Thailand: Culture and Adventure

Prepare for a luxurious adventure of a lifetime in the Land of Smiles! During this exploration of Thailand, you will be whisked away to discover the highlights and hidden treasures of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Khao Sok, and so much more. From treking to temples and waterfalls in Northern Thailand to seeking out the flora and fauna both above and below water in Khao Sok and Koh Samui, every day is sure to be full of wonder.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Bangkok Arrival

Bangkok Arrival
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfer
  • Accommodation: The Peninsula Bangkok

Welcome to Thailand! Upon arrival at the Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, you will clear Immigration, collect your luggage and exit Customs. A hotel 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 trip, you will be driven directly to your hotel. (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: A Taste of China Town
  • Accommodation: The Peninsula Bangkok
  • Meals: B, D

Take things at your own pace this morning and enjoy the amenities of your hotel as you work off any possible jet lag.

A Taste of China Town

Enjoy a mouth-watering exploration of Bangkok's 200-year-old China Town district by visiting various tasty eateries, from street vendors to colorful restaurants.

Meet your guide at the hotel's lobby and prepare to be guided through some of China Town's most unique alleys. Enjoy the magnificent views of the River from a local rooftop bar. Here you'll be given a short briefing and time to enjoy a drink (beer or soft drink) while watching the setting sun. Then jump on board a tuk-tuk to deep into Chinatown to start your fascinating tour. You'll be able to sample all kinds of dishes and a few local drinks too! Savor dishes such as dim sum, dumplings, fresh seafood, local deserts, and more! Throughout the evening your knowledgeable guide will explain the background of all the different food and drink you'll taste, as well as insight into the local area.

At around 8:30 PM end your evening 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 3: Bangkok

Bangkok
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Heart & Soul of Bangkok
  • Accommodation: The Peninsula Bangkok
  • Meals: B, L

Heart & Soul of Bangkok

Explore Bangkok’s most important cultural highlights and cruise the khlongs (canals) by longtail boat. Witness the monks' early morning chanting ritual during your morning to Wat Pho, one of Bangkok’s oldest temples with the largest reclining Buddha (45m, 150 ft) in the country. Continue to Lak Muang City Pillar by tuk-tuk which represents the foundation stone of Bangkok. Step into the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Pra Kaew), the most revered shrine in the Kingdom.

After a break for a typical family-style local Thai lunch, board a longtail boat for a cruise through Bangkok’s maze of ancient canals. Marvel at the waterways lined with floating wooden shopfronts, weathered teak homes and quiet Buddhist temples. Make a stop at the fascinating Artist’s House (Baan Silapin), a centuries old teak house that has been turned into a gallery, with local artwork and photography. Back on the Chao Phraya River end the day with a visit of Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, the most iconic of the more than 31,000 across the country. Ascend the steep and narrow steps of this Khmer-style tower for a panoramic view across the river before returning to your accommodation. (This service is on a private basis.)

NOTE: Shoulders and knees must be covered

Day 4: Bangkok

Bangkok
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Encounter Ayutthaya Stories
  • Accommodation: The Peninsula Bangkok
  • Meals: B

Encounter Ayutthaya Stories

Travel to the Kingdom’s second capital, Ayutthaya and discover a site with an incredible history, bursting with stories and home to the country’s most impressive Buddhist statues, ancient monuments and Khmer style temples.

Accompanied by your expert knowledgeable guide, leave Bangkok behind and journey to Ayutthaya (approx. 80 kilometers, 50 miles), a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stop en route at Bang Pa-In Palace, home of the King’s former summer residence. Built in the 17th century, the architectural style blends influence from the East and the West. Continue to Ayutthaya and listen to insightful stories as you explore an area rich in 700 years of history before being destroyed by the Burmese.

Uncover the most striking ruins including Wat Phra Mahathat, famously known for the Buddha head entwined within the roots of a banyan tree. Discover Wat Phra Si Sanphet, part of the Royal Palace originally built in the 14th century, with its striking bell shaped pagodas. Marvel at the giant reclining Buddha statue at Wat Lokayasutharam. Spend time at the most well-preserved ruins in Ayutthaya Wat Ratchaburana and explore Wat Chai Mongkol.

Enjoy home style Thai cuisine for lunch with an emphasis on regional dishes from Ayutthaya. Well-fed and relaxed, delve into your childhood memories with a fascinating visit to the Million Toy Museum* housed in a building painted bright blue and white. This private collection includes characters from American and Japanese cartoons, Asian tin toys and cloth dolls. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 5: Bangkok - Chiang Rai

Bangkok - Chiang Rai
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfers
  • Accommodation: Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort
  • Meals: B

This morning you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport in good time to board your domestic flight.

Upon arrival in Chiang Rai, you will be picked up at the airport and transferred to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)

Reconvene with your guide and visit Wat Rong Khun where is unlike any other temple in Thailand as its ubosot (ordination hall) is designed in white color with some use of white glass. The use of white represents Lord Buddha's purity, while the glass represents Lord Buddha's wisdom that "shines brightly all over the Earth and the Universe."

After your time at the White Temple, you'll continue on to Singha Park for a lovely bicycle ride!

Return to you hotel for an evening at your leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)

Chiang Rai

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.

Day 6: Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Doi Tung Mountain, Golden Triangle & Baan Dam
  • Tour: Markets and Food by Tuk Tuk
  • Accommodation: Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort
  • Meals: B, L, D

Doi Tung Mountain, Golden Triangle & Baan Dam

Meet your guide at your Chiang Rai hotel and drive to Doi Tung Mountain where we visit the Mae Fah Luang botanical gardens and learn about the Royal Project on Doi Tung. The gardens are on the slopes below Doi Tung Royal Villa, the former resident of the Princess Mother Srinagarindra.

We then continue to the Golden Triangle to visit the Hall of Opium. This is where the borders of Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar meet, a major opium producing area. After a delicious Thai lunch we take a relaxing boat ride down the Mekong River to Chiang Sean and explore this small, quiet town.

On the way back to Chiang Rai we make a stop at the Baan Dam Museum, a collection of wooden buildings featuring sculpture, paintings, and other artworks from around Southeast Asia. We arrive back in Chiang Rai in the late afternoon. (This service is on a private basis.)

Markets and Food by Tuk Tuk

This evening you cruise by tuk tuk to the Chiang Rai Night Bazaar area to experience the nightly markets and food of the town. Board your unique 3-wheeled vehicle to discover the authentic side of Chiang Rai. Along the way you pass by the King Mengrai Monument and head towards the golden clock tower. This was built in 2008 to honor the former king of Thailand and designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat. This Thai visual artist and painter also conceived Wat Rong Khun temple, better known to foreigners as the White temple.

Continue to the fresh market and the famous night market of Chiang Rai. Here you can find restaurants and a performance of classical dance. Enjoy a light meal before returning to your hotel late this evening. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 7: Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai

Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Journey to Chiang Mai
  • Accommodation: The Anantara Chiang Mai Resort
  • Meals: B, L

Journey to Chiang Mai

Today morning you will meet with your guide and journey to Chiang Mai. Along the way, stop to visit Mae Kachan Hot Springs. This is a natural hot spring and you could head down to the stream and touch the hot spring water. Take the opportunity to soak your feet in the healing waters!

You'll be transferred to your Chiang Mai accommodations later this afternoon and the rest of the day is free day at leisure.. (This service is on a private basis.)

Chiang Mai

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.

Day 8: Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Sacred Paths and Trails
  • Tour: Street Food Adventure
  • Accommodation: The Anantara Chiang Mai Resort
  • Meals: B, D

Sacred Paths and Trails

Today you will have the chance to hike a section of the Monk’s Trail before encountering pilgrims at the most revered temple complex Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.

Head out of the city to the start of the hiking trail known as the Monks Trail and imagine the monks who walked this same path to top of Doi Suthep mountain before the road was built. Occasionally you will see orange robes wrapped around the branches to indicate the way as was done hundreds of years before. Although not difficult, there are a few short challenging sections before you will be greeted with the peaceful Wat Pha Lat (Monastery at the Sloping Rock) at the end of your walk. Explore this serene jungle temple old stone buildings with intricate carvings and notable statues before continuing to the top of Doi Suthep by road.

Climb the 308 steps up the mythical Naga serpent staircase to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep where you will be rewarded with views of the city below. Listen to the chants of the monks, drink in the atmosphere and immerse yourself in the spirituality of this revered temple complex. Mingle with the pilgrims from across Thailand and discover pagodas and statues devoted to Buddhism with Hindu influences. Learn about Buddhism and its impact on the culture and daily life of Thai people. (This service is on a private basis.)

NOTE Visitors must dress appropriately, no shorts, shoulders must be covered, and shoes need to be removed. Comfortable walking shoes, insect repellent (for hike)

Street Food Adventure

Set off on an exciting food adventure, traveling to a number of bustling neighborhood markets by songthaew (shared taxi) with your local expert foodie to indulge in a feast of Northern Thai street foods.

Wander through the markets, soaking in the atmosphere and breathing in the aromatic spices. Visit a selection of the best stalls, meet the people behind the food and sample a variety of delicious regional dishes.

Learn how to order food and try your hand at choosing your personal selection based on your expert guide's recommendations. Uncover the ingredients behind the recipe, some passed through family generations and by the end delight in being able to tell the difference between a Gaeng Hang Lay Moo and Khao Soy Mae Sai. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 9: Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Lampang Province Exploration
  • Accommodation: The Anantara Chiang Mai Resort
  • Meals: B, L

Lampang Province Exploration

Meet your guide and be transferred to visit Wat Chalermprakiat in Lampang Province. It is one of the most unique temples in Thailand. The stairways and trails snaking their way up through the forest give this place a magical feel, like something out of a movie.

After lunch, visit Wat Phrathat Haripunchai in Lamphun before returning you to your hotel in Chiang Mai. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 10: Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Bamboo Rafting & Sticky Waterfall
  • Accommodation: The Anantara Chiang Mai Resort
  • Meals: B, L

Bamboo Rafting & Sticky Waterfall

This morning following breakfast, you will meet with your English-speaking guide to start the day with a one-hour drive toward Chiang Dao where we will stop at the raft camp for a leisurely bamboo raft trip down the Ping River. While the helmsman maneuvers your raft downstream, you'll have time to look around and enjoy the scenery, the sunshine, and the sounds of the birds.

Continue on to visit Sticky Waterfall (Bua Tong Waterfall), enjoy swimming and lunch before returning to your hotel in the afternoon (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 11: Chiang Mai - Phuket - Khao Sok

Chiang Mai - Phuket - Khao Sok
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfers
  • Accommodation: Khao Sok Boutique Camp
  • Meals: B

This morning after breakfast, you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the Chiang Mai airport in good time to board your domestic flight to Phuket.

Upon arrival, you will be picked up at the airport and transferred to your accommodation in Khao Sok. Total driving time is about 2.3 hours. (This service is on a private basis.)

Khao Sok

Khao Sok National Park in southern Thailand is covered by the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world amidst dramatically steep limestone mountains and deep valleys, breathtaking lakes, exciting caves, wild animals and much more. One of the most interesting areas is beautiful Cheow Larn Lake in the heart of the National Park surrounded by stunning limestone cliffs. The park serves as a home for a wide variety of wildlife such as the gaur, banteng, sambar deer, bear, Malayan tapir, macaque, gibbon, serow, mouse deer, porcupine, marbled cat, wild boar, and Asian wild dog. It also acts as the natural habitat for several bird species: great hornbill, helmeted hornbill, white-crowned hornbill, banded pittas, osprey, brahminy kite, blue-banded kingfisher and rufous-collared kingfisher among hundreds more. It is probably most famous for the symbolic flower of Surat Thani Province, the huge bua phut (Rafflesia kerrii) flower, which blooms only once per year around January.

Day 12: Khao Sok

Khao Sok
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Lake and Cave Tour
  • Accommodation: Khao Sok Boutique Camp
  • Meals: B

Lake and Cave Tour

One of Khao Sok National Park’s hidden gems, Cheow Lan Lake is a pristine body of water where natural beauty abounds. Also known as Ratchaprabha Dam, it spans an incredible 165 km2 and is the heart and soul of the jungle. Your visit to Prakrai Petch Cave begins at 8:30am and you'll return to your accommodations around 4-4:30pm.

A popular tourist attraction, the lake delivers a number of options for travelers who want to explore its inviting waters. Day trips allow ample time to explore the water’s wonders; visit a raft house (Khao Sok National Park’s famous floating bungalows) where you will have time to swim and relax, or rent a kayak and explore the lake’s beautiful surroundings. In addition, travelers can trek around the lake’s peripheries along local trails to discover hidden waterfalls and caves. (This service is on a shared basis.)

What to bring:
Change of clothes, Bathing suit, Hat, Sunscreen, Towel, Mosquito repellant, Comfortable shoes, Camera, Waterproof bag and/or a waterproof case for your phone and camera

Day 13: Khao Sok - Koh Samui

Khao Sok - Koh Samui
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Transfers and Ferry
  • Accommodation: Belmond Napasai Koh Samui
  • Meals: B

Today you will be transferred from Khao Sok to Don Sak Pier. The pick up time is at 8:30am. This journey takes about 2 1/2 hours.

You will receive your tickets locally on the day of departure. Your ferry departs at 12:00pm and will arrive to Koh Samui at 1:30pm.

You will meet your guide at Nathon Pier and be privately transferred to your hotel.

Koh Samui

Koh Samui, or simply, Samui, as it is referred to by locals, is an island off the east coast of the Gulf Thailand. The island boasts beautiful white sand beaches, tropical foliage, hidden coves, rocky outcrops, and swaying palms. An eclectic array of spas; activity centers; resorts; world-class restaurants; beach bars, and a colorful mix of residents and tourists help you begin to understand the unique charm of Koh Samui.

Day 14: Koh Samui

Koh Samui
Daily Summary
  • Accommodation: Belmond Napasai Koh Samui
  • Meals: B

Enjoy a slice of paradise on the beaches of Koh Samui today!

Day 15: Koh Samui

Koh Samui
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Angthong National Marine Park Kayaking Excursion
  • Accommodation: Belmond Napasai Koh Samui
  • Meals: B

Angthong National Marine Park Kayaking Excursion

This morning around 7:30 AM, you will travel to Angthong National Marine Park for a group kayaking tour. The first stop will be at the Coast of Koh Mae Island, where you will navigate beneath huge overhanging rocks and view some of the most magnificent scenery the Gulf has to offer. Taking the kayaks to the beach, you will embark on an easy, but spectacular, climb through dense rainforest and narrow ravines. You will be rewarded upon arrival at the “Green Lagoon”, a beautiful emerald salty water lake. After time for exploration, head back to the boat for a buffet lunch, as you cruise along the stunning northern region of the Park. You will arrive at Koh Wao Yai for the second expedition. Here, you will discover magical caves and bizarre rock formations, with plenty of time to explore the underwater sights, snorkeling and swimming. You will return to your hotel today around 5:00 PM this evening. (This service is on a group basis.)

Days 16 - 17: Koh Samui

Koh Samui
Daily Summary
  • Accommodation: Belmond Napasai Koh Samui
  • Meals: B

These last two days in Koh Samui are at your leisure. Bask in the sunshine, soak in the ocean, and enjoy the amenities at your accommodation!

Day 18: Bangkok Departure

Bangkok Departure
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfer
  • Meals: B

Alas, the time has come to say goodbye to beautiful Thailand.

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Koh Samui Airport for your flight to Bangkok, where you will transfer to your international departure.

We hope you had an amazing time discovering the wonders of Thailand and we wish you a safe journey onwards! (This service is on a private basis.)

Accommodation

The Peninsula Bangkok

The Peninsula Bangkok

At The Peninsula Bangkok, luxury standards are met with sophisticated Thai charm, to create the ultimate cultural and comfortable experience. From the hotel’s iconic Peninsula Green Tuk Tuk, to an adventure down the Chao Phraya River and sumptuous authentic Thai cuisine featuring recipes used by generations of Palace cooks, the possibilities from this property are endless. This hotel embraces the epitome of luxury Thai style and accommodation, including guest rooms and suites, which all boast magnificent river views. Strategically designed, using these traditional style elements with convenient state-of-the-art technology, the legendary Peninsula offers a stay that you will never forget.

Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort

Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort

Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort, situated along the Mae Kok River, is moments from the town of Chiang Rai, the former capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom founded by King Meng Rai. Experience luxury and refinement, while exploring an area steeped in history. The resort comprises 159 modern rooms and suites in five wings. Revel in the expansive rooms, as the smallest measures 53 square metres. Views from the balconies overlook a private lake, lush lawns, and the Mae Kok River. The resort features a blend of activities, including therapeutic treatments at the spa, refreshing swims in the pool, and hearty workouts in the gym. Outdoors embark on hilltribe visits, elephant trekking, and river tours.

The Anantara Chiang Mai Resort

The Anantara Chiang Mai Resort

Hidden behind a bamboo wall and opening onto the picturesque Mae Ping River in Thailand’s charming northern city, Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa is a luxurious sanctuary of striking contemporary style, accented by traditional Thai and colonial elements. Relax on your balcony daybed, admiring the peaceful flow of Thai river life. Find more tranquil seclusion at the waterfront pool or indulge in exotic spa rituals and revitalizing yoga. Savor refined culinary journeys, from impeccable Indian, Thai and western cuisine, gourmet tapas and high tea experiences, to the sophisticated pleasures of our colonial bar.

Khao Sok Boutique Camp

Khao Sok Boutique Camp

In the south of Thailand you will find the large and luscious jungle of Khao Sok. Khao Sok is an extremely beautiful national park teeming with many kinds of plants and animals. The landscape is out of this world and invites guests to endless adventure activities. The boutique tented camp is located in the most beautiful part of Khao Sok and is surrounded by mountains. Nature lovers will easily fall in love throughout their stay. The luxury tents allow you to experience nature and at the same time, provide you with all the modern comforts. Amenities include: private ensuite bathroom with hot shower, hairdryer, comfortable beds, and refrigerator.

Belmond Napasai Koh Samui

Belmond Napasai Koh Samui

Nestled between verdant tropical gardens and the dazzling sea, Belmond Napasai is a true paradise on the north coast of Thailand’s Koh Samui. This secluded hideaway is the perfect place to escape the world and let your troubles melt away. Gaze out across the golden sands and acclimatize to the indulgent, casual atmosphere. Belmond Napasai exudes an irresistible, traditional Thai charm. Stand-alone villas sit within 17 acres of tropical gardens, rich with cashew and coconut trees, hibiscus and bougainvillea. Tempting aromas of fresh local cuisine drift through the air, and staff greet every request with a warm smile. Life is as quiet or as lively as you desire. Spend all day beside the infinity pool or in the relaxing Napasai Spa. Alternatively plunge into the vibrant island scene with our wide range of action-packed resort activities.

Pricing and Details

Starting from $ 14,936 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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