The tour starts at the Grand Palace, Bangkok’s most famous landmark, which was built in 1782 by King Rama I. Each building of the complex is a work of art including the royal chapel - Temple of the Emerald Buddha - which houses Thailand’s most revered Buddha image. Only visitors in proper attire are allowed entry. Proceed to nearby Wat Po, one of the most important temples in Bangkok with its impressive huge reclining Buddha image in bronze, built in Ayutthaya period (1350-1767).
Next it's time to explore Chinatown, known by the Thais as Yaowarat, whose centrepiece is an amazing 1.5km street of gold shops, neon signs, old markets and Chinese restaurants. Continue to the photogenic flower market at Pak Klong Talad, where an incredible variety of local and imported cut flowers, orchids and tropical plants are on sale from early morning till late at night.
After lunch at a local restaurant head to a nearby pier, where you board a traditional long-tail boat to explore the small canals or 'klongs' of Thonburi, the old part of town that gave Bangkok the name ‘The Venice of the East’. We will take you to one of the city’s hidden gems – Baan Silapin – where you can see a traditional Thai puppetry show (Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun only) and local artists’ work and go back in time to a Bangkok that no longer exists.
Cruise back along the canals to the main Chao Phraya River, where you will find the riverside market Talad Wang Lang, a favourite among locals for its great street food but mostly unknown to tourists. Here you will enjoy a guided tasting tour of the stalls and try 5 different dishes such as fried pork balls or Thai crepes.
Finally, hail a passing tuktuk for a short ride to the royal temple Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), the major riverside landmark of Bangkok with a magnificent pagoda that soars some 280 feet into the sky. After you have visited this beautiful temple, your van awaits to take you back to your hotel and the rest of the evening is free.