Enjoy a voyage of discovery of the rich Thai cuisine and vast culture from a gourmet point of view. During this culinary holiday, you will not only get Thai cooking classes but you will also experience Thailand in a unique way, visiting temples, night markets, an orchid farm, a butterfly farm, and more. You will even get the unforgettable experience of riding an elephant through the jungle. Do not miss this memorable trip!
During your culinary vacation, you will stay for three nights in Bangkok and four nights in Chiang Mai.
Upon arrival, you will check into the hotel. At 19:30, you will meet the other participants for an apéritif and informal familiarization. Dinner will be at a nearby restaurant.
Your first morning in Bangkok will be free to spend at your leisure. Lunch will be in the hotel. At 15:00, you will enjoy a half-day city and temples tour. This exciting tour includes visits to three of Bangkok's most unusual Buddhist temples: Wat Traimit, Wat Po, and Wat Benchamabophit.
The Wat Traimit, Temple of the Golden Buddha, boasts the world's largest solid-gold Buddha, believed to be cast over nine centuries ago. The seated statue is nearly 10 feet high, weighing five and a half tons, and carved in the ancient Sukhothai style.
Interestingly, when the Burmese were en route to sack Ayutthaya, the Buddha was enveloped in plaster to conceal its worth, a disguise which held strong for two centuries until a monk accidentally discovered it in 1957. Passing through Chinatown, your next stop is Wat Po, Temple of the Reclining Buddha, the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok.
Surpassing the Wat Traimit Buddha in size, the Wat Po's Reclining Buddha is 150 feet long and 49 feet high, and designed to illustrate the Buddha's passing into Nirvana. You will then continue to Wat Benchamabophit, the Marble Temple, to view the Phra Buddhajinaraja or Bronze Buddha, beneath which lie the ashes of King Rama V.
You will see the Temple's Ubosot Hall or Ordination Hall, erected from Italian Carrara marble in the European neoclassical style. After your tours, you will have time to relax at the hotel. At 19:00, you will enjoy a dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya River.
At 09:00, you will visit a Thai vegetable and fish market and attend a cooking class in Bangkok. After your class, you will have lunch. Enjoy the afternoon with a Thai massage at the spa. Dinner will be at a restaurant in Bangkok. After dinner, you will visit one of Bangkok's night markets for bargains and souvenirs and to hone your bartering skills.
Today, you will enjoy a full-day tour to the Floating Market Siam Winery and Rose Garden Country Resort. Your tour will begin at 09:00, at the colorful floating market of Damnoen Saduak. Here, you will witness boat-to-boat bartering like you have never seen before, as hundreds of agricultural vendors float side-by-side, buying, selling, or exchanging a variety of goods.
You will continue on to Siam Winery Floating Vineyards, a very unusual winery with grapevines growing over the canals and being harvested with boats. You will enjoy a wine tasting followed by lunch at a restaurant in the middle of a lake. After lunch, on the way to Bangkok, you will stop at the beautiful Rose Garden Country Resort for the highly entertaining Thai Village Cultural Show.
Relax as more than 150 performers vividly portray a fascinating cross-section of Thailand's cultural heritage. This 60-minute, action-packed show features exciting displays of Thai martial arts, Thai boxing, and sword fighting skills that date back over 600 years.
Also included are the romantic rituals of the traditional Thai wedding ceremony, the rich pageantry of the Buat Naag ceremony of ordination into Buddhist monkhood, as well as hill tribe dances and Thai elephants on the move. After the show, you will return to Bangkok for an early dinner and a flight to Chiang Mai.
Your day will begin with a visit to the market at 09:00 and a cooking class at Chiang Mai Cookery School, followed by lunch. Then, you will enjoy an afternoon tour of the city of Chiang Mai, during which you will visit and explore four revered temples in Chiang Mai. All constructed during the Lanna period; each reflects the glory, splendor, and nobility of a rich, historical era.
Later, you will drive around the old city to see the moat surrounding it and the ruins of the city gates. Then, you will visit the largest central market, Worarot Market, alive with its daily hustle and bustle. Exotic fresh fruits, preserved food, local delicacies, clothes galore, flowers, and other knickknacks can be found at reasonable prices. After a light lunch, you will relax at the hotel.
First, you will enjoy a pleasant, scenic trip to the north of Chiang Mai. Amidst lush tropical jungle and beside a meandering river, you will watch elephants take their daily bath. Then, you will watch a show of how these magnificent animals are used in the timber industry; pushing, dragging, and rolling logs in unison at the command of their mahouts.
And the best part of your day will be an exciting one-hour elephant ride over the hills and into the lush jungle. You have got to swing with the sway as you rumble and thrash along. After, you will experience a 15-minute oxcart ride back to the camp. This form of transportation is probably similar to what your ancestors traveled in, in the Middle Ages.
A picnic lunch will be provided under the cool jungle shade. After lunch, you will enjoy a one-hour, Huckleberry-Finn-style bamboo rafting trip on the placid Mae Taeng River. You will glide along in a summer dream. You will also visit an orchid nursery farm filled with exotic orchid blooms, as well as a superb butterfly collection at a butterfly farm.
After your adventures in the jungle, you will return to Chiang Mai for a Thai cooking class at Asia Smiles Cookery School. The evening will be free for you to shop at Chiang Mai's bustling night market.
At 09:00, you will enjoy a cooking class at Chiang Mai Cookery School with lunch. The afternoon will be free for you to shop or relax at a spa with a famous Thai massage and beauty treatments. In the evening, you will delight yourself in a Khantoke dinner with traditional dances from Northern Thailand.
As a guest of this unique event, you will be seated on the floor, as is customary, and enjoy acted scenes depicting the local culture as you dine. After dinner, villagers from various hill tribes will perform an exciting array of cultural dances, including the Fon Lep or fingers dance, sword dance, Fon Thien or candle dance, and Ramwong, in which all guests are invited to participate.
At 08:00, you will check out of the hotel to be transferred to Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX), for a return flight to Bangkok.
During this holiday, you will be staying in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, in Thailand.
All meals are included in the price of this culinary holiday. Also included is a dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya River, a Khantoke dinner with traditional dances from Northern Thailand, and a wine tasting at the Siam Winery Floating Vineyards.
During this trip, you will have plenty of time to spend at your leisure; you can go shopping in Chiang Mai's and Bangkok's bustling markets or visit a spa.
Thai massages and beauty treatments are available at an additional cost.
Please book your flight to arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK).
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