I have learned from our Rajasthan, India trip in 2013 that when travelling with kids, logistics need to be finalized before we begin the trip. I like to really submerge in the history and culture/details of the places/attraction and hate to be bothered by thoughts like where will be going from here? Did the taxi driver cheat us? How much time should I spend here? Blah blah
I understand that things can go south even after the planning but still planning provides a solid foundation to a family travelling on a tight schedule. Plus I might be fascinated by planning. My day job is to manage and plan projects 🙂
I have finalized planning itinerary for Thailand Yayyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am excited to moon and back. I am on an incredible high of travel anticipation. I am in USA physically but my heart is already in Thailand.
Coming back to the itinerary 😉
We arrive at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport on July 6 8:45 PM. We would need to get Thai visa and other immigration formalities. We might be able to leave airport by 11 pm and only option left at that take airport Taxi to our hotel Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit and CRASH on the bed!! Hopefully 6 days in Hong Kong have gotten us use to jet Lag, fingers crossed. ( we will be in HKG from July 1 -6, i will post a separate itinerary)
July 7 2017, Friday:
Hopefully we can leave hotel by 8 am and begin our wonderful quest to explore Bangkok.
Day 1 planned itinerary:
There are over 31200 Buddhist temples spread around Thailand. In Thai these are called wat. So we must start our journey with some of the most famous wats.
Grand Palace( entrance fee – 500 Baht) – For just about 150 years, Bangkok’s Grand Palace was not only the home of the King and his court, but also the entire administrative seat of government. Thai Kings stopped living in the palace full time around the turn of the twentieth century, but the complex remains the seat of power and spiritual heart of the Thai kingdom. Visitors are in awe with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail.
Wat Pho (entrance fee – 100 Baht) – The temple of reclining Buddha. It’s one of the largest temple complexes in the city and famed for its giant reclining Buddha that measures 46 metres long and is covered in gold leaf. This is also a great place to get a traditional Thai massage. Wat Pho is often considered the leading school of massage in Thailand, so you really are in good hands here.
Wat Arun ( entrance fee – 50 Baht) – Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn, is named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn. This Wat or Buddhist temple is an architectural representation of Mount Meru, the center of the world in Buddhist cosmology. In the mythology of Tibetan Buddhism, Mount Meru is a place that simultaneously represents the center of the universe and the single-pointedness of mind sought by adepts. Thousands of miles in height, Meru is located somewhere beyond the physical plane of reality, in a realm of perfection and transcendence. The four-corner prang of Wat Arun, which house images of the guardian gods of the four directions, reinforces this mystical symbolism.
Back to hotel for rest
At 4 pm – BTS to Asiatique market – it’s simply an outdoor riverside mall with fun shopping, a great selection of places to eat and some very cool, very Thai entertainment. There are neatly organized market stalls in one section, higher end shops in another, a casual food court and lots of stand-alone restaurants.
July 8 2017, Saturday:
I am Lucky enough to work with Panida (a transplant from Thailand) who got me in touch with her friend Po in Bangkok. Po has arranged for us an AC SUV to floating market and rail market. The round trip is cost is 3000Baht ($90).
6 AM – Van will arrive to take us to floating market of Damnoen Saduak and Meklong Rail Market ( these are 1.5 hour north of Bangkok). I am super duper super excited to visit floating market. There is so much to explore here with amazing culture, history and the beauty of human creativity. We would need rent a boat at floating market separately.
Po said, we should be back to our hotel by 1-2 PM. We will take rest, refuel and take BTS to JJ market or Chatuchak weekend market.
Chatuchak weekend market – is the largest market in Thailand. Also known as JJ Market, it has more than 8,000 stalls, divided into 27 sections. It has street food, shopping, performances, and everything under the sun.
Overnight train to Chiang Mai – board at 730 PM
July 9 2017 Sunday:
Arrive to Chiang Mai at 830 am and Check in at Le Meridien Chiang Mai and begin temple tour.
Wat Chiedi Luang – Wat Chiedi Man is home to the ruins of a 600-year-old temple that was once home to the Emerald Buddha that now resides on the Grand Palace grounds
Wat Pan Tao – This small temple right next door to Wat Chiedi Luang is notable because it’s made entirely of wood. Though it lacks the “bling” many of the city’s other temples are covered in, the elegant wood carvings that decorate Wat Pan Tao are worthy of a visit
Wat Phra Singh – Wat Phra Singh means “Lion Buddha” and that’s what this 600-year-old temple in Chiang Mai’s Old Town is best known for. The large temple grounds also house numerous ornately designed buildings with impressive roof lines and intricate mural work.
Wat Chiang Man – Chiang Mai’s oldest temple was built in 1292 and is a exceptional example of Lanna-style architecture. The golden chiedi surrounded by carved elephants is a favorite among visitors but the ornate red roofs and gold carvings on the newer temple buildings are also exceptional.
Evening – Sunday night Chiang Mai Night Market 🙂 lucky to be here on a Sunday!!
July 10 2017
Elephants – One of the biggest reasons for my husband Tanmay to visit Chiang Mai, He loves elephant like no other animal. It took me a long time to find the right elephant sanctuary to visit. I was determined to find one that treated the elephants humanely and that we felt comfortable supporting. I really wanted to go to Boon Lotts Elepant Santuary ( BLES), unfortunately they are booked till the end of the year. I found another one where elephants are treated with love and care, there is no riding of the elephants and no chains, bull hooks, etc. are not used to manage elephants. Elephant jungle sanctuary where full day price is 2400 Baht per adult and 1800 Baht per kid.
Leave at 8 – 830 am and come back by 5 – 530 pm
Flight back to BKK – 8:45
Flight back to San Francisco – 1 am