January 31 to February 12, 2014
Revel in a railway journey of a bygone era with Professor Carl Bielefeldt as we travel through Thailand and Malaysia aboard the deluxe Eastern & Oriental Express train.
First, spend three nights in bustling Bangkok, where we tour the grand palaces and temples along the Chao Phraya River, and cruise to the site of Ayuthaya, Thailand’s ancient capital. Then board our luxuriously appointed train for a three-night journey through the Thai- Malay peninsula, admiring the local scenery of water buffalo grazing in rice fields and stopping in quiet villages and towns. In Singapore, disembark the train and fly to Bali for three nights at our seaside resort. Learn about life and ritual in an artisans’ village and browse the famed Ubud market with its exotic displays of Balinese crafts, spices and gifts.
A religious scholar, Professor Bielefeldt explains how Buddhism has changed to adapt to various cultures, and specifically, how changes have affected life in present-day Southeast Asia.
- Carl Bielefeldt, Religious Studies
Carl BielefeldtCarl Bielefeldt is the Evans-Wentz Professor of Oriental Philosophies, Religions and Ethics in the religious studies department at Stanford, where he has taught since 1980. Dr. Bielefeldt has led Travel/Study programs throughout Southeast Asia. A specialist in Buddhism, he is particularly interested in how the religious values and ideas of ancient India were spread throughout Asia and transformed by many different cultures, times and places.
- Director of the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies and Asian Religions & Cultures (ARC) Initiative at Stanford
- Founding Director of Stanford's Center for Buddhist Studies
- Former chair of religious studies and director of the Center for East Asian Studies at Stanford
- Editor-in-Chief, Soto Zen Text Project
- Author of Dogen's Manuals of Zen Meditation
- Editor and translator of Treasury of the True Dharma Eye: The Shobogenzo
- PhD in Buddhist Studies, UC-Berkeley
Friday & Saturday, January 31 & February 1
DEPART U.S. / BANGKOK, THAILAND
Fly independently to Bangkok, crossing the international date line en route.
Sunday, February 2
Arrive in Thailand’s bustling capital city and transfer to our landmark hotel, located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. This evening gather for a welcome reception and dinner at our hotel. MANDARIN ORIENTAL (D)
Monday, February 3
Explore this dynamic city, beginning with a local boat cruise on the Chao Phraya River, where daily life can be observed up close. Visit the Grand Palace, former residence of Siamese kings and a beautiful example of their ancient architecture and art forms. Explore the Palace’s numerous areas, including the Throne Hall, Royal Guest House and Wat Phra Keo, which houses the Emerald Buddha, Thailand’s most sacred religious image. Continue by tuk tuk (motorized rickshaw) to Wat Po, Bangkok’s oldest and largest temple, featuring a colossal reclining Buddha. Enjoy a lunch of Thai specialties at the famed Blue Elephant restaurant, then spend the afternoon at leisure. This evening enjoy dinner and a performance of traditional Thai dance in a riverfront pavilion across from our hotel. MANDARIN ORIENTAL (B,L,D)
Tuesday, February 4
AYUTHAYA / BANGKOK
Board a local boat for a relaxing cruise to Ayuthaya, the country’s former capital founded in 1350. Disembark and explore Bang Pa In, the summer palace of King Rama V and a quaint mixture of European and Thai architecture. Continue to Ayuthaya’s ancient ruins, now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Conclude our excursion with a visit to a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and humane treatment of Asian elephants. Come face-to-face with these gentle creatures and learn about efforts to increase their numbers in the wild. MANDARIN ORIENTAL (B,L)
Wednesday, February 5
EMBARK EASTERN & ORIENTAL EXPRESS
After a morning at leisure, visit the Jim Thompson House and Museum, a complex of traditional teak buildings built to house the artifacts and collections of James Thompson, an American pioneer in Thai silk. Then transfer to the Bangkok railway station and embark the Eastern & Oriental Express, our home for the next three nights. Enjoy an elegant dinner served in the dining car as our train leaves the city and travels into the Thai countryside. EASTERN & ORIENTAL EXPRESS (B,L,D)
Thursday & Friday, February 6 & 7
Enjoy two full days in the countryside as our train makes its way south through Thailand and Malaysia, past scenes of peaceful villages and water buffalo grazing in rice fields. Visit the original “Bridge on the River Kwai” by boarding a local raft and cruising amid the lush greenery of the Kwai Yai River. Learn about the history of the Thailand-Burma Railway and explore a local museum and cemetery. In Malaysia, stop at colonial George Town, capital of Penang, where we explore pre-World War II-era mosques and temples, and browse through the colorful shops at bustling bazaars. EASTERN & ORIENTAL EXPRESS (B,L,D—both days)
Saturday, February 8
SINGAPORE / DISEMBARK
After our last breakfast onboard, the train crosses the Straits of Johor and we disembark in Singapore. Enjoy a tour of this glittering metropolis, beginning at Merlion Park and Esplanade Bridge. Board a coach for a driving tour through the Civic District and past the Cricket Club, Parliament House, Supreme Court and City Hall. Then visit Thian Hock Keng, the oldest and most important Fukien temple in Singapore, located in the city’s Chinatown. Check in to our deluxe hotel and enjoy the afternoon and dinner independently. MANDARIN ORIENTAL (B)
Sunday, February 9
BALI, INDONESIA / JIMBARAN
This morning, fly from Singapore to Bali—for many, the embodiment of paradise. A unique blend of Hindu ritual and reverence for nature underlies the rich traditions and peaceful way of life on this island gem. Upon arrival, transfer to our luxurious seaside resort in Jimbaran and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. JIMBARAN PURI BALI RESORT (B)
Monday, February 10
Experience the daily life of the Balinese as we are invited into a traditional village. Learn the process of planting rice, visit with a spiritual healer and engage in conversation with children at a local school. After a lunch of Indonesian specialties, visit an artisan’s village and learn about Bali’s rich arts and crafts traditions from local artists and woodcarvers. JIMBARAN PURI BALI RESORT (B,L)
Tuesday, February 11
This morning, explore Tampak Siring, a holy spring and purification temple whose bathing pools have been used by the Balinese for over a thousand years to promote good health and prosperity. Continue to a small rain forest for encounters with monkeys and other wildlife. Conclude the day with a visit to the famed artisan market of Ubud, a colorful and exotic display of Bali’s rich arts and crafts, fruits, spices and more. After lunch at a local restaurant in Ubud, return to our resort for an afternoon at leisure. This evening celebrate the end of our journey with a festive farewell reception and dinner at our hotel. JIMBARAN PURI BALI RESORT (B,L,D)
Wednesday, February 12
BALI / U.S.
After breakfast at our resort, transfer to the airport and board international flights home. (B)
Limited to 34 participants.
Please note that the Eastern & Oriental Express has a capacity for 138 passengers, and Stanford Travel/Study will occupy a portion of the cabins onboard. Excursions before and after our rail trip, lectures and special programming described in this brochure will be exclusive to Stanford participants.
|Pullman Cabin||62 sq. ft., with picture window and upper and lower berths||$8,995|
|State Cabin||84 sq. ft., with two picture windows and two lower berths||$10,495|
|Presidential Suite**||125 sq. ft., with two picture windows and two lower berths||$13,695|
|Pullman Cabin/Single**||62 sq. ft., with picture window and one lower berth||$11,495|
*Association nonmembers add $200 per person.
**Accommodations are limited in these categories.
***Refer to the brochure for compartment diagrams or call our office for more information.
- 7 nights of five-star hotel accommodations in Bangkok, Singapore and Bali
- 3-night journey aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express
- 10 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 dinners
- Welcome and farewell cocktail receptions
- Bottled water on excursions
- Gratuities to porters, guides, drivers and train crew for all group activities
- All tours and excursions as described in the itinerary
- Flight from Singapore to Bali on February 9
- Transfers and baggage handling on program arrival and departure days
- Minimal medical, accident and evacuation insurance
- Educational program with lecture series and pre-departure materials, including recommended reading list, a selected book, map and travel information
- Services of our professional tour manager to assist you throughout the program
- International and U.S. domestic airfare
- Passport and visa fees
- Immunization costs
- Meals and beverages other than those specified as included
- Independent and private transfers
- Trip-cancellation/interruption and baggage insurance
- Excess-baggage charges
- Personal items such as internet access, telephone and fax calls, laundry and gratuities for nongroup services
International and U.S. domestic airfare is not included in the program cost. Round-trip, economy-class airfare from San Francisco to Bangkok with return from Bali is approximately $1,800 as of May 2013 and is subject to change without notice.
What to Expect
We consider this program to be moderately strenuous. Excursions in the cities and on the island of Bali involve one to three miles of walking, sometimes over uneven and unpaved terrain. In most instances, such as in museums and temples and at ancient ruins, guided tours require climbing up and down several flights of stairs where steps may be steep, uneven and without handrails; elevators are generally not available except in our hotels. These busy days are contrasted with the relaxed pace aboard the train, where travelers will have ample opportunity to take in the beautiful scenery from the comfort of their cabins. Embarking and disembarking the train will require stepping up and down several steep steps, and participants should feel comfortable walking through and between rocking rail cars while the train is in motion. We welcome travelers 15 years of age and older on this program.
Terms and Conditions
We encourage membership in the Alumni Association as the program cost for nonmembers is $200 more than the members' price. Parents and their children under 21 may travel on one membership. For more information or to purchase a membership, visit alumni.stanford.edu/goto/membership or call (650) 725-0692.
Deposits, Payments and Cancellations
A $1,000 deposit is required to hold space. Deposits and any payments are fully refundable, less a $500-per-person cancellation fee, until 120 days prior to departure. After that date, refunds can be made only if the program is sold out and your place(s) can be resold, in which case a $1,000-per-person cancellation fee will apply.
Stanford Travel/Study provides all travelers who are U.S. or Canadian citizens with minimal medical, accident and evacuation coverage under our group-travel insurance policy. We strongly recommend that you subscribe to optional baggage and trip-cancellation insurance. A brochure offering such insurance will be mailed with your confirmation about one week after we receive your deposit. The product offered in this brochure includes a special Waiver of Pre-Existing Conditions and coverage for Financial Insolvency and Terrorist Acts if you postmark your insurance payment within 15 days of the date listed on the confirmation letter.
The Stanford Alumni Association, Stanford University and our operators act only as agents for the passenger with respect to transportation and ship arrangements and exercise every care possible in doing so. However, we can assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity in connection with the service of any automobile, motorcoach, launch or any other conveyance used in carrying out this program or for the acts or defaults of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in carrying out the arrangements of the program. We cannot accept any responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, quarantine, force majeure or other causes beyond our control. All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the passenger as tour rates provide arrangements only for the time stated. We reserve the right to make such alterations to this published itinerary as may be deemed necessary. The right is reserved to cancel any program prior to departure in which case the entire payment will be refunded without further obligation on our part. The right is also reserved to decline to accept or retain any person as a member of the program. No refund will be made for an unused portion of any tour unless arrangements are made in sufficient time to avoid penalties. Baggage is carried at the owner's risk entirely. It is understood that the ship's ticket, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the passenger and the cruise company. The airlines concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not on board their plane or conveyance. Neither the Alumni Association, Stanford University nor our operators accept liability for any carrier's cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket in connection with the tour. Program price is based on rates in effect at the time the brochure is printed and is subject to change without notice to reflect fluctuations in exchange rates, tariffs or fuel charges. As a condition of participation, all confirmed participants are required to sign a Release of Liability.
California Seller of Travel Program Registration #2048 523-50