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What People Are Saying About Us

All that was advertised was delivered. Consider this tour to be a real value as to sites visited, itinerary, hotels, and travel between sites.

Susan & Paul Krupp
Georgetown, TX
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6-time honoree Travel + Leisure's World's Best Tour Operators awards

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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Bangkok touring, including Wat Pho Temple and Grand Palace complex
  • Long-tail boat ride through “hidden” Bangkok
  • Ayutthaya UNESCO site
  • Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
  • Kanchanaburi’s WWII cemetery and Burma Railroad memorials
  • Close-up looks at Thai farming life
  • Golden Triangle, including Mekong boat ride
  • Two-night stay at Khum Lanna nature reserve
  • Thai cooking class
  • Visit to an elephant sanctuary
  • Chiang Mai sightseeing
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Days 1 & 2: Depart U.S. for Bangkok, Thailand

Day 3: Arrive Bangkok We arrive in the Thai capital today and transfer to our hotel. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities or meals planned.

Day 4: Bangkok After meeting our fellow travelers and Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director at this morning’s briefing about the journey ahead, we set out to explore, beginning at the colorful Bangkok Flower Market. Then we ride “tuk tuks,” traditional three-wheel open-air taxis, to Wat Pho Temple, home of the Reclining Buddha. Next we visit the immense Grand Palace complex where we see the elaborate Temple of the Emerald Buddha, with its venerated 31-inch-high statue carved from a single piece of jade. Then we board boats for a tour of “hidden” Bangkok. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner. B,L,D

Day 5: Bangkok/Ayutthaya Today’s first stop is Bang Pa-in, the historic summer palace of Thai royalty. Then we continue on to Ayutthaya, Thailand’s ancient capital that in 1700 was the largest city in the world – and that by 1767 lay in ruins. It’s the evocative remains of the palaces, pagodas, and monasteries that once stood here that we encounter today as we explore the historical park, now a UNESCO site. B,L

Day 6: Bangkok/Kanchanaburi This morning we visit the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, where vendors aboard hundreds of sampans laden with fresh flowers, fruits, and vegetables traverse the canals selling their wares. Then we travel on to Kanchanaburi, where we visit the infamous bridge that spans the River Kwai, part of the World War II “Death Railway” project and whose story is immortalized in book and film as The Bridge on the River Kwai. We end the day’s touring with a long-tail boat ride along the River Kwai to our floating hotel. B,L,D

Day 7: Kanchanaburi A look at Thai farming life is on tap as we visit the village of Nong Khao for a tour by local truck. We pay our respects at the village shrine then head out to the fan-palm orchard to see how locals collect the palm products for market. We sample some of the local goods and tropical fruits, and learn about the important role rice plays in Thai life. Before returning to our hotel, we see the wooden bridge of the Tham Krasae Death Railway, and stop at the Cemetery of the Allied Prisoners of War, burial site of WWII prisoners who perished as forced laborers on the construction of the notorious Burma Railway. B,L,D

Day 8: Kanchanaburi We travel downstream to witness another poignant scene from the Death Railway: Hellfire Pass, where prisoners had only hand tools to cut through the largest rocks on the entire route of the Burma Railway. Named for the look of the prisoners (as if they had come from Hell), the pass today features a museum and memorial. Following our tour here we visit a tribal village of the ethnic Mon people. B,L,D

Day 9: Kanchanaburi/Chiang Rai We depart this morning for Bangkok and our early afternoon flight to Chiang Rai, the relaxed town near the border of Laos and Myanmar. Upon arrival, we visit the Baan Dam (“Black House”) modern architectural complex. B,D

Day 10: Chiang Rai This morning we drive along narrow mountain roads to the Doi Tung Royal Villa and Gardens, former home of the king’s mother who lived here and led efforts against deforestation and also the heroin trade. We tour the home and grounds then continue to the infamous Golden Triangle, where the Ruak and Mekong rivers meet, and where we see sweeping views of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. We tour the Opium Museum here to learn about the once-thriving drug trade in the region before enjoying a leisurely boat ride on the Mekong. B,L

Day 11: Chiang Rai/Phrao This morning we visit the contemporary Wat Rong Khun, the unusual “White Temple” celebrating Lord Buddha’s purity. We continue on to Khum Lanna, our country retreat set amidst emerald-green rice fields and lush orchards. This afternoon we learn about and participate in Khum Lanna’s sustainable permaculture projects; the hotel grows fruits, vegetables, and herbs, many of which will be used in tonight’s dinner. B,L,D

Day 12: Phrao We rise early for a sunrise biking trip to see the colorful rice fields. Then we visit the morning markets, where we offer alms to the Buddhist monks. Back at our lodge we enjoy a late breakfast and hear about the “Rice for Life” ethos practiced here. This afternoon we visit a local rice mill and temple to learn about daily life in rural Thailand. B,L,D

Day 13: Phrao/Chiang Mai En route to Chiang Mai today, we stop at an elephant sanctuary where we can bathe and feed the magnificent creatures. Later, we visit a hill tribe agricultural village before continuing on to our hotel. B,L

Day 14: Chiang Mai Our day begins with a drive to the sacred 14th-century Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple, with incomparable views of Chiang Mai below. Next, we learn about the local gem trade with a visit to a working jade factory. After lunch together, we discover Chiang Mai’s old city by rickshaw, traveling past medieval city walls and monasteries. Our tour ends with a visit to the Wat Phra Singh temple complex, where we see a revered Buddha statue and the lovely Viharn Lai Kham gilded hall decorated with murals of daily life. Tonight we celebrate our Thailand adventure at a farewell dinner. B,L,D

Day 15: Chiang Mai/Bangkok This morning we visit the “lost city” of Wiang Kum Kam, the royal capital that was abandoned some 700 years ago. Here we take a horse-and-carriage ride to see the archaeological site. This afternoon we take a flight back to Bangkok, where we dine together tonight at our airport hotel. B,D

Day 16: Depart for U.S. We depart Bangkok today on our overnight flight to the U.S. B

Day 17: Arrive U.S. We arrive in the U.S. and connect with our flights home.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; all flights within itinerary
  • 13 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe, Superior First Class, and unrated hotels
  • 32 meals: 13 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 9 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2018/2019 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

2019
 
 
 
 
Mar 13
Mar 20
2018
Oct 24
Oct 31
Nov 14

 
2019
Feb 27
2018
 
 
 
 
Nov 28
Dec 5
2019
 
 
 
Jan 9
Jan 23
Feb 6
Los Ang, New York,
San Francisco
$3,687$3,887$3,987$4,087
Atlanta, Chicago,
Houston, Phoenix,
Port (OR), Seattle,
Washington, DC
$3,987$4,187$4,287$4,387
Boston, Dallas,
Denver, Minn
$4,087$4,287$4,387$4,487
Balt, Charlotte,
Cincinnati, Cleve,
Detroit, Miami,
Orl, Phil, Tampa
$4,187$4,387$4,487$4,587

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $192, which are subject to change until final payment has been made.

Single travelers please add $995. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days before departure. All 2018/2019 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Depending on flight schedules, certain cities may require an overnight flight on the return, with the arrival home the following day.

Airline upgrades on round-trip international flight: Business Class – $4,195 per person; Premium Economy – $1,495 per person

A visa is not required for this tour.

Accommodations
    Royal Orchid Sheraton, Bangkok / Days 3-5 / Deluxe

    The Royal Orchid Sheraton enjoys an ideal location in the heart of Bangkok, on the banks of the city’s Chao Phraya River.  Amenities of this luxury hotel include four restaurants and a bar, two pools, 24-hour fitness center, full spa, tennis court, laundry service, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Each air-conditioned guest room boasts river views and has private bath with hairdryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

    The Float House River Kwai, Kanchanaburi / Days 6-8 / Not rated

    A unique accommodation, The Float House River Kwai comprises a series of private thatch-roofed villas that literally float on the Khwae Yai River, the waterway famously featured in the World War II film The Bridge on the River Kwai.  The hotel’s amenities include a restaurant and bar, laundry services, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Each of the 26 air-conditioned villas features traditional Thai teakwood furniture, private bath with hairdryer, private balcony and sun deck over the river, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

    Le Meridien Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai / Days 9-10 / Deluxe

    Set on the banks of the Kok River and close to Chiang Rai’s town center, Le Méridien offers a host of amenities including two restaurants and two bars, outdoor infinity pool overlooking the river, fitness center, full spa, laundry and dry cleaning services, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access (in public areas).  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hairdryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, internet access (for a fee), TV, and phone.

    Khum Lanna Resort, Phrao (Khuma Lanna) / Days 11-12 / Not rated

    The Khum Lanna Resort sits in a valley surrounded by mountains in the serene village of Phrao.  Constructed of dark wood and built in traditional Thai style, the lodging design is simple but comfortable.  Open-air common areas offer warm-toned furniture and views of the surrounding rice fields and orchards.  Amenities include a dining room, rice museum, steam bath, massages, bicycles for use around the resort, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access (only available in the dining room).  Khum Lanna also offers cooking classes and demonstrations on site.  Spacious guest rooms include private bath, screened windows, ceiling fan, and desk.  Please note:  Khum Lanna focuses on nature and the development of sustainable agricultural ecosystems and, as such, does not offer in-room televisions.

    Na Nirand Romantic Boutique Resort, Chiang Mai / Days 13-14 / Deluxe

    The 45-room Na Nirand Romantic Boutique Resort opened in November of 2016.  This colonial-style resort comprises six teakwood residences which surround a magnificent 100-year old rain tree.  Amenities include a riverfront restaurant and bar, fitness center, outdoor swimming pool, library, laundry service, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Adorned with local handicrafts, each air-conditioned guest room offers private bath with hair dryer, private balcony, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

    Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok / Day 15 / Superior First Class

    Just a few minutes from Bangkok’s international airport, the Novotel Suvarnabhumi offers abundant amenities, including an outdoor swimming pool; spa with steam room, sauna, and Jacuzzis; fitness center; and four restaurants and lounges. Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

    Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort, Siem Reap / Extension / Deluxe

    Set amidst tranquil landscaped gardens on beautiful, tree-lined Charles de Gaulle Avenue, Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort is close to the ruins at Angkor Wat, as well as near traditional markets and other local attractions. Combining French and Khmer architecture to provide refined, elegant accommodation, the 238-room hotel features five restaurants and two bars, internet access, laundry and dry cleaning services, fitness center with Jacuzzi and sauna, and outdoor pool. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Post-Tour Extension

Cambodia: Angkor Wat

3 days/2 nights for $895 total price
Single Supplement: $245

A special opportunity to discover the amazing temples and statuary from the Angkorian Empire. UNESCO site and the world’s largest religious monument.

 

Your Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation Bangkok/Siem Reap, inclusive of airline taxes and fees
  • 2 nights’ accommodations in Siem Reap at Sofitel Angkor (Deluxe)
  • 4 meals: 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners
  • Three days’ sightseeing of Angkor complex (UNESCO World Heritage site), including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation
  • Gratuities for dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers

Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.

A visa is required for this extension. Odysseys Unlimited will provide information about visa requirements upon reservation.

Tour Directors for this Journey
Kongka Buatoey (“Kong”)

“Kong was probably the best tour guide we have ever had. His knowledge of his country was incredible. He was extremely organized and every detail was thought of. His love of his country was obvious and he shared it all with us.”
Ron & Jackie Schiemann
Red Wing, MN

Khet Hem

Tour Director – Cambodia Extension

 

Bunrith Kol

Tour Director – Cambodia Extension

 

Pech Pov

Tour Director – Cambodia Extension
“Pech was outstanding – he had tremendous knowledge.”
David Macaulay
Huntley, IL

Roath Pum

“He was very knowledgeable and eager to share all he possibly could with us.”
Diana Williamson
Henry, IL

Dara Saksri

“Dara was an exceptional Tour Director. Her insights, personality, and knowledge of her country added immensely to the learning and fun.”
David and Barbara Hauer
Bethesda, MD

Sawittree Tongurai (“Silvy”)

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Destination Insight

Suggested Reading List

Botan, Susan Fulop Kepner (Translator)
Letters from Thailand, A Novel
A prize-winning novel, first published in 1969 and here newly translated into English. Taking the form of a series of letters back home to his mother, the novel follows the fate of Tan Suang U, a Chinese immigrant in Bangkok at the close of World War II, who marries, raises a family and runs a successful business. The novel, among its many pleasures, depicts daily life in Bangkok’s thriving Chinatown.

Milton Osborne
Southeast Asia, An Introductory History
Now in its 11th edition, this lively and accessible guide to Southeast Asia written by one of the world’s preeminent historians of the area remains a classic in its field. Osborne focuses on the social, political and economic changes since the 18th century and also covers the art and literature of the region.

Eyewitness Guides
Eyewitness Guide Thailand
A compact illustrated guide featuring color photographs, excellent maps and a regional overview of Thailand’s natural and cultural attractions.

National Geographic Society
Thailand Adventure Map
A detailed relief map of Thailand , with index, at the scale of 1:1,1,300,000. Printed on tear-resistant, waterproof paper. Two Sides. 20×31 inches.

River Books
Angkor Map
A site plan and pocket guide to the city of Angkor at a scale of 1:40,000.

Berndtson & Berndtson
Bangkok Map
A handy laminated, folded walking map of Bangkok at a scale of 1:14,000.

Groovy Map Co.
Groovy Chiang Mai Map
An easy-to-use, laminated map/guide to Chiang Mai. Includes maps and insets of Greater Chiang Mai, the city center and
Nimmanhaemin Road, plus helpful listings.

Bruno Dagens
Angkor, Heart of an Asian Empire
An excellent guide to the site, this shirt-pocket encyclopedia of discovery features hundreds of color photographs, illustrations and maps.

Roger Jones
Culture Smart! Thailand
A concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture with practical travel advice and a short overview of the land and people.

Milton Osborne
The Mekong, Turbulent Past, Uncertain Future
A cultural history of the great river from prehistory to European exploration, colonial tensions and modern challenges. It’s an engaging introduction to the history of Southeast Asia.

J.M. Barwise
A Traveller’s History of Southeast Asia
A compact history of the region, including the Khmer and other ancient kingdoms that produced Borobudur, Angkor and other architectural marvels. The authors include the history of diverse nations from Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia, to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

Walpola Sri Rahula
What the Buddha Taught
A classic account of Theravada Buddhism by a respected monk and scholar from Sri Lanka. Provides translations from original texts with explanations for Western readers. A good foundation for any visitor to Southeast Asia.

Margaret Landon
Anna and the King of Siam
Some say the tale is more fanciful than true, but it certainly has endured. The classic account of a governess in mid-19th century Siam, upon which “The King and I” is based. The book has seen a surge in popularity with both a revival of the musical and a Hollywood movie.

Edward Gargan
The River’s Tale, A Year on the Mekong
A personal, probing chronicle of a 3,000-mile journey on the river from its source in China through Tibet, Burma, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia to the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.

John Burdett
Bangkok 8, A Novel
Witnessed by a throng of agape spectators, a charismatic Marine sergeant is murdered under a Bangkok bridge inside a bolted shut Mercedes Benz. Among the witnesses are the only two cops in the city not on the take, but within moments one is murdered and his partner, Sonchai Jitpleecheep — a devout Buddhist and the son of a Thai bar girl and a long-gone Vietnam War G.I. – is hell-bent on wreaking revenge.

Jo Nesbo
Cockroaches
This second installment in Nesbo’s bestselling Harry Hole series finds the inspector in Thailand’s red light district uncovering the mysterious murder of the Norwegian ambassador. Feeling that there is more at play than a random act of violence, Hole wanders the streets of Bangkok with the foreboding feeling that for every cockroach he sees, hundreds more are hidden.

Helen Ibbitson Jessup
Art & Architecture of Cambodia
Jessup includes not just Angkor Wat and Banteay Srei but also lesser-known recent discoveries in the surrounding jungle in this illustrated overview in the World of Art series.

Vikram Lall
The Golden Lands, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos,
Myanmar, Thailand & Vietnam
The product of 25 years of research into Buddhist architecture, this survey takes us from the monastic complexes of India to the dzongs of Bhutan, inside the wats of Southeast Asia and through the simple wooden shrines of Japan. Gorgeously illustrated throughout with color photography and 3-D renderings.

Craig Robson
Birds of Thailand
A compact, comprehensive guide with 128 color plates by a team of illustrators. Robson is also the author of the authoritative Birds of Southeast Asia.

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