Thailand | Classic Journeys Blog
  • Bangkok Tuk Tuk

    What to See on a Short Trip to Bangkok

    <a href="" target="_blank">Bangkok; what a city.</a> There truly is no way to describe Thailand&#39;s capital, full of an infectious energy, tuk-tuks zipping around every corner, and lines of food stalls clanking and buzzing as they open for the nightly markets. A treasury of temples and history mixes with the eclectic and wonderful quirks of this massive city. It may seem impossible to discover a city so large in just a short trip, but we&#39;ve collected some of our favorite spots should you have a quick stopover in Bangkok. Here a list of the must-see things on a short trip to Bangkok (with a few insider tips from a fellow traveler):<br><br><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxvS&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zWpH" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>The Grand Palace </b><br><br>The massive royal, grand palace is a must-see while in Bangkok. It&#39;s an ornately decorated complex of temples and spectacular buildings used to house the Thai King, his court, and the royal governing bodies. This architectural wonder retains centuries of regal magnificence and continues to act as the grounds for several cultural occasions and religious celebrations that take place in <a href="" target="_blank">Bangkok.</a> <b>Traveler trip: </b>visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Grand Palace</a> early in the morning, after opening to avoid the crowds and mid-day heat.<br><br><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxvS&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zWoY" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Wat Pho</b><br><br>This famous Buddhist temple complex is known for housing the city&#39;s largest <a href="" target="_blank">reclining Buddha</a>. It&#39;s one of Bangkok&#39;s oldest temples and arguably one of the most spectacular. <b>Traveler Tip: </b>You can (and should) visit the grounds of <a href="" target="_blank">Wat Pho</a> at night for free! There are no crowds and the decorated stupas are lit up at night—making for an unforgettable visit to the famous temple.   <br><br><b>Chatuchak Weekend Market </b><br><br>If your visit falls on a Saturday or Sunday you&#39;re in luck! This world-famous weekend market is 27-acres with a swirling maze of streets and aisles selling everything you could ever imagine. With over 15,000 booths, you are sure to find local art, clothing, jewelry and food—basically, if it exists on the planet you will find it here. Make a note of where you enter the market because getting lost is easier than you&#39;d think. <b>Traveler Tip: </b>Be prepared to haggle for what you want. In many cases, you can pay up to 50% less than the first price you were told.<br><br><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxvS&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zWpM" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)</b><br><br>One of the best known Thai landmarks, this temple is located on the west bank of the <a href="" target="_blank">Chao Phraya River</a>. The Buddhist temple is decorated with colorful mosaics that create a warm brilliance during sunset and sunrise. The active monastery is made up of five tall towers, and for the more adventurous traveler, you can climb to the top of the central stupa (tower) for stunning views of the city. <b>Traveler Tip: </b>at night, the temple is lit up with lights and a spectacular view of the temple can be seen from secret rooftop bars directly across the river. Ask your <a href="" target="_blank">local guides</a> for tips on the best one to visit.<br><br><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxvS&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zWpW" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Floating Market</b><br><br>Floating markets are common in <a href="" target="_blank">Thailand</a>, but the most famous is the <a href="" target="_blank">Damnoen Saduk</a> in the Ratchaburi province right outside of Bangkok. On a boat of your own, float down a canal as you negotiate with vendors selling canoes full of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other foods. <b>Traveler Tip: </b>Visit the market in the morning, when it&#39;s the liveliest. Don&#39;t forget your camera, as this is a cultural wonder and experience you won&#39;t want to miss. <br><br><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxvS&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zWoT" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxvS&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zWp7" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Flower Market</b><br><br><a href="" target="_blank">Bangkok&#39;s Flower Market</a> is open 24 hours a day and is a visually stunning and culturally stimulating experience. You can find hundreds of stalls selling vibrant flowers for all occasions, as well as stands selling fresh fruits and vegetables. Flowers have great significance in Thailand and are used in a wide array of situations, ranging from religious purposes to decorative use. <b>Traveler Tip: </b>The busiest time at the <a href="" target="_blank">Flower Market</a> is from just before midnight to the early hours of the morning, as that is when the flower deliveries arrive. If you care to witness the frenzied, energetic charm of this market it&#39;s best to visit in those peak hours, however, it&#39;s a fun sight to see during the day as well. <br><br><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxvS&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zWpC" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Thai Cooking Lesson</b><br><br>If time allows, enjoy an evening of food and culture with cooking lessons for some of your favorite Thai dishes. The sights, smells, sounds, and tastes you encountered at local markets will come together to create the emblematic Thai dishes we all know and love. Learn traditional food preparation techniques and discover the secret to making the perfect <a href="" target="_blank">green curry and mango sticky rice.</a> <br><br><br><br><a href="" target="_blank">Bangkok</a> is a city worth visiting for its vibrant energy and captivating culture. Should you find yourself traveling to Thailand, check out our <a href="" target="_blank">trip extension to explore Bangkok</a> and all the city has to offer. 

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  • Yasaka Pagoda, Kyoto, Japan

    5 Best Overseas Adventures: Asia & Oceania

    Looking for your next overseas adventure travel destination? <a href="" target="_blank">Asia</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Oceania </a>have some must-see locations, and we&#39;ve rounded up our top five! No matter where you choose—whether it be the bamboo forests of <a href="" target="_blank">Japan</a>, the iconic Taj Mahal in <a href="" target="_blank">India</a>, or <a href="" target="_blank">New Zealand&#39;s</a> cinematic beauty—you&#39;re guaranteed to have a trip of a lifetime with Classic Journeys.<br><br><b>TOP 5 TRIPS IN ASIA &amp; OCEANIA:</b><br><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Japan" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehpy&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r3w" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="" target="_blank"><b>JAPAN</b></a><br>A revealing look at Japan&#39;s history and modern culture. Explore <a href="" target="_blank">Tokyo </a>and learn to make sushi. Take in the beauty of Hakone with views of Mt. Fuji. Visit Kyoto&#39;s temples, partake in the tea ceremony, and experience the art of the geishas at an elegant dinner. <br><br><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Thailand" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehpy&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r41" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="" target="_blank"><b>THAILAND</b></a><br>Stepping far beyond the temple-spired capital, we&#39;ll visit an elephant camp in the foothills of <a href="" target="_blank">Chiang Dao</a>, and walk from rice-paddy paths to remote villages where we receive the blessing of saffron-robed Buddhist monks at an early morning alms-giving... glide over rivers in long-tail boats... and are welcomed into one of the country&#39;s finest kitchens. <br><br><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Vietnam" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehpy&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r4B" style="height: 354px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="" target="_blank"><b>VIETNAM</b></a><br>Between <a href="" target="_blank">Saigon </a>and <a href="" target="_blank">Hanoi</a>, spend a night on a junk in Halong Bay and bike amid Mekong rice paddies. In <a href="" target="_blank">Laos</a>, care for elephants at an elephant sanctuary. Explore Cambodia&#39;s splendid<a href="" target="_blank"> Angkor Wat</a>. And luxuriate at some of Asia&#39;s finest hotels. <br><br><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="India" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehpy&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r4G" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="" target="_blank"><b>INDIA</b></a><br>An epic journey! Delhi. The <a href="" target="_blank">Taj Maha</a><a href="" target="_blank">l</a> at dawn. One-of-a-kind countryside walks that introduce you to villagers and rural life... as well as descendants of royal families, sari-and turban-tying experts, and eminent naturalists. <br><br><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="New Zealand" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehpy&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r4L" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="" target="_blank"><b>NEW ZEALAND</b></a><br>Awesome variety from <a href="" target="_blank">Auckland </a>to <a href="" target="_blank">Queenstown</a>! Sail on an America&#39;s Cup yacht and sip wine on lush Waiheke island. Visit a working sheep farm and go jet-boating. All capped by a glacier walk and cruise in the fjords of Doubtful Sound. 

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  • Lavender Fields in Provence, France

    Top 6 Locations to Stop and Smell the Flowers

    Take heart. Even if you are bracing for one more nor’easter, spring is upon us. Not only is warmer weather on the horizon, but our world is about to get a lot more colorful! Soon, flowers will start to blossom all over the globe, bringing vibrant hues and perfumed breezes for you to enjoy. You can celebrate this spectacle in person or vicariously by scrolling down to see six of our favorite places to watch flowers bloom.   <br><br><b><a href="" target="_blank">The valleys of Ronda, Spain</a><br><img alt="Valley of Ronda, Spain" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y4oo&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oaMm" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></b><br>You might not find a better view in <a href="" target="_blank">Spain</a> than those along the Guadiaro River in Ronda. In season, the whole valley is blanketed with gorgeous wildflowers. Enjoy a cinematic walk that leads you through oak forest, past villages that peek through the branches, and with views of the Benaoján Sierras soaring in the distance. Along the way, you’ll walk past farmsteads with well-tended orchards and fields of produce, before the valley narrows to an impressive red rock canyon where a dense forest is alive with birds.<br> <br><b><a href="" target="_blank">Alpine Flowers of the Swiss Alps</a><br><img alt="Alpine Flowers" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y4oo&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oaMw" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></b><br>In early to mid-summer the meadows of the <a href="" target="_blank">Swiss Alps</a> are ablaze with flowers. Primrose, heather, Bellflower, and buttercup are just a few of the blooms that flourish on these towering slopes. On your Swiss Alps adventure, you’ll join a local expert for a nature walk on a trail from Iffigen Alp down through the lush green upper valley along the Simme River. You’ll get an immersive firsthand lesson in the local agriculture, flora, and fauna. Amidst thick patches of forest and seasonal flowers, you&#39;ll feel like a true mountain villager, ambling below spectacular peaks as cowbells echo from the hillsides.<br><br><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Lavender in Provence</b></a><br><img alt="Lavender in Provence" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y4oo&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oaMS" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>From May to August, purple ribbons of lavender drape the hills and valleys of <a href="" target="_blank">Provence, France</a>. And oh, what a sight it is. As you explore Provence, make sure to visit Senanque Abbey (one of only three Cistercian monasteries in the region still occupied by monks). This Provencal landmark is in an isolated valley surrounded by fields upon fields of lavender–pictures don’t even do it justice, but they sure come close.<br> <br><b><a href="" target="_blank">Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto</a><br><img alt="Kyoto Cherry Blossoms" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y4oo&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oaMX" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></b><br>It’s said that 20% or more of Japan’s most important national treasures are in <a href="" target="_blank">Kyoto </a>and they are now recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From March to May the explosion of cherry blossoms wraps the historic city in a different kind of national treasure as visitors from all over the world flock to Kyoto to witness this beautiful transition from spring to summer.<br> <br><b><a href="" target="_blank">Bougainvillea in Amalfi</a><br><img alt="Bougainvillea Amalfi" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y4oo&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oaMc" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></b><br>Situated on the &#39;ankle&#39; of the Italian boot, <a href="" target="_blank">Amalfi </a>has the perfect climate for flowers to thrive, and thrive they do! In mid-spring, bright bougainvillea climb around walls and staircases, and line village streets–making these flowers iconic to this coastal town. These purple blooms decorate gleaming villas that cling to cliffs with no visible foothold. You might find yourself asking how…why? But when you swing open the shutters in your cliffside hotel room, the jaw-dropping view is all the answer you need.<br> <br><b><a href="" target="_blank">Flower Festival in Chiang Mai</a><br><img alt="Flower Festival Chiang Mai" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y4oo&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oaMh" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></b><br>Time your visit for February to enjoy the Chiang Mai Flower Festival that celebrates the beautiful blooms that are in season. This is <a href="" target="_blank">Thailand’s </a>greatest flower show, where floats are decked out with vivid flowers unique to northern Thailand. The plethora of color that this festival brings to Chiang Mai fittingly gives the city its nickname, “Rose of the North”.

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