30 September 2016
Palaces, ancient ruins, temples and lots of monkeys are on the menu on this epic six day trek from Bangkok to the north of Thailand. When in this wonderful holiday destination its tempting just to relax on a beach and soak up the tropical sun, or stay in the capital city and see all the amazing sights. But this exciting Experience Thailand Tour makes a great add on to any longer stay in South East Asia and is the perfect way to see much more of this fascinating and colourful country.
Your six day tour kicks off in style. After pick-up from your Bangkok hotel or the airport you head to Bang Pa-In to visit the sumptuous Summer Palace of Rama V. Continue to the former capital of Ayutthaya and see the ancient temples of Wat Yai Chaimongkhon, Wat Mahathat and Wat Phanan Choeng. Lunch at a restaurant in Chai Nat before you arrive to Phitsanulok. After a short orientation tour in the city, check in to your hotel. Overnight in Phitsanulok.
Today you explore this ancient city which is packed with historical landmarks, the most impressive being the Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the ruined temples and palaces as well as the Buddha statues of all sizes. Lunch is at a local restaurant then a short drive away is Si Satchanalai, where you cross a wooden suspension bridge to reach the historical park, which boasts the evocative ruins of the temple of Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat. This usually quiet location offers a special spiritual interlude to the tour. Then head for Lampang. Overnight Lampang
Explore the wonderful Wat Phra That Lampang Luang temple, just a short drive from Lampang, and marvel at the elaborate detail of the decorations and beautiful Buddha statues. Then continue north, stopping briefly at Phayao Lake for a coffee break, before heading to a pineapple plantation for a tour. Around midday, arrive at the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Laos and Burma meet. This natural wilderness gained an unwanted notoriety in the sixties because of the abundant opium cultivation. Visit the 212 House of Opium and see its rare collection of opium paraphernalia such as weights, scales and pipes. Learn the history of this drug and about the devastating effect it had on local communities. The earthy border town of Mae Sai is next, with a visit to the popular market and the bridge over the River Ruak before finishing at Chiang Rai where you spend the night.
Enjoy a lively start to the today’s activities at the fragrant and vibrant Chiang Rai morning market where you can haggle over the prices with the locals then visit the Wat Phra Kaew temple. The journey out of town is on a relaxing river cruise on a traditional long tail boat and you sail for around three-and-a-half hours to Pha Tai, where there is a fascinating visit to a hill tribe village. Continue by road to Tha Ton and enjoy a tasty lunch before heading to Chiang Mai where you stay the night.
After all this culture and history, it is time for a day of wildlife and nature in the jungles near Chiang Mai. Get up close and personal with the animal kingdom at an elephant camp, where you will see these gentle giants show off their skills and maybe even trek the rainforest on the back of one. After the wild, enjoy the mild with a visit to a beautiful orchid farm where you have a tasty lunch. In the afternoon visit Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, one of the most revered temples in the country. This sacred location is at the top of a mountain and has stunning panoramic views over the city. To reach the temple requires a climb up a 309-step naga staircase, or you can take the cable car. At Elephant Parade House take part in a workshop, where you paint your own elephant sculpture as part of the Elephant Parade project to raise awareness of the plight of these animals. Overnight in Chiang Mai.
After breakfast today you have free time in Chiang Mai to explore the city at your own pace and leisure and catch the many sights and attractions. The city has lots of green spaces and is popularly known as the Rose of the North. Make the most of today because later you will be picked up and taken to the airport where this exciting explorer tour of Thailand comes to an end. This six day trip is a great way to see more of Thailand and takes you to so many off the beaten track places.
Superior fr £510pp
Deluxe fr £562pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated