Thailand

November 5-November 18

November 5:  arrive in Bangkok, transfer to our  5-star hotel, created with a modern Thai sensibility by an international award-winning team of architects and designers.   Check-in time: 2:00pm.   Accommodation:  Superior Room.

Nov. 6:  visit the spectacular Grand Palace. Lunch at Err Urban Rustic Thai.  Focusing on in-house preserved food made from top-quality Thai ingredients, all dishes at Err are curated by the owners Bo and Dylan of Michelin-starred Bo.lan restaurant.  After lunch, visit Wat Arun, the 19th-century porcelain-encrusted Temple of Dawn. Meet in the early evening at Zuk Bar, for happy hour cocktail and Thai tapas. 

Nov. 7:  take an excursion to the ruins of the Siamese kingdom of Ayutthaya (1351-1767 A.D.), a UNESCO World Heritage Site.   Relax with lunch-and-a-view at the modern Sala restaurant.  Return to Bangkok for dinner at Celadon, named by Travel+Leisure magazine as “The Best Restaurant in Bangkok.”  

Nov. 8:  a private tour of the Jim Thompson House Museum,  the legendary mid-century silk merchant’s fabulous teak home, garden, and extraordinary collection of Asian art and antiques.   Lunch at Jim Thompson House’s excellent restaurant.  After lunch, visit The Bangkok Art and Cultural Center.   Dinner at a Michelin-starred Thai restaurant. 

Nov. 9:  fly to Mae Hong Son, small capital city of Thailand’s most beautiful, mountainous province.   Transfer to Fern Resort, a magical, rustic eco-resort, set in a lush garden in the tropical forest outside of town. Dinner at the resort’s casual and excellent al fresco restaurant.   Accommodation:  Private bungalow overlooking rice fields.

Nov. 10:  visit Buddhist temple Wat Chong Klang, where Jensen will discuss the temple’s superb collection of 19-century Burmese reverse paintings on glass, and her project at the temple.  Visit more Shan-style historic temples, then lunch on Italian food (you’ll want it by then!)   In the afternoon,  visit mountaintop temple Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu, and soak up the spectacular view of Mae Hong Son valley and the mountains bordering Myanmar.  Meet for drinks at Fern Resort’s Rice Terrace Sunset Bar, then transfer to Fern Restaurant downtown for northwestern Thai specialties.  

Nov. 11:  have a free day to relax and bask in your beautiful surroundings by hiking, swimming, reading…your choice!  Enjoy drinks and snacks in the early evening before heading to downtown Mae Hong Son.   Then watch your troubles float away as you celebrate Loy Krathong festival by launching candlelit krathongs on Jong Kham Lake, and sailing illuminated sky lanterns into the heavens.   

Nov. 12:  a tea village excursion to the Burmese border.  Ban Rak Thai (also called Mae Aw) was settled by former Chinese Nationalist Kuomintang guerrilla fighters after the Communist takeover of China, and is frequently named “the most beautiful village in Thailand.” Sample locally grown exotic teas, then dine on Chinese-influenced lunch dishes made with tea leaves, while absorbing the lovely village view across the lake.  Return to Mae Hong Son for a special dinner at Fern Resort.    

Nov. 13:  fly back to Chiang Mai, then transfer to our 5-star hotel, built around a 19th-century historic teak building which has been carefully restored to reflect its 19th-century origins, now including luxury rooms set by a beautiful pool.  Lunch at the hotel.  Free afternoon to  relax and swim, visit the spa, or simply enjoy.   Dinner at Woo Art Cafe.    Accommodation: suite room.

Nov. 14:   visit Chiang Mai’s famous Old City temples, dating back to the 13th-century, containing exquisite woodcarving and murals.   Lunch at the renown Lam Duan for the best khao soi in northern Thailand.  Later, we’ll have a sunset excursion to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Thailand’s most sacred, spectacular temple, circa 1383 A.D., and home to a holy relic of the Buddha. The wat contains a flight of 309 steps to reach its top level (no worries—there’s also a tram!), which enjoys a panoramic view of the city.   Dinner at Krua Phech Doi Ngam, a favorite northern Thai restaurant of Michelin-starred chef Andy Ricker (of Pok Pok Thai restaurants.)   

Nov 15: free day to enjoy shopping and exploring on your own.  Or just relax at the hotel with a swim or a spa treatment!  Happy hour cocktails.   Dinner open.

Nov. 16:  visit MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, then break for lunch at the excellent museum cafe. Afterwards we’ll enjoy a peaceful retreat to the meditative 700-year old Wat Umong complex, enjoying it’s tunnels and the calm of nature.  Dinner at David’s Kitchen, considered the best fine dining in northern Thailand (European/Asian fusion.) 

Nov.  17:  return to Bangkok to 5-star Novotel Suvarnabhumi airport hotel.   Evening drinks, bar snacks, and reflections.

Nov. 18:  depart Bangkok

 

What’s included:

  • 13 nights accommodations, beginning arrival day on November 5th.  
  • Daily breakfast.   8 lunches, 9 dinners, Thai tapas and bar snacks (as mentioned on itinerary.)  Gratuities included.
  • Soft drinks at tour-sponsored lunches.
  • Glass of wine, beer, or non-alcoholic drink at all tour-sponsored dinners.
  • Happy hour cocktails and bar drinks as mentioned on the itinerary.
  • Air-conditioned transportation, drivers, experienced guides, and lunches on tour excursions.
  • All airport transfers in Thailand.
  • Air travel within Thailand.  
  • Entrance and admission fees to museums and sites. 

What’s not included:

  • Airfare to/from the U.S.
  • Tips to porters, hotel staff, guides, and drivers.  
  • Cocktails, wine, and spirits, unless mentioned in tour itinerary.
  • Accommodation and activities for early arrival or late departure (although we can happily arrange this for an additional charge.)
  • Trip cancellation/travel insurance.  
  • Medical insurance or medical care. 
  • Room service, minibar, spa, and laundry charges.  
  • Hotel restaurant/bar charges not included in the itinerary.
  • Tour or transportation expenses for elective Free Day activities.  

 

Tour Cost:   

$6250 per person, double occupancy.  

$7990 per person, single occupancy.

Traveler minimum:   6      Traveler maximum:  8

Booking & Cancellation policies: 

$1000 deposit per person, payable by check only,  is required to confirm your space.  Your deposit is fully refundable until the Traveler Minimum of six people is met.   After Traveler Minimum is met, your deposit is no longer refundable.    

Once the Traveler Minimum of six people is met, the trip is confirmed!   You’ll receive an email notifying you of Trip Confirmation, then full balance is due by May 15th, payable by check or credit card.  Credit card processing fee will apply.   (Payment plans are available:  please inquire.)

We recommend you wait until after the trip is confirmed to book your flight.    

 After the trip is confirmed, the cancellation policy goes into effect.  For this reason, we strongly recommend you buy trip cancellation insurance immediately after trip confirmation.   (And if you need to cancel, please notify us in writing.) 

We reserve the right to cancel a trip for any reason. In this case, all confirmed travelers will receive 100% refund of all payments to ChillAway Travel.    

CANCELLATION POLICY
Before Trip Confirmation Deposit is fully refundable
After Trip Confirmation Deposit is non-refundable
After May 15th and before August 1st 50% refund of payments received are refundable
After August 1st no refund

 Itinerary changes: 

If unforeseen circumstances require a change to the trip itinerary, ChillAway Travel will make every effort to select alternative hotels of the same standard, and will attempt to reduce revisions to a minimum.    The culinary scene is Thailand is vibrant, and always changing,  and we might make a restaurant substitution if we feel it would enhance our group’s experience.    

About dining and diet….we’ll do our best to accommodate medically necessary dietary restrictions, so please inform us about any food allergies or dietary issues before registering.  But due to the extensive use of fish sauce and chicken stock in Thai cooking, some diets would be difficult to accommodate (such as vegan, or complete vegetarian.)  

mural in Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai