Culinary, Cultural, SPA Tour of Thailand
This is information about a tour hosted by Chef Philippa Kingsley in 2006. It was an exquisite culinary and cultural experience for everyone. Here you will find the itinerary, details and photographs of our adventure.
If you are interested in a future trip to Thailand, please call:
(404) 255-4760 Or, email at:
The land once known as Siam sparkles with exotic, yet accessible wonders in the culinary, cultural and spa world.
Special treats are in store for the participants, including visits to an elite private home, private tours of galleries and gardens, hands-on cooking demonstrations and soothing spa treatments. Itineraries can also be custom designed to suit your personal needs.
For the first time ever, you can experience the “Light of the Lotus” the amazing country of Thailand through her eyes:
Chef Philippa Kingsley’s unique and personal Culinary, Cultural, SPA Tour of Thailand.
“Thailand is part of my heart and soul and I am part of Thailand.
I’ll show you the essence and soul of the people and country that I love”
The 13 night unique and personalized program will introduce you to the three integral and interrelated jewels of the Thai experience.
January 18 - February 1, 2006
Departure date USA: 18th January 2006
Arrive Bangkok: 19th January 2006
Departure Bangkok: 1st February 2006
Arrive USA: 1st February 2006
Bangkok - Sukhothai Hotel (Superior Room)
- Thosaeng – Khong Jiam Resort & Spa (Deluxe River View Room)
- Ubon Ratchathani - Lai Thong Hotel (Standard Room)
- Chiang Mai - Chedi Chiang Mai (Deluxe Room)
- Blue Elephant, Bangkok
- Thosaeng Resort, Khong Jiam
- Four Seasons Resort, Chiang Mai
Spa Treatment (1 hour):
- Jet Lag Massage at the Sukhothai Hotel
- Traditional Thai Massage and Energy Reflex at
Tosaeng Khonjiam Resort and Spa
- Aromatherapy and Thai Herbal Oil Massage at The Chedi,
DAY 1: ARRIVE BANGKOK
Welcome to Thailand, the Land of Smiles. Upon arrival, after customs and immigration, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. During your stay, we have arranged for you to enjoy a one hour spa treatment at the hotel.
DAY 2: BANGKOK: JIM THOMPSON TEXTILE HOUSE AND MUSEUM – RICE BARGE CRUISE ON OLD BANGKOK CANALS –DINNER AT SALA RIM NAM RESTAURANT AT THE ORIENTAL HOTEL
After a leisurely breakfast, spend your morning at your hotel using the facilities.
Then drive to visit the Jim Thompson House and Textile Museum and see the art and textile collection of this man, credited at one time with reviving and revitalizing the Thai silk industry. Thompson was well known around Bangkok before and during World War 2, and was originally working with the OSS, the predecessor of the CIA when he began his love of Thai silk textiles. Lunch is on your own.
Continue to one of Bangkok’s piers for a thrilling ride by long-tailed speed–boat or express boat on the picturesque Chao Phraya River. Then board a converted rice barge for a cruise through the rural canals. Relax with cold drinks and tropical fruits as you view the scenery and fascinating local lifestyle.
This evening’s welcome dinner is at the Sala Rim restaurant at the legendary
Oriental Hotel. Enjoy classical Thai dance and music as you feast on traditional royal palace cuisine.
Meals: Breakfast at hotel.
Welcome Dinner at Sala Rim Restaurant in The Oriental Hotel
DAY 3: BANGKOK: ROYAL BARGE MUSEUM –GRAND PALACE & EMERALD BUDDHA (BY LOCAL STYLE RIVERBOAT) –WAT PHO (TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE) SUAN PAKKAD PALACE
After breakfast, enjoy an easy day of touring some of the essential Bangkok.
Transfer by local style riverboat for a visit to the Royal Barge Museum before entering the Grand Palace. The grand procession of royal barges is seen only one a year during His Majesty the King’s birthday celebrations (early December). See the actual boats in their dry docks.
Then continue across the Chao Phraya River, where a short walk brings is to the Grand Palace. Probably the most important center of Thai culture, the palace was once the royal abode, but today is used mainly for ceremonial functions. Tourists are allowed inside to see the Emerald Buddha, the displays of royal artifacts and memorabilia and wall decorations.
Continue to Wat Pho, home of the famous reclining Buddha. Wat Pho was also the first center of public education in the Kingdom. Today it is an important center for teaching traditional Thai massage, and we have arranged for you to enjoy this experience at their school.
After lunch at the Royal Navy Club on the river, you’ll visit Suan Pakkad Palace, the former residence of Princess Chumbhot of Nagara Svarga, one of Thailand’s leading gardeners and art collectors. In the compound of Suan Pakkad Palace, there are five traditional Thai houses. The art collection includes Asian art and antiques, seashells, mineral crystals, pottery and bronze object d’art from the pre-historic burial ground at Ban Chiang, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the northeast of Thailand.
The rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner is on your own.
Meals: Breakfast at hotel, Lunch at The Royal Navy Club
DAY 4: BANGKOK: BLUE ELEPHANT COOKING SCHOOL
After breakfast, we’re off to the fabulous Blue Elephant Cooking School. Housed in a century old building, you will feel as if you are stepping back in time. The menu of Blue Elephant Bangkok is a rainbow of traditional recipes, including Royal Palace cuisine, and today you will learn to make some of the dishes that have made their international restaurants famous.
Upon your arrival you will be welcomed with a fresh Thai herbal drink and discuss with the chef the 4 course meal you will be preparing. We will take the Sky Train to the Bang Rak Morning Market where our instructors and
Chef Philippa will help us discover the multi-colored and fragrant Thai fruits, vegetables and herbs and explain their use in Thai cuisine.
After returning to the Blue Elephant our instructor will present a cooking demonstration of the dishes we will be preparing. Then we’ll proceed to the Practice Room where we will each have our own cooking station to learn and experience the culinary techniques of Thai cuisine.
And now for the best part – enjoy the fruits of your labor as you dine on the culinary creations in this fabulous setting. Everyone will receive a recipe booklet as a keepsake memory of this fun day.
Balance of the day is at leisure. Dinner is on your own.
Meals: Breakfast at hotel, Lunch at the Blue Elephant
DAY 5; BANGKOK: NONTHABURI – KRED ISLAND- BAAN DVARA PRATEEP – BODY AND MIND MEDITATION – COOKING DEMONSTRATION
TEA AT THE ELEGANT HOME OF KHUN YING BENCHAPA KRAIRIKSH, THE WIFE OF THE FORMER AMBASSADOR TO UNITED STATES
After breakfast, we’ll travel to Nonthaburi where we will take a short boat trip to Baan Dvara Prateep, a lovely meditation house on Kred Island in the Chao Phraya River. After refreshments, learn how to relax Thai style with an introductory course on meditation. Then enjoy a cooking demonstration as “auntie” prepares today’s lunch before your eyes.
Kred Island is a quiet island with no roads or cars. It is home to a historic ethnic community of Mon people, who have kept alive a long tradition of pottery making. You’ll have the opportunity of visit their market before returning to Bangkok.
A real treat is in store for you. Enjoy the wonderful hospitality of some of Thailand’s distinguished high society. You will be hosted for tea at the elegant private home of Khun Ying Benchapa Krairiksh, the beautiful and charming wife of the former Ambassador to United States of America.
Tonight dinner is at the incredible Seafood Market & Restaurant. Watch the dozens of chefs in the open kitchen furiously cooking the orders for the hungry diners inside. Wander this supermarket-like atmosphere with fish swimming in tanks and fresh produce and spices. Watch as our guide selects from the many various ingredients to create a sumptuous meal for us tonight.
Meals: Breakfast in hotel, Lunch at Baan Dvara Prateep,
Dinner at Seafood Market & Restaurant
DAY 6: BANKGKOK – UBON RATCHATANI – KONG JIAM-BAAN GOOM (BAI SII CEREMONY) - LOCAL STYLE BOAT TRIP ON MEKONG RIVER – THOSAENG RESORT
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we leave the sights and sounds of Bangkok behind and fly to scenic Isan and Ubon Ratchatani. Upon arrival, transfer to our resort and spa hotel in Khong Jiam, located overlooking the Mekong River.
This afternoon, we’ll see the real Thailand when we drive to the lovely village of Baan Goom. Take a leisurely stroll and view the local village life. Then we will experience something truly special – the Bai Sii Su Kwan welcome ceremony. This is normally only conferred by the villager and their elders for themselves, when going on, or returning from a long journey. In modern Western parlance, this ceremony might be though of a “spirit centering ritual”. Local belief goes far deeper, 32 guardian spirits attend all of us in this belief system. It is possible that through sickness, travel, travail, or other burden, these guardians or our own spirit can be lost. So it is the “Brahmin’s” prayer prior to the ceremony, and the ceremony itself which can bring these spirits and pieces of us back to their proper places. This tradition steps from a mix of animism and Hinduism.
Then enjoy lunch specially prepared for us by the villagers.
After this incredible experience, we will board a local style Mekong river boat on this narrow and interesting part of the river that will bring us back to the resort.
Balance of the day at leisure to enjoy the wonderful spa facilities.We have arranged for you to enjoy a one hour spa treatment during your stay.
Dinner is on your own.
Accom: Thosaeng Resort
Meals: Breakfast in hotel, lunch at Thai village
DAY 7: THOSAENG RESORT – COOKING CLASS : ISAN DISHES
After breakfast you will be welcomed by your teacher who will give you an overview and history about Isan cuisine and today’s dishes you will be preparing. We’ll start with a visit to the Khong Jiam morning market, where we will learn about the various vegetables, spices, fruits etc..that we will be using for lunch. After returning to the resort our instructor will present a cooking demonstration of the dishes we will be preparing. Each student will receive a recipe booklet. Then it’s time to work as we enjoy a hands on experience of preparing some local Isan dishes. Don’t be afraid to experiment, our instructor and Chef Philippa will be there to guide you. Afterwards enjoy the fruits of your labor, as you taste your very own culinary creations.
The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the spa facilities.
A special treat tonight! Enjoy a giant Mekong River shrimp dinner at Araya Raft Shrimp Restaurant.
Accom: Thosaeng Resort
Meals: Breakfast in hotel, Cooking Class Lunch,
Dinner at Araya Raft Shrimp Restaurant.
DAY 8: KHONG JIAM- CHONG MEK (LAOS/THAILAND) BORDER MARKET-KHAO PHRA VIHARN KHMER TEMPLE (CAMBODIA/THAILAND ) BORDER-UBON RATCHATHANI
Before leaving, note that you should have sun hats, sun glasses and walking shoes. After breakfast, drive to the Laos border at Chong Mek (no visa needed)
and browse the market there sorting through the textiles, antiques, medicines, clothing and duty free. Drive to Kanthararak & Sisaket province. Lunch at a local restaurant. Continue to the Cambodian border. Khao Phra Viharn Khmer temple complex was started even before Angkor Wat in the heart of Cambodia. Unlike other Khmer temples in Thailand, this one has not undergone the restoration efforts of the Fine Arts Department. Walk up steps to graded causeways through awesome “gopuras” and arrive at the extensive but dilapidated center which is on a cliff-top overlooking the virgin Cambodian countryside. In the late afternoon, continue to your hotel.
Dinner is on your own
Accom: Lai Thong Hotel
Meals: Breakfast in hotel, Lunch in a local restaurant
DAY 9: UBON RATCHATHANI – KHAMPOON FAMILY WEAVING COMPOUND- UBON AIRPORT FLIGHT TO CHIANG MAI
After breakfast, visit the Khampoon family weaving complex. Spread through several of the houses in this superb compound, weavers create “Pha Siin” cloth in the distinctive Ubon & Surin styles. Silk weaving, whilst employing similar methods to cotton weaving which you saw in Ban Nong Hoi, exhibits some salient differences. Enjoy a refreshing herbal drink with Khun Tow, the owner who so graciously invited us to visit his private enclosure. Afterwards, we’ll visit the Khampoon shop where you will have the opportunity to purchase some of the incredible silks you saw earlier. The superior quality and exquisite designs show you why the shop is so popular with Thai royalty and aristocracy.
Then visit Ubon’s National Museum #8. The exhibits here help to put what you have seen over the last days into perspective. This museum is also home to three of the most important known inscription stones in Thai history.
Lunch is on your own before transferring to the airport for your flight to Chiang Mai. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel.
We have arranged for you to enjoy a one hour spa treatment during your stay
Chiang Mai offers so many wonderful dining experiences. Tonight we will enjoy at one of the city’s popular restaurants.
Accom: The Chedi
Meals: Breakfast in hotel, Dinner at a local restaurant
DAY 10: CHIANG MAI – DOI SUTHEP TEMPLE –HISTORICAL & CULTURAL MUSEUM - TEA WITH THE CURATOR
After breakfast continue to the city of Chiang Mai which has a wealth of beautiful and historic Buddhist Wats (temples) and today’s tour will visit the most fascinating. Near the summit of Doi Suthep, a 1600 meters peak names after the hermit Sudeva who live on the mountain’s slopes for many years, is the 600 year old temple of WAT PHRA THAT DOI SUTHEP. After a drive up the mountain’s winding road, the final climb to the site is via a magnificent Naga (dragon headed serpent) staircase of 306 steps (elevators available for the faint of heart!). Inside the cloisters is an intriguing copper plates chedi topped by a five-tier gold umbrella which contains partial relics of Lord Buddha. On a clear day, there are incomparable views of the city of Chiang Mai from the grounds of the temple.
Lunch will be served at a local Khao Soi Restaurant
In the afternoon, visit the new historical and cultural museum in Chiang Mai.
A local guide, dressed in elegant traditional Thai clothing will usher you into a room to watch an orientation video about Chiang Mai and the North. Then you will be pointed to a series of rooms documenting the region’s history and culture in chronological order: from the pre-Muang period to the early river civilizations, to the early kings through wars with the Burmese and the last dynasty. Other rooms are devoted to Buddhism and other regional beliefs, agricultural and hill tribe history. After the visit, have tea with the curator.
Return to your hotel and relax. Dinner is on your own
Accom: The Chedi
Meals: Breakfast in hotel, lunch at a local Khao Soi Restaurant
DAY 11: CHIANG MAI – FOUR SEASONS RESORT –LANNA STYLE COOKING CLASS ORPHANAGE VISIT AT VIENG PING CHILDREN’S HOME
After breakfast transfer to the Four Seasons Resort for a North Lanna-style cooking class. You will be welcomed by the chef at the free-standing
facility built in the Lanna style. The outdoor dining pavilion features picturesque vews of the nearby mountains. You’ll feel as if you are in a traditional Thai kitchen setting, decorated with colorful displays of bottled Thai sauces, dry food products and condiments. Chef Philippa will assist you in preparing your lunch.
Afterwards, savor the dishes you prepared in the Dining Pavilion, set amidst extensively landscaped gardens above a waterfall.
In the afternoon visit Vieng Ping Children’s Home, a government-run orphanage. Although the Home is an orphanage, it believes that the best place for children is not to stay in an orphanage, but in a community because in a community children can learn how to live with other people different from them. Outside the orphanage, children can learn how the real world is. As a result, children can adjust more easily and learn how to survive in society. Vieng Ping Home then tries to encourage community people in the surrounding area to let the children stay with them at home. This is known as “Foster Home Project”.
Return to your hotel. Dinner is on your own
Accom: The Chedi
Meals: Breakfast in hotel, Cooking Class Lunch at the Four Seasons Resort
DAY 12: CHIANG MAI - MAE SA VALLEY ELEPHANT CAMP –NHONG HOI ROYAL PROJECT DEVELOPMENT CENTER-HMONG HILLTRIBE VILLAGE – FOREST REVITALIZATION PROGRAM
After breakfast at the hotel, board your vehicle for a drive to Mae Sa Valley.
Visit the Mae Sa Valley Elephant Camp. Enjoy a one hour show where you will be entertained by their versatility which includes painting and dancing. You can show your appreciation for their performance by feeding them afterwards with sugar cane and bananas. Then be sure to visit the baby elephants in their nursery and training camp. You’ll also have the opportunity to ride an elephant before we depart.
Continue on to visit Nhong Hoi Royal Project Development Center and a Hmong hilltribe village. Participate in Forest Revitalization program by planting a teak
Tree. This project is in co-operation with the National Forestry Department.
Each teak tree will have your name as a donor and will be taken care of by school children for the next 3 years.
A northern style Picnic Lunch will be served while you are enjoying the panoramic mountain view at 2,000 feet above sea level
After lunch, enjoy a short trek over mountain and forest trails.
In the late afternoon return to Chiang Mai for overnight. Dinner is on your own
Accom: The Chedi
Meals: Breakfast in hotel. Picnic Lunch
DAY 13: CHIANG MAI – MEO HILL TRIBE VILLAGE –PRIVATE COLLECTION AT SBUN NGA TEXTILE MUSEUM LOCAL HANDICRAFTS IN CHIANG MAI
After breakfast start your journey with a visit to the Meo Hill tribe village. Since they originally migrated from South China, the physical features of the tribe are similar to Chinese. They prefer large families and average about 8 in a family.
They practice shifting agriculture, mostly planting upland rice, corn and soybeans. Generally you will find that the womenfolk work harder than the men, a trait that is similar with most hill tribes. Their houses are directly on the ground, not built on stilts as most houses.
Lunch is on your own
This afternoon we will visit the Sbun Nga Textile Museum located in the old Chiang Mai Cultural Center. The private collection rotates every six month, covering the design and use of Thai textiles going back hundreds of years.
Then visit some upscale galleries, shops or factories where you will receive a short description or history as relevant in their respective fields of jewelry, laquerware, wood carvings and antiques.
Balance of the day at leisure to shop, relax or perhaps enjoy a spa treatment.
This evening enjoy a fabulous farewell dinner at Le Grand Lanna Restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi
Accom: The Chedi
Meals: Breakfast in hotel.
Farewell Dinner at Le Grand Lanna Restaurant
In the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi.
DAY 14: CHIANG MAI – BANGKOK – USA
After breakfast transfer to Chiang Mai airport for your flight back home
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