Floating Market, Ancient Thai-Life, Bangkok Temples, Boat Tour (4 Days, 3 Nights)
As soon as you arrive at the airport in Bangkok, one of our friendly tour guides will pick you up and you’ll comfortably be driven to your hotel. Take some time to relax, enjoy good Thai food, visit the spa where you can receive a soothing and rejuvenating wellness treatment or go for a swim in the pool.
The next day starts out early – but if you’re jetlagged, that`s probably a good thing. In the morning your tour guide will be ready for you to transfer you to the only original floating market of Thailand. It is best to go there in the early morning hours, because that’s when you can still experience the authentic atmosphere of this market.
Why is it called “floating market”? Because it’s completely on the water – both the customers who come to buy food, vegetables and other items and the vendors sit in small traditional wooden paddle boats. Many years ago this was part of the common way of life in Bangkok – there where very few roads, but many small canals. European visitors used to call it “the Venice of the East” back then. Nowadays, all this has changed and most of the canals in Bangkok have been turned into roads and the Damnoen Saduak floating market is the only one that has survived.
You’ll see friendly vendors selling all kinds of traditional Thai desserts, tea, coffee, soups and other dishes from their boats. If something looks yummy to you, you simply wink one of the vendors over and they will paddle towards you and hand you one of their delicious treats. It’s a fun experience, and a breakfast that you will forever remember.
After that, it’s time to go back on land. Now, you’ll be transported to the nearby Rose Garden, where you can experience the traditional ways of Thai life. This is a very special place, built by a well-off family that wanted to create something to help preserve the traditional Thai culture in the midst of modernization. It is like a small village where different parts of Thai life are demonstrated. Rice farmers will show you how they harvest and process rice by hand and with the help of very basic tools built from natural materials. If you are up to it, you can try your hand at it yourself.
Thailand is famous for its intricate food carving, and you can witness that here too. The food carving artists are happy to show you different carving techniques and again – if you want to, you can give it a try yourself.
There is also a pottery section where you an create your own ceramic ware. Even if you never have worked with clay, with the friendly guidance of the experienced pottery woman here, you will be able to create your own, traditional Thai style vase.
Another thing that Thailand is popular for is of course Thai silk – and you’ll experience the process of how it’s made here too. You can see the cocoons that are used to create the silk, how it’s woven, how the intricate patterns are created. If you have an interest in materials and fine craftsmanship, then this will be a very fascinating experience for you.
After that, it’s time for lunch at the fine Rose Garden restaurant that offers traditional, upscale Thai food. It will give you a good impression of what fine Thai food is like. All the ingredients come from the organic farms of the Rose Garden owners and will delight your taste buds.
It’s then time to head back to modern Bangkok, with all its bustling activity. Bangkok has a lot more to offer than most people realize, and it has been voted as “The World’s Best City 2010” by the renowned Travel + Leisure magazine. First, you’ll be taken to a traditional Thai massage spa where you can experience this ancient form of bodywork first hand. Many people call it “the lazy person’s yoga”, because there are different positions that are similar to Indian yoga, but instead of having to do the exercises yourself, your massage therapist will help you to get in position. It is a very pleasant and relaxing experience. Acupressure points are being stimulated to rebalance your energy flow and if you have knots in your muscles, the skilled hands of your therapists will free them up for you.
Afterwards, it’s time to experience some of Bangkok’s best shopping. Whether you want original high-class luxury brand names, cheap imitations or the creative fashion of independent designers, souvenirs, electronics or anything else – you find it around Siam Square.
It’s been a long day, and it’s time to get some rest.
After breakfast, your tour guide will be ready for you to bring you to the old part of town, where many of its oldest and most magnificent temples can be found, as well as the Grand Palace. At first, we visit the Temple of the Emerald Buddha together and you’ll learn more about the fascinating story of this Buddha statue that is carved from one big piece of jade stone. The amazingly detailed murals on the walls of the temple tell the story of the ancient epic of Thailand, the Ramakien, and are fascinating to explore.
After that, we visit the Wat Po temple, where the 46 meter long and 15 meter high reclining Buddha can be found. It is a very impressive experience, and Buddhist monks from all over the world come to this place to worship here.
Afterwards, it’s time for lunch by the river. Enjoy seafood, delicious curries, friend noodles or another meal of your choice.
We then get on a small Thai-style longtail boat and do a khlong (canal) tour along the Chao Phraya river. Here you can explore Bangkok by water, and the boat will take us inside a khlong where you can still see people building in traditional wooden Thai houses by the river, the way they used to many decades ago – but a way of life that is quickly fading, as people move into modern high-rise condominium buildings. We’ll stop at the “Lucky Fish Temple” – here you can feed the fish some bread, and Thai people belief that it will bring you good luck for your life. It’s a fun experience, even if you are not Buddhist, and people always have a great time.
Afterwards, we’ll bring you back to the hotel where you have time to relax and explore the city on your own, or be free to join us to get to know a local perspective of Bangkok. We’ll arrange for your airport transfer this or the next day. If your flight is on the next day, remember that check-out time is at noon.
We’ll arrange for your airport transfer.