Savor the Land of Smiles in an action-packed, specially curated trip!
Trade in blasts of chilly winter winds for balmy breezes of Thailand, for an unbelievable networking adventure from February 21 to March 2, 2019. Travel with your fellow movers and shakers, from all around the globe, to experience this kingdom of glittering gold and sparkling shores.
On the trip you will:
- Experience the range that Thailand has to offer from national sports like muay thai— Thai kickboxing—to the spicy and sweet flavors of their dishes. Thailand takes everything you may be familiar with and turns it up to 11.
- Bathe elephants at the sustainable and ethically managed Elephant Nature Park.
- Snorkel and explore hidden lagoons and other protected natural beauties in the Andaman Sea.
- Understand Thai Spiritual Practices – you will see the grandeur of Buddhist temples and learn about how traditional Buddhist practices infuse daily life in Thailand, from Spirit Houses to monkhood.
- Meet with some of the Jewish community living in Bangkok and understand what it is like to live as a person of faith in a majority Buddhist nation.
All you need to secure your space is $199 and you’ll enjoy this trip for a total of just $2,999. Hurry and book your spot, as this trip will sell out!
Shalom Klein is a sought-after business consultant, well-regarded community activist and entrepreneur. Shalom hosts the popular “Get Down to Business with ShalomKlein” radio show in Chicago. Shalom has worked with businesses and community organizations around the country in developing strategies for external affairs and marketing success.
Becky Adelberg is the Founder of Community Connect Consulting and a frequent lecturer on various topics ranging from community building and outreach to entrepreneurship and vision to strategic partnerships. Becky also serves as the Chicago coordinator for Reboot, a Jewish think tank, is a mentor at 1871 Chicago and a voice over artist. Throughout her professional career she has conceptualized and overseen various educational and social programming, travel abroad and entrepreneurship programs. She has a track record for being a community connector.
This exciting journey is in partnership with Steppin’ Out Adventures.
As well as a handful of other lionhearted globetrotters!
Day Zero, February 21, 2019— โชคดี Chok-di! (Good Luck!)
- Depart your city for an overnight flight to Bangkok, Thailand’s bustling capital.
Day One, February 22, 2019—สวสั ดี Sawadee, City of Angels!
- After an overnight flight, say sawadee, or hello, to Bangkok at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. In Thai, Bangkok’s full name is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit, more simply called Krung Thep, which translates to ‘City of Angels.’
- Meet our guide, who will assist you through the airport and on to the hotel to freshen up from the journey.
- In the evening, gather with other traveling families to enjoy a welcome dinner at Tawandang, a Thai-German beer hall and the place where middle class Thai families go to celebrate. Massaman curry and beer towers will greet you as you listen to a Thai version of Bruce Springsteen croon, or perhaps hop up and dance with the Thai Justin Bieber.
- Sleep well tonight at your boutique four-star hotel in the heart of the city. All of the accommodations on this trip will be four-star funky centrally located boutique hotels.
Day Two, February 23, 2019—Black Houses
- We’ll make the most of your jetlag this morning. Since you’ll likely be up anyway, we’ll have an early breakfast and then head to the airport, boarding our flight to the Lanna Kingdom in Northern Thailand. Once separate kingdoms, Lanna joined with Siam in the late 18th century to stand against the Burmese, and the area still bears distinct cultural differences from their counterparts across the rest of Thailand.
- We’ll land in the original capital of the Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Rai, where we will be greeted by our guide.
- Our first visit in the region is to Baan Dam, also known as the Black House Museum. The art exhibited within the complex of 15 houses is a conception of Hell in Buddhism, portrayed by artist Thawan Duchanee; most of the buildings are clad in black and decorated with woodcuts, antlers, elephant bones, snake skins, and other peculiar assortments adorning the walls.
- We’ll transfer to your resort and spa, where you can settle in and spend the rest of the day relaxing as you enjoy a classic Thai massage or a dip in the pool, before turning in early.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day Three, February 24, 2019—White Temple and White Elephant
- Unique in Thailand, the Wat Rong Khun, better known as the White Temple, is artist Chalermchai Kositpipat’s contemporary representation of the path of dharma. In addition to common depictions of naga, the protector serpent in Buddhist stories, and kinnaree, half-bird and half-woman Buddhist angels, the art also shows Superman and Hello Kitty as representations of man’s folly.
- From here, we’ll drive to Mae Kachan, a rest stop on our route, made famous by its natural hot springs.You’re welcome to dip your toes in, but be careful! Locals use areas of the springs to boil quail eggs for snacks where the temperature can reach nearly 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Then we continue our trip through scenic hillsides and jungles to Chiang Mai, where we’ll have lunch at a local restaurant before we arrive in the “Rose of the North.”
- Visit the sacred site of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, admiring the intricate carvings and learning the legend of the white elephant. Upon reaching the top of the hill, explore the 14th-century pagoda where local devotees come to pay homage and pray. Wander around the towering gilded stupa and take a moment to enjoy the views of Chiang Mai in the distance.
- This evening, explore Chiang Mai’s famous night bazaar, where you can get everything from clocks made out of soda cans to hand-painted celadon pottery. Haggling for mementos is very much encouraged!
- We’ll take tuk tuks, open-air motorized rickshaws often decorated with strobe lights and disco balls, back to our hotel to settle in and rest for the night.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day Four, February 25, 2019—Pachyderm Pals
- Enjoy sipping coffee grown locally in the lush green mountains surrounding Chiang Mai as you munch on papaya, pomelo and rambutan for breakfast.
- Take a picturesque joyride through agricultural Thai countryside, along Mae Taeng Valley to the Elephant Nature Park.
- Your heart will break over the stories of rescued elephants, as told by expert guides. Learn the challenges elephants face in Southeast Asia, and how the nature park is helping treat and care for Thailand’s dwindling elephant population.
- After the briefing, have a chance to get up close and personal with our pachyderm friends as we offer fruit treats from the safe interaction platform.
- Then it will be our turn for a delicious lunch—grown in the park’s garden—surrounded by the herd.
- After you fill up, meander to the river that skirts the park. Receive a demonstration on how to safely and properly bathe an elephant, then plunge right in and help scrub these giants as they splash around. If going into the river is not for you, watch the elephants bathe and play while you stay dry on the sandy shore.
- Late in the day, we will bid farewell to our colossal companions at the Elephant Nature Park before the hourlong drive back to Chiang Mai. Settle back in at your hotel and enjoy a restful evening at leisure.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day Five, February 26, 2019—Sunset Dinner on a Junk Boat
- After a leisurely breakfast of grilled chicken and sticky rice and all the fresh pineapple and mangoes you can handle (vegetarian options always available), we will check out of our hotel and say sawadee, which also means goodbye, to Chiang Mai.
- We will then fly to Krabi Province on the west coast of southern Thailand, where we will be met by our guide and drive to our beachside resort in Ao Nang.
- After taking some time to freshen up and get settled after the flight, we’ll regather in the late afternoon. Board our private junk boat, a traditional trading vessel with distinctive ridged sails, and cruise out into the glittering Andaman Sea. We will watch the sun dip between the pincushion islands and eye-popping limestone formations as we relish a hearty dinner of som tum, pad thai, and mango sticky rice.
- After the voyage, return to our hotel for a night dip in the pool with a swim up bar.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Six, February 27, 2019—Snorkeling on Room Island
- After a buffet breakfast at our hotel—for which Asia is renowned—we’ll set out again for the sea.
- Explore the stunning natural beauty of southern Thailand’s islands. Marvel at the bright white beaches surrounded by towering limestone cliffs, the blue of the Andaman Sea, and the green of the islands’ lush vegetation.
- “Room Island,” or Koh Hong, is one of the most beautiful islands in the south of Thailand. Protected by the Thai government for its wildlife, Koh Hong is full of monkeys, lizards and a large variety of birds. Take a walk on one of the island’s natural trails, watch the rock climbers test their grip, or simply relax in the sun in this Thai paradise.
- The cove on the island provides a ripe opportunity for snorkeling, where you can come face-to-face with the brightly-colored fish of the area in clear waters.
- We’ll also let you in on a secret: there’s a secluded lagoon that can only be reached from the water; trust us, it’s worth the effort to get there. Revel in the most stunning scenery encircling you.
- Return to the hotel late in the day, taking the evening to enjoy a Thai massage or short walk into the center of Ao Nang—souvenir shopping and lady boy shows await.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day Seven, February 28, 2019—Mighty Muay Thai
- After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll say goodbye to the beach and fly back to Bangkok. We’ll drop our things off at our comfortable hotel in the middle of the action and head down to Khao San Road—translating literally to “milled rice,” an important reminder of Bangkok’s agricultural heritage.
- A famed backpacker haunt, Khao San Road is also home to Bangkok’s only Chabad House and many Israeli residents and tourists. We’ll spend some time speaking with local Jewish residents over lunch in the area, before perusing the street vendors. Be sure to buy a Chang beer tank top and some elephant pants to really fit in with the backpacker crowd.
- From there, we’ll walk to the Rajadamnern Boxing Stadium for an evening of Muay Thai, also known as Thai kickboxing. Muay Thai is steeped in traditional practices, from the rhythmic sarama music played during the matches to the wai kru ram muay dance ritual performed by the fighters to bless themselves in the ring, it is a uniquely Thai experience.
- We’ll head back to our funky four-star hotel in the center of the city for the night.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Eight, March 1, 2019—Venice of the East
- After breakfast, we’ll head down to the Chao Phraya river—the serpentine heart of Bangkok—where we will board a longtail boat to canals situated on the opposite bank. Bangkok was once known as the Venice of the East for its extensive network of canals used for transportation rather than roads. In the past 50 years, many of the old waterways have been paved over, but there are still areas of town that evoke the nostalgia of a bygone time.
- After a tour of the canals, we’ll stop at Baan Silapin, “the Artist’s House,” a traditional gallery keeping the art of Thai puppetry alive for the next generation. The puppeteers are trained in specific movements that allow three people to work in tandem to bring to life a single puppet. Giggle at Hanuman, the trickster monkey god, and marvel at the grace of the marionette mermaids.
- In the evening, we’ll connect with the Jewish community of Bangkok for Shabbat and farewell dinner, learning about life and Judaism in this massive Thai metropolis.
- For our finale, we’ll share an evening nightcap at a rooftop bar 45 stories in the sky, getting a bird’s-eye view of this megacity and its sparkling skyline.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Nine, March 2, 2019—ขอบคณุ Khap khun krup, Thailand!
- This morning after breakfast, we’ll wai, traditional Thai bow of respect, to the spirits in Bangkok and say khap khun krup, or thank you, to them for their hospitality. We’ll leave for the airport with colorful memories and new lifelong friends, and depart homeward.
The Program Includes
- All activities, sightseeing, and entry fees listed in the itinerary.
- All meals listed in the itinerary.
- Transportation by private, air-conditioned motor coach, as well as transfers for the group as appropriate.
- Bottled water during all excursions.
- The services of an exceptional bilingual tour guide as described in the itinerary.
- Comprehensive cultural information and reading materials.
- All gratuities for participants and staff to cover porterage, drivers, wait staff at group meals, guides, and tour directors.
The Program Does Not Include
- Flights to and from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK).
- Expenses of a purely personal nature (including cab fares, laundry and other personal items, room service charges, passport application fees, etc.).
- Transportation of luggage in excess of weight allowance.
- Travel insurance.
- Food and beverage other than that specified in the itinerary.
- Costs associated with trip interruption or modification due to weather, travel conditions, political/civil disputes, medical emergencies or other causes beyond our control.
A $199 nonrefundable deposit is required to secure your spot as we have a very limited capacity, and we expect the trip to fill extremely quickly. The trip will cost $2,999—the $199 deposit plus $2,800 final payment due November 24, 2018—and will cover all fixed costs including internal transportation, accommodations in India, and activities as listed in the itinerary.
|Final Payment||$2,800||The Friday After your Deposit|
|Total Trip Cost||$2,999|
The Fine Print
Itineraries and pricing are subject to change. This particular tour has been designed with specific events and lectures in mind, and schedules and availabilities may change in coming months. If any activity or person that is advertised is missed or not available, it will be replaced with an activity or person of equal interest and value.
A final itinerary and briefing packet will be ready in the weeks prior to the trip. All reservations are final and subject to our cancellation policy. By submitting your payment, you agree to the Terms & Conditions.
Please contact Insider staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 (929) 399-4975 with any questions about the itinerary, logistics, and payment.