Wat Arun

BANGKOK TOUR PACKAGES


BANGKOK TOUR PACKAGES

watarun.pngBangkok is one of the biggest megapolitan cities in South East Asia. As the capital city of Thailand there is a new city and an old city. The old city of Bangkok was first moved here in the early 15th Century, then under the primary administration of Ayutthaya. The strategic location of Old Bangkok at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River meant that it would blossom into one of the busiest trading ports in this part of Asia and the capital city was then built in the district of Thonburi on the western bank of the river. Old Bangkok was built by HM King Thaksin and was then moved to the eastern bank by the succeeding king, HM King Chulaloke many years later. This then became the New Bangkok.

As Bangkok settled in over the centuries and became more populated, temples and administrative buildings were constructed as well as churches, mosques and other trading posts by the various migrants and settlers. Today, the city of Bangkok offers some of the most diverse tourist’s attraction spots in this part of the continent, offering both old and new attractions for those who visit and are fascinated by the Thai cultures, traditions and way of life.

BangkokBangkok City is also one of the primary first stops when you enter the Kingdom of Thailand, either through the Suvarnabhumi International Airport or the budget carrier terminal of Don Mueng Airport. While there are taxi and rail services available directly from the airports when you enter, another option is arranged transfer services from the airport directly to your hotel. These transfer services are available from local travel agents such as Thaitourismguide. Starting your holiday right from the first day is the most important aspect of any traveller’s itinerary. Arranging the right tours and sightseeing options is the other unless you are a free and easy traveller or have been to Bangkok many times and have enough experience to navigate the city on your own.

Historical Bangkok City Tours

Garden of The Gods Ancient City

The sightseeing in Bangkok tour packages start with the famous iconic and historical places within the city centre. These places are some of the most magnificent historical buildings that date back at least a century old and represent the start of the city of Bangkok Administration and places of worship. Check out the temple tours in Bangkok packages and select from a choice of a join in tour or a private tour for the best options. These must see iconic places are the Royal Grand Palace with its intricate central buildings and the Royal Temple. This place is also used by the King for special occasions where he greets the public such as on Father’s Day which is the King’s Birthday and other special occasions. There is also the Wat Phra Kaew next door which houses the biggest Emerald Buddha and the dazzling Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) across the Chao Phraya River. Both these temples have beautiful structures, chedis and stupas created by ancient artisans. Other historical places of interest in Bangkok includes the Royal Barge Museum where the hand crafted barges are kept and used only on special days of the year. These barges of which there are 7 main barges measuring about 75 feet in length each with very ornate bows

Royal Grand Palace

and sterns are preserved in good condition. Some have been reconditioned while others are under maintenance due to years of wear and tear. These barges are used by the Royal Family in ceremonies to present the Royal robes to monks at the temple and has only been used about 18 times since the reign of the present King Bhumipol. On these days, about one hundred or more barges are used in naval formation to cross the Chao Phraya River from Wat Phra Kaew over to Wat Arun for the presentation ceremony. These occasions if you are lucky to see them are considered epic occasions in Thai History and a must see event. All these tours come under the temple tours in Thailand packages and combination tours mean lower rates so you have bigger savings on your tour packages. Check with us on our site from time to time for cheap price tours in Bangkok to book your memorable holiday trip with us.

Family Tours in Bangkok

Bangkok City is as diverse in its entertainment as it is in the food. This means that weather you are travelling alone or as a family, you will always find somewhere to go. For those who are travelling as a family either with or without younger children, this amazing city has something for everyone with their theme park in Thailand tours. Children and adults alike would love the zoos in Bangkok especially the Safari World Open Zoo. There is a myriad of shows and activities as well as rides to keep especially the children entertained. This one in all stop has everything including shows, buffet lunches, snack bars and animal feeding opportunities that would bring a smile on anyone’s face and a whole day spent in the great outdoors right here within the city. The Safari Open Zoo tour comes with pick up transfers, making it easy to get there and back from your hotel and you do not even have to worry about lunch or how you will visit the open safari where you can see the wildebeest roaming free. Everything is meticulously arranged for your enjoyment. Kids would love watching the parrot, sea lion and elephant shows or even feed the giraffes and play with the resident orang utan!

siamoceanworld-thaitourismguide-comFor those who love the sea and ocean life, check out the Siam Ocean World (Sea Life Ocean World Bangkok) tour where there are seven large zones to immerse yourselves in and feel the cold along with the penguins or take a dive in the tanks with the sharks! All this and more at this fabulous ocean in the city tour, and right next door to it, you can rub shoulders with the rich and famous at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. There are great photo opportunities here for you to take pictures and interact with your favourite idol, sports hero or movie star. The bonus is that the great shopping centres of Siam Paragon and Siam Centre are just next to each other for a great shopping experience all at one go.

If theme parks are your must do activity, there is always Dream World with their fantastic roller coasters and other rides. This waterpark in Thailand and theme park in Thailand tour has daily shows, plenty of amusing places to walk and take great pictures as well as a dry and wet park. So bring a change of clothes to spend a great day here. It is fun for the whole family.

Bangkok Shows and Entertainment

Nanta Cooking ShowA day is never complete without watching some of the famous shows in Thailand that is available year round in this great city. The most famous are the “Ladyboy” shows with their glitzy Las Vegas style entertainment and performances belting out popular musical numbers and crazy jokes to entertain their audience. The most famous being The Calypso Show at Asiatique. Their performance is flawless and the costumes beautiful, a show worth watching when you are in Bangkok. If you like sport active shows, and then catch the Muay Thai Life show also at Asiatique where you get a glimpse into the mysteries of Muay Thai also popularly known as Thai Kick Boxing. There are a lot of rituals and ceremonies prior to a fight night and this is one of the shows that is not only entertaining but also eye opening. Culture shows are best watched in an epic theatre and the most famous in Bangkok is the Siam Niramit Epic Culture Show. The stage can hold almost two hundred performers along with huge scene settings and even a flowing river and elephants for a most memorable performance. This is a must not miss show if you have the time to spare and want to watch something really spectacular. Comedies are also a feature performance in Bangkok and one worth watching is the Cookin Nanta show. This show is Korean by origin and one of the most successful and famous stage comedy shows in the world. It is guaranteed non-stop laughter from the start to the finish and you wanting more! A truly hilarious cast of characters as well as fantastic drum play typical of Korean music using every day kitchen utensils and equipment! Every show that you book with Thaitourismguide comes with the ease of transfers to and from your hotel to make sure you get there and safely back after an enjoyable night out.

Bangkok Cruises and dining out

Dinner Cruise

There is no shortage of the varieties of food and cuisines available in this great city of Bangkok. It is just a matter of choice as to the ambiance and settings you would like to enjoy your meals in, be it the wonderful street foods of Thailand, a romantic meal on a ship or in one of the many hotels and restaurants that offer some of the finest selections of traditional Thai cuisine or International buffets. A few of the highly recommended “Must try Dining Experiences in Bangkok” would be the romantic dinner cruises on-board a luxury liner that sails down the mighty Chao Phraya Dinner. A combination of romantic sailing with the sights of the Bangkok skyline in the evenings and a scrumptious buffet spread of International and Thai cuisine to satisfy any discerning palate is a definite must try and do while you are visiting this great city. A combination of sailing, dining and live entertainment on-board these beautifully equipped and designed ships would be an unforgettable night out for you and your travelling partners. The Thaitourismguide dinner cruise in Bangkok packages will ensure you have a good time at one of the most reasonable prices without breaking your budget, to have a memorable dinner cruise in the city.

Another great place to have a meal, be it lunch or dinner with a fantastic bird’s eye view of Bangkok City, is from the Baiyoke Sky Hotel. As the tallest building in the city with a revolving dining tower, diners get a fantastic 360 degree view of the city while they dine on the massive variety of international, Thai and seafood buffet. To top that all off, there is even a famous floating market buffet right on the top of the hotel complete with food bearing long tail boats and a nostalgic floating market setting. Give the Biyoke Dinner Buffet or Floating Market Buffet a try when you are here. It is one of the most popular and raved about buffets in the city!

Bangkok Tourism Sites

Sampran RiversideAside from the shopping, temple visits, shows and buffets in the city of Bangkok, there are also other sights of interests where visitors can enjoy the cultures, traditions and relative Thainess of the country. One such place is the Samphran Thai Village tour where visitors have a first-hand experience on trying out the demonstrations booths that make traditional medicinal balls, try kick boxing, elephant rides, and have a hand in making traditional Thai desserts and much more. It is a fun and eye opening visit without being too far out of the city. Try out the rice harvesting techniques or walk in the famous organic rose garden and harvest some of the organic plants for making your own herbal balls for a traditional Thai massage! To find out more on what to see in the city of Bangkok, drop a line to the friendly people at the Thaitourismguide office and ask for an itinerary or their special offers and promotions.

Manohra Overnight Cruise

Selecting a luxury dinner cruise in Bangkok – what are the options



One of the greatest highlights and the cap to a perfect holiday experience in Bangkok is a dinner cruise on one of the luxury liners that ply the mighty Chao Phraya River every night. The music wafting from their decks and tables laid out with scrumptious food that is not only a feast for the eyes but also the palate. While spectators on the shore eye these ships with a tinge of envy at the diners on board who seem to be having a wonderful time. One can’t help but also think of the life of the rich and famous where such luxury cruises are a part of their life entertainment.

Bangkok is not short of luxury cruise ship dinners as one of the sightseeing in Bangkok attractions. Scenes along the Chao Phraya River with its historic monuments and city scape offer a beautiful scenic view in the evenings with their twinkling lights and flashing neon. With so many vendors offering these cruises for a reasonable price, tourists are spoilt for choice but how would they select one of these cruise dinners and have the best experience to make their trip a memorable one?

Thaitourismguide offers a few choices of dinner cruise in Bangkok options in their online booking page. Their choice of dinner cruise includes the Chaopraya Princess Cruise, LoyNava Dinner Cruise, Grand Pearl Amazing Dinner Cruise, RiverStar Princess Dinner Cruise and the Manohra Dinner Cruise. With so many to select from, tourists intending to book online will have a difficult time choosing between these many choices unless they have the option to return and try different cruise liners every trip they make to Bangkok!

Manohra Overnight Cruise
A quick overview of their itinerary will cite almost the same contents. All the luxury dinner cruise ships depart from the River City Pier in Bangkok and each offers a two hour cruise and dining experience along the same route. The cruise starts around 7.00pm ending at around 9.00pm daily. If you are keen to select one of these dinner cruises in Bangkok on your next trip from the Thaitourismguide online site, do bear these few points in mind. As almost all the cruise ships offer the same length of time per cruise, identical start off points and almost similar buffet menu options, one deciding factor will stand out which is price options. So if you want something a little cheaper, there are a few good selections available or look out for offers which are sometimes offered by Thaitourismguide on their site.

Another option is the type of cruise experience that you would like to have. While most of these cruise dinners are on board modern luxury triple deck cruise liners, there are a few exceptions such as the Manohra Dinner Cruise or the LoyNava Dinner Cruise which is offered on converted rice barges and hold fewer passengers which makes for a more intimate dining experience. The menu offered is also a little more personalized and authentic be it the Thai cuisine or International selection. There is a romantic atmosphere when sailing in these historic old rice barges which have been comfortably decked out reminisce of the golden days of luxury cruise sailing experiences. On the other hand, cruise ships such as the Chaopraya Princess Cruise and the Grand Pearl Amazing Dinner Cruise are on board high end modern triple deck cruise ships. These cruise ships are shallow bottomed, offering a wide seating berth from the first deck up. Off course most passenger will opt for the top deck which is an open deck and offers a better view of the cruise experience but is on a first come serve basis. Some cruise services, such as the Grand Pearl Cruise has a more pompous boarding routine where passengers are given a warm welcome on the pier before boarding with a live entertainment performance.

Grand Pearl Amazing Dinner Cruise
The Chaopraya Princess Cruise, Grand Pearl Amazing Dinner Cruise and the RiverStar Princess Cruise are considered to be in the same category of cruise ships. All three provide similar sized cruise ships which have a capacity to seat around two hundred and fifty passengers. The tables set for dinner are comparatively high end hotel styled set for a western dinner. The Grand Pearl differs in their reception presentation from the boarding ceremony to their crew attendance which is formally in line with what you would experience for service on board the Queen Elizabeth II ships, and for those who like a little pomp and splendour, then the Grand Pearl Amazing Dinner Cruise is a good choice. Quality of the buffet dinner selections on board the Chaopraya Princess Cruise and the River Star Princess Cruise are very similar but a little better on board the Grand Pearl Amazing Dinner Cruise. All three serve a mix of Thai and International dinner buffet with a rotating menu every two or three months. Live entertainment performance on board is also a little better on the Grand Pearl cruise with their “Khon” classical performance. The three cruise companies provide the same sailing route along the Chao Praya River which starts from the River City Pier, past the iconic Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), the Royal Grand Palace and Wat Pra Kaew, pass the Rama VIII Bridge (where you get an amazing view of the bridge as you approach it), down to Asiatique the Riverfront and a glimpse of the Bangkok Eye (this is currently one of the trendiest shopping and entertainment districts in Bangkok) and a little further before making a U turn for the return trip. Along the way you would also see the Holy Rosary Church (the oldest Church in Bangkok), several colonial Government buildings and the scenic riverside lifestyle. In comparison price wise, the Chaopraya Princess Cruise and the RiverStar Princess Cruise offers more competitive and cheaper dining rates that make them more attractive for tourists who would like to enjoy a romantic dinner cruise without burning a hole in their pockets. So in the choice of which to choose between the three cruise options it would be service versus price as the deciding factor.

Dinner on cruise by Chaophraya Cruise
For those who have a deeper pocket and where price is not an option then you may want to try something a little different with the Manohra Dinner Cruise and the LoyNava Dinner Cruise. These two cruise ships are the classical converted Rice Barge wooden ships with a seating capacity of only forty to fifty five passengers. These cruise ships have a more private atmosphere and suitable for more intimate or private functions. The Loy Nava Dinner Cruise departs from River City Pier but the Manohra Dinner Cruise departs from Manohra Cruise pier or from the Thaksin Pier. Both cruise services offer direct pick up from the guest’s hotels or from Thaksin Pier. These two classes of cruise ships are considered original antique luxury teakwood rice barges, converted into plush seating arrangements with silk fabric seating and a grandiose interior setting. They are fitted with the most modern naval navigation equipment and safety features and both cruises offer comprehensive insurance policies for their guests on board. Both offer a first class dining experience whereby the Manohra offers a Thai style buffet selection and the LoyNava offers a set sit down dinner course of authentic Royal Thai cuisine (something which is a rarity in local Thai cuisine selections). These cruises are on an open deck giving the feel of an authentic Thai river cruise as taken by the Kings of ancient Siam when they sailed down the Chao Praya River.


The Manohra and the Tahsaneeya Nava cruise ships are reputed to have served high end guests such as dignitaries, celebrities and VIPs over their years of service, so you can expect similar service on board these two cruise vessels if you are looking for something extra special on your trip to Bangkok in terms of cruise dinners in Bangkok. Each cruise has a narrative history in English of the sights and iconic monuments as you sail past them which gives you an insight into Thai history of the Chao Praya River. The difference between the Manohra Dinner Cruise and the LoyNava Dinner Cruise is the type of dinner setting and menu available. The Manohra offers a buffet style setting and the LoyNava offers a formal sit down dinner complete with servings of different wines per dinner stage and personal table butler service. The Manohra offers one set standard package while the LoyNava offers a selection of three different packages according to the discerning taste of the guest. However, the LoyNava pays a little more attention to guest service and has a better guest presentation in terms of souvenirs and reception on board. One can expect a traditional Thai style welcome ceremony of flower garlands and water sprinkling with a cool towel for that refreshing feeling. The table settings are also more elegant with thoughtful touches for the lady guests. Guests on board will also enjoy a true traditional Thai classical performance with a live traditional band to provide entertainment while you cruise and dine. There is a full bar service on board both cruise ships with ample selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and cocktails but bear in mind that the drinks are chargeable as they are not included in the cruise and dinner price package. The LoyNava has a token souvenir of a booklet with reproduction paintings and images of the iconic sites that makes a good collector’s item of your trip on board. Where the Manohra serves a Thai buffet style dinner, the LoyNava is a little more personal with a set dinner menu of hors d’oeuvres, entrees, soups, main course and desserts with a good selection of wines for that romantic personal dining experience.

Grand Pearl Amazing Dinner Cruise
Therefore, depending on your preference of cruise and dining experience, guests do have a choice of a budget cruise dinner or a more romantic ambience. All the cruise services provide transfer to and from hotels within the city to the pier and advance bookings of the cruise dinners in Bangkok are strongly advised as these tours are very popular and mostly fully booked on short notices. Facilities for the disabled are available on request and those on wheelchairs will not have a problem boarding as there are ample hands on board to help with the wheelchair access. Your sightseeing in Thailand itinerary is not complete without an experience on one of these dinner cruise in Bangkok tours and a sail down the mighty River of Kings which offers a different perspective of sight and sound from the Chao Praya River in Thailand!

FATHER’S DAY IN THAILAND


FATHER’S DAY IN THAILAND

Picture : dhummathai
Picture : dhummathai

In a few days the nation of Thailand will be celebrating the very auspicious Father’s Day not just as a general celebration but for the reverence of  The Father of The Nation, The King of Thailand. A father figure is the head of the family, the protector, the bread-winner, the comfort and the security of any family unit. Therefore, so is it for a nation with the King who embodies all of these qualities but not only within his own family but that of the Kingdom of Thailand. As a father and a Monarch, His Royal Highness has set the perfect example to every family in the nation, the true meaning of “Fatherhood.”

Just like our mothers who delighted in our birth, so too was our fathers. Those of us who are still young will enjoy the times our dads play with us and comfort us as well as be our super hero that we can always count on. When we get older, they take an interest in our education, careers and lives. As we and our fathers grow older, they may spend their golden years in the enjoyment of grandchildren if they have any or live a more slow paced and contented life. This off course is the ideal picture in the progression of aging for any family unit as father, mother, children and grandchildren. There are times when not all goes exactly as planned, but the person who tries to hold this up lies not just with the mother but also the father. As Father Day approaches, the nation of Thailand reflects upon the deeds of their own fathers as well as that of The King, who is the Father of The Nation.

By respect, we all revere our own fathers, good or bad they are still our dad and family. Asian philosophy is steeped in filial piety and honoring our parents is the utmost of importance. Lest we should forget in these modern times of materialism and the rat race, we often neglect or even sometimes forget all that has been given and sacrificed for us in the growing years. When our parents are old and we are busy with work and life, we do most often than not think of our parents as being bothersome or even a burden. Our parents should be always on our minds especially in their twilight years not just on occasions of days such as Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

However, every year we celebrate both these days in honor of their sacrifices much like the example set by the very family man himself, The King of Thailand. It is the time when children pay their respect, venerate, give merit and honor their fathers. The 5th of December has been officially declared national Father’s Day in Thailand. It is also the day of the King’s birthday which this year is his 85th Birthday. Late into his twilight years, the nation remembers all that he has done for the country of Thailand. He has demonstrated the true meaning of hard work, consistency, charity, generosity and family hood. His deeds surpassed his reputation as a King. Known to walk among the locals and commoners he broke the barriers that most Monarchy keeps between the people and the Royals. He did not mind trudging in the mud and getting his hands all dirty just like the common farmer, he picked stray dogs off the streets and gave them a good home, he went down on the streets and took an interest on the daily goings on of the common person, on and on his deeds became more talked about as the “King who is like the people.”

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand is also the longest reigning Monarch in the world and his reputation has become legendary. As the nation celebrates his birthday, preparations have been underway to decorate the streets with lights and banners declaring the celebrations. The most decorative place to be at this time would be along the Dusit district, Khaosan and all the way leading to the Grand Palace and along the Chao Phraya River along these places. The celebrations started much earlier with the Royal Barge Procession for the presentation of the Royal Kathin Robes to the monks at the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun) by HRH Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn in November. The celebration for HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej will be no less grand. The grandeur of the celebrations will start early in the morning with a military parade leading to the Grand Palace, followed by parades from the Government and Civil services as well as the private sector. There will also be a presentation of gifts and flowers for the King and a candle lighting ceremony at the end of the day for his health and longevity. Fireworks displays are also part of the celebration. If you can’t make it to the celebration site, just turn on your television or log in to your mobile devices for news coverage of the occasion.

For all the rest of us, Father’s day will start just as early. It is the day when we get to pay respect the very Thai way by prostrating ourselves before our fathers to ask for forgiveness, give thanks and perform merits for their good health and longevity. Father’s day is also a Family Day, where we bring our fathers out for a great meal and spend quality time or go to the temples to offer prayers of merit. Those of us still lucky enough to have our fathers with us can relish the time in their company but for those whom our fathers are no longer with us, does not mean that they are forgotten. It is also a time when we can offer special prayers and merits as we remember them.

So, no matter how we choose to spend our Father’s Day, we do know that it is a day that we not only honor our fathers but also that of the Father of The Nation that has brought Thailand to the progressive country that it is now today. As we give thanks and a silent prayer for all Fathers in Thailand and around the world, we think of the exemplary deeds and sacrifices that they have all made to bring us up and to be good examples as fathers of our own children.

With our utmost respect from www.ThaiTourismGuide.com to HM The King of Thailand on his auspicious Birthday

A Tour of Wat Pho And Getting A First Hand Education On Traditional Thai Massage in Bangkok


Wat Pho The Reclining Buddha
Wat Pho The Reclining Buddha

If you are visiting Thailand to discover some unusual and yet educational activities in Thailand, then you have come to the right place in Bangkok City. Thailand has long been known for its many spas and traditional massage techniques that are much sought after even around the world. With wellness and health consciousness among the new generation, massage has been seen as a proven therapy to unlock stress and relieve pain. Where would one go to learn such therapies in a short span of time rather than taking years to learn the art of traditional Thai massage? Fortunately for those who visit Bangkok, there is just such a place well within the city limits that is reputed to be the most famous in Thailand. This is the Phra Wat Chetaphon or better known as Wat Pho in Bangkok City. You can make an initial tour and sightseeing of Wat Pho while you are here. This temple is also one of the oldest and largest temples in Thailand and it is located next to the Grand Palace. There is a tree that sits in the centre courtyard said to be grown from the original Bodhi tree where Buddha sat as he was awaiting to achieve enlightenment.

Wat Pho The Reclining Buddha
Wat Pho The Reclining Buddha

In the temple is the largest gold reclining Buddha which coincidentally is the posture attributed to those born on a Tuesday. This gold statue is approximately 46 meters in length and 15 meters in height. The posture of the reclining Buddha illustrates the transition into enlightenment. Mother-of-pearl decorations are also found on the statue in engraved designs on the feet and eyes. The soles of the feet of the reclining Buddha demonstrate the 108 auspicious denotations of a true Buddha. Along the front of the Buddha statue you will notice a whole row of 108 alms bowls on pedestals. You can build some merit for yourself by donating a small amount into the charity box on a table next to the statue and picking up a bowl of coins. Place these points into the alms bowl as you walk the length of the statue!

Within the temple is also the largest collection of 1000 images of Buddha rescued from the ruins in Ayutthaya and Sukhotai. The temple grounds are large and holds a temple hall with 394 bronze Buddhas, 152 engraved marble slabs of the second part of the Ramakien epic, 4 chedis for the 3 Chakri monarchs, 71 chedis of various designs for ashes of the royal family and 21 for ashes of the Buddha as well as a library area and school for the monks. If you want your fortune read, this is also a good place to do so as they are located all around the temple grounds, however accuracy of their readings are not verified and it is up to your belief on what they tell you! Be prepared to shell out a small fortune for their reading.

Wat pho is also noted as the oldest school of massage in Thailand and can be considered an on-hand learning university reputed around the world for its traditional Thai massage courses. It also is a centre for learning in the disciplines of literature, religion and sciences. Those interested in learning about Thai massage can go for the 5 day General Massage course offered by the Traditional Medical Practitioners Association Centre within an open-aired hall just outside the temple courtyard. The first steps of understanding the Thai massage therapy is taught through inscribed plaques demonstrating the human anatomy, pressure points and energy routes within the human body. A massage therapist is known as a Maw Nuad and if you take the short course you will be awarded a certificate of beginner status for massage therapy. If you are concerned about the language barrier have no worries, there a plenty of interpreters around and some of the monks in attendance do speak English!

Wat Pho The Reclining Buddha
Wat Pho The Reclining Buddha

There are many discipline to Thai massage therapy, so depending on your interest you can learn anything from reflexology to even infant massage. It is advisable to make enquiries early on the courses offered to avoid disappointment and you can make prior arrangements with a tour company on courses offered for Thai massage in Wat Pho. It is better to have your course organized and arranged by a tour agent as they can see to all your accommodation and transfer requirements for the Wat Pho Massage Therapy courses. Though you can make these arrangements on your own and go on the same day as you make for the training arrangement it is much easier when you have them made in advance. Each training day lasts about 6 hours and depends on the length of the course you are planning to take.

On the other hand, if you are not interested to take the courses you can also indulge in a good massage session by the students of the school! That might be a very good idea after walking the large compound of the temple and just sit back to enjoy a therapeutic massage before going on your way to explore more places. The proximity of Wat Pho to all the other attraction sites in Bangkok means that while you are here you can also visit the Grand Palace, Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn and later in the evening head on down to Khaosan Road for the night entertainment and dining. You can actually plan your travel itinerary around this district ofPhra Nakhon with your travel agent. Most of the tours and sightseeing for Bangkok are also within this area with the exclusion of a shopping district as there are not many shopping complexes here.

So make your way here to visit one of the oldest temples in Thailand and learn a skill or better still enjoy the skills learned by others while you are on holiday in Thailand!

Mysticism In The Garden Of The Gods


Ancient city tour Muang boranThailand is steeped in much mysticism and culture that relates to religion. This is significant in the many temples and places of worship in the country. Hinduism is a great influence in many of Thailand’s religious icons, traditions and culture. The Ramakien which is an epic story of the Gods and Deities was derived from the Ramayana and adapted to Thai beliefs. If you were to visit the temples in Bangkok City on a tour of Bangkok City Temples you will notice many statues and symbols of Hindu origin. Many of the religious personalities can be seen in the emblems of Government departments and company logos. There are also many shrines dedicated to the Hindu God Ganesh, which is the Elephant God or known in Thai as Papikanae and one of the oldest and most famous Hindu shrine dedicated to Ganesh is located in Silom in Bangkok.

Garden of The Gods Ancient City
Garden of The Gods Ancient City

The Thai strongly believe that there is one God for each day of the week similarly there is one Buddha position for every day of the week. One great place to see an adaptation of these Gods in their full splendour is at Ancient City or better known as Muang Boran. Located in the district of Samut Prakan, half hours drive out of Bangkok city centre; it is the first creative project by the enterprising philanthropist Khun Lek Virayaphan. There are guided tours to Ancient City which is a half day tour that should not be missed while you are enjoying your holiday in Bangkok.

Garden of The Gods Ancient City
Garden of The Gods Ancient City

This particular section in the Ancient City is known as Garden of The Gods. It might also interest you to know that there is an association between the names of the days in Thai to that of the names given to the Gods and the planets. The vast garden is beautifully maintained and the sculptures of the seven different Gods adorn various sections of the garden. One of the largest and most prominent sculptures is that of the God called Phra Athit the God of Light. He represents “Sunday” and is depicted sitting on an elaborate chariot drawn by seven sky horses and driven by Phra Arun. The name “Arun” means dawn and is similar to the famous Temple of Dawn called Wat Arun in Bangkok. Phra Athit is said to be influential, noble and distinguished. Another large sculpture is that of Phra Chan the God of the Moon who represents Monday. He can be seen astride a chariot driven by ten horses. One gets the impression that he is dignified, gentle and suave. Just to digress a little, it is believed that people born on various days are said to have these same characteristics of the Gods imparted to them. So make a note of which day you were born and see if the character of these Gods are similar to yours!

Garden of The Gods Ancient City
Garden of The Gods Ancient City

Tuesday is attributed to the God Phra Angkhan that is seen riding a huge water buffalo. His planet of influence is Mars and therefore is also known as the God of War. His characteristics are hot tempered, hard-working and controversial. You could adapt the saying of “blood, sweat and tears” to him. Many of these sculptures are very intricate in detail and provide a great insight into how the Thai people associate their lives with that of the prevailing Gods. Phra Budha (not the Buddha as we know it) rules over Wednesday. His dedicated planet is Mercury and is seated above a great elephant as his steed. He symbolizes wisdom, intellectual and communication. He is said to be wise and knowledgeable. In Thai culture, the elephant is also the symbol of wisdom and knowledge as well as bravery.

Garden of Gods
Garden of Gods

Moving on to Thursday, we have Pharutsabodhi. He can be seen riding a deer with huge antlers and carrying a writing slate. He also represents the planet Jupiter and is considered a heavenly seer and tutor to the Gods and Deities. It is also noted that Thursdays are dedicated to the teaching profession in Thailand. He represents knowledge, education and teaching.This next God is much sought after in terms of having children born on this particular day. This is the God Sukra who rides in on a hefty bull. Sukra is the ruler for Friday is a heavenly seer and also tutor of the Gods. However his atributes are wealth and a taste for the arts. The best of both worlds, money and talent!Last but not least is Phra Sao also known as Sani or in Hinduism as Shiva. His ruling planet is Saturn and he presides over Saturday. His steed is a tiger and people born under the influence of Saturn are known to be hot tempered as one of their traits! Phra Sao holds a trident in one hand and a bow in the other. Unfortunately he is also known as the God of Grief and those born on this day are also said to face a life of hardship, despair and grief. Enjoy the experience of a walking tour in Ancient City which comes highly recommended for the amazing things you can see that is not just the Garden of the Gods.

Garden of The Gods Ancient City
Garden of The Gods Ancient City

It can be said that the belief of astrology and religion go hand in hand in Thailand. Sometimes parents of newborn babies try to have their children born on an auspicious day under a particular diety so that their future will be bright and easy. For the tourist this means a host of great and interesting things and places to see! The Ancient City, where all these sculptures are located was also the site where HRH Queen Elizabeth II was given a great reception by HRH The King of Thailand when she visited Thailand in the 1970s. This is a place that should be included in your itinerary for sightseeing and tours in Bangkok. The experience of walking in the Garden of the Gods can be both fascinating and yet intimidating when one thinks of these Gods presiding over man in the world.

Bangkok Biking Tour

The Adventures Of A Cycling Tour In Thailand From Bangkok


Bangkok Biking Tour

The usual tours when you visit any country are from tour buses or minivans that bring you to a specific place or destination. These can in time become rather mundane and a bit of a hectic rush. Every visit to a foreign land should be an adventure and the greatest experience of all is one that you can take your time and see places that are off the beaten track from the usual tour itineraries. If these are the elements that you seek while on a visit then why not try a cycling tour in Thailand when you visit?

Starting with the city of Bangkok, there are options for cycling tours in Bangkok that will bring you to some of the most unusual places accessible only by foot or bicycles. The adventurous soul who craves for an exciting tour that is not found on most travel agent planners will find this a delightful way to explore the city. These cycling tours and sightseeing in Bangkok prices are normally inclusive of snacks and beverages, entry passes to places indicated in their itineraries, bicycle rental, boat rides, lunch and accident insurances. Each tour is accompanied by an English speaking guide who will be on hand to answer any questions, provide a narration of the places you are visiting and know the locale very well.

Bangkok Biking Tour

Some examples of a cycling tour in Bangkok include a trip to the floating markets. Thailand is well known for their floating markets of which some are very commercialized and other that cater more for the locals. They are located along canals or “klongs” as they are called in Thai which sometimes makes them impassable to larger vehicles. With a bicycle you can cycle right up to the site and it is just a short walking distance away. So there you have one of the advantages! These floating markets have been around for years and are very much a traditional and cultural way of life for the Thai people. A bicycle tour to the floating market will start with a drive from Bangkok city to the Mae Klong Delta. This is where the fun starts as you cycle and explore the areas leading to the Damnoen Saduak floating market.  You will have ample time here to look around at the many vendors selling their items and food stuff from little boats and you can find almost anything from fruits, food, vegetables and even flowers. There are also little shops along the walk ways that are there to sell their items. All-in-all it is a truly exotic and colorful sight. While you are here, there is sometimes a few vendors at the edge of the klong walkway that sells these little creatures such as frogs, small eels, turtles and fish. No, they are not for eating but rather for the gesture of earning merit or to ask for luck. These creatures a re purchased from the vendors who will put them in a bucket of water and hand you a piece of paper in Thai which is written a prayer ( you do not need to use this but just say something that you want from the heart) then release the creatures. Each creature is symbolic of a certain meaning. There is this “feel good” effect when you do this!

After a tour of the floating market you will be taken on a long-tail boat ride  to explore the canals and villages all along the way and observing the old way of life that makes Thailand somewhat like an Asian version of Venice before heading out to visit the temples and other historical places. There is a lot more to tour in this respect which is not just a bicycle ride but also other forms of touring included. You will also be taken for rides into plantations where you can pick ripe fruit such as guava, pomeloes, lychee and even coconuts along the way before heading back to the city. All in would be a cool 32 kilometers of bicycle ride not including other forms of transportation!

Another place in Bangkok very seldom listed on a tour itinerary is Chinatown in the city know as the Yaowarrat district. Here you will find loads of shops trading traditional Chinese food, medicine, acupuncture treatments and a mix of Thai along the way. Here most of the Chinese Thai congregate to trade, mix with old friends and buy their supplies which you can’t find anywhere else. It is also a place where you can find a lot of wholesale products but prices in this area are a little more expensive comparatively. The bicycle tour of Chinatown will bring you to a typical Chinese/Thai street market where traders hock their items from roast duck to stewed meats and other delicacies as well as fresh market produce and household items. Cycling along the winding back roads will bring you to well kept secrets such as the Princess Mother Memorial Park where there is a small interesting museum well worth the visit. There are a lot of other little hidden treasures in Chinatown such as Chinese temples, old historical buildings and small Chinese style coffee shops! This is something you do not see on a typical Thai street where coffee is served from old porcelain cups and brewed fresh from their own mixture normally accompanied with half boiled eggs and toast especially in the mornings. This is a scene that you would see in any Chinese community in Asia! The bicycle ride will bring you to the Temple of Dawn or Wat Arun along the Chao Phraya River and from there you will take a long-tail boat ride to visit the Royal Barge Museum where all the old barges have been restored and kept in pristine condition to be used only for ceremonial purposes by HRH the King of Thailand.

Bangkok Biking Tour

For those who are interested in Ancient Thai history, a bicycle tour of Ayutthaya comes highly recommended. Here you have the chance to explore the authentic ancient ruins of temples and palaces during the Ayutthaya period. Cycle around the city and visit the many old temple ruins, the Kings summer palace and the renown UNESCO Heritage Site of the Ayutthaya Historical Park. Visit also the Wat Phra Mahatat where you see for real the root gnarled Buddha Relic you often see in pictures. This place is also the heart and centre of economy for the ancient city in its glory days. Most of the ride will be along scenic routes of the Chao Phraya River and into the countryside where you will pass numerous local communities along the way. The bicycle tour of Ayutthaya is a 25 kilometer ride before returning to the city of Bangkok.

Last but not least is the bicycle tour from Bangkok to Khao Yai Wine Trails which is great for those who love wine tasting fresh from a Thai vineyard. If you have never heard of Thai wines, then this tour is an eye-opener. Thailand produces some of the most interesting revolutionary new wines on the international wine markets today. The highland areas and cool temperatures of this particular region near the Khao Yai National Park which is also listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site and Thailand’s oldest national park are ideal and excellent for the production of wine grapes. On this bicycle adventure tour you get to experience a great outdoor ambiance amidst lovely scenery, undulating hills and cool weather while all along the way you get to sample the wines from the vineyards and enjoy really great Thai food. You will have the chance to visit the national park, stop at waterfalls and great view points, and observe the local wild life and an overnight stay in the region. This is truly an outdoor adventure trip tour from Bangkok. One thing you will notice when you ride through the vineyards is the difference of a European vineyard from one in Thailand where here the grapes grow among banana trees and the jungle in the background! This does not make the wine any lesser in quality but instead gives you the experience of a tropical wine region. This is an over night trip and includes all meals and lodging as well as transfers to the region from the tour office.

Bangkok Biking Tour

A cycle tour is the best way to explore any place which is why you find an increase in long distance cycling adventures which are fast gaining popularity. These tours are on a join in basis, which means you can opt to join in the tours. The requirement is for a minimum of 2 persons and travelling with a child is not a problem. It makes for a great family outing with all the safety features included. This is also a great opportunity to mix with other travelers while on the tour and build friendship along the way which is not only a great thing but you also get to keep fit while enjoying your holidays!

The Royal Grand Palace

Bangkok Royal Grand Palace and Wat Arun Tour


The Royal Grand Palace

The most famous landmark in Bangkok city is the Royal Grand Palace which we see often plastered on post cards and magazines. However, the pictures do not do justice to the actual sight of the Royal Grand Palace itself. Pictures fail to grasp the epic size of the grounds and the many intricate details that are to be found in every nook and corner. The same is true of Wat Arun or better known as the Temple of Dawn. Bangkok sightseeing tours will normally include these two venues on their tour itinerary. The tour of Bangkok city includes a visit to these places either by a river cruise on the Chao Phraya or an accompanied tour with guide in hand to explain the history and meanings of some of the sculptures and murals located in these two places.

To go sightseeing in Bangkok, especially when heading out to the Royal Grand Palace and Wat Arun, it is advisable to bring water along with you as these grounds are really huge and requires a lot of walking. The two places are located fairly close to the Khaosan area which is a haven for budget tourist and local Thais alike. The Royal Grand Palace and Wat Arun are wedged in between the mighty Chao Phraya and the high-end and budget district of Bangkok city. Transportation in Bangkok city is very convenient. If you not attached to any Bangkok City tours and making out on your own to these two places, there are plenty of buses, minivans, taxis and the tuk-tuks to bring you there.

When visiting the Royal Grand Palace and temple grounds, it is advisable for tourists and visitors to dress appropriately. Especially in the Grand Palace where no shorts or skirts are permitted in the vicinity, tourists can get help at the Palace information centre where suitable long skirts and pants are available free of charge to visitors who would like to gain entry. There is not much to see from the outside walls of the Palace but once you step into the guard entranceway the beauty of the place becomes apparent. The temple in the grounds are highly intricate in sculptures, murals and designs. There is a mural depicting the story of the previous rulers meticulously drawn section by section. In the temple itself, photography or recordings are not allowed. Many Thais come here to venerate and offer prayers in the Royal Temple. Some sections of the Place are closed to the public but most places are open for viewing. During ceremonial occasions, His Royal Highness the King of Thailand will make his inaugural speech from the balcony of the Grand Palace. The gigantic statues of the temple guards are a photographer’s dream and is the most popular spot for tourist to take pictures.

Wat Arun

A little further down is the famous Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn. The temple got its name from the sight that is unbelievable when the sun rises over the Chao Phraya. The temple glistens and reflects the light of the rising sun from the many sculptured murals on the surface of the temple walls. Words alone cannot describe the sheer beauty and magnificence of the sight. This temple is also accessible by boat, so if you are taking a river cruise in Bangkok or a river ferry on the Chao Phraya, it will bring you directly to the temple entrance. There are several pavilions on the temple grounds where you could sit and take a rest, and since the temple sits right next to the river there are several piers where you can feed the fish in the river as a slight distraction from all the walking. There are several stupas in this

Dinner Cruise

temple and you can climb the steep stairs of each depending on your stamina level. The view from the top is the ultimate reward. Each level and stupa consists of different sculptures and motifs. Each painstakingly hand done piece by piece. No doubt some of the statues and ceramic pieces are of ancient Chinese origin, it was believed that they were salvaged from the Chinese ships who were using them as ballast but put to good use as the temple decorations.  There are so many interesting things to see in this temple alone that it could take you almost a whole day especially if you like taking pictures.  The design of the temple is a little between Chinese and Thai architecture and the best view of the whole temple is taken from across the river. A perfectly good shot can be taken in the evening before the sunsets’ or early in the morning while the sun is rising. A night picture shot is just as good and the ultimate is if you have booked a Bangkok river tour that includes the Bangkok dinner cruise where you get to enjoy a sumptuous dinner and have a great night tour of the city from the river with all the glory of Bangkok city and it’s temples in the light.

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