• Thailand Experiences

    Thailand Experiences

    Bangkok is a fascinating melange of old and new - one minute pulsating: the next…an oasis of calm and tranquillity. Don’t miss the buzzing Chatuchak weekend market or elegance of the Grand Palace. The land is blessed with stunning beauty: Sukhothai with its glorious classical architecture. Ayuthaya, an ancient capital, is still breath-taking with vast silent ruined monasteries. Chiang Mai, ‘The Rose of the North’; graced with over 300 Buddhist Temples, is surrounded by orchards and forests. For nature lovers the National Parks are vibrant with wildlife, whilst daydreams of lush tropical islands, sun drenched shores, shimmering sands and crystal clear waters really do come true in Thailand! One last thing…the renowned cuisine is sublime.
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Memories of Thailand

  • Itinerary
  • Cost
  • Experiences
  • Highlights
Bangkok Floating Market Kanchanaburi Bridge over the River Kwai Train Ride - Ayutthaya Cruise  Sukhothai Chiang Rai Wat Rong Kun Tribal visit Chiang Mai  Elephant ride Cookery class Koh Samui CAnantara Lawana Resort Bangkok

Day 1. To Bangkok
Morning departure from London Heathrow on direct Thai Airways flight to Bangkok.

Day 2. Bangkok
Met on arrival and transfer to the hotel. Three nights at the Sukhothai Bangkok Hotel.

Day 3. Bangkok – Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha
After breakfast, visit the Grand Palace, an architectural wonder of golden stupas, walls and pillars encrusted in shining and colourful mosaics. Previously the residence of the Kings of Thailand visit the different ceremonial Palaces; the Reception Hall, the Throne Hall and the beautiful Wat Phra Kaew which houses the Emerald Buddha. Continue to The Golden Mount, part of the Saket Temple housing Buddha relics within its 58-metre high chedi surmount by a golden cupola. From the top of Golden Mount, there are panoramic views of Ratanakosin Island. Afternoon, visit the private Thai-style house of Jim Thompson, the ‘father’ of the famous Thai silk industry. The house now serves as a museum with a small Asian art collection and some of his personal belongings.

Day 4. Bangkok - Thonburi Klongs
After breakfast discover the Klongs (canals) of Bangkok and glimpse into the daily life of the water and bank dwellers – the numerous canals gave Bangkok the name of " Venice of the East." Also visit the Royal Barges and the Temple of Dawn.

Day 5. To Kanchanaburi – Floating Market & River Kwai
Early start to Damern Saduak Floating Market, stopping at the Railway Market with stalls actually on the railway line at Samut Songkram - watch the train approach and the vendors frantically packing away their goods... Finally embark on a long tail speedboat to the floating market, where Thai style canoes laden with everything under the sun – paddle the waterways selling their wares. Next head towards Kanchanaburi, home to the River Kwai and it's infamous bridge, where over 100000 conscripted labourers and 12000 POW’s died during WWII constructing the bridge for the Japanese to link the existing Thai and Burmese railway lines. Also visit the Thai – Burma Railway Centre and War Grave cemetery. Take another long tail ride to the hotel. Overnight at the River Kwai Resotel.

Day 6. Kanchanaburi – Hellfire Pass Memorial and Train ride
After breakfast visit the Hellfire Pass Memorial and board the historic Death Railway Train for a fascinating train ride through lush forest. Overnight Dheva Mantra Resort.

Day 7. Ayutthaya and Mekhala Cruise
After breakfast drive to Ayuthaya and visit the impressive monuments and great museums of this former important capital of Thailand. 020 8901 7320 thirty-five See the Summer Palace of King Rama V with its mixture of Thai, Chinese and Gothic architecture. After lunch at a local restaurant board the Mekhala Cruise and travel along the Chao Phraya ‘River of Kings’. Visit the small village of Baan Saladang, an old Mon community who migrated from Burma in the early 19th C. The villagers here have successfully maintained their traditional lifestyle, customs and natural surroundings. The Mekhala docks at Wat Kai Tia, a Thai Temple set in a tranquil rural village. An exquisite candlelit dinner of mouth-watering Thai cuisine is served on the deck. Overnight on board Mekhala Cruise.

Day 8. Bangkok - City sightseeing
Cruise departs early morning for a visit to the market in Pathum Thani. Breakfast is served on board while cruising down the river, passing the spectacular views of the Grand Palace and Temple of Dawn. After disembarkation, visit Bangkok’s Chinatown and take a walking tour to Chinese Shrines and along the narrow streets (or Sampeng) jam-packed with shops and stalls offering an exotic mix of merchandise. Overnight Sukhothai Bangkok.

Day 9. To Sukhothai - Afternoon Heritage tour
Very early departure to the airport for flight to Sukhothai. Transfer to the hotel. Afternoon guided tour of ancient Sukhothai, considered the cradle of Thai civilisation where Thai arts, culture, laws and alphabet originated and blossomed. Overnight at the Tharaburi Resort.

Day 10. To Chiang Rai - Lake of Kwan, Wat Rong Kun
After breakfast drive to Chaing Rai stopping enroute at Lake of Kwan Phayo, the largest fresh water fish habitat in upper Thailand, which provides the livelihood for many local people. Stop at Wat Rong Kun (White Temple), a contemporary unconventional Buddhist Temple designed by one of Thailand’s most noted artist in white with the use of white glass. Three nights Anantara Golden Triangle Resort.

Day 11. Chiang Rai - Tribal visit – Mekong Boat ride
After breakfast visit the Karen people and experience the authentic lives of the Hill Tribe people. Take a boat ride on the Mekong River to Golden Triangle where, from a hill top, view the splendour of the mighty Mekong joining with the Ruak River and forming the actual “Triangle” with Laos Burma and Thailand.

Day 12. Day at leisure or ‘Day as a Mahout’
Relax in the hotel or spend an unforgettable day with the elephants at the nearby camp: becoming one with them – feed, bath, walk and learn to understand the intelligence of these gentle giants.

Day 13. To Chiang Mai - Mae Ka Chan Hot Springs - Wat Phra Dhat Doi Suthep Mountain Temple
After breakfast drive to Chiang Mai, the ‘Rose of the North’ through scenic hillside and jungles. Enroute visit Mae Ka Chan, famous for its hot springs. In Chaing Mai visit Wat Phra Dhat Doi Suthep mountain Temple. Two nights at the Rachamankha Hotel.

Day 14. Chiang Mai
Cookery class at the Chiang Mai Thai cookery school. Learn the secrets of this wonderful aromatic and visually delightful cuisine. Remainder of day at leisure.

Day 15. To Koh Samui
After breakfast private transfer to Chiang Mai Airport to board flight to Koh Samui. Four nights Anantara Lawana Resort.

Day 16 - 18. Koh Samui - Days at leisure
A few steps from the beach the luxuriant foliage hides beautiful rooms and villas – some with private plunge pools – Chinese inspired detail adds a charming air to the elegant property. Dine in a Treehouse restaurant, taste the flavours of Thailand, snack in the laid back Pool Bar or Dine by Design. Feel the serenity of the Spa. Water sports, deep sea fishing, diving. Take cookery classes

Day 19. To London via Bangkok
Morning transfer to the airport to board Thai Airways flight back to London via Bangkok.

The Cost From

Per Person on a Double/ Twin share basis                      £4,465.00

Single room supplement                                                  £1,645.00

 

Cost Includes:

  • International & internal flights in economy class.

  • Accommodation in a double/twin sharing room with en-suite facilities.

  • • Daily breakfast throughout. All inclusive basis whilst at Anantara Golden Triangle – Chiang Rai & Lunch at Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School on Day 14

  • Services of English speaking guide during sightseeing.

  • Transfers as per the itinerary by air-conditioned vehicles.

  • Excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary.

  • Full ATOL Bonding.

 

Cost does not include:

  • Visa Fee.

  • Any optional Excursions.

  • Any expenses of a personal nature.

  • Travel Insurance.

 

Cooking with a Celebrity Chef
Learn the secrets of the regional cuisines. Classes and demonstrations can be arranged with top Chefs

  • Ride the historical Death Railway Train over the River Kwai
  • Submit to a Thai massage, or for the ultimate indulgence book a spa retreat at one of the world's leading destination spas
  • Take an exhilarating Tuk Tuk ride through the streets of Bangkok in the evening, passing by its lively nightlife and bustling markets
  • Learn to be a Mahout, taking charge of your own elephant and driving it through the jungle in northern Thailand

Meet our Scholars and Trip Leaders

Leaders Banners

 

SarahShawS A R A H   S H A W

Tour lecturer Sarah Shaw is a Faculty Member at the Oriental Institute at Oxford University, and an Honorary Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies. One of her key research interests is Indian and Asian influences on British nineteenthcentury writers, of whom Kipling is surely the most famous. Throughout the tour she will give a series of short lectures about Kipling and his work, as well as carefully chosen poetry and short story readings.

 

VibhaJoshiParkinD R . V I B H A   J O S H I   P A R K I N

Dr Vibha Joshi Parkin is  professorial Research Fellow at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Tuebingen University and Research Associate at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford from where she also obtained her doctorate. Working with the Nagas since 1 985, Dr Vibha Joshi Parkin has conducted extensive fieldwork on their religion and material cultures and will impart her intimate knowledge of the tribes. Her research interests focus on two inter-related themes, traditional religion, conversion to Christianity, healers and  healing practices and ethnographic museum collections, history of colonial collecting (especially textiles), cultural history of the Naga peoples and their self-presentation. She is the author of research monograph, A Matter of Belief: Christian Conversion and Healing in North East India (Berghahn, 2012), co-author of, The Land of the Nagas (Mapin, 2004), co-curator of the international exhibition on the Naga at the Basel Museum of World Cultures  and co-editor of the book, Naga: A Forgotten Mountain Region Rediscovered (2008).She has authored several articles based on her research among Naga in edited books and journals.

 

david tolleyportrait AD A V I D   T O L L E Y - VISITING ARTIST AND TUTOR IN FINE ART AT THE RUSKIN SCHOOL OF ART

David Tolley is a Visiting Artist at The Ruskin School of Art where he specialises in Photography and Film. He has exhibited in Germany, Australia, Greece (Athens), USA (New York), and the U.K. (London and Oxford), and will be showing work in Poland (Warsaw) and Germany (Berlin) in 2016. He studied English Language & Literature at the University of Oxford (1997).

 

 

Heather Kelly

H E A T H E R   K E L L Y

I am a botanist by training, with a PhD in plant physiology and a broader interest in plant ecology. In recent years my focus has been on teaching rather than research and I have taught interdisciplinary science with the UK's Open University, as well as whole organism biology at Durham University. Teaching at both universities has included running field trips on which students learned about assessing biodiversity, the impact of environmental factors on plant growth and processes such as succession. I am really keen to encourage people to look at how organisms interact with their environment, particularly at a time when we can see that environment changing. I would like to do this in Kasmir and Ladakh by looking at how the vegetation changes with factors such as altitude and rainfall and also at how primary succession allows the colonisation of bare ground. The Himalayas, with their natural beauty and the fact that so many British garden plants have their origins here, make an ideal location for this. 

Read my blog

John Macgillivray1

J O H N    M A C G I L L I V R A Y

Currently I am a part time science tutor at the Open University with over 20 years experience of teaching undergraduate, general science modules. This has including a senior tutor role at OU Residential Schools, leading geology/ecology field trips and similar independently led field trips. I have previously worked in the UK Meteorological Office and National Engineering Laboratory (UK). I hold a first class honours degree in Earth science and a degree equivalent in Physics. Recently I have carried out published research work with Professor Ray MacDonald (Lancaster University/ University of Warsaw) and Professor B. Bagiński (University of Warsaw) on the Tertiary dyke systems of Southern Scotland and NE England, adding to previous jointly published research work I have carried out.

 

 Bobs PictureR O B E R T (BOB)   C O O K

Retired as a Warrant Officer from the British Army after 34 years. His family has a long almost unbroken line of military service dating back alhmost 170 years.

Since retirement from the army Bob has operated a busy Bed & Breakfast in York, U.K. together with his wife. Amongst other interests, Bob is the volunteer curator of the 2nd Infantry Division Kohima Museum Trust also located in York. It was in this role that Bob first visited the battlefields of Kohima in 2008 and has since been back another 8 times leading military and civilian groups to explain and explore the many different aspects of what is probably the most important unknown battle of WW2. During his visits to Kohima, Bob’s knowledge and understanding of the Battle has steadily increased as has his liking for the friendly Naga Hill people of Nagaland in North East India.

In addition to being the curator, Bob is also a Trustee of the Kohima Educational Trust which aims to repay the debt of gratitude owed by the British veterans to the Naga Hill people for their unstinting aid and assistance against the Japanese Imperial Army. One of the ways of repaying this debt of gratitude is by sponsoring the education of the Naga children aged 14 – 16.

Bob is also the deputy chairman of the Burma Campaign Society which aims to improve and enhance the reconciliation between Japan and the U.K. In this role he has also visited Japan in company with a British army veteran of the battle to visit and pay respects to Japanese veterans of the Burma campaign and to visit the grave of Lieutenant General Kotoku Sato who commanded the 31st Japanese Division at Kohima.

Click here to view Bob Cook’s interview with Kohima Museum, York’s Curator

 

Dannys Picture

D R    D A N N Y    C L A R K-L O W E S

Is a geologist, educated at Cambridge and London universities, who has given industry training courses on geology at locations throughout the world, as well as publishing scientific papers and books. He is also a mountaineer who has climbed in the Swiss Alps and in the Himalaya. He will lead this tour to Nepal which will look at aspects of the geology and geography of the spectacular Himalaya, and will help participants achieve an understanding of how mountain belts and their associated rock types are created through plate movements.

 

joan

J O A N   P O L L O C K

I am a botanist by training, with a PhD in plant physiology and a broader interest in plant ecology. In recent years my focus has been on teaching rather than research and I have taught interdisciplinary science with the UK's Open University, as well as whole organism biology at Durham University. Teaching at both universities has included running field trips on which students learned about assessing biodiversity, the impact of environmental factors on plant growth and processes such as succession. I am really keen to encourage people to look at how organisms interact with their environment, particularly at a time when we can see that environment changing. I would like to do this in Kasmir and Ladakh by looking at how the vegetation changes with factors such as altitude and rainfall and also at how primary succession allows the colonisation of bare ground. The Himalayas, with their natural beauty and the fact that so many British garden plants have their origins here, make an ideal location for this.

 

NaturePhotography TourLeaders Baines R I C H A R D    B A I N E S – ORNITHOLOGIST / ECOLOGIST

Richard is an experienced ornithologist/ecologist who has been studying and working as a Nature Guide and in Wildlife Conservation for 30 years. From recording UK migrant birds as a volunteer for Flamborough Bird Observatory to monitoring Siberian migrants in China; he has become highly experienced in bird identification and ecology. He was born in North Yorkshire and lived here for most of his life. He has worked extensively with the North York Moors National Park (NYMNP) including a project in 2014 surveying a large area of open moorland for breeding waders such as Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria). He has travelled extensively especially in Asia, recently spending 3 months birding in Thailand. He returned from Gujarat in December 2015 with a great passion for Indian birds and of course the food! He is currently studying part time for his MSc in Environmental Conservation. Richard is very keen on always increasing his knowledge on the ecology of birds and other wildlife. His greatest asset is his knowledge and enthusiasm, he loves passing on his experience of wildlife to a wide range of ages and abilities.

 

NaturePhotography TourLeaders Race

S T E V E    R A C E – WILDLIFE  PHOTOGRAPHER

Steve is an award-winning wildlife photographer based in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. He has been a keen naturalist and birder for over 30 years, lived on the Yorkshire Coast all of his life and believes there is no better place for variety of habitats and amazing wildlife. Inspired by the natural world around him Steve captures incredible wildlife images. In 2013 he was “Commended” in the “Wildlife Photographe¬¬r of the Year Awards” and “British Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards” in which in 2015 he was “Highly Commended”. His work has been published in national and regional media and magazines, leaflets, websites and publications. Steve has also been featured on BBC Countryfile, Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch and regional television programmes. He also runs regular exhibitions, workshops, and delivers talks and lectures. Steve has worked for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds as Education Officer at Bempton Cliffs, East Yorkshire and taken part in numerous projects for the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, National Trust and other conservation organisations.

 

Pravin DangeraP R A V I N    D A N G E R A

Born in the textile cradle of India, Gujarat, Pravin has been an expert guide to travellers in India since 1996. A speaker of several languages and trained by Gujarat Tourism, his expertise lies in textile and village tours. His long standing experience as a textile tours escort has enabled him to develop close relations with local craft and village communities in Gujarat. He has led textile lovers from the UK, USA, Australia and several other countries across textile hubs in India.

 

Mike scott

M I K E   S C O T T

I grew up in a Royal Navy family, first in the Far East, and then near Portsmouth. Having considered, and rejected, following my parents into the Navy I took a degree at Brunel University where I developed my love of History. I also learned that I loved teaching and great passion in education – outdoor learning. I have long believed that it is important to bring History to life in the original environment. My career in education finally led me to a school where I was responsible for co–ordination of all co-curricular activities. However, life in that environment means you miss out on many things. Hence, I chose to leave and did so at just the right time. A range of opportunities presented themselves. I very proudly received my Guild of Battlefield Guides badge in February 2009. I am happy to be one of a grand company of brothers, with a wealth of experience. Being a Badged Guide amongst this group of men and women is a unique honor and a privilege.

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