A city tour with a difference! Get off the tourist trail and discover the city’s hidden gems – from GBP 70 for 3 days
|Highlights:||Tour the city with your city escort|
A city tour with a difference. Rather focus on sightseeing, the aim is to get you off the tourist trail and discover a city’s hidden gems thet few visitors know about. Your Imaginative Traveller leader will take you to locations that aren’t in any guidebook and you’ll visit the places the locals do – to get that really authentic experience.
Day 1 – Arrive in Bangkok
Airport transfer to the hotel
A city of contrasts, Bangkok is a both a modern urban sprawl and a series of small side streets known as sois where the shopkeepers and restaurant owners know as much about the gossip of the street as rice farmers or elephant keepers in rural villages. It’s a hugely cosmopolitan city, with Arab, Indian and Chinese areas where you can be fitted for a linen suit by an Indian tailor, hear the call to prayer from a mosque or dine out in restaurants serving every conceivable kind of cuisine. The public ferryboats that cruise up and down the Chao Phraya River offer a good way to get around the city, and smaller longtail boats travel along the city’s many klongs, or canals. For a view across the city, the Golden Mount is a temple on top of a hill which looks out across Bangkok. The spectacular Grand Palace is a must-see, as is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha nearby. Head into the markets to pick up some bargains, dine out in the countless cafes and restaurants in every neighbourhood and just lose yourself in this remarkable city.
Day 2 – Tour the city with your city escort
City and area briefing and a full day of exploring the city with your guide. (B)
Bangkok City Tour
After breakfast you’ll be met at your hotel by your guide for the day and will walk to Thewet Market, with an amazing collection of flower and plant shops and adjacent food market. From the market we reach the mighty Chao Praya River that runs through the heart of Bangkok. While we are waiting for the local Express boat we can buy bags of breadcrumbs from vendors to feed the sacred catfish around the jetty. We board the Express boat and head downstream past the Grand Palace and Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) to Saphan (bridge) Thaksin, named after one of Bangkok’s ancient kings. We walk through the streets and make our way to the Skytrain, an elevated tramway that travels quickly above Bangkok’s crowded traffic. This whisks us in air-conditioned comfort to the commercial hub of the city and we disembark at Mah Boon Krong, better known as MBK, one of Bangkok’s most famous shopping centres, spread over 8 floors and offering everything from Thai silk clothes to mobile phones. We’ll enjoy our traditional Thai lunch at one of Bangkok’s institutions, the Food Court. Here your guide will purchase a handful of paper vouchers and walk you through the myriad Thai delicacies like Papaya Salad with soft-shelled crabs, red or green curry soups, fish cakes, you name it!
Leaving MBK we walk to one of Bangkok’s famous klongs, or canals. We’ll see home of Jim Thompson, who transformed Thailand’s silk industry and built a magnificent teak mansion here in the middle of town. We board the Canal Taxi, reminiscent of a James Bond movie – these water taxis move at great speed along the canals of the city. The crew all wear helmets and as the boat approaches many of the low bridges the roof of the boat actually drops to your head level and everybody ducks as the boat speeds underneath. We disembark at the Golden Mount, a huge temple complex, where we’ll climb the 318 steps to the golden chedi to take in magnificent views across the city. Although you are in the heart of Bangkok this area is green and peaceful, filled with the scent of surrounding frangipani trees. We leave the Golden Mount and either walk or catch a tuk tuk to Banglamphu Temple, where we can walk around the grounds and perhaps meet the American monk who resides there and who gives talks about Buddhism. Finally it’s a short walk past the old fish market and the beautifully adorned Chinese Temple back to the hotel having seen the real Bangkok through the eyes of a local.
Day 3 – Bangkok
The tour ends after breakfast. (B)
Each City Tour is based on 2 nights stay in tourist class hotels. Published prices are per person on a twin share basis. If you are travelling a lone – a single rate applies.
Key: (B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner