The Great Thailand Journey

  • Destination:
  • Duration: 12 days
  • Price: From USD 1,725

Join us in this magnificent journey through the Northern corners of Thailand! Here, we will discover the best of the Land of Smiles, bringing you to must-see places, starting with Bangkok—the city capital of Thailand—one of the most popular tourist destinations in South East Asia. Next, you will continue your journey to more famous landmarks, such as the River Kwai, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai where you will get to visit the Golden triangle.

This 12-day tour will prove to give you some of the most exhilarating Thailand experience of your life! Are you ready?

Tour Overview

Day 1: Arrival Bangkok

Day 2: Bangkok City Tour

Day 3: Floating Market - River Kwai - Kanchanaburi

Day 4: Erawan National Park - Hell Fire Pass

Day 5: Ayutthaya

Day 6: Sukhothai

Day 7: Sukhothai Historical Park

Day 8: Si Satchanalai Historical Park - Chiang Mai

Day 9: City Temples - Night Bazaar

Day 10: Elephant Nature Park

Day 11: Golden Triangle

Day 12: Departure Chiang Rai

General Inclusions

Transfers
English Speaking Guide
Tours and Entrances
Accommodations
Many Meals
Day 1

Arrival Bangkok

Upon your arrival, you will be met by our guide and transferred to your hotel for check in. The rest of the day will be free and easy at your own leisure. You can explore the city on your own or just relax at your hotel room before the excitement begins tomorrow!

Included

Private Airport Transfer • Accommodation Bangkok

Day 2

Bangkok City Tour

Rise and shine! Today, you will be visiting four of Bangkok’s finest temples and take a tour around the city’s fascinating canals.

You will start out at Wat Traimit – home to the world’s largest solid golden Buddha—before hopping across the old city streets to see an even larger Buddha statue at Wat Pho. While the Buddha statue here may not be solid gold, but it impresses even more, thanks to its sheer size and the fact that it is 'leaning' on its side—a reference to Buddha’s ’Lion Sleep’ position.

Your next stop, the magnificent Grand Palace, will be just across the road. The Grand Palace is another sprawling temple complex boasting some of the finest Thai-Buddhist architecture in the entire country. Explore the vast grounds and numerous magnificent buildings, including the highly revered Wat Phra Kaew—home to the prized Emerald Buddha statue that dates back to the 14th century.

After lunch, you will get to spend the better part of the afternoon on the water, meandering through the quaint canals and taking in the quieter side of life from the seat of a traditional 'long tail' boat. Of course, a tour of Bangkok’s Thonburi side will not be complete without the spectacular and iconic Wat Arun. Take the time to explore the iconic temple towering 79 meters over the Chao Phraya River.

Included

Accommodation Bangkok • English Speaking Guide • City Tour

Meals

Breakfast • Lunch

Day 3

Floating Market - River Kwai - Kanchanaburi

It’s another beautiful morning in Thailand!

Today, our guide will pick you up from your hotel at 7a.m to take you to Ratchaburi to visit the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Due to its many canals, Bangkok and the rest of Thailand is known for such modes of commerce. From here, you will be traveling for approximately two hours to reach the famous ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’, not that far from the city centre.

This bridge was first built as a part of the railway between Thailand and Burma (now Myanmar) in 1942, during the WW2. Using the forced labour from their Allied POWs, the Japanese planned to build a railway across East Asia to British India. 16,000 Allied POWs (out of 65,000) and 100,000 local people died of starvation, exhaustion, diseases and malaria fever during the construction of this railway. Your next stop is a visit to the War Museum & War Cemetery before taking a ride on the notorious Death Railway.

In the late afternoon, you will be taking a shuttle long-tail boat to check in at your resort accommodation. Relax and bask in the comfort of your room before having dinner at the resort.

Included

Accommodation Kanchanaburi • English Speaking Guide • Tour

Meals

Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner

Day 4

Erawan National Park - Hell Fire Pass

Today, you will be picked up from your hotel first thing in the morning and then taken to the Resotel Pier via shuttle boat that will bring you to the Erawan National Park, where the 7-tier Erawan waterfall reside.

The falls is surrounded by lush forest where several orchid and tree species grow abundantly, the water gushes down into a deep pool from a height of 1,500 meters. A trail leads up to the 6th level of the falls but to reach the 7th level, you will have to climb over the rocky cliff. It's worth the effort for the sheer beauty of the panorama that you will be able to witness from up above. The name of this waterfall came from Hindu mythology's three-headed elephant, the Erawan Elephant, which the falls resemble.

In the afternoon, you will visit to the Hell Fire Pass Memorial Museum. This museum is a component of the Death Railway that was built during WWII using the prisoners of war as the construction crew, who had to make do with simple tools to cut a pass into the mountain. The museum is dedicated to the memory of the labourers from Asia as well as the Allied POWs. It was built and managed by the government of Australia.

The exhibits in the museum chronicle the history of the construction of the railways, the reasons why it was constructed and how it was constructed. Deferring to the request of the Thai government, much of the atrocities suffered by the people who were forced to work on its construction were glossed over, opting to focus on reconciliation.

By the time you finish the day's tour line-up it, will be late afternoon and time to head back to your resort from the Resotel Pier. Your dinner will be served at the resort.

Included

Accommodation Kanchanaburi • English Speaking Guide • Tour

Meals

Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner

Day 5

Ayutthaya

After breakfast, we go for a three-and-a-half-hour drive to Ayutthaya, an ancient capital of Thailand that flourished for several hundred years (from 1350 to 1770), sacked by the Burmese and then taken over again by the Thais!

This was the last location of the capital before the government based itself in Bangkok. At the magnificent city ruins at the Ayutthaya Historical Park, you can see the three spired pagodas of Wat Phra Si Sanpet, the large Buddha image housed at Phra Mongkhon Bophit, Wat Maha That (Monastery of the Great Relic) and Wat Chai Wattanaram where parts of 120 Buddha statues remain.

The tour finishes late in the afternoon and you will be taken back to your hotel where you can spend the rest of the day at your own leisure.

Included

Accommodation Ayutthaya • English Speaking Guide • Tour

Meals

Breakfast • Lunch

Day 6

Sukhothai

After breakfast, you will be driven to Lop Buri to visit the Phra Prang Sam Yot, which used to be a shrine for the Hindu. The Phra Prang Sam Yot was constructed during the 13th century, in the style of Khmer-Bayon. A corridor links the three towers (prangs) of the complex. Its decorations are believed to be the representation of the concept of Trimurti in Hinduism – creation, maintenance and preservation personified by Hindu gods Brahman, Vishnu and Siva, respectively.

Afterwards, you will visit the San Phra Kan—a compound comprising both old and new sections. The former can be dated back to the Khmer period, as attested by the laterite mound that was found. The new section, constructed in 1951, contains a famous object of worship, a four-armed Vishnu figure fixed with a Buddha's head.

Next, you will be off to Phitsanuloke for a tour of the Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, a monastery that most locals call Wat Yai. This monastery houses the the gilded statue, Phra Buddha Chinnarat, which is considered as the most beautiful among all the Buddha images found in Thailand.

Later on, you can tour the Buranathai Buddha Casting Foundry—the only foundry in the area that creates the Buddha images in all sizes for bronze casting. It also creates copies of the Phra Buddha Chinnarat. After that, your driver will bring you to Sukhothai where we will check in at the hotel and enjoy the rest of the evening at your own leisure.

Included

Accommodation Sukhothai • English Speaking Guide • Tour

Meals

Breakfast • Lunch

Day 7

Sukhothai Historical Park

Today, we will visit the Sukhothai Historical Park where you will find the preserved and restored ruins of the Sukhothai Kingdom's capital, Sukhothai. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is located within an area measuring 70 square kilometres, which contains 193 ruins, including the royal palace (Noen Prasat) and the largest among the 26 other remaining temples, Wat Mahathat.

Each temple has interesting objects to show, such as unique stucco reliefs, different architectural styles and images, particularly the huge seated or standing Buddha (intact or damaged), as well as statues of elephants and lions.

Included

Accommodation Sukhothai • English Speaking Guide • Tour

Meals

Breakfast • Lunch

Day 8

Si Satchanalai Historical Park - Chiang Mai

After breakfast at the hotel, we will take you to Si Satchanalai to visit the Si Satchanalai Historical Park. It's another very interesting ancient town, which was formerly named Muang Chaliang. The name change was ordered by Phra Ruang.

The park contains the remains of 134 monuments and was established to be the Sukhothai Kingdom's second centre. It was the residence of the Crown Prince during the 13th and 14th centuries. You can still see what's left of several temples, various Buddha images and buildings belonging to the palace complex.

Next stop is Lampang, where you can enjoy a horse carriage ride for a sightseeing tour. Afterwards, you will continue your historical tour with visits to several more temples, such as the Wat Phra Dhat Lampang Luang and the Wat Pra Kaew Don Tao.

After that, we will head to Chiang Mai, with a detour in Lampoon to see the Wat Phrathad Hariphunchai, which is one of the most revered temples in the area. The drive along the old Lampoon-Chiang Mai road is quite scenic. Finally, you will check in at your hotel in Chiang Mai to enjoy the rest of the evening.

Included

Accommodation Chiang Mai • English Speaking Guide • Tour

Meals

Breakfast • Lunch

Day 9

City Temples - Night Bazaar

Today, you will enjoy a sightseeing tour at the famous city temples of Chiang Mai. We will pass the wall of the old city, and see the remnants of the city gates and the city market. In Chiang Mai, we will visit Wat Chiang Man, the city's oldest temple and the location of the Phra Kaew Khao—the 10 centimetre Buddha statue, which is carved from a piece of crystal.

Next up is a visit to the Wat Phrasing and Lai Kham Chapel, followed by a visit to Wat Jedilhuang. This destination has a huge pagoda, which, before it was destroyed by the 1545 earthquake, was 280 feet high. The last stop will be at the Wat Suan Dok—the pleasure garden of the Lanna Thai monarch. There are a number of chedis painted white, which contain the city's former royal family's ashes. Wat Suan Dok is now a well-known temple belonging to Chiang Mai's Monk School. After this last stop for the morning, we will have lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch, we will head towards Doi Suthep and Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep that was built on top of the hill. You can access the temple by climbing 309 steps. On each side of the flight of steps are enormous sculptures of dragons or nagas. When you have reached the top, you will get the chance to see the magnificent golden temple, a shrine dedicated to a White Elephant and a grand view of Chiang Mai.

After that, the next stop is a visit to the White Meo tribal village in Doi Pui to observe their simple way of life and their very distinct traditional costume.

Before the day's trip ends, you will get to explore the popular Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. The area is bustling with all the sights and sounds of a very busy Thai market. Stalls carry every kind of arts and crafts products, such as dolls in different costumes, clothing made of cotton, crafts created by tribal artisans and various items made in Thailand.

Included

Accommodation Chiang Mai • English Speaking Guide • Tour

Meals

Breakfast • Lunch

Day 10

Elephant Nature Park

Enjoy a full day visit to Elephant Nature Park; a natural home and sanctuary for elephants, buffaloes, dogs, cats, birds and many other rescued animals.

Your visit starts with a picturesque drive through rural countryside to Elephant Nature Park. Here, you will hear the personal stories of rescued and orphaned elephants. See how they became a proud herd and free from abuse for the first time in their lives.

Many find their visit to Elephant Nature Park rewarding and very relaxing. Spend time observing free roaming elephants (no riding) and other rescued animals enjoying the natural surroundings of our sanctuary.

Your visit will help support the regional projects and offers an invaluable opportunity to help elephant conservation

Included

Accommodation Chiang Mai • English Speaking Guide • Tour

Meals

Breakfast • Lunch

Day 11

Golden Triangle

In your final day of adventure, our guide will pick you up in the morning at your hotel and take you to Wat Rong Khun or the White Temple. This temple was designed by Mr. Chalermchai Kositpipat, a Thai National Artist. The drive to Chiang Rai will take about two-and-a-half to three hours. You will have your lunch at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, your day trip continues in Mae Sai, which is Thailand's northernmost point. Here, you'll observe life along the border, as this is one of the few official sites where border crossing between Myanmar and Thailand is allowed.

Burmese workers cross the border daily in the morning to head to their places of work in Thailand before going back in the late afternoon. Along the main street you will be able to shop for souvenir items from Myanmar and Laos, including jade, gem stones and lacquer ware.

The last part of the trip is a visit to the Golden Triangle, which is the meeting point of the boundaries of Thailand, Burma and Laos—this is where the Ruak River empties into the Mekong River. You will conclude the day tour with a long-tail boat ride down the Mekong to enjoy the spectacular views of the countryside of Laos. Afterwards, you'll be brought back to Chiang Rai to relax in your hotel.

Included

Accommodation Chiang Rai • English Speaking Guide • Tour

Meals

Breakfast • Lunch

Day 12

Departure Chiang Rai

In the morning, you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the Chiang Rai Airport for your departure flight home. You can also opt to continue your adventure at another destination.

Included

Airport transfer

Meals

Breakfast

 

  
 
Accommodation Bangkok
Accommodation Kanchanaburi
Accommodation Ayutthaya
Accommodation Sukhothai
Accommodation Chiang Mai
Accommodation Chiang Rai
Private Transfers
Private Guides

Luxury Package

USD2,395
Per Person
Accommodation Bangkok : Hotel Muse Bangkok - Jatu Deluxe
Accommodation Kanchanaburi : Floathouse River Kwai - Floating Villa
Accommodation Ayutthaya : Kantary Hotel - One Bedroom Suite
Accommodation Sukhothai : Legendha Sukhothai - Deluxe
Accommodation Chiang Mai : Puripunn Hotel - Superior
Accommodation Chiang Rai : Le Meridien Chiang Rai - Deluxe Garden
Private Transfers
Private Guides
Most Popular

Superior Package

USD2,095
Per Person
Accommodation Bangkok : Park Plaza Sukhumvit Hotel - Superior
Accommodation Kanchanaburi : Floathouse River Kwai - Floating Villa
Accommodation Ayutthaya : Kantary Hotel - Studio Suite
Accommodation Sukhothai : Legendha Sukhothai - Deluxe
Accommodation Chiang Mai : The Rim Resort - Superior
Accommodation Chiang Rai : The Legend Chiang Rai - Superior Studio
Private Transfers
Private Guides

Standard Package

USD1,795
Per Person
Accommodation Bangkok : I Residence Silom Hotel - Grand Deluxe
Accommodation Kanchanaburi : River Kwai Resotel - Standard Chalet
Accommodation Ayutthaya : Krungsri River Hotel - Luxury
Accommodation Sukhothai : Legendha Sukhothai - Superior
Accommodation Chiang Mai : Empress Chiang Mai Hotel - Superior
Accommodation Chiang Rai : Laluna Hotel - Garden Bungalow
Private Transfers
Private Guides

This tour can be extended or changed according to your preferences – Valid until 31 October 2017


 

Interested in The Great Thailand Journey?

Check available dates, prices or ask a question

Package Type:

Flexibility:

We have especially tailor-made our tours to suit the independent travellers who are not inclined to follow big groups – you are free to select the starting date of your tour based on your preference. We are also able to customize your tour packages and accommodate your special requests accordingly.

Child Policy:

– Child is 2-11 years old. If other age applies to your booking, we will let you know before confirmation of booking.

– 1st child with extra bed/mattress/day bed. 2nd child will share bed with parents. If other configuration, we will let you know before booking is confirmed.

Additional Charges and fees

– Additional High Season Surcharge might apply during special events and festive seasons.

– Many resorts and hotels have compulsive Christmas & New Year’s dinners, which are not included. Often the price and details are only available 1 months before the event.

– Flight tickets are not included. Please advise if you like us to quote and include flight tickets.

– Visas and other fees and taxes related to your air ticket and border clearance.

– Camera fees at attractions.

– Items not mentioned

Booking Terms & Conditions

– For certain transfers and modes of transport e.g. boats, flights etc. private transfers will not be available (even if private transfer is mentioned).

– Maximum occupancy for standard rooms are normally 3 adults or 2 adults & 2 children.

– Prices are based on minimum 2 adults travelling and sharing room.

– If you are 6 people or more we can quote you a special group price

– Program changes can happen during festive seasons or due to weather conditions

– All room requests e.g. connecting doors, bed configuration etc. is based on request only and cannot be guarantied

– Prices can change without prior notice

– Subject to availability at the time of booking

You will find our general Terms & Conditions here

About Northern Thailand

Northern Thailand has various temples, sumptuous food, exotic markets and ancient ruins. The region is said to be the birthplace of Thai culture. It offers scenic landscapes, a peek into its ancient history, its long association with Buddhism and its cultural diversity. The region had remained almost isolated for a long time that it had retained its own characteristics. You'll see hundreds of temples, hill tribes, exotic flora and fauna, a wide range of gastronomic delights and adventures that cannot be replicated in other destinations.

Things to know

Northern Thailand comprises nine provinces, with a combined population of 6.1 million as of December 2011. Thai is the dominant language spoken in this region although English is widely spoken. Thais appreciate visitors trying to speak their language and will try to help. It is a good thing to bring a good Thai-English phrasebook with you. The currency used in the region is the Thai Baht. Temples in Thailand are very sacred destinations, and require visitors to dress conservatively.

Places of interest
Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is the most popular destination in North Thailand. The oldest temple here is Wat Chiang Man, which contains the Phra Sila Buddha bas relief and the 4-inch tall crystal Buddha called Phra Satang Man. The Night Bazaar at Chiang Mai covers several blocks of stalls selling many items including Thai silk. The Northern Thailand Healing Hospital provides 2-week courses in traditional Northern Thai massage therapy. Outside of the old city's gate is the great temple complex of Wat Suan Dok and the Tribal Museum. Foreign monks residing at the Wat U Mong provides lectures in English on Buddhism on Wednesdays and Sundays for free. High up on a hill is the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. On the northern part of Chiang Mai is the Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens and Doi Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary.

Mae Hong Son

Mae Hong Son is the location of the Wat Chong Kham, famous for its panels of painted glass and the Wat Chong Klang. The two temples are flanked by the serene Nong Chong Kham Lake. Another attraction are the women in Padaung Village, who are famous for wearing brass neck coils heavy enough to depress their rib cages and collarbones, thus elongating their necks.

Sukhothai

The new city of Sukhothai has become popular because of its proximity to the ruins of the ancient city of the same name. Old Sukhothai's ruins are located at the Sukhothai Historical Park, which is just 8 miles (13km) west of new Sukhothai. Remains of 21 monuments and temples are still in view here. Inside the park are the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum, Wat Mahathat, Wat Si Sawai, Wat Chana Songkhram, Wat Trakuan and Wat Sa Si – ruins of temples that exhibit Khmer and Sri Lankan styles. At other zones of the park are Wat Phra Phai Luang and Wat Si Chum. Wat Sa Si has a unique walking Buddha in front of the temple. Wat Si Sawai used to be a temple for venerating various Hindu gods including Siva and Vishnu. The seated Buddha inside the Wat Si Chum is massive, with an 11-meter wide waistline. Its tapered finger is as long as a grown up person so you can imagine its size.

Sangkhlaburi

Sangkhlaburi is a region where you can relax. It is off the beaten track so crowd is minimal. Visit the Wat Wang Wiwekaram Temple and marvel at its beauty and copious decoration in gold. Nearby is the Chedi Buddhakhaya that holds relics of Buddha. Saphan Mon is a 400-meter long bamboo bridge spanning the Song Karia River. It is the longest handmade wooden bridge in Thailand and the second longest bridge of its kind in the world. Wat Saam Prasob was a temple that went underwater during the Khao Laem Dam construction. During the dry season, about one to two meters of it comes into view.

The Three Pagodas Pass is located on the border between Thailand and Myanmar, specifically between Payathonzu in Myanmar and Sangkhlaburi in Thailand. On the Thai side visitors could see three small chedi as well as shrines and a market selling various goods from Burma.

Chiang Rai

This region is where the Golden Triangle or the meeting point of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos is located. Locals prefer to call the area Sop Ruak, because this is where the Ruak River and the Mekong River meet. Chiang Rai has several very interesting and enchanting temples and buildings showcasing Burmese and Balinese architecture. Baan dam Museum or the Black House is a group of around 40 black houses. The White Temple has a mural of Buddha in different gestures. The Wat Klong Wiang has several colorful guardian statues. The Wat Phra Kaeo temple used to house the Emerald Buddha that is now located in the Wat Phra Kaeo temple in Bangkok, right inside the confines of the grounds of the royal palace. Also in this area is the Wat Phra Sing, which used to house the Phra Buddha Sihing, a seated golden Buddha statue that is now enshrined in Chiang Mai. Replicas of the statues are installed in both temples.