Thailand, Temples & Tribes - 13 Days
Experience the best of amazing Thailand! Sail in a longtail boat, explore lively night markets 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.
Saturday. Welcome to Bangkok, the captivating capital of Thailand. Arrival transfer to our hotel where our Welcome Meeting takes place later in the evening. 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
Buddha & Boats
Today we explore the pulsating city of Bangkok. We visit the vibrant 24 hour flower market before exploring the stunning Grand Palace and its golden stupas. Then we take an exhilarating tuk tuk ride to Wat Pho, home of the reclining Buddha, 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.
Overnight: Bangkok | Breakfast
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 | 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. The park boasts a stunning tiered waterfall and there’s time to take a dip in one of the many refreshing pools. Ancient Ayuthaya is our next stop, the once former capital laden with golden temples and lavished decorated palaces that glittered from miles away. 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. After diner we board a sleeper train to Chiang Mai.
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 beautiful Doi Suthep Temple which is perched on a mountain top overlooking Chiang Mai. We enjoy the views before driving to the Baan Tong Luang Hill Tribes village. Four separate Thai hill tribes live at Baan Tong Luang - the Lahu, Hmong, White Karen and the Long necked Karen and we'll have the opportunity to learn all about their lifestyle and customs, see their traditional dress and purchase handicrafts that they make.
We travel on to the Hmong Hill Tribe Lodge where we will stay this evening. Here, you can take a walk into the surrounding countryside to visit the some of the nearby hill tribe villages and gain a wonderful insight into the lives of some of the smaller minority groups in the Kingdom. In the evening we enjoy a sumptuous BBQ before being entertained by dancers from the local community.
Overnight: Mae Rim | Dinner
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 Chiang Rai.
In Chiang Rai we visit Lahu village which is surrounded by lush green countryside and inhabited by the Lahu people, who make their living from farming the land. We’ll take a walk through this enchanting little village, which has stilt houses and livestock roaming the streets. Then we continue our boat journey to Ruammit village which is home to the Karen tribe and has retained its traditional culture. After a brief stop here we drive to Chiang Mai, where the rest of the evening is free to spend at leisure.
Overnight: Chiang Mai | Breakfast
Early this morning there's the opportunity to give Alms to the local monks with your guide. After breakfast we 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
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.
Overnight: Chiang Mai | Breakfast
Lisu Hill tribe
Chiang Mai - Lisu Village. This morning we set off for the Lisu Lodge, a small eco-lodge that is integrated into the heart of the local community by playing its part in a project to conserve the natural heritage of the hill tribes in Chiang Mai. The lodge is run by the Lisu hill tribe villagers, as are all the tours and activities available here, while the food is locally sourced and fetched from the organic rice fields and vegetable gardens. Enjoy free time to explore the area and to learn more about the lives of the locals. In the evening there is the chance to partake in a Basi ceremony, intended to bring good luck which involved the tying of blessed string around your wrist.
Overnight: Lisu Hill Tribe Lodge | Breakfast, Dinner
Mae Kampong Village
Lisu Village - Mae Kampong. This morning we move on to the charming village of Mae Kampong where we meet our homestay families. 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 our gracious hosts will prepare dinner before the traditional dance ceremony.
Overnight: Mae Kampong Homestay | Breakfast, Dinner
Mae Kampong - 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 Resort is the ideal base for trekking. The resort is best described as rustic, but what is lacks in luxury it more than compensates in location and charm.
We take a leisurely trek this afternoon through some of the small villages before spending a relaxing evening in the resort. On our walk we may encounter Akha, Lahu or Lisu tribes people working in the fields, collecting firewood or making traditional handicrafts.
Overnight: Huai Khum Resort | Breakfast
Fly to Bangkok
Huai Khum - Bangkok. Soak up the tranquility of the lodge and local villages this morning with some free time before catching an afternoon flight back to the busy capital city of Bangkok. Enjoy your final evening in Thailand at leisure doing some last minute sightseeing or souvenir shopping.
Overnight: Bangkok | Breakfast
Bangkok - your way
Thursday. 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.
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. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.
Travellers have rated this tour as 4.67 out of 5 based on 6 recent reviews
Bright, cheerful and knowledgable”
Great comunication with the group very easy to talk to and understand, always happy to help and give advice when taking photo's. Lee was always happy and joined in with the fun a pleasure to be with. ”
I really liked our second guide Ning who joined us in Chaing Rai. She made extra effort to show us more on our tour. I did not like the itinerary in the second week because Onthgo Tours had us driving back and forth over the same roads, retracing our route and driving too much. Why didn't you organise the tour so we had more time staying at the hotels instead of driving in the vans back and forth on the same roads? I liked almost all the hotels we used. Our guide Lee Sataporn had us go to the temple ruins in the evening instead of the next morning as scheduled. It would have been better if she would have given us the extra time at the hoitel the next morning, since she changed our itinerary. I did not like the massage place she took us to in Chaing Mai - it seemed dodgy and unprofessional. Was it actually a front for prostitution? I went to a different one the next day that was very professional, well-lit and seemed cleaner. I wished we had had Ning as our tour guide for both weeks, she was excellent, and was interested in ensuring we enjoyed our tour.”
Tour was fabulous...loved all the places we visited. Would have loved to have stayed longer at the floating motel as it was very special. Sun was exceptional, her manner, knowledge and sense of humour were outstanding. Nothing was too hard for her. The drivers were all courteous and I felt safe throughout the whole tour.
Was glad we added on a few days at Krabi before returning home to relax before going home.”
Wow, just back from this amazing tour. Our guide Sun was everything you could wish for informative, knowledgeable, and helpful. We always knew exactly where we were, what we were looking at and doing, what we needed to wear, bring and do at every stage, so we never missed a thing. Her thoughtful touches like buying local snacks for us to try really made the holiday. When I said that I would like to see the elephants paint a picture she re arranged the schedule to incorporate the show and helped me buy the picture itself, what service. Every day exceeded the previous day the Grand palace, the river raft floating hotel, the elephant conservation centre and the festival of light being my highlights. Amazing. I chose this holiday as a present to my husband for his 50th birthday and what a unforgettable birthday present it was thank you.”
This tour was a great adventure for me. I enjoyed the variety of activities, scenery and hotel accommodation. The guide Anna was a top tour guide and took care of me and made me feel safe in a foreign country. She is an asset your company. I enjoyed this tour a lot and will look at travelling with on the go again. Thank you. ”
HI Great tour well presented and organised. Seen so much in such time ,one the best holidays we have been on .Our guide Sulee was brilliant with great knowledge of the culture and history, was always there when needed and got involved with the group, also very helpful with advice on taking photographs. Would certainly go with On The Go again and look forward so another great deall”
I just want to say how much we enjoyed our trip to Thailand. We were very impressed with On The Go Tours, their organizational skills, the tour guides and drivers, and the excellent hotels.
Overall, there was plenty of variety and free time. We have been on tours with several other tour companies over the last twenty years of travelling, but this was the best. We will certainly consider going on another On the Go Tour and would not hesitate recommending them to friends and family. ”
Extra Tour Info
Bright, cheerful and knowledgable”