Road Scholar : Home
A Family Adventure in Thailand: Bangkok, Buddhas and a Beautiful Beach

Program Number: 21259RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/16/2014 - 7/30/2014; 7/15/2015 - 7/29/2015;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: Thailand
Price starting at: $3,490.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Family Programs
Meals: 30; 12 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Program intended for grandchildren from 14 - 17 years of age.

One of Asia’s most exotic lands is also one of the most welcoming for families. From the exotic bustle of Bangkok to the serene Buddhist temples and Hill Tribes of the north to the otherworldly limestone cliffs of Phuket Island to the south, discover the fascinating cultures and natural wonders of Thailand with three generations of your family.




Highlights

• Learn about the thrilling landmarks of Bangkok, including the Grand Palace, the Emerald Buddha and oldest temple and home to the magnificent reclining Buddha.
• In Northern Thailand, spend a day at the Elephant Center, interacting with these magnificent animals, and explore the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Laos and Burma meet.
• Paddle the turquoise waters of Phuket’s Phang Nga Bay into sea caves, past low-roofed caverns filled with bat colonies and giant stalactites and into secluded lagoons.



Activity Particulars

Biking up to two hours, getting in and out of small boats.



Program intended for children from 14-17 years of age.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Bangkok, 3 nights; flight to Chiang Rai, 2 nights; coach to Chiang Mai, 3 nights; flight to Phuket, 4 nights; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.
1 night
Arrival Bangkok
3 nights

Explore the Grand Palace, Thailand’s most important landmark and marvel at the mysterious Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Thailand. Continue to Wat Pho, Bangkok’s oldest temple and home to the magnificent reclining Buddha. Ride a private long tail boat to the peaceful Klong Bang Luang — the famous canals filled with local temples and vendors. Explore the green side of Bangkok by bicycle, as you pedal through Bang Ka Jao, just outside the heart of the city, an area of waterways and small roads, lush gardens and small temples.



Flight to Chiang Rai
2 nights
Coach to Chiang Mai
3 nights

By tuk-tuk, discover Chiang Rai on your own during our scavenger hunt! Learn about the hill tribes of Northern Thailand and the opium trade. Continue to the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos meet. In Chiang Mai, young learners explore a local market with your Group Leader and try speaking Thai with the locals. Learn about Chiang Mai's icon, Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, the most sacred temple in Northern Thailand. Participate in a private blessing ceremony, meet with monks and learn about Buddhism. Spend the day at the Elephant Center, interacting with these magnificent animals. Visit a local produce market to discover the herbs and spices sold here. Then learn how to cook the Thai way, using local ingredients.



Flight to Phuket
4 nights
Departure

On the small island of Koh Yao Noi, affected by the 2004 tsunami, spend the day with villagers learning about their lifestyles and the post-tsunami recovery efforts. Uncover the rich heritage of Phuket as you walk its historic quarters with a local expert, and explore the oldest Chinese shrine and uniqueness of the Sino-Portuguese architecture. Uncover the pristine beauty of Phuket, as you learn about sea caves and limestone islets as your instructors gently paddle you past low-roofed caverns filled with bat colonies and giant stalactites into a lagoon surrounded on all sides by towering cliffs. Enjoy time independent time to snorkel, swim or discover on your own.




Thailand

Despite its rural roots, Thailand can claim a rapidly industrializing economy and a fast-growing urban population, especially in the Bangkok area. Some 95 percent of the country’s population practices Theravada Buddhism -- inspiring temples dot a stunning natural landscape, along with the ruins of ancient kingdoms. The Thai have long been known as some of the most hospitable people on earth, and meals are, with few exceptions, taken communally.



Accommodations
Bangkok: Hotel located in the heart of the city. Chiang Rai: Resort nestled amid a beautiful garden. Chiang Mai: Centrally located hotel. Phuket: Beach-front hotel with British Colonial charm.
Meals and Lodgings
   Furama Silom
  In Flight
Bangkok, Thailand
4 nights
   Laluna Hotel and Resort
  Chiang Rai, Thailand 2 nights
   Royal Princess Hotel
  Chiang Mai, Thailand 3 nights
   The Old Phuket
  Phuket, Thailand 4 nights
 Furama Silom
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: An elegant 4-star flagship city hotel in Bangkok, Furama Silom, Bangkok is under Furama, an award-winning brand. Located centrally in the heart of Silom, Bangkok's main business, banking, shopping and night-life district, it is a perfect destination for both business and leisure travellers. This city hotel in Bangkok features 251 expansive guestrooms that are decorated with a combination of modern and contemporary Thai style creating a cosy feel
  Contact info: 533 Silom Road
Bangkok,  10500 Thailand
phone: +66-(0)2-688-6888
web: www.furama.com/silom/
  Room amenities: The rooms at Furama Silom Bangkok encompasses a spacious 40sqm with the basic amenities such as coffee and tea-making facilities, in-room safe, IDD phones, hairdryer, TV offering local and cable channels.
  Facility amenities: A large outdoor swimming pool on the 20th floor at the rooftop of this hotel in Silom provides guests with an ideal place to take a refreshing dip or work on their tan while enjoying the cool breeze of metropolitan air. Alternatively, Silom Sky Bar offers a selection of creative beverages, cocktails and snacks amidst stunning panoramic views of Bangkok's skyline. The more energetic will love our indoor modern fitness room with well-equipped facilities, including sauna room and lockers.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBA Please contact Travel Services.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Laluna Hotel and Resort
Type: Hotel
  Description: Laluna Hotel & Resort is nestled in a beautiful garden amid a prime location of Chiang Rai. The hotel boasts 79 modern Thai style houses that are fully equipped with international standard facilities. Our goal is to make you feel as welcome and comfortable as if you were in your own home.
  Contact info: 160 Moo 14 Sanambin Road
Chiang Rai,  57000 Thailand
phone: +66 (0) 8 79.10.56.20
web: www.lalunaresortchiangrai.com/
  Room amenities: Cable TV, Television, Refrigerator, Mini Bar, Radio, Laundry Services
  Facility amenities: 24 hours reception, 24 hours security, 24 hours concierge, 24 hour room service, Bar and Restaurant, Coffee shop (Fresh brewed coffee), Wheelchair access, Outdoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, Massage, Car,Motorbike and bicycle rental, Meeting and function rooms, Wireless Internet access
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Royal Princess Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Royal Princess Chiang Mai offers every facility and service to make your visit to Northern Thailand a memorable one. Famed for its association with Thai aristocracy. The hotel is located in the heart of Chiang Mai. It provides a gateway to the region’s stunning scenery, the fabulous Night Bazaar and traditional Thai arts and crafts.
  Contact info: 112 Chang Klan Road
Muang
Chiang Mai,  50100 Thailand
phone: +66 (0) 5325 3900
web: www.dusit.com/dusit-princess/en/princess-chiang-mai.html
  Room amenities: Bathroom with full amenities including bathrobe, Hair dryer, Private safety deposit box, Satellite television In-room internet connection, Phone, Tea and coffee making facilities, Air Conditioning, Minibar
  Facility amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Laundry and dry-cleaning service, Outdoor Swimming Pool, Fitness Center, 2 Restaurants, Bar
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 The Old Phuket
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Old Phuket at Karon Beach is a Sino-Portugese-style creation that evokes memories of 19th century Southeast Asia. The atmosphere will take travelers back to the days of the spice trade, of tin mining, of Chinese junks plying the straits of Malacca and the golden age of travel before resorts and package tours. Built as a replica of the architecture that still remains in the old sections of Phuket Town. The Old Phuket provides guests with an historical alternative to the typical hotel holiday. The golden sands of Karon Beach stretch out in front of the hotel to the Andaman Sea, beckoning you to join us when the hotel is officially opened in October 2001.
  Contact info: 192/36 Karon Rd,Karon Beach
Muang, Phuket,  83100 Thailand
phone: +66 (0)76.39.63.53
web: www.theoldphuket.com/facilities.htm
  Room amenities: - Self controlled air-conditioning. - Private balcony - Refrigerator - Bath tub and shower - Satellite television with remote control - Safety deposit box - Coffee and tea maker - IDD telephone system - Full set bath room amenities - Full-stocked mini-bar - Hot & cold running water. - 220 Voltage A.C. - Hairdryer - Umbrella
  Facility amenities: SHARK RESTAURANT: Serving daily buffet breakfast from 06.30 hrs. - 10.30 hrs. CHILI RESTAURANT: Sea side restaurant serving International and Seafood from 14.00 hrs. - 23.00 hrs. BAI TOEY: Serving daily Thai cuisine a la carte from 11.00 hrs. - 23.00 hrs. AL DENTE: Serving daily a la carte Lunch & Dinner. Authentic contemporary Italian's cuisine from 11.00 hrs. - 23.00 hrs. LOBBY CORNER : Varieties of drinks, coffee and tea from 10.00 hrs. - 11.00 hrs. KO-I POOL BAR : Located on 3rd floor of Sino Wing, serving snack and varieties of food & drink from 10.00 hrs. - 19.00 hrs. THE POOL BAR: Located at Serene Wing, serving snack and varieties of food & drink from 10.00 hrs. - 19.00 hrs. - Laundry and dry cleaning service. - Room service till midnight. - Baby sitting. - Doctor on call. - Swimming pool with child pool attached. - Fitness center equipment. - Massage service at pool-side. - Tour desk & information. - Ample parking area. - Luggage porter service.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Additional nights after: TBA Please contact RSTS.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program begins in Bangkok at the program hotel in the early evening on Day 3. You will be staying at Furama Silom that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast on Day 16 in Phuket. You will be staying at The Old Phuket the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Only a valid passport is required.
  Parking availability:
Driving is not recommended in Thailand.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Taxis are available at the beginning and end of the program. Taxis from the hotel to airport cost approximately $15-$25(all subject to change) in Bangkok and up to $50 in Phuket.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Bangkok
  Transportation to site: If independent flights do not coincide with the designated group transfer, it will be the responsibility of the participant/s to make arrangement to get to the program site. A public taxi stand is located on Level 1 (Ground Level) at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. Please go to www.bangkokairportonline.com/ to get more information about available transportation services from the airport to the hotel. Private transfers -at an additional cost- may be arranged in advance by the calling Road Scholar Travel Services.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Phuket
  Transportation from site: Please contact the concierge services at the program hotel or the group leader about arranging transfers from the hotel to the airport. Transfer from the hotel to the airport will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Orientation Departure for Thailand
(Wednesday, July 16)
   
 Depart From: Overnight flight

Day 2: En route to Thailand
(Thursday, July 17)

Note: If you are prone to jeg lag, it is a good idea to arrive a day early to get the additional rest that you may need.



   
 In Transit: Cross International Dateline.
   
Accommodations: Furama Silom

Day 3: Arrival / Orientation in Bangkok
(Friday, July 18)
   
 Arrive To: Arrive in Thailand.
 Afternoon: Convene with your Group Leader and other participants for program orientation.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Furama Silom
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 4: Bangkok / Grand Palace / Wat Pho / Klong Ride / Baan Silapan
(Saturday, July 19)

Note: You will need to dress appropriately for the temple visit and the Grand Palace with your shoulders and legs covered. For the Grand Palace you will need to have closed heal shoes. You will also need to take off your shoes as well when you enter the temples. For the Klong Rides, you will need to be able to get in and out of small boats without assistance.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Begin your exploration of Bangkok on a Tuk Tuk, taking you to the Grand Palace, the number one ‘must see’ attraction as well as Thailand’s most important landmark. Marvel at the mysterious Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Thailand. Continue to Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), Bangkok’s oldest temple and home to the magnificent reclining Buddha and Thailand's first school of traditional medicine and Thai massage.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant by the river.
 Afternoon: After lunch, board a private long tail boat taking you into the peaceful Klong Bang Luang (one of the myriads of Bangkok Canals). Pass by shop houses, local temples and vendors on this waterway which was once a major trading route and lined with impressive homes of aristocrats. After observing this lively area, stop at Baan Silapin, a 100 year old renovated house now home to an art gallery. Experience a unique puppet show performed by puppeteers trained under the Joe Louis School of puppetry.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Furama Silom
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Bangkok Discovery / Free afternoon
(Sunday, July 20)

Note: This is a 2 hour biking. Biking today can vary. Some parts are moderate and some parts are difficult. A small part of the lane is narrow which makes it difficult for biking. However, you can walk your bikes on this part. There is no support vehicle driving along because there is no car access. Overall, the routing is through lush green gardens and landscape.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Explore the green side of Bangkok by bicycle. Pedal through Bang Ka Jao, an area of waterways and small roads. Pass local markets, lush gardens, small temples, and Thai houses and see the communities that live and work here. Just outside the heart of Bangkok, Ka Jao is a haven of green and this two hour ride exposes a different side of the capital city.
 Lunch: Lunch on own.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon on your own to explore the many aspects of Bangkok.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Furama Silom
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Fly from Bangkok to Chiang Rai / Chiang Rai Discovery
(Monday, July 21)

Note: You will be using local transportation this afternoon, the tuk tuk, a motorize 3 wheel vehicle in Chiang Rai.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Free morning to prepare for your flight to Chiang Rai. Fly to Chiang Rai.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Participate in an independent discovery of Chiang Rai on your own family tuk tuk, a motorized vehicle. You will be given a list of sites to discover and you need to navigate with your tuk tuk driver. You will need to take a picture of these places and give some facts about it. Afterwards, reconvene with your group leader to discuss what you have learned.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Laluna Hotel and Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Chiang Rai / Hill Tribe Museum / Hall of Opium (Chiang Saen)
(Tuesday, July 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Today learn about the hill tribes of Northern Thailand. Depart for a visit to the Hill Tribe Museum. Adults will listen to a brief lecture on the hill tribe museum and the different hill tribe communities. Young learners will have a guided visit through the museum, then time to explore the museum on their own. The museum gives you a better understanding of the tribal cultures of Thailand.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: This afternoon learn about the opium trade at the Hall of Opium in Chiang Saen. Adults and young learners will split into two groups, each with a guide and group leader to explore the museum and learn about the importance of this trade in the Golden Triangle. Then continue to the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos meet.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
   
Accommodations: Laluna Hotel and Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Chiang Rai / Transfer to Chiang Mai / Wat Prathat Doi Suthep
(Wednesday, July 23)

Note: Transfer time to Chiang Mai is approximately 4 hours with a couple of stops. There are many stairs to Doi Suthep, but there is also a cable car that you can take to the top. You will need to dress appropriately for the temple visit with your shoulders and legs covered. You will also need to take off your shoes.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.
 Morning: Depart Chiang Rai for Chiang Mai. Drive is approximately 4 hours with a few bathroom stops along the way.
 Lunch: Lunch at your hotel in Chiang Mai.
 Afternoon: Young learners can explore Waroros Market. You will be given a list of Thai items transcribed into English and your job is to talk with the local vendors and find out what these items are in English or describe it in English and then take a picture of it. This is an opportunity for you to interact with the vendors at this market. Then the entire group will explore Chiang Mai's Icon, Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, the temple on the mountain, and the most sacred in Northern Thailand. Participate in a private blessing ceremony and witness the magical evening chanting of the monks. The day ends, with a view over Chiang Mai city.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Royal Princess Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Buddhism / Monk Chat / Chiang Mai Discovery
(Thursday, July 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to Wat Suan Dok, famous for its whitewashed Lanna stupas. The International Buddhist Studies Center adjacent to the temple offers a unique opportunity to learn and informally exchange ideas with the monks about Buddhism and other general topics. Adults can take this opportunity to learn about Buddhism and its importance to Thailand, while the young learners can converse with novice monks and learn about the monk hood and its importance to their culture.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon on your own to explore Chiang Mai. For those interested, in the late afternoon, join your group leader for a service project at Baan Hmong Hope hostel. Help prepare dinner for 50 children that reside there.
 Dinner: Then join the children for dinner. If you choose not to do this activity, dinner is on your own.
   
Accommodations: Royal Princess Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Chiang Mai / Elephant Education
(Friday, July 25)

Note: Transfer time one way is about 1.5 hours one way. You will need to climb ups stairs to a platform and then get on the seating areas of the elephants back.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Spend the day learning about elephant at the Elephant Center in Lampang. Begin with an elephant ride and then learn about these elephants, bathing them, etc.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Return to Chiang Mai.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
   
Accommodations: Royal Princess Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: Chiang Mai / Cooking class / Fly to Phuket
(Saturday, July 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your hotel.
 Morning: Take an excursion to the local fresh produce market in preparation for a cooking course. Learn about the different herbs and spices sold here. Then learn how to cook the Thai way, using local ingredients, and make your own Thai dish that you can enjoy for lunch.
 Lunch: Taste your culinary delights.
 Afternoon: This afternoon head out for your flight to Phuket.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: The Old Phuket
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Phuket / Koh Yao Noi Community Project
(Sunday, July 27)

Note: You will be taking a long trail boat to this island and then an open air jeep to the village.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Spend the day making a positive impact on a Thai community. Travel to Koh Yao Noi, a small island which was affected by the 2004 tsunami, and spend the day with the villagers learning about their traditional lifestyles and traditions as well as learning about post-tsunami recovery efforts. Partake in activities set up by the community to promote the autonomy of the people including coconut-shell souvenir making.
 Lunch: Lunch with a local family.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon, interact with the children as you visit other villages on Koh Yao Noi. Return to Phuket late this afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
   
Accommodations: The Old Phuket
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13: Phuket Town Discovery / Cave Canoe in Phang Nga Bay
(Monday, July 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Uncover the rich and colorful cultural heritage of Phuket as you wander through the historic quarters of this provincial island. Explore the oldest Chinese shrine and uniqueness of the Sino-Portuguese architecture that are standing testimonies to the influence of the Chinese migrants during the tin mining days of the 19th century. After the walk, head to the summit of Rang Hill where you get to savor a refreshing cocktail and snack while reveling in the sweeping panoramic view of Phuket town. Around noon, being your afternoon journey in Phang Nga Bay. Then transfer to Oa Po cove and board a modern twin-engine escort boat to Phang Nga Bay. Uncover the pristine beauty of Phuket by day and night as you explore the limestone cliffs and turquoise waters of Phang Nga Bay.
 Lunch: Enjoy a Thai lunch as you cruise around the Bay.
 Afternoon: Spend the afternoon exploring the sea caves and limestone islets as the guides gently paddle you past low-roofed caverns filled with bat colonies and giant stalactites into secluded hongs. A hong is a lagoon surrounded on all sides by towering cliffs.
 Dinner: Enjoy a Thai seafood buffet dinner underneath the stars on one of the beautiful beaches of Thailand.
 Evening: At dusk, set adrift the kratongs that you made as the sun dips beneath the watery horizon. The final highlight comes when you canoe into a hong beautifully lit by stars, fireflies and phosphorescence, capping your sea sojourns perfectly.
   
Accommodations: The Old Phuket
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Phuket / Free Day / Farewell dinner
(Tuesday, July 29)

Note: Your hotel is only 5 minutes away from the beach and within walking distance to the main street with restaurants and shops.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Today is a free day for you to enjoy your time on the some of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. Take a snorkeling trip, swim in the ocean or just relax at your hotel. Your group leader can help you with suggestions and guidance.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Continue the day with your own exploration.
 Dinner: Regroup today for your farewell dinner.
   
Accommodations: The Old Phuket
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 15: Departure
(Wednesday, July 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.
 Morning: Depart for Phuket International Airport for your return flight home.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Phuket Beach
There are many different beaches that one can visit. On there beaches are several different sports activities that you can take advantage of.
  Bangkok A Stroll Through Chinatown
One of the best ways to experience the true flavor of a city is to walk its streets. Discover Bangkok’s Chinatown, one of the most densely populated, richly ethnic neighborhoods in the city. Walk at your own pace through narrow lanes, peer into the doorways of apothecary shops with their medical herbs and natural cures. Take the opportunity to watch fresh Chinese delicacies being prepared and served while the aromatic fragrance of spice and herbs saturates the air. Pay special attention to the “funeral shops,” where they sell paper models of worldly items that ensure the deceased will have the complete comforts of home on the journey to the afterward. Wonder at the intricate architecture of ancient Chinese Temples, perhaps even donating some coins to the temple “burial society,” a charity devoted to recovering the bodies of unfortunate road accident victims.
  Suan Pakkad Palace
Suan Pakkad was built by Prince and Princess Chumbhot of Nakhon Sawan, who moved five traditional Thai houses from Chiang Mai in 1952. The cabbage garden was turned into one of Bangkok’s finest landscaped gardens and is calm in a uniquely Eastern way. The princess was one of the country’s most dedicated art collectors, and the house has been turned into a museum displaying objects such as perfume bottles, betel nut boxes and musical instruments. Antiques including an exquisite Buddha head from Ayutthaya, Khmer statues and European prints of old Siam. Located Prayatahi Road.
  Vimanmek Palace
The Palace is a magnificent, golden, teakwood residence of King Chulalongkorn that houses numerous exhibits, including antiques furniture, glassware, porcelain and many other items of historic interest. Located on Ratchavithee Road.
  Wat Pho
The temple was originally built in the 16th century and covers twenty acres. One of its pavilions houses a 150-feet long reclining Buddha. Wat Pho is also home to Thailand’s most famous school of massage. (See listing). Respectful dress required: Shorts, flipflops and bare shoulders are not permitted inside the temple complex and you should be prepared to take off shoes to enter temples. Open daily 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Admission fee of 20 baht. For additional information, visit www.watpho.com
  Wat Pho Thai Traditional Massage School
In the eastern end of the Wat Pho complex is the country’s most famous school of massage. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is a good idea to start your exploration of Wat Pho here before the line becomes too long. A 60-minute, full body massage costs approximately 300 baht ($8 U.S.) and is done fully dressed. A set of cotton clothing is provided for the 60-minute herbal massage that costs 400 baht ($10 U.S.). For additional information, visit www.watpho.com
  Wat Phra Kaeo
Home of the Emerald Buddha and located within the grounds of the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew is the most sacred and the most beautiful of Thailand’s temples. Open daily 8 a.m.– 4 p.m. Admission 200 baht ($5 U.S.). The dress code is very strict: No shorts, no bare shoulders, no slippers or sandals. For additional information, visit thailandforvisitors.com/north/chiangrai/prakeo/index.html
  Chiang Rai Ho Watthanatham Nithat
Ho Watthanatham Nithat is a museum exhibiting ancient artifacts and written records on history, literature and indigenous knowledge as well as exhibits on royal activities by the late Princess Mother at Doi Tung. Located at the former town hall, it is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 8.30 a.m.–3.30 p.m.
  Oub Kham Museum
Oub Kham Museum is located near Den Ha market, one kilometer from the town center. The collection includes objects from the areas once belonging to or affiliated with the Lanna kingdoms encompassing northern Thailand and some parts of northeast Myanmar, southwest China and Vietnam. Apart from objects used in rituals, the collection mainly consists of objects used at the royal courts, including lacquer ware, silver jewelry and clothing. Most notable is a golden bowl, a masterpiece, used by royals. It is open daily from 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Admission fee is 100 bahts. For more information call 0-5371-3349.
  Rai Mae Fah Luang
Rai Mae Fah Luang is a cultural centre and centre of Lanna Studies dedicated to the conservation and promotion of Lanna heritage. There are five exhibit areas: The Botanical Gardens and Nature Park; The Haw Khumm (Golden Pavilion); The Haw Khum Noi (Small Golden Pavilion); Sala Kaew-A ceremonial space for riturals; Haw Kaew-Gallery of Lanna Cultureal Arts. Rai Mae Fah Luang opens daily from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. (except Monday). Entrance fee is 200 bahts.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Bangkok 8, A Novel


Author: John Burdett


Description: Burdett explores the criminal underworld of Bangkok -- and mysterious deaths by snakebite.



Bangkok, A Cultural History


Author: Maryvelma O'Neil


Description: O'Neil illuminates a city rich in art, history, royal ceremony, and tradition in this engaging portrait.



Buddha in Your Backpack: Everyday Buddhism for Teens


Author: Song Yoon (Illustrator), Franz Metcalf


Description: This illustrated primer introduces teens to the Buddha and his spiritual leanings while instructing them how to incorporate Buddhist teachings into their daily lives.



Eyewitness Guide Thailand


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: A compact illustrated guide featuring color photographs, excellent maps and a regional overview of Thailand's natural and cultural attractions.



Fieldwork


Author: Mischa Berlinski


Description: Berlinski, a journalist himself in Thailand, traces the fate of Martiya van der Leun, who has committed suicide in a Thai women's prison, where she was serving a 50-year sentence for murdering an American missionary.



Folk Stories of the Hmong, Peoples of Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam


Author: Dia Cha


Description: This book contains interpretations of the oral folk stories of the Hmong people, with photographs of the native dress and illustrations depicted in the style of Pa Ndau story cloth.



Letters from Thailand, A Novel


Author: Botan, Susan Fulop Kepner (Translator)


Description: A prize-winning novel, first published in 1969 and here newly translated into English. Taking the form of a series of letters back home to his mother, the novel follows the fate of Tan Suang U, a Chinese immigrant in Bangkok at the close of World War II, who marries, raises a family and runs a successful business. The novel, among its many pleasures, depicts daily life in Bangkok's thriving Chinatown.



Lonely Planet Pocket Bangkok


Author: Lonely Planet Publications


Description: With a section of not-to-be-missed highlights, pullout map, and a calendar of annual events.



Phra Farang: An English Monk in Thailand


Author: Phra Peter Pannapadipo


Description: Phra Peter Pannapadipo (AKA Peter Robinson) writes with candor and humor of his transformation from London businessman to novice Buddhist monk.



Thailand Adventure Map


Author: National Geographic Society


Description: A detailed relief map at a scale of 1:1,300,000.



Thailand, A Short History


Author: David K. Wyatt


Description: A concise, readable introduction to the history of the country from prehistory up to the 21st century.



Thailand, Traveller's Wildlife Guide


Author: David L. Pearson


Description: Featuring full-color illustrations of 600 of Thailand's most common birds, mammals, reef fish, insects, amphibians and reptiles.



The Stone Buddha's Tears


Author: S.P. Somtow


Description: Inspired by true events in Bangkok, this teen novel focuses on a young beggar and a monk who join forces to destroy a corrupt alliance between politics and organized crime.



To Timbuktu, Nine Countries, Two People, One True Story


Author: Steven Weinberg (Illustrator), Casey Scieszka


Description: Casey's words and Steven's illustrations tell the charming story of how they met in Morocco, moved to China, then went all the way to Timbuktu. Charming, cartoony illustrations seamlessly incorporated throughout make this a wonderful pick for teens.



What the Buddha Taught


Author: Walpola Sri Rahula


Description: A classic account of Theravada Buddhism by a respected monk and scholar from Sri Lanka. Provides translations from original texts with explanations for Western readers. A good foundation for any visitor to Southeast Asia.





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