THAILAND & CAMBODIA
10 DAYS // NOV 9 – 19, 2017
November 9 - Depart USA
Depart the USA for your flights to Bangkok, Thailand.
November 10 - Arrive Bangkok, Thailand (BKK)
After immigration and custom clearance, you will be met and transferred to The Peninsula Hotel in Bangkok. Your arrival will be at around 10pm this evening.
November 11 - Bangkok
Meet at 6am in the lobby for a visit to a Buddhist temple to offer alms to the monks which is a unique ritual to photograph. Each morning, monks in saffron robes, carry alms bowls, to receive boiled rice and condiments from local people. We will have the opportunity to participate in this very special Thai custom by personally presenting alms at a temple and receiving the monks’ blessings in return. Afterwards, photograph the famous Bangkok Flower Market.
After breakfast, photograph The Grand Palace, an architectural wonder of golden stupas, walls and pillars encrusted in shining and colorful mosaics. After lunch, take a cruise along the Chao Phraya River by long-tail speed boat to see family homes, temples and Wat Po, with its massive reclining Buddha. Photograph the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun) at sunset, whose towering spire has become an iconic symbol of Bangkok. Overnight Peninsula Hotel, Bangkok. (B,L,D)
November 12 - Bangkok - Ayutthaya & Ancient Siam
After breakfast, photograph the ancient city of Ayutthaya, located about 50 miles north of Bangkok. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was home to 33 kings from many different dynasties. Photograph Wat Yai Chai Mongkol flanked by a row of saffron-draped Buddha statues. Capture the ruins at Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, a temple complex situated within the former Royal Palace grounds, which served as a model for Bangkok's Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
After lunch, board a motorized long-tail boat for an afternoon cruise, with a stop at a Muslim village . Photograph villagers going about their daily routines at temples, schools, markets and mosques near the river banks. Return to Bangkok late afternoon. Dinner at our hotel. Optional night photography tour of Bangkok tonight.
Bangkok is a city that never sleeps and this tour takes us around the “old quarter” to see iconic buildings that are illuminated at night and serve as a backdrop to the activities of market traders, street food hawkers and people enjoying the capital’s entertainment venues. We will take you to landmark sites including bustling Chinatown; a drive alongside the gleaming Grand Palace; the City Pillar, a sanctuary for guardian spirits; the National Museum; and then onto the Phra Sumen Fort on Ratanakosin Island. Overnight Peninsula Hotel, Bangkok. (B,L,D)
November 13 - Bangkok - Chiang Mai - Loy Krathong festival
Breakfast at the hotel and an early transfer to the airport for your flight to Chiang Mai at 9am. Upon arrival at Chiang Mai airport, you will be met by our local guide at the airport.
In the afternoon, explore the old city by rickshaw ride to photograph Wat Phra Singh. Drive up the mountain to visit Prathat Doi Suthep temple to photograph panoramic views of the city from the mountain top.
Dinner at he River Market restaurant. Photograph the Loy Krathong festival.
November 14 - Chiang Mai - Loy Krathong day
Early morning photograph the Bo Sang Umbrella Factory renowned for its production of umbrellas and parasols followed by a visit to the Elephant Nature Park; a natural home and sanctuary for elephants, buffalos, dogs, cats, birds and many other rescued animals. Your visit starts with a picturesque drive through rural countryside to Elephant Nature Park. You will hear the personal stories of rescued and orphaned elephants. See how they became a proud herd and free from abuse for the first time in their lives. Photograph free roaming elephants, and other rescued animals enjoying the natural surroundings of the sanctuary.
After an early dinner, photograph the most spectacular of the massed balloon launches which takes place at Mae Jo University, about 13 kilometers outside of town. Tens of thousands of paper lanterns (khom loy) are set off into the sky and thousands more candle-lit floats are released along waterways. We have special tickets to photograph this spectacular event.
November 15 - Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai - Golden Triangle
Today, we travel through splendid mountain scenery and tropical jungle, approximately 3 hours to Chiang Mai, with a stop at Mae Ka Jan hot spring, one of the most well-known hot springs. Then visit Wat Rong Khun to admire the beauty of the temple Rong Kun or White Temple. This temple is considered one of the emblems of Buddhism in Thailand and much of Asia.
In the afternoon, explore Chiang Saen town, the capital of the first Thai Lanna kingdom, located in the Mekong River on the border between Thailand and Laos. Visit the "Hall of Opium," a new museum that traces the history of opium through its historical implications, economic, sociopolitical and so on. Stop at a place called "Golden Triangle." Over the hill to Muang Sam Moum, get a great view that embraces the whole Golden Triangle and the border of three countries. Then embark on a local boat and cross the river to Don Xao village on the border with Laos. Cruise back to Thai side.
November 16 - Chiang Rai - Mae Salong - Long Neck Tribes
After breakfast at the hotel, depart to Mae Salong to photograph its mix of cultures. You will also visit several hill tribe villages: Akha, Lisu and Muser. Lunch at a local restaurant, then continue to visit the village of the long neck tribes.
November 17 - Chiang Rai - Siem Reap, Cambodia
In the morning, meet our guide and transfer to the airport for our 9:30am flights to Siem Reap, Cambodia (via Bangkok). Photograph our first sunset at Angkor Wat near the reflecting pools.
Angkor is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. Stretching over some 400 square kilometers, including forested area, Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. They include the famous Temple of Angkor Wat and, at Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple with its countless sculptural decorations. Overnight at Angkor Village Hotel.
November 18 - Angkor Wat
At 4:30am, depart for Angkor Wat to capture the Angkor sunrise. Return to hotel for breakfast, then visit the overgrowth jungle temple of Ta Prohm. Ta Prohm has been left relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery. After Ta Prohm, visit Ta Keo and Thommanon temples. Lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, visit Banteay Kdei (a Buddhist temple), East Mebon and Pre Rup. Enjoy the sunset at La Bayon. This temple located in Angkor Thom is breathtaking any time of the day, but even more so at sunset. The multiple stone carvings of King Jayavarman VII’s face glow beautifully in the late afternoon light. Dinner with a traditional dance performance at our hotel. Overnight at Angkor Village Hotel.
November 19 - Dimapur - Kolkata and final departure
After breakfast, depart hotel at 7:30am and drive to the remote Beng Mealea temple through the typical Khmer countryside (60 kilometers from Siem Reap). There is a lot to see in the approximate 2-hour drive as it takes you through many lively villages and rice paddy fields. Explore the long abandoned temple from the 11th century, strangled by the jungle. Lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, proceed to the floating village on Tonle Sap for sunset photography. Tonle Sap lake is the largest permanent fresh water lake in Southeast Asia and flows into Tonle Sap river, joining the Mekong river in Phnom Penh. We will photograph fishermen’s “floating village” with floating schools, floating police station etc.
After our final dinner, fly from Siem Reap (REP) on the 11:25 pm flight to ICN South Korea, back to JFK arriving on November 20th.
Itinerary is subject to change.