Discover Thailand

Highlights & InclusionsItineraryPricing Information Terms & Conditions
Departure Date: December 5, 2019
Duration: 15 Days / 14 Nights
Price from: $2,795
Single Room Supplement: Waived
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This trip will be operated on behalf of Gutsy Women Travel (GWT) clients by award winning Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT). There are 5 Twin bedded rooms and 6 single accommodations rooms with no single supplement blocked on this trip. Once single rooms are sold out, women can secure a guaranteed share in a twin room accommodation. This trip is opened up to OAT clients & is co-ed. However the group size will always be capped at no more than 16 participants. There will be a dedicated OAT licensed, local travel director assigned to this GWT group block departure.


Highlights & Inclusions

  • Be sure to mention booking code G9-25972 to receive all the Gutsy benefits!
  • Airport transfers are included when you purchase our operator's International air to coincide with trip's day by day agenda.
  • All land transportation and 1 internal flight
  • Accommodations for 14 nights
  • 33 meals—daily breakfast, 9 lunches, and 10 dinners (including 2 Home-Hosted meals)
  • 22 small group activities
  • Services of a resident, English-speaking Trip Leader
  • Gratuities for local guides, drivers, and luggage porters
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit toward your next adventure
“I have a lot of things to prove myself. One is that I can live my life fearlessly.” — Oprah Winfrey, T.V. Personality and Actress


Itinerary

Travel to Thailand—once called Siam—where independence, hospitality, and the traditional philosophy that "life is pleasure" weave a spell over every visitor. Visit Bangkok with a small group, have personal encounters, and make unique cultural discoveries on an Asian adventure. Exploring Thailand from the cosmopolitan south to the remote northern hill tribes, you'll witness Buddhist monks receiving alms at a dawn ceremony ... ride an elephant through the jungle ... maybe even buy some fresh lemongrass in Bangkok's floating market. And get an insider's perspective into Thai culture as you take part in a cooking class, dine in a local home, and ride on a traditional bamboo raft. Discover what captivates so many visitors in this tropical nation.

DAY 1 - Depart U.S.

Depart the U.S. today for your international flight to Bangkok.

DAY 2 - Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand

Your hotel room in Bangkok is reserved so that you can check in immediately upon arrival, very late in the evening today. An OAT representative greets you at the airport and assists with transfer to the hotel, where you'll meet the travelers who joined the pre-trip extension to Burma & the Irrawaddy River.
OVERNIGHT: Evergreen Laurel Hotel or similar

DAY 3 - Explore Bangkok • Royal Barge Museum

Following breakfast, your Trip Leader, who will be with you throughout your trip, gives you a briefing on Bangkok. Then, we'll have the chance to see the floral market at Pakklong Talad, where we'll observe garland making and sample fresh tropical fruit before continuing our exploration of Bangkok by canal. We'll sail aboard motorboats down the river and along the klongs, or canals, through residential areas on the outskirts of town. We become part of Bangkok's lifeblood as we cruise its network of rivers and klongs—a part of Bangkok most travelers never see. We'll then enjoy a cooking demonstration and lunch.

After lunch, we'll take another boat ride to visit the Royal Barge Museum, where we'll discover a fleet of ornate teak and gold vessels that were once reserved for royal processions and grand ceremonies along the Chao Phraya River.

After the museum visit, we return to the hotel for an orientation walk of the surrounding area before enjoying a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.
MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Evergreen Laurel Hotel or similar

DAY 4 - Visit Grand Palace & the Emerald Buddha

Following breakfast at our hotel, enjoy a tour of Bangkok. Step into the Old Kingdom of Siam at the Grand Palace of Thailand, a sprawling compound of ceremonial halls, gilded spires, and ornate buildings. The ancient city's defining landmark since 1782, the palace became the centerpiece of a new Thai capital called Krung Thep (City of Angels), known outside of Thailand as Bangkok. It was King Mongkut (or Rama IV) who ruled from this palace, expanded trade with the West, and was romanticized in the musical The King and I.

The focal point of the palace is the Emerald Buddha. Carved out of jade and adorned with gold, the Emerald Buddha made a dramatic appearance in 1434, when it was found hidden in a temple stupa. Since 1785, the Emerald Buddha—the most highly revered image of the Buddha—has resided in the Royal Chapel of the Grand Palace.

Continue your explorations with a visit to Bangkok's oldest temple, Wat Pho, where you'll see the colossal statue of the reclining Buddha.

You can spend the afternoon at leisure making your own discoveries in Bangkok, with lunch and dinner on your own.
MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: Evergreen Laurel Hotel or similar

DAY 5 - Explore floating market • Overland to Kanchanaburi • Discover Hellfire Pass

This morning, we have breakfast and then depart Bangkok, stopping to see the Floating Market of Damnoen Saduak. Then we arrive in Kanchanaburi Province, a green region where the riverside scenery belies its dramatic history, portrayed in the film The Bridge on the River Kwai. It was here that Allied POWs and Asian conscripts were forced to build the infamous World War II railway. In the summer of 1942, World War II was raging across Europe and Asia. The Allies were rapidly capturing the sea routes to Burma, forcing the Japanese to develop an overland supply route from the east to support their troops. The Japanese decided that the most viable option was a railway that followed the River Kwai through the dense jungle on either side. About 200,000 Asian laborers and 61,000 Allied prisoners of war built this 260-mile stretch of rail in abominable conditions—for every half-mile of track laid, 38 POWs perished.

Following lunch at a local restaurant, we visit Kanchanaburi's War Cemetery and have a chance to walk on the original bridge on the River Kwai. We then drive to Hellfire Pass for a 45-minute walk on a woodland trail. (The trail has many stairs, but you can avoid them by turning back after walking through Hellfire Pass.) The area is now peaceful, but many lives were lost during the World War II construction of one of the most difficult sections of the River Kwai Railway. We visit the sobering Hellfire Pass Museum and continue to our lodge by motorcoach, and settle down for dinner upon arrival.
MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Hin Tok River Camp or similar

DAY 6 - A Day in the Life of a western Thai community • Enjoy a boat ride on the River Kwai FOUNDATION VISIT

Today, we have a special treat: A Day in the Life of a western Thai community. First we explore the stalls of a local market, seeing fresh produce and the popular snacks of the region.

We'll then depart to Ban Phu Toey School, where we’ll meet and interact with kindergarten students. After some classroom activities, we’ll serve the children lunch and enjoy a student performance.

From here, we’ll continue to Ban Phu Toey Village, spending the afternoon visiting with local villagers and farmers, discussing agricultural and political topics important to the region. We’ll pause for lunch at a local farm, where we’ll be joined by members of the community. After lunch, we’ll say farewell and visit the community cooperative center before boarding our longtail speedboat for a cruise on the River Kwai.

Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant.

Please note: If a school visit falls on a weekend or holiday, we will visit Boonyapak Daycare Child Center in Phrae.
MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Hin Tok River Camp or similar

DAY 7 - Rice Barge Cruise in Uthaithani • Travel overland to Phitsanulok

We set out for Phitsanulok early this morning after breakfast. We drive through rice-growing country to Uthaithani.

We then board the Khiri Nava, a large traditional wooden rice barge, and cruise past peaceful scenes of river life. Many local people live on the raft houses that line both sides of the Sakae Krang River, and you might see farmers tending their small fish farms. We enjoy lunch as we cruise on the river for about an hour and a half. We then continue to Phitsanulok. Late in the evening, we check into our hotel and have dinner at a local restaurant.
MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Wangchan River View or similar

DAY 8 - Explore 13th-Century Sukhothai • Travel to Phrae

After breakfast this morning, we head for Sukhothai, Thailand's largest collection of historic ruins. This is the place where the Thai nation was born, the kingdom's magical and spiritual center. With its cache of remarkably preserved columns, shrines, temples, and palaces, it epitomizes old Siam. We ride a tram through the well-kept grounds of this historical park to see the monuments, and learn about its most famous king, Ramkamhaeng. Not only did this legendary ruler leave a great legacy of art and architecture, he left stones inscribed with a chronicle of his achievement. King Ramkamhaeng is credited with inventing Thai script, as well as with amazing skill at hand-to-hand combat on elephantback, the spread of Theravada Buddhism, and developing relations with China. But even his colorful legend pales in comparison to the evocative palette of Sukhothai, which translates to “Dawn of Happiness.” Then we enjoy lunch together at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, we travel approximately five hours to Phrae, where we will end the day with dinner at a local restaurant.
MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Maeyom Palace Hotel or similar

DAY 9 - Indigo workshop visit • Overland to Chiang Rai

After breakfast, we'll spend the morning at an indigo workshop learning how cloth is dyed and intricate patterns and designs are locally made. From here, we travel further north to Chiang Rai, stopping en route for lunch. We arrive this afternoon and take an orientation walk before having dinner at our hotel.
MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Golden Pine Resort & Spa or similar

DAY 10 - Chiang Rai • Visit hill tribe

Today we visit the House of Opium Museum and hear stories about the opium warlords who once held sway in this region, formerly known as the Golden Triangle. At one time, the hill tribes in this region relied on the cultivation of opium for survival—including several bands of Chinese nationalist followers of Chiang Kai Shek, who have been living here (somewhat in hiding and in dwindling numbers) since the Revolution. But times have changed. The government has established many programs to introduce more viable crops, and most of the people are law-abiding farmers. Today, tourism has become a preferable alternative to drug smuggling, and the hill tribes are more concerned about preserving their old traditions.

For lunch, we'll drive by open songtaew taxi trucks to a nearby restaurant. After some free time back at the hotel, we'll depart for our visit to the local hill tribes. More than 20 distinct, semi-nomadic tribes inhabit northern Thailand and the borderlands of Burma and Laos. Some have obscure origins; most have their own language; and all have unique customs. We visit the hill tribe known as “Long Neck” for the golden rings the women wear to push down their collar bones. Take note of their compact huts, their traditional clothing, and a way of life that has changed little in centuries. We also visit the Akha, who wear elaborate headdresses accented with vivid colors.

We dine with the "Long Neck" tribe this evening and enjoy a traditional dance.
MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Golden Pine Resort & Spa or similar

DAY 11 - Travel overland to Chiang Mai • Visit the Night Bazaar

Relax and enjoy the passing landscapes as we travel most of the morning to Chiang Mai—the principal city of the north, a major cultural center, and a favorite with visitors. The city's medieval walls encircle more than 30 active Buddhist temples, and the metropolitan region boasts another 80 religious sites.

Lunch will be in Chiang Mai at a local restaurant. This afternoon, join your Trip Leader on a visit to a gem gallery. Chiang Mai is well known for its sapphires, and it's the world's largest cutter of colored stones.

Dinner tonight is on our own. Later, explore the well-known Night Bazaar on foot to experience a cavalcade of sights and sounds. You'll find costumed dolls, carved teakwood artwork, and hill tribe crafts, as well as modern items from DVDs to lamps. Chiang Mai is the nation's premier crafts center, and you'll have an opportunity to learn how local craftsmen created their products throughout your stay here.
MEALS: B L
OVERNIGHT: The Park Hotel Chiang Mai or similar

DAY 12 - Embark on an elephant trek

This morning we visit the Mae Taman Elephant Camp for show of trained elephants, and then we embark on a forest trek by elephantback. We ride for about an hour on the backs of these gentle giants, enjoying a grand view of the forest. We return to camp by elephant and then board small bamboo rafts and float downstream. We'll enjoy lunch at the camp.

This evening we'll dine at a local restaurant.
MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: The Park Hotel Chiang Mai or similar

DAY 13 - Explore Chiang Mai • Home-Hosted Dinner

Before breakfast this morning, you have the option of visiting a local temple to witness traditional Buddhist alms-giving. After breakfast, we'll visit the temple of Wat Chedi Luang and have a discussion with its Buddhist monks. Then we'll see the most magnificent of the city's temples, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, which we reach by riding up its mountain slope and negotiating hairpin turns until we come to a flight of 306 stairs, flanked by snarling naga serpents whose tails coil up to the temple. From here, we'll enjoy panoramic views of Chiang Mai below. You'll have the option to walk up the stairs or take a funicular.

You'll have the afternoon to explore Chiang Mai on your own, perhaps sampling the renowned northern dish, khao soi (yellow noodles and meat in a spicy, coconut-curry broth) for lunch. In the evening, we enjoy making personal connections with the Thai people as we have a special dinner in the home of local residents.
MEALS: B D
OVERNIGHT: The Park Hotel Chiang Mai or similar

DAY 14 - Fly to Bangkok • Optional Thai Cultural Heritage tour OPTIONAL TOUR

This morning, we fly to Bangkok. Lunch will be on your own today. After checking in to our hotel in Bangkok, spend an afternoon at leisure making your own discoveries in the city. Or, this evening, you can join an optional excursion to see the beautifully painted murals at the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, watch an epic Thai musical production, and have dinner at a local restaurant.
MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: Tawana Hotel or similar

DAY 15 - Explore Bangkok • Farewell Dinner cruise

Today, we explore the city of Bangkok. We begin with a walk through a traditional market in Chinatown, filled with colorful shops selling fruit, snacks, incense, and items used in local rituals. Then we pay a visit to Wat Trimitr and its Golden Buddha, the largest Buddha made of pure gold in the world.

After lunch on your own, we arrive at the Jim Thompson House, former home of a mysterious American turned silk merchant, for a tour of the traditional teak houses whose pieces were moved here from various parts of the country. Jim Thompson is credited with revitalizing Thailand's silk industry and expanding its international markets. We'll return to our hotel by public transportation in late afternoon.

Tonight, we gather for a Farewell Dinner cruise on a river rice barge, and return to our hotel for the evening.
MEALS: B D
OVERNIGHT: Tawana Hotel or similar

DAY 16 - Return to U.S. or begin post-trip extension

Very early this morning, we accompany you to the airport. If you’re taking our post-trip extension in Phnom Penh & Angkor Wat, Cambodia, you’ll fly to Phnom Penh; otherwise, you’ll fly home. You cross the International Date Line, arriving in the U.S. on the same day, in time to make connecting flights home.
MEALS: B

Accommodations

Pricing Information

View Specials & Promotions
Arrival DateSingleSharedDouble
Dec 5, 2019 $2,795 $2,795 $2,795
Your Savings* Past GWT Traveler?
For further information call (866) IM GUTSY (464 8879) or
email reservations@gutsywomentravel.com.
24/7 booking capability is available via this via the "Request to Book" button listed above.

Be sure to mention booking code G9-25972 to receive all the Gutsy benefits!

*Discount and savings are subject to change, please call reservations (866.464.8879 for the actual price. The discount is not valid on all itineraries and will be verified at time of booking. The discount is valid for guests who’ve traveled with Gutsy Women Travel within the last five years. Other conditions apply. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. All prices are subject to change.

In order to qualify for the GWT Past Traveler Discount of 5% on the land portion of the trip, you must advise the reservation specialist at time of depositing on your 2019 trip which GWT trip you traveled on (date/name of departure and year) over the past 5 years.

We limit our trips to small groups so we suggest you deposit early to guarantee your spot. View information regarding Air Travel & Transfers here.

Please note this departure is not exclusive to women but will be comprised of Gutsy Women Travel participants co-sharing the overall trip capacity with members of OAT resulting in a larger group size compared to the traditional Gutsy Women Travel trips designed exclusively for women.

This trip will be operated on behalf of Gutsy Women Travel (GWT) clients by award winning Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT). There are 5 Twin bedded rooms and 6 single accommodations rooms with no single supplement blocked on this trip. Once single rooms are sold out, women can secure a guaranteed share in a twin room accommodation. This trip is designed for GWT clients however if room block is not sold by 120 days prior to departure date, the trip can be opened up to OAT clients and will be co-ed. However the group size will always be capped at no more than 16 participants. There will be a dedicated OAT licensed, local travel director assigned to this GWT group block departure.

Single Room - one person, traveling solo in single accommodation
Double Room - two people, traveling together in same accommodation
Shared Room - one person, traveling solo who would like to share with another passenger and pay the per person "Double" price

Air travel arrangements for Gutsy Women's trip participants are made independently as most women are traveling from various gateway cities within or outside North America. Gutsy Women Travel includes a group transfer (if travelers purchase airfare from our operator) or individuals can book private transportation if desired.

For further information and reservations call (866) IM GUTSY (464 8879) or
email reservations@gutsywomentravel.com.
For online 24/7 booking capability is available via this website.

Please note: Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.