If you are short on time but still want to sample the delights of Thailand, then this is the tour for you. Kicking off in the captivating capital city of Bangkok, journey north to explore the night markets of Chiang Mai and mingle with the hill tribes in Chiang Rai. With the option to end your tour in Chiang Mai or return to Bangkok.
Day 1: Welcome to Thailand
Welcome to Bangkok, the ever-alluring capital of Thailand. Arrival transfer to our hotel where our Welcome Meeting takes place later in the evening.
Day 2: Bustling Bangkok
Today we explore the stunning Grand Palace, crowned by lofty gilt stupas and home to the legendary Emerald Buddha. We’ll also visit the House of the Reclining Buddha, the Original Thai Massage School and the 24hr Flower Market before boarding longtail boats to explore the city’s canals, known as Khlongs. Exploring the city by boat gives insight into the lives of the city’s riverside dwellers – the overtly rich and incredibly poor.
Stepping off our longtail boat we head over to Khao San Road, popular with backpackers and hippies for a little free time before returning to our hotel to freshen up before taking the overnight express sleeper train (2nd class A/C sleeper cabins) to Chiang Mai.
Day 3: Chiang Mai
This morning we arrive into the picturesque city of Chiang Mai, nestled in the foothills of northern Thailand. In the afternoon we take a trishaw ride and explore the old city of Chiang Mai before driving up to the majestic Doi Suthep, standing like a sentinel overlooking Chiang Mai. The tranquility of monks chanting as the sun slowly heads to the horizon is a real highlight. In the evening we head into the night market to explore many of the street foods on offer and perhaps try our hand at haggling.
Day 4: Chiang Mai – your way
A free day for you to relax or participate in some of the many activities on offer. Choose from adrenaline-fuelled adventures such a canopy zip lining and rock climbing or opt for a from more relaxing affair with spa treatments and massages. No trip to Chiang Mai would be complete without trying a local cooking class and perfecting your very own Pad Thai!
Alternatively, opt for a day trip to Lampang where you can visit the residents of the Elephant Conservation Centre. Founded in 1933 the centre is home to over 50 Asian elephants in a beautiful forest and visitors can watch the daily bathing session before enjoying a ride through the forest on one of these magnificent creatures.
Day 5: Cruising the Kok River
Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai. Our journey today takes us through stunning karst and jungle scenery. Stopping for lunch at Ta Thon we board private long tail boats for a cruise down the Kok River watching rural life pass us by. Farmers work the land where oranges grow whilst men fish along the banks and buffalo wallow in the shallow waters. From our arrival point we continue to Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) which depicts scenes from modern movies including the Matrix, Star Wars and Superman! Arriving to Chiang Rai early in this evening consider taking some time to enjoy the hotel facilities before taking a short stroll down to the night market for some last minute bargain hunting.
Day 6: Chiang Rai & return to Chiang Mai
Sunday. Chiang Rai – Chiang Mai. This morning we head out to a local village where you’ll have the chance to encounter the famous Long Neck or Karen tribe. We then continue to the border frontier town of Mae Sai, where you have the chance to cross briefly into Myanmar and enter the Burmese town of Tachilek (optional). Our next stop is a viewpoint in Chiang Saen, better known as the Golden Triangle, which earned its name from the fact that so much opium once passed through the area. From this viewpoint we are able to see Myanmar in front of us and Laos to the right. We then have some time to visit the Opium Museum before returning to Chiang Mai at approx 8-9pm, where arrangements end.