Booking Optional Tours in Asia

KSTP-TV and IMI have hired Pacific World Asia to coordinate and operate our optional tours.

KSTP-TV has organized 7 optional tours that you may wish to participate in.  Each tour is listed in the daily schedule to follow along with the price and min/max numbers allowed.

KSTP-TV and IMI must make a number commitment for each tour in advance.  Therefore, to assure yourself a seat on any of these tours, you must complete and return the self addressed stamped postcard to KSTP-TV to be received no later than COB Friday November 30, 2001.

If we do not receive a postcard from you, we will assume that you are not interested in any optional tours.  You can add an optional tour once in Asia, but only based on available seats.

If not enough people sign up for a given tour in advance, that tour will be cancelled.  If you are indecisive about a tour, it is better for the group if you sign up now.  It will be easier to substitute your seat if you change your mind than risk having the tour cancelled before we even arrive in Asia.


The purpose of our site inspection was to participate in the available events and outings and make recommendations to our guests.  Several events we tried were left out due to our poor experience with them.  All options we have put together are acceptable to help enhance your trip.

This year, we are going a step further to rate the various experiences on a scale of one to four stars, four being the best.  These ratings are based on our experience as well as what we feel is a general appeal to the group. Every adventure in this guide is worth the experience and should be done if it appeals to you.  We simply felt that as people make choices on what they will and will not do, this ratings system will help in that decision. Enjoy your trip.


Rating of * * * *    is a MUST SEE

Rating of  * * *    is recommended

Rating of     * *    is enjoyable

Rating of        *    is highly specialized




January 21, 2003 - Tuesday

·   8:45pm Depart Minneapolis/St. Paul, checking your luggage through to Singapore.

·   10:38pm Arrive in Los Angeles in Terminal 2.

·   You will exit security, go outside, and turn right passing Terminal 3.  The road curves left and you will be in front of the Bradley International Terminal.  Find the Singapore Airlines Ticket Counter and check in to receive your boarding passes.  You will not need to claim your luggage as it was already checked through to Singapore, however, you will need to show your luggage claim receipts so have them available.

·   You will only have a short time to kill before our plane boards at 12:45am.  Dinner will be served right after departure and breakfast will be served just before we land in Taipei.  We make only a short exchange of crew and refuel before leaving for Singapore.  If you decide to get off the plane, take your boarding pass and passport with you.  YOU CANNOT leave the gate area.  You do not want to encounter security issues in Taipei, Taiwan.  Brunch will be served on this final leg.


 January 23, 2003 - Thursday

Hospitality Desk open from 1:00-6:00pm

Pacific World is our tour agent for this trip.  They will help you plan and arrange anything you want to do.

·   11:30am Arrive in Singapore

·   1:00pm Arrive at Four Seasons Singapore on motor coach. Luggage will be stored at the bell desk until rooms are ready, your luggage will then be delivered directly to your room

·   6:00-7:00pm Cocktail Reception in Windows East atop the hotel.

·   Dinner and evening at leisure

Restaurant Recommendation:

o  The Best: Jiang Nan Chun, a top 5 restaurant and the best food we had, a top choice: Four Seasons Hotel

o  Ling Zhi: Orchard Towers Basement

o  Red Book: Orchard Hotel Shopping Arcade

o  Club Chinois: Orchard Parade Hotel

o  Les Amis: French Shaw Center

Nightlife Recommendation:

·   Bounce around the restaurants, bars and nightclubs on Orchard Road which are all a block away.

·   Take a taxi to Mohamed Sultan Road.  You will find a long strip of bars with all different formats.  This area has been recommended as safe for our group.

·   Take a taxi to Boat Quay right on the Singapore River.  You won’t be disappointed.


January 24, 2003 – Friday

Hospitality Desk open from 8:30-11:00am and 2:00-5:00pm

·   7:30-9:00am Breakfast served in Windows East atop the hotel.  An orientation will start at 8:00am.

9:00-12:30pm Optional Tour S1; The City Tour * * * * 
Price per person is  $ 25.00 US Dollars

   Experience the four distinct cultures of Singapore, its ancient crafts and rare sights of the old “villages” where early immigrants lived.  Drive through Little India, visit Arab Street, and see the Sultan Mosque.  Your tour continues to Chinatown where you can explore on foot.  The final stop is at the European settlement along the Singapore River where you can visit Raffles’ land site, see Parliament House, Victoria Theater and Empress Place.   This is the perfect way to see and learn about many areas of Singapore.  This tour will help you pinpoint areas you might want to revisit.

Afternoon Recommendation:
Sentosa Island * * *  (4-5 Hours)
 Singapore’s Island Resort.   Taxi to the cable car tower and get your best view of Singapore from the air as you make your way to this fantasy island.   See Merlion, Dolphin Lagoon, Underwater World, Asian Village, Butterfly Park, or the Musical Fountain.  Walk the island and sandy beaches or take the monorail from point to point.   Allow for about 4-5 hours with transportation and enjoyment.

   Mass Rapid Transit * * *  (2-3 Hours)
Take a few hours and get out of town to see the real Singapore.  We suggest taking a train ride around the country.  For only about $3, you can experience the exceptionally clean mass transit system of Singapore.  There is a station only a short walk from the Four Seasons, ask the concierge for help.  You will also be able to see the incredible high rise housing and communities that make up 90% of Singaporean’s housing.

  ·   Shopping RECOMMENDATION:

Men’s Suits; get a high quality cashmere wool suit, shirt and tie, all custom fit and made, for about $400 US.  If you visit on Friday, Mr. Singh from Executive Boss Fashion can do your fitting the next day, then ship it home within a week. Our suits arrived only four weeks after our purchase. See Trey for directions!

Electronics are also cheap in Singapore, but we recommend you know what you are looking for and compare.  All the best brands are available in an American NTSC format.

 ·   Dinner and Evening at leisure

January 25, 2003 – Saturday

Hospitality Desk open from 8:00-11am and 2:00-5:00pm

·   7:00-9:00am Breakfast served at leisure in Windows West atop the hotel.

9:00-1:00pm Optional Tour S2: 
The Oriental Culture Tour, An Interactive Experience * * * *

   Price per person is  $60 US Dollars; only 30 seats available

This tour is a specifically created interactive tour of the Singapore culture.  It starts out on foot through Chinatown.  Visit herbal medicine shops and take in the age-old customs and architecture typical of a by-gone era.  

Your first stop will be a private demonstration at a traditional Teahouse.  International renowned tea merchants will teach you the six steps to the perfect brew.  Relish the pleasures of a simple and yet cultural experience to sip tea with snacks amidst the aroma of tea leaves and Oriental flavor.

 The next stop will be the Chinese Opera Teahouse where you will discover the unique and astonishing visual art form of Chinese Opera.  What do the carefully painted faces, the magnificently embroidered costumes and brilliantly colored headgear represent? What do the swish of a sleeve, the flick of a finger or the rhythmic movement of a torso mean? Join the experts as they explain the intricacies of Chinese Opera and make-up, and enjoy a short performance and experience Chinese Opera for yourself! Some Chinese snacks and tea will be provided while you enjoy the performance.

Calligraphy is an ancient art form, which has been kept alive through generations by mere instructions. Receive a sample of this ancient art form as a souvenir of your visit in Chinatown.

 Finally, visit the Eng Tiong Choon Opera Shop located at the River Valley before returning back to the hotel.

5:30-10:30pm Optional Tour S3; Wild Night Out * * *
        Price per person is  $ 75.00 US Dollars

 Rainforest Café truly is a wild place to shop and eat.  Discover amazingly lush surroundings, including cascading waterfalls, live birds and beautiful giant sized aquariums.

After dinner, take a tour to the world's finest Night Safari. The 40-hectare park adjoining the Singapore Zoo will unfold the mystery and drama of the jungle after dusk with stunning effect.  Some 1,200 nocturnal wild animals will be seen in their natural state under subtle artificial lighting which allows visitors to see the animals clearly while not interfering with their nightly routines.  Trams will allow visitors to clearly see the animals in safely and comfort.

 Includes transfers, dinner at Rainforest Café with soft drinks, admission to the Night Safari and tram ride.

January 26, 2003 – Sunday

Hospitality Desk open from 8:00-departure in Singapore

·   10:00am Luggage available for pickup in room.

·   12:15pm Board shuttle for a 2:20pm flight to Chiang Mai.

·   4:15pm Arrive in Chiang Mai.

·   5:30pm Arrive at the Regent at Mae Rim Valley, a Four Seasons Property.

 Hospitality Desk open from 5:30-7:00pm in Chiang Mai

·   Discuss and book optional tours with Pacific World.

·   Dinner and evening at leisure.  The Regent has two good restaurants on site or you can have dinner served to you on your private sala (deck) for a romantic evening.  KSTP-TV will have 20 seats reserved at each of the two restaurants for this first night.  Ten seats will be set at each for 6:30pm in case you want to hit the Night Bazaar on your first night here.  Ten more seats will be set in each for 7:45pm for an evening dinner overlooking the fire lit rice fields after dark. Reservations are held under "KSTP-TV".  Be sure to make your own dinner reservations for the rest of your stay.

 Nightlife Recommendation: The Night Bazaar * * *

A must see in Chiang Mai is the Night Bazaar.  It is a high quality flea market in the streets every night.  The resort offers a free shuttle each night that leaves at 7:45pm and picks up at 10:00pm to arrive back at 10:30pm.  You can also take a resort limo service to town on your own timetable for about $15 round trip.


Prepare yourself for a shopper’s paradise.  You will find high quality items for fractions of what we pay in the states.  We also found that the quality was much greater in Thailand than we found in Bali the year before.  A $60 bottle of cologne was $13; a $100 Oakley hiking bag was $18; men’s cotton Timberland shirts were $6 and so on.  The bargains are everywhere.  How will you get this all home?  Have no fear, an extra large Polo suitcases sold for $40.  If you want to ship things home, DHL and UPS have full services in both cities and the resort can help you with your packages.

Regent Resort  Recommendations:

Aside from the optional tours available to you, The Regent has many on site activities.  Chiang Mai city is about 20 minutes away so either plan a trip to the city or investigate one of many options on site.

 In addition to the Night Bazaar shuttle service, The Regent offers complimentary daily shuttles into town with departures at 9:00am, 11:00am, and 2:00pm.  Pickups in the city for return are at 11:45am, 2:45am, and at 5:00pm.  You need to reserve at least two hours in advance.

Do you play tennis or want to learn how?  The Regent Tennis Centre is under the direction of Peter Burwash International, the world’s oldest and most highly regarded company of tennis management experts.  They offer pre-scheduled group lessons each day from 4:00-4:45pm with a different topic each day.  You can also schedule private lessons.  The resort has two Wimbledon synthetic grass courts and all rackets, balls, shoes, and tennis clothing are complimentary for use.  The clinics and lessons carry a small fee. We are told that Andre Agassi and Stefi Graff are frequent visitors.

 Thai food is very popular. We participated in a private two-hour cooking class followed by the enjoyment and eating the fruits of our labor. The Regent will be opening a Thai Culinary School prior to our trip.

The Mae Rim Valley is filled with temples, waterfalls and orchid gardens.  The Regent offers complimentary mountain bikes complete with maps so you can experience this valley on a mountain bike.   The trip around can take 90 minutes or much longer depending on the stops you make.  If you are a biker and have your own comfortable seat, I suggest bringing it with you.  The sights are worth the effort.

To relax, the Lanna Spa offers massages such as Thai, Swedish, Aromatic and the Orient Blend for about $60 US per hour.  You can also have an Aromatherapy, a tradition in Thailand.  The Lanna Spa also has a full salon.  We suggest booking in advance and you can reserve times by emailing them at

January 27, 2003 – Monday

Hospitality Desk open from 9:00-4:00am

·   7:00-10:30am Breakfast on your own at leisure at Sala Mae Rim Restaurant on site.  They serve a wonderful breakfast buffet or you may choose room service.

 Golf recommendation: If you are a golfer, we recommend the Royal Chiang Mai Golf Resort.  Designed by Peter Thompson, five-time British Open Champion, this course is set in the mountains.  It is about a 30-minute taxi ride and the resort can make all the arrangements. For about $60 US per person, you will get transportation to and from the Golf Club, rent Calloway Big Bertha Clubs, golf shoes, cart, caddie and green fees.  The Regent will make all the arrangements or you can email the golf course at Plan ahead as early as possible.

9:00-4:30pm Optional tour CM1:  Wat & Shop * * * *

Prices:   A private car for TWO with escort is $70 US

                    A Minivan for FOUR with escort is $60 US per couple

                    A Minivan for SIX with escort is $50 US per couple

Your first stop visits the most important landmark of Chiang Mai, the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Overlooking the city from the mountainside Doi Suthep, this Buddhist Temple dates back to 1383.

Your next stop is the Orchid Jade Factory.  All of the world’s jade is brought down into Chiang Mai, manufactured, traded, and exported to the world.  See artists at work and see the world’s best quality jade on display as well as for purchase.  Expect to save big $$.

Wat Suan Dork is another Buddhist Temple dating to 1371.  It also contains the burial site for all the Chiang Mai royal family. You will then enjoy a buffet lunch before power shopping.

 It is time to hit Sankampaeng Road, home of the best quality merchandise in Thailand. At each stop, you will visit the factory and sweatshops to see the actual merchandise in production.  You will then have the chance to make unbelievable purchases.  All shops take major credit cards.

FURNITURE: The first stop is at Chiangmai Sudaluck, home to an excellent selection of hand made teak and rosewood furniture.  All prices listed are in US dollars and include shipping and insurance.

UMBRELLAS: Next is the famous Sa Paper & Umbrella Handicraft Center.  Buy hand painted fans and umbrellas at ridiculously low prices.  You can also bring something from home and have an artist paint anything you want right on the spot.

RATTAN: Thai Arts manufactures beautiful rattan.  They also carry a selection of umbrellas hand painted by top-notch artists.  The umbrellas at Sa Paper are pretty, but these are pieces of art; more expensive, but worth the extra money.

SILKS: Then go to Jolie Femme, a Thai silk factory.  Beautiful colors and the best quality silk in the world.

LAQUER: You will then stop at Chiangmai Laitong, makers and exporters of laquerware and bamboo products.

GEMS: Your final, and probably most sinful stop will be Gems Gallery.  This is the World’s Biggest Jewelry Store.  The selection and quality are wonderful and you can purchase jewelry for 35-50% of what you would pay in the states.  They have everything from .25 carat gems to 5+ carat diamonds.

·   5:30pm-6:30pm GROUP ONE Cocktail Party at Residence 23. Your invitation will designate one night.

·   Dinner and evening at leisure.


January 28, 2003 – Tuesday

Hospitality Desk open from 8:00-11:00am and 3:00-6:00pm

·   7:00-10:30am Breakfast at leisure.

·   Day at leisure at the resort or rent your own private van service and English speaking tour guide for the day.

·   5:30-6:30pm GROUP TWO Cocktail Party at Residence 23. Your invitation will designate one night.

·   Dinner and evening at leisure.

·   7:00-11:00pm Optional Tour CM2:  Cultural Dinner and Dance * * *

Prices:   A private car for TWO with escort is $80 US

                A Minivan for FOUR with escort is $70 US per couple

                A Minivan for SIX with escort is $60 US per couple

Visit the Old Chiangmai Cultural Center for a special Thai khantoke dinner.

While you are eating dinner, you will witness seven short Northern Thai classical dances.  These dances are classic and precise in their movement and meaning.

You will then move outside to a covered pavilion.  You will then witness seven more dances, but this time, actual hill tribe dances performed by hill tribe people.  The moves and meanings are much simpler, but the costumes and colors will amaze you.

 You will end the evening with a BRIEF stop by the Night Bazaar which is nearby.  If you wish to have more time at the Night Bazaar, you can take the complementary bus the resort provides the next evening.

January 29, 2003 – Wednesday

Hospitality Desk open from 8:00-11:00am and 3:00-6:00pm

·   7:00-10:30am Breakfast on own.

 9:00-4:30pm Optional Tour CM3; Elephant Adventure Tour * * * * 
Price per person is $100 US per person

You will travel north to Chiang Dao and the Elephant Training Center.  These are actual working Asian elephants.

You will see two demonstrations.  The first is a single file parade into the waters for a cool down and bath.  The second is a working demonstration of elephants pulling and moving timber logs.

You will then board an elephant and take a 30-minute trek through the mountain woods and streams.  We will trek to visit an actual hill tribe village called the Lisu Tribe.  After a short visit, the elephants take you back to base camp.

Your last adventure is boarding a bamboo raft for a one-hour trek down river. Each raft has a non-English speaking guide to push the raft down the river.  You will witness the backwoods of Thailand as well as several working villages.

Then enjoy a Thai lunch at Royal Ping Resort (5 minutes from elephant camp).

Your journey concludes with a stop at the Orchard Farm that is adjacent to the resort.


·   5:30-6:30pm GROUP THREE Cocktail Party at Residence 23. Your invitation will designate one night.

·   Dinner and evening at leisure.


January 30, 2003 – Thursday

Hospitality Desk open from 8:00-11:00am and 3:00 – 6:00pm.

·   7:00-10:30am Breakfast at leisure.

 7:30-3:30pm Optional Tour CM4:  Eco-Adventure Challenge * * * * 
Price per person is about $125 US Dollars

This will be a truly unique adventure.  You will spend the day with the Second Special Forces Division of the Royal Thai Army.  Your adventure starts at base camp with an introduction to Jungle Survival including animal traps, plant and snake identification, and more.

You will ride in a 4WD into the mountains where you will begin a 2 hour morning hike through the jungle terrain.

Your rest comes at the top of a 60 meter tall waterfall.  After a rest, you will repel down the falls.  At the base of the falls, you will have lunch and soak in the mountain waters.  For lunch, you will learn jungle cooking techniques using bamboo and coconut utensils.

 After the “cool off”, it is only a short hike back to the 4WD and return to Army Base Camp.

All participants MUST be reasonably fit and have no disabilities.  Hiking boots are recommended as well as light comfortable clothing.  Wear long pants, NO SHORTS!

·   6:30-7:15pm Final Evening Cocktail Party
We will end our journey with a dinner gala for the entire group.  The evening starts out with a cocktail party at the elephant bar.  We will take couple photos as well as a group shot for memories.  Dress is light evening dresses for the ladies and slacks and short sleeve shirts for the gentlemen.

·   7:15-10:00pm Final Evening Gala
A special dinner and night to remember awaits you and your guest.  Your final evening on a trip such as this seems to always leave a lasting memory and KSTP-TV wants that to be a very positive memory.


January 31, 2003 – Friday

·   7:00-9:00am Breakfast at leisure.

·   8:30am Luggage must be ready for pickup at the front door inside your suite.

·   9:30am Departure from front lobby area for transportation to Chiang Mai Airport.

·   Your luggage will only be checked to Los Angeles.  You will only receive boarding passes through Los Angles when departing Chiang Mai.

·   In L.A., you must clear immigration, then claim your luggage, and then clear customs.  We will proceed to a special ticket window where we will re-check our luggage to our final destination.  Luggage carts are provided free of charge to make this transition easier.  You will then turn left out of the Bradley International Terminal and follow around to Terminal 2.  Go to the second level to the Northwest ticket counter and check in to receive your boarding passes for the final trek home. You will also need your baggage claim checks to present to the agent to insure that your bags are properly transferred.  If your domestic flight is on a different airline, your terminal may be different, but the same procedure applies.  For Minneapolis travelers, you will have four hours before our plane leaves L.A.

·   Arrival into Minneapolis is approximately 6:15am on Saturday, January 19.