Truly experience Thailand on this comprehensive tour through its exotic heartland. Witness the dramatic changes in landscape, cuisine and culture as you travel south to north, meeting local people and discovering renowned landmarks. To enhance your time in this enchanting country, memorable experiences include a Thai cooking class and a visit to the responsible Elephant Nature Park.

• Bangkok: 2 nights

• Ayutthaya: 1 night
• Sukhothai: 2 nights
• Chiang Rai: 1 night
• Chiang Mai: 3 nights

11nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE

Truly experience Thailand on this comprehensive tour through its mainland. Witness the dramatic changes in landscape, cuisine and culture as you travel south to north, meeting local people and discovering renowned landmarks. To enhance your time in this enchanting country, memorable experiences include a Thai cooking class and a visit to an elephant sanctuary.

• Bangkok: 2 nights

• Kanchanaburi: 1 night
• Ayutthaya: 1 night
• Sukhothai: 2 nights
• Chiang Rai: 1 night
• Chiang Mai: 2 nights

10nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE
 
 
ITINERARY

Day 1: UK to Bangkok Depart the UK on your overnight flight to Bangkok.

Day 2: Bangkok On arrival, transfer to your hotel and enjoy some time at leisure ahead of an exciting first evening in Chinatown. Rich in tradition, history and aromas, you'll wander past shops and bazaars, sample the street food and visit religious and cultural landmarks. You'll then head to a Chinese restaurant for a dim sum dinner. Stay: The Landmark Bangkok (or similar). D.

Day 3: Bangkok A morning visit to the Samyan Market will introduce you to the ingredients used in Thai cooking and some of the most popular tropical fruits. Then step back in time at the century-old Nang Loeng Food Market before having lunch at a small but well-known local restaurant near Bangkok City Hall and continuing on to one of the city’s most famous sights – the Grand Palace. Here you will see the famed Emerald Buddha – one of the most revered images of Buddha in the whole of Thailand. You’ll also see the temple of Wat Po, the largest temple complex in Bangkok and home to the Reclining Buddha. This evening, you’ll be picked up to enjoy a cocktail at Banyan Tree Bangkok before heading to River City Pier 2 for a beautiful riverboat dinner cruise down the Chao Phraya River. Provided by Banyan Tree, the Apsara Cruise will give you the chance to see Bangkok’s famous sights from the water while indulging in authentic Thai cuisine.Stay: The Landmark Bangkok (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 4: Bangkok to Ayutthaya Begin your journey north to the city of Ayutthaya, the capital of Thailand from the 14th to the 18th Century. On arrival you’ll head straight to the Ayutthaya Historical Park to see the UNESCO-listed temples and ruins of the old city. Governed by 35 kings of Siam, the city was destroyed by the Burmese army in 1767 but today is still an impressive sight to behold. After lunch at a local restaurant – complete with the popular Thai cotton candy for dessert – head south to the 17th-Century Bang Pa-In Summer Palace. Approx. journey time: 3 hours, 85 miles. Stay: Sala Ayutthaya (or similar). B, L.

Day 5: Ayutthaya to Sukhothai The journey north continues to the city of Uthai Thani where you will visit Wat Sangkat Rattana Khiri and the striking temple of Wat Tha Sung. Later you will take a trip along the Sakae Krang River on a traditional rice barge, witnessing life on the water that has hardly changed throughout the centuries. Have lunch as you make your way along the river, observing the houses built on bamboo rafts with their floating gardens and fish farms. Your next stop is Phitsanulok to visit the riverside temple of Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, home to one of Thailand’s most sacred images of Buddha, and the Cha Tawee folk museum (closed on Monday), before continuing on to Sukhothai. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 250 miles. Stay: Sukhothai Heritage Resort (or similar). B, L.

Day 6: Sukhothai Today’s visit to the Sukhothai Historical Park is one of the tour’s highlights. Explore the ruins of the first capital of the Kingdom of Siam. Built in the 13th Century, the beautiful buildings here – which include stupas, temples, a monastery and the royal palace – marked the beginning of the Thai style of architecture that you will have witnessed throughout the country. This afternoon, enjoy lunch overlooking the rice fields and don the distinctive dress worn by Thai farmers and get to grips with the traditional farming methods in a rice planting workshop. There’s even the opportunity to plough the paddies with water buffalo. Stay: Sukhothai Heritage Resort (or similar). B, L.

Day 7: Sukhothai to Chiang Rai Rise early this morning to ‘make merit’ with the Buddhist monks by making offerings of food before returning to the hotel for breakfast. Much of the day will be spent on the journey north to the city of Chiang Rai, located just 37 miles south of the border with Burma. En route, stop at a pineapple plantation near Lampang before passing through Phayao. On arrival in Chiang Rai visit the Golden Triangle – the point on the Mekong River where Thailand, Burma and Laos meet. While here, visit the Hall of Opium and learn about the region’s poppy cultivation. Approx. journey time: 7 hours, 300 miles. Stay: The Legend Chiang Rai Boutique River Resort & Spa (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 8: Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai A cultural morning begins with a visit to the two hill tribe villages of Akha and Yao where a Songthaew (two-row seated local truck) journey will take you to Mae Chan to meet some of the tribespeople of northern Thailand. Continue on to Chiang Mai and head to the San Kamphaeng district to visit a handicraft centre and watch the spinning and weaving of Thai silk. After lunch at a local restaurant, walk around Chiang Mai’s Old City. Begin at the reconstructed Tapae Gate and see Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phan Tao with its peacock-adorned doorway. This evening, experience a Khantoke dinner – an authentic Thai affair with traditional dances and songs of ancient Thai hill tribes. Approx. journey time: 5 hours, 180 miles. Stay: RatiLanna Riverside Spa Resort, Chiang Mai (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 9: Chiang Mai Today is an early start to beat the crowds at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a beautiful temple sat on a mountain and one of Chiang Mai’s most important landmarks. Next, spend half a day at the heartwarming Elephant Care Centre, where elephants are cared for in later life. After a brief introduction and training, you’ll change into mahout clothes and make elephant medicine balls using local Thai herbs before accompanying the elephants down a nature trail to a river where they can bathe. You’ll have time to clean up and have lunch before returning to your hotel for free time. Stay: RatiLanna Riverside Spa Resort, Chiang Mai (or similar). B, L.


Day 10: Chiang Mai
Spend this morning at an insightful – and delicious – cooking class. Your first stop will be the Nong Hoi market to purchase fresh ingredients. The class takes place in an open Lanna-style kitchen where you’ll learn how to make four authentic dishes including a Thai curry – which you’ll get to eat for lunch. You can also wander around the herb and vegetable gardens. After all of the morning’s cooking and tasting, return to the hotel and spend the afternoon at leisure. Stay: RatiLanna Riverside Spa Resort, Chiang Mai (or similar). B, L.

Day 11: Chiang Mai Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK, arriving the following day. B.


Stay longer

Beaches of Thailand – Hua Hin 3 nights
Extend your comprehensive tour with a beach stay at the summer residence of Thailand’s Royal Family.

Burma Encounter 10 nights
Discover this enigmatic country filled with beautiful temples, mystical pagodas and a wonderful culture waiting to be explored.

Cambodia & Laos Explorer 9 nights
Learn about the culture and history of two of these two neighbouring countries with visits to Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and a cruise down along the Mekong River.

Day 1: UK to Bangkok Depart the UK on your overnight flight to Bangkok.

Day 2: Bangkok On arrival, transfer to your hotel for some time to relax before your first evening out in Bangkok. Experience the buzz of Chinatown on a street food tour this evening, where you'll get to taste a variety of street food and meet vendors before enjoying a traditional dim sum dinner in a Chinese restaurant. Stay: The Landmark Bangkok (or similar). D.

Day 3: Bangkok Today is all about the must-see sights of Bangkok as you take a public boat ride to Wat Po, the home to the 160-foot golden Reclining Buddha and walk the short distance to the Grand Palace, home to the beautiful Emerald Buddha. Experience a classic Bangkok tuk-tuk ride to the backpacking mecca of Khao San Road and stop for lunch in a local restaurant. You’ll also visit Jim Thompson House, former home of the American who helped revitalise the Thai silk industry in the 1940s. This evening, you'll get to unwind with a wonderful dinner cruise, beginning with a pre-dinner cocktail at the iconic Banyan Tree Bangkok. On the 60th floor, the Vertigo Too bar has stunning views of the city below. Then depart for your Apsara dinner cruise on an elegant rice barge, where delicious Thai food is served to the views of Bangkok’s landmarks on the Chao Phraya River. Stay: The Landmark Hotel (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 4: Bangkok to Kanchanaburi It’s an early start as you begin your journey to Kanchanaburi, with stops at two incredible markets. At Maeklong Railway Market, it’s an amazing experience as you watch vendors selling their goods on the train tracks, swiftly pulling back their tables and awnings to let trains squeeze past with just inches to spare, before resuming back to business again. At Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, you’ll get to see the famous tangle of waterways where vendors sell everything from trinkets to made-to-order pad thai from boats and stilted shops. On arrival in Kanchanaburi, learn about the humbling history of the Death Railway at the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre and visit the Allied War Cemetery, built for the prisoners of war. Take a long-tail boat from the resort pier to your hotel on the River Kwai. The rest of your day is at leisure. Stay: Home Phutoey River Kwai Resort (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 5: Kanchanaburi to Ayutthaya After breakfast, see the Hellfire Pass Memorial. It’s a moving experience as you visit the place where hundreds of prisoners of war were put to work chiselling out a railway path through a mountain in cruel conditions. After lunch, you’ll ride the Death Railway Train which passes over a wooden viaduct built by prisoners of war, ending at the River Kwai Bridge. Continue to your hotel in Ayutthaya and have the rest of the day at leisure. Stay: Sala Ayutthaya (or similar). B, L.

Day 6: Ayutthaya to Sukhothai Today explore the former capital of the Kingdom of Siam, Ayutthaya, and learn about this spiritual country’s religious and royal history as you visit temples and monasteries. At lunch, you’ll get to taste roti sai mai, the famous Thai candy floss, before visiting the Bang Pa In Summer Palace. Dinner will be at your hotel accompanied by a show. Stay: Legendha Sukhothai (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 7: Sukhothai This morning, find out about local industry and agriculture as you visit a seasonal orchid greenhouse and watch ceramic making and textile weaving. Then it’s your turn to get your hands dirty as you help out on an organic rice farm. Donning the traditional indigo of Thai farmers (which you can purchase and take home), you can try your hand at transplanting rice seedlings, harvesting or milling rice – and perhaps even plough the paddies with water buffalo. Enjoy an organic lunch before heading to view the ruins of 13th-Century capital, Sukhothai. Stay: Legendha Sukhothai (or similar). B, L.

Day 8: Sukhothai to Chiang Rai Start your day in the most peaceful way as you rise early to make merit with local monks outside your hotel. After breakfast, set off for Chiang Rai, stopping at a pineapple plantation in Lampang and the lake of Kwan Phayao en route. After lunch, drive up to the Golden Triangle, the point where Thailand, Burma and Laos meet. A visit to the Hall of Opium offers a look into the history of the trade with antique relics. Stay: The Legend Chiang Rai Boutique River Resort & Spa (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 9: Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai Take a songthaew (a two-row seated truck) this morning to visit two Northern hilltribe villages of the Akha and Yao tribes. Continue to the handicraft village of Sankampaeng to watch traditional Thai lacquerware and Thai silk being made. After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll go on an afternoon walking tour of Chiang Mai. Tonight’s dinner will be served Khantoke style, a traditional northern Thai style featuring ancient dance performances and hilltribe songs. Stay: Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa Chiang Mai (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 10: Chiang Mai Today is an early start to beat the crowds at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a beautiful temple sat on a mountain and one of Chiang Mai’s most important landmarks. Next, spend half a day at the heartwarming Elephant Care Centre, where elephants are cared for in later life. After a brief introduction and training, you’ll change into mahout clothes and make elephant medicine balls using local Thai herbs before accompanying the elephants down a nature trail to a river where they can bathe. You’ll have time to clean up and have lunch before returning to your hotel for free time. Tonight, there’s a special farewell dinner at a Lanna house with a local host family. You’ll have the chance to cook your own homemade Thai dish with ingredients from the family garden in a wonderfully, intimate way to end your tour. Enjoy your home-cooked meal after watching the sun set over the Lanna village. Stay: Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa Chiang Mai (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 11: Chiang Mai to UK Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK or extend your stay. B.


Stay longer

Beaches of Thailand – Hua Hin 3 nights
Extend your comprehensive tour with a beach stay at the summer residence of Thailand’s Royal Family.

Burma Encounter 10 nights
Discover this enigmatic country filled with beautiful temples, mystical pagodas and a wonderful culture waiting to be explored.

Cambodia & Laos Explorer 9 nights
Learn about the culture and history of two of these two neighbouring countries with visits to Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and a cruise down along the Mekong River.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

On this tour we’ll show you famous landmarks and offer you a rounded cultural experience as you meet monks, traders and tribespeople and get your hands dirty on a farm.

Good to know

• All departures are guaranteed
• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)
• Average group size of 10 guests
• A maximum of 16 guests.

What to expect

• Air-conditioned transport
• Full days of sightseeing and cultural experiences as well as some long journeys
• Visits to rural villages, temples and cultural sites
• Encounters with monks, villagers and tribespeople.

Accommodation on tour

The Sala Ayutthaya is one of Ayutthaya’s newest hotels. A boutique oasis with just 26 individually-designed rooms and an on-site art gallery featuring the works of local artists, it’s a chic base in the heart of this historic region. In Chiang Mai, the RatiLanna Riverside Spa Resort is a luxurious retreat with traditional Thai teak wood, private balconies and a swim-up bar.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £488.

Is this for you?

On this tour we’ll show you famous landmarks and offer you a rounded cultural experience as you meet monks, traders and tribespeople and get your hands dirty on a farm.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)
• Average group size of 10 guests
• A maximum of 16 guests.

What to expect

• Air-conditioned transport

• Full days of sightseeing and cultural experiences

• Some long journeys and early starts

• Visits to rural villages, temples and cultural sites

• Encounters with monks, villagers and tribespeople.

Accommodation on tour

In Bangkok, you’ll stay close to the main sights at The Landmark Bangkok, located just off Sukhumvit Road. We’ve picked traditional Thai accommodation for many of your destinations to give you a true flavour of this mesmerising country. There are limited options in Kanchanaburi, so we’ve chosen a good-value, basic hotel with an amazingly peaceful location on the River Kwai.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £349.

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

Jan 27; Feb 10; Apr 07; Nov 10

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups and a relaxed approach
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently
• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £774 per person, ref FE9063.

Tour dates

2019 Jan 26; Feb 23; Apr 06; Jul 27; Sep 28; Nov 09; Dec 07
2020 Jan 25; Feb 22; Apr 04; Jul 25; Sep 26; Nov 07; Dec 05

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups and a relaxed approach
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently
• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £975 per person.

Special offer
From
£2335
 
AUTUMN ADVENTURE
Price per person for 11 nights
Experience Thailand on this comprehensive tour
through its exotic heartland
Escorted small group tour departs 20 Oct 18
 
Fly with Thai Airways from London Heathrow

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Why Kuoni?

We’ve chosen some memorable hands-on experiences to give a real insight into Thailand, particularly its all-important cuisine. You’ll learn about the rural industry during an organic lunch and rice planting workshop, where there’s even the opportunity to plough the paddies with water buffalo. A Thai cooking class will take you through the steps from purchasing fresh market ingredients to creating flavoursome, fragrant dishes.

Why Kuoni?

We’ve chosen hands-on experiences to give you a real insight into the diverse local life of Thailand. On this thorough itinerary, you’ll sample delicious Thai food on a street food tour, meet local hillstribe people and see the remarkable railway market, where vendors sell fresh produce on working train tracks – only stopping to swiftly move their wares out of the way when a train comes through.