To the Gulf of Thailand…

Resort: To the Gulf of Thailand…
Operator: Saga
Destination: South East Asia
Price From: £1999.00

Discover a land of temples, tuk-tuks and idyllic tropical islands

On a tour of dramatic contrasts take a boat ride through Bangkok to Chinatown and along a mangrove river. Remember the fallen troops beside the River Kwai and admire the palaces and summer houses of the former Kings of Siam. Tour Koh Phangan’s jungle-covered mountains then relax on a palm-fringed beach…

Including…

12 nights in hotels and 2 in flight

23 meals: 12 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 4 dinners

Excursions and visits

  • City tour of Bangkok
  • Visit UNESCO-listed Ayutthaya
  • Visit Mae Klong Railway Market
  • Kanchanaburi and the Bridge over the River Kwai
  • Visit the Thailand-Burma railway centre
  • Scenic rail journey across Wang Po viaduct
  • Afternoon tea in the former Railway Hotel, Hua Hin
  • Seafood lunch at Pranburi
  • Visit to a pineapple plantation
  • Tour into the mountains of Koh Phangan

Plus all this…

  • VIP door-to-door travel service 
  • Return flights and transfers
  • Optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights, or a reduction if not required
  • Saga tour manager
  • Welcome drink reception
  • Porterage at all hotel

Itinerary

Day 1
UK to Bangkok

After taking Saga’s included UK door-to-door travel service to your departure airport, fly overnight to Thailand, often referred to as ‘The Land of Smiles’.

Day 2
Bangkok

Arrive and check into the Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside Hotel (4Q), where you stay two nights. Enjoy a dinner in your hotel.

Day 3
Bangkok

This morning discover Bangkok on an included tour. Explore the colourful Chinatown and visit Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, the largest Chinese Buddhist temple in Bangkok. Continue to the city’s most famous flower market which is bustles with activity day and night. Sample some Thai delicacies during lunch in a local restaurant. Afterwards, visit the neo-classical Renaissance white marble Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, now a museum. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, exploring independently or relaxing by the resort pool and taking in the riverside scene. Later you might like to join an optional evening cruise on the Grand Pearl along the Chao-Phraya river to see the city and its great palaces and temples illuminated in a blaze of colour. B, L

Optional excursions

Dinner Cruise on the Grand Pearl |3 and a half hours

Perhaps treat yourself to a pre-dinner drink (not included) on board as the ship cruises up the Chao Praya river past some of the city’s iconic sights; including Wat Arun temple and Wat Praw Kaew temple all illuminated at night. A dinner consisting of both Thai and international cuisine will be served and there will be live music and traditional dancing to entertain you as you cruise past Bangkok’s colourful riverside.

Day 4
Ayutthaya

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ayutthaya. This once prosperous capital is now partially in ruins but there is still much to admire here. You’ll visit the monastery, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, and the large chedi (dome-shaped Buddhist shrine) at Wat Yai Chai Mongkol. Continue to Wat Mahathad with its iconic and much-photographed Buddha head in the tangled roots of a tree. A boat trip takes you to Bang Pa-In Palace, the 17th-century former Royal Summer Residence, to see fine examples of Thai architecture. Lunch is included at a riverside restaurant. B, L

Day 5
Bangkok to Kanchanaburi

Depart Bangkok this morning for Mahachai, home to one of the biggest seafood piers in the Gulf of Thailand, and stroll along the river to watch fishermen unload their catch. Visit Mae Khlong Railway Market where the train passes right between the stalls, causing the vendors to lower their awnings swiftly! Your tour continues to Kanchanaburi famous for the bridge over the River Kwai. After lunch, you can explore the poignant interactive Thailand-Burma Railway Centre before visiting two well-kept war cemeteries. These contain the graves of an estimated 9000 allied soldiers who lost their lives building the bridge and the notorious ‘Death Railway’ which the Japanese had hoped to stretch to the Burmese (Myanmar) border. Stay two nights at the Felix River Kwai Resort (3Q), on the bank of the Rver Kwai. B, L

Day 6
Kanchanaburi

Spend the morning at leisure. After lunch, board the local train for a scenic 45-minute train ride alongside the river and across the wooden Wang Pho Viaduct, which clings to a cliff face and was the stretch where most fatalities occurred during construction. Afterwards, you’ll visit Prasart Muang Singh Historical Park, an ancient Khmer sanctuary built between 857 and 1157 but later abandoned. Restoration work has revealed some of the structures including the main shrine, the ‘Tower of the City of Lions’. B, L 

Day 7
Kanchanaburi to Hua Hin

Leave Kanchanaburi for the beach resort of Hua Hin. En route, pause at one of Thailand’s oldest settlements – Phetchaburi. Here you can see many palaces that attest to its royal past, and lively temples including Wat Mahathat. Lunch is included in a local restaurant. Afterwards you’ll learn about the Royal Project of Hubkrapong, a community farm where local farmers can learn sustainable methods of food production. Continue to Hua Hin, where you’ll spend two nights at the Amari Hua Hin Hotel. (4Q). B, L

Day 8
Hua Hin

There’s plenty to discover here in Thailand’s oldest beach resort on the Gulf of Thailand. Originally a fishing village, it was after the Thai royal family built summer palaces here and the railway arrived in the 1920s that visitors started flocking to the coast. Now its a fashionable modern resort, but with some unique architecture. The royal summer residence Maruekhathaiyawan Palace with its many verandahs was built in the 1920s from special golden teak wood, while the historic Hua Hin Railway Station features traditional Thai architecture that takes on a slightly Victorian feel thanks to its brightly painted façade. In the afternoon, indulge in an elegant afternoon tea in the colonial recesses of the former Railway Hotel. To see a different side of this charming town, join an optional evening rickshaw ride. B

Optional excursions

Evening rickshaw ride |Evening

Board a rickshaw for an evening tour around illuminated Hua Hin, discovering the sights at night including the bustling night market.

Day 9
Hua Hin to Prachuap Khiri Khan

Today, travel even further south stopping along the way at the sleepy fishing village of Pranburi for a delectable seafood lunch and visit to a pineapple plantation. Feel the wind in your hair during a boat ride along the lush mangrove-lined river of Pranburi before continuing to the NishaVille Resort and Spa (4Q) in Prachuap Khiri Khan, where you’ll spend the next two nights. This contemporary beachfront resort offers bright and airy suites perfectly designed for a peaceful hideaway. B, L, D

Day 10
Prachuap Khiri Khan

At leisure. Perhaps head to the beach or pool, or treat yourself to a pampering treatment at the resort’s onsite spa. Or head out on an optional excursion. B, D

Included excursions

Wat Tang Sai Temple and Dan Singkhon Border | Three and a half hours

Wat Tang Sai is a magnificent Buddhist temple which lies on Thongchai mountain. Here a giant golden Buddha faces the Gulf of Thailand and the idyllic beach below, the views are stunning. You will also be taken to the Dan Singkhon Border, Thailand’s narrowest point, and the checkpoint into Burma – or Myanmar as it is now officially known – where there is a large market selling local goods from both countries.

Day 11
Prachuap Khiri Khan to Koh Phangan

Bid farewell to the relaxed charm of Prachuap Khiri Khan and transfer by catamaran to the blissful island of Koh Phangan. A packed lunch will be served on board the catamaran. On arrival at Koh Phangan you’ll check into the Buri Rasa Resort (4Q) for a three-night stay. B, L

Day 12
Koh Phangan

While Koh Phangan’s beaches are legendary, its jungle-covered mountains are just as alluring. Today, head out on an organised half-day excursion into the mountains to learn how local villagers harvest coconuts to sell to the mainland. You’ll also visit the beautiful Kuan Yin Shrine, an ornate Chinese temple set and striking island landmark set high in the hills. B

Day 13
Koh Phangan

The day is at leisure. Stretch out on the beach or stroll through the shallows. If you’d like to venture further afield it’s about a 15-minute walk to the lovely Than Prawet Waterfall. B, D

Day 14
Koh Phangan to Bangkok to UK

This afternoon, take a short catamaran transfer to the nearby island of Koh Samui. Transfer to the airport  for your flight to Bangkok and on to the UK.  B 

Day 15
UK

On arrival at the airport take your included UK door-to-door travel service home.

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