Some of Thailand’s most alluring secrets are laid bare on this imaginative journey. In Bangkok, guests will feast on street food before venturing into rural Thailand and onto alluring destinations such as Kanchanaburi, Chiang Mai, and Ayutthaya, the temple-rich former capital of the country.
Upon arrival in Bangkok, meet with our guide and transfer to the hotel.
In the early evening, guests will be transferred to the meeting point at Hua Lamphong Railway Station, where they will begin the street food walking tour to Bangkok’s best kept secrets, Chinatown, the neighbourhood internationally renowned for the city’s longest street food. Getting on this tour, you will be taken to explore the backstreets as well as discover the bright lights and energy of Chinatown’s electrict Yaowarat street where they will be introduced to the history of the area and some of the area’s favourite street food artisans. Here, you will bite into various kinds of food, from famous Chinese dumplings, peppered pork noodles, Chinese donuts, and so on. Also, enjoy sweet Chinese desserts and visit a tea shophouse.
After the tour, enjoy a cool cocktail at Samsara Bar and Restaurant, one of the hot spot bars by the river.
Overnight in Bangkok
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport – Bangkok Hotel (approx. 30 – 40 km): approx. 50 min – 1 hr
Day 2: Bangkok B
After breakfast at the hotel, start the day visiting the Royal Grand Palace, Bangkok’s number one ‘must-see’ attraction as well as Thailand’s most important landmark. Our guide will take you on an in-depth journey through Thailand’s history and royal heritage. You will be awed by the grandeur and majesty of the building and its throne halls. The palace is nowadays used only for occasional ceremonial purposes by the Royal Family. And of course, marvel at the mysterious Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Thailand, resided in Wat Phra Kaew which adjoins the Grand Palace in a common compound.
After lunch, visit Wat Pho – Bangkok’s oldest temple and arguably it’s most impressive. Home to the magnificent 45-meter-long reclining Buddha. After that, join the Thai massage training at the temple’s massage school. The course is designed for people who are interested in learning the right way of using their hands to provide the relaxation of body and brain to another person. The three-hour training will teach guests the way how massages work on the body and soul as well as massage techniques. Learn about the energy lines of the hands, arms and shoulder, and how to apply the correct pressure points.
In the evening, it is now their turn to get a message themselves. Transfer to a hidden small massage place, Perception, located in one of Bangkok’s CBD. Here is a special and unique massage place as guests will receive a relaxing massage by trained blind masseurs.
Overnight in Bangkok
After breakfast at the hotel, go exploring the flavors, spices and aromas of the city’s Village of Love—the historic Bangrak neighborhood. Experience how the locals live, eat and shop as guests take part in unique local food tastings each packed with authentic history and intimate stories of the neighborhood.
Local experts have hand-picked food that is guaranteed to tickle their taste buds, and their intimate stories of Bangkok and Thailand’s everyday culture will fill their minds with amazement.
In the early evening, transfer to the Golden Mount to have a top view of the old city and cycle down to Bangkok’s main attractions. Cycling pass the Giant Swing, Wat Suthat and flower market area. Before the sunset, arrive to a peaceful park by the Chao Phraya River to watch as the sun goes down over the Temple of Dawn, with the golden spires of the Grand Palace illuminated behind. Continue cycling to the biggest amulet market at its closing time, and see more buildings that are in both Thai and European styles, including the iconic Wat Benchamabophit, the temple of the “Five-Baht” coins. Impress with the shimmering of Wat Ratchanada and Loha Prasat before drop-off for dinner and relax at the Sidewalk Cafe with illuminated lights of the Democracy Monument and Ratchadamnern Avenue.
Overnight in Bangkok
Just a short drive from the bustling streets of Bangkok, the high-rise urban landscape dissolves into a lush green rural idyll. This full-day trip to Samut Songkhram and Ratchaburi Provinces, only an hour outside the capital, allows guests to experience the traditional charms of the Thai countryside life and the floating markets.
The day starts with a trip to a local railway station where a bustling country market has sprouted up along the tracks. When a train pulls in or out of the station, the vendors quickly clear their stalls, only to set them up again moments later when the train has passed! From here, the journey continues to the very famous touristic Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Although quite touristy today, the market remains the best example to showcase how a floating market originally was like decades ago.
A relaxing paddle boat ride through the labyrinth of canals offer the chance to see the old part of the floating market and local lifestyle along the canal side. Off the boat, it is time to enjoy strolling around the colourful floating marketplace bustling with boats and vendors selling tropical fruits and other delights.
For visits falling on a Saturday or Sunday, the tour offers the option of an exploration choosing between visiting Damnoen Saduak or the smaller and less touristy floating market Tha Kha where a short paddle boat tour in the backwaters offering a visit to an old Thai house making coconut palm sugar.
The day continues with a drive to Kanchanaburi where guests will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, situated near the famous bridge on the Kwai River, built by Allied prisoners of war during World War II. Visit Railway Museum and stroll through the historical lane in Pak Preak community, laden with charming shop houses built during the reign of King Rama V before driving to the hotel.
Overnight in Kanchanaburi
Bangkok – Samut Songkhram (75.2 km): 1.03 hr
Samut Songkhram – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market (20 km): 20 min
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – Kanchanaburi (115 km): 2 hr
Depart to Elephants World, located just half an hour from the famous River Kwai Bridge. Elephant World is a sanctuary for elephants with nowhere else to go. Here, they can enjoy the natural jungle landscape in peace and harmony.
Following a warm welcome and introduction from the volunteers at Elephant World, they will be off to meet the elephants themselves and introduced to each elephant, then have the opportunity to work for them under guidance from the mahout. This includes enjoyable activities like cutting banana grass, sugar cane or banana plants to feed to the elephants.
After lunch, depart for an activity center where you will embark on your bike and ride through some local areas, passing local temples or even local villagers going about their daily tasks. The bike ride is about 10 km and for about an hour. Following this, canoeing down the river for another one hour. (Note: Please bring spare clothes on this day. After canoeing ride, the changing room is available at the activity center.)
Overnight in Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi – Elephants World (64.4 km): 1.25 hr
Depart Kanchanaburi and head to Ayutthaya. Having arrived in Ayutthaya, which dates back to the 14th Century, the morning is spent exploring the breathtaking temple-studded landscape 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.
After lunch at a local restaurant, the tour continues with a leisurely one hour long-tail boat ride down the Chao Phraya River. This boat trip commences at Wat Niwet Thammaprawat, one of the area’s most distinctive Buddhist temples, featuring remarkable Gothic-style architecture and stained glass windows. Then take the cable car across the river and go by golf car to visit Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, the majestic mansions of Thailand’s Royal family.
In the evening, hop on a tuk tuk ride to see the spectacular twilight scene of the historical park with illuminated light.
Overnight in Ayutthaya
Kanchanaburi – Ayutthaya (230 km): 3.23 hr
Day 7: Ayutthaya – Bangkok – Chiang Mai B/L/D
Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer you to Bangkok Airport for a flight to Chiang Mai.
Upon arrival at Chiang Mai Airport, drive towards the tranquil Wat Umong, which dates back to the 14th Century and contains a network of tunnels and caves. Within this mysterious labyrinth, guests can experience their own private blessing.
Overnight in Chiang Mai
Ayutthaya – Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (101 km): 1.16 hr
Chiang Mai Airport – Wat Umong (7.4 km): 25 min
Wat Umong – Chiang Mai Hotel (15 km): 20 min
Day 8: Chiang Mai B/L
After breakfast, guests will be transferred to Wiang Khum Kham. This cycling tour will be an introduction to Thai culture and that can best be done by doing as the locals do and go to temples and markets, as the guide will explain the importance of Buddhism in Thai culture. Exploring the ancient city of Wiang Khum Kham which dates back to the 13th Century. Just excavated in the 1980s after being buried under mud from the river, guests can visit an ancient temple which has a spirit house where a former king’s spirit is said to reside.
Pass beautiful, traditional teak houses and can say hello to the Thai men fishing in the Ping River. Then enter some spacious grassy parkland and stop for some fruit and a cool drink. Head South to Ban Tawai, or being well known as The Village of Handicraft. The village is one being the largest handicraft market in Thailand. We reckon it makes for a fascinating place to wander around.
Enjoy a leisurely end along the banks of the Ping River. Set in manicured, quiet grounds next to the river, guests can admire the colonial style white buildings that include a church and hospital. The cycling distance is approximately 25 km on good quality flat tarmac roads. Stop often to refuel with water and fresh fruit. The tour ends at Wiang Khum Kham, and guests continue for the afternoon tour.
Transfer to a local Thai family to experience a true taste of Thai life at Mr. Prapat’s house in Hang Dong. Enjoy home-cooked meal with him and his family. Select the fresh ingredients needed and learn the traditional techniques and skills of northern Thai cuisine, before setting down to enjoy a family meal.
After lunch, guests can spend the afternoon taking a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood to see some of the local cottage industries on show, in a truly authentic setting.
Overnight in Chiang Mai
Start the day heading towards Thailand’s highest mountain, Doi Inthanon National Park, a spectacular land of mist-covered peaks, tropical forests, mighty rivers and majestic waterfalls. It is also a treasure trove of wildlife, with gibbons, deer, and wild boar all roaming the hills and valleys, along with an incredible 383 different species of bird. This incredible ancient ecosystem can now be explored with a full-day tour that takes guests from the bustling streets of Chiang Mai, out into the remote mountains.
The trip starts with a hike to a local Karen hilltribe village, where guests can meet this colorful community and learn about their work at a coffee plantation. The trek then continues for two hours along lush forest trails and across bamboo bridges, emerging at dramatic waterfalls. En route there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy the natural scenery and take photos. The day ends with a trip to Wachiratharn Waterfall, one of the most spectacular sights in Northern Thailand, where 70-metre-high torrents crash into the refreshing pools below. Picnic lunch included.
The evening starts at a local temple where the monks gather for their nightly prayer chants. Guests can take part in this deeply sacred ritual by lighting incense and candles, to ensure an unforgettable and otherworldly experience.
Dinner is then served at the stunning Rachamankha, inspired by the courtyard architecture of ancient Chinese dwellings, and serving an exquisite selection of Lanna, Burmese and Shan cuisine, before guests are transported to the colorful Waroros Market. This bustling night market is the hub of local life in Chiang Mai, with fresh food and flower stalls offering an intoxicating mix of sights, sounds and smells.
Here, guests will be able to sample some local Thai delicacies, providing a sweet end to an enchanting evening.
Overnight in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai hotel – Doi Inthanon National Park (60 km): 1.15 hr
Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer you to the airport for your departure flight to your onwards destination.
Chiang Mai Hotel – Chiang Mai Airport (4.7 km): 11 min
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