Coach Holiday to Bangkok and Phuket
For something a little different and exciting why not take a multi-centre coach holiday consisting of visiting the bustling, busy Bangkok and then relaxing on one of the many beaches in Phuket.
Bangkok welcomes more visitors than any other city in the world and its not hard to see why so many people flock here. Bangkok is a city of contrasts of action and culture at every corner. Marvel at the gleaming temples, hop on a tuk tuk along the bustling Chinatown or take a longtail boat trip through the bustling floating markets. Food in Bangkok is also a highlight, from haute cuisine served in romantic rooftop restaurants to local dishes served at humble street stalls.
There are ample luxury malls where you can find posh boutiques to bag yourself something luxury at a good price and many local markets for you to poke around at your leisure. There are many extravagant, luxury hotels and apartments throughout the city with something to suit everyone’s budget and regardless of where you stay you can be rest assured you will be welcomed with excellent Thai hospitality.
It’s a well-known fact that a trip to Bangkok wouldn’t be complete without a glimpse of its famous nightlife. Be it in night clubs, cabarets or exotic red-light districts, Bangkok never ceases to amaze you with what is on offer and there really is something for everyone’s taste.
Bangkok began as a small trading centre and port community on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River some 200 years ago. However, today while the city is up to speed with modern times, the grandeur and glory or its illustrious past still prevails. Be it dazzling temples, spectacular palaces or colourful Chinatown.
Top 11 places for you to visit in Bangkok:
1. Grand Palace and Wat Prakeaw
The Grand Palace and Wat Prakeaw command respect from all who have walked in their sacred grounds. Built in 1782, and for 150 years the home of Thai Kings and the Royal Court, The Grand Palace continues to amaze its visitors with its beautiful architecture and intricate detailing. The Wat Prakeaw enshrines the emerald buddha, the sacred buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of emerald. There is so much to see and do here so allow yourself plenty of time whilst on this amazing coach holiday.
2. Floating Market
The floating market is not to be missed when visiting Bangkok. Nowadays the markets sell predominantly to tourists rather than locals but you will still see these boats pilled high with tropical fruit, vegetables and ready to drink coconut juice, not to mention floating kitchens where you can sample some local delights whilst on the river. If you don’t fancy haggling you can take a guided boat tour of Damnoen Saduak market and relax and enjoy.
3. Wat Pho
Wat Pho is home to the Temple of the Reclining Buddha and is a must on anyone’s to do list. It is one of the largest temple complexes in the city and is famous for the reclining buddha who measures 46 metres long and is covered in gold leaf. This is also a great location to experience a Thai massage. Wat Pho is considered the leading school of massage in Thailand so you really are in good hands here.
4. Chatuchak Weekend Market
This market used to be popular with traders and wholesalers, however, now the Chatuchak Weekend Market has reached a landmark status as a must-see place for tourists. Due to its sheer size and multitude of diverse collections any seasoned shopping will be wanting to spend some time here. The market is home to more than 8,000 stalls and on a typical weekend more than 200,000 visitors come here to sift through what is on offer.
5. Soi Cowboy
Soi Cowboy is named after the cowboy hat-wearing African- American who opened the first bar here in the 1970s. This adult themed district has a more laid-back, Carnival feel to it. Flashing lights, line the streets and there are plenty of great places to stop and have drinks here.
Chinatown is a popular tourist attraction in Bangkok and a food haven for new generation gourmands who flock here after sunset to explore and enjoy street-side cuisine at its finest. During the day it is packed with market stalls, street-side restaurants and a dense collection of gold shops. Chinatown isn’t to be missed whilst in Bangkok. Take a visit during one of the festivals like Chinese New Year and you’ll see Bangkok’s Chinatown at its best.
7. Wat Arun
The impressive silhouette of Wat Arun’s towering spires is one of the most recognised in Southeast Asia. Constructed in the 19th century in the ancient Khmer style, the stupa showcasing ornate floral pattern decked out in glazed porcelain is totally stunning up close. Wat Arun symbolises the birth of the Rattanakosin Period and the founding of the new capital after Ayutthaya fell. Ideal times to visit are sunset, particularly when it is lit up at night, however, it is a lot quieter if you visit early morning before the crowds.
8. Chao Phraya River and Waterways
One of the most scenic areas. Here the riverside reflects the ever-changing day and night scene of Bangkok. Water-taxis and heavily laden rice barges chug away upstream, set against the beautiful backdrop of palaces and temples glistening in the sunshine. You can also take a stroll along the canal paths, peeking with every step into a new home, stepping over shoes or passed ladies watering their plants.
9. Khao San Road
Khao San Road is almost where you find East and West meeting. Here you will find travellers from every corner of the world, sleek clubs playing sophisticated music, converted VW cocktail bars, eclectic market stalls and food tamed to suit the western palate. There is a real care free vibe here so its certainly worth exploring.
10. Jim Thompsons House
For something a little different visit Jim Thompson’s house to explore 3 decades of dedication to the revival of Thai silk, then a dying art, changed the industry forever. After he mysteriously disappeared into the jungle of Malaysia, he left behind a legacy which is reflected in his vast collections of Thai art and antiques which are now on display at the Jim Thompson’s House and museum.
These are just some of the wonderful things you can explore and enjoy in Bangkok, there is so much to see and do here you will be wanting to come back again and again and will make memories here that you can share with your family for a lifetime.
After all the hustle and bustle in Bangkok jump on a plane with a short flight to the beautiful Phuket.
The pearly white, palm and casuarina fringed beaches that ring Phuket’s western and southern coasts are the islands key bounty. However, each beach is different from the mellow jungled Rawai on the far south of Phuket, to the northwest’s upmarket Surin and Ao Bang Thao with their luxury hotels and resorts or the infamous west-coast sin city of Patong, home of many bars and the many hangovers. So there is beach space for everyone here that’s for sure.
East-coast capital Phuket Town will delight you with its eye-opening museums, historic mansions, Chinese shrines, Peranakan cooking and shophouses done in characteristic Sino-Portuguese style. Major temples stand in Chalong and Thalang, while two National Parks and some wildlife sanctuaries await exploration in the north of the island. Alternatively take a speedy trip up to the hills behind Kata to Big Buddha which will reconnect you with the modern-day Phuket pulse.
Some of Thailand’s most magnificent landscapes lie hidden beneath the Andaman’s glittering surface, and Phuket sits blissfully within day-tripping distance of both Ko Phi-Phi’s popular diving sites and the famed national parks and beautiful Similan Islands. If you are keen to dive this is the spot for you and many excursions can be arranged. If diving deep isn’t your thing there are ample opportunities for snorkelling trips here too.
For something a little different and for the keen rum drinkers out there taking a trip to the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery may be right up your street. There is plenty for you to do when you arrive, and you can take a tour around the distillery and end up in the cocktail making workshop using the rum and relax whilst you sample your cocktails.
Sitting just to the south of Kato Noi beach is Karon View Point, which is the most popular view point in Phuket, and usually very busy. However, its worth a visit. The viewpoint looks out over the Andaman sea in one direction and the other directions points towards the three west coast beaches on the other side of the island.
If you love your food, then why not undertake a Thai cooking class whilst out here. By taking a class you will learn about the ingredients as well as picking up useful skills to continue cooking when you return home. Many places offer half or full day cooking sessions.
Considered riding an elephant? Please don’t. Instead why not visit the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary and you’ll learn all about the elephants and support ethical elephant tourism as well as getting to meet the beautiful creatures.
For an evening with a different twist head to Simons Cabaret Show and see the Ladyboys. For one hour you will be treated to a spectacular cabaret by various performers. The costumes are simply amazing and you can have photos with the ladyboys afterwards for a small tip.
There really is so much for you to enjoy on your coach holiday to Thailand both in Phuket and in the busy Bangkok you will definitely leave wanting to come back very soon and explore more that this amazing country has to offer you.