Duration : 4 days
Starting from : Ayutthaya
Ending at : Joe Louis Theater
Duration : Youth, Family
A four day adventure around historic Ayutthaya, Bangkok’s premier shopping venues and sights, and the cultural and natural splendor of exotic Chiang Mai.
Day 1 : Ayutthaya - Bangkok
Located on the bank of the Maenam Chao Phraya, to the west of the city island is Wat Chaiwatthanaram. Built in 1630 by King Prasat Thong to honor his mother, Wat Chai Wattanaram was conceived as a replica of the Angkor temple. A Royal monastery, the temples unique feature is a huge prang which is surrounded by smaller prangs. This symbolizes Mount Meru, the abode of the heavenly gods. Now restored, the temple is also accessible by a long-tailed boat trip from Chankasem Palace Pier. This 1-hour trip to the temple costs approximately 300-400 bahts (round-trip). Entry fee to the temple itself is 20 bahts.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
In 1491, Wat Phra Si Sanphet was located inside the compound of the Grand Palace-the foundations of which are still visible-and served as the royal chapel, as Wat Phra Kaeo does in Bangkok. This Wang Lung Palace (Royal Palace) was built by King U-Thong upon the founding of the city. Used as a residential palace, it became a monastery in the reign of King Ramathibodi I. When King Borom Trai Lokanat commanded the construction of new living quarters, this residential palace was transformed into a temple,and the establishment of Wat Phra Si Sanphet. In Ayutthaya's heyday, this was the largest temple in the city.
The three main chedis which have been restored contain the ashes of three Ayutthaya kings. The temple is situated at the northern end of Si Sanphet Road. The royal chapel does not have any monks and novice inhabitants. Admission fee is 20 bahts.
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon
Located to the Southeast of the island, this temples lofty chedi is visible from most of the town. The monastery was built in 1900 by King U-thong who granted the temple with the name Wat Pa Kaew. The intention was to create a center of Buddhist studies (Ceylonese Sect). As the temple used to be headed by a patriarch, local people also called it Wat Chao Phraya Thai.
The present name was given granted to the temple by King Naresuan to commemorate a battle fought against the Crown Prince of Burma in 1592. His momentous victory a single-handed combat on the elephant back brought independence to Ayutthaya after 15 years as a Burmese dependent. Within the complex is a huge image of a reclining Buddha in brick and stucco. The chedi is bell-shaped, about 60 meters high, constructed on a mound of raised ground (15 X 32.4 X 32.4 m.) with steps going up to the Buddhist image placed midway to the top. The chedi itself now has a distinct tilt, but still can be entered via the stairs.
The Ubosot or ordination hall is windowless but ventilated by pierced holes stretching down the roof on both walls. Also situated in the compound is King Naresuans statue, which is highly revered by Thais.
Admission fee is 20 baht.
Bang Pa-in Summer Palace
A few miles down the Maenam Chao Phraya from Ayutthaya is the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace. The site was first used by the royal court as a summer retreat in the 17th century. However, the Palace was destroyed with the fall of Kingdom of Ayutthaya and was restored by King Rama IV in the mid-19th century. Most of the buildings that exist today date from the reign of King Rama V, who regularly spent his summers there. The structures represent a variety of architectural styles, set in a large park around ponds and waterways. The only royal residence open to the public is the Chiness-style Wehat Chamroon Palace, constructed entirely of materials imported from China. In addition, there is an Italian-style palace, a circular pavilion with steps leading down to a pool, the graceful Thai-style Aisawan Tippaya Asna Pavilion in the middle of a lake, and, across one of the waterways, a Buddhist chapel in the neo-Gothic style with stained-glass windows. Scattered around the extensive gardens are European statues as well as monuments ordered to be built by King Rama V in memory of members of his family, one of them a much-loved Queen who drowned in a boating accident.
Chao Phraya River Cruise
A cruise along the Chao Phaya River and Thonburi?s vast network of canals is an experience no other Asian capital can offer. However, if you have specifically come here for sightseeing, then a trip to Chao Phraya River in Bangkok suits the best.
Moreover, you can see various traditional old houses, temples, shops and Floating Market on a trip to Chao Phraya River. You'll get a nice tour of many of Bangkok's sites, including the Palace, Wat Arun, and some fancy hotels such as the Oriental.
To approach the spot, you can get on the SkyTrain to the Saphan Taksin stop and getting on the river boats there.
Day 2 : Bangkok - Chiang Mai
Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep
This famous and important temple founded since 1383 enjoys a prominent position in Chiang Mai, overlooking the city from its mountainside perch. It sits about 3,520 feet above sea level and is accessible via a steep naga staircase comprising around 300 steps.
The temple has a huge golden chedi (spire), within which lie some holy Buddha relics that attract devotees from the world over. To reach the temple itself requires a climb up a naga staircase of 309 steps. For the faint of heart, there's also a funicular cable-car to the top which has just been re-built after several fatal crashes. The fare for the new improved funicular is 20 Baht per person.
The chedi is in a small courtyard at the very peak of the mountain. The courtyard building sits on a larger plaza containing several buildings as well as a lookout point from which you can see, weather permitting, all of Chiang Mai and the surrounding plain. The visiting hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Sunday. The site is situated at the Continuation of Huay Keaw Road, Chiang Mai 50300 Thailand.
Though the main Night Bazaar is located in a rather drab three-storey building, this shoppers' paradise also sprawls along the entire Chang Klan Road. The street stalls sell a variety of items, including fine Thai silk, antiques, silver, clothing, handicrafts, CDs, videos, perfumes and watches. However, you should be careful of many imitation branded goods.
It is opened from 6 p.m. until midnight from Monday to Sunday. It is located at 104-1 Chang Klan Road, Chiang Mai 50100 Thailand.
Day 3 : Chiang Mai - Bangkok
Doi Inthanon National Park
The park is 1,005 square kilometer located south of Chiang Mai City and is, in parts, mountainous and wild. Species which are not found anywhere else in Thailand can be found here. Doi Inthanon being the Thailand's tallest mountain standing at 2,565 meters, it offers one of the best places in Thailand for bird watching.
On higher ground, one can see wild orchids growing. Trekking tours can be arranged through many agencies in Chiang Mai. It is opened 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Sunday. The charge for foreigners is THB200 and Thai is THB20.
Chiang Mai Zoo
The Chiang Mai Zoo has more than 6,000 animals in an environment comprising two waterfalls, reservoirs, an open park, camping spots and animal breeding areas. Among its recent arrivals are 10 penguins, the first ever in Thailand; gibbons, which are bred successfully; and Chayo, the baby elephant, born at the time of the Leonid meteor shower, who became the symbol of the Bangkok Asian Games. The entrance fee for adult is THB40 and for child is THB20.
Day 4 : Bangkok
Pratunam Junction is famous for its street markets, bazaar and local vendors. There is a Nai Lert shopping market in Pratunam, which is very popular for local hand-made products from all over Thailand. You can find Thai fine arts, silk, cotton, wood-carvings, silver articles, pottery, leather products, and a lot more over here. The market also provides T shirts, jeans, shoes, calculators, watches, jewelries and souvenirs all at negotiable prices. Additional available is the food center providing tasty Thai, Chinese, and sea food.
Situated at North West Corner of Pratunam are Petchaburi and Ratchaprarop. Whereas, Pratunam it self is situated at Phayathai, Bangkok.
Panthip Plaza is the best place for IT shopping, located at Petchburi Rd in Pratunam district (opposite the Pratunam?s City Complex and the Amari Watergate hotel). Over here, you should be worry less of the prices as it provides very reasonable price with extensive range. But the vendors at the plaza can merely speak English. Usually, it opens from 10:00 - 20:30 (every day).
You can reach there by the skytrain (BTS) to Ratchathewi station, followed by either hire a tuk-tuk / taxi, or ten minutes walk down to Petchaburi Road.
MBK is the perfect place for those who love shopping in a market style atmosphere but prefer to do so in air-conditioned comfort. Bargaining is a common issue at MBK. However, you should be careful of the products against imitation such as clothes, watches and others.
The opening hours of the MBK center are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday to Sunday. It is situated at Phayathai Road, Bangkok 10330 Thailand. For more details, you can visit http://www.mbk-center.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact at: +66 2 620 9000.
Jim Thompson's House and Museum
Jim Thompson?s House and Museum is a small but fine museum, being the former home of the man who saved the Thai silk industry from collapse. It is constructed from six different traditional teak houses; the walls were reassembled from the outside in.
The museum shows Jim Thompson's beautiful collection of art and artifacts from Thailand and Southeast Asia.
It opens at 9 a.m. ? 5 p.m. from Monday to Sunday, last tour is at 4:30 p.m. It is located at Rama I Road, 6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Bangkok 10330 Thailand. For more information, please visit http://www.jimthompsonhouse.com or contact at Tel: +66 2 216 7368
Joe Louis Theater
Joe Louis Theater is the only spot in Bangkok where you can see a live puppet show. It has one-hour daily show, from 10-11am, which includes the story of the Ramayana as well as legends from neighboring Myanmar and India. From 9.30-10am, before the show, you can watch how Thai traditional masks are made. Night shows are usually held on Friday and Saturday from 7.30 p.m. The visiting fee is THB200-600. You can also get souvenirs, from key chains to khon masks.