Thailand, Temples & Tribes - 14 days

FROM USD $3,259

Experience the best of amazing Thailand! Sail in a longtail boat, ride elephants and take a scenic train ride over the River Kwai, before getting off the beaten track to meet the colourful ethnic minorities of Thailand's hill tribe villages and bed down for the night in a traditional rural homestay.

Please note that the following itinerary is for tours departing in 2015, to see arrangements for tours in 2014 please scroll to the bottom of the page.

Day 1: Bangkok
Saturday. Welcome to Bangkok, the ever-alluring capital of Thailand. Arrival transfer to our hotel where our Welcome Meeting takes place later in the evening. Overnight - Bangkok
Day 2: Buddha & Boats
Today we explore the pulsating city of Bangkok starting with the stunning Grand Palace and its golden stupas. See the Emerald Buddha, the Wat Pho and visit the Original Thai Massage School. Stop at the 24hr Flower Market before boarding longtail boats for a cruise along the city’s canals, known in Thai as khlongs, passing stilted houses, old men fishing and pretty temples along the way. From where we disembark it’s a short walk to the lively Khao San Road where street cafes and bars abound. (B)
Thailand, Temples & Tribes - 14 days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
The Bridge over the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi
Day 3: River Kwai
Bangkok - Kanchanaburi. Departing Bangkok we drive to the small town of Kanchanaburi where we pay our respects at the Allied War Cemetery, the site where thousands of Allied POWs are buried. Next we visit the infamous ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ immortalised by the film of the same name. A scenic train ride takes us over the bridge to follow the tracks laid down by the POWs during the Second World War. Arriving at Nam Tok we drive to ‘Hellfire Pass’ and visit an interesting museum detailing how the POWs used little more than their bare hands to dig through the mountain. After a full day’s sightseeing a leisurely longtail boat ride leads us to our 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 we enjoy dinner and a relaxing evening on the deck. Overnight - Kanchanaburi Floating Hotel (B, D)
Day 4: Erawan National Park & elephants
Kanchanaburi - Ayuthaya. This morning we travel on to the beautiful Erawan National Park, to explore the rivers, waterfalls and trails on foot. The park boasts a stunning tiered waterfall and there’s time to take a quick dip in the crystalline waters before we visit an elephant centre to enjoy a ride through the forest. Our final destination today is Ayuthaya, the former capital of Thailand. Overnight - Ayuthaya (B)
Day 5: Ayuthaya
Ayuthaya - Bangkok - Chiang Mai. Ayuthaya was sacked by the Burmese, leading them to abandon the site and relocate the capital to Bangkok. All that remains are the stone and brick temples from the era. Today we explore Ayuthaya’s famous ruins, visiting the magnificent stupas at Wat Phri Sanphet, the giant Bronze Statue of Buddha and iconic Wat Mahatat where the head of a damaged Buddha statue has slowly been embraced and lifted by a nearby tree. This is one of Thailand’s most religiously significant places.

Departing Ayuthaya we board a cruise ship on the mighty Chao Praya River, for a scenic cruise back to the Bangkok, enjoying lunch on board. On arrival there’s time to explore the nearby shops and bars before heading to Bangkok’s main train station to catch our overnight express sleeper train (2nd class A/C sleeper cabins) to Chiang Mai. Overnight - Sleeper train (B, L)
Ride elephant back on a Thailand tour.
Day 6: Chiang Mai
This morning we arrive into the picturesque city of Chiang Mai, nestled in the foothills of northern Thailand. This 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 highlight for many. 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. Overnight - Chiang Mai
Day 7: Chiang Mai - your way
Sat at the foothills of northern Thailand and spattered with pretty temples, Chiang Mai is a dream to explore. Today is free for you to partake in optional activities from spa treatments to cooking classes and white water rafting to canopy ziplines. (B)
Take a longtail boat ride on a Thailand tour.
Day 8: Longtail boats on the Kok River
Chiang Mai - Ta Thon - Chiang Rai - breakfast. Departing Chiang Mai we travel through stunning karst and jungle scenery in our longtail boats to the relaxed town of Ta Thon for a lunch stop. Our private longtail boats wait to take us down the River Kok passing rural Thai life along the way - farmers work the land where tea grows and buffalo lounge. After disembarking we visit the unconventional Wat Rhon Khung, decorated with scenes from popular films including Star Wars and Superman! Continue to Chiang Rai for hotel check in and a visit to the night market for some bargain hunting. Overnight - Chiang Rai (B)
Day 9: Karen Tribe
Today we explore the hill tribe villages that surround Chiang Rai with our first stop at a local Karen tribe village. Known as the ‘long neck’ tribe, the native women wear neck rings that cause their necks to lengthen. Next we visit the border frontier town of Mae Sai where we may have the chance to cross over to Myanmar for a quick visit! At Chiang Saen soak up the views of Laos and Myanmar before learning about the region’s intriguing history at the Opium Museum. Overnight - Chiang Rai (B)
Local village children in Thailand
Day 10: Akha & Lahu Tribes
Chiang Rai - Huai Khum. Our foray into Thailand’s northern hills continues as we make our way to Huai Khum. Nestled on the banks of the River Mae Kok and surrounded by tribal villages, each with their own culture and traditions, Huai Khum is the ideal base for a day of trekking. Today we may encounter Akha, Lahu or Lisu tribes people working in the fields, collecting firewood or making traditional handicrafts. Depending on the season there may even be the chance to visit a local school and meet the children and teachers. Returning to our hotel in Huai Khum the rest of the afternoon offers time to relax by the pool or opt for a kayak ride on the river. Overnight - Huai Khum (B, L, D)
Visit hill tribes on a Thailand tour.
Day 11: Mae Kampong Village
Huai Khum - Mae Kampong. This morning we move on to the charming village of Mae Kampong where we meet our homestay families and enjoy the lunch prepared for us. This village has embraced the opportunities that surround it, generating enough electricity from the nearby rushing stream to supply the village and sell the rest back to the grid. They grow strawberries and flowers on hills that were once covered in poppies, a somewhat different crop and have developed a small homestay scheme to help supplement the income of the village. This afternoon a local village guide will take us on a walking tour whilst in the evening evening our gracious hosts may host a welcome ceremony in our honour with dances and music performances. Overnight - Mae Kampong Homestay (B, D)
Day 12: Hmong Community
Mae Kampong - Mae Rim. Bidding farewell to our host families we travel back to Chiang Mai for a change of vehicle and continue to our lodge nestled in the foothills of Chiang Dao. The lodge, similar to a rural resort in style with a swimming pool is located in the land of the Hmong, a community that lives peacefully in the mountains raising animals and farming. Enjoy an afternoon stroll through the surrounding villages before an evening BBQ at the lodge. Overnight - Mae Rim (B, L, D)
MBK centre in Bangkok
Day 13: Fly to Bangkok
Mae Rim - Bangkok. Soak up the tranquility of the lodge and local villages this morning with some free time before heading back to Chiang Mai to catching our mid afternoon flight to the buzzing capital city of Bangkok. On arrival we transfer to our hotel with one last evening for shopping, dining and entertainment. Overnight - Bangkok (B)
Day 14: Bangkok - your way
Friday. Our tour concludes after breakfast. Hotel check out and included departure transfer to the airport. You can extend your stay in this amazing city by booking post tour accommodation. If doing so your departure transfer to the airport will be offered at the completion of your arrangements. (B)

Yi Peng Lantern Festival tour

In 01 November 2014 we are offering a special Thailand Temples & Tribes departure that coincides with the spectacular Yi Peng festival of Chiang Mai. At the festival we will witness to the release of thousands of beautifully coloured, candle lit Lanna-style lanterns into the sky and local river. If travelling on this date, please see our Thailand Temples & Tribes, Yi Peng Festival notes for more info.

 

Travelling to Thailand in 2014

 

If travelling on our Thailand Temples & Tribes tour in 2014, the touring arrangements will be as follows:

 

Days: 1-3

As per the itinerary above.

 

Day 4: Sukhothai

Kanchanaburi - Sukhothai. Today we continue to Sukhothai, the country’s first capital city dating back eight centuries. The remainder of the day is free for you to relax. Overnight - Sukhothai. (B)

 

Day 5: Temples of Lampang

Sukhothai - Lampang. This morning we explore the UNESCO-listed Sukhothai Historical Park with monuments dating back to the 13th century that illustrate the beginnings of Thai architecture. We next proceed to the city of Lampang, a sedate urban centre with elegant mansions and impressive Lanna-era temples. For a glimpse into the opulent life of historic wealthy landlords we visit the Baan Sao Nak, a teakwood house and museum. Overnight - Lampang. (B)

 

Day 6: Elephant Conservation

Lampang - Chiang Mai. Head to the nearby Thai Elephant Conservation Centre this morning. Here we can watch the daily bathing session before enjoying a ride through the forest. We then journey on to the provincial capital of Chiang Mai, the perfect place to kick back for a few days. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure before visiting the bustling night market. Overnight - Chiang Mai. (B)

 

Days: 7 – 14

As per the itinerary above.

 

Tour Details
  • Starts in: Bangkok / Ends in: Bangkok
  • Departs: Saturdays - year round
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:12, Lunch: 3, Dinner: 4
  • Hotel Rating: 3 - 4 star & Special Class
  • Tour Guide: Yes, escorted by a tour guide
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