A holiday to Thailand is a real treat and it is not hard to see why. As well as lush tropical jungle and white sandy beaches, the country is full of ancient cities, delicious food, fine hotels, fantastic hosts and numerous colourful annual festivals to attract the visitor, including the Songkran Water Festival, the Elephant Roundup in Surin and the Loi Krathong Candle Light Festival. if you desire to get away from the crowds trekking and river cruising in the hills offer opportunities to gt off the beaten track and into a land that is very much 'Old Asia'
As Bangkok serves as a hub for Southeast Asia, Thailand is well placed to combine with other countries in the region and after a week’s tour of Laos or Cambodia why not unwind on some of the region’s most beautiful beaches.
A delightful combination is to travel onto Peninsula Malaysia that has something for everybody. Whilst the restless & state of the art Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, has fashionable restaurants and spectacular 21st century architecture such as the iconic Petronas Towers, just a few hours away by car or train is the impenetrably huge Taman Negara National Park, or the smaller Belum Temengor Rainforest Reserve both full of wildlife. Beyond are the sandy beaches and colourful coral of the East Coast retreats of Redang and the Perhentian Islands. To the west visit old colonial rule Penang, the Cameron Highlands and Malacca.
‘At-a-Glance’ Illustrative Itinerary
DAY 1: Arrive in Bangkok. Today is at leisure in the Thai capital. You could choose to relax at your hotel, set off to explore some of the major sights of Bangkok independently, or you simply explore the bustling streets and sample some of the delicious food on offer.
DAY 2: Half day Jungle Bike tour by Spice Roads: This morning you will take an adventure into the wilderness of Bangkok on a visit to the inner city of oasis of Bang Kra Jao. Journey back in time as your cross the river to a paradise of lush tropical vegetation and a slower, more traditional pace of life. Ride through local communities, pass villages and listen to the sounds of children playing.
The morning cycling can be adapted to suit a younger child. Child seats and/or trail gator bikes can be provided.
Afternoon at leisure
DAY 3: Guided tour of the Flower Market, the Klongs and the Grand Palace: This morning meet your guide and set out to visit the colourful flower markets. Afterwards board a long-tailed boat to Thonburi,
Afternoon tour of Wat Trimitr which boasts an invaluable Golden Buddha weighing some 5.5 tons of solid gold. Then continue to Chinatown for a first-hand look at old Bangkok, visit at one of the oldest teashops in the city for a cup of Chinese tea with the locals before continue to explore the bustling Talad Kao Market, where a variety of food, fresh and dry fruits, and Chinese herbs are on offer. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.
DAY 4: Early morning transfer to the island of either Phuket, Koh Yao by speedboat or Koh Samui to a beach hotel of choice for some rest and relaxation. Rest of day at leisure
DAY 5: Day at leisure: These days are free at leisure for you to relax and enjoy the facilities at your beachfront hotel. Snorkelling and diving excursions can be arranged directly through the hotel.
DAY 6: Day at leisure: These days are free at leisure for you to relax and enjoy the facilities at your beachfront hotel. Snorkelling and diving excursions can be arranged directly through the hotel.
DAY 7: An early morning transfer back to Bangkok where you will be meet and escorted through to your international flight to Malaysia.
You will be met on arrival in Penang by a private driver. You will then immediately set off east from Penang towards the Belum Rainforest, a drive of between 2-3 hours, taking you up into the rainforests of central Malaysia. Arrive at the Rainforest Resort in the late afternoon and have the rest of the day to relax.
DAY 8: After breakfast you will set out to explore the rainforest reserve in the company of your own private guide. In the morning you travel by boat to visit an indigenous Orang Asli village, later in the afternoon you will be taken to visit the natural salk lik at Jenut Papan, where many creatures of the forest come to take in its natural nutrients. Return to the Eco Resort in the afternoon, and you are then at leisure to enjoy the facilities of the resort.
DAY 9: Morning Bamboo rafting with a private guide out onto the lake. You will paddle around Banding Island on a bamboo raft, a fun and active morning!
The afternoon will be at leisure before taking a night walk around Banding Island. Using the forest trails you will immerse yourself in the night sounds of the rainforest; watch the blinking fireflies float before you or search for luminescent fungi.
DAY 10: After breakfast, check out of your rainforest resort and transfer by road to Penang. This is a journey of approximately 3 hours.
Afternoon pedicab tour of Georgetown: In the afternoon, after some time to freshen up from the drive, join your guide on an orientation tour of Georgetown. Highlights include a walk around one of the oldest Malay markets in Georgetown and a pedicab ride through Little India and historic Georgetown.
DAY 11: A day at leisure to relax at your hotel, or to explore Penang further. Venture out to some of the beaches, fishing villages and forest-covered hills that cover the island. Penang has long been considered as one of Asia's food capitals, so don't miss the opportunity to sample what's on offer!
DAY 12: Early morning transfer to Penang Airport for the start of your journey back home.
Photos courtesy of Bamboo Travel