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Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Art & Culture of Bangkok's Klongs

Bangkok, Thailand

Spend a full day exploring some of the highlights and hidden gems of Bangkok, accompanied by your own English-speaking guide. The tour encompasses impressive temples and palaces, and offers the chance to learn more about the country's thriving art scene.

You will have an early start today in order to make it to Wat Pho in time to see the gathering of the monks for their morning chanting. This is a deeply spiritual ritual, and wonderful introduction to Thailand's Buddhist culture. After the chanting has finished, continue to walk around the temple where you can see treasured items and statues, such as the famous reclining Buddha, which is 45-meters long.

You will then go to the nearby Grand Palace. This vast site consists of a number of throne halls, museums and temples, including Wat Phra Kaew, which houses the famous Emerald Buddha. Whilst the Emerald Buddha is only 66cm tall it is one of the most sacred statues in the country. The statue's origins are mysterious, and the name 'Emerald' refers to the color rather than the composition, as the statue is actually carved out of a single piece of jade.

After lunch at a local restaurant, you will start your next adventure on Bangkok's iconic Chao Phraya river. Board your private longtail boat before heading down one of the city's many canals, also called 'klongs'. Whilst these waterways are no longer the vital trading routes they once were, this is still an excellent opportunity to gain an insight into the history and heritage of the capital.

You will pass shophouses, residences and temples before emerging at Baan Silapan. This wooden house is over 100 years old and has now been transformed into an art gallery. Spend some time admiring the artwork on display and learn about the country's modern art scene. There is also the chance to see highly detailed Thai puppets. This intricate design is an ancient art form, and if you are lucky the puppeteers may put on a live performance.

You will head back to main river on your longtail boat. On the way stop off to visit Wat Arun, also known as the 'Temple of the Dawn'. This is one of Thailand's most famous temples and it is also one of the prettiest, with a main pagoda decorated with glazed porcelain pieces.

Please note that this tour usually starts at around 8am and finishes at around 5pm. The puppet show is not available on Mondays or Tuesdays, and it is always subject to change, as the puppeteers are not always in residence. For your visit to the temple you will need to cover shoulders and knees. Tight fitting shorts and trousers are also not permitted.       

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