Looping from the capital Bangkok to Chiang Mai via destinations such as Kanchanaburi and Ayutthaya it is a classic Thai journey encompassing fantastic food, golden temples and stunning scenery.
Arrival at Bangkok Airport. You will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel for check-in.
Overnight in Bangkok
In the afternoon, guests can take a Tuk Tuk to Soi Ban Batra, where a handicraft family is famed for the art making monk’s alms bowls and selling them, before boarding a “bus boat” for a journey along the historical Saen Saeb canal. Following a trip to Jim Thompson’s House Museum, which showcases the history of the famous and mysterious American silk merchant, the day ends with some retail therapy at Bangkok’s vast shopping malls.
Overnight in Bangkok
Day 3: Bangkok – Kanchanaburi BPick up from hotel in Bangkok and drive to Kanchanaburi Province. En-route stop at an amazing country market that has sprouted along the railway tracks. Here, you will witness the dexterity and speed of the vendors as they quickly pack their stalls right before 10:20 am when the train approaches; hence bringing shopping to a brief halt. It is a standard practice and stall holders have learnt the art of assembling and reassembling their wares at a moment’s notice!
Continue to Kanchanaburi and head towards a local train station for a one hour train ride along the famous Death Railway passing the breathtaking view of Kwai Noi gorge. Head to Kanchanaburi town and visit the famous Bridge over River Kwai featuring the history of World War II. Then stroll through the historical lanes in the Pak Preak community, lined with charming shop houses built during the reign of King Rama V. Guests are then driven to their hotel.
Check in at your nice cozy resort.
Overnight in Kanchanaburi
Breakfast at the hotel. Depart Kanchanaburi and drive to the town of Nakhon Pathom to visit Phra Pathom Chedi, the tallest stupa in the world with the height of 127 metres (417 ft). Continue to Wat Bang Phra (the very old Tattoo temple). This temple is a pilgrimage site for Thai people who anticipate strength, luck and protection from a holy magic tattoo given by the monks that live there. You may have a chance to chat with the tattoo master.
Next visit is Don Wai market. This market is a centre of trade for fruits and vegetables as well as agricultural products including rattan ware, woven cotton, dyed cotton, and inexpensive food. Local food like noodles with beef, Thai desserts, and steamed curried fish patty, are sold by local vendors. In front of the temple is another haven for the various species of fish including big catfish-like fresh water fish, black ear, and giant gourami.
Cruise along Nakhon Chai Sri River for about an hour in the afternoon and enjoy lunch on boat (purchased at the market).
Drive to Ayutthaya.
Overnight in Ayutthaya
Breakfast at the hotel.
Explore Thailand’s ancient capital by boat and tuk-tuk. The morning is spent exploring the breathtaking temple-studded landscape by a unique Kermit tuk-tuk, visiting the highlighted temples of the city from Wat Yai Chaimongkol, Wat Mahathat (where the Buddha face is naturally emerged out of the tree), and strolling through a local market to get to Wat Phra Srisanphet. Proceed on a trip to the town’s Muslim Quarter which offers the opportunity to sample an unusual local delicacy, candy floss roti.
Continue further north to Phitsanulok with an en-route stop at the small monkey town of Lopburi where you will visit the highlight of the town at Phra Prang Sam Yod, an ancient temple ruled by the Monkeys. Lunch at a local restaurant.
Then drive to Phitsanulok Province, and upon arrival, visit Wat Mahathat featuring Thailand’s most beautiful Buddha image – Phra Puttachinnarat.
Overnight in Phitsanulok
Day 6: Phitsanulok – Sukhothai – Lampang – Chiang Mai B
Breakfast at hotel, and depart Phitsanulok for Sukhothai. Upon arrival in Sukhothai, visit Sukhothai Historical Park which was once a walled city surrounded by a moat, the park contains almost 200 ruined chedis in remarkable condition. See the main sites of the Historical Park. Discover the historical park by tramp, a nice and easy way to stroll around the ruins.
Continue up to Chiang Mai, but en-route stop at Lampang, a large trading centre during the 19th Century. Visit Wat Phra That Lampang Luang, the famous Buddhist Lanna temple in Lampang. Then drive to Chiang Mai.
Overnight in Chiang Mai
Day 7: Chiang Mai B/L
Depart your hotel at 06.00 AM and arrive at the foot hill of Doi Suthep mountain, in time to buy offerings and join the locals during the daily alms giving ceremony. (Note: Take away breakfast box from the hotel.) This is a serene Buddhist procession where dozens of monks walk barefoot through the street collecting food and everyday items. Continue up the mountain to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and climb the 309 steps of the Golden Naga staircase to reach its golden pagodas. Proceed to Wat Umong, built in the 14th century, a heavily forested temple covered by moss and small plants offering a unique yet charming sense of natural decay. After a walk through its mysterious tunnels, you reach the Viharn of the temple to experience your own private blessing ceremony.
After, enjoy this lovely day with a delicious bowl of Khao Soy at Lamduan Fah Ham Khao Soy Restaurant. This famous Northern Thai dish is a combination of coconut cream, crispy noodles and plenty of spice that is sure to delight!
After lunch, put on your walking shoes and head out to explore the highlights of this charismatic South East Asian city by foot! What better place to start our day of discovery than the banks of the Mae Ping River! From here, we join the bustle of Waroros market, a favourite for Chiang Mai locals for exotic species, colourful fruits, an endless variety of rice and bizarre new culinary delights. From here, we continue by rickshaw to Thapae Gate and continue to explore ancient Chiang Mai on foot. Thapae Gate is Chiang Mai’s main entrance to the old walled city. In days gone by, it was the gate through which traders, diplomats and visiting monks passed when they had business in the city proper. From here, we continue our walk to Three Kings Monument and the city’s most beautiful temples, Wat Chedi Luang, where the famous Emerald Buddha was once enshrined, and Wat Phra Singh, home to a very old and sacred Buddha image.
Overnight in Chiang Mai
Breakfast at the hotel. Free morning at leisure or enjoy an optional activity.
OPTIONAL: Cooking with Thai Orchid Cookery School
Embark on a gastronomous journey at Orchid Cooking School. After enjoying the vibrant colors and flavors of a local market, you will learn the secrets of our internationally revered cuisine. Courses at the Thai Orchid Cooking School are based on the philosophy that a meal should be a beautiful thing. The school was started by home owner and her family who have the same dream of sharing their love of Thai cooking with those who desire to learn how to cook delicious Thai food but also to experience the culture and poetry of Thai cuisine. At the end of the class, you will be delighted by your own prepared meal. A gourmet’s feast! (L)
Time: 09:00 – 14:00
Departure: Daily except Sundays
Note: Cooking is a join-in activity with English speaking chef. Private transfer provided.