Foodies, amateur photographers and enthusiasts alike from around the world are invited to join us on a captivating trip throughout Penang Island, Malaysia and Chiang Mai, Thailand. Get your cameras ready to capture sunsets over the sea, monkeys, palm trees, sprawling outdoor markets, elephants, rice fields, and much more!
You’ll learn about SE Asian cultures and food. And Craig Anthony Rybarczyk from Fisher Images will give photography lessons to help capture your experiences.
We’ll explore the multiculturalism of Georgetown, Malaysia—a UNESCO World Heritage Site, sample the endless options of street food, participate in a cooking class with a local expert, visit rescued elephants in Northern Thailand, and attend the Yee Peng Festival (Lantern Festival) in Chiang Mai to name a few things. There will also be plenty of time to relax poolside.
Julie Slagter will be your host, concierge and cultural expert throughout the trip. You’re in good hands—Julie has spent several months living in Penang and traveling throughout Thailand. She brings a wealth of cultural knowledge and will ensure your holiday experience goes beyond the touristy sites.
Registration is closed for this Connect trip. Contact us for waiting list details.
USD $2,800/person for single occupancy; $2,460/person for double occupancy
Minimum # of participants: 8 (max: 15)
Deposit: $500 is due upon registration to save your spot
Registration deadline: Sept 15
Trip balance must be paid by: Sept 20
Included in Trip Cost
+ 4+ star, non-smoking accommodations with a swimming pool
+ Pick up/drop off from the airport
+ Ground transportation for group activities
+ Most meals – see itinerary
+ One-way flight from Penang to Chiang Mai
+ Photography lessons
+ Day-trip to the Elephant Nature Park
+ Cooking class
+ Day trips
+ 1-hour foot massage
+ Wifi at hotels
Wednesday, Oct 25 – Arrive to Penang Island
Arrive in Penang, Malaysia (PEN) by 2:00 p.m.
After settling in at the hotel, we’ll head to beach to enjoy a feast of street food, learn about the Malaysian culture, and have a photography lesson while capturing the sunset.
Thursday, Oct 26 – Penang Island
Meals: B, L, D
You’ll have the option of getting up early to photograph the sunrise. It’s an island so we get sunsets and sunrises!
We’ll head out in the afternoon for a walking tour of Georgetown. We’ll also visit Penang Hill for a birds eye view of the island and the Kek Lo Ski Temple. After dinner, we’ll learn about night and low-light shots to enhance your photography for the lantern festival we’ll experience in Thailand.
Friday, Oct 27 – Penang Island
Meals: B, L
We’ll experience an outdoor market in the morning with a local expert and participate in a cooking class. From there, we’ll stop at a tropical fruit farm, batik factory and spice garden in the afternoon. The day will end at a night market for shopping and eating!
Saturday, Oct 28 – Penang Island
You’ll have this whole day to yourself! Rest, relax by the pool, go for a hike, shop, explore more of Georgetown, etc.
Sunday, Oct 29 – Penang Island
Meals: B, L, D
In the morning, we’ll head to the north end of the island to explore the national park and surely run into some monkeys! There will be options to hike through the jungle to various beaches and look-outs or take a boat around the park.
In the afternoon, we’ll visit some Hindu and Buddhist temples around the city, and a historical mansion dating back to the British occupancy of Penang. We may even fit in high tea!
For our last evening in Penang, we’ll enjoy wood-fire pizza at a restaurant with furniture made out of reclaimed tsunami wood.
Monday, Oct 30 – Penang Island and Chiang Mai
Meals: B, L, D
In the morning, we’ll go to the airport and fly up to Chiang Mai, Thailand. After getting settled in at the hotel, we’ll meet up for a Thai feast!
Tuesday, Oct 31 – Chiang Mai
Meals: B, L, D
The Elephant Nature Park will pick us up in the morning for a full day with the elephants they rescue. We’ll learn why riding elephants and having them do tricks for entertainment in circuses, etc. is harmful to them and see the good life they have at the nature park. There will be opportunities to feed and bath the elephants as well as capture these beauties on our cameras.
Wednesday, Nov 1 – Chiang Mai
Meals: B, L
There will be an option to participate in an all day Thai cooking class or go on a day-trip to a magnificent waterfall just outside Chiang Mai. In the evening, you’ll have time to explore the night markets and more.
Thursday, Nov 2 – Chiang Mai
Meals: B, D
The morning and afternoon will be free for you to do explore on your own or with the group. And we’ll meet up for dinner and to enjoy the Yee Peng Festival.
Friday, Nov 3 – Chiang Mai
Meals: B, D
This is our last full day together. The day is yours to do as you wish and fit in all of those “last minute” musts. We’ll for a farewell dinner and go to see the lanterns be released at the Yee Peng Festival. It will surely be an epic way to end an amazing experience in SE Asia!
Saturday, Nov 4 – Chiang Mai and Departure
You will be driven to the airport in Chiang Mai at your scheduled departure time on Nov 4th, but will need to check out of the hotel by 12:00 p.m.
The fun with photography won’t stop when the trip is done… There will be opportunities to continue to interact and share online after our experience together in SE Asia.
Now…time to plan the next trip with Creative Travel Connections!
Fees and Cancelation Policy
The fee is inclusive of accommodations, transportation and meals as noted on the itinerary, admission tickets, and gratuities.
- A $500 USD non-refundable deposit is due upon registration.
- Full payment is required 45 days before the trip.
- Cancelations up to 45 days before the trip are subject to a 5% administrative fee based on the full registration cost. 20-45 days before the trip: 15% administrative fee. 0-20 days before the trip: 25% administrative fee. The $500 deposit is non-refundable.
- Participants are responsible for their own airfare to Penang (PEN) and from Chiang Mai (CNX). Contact us for recommended carriers/flight paths.
- Participants are encouraged to purchase travel insurance. (recommendations available)
Other Important Information
- Traveler’s passport must be valid for at least 6 months after date of travel in order to board flights.
- You will be sent a packing list, optional pre-trip reading, and any other relevant information upon deposit. Really…you just need to pack and get on the airplane with your passport!
- Travelers will meet each other virtually before the trip.
- Questions are welcome…Julie will personally respond to all inquiries.