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Bangkok Beach & Beyond (13 Days)
Day 1: Bangkok (Dinner)
Welcome to Bangkok, the ever-alluring capital of Thailand. Arrival transfer to our hotel where our Welcome Meeting takes place later in the evening. Then we take a short walk through the bustling streets of Bangkok to the famous ‘Cabbages and Condoms’ restaurant where we will sample some tasty Thai cuisine.
Overnight in Bangkok.
Day 2: Bangkok City Tour
This morning we set off to explore this sprawling metropolis. The first stop is at the 24 hour flower market where you get to view stunning orchids and roses on sale to the local restaurants and florists. Then we visit the spiritual and religious heart of the city – the striking Grand Palace. Topped by golden stupas, the complex has been the site of royal coronations and is home to the legendary Emerald Buddha. From the Grand Palace we take an exhilarating ride on a tuk tuk to Wat Pho, home of the reclining Buddha.
After a break for lunch we board a longtail boat and set off on an exploration of the labrynth of klongs (canals) that criss cross the city. On our journey we’ll glide by stilted houses and gleaming temples whilst old men fish and children play about on the waters edge. Our boat drops us off within walking distance of Khao San Road, popular with backpackers and hippies. The evening is free for you to explore the many bars, restaurants, market stalls and tailors that line this vibrant road.
Overnight in Bangkok.
Day 3: Bangkok –Kanchanaburi
This morning we drive to the quiet provincial town of Kanchanaburi where Japanese infamously used Allied POWs to build a rail route to Burma in WWII, known as the Death Railway. We visit the Allied War Cemetery and cross the famous bridge on the River Kwai by train before travelling on to ‘Hellfire Pass’. Our home for the night is a wonderful floating jungle raft hotel, nestled within lush, tropical forest.
Overnight in Kanchanaburi.
Day 4: Kanchanaburi –Erawan –Ayuthaya – Chaing Mai
This morning we take longtail boats back to our waiting vehicles and travel to beautiful Erawan National Park, to explore the rivers, waterfalls and trails on foot. The park boasts a stunning tiered waterfall and there’s time to take a quick dip in the crystalline waters before driving on to Ayuthaya – the former capital of Thailand.
Ayuthaya was sacked by the Burmese, leading them to abandon the site and relocate the capital to Bangkok. All that remains are the stone and brick temples from the era. We explore Ayuthaya’s famous ruins, visiting the magnificent stupas at Wat Phri Sanphet, the giant Bronze Statue of Buddha and iconic Wat Mahatat where the head of a damaged Buddha statue has slowly been embraced and lifted by a nearby tree. This is one of Thailand’s most religiously significant places. We drive to a local hotel to freshen up and have dinner before heading to the station this evening to board our sleeper train to Chiang Mai.
Overnight in Sleeper Train.
Day 5: Chaing Mai –Mae Rim
Early this morning our train arrives into Chiang Mai, nestled in the foothills of northern Thailand. First up we visit the imposing Doi Suthep Temple that stands like a sentinel over the city. We take time to relax and enjoy the view before driving into the countryside to the Hmong hill tribe lodge where we will stay this evening. Here, you can take numerous walks into the surrounding countryside to visit the some of the nearby hill tribe villages and gain a wonderful insight into the lives of some of the smaller minority groups in the Kingdom. In the evening we enjoy a sumptuous BBQ before being entertained by dancers from the local community.
Overnight in Mae Rim.
Day 6: Mae Rim – Chaing Rai – Vhiang Mai
Following an early breakfast we bid farewell to our hosts at Hmong Lodge and set off north towards Chiang Rai, travelling through stunning karst and jungle scenery. We take a break to stretch our legs and explore a local market before continuing to a local village where we board our longtail boats for a scenic hour long ride on the Kok River to Chiang Rai.
Following a break for lunch we visit the Golden Triangle and learn of the Opium Trade that made this region so wealthy. We then visit a hill tribe community site where you have the chance to learn more about how five of the most prominent tribes in the area live, including their traditional costumes and homes. Our last stop of the day is the famous White Temple of Wat Rong Khun which depicts scenes from movies including the Matrix, Star Wars and Superman! After exploring the temple we return to Chiang Mai arriving late in the evening.
Overnight in Chaing Mai.
Day 7: Chiang Mai
This morning you can join your tour guide in giving out Alms to the local monks before returning to your hotel for breakfast. We then take a traditional trishaw for a ride around the old city of Chiang Mai, visiting some of the key temples within the city walls. Then we head to a local cooking school to try our hand at preparing tasty local cuisine in a traditional Thai setting. This informative cooking class teaches us how to prepare three of Thailand’s most popular dishes that we’ll later get to enjoy for lunch.
The rest of the day is free for you to relax and explore at leisure. In the evening we explore the Chiang Mai night market, a haven of souvenirs and works by local artisans.
Overnight in Chiang Mai.
Day 8: Chiang Mai –Bangkok
Today is free for you to enjoy some of the many optional activities in the city, from zip lining through the jungle canopy to riding a bike through the countryside. There is a street of cottage industries which is great to pick up those last minute silk, silver or jewellery souvenirs. In the late afternoon we transfer to the airport in time to catch our flight to Bangkok. After checking into our hotel the rest of the night is free for you to enjoy this bustling city.
Overnight in Bangkok.
Days 9-11: Bangkok – Hua Hin
On the morning of day 9 we’ll head south in search of tropical waters and golden sands. Passing small towns and karsts on our way we arrive at the royal resort town of Hua Hin, located on the Gulf of Thailand. Spend the next two days at leisure, soaking up the sun on beautiful wide sandy beach or relaxing by the pool. For those who prefer to stay active, there are plenty of leisure options in the area including elephant rides, sea kayaking and walking in the beautiful Khao Sam Roi Yort National Park or a leisurely round of golf at one of the nearby courses. In the evening why not explore Hua Hin’s lively night market?
Overnight in Hua Hin.
Days 12-13: Hua Hin –Bangkok
At around midday on day 12, we drive back to the capital for our final night where there’s the opportunity to stock up on last minute souvenirs and enjoy this vibrant city one last time. Thursday marks the end of your holiday. After breakfast and hotel check out we will transfer you to the airport in time for your onward departure flight, though you may consider extending your stay!
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- Hua Hin - Lazy days by the beach overlooking the Gulf of Thailand
- Kanchanaburi - Allied War Cemetary, Bridge on the River Kwai and ‘Hellfire Pass’
- Ayuthaya - Former capital of Thailand, ancient ruins including iconic Wat Mahatat
- Cruising on the Kok River in a longtail boat
- Chiang Rai - Day trip to visit Hilltribe Community site and the Golden Triangle
- Bangkok - Grand Palace, tuk tuk ride to Wat Pho, Flower Market, long tail boat ride along the klongs and Khao San Road
- Erawan National Park - wildlife, evergreen forests, beautiful waterfalls & swimming
- Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep temple, trishaw ride around the old city, night market and cooking class. Plus free time for optional activities from spa treatments to canopy ziplines.
- Wat Rhon Khung - the unique ‘White Temple’
- Hmong Hill Tribe - Overnight stay in their community
- 11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners
- Economy class flight Chiang Mai - Bangkok
- Escorted by an English-speaking Thai tour guide (days 1 - 10)
- Free time by the beach in Hua Hin
- Chiang Mai trishaw ride and cooking class
- All relevant transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles
- 10 nights 3 - 4 star & Special Class hotels, 1 night floating hotel in the jungle, 1 night overnight sleeper train from Ayuthaya to Chiang Mai
- Airport arrival transfer day 1 & departure transfer day 14
- Guided sightseeing - Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Erawan National Park, Ayuthaya, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai
- Train ride over the River Kwai and visit to Hellfire Pass
- Longtail boat cruise on the canals of Bangkok and on the Kok River
- International flights and visa