Cultural Excursion

Northern Thailand Uncovered

Bangkok, Thailand

We customize every trip

Prices From: $2,598 Per Person

This trip is designed for the more adventurous spirited travelers who like to get away from the crowds, connect with the environment, and enjoy an active holiday. The tour starts in the vibrant capital Bangkok but soon heads into the mountainous regions via Chiang Mai - the gateway to the north. With your guide you’ll make a circular tour taking in the magnificent mountainous scenery and the hill tribes, traveling on the river, hiking, and getting a chance to really appreciate Northern Thai hospitality.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Bangkok Arrival

Welcome to Thailand! Upon arrival at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, you will be met by our local representative and transferred to your Bangkok hotel. After check-in you have the remainder of the day free to do some exploring of the local area.

Overnight: AriyasomVilla

Day 2 - Bangkok

Today you will be traveling like a local by public transport for your full day Bangkok City and Temples Sightseeing Tour. You'll begin by taking the Bangkok Skytrain to Saphan Taksin station, from where you will take a ferry to the Tha Thien pier. Once at the Tha Thien pier proceed to the Wat Pho Temple with its astounding 46-meter long Reclining Buddha, this temple also serves as an educational center and is considered to be the birthplace of traditional Thai Massage, which is still taught at the temple to this day. Afterwards, take a tuk tuk to the Grand Palace - the most important of all Thai monuments and one of the most beautiful samples of an ancient Siamese court. You'll learn about the history and the architecture of this magnificent structure and visit the various halls like the throne room, the royal guest house and of course the most sacred and most important of all Thai temples, Wat Phra Kaew. This temple contains the most revered Buddha image in the country, the Emerald Buddha, and is made from one solid piece of translucent green jade.

From the Grand Palace, walk to the Tha Maharaj pier where you will visit the Amulet Market with a great array of talismans, charms and traditional medicine (according to Thai belief, each amulet brings a specific kind of luck). Then take a ferry to the Supatra River House for delicious Thai lunch!

After lunch, take a longtail boat for your tour of the Klongs (canals) - which had previously been used as the main transport arteries of the city. Nowadays, touring the canals provides you with a great opportunity to have a glimpse at the lifestyle of the riverbank communities, which remains relatively unchanged over the centuries. After exploring the city canals, stop at the Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) – one of the main landmarks of Bangkok. Continue to the pier of Wat Nairong, where you will stop to feed the fish – a local tradition that is believed to bring good luck. You will be dropped off at Sapan Taksin BTS station to take the BTS back to your hotel.

Overnight: AriyasomVilla (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 3 - Bangkok - Chiang Mai

Today you will be met at the hotel by your guide and escorted on your transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Chiang Mai. On arrival in Chiang Mai you will be met by your Northern guide and transferred to your hotel. After you have had some time to freshen up, your guide will take you out for a traditional Chiang Mai lunch.

After lunch, you will visit one of the most recognizable and important landmarks of Chiang Mai – Wat Doi Suthep. Take a tram up the hill to enter the temple which is considered sacred by Thai people and take in the amazing architecture based on both Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as stunning views from the hill.

In the evening, you’ll be escorted by your guide to enjoy a traditional Kantoke dinner with cultural dancing from the Northern region of Thailand.

Overnight: Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Day 4 - Chiang Mai

In the morning you pay a visit to Wat Suan Dok with your guide, to take part in the local ceremony of giving alms to the monks – a great way to experience local culture. Afterwards, you'll return to the hotel for breakfast.

After breakfast you'll join a Thai cooking class. During the class you will learn more about the herbs and spices that go into the delicious Thai dishes and be ready to amaze your friends with your new skills when you get home. After you have eaten your home cooked feast, you’ll have the rest of the day free to relax. We recommend you head down to the night market in the evenings where there are a myriad of stalls selling everything from t-shirts to ethnic minority jewellery and souvenirs.

Overnight: Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 5 - Chiang Mai - Chiang Dao

This morning you leave Chiang Mai for Chiang Dao. On the way you will visit the sacred retreat complex of Samnak Song Tham Pha Plong. This is a monastery where Buddhist monks can be seen meditating. Go about 1km past Malee's and climb the long, steep stairway up to a large temple, among forest and limestone cliffs.

In the afternoon you explore the 12 km of stalactite-laden caves that Chiang Dao is famous for.

Overnight: Chiang Dao Nest (Breakfast included)

Day 6 - Chiang Dao

You’ll leave early today for a day of hiking up to the summit of Chiang Dao (approximately 3 hours). The trail initially starts off deceivingly flat before shooting up steeply, giving views of rolling rounded mountains and a village to the north. There is a little bit of muddy, root-grabbing terrain just before the view point. The tropical vegetation is mostly thin and open to the sky, allowing lots of views throughout the length of the trail. However, there are periodic clusters of forest to find shade. Once at the top you’ll rest and have a picnic lunch before you start your descent. The walk back down takes around 2 hours. Once back at the resort you’ll have the rest of the day to relax and recuperate before a delicious dinner.

Overnight: Chiang Dao Nest (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 7 - Chiang Dao - Thaton

Today you drive to the small riverside town of Thaton. After lunch your guide will take you on a walk along the river and up to Thaton temple.

Overnight: Maekok River Village (Breakfast included)

Day 8 - Thaton - Chiang Rai

Today you'll embark on a 3 hour river trip on a private long tail boat to the Northern most city of Chiang Rai. After checking in to the hotel, you will visit Wat Rong Khun – a stunning contemporary white temple constructed with mirrored glass and intricate carvings. The white color symbolizes the purity of Lord Buddha and the carvings depict many of the Buddhist stories and principles. This modern temple is quickly becoming one of the main landmarks of the country due to its beauty and originality.

Afterwards, continue discovering the main sites of Chiang Rai city by rickshaw (1 person per rickshaw). Visit Wat Phra Kaew – one of the oldest and most important temples of the city as well as a local Buddhist educational center, housing a 700 year old Buddha image. Proceed to Wat Klang Wiang, a northern Lanna style temple with strong Hindu influences, built in the place where a revered tree used to stand before a storm knocked it down. Cycle past the unique clock tower and return to the hotel for a delicious Thai dinner.

Overnight: Katiliya Mountain Resort & Spa (Breakfast, Dinner included)

Day 9 - Chiang Rai

After breakfast, continue discovering the North of Thailand with a day trek to a nearby Lahu village and an elephant ride. You’ll visit Karen Rummit and Yafu village followed by a picnic lunch next to a waterfall.

Overnight: Katiliya Mountain Resort & Spa (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 10 - Chaing Rai - Bangkok

Today you will be transferred to the airport take the flight to Bangkok. You can either take a connecting flight home or head to the south of Thailand for a few days of rest and relaxation.

(Breakfast included)

Accommodation Information


AriyasomVilla is an enchanting family owned Thai style residence built in 1942. Ideally located in the heart of Bangkok in the bustling Sukhumvit area, the hotel is encircled with a myriad of dining and shopping venues as well as plenty of vibrant nightlife entertainment hot spots. Nana BTS Skytrain Station located nearby makes exploring Bangkok fast and easy. It’s the intimate touch and timeless classic charm of the architecture and interior design that make the villa uniquely attractive and unquestionably livable.

Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel

Set over the Mae Ping River, this 28-roomed boutique hotel offers the perfect escape into natural beauty and chic design. Situated in Chiang Mai’s old town guests are in close proximity to the famous night bazaar and just 5 km from the airport. Each rooms décor is inspired by the four elements of early Buddhism homed by a combination of colonial and traditional Thai architecture. At The Tara restaurant visitors can enlighten their taste buds with both Western and Thai cuisine complimented by an extensive drinks list. After an exhausting day exploring Chiang Mai be sure to soak up some of the sensory pleasures at Four Elements Spa or perhaps indulge in some yoga and meditation.

Chiang Dao Nest

Chiang Dao Nest consists of 20 lovely clean, comfortable cabins (bungalows), and two restaurants across two sites a mile apart and nestling at the foot of the Chiang Dao mountain. The newer one, Chiang Dao 1, has more facilities (table tennis, children's playground, and pool), but the snug, timber-built chalets offer the same high standard of comfort. This is an "ecologically aware" resort, though, so rooms have no TV, DVD-player, or phone. At night the only sounds you'll hear are the noises of the encompassing jungle.

Maekok River Village Resort

The Maekok River Village Resort is idyllically located on the banks of the Mae Kok River with sweeping views across the water, to the forested hills which form the border with Myanmar. The peaceful, rural setting makes an ideal getaway for those wanting to truly escape.

Katiliya Mountain Resort & Spa

Katiliya Mountain Resort & Spa is an all-suite luxury resort located between the city of Chiang Rai, Mae Sai and Doi Mae Salong. The resort provides guests with superb services and facilities in a stunning natural setting. There are different types of accommodation (from 1 to 6 bedroom villas) to cater to the different needs of the guests. All suites are built in a separate villas surrounded by lush tropical garden with high ceilings, spacious and equipped with amenities to ensure guests comfort. Katiliya’s Spa is where guests can enjoy wide range of massages.. An outdoor Jacuzzi is also available. The fitness center is where guests can workout with wide range of equipment to suit all needs. The resort restaurant and bars offer diverse menus from both Thai and International dishes.


Region: Asia - Southeast



Breakfast Breakfast

Day Tours Day Tours

Ecologically Responsible Ecologically Responsible

Hiking Trekking Hiking Trekking

Culinary Classes Culinary Classes

GBC Staffpick GBC Staffpick

General Information

Price Includes

  • Domestic flights: Bangkok - Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai - Bangkok
  • All accommodation in boutique hotels
  • Daily breakfast
  • Services of a driver and air-conditioned vehicles during all transfers and tours (except public transport tour in Bangkok)
  • Professional English-speaking guide during tours
  • Full support before, during & after your trip

Price Excludes

  • International flights
  • Visa, passport, vaccinations, medicines
  • Travel insurance (ask us for a quote)
  • Tips and gratuities to guides, drivers
  • Expenditure on alcoholic drinks, laundry, personal items
  • Optional excursions/activities not detailed in itinerary