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VegVoyages Terrific Tastes of Thailand Adventure

VegVoyages Terrific Tastes of Thailand Adventure

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Friendly people, an ancient culture rooted in Buddhist traditions, amazing geography and absolutely delicious food! Experience it all on VegVoyages Terrific Tastes of Thailand adventure. Where you'll see the highlights, explore places off the beaten path and get a real insight into the people, country, culture and customs of this legendary South East Asian kingdom.
Friendly people, an ancient culture rooted in Buddhist traditions, amazing geography and absolutely delicious food! Experience it all on VegVoyages Terrific Tastes of Thailand adventure. Where you'll see the highlights, explore places off the beaten path and get a real insight into the people, country, culture and customs of this legendary South East Asian kingdom.

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Published by: VegVoyages Vegan Adventure Tours on Dec 17, 2012
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If there’s one thing
in life I must share
with the world, is
to recommend Veg
Voyages. I was very
impressed with our
hosts and itinerary.
They educated us on
Thai culture, fed us
some of the finest
Thai food you will ever
encounter which was
second to none. It was
first class sailing from
day one. I can’t praise
them enough.
Mark Hussey, Nassau, Bahamas
48 THAILAND: Terrific Tastes of Thailand
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A 14-day journey into the heart and soul of Thailand’s tasty vegan
cuisines as we explore the Land of Smiles during the country’s
annual Vegetarian Festival!
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¥60¥0¥0068'
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DURATION: 14 days
GROUP SIZE: Maximum 18 people
GROUP MINIMUM: 1 person
(all our trips are guaranteed departures)
STARTS IN: Bangkok
ENDS IN: Bangkok
*START & END DAY NOTE: Since the Tailand
Vegetarian Festival dates are based on the
Chinese lunar calendar, from year to year, our
start day and adventure itinerary order adjust
to adapt to the current Vegetarian Festival dates
and schedule.
ACCOMMODATION: 13 nights’ accommodations (3 nights at a boutique bed & breakfast in Bangkok, 3 nights at an
historical heritage villa on the banks of the mighty Maeklong River, 2 nights in traditional Tai style cottages near the beach, 3
nights at a boutique inn in old-town Phuket, 2 nights at a beachside resort and 1 overnight air-conditioned sleeper train)
MEALS: 38 meals (13 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 12 dinners)
TRANSPORT: Private air-conditioned vans, traditional local riverboats, longtail boats, ferries, local trains,
songthaew, overnight train (air-conditioned overnight sleeper train from Nakhon Pathom to Surat), and an airplane (domestic
fight back to Bangkok)
STAFF: VegVoyages Adventure Leaders and local guides
INCLUDED: Tai Chi lessons, local Thai cultural lessons, 2 Thai full meal vegan cooking classes, 1 Thai vegan
desserts cooking class, 1 Thai vegan salad cooking class, daily language lessons, live traditional music and folk
dances, meals with local families, guests at an all-vegetarian community, guests at an all women vegetarian
monastery, introduction to Thai music and instruments, introduction to Buddhism, introduction to Buddhist
monastic life, local market explorations, off-the-beaten-track Bangkok city tour, island hopping and snorkeling trip
in the Andaman Sea, snorkeling equipment, Phuket heritage walking tour, guests of a local school, guests of local
temples, donations to local children’s home, participate in Thai Vegetarian Festival ceremonies, guests of local
vegetarian society, all local guide fees, airport arrival pick up, village visits, help out at a local animal sanctuary,
donation to a local animal sanctuary, 2-hour traditional Thai massage, 2-hour Thai oil massage, entry to Grand
palace, entry fee to Wat Pho, riverside vegan BBQ, beach vegan BBQ, daily bottled water, and all other activities,
entertainment and entry fees as per the itinerary
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED: International airfare, airport departure transfer, visa for Thailand, personal travel
insurance, gratuities and items of a personal nature
THAILAND: Terrific Tastes of Thailand 47
Bangkok
Mae Klong
Surat Thani
Krabi
Takuapa
Phuket
Nakhon Pathom
THAILAND
MALAYSIA
CAMBODIA
VIETNAM
LAOS
MYANMAR
Thailand has been well on the traveler’s map ever since
Sean Connery as James Bond was filmed on this country’s
strikingly beautiful beaches in “Dr. No”—and there is good
reason for it! Siam (as Thailand was called before) has it
all: friendly people, an ancient culture rooted in Buddhist
traditions, amazing geography and absolutely delicious
food! Experience it all on VegVoyages’ Terrific Tastes
of Thailand adventure where you’ll see the “highlights”,
explore places well off-the-beaten-path and get a real
insight into the people, country, culture and customs of
this legendary Southeast Asian kingdom!
You’ll get to experience all this and more during one
of the country’s most interesting and tasty festivals—
Thailand’s annual Vegetarian Festival, or Tesagan Kin Jae
as it is locally called. Although the roots of this festival
can be traced back to the early Chinese community of
traders, miners and merchants who settled in Thailand,
the festivities here have taken on their own very unique
form.
The religious observances around this truly fascinating (as
well as delicious) festival begin on the 1st day of the 9th
lunar month of the year when Thai-Chinese forego meat
and animal by-products, along with observing other rituals,
for at least 9 days, with ceremonies and celebrations
surrounding the festival lasting up to 11 days. For
vegetarians, this is a festival not to be missed! Although
Thailand is known for its food all year round, the Kin Jae
Festival offers vegans something really special. Vegan
Noodles, curries, spicy salads, tropical fruits and Asian
style Vegan sweets are found everywhere. Food stalls,
local eateries and specially set up markets and restaurants
dish out a bounty of Thai and Chinese culinary vegan
delicacies—all while flying the yellow “veggie” flag with
“Jae”, or “vegetarian”, written boldly on its face in red.
And it’s not just about the food—though we’ll eat plenty
of it! It’s also about learning, exploring and discovering.
In Thai society there is a concept known as “sanuk”, or
“enjoyment/fun”. This is a concept we’ll take to heart
during our journey together, whether it’s vegan cooking
classes, participating in local ceremonies, Thai language
and cultural lessons, yoga, tai chi, island hopping,
exploring vibrant bazaars, or enjoying delicious home
cooked meals, stories, music and dance with local
families—we’ll enjoy it all in the tradition of “sanuk”. New
cultures, religions, customs, traditions, cuisines, new
friends and having fun is what the VegVoyages Terrific
Tastes of Thailand adventure is all about!
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT…
THAILAND: Terrific Tastes of Thailand 49
Itinerary
DAY 1 Bangkok
Sawasdee! Welcome to Bangkok—or Krung Tep as the locals call
it! Krung Tep means “City of Angels” and like another “City of
Angels”—LA, California, you’ll notice that Bangkok shares many of
the same attributes like skyscrapers, freeways and trafc. However,
once you get past that—wandering its backstreets, byways and
historical lanes—you’ll fnd a rich and vibrant city full of history
and culture! Our adventure starts in the morning with orientation
meeting where you’ll have a chance to get to know your fellow
travelers as we discuss the adventure ahead before sitting down for
lunch. Afer lunch, we’ll head out by foot and boat exploring the
heart of the old city visiting serene temples, bustling markets and
the Chao Phraya River—the lifeline of the Tai people as much of
the country’s history has been based along it. As the sun sets over
Krung Tep, we’ll settle down at our longtime friend’s place for a
tasty dinner of local vegan delicacies. (Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 2 Bangkok
Te majority of Tais love their meats and surprisingly, given
their Buddhist heritage, are not vegetarian. In fact, the Kin Jay
(vegetarian) Festival is actually Chinese in origin. When Chinese
immigrants came to Tailand, they brought their traditions and
festivals with them. Over time, the Tais have adopted this festival
into one of their own. Tough it’s still Tai Chinese (Tais of
Chinese ancestry) who celebrate the festival with the most fervor,
many other Tais also join in. On one level, it’s a spiritual festival
full of rituals. On another, it’s a great time to be vegan as the
variety of vegan food available is astonishing—if not downright
overwhelming! Traveling by canal boat, vans and foot, we’ll
explore Krung Tep’s historical back alleys, bazaars, temples, vegan
scene and side streets before meeting up with the city’s foremost
vegetarian pioneer in the evening for a cultural culinary experience
where we’ll learn how to make a tasty vegan Tai feast! (Breakfast,
Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 3 Bangkok
Starting with Tai Chi on the roofop and a traditional hearty vegan
breakfast of local delights, we’ll head out to explore historical
Bangkok’s most famous landmarks—the Grand Palace and
Wat Pho. Afer taking in the royal capital’s rich past, we’ll enjoy
delicious North East Tailand vegan cuisine for lunch. In the late
afernoon, you’ll have time to relax and get ready for tomorrow’s
journey before we meet in the evening and set out to the epicenter
of the veggie festival in Bangkok—Chinatown, where the
celebrations kick of into full swing! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 4 Mae Klong—Traditional Thai Home
From the Chao Phraya, we head south by local train and ferry
traveling well of the beaten track to the banks of the Mae Klong
River. Located a short distance from the Gulf of Tailand, our
home for the next three days will be in a lovely historical villa
located on the edge of the river’s calm fowing waters. Here, we’ll
focus on learning about Tai culture and way of life along the
country’s many canals. Arriving in the afernoon, we’ll have a
mouthwatering curry tasting session before unwinding with Tai
Chi overlooking the river. As the sun sets over the Mae Klong, we’ll
settled down for tonight’s cultural culinary experience where we’ll
learn to make fresh spring rolls and spicy Tai salads. (Breakfast,
Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 5 Mae Klong—Traditional Thai Home
In the morning, we’ll be guests of a local children’s home where
we’ll be serving up a tasty vegan lunch for the kids and they’ll have
a chance to practice their English. Ten, we’ll make our way to the
railway market where we’ll explore the bazaar’s maze-like aisles
before the train arrives. Since it truly is a “railway market” in every
sense, we’ll watch the arriving train pass thru the bazaar within
inches of the stalls as awnings and umbrellas give way. Later, we’ll
set out on longtail boats to explore Mae Klong’s canals and colorful
foating market. Joining a local family of musicians at their home in
the evening, we’ll learn about Tai musical instruments as well as
listen in on a jam session before sitting down with the family for a
delicious home-cooked vegan meal. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 6 Mae Klong—Traditional Thai Home
Today we’ll join a wildlife rescue center where we’ll lend a hand
toward their daily activities. An important sanctuary, shelter and
rehab, the center ofers a clinic, refuge and home for previously
abused and exploited animals. Te center’s patients, residents and
friends include everything from gibbons to macaques, bears to
langurs, civets to hornbills, and even elephants. As the colors of the
day turn to night over the Mae Klong, we’ll enjoy a tasty riverside
vegan BBQ complete with drinks and traditional Tai classical
dance! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 7 Nakhon Pathom
Meeting on the banks of the mighty Mae Klong, we board our boat
and head up river to Nakhon Pathom. Our frst stop: a unique local
community that strictly follows the original precepts of Buddhism,
so the village is happily 100% vegetarian! As guests of this self-
sustaining vegetarian village, we’ll learn about their way of life and
join them for lunch. From the village, we’ll make our way to an all
women Buddhist monastery that also happens to be one of the very
few monasteries in Tailand that are vegetarian. Here, we’ll meet
with the resident Bhikkhunis who will share with us their journey
to becoming Teravada monastics. In the evening, we’ll enjoy a
tasty vegan dinner before boarding our overnight train for the
south! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 8 Baan Naam Khem
Waking up onboard the train in Southern Tailand, we’ll meet
our vans and make our way through some stunning scenery of
limestone clifs, lush rainforests and rubber plantations on our way
to the tranquil picturesque coast of the Andaman Sea. For the next
two days we’ll be staying just outside a quaint village in traditional
Tai bungalows set around a serene garden a short walk from the
beach. Afer seven busy days on our adventure, it’s time to relax
and rejuvenate and enjoy life in the tropics—and what a better way
to do that than with a traditional Tai massage. Ten, we’ll catch
sunset over the Andaman Sea while enjoying a traditional Tai
vegan BBQ. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
50 THAILAND: Terrific Tastes of Thailand
DAY 9 Baan Naam Khem
Te Kin Jay Festival is actually celebrated throughout the country.
One of the most auspicious of Tai-Chinese holidays, with Tai-
Chinese making up 14% of the population (the percentage of those
with mixed Tai Chinese ancestry is much higher), and the fact that
many other Tais participate in it as well, means that throughout
Tailand the festival is celebrated. So during our journey be on
the lookout for the vegetarian yellow fags as we continue of-the-
beaten-track celebrating the Tesagan Kin Jay! Today we’ll make our
way into town to witness the diferent
ceremonies associated with the Kin Jay
Festival in rural Tailand. Settling back
at our bungalows, you’ll have free time
to take a swim in the sea, stroll along the
beach, or just chill before we meet for
our Tai dessert class and for a change
of pace—vegan pizza! (Breakfast, Lunch,
Dinner)
DAY 10 Phuket
Today, we’ll journey to the epicenter of
the Kin Jay Festival in Tailand—the
island of Phuket, where we’ll explore the
historical lanes and back alleys of the old-
town- learning about the rich cultural
heritage of the community from which
the festival took its roots. In the evening,
we’ll meet up with one of the island’s
best chefs who’ll teach us how to make a
truly delectable local fusion vegan meal.
Phuket’s unique cuisine owes its great taste to the mix of diferent
cultures that have called the area home for centuries. Te fusion of
Tai, Malay and Chinese recipes is what makes the island’s cuisine
not only unique, but as you’ll experience tonight—downright tasty!
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 11 Phuket
Troughout its history, Phuket has been a port of call for ships
that would use it as a safe harbor during long journeys. Tese
ships would later come for the island’s resources and trade. One
of the island’s resources that caught the eye of merchants (and
invaders) was tin. Tin would become one of the most instrumental
factors in Phuket’s development in the 19th century attracting
thousands of Chinese who settled and worked the mines. Tese
immigrants brought with them their traditions and beliefs,
including the Nine Emperor Gods Festival, which would later lead
to what is commonly called the Vegetarian Festival. In the morning,
we’ll head into the streets of old Phuket to learn more about the
island’s rich history. In the evening, we’ll set out to the epicenter of
the vegetarian festival for the closing ceremonies where the Gods
are bid farewell to as they return to heaven—so be ready for an
unforgettable night as the celebrations are truly epic! (Breakfast,
Dinner)
DAY 12 Beachside on the Andaman Sea
Bidding farewell to Phuket, we head further south passing through
stunning scenery to the beautiful shores and calm blue waters of
the Andaman Sea. With palm-fringed beaches, limestone clifs
and islands seeming to erupt vertically out on the horizon, for the
next two days we’ll take in the sun, sand and serenity of Southern
Tailand—beachside! Arriving in the afernoon, afer a tasty lunch
and settling in at our seaside resort, you’ll have the rest of the
day free to take a dip in the sea, get in any last minute souvenir
shopping, relax with a massage or just kick back at a local café and
enjoy life in the tropics! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 13 Beachside on the Andaman Sea
Waking up to the sound of the sea, we’ll hop aboard our longtail
boat and set out for a day of island hopping, snorkeling, reefs, coves
and bays. Home to a wide variety of beautiful tropical fsh and coral
reefs, snorkeling in the warm waters of the Andaman Sea is truly
an experience. Afer spending the day out at sea, you’ll have time
to freshen up for our farewell party where we’ll enjoy a colorful
evening of live music, refreshing sundowners, vegan snacks and a
tasty Tai feast for dinner. So make sure you bring your party shirt,
dancing shoes (fip-fops are okay) and defnitely your appetite and
thirst! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 14 Beachside on the Andaman Sea and Back
to Bangkok
Afer a hearty vegan breakfast, we’ll head to the airport to catch
our fight back to the big city. Our adventure ends in Bangkok upon
arrival at the airport. Khawp khun maak (thank you very much)!
(Breakfast)
These people don’t mess
around! You will be taken
well off the beaten path,
not surrounded by tourists.
You will see some amazing
things, at times I felt like I
was in a movie. You will feel
safe and well taken care of,
and they will keep feeding
you until you burst! It was
our best trip ever.
Jeff Morrill, Massachusetts, USA
THAILAND: Terrific Tastes of Thailand 51

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