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 THAILAND | LANTERN FESTIVAL

Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Yi Peng Festival

BHUTAN

THAILAND

VIETNAM

CAMBODIA

MYANMAR

NEPAL

Your wishes float to the heavens in Thailand’s most beautiful and humbling experience.

Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles. You’ll experience this many times over on your adventure with us in the Kingdom of Thailand. And you will leave this wondrous country with many smiles of your own. Everywhere from Chiang Mai and Bangkok, to Krabi and Phuket, your senses will be overloaded with the scents, sounds and tastes of one of the world’s most popular and exotic cultures.

Our journey will cover many aspects of Thailand that most people imagine. We will photograph the massive golden shrines to Buddha, the bustling markets overflowing with everything imaginable for sale, and the crazy nightlife that punctuates the end of every day. The colours, the people, the food, the beauty of Thailand will all be captured through our cameras every day in this amazing country. 

One of the most visually stunning events you’ll ever see in Thailand takes place during this journey. The Yi Peng Festival, which happens on the full moon of the last month of the Buddhist calendar, is an incredibly humbling experience. People who’ve been able to witness — and participate — in the event come away with a memory that lasts a lifetime. And it’s pretty spectacular to photograph, too. 

Join us in Thailand, and witness how this fiercely independent country has carved out its place in our imagination. Experience Thai food at its origin, both simple and flavourful. Meet the genuinely gracious Thai people along the way. And come away with an appreciation of a culture that is unmatched anywhere in Asia.

Our journey will cover many aspects of Thailand that most people imagine. We will photograph the massive golden shrines to Buddha, the bustling markets overflowing with everything imaginable for sale, and the crazy nightlife that punctuates the end of every day. The colours, the people, the food, the beauty of Thailand will all be captured through our cameras every day in this amazing country. 

One of the most visually stunning events you’ll ever see in Thailand takes place during this journey. The Yi Peng Festival, which happens on the full moon of the last month of the Buddhist calendar, is an incredibly humbling experience. People who’ve been able to witness — and participate — in the event come away with a memory that lasts a lifetime. And it’s pretty spectacular to photograph, too. 

Join us in Thailand, and witness how this fiercely independent country has carved out its place in our imagination. Experience Thai food at its origin, both simple and flavourful. Meet the genuinely gracious Thai people along the way. And come away with an appreciation of a culture that is unmatched anywhere in Asia.

TOUR OVERVIEW

Group Size

4 – 8 Guests

Experience | Difficulty

  • Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers
  • DSLR, mirrorless, compact or iPhone cameras
  • Busy schedule
  • Travel by car, minibus and airplane
  • Moderate elevation changes and lots of walking
  • (non-photographers also welcome)

Weather | Sun

November – Temps 85/64 F | 29/18 C  Sunrise 6:16 | Sunset 5:48 (17:48)

Includes

  • Travel, landscape, seascape, wildlife, and people photography
  • Professional photographer | guide
  • Photo walks & discussions
  • Small group size (4 – 8 guests)
  • 4 or 5-star hotels
  • Breakfasts
  • 2 Dinners
  • 2 Domestic flights
  • Local transportation

Travel Information

Arrival and Departure Airport: Bangkok, Thailand (BKK or DMK) – Transfer time 45min
Our adventure begins at 11 AM on the first day and ends at noon on the last day.
Travel Visa: A visa may be required depending on your nationality. Go to Visa Map to find out.

Accommodations

Bangkok – Sukhothai Hotel, The Muse, Lebua Hotel or similar
Chiang Rai – Le Meridien, Mora Boutique Hotel or similar
Chiang Mai – Ping Nakara Boutique, Chala #6, Inside House Hotel or similar

Helpful Links

> Bangkok Temples and Towers – by Ian Robert Knight
Photographing People in Asia – by Ian Robert Knight
5 Best Things to See in Chiang Mai – by Ian Robert Knight
UNESCO Sites in Asia – by Ian Robert Knight
Five Best Dishes to Eat in Thailand – by Ian Robert Knight
The Historic City of Ayutthaya – by Ian Robert Knight

TOUR PRICES & DATES


Photographer Leader

Photographer Leader

Ian Robert Knight

October 25 – November 3, 2020
November 13 – 22, 2021

*All prices are per person and based on double occupancy. Please select single occupancy for a private room. For your convenience, we offer optional early arrival and late departure accommodations so you can extend your stay before or after the trip. We typically stay in boutique hotels in the 4-star category. Not all destinations offer these types of properties. We look for unique hotels which offer cultural, historic and/or authentic features. Depending on the size of the group, smaller boutique hotels may have limited room inventory. In some countries or in remote locations, we may be limited to lodges or branded chain hotels. Breakfast is included only if included in our room rates.

ITINERARY

LANTERN FESTIVAL 10 DAY PHOTO TOUR

Day 1 | Bangkok

We begin our adventure in Bangkok. As the most popular city to visit in the world, it has to be experienced to be believed. Thailand in general is a fascinating country, but Bangkok has a reputation as one of the most exciting cities in all of Asia.

Over an early lunch, we will discuss PWA’s “10 Guiding Principles of Photography” as well as our “The Art of Seeing” photographic technique. We will also have informal discussions about what our guests are trying to achieve in their photography, subject matters, styles and techniques.

We will quickly immerse ourselves into Bangkok life, by travelling through the canals of the city, by private longtail boat. We will zip through the city, taking in sights that can only be seen from the canals, stopping in at some lesser-known parts of the city for little side trips into small temples and irresistible food stalls. 

Bangkok has one of the best dining scenes in Southeast Asia, with dozens of Michelin-starred restaurants in all varieties of cuisines. On this evening, we will enjoy our “Welcome Dinner” in one of Bangkok’s best restaurants. (D)

Day 2 | Bangkok

Our second day will be consumed with visits to some of the most impressive temples and palaces anywhere in Southeast Asia. We start with the Grand Palace, which is the ceremonial and traditional location for the Thai Royal family. This is a very large complex, with centuries of history to take in. As Bangkok’s most important attraction, the crowds are large, but then the complex is massive in size too. With the Emerald Buddha on the grounds of the Palace temple, it’s also the most sacred spot in the country. 

Nearby is Wat Po, which holds the incredibly large golden reclining Buddha, among other relics. For first-time visitors, they are taken away with how impressive the reclining statue is, and remain in awe as they walk around it. As the day winds down, we’ll finish at Wat Arun, known as the Temple of Dawn, situated along the mighty Chao Phraya river. (B)

Day 3 | Bangkok

Our final full day in Bangkok will introduce us to some of the local tradesmen who are still pounding out metal alms bowls for monks, as they have for centuries.The last of their kind, their crafts are slowly being replaced by cheaper machined versions, but they hang on to their way of life while they still can. 

We’ll also climb to the top of The Golden Mount, which is the tallest temple in Bangkok, covered in gold, and highest natural land in the city. 

At night, when the heat is reduced, we’ll visit one (or two) of the famous rooftop lounges that Bangkok is famous for, that provide views for miles. (B)

Day 4 | Bangkok - Ayutthaya - Chiang Rai

We will depart Bangkok this morning and drive north one hour to the ancient city of Ayutthaya – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was once the ancient capital of Thailand. Much of the temples and relics that made up this royal city are in ruins today, but still maintain the grandeur and beauty that was part of that era. The morning and early afternoon will be spent visiting what remains of the temples and compounds.

In the late afternoon, we take a short flight north to the ancient city of Chiang Rai — Thailand’s northern-most big city. This town, not far from the borders of Myanmar and Laos, is famous for a number of things. Of particular note are the White Temple, the Black House, and the Blue Temple. 

In the evening, we can review our work so far, and share our best, while learning new editing skills. (B)

Day 5 | Chiang Rai

This morning, we will venture out to Chiang Rai’s most beautiful temple — the White Temple. Wat Rong Khun, as it is officially known, is easily one of the most recognizable temples in Thailand. It’s been open for just over 20 years, and is privately owned. The very intricate details of the carvings and sculptures is what sets this temple apart from any other temple in the country.

After lunch, we will spend time visiting with local hill tribes that occupy small villages outside the city. We’ll get to meet and photography a wide variety of hill tribes such as the Akha, Hmong, Karen, and Yao people. Each of them have their own unique identity, which they are struggling to maintain as modern Thailand changes rapidly around them.  (B)

Day 6 | Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai

Before we leave Chiang Rai, we’ll visit the Blue Temple. This is a relatively new temple, designed in blue and gold, and is visually stunning. Called “Wat Rong Suea Ten” or the ‘House of the Dancing Tiger’, was thus named for the abundant wildlife that used to roam in the area.

Afterwards, we’ll begin a drive across northern Thailand, aiming for Chiang Mai. As the second largest city in the country, Chiang Mai was once the capital of the Kingdom of Lanna, before it became part of what is Thailand today. Remnants of the ancient city walls that once surrounded the city centuries ago are still very evident. 

In the afternoon we will visit the famous Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple on the mountains outside the city. An easy climb up 309 steps (or take the funicular) will bring us into this temple built in the 1300’s, where a golden chedi will shine brightly in the background while the saffron cloaked monks study and worship in silence.

In the evening, we will step out to enjoy Chiang Mai’s famous night market, full of bargains and photographic opportunities. (B)

Day 7 | Chiang Mai

Today will highlight several of northern Thailand’s unique characteristics. We begin our day exploring one of the many elephant sanctuaries, to experience how elephants are cared for after they’ve been rescued from labour farms. There are no elephant rides or tricks in these sanctuaries – just care and attention to these magnificent creatures.

In the afternoon, we’ll spend time visiting a small village where many residents of local hill tribes come together and share their crafts. In the evening, we take in the famous night market that’s always exciting and great to photograph. (B)

Day 8 | Chiang Mai - Yi Peng Festival

Today is when the big festival takes place, and it will run from the afternoon until late at night. So we will have a relaxed morning, with the freedom to explore the city around us as it wakes up. 

After lunch, we will prepare for the evening’s highlight — the Yi Peng Festival (Floating Lanterns). This event will occupy the balance of the day and evening. We will join a few thousand other revellers and experience one of the most incredibly moving events that most people would see in their lifetime. The indisputable highlight of Yi Peng is the spellbinding show that happens when thousands of people converge to release khom loi (lit lanterns) into the night sky.

Prior to the big spectacle, the setting is joyful and serene as monks perform chants during an on-stage ceremony. During the other key ritual of this beautiful Thai festival of lights, participants let go of krathong—small floating vessels made from banana stalks and decorated with incense, offerings, flowers and candles—into rivers, ponds, lakes and other bodies of water, creating an ethereal sight that’s rarely duplicated elsewhere in the world. Surrounding events include bright parades, musical performances, beauty pageants, traditional dances, lantern-making contests, fireworks, and lots and lots of food. Additional cost for premium seats. (B)

Day 9 | Chiang Mai

We’ll begin our day with a visit to a large wet market, where locals do most of their produce and meat shopping. Markets in SE Asia are something you can’t really explain until you’ve seen one. If you want to buy anything, you’ll find it here.

After lunch, we’ll visit the small town of Bo Sang, not too far from Chiang Mai, which is a village famous for its umbrella arts. We have the chance to spend time with the local artisans who create the wide variety of umbrellas by hand. 

In the evening, we’ll have our “Farewell Dinner” in one of Chiang Mai’s best restaurants. (B) (D)

Day 10 | Chiang Mai - Bangkok

During breakfast, we say farewell to our guests and use the opportunity to exchange contact information and share some of the photographs we’ve experienced over the past 10 days.  

We say goodbye to Chiang Mai this morning, and head back to Bangkok for connecting flights. You’d be encouraged to stay a few days extra in Bangkok, or experience another of the popular destinations in Thailand. (B)

(B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner, (E) Excursion

May all who come as guests... leave as friends®

OPTIONS AND BENEFITS

Pricing

 

All prices are per person and based on double occupancy. Please select single occupancy for a private room. For your convenience, we offer optional early arrival and late departure accommodations so you can extend your stay before or after the trip. We typically stay in boutique hotels in the 4-star category. Not all destinations offer these types of properties. We look for unique hotels which offer cultural, historic and/or authentic features. Depending on the size of the group, smaller boutique hotels may have limited room inventory. In some countries or in remote locations, we may be limited to lodges or branded chain hotels. Breakfast is included only if included in our room rates.

Private Guided Adventures

 

We offer amazing private guided photo adventures, cultural tours and vacations for individuals, couples, families and groups. We can customize any of our published adventures, as well as others, to meet your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests. This may include the finest 5-star accommodations, business-class travel, and private guides and fixers who are able to make the impossible possible. If you are not interested in a photo-centric vacation, but you love our approach to private travel, we will be happy to design and deliver an amazing adventure focused on travel, culture and cuisine. Click here to request a quote. Feel free to call us at 1-888-834-0288 or contact us for more information.

 

Travel Insurance

We offer travel insurance through the internationally recognized Travelex Travel Insurance Company, as well as evacuation and medical transportation insurance through MedJet, one of the best in the industry.

The cost for travel insurance can be as low as 4% of the total trip cost, depending upon age and other factors. Knowing you have trip cancellation coverage can make a big difference should you have to cancel for some unforeseen reason. Travelex Insurance Services is a BBB Accredited business with an A+ rating. Click here to learn more about why you should consider travel insurance.

Rewards Program

Start earning points today and SAVE $200 - $900 off future trips!
Simply register for one of our amazing photo adventures and begin earning points today!

How The Program Works
For every adventure reservation you make with Photo Workshop Adventures, you earn valuable points which you can redeem on your next trip. This is a great way to save up to 8% off future trips. Our Rewards Program is designed with three tiers: Orange, Gold and VIP Members. Points may be applied towards balance payments on your next trip, or you may choose to accumulate points for a free trip in the future.

ORANGE REWARDS
All guests begin with our Orange Rewards Program (Level 1), which earns 4 points for every dollar you spend. You begin earning points immediately after your first trip. A $5,900 spend earns 23,600 points with a value of $236 USD.

GOLD REWARDS
With our Gold Rewards Program (Level 2), you earn 6 points for every dollar you spend. Orange Members who reach 120,000 accumulated lifetime* points (approx. 4-6 trips), automatically move up to Gold Rewards. A $5,900 spend earns 35,400 points with a value of $354 USD.

Additional Gold Benefits:

  • Earn up to double points during promotional events
  • Advance notifications for upcoming adventures and special offers

VIP REWARDS
With our VIP Rewards Program (Level 3), you earn 8 points for every dollar you spend. Gold Members who reach 350,000 accumulated lifetime* points (approx. 8-12 trips) move up to VIP Rewards. A $5,900 spend earns 47,200 points with a value of $472 USD, (8+/-% discount).

Additional VIP Benefits:

  • Earn up to double points during promotional events
  • Advance notifications for upcoming adventures and special offers
  • Ability to Gift or Transfer points to others
  • Receive complimentary airport transfers at the destination location*


Redeeming Your Points

Redeeming your points couldn’t be easier. You can always log in to your account to check your points balance. When you are ready to book your next trip, register and pay your deposit. When you go to pay your balance you will be given the option to apply your points and receive a discount.

THINK ORANGE Magazine

Subscribe to our Think Orange Magazine and eNews. THINK ORANGE is a wonderful mix of stories and tips related to travel, photography, adventure, culture, art, technology, cuisine, lifestyle, people and more. Our objective is to immerse you in a world you may only fantasize about. Raise your awareness and inspire your creativity. Perhaps even help make you a better photographer. We deliver similar experiential experiences that our guests enjoy on our photo adventures. Like all of our adventures, our blog is “photo-centric”, while also allowing you to experience all the nuances and cultural aspects of travel and adventure. Welcome to our world. We hope you enjoy. Our eNews is a great way to receive information about upcoming photo adventures, exciting new destinations, photography tips, special offers and more. Subscribe today!

Gift Cards

Give someone you know a Gift Card, good toward any of our Photo  Adventures, Photo Tours, Private Guided Tours, Online Courses, Prints or Merchandize. Our beautifully personalized eGift Cards and Certificates are delivered to you electronically. They are fully transferable and have a 2 year expiration date. They are available in any amount from $100 to $5000. It makes a great gift for anyone who loves photography, travel or adventure. Order now, or email for more information.

Combine-N-Save

You can SAVE up to $1200 by combining two or more back-to-back 6-Day or longer Photo Adventures. Call us at 1-888-834-0288 or contact us for more information.

Private Online Lightroom & Photoshop Tutorials

We offer private online Lightroom and Photoshop photo editing tutorials for individuals who would like to improve their post-processing skills. Each is customized to meet your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests. We provide you with one-on-one discussions using online connectivity. Many of our Photo Adventure guests select our online post-processing as an extension to their trip. Click here for more information.

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