Meditation, Monks, Spirits and Spas

10 Nights

Chiang Mai

For those who want to switch off and come back freshly rejuvenated, embark on this tour exploring the temples of Chiang Mai and Bangkok mixed with some leisure time. You will also spend three nights at a meditation centre where a monk and staff will teach and guide you how to meditate and how to find your inner peace.

From £878pp
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Highlights

- Relax in Thailand at your retreat and escape away from your daily routine
- Experience an old Kingdom of Lan Na, Chiang Mai where it is rich of culture and tradition
- Learn about meditation where you can find inner peace and understand more about yourself
- Discover Bangkok and find out where and how Buddhism is related to Thailand culturally, traditionally and religiously
- Enjoy a nice afternoon of pampering at your private Spa treatment at Panpuri Wellness

  • Day 1 - Chiang Mai - Arrival
  • Day 2 - Chiang Mai - Temples
  • Day 3 - Chiang Mai
  • Day 4 - Chiang Mai - Meditation
  • Day 5 - Chiang Mai - Meditation
  • Day 6 - Chiang Mai - Meditation
  • Day 7 - Chiang Mai - Bangkok
  • Day 8 - Bangkok - Temples
  • Day 9 - Bangkok - Sightseeing and Spa Afternoon
  • Day 10 - Bangkok - Day at Leisure
  • Day 11 - Departure from Bangkok
  • Additional Information

You will meet with your guide at Chiang Mai airport. Then, drive up to the Doi Suthep, a 1600 metre high mountain towering over Chiang Mai. Visit the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a beautiful
temple from which you have a fantastic view over the city. Lunch will be at a local restaurant and then return to the hotel and the rest of the day is free at leisure.

(Check-in time is by 2pm unless you request for an early check-in)

Meals Included: Breakfast + lunch

Banthai Village

Nestled in a bustling neighborhood just off Tapae Road and in walking distance to the Tapae Gate entrance to the old city, Banthai Village is a cozy retreat that also affords easy access to much of Chiang Mai’s best attractions including the Sunday Walking Street market and the Night Bazaar.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep - Buddhist Temple

A must see, on any visit to Chiang Mai, is the wondrous and holy temple of Wat Phra That which is located near the top of Doi Suthep (Mount Suthep). The temple is simply referred to as Doi Suthep by most people. Every tuk-tuk and songthaew driver in Chiang Mai will offer to take you on the 15 klm trip up the winding mountain road to Doi Suthep.

Built as a Buddhist monastery in 1383 it is still a working monastery today. Funds raised by donations and the lift fee go to support the monks living there and for maintenance of the various temple buildings. The architecture, statues, murals and shrines seen here are nothing short of breathtaking.

To get to know Chiang Mai a little better, you will be picked up by your driver and your guide in the lobby. Today, you will visit some of the most famous but lesser-known temples in the Old City of Chiang Mai. The transfer can today, if desired be with a so-called Samlor, i.e. a tuktuk.
First, you will drive to the temples Wat Chiang Man and Wat Phra Singh. The latter is probably the most revered temple in Chiang Mai. Continue to Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phantao, a beautiful wooden temple. Do not forget to take pictures of these impressive buildings and capture the spiritual ambience. Lunch is served in a local restaurant.

After lunch you will visit the colourful Warorot market. This market is nowadays the center of Chinatown in Chiang Mai. You will explore the bustling market, where all sorts of everyday things are sold. Gain a deeper impression of the life of the northern Thai population. Afterwards you will be transferred to your hotel in Chiang Mai.

Meals Included: Breakfast + lunch

Banthai Village

Nestled in a bustling neighborhood just off Tapae Road and in walking distance to the Tapae Gate entrance to the old city, Banthai Village is a cozy retreat that also affords easy access to much of Chiang Mai’s best attractions including the Sunday Walking Street market and the Night Bazaar.

Wat Chedi Luang - Buddhist Temple

King Saen Muang Ma began building the Phra Chedi Luang to enshrine the relics of his father at the end of the 14th century, but King Tilokarat completed it. The chedi used to be 90 meters high before it was partly destroyed in an earthquake in 1545; it was to remain the tallest structure in Chiang Mai for over 500 years. The present restored chedi is about 60 meters high.

 

One of the best times to see this chedi is during the wian tian ceremony in the evening on one of the main Buddhist festival days.

Wat Phra Sing - Buddhist Temple

 

Within the walls of the ancient city are several old temples of interest. Among them, Wat Phra Singh is perhaps the largest and most interesting, although it may not seem so at first glance. Upon entering the main gate, you're greeted by a large and dusty parking area. Across the lot is a large wiharn (prayer hall) with an intricately carved front. This is your first clue that there's more here than there might appear.

This day is at your leisure in the city. You can relax in the hotel or explore the surroundings on your own. Prepare your mind and body for the next few days.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Banthai Village

Nestled in a bustling neighborhood just off Tapae Road and in walking distance to the Tapae Gate entrance to the old city, Banthai Village is a cozy retreat that also affords easy access to much of Chiang Mai’s best attractions including the Sunday Walking Street market and the Night Bazaar.

After breakfast, check out of your hotel. You will be taken to the Wat Umong Meditation Center. Here you will spend the next 3 days.

After registering you will receive a first introduction and learn more about the daily routine. The program can change on a daily basis and the staff and
monks present will brief you.

Program and activities at this meditation centre will be run by English Speaking Monks and staff.

Meals Included: Breakfast + lunch

Wat Umong Meditation Centre

The Wat Umong (Umong temple)  Meditation Centre was founded for the propagation of theoretical and practical Buddhism and for the promotion of peace to happiness among all human beings.  The center was officially acknowledged as the seventh provincial meditation center in 2008 by Royal Thai Sangha Organisation.  The centre is a forest monastery at the the foothills of Doi Suthep that all meditators are invited to retreat and practice among peacefully natural surroundings.

After breakfast, Practice meditation (Self-Training after instruction guidance).

Meals Included: Breakfast + lunch

Wat Umong Meditation Centre

The Wat Umong (Umong temple)  Meditation Centre was founded for the propagation of theoretical and practical Buddhism and for the promotion of peace to happiness among all human beings.  The center was officially acknowledged as the seventh provincial meditation center in 2008 by Royal Thai Sangha Organisation.  The centre is a forest monastery at the the foothills of Doi Suthep that all meditators are invited to retreat and practice among peacefully natural surroundings.

Today is following the same schedule as yesterday. Use the meditation units to find your inner centre and the rest periods to process what you have learned. You will be encouraged to find your balance in body and soul. In the afternoon, the driver will pick you up and transfer you from Wat Umong to your hotel in Chiang Mai.

Meals Included: Breakfast + lunch

Banthai Village

Nestled in a bustling neighborhood just off Tapae Road and in walking distance to the Tapae Gate entrance to the old city, Banthai Village is a cozy retreat that also affords easy access to much of Chiang Mai’s best attractions including the Sunday Walking Street market and the Night Bazaar.

Check out of your hotel and get ready for your trip to Bangkok today. The driver and your tour guide are waiting for you in the lobby for your transfer to Chiang Mai
Airport for your flight to Bangkok.

The flight from Chiang Mai to Bangkok is not included in the package and must be added on.

Arrive into Bangkok and you will be picked up at the airport in Bangkok and be transferred to your hotel. Relax in your hotel and reflect on the past days of peace.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Silom Serene Hotel

Property Location A stay at Silom Serene Hotel places you in the heart of Bangkok, walking distance from Patpong Night Market and Thaniya Plaza. This hotel is close to Wat Pho and Wat Arun.

Experience Bangkok's spiritual side with temple visits.

This morning, visit the breathtaking reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, which is incredibly stunning and adorned. Here you can also visit the wider area of the temple and discover the many exciting characters. There you can even experience the traditional singing there (chanting). Then, visit Wat Saket, the Temple of the Golden Mountain in sight. At the top of the Golden Mountain, you can relax with a panoramic view of Bangkok and overlook the bustling capital from a quiet spot. Lunch on site at leisure.

Finally, your tour will take you to Wat Trimitr, where you will find a solid gold Buddha before returning to your hotel.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Silom Serene Hotel

Property Location A stay at Silom Serene Hotel places you in the heart of Bangkok, walking distance from Patpong Night Market and Thaniya Plaza. This hotel is close to Wat Pho and Wat Arun.

Wat Pho

Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha), or Wat Phra Chetuphon, is located behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and a must-do for any first-time visitor in Bangkok. It's one of the largest temple complexes in the city and famed for its giant reclining Buddha that measures 46 metres long and is covered in gold leaf. It’s an easy ten minute walk between here and the Grand Palace, and we recommend coming to Wat Pho second, because even though the golden Buddha here is just as popular many people don’t take the time to wander around the rest of the complex so the experience tends to be far more relaxing. This is also a great place to get a traditional Thai massage. Wat Pho is often considered the leading school of massage in Thailand, so you really are in good hands here. Since December 2012, entrance to the temple costs 100 baht and you can visit any time between 08:00 and 17:00.

The highlight for most people visiting Wat Pho is the Reclining Buddha. The figures here are impressive: 15 metres tall, 46 metres long, so large it feels like it has been squeezed into the building. The Buddha's feet are 5 metres long and exquisitely decorated in mother-of-pearl illustrations of auspicious 'laksanas' (characteristics) of the Buddha. 108 is a significant number, referring to the 108 positive actions and symbols that helped lead Buddha to perfection. You’ll need to take your shoes off to enter, and if you would like a little good luck, we recommend purchasing a bowl of coins at the entrance of the hall which you can drop in the 108 bronze bowls which line the length of the walls. Dropping the small pennies in makes a nice ringing sound and even if your wishes don’t come true, the money goes towards helping the monks renovate and preserve Wat Pho. As this is a revered image, all visitors must wear appropriate clothing; this means no exposed shoulders or skin above the knee.

As we said before, it really is worth taking a look round the rest of the temple. Wat Pho also has good English speaking guides who will provide interesting information for around 200 - 400 baht, depending on how many people there are in your group and how good your negotiating skills are. If you prefer, you can wander alone. Recommend sites include four chapels that contain 394 gilded Buddha images, long lines of golden statues from different parts of Thailand sitting in the lotus position. Although the intricately detailed murals that cover the walkways around Wat Pho will require a book or guide to decipher, the exquisite murals are so detailed and intricate that even if you don’t understand all the imagery you can still appreciate the artwork. Finally in the courtyards at Wat Pho Temple are some comical looking Chinese statutes that were once uses as ballasts on ships and 91 chedis (or stupas) decorated in ceramic pottery flowers and colourful tiles.

 

Wat Pho was the first public university in Thailand, specialising in religion, science and literature. It is now more well-known as a centre for traditional massage and medicine. After a walk around the temple there is nothing quite like a relaxing foot or head and shoulder massage. If you've never tried a traditional Thai massage, Wat Pho is a good place to experience this popular leisure activity. It's quite different to most other forms of therapeutic massage and tends to be invigorating rather than relaxing, incorporating yoga style postures to relieve stress and improve blood circulation. This is a very popular activity at Wat Pho temple, so we recommend you pop in before your treatment to book a spot, or you might end up with a long wait.

Golden Mount - Wat Saket

Wat Saket, popularly known as the Golden Mount or ‘Phu Khao Thong’, is a low hill crowned with a gleaming gold chedi. Within, the 58-metre chedi houses a Buddha relic and welcomes worshippers all year round. The temple also hosts an annual temple fair in November, which lasts a week during Loy Krathong.

 The temple grounds feature mature trees and typical Buddhist structures such as the main chapel, ordination hall and library. Its origins can be traced back to the Ayutthaya period (1350- 1767 AD) and it underwent major renovations during King Rama I’s reign (1782-1809).

Half Day Tour to Jim Thompson's House. The driver and your tour guide will pick you up in the lobby today. In the morning, a real oasis awaits you amid the bustling, chaotic city of Bangkok.

On a quiet side street near Bangkok's most famous shopping malls, visit Jim Thompson's House. Jim Thompson is also known as the father and savior of the Thai silk industry. He set himself the goal in the last century to revive this important tradition of Thailand. In his teak-built, traditional home, you can admire his heritage and learn more about this fascinating man who disappeared on a hike in Malaysia without a trace. The in-house shop offers wonderful souvenirs made of the finest silk.

After you will be brought to the Spa "Panpuri Wellness" for a relaxing afternoon and your driver will leave for the day. You embark on a journey of absolute wellbeing, pampering your senses in state-of-the-art, eco-friendly facilities that promote health, beauty and long-lasting vitality. (Your package includes 60
minutes of Royal Thai Massage and 30 minutes of Foot Massage, duration approximately 1.5 hours).

After your massage, you will need to make your own way back to your hotel.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Silom Serene Hotel

Property Location A stay at Silom Serene Hotel places you in the heart of Bangkok, walking distance from Patpong Night Market and Thaniya Plaza. This hotel is close to Wat Pho and Wat Arun.

Jim Thompson House

The lovely garden-enclosed compound sitting on the bank of the Saen Saeb Canal would have gone completely unnoticed, had it not been for a legacy 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.

An architect by training and an avid collector of Asian objets d’art, Jim Thompson’s keen eyes and flair for design breathed life into everything he touched. After his discharge from military service in 1946, Jim Thompson decided to settle down in Thailand, where he dedicated over 30 years to reviving Thai silk – then a dying cottage industry – and introduced it to the world’s most respectable fashion houses and catwalks in Paris, New York, London and Milan.

The same goes for his Thai house, which was no ordinary teakwood villa complex filled with incongruous collections of antiques, but a breathing museum – even then – that embodies Jim Thompson’s life-long passion and whimsical design choices. One day in 1967, while at the height of his success, he mysteriously disappeared into the Malaysian jungle, and thus began the legacy of Jim Thompson…

This day is at your leisure in the city. You can relax in the hotel or explore the surroundings on your own. How about some souvenirs to bring back to your loved ones?

Meals Included: Breakfast

Silom Serene Hotel

Property Location A stay at Silom Serene Hotel places you in the heart of Bangkok, walking distance from Patpong Night Market and Thaniya Plaza. This hotel is close to Wat Pho and Wat Arun.

After breakfast, you will check out by 12pm (late check-out can be requested subject to hotel availability and surcharges) and your driver and tour guide will pick you up in the lobby for your transfer from your hotel in Bangkok to Bangkok Airport.

Hopefully, today you will fly home feeling relaxed and rested from the meditation and your inner peace.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Please note:
Accommodation in hotels mentioned/listed is subject to availability. If the listed hotel is fully booked, alternate accommodation will be booked within the same hotel category without surcharge/reduction. If no hotel in the same category is available, we reserve the right to apply a surcharge for any higher category or a reduction for any lower category. All hotel ratings are according to the local accreditation authority. Compulsory surcharges and meal options apply during peak holiday periods such as Christmas, May 1st, New Years and Chinese New Year. These will be advised at the time of booking or at any time should the hotel apply on an ad hoc basis.

Services included with this tour:
- All described sightseeing as per the programme mentioned
- Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles unless otherwise mentioned
- Accommodation in hotels with daily breakfast
- English-speaking local guides
- Admission fees to indicated sights
- Meals as mentioned during your tour
- Domestic government tax and service charge

Services not included as a part of your tour:
- International and Domestic flight tickets
- Visa fees
- Travel insurance
- Compulsory meals and supplements during peak and holiday dates
- Single room supplement should the client wish to use a single room instead of sharing one room
- Drinks during meals
- Tips, drinks and personal expenses
- Early check-in and late check-out fees (if requested)