We will back soon with our 2020-2021 tours
Asia sticks to you. From the nomadic steppes of Kazakhstan to the frenetic streets of Hanoi, Asia is a continent so full of intrigue, adventure, solace & spirituality that it has fixated and confounded travellers for centuries. Friendly and fun loving, exotic & tropical, cultured & historic, Thailand radiates a golden hue from its glittering temples and tropical beaches through to the ever-comforting Thai smile. The joss sticks lit for the household shrines in Thailand impart a sweet perfume to the thick air. Come…..experience Siam with us……
From sublime coastlines to snow-capped mountains, from the majestic Mekong River to wildlife infested jungle, from rolling landscapes fed by the monsoon rains & frenetic cities fizzling with energy, the diversity of Asia’s landscapes is mind-boggling with a vibrancy that captivates & enchants. Immense expanses of desert flow down from inhospitable mountains, which in turn give way to seemingly impenetrable forests.
In a land where tigers still roam free (though far from noisy tourists), nature continues to be the driving force in many peoples’ lives. Virtually every climate on the globe is represented here; take a trek over the Gobi’s arching dunes or sun yourself on the sand-fringed tropical islands of the South China Sea.
This continent has contributed a cast of villains & heroes to global history. Most of the significant achievements of the modern world had their infancy in Asia. Historic trading routes sliced across epic terrain as expanding empires competed to trade goods & ideas throughout the continent & beyond. Asia’s ambitious civilisations ultimately gave rise to some of the world’s most revolutionary ideas & important technology.
A spiritual place infused with the gods of past & present: the ancient spirits of the land and the family, the deities of Buddhism & Hinduism and the rules of Islam. Architectural wonders & sacred spaces abound from the Great Wall of China & the temples of Angkor to lesser known marvels in Myanmar, Nepal & Afghanistan.
As are their highlights from trekking Malaysia’s’s steamy jungles & wildlife spotting in southern India to riding horses through the Mongolian steppes, skiing Japan’s’s Alps & dodging falling coconuts on of the continents many remote islands.
Gleaming skyscrapers, whooshing magnetic trains, shiny smartphones: in Asia, the future is now. China is charging its way into the 21st century with its economy developing at a head-spinning pace, while South Korea boasts some of the fastest internet speeds in the world and India is a hub of growing technology.
A frenetic buzz surrounds urban Asia: the fashion, culture & business in the continent’s metropolises easily challenge the biggest European & American cities for their status as global hubs. This ever-evolving modernity can make for some incredibly special travel experiences: watch rice paddies flash by from a high-speed train, pick up a shiny new laptop in a Hong Kong electronics market or go to a robot cabaret show in Japan.
And then, there is the food. Is there any greater place to eat than Asia? The continent has exported its cuisines the world over: India’s red hot curries, China’s juicy dumplings, Vietnam’s steaming bowls of pho soup & Thailand’s heaping plates of pat tai (pad Thai) noodles are known & loved across the globe.
Eating here can be both a joyous & chaotic affair: forks are forsaken in favour of fingers or chopsticks & food is enjoyed with unrivalled gusto. Whether settling down for a Michelin-starred meal in one of Singapore’s finest restaurants or pulling up a plastic stool on a Bangkok street, hungry travellers will never be bored by the diversity of Asia’s cuisines. Or tuck into fiery Indian curries, get adventurous with a local dish from a road side stall & gulp down a hearty bowl of Japanese ramen. With its colours, smells, flavours & personalities, you will find Asia is deliciously rewarding.
Let us talk about Thailand now & leave your preconceptions at home.
Ancient Civilisation | Sacred Spaces| Sumptuous Food | Land of Contrasts
Friendly & fun loving, exotic & tropical, cultured & historic, Thailand radiates a golden hue from its glittering temples & tropical beaches through to the ever-comforting Thai smile.
Each year Thailand is discovered by millions of visitors, drawn to its pristine beaches & aquamarine seas, as well as its rich culture, glitzy shopping malls, chic boutiques & colorful markets crammed with bargains.
Thailand is an independent country neighbouring Burma, Laos, Malaysia & Cambodia. Siam is what is was known for before 1939 when it was changed to Thailand as the word "Thai" means freedom and as it is a country who has never been colonized by any intruder country or power it is said to "the land of free". Thailand is an amazing country which has all sweet, sour, salty, bitter & spicy flavors blending in its cooking. As soon as you hear the name of Thailand you immediately have this picture of world that is like in your fantasy the architecture, culture & the ever green beautiful land that takes you to makes you feel that your dreams have come true & there can be a place that could be this beautiful.
Thailand is often referred to as a golden land, not because there is precious metal buried underground but because the country gives off a certain lustre, be it the fertile rice fields of the central plains, white sandy beaches or the warm hospitality of its citizenry.
In between the cluttered cities & towns is the rural heartland, which is a mix of rice paddies, tropical forests & squat villages tied to the agricultural clock. In the north, the forests & fields bump up against toothy blue mountains decorated with silvery waterfalls. In the south, scraggy limestone cliffs poke out of the cultivated landscape like prehistoric skyscrapers. The usually arid northeast emits an emerald hue during the rainy season when tender green rice shoots carpet the landscape.
The celestial world is a close confidant in this Buddhist nation & religious devotion is colourful & ubiquitous. Gleaming temples & golden Buddhas frame both the rural & modern landscape.
Early morning is when the saffron-robed monks leave the sanctuary of their wats (temples) to receive alms from the people, be it in a dusty village or on crowded city streets. Buddhism is a way of life here. Ancient banyan trees are ceremoniously wrapped in sacred cloth to honour the resident spirits, fortune-bringing shrines decorate humble homes as well as monumental malls, while garland-festooned dashboards ward off traffic accidents.
Visitors can join the conversation through meditation retreats in Chiang Mai, religious festivals in northeastern Thailand, underground cave shrines in Kanchanaburi & Phetchaburi and hilltop temples in northern Thailand.
The Thai's are also strong supporters of their monarchy. In fact, His Majesty King Bhumibol was the longest reigning monarch in the world, since coming to power in 1946.
First introductions are made in Bangkok, a modern behemoth of screaming traffic, gleaming shopping centres and international sensibilities interwoven with devout Buddhism. Chiang Mai, the country's bohemian centre, is where the unique & precise elements of Thai culture become a classroom, for cooking courses & language lessons; while climbing into the mountain ranges around Mase Hong Son you will find stupa-studded peaks & villages of post-Stone Age cultures.
With a long coastline (actually, two coastlines) & jungle-topped islands anchored in azure waters, Thailand is a tropical getaway for the hedonist & the hermit, the prince & the pauper. This paradise offers a varied menu: playing in the gentle surf of Ko Lipe, diving with whale sharks off Ko Tao, scaling the sea cliffs of Krabi, kiteboarding in Hua Hin, partying on Ko Phi Do filled with tall palms angling over pearlescent sand, recuperating at a health resort on Ko Samui and feasting on the beach wherever sand meets sea.
With its enticing mixture of established destinations such as Phuket and Hua Hin, & out-of-the-way palm-fringed islands, Thailand appeals to the most varied of travelers, whether they are craving barefoot luxury or hippy chic. From staying on a converted rice barge, clambering into a jungle tree house or bedding down in a hill tribe village, Thailand offers a wealth of choice for every taste & budget.
Adored around the world, Thai cuisine expresses fundamental aspects of Thai culture: it is generous, warm, refreshing & relaxed. Each dish relies on fresh, local ingredients – pungent lemongrass, searing chillies & plump seafood. A varied national menu is built around the four fundamental flavours: spicy, sweet, salty & sour. Roving appetites go on eating tours of Bangkok noodle shacks, seafood pavilions in Phuket & Burmese market stalls in Mae Sot. Cooking classes reveal the simplicity behind the seemingly complicated dishes and mastering the market is an important survival skill.
Pampering is an art form in Thailand, and throughout the country spas offer authentic treatments whether it's in a 5-star luxury resort or a beach-side hut. If it is pulse-raising excitement you are after, head to the hectic sprawl of Bangkok's futuristic high-rise buildings.
People come here as miners: first perhaps for the uniquely Western concept of R&R. And while they toast themselves to a bronze hue on the sandy beaches, they find in the daily rhythm of Thailand a tranquillity that isn't confined to vacation time. The northeast is a region better suited for homestays & teaching gigs than quick souvenir snapshots: here, you can dive deep into the Thai psyche, emerging with a tolerance for searingly spicy food & a mastery of this strange tonal language.
Bangkok, Chiang Mai. Phuket. Pristine beaches, buzzing cities & intriguing cultures,
This tour of Thailand takes in many of the major cultural sights the country has to offer. From the hustle and bustle of Bangkok to the peaceful beauty of Erawan National Park, and from the ancient temples of Ayutthaya to the scenic cities of the north - Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai, this is classic Thailand. It will introduce you to many of the main sights in northern Thailand. We have designed a balanced itinerary to visit temples & important historical sites, view beautiful scenery & countryside & learn about local life in the cities & remote border villages, while staying in high class comfortable accommodation throughout.
The tour begins in the busy and bustling city of Bangkok, with a tour of the Grand Palace, and an afternoon long-tail boat trip through the peaceful canals of Thonburi, in the west of the city. From Bangkok, we visit a cemetery & museums in Kanchanaburi, home of the bridge on the River Kwai and some beautiful countryside. Also included here is a train journey to the Hellfire pass, where the railway was gouged through the rock by thousands of prisoners of war.
Moving on from Kanchanaburi, our next stop is to tour the magnificent ruins at Ayutthaya, one of Thailand's former capitals. These mainly brick-built temples are spread out through parkland on a large island formed by the Chao Phraya & Lopburi Rivers, and formed the heart of one of the world's great cities.
We leave Ayutthaya on the overnight Sleeper train, heading north for Chiang Mai, where we tour the hilltop temple of Doi Suthep on the outskirts of the city, enjoy a traditional evening Khantoke dinner & have some free time to try Optional activities. Also included is a day trip to tour the sacred Wat Phra That Lampan Luang temple complex at Lampang, which we combine with a stop at the
Elephant Conservation Centre enroute.
Our final destination on the tour is Chiang Rai & the famous Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Myanmar & Laos meet. We reach Chiang Rai by way of an exciting long-tail boat trip down the Mae Kok river, and include a day-trip to Yao & Akha hill-tribe villages, and the border town of Mae Sai as well as some free time to visit more sites or relax in the resort.
The tour ends with a flight back to Bangkok.
Come & discover the mystical land that presents the traveler with an array of unforgettable experiences. Get ready for a sensory overload of a busy morning market - or a night out in Bangkok. And of encounters with history & culture, the new & the old, at just about every turn. Did we mention the white-sand beaches, jungles, ancient ruins & Buddhist temples? Indeed, the food satisfies - but Thailand offers so much more