New Milford, NJ (Vocus) February 10, 2010
Spirit Journeys has just scheduled the latest addition to their gay tours in 2010, an adventure in the magical land of Thailand. The tour starts October 31, 2010 and goes for 14 days until November 13, 2010. Throughout this journey participants will weave the benefits of a vacation (relaxation, sightseeing, shopping, etc) with a mindful connection to the places and the people they encounter. The journey begins in Bangkok. The first five days are spent visiting some highlights of this Asian metropolis and the surrounding areas, including the Royal Grand Palace with its famous Emerald Buddha, Wat Pho, which houses a marvelous 46 meter long gilded reclining Buddha, the floating markets of Tha Kha, and more.
While in Bangkok, the group will be staying at the Metropolitan Bangkok Hotel. The Metropolitan Bangkok is Bangkok's freshest city-centre hotel offering style, energy and exceptional service. The hotel's verve is balanced by calming rooms away from the urban hubbub, and careful attention to nurturing detail. Combining urban edge with Asian flair, an award winning cuisine and spa, at the Metropolitan Bangkok guests experience the city's spirit.
After the first five days in Bangkok, participants fly to the northernmost province of Thailand, Chiang Rai. Chiang Rai was the first capital of the independent, northern Thai Kingdom, Lanna Thai, established in 1262. While in Chiang Rai, attendees will visit several hill tribes which have settled in the Chiang Rai area, including the Karen Long Neck Hill tribe village.
From Chiang Rai, there will be a drive to wonderful Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai has over 300 temples and became the Lanna capitol after Chiang Rai in 1296. Chiang Mai blends its old city center, a moated and walled area, with a modern and vibrant city. It also blends its rich cultural history with modern life.
One of the highlights of the stay in Chiang Mai will be a visit to the Elephant Nature Park for a close encounter with the elephants! Established in 1995, the aim of the Elephant Nature Park is to provide a sanctuary and rescue center for Asian pachyderms. In the scenic Mae Taeng Valley, the Park is one of the rare places in Thailand where elephants no longer work for humans. Throughout the day, the group will learn about the problems elephants face in Southeast Asia, as well as the changes advocated by the Park regarding their care, treatment, and training. They may also join the park's volunteers to feed and bathe the elephants. This is an unforgettable day and a unique experience for any visitor to Southeast Asia.
This journey will be well-paced and relaxed. Spirit Journeys has learned from many previous gay travel tours in Asia that "less is more". As such, a leisurely pace is important. There will plenty of opportunities to simply "be" at temples and free time to experience the people and sites of these incredible places.
Howie Holben is the guide for this journey. He is also the owner and caretaker of Spirit Journeys. Since early childhood, he has been drawn to indigenous peoples and their spiritual teachings, traditions and practices. This attraction has taken him on many adventures, exploring the countless ways of "being in the world". His personal journey through addiction and recovery has spawned in him a genuine interest in assisting others on their own spiritual path and he takes great pleasure in introducing people to practices, sacred ways and cultures to help them "step outside their box". A Reiki/Karuna Ki Master, Quantum Touch and Breathwork Practioner, his desire is to help others uncover their potential and set their hearts and minds free.