PRIVATE TOUR – CODE: VIT05

From ever-lively Bangkok, cross the famous bridge over the River Kwai, marvel at the beauty of Erawan National Park, explore night markets in Chiang Mai and meet the Long Neck tribe in Chiang Rai before heading south to relax on the beach in the resort town of Hua Hin.

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Travel route: Bangkok – The river Kwai – Ayuthaya – Chiang Mai – Kok river – Hua Hin beach – Bangkok – Departure

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bangkok – Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Original Thai Massage School, Flower Market and Khao San Road
  • Erawan National Park – Beautiful seven tiered waterfall
  • 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)
  • Kanchanaburi – Allied War Cemetary, Bridge on the River Kwai and ‘Hellfire Pass’
  • Ayuthaya – Former capital of Thailand, ancient ruins including iconic Wat Mahatat
  • 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
  • Hua Hin – Lazy days by the beach overlooking the Gulf of Thailand

BRIEF ITINERARY

  • Day 1: Bangkok (D)
  • Day 2: Bangkok City Tour (B)
  • Day 3: The River Kwai (B,D)
  • Days 4-5: Erawan & Ayuthaya (B,L)
  • Days 6-7: Chiang Mai (B)
  • Day 8: Longtail boats on the Kok River (B)
  • Day 9: Local Tribes (B)
  • Days 10-12: Hua Hin (B)
  • Days 13-14: Bangkok (B)

DETAIL ITINERARY

Day 1: Bangkok (D)

Saturday. Welcome to Bangkok, the ever-alluring capital of Thailand. Arrival transfer to our hotel. Welcome dinner is arranged. Overnight in Bangkok.

Day 2: Bangkok City Tour (B)

This morning 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. 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, the canals enable surface water to make its way to the sea and have long been a way of getting around Bangkok. On our journey we’ll glide by curious stilted houses and gleaming temples whilst old men fish and children folic about on the waters edge.

Our boats drop us 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 in Bangkok.

Day 3: The River Kwai (B,D)

Bangkok – Kanchanaburi. This morning we drive to the quiet provincial town of Kanchanaburi where Japanese infamously used Allied POWs to build a rail route to Burma in WWII, known as the Death Railway. We visit the Allied War Cemetery and cross the famous bridge on the River Kwai by train before travelling on to ‘Hellfire Pass’. Our home for the night is a wonderful floating jungle raft hotel, nestled within lush, tropical forest. Overnight in Kanchanaburi Floating Hotel.

Days 4-5: Erawan & Ayuthaya (B,L)

Kanchanaburi – Ayuthaya – Bangkok – Chiang Mai. On day 4 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 park to see these amazing creatures up close and take a ride through the forest. Our final destination today is 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. On day 5 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: Ayuthaya (1), Sleeper train (1)  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 1

Days 6-7: Chiang Mai (B)

On day 6 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.

Enjoy the afternoon at leisure before visiting the bustling night market where you can taste lots of local dishes. Day 7 offers free time for you to relax or participate in some of the many activities on offer including canopy zip lines, rock climbing and cooking classes.

Overnight: Chiang Mai (2)  |  Breakfast x 1

Day 8: Longtail boats on the Kok River (B)

Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai. Travelling through stunning karst and jungle scenery we board private long tail boats for a scenic cruise down the Kok River. We travel on to Chiang Rai stopping en route to visit Wat Rong Khun Buddhist temple. In the evening we explore the exotic local night market. Overnight in Chiang Rai.

Day 9: Local Tribes (B)

Chiang Rai – Bangkok. Today we visit a Karen village which is home to the fascinating Long Neck tribe, so known for the neck rings that the women wear to elongate their necks. Continuing to the border frontier town of Mae Sai you can opt to cross briefly into Burma and at a view point in Chiang Saen it’s possible to see Burma and Laos. We take time to visit the Opium Museum before before flying to Bangkok, arriving late in the evening. Overnight in Bangkok.

Days 10-12: Hua Hin (B)

This morning we’ll head south in search of tropical waters and golden sands. Passing small towns and karsts on our way we arrive at the royal resort town of Hua Hin, located on the Gulf of Thailand. Spend your days at leisure, soaking up the sun on beautiful wide sandy beach or relaxing by the pool. For those who prefer to stay active, there are plenty of leisure options in the area including elephant rides, sea kayaking and walking in the beautiful Khao Sam Roi Yort National Park or a leisurely round of golf at one of the nearby courses. In the evening why not explore Hua Hin’s lively night market? Overnight in Hua Hin.

Days 13-14: Bangkok (B)

At around midday on day 13, we drive back to the capital for our final night where there’s the opportunity to stock up on last minute souvenirs and enjoy this vibrant city one last time. Friday marks the end of your holiday. After breakfast and hotel check out we will transfer you to the airport in time for your onward departure flight, though you may consider extending your stay!

INCLUSION

  • 12 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
  • Economy class flight Chiang Mai – Bangkok
  • Escorted by an English-speaking Thai tour guide (days 1 – 10)
  • Free time by the beach in Hua Hin
  • River cruise from Ayuthaya to Bangkok
  • Excursion to the hill tribe villages around Chiang Rai
  • Mineral water & Admissions
  • 11 nights 3 – 4 star & Special Class hotels, 1 night floating hotel in the jungle, 1 night overnight sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • Airport arrival transfer day 1 & departure transfer day 14
  • Guided sightseeing – Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Erawan National Park, Ayuthaya and Chiang Rai
  • Train ride over the River Kwai and visit to Hellfire Pass
  •  Longtail boat cruise on the canals of Bangkok and on the Kok River
  • All relevant transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles

EXCLUSION

  • International flights and visa.
  • Tipping for tour guides and drivers.
  • Personal expenses not mentioned above.