Two Amazing Countries, Erotic Exotic Cities, One Erotic Travel Experience.
18 days/17 Nights Saturday, February 2 – Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Price $11,900 per person
Deposit is $2300.00 per couple
Sunday February 3, 2019
Your international flights will arrive. Welcome to Thailand! On arrival once you have cleared through customs you will be met at the airport and transferred over to your hotel in downtown Bangkok. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure after your long flights
Private Transfer from Airport to Hotel: On arrival, you will be met at the airport by your guide, escorted to your vehicle, and transferred to your accommodation.
At leisure in Bangkok: There are plenty of temples to visit in Bangkok: Wat Trimitr with its invaluable Golden Buddha (5 1/2 tons of solid gold); Wat Po, the most extensive temple in Bangkok, with its colossal Reclining Buddha and the Chedis of the Kings; and Wat Benjamaborpitr, the White Marble Temple, one of the finest examples of Thai architecture. You should visit the Grand Palace which is one of the most beautiful examples of an ancient Siamese court. Here you can walk amongst palaces which were used for different occasions; the Funeral Palace, the Reception Palace, the Throne Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Royal Guest House, and the beautiful Emerald Buddha Temple. While visiting Wat Po why not enjoy an invigorating Thai massage at the massage school? Wat Po is the national headquarters for the teaching and preservation of traditional Thai medicine including Thai massage. The massage school is located outside the temple grounds. While the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace grounds are open every day when not being used for state functions, the audience halls in the Grand Palace are closed on weekends. You can only gain entrance to see the magnificent thrones on weekdays. The Royal Pantheon in Temple of the Emerald Buddha is only open one day a year, on 6 April. Your ticket for the Grand Palace also gets you entrance to the Vimanmek Teak Mansion which is well worth a visit. This L shaped three storey mansion has 81 rooms and is said to be the world’s largest golden teak building. You may also wish to visit Jim Thompson’s House (Soi Kasem San 2, Th Phra Ram 1). Jim Thompson was an American who moved to Bangkok after the Second World War and built up his own business empire based on Thai silk. In fact he is largely responsible for the current world-wide popularity in Thai silk. He was also an avid collector of art and his house contains a huge collection of Southeast Asian art. His house is also unique and provides visitors with a good opportunity to see authentic Thai residential architecture. However the real intrigue regarding this man began in 1967 when he mysteriously disappeared while walking in the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. There are a number of theories regarding his disappearance but to this day it remains a mystery. It is definitely worth taking a boat trip on the Klongs, or backwater canals of the city. This gives a very different perspective on what it is like to actually live in Bangkok, away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets.
Avoid excursions to Damnoen Saduak floating market however, as this is a big tourist trap! You could also visit Suan Phakkard Palace in downtown Bangkok which houses a fine collection of art and antiques. The landscaped gardens offer the visitor a chance to relax in a very tranquil setting. Another place to get some peace and quiet is the Dusit Zoo. Covering an area of 19 hectares, the zoo is home to more than 300 mammals, 200 reptiles and 800 birds, including some relatively rare indigenous species.
Hotel: The Peninsula – Situated on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River, this elegant hotel’s unique design provides all rooms with views out over the river and the Bangkok skyline. With spacious, well-appointed rooms and excellent service, it is a good base for exploring the city. Enjoy breakfast on the terrace, and watch as the river comes to life; take a dip in the three-tiered swimming pool, one of the best in the city, or indulge in a treatment in the superb spa, housed in a Thai-colonial house. The hotel operates a complimentary shuttle boat to and from the nearby Central Pier to connect with the Saphan Taksin BTS or public ferries, giving easy access to the city’s attractions.
Monday February 4, 2019 Bangkok City Safari
Today you will be picked up in the morning by your guide who will show you how to navigate Bangkok like a true local using the Sky Train system, riding in tuk tuks, and experiencing a water taxi on your tour. You’ll see many of the city’s main highlights, such as the famous Emerald Buddha, Grand Palace, and Wat Pho.
Bangkok City Safari (Full day) This tour uses a variety of public transportation services and helps you to get to grips with the convenient and efficient Sky train system with your guide before exploring the city on your own. Your guide for the day will meet you after breakfast at 8am, then from your hotel you will head out for an original and full day of sightseeing in the City of Angels. You will walk to the nearest BTS station and board the Skytrain for a short ride to the terminal station of Saphan Taksin on the banks of the Chao Phraya river. Continue by public taxi boat to Tha Tien pier where you disembark to visit Wat Pho, home of the Reclining Buddha and the renowned Thai massage school.
From here visit the beautiful Grand Palace. This is the nation’s most revered landmark and houses the mysterious Emerald Buddha, the most respected Buddha image in Thailand. Appropriate dress is required (please see the Thailand country fact sheet for advice on temple etiquette). Lunch (at your own expense) may be taken at a local restaurant nearby the palace. In the afternoon, guests can take a Tuk Tuk to Soi Ban Batra, where a handicraft family is famed for the art of making monk’s alms bowls and selling them, before boarding a “bus boat” for a journey along the historical Saen Saeb canal. Following a trip to visit Jim Thompson’s House you will have the opportunity for some shopping in one of the five huge shopping complexes of the area (MBK, Siam Square, Siam Centre, Siam Discovery, Siam Paragon), or simply return to your hotel by BTS. Please note, while the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace grounds are open every day when not being used for state functions, the audience halls in the Grand Palace are closed on weekends. You can only gain entrance to see the magnificent thrones on weekdays.
The Royal Pantheon in Temple of the Emerald Buddha is only open one day a year, on 6 April. Whilst much of Thailand has become accustomed to Western tourists, it is important to dress respectfully when visiting religious sites. In particular, the Grand Palace has a very strict dress code and suitable attire must be worn. Shorts, flimsy or skimpy clothes such as tank tops or vests are strictly not allowed and shoulders and ankles must be covered. Closed shoes are preferred although sandals with socks are permitted and long trousers or skirts are deemed appropriate. It is also considered respectful to remove shoes and hats before entering a religious building.
Hotel – The Peninsula
Tuesday February 5, 2019 – Introduction To Thai Food
We recommend a very light breakfast today before you are picked up and taken to the best areas of Bangkok to get a taste of the local street eats! As you navigate these vibrant neighborhoods and markets with your guide, you’ll sample snacks, and delicious Thai bites from the surrounding local street vendors. Enjoy the local flavors and get a real ‘Taste’ of Thailand! Tonight you will be collected from your hotel and taken to the Jetty where you will board the luxurious Aspara Cruise ship. As you enjoy a lovely meal aboard the ship, you will pass by the city skyline as it lights up under the night sky. A great way to see Bangkok come to life along the Chao Phraya River!thai food
Introduction to Thai Food This walking tour is a great introduction to Thai food. You will get to experience drinks and snacks from the street-food stall vendors that are seen throughout the country, try dishes and desserts from typical local Thai restaurants and visit a local market – giving you more confidence to experience these throughout the rest of your holiday. You will also have the opportunity to learn and practise key words such as “not spicy”! The last dish is at a charming restaurant which has a connection with Thailand’s Royal Family. Your Audley guide will collect you in the morning from your hotel and transfer you by public transport to the tour’s starting point in the historic neighborhood of Bangrak where a local food guide will be waiting for you. The tour ends at a local BTS station where you can either return to your hotel or continue exploring Bangkok by yourself.
Apsara Dinner Cruise on the Chao Praya River: You will be collected from your hotel and driven to the River City Pier, where you will embark on the magnificent Apsara Dinner Cruise Boat. Owned by the Banyan Tree Hotel, this 24 metre long boat was built in 2006, and incorporates classic Thai styles in its design. Throughout your evening cruise, you will wine and dine on the peaceful sanctuary of the Chao Phraya River, leaving the hustle and bustle of the Bangkok streets closely behind for a few hours. If feeling extravagant, you can charter the Apsara Cruise Boat for private use, with your very own Classical Thai band.
Hotel – The Peninsula
Wednesday February 6, 2019 Transfer From Hotel To Airport
This morning have a private transfer to the airport for your internal flight to the historical and colorful city of Chiang Mai, located in the north of Thailand. Your guide will be waiting for you at the airport to take you to your hotel. This afternoon you have the freedom to relax at your hotel or explore the city of Chiang Mai at your leisure. As you have arrived in Chiang Mai during the weekend, I recommend heading out to explore Chiang Mai’s famous weekend Markets at which you can find an amazing variety of delicious Thai cuisine, and local vendors and artisans selling their various goods.
Transfer from Hotel to Airport: You will be collected from your hotel and taken by private transfer to the airport in time for your flight. orient express
Flight PG 217 Bangkok Airways :
DEPARTS: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK), 12:10
ARRIVES: Chiang Mai, 13:25
Private Transfer from Airport to hotel: On arrival, once you have cleared any airport immigration formalities, you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.
Chiang Mai’s Weekend Walking Street: If you are in Chiang Mai on a Saturday or Sunday it is well worth taking a stroll to Thanon Ratchadamnoen, one of the city’s main thoroughfares. From around 4pm the street is cordoned off to traffic and numerous vendors set up their craft stalls ready to sell their wares. An eclectic assortment of goods is on sale including hand-made jeweler and clothes, hill-tribe crafts and items for the home, not to mention a tasty array of cuisine. The market stretches from Tha Pae Gate Square right along Ratchadamnoen.
There is a great atmosphere and for those who have had enough of shopping or browsing it is worth stopping at one of the many bars or restaurants along the street for a drink and to people-watch. For a livelier experience head to the city’s famous night bazaar. This huge nightly market sells everything from antiques (although their authenticity can be questioned!) to T-shirts, and even for those who do not wish to buy anything it is a fascinating place to wander around. If you are intent on buying something remember to bargain hard.
Hotel – Anantara Chiang Mai Resort: RATING: Deluxe i ROOM(S): 1 x Deluxe River View Room for 2 persons. Breakfast is included
Thursday February 7, 2019 Afternoon Chiang Mai City Tour Including Doi Suthep (Half Day)
Start today with a visit to the Waroros Market place exploring the more traditional neighborhoods of Chiang Mai. From here, take a drive to the beautiful temple of Wat Doi Suthep, the most famous in Northern Thailand. There are wonderful views from this hilltop temple which always make for great photos. From here, head to a local coffee conservation project for a sample. Finish your day with a visit to Chang Khien, a White Hmong village where you can learn about the local inhabitants’ culture which has history dating back centuries.
Hotel Anantara Chiang Mai Resort
Friday February 8 2019 Day Trip To The Elephant Nature Park
Today you will spend a day in the fascinating Elephant Nature Foundation, a sanctuary for elephants who were previously abused. You will be able to get up close and feed these magnificent creatures before you head into the river with them for a bath!
Day trip to the Elephant Nature Park: The Elephant Nature Park is a non-profit organization that advocates and acts on behalf of rights for elephant in Thailand. The park offers visitors a rare experience to get involved with the elephantthai trip, llvclub, llv, swingers destinations from an educational perspective.
Visitors are not there to observe the elephant performing tricks, or to ride the elephant, but are there to observe elephant grazing, playing, interacting, and behaving as they would in the wild. All of the elephant at the park have been rescued from grueling work days, abuse and neglect by uneducated elephant mahouts. Each elephant has documentation listing all that the foundation knows about their past so that visitors can learn about specific cases. The owner, Lek, has received many awards for the excellent work she has done over the years.
The elephant are left to roam as if in the wild, but do need constant care due to the neglect they have suffered in the past. The organization also runs an outreach program, ‘Jumbo Express’ where they go out to various areas of Thailand, providing emergency medical treatment to elephant working in remote areas, and building vital ties with communities working with elephant. They are then able to gain the trust of the local people and educate them, with the goal of improving the life of working elephant. Your visit to the organization will help ensure that the organization continues for years to come.
You will have a full day spent getting to know the assembled herd of elephant who are lucky enough to live here. You have an opportunity to feed the elephants, and listen to tales from the park specialists on the biology, psychology and behavior of the elephant. After lunch you have the opportunity to bathe the elephant in the local river.
Hotel Anantara Chiang Mai Resort
Saturday February 9, 2019 Transfer From Hotel To Airport
Your guide collects you from your hotel and takes you to the local airport for your internal flight to Phuket, a journey of about two hours. At Phuket airport our driver will take you to your accommodation at the Pullman on Naithon beach. Once you arrive to your hotel, you have the remainder of the afternoon free to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Phuket Island.
Transfer from Hotel to Airport You will be collected from your hotel and taken by private transfer to the airport in time for your flight.
Flight PG 248 Bangkok Airways
DEPARTS: Chiang Mai, 14:30
ARRIVES: Phuket, 16:40
Private Transfer from Airport to hotel On arrival, once you have cleared any airport immigration formalities, you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.
Hotel Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach RATING: First Class i ROOM(S): 1 x Ocean Grand Room for 2 persons. Breakfast is included
Sunday February 10, 2019 At Leasure In Phuket
Today is at leisure to relax on your beautiful beach. Your hotel has a spa and can organize activities on the sea or inland. With clear and calm waters, you might like to try an organized snorkeling trip.
At leisure in Phuket Phuket is seen by many as just another Thai Island with promises of sun, sea and relaxation however there is another side to this part of Thailand. On the main sea trading route between China and India Phuket has amassed a great deal of history and throughout time different cultures have left their mark. This is perhaps most visible in Phuket town itself where excellent examples of Sino Portuguese buildings still exist to this day, providing you know where to look. A visit to the Thai Hua Museum makes for an interesting afternoon and the building it’s housed in is a wonderful example of Sino Portuguese architecture.
In the old part of town, Walking Street opens up every Sunday between 4pm and 10pm showcasing ‘Lard Yai’ or big market. Here in among the colorful historic buildings sellers line up to flaunt their rich array of products. It’s a great place to pass an hour or so and perfect if you are looking to do some souvenir shopping. Later in the evening it can be good to take a step back, find a seat and sample some of the gastronomic variance. You will be spoilt for choice with Thai, Chinese, Indian and Malay cooking all on offer and the local specialty of barbequed squid is not to be missed. This is one of the few places in Thailand outside of the big cities where cultures converge and the result is mouth-watering. thai trip, llv, llvclub, lifestyle travel
Back in the 19th century Old Phuket town took off as a small mining community and the local tin brought with it great wealth over a number of years. A nice example of this can still be seen to this day on Deebuk Road, where the old mine owners residences still stand. Another interesting experience is a visit to the Phuket Mining Museum which lies between the British International School and Loch Palm Golf Club. The museum displays many exhibits charting the rise of Phuket’s mining industry which can be traced back as far as the 17th century and the resulting movement of Chinese settlers. It is evident that without tin, Phuket would not have its vibrant multicultural identity.
Another interesting way to get a flavor of Phuket is to partake in one of the many local cooking classes. The Blue Elephant Cooking School is one of the best and provides you with the necessary guidance to create your very own Thai dish. If you would rather leave the cooking in the chef’s capable hands then head over to Point Yamu by Como which boasts some of the best dining on the island. A healthy lunch option is the perfect match for the stunning view.
The azure expanse of the Andaman sea is always a temptation and conditions are perfect for swimming close to shore. Snorkeling can be a little disappointing at this depth and if you are keen to see some marine life it’s best to head out towards some of the off-shore reefs.
If diving is your thing the nearby Similan Islands offer some of the best sites in the country. A number of day trips operate from Phuket to nearby reefs and the Similan Islands. ‘The beach’ from the film of the same name is also accessible in this way. If this puts you in the mood for some relaxation then the Oasis Spa have a number of locations on the Island to choose from, each offering a varied treatment menu. The mountain top Sky Breeze location is perhaps the most spectacular and its rooftop pool provides you breath-taking views out over the ocean.
As evening draws near Phuket turns into a lively destination offering plenty of opportunities to party the night away. Surin beach, close by to ‘millionaires row’, has established itself as the go to place for many expats and visitors alike. The high end wine bars and restaurants fill up fairly quickly and make for a great atmosphere in a beautiful location. Catch beach club is one of the most popular haunts. If you prefer a more relaxed evening then journey out to Phromthep Cape where you can enjoy a mesmerizing sunset over the Andaman Sea. This is perhaps the most photographed area on Phuket and the cape can get quite busy during the evening, another option is to enjoy a picnic lunch here in the afternoon before the tour groups arrive.
Hotel Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach
Monday February 11, 2019 Afternoon & Evening Cave Canoeing Under The Stars
Spend this afternoon and evening canoeing in stunning Phang Nga Bay. Enjoy a late lunch before you explore some of Phuket’s many caves while the sun sets. A Thai buffet meal will be served on board your boat after which you will canoe thai trip, llv, llvclub into one of the many lagoons filled with fireflies under the stars.
Afternoon and evening cave canoeing under the stars: Uncover the pristine beauty of Phuket by day and night as you explore the limestone cliffs and turquoise waters of Phang Nga Bay. Managed by veteran canoe specialist John Gray, an ex-marine biologist who works passionately to educate both locals and tourists in the conservation of Phuket, you will navigate the bay’s nooks and crannies with the team of local guides. A private pick-up from the hotel takes you to the escort boat, where you will meet the rest of the group. As the motor-boat journeys its way around the bay, a scrumptious Thai lunch will be served on board. 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.
At dusk, set adrift the kratongs that you made as the sun dips beneath the watery horizon, before enjoying a delicious Thai seafood buffet dinner underneath the stars. The final highlight comes when you canoe into a hong beautifully lit by stars, fireflies and phosphorescence, capping your sea sojourn perfectly.
Hotel Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach RATING: First Class i ROOM(S): 1 x Ocean Grand Room for 2 persons. Breakfast is included
Tuesday February 12, 2019 At Leasure In Phuket
Today is your final day to enjoy your time in Phuket.
At leisure in Phuket
Hotel Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach RATING: First Class i ROOM(S): 1 x Ocean Grand Room for 2 persons. Breakfast is included
Wednesday February 13, 2019 Private Transfer From Hotel To Airport
Private transfer back to the airport for your flight back to Bangkok after a morning at leisure.
Transfer from Hotel to Airport You will be collected from your hotel and taken by private transfer to the airport in time for your flight.
Flight PG 274 Bangkok Airways CLASS: Economy DEPARTS: Phuket, 14:50 ARRIVES: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK), 16:15
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport to the Novotel Airport Hotel A complimentary shuttle bus service to the Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel departs from Level 2, Gate 4 inside the terminal every 20 minutes or so. From the second floor arrivals foyer, walk towards Gate 4 and proceed to exit outside the terminal. The Novotel Suvarnabhumi shuttle van pick-up zone is located next to Gate 4. The shuttle van will meet passengers at the area marked ‘Airport Services’ and the sign indicating Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel. Alternatively, it is possible to reach the hotel by the underground walkway, which is open from 6am to 12 midnight.
Hotel Novotel Airport Hotel: Deluxe i ROOM(S): 1 x Deluxe Room for 2 persons. Breakfast is included .
Thursday February 14, 2019 Transfer To Orient Express
Transfer from Hotel to Station: You will be collected from your accommodation in time to travel to the railway station, for your onward journey. Bangkok to Singapore on the Eastern and Oriental Express Day One The two contrasting cities of Bangkok and Singapore bring together the excitement and diversity of Asian metropolitan life. While one is a lush garden island dedicated to amazing food and shopping, the other is known for its lively street-scapes dotted with golden temples. Yet both are a thrilling mix of old and modern, of vibrant activity and languorous tropical retreats.
An ultimate way to discover these cities is to travel between aboard the Eastern and Oriental Express train. Journey through gently unfolding rural landscapes in style reminiscent of a bygone age.
On day one of your journey, you depart from Bangkok’s Hualampong Railway Station in the early evening once you’ve settled into your private cabin. Heading out of the city, noises of tuk-tuk engines will slowly be replaced by those of nature, as you head into the lush surrounding of the Thai countryside. Savor dinner in the restaurant car, enjoy music by the resident pianist in the bar, then retire to your cabin which will have been transformed into a bedroom by your personal steward. Please note that the itinerary is set by the Eastern and Oriental Express and may be subject to change.
Hotel – Eastern & Oriental Express
ROOM(S): 1 x State compartment for 2 persons.
Breakfast is included
Friday February 15, 2019 Bangkok To Singapore On The Orient Express Day Two
This morning alight at Kanchanaburi for your choice of tour. The Classic includes guided visits to the River Kwai Bridge and Thai-Burma Railway Museum. Tracks to Unseen Thailand tour will have you biking through rice paddies, stopping off at a local farm. The Local Flavors tour explores the wet market, a rice noodle house and combines a raft cruise with a cooking class.’ Return to the train and look forward to an exceptional lunch and dinner.
Bangkok to Singapore on the Eastern and Oriental Express Day Two Awaken to the excitement of the train making its way along the trestle viaduct from Wang Po and on to the River Kwai Bridge station. On arrival you will have the choice of three excursions: a classic historical tour of the area, a rural cycling tour or a traditional Thai cooking class including wet market visit. Rejoin the train for a delicious lunch and enjoy a relaxing afternoon, dinner and a wonderful night on board, travelling through beautiful scenery.
Eastern & Oriental Express RATING: Deluxe i ROOM(S): 1 x State compartment for 2 persons. Breakfast is included
Saturday February 16, 2019 Bangkok To Singapore On The Orient Express Day Three
Spend the morning watching the changing scenery with breakfast in bed as the train travels through Malaysia. After brunch, arrive at Kuala Kangsar. Disembark for a tour of the grand Ubudiah Mosque, the Royal Museum of Perak and the Sultan Shah Gallery. Rejoin the train for a refreshing cocktail accompanied by live piano music before a glamorous final dinner on board.
Bangkok to Singapore on the Eastern and Oriental Express Day Three This morning you will enjoy a leisurely breakfast on-board while the train passes through picturesque Northern Malaysia. You will then have some time to relax before disembarking at Kuala Kangsar for a guided tour of this fascinating royal town. The tour will take in a number of sights including the majestic Ubudiah Mosque and Royal Museum before concluding at the Sultan Shah Gallery. Afterwards you will re-join the train as it continues south through Peninsular Malaysia passing lush rainforests, vast plantations and rural towns before nearing Kuala Lumpur. This evening can be spent relaxing in the Bar Car listening to the resident pianist before retiring to your private compartment.
Hotel Eastern & Oriental Express RATING Deluxe ROOM(S): 1 x State compartment for 2 persons. Breakfast is included
Sunday February 17, 2019 Bangkok To Singapore On The Orient Express Day Four
Today you will arrive in the vibrant city of Singapore where you will disembark the train and be driven to your Hotel at the Mandarin Oriental in Downtown Singapore. Enjoy the rest of your afternoon free to explore or relax at your own leisure. I have included some recommendations for your free time this afternoon which can be read about in the day by day section of your detailed itinerary.
Bangkok to Singapore on the Eastern and Oriental Express: Day Four Travelling through the lush plantations of Southern Malaysia, you wake up to a delicious breakfast whilst crossing the Straits of Johor, into the island state of Singapore. Arrive mid-morning and disembark.
Eastern and Oriental Express to your city hotel: Upon departing the Eastern and Oriental Express you will be greeted by a local representative and transferred to your city hotel.
At leisure in Singapore: This cosmopolitan and modern city has much to offer its visitors. Being famous for its fantastic shopping, many visitors head to Orchard Road, which has a plethora of department stores offering everything from designer clothes to electrical goods. Smaller and more characterful areas to visit are Chinatown to the south and Little India to the north of the centre. For evening entertainment there are numerous districts to visit depending on your tastes, but a must for most people is a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel.
Museums: For those with an interest in the history of Asia as a whole, the Asian Civilisations Museum II is well worth a visit. Its displays offer information on ancient culture, textiles and ethnicity of the various tribes of Asia. The museum is situated on Empress Place, a five minute walk from Raffles MRT station. Entrance is SG$8 (price correct at time of writing). The Chinatown Heritage centre brings home the cramped and difficult conditions for those who made the arduous journey from mainland China to Singapore in the early 20th century. The Chinatown Heritage Centre is located on Pagoda Street, only a few minutes’ walk from the Chinatown MRT station.
The Esplanade: A unique feature of the modern Singapore skyline is the Esplanade. This building is a feat of modern architecture and is called ‘the Durian’ locally, since it looks more like two halves of the infamous spiky fruit than the theatre and concert hall that it actually is. It may well be worth checking the programme once you have booked your trip – the concert hall has some of the best acoustic technology in the world.
Marina Bay Sands: The large development of Marina Bay Sands hotel and its surrounds dominate the skyline, and the rooftop bars are becoming the place to be seen. During the day, visit the SkyPark for sweeping city views. Entrance to the Observation Deck costs SG$19, and guided tours are available daily at 10am, 2pm and 9pm. Register from 9.30am on the day of your visit. The SkyPark is open daily from 9.30am until 10pm (11pm on weekends). As the sun sets, head up to Ce La Vi SkyBar – entrance is free before 9pm. Drinks are a little pricey, but worth it for the view! The ArtScience Museum is another of Singapore’s impressive architectural structures, and is home to a diverse collection of major international touring exhibitions. Exhibitions have included Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal, and the Titanic Artefact Exhibition.
Gardens by the Bay: The newest addition to the Marina Bay development is Gardens by the Bay. Opened in June 2012, Gardens by the Bay is home to two conservatory domes housing exotic plant species from all over the world: Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. Entrance to the two domes costs SG$28; however, visitors can explore Bay South Outdoor Gardens free of charge. This includes the Heritage Garden, a collection of plant species brought together to reflect the cultural influences present in modern day Singapore. Other attractions include the impressive ‘Supertree Grove’, and the ‘World of Plants’. Visitors may also explore the OCBC Skyway – a 128 metre walkway suspended between the structures in ‘Supertree Grove’ (additional cost applies for this attraction). The Gardens are open from 5am – 2am, with the conservatories open from 9am – 9pm. Bayfront is the closest MRT station to this attraction.
Parks, zoos and safaris: A popular option with families is a visit to Jurong Bird Park. Slightly out of the city, the park hosts a wide variety of birds, from hundreds of pink flamingos to large birds of prey. There are daily shows, and also the chance to learn the art of Falconry! Singapore Zoo is widely renowned as the best zoo in Southeast Asia. The park is situated in the Mandai Rainforest, and is home to over 2,800 animals. The ‘open’ enclosures show off the creatures in their natural habitats, and visitors can easily spend a whole day exploring the park, and attending some of the wildlife shows. The Zoo is also home to the Night Safari, where visitors can explore the park after dark, and meet some of the nocturnal inhabitants. It is also possible to enjoy breakfast at the Zoo, with some of the park inhabitants including an orangutan. Booking in advance is strongly recommended. The most convenient way to visit these attractions from central Singapore, is to use the Singapore Attractions Express Service. A single journey costs $4.50 SG and there are numerous pick up points throughout the city. For the up to date timetable please visit www.zoo.com.sg .
Sentosa Island: Once a military fortress and a prisoner of war camp, Sentosa is now home to a wealth of attractions including beaches, Underwater World, Skyline Luge Sentosa and Universal Studios. Just 20 minutes away from Singapore’s city centre, the island is perfect for a day trip or a few nights’ stay. It’s cheap and easy to get around the island itself and it’s now linked by the Sentosa Boardwalk to Singapore’s largest shopping centre, Vivo City. Visitors can opt for a Sentosa Play Pass for discounted entry to a number of attractions, from $29 SG. All of the above can be organised on arrival in Singapore or can be pre-arranged before departure. www.yoursingapore.com is an excellent resource centre set up by the Singapore Tourist Board and has many more ideas for how to spend your free time. All of the above can be organised on arrival in Singapore or can be pre-arranged before departure. www.yoursingapore.com is an excellent resource centre set up by the Singapore Tourist Board and has many more ideas for how to spend your free time.
China town walking tour ideas: From the Chinatown stop on North/East MRT, head east down Pagoda Street for just over 100 metres and you come to the Chinatown Heritage Centre (open daily, approximately SG$10 for adults and SG$5 for children). The museum is an old Chinese shop house and cleverly displays the history of Singapore’s Chinese settlers. Beliefs fundamental to everyday lives are explained with reconstructions of typical homes and video presentations. Virtually opposite the Heritage Centre is Trengganu Street. Head down here (approximately 50 meters) and turn left onto Temple Street. Temple Street joins South Bridge Street in less than 100 meters and here you find Sri Mariammam Temple (open daily, free). It seems a little strange to find Singapore’s oldest Hindu Temple (dating from 1823) in Chinatown. Your first sight will be the tower, constructed in the 1930s, the vivid rainbow of colors cannot be missed. Back on South Bridge Road head north (turn left from Sir Mariammam) and cross over onto Mohd Ali Lane which takes you onto Club Street. If you are ready for a drink or something to eat a host of bars and restaurants can be found by heading right on Club Street. This area has more French and Italian cuisines than local and some of Singapore’s best restaurants can be found here. Continuing on from Mohd Ali Lane turn left and take Club Street to the north until you reach Cross Street, turn right and in 120 meters or so right again onto Telok Ayer Street. On Telok Ayer you will find Thian Hock Keng Temple (open daily, free) dedicated to Ma Co Po, Goddess of the Sea. The early Chinese immigrants, grateful for safe passage to Singapore, built the temple which was declared a National Monument in 1973. There are lions and gods at the door to guard against any evil spirits that may try to enter and the two dragons on the roof represent Yin and Yang. The highlight of the ornate interior is the artwork on the ceilings. Also on Telok Ayer Street are Nagore Durgha and Al-Abrar Mosque. If you carry on to the end of Telok Ayer Street to where it joins Cecil Street and turn right then follow the left fork, you come to Maxwell Road. Opposite Maxwell Road is Choon Wallich Street where you find the Tanjong Pagar MRT stop on the East/West line. If after Thian Hock Keng Temple you are keen to explore further turn left and head north crossing Boon Tat Street and Cross Street up to Church Street. On the corner of Church Street and Philip Street is Wak Hai Cheng Bio Temple which means ‘Calm Sea’ (open daily, free). From Wak Hai Cheng Bio you are a short walk from Raffles Place MRT: carry on along Philip Street and at the end turn right along Chulia Street. Take the second right for the station.
Festivals: Festivals and celebrations are going on all year round and the best option is to pick up an events guide on arrival into Changi Airport. The most famous celebrations are: the Chinese New Year festivities, which occur between 15th January and 28th February; the Singapore Food Festival in July; the Deepavali Festival between mid-October and mid-November which is considered one of the most important of the Hindu calendar and is known as the Festival of Lights; and the Hari Raya Light Up, which comes between 2nd October and 10th November. All of the above can be organized on arrival in Singapore or can be pre-arranged before departure. www.yoursingapore.com is an excellent resource centre set up by the Singapore Tourist Board and has many more ideas on how to spend your free time.
Hotel – Mandarin Oriental RATING: Deluxe i ROOM(S): 1 x Ocean View Room for 2 persons. Breakfast is included
Mon 18 Feb 2019 – Singapore’s Districts and Gardens tour
Today, you will embark on your city tour of Singapore and its many fascinating neighborhoods. Your first stop will be through the civic and Colonial Districts and a visit Singapore’s famous Merlion Statue. From here, you’ll visit Chinatown and one of the regions oldest temples Thian Hock Keng. You continue on to Little India where you can explore flower and spice markets and the colorful shops in the area. Your final stop will be to Singapore’s Botanic Gardens, its first UNESCO world heritage site. Here you will see a beautiful variety of orchids and other exotic plant life. Return to your hotel and enjoy the rest of your night at leisure.
Singapore’s Districts and Gardens tour This morning you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the Singapore River where your tour of the city begins. The river helped transform Singapore from an obscure fishing village to the great international seaport it is today. You will board a traditional Bumboat and navigate along the waterway towards the quay, along the way you can admire the beautifully restored warehouses that now house lively entertainment venues and chic dining options backed by the contrasting skyscrapers of the financial district.
With your surroundings constantly changing you will pass a number of interesting colonial buildings and five grand old bridges before circling round the iconic Merlion statue. You will disembark at Boat Quay and learn about Sir Stamford Raffles – the founder of modern day Singapore. It was he who drew up the towns plan in 1822 and attributed to the accelerated development. From here you will make your way to Chinatown, another of Raffles realizations and home to a thriving Chinese community. The area is lined with shop-houses home to teahouses, medicine shops, acupuncturists and calligraphers. Some of these skills have been passed down for generations and many are alive and well today. You will have time to browse the shops and markets before continuing to Kampung Glam. This area of the city houses a great cultural diversity drawing inspiration from the resident Malay, Bugis, Javanese and Arab communities. The Kampung or “village” is awash colour whether it be from the fascinating street art, bright textiles, or glistening mosques. There are wonderful photo opportunities to be had and various souvenirs can be bought originating from all over the Islamic world. The next stop is Little India and be prepared for a real assault on the senses. You will be greeted by a strong scent of spices and jasmine garlands followed by the treasure trove of silverware, brassware, wood-carvings and colorful silk Saris.
Take a stroll along Campbell Lane, a narrow pathway through a cluster of restored shop-houses full to the brim with Indian clothing, accessories, incense and a rather good Indian sweet shop. From Little India you will be taken to the Marina where you stop for lunch at Satay by the bay, a renowned modern day hawker venue serving up a delicious array or Singaporean classics.
After lunch you will explore Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay. Spanning 101 hectares this huge horticultural oasis is a spectacular and colorful national icon. You will have time to explore the many gardens, flower dome and mysterious cloud forest before accompanying your guide on the city’s ultra-modern public transport system back to your hotel. Admission to the flower dome and cloud forest are included.
Hotel Mandarin Oriental RATING: Deluxe i ROOM(S): 1 x Ocean View Room for 2 persons. Breakfast is included
Tuesday February 19, 2019 – Transfer from Hotel to Airport
Today you will be collected from your Hotel and driven to the airport where you will begin your journey home.
-Transfer from Hotel to Airport You will be collected from your hotel and taken by private vehicle to the airport in time for your flight.
Bangkok, official name Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, is the capital of Thailand and, with a population of over eleven million inhabitants, by far its largest city. Its high-rise buildings, heavy traffic congestion, intense heat and naughty nightlife may not immediately give you the best impression — but don’t let that mislead you. It is one of Asia’s most cosmopolitan cities with magnificent temples and palaces, authentic canals, busy markets and a vibrant nightlife that has something for everyone.
For years, it was only a small trading post at the banks of the Chao Phraya River, until King Rama I, the first monarch of the present Chakri dynasty, turned it into the capital of Siam in 1782, after the burning of Ayutthaya by Burmese invaders but they did not take over Ayutthaya. Since then, Bangkok has turned into a national treasure house and functions as Thailand’s spiritual, cultural, political, commercial, educational and diplomatic centre..
The sights and sounds of Bangkok overwhelm the senses as soon as you arrive. Perhaps the most interesting way to see the city is to travel on the ferries and long-tail boats that ply the Chao Phraya River, which snakes through the heart of the city. In total contrast to urban Bangkok, Thonburi, on the far bank of the river, is a more serene and rural area, connected by a network of canals.
Bangkok is perhaps best known for the Grand Palace, with its soaring roofs and gleaming spires. During your time in Bangkok, we also recommend that you take a stroll through Chinatown, exploring its bustling markets and colorful back streets. With the advent of the elevated sky train and the underground metro, getting around the city is now much easier.
Northern Thailand reveals a culture and cuisine distinct from those of Bangkok and the south. Bustling, historic and colorful, Chiang Mai is the focal point of this massive region, and is Thailand’s second largest city. The hilltop temple of Doi Suthep overlooks the city, and there are many more temples sprinkled along the side streets of the old town. In the center of town is the fascinating night market, with a frenetic atmosphere and handicrafts from all over the northern provinces for sale (as well as a few less authentic finds!).
Located 700 km (435 miles) north of Bangkok in a verdant valley on the banks of the Ping River, Chiang Mai was founded in 1296 as the capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom. Today it is a place where past and the present seamlessly merge with modern buildings standing side by side with venerable temples.
Rewarding encounters with elephants are close at hand, as well as the city’s quieter, spiritual side, best experienced with a trishaw visit to Wat Ket in the early morning. The cuisine of the north is world famous, and Chiang Mai is the best place to learn how to create that perfect Thai curry. With accommodation options to suit all budgets and requirements, this is a laid-back, interesting city, in which to spend a few days.
Kamala Beach, Phuket 1/6 With the jungle-covered hills of its interior leading down to limestone cliffs, to overlook the wide sandy beaches or rocky coastline below, Phuket is not only the largest of the Thai islands, but also the most varied.
Phuket is among the world’s finest beach destinations, with fine white sands, nodding palm trees, glittering seas and lively towns. It has something for any taste and budget, with hundreds of hotels to choose from, a wide choice of dining and partying options. Aside from visiting the fantastic attractions of Thailand’s biggest island, you can take an exhilarating speedboat trip to the many nearby tropical paradises, including the famous Phi Phi Islands, or enjoy a serene cruise around the mystical Phang Nga Bay. Phuket is blessed with more than 30 amazing beaches to choose from. Patong Beach, Kata, Karon and Kamala have always been the most popular, but the north of the island reveals some hidden gems for travellers searching for a more romantic atmosphere.
Connected to the mainland by a bridge, Phuket lies in the Andaman Sea, off the west coast of southern Thailand. Stroll through its plantations of pineapple, rubber, and cacao, or spend some time visiting the astounding seascapes of the Similan Islands National Park.
During the 14th century, Singapore flourished as a trading post with Chinese junks, Indian vessels, Arab dhows and Portuguese battleships frequenting its shores. Today Singapore is a predominantly Chinese society, with Malays, Indians and Europeans adding to the ethnic mix and the scene is one of shimmering skyscrapers and busy streets.
The influx of different cultures has made Singapore the culinary capital of Asia, with an incredible array of dishes and styles on offer. Sample the variety as you explore Chinatown and Little India, eating at hawker stalls or fine restaurants.
After dark, take a dinner cruise, visit the theater or stroll down to Robertson, Boat or Clarke Quay with its riverside restaurants, bars and clubs. Dominating the skyline of Singapore is the 200 meter high, three tower Marina Bay Sands hotel, which houses top class bars, restaurants, casinos and shops. New developments around the marina bay area are opening constantly, and this has created a real buzz about Singapore.