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Bang Pa-in Palace and Temples of Ayutthaya

Bang Pa-in Palace and Temples of Ayutthaya

Bang Pa-in Palace and Temples of Ayutthaya

Exploring Bang Pa-In Palace, also known as the Summer Palace, and the ancient temples of Ayutthaya

Highlights

  • Bang Pa-in
  • Wat Chaiwatthanaram
  • Boat Noodle Lunch
  • Wat Phra Si Sanphet
  • Wat Mahthat
bang pa in

Product overview

Visit Bang Pa-in Palace is a former palace complex sitting on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. The palace was originally used as a summer retreat by the Thai royal family in the 17th century. It was destroyed with the fall of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya before being restored under King Rama IV in the 19th century. Most of the palace which remains today was built under the reign of King Rama V who was a regular visitor the palace. The palace includes a number of buildings which represent different architectural styles taken from Chinese, European and traditional Thai styles.
Begin with a wander through the grounds, where you will see Wehart Chamrunt, a Chinese-style royal palace and throne room; the unique Ho Withun Thasana lookout tower, which is based on a traditional European lighthouse and the Sabakran Rajaprayoon Residential Hall which is based on classic European colonial style architecture.
After your wander through these beautiful grounds, take a short cable car ride across the Chao Phraya River to visit a Buddhist temple complex run by the local monks who live here. Here, you will see a beautiful Buddhist temple designed in the style of a traditional European church.

Next, enjoy a tour of Ayutthaya, the second Siamese capital after the fall of Sukhothai, founded in 1350. From the 14th to the 18th century, Ayutthaya flourished as a cultural hub and became one of the most cosmopolitan and commercial areas in the world. The area was selected to build the capital due to its strategic location inland, which prevented attacks from sea-faring warships. In the 18th century, Ayutthaya was attached by the Burmese and the inhabitants were forced to flee. What is left now is the remains of the Burmese attack and the site remains one of the most extensive archaeological sites in Thailand.

Begin with a visit to Wat Chaiwatthanaram, a Buddhist temple which sits on the banks of the Chao Phraya River which was constructed at the beginning of the 17th century. The temple is designed in a classic Khmer style. In the centre of the temple, there is a 35-metre-high prang (tower spire) surrounded by four smaller prangs and then eight chedi-style chapels. Within the complex, there are the remains of reliefs depicting the life of Buddha and there are human-sized Buddha statues, many missing heads or other body parts as a result of the Burmese raid.

Begin with a lunch with a traditional and local dish of Boat Noodles. Boat Noodles received their name, as they were originally served from the boats going up and down the Chao Phraya River from Bangkok to Ayutthaya. Boat Noodles traditionally include pork and beef and are known for the dark colour of the soup made from soy sauce, pigs blood and a mixture of salts and spices. This delicious dish is then mixed with garlic, Thai vegetables, cinnamon, bean sprouts and parsley, and noodles, which can range from egg noodles, to rice noodles to ‘big noodles’.
NB Vegetarian options available

This afternoon, begin your touring with a visit to Wat Phra Si Sanphet, known as the ‘Temple of the Holy’, seen during the Ayutthaya period as the most beautiful temple in the city. The temple is known for its three chedis, built in a traditional Ceylon-style bell shape. Enjoy a walk clockwise around the temples as you enjoy photo opportunities of these impressive structures from different angles. The chedis are said to be the inspiration for Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, located in the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

Next, visit Wat Mahathat, another Buddhist temple complex which dates back originally to the 14th century. The temple is known to be one of the oldest temples in Ayutthaya and was said to house the Buddha’s holy relic. Like the rest of Ayutthaya, the temple was destroyed and burned during the fall of Ayutthaya and what remains are the ruins of pagodas, royal halls, small temples and murals. A sandstone head of a Buddha poking through the roots of a tree here, has become one of the city’s most famous images and really captures a period in history.

Return to Bangkok

Visit Rattanakosin island – the heart of Bangkok

Visit Rattanakosin island – the heart of Bangkok

Visit Rattanakosin island – the heart of Bangkok

Exploring Rattanakosin Island, visiting Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), and touring the Grand Palace

Highlights

  • Visit Wat Pho
  • Visit Wat Phra Kaew
  • Visit Grand Palace and grounds
grand palace

Itinerary

Discover the heart of Bangkok on this half day tour of Rattanakosin Island, located in the centre of Bangkok. Begin your tour with a visit to Wat Pho, a Buddhist temple complex which holds the status of ‘Royal Monastery’ (Wat Luang), due to its proximity to the Grand Palace and its importance in Thai-Buddhist culture. Wat Pho has existed since the late 17th-century, prior to Bangkok becoming the capital of Thailand. Under the reign of King Rama I (1782-1809), rebuilt the temple to what we see today. The most famous resident of Wat Pho is the Reclining Buddha, a 46-metre long reclining-positioned Buddha, a position representing Buddha’s entry in to Nirvana. The Buddha’s exposed feet are separated in to 108-panels depicting auspicious Buddhist symbols, including: elephants, flowers, traditional dancers and tigers. The Buddha is surrounded by 108 bronze bowl which, like the Buddha’s feet, represent the auspicious characters of Buddhism. During your visit, you can purchase coins to drop meditatively in to the bowls, said to bring good fortune and support the upkeep of the complex by the monks who reside here.
Wat Pho is also home to a number of chedis, scattered throughout the complex, a scripture hall, a library, guarded by the Wat Pho Giant’s statues and many other Buddhist shrines and halls. The complex is known for its connection with massage and has been a school for traditional massage since the 1950s. There is a massage service centre on site where there is opportunity to have a massage (at an additional cost).
Next, we will continue by foot to The Grand Palace, a complex of royal and religious buildings which has been the official residence of the Kings of Thailand since 1782. The King, his government and his court resided in The Grand Palace from 1782 until 1925. The palace today is used for ceremonial purposes and for state visits and has become a major architectural symbol of Thailand.
Begin your exploration of the complex with a visit to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew). Regarded as the most important Buddhist sites in Thailand, the Emerald Buddha is 66cm in height and sits in a state of meditation. Depending on the season, the Emerald Buddha is ordained in three different outfits: one for the summer season, one for the rainy season and one for the winter season. Behind the Emerald Buddha, you will see a mural depicting Buddhist cosmology and in front of the Buddha, guests are welcomed to meditate, pray or contemplate in the shadow of the buddha.
Enjoy a visit to Chakri Maha Prasat Hall, the most striking of the buildings in the complex. This building was a royal residence and is known for its European architectural style, designed by British architect, John Clunish, mixed with its Thai-style roof. Within the building, guests can see a gallery for ancient weapons used in Thailand as well as see the many reception and living rooms of former Kings and Queens of Thailand. Also visit Dusit Maha Prasat Hall, a beautiful grand-spired hall where Kings, Queens and members of the Royal Family lie in state.
During your visit of The Grand Palace complex, there are myriad of other items to visit including: a number of Phra (temples), a model of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and a number of unique statues, including: The Demon Guardians who mainly guard the Emerald Buddha from demon spirits; and ‘the hermit figure’, a commemoration to traditional Thai medicine.
Notes:
There are strict dress codes when visiting Wat Pho and The Grand Palace complexes. Guests are to be covered up and not wear tight or torn clothing. The complexes are also no-drone zones

Wat Arun, Longtail Boat Ride and Thonburi Walking Tour

Wat Arun, Longtail Boat Ride and Thonburi Walking Tour

Wat Arun, Longtail Boat Ride and Thonburi Walking Tour

Visiting Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, and exploring the scenic Thonburi Canals

Highlights

  • Visit Wat Arun
  • Lunch
  • Longtail boat ride including visit of the Artist Village
  • Guided visit of Thonburi, Baan Kudichin Museum and karipap taster
bangkok wat arun

Itinerary

One of Bangkok’s most iconic sights, Wat Arun is a must-see visit. Wat Arun is a Buddhist temple which sits on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. The word ‘Arun’ is named after the Hindu God Aruna who is often associated with the rising sun, giving Wat Arun the nickname ‘Temple of Dawn’. Dating back to the Ayutthaya period, Wat Arun pre-dates Bangkok being founded as a city and was originally known as Wat Makok. Wat Arun was the previous royal residence of the King of Thailand and previously housed the Emerald Buddha before it was moved to the Grand Palace complex in the 18th century.
Despite being the site of a Buddhist temple since the 17th century, Wat Arun as we see today was said to be designed under the reign of King Rama II. During your visit, enjoy a climb up and down around the main prang (tower) of Wat Arun, noticeable for its Khmer styles. Surrounding the main prang you will see intricately designed giant pagodas which showcase Thai craftsmanship. On site, you will also see ancient Chinese warrior sculptures which guard the main prang, and the Ordination Hall, the holiest site at Wat Arun and home to the dazzling Golden Niramitr Buddha statue.
Not only does Wat Arun provide a plethora of items to see, it also offers enviable vistas across the Chao Phraya River to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant where you will enjoy a three-course dinner of Thai cuisine

Next, see Thailand from a different viewpoint today as you take to the waters on a longtail boat. At Wat Arun pier, board your longtail boat. Head down part of the Chao Phraya River, the main waterway of Bangkok, before turning off on to Khlong Bangkok Yai, a historical canal in Bangkok which takes you through Thonburi, the old capital of Thailand. Whilst you cruise down the canal, pass by old wooden stilted houses, townhouses and some unfortunate dwellings which have tilted 45 degrees to the side! You will pass lush greenery, quaint Buddhist temples and occasional graffiti. You will also pass a giant buddha statue, which opened in 2023, a glorious gold statue peeking up over the historical district.
During your cruise, disembark at Khlong Bang Luang Artist House, a local art centre, performance venue and café located on a stilted property over the canal. The artists who live here maintain a traditional way of life and there is an opportunity to see artists at work painting, drawing and sculpting. There is also the opportunity to take part in a bracelet-making class or fan-painting class here (additional cost) to further immerse in the artist way of life.
Return to your longtail boat and continue further along the canal before returning in a loop back to the Chao Phraya River. From here, disembark your longtail boat and begin your walking tour of Thonburi District, known for its colonial Portuguese history. The first foreign settlers from Portugal arrived in Thailand, which at the time was known as Siam, in the 1500s. These Portuguese traders originally settled in the ancient capital of Ayutthaya where they traded textiles. However, when Ayutthaya was sacked by the Burmese in 1767, the Portuguese traders fled and set up their own community in modern-day Thonburi.
Begin your tour today by seeing the Santa Cruz Church, a catholic church also known as Kudi Jin (Chinese Church), due to the assistance the Chinese gave to the Portuguese traders in building the church. Next, we will wander through the warren-like streets of Thonburi which still house many residents of Portuguese descent. You will see European elements in the colours and designs of the doors and buildings. Enjoy entrance to Baan Kudichin Museum, dedicated to the Portuguese legacy in the city of Bangkok and enjoy the exhibitions on display here from early Portuguese exploration to permanent settlement in Bangkok. Next, enjoy a karipap, a curry puff said to be influenced by the Portuguese pastel (pastry) mixed with its spicy legacy in Asia. Next, learn about other cultures associated with the region with a visit to Wat Prayun, a 19th Century Buddhist temple with a unique white-bell shape on the site of a former coffee plantation.

 

Organic Workshop at Patom Organic Farm

Organic Workshop at Patom Organic Farm

Organic Workshop at Patom Organic Farm

Exploring Patom Organic Farm and taking part in a workshop is a great way to learn about sustainable farming practices

Highlights

  • Workshops at Patom Organic Village
  • Visit the Farm
  • Three-tiered afternoon tea
patom farm flower (1)

Itinerary

Visit the Patom Organic Farm, a organic farm and workshop centre, which focusses its business around the use of raw materials to provide farm to table products, natural beauty items and creative organic workshops. Patom is owned by Suan Sampran Man and has been in the family since the time of his grandparents. His grandfather founded the place due to his love of the tree scenery here, and soon after, his grandmother turned the area in to a beautiful rose garden which attracted many visitors from Bangkok. Based on the visitor interest, the region then became a hotel and restaurant.
In 2008, the family decided to create an organic farm to grow produce for the neighbouring hotel and restaurant.. From here, in 2010, the Sampran Model Movement was created which encourages farmers to use organic methods to produce crops and encourages farmers to promote organic produce to consumers.
Today, we will visit Patom Organic Farm to learn about the history of the region, and take part in two workshops where we will use local organic produce from the farm to create Patom lifestyle products. There are a number of workshops available, and today you will be taking part in two. You will be welcomed with a refreshing local coconut drink before taking part in your workshops.
The first workshop we will take part in today will include making your own organic rice scrub. You will be shown how to mix local produce including turmeric, peppermint, salt, rice and rose water for example to make both an organic and fragrant rice scrub.
Your second workshop will be utilising herbs to create colours to make tye dye designs on either a cloth or handkerchief. You will use items which provide strong colours such as turmeric, coconut shell, sappan wood and mango leaves to create your colours before creating your designs.
For both workshops, you will take your creations home as a keep sake.
There are a number of other workshops on offer including: making your own clay figurine, tote bag painting and herbal massage oil workshop.
End your experience with a three-tiered Thai afternoon tea including small desserts, fruit and some savoury nibbles.
Note:
• Depending on your interests, we can cater the experience workshops to your interests
• Dependant on group size, the group will be split in to smaller groups and swap over when doing the workshops

Farming Experience and Cooking Class at Patom Organic Farm

Farming Experience and Cooking Class at Patom Organic Farm

Farming Experience and Cooking Class at Patom Organic Farm

Exploring Patom Organic Farm and taking part in a cooking class is a delightful way to immerse yourself in sustainable agriculture and Thai culinary traditions.

Highlights

  • Farming Experience
  • Cooking Class
  • Delicious lunch
patom farm food

Itinerary

Visit the Patom Organic Farm, a organic farm and workshop centre, which focusses its business around the use of raw materials to provide farm to table products, natural beauty items and creative organic workshops. Patom is owned by Suan Sampran Man and has been in the family since the time of his grandparents. His grandfather founded the place due to his love of the tree scenery here, and soon after, his grandmother turned the area in to a beautiful rose garden which attracted many visitors from Bangkok. Based on the visitor interest, the region then became a hotel and restaurant.
In 2008, the family decided to create an organic farm to grow produce for the neighbouring hotel and restaurant.. From here, in 2010, the Sampran Model Movement was created which encourages farmers to use organic methods to produce crops and encourages farmers to promote organic produce to consumers.
Begin your experience with a welcome locally-produced coconut drink before taking a light walk in to the beautiful organic garden. You will first be taken to a traditional Thai house on stilts where, underneath you will be shown traditional rice-preparation techniques. These include pounding the rice with traditional tools before using a traditional machine to separate the rice husk from the grain. You will also have the opportunity to have a go yourself.
Next, time to take those shoes off and get stuck in by having a go assisting farmers in picking rice crop in a paddy field. Next, we will head to the organic farm to pick local vegetables and herbs which we will be using in our cooking class next. For your cooking class, we will be shown how to make simple Thai dishes using organic and local produce. Such items you will learn to cook will include: Thai omelette and fresh salads. After you have made your items, you will be taken to a seating area where you will enjoy your creations, accompanied by some prepared rice and pork.
Notes:
• Group size is minimum 5 pax
• Note that this cooking class is a simple cooking class and is more focussed on the organic and local produce nature of the experience