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Study Trip

Israel : The Holy Land

Sunday, 25 February to Monday, 5 March 2018
Leader: Khun Eileen Deeley, Council member of the Siam Society

 

 

For a third of humanity, Israel is literally the Holy Land, and Jerusalem marks its sacred centre. For Christians, this is where Jesus was crucified and resurrected; for Muslims, this is where Mohammed journeyed up to heaven; for Jews, this is where the Temple of Solomon stood. The crossroads of three great religions, the holy land has been coveted and fought over for centuries.

Israel is a small country, the size of the state of New Jersey, with a population of 8 million. While the state of Israel was founded just after WWII, the Jewish people have a history here going back four thousand years. In 1947 the United Nations helped found the state of Israel and Jews long dispersed across the world returned to their ancient homeland. In the process hundreds and thousands of Palestinians were displaced and to this day, both people struggle to find an equitable and peaceful way to share what each considers to be their rightful homeland.

Travelling in Israel is to uncover the marks left behind by many of the world’s civilisations. The tiny country is packed with a fascinating range of historical and cultural sites.

 

The tentative programme will be as follows:

Day 1: Sunday, 25 February : Bangkok

09:30 p.m. Meet at Suvarnabhumi Airport, check in counter of El Al, Israel Airlines.

Day 2: Monday, 26 February : Bangkok - Tel Aviv

00:20 a.m. Depart to Tel Aviv by flight LY82(11.40 hrs. flight).
07:00 a.m. Arrive Tel Aviv Yafo - Ben Gurion International Airport.
- Sightseeing in Tel Aviva, a major city of the financial center and the technology hub of Israel.
- Visit Old Jaffa, an 8000 year old port city, walk along the restored artist’s quarter. Visit Neve Tzedek, the first neighborhood of Tel Aviv, built in 1887 and Nahalat Benyamin, the pedestrian street of the city and visit Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel’s leading museum of modern and contemporary art, and home to one of the world’s largest collections of Israeli art.
Noon Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon Check in at hotel Crown Plaza City Center, Tel Aviv.
- Dinner at the hotel.

Day 3: Tuesday, 27 February : Tel Aviv - Caesarea - Megiddo - Haifa

Morning After breakfast, drive along the coastal plain to Caesarea, capital of Judea, constructed by King Herod under the Romans. See the excavations of the Crusader city and the Roman port, aqueduct and the amphitheater that has been restored to its former glory as a concert venue. (57 km. /1hr.)
- Proceed to Megiddo, identified as the site of Armageddon; visit the archaeological excavations including the well preserved water supply system. (47 km. / 50 min.)
Continue to Daliat El Carmel, a Druze village situated on Mount Carmel. Druze are a unique religious and ethnic minority among Arab citizens of Israel. Here, we can see panoramic view of the Haifa bay and the golden-domed Bahai shrine and gardens.
(30 kms / 40 mins.)
Noon Late Lunch at local restaurant in Daiat El Carmel.
Afternoon Visit the beautiful terraces of the Bahai Gardens. The Bahai faith is a relatively new one, started under 200 years ago by a Persian of the name Siyyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi who revealed himself as the prophet Bab. Bahai shrine in Haifa is the most holy site of the Bahai faith.
Evening Dinner and overnight in Golden Crown, Haifa.

Day 4: Wednesday, 28 February : Haifa - Acre - Tibeiras

Morning After breakfast, check out of the hotel.
- Proceed to visit the historic walled port-city of Acre, continuous settlement from the Phoenician period. The present city is characteristic of a fortified town dating from the Ottoman 18th and 19th centuries, with typical urban components such as the citadel, mosques, khans and baths. The remains of the Crusader town, dating from 1104 to 1291, lie almost intact, both above and below today's street level, providing an exceptional picture of the layout and structures of the capital of the medieval Crusader kingdom of Jerusalem. (26 kms. / 35 mins.)
- Visit some interesting sites in Acre such as The Hospitaller Fortress (Knights' Halls). This spacious building was already uncovered in the1930s, during the British Mandate Period. The fortress served as the Hospitaller Order's main headquarters in 13th century during the Crusader Period.
- Hamam al-Basha (The Turkish Bath). This elegant hamam dating back to the Ottoman Period was built by al-Jazzar, who was Governor of Acre in 1781-2. The hamam was destroyed in an earthquake and rebuilt in the early 19th century.
- The Market, the core of the city's commercial life offering a colorful array of fish, butcher shops, spices, vegetables, perfumeries and souvenir shops.
- The Ramchal Synagogue and the 350-meter Templars Tunnel, served as a strategic underground passageway that connected the fortress to the port. The Templars were a military-monastic order who watched over the pilgrims coming from Europe to visit the holy sites of the Land of Israel.
Noon Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon Proceed to Tiberias. Visit Capernaum referred in the Bible as Jesus’ “own town”.
See the ruins of synagogue and octagonal church of St. Peter, Mt. of Beatitudes where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount and the Yardenit Baptism Site on the Jordan River. (60 kms. /1 hr.)
Evening Dinner and overnight at hotel Leonardo Plaza in Tiberias.

Day 5: Thursday, 1 March : Tiberias - Nazareth - Beit She’an - Beit Alpha - Kibbutz - Jerusalem

Morning After breakfast, check out of the hotel.
- Visit the Church of Annunciation in Nazareth (30 kms. / 40 mins.)
- After that continue to Beit She’an, visit Beit She'an Archeological Park Israel with amazing excavations from the Roman and Byzantine periods. This site rivals those of ruins in ancient Rome (40 kms. / 1 hr.). Then visit Beit Alpha to see the beautiful mosaic floors of a synagogue from the Byzantine era depicting the zodiac. (9 kms. 15 mins.)
Noon Late Lunch at Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu and tour of the Kibbutz. This is a large kibbutz which has a long history of organic farming (16 kms. /20 mins.)
Late Afternoon Continue to Jerusalem. (113  kms. / 2.30 hrs.)
Evening Dinner and overnight at Leonardo Hotel Jerusalem.

Day 6: Friday, 2 March : Qumeran - Massada - Bethlehem day trip

Morning After breakfast, proceed through the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, almost 1300 feet (400 meters) below sea level. Stop at Qumran to visit the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Drive along the shores of the Dead Sea (50 kms. / 1 hr.) and continue to visit Massada, a fortress constructed on top of a rock plateau built by King Herod, this place is the last Jewish stronghold where the Zealots made their last stand against the Romans before committing mass suicide in 73 AD.  Ascend by cable car. (52 kms. / 1 hr.)
Noon Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon Continue to Bethlehem visit the Church of the Nativity (110  kms./ 2.20  hr.) and drive back to Jerusalem. (8 kms./ 30 mins.)
- Dinner at own arrangement.
- Overnight at Leonardo Hotel Jerusalem.

Day 7: Saturday, 3 March : Old Jerusalem

Morning After breakfast start the day with a magnificent panoramic view from Mount of Olives, here we can see The Church of the Pater Noster, a Roman Catholic church, also known as the Sanctuary of the Eleona. After that drive to visit the Garden of Gethsemane, with its ancient olive trees, where we will visit the Rock of Agony where Jesus prayed his last prayer before being arrested.
- After that proceed to the Old city, visit the Church of All Nations, King David’s tomb and the room of Last Supper on Mt. Zion. Enter within the walls of the city and visit the Cardo, Temple Mount (entrance to the mosques not included), Western Wall, Via Dolorosa, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, oriental Bazaar.
Noon Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon Visit The Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem, located in The medieval citadel known as the Tower of David. The Museum presents the long history of Jerusalem.
Evening Dinner and overnight at Leonardo Hotel Jerusalem.

Day 8: Sunday, 4 March : New Jerusalem - Tel Aviv Airport

Morning After breakfast, visit City of David, see the new excavation site of David’s Palace and walk through the water of Hezkiah’s Tunnel.
Noon Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon Proceed to Yad Vashem, the memorial to the holocaust; Visit the Israel museum, the shrine of the book, where the dead sea scrolls are housed, and the miniature model of Jerusalem as it was during the second temple period.
- Visit Yahuda market.
- Dinner on your own in the market with plenty of café and restaurants.
and transfer to Tel Aviv Airport (54 kms. / 1 hr.)
11:00 p.m. Depart to Bangkok by flight LY81 (10.50 hrs.)

Day 9: Monday, 5 March : Bangkok

3:00 p.m. Arrive Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Booking

Bt. 127,000 (Bt. 130,000 for non-members). Single room surcharge Bt. 23,000. A deposit of Bt. 50,000 and photocopy of passport must accompany the booking. Your reservation will be confirmed as soon as the deposit has been made. Payment in full is required 45 days before the start of the trip (i.e. by Wednesday, 10 January 2018)

Please pay by cash or cheque payable to ‘The Siam Society’. There is a 4% surcharge for credit/debit card payment to cover bank charges. Alternatively you can deposit/transfer the money to the Siam Society travel account at the Thai Military Bank, Asoke Branch saving account no. 053-2-18000-7.  Please fax or e-mail the deposit or transfer docket to us. In case the tour has to be cancelled due to insufficient participants, a full refund of the deposit will be made.

Includes/Excludes:

The contribution includes meals as mentioned in program, airfare ticket, accommodation for two persons per room, entrance fees, gratuities and other costs incurred to make this trip possible. It excludes visa fee to Israel (if any), personal expenses, personal beverages, etc.

To comply with payment and cancellation policies set forth by tour agencies, and to facilitate smooth working condition between the Siam Society and the tour agencies, please read carefully the revised cancellation policies stated below:

Cancellation charge:

45 days before the start of the trip:                             Deposit forfeited
45-30 days before the start of the trip                         50% of the tour cost
Less than 30 days or cancellation without notice:          No refund

Your booking will not be confirmed until deposit payment has been received. Please book your place as soon as possible. Please supply a copy of your passport with your booking.

The Siam Society reserves the right to change the programme as necessary. Seats are limited. Please book your place as soon as possible. For further information and bookings please contact Khun Prasert or Khun Supanut.