Duration : 6 days
Starting from : Bangkok
Ending at : Chatuchak Market
Duration : Aventure, Familial
First spend several days snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and rock climbing around southern Thailand's Phan Nga Bay, then explore the temples and ruins of historic Ayutthaya, before finishing up in Bangkok with worldclass shopping and sightseeing.
Day 1 : Krabi
Ko Lanta Islands
Ko Lanta consists of two adjacent islands: Ko Lanta Yai and Ko Lanta Noi.
Koh Lanta Yai, This Island is home to ""Chao Le"" or sea gypsies who continue to maintain their traditional lifestyle and beliefs, such as setting a boat, a drift to drive out evil and bring good luck, which is practiced during the full moon in June and November.
In addition, the island provides tourist facilities while Ko Lanta Noi is the location of the district office. Most of the beaches on Ko Lanta Yai such as Kho Kwang, Khlong Dao, Phra Ae, Khlong Khong, Khlong Nin and Ba Kan Tiang lies in the west, can be reached by road and offer a wide range of accommodations.
Day 2 : Krabi
Ko Phi Phi
Regarded by travelers from all walks of life as being among the most beautiful tropical islands of the world, Phi Phi Islands have become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand. In addition, the islands are famous as the location where the movie ""The Beach"" featuring Leonardo Di Caprio was shot. The islands, together with the nearby Noppharat Thara Beach, a total area of 390 square kilometers, were recently established as a national park.
Phi Phi Islands are located just 40 kilometers away from both Krabi and Phuket. Thus, despite the fact that both Noppharat Thara Beach and Phi Phi administratively are a part of Krabi Province, most tourists think that Ko Phi Phi is part of Phuket Province.
The islands and the coastal hills are composed mainly of limestone and are an extension of the limestone mountain range in Phang-Nga Province. The main characteristics of these mountains and islands are their steep cliffs, large caves and dwarf trees growing out of the rock crevices, like those in Phang-Nga Bay.
Diving and snorkeling
Like Phang-nga, Krabi offers a great opportunity for diving due to its numerous natural marine resources including over a hundred offshore islands. Dive shops around Rai Le and Ao Nang provide dive trips as well as rent diving and snorkeling gear such as mask/snorkel/fin at the rate of 150 baht/ set/ day (with a deposit of 500 baht).
The advantage of diving from Ao Nang is the nearby sites in the Poda Island group, where water visibility is better than that of the mainland, but not as good as Phi Phi. There are 15 dive sites off of Ao Nang, all reachable with a 20 to 60-minute boat ride. For experienced divers there is a 50-meter long cave at 5-12 meters depth at Yawabon Island behind Poda.
The water visibility is at its best from November to April. Unlike Ko Phi Phi, some Ao Nang dive shops and operators close during low season, May to October, while some (Ao Nang Divers for instance) remain open all year long. Two local dives in the Poda/Yawasam group cost approximately 1,900 baht. Four-day PADI open water courses have risen to 10,000 baht.
Day 3 : Krabi
Apart from marine sports, Krabi is also an ideal place for rock climbing. Lines of sheer limestone cliffs along Tham Phranang and Rai Le beaches have challenged thousands of climbers from all over the world every year. The levels of difficulty of the various routes vary, so even the most inexperienced climbers can experiment. Equipment, instruction and guides are available at most lodgings.
This hot spring originates from a warm stream in the lowland forest of Khao Nor Juji which is supposedly Thailand's last piece of virgin and fertile forest. The intensity of the pools turquoise colored water varies according to the light and time of the day so visitors determined to see the real emerald color should plan to visit at dawn or early in the morning. The pool, which can be visited all year round, charges and entrance fee of 20 baht. To get there, take Highway No. 4 to Khlong Thom District, then turn left to Route No. 4038 to Lam Hap Sub-district. The Emerald pool is located along the way, with clear signs posted.
Day 4 : Krabi
Noppharat Thara Beach
Noppharat Thara Beach , located 6 kilometers from Ao Nang, is a famous 3-kilometer long white sandy beach lined with dense casuarinas and coconut groves. The beach, paved with tiny seashells, was formerly called ""Hat Khlong Haeng"", which means dried canal beach by locals, because the canal dries up during low tide and the area turns into a long beach.
Hat Noppharat Thara is situated 18 kilometers north-west of Krabi. It is a part of Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park and is the location of the Park headquarters. This Park covers a large area both onshore and offshore. Reservations for accommodations on the beach should be made in advance at the Forestry Department in Bangkok.
For more information, you con contact at Tel: (02) 5797223, 5795734, or at Hat Noppharat Thara National Park, P.O. Box 23, Amphoe Mueang, Krabi 81000, Tel: (075) 6347436
Ferry services to Ko Phi Phi are provided from this beach all year round. This beach can be reached by songthaew from the city at the rate of THB20. To travel further to Ao Nang, it will cost an additional THB10.
Canoeing and kayaking
Canoeing and kayaking are two ways to enjoy the spectacular seascape, limestone cliffs and caves in Krabi's waters. These sports allow visitors to explore hidden offshore areas at a more leisurely pace.
Canoeing and kayaking operators are available at Ao Nang.
Day 5 : Krabi - Ayutthaya
Bang Pa-in Summer Palace
Bang Pa-in Summer Palace is situated a few miles down the Chao Phraya River from Ayutthaya. The site was first used by the royal court as a summer retreat in the 17th century. However, the Palace was destroyed with the fall of Kingdom of Ayutthaya and was restored by King Rama IV in the mid-19th century.
Most of the buildings that exist today date from the reign of King Rama V, who regularly spent his summers there. The structures represent a variety of architectural styles, set in a large park around ponds and waterways. The only royal residence open to the public is the Chiness-style Wehat Chamroon Palace, constructed entirely of materials imported from China. In addition, there is an Italian-style palace, a circular pavilion with steps leading down to a pool, the graceful Thai-style Aisawan Tippaya Asna Pavilion in the middle of a lake, and, across one of the waterways, a Buddhist chapel in the neo-Gothic style with stained-glass windows. Scattered around the extensive gardens are European statues as well as monuments ordered to be built by King Rama V in memory of members of his family, one of them a much-loved Queen who drowned in a boating accident.
It is opened from 8:30a.m. - 5 p.m. everyday while the ticket office opens during 8:30a.m. -3:30 p.m. For more information, you can contact at Tel: +66 2 224 9477 or visit the website at http://www.palaces.thai.net/
The address is Bangkok, CM 13160 Thailand
Ayutthaya Historical Park
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ayutthaya's historic temples are scattered throughout this once magnificent city and along the encircling rivers. Several of the more central ruins Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Mongkhon Bophit, Wat Na Phra Meru, Wat Thammikarat, Wat Ratburana and Wat Phra Mahathat can be visited on foot.
It is possible to add more temples and ruins to travel itineraries by touring the city on a rented bicycle. An ideal combination of modes of transportation for visitors interested in seeing everything would be to hire a bicycle for the central temples and charter a long-tail boat to take a tour of the outlying ruins along the river.
Ayutthaya Historical Park is situated opposite the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum. The main attraction in the historical park is Viharn Phramongkol Bophit which houses one of the largest bronze Buddha images in Thailand.
Biking in Ayutthaya to visit following temples
The temple is located on the bank of the Maenam Chao Phraya (River), to the west of the city island. It is built in 1630 by King Prasat Thong to honor his mother. Wat Chai Wattanaram was conceived as a replica of the Angkor temple.
A Royal monastery, the temples unique feature is a huge prang which is surrounded by smaller prangs. This symbolizes Mount Meru, the abode of the heavenly gods. The temple is also accessible by a long-tailed boat trip from Chankasem Palace Pier. This 1-hour round trip to the temple costs about THB300 - 400. Entry fee to the temple is only THB20.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Wat Pra Si Sanphet was built by King U-Thong upon the founding of the city in 1491 inside the compound of the Grand Palace. Its foundations are still visible-and served as the royal chapel, as Wat Phra Kaeo does in Bangkok. It used to be the royal palace as a residential palace. It became a monastery in the reign of King Ramathibodi I.
When King Borom Trai Lokanat commanded the construction of new living quarters, this residential palace was transformed into a temple, and the establishment of Wat Phra Si Sanphet. In Ayutthaya's heyday, this was the largest temple in the city.
The three main chedis which have been restored contain the ashes of three Ayutthaya kings. The temple is situated at the northern end of Si Sanphet Road. The royal chapel does not have any monks and novice inhabitants.
Thai food has become in recent years one of the world's favorite cuisines. Talking about ""Thai food"", means talking of four very distinct regions in the country, each with their own culinary traditions. It is talking about the dishes created in the royal courts and palaces of Old Siam, that have been passed down through many generations of chefs, and finally into public domain.
Good food also comes up from the street level, and many of Thailand's most popular dishes can be found at the smallest food stalls and restaurants. And there is the influence of China, India, Malaysia and other neighboring countries.
So all these different factors come together under the label ""Thai food"",and you will find them in varying degrees at any Thai restaurant you care to visit, anywhere in the world.
Day 6 : Ayutthaya - Bangkok
Bangkok Sightseeing City Tram
You can see the sights of inner Bangkok from an electric city tram. En-route a professional guide describing the attractions as passengers relax and view Rattanakosin Island's myriad sights and sounds such as the Grand Palace, Paklong Talad Flower Market, the Ta Chang Pier, the National Museum and the National Gallery. The can provide multi-lingual commentary. You can catch the tram near front gates of the Grand Palace in Sanam Luang, which leaves every thirty minutes.
Chatuchak Market is the Worlds Biggest Weekend Market selling practically everything under the sun, from the smallest nails, to foods, trendy fashions, antiques intricate wooden carvings, masks from far-off lands, adorable fluffy dogs, colorful fish of every hue and singing birds.
The market is as huge including 9,000 individual booths filled with every type of wares catching the trends. You can get anything from incense to insects and food stalls in case you get hungry.
It opens only on evening of weekends (Saturdays and Sundays).