grand Palace.
  • Cruise the Chao Phraya River by long-tail boat.
  • Indulge your taste buds at a Thai Set dinner.
  • Admire the 79-meter pagoda of Wat Arun, one of the most striking riverside landmarks of Thailand.
  • Navigate the canals of the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market for fresh fruit and other treats.
  • Stop along the historic Bridge over the River Kwai, a staple of the infamous Death Railway.
  • Meet the descendants of a Thai war hero in Kanchanaburi
  • Explore the magnificent ruins of Ayutthaya
  • Visit artisans in a local shop in Ayutthaya and see how they weave palm leaves into fish-shaped ornaments.

Itinerary at a Glance

A Taste of Thailand map

Angkor Wat Extension

Phuket Extension

  • 10 Bangkok & Phuket
  • 11 Phuket
  • Optional Excursion: Day Tour of Phi Phi Island by Speedboat with Lunch (purchased locally), $135
  • 12 Phuket
  • Optional Excursion: Half Day Southern Community and Cultural Experience (purchased locally), $121
  • 13 Depart Phuket/Arrive USA

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Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices

Instant Savings: Get $300 off if you book by May 30, 2024!
Dates & Prices, with flights
per person, double occupancy*, during sale**,
including Instant Savings and sale discounts**
2024 DEPARTURES
Dates Regular
Price
Instant
Savings
Sale Your
Price
Departs U.S.: Tue, Sep 3, 2024
Finishes: Thu, Sep 12, 2024
Sep 3 – Sep 12
$2649 Sold Out
Departs U.S.: Tue, Sep 17, 2024
Finishes: Thu, Sep 26, 2024
Book by Thu, May 30, 2024 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings!
Sep 17 – Sep 26
$2749 –$300 -$150 $2299 Select
Departs U.S.: Tue, Oct 15, 2024
Finishes: Thu, Oct 24, 2024
Book by Thu, May 30, 2024 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings!
Oct 15 – Oct 24
$2849 –$300 -$150 $2399 Select
Departs U.S.: Tue, Nov 19, 2024
Finishes: Thu, Nov 28, 2024
Book by Thu, May 30, 2024 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings!
Nov 19 – Nov 28
$2699 –$300 -$150 $2249 Select
Departs U.S.: Tue, Dec 3, 2024
Finishes: Thu, Dec 12, 2024
Book by Thu, May 30, 2024 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings!
Dec 3 – Dec 12
$2999 –$300 -$150 $2549 Select
2025 DEPARTURES
Dates Regular
Price
Instant
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Sale Your
Price
Departs U.S.: Tue, Jan 7, 2025
Finishes: Thu, Jan 16, 2025
Book by Thu, May 30, 2024 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings!
Jan 7 – Jan 16
$2899 –$300 -$150 $2449 Select
Departs U.S.: Tue, Feb 18, 2025
Finishes: Thu, Feb 27, 2025
Book by Thu, May 30, 2024 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings!
Feb 18 – Feb 27
$2749 –$300 -$150 $2299 Select
Departs U.S.: Tue, Mar 18, 2025
Finishes: Thu, Mar 27, 2025
Book by Thu, May 30, 2024 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings!
Mar 18 – Mar 27
$2649 –$300 -$150 $2199 Select
Departs U.S.: Tue, Apr 1, 2025
Finishes: Thu, Apr 10, 2025
Book by Thu, May 30, 2024 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings!
Apr 1 – Apr 10
$2649 –$300 -$150 $2199 Select
Dates & Prices, tour only
per person, double occupancy*, during sale**,
including Instant Savings and sale discounts**
2024 DEPARTURES
Dates Regular
Price
Instant
Savings
Sale Your
Price
Starts: Thu, Sep 5, 2024
Finishes: Thu, Sep 12, 2024
Sep 5 – Sep 12
$1849 Sold Out
Starts: Thu, Sep 19, 2024
Finishes: Thu, Sep 26, 2024
Book by Thu, May 30, 2024 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings!
Sep 19 – Sep 26
$1949 –$300 -$150 $1499 Select
Starts: Thu, Oct 17, 2024
Finishes: Thu, Oct 24, 2024
Book by Thu, May 30, 2024 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings!
Oct 17 – Oct 24
$2049 –$300 -$150 $1599 Select
Starts: Thu, Nov 21, 2024
Finishes: Thu, Nov 28, 2024
Book by Thu, May 30, 2024 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings!
Nov 21 – Nov 28
$1899 –$300 -$150 $1449 Select
Starts: Thu, Dec 5, 2024
Finishes: Thu, Dec 12, 2024
Book by Thu, May 30, 2024 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings!
Dec 5 – Dec 12
$2199 –$300 -$150 $1749 Select
2025 DEPARTURES
Dates Regular
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Instant
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Price
Starts: Thu, Jan 9, 2025
Finishes: Thu, Jan 16, 2025
Book by Thu, May 30, 2024 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings!
Jan 9 – Jan 16
$2099 –$300 -$150 $1649 Select
Starts: Thu, Feb 20, 2025
Finishes: Thu, Feb 27, 2025
Book by Thu, May 30, 2024 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings!
Feb 20 – Feb 27
$1949 –$300 -$150 $1499 Select
Starts: Thu, Mar 20, 2025
Finishes: Thu, Mar 27, 2025
Book by Thu, May 30, 2024 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings!
Mar 20 – Mar 27
$1849 –$300 -$150 $1399 Select
Starts: Thu, Apr 3, 2025
Finishes: Thu, Apr 10, 2025
Book by Thu, May 30, 2024 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings!
Apr 3 – Apr 10
$1849 –$300 -$150 $1399 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 (or after) you book. More information Want to extend your trip?

Options & Fees

Taste of Thailand
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy included
Single Occupancy $349
Angkor Wat Extension
Angkor Wat Extension1 $999
Cambodia Departure Tax2 (paid separately) $25
Cambodia Visa Fee3 (paid separately) $66
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy included
Single Occupancy $249

1. Requires a minimum of two passengers to operate and is subject to availability.

2. Paid locally.

3. All visitors to Cambodia must obtain their own visa. This price is approximate, based on a single-entry visa from Sherpa. Price includes $36 Government fee + $30 Convenience fee. Actual price may vary. Visa is also available for purchase upon arrival for $30.

Phuket Island Extension
Phuket Island Extension1
Nov 19, 2024;  Dec 3, 2024 $799
Jan 7, 2025;  Feb 18, 2025;  Mar 18, 2025 $849
All other dates $699
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy included
Single Occupancy
Nov 19, 2024;  Dec 3, 2024 $399
Jan 7, 2025;  Feb 18, 2025;  Mar 18, 2025 $449
All other dates $349

1. Requires a minimum of two passengers to operate and is subject to availability.

Optional Airport Transfers for Tour Only Passengers
Arrival Transfer: Bangkok airport to hotel1 $45
Departure Transfer: Bangkok hotel to airport2 $45

1. Price based on a minimum of two passengers.

2. Price based on a minimum of two 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. Why are single rooms more?

Flights & Departure Cities

Departure Airports
Los Angeles (LAX) included
San Francisco (SFO) $75
New York Kennedy (JFK) $100

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? For this package, you may request flights from Chicago, Houston, and Seattle, based on availability. Please ask for a quote when booking.

Detailed 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

  • Arrive in Bangkok, meet our representative, and transfer to your hotel
  • Enjoy a traditional Thai Set dinner at a local restaurant

Montien Hotel Surawong or similar Dinner

Full Day Itinerary

Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand's vibrant capital! Upon landing, meet our representative, who will escort you to your hotel followed by a welcome briefing. Spend the balance of the day at leisure. This evening, get to know your fellow travelers for a traditional Thai Set dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 4 Bangkok

  • Visit the Flower Market and learn how to create your own Thai garland
  • Tour The Royal Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha
  • See the mysterious Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho
  • Spend the balance of the day at leisure or enjoy one (or both!) optional excursions

Montien Hotel Surawong or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Grand Palace, Bangkok

Start your day with a visit to Bangkok's vibrant and colorful Flower Market. Meet with a local vendor and create a traditional Thai flower garland that you can present as an offering at any of Bangkok's magnificent temples.

Next, depart for The Royal 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 and 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 (jasper). Continue to Wat Pho, founded in the 17th century and the oldest temple in Bangkok. This temple is also home to the remarkable 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. 

The afternoon is leisurely to explore Bangkok on your own or join other locally available optional excursions.

Optional Excursion: Chinatown Walk (purchased locally), $52
Bustling Chinatown, Bangkok

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 exciting shops selling unique objects. Continue to an old tea shop to enjoy Chinese tea with the locals before heading to Talad Kao for a busy local market with fresh food, fruits, and herbs. End the walk at Wat Leng Nei Yi to visit the Taoist temple, and continue to Wat Traimit on the edge of Chinatown, which houses the world's most giant solid gold Buddha.

Note: Sold locally at approximately 1,290 THB

Optional Excursion: Cabaret show with dinner (purchased locally), $84
Cabaret and Thai Martial Arts show © Mirinn Show

This evening, transfer to the Mirinn Theater for a night of live entertainment at the Thai dance and cabaret show filled with elaborate sets and costumes. Afterwards, transfer back to your hotel.

Note: Sold locally at approximately 2,520 THB

Day 5 Bangkok

  • Enjoy the morning at leisure or take part in an optional excursion
  • Embark on an afternoon boat ride along the Chao Phraya River
  • Visit the Royal Barge Museum
  • Stop by Wat Arun, the magnificent temple of Dawn

Montien Hotel Surawong or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Boat ride on the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok

Enjoy the morning at leisure, or join an optional food and culture excursion.

This afternoon, experience an exhilarating boat ride along the bustling Chao Phraya River and the quiet Klongs (canals) in a long-tail boat. Travel back 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.

Optional Excursion: Bites & Sites in the "Village of Love" (purchased locally), $108
Kanom Thua Paep

Begin the day by joining a local guide on an insightful walking and food tour through the Bangrak neighborhood, known as the "Village of Love," an ideal place for food lovers and curious travelers to connect over authentic local culture and cuisine. Known for its food and family-run stalls, stop to taste the best local snacks, from the traditional to the exotic. Engage with the chefs and store owners and listen to their stories and the history of Bangrak. After glimpsing into the past and the "real" Bangrak culture, continue to the afternoon tour.

Note: Sold locally at approximately 3,590 THB

Day 6 Bangkok, Kanchanaburi & the River Kwai

  • Enjoy a scenic morning drive through the Thai countryside to Samut Songkhram Province
  • Visit the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market on a long-tail boat ride
  • See the historic bridge over the River Kwai before touring the Death Railway museum

Royal Riverkwai Resort & Spa or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Bridge over the River Kwai

After an early breakfast, drive to Samut Songkhram Province, enjoying the scenic  Thai countryside. See a unique country market that has sprouted up along the tracks of the Maeklong Railway Market. The true marvel here is watching vendors skillfully move their stalls out of the way of trains passing through the market.

Next, experience the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market via a long-tail boat ride through the canals to 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.

Continue 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. Then, visit the war cemetery. Later this afternoon, check into your hotel. 

Day 7 Kanchanaburi

  • Enjoy a panoramic train ride viewing the Kwai Gorge
  • Meet with the surviving family members of influential Thai war heroes
  • Spend the evening at leisure

Royal Riverkwai Resort & Spa or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Train ride, Death Railway

This morning, enjoy a scenic one-hour train ride on the famous Death Railway, admiring the breathtaking panoramic view of the Kwai Gorge. Take in the significance of the railway as you pass through Thailand's rural and agricultural provinces.

In the afternoon, transfer to the Pak Praek Community, Kanchanaburi's historic quarter, which is rich in culture and history. Pass along the wooden houses and shops and meet with a local history expert who will take you along this interesting route. Stop at the Chuan Panich Shop and the House Boonpong, a Thai merchant's former residence credited with saving many lives during World War II. With courageous intentions, Mr. Boonpong Sirivejaphan smuggled medicine, money, and food to POWs working on the railway. His valiant work received abundant praise from many, including Queen Elizabeth II. Meet and talk with this war hero's descendants to better understand the significance of these two houses. The rest of your evening is free at leisure.

Day 8 Kanchanaburi & Ayutthaya

  • Drive to the ancient city of Ayutthaya and visit the temples and ruins of Wat Mahathat, Wat Yai Chaimongkhol, and Wat Phra Si Sanphet
  • Discover the iconic Buddha head woven into tree roots
  • Explore the Mongkol Bophit Temple Market and witness the making of Roti Sai Mai
  • Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore on your own

Kantary Hotel Ayutthaya or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Buddha head, Wat Mahathat

After breakfast, make your way 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 Burmese army invaded and destroyed the city. Nevertheless, the magnificent ruins of the old city remain, and some have been restored. Exciting archaeological excavations are still proceeding at many sites in the area. Among the ruins, visit Wat Mahathat to discover a Buddha head entwined in tree roots.

Next, continue to a vibrant market next to the Mongkhon Bophit Temple. Witness how they make Roti Sai Mai, a Thai dessert similar to cotton candy. Watch as a local vendor demonstrates how the sweet is made, and have an opportunity to create your own! 

Afterward, enjoy the whimsical former capital of Thailand on your own. Later this afternoon, check into your hotel. 

Day 9 Ayutthaya & Bangkok

  • Learn more about an integral part of the Thai lifestyle: rice harvesting
  • 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 and enjoy a final night on your own

Montien Hotel Surawong or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Bang Pa, Ayutthaya

This morning, visit the Klong Pho Community to learn about rice's integral part of the Thai lifestyle. Farmers across Thailand spend their days planting rice crops in the spring months in time for the summer rainy season. When the rainy season passes, the rice is harvested and becomes a staple in the Thai diet. Meet with a local family whose living mainly depends on rice harvesting and the tools used to harvest the rice. Engage with the family on the importance of this practice and discover the integral and fascinating tools they use. 

Afterward, the day's sightseeing takes you to Bang Pa to view King Rama IV's summer palace, once used by the king and queen to host receptions and banquets. The palace and surrounding temples represent an appealing fusion of Thai, Chinese, and European architectural styles.

Next, experience the stunning serenity of Bang Pa and King Rama IV’s summer palace, once used by the king and queen to host receptions and banquets. The palace and 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 remarkable Gothic architecture and stained glass windows. Finally, return to Bangkok and enjoy your final night at leisure with the rest of our fellow travelers. 

Day 10 Depart Bangkok/Arrive USA

  • 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!

Breakfast

Important Notes

  • 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 substituted.

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

  • 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.

Borei Angkor Resort & Spa or similar Breakfast

Day 11 Angkor Explorations

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

Borei Angkor Resort & Spa or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Angkor Wat Photo by Gyorgy Bakos in Unsplash

Built by the Khmer civilization between 802 and 1220 AD, the temples at Angkor and the great city surrounding it represent one of mankind's most astonishing and enduring architectural achievements. Today's structures are the surviving remains of a grand religious, social, and administrative metropolis. Other buildings, such as palaces, public buildings, and houses, were built of wood and have long since decayed and vanished. Satellite photographs reveal Angkor as 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 primarily cloaked by the forest until the late 19th century, when archaeologists began clearing the forest and planning a lengthy restoration process.

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

After 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 still as large as it was when discovered: 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. Carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the region's history cover the walls inside the temple. This evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. Moreover, Angkor Wat is well known for the more than 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Construction is thought to have taken nearly forty years of intensive labor. Today, Angkor Wat is featured on Cambodia's national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people.

This evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 12 Angkor Explorations

  • Visit the "Citadel of Women", the best preserved temple in Cambodia
  • Learn about mine awareness at the Landmine Museum
  • Create a Khmer style smok box
  • Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant
  • Tour the Roluos Group: Preah Ko, Bakong, and Lolei temples
  • Spend the evening at leisure or join an optional excursion

Borei Angkor Resort & Spa or similar Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Banteay Srei

This morning's excursion takes you to the "gem" of the Angkor area, the beautiful pink-sandstone temple of Banteay Srey, best viewed in the warm morning light. The so-called "Citadel of the Women" was built between the 11th and 13th centuries and remains the best preserved temple in Cambodia. The temple displays some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art and is noted for its truly remarkable fine bas-reliefs depicting the Hindu god Shiva.

Stop by the Landmine Museum, which promotes mine awareness. The museum founder, Mr. Aki Ra, was trained as a child soldier during the Khmer Rouge regime. Today, he is working as a de-miner. The museum serves to educate and serve as a rescue center for several landmine amputee children that Aki Ra has brought off Phnom Penh's streets or from impoverished rural communities.

After lunch at a local restaurant, be picked up by ramork (local transportation) and join the artisans at Senteurs d'Angkor for a smok-making workshop. Learn how local artisans make smok boxes using parts of the sugar palm tree. Weave the palm tree leaves to create your own Khmer souvier.

Later, 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. The surrounding countryside, with its paddy fields and sugar palm trees, is very typical for Cambodia. Enjoy the natural beauty and connect with rural Cambodia and its friendly people. 

This evening is at your leisure, or join an optional dining tour that visits some of Siem Reap's tastiest restaurants.

Optional Excursion: Dining for a Cause (purchased locally), $58

One distinctive feature of the culinary scene in Siem Reap is a selection of restaurants providing culinary arts training to disadvantaged Cambodian youth. Visit a variety of such culinary social enterprises to enjoy some of the finest Khmer cuisines while supporting the education of at-risk youth.

Day 13 Depart Siem Reap/Arrive USA

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

Breakfast

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

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

Amari Phuket or similar Breakfast

Day 11 Phuket

  • Enjoy a full day at leisure or join an optional excursion

Amari Phuket or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Longtail boats, Phuket Photo by Frankie Spontelli on Unsplash

Spend 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. Still, the resilient people have quickly rebuilt it, 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 types of water sports, including jet-skiing, parasailing, surfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. Most of the dive locations are suitable for all skill levels. 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 you can pull yourself away from the beach, you'll find opportunities to ride horses, hike, mountain bike, and even golf. Afterward, unwind at one of the many spas or one of the excellent acrobatic, theatrical, or cultural shows.

Optional Excursion: Day Tour of Phi Phi Island by Speedboat with Lunch (purchased locally), $135
Phi Phi Islands viewpoint

Escape to a quieter and more natural side of southern Thailand on a day trip from Phuket. This morning, board a speedboat for a 45-minute journey to the six scenic Phi Phi Islands. As you cruise toward paradise, see spectacular limestone karsts that jut out from the blue seas. Pass by Maya Bay, arguably one of Thailand’s most beautiful places, as well as Phi Phi Lay Cove and Monkey Beach, which feature stunning white sands lined with swaying palm trees. 

Enjoy lunch at Tonsai Bay, the southern stretch of Phi Phi Ley Island, surrounded by sweeping sea views. In the afternoon, cruise to the Bamboo Islands for snorkeling and swimming in the Andaman Sea. 

After a spectacular day cruising the Phi Phi Islands, it is time to return to Phuket in the early evening.

Note: This is a shared tour. 

September 2023 to April 30, 2024: Sold locally at approximately 4,010 THB

May 1 to October 31, 2024: Sold locally at approximately 4,210 THB

Day 12 Phuket

  • Enjoy a full day at leisure on the island or join an optional excursion

Amari Phuket or similar Breakfast

Optional Excursion: Half Day Southern Community and Cultural Experience (purchased locally), $121
Kaeng som

Discover the enchanting cultural village of Baan Kamala in Phuket, where tradition meets tropical paradise. Immerse yourself in Thai heritage as you explore this vibrant Muslim community, known for its warm hospitality and captivating local customs. From traditional performances to authentic cuisine, Baan Kamala is a must-visit destination for a truly immersive and enriching experience in Southern Thailand.

Meet with locals when you arrive, and throughout the half-day tour, participate in hands-on activities, allowing you to be a part of the tapestry of local life. Learn how to make khanom duen, a local dessert, and kaeng som—a famous (and spicy!) Southern Thai dish made of buffalo oranges. Or, enjoy painting sarongs or batiks with a personal design. 

Note: September 2023 to April 30, 2024: Sold locally at approximately 3,350 THB

May 1 to October 31, 2024: Sold locally at approximately 3,880 THB

Day 13 Depart Phuket/Arrive USA

  • 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

Breakfast

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 three nights returning to LAX on Day 16. JFK passengers will overnight in Taipei en route back to New York.

Hotels

Montien Hotel Surawong
Montien Hotel Surawong
Deluxe

Montien Hotel Surawong is located in Bangkok's captivating Silom neighborhood. Enjoy genuine hospitality alongside spectacular city views from this distinctive high-rise in the heart of Thailand's capital city. 

More information

Royal Riverkwai Resort & Spa
Royal Riverkwai Resort & Spa
First Class

The Royal Riverkwai Resort offers a wonderful retreat to relax and unwind from your sightseeing.

More information

Kantary Hotel Ayutthaya
Kantary Hotel Ayutthaya
First Class

The Kantary Hotel Ayutthaya is conveniently located within easy walking distance of shopping and other amenities, and not far from the old city of Ayutthaya and the Chao Phaya River. The hotel provides some of the most luxurious and modern accommodations in Ayutthaya.

More information

Borei Angkor Resort & Spa
Borei Angkor Resort & Spa
Deluxe

Located near the center of Siem Reap Town, the Borei Angkor Hotel is a short drive from many of the finest monuments of the Angkor Temple Complex. The property's philosophy is based on authentic Cambodian heritage and lifestyle. The hotel decor reflects the intricate and ornate designs that adorn the ancient monument of Khmer Culture.

More information

Amari Phuket
Amari Phuket
Superior First Class

Hidden on a secluded beach, Amari Phuket offers a prime location in Patong’s southernmost corner surrounded by the Andaman Sea. Less than an hour’s drive from Phuket International Airport, Amari Phuket is conveniently set within a 5-minute walk to Patong Beach while Phuket Town and the island’s popular attractions are also easily accessible from the resort.

More information

In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.

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