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Bangkok- Amphawa -
kanchanaburi - Chiang Mai
-
8 nights

FIT 14

A message from our Travel Expert

This tour is designed for travelers wishing to discover Thailand from Bangkok to the North, its natural landscapes, and its charming structures on a human scale, while privileging the proximity with local communities. A respectful tourism rich in discoveries and encounters.

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Highlights

  • The discovery of Bangkok as close as possible to the Thai way of life and visiting the Royal Palace, Emerald Buddha, Wat Pho, Wat Arun and the historical district of Talad Noi. 

  • Visit Jim Thompson's house, remarkable for its traditional wooden architecture and art collection.

  • Visit of the famous fish market of Mahachai, picturesque train ride to Mae Klong and its amazing market installed on the rails of the railway, and the floating market of Amphawa.

  • Trip on death railway train, that travel through rugged terrain on the historic railway line built by the Japanese prisoners of war during World War II.

  • Hiking in Erawan National Park and its famous waterfalls for swimming. 

  • Meeting with the most sacred animal of Thailand, in a sanctuary for elephants.

  • Visit of the archaeological site of Ayutthaya, classified as a World Heritage Site.

  • Stay at the Khum Lanna eco-lodge, nestled in a deep valley, surrounded by orchards and rice fields.

  • Local cooking class

  • Short bike ride and discovery of the surrounding countryside

Day 1: ARRIVAL IN BANGKOK: SAWASDEE!  (-/-/-)

Arrival in Bangkok by flight.

"We start our descent to Bangkok. Please return to your seat and fasten your seat belt", announces the chief cabin attendant. In less than 30 minutes, your plane will land in Bangkok, the "City of Angels" and capital of the Kingdom of Thailand. 

When you leave the plane, you will be greeted by a privileged welcome: assistance and a porter will be waiting for you with a personalized sign. 


At the exit of the airport, you will be directed to your private vehicle for a transfer to the hotel. As the urban landscape unfolds before your eyes, you will feel the first sensations of the "Land of smiles", as Thailand is nicknamed.
Room available from 14:00. Dinner at leisure and night at the hotel.

 

Day 2: BANGKOK BY LOCAL TRANSPORTATION (Breakfast/-/-)

English-speaking guide and private transportation

9:00 am Departure to Jim Thompson's house
11:00 am Taxi-boat ride to Phanfa Bridge pier 
11:30 am Ascent of Wat Saket   
12:30 pm Lunch at leisure 
13:30 pm Transit by water cab to Wat Arun 
15:00 pm Visit of Wat Pho 
16:30 pm Walk in Talad Noi district 
18:00 pm Back to your hotel

Now a museum, Jim Thomson's house, a symbol of traditional wooden architecture, has an important collection of Asian art objects. A return to a not so distant past since thformer American spy, who was behind the revival of the silk industry in Thailand, mysteriously disappeared in Malaysia in 1967.  


It is by water cab via the klong (canal), which passes in front of the house that one reaches Wat Saket (the temple of the Golden Mountain). It is necessary to climb 344 steps to visit it. From above, Bangkok appears in all its diversity and architectural contrasts, varying from modern too ancient. 


Another means of transportation still widely used by the inhabitants of Bangkok is the tuk-tuk, which allows reaching the heart of the historic district and the Chao Phraya River, which winds through Bangkok. A water cab is again necessary to reach the Wat Arun temple ("Temple of Dawn"), erected on the water's edge. Its unique architecture with its 79-meter high central tower decorated with millions of porcelain fragments makes it the most original in the city.


A last boat crossing takes you to the opposite shore to discover Wat Pho, which has an impressive 45-meter long reclining Buddha and a famous school of traditional massage (30 min foot massage optional).


This day of discovery by local transportation will end in the district of Talad Noi, one of the oldest in the City of Angels. In addition to its photogenic setting, this part of Bangkok located in the historic Chinatown is pleasant to explore on foot.
 

Day 3: BANGKOK – MAHACHAI – AMPHAWA (Breakfast /-/-)

English-speaking guide and private transportation

7:30 am Departure from your hotel to Mahachai 
9:00 am Visit of the fish market
9:30 am Crossing the small city of Thachalum by rickshaw
10:10 a.m. Local train to Mae Klong 
11:10 am Visit of the railway market
12:15 pm Seafood lunch at leisure
2:00 pm Arrival at the hotel
2:30 pm Activities at leisure 
5:00 pm Departure by boat to discover the Amphawa market (from Fri to Sun only) 
7:00 pm Dinner at leisure on site
8:30 pm Return to the hotel by minivan

After exiting the Southern Highway, the minivan branches off to Mahachai before parking near the town hall. This fishing port is known for its large fish and shellfish market, very lively in the morning. The local specialty: squid and octopus. They are eaten in salad, grilled or even dried. You will take the ferry reserved for pedestrians and motorcycles to cross the Tachin River to Thachalum. A small village as we like it, so close to the big megalopolis and so close to the provincial life, where time passes more slowly.

Rickshaws will take you directly to the small cultural center that traces the life of the community and the local legends and customs. A little further on, at the bend of an alley, stands a temple. Among many others? No! This one is unique. Entirely made of wood and gilding, it is quite simply a jewel of architecture of a well-hidden period. The rickshaw ride stops a few meters further, at the tiny station of Ban Laem
 

The train, a bit old-fashioned, open to the wind, is about to leave for an hour ride through the salt marshes landscapes where white egrets and other waders come to feed. Mae Klong is in sight, the convoy arrives at its terminus by crossing a market where the stalls are immediately arranged to let the locomotive pass before being unpacked again. Tourists are numerous to observe this unusual ballet! 
On the riverside, just a short distance away from the small trawlers glued together, you will be invited to taste the fish and seafood dishes that have made the reputation of the region.  


After lunch, transfer to Asita Eco Resort, where you will spend the night in a very comfortable bungalow, in a beautiful setting flanked by greenery on the banks of a canal. Here you can have a walk around, enjoy a Thai massage (optional), the swimming pool or participate in the activities offered by the hotel (with extra charge) such as a Thai cooking class with the resort chef or painting on umbrellas
 

At the end of the day, departure from the hotel pier by motorboat (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only) for the lively Amphawa vintage night market, which is full of good places to eat and authentic art craft to grab.
 

Day 4: AMPHAWA – RIVER KWAI
(Breakfast /-/Dinner)

English-speaking guide and private transportation

9:30 am Departure from the hotel to Kanchanaburi (about 2 hour’s drive) 12:00 pm Free lunch in Kanchanaburi amongst the rice fields.
2:00 pm Departure for the River Kwai
3:30 pm Travel by twist train 
5:00 pm Installation at your hotel 
7:30 pm Dinner at the hotel
    
A true hidden gem little known to tourists, Wat Tham Sua (Tiger Cave Temple) is one of the most famous places of worship in Kanchanaburi. The holy relics of Ketkaew Prasat Chedi are preserved there. 


At the top of the hill overlooking an expanse of rice fields, visitors will be able to observe the largest image of Buddha in the region (18 meters high!). The view is exceptional with the Mae Klong River below and rice fields as far as the eye can see. The Chinese pagoda of Wat Tham Khao Noi is located next to the temple.


The Meena Kanchanaburi café/restaurant with its typical decoration is located in the middle of the lush rice fields, with a view of Wat Tham Sua in the distance. An ideal place to enjoy local dishes, drinks and cakes. Take the opportunity to relax in the shade of the comfortable bamboo huts. Whatever the time of your visit, you can find the perfect seat to enjoy the breath taking view. 


Departure to Namtok train station. Journey aboard the death railways train that travels through rugged terrain on the historic railway line built by the Japanese prisoners of war. Transfer by boat to the hotel floating on the Kwai River.
 

Day 5: RIVER KWAI – DAY AT LEISURE
(Breakfast /-/Dinner)

English-speaking guide and private transportation

•    10:30 am Departure from your hotel and visit of the "Hellfire pass". 
•    12:00 pm Free lunch at the entrance of Erawan National Park
•    Stroll and swim in the park
•    4:00 pm Back to your hotel
•    7:30 pm Dinner at the hotel

The Hellfire Pass (or Hell Gate) is a center dedicated to the memory of the Japanese prisoners of war who built a railway during World War II through the jungle linking Thailand to Burma. A walk through the rocky passages cleared with dynamite helps to understand what the convicts endured. Lunch (at leisure) of local specialties will be taken at the foot of the Erawan National Park, a magnificent jungle setting crossed by a succession of waterfalls extending over seven levels before flowing into the Khwae Yai River. A hiking trail (700 meters of elevation) allows to reach several natural pools with turquoise waters where it is good to swim in a most refreshing water! 
 

Day 6: KANCHANABURI – AYUTTHAYA <OVERNIGHT SLEEPER TRAIN> (Breakfast-/-)

English-speaking guide and private transportation

•    09:30 am Departure from the hotel
•    11:30 am Arrival in Ayutthaya and visit of the historical site
•    12:00 pm Lunch at leisure 
•    1:30 pm Continuation of the visits
•    4:30 pm City tour and stop at the market
•    7:00 pm Transfer to Ayutthaya station and night train to Chiang Mai
•    Dinner at leisure


The archaeological site of Ayutthaya, once the capital of the kingdom of Siam, presents that unique atmosphere of sites steeped in history. A history that is first discovered on the riverbanks, lined with remains, then on foot and by tuk tuk through the ruins of the historical park classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Wat Phanangchoeng, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, dating from the fifteenth century, or Wat Lokaya Sutharam and his 42-meter long reclining Buddha, are the best-preserved temples of the Ayutthaya era (fourteenth to eighteenth century). An inescapable symbol of the city, the head of Buddha encircled by the roots of a banyan, the sacred tree of the Mahathat temple. 


At the end of the day, the downtown market attracts locals who come to eat or buy their evening meal among the dozens of stalls offering local specialties, including the roti samai, a pancake with a melt-in-the-mouth sweet texture. Coming from Bangkok, the night train with berths stops daily in Ayutthaya before reaching Chiang Mai the next morning. It is time to board and say goodbye to your guide. 
 

Day 7: CHIANG MAI – KHUM LANNA
(Breakfast /Lunch/ Dinner)

English-speaking guide and private transportation. 

7:15 am Arrival at Chiang Mai train station 
9:00 am Installation at Khum Lanna eco lodge
12:00 pm Discovery of the site and lunch included
4:30 pm Cooking class
7:00 pm Dinner included at the lodge

Terminus, all passengers are invited to get off the train. Transfer to Khun Lanna where a local drink will be served as a welcome drink. Installation in your room. Farmers' cotton shirts are provided throughout your stay. Lunch included. Rest in the early afternoon.


You will then receive a Thai recipe book from Khum Lanna, which will detail many recipes as well as plants and their uses. Beginning of the cooking class with the preparation of dishes that you will be able to enjoy at dinner. From November to February, enjoy the campfire and the starry sky.  
 

Day 8: CHIANG MAI IN THE NATURE
(Breakfast /Lunch/ Dinner)

English-speaking guide and private transportation

•    6:00 am Bike tour in the countryside
•    10:00 am Discovery of the « Rice for Life » concept.
•    12:00 pm Lunch included
•    2:00 pm Activity of your choice
•    4:30 pm Cooking class
•    7:00 pm Dinner

Around 5:30 am, a snack is served in the room before leaving at sunrise for a bicycle tour in the countryside, passing through the village of San Kwang, followed by a morning visit to the market of Phrao. On the way back, goods can be purchased for offerings at the temple. Visit of a rice plantation. Passage through many rice fields and stop at the temple of Wat Pa to discover a venerated image of Buddha on a sacred tree. The concept of "Rice for Life" will be explained to you as well as the history of rice cultivation - the different varieties grown, the tools used in the past and many other discoveries. You can test your skills by steaming sticky rice. Stroll through the organic garden where a wide variety of plants and vegetables grow, which you will be able to pick and use in your cooking class. 
For lunch, taste the rice that you have prepared yourself, accompanied by grilled meat and other local dishes. 

In the afternoon, choose an activity: 

  • Visit of the surrounding countryside by bicycle

  • Fruit and vegetable sculptures

  • Bath with local herbs

  • Therapeutic Herbal Massage (8 herbs) 

Late afternoon free until the last Thai cooking class in the early evening. You will learn how to prepare and cook the fruit of your harvest from the garden and three Thai dishes. Full 4-course Thai dinner with your host and family. Campfire in the garden under a starry sky away from the city lights.
 

Day 9: CHIANG MAI IN THE NATURE (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)

English-speaking guide and private transportation

 

7:00 am Traditional offering to the monks

8:45 am Breakfast

9:00 am Short bike ride

12:00 pm Picnic lunch on the orchard hill

2:30 pm Transfer back to Chiang Mai.

 

Around 7:00 am (optional): Walk to the temple and join your host for the traditional offering of alms, giving food to the monks. As a symbolic gesture, you will do your own shopping. Breakfast by the river. Short bike ride to the rural village in the morning to observe the incredible accumulation of beehives on the sacred tree of Ban Nam Phrae. An opportunity to better understand the essential role of bees and the need to protect them.

 

Continuation by bike to Wiang Phrao Wung Hin (city older than Chiang Mai) to visit the Phra Chao Lan Tong, the most symbolic image of Buddha in the Phrao district. Here, King Mengrai (1259-1317) gathered the villagers and trained them as soldiers to defend the city. A few pedal strokes will be enough to reach the Wat Tham Dork Kum where there is various stucco Buddha figures and an impressive reclining Buddha.

Picnic lunch on the orchard hill with a breathtaking view of the entire Phrao Valley and Khum Lanna.

 

After refreshment or a shower, you will receive your Thai cooking diploma and a gift from your host. Return to Chiang Mai.

Included

  • During the tour, private air-conditioned vehicle (except boats – Local taxi - etc)

  • Accommodation in double rooms in the indicated hotels.

  • The meals specified in the program

  • Your local English speaking guide according to your program.

  • Visits mentioned in the program and entrance fees to tourist sites and national parks.

  • Hotel taxes and service

  • Our 24-hour English-speaking hotline in case of emergency during your trip

Not included

  • Visa fees (If necessary)

  • Beverages and personal expenses

  • International flights

  • Domestic flights

  • Regional flights

  • The tips for the guides are about 5 USD per night per person.

  • Repatriation and Health Insurance

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