Cultural Excursion

Cambodia & Thailand: Temples, Culture & Nature

Chiang Mai, Thailand

We customize every trip

Prices From: From $2,548 per person

This fully customizable itinerary will allow you to explore the highlights of Cambodia and Thailand. Begin your adventure in Cambodia exploring the incredible Angkor Temple Complex. Continue your journey on to Thailand and experience the bustling city of Bangkok, the ancient ruins of Ayutthaya, and the lovely scenery of Kachanaburi. You'll then make your way to the northern city of Chiang Mai, where you'll spend your days visiting temples and playing with elephants. This itinerary is a balanced mix of adventure and relaxation.

All of our itineraries can be completely customized to match your budget, travel dates and interests. Prices will fluctuate based on preferred hotel category.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Siem Reap Arrival

Today you will arrive in the legendary town of Siem Reap, the former capital of the great Khmer Empire and now a town full of ambling lanes full of stalls proffering local food and interesting handicrafts.

You will meet with your guide, who will transfer you to the hotel and also will brief you on everything you would like to know about the area, from the history and culture to distinctive and enlightening curiosities not available to most first-time visitors.

After checking into your hotel we invite you to an introduction to the temples of Angkor and to watch the sunset from the crematorium temple of Pre Rup where we can watch the sun set into a scene of rice fields and sugar palms.

In the evening, your tour leader will offer to guide you around the town itself, and will suggest the most edifying dining options available, from international restaurants to hidden Cambodian culinary gems. Pub Street (and the surrounding alleys) in the evening offers a wide variety of restaurants and bars to choose from. The Night Market for some great souvenir shopping or perhaps a “Dr Fish” massage.

Overnight: Frangipani Villa Hotel - Siem Reap (Breakfast included)

Day 2 - Siem Reap Full Day Tour

Begin your exploration this morning by bicycle. Making an early start to avoid the crowds and enjoy the relative cool of the morning, we use a support vehicle to take us into the temple complex avoiding the busy roads that service the temples. Today’s cycle focuses on Angkor Thom. It has the greatest concentration of temples in the Angkor complex and is heavily forested providing shade and atmosphere. We start early at the jungle temple of Ta Prohm (AKA the “Tomb Raider Temple”, as parts of the Tombraider film were shot here) when the birds and parrots outnumber the tourists. We then use quiet roads, small tracks and alternative approaches to visit hidden temples and really feel the magic of Angkor. We finish the morning at the enchanting Bayon. We then return to our hotel for a well-earned rest and relaxing swim. You may also like to head into town to look around the many shops or grab a bite to eat.

After lunch we take a break from the temples and head out to visit the floating village of Me Chrey. Nestled on the banks of the Tonle Sap Lake, this village is smaller and receives far fewer visitors than the other nearby options. Like the other villages everything here takes place on the water, the homes float on rafts of bamboo, there are shops, pig pens, and even the school is afloat. Our journey from Siem Reap is short but as soon as we leave the town we are immersed in the countryside. We also have the opportunity to take a short ox cart ride through the fields and village on dry land. A great opportunity to experience real local transport while supporting the local economy. There is also the chance to stop at Artisan d’Angkor’s Silk Farm at the village of Pouk.

This evening we enjoy a wonderful dinner performance of traditional Apsara and Folk dances.

Overnight: Frangipani Villa Hotel - Siem Reap (Breakfast, Dinner included)

Day 3 - Siem Reap

Enjoy a full free day exploring Siem Reap on your own.

Overnight: Frangipani Villa Hotel - Siem Reap (Breakfast included)

Day 4 - Siem Reap - Bangkok

This morning you start early and head out to Angkor Wat to view the sunrise*. Erected in the 12th century, Angkor Wat stands as a powerful symbol of Cambodia, and built in the high classical style of Khmer architecture will perhaps form the centerpiece of your memories, long after you have returned home. The sun rises from behind the 5 towers of the temple and even though it's a busy time we can always find our own little quiet corner to escape the crowds and appreciate the moment. We bring a packed breakfast and stay at Angkor while the majority of visitors return to their hotels for breakfast. You then take a detailed tour of one of the largest religious monuments anywhere in the world.

You will then be transferred to the airport for your 12:20pm flight to Bangkok. On arrival in Bangkok at 13:35pm you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.

* Note: During the Monsoon months June-Oct sunrise viewings are less reliable. Of course, anytime of year we cannot guarantee fantastic sunrises. However, we strongly believe that making the effort to get up that little bit earlier is very rewarding. Imagine being among the first visitors at Angkor Wat. Walking down the causeway under the moon and the stars with only the sound of the crickets and frogs (and your guide) to keep you company. It may only be 10-15 mins, but having Angkor Wat all to yourselves for just a few minutes is worth getting up early for!

Overnight: Hotel De Bangkok (Breakfast included)

Day 5 - Bangkok City Tour

This morning with your guide you take a city tour of Bangkok. Bangkok is gaining recognition for its art, culture, food, shopping, hospitality and affordability. The city combines some of Asia’s oldest and most elaborately adorned temples with modern shopping malls and skyscrapers – a city that packs in so many sights and attractions you won’t know where to begin. However, your friendly and knowledgeable guide will give you a helping hand and introduce you to some of Bangkok’s most famous sights - including the impressive Grand Palace (former residence of the Thai monarchy), Wat Phra Kaew (home of the Emerald Buddha) and Wat Po (housing Thailand’s largest reclining Buddha at 46m long & 15m high).

After the temple tour you head into China town for lunch along Thanong Yaowarat and Thanong Charoen Krung. Your guide will also introduce you to some local snacks and delicacies. Many of the buildings in this district are designated historical landmarks as Chinatown is home to many fine examples of the architecture of Bangkok's early years. The area will leave you feeling like you have been transported back in time. The final stop will be Wat Arun – the Temple of Dawn – a famous landmark on Bangkok’s river side. In the evening the tour leader will help you choose where and what you want to eat from one of the many Thai and International restaurants that are plentiful and close by.

Overnight: Hotel De Bangkok (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 6 - Bangkok Floating Market Tour

Today with your guide you take a tour to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Sampran Riverside.

The original canals which now make up the Floating Market were built in 1866 on demand of His Majesty the King of Thailand to help ease communication in the province. The actual Floating Market started in 1967 and still thrives today. The boats are packed full of fresh fruit, vegetables, spices, souvenirs, clothes, purses, silk, wood and local food and snacks cooked on and served from the boats. Be ready to barter!

You’ll take a long tail boat for an hour or so plunging into the extremely congested but colorful and lively main market area. You’ll then head on to Sampran Riverside, a family-run property close to Bangkok, where visitors experience and learn about the authentic Thai way of life. The family is dedicated to preserving Thailand’s natural and cultural heritage by engaging with the local community. The Thai Village Cultural show takes place in a classic air-conditioned theater where you’ll experience live traditional Thai music accompanying a cultural show depicting Thai traditions and festivals.

Overnight: Hotel De Bangkok (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 7 - Bangkok Ayutthaya Excursion

Today you join a group tour to Ayutthaya. You’ll be collected by bus stopping at Bang Pa-In, to visit the Summer Palace of King Rama V with its mixture of Thai, Chinese and Gothic architecture.

You continue on to Ayutthaya, a World Heritage City and historic capital of Thailand where you’ll have a tour of the main temples: Wat Mahatad, Wat Phrasrisanphet, and Wihan Phramongkhon Bophit.

You will then board the Grand Pearl Cruise Liner at Wat Chong-lom Pier (Nonthaburi) where you’ll enjoy a sumptuous buffet lunch while you relax and enjoy the scenery along the River of Kings to Bangkok city. Coffee will be served while you enjoy the enchanting sights along the River banks such as the colorful Royal Barges House, Thammasart University, Siriraj hospital, The Royal Grand Palace and the graceful Temple Of Dawn, with its magnificent 79 M. spire and Wat Kallayanamitr, one of the most renowed temples.

On arrival at the River City Shopping Complex Pier you’ll be transferred back to the hotel.

Overnight: Hotel De Bangkok (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 8 - Bangkok - Kanchanaburi

This morning, you will be met by your guide at the hotel and driven to Kanchanaburi. On arrival in Kanchanaburi you’ll visit the Thai Burma Railway center to learn about the history and the hardships of the railway.

You will have lunch in a local restaurant before continuing to the Tiger Temple. You’ll get the chance the go with the monks when they take the tigers for their daily exercise – you may get a chance to pet one!

Tonight you spend the night on the river in your floating bungalow.

Overnight: The Float House River Kwai Resort (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 9 - Kanchanaburi - Bangkok - Chiang Mai

This morning, with your guide, you will visit the Death Railway and Kasae Cave which houses sacred Buddha images. After a quick local lunch you’ll head back to Bangkok for your 3:05pm flight to Chiang Mai.

In Chiang Mai your northern guide will meet you and escort you on your transfer to the hotel. Chiang Mai is a moated city with the extraordinary backdrop of Doi Suthep.

In the evening a visit to the night bazaar is a must, an absolute shopper’s paradise.

Overnight: Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel (Breakfast included)

Day 10 - Chiang Mai Half Day Tour

After breakfast, your guide will meet you for a half day tour including a visit to the most sacred temple in Chiang Mai, Wat Prathat Doi Suthep. It is 15 kms from the city and 3,500 ft. above sea level. Wat Prathat was built in 1383 and the story goes that an elephant used to carry the relics up the mountain, the elephant would rest and that was where the relics should be placed. The temple is still very sacred for the Thais and you will see day trippers making merit and praying with the sound of bells, the smell of incense, making it a mystical experience.

You’ll then drive back to the city, to visit the Hill tribe museum where you can learn about the history and culture of the ethnic minority groups in Thailand.

Overnight: Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel (Breakfast included)

Day 11 - Chiang Mai Patara Elephant Farm

You will be met in the lobby of your hotel at 7:30am and transferred to the Patara Elephant Farm outside of Chiang Mai (group basis). At the farm you will be given your mahout outfit and a brief talk on handling the elephants before heading into the bush to find them. As the day goes on you will hear all about elephant farm management and the breeding program taking place here. You will meet the elephants and learn to approach them and work with them from the ground and then take them to the river for their morning bath. After a short ride to a local temple you can learn about elephants in Buddhism and the Thai’s ancient relationship with these traditional beasts of burden. Around mid-day you will set off for a ride through the jungle to some waterfalls where you will enjoy a picnic lunch and a swim with your elephant in the falls. Return to the camp in the afternoon and say goodbye to your new friends before being transferred back to your hotel.

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

Day 12 - Chiang Mai

Enjoy a full free day to explore Chiang Mai on your own.

Overnight: Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel (Breakfast included)

Day 13 - Chiang Mai - Bangkok Departure

Today your guide will meet you at the hotel and you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Bangkok and your connecting flight home.

Accommodation Information

Frangipani Villa Hotel - Siem Reap

The hotel is in a quiet neighborhood one block east of the river and 8 minutes walk from the popular 'Pub Street' restaurant area. It’s an ideal base from which to explore the Angkor temples or visit Siem Reap’s environmental attractions.

All hotel rooms, interior spaces and landscaping are examples of some of the best contemporary Cambodian design making Frangipani Villa Hotel the boutique hotel of choice in Siem Reap. You’re guaranteed a warm welcome from the hotel staff who can advise you on how to make the most of your time in Siem Reap and assist with booking transport and other services. Use one of the hotel’s guest bikes for an early morning ride around the town and then enjoy breakfast in our restaurant or on the terrace overlooking the pool. International and local cuisine and a selection of drinks are available throughout the day.

Siam Heritage

The Siam Heritage - an elegant premier boutique hotel on Surawong Road in Bangkok, Thailand - offers 73 beautifully furnished rooms that include suites and serviced apartments in Thai style. You will discover the joy of traditional Thai Living at its best.

The rooftop swimming pool and terrace is the perfect place to escape the heat and Bangkok crowds. For authentic Thai Dishes and exotic cocktails, the Roof Top Terrace Restaurant and Bar provides the finest in traditional Thai cuisine. Surrounded by the garden, the open air rooftop terrace offers an unforgettable dining experience.

The Float House River Kwai Resort

Getting away from everyday life and be pampered on one of the world’s most extraordinary floating hotels – The Float House River Kwai Resort. Located in River Kwai, Kanchanaburi, Thailand, this distinctive and luxurious designed floatel is decorated to harmonize with gorgeous nature surroundings. Tasteful decoration in Thai folk style design with teakwood furniture enhancing the comfort and harmony with nature. Each villa features private balcony and pier where you can relax and be impressed by the beautiful ambience. All rooms are connected with spacious common space.

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.

Location

Region: Asia - Southeast

Address:
Chiang Mai
Thailand

Amenities/Activities

Breakfast Breakfast

Day Tours Day Tours

Ecologically Responsible Ecologically Responsible

GBC Staffpick GBC Staffpick

General Information

The price includes:

  • All meals as indicated in itinerary
  • All guide and entrance fees
  • All accommodations as indicated in itinerary
  • Experienced Bilingual Naturalist Guide
  • All tours and land transfers as indicated in itinerary
  • Domestic Flights
  • Services of a driver and air-conditioned vehicle during all transfers
  • Entrance fees for all sights visited
  • Full support before, during & after your trip

The price excludes:

  • International Flights
  • Items of a personal nature, including insurances
  • Visas, passports, vaccinations, medicines
  • Gifts & souvenirs
  • Any optional extra activities
  • Tips