Thailand | Classic Journeys Blog
  • 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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  • Thai people dressed in cultural outfits, Thailand

    The Ultimate Thailand Itinerary

    <b>To get Thailand right, listen to the people.</b><br><br>The young monk who sat with us in the shade of a sacred ficus tree at Wat Suan Dok had the softest, wisest smile. He spoke of joining the monastery and asked about our lives at home. He couldn’t have known it; but that conversation changed the way we saw <a href="" target="_blank">Thailand</a> … and how we share it with you on our deeply personal visit to the country.<br> <br>Thailand’s vibrant public face boasts showy gold temples and Instagram-worthy beaches. You want to see it, and we’ll make sure you do. You’ll start, for instance, at an exclusive boutique beach resort hidden on a private cove in <a href="" target="_blank">Phuket</a>. But the real secret to <a href="" target="_blank">Thailand</a> is that if you shift your focus a few degrees to the right or left of the marquee attraction, real life is right there. So we boat out to islands in the Andaman Sea that are uninhabited except for the Moken, a tribe of sea nomads. They live on wooden boats and houses stilted over the waters. Even the children dive deep in the clear water to gather clams and sea cucumbers.<br><br><span style="color: #212121;"><span style="font-family: calibri,sans-serif;"><img alt="Beach in Phuket,Thailand" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bnZO&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jgmK" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></span></span><br> <br>In the Chiang Mai region, our local guide Oomi pulls strings with her friends at a small village school so that you get right into a classroom and meet the kids. Shy they’re not. Ask the universal question about what they want to be when they grow up, and you’ll get an interesting earful. Oomi is also your inside track to understanding and participating in the daily alms ceremony. Before dawn, Buddhist monks pad barefoot along the streets carrying alms bowls into which their neighbors place boiled rice. It’s an ancient ceremony, not a folkloric show, and you’re invited to participate in a way that the local people appreciate deeply.<br><br><span style="color: #212121;"><span style="font-family: calibri,sans-serif;"><img alt="Alms Ceremony" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bnZO&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jgmF" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></span></span><br> <br>At Classic Journeys, we are devout believers in responsible, culturally sensitive travel — an approach that pays dividends for you in <a href="" target="_blank">Thailand</a>. Near Chiang Rai, we’ve established relationships with the Lahu and Akha hill tribes who invite our small groups to spend time in their villages. The villagers welcome us into their daily lives unlike the “authentic tribes people” who are on display and outnumbered by tourists in commercialized sites. Nearby, you’ll also have a chance to spend some time with the mahouts of Dara Camp. Committed to conservation of local elephants, the mahouts are the pachyderms’ companions. They’ll even invite you to join the elephants for a trek through the forest.<br><br><span style="color: black;"><span style="font-family: calibri,sans-serif;"><img alt="Guests with elephants" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bnZO&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jgmP" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></span></span><br> <br>All along the way, we make sure you get a taste of Thai culture in all its forms. You’ll have a chance to shop a local market and get a cooking instruction from a respected chef. You’ll zip up the Mekong River on a long-tailed speed boat, take in the awesome views from Mount Doi Tung, snorkel on sparkling waters at Pak-Kard Bay, shop in local crafts markets, and even take a Thai boxing class if you like!<br> <br>But in our hearts, it all comes back to the diverse people you meet. The unguarded insights you get into their lives will reveal <a href="" target="_blank">Thailand</a> to you in more ways than you ever expected.

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