The vegan tour of Thailand includes exploration of the country’s annual Vegetarian Festival, when vegan options around the country abound.
Included in the tour:
– 10 nights of lodging in four-star hotels, double occupancy rooms from Oct. 2 – 12, 2019 (single rooms available for supplemental fee)
– 19 vegan meals
– In-country transportation with tour guide (excluding airport/train/bus/etc. to departure city to return to your home)
– Flight from Bangkok to Phuket
– Flight from Phuket to Chiang Mai
– All group transportation during tour (not including free time)
– One (1) Thai massage
– One (1) Thai vegan cooking class
– One (1) ticket to Simon Cabaret Phuket
– Entrance fees to tour stops (Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew, Damnoen floating Market, Doi Inthanon)
Oct. 2 // Check-in to hotel
Please get some sleep — we’ve got a packed 10 days!
Oct. 3 // Day One // An introduction to Bangkok
Andy Marchand [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
Welcome to the Big Mango! The locals call Bangkok Krung Thep the “City of Angels”. The vibrant capital of Thailand is bustling and full of life, offering a glimpse into Thai culture tucked down the sois and behind the busy streets and tall buildings.
We start the day with a meet-and-greet then take on Bangkok for a full day of sightseeing. With our Thai tour guide, we’ll journey to the Saphan Taksin Pier on the Chao Phraya River, and then on to some of the most iconic and well-known spots in the city including the city’s most scared Buddhist site, the Grand Palace (via ferry), as well as a visit to the Reclining Buddha and more on this day-long walking tour. At night, we’ll give you our top picks for where to head out and you’re free to explore the energy and nightlife of the city.
Oct. 4 // Day Two // Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Dennis Jarvis [CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14758849]
This vibrant floating market is the most popular in Thailand. Today, we catch a glimpse into an ancient way of life and hop onto a longtail boat and slowly skim by narrow canals, tall wooden houses on stilts, and busy stalls filled with locals selling their wares.
Our next stop is Talad Rom Hoop, a local market packed with vendors selling fresh fruit, veggies, local snacks, clothing and more. You’ll see what makes this spot unique — a train track which cuts directly through the market, and the actual train comes through eight times a day. A siren will go off and shoppers hop off the tracks while vendors quickly pack their goods and retract their awnings to co-exist with the train.
After dinner, we head to the Sukhumvit district of Bangkok, one of the longest boulevards in Thailand that runs nearly to the Cambodian border. This area is buzzing with energy and is also the go-to spot if you want a night out … which is what we’ll explore.
Oct. 5 // Day Three // The City is Yours!
After a group breakfast, the city is your to explore. We’ll give you some suggestions, but it’s up to you how you want to spend the day. Whether it’s visiting bustling Chinatown, hopping on a water taxi to see markets outside the city, biking through the jungle (in the city!) or simply napping the day away, it’s up to you what you’d like to do (of course, we can arrange whatever you’d like!). In the evening, we’ll head to a delicious vegan dinner and then hit up a popular cocktail bar to take in the views (drinks not included).
Oct. 6 // Day Four // An Introduction to Phuket
Rise and shine! Today we head via flight from Bangkok to the tropical island of Phuket.
With a fascinating mix of Chinese and Portuguese influence, Phuket is a mesmerizing blend of culture and stories — but its most inspiring element of culture influence is in its stunning Sino-Portuguese architecture. Here, we set off on a leisurely walking journey to discover some of the city’s best colonial architecture — with a few classic Thai experiences along the way like visiting local food and flower markets! Then, we continue the Kajorn Rangsan Temple and Chin Pracha Mansion just next door, followed by the Thai Hua Museum and more.
We wrap up the journey on Phang Nga Road, with a stroll past Phuket’s oldest hotel and a visit to a hidden Chinese temple. After the tour we head to one of Old Town Phuket’s only vegan restaurants to dine.
Oct. 7 // Day Five // Soi Dog Foundation and the Vegetarian Festival
We’re up early for breakfast and then to tour and spend time at Soi Dog Foundation, an organization that is fighting the Asian dog meat trade, and improving the lives of cats and dogs all over Asia.
We then enjoy a traditional Thai vegan lunch together followed by exploration of Old Town Phuket, the home of the main street celebrating the well-known Vegetarian Festival. Here, you’ll be inundated with vegan Thai-Chinese vegan goodies like noodles, steamed buns, fried spring rolls, sweets and much more.
Enjoy an evening on your own to explore the vendors at the Festival, get a massage or whatever you’d like.
Oct. 8 // Day Six // Hit the Beach
Roma Neus, [CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59968549]
No journey to Thailand is complete without seeing their idyllic beaches. Facing the Andaman Sea in the southwest part of the country, Patong Beach is a beautiful spot for some good old rest and relaxation! The resort town is dotted with several restaurants, bars and cafes to visit … or just hit the beach!
Later we enjoy dinner together and experience one of the highlights of Phuket’s nightlife — the Phuket Simon Cabaret, a magnificent spectacle in the island’s most renowned entertainment venue. One of Southeast Asia’s most outstanding entertainment attractions, the cabaret draws more than a thousand enthused visitors from around the world each evening, putting on a show to remember and running through a range of musical theatre from cultures around the world each and every night. After the show, hit up the nightlife of Patong on your own or call it a night and get some rest.
Oct. 9 // Day Seven // The Rose of the North
After our final breakfast in Phuket we make our way to the airport and fly to the Rose of the North, the relaxed Chiang Mai. Today we head out on a half-day excursion to two of the very best temples in the city — Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phra Singh, along with a bicycle tour of some of the city’s finest historical landmarks like the Three Kings Monument and a local market and then across town (and the Ping River) to learn more about Lanna history.
Oct. 10 // Day Eight // Doi Inthanon
About an hours drive away from old town Chiang Mai is the highest peak in the country, Doi Inthanon. Also known as “The Roof of Thailand”, this national park covers an area of 482 km, and features waterfalls, cloud forests, and spectacular views. We depart in the morning and stop first at the waterfall before we go onwards to an ethical hill tribe village and the peak.
Once you’re back in town, it’s time for a traditional Thai Massage followed by an optional dinner at a local vegan/vegetarian restaurant and our favorite spot for sweets — an amazing ice cream cafe packed with vegan options.
Oct. 11 // Day Nine // Exploration and Cooking
Discover this great city on your own, spend a few hours at a cafe catching up on emails, or sit by a local pool with a Chang beer. In the afternoon, it’s time to learn how to cook as we take a vegan cooking class and make plant-based Thai dishes for dinner. After the cooking class, we’ll head over to the Night Bazaar to check out the handicrafts and more available at this popular nightly market.
Oct. 12 // Day Ten // The Last Day
After breakfast, we head to one of the city’s most popular markets — Warorot beside the Ping River. A blend of Thai and Chinese, this massive area is packed with vendors selling local crafts, flowers, produce and more. We’ll navigate the landscape and then grab lunch before the vegan Thailand tour ends.
You are responsible for the following:
– Roundtrip international airfare from your home to the start of our tour in Bangkok (although you can fly in and out of whatever city you’d like, so long as you’re in Bangkok for the start of our tour on Oct. 2) . We suggest using Skyscanner, GoogleFlights or SecetFlying to find the best flights for your budget.
– Airfare from Chiang Mai at the end of the tour to your next destination/departure city for flight home
– Airport taxes
– Visa fees (if applicable)
– Gratuities (tipping in Thailand is normally a few baht/rounding up. For massage, a 300 baht service should be around a 50 baht tip)
– All beverages except coffee/tea/water at breakfast
– Travel insurance
– Souvenirs and shopping
– Transportation and expenses when not participating in official group activities (Thailand offers inexpensive ride share services that typically cost around 50 – 100 baht depending in the city)
IT IS MANDATORY THAT ALL TRAVELERS ON OUR TOUR ACQUIRE TRAVEL INSURANCE. WE RECOMMEND WORLD NOMADS.
WE ALSO RECOMMEND THAT YOU OBTAIN EXTRA COVERAGE FOR LOSS OF LUGGAGE/PERSONAL ITEMS AND FLIGHT CANCELATION.
Diana Edelman is the founder of Vegans, Baby. She previously lived and worked in Thailand working for an elephant sanctuary and has traveled around the world speaking about the realities of elephant tourism, being a positive activist and entrepreneur at events including TBEX, SEED Food + Wine, VegFest Puerto Rico, VegFest Toronto and more. Diana is a proud partner with the James Beard Foundation and curates their Vegas Vegan Dinner series at the famous James Beard House, as well as the vegan activation, The Farm Stand, at Las Vegas’ Life Is Beautiful festival.