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Sampran Riverside Thai Village Cultural Show

Escape Bangkok for a day on this memorable excursion which showcases rural landscapes and lush scenery on the Nakhon Chaisri River. Sampran Riverside is the perfect location for discovering some of Thailand’s oldest and most revered traditions. The Sampran Riverside is home to the long-running Thai Village Cultural Show where visitors can connect with nature and experience a wide variety of cultural architecture, costumes, and demonstrations.

The Sampran Riverside has been the peaceful setting of the Thai Village Cultural Show over the past four decades and has received the Award for Excellence as Best Recreational Tourist Attraction from the Tourism Authority of Thailand in 1996, and again in 2008.

Customer feedback – “We went to a nice show where many parts of Thai culture were highlighted, like music, dance, drums, martial arts, and elephants. There was of course a chance to do shopping.”

Enjoy the unique and unforgettable experiences on offer at the Thai Village Cultural Show, including sword fighting, dancing and Muay Thai boxing. The demonstrations are presented by an impressive cast of performers who portray entertaining scenes from life in rural Thailand.

Some of the attractions you can experience during the Sampran Riverside Thai Village Cultural Show:

  • The Nagee Saran and Harvest Dance.
  • Glong Sabatchai Victory Drums and Sword-fighting demonstration.
  • Thai Wedding ceremony.
  • Traditional Dance of the 4 Regions of Thailand.
  • Muay Thai – The Ancient Art of Self-Defense and Krabee-Krabong Pole-fighting demonstration.
  • Riverside scenery and beautiful gardens.
  • Local farm and Farmer’s Market.
  • Thai Art and Craft Workshops.
  • Thai restaurant with savory menu items.

Customer feedback – “What an incredible place. Can be combined with another half day tour but I recommend a full day there because there is so much to see and do.”

Get an up close look at colorful and authentic Thai costumes while you visit a local farm, market, and wooden home that have been built to illustrate the way of life for people in the different regions of the country. Learn about the local arts and crafts of Thai people, from silk weaving to fruit carving you are sure to develop a deeper appreciation for Thai culture while creating fond memories of your visit.

The Sampran Riverside Thai Village Cultural Show tour can be enjoyed on any day of the week.

Admission Price: 600 Baht per person.

Other attractions that can be easily arranged along with a visit to the the Sampran Riverside Thai Village Cultural Show include our Wat Bang Kung and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market tours. Visit this attraction on our Thailand Royal Coast Experience tour.

Things you should be aware of when booking the Sampran Riverside Thai Village Cultural Show tour:

  • Comfortable shoes and clothing are highly recommended.
  • Photography is highly encouraged along every part of this tour.
  • Bring your appetite and your sense of adventure.

Maeklong Railway Market – An authentic fresh goods market set on railway tracks

Thailand is a country in love with shopping and it shows in the several different types of markets you can experience during your visit. The country has shopping malls, floating markets, street markets, night markets, fresh markets, and even markets that sit right in the path of railway trains. The most visited railway market in Thailand, located about 1 hour southwest of Bangkok, is the Maeklong Railway Market and it has been operating for more than one hundred years. A visit to Maeklong Railway Market is a truly unique experience and you are encouraged to capture the magic of this market before it disappears.

The market offers everything you expect a traditional Thai market to have but the Maeklong Railway Market differentiates itself by situating itself on the tracks of a working railway line.

Customer feedback – “When there are no trains around you can easily forget this is actually an operating railway line.”

Walking through the tight spaces of this railway market, shoppers meander at a pace that allows them to fully appreciate the colors and smells of the fresh fruits and vegetables on display. Don’t be surprised when you see many of the sellers dozing off at their stalls as the tropical heat and soft murmurs of the market atmosphere prove powerful enough to lull even the most vigilant. The Maeklong Railway Market is a very relaxed place, that is until the whistle of the approaching train breaks the air of languid leisure and injects the sellers with a renewed purpose.

Market goers hear the train whistle long before they actually see the train. When the whistle and approaching train is heard the sellers start to casually move their goods and shop awnings away from the railway tracks. The action of pulling down umbrellas and drawing back shop awnings has caused this market to also be called Talad Rom Hoop, which, in Thai language, means the closing of umbrellas. When the train does arrive, it is so close that you can reach out and touch it as it passes through the market. Visitors and sellers alike wave to the train’s occupants, providing the perfect moment for a video or picture of this unique market.

Customer feedback – “I liked this market a lot because there was no one here trying to push the usual cheap souvenirs in your face. I was happy enough to see the train coming through the market and to watch the shop owners being so casual about moving their umbrellas and awnings back. It was like they have done it a thousand times before.”

Some of the more unique items you will see, and have the chance to eat, at the Maeklong Railway Market:

  • Huge juicy Pomelos.
  • Fresh Durian.
  • Crunchy Pink Roseapples.
  • There’s also a wide selection of Thai deserts available.
  • An assortment of freshly-prepared foods and sweet drinks.

At the Maeklong Railway Market you will find mainly food for sale. There are some clothing and accessories available but the majority of sellers at this market are selling Thai sweets, fresh meat and seafood, vegetables, fruits and drinks.

The attraction of this market lies in its novelty that is derived from the spectacle of watching market locals scrambling to accommodate a train passing through the midst of their shops and goods.

Customer feedback – “One minute there is a bustling market under umbrellas with stalls scattered everywhere. The next minute a train passes right through the middle of it all, only to turn back into a market a few minutes later. It really was a sight to see and our kids loved it.”

Maeklong Railway Market can be visited any day from 6:20 am until 5:40 pm. The Maeklong Railway Market opening hours match the first and last train arrivals at Maeklong Station. Your private tour guide will ensure that you get down to the railway tracks before a train is scheduled to arrive.

Market Fee: Free of charge.

The Maeklong Railway Market is only a short distance from the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Wat Bang Kung. Both of these sites would make great additions to any visit to Maeklong Railway Market.

Things you should be aware of when visiting the Maeklong Railway Market:

  • Comfortable shoes and clothing are highly recommended.
  • Photography is highly encouraged along every part of this tour.
  • Bring your appetite and your sense of adventure.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – Thailand’s most unique, vivid, and lively floating market one hour west of Bangkok

Damnoen Saduak is arguably the most popular floating market in Thailand, and it is highly recommended for visitors who are staying in Bangkok. Many tourists have fond memories and captivating photographs of the century old Damnoen Saduak floating market. Every visitor to this floating market is treated to scenes of bustling commerce, sweet scents, and quaint scenery as they interact with the daily life of locals and explore the market’s small shops, canals, and dockside offerings.

Customer feedback – “The market is a great opportunity for photographs, food tasting and, of course, shopping.”

The large number of flower and fruit sellers who trade directly from their small wooden boats is just one of the visual highlights of the Damnoen Saduak floating market that makes it unique among Thailand’s many markets.

A boat ride of varying time lengths can be arranged by your private tour guide if you grow tired of walking amid the many shops lining the canals. Seeing the market and surrounding area from this different perspective lets you appreciate the winding waterways and allows you to relax while gaining a brief glimpse of life on the river.

Customer feedback – “The animated chatter and bargaining for stuff leaves a pleasant feeling that is worth more than anything.”

If you choose to take a longer boat ride, out beyond the market area, you will be able to see some of the simple, but peaceful, wooden residences along the river. Also on the river are several small family businesses, including a candy maker, a pomelo farm, and a knife craftsman’s shop.

Some of the more unique items you will see, and have the chance to eat, at the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market:

  • Pla Pao (ปลาเผา) – Salt-crusted grilled fish.
  • Freshly-made mini coconut pancakes.
  • Khao Lam (ข้าวหลาม) – Sticky rice combined with sugar and coconut milk that has been slow roasted inside a stalk of bamboo.
  • Boat noodles in rich broth.

There are plenty of other delicious treats and tantalizing things to see while walking along the dockside area of the market’s canals.

Customer feedback – “A trip to Damnoen Saduak guarantees that you will see and experience one of the best floating markets Thailand has to offer.”

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market can be visited any day starting from 6:00 am.

Market Fee: 1,500 Baht per GROUP up to 6 people.

We advise an early to mid-morning visit to the Damnoen Saduak floating market as it is the best time to avoid the mid-day heat and to see the market during its peak hours, before too many of the colorful boats and lively sellers disappear from the canals.

The drive to Damnoen Saduak floating market takes approximately one hour, depending on traffic, from central Bangkok, and the trip is best experienced in the company of a private tour guide who can answer your questions while highlighting the different areas of the famous market. Other attractions that can be easily arranged along with a visit to Damnoen Saduak floating market include our Wat Bang Kung and Monkey show in Ratchaburi tours. Visit this attraction on our Thailand Royal Coast Experience tour.

Things you should be aware of when visiting the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market:

  • Comfortable shoes and clothing are highly recommended since you will need to climb in and out of boats.
  • Photography is highly encouraged along every part of this tour.
  • Bring your appetite and your sense of adventure.

Fireflies Evening Boat Ride – Amphawa floating market

If you love being outdoors and are looking for something to do outside of Bangkok, a trip to Amphawa district to visit the area’s quaint floating market is highly recommended. The Amphawa floating market is considered the second most popular market of this type near Bangkok, but many locals visit in order to enjoy an evening boat ride under the firefly-filled canopies of canal trees. Visitors to Amphawa are almost exclusively Thai and the evening boat rides have a reputation of being romantic and nostalgic, reminding many locals of a simpler time in history.

Customer feedback – “At night going to see the fireflies is a must! The best time to go is during the wet season, that is when there are the most of them in the trees.”

In 2008, the Khlong Amphawa community was granted an Honorable Mention Award from the UNESCO Asia–Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation as a result of its efforts to preserve the local culture and architecture along the canals. The preservation efforts are apparent as you stroll along areas of wood-framed buildings, small dockside shops, and small pedestrian bridges and alleyways. The community is home to many old and large trees, and it is these same trees that attract the colonies of fireflies as they flicker and sparkle against the waters of the canal.

Some of additional things you will see during the Fireflies Evening Boat Ride in Amphawa:

  • The popular and quaint Amphawa floating market.
  • Canal life of locals.
  • Tasty Amphawa district sweets and deserts.
  • Wat Amphawan Chetiyaram, a popular temple among Thais.
  • Hungry? Try Tom Yum soup made with fresh river prawns.
  • Coconut ice cream with fresh coconut shavings and peanuts on top.

Visitors who plan to enjoy a boat ride to see the fireflies will usually want to indulge in the sights, sounds, and smells of the Amphawa floating market for a period of time before getting on the boat. The stalls at the Amphawa floating market run alongside the canal and are a great place to take a coffee break, try a Thai dessert and enjoy the cool evening atmosphere. Your private tour guide can advise you of the best time for the boat ride so that you need not worry about enjoying the market and surroundings at your own leisurely pace.

Customer feedback – “It’s a nice ride in a long tail boat along the river to see the wonderful naturally lit fireflies. Some trees can really be brighten up by these fireflies.”

The Fireflies Boat Ride in Amphawa can be enjoyed on any evening, 1 hour after sundown. Boat rides begin around 6:00 pm from the dock area of the little Amphawa floating market. Usually, the fireflies are present throughout the year but are more active during Thailand’s rainy season, from May to October. A moonless night, when it is almost or completely dark, is an excellent time for viewing the fireflies.

Admission Price: 1,500 Baht per GROUP up to 6 people.

Other attractions that can be easily arranged along with the Fireflies Boat Ride include our Wat Bang Kung and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market tours. Visit this attraction on our Thailand Royal Coast Experience tour.

Things you should be aware of when booking the Fireflies Boat Ride in Amphawa tour:

  • Comfortable shoes and clothing are highly recommended.
  • Photography is highly encouraged along every part of this tour.
  • Bring your appetite and your sense of adventure.

Phra Pathom Chedi – Visit the world’s tallest chedi

Phra Pathom Chedi, meaning the ‘Holy chedi of the beginning’, is recognized as the world’s tallest chedi, towering an impressive 127 meters from its base to the tip of its orange roof. The Phra Pathom Chedi marks the site where Buddhism was first introduced to Thailand more than two thousand years ago.

Customer feedback – “Not just another temple. Enjoyed the day trip here and learning more about Thai culture and Buddhism. Take the journey, worth it!”

Many cities in the world sprung up around important religious temples, landmarks, or chapels. However, none of them are as interesting as Phra Pathom Chedi. The chedi has a long, varied history dating back to the 4th century when the Indian emperor Ashoka sent monks to many parts of Asia, including Thailand, in an effort to spread Buddhism. The cheri, which houses relics from the Buddha brought to Thailand by Indian monks, was modeled after the Great Stupa of Sanchi in central India.

Customer feedback – “Nakhon Pathon is a place worth exploring and is a perfect day trip for travelers who have already seen most of Bangkok and want to experience a more realistic feel of what Thai life is outside the capital.”

Long after its construction, the chedi was visited by Thailand’s King Mongkut when he traveled the country as a monk. He observed that the chedi had fallen into disrepair and had become overgrown by the surrounding jungle. Upon his accession to the Throne in 1851, King Mongkut commissioned the original chedi to be preserved by building an enormous chedi over the original structure. The restoration included the addition of a compound area containing four viharns (chapels), numerous sculptures, castings of Buddha, meditation caves, and a garden sanctuary.

Some of the more unique items you will see at Phra Pathom Chedi:

  • A massive, standing golden Buddha in Pang Ham Yati posture.
  • Small alcoves around the base of the chedi contain a gallery displaying hundreds of Lord Buddha images in the postures representing each day of the week.
  • A large gilt standing Buddha image (Phra Ruang Rodjanarith) where the ashes of King Rama VI are installed in the base of the statue.
  • Next to the chedi is a large market selling Buddhist amulets.
  • Wat Phra Pathom Chedi Museum – Housing historical remains which were discovered during excavations in Nakhon Pathom.
  • The National Museum of Phra Pathom Chedi – A modern Thai building housing artifacts and historical remains, most of which dates back to the Dvaravati period.

Customer feedback – “Truly beautiful. Not crowded at all. Lots of history and we were glad our private tour guide suggested this temple to us. Well worth the visit and was happy to get outside of Bangkok.”

The temple complex at Phra Pathom Chedi can be visited any day from 7:00 am until 8:00 pm. The Phra Pathom Chedi Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 am until 4:30 pm. The National Museum of Phra Pathom Chedi is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm.

Admission Price: The temple complex at Phra Pathom Chedi is 20 Baht per person.

Other attractions that can be easily arranged along with a visit to Phra Pathom Chedi include our Sanam Chandra Palace and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market tours. Visit this attraction on our Thailand Royal Coast Experience tour.

Things you should be aware of when visiting Phra Pathom Chedi:

  • Respectful attire is required. Phra Pathom Chedi is a revered Buddhist site, and as such the management insists that visitors dress in a respectful manner.
  • Photography is highly encouraged along every part of this tour.
  • On the twelfth lunar month, usually in November, Phra Pathom Chedi hosts their main Annual Fair. On this very special day, thousands of residents come and pay homage to the temple and walk around the base of the chedi.

Wat Bang Kung – Temple hidden within the roots of a banyan tree

Even though many have come to visit and photograph the small buddhist temple that appears to be emerging from within a banyan tree, the historic significance of Wat Bang Kung, and its beautiful natural surroundings alongside the western bank of the Mae Khlong river in Amphawa district, are often not fully known by tourist and Thai alike.

While there are, admittedly, many buddhist temples to visit throughout Thailand Wat Bang Kung is one of the most iconic. Having been engulfed by the roots and branches of large banyan trees over the course of several centuries the temple provides a seamless combination of natural beauty and serene spiritualism.

Customer feedback – “This temple reminded me of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Really beautiful and unique with the trees growing through it.”

The temple building dates from the Ayutthaya period and, aside from the golden buddha image it houses, is quite simple in design. The remarkably majestic banyan trees are the crowning glory of the site, dominating the temple and shading much of the landscape, a landscape that served as a battleground for Siamese and Burmese warriors in the 18th century. Today, the temple and nearby area is preserved as a memorial to those heroic warriors of the past.

Some of the more unique items you will see at Wat Bang Kung:

  • Statues of soldiers in 18th century dress.
  • Statue of General Taksin (he would eventually become King Taksin).
  • A pier to enter the temple if arriving by boat from the Mae Khlong river.
  • A small zoo with birds and monkeys.

The Wat Bang Kung temple area served as an army stronghold of the Siamese after the ancient city of Ayuttahya was overrun by the Burmese in 1767. During this time, Burmese forces had blockaded the Mae Khlong river and the Siamese General Taksin managed to gather his army at the area of Wat Bang Kung.

Customer feedback – “I was amazed to learn more about this area from our private tour guide. I really wasn’t aware of Thailand’s history of war with Burma. It added a lot to my trip to Thailand.”

Eventually, Burmese forces attacked the Siamese camp, but General Taksin and his warriors won a victory that would end up turning the tide of the war in favor of the Siamese.

The next year, in 1768, Burmese forces retreated from Siam and General Taksin and his army left the area of Bang Kung. In time, the temple was forgotten and the banyan trees reclaimed the land. In 1967, as part of Thailand’s bicentennial celebrations, the government had the site restored and commissioned a memorial statue of King Taksin at the site.

Wat Bang Kung can be visited any day from 7:00 am until 5:00 pm.

Admission Price: Free of charge.

Other attractions that can be easily arranged along with a visit to Wat Bang Kung include our Fireflies Evening Boat Ride and Phra Pathom Chedi tours. Visit this attraction on our Thailand Royal Coast Experience tour.

Things you should be aware of when visiting Wat Bang Kung:

  • Respectful attire is required. Wat Bang Kung is a functioning Thai Buddhist temple, and as such the management insists that visitors dress in a respectful manner.
  • Photography is highly encouraged along every part of this tour.

Sanam Chandra Palace – Visit the royal residences of King Rama VI

Where in Thailand can one expect to find a castle reflecting architecture from the French Renaissance period? The residences of Sanam Chandra Palace, which were built more than one-hundred years ago remain one of Thailand’s often overlooked treasures. Many visitors to Sanam Chandra Palace are surprised to learn of the extent of western influence during the formative years of what is modern day Thailand.

Customer feedback – “Definitely worth a visit. My private tour guide gave me a lot of great insight as to how King Rama VI lived. Sanam Chandra Palace is a great place to visit to learn more about Thai history and culture.”

Built in 1907 in the small town of Nakhon Pathom, Sanam Chandra Palace is set in a beautiful park complete with giant trees, perfectly manicured lawns, and natural lakes. The beautiful setting was chosen by Crown Prince Vajiravudh, who would later become King Rama VI (1910 – 1925). King Rama VI is most well known for advocating the ideas of “Thainess” and Thai nationalism.

Because the Crown Prince visited the Nakhon Pathom pagoda frequently he decided to have a series of residences built nearby to serve his personal needs. The Sanam Chandra Palace residences were influenced from a combination of French, English, and Southeast Asian architecture styles and were designed to perfectly compliment the beautiful natural surroundings of the area. The royal residences were completed in nine years and served as the official palace of King Rama VI on several occasions.

The main residence buildings you will see at Sanam Chandra Palace:

  • Chaleemongkolasana Residence – French Renaissance style castle. One of the most photographed royal residences in Thailand.
  • Bhimarn Prathom Residence – The first house built at this location, it is a mix of Thai and European architecture styles.
  • Samakkeemukamartaya Hall – A very large classic Thai style building which includes a meeting room for the royal ‘Wild Tigers Corp’ military unit.
  • Mareerajaratabulung Residence – A pair of traditional Thai teakwood houses.
  • Thub Kwan Residence – A pair of traditional Thai houses made of golden teakwood and painted dark red.

In 2003, the complex was fully restored and opened to the general public. The entire area of the complex is 335 acres and features five remarkable buildings of French, English and typical Thai construction. The palace grounds are remarkable beautiful and many visitors enjoy short strolls across manicured lawns or a comfortable lakeside rest under the shade canopy of centennial trees.

Customer feedback – “Nice atmosphere and beautiful grounds. Each one of the palaces of the king has its own story. The buildings are kept in really good condition.”

Sanam Chandra Palace can be visited Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm. Closed on Mondays.

Admission Price: 50 Baht per person.

Other attractions that can be easily arranged along with a visit to Sanam Chandra Palace include our Phra Pathom Chedi and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market tours. Visit this attraction on our Thailand Royal Coast Experience tour.

Things you should be aware of when visiting Sanam Chandra Palace:

  • Respectful attire is required. Sanam Chandra Palace management insists that visitors dress in a respectful manner.
  • Photography is highly encouraged on this tour but is restricted inside some of the palace residences. Your private tour guide will advise you where restrictions apply.
  • Every year around March or April, Sanam Chandra Palace hosts an orchid show. During this time the palace grounds can be very crowded, but also delightfully festive.

The Rose Garden of Ratchaburi

Instead of trying to cram in several places and attractions into one day, why not go to a single location that offers a lot of tourist attractions?  This is what makes the Rose Garden in Ratchaburi very popular.  It offers a full-day tour and with its close proximity to Bangkok, the tour is probably among the top 3 tours in a lot of people’s list when they visit Thailand.

The Rose Garden itself and the cultural center are massive attractions.  This is why it’s highly-recommended that you set aside at least a full day when you visit.  It’s the perfect place for families.  Adults will surely enjoy the cultural shows while the kids will surely enjoy the surroundings.  Of course, the very popular elephant show will surely bring families together as they spend some quality time enjoying it.

Go on a trip aboard a canoe.  Visit floating markets.  Take pictures of wonderful gardens.  Enjoy different cultural shows.  You can do these things and more at the Rose Garden in Ratchaburi.

Visit this attraction on a Private Day Tour around Bangkok.

Monkey Show or Lakorn Ling in Ratchaburi

Monkey shows has been around in our culture for many centuries, before we had television or cinema, the monkey show was used as a form of theatre. In the old days you would have see this kind of event at every temple fair, they always bought a smile and laugh to audiences both young and old.

Skilled trainers have tough these monkeys a great collection of tricks and mimicry, then they are dressed up ready for their performance. See them riding a bicycle, collect fruits from the tree, swimming, diving or jumping, just to name just a few. These tricks took up to 6 months to perfect and both monkey and owner have worked hard for your enjoyment.

It is a problem that some places in Thailand that they do not treat the animals as properly as they deserve. Making sure you are supporting a troupe that looks after the monkeys as one of the family is very important. We take great care in finding places with a good track records to support with your tourist dollars.

In the end you will have to make your own opinion, some might see it as cruel for the monkeys. For me, and my guess many Thais, it is no different to training dogs and parading them around in dog shows, then having them preform tasks to be judged on. Make your own decision!

Visit this attraction on a Private Day Tour around Damnern Saduak Floating Market.