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Pak Kret (Bangkok) – Ayutthaya 2 Days

Cruise Ship:
Destinations:
Pak Kret (Bangkok)Koh KretSamkhokPivavan ResortBang Sai Arts & Craft VillageBang Pain Summer PalcaceAyutthaya
Duration:
2 days, 1 nights
Departure:
daily

Your voyage commences at the aptly named ‘Suan Thip’ (‘Garden of Heaven’) riverside restaurant; which provides a serene setting in which the buildings, gardens and food can only be described as being works of art in their respective fields.  (Alternatively we can arrange for you to embark at your riverside hotel in central Bangkok at 10am and cruise to ‘Suan Thip’; an additional charge will be applied for this option.)  Complementary lunch is selected from the full Suan Thip Menu.  Following lunch, a 10 minute cruise brings you to the man-made island of Koh Kret.  Isolated from the eastern bank of the river by the Pak Kret Canal, the island has no roads or cars, only a narrow encircling laneway with paths leading to houses and the famous Mon potteries which dot the island.  On weekends the island is bustling with tourists and the many small restaurants and bars lining the narrow thoroughfare do a brisk trade.  On weekdays the pace is a little more relaxed and Classic Barges can carry bicycles on request, so that you can more intimately experience the island’s unique culture and atmosphere. Two and a half hours of leisurely cruising northwards brings you to Samkhok; stepping ashore at this ancient Mon town is like passing through a portal into the past.  Settled by Mon refugees fleeing the Burmese in the late Ayutthaya period, Samkhok was formerly the provincial centre before it was moved to Pathum Thani.  The town is not on the tourist maps, but is a living museum of Thai culture; the narrow lanes and alleyways are lined with shop-houses selling everything from gold jewellery to spices and clay charcoal burners. After a further short cruise, you arrive at Piyavan Resort, a small Thai-styled resort featuring architectural styles from four regions of Thailand.  Situated on the eastern bank of the river, you can enjoy pre-dinner drinks whilst watching the sun set over the water.  The barge will then cruise to the highly awarded ‘Krua Rim Nam Tai Koh’ restaurant, where dinner is served either at the restaurant, or on board, in accordance with your selected menu.  The barge will return to Piyavan Resort, where after dinner drinks are served whilst you catch up with the latest international news, enjoy music, a movie, or simply relax in the balmy tropical night. The following morning, a full western breakfast of your choice is served at your convenience.  Traveling further upriver brings us to the Royal Thai Folk Arts and Craft Centre at Bang Sai.  This large modern gallery hosts a wide variety of modern and traditional Thai works of art; many beautiful craft items are for sale at reasonable prices.  The adjacent Traditional Thai Village displays a number of Thai crafts, which are undertaken in houses styled from various parts of the country.   A further hour’s cruising sees our arrival at the new and very charming boutique resort Ayutthaya Garden River Home where we will stop for lunch.  The resort grows its own organic vegetables and herbs; you will be presented with the menu in advance to ensure that your selections are available.  If desired, the itinerary can be adjusted to include a traditional Thai massage at the resort’s spa; they are renowned for their special hot salt pot massage.  A short cruise brings us to Bang Pa-In and the unique gothic style Buddhist temple of Wat Nivet.  A cable-car will carry you across the canal to the Bang Pa-in Summer Palace.  The palace grounds contain a variety of beautiful buildings in European, Chinese and traditional Thai styles, including some of the best known structures in the Kingdom. Another hour and the appearance of the fortress ‘Pom Phet’ ushers our arrival at the ancient capital of Siam, ‘Ayutthaya’.  As we approach the city, we pass the sites of the Japanese, British, Portuguese and Dutch settlements. It is here where the Dutch East India Company’s ships lay at anchor 400 years ago. The cruise continues up the Chao Phraya River, passing the principal riverside attractions of Wat Phutthaisawan, Saint Joseph’s Church, Wat Chaiwatthanaram, Wat Kassithirat and Queen Suriothai’s Chedi, before returning to Ayutthaya.  Disembarkation is at your riverside accommodation, the Railway Station Jetty, or at the revered temple of Wat Phananchoeng which predates the ancient capital. Alternatively you may like to remain on ‘Montha’ and continue with a cruise to the ‘Elephant Kraal’ on the Lop Buri River to see the working elephants taking their evening bathe in the river.  You can hand feed the elephants from the front deck, but be wary, if teased, these playful animals are not beyond occasionally squirting water at the unsuspecting guests. A private dinner cruise past the illuminated riverside attractions of Ayutthaya can also be a perfect way to finish the day. Tours of Ayutthaya by land and/or river, overnight hotel accommodation and transport back to Bangkok can be arranged to suit your requirements.  Additional charges apply for these added activities.  Rail connections to destinations throughout Thailand are available from Ayutthaya.  

Price:
from $1105
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