Best of Thailand & Cambodia - 11 days
FROM USD $4,369
Spend a week in Thailand uncovering the buzz of Bangkok, learning how to prepare Thai cuisine, visiting the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi, exploring the beautiful Erawan Falls and meeting the hill tribes of Chiang Rai before heading back down south and into Cambodia to discover Siem Reap and the iconic temples of Angkor.
Day 1: Bangkok
Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand's capital city. Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the evening at your own leisure. Overnight - Bangkok
Day 2: Bangkok City Tour
This morning visit the colourful Flower Market before continuing on to the spiritual and religious heart of the city - the striking Grand Palace. Topped by golden stupas, the complex has been the site of royal coronations and is home to the legendary Emerald Buddha. Next take a tuk tuk ride to Wat Pho, home to the famous golden Reclining Buddha.
From here cross Chao Phraya River for lunch at Supatra, a traditional Thai restaurant set on the river banks, before boarding a longtail boat to explore the city's canals. Known as khlongs, the canals enable surface water to make its way to the sea and have long been a way of getting around Bangkok. On your journey glide past curious stilted houses and gleaming temples whilst old men fish and children frolic about on the water’s edge.
The boat drop you off within walking distance of Khao San Road, popular with backpackers and hippies. Late afternoon offers free time for you to enjoy the many bars, restaurants, street performers, market stalls and tailors - that will measure you up for a new suit, that line this vibrant road. Overnight - Bangkok (B, L)
Day 3: Kwai & Hellfire Pass
Bangkok - Kanchanaburi. It’s an early start today as a drive west of the capital takes you to the small town of Kanchanaburi. Your first stop will be at Sampran Riverside, a traditional Thai property where visitors can learn about Thai customs and organic farming. Here enjoy a cooking class and lunch.
Later visit the Allied War Cemetery, where you can pay your respects to the thousands of Allied POWs who perished in the area under the hand of the Imperial Japanese Army, before continuing on to the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai. You have the chance to take pictures here before boarding a train for a two hour journey that crosses the bridge and follows the tracks dug by the POWs and locals some 75 years earlier. Disembarking at Nam Tok a short drive takes you to ‘Hellfire Pass’ where the POWs dug through a mountain often using only their bare hands. A fascinating museum at the entrance details the region’s history.
After a day’s sightseeing a leisurely longtail boat ride leads you to your fabulous floating jungle raft hotel. To the beauty of a hundred softly glowing lanterns and the sounds of the tropical forest and cool water flowing by enjoy dinner and a relaxing evening on the deck. Overnight - Kanchanaburi (B, L, D)
Day 4: Erawan Falls & Elephants
Today visit Erawan National Park, located in the Tenasserim Hills of Kanchanaburi. Founded in 1975, this verdant park is one of the most beautiful in the country and is home to the beautiful Erawan Falls. Climb up to each of the seven tiers, enjoy a dip in the pools created by the falls and if time allows why not also explore the caves within the park. Later visit an Elephant Centre to learn more about the role they play in Thailand and opt for an ride around the centre grounds. Enjoy a evening surrounded by nature as you camp out in a luxurious riverside jungle tent. Overnight - Kanchanaburi (B, D)
Day 5: Chiang Rai & Hill Tribes
Kanchanaburi - Bangkok - Chiang Rai. This morning head back to Bangkok for your flight to Chiang Rai, a wonderful base for visiting local hill tribes. Upon arrival pay a visit to Karen village where you may encounter the famous Long Neck tribe, so known for the neck rings that the women wear to elongate their necks. Later head back to Chiang Rai where you can wander through the night market for souvenirs and tasty street food. Overnight - Chiang Rai (B)
Day 6: Kok River to Chiang Mai
Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai. First thing this morning visit the unconventional Wat Rong Khun Buddhist temple - also known as the White Temple, depicting scenes from modern movies including the Matrix, Star Wars and Superman!
Continue on to Raumit Village, where you board a private long tail boat for a cruise down the Kok River watching rural life pass by. Farmers work the land where oranges grow whilst men fish along the banks and buffalo wallow in the shallow waters. Upon arrival in Ta Thon hop in your transfer to Chiang Mai. After hotel-check in enjoy sunset at Doi Suthep mountain, which looms over the city with Wat Phrathat temple perched on its top. Overnight - Chiang Mai (B)
Day 7: Chiang Mai - your way
A free day for you to relax or participate in some of the many activities on offer. Choose from the more relaxing options with spa treatments and massages, to the adrenaline-fuelled with canopy zip lines and rock climbing. No trip to Chiang Mai would be complete without trying a local cooking class and perfecting your very own Pad Thai! Overnight - Chiang Mai (B)
Day 8: Siem Reap
Chiang Mai - Bangkok – Siem Reap. After breakfast and hotel check out, head to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap in Cambodia. This evening enjoy dinner at the legendary Foreign Correspondents Hotel. Overnight - Siem Reap (B, D)
Day 9: Angkor Wat
Start the day at the jungle temple of Ta Prohm, a beautiful temple enveloped by tree roots, before continuing on to the iconic Angkor Wat. After a stop for lunch visit Bayon, where you’ll find yourself surrounded by the smiling faces of numerous Buddhas, and then walk along the walls of Angkor Thom to the West Gate. Strolling along the wall you will have jungle to your right and rice paddies to your left, demonstrating just how easily this ancient site was once taken over by the power of the natural surroundings. Overnight - Siem Reap (B)
Day 10: Tonle Sap Lake
This morning drive out to Phnom Kulen to visit Kbal Spean, commonly known as the River of a Thousand Lingas. This site was only ‘rediscovered’ in 1969 and is a tranquil place with an attractive waterfall engraved with carvings. Next head to the elegant temple of Banteay Srei, which was built in dedication to the Hindu god Shiva and is said to have been carved by women as the detail is too fine for the hands of a man. Later visit Tonle Sap Lake to see the floating villages here. Overnight - Siem Reap (B)
Day 11: Bangkok
Siem Reap – Bangkok. After breakfast and hotel check out catch your flight back to Bangkok for your onward travel. Please ensure that your onward flight does not depart Bangkok Airport before 2pm today. (B)