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Gay Northern Thailand Short Break

Travel Style: In Style Short Break

DESCRIPTION

Experience first-hand why Bangkok & Chiang Mai are such popular destinations for LGBT travellers. Explore palaces and museums by day and dance the night away in Bangkok, then jet away to Chiang Mai for a truly cultural experience including ancient temples, fantastic cuisine, and epic adventures!

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HIGHLIGHTS

Rest easy in luxurious gay-welcoming hotels • Marvel in the glory of the Grand Palace • Take a ride in a traditional long-tail boat through the narrow canals of Bangkok • Dine on board a luxury rice barge dinner cruise • Dance the night away in one of the many Silom gay bars • Learn to care for, and ride an elephant • Witness monks chanting at Doi Suthep • Stroll through the famous Night Bazaar • Temple hop with a private guide by tuk-tuk • Learn to cook traditional Thai food •

ITINERARY:

Welcome to Bangkok, the City of Angels! You'll be welcomed at the airport and transferred to the fabulous Sofitel So Hotel in the heart of Silom. After you check in, you'll be transferred to the Chao Phraya River for a boutique river cruise where you'll have your first taste of the fantastic food of this region. The rest of your evening is free to relax in luxury at your hotel, or perhaps you'd like to take a walk to some of the local gay bars.

This morning you'll have a guided visit of Grand Palace, the home of the Thai Royal family at the Royal Palace complex followed by Wat Phra Kaew, home to the Emerald Buddha, one of Thailand's most sacred images. You'll also visit Wat Po, the largest temple in Bangkok, housing a 46m long, 15m high gold-plated reclining Buddha. You'll enjoy a local lunch before boarding a long-tail boat for a tour of the local canals where you'll understand why Bangkok was once known as the Venice of the East because of its intricate canal network. This evening you'll be free until your gay guide picks you up from the hotel for a night tour of the Silom area, including a handful of the vibrant bars and clubs.

This morning you'll visit Jim Thompson's House, a lovely garden-enclosed compound sitting on the bank of the Saen Saeb Canal, left behind by a middle-aged American man named Jim Thompson. His elegant residential enclave, comprising six traditional Thai teakwood houses transported from Ayutthaya and Bangkok’s Ban Krua community, echoes Jim Thompson’s 30-year love affair with Southeast Asian art and cultural heritage. You'll then visit MOCA - the Museum of Contemporary Art which is home to some of the finest modern art in Thailand. Following MOCA, you'll transfer to the airport for your flight to Chiang Mai, where you'll be transferred to your centrally located hotel for a free evening.

Today you'll the best temples in the area by local Songthaew car. The trip leads you back in time to the ancient period of Lanna Kingdom. The history of Chiang Mai dates back more than 700 years with unique architecture and a way different form of buddhism being practiced at every temple we visit. In the evening, you'll visit Doi Suthep, one of northern Thailand's most sacred temples, accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide. Pass the naga (dragon) that guards the staircase of 300 steps which leads to the temple at the top of the mountain. Once you're up there, soak up the wonderful views of the countryside. Following an included dinner at a small local restaurant we'll head to the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar where you can shop amidst the various stalls for souvenirs.

You have a free morning to relax by your pool, or to explore this magnificent city. This afternoon you'll discover some of the secrets of Thai cuisine by joining a cookery course in a beautiful setting surrounded by rice fields. You will learn about the main ingredients used in Thai cuisine, how they are used, and what alternatives you can substitute if you can't get them at home. Questions are welcome and you are provided with a comprehensive book of recipes and ingredient details. For dinner, sit down and feast on the delicious results.

On your last full day in Chiang Mai, you are in for an adventure! From Chiang Mai you'll head to the countryside where you can learn how to care for the magnificent Asian Elephant. Only after learning about the health of the elephant, you'll go for a short elephant ride through the forest. This evening is free to enjoy one of the many fantastic Chiang Mai restaurants. May we recommend the stunning 137 Pillars Hotel Restaurant.

There are no activities planned today. You are free to depart at any time, with your airport transfer included.