The temples and tuk tuk of Bangkok give way to the ancient traditions of Chiang Mai on this wonderful trip to Thailand. A journey from the colourful streets of Bangkok to the sacred spaces of Chiang Mai. You’ll visit the terracotta-coloured ancient ruins of Ayutthaya and enjoy Thailand’s delightful local people and culture.
Maximum Group Size: 16 passengers. Tours are based on reaching a minimum number. Home pick-up and return is included based on a set radius – surcharges will apply outside these areas. Other special conditions may apply to each individual tour, please contact the office for further details. The above cost include $175pp of air taxes which are subject to change.
Your holiday begins when you are picked up from home by a private vehicle and transferred to the airport. Meet your fellow passengers and Kings Tour Manager and fly to Bangkok. Upon arrival into Bangkok we will transfer you to your hotel. You will have some free time before we enjoy our first dinner together.
Hotel: Royal Orchid Sheraton or similar for 3 nights
This morning you can rise early and join the locals for a graceful T’ai Chi practice in Lumpini Park. Alternatively, enjoy a leisurely start before joining your fellow travellers on a City Tour, which begins with a visit to Bangkok’s most well-known fruit and flower market, Pak Klong Talad. Continue to the golden spires of Bangkok’s Grand Palace, where you’ll visit the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand, Wat Phra Kaew. See the largest-reclining Buddha in Thailand in Bangkok’s oldest temple, Wat Pho, and enjoy a traditional Thai massage in the temple’s massage centre. Return to your hotel by express river boat, cruising down the Chao Praya past beautiful Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn.
Immerse your senses in the five flavours of Thai as you join traditional cooking class Sample the results later, then spend the afternoon exploring the City of Angels before an evening on board The Loy Nava with traditional Kim music including dinner.
A riot of colours greets us this morning as we embark on a visit to the famous floating market at Damnoen Saduak. Our next stop is at a coconut palm sugar plantation where we’ll discover how the farmer extracts the sap from his palm trees to create palm sugar. After lunch in a local restaurant, we’ll visit the Thailand – Burma Railway Museum, revealing insights into the history of the infamous railway line built during WWII by the Imperial Japanese army. Our final stop today sees us pay tribute to the thousands of allied prisoners of war who were laid to rest at the War Cemetery.
Hotel: Away Kanchanaburi Dheva Mantra Resort and Spa or similar for 2 nights
This morning, we visit Hellfire Pass, a section of the Thailand-Burma “Death Railway”, so named for the tortuous conditions that prisoners of war endured during WWII to build it. After lunch, we embark on a thrilling train ride across wooden viaducts, skirting the winding waters of the Kwai River. We’ll disembark and see the wooden viaducts first-hand walking across one. This evening, we enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
After breakfast, we travel to the UNESCOlisted Ayutthaya. Here, we’ll delve into the trading heritage of a mighty city that was all but raised to the ground by an 18th century Burmese invasion. We’ll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, then return to Bangkok for our flight to Sukhothai, Thailand’s first capital.
Hotel: Sriwilai Sukhothai Resort and Spa or similar for 2 nights
Start the day with a visit to the UNESCO-listed Sukhothai Historical Park which reveals thousands of years of history and a 15-metre seated Buddha secreted within its walls. This afternoon, visit the home of a local family and learn how to make amulets which are thought to protect the owner from harm.
Our day begins with a visit to the village of Natonchan. We’ll interact with the locals and meet one of the villagers to learn about ‘gymnastic doll’ making and the villagers’ traditional cotton clothes which are soaked in mud to protect them from fading. We continue north, enjoying lunch en route and make a brief visit to the ‘Friends of the Asian Elephant’ Hospital, a foundation that cares for wounded elephants. Arriving in Chiang Mai, we enjoy an evening walk and visit the colourful Sunday market.
Hotel: Dusit D2 Hotel Chiang Mai for 3 nights
Admire the delicate hand-painted fans and colourful paper umbrellas that are famously crafted in Chiang Mai’s Sankamphaeng district and meet the children and teachers at a local school. We continue to a small village nearby and enjoy a local lunch. Next is a visit to Wat Suan Dok where we’ll meet a local monk and learn about Buddhism, against the backdrop of the temple’s magnificent golden chedi.
Head to the north of Chiang Mai to visit Baan Tong Luang Village, an ecological Paduang village situated in a beautiful valley and home to Long Neck Karen hill tribe from Myanmar. Other hill tribes such as Lahu, Hmong and White Karen can also be seen in the village in their traditional costumes. Later, we visit Wat Doi Suthep, one of Thailand’s most sacred temples. As the sun sets over this mystical temple, listen quietly to the tranquil sounds of the monks chanting. This evening, enjoy dinner at a traditional Thai restaurant located next to the river.
Despite its small size, Chiang Rai is rich in historical and spiritual offerings, whilst its relaxed atmosphere and eclectic foodie scene both ensure this little city is a big crowd pleaser. Your city tour later today will tick off the headliners including Wat Phra Kaew temple, the original home of the famous Emerald Buddha now residing in Bangkok’s Royal Palace, plus the golden and glistening clock tower, an icon of Chiang Rai that was designed by a local Thai artist and unveiled in 2008 to honour
his Majesty the King. Dinner tonight will offer a chance to sample Chiang Rai’s culinary delights at a local restaurant.
Hotel: Laluna Resort or similar for 2 nights
Venturing into the heart of the Golden Triangle this morning, your first stop will be the fascinating and self-proclaimed ‘edutainment’ Hall of Opium. Spanning an astounding 5000 years of history, the museum boasts state of the art exhibitions, harrowing stories and even a tiny opium plantation that paints a vivid picture of the conflicts, rituals and abuse that have all stemmed from opium, a trade that has been prevalent in the Golden Triangle for the past century. Stopping for lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll then hop on board a boat that will take you down the mighty Mekong River to the exact spot where the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos collide. Stepping onto dry land in Laos you’ll have time to peruse the handicrafts on offer at the Don Sao Island Markets, the only part of Laos that can be visited without a visa, before heading back to your hotel in Chiang Rai. Enjoy some time at leisure before we enjoy our farewell dinner together.
Our exhilarating encounter with old Siam and new Thailand is at its end. Today will be at leisure where we have included late checkout. Early evening transfer to Chiang Rai Airport for our flight home to Perth. On arrival into Perth your driver will be waiting to take you home.