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Discover the Thainess
Discover the Thainess

Duration : 5 days

Starting from : Ayutthaya

Ending at : River City

Duration : First time travelers, Family, Senior

Overview :

Explore the temples, ruins, and a palace in historical Ayutthaya, then cruise down the River of Kings to Bangkok to visit a floating village, a traditional puppet show, elephant grounds, and the temples and markets for which the capital is so famous. Finish your trip at some of the finest spas and most spectacular restaurants in town!

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Day by Day Itinerary : Day 1 (Ayutthaya) - Day 2 (Bangkok ) - Day 3 (Bangkok ) - Day 4 (Bangkok ) - Day 5 (Bangkok )

Ayutthaya

Day 1 : Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya

Wat Chaiwatthanaram

The temple is located on the bank of the Maenam Chao Phraya (River), to the west of the city island. It is 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. The temple is also accessible by a long-tailed boat trip from Chankasem Palace Pier. This 1-hour round trip to the temple costs about THB300 - 400. Entry fee to the temple is only THB20.

Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Wat Pra Si Sanphet was built by King U-Thong upon the founding of the city in 1491 inside the compound of the Grand Palace. Its foundations are still visible-and served as the royal chapel, as Wat Phra Kaeo does in Bangkok. It used to be the royal palace 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.

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 Pra Kaeo. 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.

The entrance fee is THB20.

Bang Pa-in Summer Palace

Bang Pa-in Summer Palace is situated a few miles down the Chao Phraya River from Ayutthaya. 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.

Bangkok

Day 2 : Bangkok

Bangkok

Bangkok Floating Market

An early morning trip in Thailand is at most interesting and authentic rural floating market where many varieties of products are on sales from vendors in tiny boats which dominat e the colorful scene. Your visit to the floating market can take you away from all the bustle of the city. You will get the chance to visit the Thai Village show which gives you an introduction into Thai life. You will witness ordination into monkshood, fingernail dance, Thai boxing, hill tribe dance, sword-fighting, elephant at work and folk dancing.

The Rose Garden

This tourist attraction is located on Petchakasem Road 32 Kms. from Bangkok. It is located adjacent to the Nakhon Chaisi River and occupies an area of 137.5 Rais (about 55 acres). There are a multitude of beautiful floral displays of great variety. Thai-style houses; parts of the area are hotel, lodges, and golf course. It also features an attractive Thai cultural show that commences daily in the afternoon. It is open daily from 08.00-18.00. An entrance fee to the garden is 10 Baht. Admission as well as shows fee cost 300 Baht for all. For more information call 0 2295 3261-4.

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.

Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo

Smphran Elephant Ground and Zoo, located on the Phetkasem Road at Km.30 marker, 1 Km. before the Rose Garden. It occupies an area of 62 Rais (about 24.8 acres).

There are various kinds of animals on display and show. There are daily elephant shows, elephant ride around the compound, elephant musical shows, crocodile-wrestling shows, and magic shows.

Bangkok

Day 3 : Bangkok

Bangkok

Grand Palace

The outstanding Grand Palace is an architectural marvel and the gem of Bangkok's impressive collection of temples and palaces. However, the four main buildings are incorporated in the grounds of the glittering Wat Phra Keo. This is the must to visit the experience of its diverse styles that no one should miss.

The entrance fee is THB 250 which includes the allowance entrance to Vimanmek Palace and Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall. The opening hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday to Sunday.

It is situated at Na Phralan Road, Bangkok 10200 Thailand. For more details, you can contact at Tel: +66 2 222 0094 / +66 2 222 6889 / +66 2 222 2208 or visit the website at www.palaces.thai.net or email at webmaster@palaces.thai.net

Wat Pho

Wat Pho also known as Wat Phra Chetuphon situated just behind the extravagance of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Most western tourists never miss to visit the temple's huge reclining Buddha and other attractions of the temple.

The most attractive point other than the Buddha's face are the soles of the Buddha's feet, 45 meters (150 feet) away from the head, which have been inlaid with mother-of-pearl to display the 108 auspicious signs which distinguish a true Buddha.

Moreover, Wat Pho is also Thailand's oldest learning center and a respected Thai massage school that operates teaching techniques to the eager and providing massages to the weary.

The entrance fee is worth only THB20. However, the contact details are: 2 Sanamchai Road, Bangkok 10200 Thailand. Tel: +66 2 222 5910, +66 2 226 2942, +66 2 226 1743, +66 2 225 9595

Wat Arun

Wat Arun gets its name from Aruna, the Indian god of the dawn, hence its common name The Temple of Dawn.

The location of the temple is in the area that used to be occupied by the palace of King Taksin who re-established the Siamese Kingdom after the fall of Ayuttaya more than two hundred years ago. The main Buddha image is believed to have been designed by King Rama II.

Wat Arun, often called The Temple of Dawn, is one of the most remarkable visual identities of Bangkok. The imposing Khmer-style prang or tower is 104 metres tall and decorated with bits of porcelain that was used as ballast by boats coming from China. It is surrounded by four smaller prangs. Construction of the prangs were started by King Rama II and completed by King Rama II.

Note: Appropriate dress code required (cover shoulders and legs).

Erawan Shrine

Erawan Shrine is built incongruously in one of Bangkok's hubs of consumerism. This very popular shrine is devoted to Brahma and Erawan, his elephant. It is located next to the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel. The shrine was beset by a series of accidents during its construction in the 1950s. You can often get to see traditional Thai dancing over here. It is a public place and is free to visit 24 hours a day from Monday to Sunday.

Jim Thompson's House and Museum

This small but fine museum is the former home of the man who saved the Thai silk industry from collapse.

Constructed from six different traditional teak houses, the walls were reassembled from the outside in.

Inside you will find Jim Thompson's beautiful collection of art and artifacts from Thailand and Southeast Asia.

Address: Rama I Road, 6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Bangkok 10330 Thailand
Tel: +66 2 216 7368
Open Hours: 9AM-5PM Mon-Sun, last tour 4:30 PM
Websites: http://www.jimthompsonhouse.com

MBK

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 marketing@mbk-center.com or contact at: +66 2 620 9000.

Bangkok

Day 4 : Bangkok

Bangkok

Chatuchak Market

Chatuchak Market is the Worlds Biggest Weekend Market selling practically everything under the sun, from the smallest nails, to foods, trendy fashions, antiques intricate wooden carvings, masks from far-off lands, adorable fluffy dogs, colorful fish of every hue and singing birds.

The market is as huge including 9,000 individual booths filled with every type of wares catching the trends. You can get anything from incense to insects and food stalls in case you get hungry.

It opens only on evening of weekends (Saturdays and Sundays).

Spa

The Thai spa experience brings together a range of indigenous resources, folk wisdom and traditions that have been handed down through the centuries. It captures the very essence of traditional Thai living. Spa operators delve into this ancient treasure trove to create exceptional spa products so that alluring dimensions of this tropical paradise enrich the spa experience.

Gracious hospitality and service is complemented by the friendly and caring nature and gentle ways of the Thai people, adding a uniquely Thai touch to world-class service and hospitality. Kindness, compassion and the act of comforting and caring for others, as advocated by the Theravada Buddhist tradition, is very much part of everyday life. The gesture is instinctive and genuine.

Dinner at Sirroco @ The Dome

Sirocco approves the Bangkok dining scene in several ways. As the first of the Dome's venues, it generated a lot of buzz simply because so many people were curious to finally see the view from the city's second tallest building, and its highest outdoor balcony.

Sirocco is also one of Bangkok's best live jazz venues, featuring the vocal styling of international performers six nights a week.

It is situated at 1055 State Tower, Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500. For more information, please contact at: +66 (2) 624-9555

Bangkok

Day 5 : Bangkok

Bangkok

Thai food

The Thai spa experience brings together a range of indigenous resources, folk wisdom and traditions that have been handed down through the centuries. It captures the very essence of traditional Thai living. Spa operators delve into this ancient treasure trove to create exceptional spa products so that alluring dimensions of this tropical paradise enrich the spa experience.

Gracious hospitality and service is complemented by the friendly and caring nature and gentle ways of the Thai people, adding a uniquely Thai touch to world-class service and hospitality. Kindness, compassion and the act of comforting and caring for others, as advocated by the Theravada Buddhist tradition, is very much part of everyday life. The gesture is instinctive and genuine.

Recommended restaurants

Blue Elephant

Housed in a century-old building, visiting Blue Elephant is like a journey back in time. Traditional Thai cuisine is enhanced with a twist of fusion to suit Western tastes as well as to appeal to local diners.

For more information, you can contact at Tel: 02-673 9353, or visit the website at www.blueelephant.com/bangkok

Baan Kanitha

Located in a grand, converted Thai house, this restaurant is decorated with antique furniture and numerous paintings. The extensive menu lists all the popular Thai dishes, as well as a wide selection of seafood, reflecting the diversity of Thai cuisine.

River City

You can touch the Thai magic at River City. It was founded in 1984. This shopping adventure is located on the Chao Phraya River next to the Royal Orchid Sheraton and features 192 shops and presents an ideal place to look for hand-woven Thai silk and cotton, gems and jewelry, decorative objects, leather goods, antiques, handicrafts and other souvenirs. A free shuttle service runs to and from nearby major hotels located on the river.

The Antique Shops open 8:30a.m to 6 p.m. Monday to Sunday, whereas Boutique shops open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Sunday. It is situated at 23 Yota Road, Sampantawong, Bangkok 10100 Thailand. For more information, please visit http://www.rivercity.co.th or email at auction@rivercity.co.th or Tel: +66 2 237 0077

You can get there by BTS to Saphan Taksin Station. There's a free shuttle boat service to the River City available at Sathorn Pier everyday from 10:00 to 20:00.