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

Take an insightful journey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai through Thailand’s mainland. You’ll be able to trace dramatic changes in landscape, food and culture as you travel via famous landmarks and meet locals. Touch on Thai history in resplendent former capitals and at the poignant Death Railway museum, then make merit with monks and visit a care home for elephants.

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

11nights 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 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.Continue by road to your hotel on the River Kwai and spend the rest of the day 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

Bangkok (pre-tour) 2 nights from £369 per person
Spend more time in the famously hectic capital before your tour with this two-night itinerary. You’ll see the city’s major sights accompanied by a guide. Take a tuk-tuk to Khao San Road and visit some of the most important Buddhist statues in Thailand – the Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho and the Emerald Buddha at the Grand Palace. On the third day, you’ll go a hidden food trail where your guide will show you where all the locals go for delicious bites. Learn about the diversity of Bangkok’s food scene and get a taste of it yourself with some roast duck, chive dumplings, Thai coffee and coconut milk ice cream.

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 leaving for your Apsara dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River. Have a delicious Thai dinner on an elegant rice barge as you pass Bangkok’s landmarks which are lit up at night. Finish the night back at your hotel. Stay: The Landmark Bangkok (or similar). D.

Day 3: 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, watch as vendors sell their goods on the train tracks, swiftly pulling back their tables and awnings to let trains squeeze past, 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. Continue by road to your hotel on the River Kwai and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Approx. journey time: 5 hours. Stay: Home Phutoey River Kwai Resort (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 4: 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 a railway path out of 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. Approx. journey time: 3 hours. Stay: Sala Ayutthaya (or similar). B, L.

Day 5: Ayutthaya to Sukhothai Today you’ll have a full day to 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 which is usually less busy in the afternoon. Check in to your hotel in Sukhothai for dinner. Approx. journey time: 5 hours. Stay: Sriwilai Sukhothai (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 6: Sukhothai Visit Ban Na Ton Chan in the morning, a village where locals welcome visitors to show them their way of softening printed textiles using mud. Artisans make and sell baskets, furniture, dolls, chopsticks and woven cloth here – it’s a great place to find an authentic souvenir that directly supports the community. Watch a noodle-making demonstration and taste some before spending the late afternoon at Sukhothai Historical Park. See the weathered chedis and Buddha statues of what was once the 13th-Century capital of Thailand, then enjoy your free time this evening to spend however you like. Stay: Sriwilai Sukhothai (or similar). B, L.

Day 7: Sukhothai to Chiang Rai Start your day in the most peaceful way as you rise early to make merit with local monks. After breakfast, set off for Chiang Rai, stopping at a pineapple plantation in Lampang and Phayao Lake on the way. Approx. journey time: 6¼ hours. Stay: The Legend Chiang Rai Boutique River Resort & Spa (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 8: Chiang Rai Head to the Golden Triangle View Point, the point where Thailand, Burma (Myanmar) and Laos meet. Learn about the history of the Golden Triangle’s opium trade at the Hall of Opium, then stop by Chiang Rai’s famous Wat Rong Khun on the way back. This is one of the more unusual temples you’ll find in Thailand; it’s also known as White Temple for its elaborate all-white meringue-esque design. Return to your hotel for some free time. Stay: The Legend Chiang Rai Boutique River Resort & Spa (or similar). B, L.

Day 9: Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai Take a songthaew (a two-row seated truck) this morning to visit two Northern hill tribe 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 in Chiang Mai and see the Tapae Gate, Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phan Tao. Tonight’s dinner will be served Khantoke style, a traditional northern Thai style with ancient dance performances and hill tribe songs. Approx. journey time: 5½ hours. 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 lovely mountaintop temple and one of Chiang Mai’s 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 with local Thai herbs before following the elephants down a nature trail to a river for bath time. 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 Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK or extend your stay. B.


Stay longer

Bangkok (pre-tour) 2 nights from £369 per person
Spend more time in the famously hectic capital before your tour with this two-night itinerary. You’ll see the city’s major sights accompanied by a guide. Take a tuk-tuk to Khao San Road and visit some of the most important Buddhist statues in Thailand – the Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho and the Emerald Buddha at the Grand Palace. On the third day, you’ll go a hidden food trail where your guide will show you where all the locals go for delicious bites. Learn about the diversity of Bangkok’s food scene and get a taste of it yourself with some roast duck, chive dumplings, Thai coffee and coconut milk ice cream.

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

• 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.

Is this for you?

You’ll discover Thailand’s history, spend time with monks and hill stribes, cook with a local family and meet Asian elephants.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey, where the minimum age is 10)
• Average group size of 10 guests
• A maximum of 16 guests
• Journey times do not take into account stops or traffic conditions
• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag.

What to expect

• A pair of comfortable walking shoes is recommended

• A considerable amount of travelling (especially on Days 5 & 7) with some early starts

• Visits to rural villages, temples and cultural sites

• Busy days with lots of walking and exploring on foot

• Knees and shoulders need to be covered during temple visits

• Some experiences are seasonal and may be subject to change

• Some long journeys and early starts
• The duration of this tour will be 10 nights for guests returning to the UK on a day flight.

Accommodation on tour

In Bangkok, you’ll stay close to the main sights at The Landmark Bangkok, just off Sukhumvit Road. We’ve picked traditional Thai accommodation for many of your destinations to give you a real 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

Sole-use room from £2761

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2019 Sep 28; Oct 26; Nov 30

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.

Tour dates

2020 Jan 25; Feb 08, 22; Mar 14; Apr 18; May 09; Oct 10; Nov 21
2021
Jan 23; Feb 06, 20; Mar 13; Apr 17; May 08; Oct 09; Nov 20.

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
• 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 £3372 per person.

Special offer
From
£2285
 
FREE ONE WAY FLIGHT UPGRADE
Price per person for 11 nights
ESCORTED SMALL GROUP TOUR
GUARANTEED DEPARTURE
Departs 09 May 2020
 
Fly with British Airways from London Heathrow

Kuoni highlights

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.

Kuoni highlights

We’ve chosen experiences to give you a real insight into Thailand’s diverse local life. On this comprehensive tour you’ll see a market on an active railway track, meet local hillstribe people in the cultural north and spend time with elderly Asian elephants at an elephant care centre. Your last night in Thailand is a special one too; you’ll cook with a local family and share dinner at sunset.