Your tour starts with hotel pickup in Hua Hin or Cha-Am, two coastal districts on the Gulf of Thailand, for the roughly 3-hour drive to Bangkok, the Thai capital brimming with life and world-renowned religious sites. This metropolis is an eclectic mix of modern and traditional where curbside street stalls, offering fabulous snacks and refreshments, are located next to shopping malls and high-rise buildings.
Along the way, your guide may give you an introduction to the history and the characteristics of Bangkok before you reach the city for your day of Buddhism and beauty, nestled in the older part of town.
Begin your time in Bangkok with the must-see Grand Palace, an architectural wonder of golden stupas, walls, and pillars encrusted in shining and colorful mosaics. Previously the residence of Thai kings, the palace features rooms like the Reception Hall, Coronation Hall, Throne Hall, Royal Guest House, and Wat Phra Kaew, the latter of which is the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand; construction of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, as it's known in English, commenced when King Rama I moved the capital from Thonburi to Bangkok in 1785. The Buddha image inside the temple (photography is not permitted inside) is carved from a single piece of jade and is the most revered object in Thailand.
Within walking distance of the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, you'll find the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, better known as Wat Pho. The temple is regarded as the first center of public education and is sometimes called ‘Thailand’s first university.’ Mural paintings, inscriptions, and statues found in the temple educated people on varied subjects such as literature, warfare, archaeology, astronomy, geology, and meditation, and the temple is also the home of Thai traditional massage. Inside, you can see a gilded reclining Buddha image measuring 155 feet (47.5 meters) long.
The last temple of the day is the Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit), right at the outer borders of Bangkok’s Chinatown. The complex has undergone a modern facelift, but its main attraction is the 5.5-ton Golden Buddha statue, situated at the top of the temple.
After your sightseeing, lunch is included at a local restaurant, and then you can enjoy some shopping at one of Bangkok’s retail institutions: MBK Center (Ma Boon Khrong Center). Various floors of clothing, electronics, giveaways, and traditional handicrafts await at this shopping mecca.
At the end of the afternoon, back to Hua Hin and Cha-Am, leaving Bangkok behind. You can expect to return to your hotel around 7pm, depending on the traffic situation.