Thailand Heritage Explorer: History, Culture & Natural Beauty

The journey begins in the bustling capital of Bangkok where you'll explore the iconic Grand Palace, famous city temples, and unspoiled back alleys. During the trip, you'll uncover the history of the ancient Thai kingdoms with visits to the UNESCO world heritage sites of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai. Aside from history, you'll also enjoy unique wildlife and nature experiences including a visit to a retired elephant sanctuary and excursions throughout Khao Yai National Park. After taking in the historical, cultural and natural highlights you'll head to the southern region of the country where you'll end your trip enjoying the picture perfect beaches of Krabi!

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Bangkok Arrival

Bangkok Arrival
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfer
  • Accommodation: COMO Metropolitan Bangkok

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.)

Bangkok

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.

Day 2: Bangkok

Bangkok
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Bangkok City Tour
  • Accommodation: COMO Metropolitan Bangkok
  • Meals: B, L

Bangkok City Tour

This morning after breakfast, meet your guide and travel by local transportation to 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, pay a visit to Wat Po, one of Bangkok’s oldest and largest temples. The temple houses the gigantic gold-plated Reclining Buddha and is the headquarters for the Traditional Medicine Practitioners of Bangkok.

After a break for lunch at local restaurant take a water taxi to visit 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, you'll board a longtail boat and spend time 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 and spirit houses as well as a couple neighborhood Thai temples. You'll be back at the hotel late this afternoon. Enjoy the evening at your leisure.. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 3: Bangkok

Bangkok
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Koh Kret Cultural Excursion
  • Tour: A Taste of Chinatown
  • Accommodation: COMO Metropolitan Bangkok
  • Meals: B, L, D

Koh Kret Cultural Excursion

Early this morning, meet your guide and drive to Wat Sanam Nua, Pakkret for a day of cultural discovery. From there, you will take a short 5 minute ferry ride to Koh Kret, a small island in the Chao Phraya River. This island is actually man-made, the result of construction almost 300 years ago of a channel cut through a sharp bend in the River. Koh Kred’s inhabitants are mainly Mon (originally tribes who dominated central Thailand between the 6th and 10th centuries) and have retained a distinct identity in their flavor of Buddhism and their pottery skills. The island is also well known for its variety of special Thai desserts and snack and the rural landscape makes for a picturesque upcountry-style experience. Take the ferry crossing to Nonthaburi mainland (Wat Sanam Neua) where you will meet your driver. Continue for lunch at a local restaurant and then return to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)

A Taste of Chinatown

Enjoy a mouth-watering exploration of Bangkok's 200-year-old China Town district by visiting various tasty eateries, from sit-on-the-pavement vendors to characterful restaurants. Meet your guide at the hotel's lobby at 6:00 PM and then be guided through some of China Town's most characterful alleys and enjoy the magnificent views of the River from a local rooftop bar. Here, you'll be given a short briefing by your guide and enjoy a drink (beer or soft drink) while watching the setting sun. Then jump on board a tuk-tuk to head deep into Chinatown to start your fascinating tour. You'll be able to sample all kinds of dishes (and a few local drinks too!) from the likes of dim sum, dumplings, fresh seafood, local desserts, and more! Throughout the evening, your knowledgable guide will explain the background to all the different food and drink you'll taste, as well as giving their insight into the local area. At around 8:30 PM, it’s high time to stop before your stomach explodes, and your evening will finish with a drink (beer or soft drink) in a lovely open-air bar from where you can sit in comfort and watch the hustle and bustle of China Town. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 4: Bangkok - Kanchanaburi

Bangkok - Kanchanaburi
Daily Summary
  • Tour: River Kwai & Hellfire Pass
  • Accommodation: The Float House River Kwai
  • Meals: B, L

River Kwai & Hellfire Pass

This morning, depart Bangkok for an approximately three-hour overland journey to the Bridge over the River Kwai. Here you will also visit the Kanchaburi War Cemetery, containing the graves of some of the POW’s who perished during the construction of the bridge. Tens of thousands of "coolies" and POWs died while working to complete this vital link to the Indian subcontinent.

Continue to Hellfire Pass. Visit the impressive Australian-built complex, consisting of a memorial, a walking trail, and an excellent, informative museum, exhibiting artifacts and the true story about the Thai-Burma Railway. After visiting the museum, walk along the “Bamboo Path,” which allows you to walk the same route that the POWs took to work. Stroll through a large bamboo grove, providing the most memorable views of Hellfire Pass and an understanding of how it derived its name.

If interested, there is also a 4 km (2.5 mile) Memorial Walking Trail along a now peaceful and serene portion of the old railway track. The Trail commences at Hellfire Pass Cutting, and incorporates a number of infamous features, such as Compressor Cutting, Hintok Station, both the “Pack of Cards” and Three Tier Bridges, plus the panoramic view of Kwae Noi Look-out, providing a spectacular view of the Kwae Noi Valley.

Late this afternoon, transfer and settle into your hotel with the evening at leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)

Kanchanaburi

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.

Day 5: Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Elephants World Excursion
  • Accommodation: The Float House River Kwai
  • Meals: B, L

Elephants World Excursion

Around 9:00 AM this morning, you will be picked up from your hotel and taken on a one hour drive to Elephants World for a truly unforgettable day. This inspiring center is a sanctuary for sick, old, disabled, abused, illegal, and street elephants. Elephants World provides these loving creatures the rest and nurturing environment they deserve. They can be at peace in their natural environment and live their life as they should have always been able to. Your day will be spent learning how to properly care for the elephants, by the guidance of the expert mahouts.

After you are shown around the camp, you will be taken for your first introduction with the gentle giants. The staff will help you to clean fruits and vegetables for the younger elephants and cook sticky rice for the older elephants, before feeding them yourselves. In the afternoon, you will stop to enjoy your own lunch and some time to relax. The mahouts will then teach you how to gather and plant food for the elephants, including banana trees and sugar cane. You can feed your new friends for a second time, before helping to clean their area and assist in a variety of other daily mahout chores. After working up a sweat, you will take the elephants to the river for their bath. Help to scrub them clean in the water, but beware, as you will surely get splashed! Surrounded by the tropical jungle scenery, this experience is truly surreal. Afterwards, you will head back to the camp for one last feeding session, before saying goodbye to these incredible animals and driving back to your hotel. (This service is on a group basis.)

Day 6: Kanchanaburi - Ayutthaya

Kanchanaburi - Ayutthaya
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Erawan Waterfall & Ayutthaya Ruins
  • Accommodation: Sala Ayutthaya
  • Meals: B, L

Erawan Waterfall & Ayutthaya Ruins

This morning, your guide will meet you at the hotel, to embark on a trip 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. Afterward, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before continuing 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.

After your tour, you'll proceed to your accommodations for the night. (This service is on a private basis.)

Ayutthaya

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.

Day 7: Ayutthaya - Khao Yai

Ayutthaya - Khao Yai
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Ayutthaya Morning Tour & Khao Yai National Park Evening Safari
  • Accommodation: Muthi Maya Resort
  • Meals: B, L

Ayutthaya Morning Tour & Khao Yai National Park Evening Safari

At 7:30am begin your guided tour of the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace. Bang Pa In was abandoned for 80 years, but later was revived by King Rama V. He commanded the construction of additional buildings including theaters, temples, and monuments in a mixture of European, Chinese, and Thai styles.

Proceed to the Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Center; a short cruise down-river from Bang Pa-In is Bang Sai village, which enjoys the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen. Here you can see a variety of Thai houses in regional styles and see how Thailand's rural people make handicrafts such as fern basketry, silk flowers, hand-woven silk and cotton, silk dyeing, and wood carvings.

Then depart with your guide on the drive into the dense tropical jungle of Khao Yai, or "Big Mountain." On arrival, enjoy a private tour of the National Park with your guide. First drive to Haew Narok, the park's largest waterfall. Then hike along the excellent trails to view the lush jungle and see native wildlife. Some of these animals include the elephant, the unusual barking deer, the elusive tiger, the Malayan sun bear, as well as native primates like the macaque and the forest gibbon.

Later this evening, head back into the park with a guide for a nocturnal wildlife-spotting safari. (This service is on a private basis.)

Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai, Thailand's oldest park is considered by many to be one of the finest in the world. Covering more than 2,000 square kilometers, including one of Asia's largest intact monsoon forests, it provides a habitat for several hundred elephants, as well as tiger, leopard, Asiatic black bear, sambar deer, gibbon, macaque, and several species of hornbill. The rare wrinkle-lipped bat and Himalayan ribbed bat dwell in caves here.

Day 8: Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai National Park
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Full Day Excursion
  • Accommodation: Muthi Maya Resort
  • Meals: B, L

Full Day Excursion

At 8:00 AM we drive to the National park and stop along the way at a fantastic viewpoint and a visitor’s center. We go hiking through dry evergreen forest where gibbons, monkey, and hornbills, are often seen. Next we drive up to "Haew Suwat" waterfall and have lunch nearby.

In the afternoon, we will drive to the second highest mountain of the park to relax at a superb viewpoint. In the evening we will look for wild elephants that might come to the salt licks. We return around 7:30pm. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 9: Khao Yai - Bangkok - Koh Jum

Khao Yai - Bangkok - Koh Jum
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfers
  • Transportation (Air): Domestic Flight
  • Transportation (Air): Domestic Flight
  • Accommodation: Koh Jum Beach Villas
  • Meals: B
Domestic Flight
Sukhothai - Bangkok
Flight #: TBD
Departs: TBD
Arrives: TBD
(Domestic Flights not Included)
Domestic Flight
Bangkok - Krabi
Flight #: TBD
Departs: TBD
Arrives: TBD
(Domestic Flights not Included)

In the morning, you will be picked up at your hotel in Sukhothai and transferred to the airport in good time to board your domestic flight to Krabi. Upon arrival in Krabi, you will be greeted at the airport by your driver and transferred to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)

Krabi

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.

Day 10: Koh Jum

Koh Jum
Daily Summary
  • Accommodation: Koh Jum Beach Villas
  • Meals: B

Enjoy this free time at your leisure.

Day 11: Koh Jum

Koh Jum
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Hong Island Snorkeling Excursion
  • Accommodation: Koh Jum Beach Villas
  • Meals: B, L

Hong Island Snorkeling Excursion

This morning at 8:30 AM, you will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the Nopparat Thara Pier. At the pier, you will board a speedboat to Hong Island for an underwater adventure! Along the way, you will stop to snorkel amidst a colorful coral reef and an abundance of marine life. Back on the boat, the captain will take you into the hidden Lagoon, or "Hong’", which means "Room". Admire the rock formations and strange plants living on the cliffs, for a truly enchanting sight. Upon arrival at Hong Island Bay, you will have time to relax, sunbath, swim or snorkel. This idyllic spot usually showcases thousands of fish swimming in the water.

Later this afternoon, a delicious picnic lunch will be served on the beach, followed by a trip to Pak Bia Island. At this location, you can enjoy some more free time to relax or walk on the powder sand beach. Your final stop on this island hopping excursion is Lading Island. Enjoy a refreshing swim and dip your head beneath the surface to admire the wondrous marine life in this coastal region. The fish are always hungry, so if you have a piece of bread or fruit, they will absolutely love you! After your last snorkeling activity, you will cruise back to Nopparat Thara Pier, where a driver will be waiting to take you back to the hotel around 3:30 PM. (This service is on a group basis.)

Day 12: Koh Jum

Koh Jum
Daily Summary
  • Accommodation: Koh Jum Beach Villas
  • Meals: B

Enjoy this free time at your leisure.

Day 13: Koh Jum - Bangkok Departure

Koh Jum - Bangkok Departure
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfer
  • Transportation (Air): Domestic Flight
  • Transportation: International Connection
  • Meals: B
Domestic Flight
Krabi - Bangkok
Flight #: TBD
Departs: TBD
Arrives: TBD
(Domestic Flights not Included)

In the morning, 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.

Accommodation

COMO Metropolitan Bangkok

COMO Metropolitan Bangkok

The elegant COMO Metropolitan Bangkok invites you to enjoy an urban escape nestled within the central business district of Sathorn. This sleek, contemporary property embodies style and grace. The hotel is idyllically located between the river and the Sukhumvit District, just 10 minutes from Silom’s buzzing nightlife scene. Convenient access to the nearby BTS Station and MRT train networks, offers the perfect base from which to explore the wonders of Bangkok. The hotel combines passionate service with award-winning cuisine and exquisite attention to detail, promising a memorable experience.

The Float House River Kwai

The Float House River Kwai

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

Sala Ayutthaya

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.

Muthi Maya Resort

Muthi Maya Resort

Located in one of the most scenic and peaceful destinations in Thailand, Muthi Maya Forest Pool Villa Resort is a traveler’s ultimate dream. With its 64 villas, each including a large patio, private pool, and garden, the resort is surrounded by tropical gardens, adding a new dimension of tranquility and romance to the property. For guests looking for some fun-filled adventure, you can take a pick from elephant trekking, river rafting, kayaking, or rock climbing. For the less adventurous, relax with a traditional Thai massage or try your luck with a round of golf. Never worry about having to even lift a finger with all your requests catered for when you pick Muthi Maya Forest Pool Villa Resort as your next vacation getaway.

Koh Jum Beach Villas

Koh Jum Beach Villas

The Koh Jum Beach Villas is the perfect place to experience Koh Jum and its stunning surroundings. The city center is merely 40 km away and the airport can be reached within 55 minutes. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations. At Koh Jum Beach Villas, the excellent service and superior facilities make for an unforgettable stay. For the comfort and convenience of guests, the hotel offers free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour security, daily housekeeping and taxi service. The ambiance of Koh Jum Beach Villas is reflected in every guestroom. Whether you're a fitness enthusiast, or are just looking for a way to unwind after a hard day, you will be entertained by top-class recreational facilities such as an outdoor pool, diving, fishing, massage and garden. With an ideal location and facilities to match, Koh Jum Beach Villas hits the spot in many ways.

Pricing and Details

Starting from $ 4,755 per person

*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.

Price Includes

  • Full support before, during & after your trip
  • Meals as mentioned
  • Accommodation as mentioned
  • Tours/activities as mentioned
  • Transport as mentioned

Price Excludes

  • International & domestic flights
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Entrance visas when applicable
  • Other services not mentioned
  • Tips and gratuities to guides, drivers
  • Taxes and fees

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