THAILAND The Land of Smiles
Bangkok – Floating Market – River Kwai – Ayutthaya – Phitsanulok – Sukhothai – Chiang Mai – Bangkok
Guaranteed departures from two participants
Maximum of 32
Options to choose from:
Standard and superior hotel category
Half-board or full-board
Visiting two historical sites that are classified as World Heritage by UNESCO
Numerous tasting to discover the wonders of Thai gastronomy
The early morning alms-offering ceremony in Chiang Mai
A traditional Khantoke dinner with a dance show
A long-tail boat tour to visit a floating market
The death railway train ride at the River Kwai
Day 1: Departure
Day 2: Arrival in Bangkok (-/-/-)
Welcome to the “Land of Smiles”! Please follow the sign to Immigration then onto the Baggage Claim area. Once you have picked up your luggage, please head toward Exit C to meet your guide at gate number 10. There will be a group transfer from Suvarnabhumi airport to the hotel if the flight arrives between 06:00 am and 10:00 pm (or take a taxi at your own cost if you arrive outside these times). Check in at the hotel (rooms available from 2 pm). Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Enjoy your dinner on your own. Night at the hotel.
Day 3: Bangkok (Breakfast/Lunch/-)
Breakfast at the hotel. Meet your guide at the hotel lobby at 7.30 am. Be ready for an immersion in Bangkok everyday life by local transport. After a ride on the ‘Sky Train’ and a water taxi journey on the Chao Phraya River you will arrive at the Royal Palace and Wat Phra Kaew which houses the Emerald Buddha, the representation of the most revered Buddha in Thailand. The visit will continue with time for you to discover the wonders of Wat Po and its gigantic reclining and golden Buddha, an astonishing 46 meters (151 feet) long. Lunch by the river to enjoy sampling Kai Kratiem, garlic fried chicken with soy sauce. In late afternoon, take a stroll through Chinatown with its bustling flower market. Again, enjoy dinner at leisure, there are so many options to choose from! Night at the hotel.
Day 4: Bangkok - Damnoen Saduak - River Kwai (190 km, 118 miles) (Breakfast/Lunch/-)
In the morning you will head south-west of Bangkok to Damnoen Saduak, the most famous floating market in Thailand. On the way, you will stop at a factory where coconut sugar is extracted before embarking on a long-tail boat through the canals, observing traditional houses on stilts. Upon arrival you will visit the market on foot to observe the vendors whose boats are loaded with fruits and vegetables. We will then continue to Kanchanaburi, where you will stop at the Allied Cemetery to learn more about the historical significance of the area during World War II. You will get a chance to walk along the famous River Kwai bridge that crosses the river. Lunch will be served near the bridge, a chance for you to taste Kaeng Kai Baan, a farm chicken curry, a culinary specialty of Kanchanaburi. After lunch, you will continue your journey aboard the death railway train through a beautiful rural landscape. Thereafter, you will transfer back to the hotel to enjoy dinner at leisure and to reflect on the day’s experiences. Night at the hotel.
Day 5: River Kwai - Ayutthaya – Phitsanulok (380km, 236 miles) (Breakfast/Lunch/-)
You will head to Ayutthaya in the morning, the ancient capital of Siam, and a remarkable archaeological site listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will visit Wat Chai Mongkhol with its courtyard entirely lined with Buddha statues and its imposing Chedi. Wat Chedi Sri Suryothai was built in homage to a Thai princess, heroine of resistance against the Burmese army. Afterward, you will visit Wat Lokayasutharan and its giant layer Buddha that is 37m (40 yards) long and 8m (9 yards) high. During lunch you will taste Pad Thai, one of Thailand’s iconic dishes - fried noodles with soy, dried shrimp and fish sauce. You will then continue your journey toward Phitsanulok, with an arrival scheduled for late afternoon. Enjoy dinner at leisure. Night at the hotel.
Optional with a supplemental cost (on-site): Night ride on a cycle rickshaw and tasting (optional) of grilled insects, the regional specialty.
Day 6: Phitsanulok - Sukhothai - Chiang Mai (375km, 233 miles) (Breakfast/Lunch-)
Today there is an early wake-up call to head towards another piece of rich Thai history, Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visit its main sites that date back to the 13th century, Wat Mahathat and Wat Sra Sri. You can take advantage of this tour either by bicycle or on foot, accompanied by your guide. Here you will the get the chance to taste the authentic Tom Kha Kai, chicken soup with coconut milk, flavored with lemongrass. After lunch, you will continue further north to Chiang Mai. Upon arrival, take time to soak in the sites of the day and take advantage of the city’s amazing food options for dinner. Night at the hotel.
Day 7: Chiang Mai (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
At sunrise, you will observe the alms-offering ceremony, a spiritual and unforgettable experience as a long procession of monks weaves across the ancient city. Breakfast at the hotel will follow, before a visit to Doi Suthep, one of the largest Buddhist shrines in the country, situated at 1601m (5200 feet) on a hill surrounding Chiang Mai. Here you will experience a breathtaking scenic view and have a chance to taste the national drink, Sang Som. After lunch you will visit the village of Sankhamphaeng to appreciate the diversity of northern crafts and give you the opportunity to purchase lacquer, silk, jewelry and parasols. Enjoy a Khantoke dinner and watch a show of traditional northern dances. Thereafter, you have the option to stroll through the Chiang Mai night market with its myriad of stalls selling souvenirs, snacks and other Thai specialties. Overnight at hotel.
Optional with supplemental cost (on-site): An hour-long traditional Thai massage.
Day 8: Chiang Mai - Bangkok (Train) (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
You will start the day with an amble through the old city’s alleys lined with traditional houses before heading for Wat Phra Singh, that is located inside the city walls. Dating back to 1345, this temple is entirely built of wood and is an example of classical architecture in northern Thailand. Within walking distance, you will find Wat Chedi Luang, 82 meters (270 feet) in height with a diameter of 54 meters (180 feet), dating back from the 14th century. Wat Chedi Luang was the tallest building in the entire Lanna kingdom.
During lunch, you will taste a mouth-watering specialty from Chiang Mai, Khao Soi, egg noodles served in red curry with coconut milk and accompanied by condiments. At the end of the day, you will transfer to the train station and hop on the night train back to Bangkok. Dinner will be provided in takeaway boxes on the train.
Day 9: Bangkok – Departure (Breakfast/-/-)
Good morning Bangkok! From the station you will take a quick walk to a hotel for breakfast, and you can freshen up in one of the rooms here. The rest of the time is your chance to explore the city at your leisure. There will be a group transfer arranged to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport for your return flight if the flight departs between 1:00 p.m. and midnight (or take a taxi at your own cost if your return flight lies outside these times).
Important: Do not plan a domestic or international flight before 1 p.m.
During the tour, private air-conditioned vehicle (except boats)
Accommodation in a double room in the indicated or similar hotels with breakfast
The meals specified in the program
English-speaking local guides from start to finish, except seaside and during leisure time.
Visits mentioned in the program, entrance fees to museums and mentioned sites.
Taxes and hotel services
24-hour telephone hotline during your trip, incase of an emergency
Luggage carrying services
Drinks and personal expenses
International, domestic and inter-Asia flights
Tips for guide(s), driver(s), and hotel(s)