CHIANG MAI – BANGKOK
BANGKOK – DEPARTURE
BANGKOK – SUKHOTHAI
SUKHOTHAI – CHIANG RAI
CHIANG RAI – CHIANG MAI
WELCOME TO BANGKOK
SUKHOTHAI HISTORICAL PARK
WHITE TEMPLE AND VISIT TO ART GALLERY
TEMPLES, AND VILLAGE EXPERIENCES
WALKING TOUR TO LOCAL MARKETS
ELEPHANT CAMP AND RIVER RAFTING
ENJOY INSIGHTFUL TOURS OF CHIANG MAI AND BANGKOK
The ‘Land of Smiles’ is essentially so – being South East Asia’s primary holiday destination. Thailand, despite the huge number of visitors throughout the year, continues to awe people with its unique cultural heritage that never goes out of character. Bordered by Myanmar to the north-west, Laos to the north-east, Cambodia to the south-east, and Malaysia to the south, Thailand is truly at the heart of South East Asia and offers something for everyone, be it exploring ancient temples, shopping at gleaming modern malls, lounging on tropical island beaches, or trekking the rugged mountains of the northern provinces.
ITINERARY IN DETAIL
Day 1 Arrival - Bangkok
Upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi Bangkok International Airport, you will be met and greeted by our representative.
Well known as the City of Angels, Krungthepmahanakorn (Bangkok) is the present capital city and the focal point for Thailand. It was made the capital of Thailand in 1782, by the first monarch of the present Chakri Dynasty. It is a vibrant city, a national treasure house and Thailand’s spiritual, cultural, political, commercial, educational and diplomatic enter with endless choice of sightseeing and entertainment opportunities. In addition to the many temples and historic buildings, such as The Grand Palace and Wat Arun, the list of interesting places to visit is endless. There are numerous canal (klong) networks, the Chaophraya River, giving it the name of “Venice of the East”.
After check-in at hotel, the balance of the day is yours.
Day 2 Bangkok
After breakfast, start it off to explore The Bangkok Highlights.
Your first stop will be at Wat Po. Wat Po, the most extensive temple in Bangkok, is also the oldest, which houses the 3rd biggest colossal reclining Buddha in Thailand. The gigantic gold plated reclining Buddha with inlaid mother-of-pearl soles of 108 good lucks is highly revered among Buddhists. Also regarded as the first centre of public education, sometimes also called "Thailand's first university", the temple houses hundreds of chedis, the most important among all being the Chedis of the Kings, mural paintings, inscriptions, and statues that educated people on varied subjects; for example, literature, warfare, archaeology, astronomy, geology, meditation, medicine, and the original of Thai traditional massage. Being there at the right time, you will have an opportunity to witness the solemn atmosphere of monks’ chanting in its marvellous main chapel which is not commonly seen by tourists.
Your visit to Bangkok will never be complete without paying a visit to the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha Temple.
The Temple of Emerald Buddha, commonly known as Wat Phra Kaew, is part of the Grand Palace. It was built according to traditional Thai belief from Sukhothai reign, the first capital of Thailand, in order to have a temple for royal ceremonies in the compound of the grand palace and house the most revered Buddha statue of each era. It’s where Phra Kaew or the Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image of Thai people, is housed. No monks thus reside in the temple. The temple comprises an architectural wonder of golden stupas, walls and pillars encrusted in shining and colourful mosaics, all gleaming under the tropical sun. You will have a chance to admire Phra Kaew or the Emerald Buddha statue, carved from a single piece of jade, the most revered and precious image of the Lord Buddha.
The magnificent buildings of the Grand Palace yield a feeling of the grandeur Thai architectural style. It was constructed some 220 years ago by the command of King Rama I, the founder of Bangkok capital. It was once the residence of the Royal Family before Chitralada Summer Palace was turned into the permanent home and the Grand Palace is used for ceremonial purposes and to accommodate royal visits.
Continue to Supatra River House Restaurant for your first authentic Thai dishes in Thailand. This gracious old Thai home on the banks of the Chao Phaya River, opposite the Grand Palace, was formerly the home of Khunying (Lady) Supatra Singholaga, who in addition to being a successful business lady, was a leading advocate of women’s rights in Thai society. The interior of the house is divided into several dining areas with a cozy bar, and seating outdoor on the terrace. The décor is traditional architecture, and the views of the river, Grand Palace and Wat Arun are spectacular.
Then it’s time to experience the hidden face of Bangkok. You will board a typical long-tailed boat that will take you through Bangkok’s waterway into complex network of Thonburi canals. You will enjoy picturesque sights and scenes of traditional Thai canal life with houses on stilts, hidden temples, floating groceries and water taxi. At a local community, dated back to some 240 years ago when Thonburi was still a capital of Siam, you can still experience untouched traditional way of living in a peaceful atmosphere with houses on stilts, beauty salons, herbal stores. If you like, try traditionally Thai-styled brewed coffee and tea with ice from a floating coffee shop and ice cream boats will pass by the village everyday for those who like cut ice-cream on a stick. A look of Bangkok that you may never think about!
Stop by at Royal Barge National Museum to discover eight of the country’s most unique and stunning – the Royal Barges reserved for auspicious ceremonies and state occasions like the very rare Royal Barge Procession.
On the return journey, you can admire and photograph the imposing sight of the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), whose 259 feet spire with magnificent multicolored porcelain-studded towers has become the most remarkable visual identity of Bangkok, with the Chao Praya River in the foreground. Take this chance to have a close look at 2 figures that are the models of the demon figures at Wat Phra Kaew in the Grand Palace.
Day 3 Bangkok – Sukhothai
Breakfast at hotel. After that morning free at leisure and checked out from the hotel, you will be transferred to Bangkok Airport for flight to Sukhothai.
Upon arrival at Sukhothai Airport, you will be continued the trip to an interesting ecofarm “The Organic Agriculture Project”, you have opportunity to experience yourself such as the method of rice planting and other agricultural before having a delicious organic lunch.
After lunch, drive a short to visit Sukhothai Historical Park, now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire beautiful standing Buddha statues as you explore the many ruined temples and monasteries. Transfer to your hotel for check in and dinner
Day 4 Sukhothai – Chiang Rai
Breakfast at hotel. Early departure to Chiang Rai (approx. 6 hours) with stop for lunch en route at a local restaurant.
Along the way, stop in Phayao, a small 11th-century town where you’ll enjoy refreshments beside a lake.
Arrive in Chiang Rai in late afternoon, visit to Wat Rong Kun - also known as the White Temple. Whereas most temples visited by tourists have a history going back many centuries, this magnificent place of worship was built only recently. It is the realization of a dream for Thailands noted artist, Mr Chalermchai Kositpipat, who designed and is supervising the construction of this beautiful white temple and its many statues of figures based on religious beliefs. In addition, there is a gallery nearby exhibiting his paintings.
Return to hotel for check in.
Day 5 Chiang Rai
Transfer from hotel to Mae Kham & Tham Pa Asha Thong temple is located on a very remote area up on the hill of Mae Chan District. Even local villagers do need ponies to travel and loading stuffs. The abbot, who once was a cavalier in the army, would like monks and novices to use ponies as their means of transportation and go begging for food and back in the morning in the Si-meun-rai village. The distance is about 5 kilometers down and up hill from the temple.
Continue to Thoed Thai & visit the former Khung Sa’s headquarter, the king of heroin. Onward to Doi Mae Salong is the site of Santi Khiri village, a community settled by the former Chinese 93rd Division who moved from Myanmar to reside on Thai territory in 1961. The village became well known for its enchanting scenery and tranquil atmosphere. Today it is a major tourist attraction with its small-town ambience, delicious native Chinese dishes, small hotels and guesthouses catering to visitors and tea, coffee and fruit tree plantations. The scenery is especially picturesque in December and January when sakuras are in full bloom. Scattered with many hill tribe villagesh such as Yao and Akha. Then back to the hotel.
Day 6 Chiang Rai – Chiang Mai
Breakfast at hotel. After breakfast, we drive to Mae Sai, Thailand’s northernmost town on the Myanmar border. Walk around the bustling market where there are many handicrafts from Burma and imported goods from China. From Mae Sai, we drive to the renowned Golden Triangle where the Ruak and Mekong Rivers meet. Enjoy views over Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and the mighty Mekong River. optional: boat trip will be available.
After lunch at local restaurant, proceed to Chiang Mai (approx. 3 hours)
Day 7 Chiang Mai
Breakfast at hotel
Set in a beautiful jungle setting, approximately 60-km north of Chiang Mai on the banks of the Ping River, lies the Chiang Dao Elephant Camp. We will witness an enthralling display of elephant training and tricks as the trainers (mahouts) command their respective elephants to display the skills they once used in the logging industry. As the elephants no longer work in the forestry industry, this camp gives the jumbos a better way of life. After a short elephant ride, we take to the river on bamboo rafts. To glide effortlessly and silently along the river on a bamboo raft is a wonderful experience and a great way to relax after the exhilaration of elephant riding. Lunch is served at a local restaurant. On the return to Chang Mai, we stop off to visit an orchid farm to view a variety of some of Thailand’s most exquisite blooms.
Note: River rafting is only conducted when weather and river conditions permit
Return to hotel for dinner.
Day 8 Chiang Mai – Bangkok
Breakfast at hotel.After breakfast, you will be checked out from hotel and transferred to Chiang Mai Airport for flight to Bangkok.
Upon arrival in Bangkok, you will be transferred to hotel for check in. Lunch will be served at hotel.
After lunch, you will have a wonderful opportunity to visit the Thai home of Jim Thompson, known as the “father” to the home spun Thai silk industry. This stunning house now serves as a museum to Jim Thompson and to his legacy with the Thai Silk industry which he helped to bring to the world. During your visit to the house you will see on display his splendid Asian art collection which is second to none as well as many of his personal belongings. From Jim Thompson’s House, we take a walk into the narrow alley ways to Ban Krua, a Muslim community which is one of Bangkok’s oldest communities which supplied silk to Jim Thompson when he started his Thai silk company in 1948. We will have chance to visit one of houses which is today still a home spun silk cottage industry. Here staff will give information and a small demonstration how to produce silk in the traditional style as produced by local people in times gone by.
Day 9 Bangkok – Departure
Breakfast at hotel. After breakfast, you will check out from hotel and transfer to Bangkok Airport to board your flight home.