Family adventures in Thailand with elephants

Thailand Songkran Festival Tour

Country: Thailand

10 Days | $2,845


10 April 2016  Bangkok: Arrival

Arrive in Bangkok where you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.

Meals Included: None

Overnight at Riva Surya Hotel – 1Double Premium Riva Room

11 April 2016   Bangkok: Riverside Public Transport City Tour

You will be met by your guide at your hotel at 9.00am before joining a river express boat along the river to the flower market. Enjoy the sights and smells before taking a lively tuk-tuk ride to Wat Pho to see the famous Reclining Buddha. Enjoy a 30-minute massage at the temple’s traditional Thai massage school followed by lunch at a local restaurant.

After your delicious meal, head to the pride of Thailand – the Grand Palace, also visiting Wat Phra Kaew, which houses the famous Emerald Buddha. Then, boarding a river express and returning to your hotel for the evening.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Riva Surya Hotel – 1Double Premium Riva Room

12 April 2016  Chiang Mai: Arrival and Doi Suthep Temple with Wat Suan Dok Sunset

Your driver will meet you at your hotel for your private transfer to the airport, where you will arrive in time for your onward flight – Bangkok Airways PG270 departing Bangkok at 10:00 & arriving Chiang Mai at 11:15.

You will be met by your guide at Chiang Mai Airport and transferred to your hotel.

Drive up to visit Doi Suthep, the most important Wat in Chiang Mai. Perched high above the city, it offers wonderful views of the city and countryside below.

From here head west of the city walls on to one of the most beautiful viewpoints for sunset – Wat Suan Dok. Literally translated as ‘’field of flowers’’, this temple was built by King Keu Na of Lanna, and is a prime example of Lanna architecture.

Here at this fourteenth century temple you will witness evening prayer as the monks and local people come together at the end of the day.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at De Naga Chiang Mai Hotel – 1Double Deluxe Room

13 April 2016  Chiang Mai: Elephant Owner for a Day at Patara Elephant Farm

You will be met in the lobby of your hotel at 7:30am and transferred to the Patara Elephant Farm, located not far from Chiang Mai. At the farm you will be given your training outfit and a brief talk on working with elephants before heading into the bush to find them. You will learn about the management of the elephant farm and the how the breeding program has been developed and maintained. You will of course be introduced to the stars of the show, and slowly will learn how to work with them on the ground.

After you’ve made friends, you can then lead them down to the river for their morning bath, followed by a short ride to a local temple where you can learn about elephants in Buddhism and the Thai’s ancient relationship with these traditional beasts of burden. Around midday you will set off on a ride through the jungle to visit some lovely waterfalls where you can enjoy a picnic lunch as well as a swim in the falls with your elephant. Return to the camp in the afternoon and say goodbye to your new friends before being transferred back to your hotel.

Please note: Today you will get wet when you help with the elephants’ bath. Please bring appropriate clothing for this, as well as a towel and change of clothes.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at De Naga Chiang Mai Hotel – 1Double Deluxe Room

14 April 2016  Chiang Mai: Songkran Festival

Today is the Thailand Songkran Festival or Thai New Year. The Thai New Year was originally celebrated by splashing water on your family members or elders to bring good fortune. The tradition has grown and changed to become one of the world’s biggest water festivals. People from all over gather in the streets with water guns and buckets of ice cold water splashing and drenching each other in a fun all day, country wide water fight. This is a day to have fun and play and celebrate the Thai New Year!

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at De Naga Chiang Mai Hotel – 1Double Deluxe Room

15 April 2016  Chiang Mai: Villages and Bamboo Forest Trek with Caves

Your guide will meet you at your hotel at 07:30. This early start allows you to get on the trail before it gets too hot. Drive two hours to Chiang Dao where you will start your walk. We highly recommend a stop at a roadside coffee shop…an iced coffee or Chai Yen helps get you moving! Once in Ban Pang Tong you’ll be dropped at the end of a dirt road. Hike up the road as your guide tells you about different flowers and birds you see along the way. At the end of the road is a lovely village belonging Lao Ho people. Here Animism is still practiced and the local people are more wary of visitors and can be shy. Your guide will show you the different style of homes and you might get some shy waves from the kids.

Leaving the village you’ll climb a steep hill for some amazing views of the rice fields and the village from above…don’t worry, this is the steepest hill of the day. Walk for a while in the sun seeing the fields and how the hill tribes survive through agriculture. You’ll stop for a break in a farmer’s hut overlooking the valley before continuing on until you enter the bamboo forest. Listen to the peaceful sounds of the bamboo rustling and groaning and the bird calls echoing through this calm area.  Feel free to ask the guide questions or just soak up the beauty of your surroundings. Along the way, you may see villages collecting wood, cutting down bamboo or hunting. After a couple of hours you’ll emerge into a valley with huge limestone cliffs towering around you and fields of rice and corn on either side of the trail.

Follow the path into a Karen village and meet some of the locals to see their home. In this village there are often hill tribe women selling souvenirs, but they aren’t the Karen, who are a more shy and reserved group, but rather the Akha from a nearby village, who much more are outgoing and interested in the tourist market. Afterwards you will meet your driver who will take you to lunch at Kru Chang Dao, one of the most famous restaurants in the area, known for their famous stewed pork and rice, as well as many other traditional Thai dishes.

After lunch, if you are adventitious and willing to do some light spelunking, head off to nearby sacred caves for some exploration with a local guide by lamplight.  Explore the nearby temple and garden before meeting back with your van for you 2 hour drive back to Chang Mai.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at De Naga Chiang Mai Hotel – 1Double Deluxe Room

16 April 2016  Phuket: Arrival

You will be met by your guide at your hotel and transferred to Chiang Mai airport for your departure flight – Thai Airways TG1171 departing Chiang Mai at 09:40 & arriving Phuket at 11:35.

You will be met at Phuket Airport by a hotel representative and transferred to your hotel. Once you have checked in, relax and enjoy your island oasis!

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort – 1Double Deluxe Seaview Room

17 April 2016  Phuket: Day at Leisure

You have the day free to explore on your own.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort – 1Double Deluxe Seaview

18 April 2016 Phuket: Hongs by Starlight

Late morning you will be met at your hotel and driven with the rest of the group to the Ao Po Pier to board your boat. Cruise towards the National Park while you enjoy a light Thai lunch and listen to a briefing on the wildlife and your schedule. In the afternoon you will be taken by kayak into various hongs and caves, enjoying some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.

In the evening enjoy a Thai Seafood dinner and then make your own krathong to float for luck that evening. Enjoy the sunset on board before returning in the dusk to a hong where you will launch your kratong, experiencing a magical moment! At around 8pm you will start your return to the island. Relax on the Starlight Deck and enjoy the amazing boat ride back your way lit by the stars. You will return to your hotel around 10pm.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight at Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort – 1Double Deluxe Seaview

19 April 2016  Phuket to Bangkok: Departure

You will be transferred from your Phuket hotel in time to catch your departing flight – Thai Airways TG206 departing Phuket at 13:05 & arriving Bangkok at 14:30.

Meals included: Breakfast

PLEASE NOTE

This itinerary is currently in progress and does not reflect hotel room availability. The pricing is not final until the itinerary has been confirmed and booked.

Tour Rate starting at: $ 2,500.00 per person based on two people traveling

Price includes:

  • Air tickets Bangkok – Chiang Mai – Phuket – Bangkok
  • Boat tickets as specified above
  • Accommodation as specified above
  • Air-conditioned car/van with driver
  • Licensed English speaking guides
  • Tours and admission fees as mentioned above
  • Meals as specified in itinerary, including water

Price excludes:

  • Personal expenses
  • Visa fees
  • Airport tax
  • Drinks (except water) and meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Tips
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