Enjoy this ultimate journey through Thailand. Begin by exploring the temples, food and unique culture of Bangkok before heading to the countryside of Kanchanaburi's River Kwai. Stop to discover the ancient cities of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai as you journey north to the cultural capital of Chiang Mai and the northern city of Chiang Rai. Interact with elephants, try your hand at Thai cooking and enjoy shopping at the local markets. End your epic adventure with a few days of island leisure, relaxing along the picturesque beaches of Krabi.
Welcome to Thailand! Upon arrival at the Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, you will clear Immigration, collect your luggage and exit Customs. A friendly local representative will be waiting to greet you in the arrivals area, holding a sign with your name on it. For a smooth and comfortable start to your adventure, you will be driven directly to your hotel, where a lovely evening in this urban wonderland awaits. (This service is on a private basis.)
With a population of over eleven million, the capital city of Bangkok is Thailand’s largest city. The wide variety of attractions, excursions, and sights make Bangkok a vibrant and eclectic destination to explore, with something to keep any traveler entertained. This cosmopolitan city combines some of Asia’s oldest and most elaborately adorned temples, with modern shopping malls, impressive skyscrapers, and bustling markets. Be sure to take a ride on a tuk tuk one evening, to feel the cool tropical breeze and marvel at the bright neon lights.
This morning, after breakfast, meet your private guide and depart on a full-day exploration of Bangkok. First visit the Grand Palace, where an English governess once tutored a young prince and may have influenced his powerful father. (The Thai people have enormous reverence for their royal family, thus both versions of The King and I are banned as an insult to one of their great rulers.) The highlight of this mind-and-eye boggling palace is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Pra Kaew), the most revered shrine in the Kingdom. Located next to the Grand Palace is Wat Po, one of Bangkok’s oldest and largest temples. Visit this temple; housing the gigantic gold-plated Reclining Buddha. It is also the headquarters for the Traditional Medicine Practitioners of Bangkok.
After a break for lunch of tasty Thai specialties at a local restaurant, take a water taxi to Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn. This is one of the best-known temples in Bangkok and dates back to the ancient Ayutthaya period. The tall, elongated central Khmer-style tower is surrounded by four minor towers, symbolizing Mount Meru, the earthly representation of the thirty-three heavens. Here, you'll find pavilions containing statues of the Buddha at the most important stages of life. The beautiful architecture and fine craftsmanship mark Wat Arun as one of the most remarkable temples in Thailand.
Then board a longtail boat and spend a couple of hours navigating Bangkok's fascinating maze of waterways and canals, discovering why Bangkok is known as the "Venice of the East." Venture into bucolic "backwater" neighborhoods where life is slower and simpler. View traditional waterfront homes with their salas (pavilions) and spirit houses as well as a couple of neighborhood Thai temples. Afterward, transfer to your hotel in Bangkok.
**Note that guests should wear long pants, shoes which cover heal, and shirts that cover the upper arm (no vests/singlet). This is to show respect to the Thai people. Also, the Grand Palace is closed on some National Days (dates TBA), when guests will visit alternative temples instead. (This service is on a private basis.)
This morning, meet your guide at your hotel and transfer to Jim Thompson's House - a complex of six traditional Thai style teak houses, featuring an extensive art and antique collection of Asian origin. Jim Thompson was renowned for reviving Thailand's silk industry shortly after World War II. As you walk along Saen Saeb Canal, observe the large number of murals, mostly originating from the annual Bukruk Street Art Festival. Continue along to Chalermla Park, better known as "graffiti park". Here the walls are a continuous battle of local artists who happily keep painting over each other with very colorful results! After exploring the contemporary street art scene you'll continue on to the Bangkok ARts and Culture Centre for lunch. After a day of great experiences, you'll be returned to your hotel to enjoy the rest of the evening free at leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)
This evening, you are invited to discover the sophisticated flavors of Bangkok's 200 year old Chinatown district, that is filled with rich ethnic traditions and delicious food. During this exploration, you will get to taste local cuisine from several eateries, which vary from street food vendors, to fine dining restaurants. Make your way to the meeting point on the river at 5:45 PM and being your journey with a stroll along the vibrant alleyways to a local rooftop bar. Admire the colorful sunset over the river, as you sip on a refreshing cocktail. As the night comes to life, your foodie tour continues with a sample of various local dishes, and a few more drinks too! This selection includes the likes of dim sum, dumplings, fresh seafood, desert delicacies and much more. Throughout the evening, your knowledgeable guide will explain the background of the different food and drinks that you taste, to give you a better cultural understanding with each bite. They will also offer their own insight into the local neighborhood and the best kept secrets. At around 8:30 PM, you will be taken to one last open air bar. Enjoy the people watching and lively atmosphere of Chinatown with one more cocktail, before you are transferred back to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)
Enjoy this free time at your leisure.
Early this morning, meet your guide and then depart the city for Kanchanaburi province. You'll drive northwest through the city to the suburbs, then through the endless emerald-green rice paddocks and on to the Railway Track Market. One of Asia's most unusual markets, the vendors line and cover the railway track but when the train arrives they 'retract' the stalls very quickly before reassembling them as if nothing has happened. It is one of the most unique scenes and experiences for visitors to Thailand and you will be able to meander through the wet market adjacent to the train station and learn about the interesting and fresh items from your guide. Trains arrive only four times daily at 08:30, 11:10, 14:30 and 17:40, so timing this properly is very important.
After your fill of the Market, the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai. The drive will take two-three hours depending on traffic. Once here visit the Chung Khai War Cemetery. This gives an impression of the circumstances in which the Burma Railway was built by POW's in WWII. Also stop for a visit at the newly opened Thailand-Burma railway center and then ride the train across the infamous bridge. Late in the day, you’ll be transferred to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)
Kanchanaburi is located approximately 2.5 hours outside of Bangkok and offers visitors the opportunity to explore Thailand's historical highlights, as well as experience the country's natural attributes. In this destination, it is possible to combine the classic highlights, including the infamous Bridge over River Kwai and Hellfire Pass, with more adventurous nature activities, such as hiking to nearby waterfalls or visiting an elephant sanctuary.
After breakfast, you'll head to the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum which is dedicated to those Australians and other Allied POW's, as well as Asian laborers who suffered at Hellfire Pass during WWII. After lunch, you'll continue on to the enchanting Erawan Waterfall. Erawan Falls features seven levels of clear turquoise water, cascading down a total of 1,500 meters! Spend a few hours here, exploring the beautiful falls and the surrounding jungle scenery. You can walk along a variety of nature trails that lead to each level of the falls, although please note that it's quite a challenging climb to get to the very top. The views from each level are simply gorgeous. Around the park, you can also discover many different caves with unique limestone formations, stalactites and stalagmites. Cool down after your hike, with a refreshing swim in some of the pools created by the falls.
Following your excursion at the falls, you can enjoy a delicious Thai lunch this afternoon. For the second part of your tour, you will be transferred to the Mueang Sing Historical Park, better known as Prasat Mueang Sing. This sanctuary was constructed in the late Lop Buri Period circa the 11th to the 13th century. It was greatly influenced by the ancient Khmer culture. Upon arrival, your guide will teach you all about the site's rich history, its purpose and the details of the impressive construction. At the end of this fascinating exploration, you will be returned to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)
This morning, depart Kanchanaburi and drive to Tham Krasae Pass, where wooden structures of the Burma railway are still in use today. Then, continue on the drive of approximately four-hours to Ayutthaya, the former capital of the Siam Kingdom.
Spend the afternoon exploring Ayutthaya with your guide. Not far from the old capital, visit Wat Niwet Thamprawat, built by Rama V (King Chulalongkorn). This unique temple looks more like a Gothic Christian church than a Thai temple. To access the temple, cross the river in a small, trolley-like cable car. Then, board a long-tail boat to Wat Phananchoeng, an ancient temple with a giant Sitting Buddha statue and walls filled with hundreds of smaller statues. Also visit Wat Chai Mongkol, famous for its leaning Chedi and Buddha galleries.
Included will be visits to the Temples and Ruins, recently declared a World Heritage Site, and the National Museum and Ayuthaya Historical Study Center.
After you tour you'll proceed to your accommodations for the night. (This service is on a private basis.)
The ancient city of Ayutthaya was once the thriving capital of the Kingdom of Siam and is now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It stood as one of the most vibrant trading ports in Asia—doing brisk business with China, India, Persia, and Arab lands. Ayutthaya remained the capital for over 400 years until the Burmese invaded, destroying the city in 1767. The city's ancient ruins bears testimony to the ancient glory of the Thai nation and eloquently demonstrates the skills and heritage of the Siamese people.
After breakfast, meet guide and transfer to Lop Buri and make a stop at San Phra Kan. Located in the middle of a traffic circle, oddly placed right next to the railway line, is the San Phra Kan shrine. The shrine is housed in a small modern (built in 1951) temple building erected hard up against the remains of an ancient prang dating from the sixth century. The main statue in the shrine is a standing figure with four arms. It is probably meant to be Vishnu, although the Thais revere it as a type of Buddha image. There was a time when the temple grounds were filled with monkeys, but they've now been displaced by souvenir vendors. A few odd strays can still be found around the shrine, but most have moved across the street to the remains of the Prang Sam Yod temple.
In the afternoon, continue transferring to Phitsanulok and your overnight accommodations. Check in and enjoy the remainder of the day free. (This service is on a private basis.)
Today you will make a visit to Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, known among the locals as “Wat Yai”, and was founded in 1357 by King Phaya Lithai (King Maha Thammaracha I of Sukhothai). The temple was built at the same time as “Wat Phra Phut Chin Si” and “Wat Phra Si Satsadaram. During the Somdet Phra Ekathotsarot age in the Ayutthya kingdom, it was gilded with the Buddha’s image and later developed by King Rama 5 and King Rama 9 respectively. The temple is located at the foot of Naresuan Bridge. On the city side of Nan River, It has an area of 36 rai (1 rai = 1600 m^2). The temple is very famous because it has golden Buddha image name “Phra Phuttha Chinnarat”. In addition many Thai people considered to be the most beautiful Buddha image in Thailand.
After your temple tour you will continue to your accommodations in Sukhothai. (This service is on a private basis.)
Found in the 13th century, Sukhothai (literally means Dawn of Happiness) was the first truly independent Thai Kingdom, which enjoyed a golden age under King Ramkhamhaeng, credited with creating the Thai alphabet. The superb temples and monuments of this great city have been lovingly restored in Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-see for all travelers.
This morning, meet your private guide, driver and vehicle and spend the day exploring the ancient capital of Sukhothai, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Thailand’s premier archaeological and historic park. Founded in the 13th century by Khmer rebels, Sukhothai flourished as the capital of Thailand until the 15th century. Spend the day exploring the archaeological park and rambling through the central temples, past brick-and-stucco towers, serene Buddhas and moats clogged with lotus blossoms. There will be ample time to visit the remarkable ruined temples of Wat Chang Lom and Wat Mahathat.
Then you drive to Lampang. Lampang used to be part of the Haripunchai kingdom and was a major center of the teak industry last century. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel with the rest of the day free at leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)
After breakfast, drive to the city center of Lampang where you will make a horse cart ride through the old streets of Lampang. We will visit the Burmese style temple Wat Si Rong Muang. We will continue to Wat Prathat Lampang Luang, considered by many to be the most magnificent temple of Northern Thailand. Lunch will be in a local restaurant.
Before we drive back to Chiang Mai we will stop at the magnificent Wat Phra Keow Don Tao. Along the way back we can make a last stop at the colorful Thung Kwian Market. Then, drive to hotel in Chiang Mai. The rest of the day is free is your leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)
Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand and the gateway to the charming northern region. Explore the cultural highlights within the old city walls, discover fascinating temples, dig into the delicious street food and take a stroll through the famous evening markets, to truly experience the spirit of this destination. Chiang Mai serves as an excellent base for outdoor and adventure lovers, offering idyllic opportunities for trekking, cycling and river rafting in the surrounding countryside. The region is also home to many elephant conservation camps and ethnic hill tribe villages.
This morning meet your private guide and driver and spend the day touring some of the highlights and lesser-known gems in and around Chiang Mai. Start with a visit to the riverfront Worarot Market, with its colorful flowers, pungent spices and friendly, bustling crowds. Stroll the alleys next to the market, filled with excellent priced textiles, hill tribe clothes, silks, hats and beads. From the market, take a ride in a samlor (a three-wheeled rickshaw) along Thapae Road down through the city wall, passing important residential and government buildings around the city.
The last temple is Wat Suandok, where you will have the chance to visit with a local monk.
After lunch near a waterfall, continue to what is probably Chiang Mai’s most famous landmark: Wat Prathat Doi Suthep and experience a blessing ceremony. The temple is located at the summit of 5,000-foot-high Doi Suthep Mountain, which towers over the city. Climb the 300-step staircase, flanked by Nagas, or take the cable car up. The cool air and spectacular sunset views make the trip worth the effort.
You'll then return to the hotel with the evening free to relax or explore independently. (This service is on a private basis.)
This morning at 9:00 AM you will be transferred to a local village to meet with a Raunkaew-Yanon family, who arrived in the area possibly on the back of an elephant, almost 150 years ago. They are a Lanna family, continuing the traditions of many generations in building their homes of teak wood and maintaining the natural surroundings in a way now rarely seen in Chiang Mai. Of course this is not your average commercial cooking class as you will learn more about their culture, the way of living and the architecture of a traditional Thai house and rice barn.
You will cook traditional home cooked recipes with authentic Northern Thai flavors that are different from standard dishes offered in commercial cooking classes. Also you will select fresh ingredients from the garden to add to today’s cooking extravaganza. Best of all you will have the opportunity to get to know a real Thai family, be their houseguest for the day and enjoy a delicious home cooked lunch with them! You will return back to your hotel later this afternoon (ETA 2:30 PM). (This service is on a private basis.)
The Kanta Elephant Sanctuary's mission is to provide as many elephants as possible with the good health, freedom, and happiness they truly deserve. The organization uses progressive and ethically responsible approach to elephant eco-tourism as a platform to raise awareness and educate people from Thailand and around the world about elephant care, the plight of the Asian elephant and the conservation philosophy of “Elephant Conservation in Action.”
Your unforgettable day begins with an 8:30 AM pick up from your hotel. The 50 minute drive to sanctuary showcases rural landscapes, agricultural areas and forested hills. On arrival, you will meet your guide and change into traditional clothing, an introductory briefing of the elephants will be given. After that, it's time to meet the elephants! You will have the chance to feed, interact and play with these incredible creatures in their natural home, as you continue to learn about their deep history and interesting behavior. This afternoon a lunch of traditional Thai food will be served, before preparing sticky rice mixed with herbal for our elephants. With your freshly prepared snacks, you will walk with the gentle giants to the river for a bath as you shower them with treats. Back at the Sanctuary, you will change clothes and say goodbye to your new friends. You will be dropped back off at your hotel in Chiang Mai around 4:00 PM. (This service is on a group basis.)
Today after breakfast, we will head out to the bustling border town of Mae Sai. Cross the border into Myanmar and explore Tachilek by tuk-tuk. Visit the temple of the robed elephant and Mahamyatmuni Temple, a fine example of typical Burmese architecture. Continue to Tachilek's Shwedagon Pagoda before enjoying a delicious lunch.
Afterwards, continue to the Padaung hilltribes, also known as Long Neck people. Make a stop at the market before returning to Thailand and heading to the Golden Triangle in Chiang Sean, where the three borders of Myanmar-Laos-Thailand meet. Visit the Hall of Opium, an excellent museum that recounts the history of the use of Opium, poppy cultivation and the drug trade in this infamous historical place. Afterwards, you'll be returned to your hotel in Chiang Rai. (This service is on a private basis.)
The province of Chiang Rai is located within the renowned ‘Golden Triangle’ area where Myanmar, Laos and Thailand converge. Today, Chiang Rai is a traveler’s paradise, blessed with an abundance of natural attractions as well as a many sites of cultural interest - the province is itself is evidence of past civilization! Attractions range from the magnificent mountain scenery, ruins of ancient settlements, historical sites, Buddhist shrines and ethnic villages - the province is home to several hill tribes who maintain fascinating lifestyles.
This morning you'll set off with your guide to visit the mysterious Black House or ‘Baan Dam'. Not just one building, but a collection of almost forty monuments which are home to an extensive collection of weird taxidermy and bones. Perhaps not for vegetarians or the squeamish, wandering around the grounds, you will come across the entire skeleton of an elephant, bear skins, tiger skins, skulls of unidentifiable creatures, reptile skins, furs and bizarre furniture created from the bones of exotic animals. This unusual style is quickly gaining recognition and he is now considered a Thai National Artist House.
Then continue to visit Wat Huai Pla Kung a Chinese styled temple west of the city, surrounded by hills, 9 stories high, you can walk right to the top of the temple for a delightful view.
Afterwards continue to the iconic Wat Rong Khun, or the “White Temple”. The temple was designed and built by artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, and is artistically different from other temples in Thailand (parts of the interior of the temple may be closed for renovations after the recent earthquake).
Then, return to hotel. The rest of the day is free at your leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)
This morning you will be met and transferred to the Chiang Rai airport for your flight to Krabi via Bangkok. On arrival in Krabi, you will be met by your driver and transferred to your hotel. Check in and enjoy the remainder of the day free.
Krabi is a southern province on Thailand's Andaman seaboard, offering spectacular scenery on both land and water. Here you'll find beautiful beaches set amidst dramatic limestone karst mountains, lush jungle forests, and hidden hot springs. This tropical paradise offers something for everyone, with opportunities for various activities including snorkelling, diving, rock climbing, hiking, cycling and island hopping.
Enjoy three free days in Krabi at your leisure.
Today, you will be picked up at your hotel in Krabi and transferred to the airport. (This service is on a private basis.)
Upon arrival at the airport in Bangkok you will connect with your international flight onward.
Ariyasom Villa 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 liveable.
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.
Sala Ayutthaya is an oasis located in the heart of Ayutthaya, along the banks of the Chao Phraya river offering intimate and indulgent experiences. Our boutique accommodation in Thailand is opposite the famous Wat Phutthaisawan and situated near archaeological and historical sites. This boutique accommodation in Thailand features twenty-six unique guest rooms including a duplex river view suite and a pool suite as well as a signature restaurant – Sala Ayutthaya eatery and bar.
Conveniently located in the heart of the city, this is your perfect resort to exploring the Phitsanulok tourist attractions, entertainment and shopping hubs in the city.
Well-positioned in Historical Park, Legendha Sukhothai Hotel is the ideal point of departure for your excursions in Sukhothai. From here, guests can enjoy easy access to all that the lively city has to offer. For sightseeing options and local attractions, one need not look far as the hotel enjoys close proximity to Wat Chedi Sung, Wat Maha That, Sukhothai Historical Park.
On the banks of the Wang River, surrounded by forests, this nature lover’s paradise has Lanna-styled bungalows and beautiful grounds. The isolated hotel is perfect for a few days away from touring. With the spacious rooms, white walls, and wooden furniture, separate living areas and a terrace give you the chance to spread out and relax. The nearby village will give you a glimpse of the traditional village life with views of the paddy fields. Wat Prathat Lampang Luang temple is also worth a visit. Two restaurants keep you delightfully nourished. For an adventure, take the half day bike tour that passes beautiful vistas and visit the local ceramic industry to see pottery craftsmen perform artistic magic on clay.
Tamarind Village is a unique and charming boutique property that is nestled in the heart of historic Chiang Mai. Surrounded by ancient temples and quaint shopping streets, it takes its name from magnificent 200 year old tamarind tree that shelters the hotel in a shady embrace. Set around a series of garden courtyards, the 42 guest rooms and 3 suites reflect the rich ethnic diversity of northern Thailand by using fabrics and patterns drawn from various tribes of the region. Intimate, serene and relaxing, Tamarind Village is an oasis of calm and tranquility, the perfect base for exploring Chiang Mai and beyond.
This iconic landmark gem of Thailand’s Northernmost province of Chiang Rai, formerly Dusit Island resort, has been thoroughly renovated and transformed into a classic-contemporary five-star Hotel rivaling Asia’s leading resort properties. Lovely Northern Thai Lanna cultural touches and charming service are sure to enhance each and every experience. The Riverie by Katathani will apply International Management standards to welcoming you from around the world for pleasure, leisure, meetings, and conventions.
Tubkaak literally means 'home for visitors', the beach is a hidden corner of the earth facing the stunning archipelago of 13 islands that rise dramatically from the calm Andaman Sea. Backed by the mighty Hang Nak Mountain, the unseen stretch of gorgeous beach and fertile landscape has all the right ingredients for a relaxing hideaway Krabi resort. A secret to the beauty of Tubkaak is the large twin islands Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi in the distance that provide great shelter from the southwest monsoon winds thus creating a safe beach with calm waters all year round. Architect 49 designed the unique villas with cozy, inviting interiors and distinct Thai ambiance, perfectly suited to the environment. The resort's latest collection of private pool villas offer added luxuries including spacious layouts, large private pools and exquisite furnishings. Guests will also be delighted with the exceptional design of L'escape Spa and Di Mare Italian restaurant, situated on the beachfront.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.
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