On Saturday, March 14, the Forum program will provide the opportunity for you to Meet Bangkok via five diverse tour options in the afternoon*. Please select your Meet Bangkok adventure during checkout.

Grand Palace, Temple of Emerald Buddha, Museum of Textile and Wat Po
bgk-grand-palace-lastElegantly situated next to the Chao Phraya River and dominating the southwestern end are the fluted spires and golden domes of the Grand Palace. The beauty of the Palace grounds is matched by its stately buildings. The more prominent ones are the Throne Hall, State Reception Hall and Coronation Hall, each richly decorated in its own style in a fabulous array of colors. In one corner of the Palace grounds is WatPhraKeo, the Chapel of the Emerald Buddha, which houses the highly revered green image of Lord Buddha, whose history is shrouded in legend. The 75-cm-high statue of translucent jade sits atop an 11-meter golden pedestal. The temple compound is packed with richly decorated pavilions, each one an outstanding example of Buddhist architecture, as well as mythical giants, garudas and monkey warriors. A magnificent mural around the outer walls depicts the gallant deeds of the Ramanya epic.

End of the Grand Palace Tour with the Queen SirikitMusuem of Textile to experience the dress of Thai ladies and the story of how HM Queen Sirikit has helped turn Thai silk from a simple local handicraft into a key export and an icon of Thailand. Highlights include the Queen’s personal dresses and ornate costumes by leading international designers.

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Continue by coach to the famous Temple next door to the Grand Palace. Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) is the largest and oldest wat (temple) in Bangkok and, as the name suggests, is home to the enormous reclining Buddha. You’ll also find many more Buddha images at Wat Pho, which is said to have more statues of the Buddha than any other Bangkok temple.

The Reclining Buddha was crafted to celebrate King Rama III’s restoration (1824 – 51). At 150 ft (46 m) long and 49 ft (15 m) high it is the largest Buddha image in Thailand. The reclining Buddha is decorated with gold leaf and his eyes and foot soles are inlaid with mother-of-pearl.

Wat Pho is the birthplace of traditional Thai massage and in 1962 a traditional medicine and massage school was established here.


Arts of The Kingdom Exhibition at AnantaSamakhom Throne Hall & Marble Temple
Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall event 4The Arts of the Kingdom at AnantaSamakhom Throne Hall displays the masterpiece handiwork created by members of agricultural families, who learned Thai artistic skills from the Chitralada Arts and Crafts Centre under H.M. the Queen’s Royal Patronage.

Examples of the delicate works shown here are the replicas of royal thrones and barges. In addition, there are beautiful embroidered screens and the replica of the royal dinner table once used for receiving the royal guests on King Bhumibol’s 60th coronation anniversary on June 9, 2006.

Each piece of work has an English label describing its details.

wat-benchamabophit-marble-templeThen visit one of Bangkok’s most beautiful temples, WatBenchamabophit, also known as “The Marble Temple”. The temple is a magnificent example of the Bangkok architectural style with its multi tiered roofs, elegant Chofahs at the top end of the roof and the beautiful gold carvings. The white marble and the golden decorated windows give the ubosot a delightful appearance, especially in the sunlight. On either side of the entrance is a large stone lion, guarding the temple


Cooking Class at Blue Elephant Cooking School

bb-blue-elephant-cooking-schoolAdding “spice” to Thailand’s culture is its wonderful cuisine containing a huge variety of seasoned Thai dishes. Learn the art of Thai cooking and discover how to make its delightful flavors dance on your tongue. A Thai food expert will explain the secrets of the spices and herbs used in cooking Thai food then let you shop for your ingredients.

After that, you are center stage, cooking–and sampling–your own creations.


Three-Hour Co Van Kessel Bicycle Tour
Starting in the heart of Chinatown, the ride explores its frenetic market environment. Winding through narrow alleyways, the senses come alive with the sights, sounds, and smells of a community in motion. We’ll pass by shophouses selling everything from Buddhist amulets to recycled truck engines. Locals worshiping at hidden temples, ritual paper burnings, and the omnipresent spirit house display evidence of a culture centuries in the making.

Crossing the Chao Phraya River with majestic views of the city skyline behind us, we visit Thonburi, the historic third capital of Thailand. Contrasting chaotic Chinatown, peaceful elements of local Thai life abound as we cycle through diverse residential communities. Inquisitive smiles and friendly greetings reinforce the feeling we have truly left the “beaten path” and are now experiencing the REAL Thailand.

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Canal Cruise by Long-Tail Boat, Artist’s House by the River & Temple of Dawn
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From Shangri’s hotel pier, travel by long-tail speed boat on the picturesque Chao Phraya River and adjoining canals (klongs) to see the serene family homes and temples lining the waterways that give this city the apt name “Venice of the East”.  The tour will take you past modern housing tracts to a world where stilted houses perch on the river banks.  Watch the activities in each river community and see people beginning their day.  Meandering through areas of lush vegetation dotted with quaint old Buddhist temples, you will pass villagers in their boats laden with fresh vegetables, fruit and flowers on their way to market.

CanalCruise2Cruise through a narrow canal on the Thonburi side of Bangkok and get off at the Artist’s House (Baan Silapin) whichis a difficult attraction to find and just finding it has a little taste of success. A couple centuries ago, this kind of old Thai wooden house was very typical along the klongs but today these are becoming rare, inexorably replaced by concrete buildings. Not only has this one been beautifully restored, it also has some unusual features that always catch the eyes of tourists passing by on speeding boats: Several human-sized statues painted in white, red or black sitting by the water, endlessly staring at life passing by, like the ghosts of the original occupants who probably used to do the same, when smartphones didn’t yet distract us from the real world around us.

It houses a cafe and a shop selling fun stationary, postcards in addition to an art gallery displaying paintings, masks and, of course, puppets. it’s a unique chance to dive back into a time that no longer exists.

Also visit Temple of Dawn or WatArun whichis a Buddhist temple (wat) in Bangkok Yai district of Bangkok, Thailand, on the Thonburi west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The temple derives its name from the Hindu god Aruna, often personified as the radiations of the rising sun. WatArun is among the best known of Thailand’s landmarks and the first light of the morning reflects off the surface of the temple with pearly iridescence. Although the temple had existed since at least the seventeenth century, its distinctive prang (spires) were built in the early nineteenth century during the reign of King Rama.
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*Please note, Meet Bangkok adventures are included in Full Forum and
Saturday Only  registration packages.

All other attendees can purchase a tour a la carte for $100 per person.