Get to know Thailand’s rich history, travel by boat into the Golden Triangle and experience the country's many contrasts - from the bright lights, skyscrapers and street markets of Bangkok to the peaceful rural life of northern Thailand.
Explore 3 cities over 9 days on this amazingly high-value tour. Sightseeing highlights include:
Visit Wat Pho and the Grand Palace, observe local life along the canals during a khlong tour
Visit the handicraft area of Sankamphaeng, the Night Market and the temples of Wat Phra Singh and Wat Doi Suthep
Visit Wat Phra Kaew and see the city's iconic clock tower
Visit the Hall of Opium, take a boat trip along the Mekong River, visit a local market in Laos
DAY 1 - ARRIVE BANGKOK (3 NIGHTS)
Welcome to Thailand. On arrival transfer to your hotel and this evening enjoy dinner with your Travel Director and fellow guests.
DAY 2 - BANGKOK SIGHTSEEING
Your city tour begins with a visit to Wat Pho, Bangkok's oldest temple which features the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand. Continue to the Grand Palace which was the seat not only of the king and his court, but contained within its walls the entire government administration. The architecture is vibrantly Thai and the overall effect is dazzling with all the brightly coloured intricate detail. After lunch in a local restaurant depart on a private boat to explore Bangkok's maze of canals, known locally as khlongs. Catch a glimpse of the serene and simple lifestyle of riverbank dwellers. Pass by the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun) and its impressive ceramic covered pagoda before returning to your hotel.
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE: Jim Thompson House
Jim Thompson House is one of the best examples of traditional Thai residential architecture and houses a breath-taking collection of Southeast Asian art. Jim Thompson, born in Delaware in 1906, fell in love with Thailand while posted as an intelligence agent in Bangkok during WWII. He later made it his permanent home and started a business supplying fine Thai silk to overseas fashion houses, single-handedly saving what had been a dying cottage industry. His silk company continues to flourish today. With the proceeds of his success, Thompson collected an impressive range of art works, and sections of teak houses, assembling them into a museum complex set in a lush garden alongside central Bangkok’s Saen Saep Canal. The main house is full of tastefully displayed Asian art and curios including Buddha images, paintings, ceramics and antique furniture. The living areas have been preserved as they were when Thompson lived there before his mysterious disappearance. There is also a Thai restaurant and bar plus, a sizeable boutique selling quality silk items, books and prints.
Adult Price: ฿1350.00
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE: Siam Niramit Cultural Show With Dinner
Siam Niramit combines an authentic Thai meal with a world class stage show depicting Thailand's historical and spiritual heritage. Travel back through time into the history and culture of the Kingdom of Siam. With over 150 dazzling performers and state-of-the-art special effects, it's a captivating journey. In addition to the dinner and show there will also be time to stroll through the replica villages from the country's rural regions where Thai handicrafts may be purchased or simply just soak up the atmosphere.
Additional costs apply for this optional experience. Please contact us to learn more.
DAY 3 - BANGKOK
Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore this vibrant city or join an Optional Experience.
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE: Ayutthaya with Lunch Cruise - Full day
Depart the hotel early by coach and travel to Bang Pa In Summer Palace; a palace complex which was formerly used by the Thai kings. It is beautifully decorated in both traditional Chinese and European style and the buildings are laid out along an artificial ornamental pond. Continue to Ayutthaya, the ancient city which was the former Thai capital over 400 years ago. The ruins of the old city now form the Ayutthaya Historical Park, an archaeological site that contains palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries and statues. Nowadays the glory and the beauty of the Grand Palace and temples of the past has vanished, leaving merely a glimpse of ruins, despite this it is a good reflection of the past. Visit different temples including Wat Maha That, Wat Na Phra Mane, and Wat Lokayasutharam. Later climb aboard your cruise back to Bangkok and enjoy the buffet lunch in comfortable surroundings out on the deck or in the air conditioned passenger room. Take in the views of the Chao Phraya River bank, catch a glimpse of local life and see the cheerful children waving as the boat sails past. As you sail back into Bangkok look out for the Royal Grand Palace and Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), both iconic Bangkok sights and particularly magical when viewed from the river. The price shown is in Thai Bhat.
Adult Price: ฿1650.00
DAY 4 - BANGKOK - CHIANG RAI (2 NIGHTS)
Have a late start this morning and transfer to Bangkok Airport for your flight to Chiang Rai. On arrival check in to your hotel and later experience the local colour of Chiang Rai with a brief City Tour. Visit Wat Phra Kaew, a significant temple best known for originally housing the Emerald Buddha in the 13th century which can now be seen at Bangkok's Grand Palace. Pass by Chiang Rai's iconic golden clock tower which was designed by a local Thai artist and unveiled in 2008 in honour of His Majesty the King. Continue to a local restaurant for dinner before returning to your hotel.
DAY 5 - GOLDEN TRIANGLE SIGHTSEEING
This morning visit the Hall of Opium, situated in the heart of the Golden Triangle, providing an excellent insight into the opium trade so prevalent in this area in the past century. The state-of-the-art exhibition journeys through more than 5,000-years of history on the use and abuse of opium related drugs. Learn about the origins of the opium poppy, the medical and ritual use of opium in ancient civilizations and the Opium Wars and their impact on China. After lunch in a local restaurant board a boat on the Mekong River towards the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos converge. Make a stop in Laos and visit the Don Sao Island Markets, which have an abundance of local handicrafts. Later return to your hotel in Chiang Rai.
DAY 6 - CHIANG RAI - CHIANG MAI (3 NIGHTS)
Depart this morning and make a brief stop at the unique white temple of Wat Rong Khun. Unlike many other Thai temples that have a history going back centuries, this extraordinary place of worship was only built around 20 years ago. Make a stop along the way at Mae Kajaen Hot Springs and dip your feet into the warm mineral waters, a popular spot with local Thais. After a lunch in a local restaurant visit the Sankamphaeng area on the outskirts of Chiang Mai where all the traditional handicrafts such as the famous umbrella and fan making can be found. On arrival at your hotel check-in and later this evening join your Travel Director for a visit to the famous Night Market.
Holiday Inn Chiang Mai
DAY 7 - CHIANG MAI SIGHTSEEING
Enjoy a late start this morning and later explore the centre of Chiang Mai by rickshaw, known locally as samlor. Visit one of Chiang Mai's most impressive temples; Wat Phra Singh which was built in 1345 by King Pha Yu to house the remains of his father King Kam Fu. See the elegantly decorated Lai Kam assembly hall and its restored murals depicting the lives of locals hundreds of years ago. Afterwards for lunch enjoy a typical dish of Chiang Mai khao soi (rice noodle soup) followed by some free time in the centre to explore further, do some shopping or perhaps treat yourself to a relaxing foot massage. Later make a visit to Wat Doi Suthep, tucked away in the mountains at an elevation of 1,056 metres. In its centre stands a huge Chedi (spired pagoda), which contains partial relics of Lord Buddha. Stay when the crowds depart to observe the monks chanting at sunset before returning to your hotel.
DAY 8 - CHIANG MAI
Today is free for you to explore this fascinating city or choose to take part in an Optional Experience.
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE: Hill Tribe Village Experience
Head to the north of Chiang Mai to visit Baan Tong Luang Village, an ecological Paduang village situated in a beautiful valley and the home to Long Neck Karen hill tribe from Myanmar. The women wear heavy copper neck rings as a ritual starting from when they are 5 or 6 years of age. Other hill tribes such as Lahu, Hmong and White Karen can also be seen in the village in their traditional costumes. The price shown is in Thai Bhat.
Adult Price: ฿2015.00
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE: Thai Cooking
Unlock the secrets of traditional-style Thai cooking at the Pantawan Cooking School which is located in the south of the city. The class takes place in a classic teak wooden house set in a beautiful garden with an organic farm. See the various kinds of herbs growing and use some of these in your cooking lesson. After a demonstration by one of the instructors, using the freshest ingredients, prepare and cook your own Thai food under the helpful supervision of the instructors. Each participant has their own individual cooking station and will prepare four dishes which vary on a daily basis from Northern Thai cuisine to All Time Thai Favourites. The best bit is that after the class you get to eat your creations. Soft drinks are included with the meal and beer and wines are available at an additional cost. Also included is a trip to a local market to sample some local delicacies. The price shown is in Thai Bhat.
Adult Price: ฿2600.00
DAY 9 - DEPART CHIANG MAI
Transfer to Chiang Mai International Airport for your onward flight.