Exciting Days, Comfortable Nights

Thailand Express

6 days  |  Bangkok to Chiang Mai  |  from USD $999  |   Guaranteed Departures 

If you are short on time but still want to sample the delights of Thailand, then this is the tour for you. Kicking off in the captivating capital city of Bangkok, journey north to explore the night markets of Chiang Mai and mingle with the hill tribes in Chiang Rai. With the option to end your tour in Chiang Mai or return to Bangkok.

Prices & Dates


Please Note: from 15 Feb 2017 this tour will become 5 days in length and will commence on a Monday. Please see our new trip titled: Thailand Express 2017, for more info.

Day 1

Welcome to Thailand

Tuesday. 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

Bustling Bangkok

Today we explore the stunning Grand Palace, crowned by lofty gilt stupas and home to the legendary Emerald Buddha. We’ll also visit the House of the Reclining Buddha, the Original Thai Massage School and the 24hr Flower Market before boarding longtail boats to explore the city’s canals, known as Khlongs. Exploring the city by boat gives insight into the lives of the city's riverside dwellers - the overtly rich and incredibly poor.

Stepping off our longtail boat we head over to Khao San Road, popular with backpackers and hippies for a little free time before returning to our hotel to freshen up before taking the overnight express sleeper train (2nd class A/C sleeper cabins) to Chiang Mai.
Overnight: Sleeper Train  |  Breakfast

Day 3

Chiang Mai

This morning we arrive into the picturesque city of Chiang Mai, nestled in the foothills of northern Thailand. In the 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 real highlight. 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 4

Chiang Mai - your way

A free day for you to relax or participate in some of the many activities on offer. Choose from adrenaline-fuelled adventures such a canopy zip lining and rock climbing or opt for a from more relaxing affair with spa treatments and massages. No trip to Chiang Mai would be complete without trying a local cooking class and perfecting your very own Pad Thai!

Alternatively, opt for a day trip to Lampang where you can visit the residents of the Elephant Conservation Centre. Founded in 1933 the centre is home to over 50 Asian elephants in a beautiful forest and visitors can watch the daily bathing session before enjoying a ride through the forest on one of these magnificent creatures.
Overnight: Chiang Mai  |  Breakfast

Day 5

Cruising the Kok River

Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai. Our journey today takes us through stunning karst and jungle scenery. Stopping for lunch at Ta Thon we board private long tail boats for a cruise down the Kok River watching rural life pass us by. Farmers work the land where oranges grow whilst men fish along the banks and buffalo wallow in the shallow waters. From our arrival point we continue to Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) which depicts scenes from modern movies including the Matrix, Star Wars and Superman! Arriving to Chiang Rai early in this evening consider taking some time to enjoy the hotel facilities before taking a short stroll down to the night market for some last minute bargain hunting.
Overnight: Chiang Rai  |  Breakfast

Day 6

Chiang Rai & return to Chiang Mai

Sunday. Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai. This morning we head out to a local village where you'll have the chance to encounter the famous Long Neck or Karen tribe. We then continue to the border frontier town of Mae Sai, where you have the chance to cross briefly into Myanmar and enter the Burmese town of Tachilek (optional). Our next stop is a viewpoint in Chiang Saen, better known as the Golden Triangle, which earned its name from the fact that so much opium once passed through the area. From this viewpoint we are able to see Myanmar in front of us and Laos to the right. We then have some time to visit the Opium Museum before returning to Chiang Mai at approx 8-9pm, where arrangements end. Alternatively you can opt to finish your tour in Chiang Rai or book our Bangkok extension - see details below.

End this tour in Bangkok & the Yi Peng Lantern Festival

There is the option to end this tour in Bangkok for a supplement. Includes: Flight from Chiang Mai to Bangkok on day 6, arriving at approximately 9.45pm. Airport transfer to hotel and one night 3 star accommodation in Bangkok. Breakfast on day 7 and departure transfer to Bangkok airport.

On 12 November 2016 we are offering a special Thailand Express departure that coincides with the spectacular Yi Peng festival of Chiang Mai on day 3. 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 the Yi Peng Festival summary located on our Thailand Express Trip Notes.

Prices & Dates

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.

Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons.

Supplementary Prices

Single Supp.
Pre Tour Accommodation Bangkok
USD $56
USD $51
Post Tour Accommodation Bangkok
USD $56
USD $51
Private Tour Supplement
USD $900
End Your Tour in Bangkok Supplement
USD $490
USD $60
Post Accommodation Chaing Mai
USD $48
USD $41


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 when necessary.

Royal Benja Hotel, Bangkok

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

The Royal Benja Hotel provides homely accommodation in the heart of Bangkok city with a large outdoor pool to enjoy after a long, hot day sightseeing. Benjamas Restaurant serves a wide selection of local and international cuisine whilst drinks and live music are offered at the Buddy Pub.

Centara Duangtawan Hotel, Chiang Mai

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

This impressive high rise hotel offers comfortable accommodation and a host of facilities. The hotel’s extensive all day dining venue plays host to sumptuous buffets, themed evening and a extensive a la carte option bringing together the best of Italian, Japanese, International, Thai and Asian Cuisine. Perched atop of the hotel is the Sunflower Chinese Restaurant affording spectacular views of Chiang Mai and some of the best Chinese Cuisine this city has to offer. The hotel also features a spacious pool with its own bar, a state of the art gym and spa.

Rimkok Hotel , Chiang Rai

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Enjoying a pretty location by the Maekok River, the Rimkok Hotel provides attractive grounds and comfortable rooms with a large outdoor swimming pool and free WiFi in public areas. Garden views can be enjoyed from the private balconies of the guestrooms. The hotel's restaurants serve a selection of Thai, Chinese and International dishes.

Trip Highlights

Bangkok - Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Original Thai Massage School, Flower Market and Khao San Road
Cruising on the Kok River in a longtail boat
Chiang Rai - Karen (Longneck) tribe village, frontier town of Mae Sai, Chiang Saen in the ‘Golden Triangle’ & the Opium Museum
Chiang Mai - Night market and free time for optional activities from spa treatments to canopy ziplines
Wat Rhon Khung - The ‘White Temple’
Crossing the border into Burma to explore the small town of Tachileik (optional)


4 breakfasts
Airport arrival transfer on day 1
Guided sightseeing to all included sites
 Excursion to the hill tribe villages around Chiang Rai
4 nights 3 - 4 star & Special Class hotels, 1 night overnight sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Escorted by an English-speaking Thai tour guide (for groups of 6 or more)
 Longtail boat cruise on the canals of Bangkok and on the Kok River
All relevant transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles

Not Included

International flights, visa and departure transfer
Entrance Fees: USD$45-55, paid in USD
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow USD$3 - 6 per day, per traveller. Tipping your guide is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: USD$30-40, paid in USD
Tour Details
Chiang Mai
Hotel Rating
3 - 4 star
Local Payment
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Breakfast: 4

Tour Bolt-ons

Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and bolt-ons

Phuket Beach Break

USD $1,315 / 6 days

Koh Samui Beach Break

USD $2,085 / 6 days

The tour was great! We felt like we were able to see a lot of the highlights of Thailand and taste the local food. We would of liked to see the floating markets that we had heard about and would definitely recommend adding that to the tour for the future. Overall we had a great experience though. Our tour guide was fantastic and provided a lot of knowledge to us during our trip while taking us to the local areas to try the different food that we wanted to experience. On the tour, our last hotel in Chiang Rai did not meet our standard expectations. We were given two twin beds initially even though we placed a special note prior to our trip that it was our honeymoon and would really appreciate having a king bed and requested we switched rooms. They informed us that they were not aware as there was no note on file to indicate it was our honeymoon. The rooms were very old and run down and we didn't enjoy this hotel as much as our other ones we stayed at during the rest of the tour.

Greg Ryan
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