If you’ve got a couple of weeks to experience all the things that make Thailand one of the world’s top holiday destinations, this is the trip for you. You’ll see the stunning architecture and vibrant street life of Bangkok, hop on a tuktuk and visit a local floating market, then enjoy the serenity of the River Kwai from a river raft hotel. Explore the temple ruins of Ayutthaya then head by train to Chiang Mai to take a Thai cooking class, meet Buddhist monks and encounter rescued elephants. Spend a night in a community hilltribe lodge and of course, finish with some relaxation time on the beautiful beaches. There you have it – the best of Thailand, with a twist!
Day 1: Arrive at Bangkok airport where you will be met by our local representative and taken to your hotel.
Day 2: Today you will see the best of ancient and modern Bangkok, including the Grand Palace, Wat Arun and Wat Po, the city’s fascinating Chinese community and the photogenic city flower market. No Bangkok tour would be complete without a long-tail boat trip, exploring the small canals that gave the city the name ‘Venice of the East’, to find a traditional puppet show and locals' favourite riverside market. (B/L)
Day 3: Early morning drive westwards out of the city, passing salt and rice fields, fruit orchards and coconut plantations. On the way, stop at a villager’s house to learn how brown palm sugar - used in Thai dishes and sweets - is made from coconut nectar. We will take you to Tha Kha to paddle through a traditional floating market and on to one of WWII’s most infamous memorials, the Bridge Over the River Kwai. Visit the museum at Hellfire Pass before checking in at your floating rafthouse. (B/L/D)
Day 4: Free morning to enjoy the serenity of the forest, or do an optional activity like cycling, kayaking or visiting a hilltribe village, then head back down river and drive to Ayutthaya. (B/L)
Day 5: Spend the day exploring this fascinating former capital city and UNESCO heritage site that takes you back to the heyday of traditional Thailand. Visit beautiful Bang Pa In Palace and the splendid temple ruins in the historical park by van or bike, then after dinner board an overnight train to Chiang Mai. (B/L/D)
Day 6: Arrive and check in to your hotel to rest and relax (from 2pm). In the afternoon, release your inner chef as you try your hand at preparing delicious Thai dishes at a family-run cookery school in a peaceful countryside setting. (D)
Day 7: Spend the day at a project supported by Elephant Nature Park, the leading advocates of ethical elephant experiences in Thailand, where you can meet and interact with these majestic animals in their natural habitat. No shows or tricks, just your chance to observe the largest land mammals in the world and to get up close to touch, feed and wash them. A once in a lifetime experience! After a full day with the elephants, pay a visit to the famous Night Market. (B/L)
Note: this is also available as an overnight experience staying in a hilltribe village.
Day 8: Your guide will help you explore the city to find famous temples, historical areas and local markets, as well as more out of the way places that few tourists know about. Spend time chatting with Buddhist monks and end the day with a cable car ride to Doi Suthep, the holiest temple in northern Thailand, to witness sunset views and monks chanting. (B/L)
Day 9: The next 2 days are all about slowing down and relaxing into the rhythm of peaceful rural Thailand, at a community hilltribe lodge an hour from Chiang Mai. Enjoy the mountain scenery, visit local villagers making traditional handicrafts and experience the Hmong way of life. (B/D)
Day 10: Check out and transfer to Chiang Mai airport for a flight to the southern beaches. Rest of the day free. (B)
Days 11-13: Free time to enjoy the famously beautiful beaches or maybe you'd like to try snorkelling or scuba diving. (B)
Day 14: Sadly all good things come to an end… after a final swim in the crystal-clear, warm sea you will be taken to the airport in time for your onward flight, leaving Thailand with lots of amazing memories and photos! (B)
Prices from: £1399 per person
Services included: hotels on shared room basis, meals, transfers and activities as mentioned, entry fees, English speaking guide, 24 hour assistance.
Services not included: flights, drinks, tips and personal expenses.
Note: stops can be extended, added or cut - just ask us!
Best Time To Travel
Best time to visit: November - April
Bangkok: Nov – Mar sunny and dry. Apr – Jun hot and high humidity. Jul – Oct tropical rain showers likely.
North: Nov – Apr sunny and dry but may be cold in the evenings. May – Jun hot and humid. Jul – Oct chance of rain.
Andaman coast: Oct – Mar sunny and dry. Apr - May hot and humid. Jun – Sep monsoon season, heavy rains in Aug-Sep especially.
Gulf Coast: Dec – Aug sunny and dry. Sep – Nov monsoon season, rains sometimes continue into December.