Explore the sights and sounds of bustling Bangkok before visiting historic Kanchanaburi, and Ayuthaya as well as beautiful Erawan Falls. Then head north to the delights of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai before a few days rest and relaxation on tropical Koh Samui.
Saturday. Welcome to Bangkok, the ever-alluring capital of Thailand. Once you have checked into your hotel the rest of the day is free until 6pm when you meet your guide for a welcome meeting. Then it's just a short walk through the bustling streets of Bangkok to Silom Village, enjoy dinner in an alfresco setting with traditional music and dancing to watch.
Overnight: Bangkok | Dinner
Bangkok City Tour
This morning we set off to explore this sprawling metropolis. The first stop is at the 24 hour flower market where you get to view stunning orchids and roses on sale to the local restaurants and florists. Then we visit 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. From the Grand Palace we take an exhilarating ride on a tuk tuk to Wat Pho, home of the reclining Buddha.
After a break for lunch we board a longtail boat and set off on an exploration of the labrynth of klongs (canals) that criss cross the city. On our journey we’ll glide by stilted houses and gleaming temples whilst old men fish and children play about on the waters edge. Our boat drops us off within walking distance of Khao San Road, popular with backpackers and hippies. The evening is free for you to explore the many bars, restaurants, market stalls and tailors that line this vibrant road.
Overnight: Bangkok | Breakfast
Bangkok - Kanchanaburi. It’s an early start today as we drive 2.5hrs west of the capital to the small town of Kanchanaburi. Here we pay our respects to the thousands of Allied POWs who perished in the area under the hand of the Imperial Japanese Army. After pausing at the Allied War Cemetery we continue to the infamous ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’, immortalised by the film of the same name. You have a chance to take pictures before you board a train for a 2 hour journey that crosses the bridge before following the tracks dug by the POWs and locals some 75 years earlier.
Disembarking at Nam Tok we have a short drive 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 our 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 | Breakfast, Dinner
Kanchanaburi - Erawan NP - Ayuthaya - Chiang Mai. This morning we travel on to the beautiful Erawan National Park to explore the rivers, waterfalls and trails on foot. Following a walk in the jungle we head to Ayuthaya, the former capital of Thailand. 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 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. This evening we head to the station to board our sleeper train to Chiang Mai (2nd class A/C sleeper cabins).
Overnight: Sleeper train | Breakfast, Dinner
Chiang Mai - Mae Rim. This morning we arrive into the picturesque city of Chiang Mai, nestled in the foothills of northern Thailand. First up we visit the imposing Doi Suthep Temple that stands like a sentinel over the city. We enjoy the view before driving to the Baan Tong Luang Hill Tribes village where four separate Thai hill tribes live - the Lahu, Hmong, White Karen and the Long necked Karen. Here we'll have the opportunity to learn all about their lifestyle.
We continue our journey into the countryside to the Hmong hill tribe lodge in Mae Rim where we will stay this evening. Here, you can take numerous walks into the surrounding countryside to visit the some of the nearby hill tribe villages. In the evening we enjoy a sumptuous BBQ before being entertained by dancers from the local community.
Overnight: Mae Rim | Dinner
Day trip to Chiang Rai
Mae Rim - Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai. Following an early breakfast we bid farewell to our hosts at Hmong Lodge and set off north towards Chiang Rai, travelling through stunning karst and jungle scenery. We take a break to stretch our legs and explore a local Hmong market before continuing to our journey to the famous White Temple of Wat Rong Khun which depicts scenes from movies including the Matrix, Star Wars and Superman! After exploring the temple, there's time for lunch before we board our longtail boats for a scenic hour long ride on the Kok River to Lahu Village in Chiang Rai. This enchanting and remote little village is inhabited by the Lahu people who make their living from farming the land. The village is surrounded by lush green mountains, with stilt houses and chickens, pigs and dogs roaming the streets. We’ll take a walk through the village and see the Lahu people go about their daily life. Back in the boat we’ll make a short stop at the Karen village of Ruammit on the banks of the Kok River, which has retained its traditional culture. From Ruammit we drive back to Chiang Mai. We check into our hotel and spend the rest of the evening at leisure.
Overnight: Chiang Mai | Breakfast
This morning you can join your tour guide in giving out Alms to the local monks before returning to your hotel for breakfast. We then take a traditional trishaw for a ride around the old city of Chiang Mai, visiting some of the key temples within the city walls. Then we head to a local cooking school to try our hand at preparing tasty local cuisine in a traditional Thai setting. This informative cooking class teaches us how to prepare three of Thailand’s most popular dishes that we’ll later get to enjoy for lunch.
The rest of the day is free for you to relax and explore at leisure. In the evening we visit the Chiang Mai night market, a haven of souvenirs and works by local artisans.
Overnight: Chiang Mai | Breakfast, Lunch
Chiang Mai free time
Chiang Mai - Koh Samui. Today is free for you to enjoy some of the many optional activities in the city, from zip lining through the jungle canopy to riding a bike through the countryside. There is a street of cottage industries which is great to pick up those last minute silk, silver or jewellery souvenirs. In the late afternoon we transfer to the airport in time to catch our flight to Bangkok.
Upon return to Bangkok airport board an onward flight to the beautiful island of Koh Samui. Arriving very late in the evening you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Overnight: Koh Samui | Breakfast
Enjoy four days of sun, sea and relaxation in Koh Samui. Nestled in the Chumphon Archipelago, Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s most popular islands and with tropical sandy beaches, excellent scuba diving and beautiful Buddhist temples it's easy to see why.
Your hotel is located in Chaweng – the most popular part of the island. Situated just south of the airport on the east coast, the town offers a plethora of leisure activities including scuba diving, kayaking, elephant trekking and fishing, as well as a fantastic array of restaurants and bars, so you're free to do as much or as little as you'd like. Perhaps opt for a day trip to An Thong Marine Park which is famous for its incredible snorkelling and pristine beaches.
Overnight: Koh Samui | Breakfast x 4
Thursday. Koh Samui - Bangkok. Today you will fly from Koh Samui to Bangkok. Upon arrival to Bangkok our holiday arrangements do come to an end. If we have your onward flight details from Bangkok well will aim to co-ordinate the included Koh Samui - Bangkok flight to suit.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price.Read More
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Furama Silom, Bangkok
An elegant flagship hotel, the Furama Silom tastefully combines classic Thai style with contemporary design. Guest rooms are well designed with sleek glass panels giving a luxurious feel. Complimentary high speed internet is available. The dining options are simple yet sophisticated. Head to the Rama restaurant for delicious Thai and international cuisine or spend an evening at the Silom Sky Bar - a gorgeous roof top pool with stunning views of the city to marvel at. Centrally located in the of Silom just 5 minutes from the Sky Train.
River Kwai Jungle Rafts, Kanchanaburi
River Kwai Jungle Rafts Resort offers a unique accommodation experience right on the flowing Kwai Noi River. All floating rooms are tucked into a floating bamboo lodge moored along the historical River Kwai Noi surrounded by lush green mountains and jungle. The walls are weaved from local bamboo decorated with wooden furniture reflecting Mon living style. Each is appointed with en-suite private bathroom, balcony and a hammock. To work in harmony with the natural surroundings, the property does not use electricity and kerosene lamps are provided to light the rooms and evoke a romantic atmosphere.
Hmong Hilltribe Lodge, Mae Rim
Set within the spectacular mountains and rice fields of Mae Rim, the Hmong Lodge offers guests a unique opportunity to experience traditional Hmong culture amidst striking natural beauty. Conveniently located just an hours drive from Chiang Mai, The Hmong Lodge offers travellers the perfect balance of style and comfort and offers them the chance to meet and learn about nearby tribal communities. The comfortable guest rooms are beautifully crafted from wood and have a splash of colour added with the Hmong quilts. The lodge features an outdoor pool, spa and open-air restaurant. Days can be spent with local tribes and exploring the stunning surrounding landscapes while evenings at the lodge can be filled with a barbecue and al fresco dining followed by traditional Hmong performances including dancing.
Amora Hotel Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai
Close to the Tapae Gate, Amora Hotel Chiang Mai is a modern property with great amenities. Guest rooms are designed in the modern Northern Thai (Lanna) style and come with air conditioning, TV, mini bar and room service. The hotel also boasts a refreshing outdoor pool and fitness centre as well as Chili's restaurant - serving up a delicious array of transitional Thai and international cuisine. The Lobby Lounge Bar and Pool Bar are great places to enjoy a cocktail at the end of the day.
Raming Lodge, Chiang Mai
Just a stone's throw from the bustling night bazaar, the elegant Raming Lodge is the perfect place to unwind after a day exploring the city. The spacious rooms are decorated with clear eastern influences and encompass beautiful wooden furniture, complimenting the rich fabrics that add a splash of colour to the room. Massages and other treatments are available at the spa and the pool is a great place to relax during your leisure time. A full breakfast is served in the morning and further food can be found in the hotel's gourmet burger restaurant.
Chaweng Garden Beach Resort, Koh Samui
Set on a gorgeous palm-fringed beach in Koh Samuni, the Chaweng Garden Beach Resort offers an idyllic setting to catch some R&R on Thailand’s stunning east coast. The 162 guestrooms are not only spacious, but offer all the mod-cons a traveller could require such as complimentary WiFi, satellite television, refrigerators and room service. Hotel facilities include an outdoor pool and sun terrace, spa services, watersport activities and on-site dining and bars.
Extra Tour Info
I had an amazing holiday in Thailand thanks to my great tour guide Mhor and was very lucky to have lovely travel companions! Mhor has been a fantastic guide, he looked after us splendidly, also making sure I had food options due to my dietary restrictions, I felt looked after in every moment. Mhor is a great guy, very knowledgeable, helpful and funny! I would not hesitate to recommend this tour to friends and family. ”