Thailand’s necklace of idyllic, white-sand beaches and translucent sea water offer the perfect setting for a blissful sun-and-sand holiday. The country’s phenomenal cuisine, abundant seafood and high-quality accommodation are just some reasons for its popularity.
Away from the shoreline, numerous cultural attractions await, from evocative ruined cities of the Central Plains to the deserted Khmer temples in Isaan, the gleaming gold and exuberantly decorated temples of Bangkok, where the royal palace is the home of the country’s most revered treasure, the ‘Emerald Buddha’ and the jungle-covered mountain valleys in the far north, where ethnic minority people maintain their traditional ways of life in the face of Thailand’s increasing modernity.
This two-week trip with TransIndus, one of the UK’s largest operators of tailor-made tours to Asia, offers an excellent overview of the culture and history of the fascinating country, as well as exploring the lush mountainous countryside.
Begin in Bangkok, where you will explore the city in depth, and travel out to Kanchanaburi to learn about the areas’ war history.
Following this, travel north, and visit ancient former capitals with crumbling temples and other historical sites.
Continue north to the charming city and former Lan Na capital, Chiang Mai. Explore the city’s historical and religious sites, before travelling further into the mountains and exploring the beautiful Golden Triangle region, the point where Thailand meets Myanmar and Laos.
International flights from London, with Thai Airlines or similar
12 nights accommodation in standard grade properties
All internal transportation and transfers
English speaking guides for all sightseeing
Entrance fees to sites and monuments listed in tour itinerary
Day 1: London
Fly to Bangkok on a direct service of Thai Airways or similar.
Day 2: Bangkok
Arrive at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, where you will be met and driven to your hotel in the centre of the city.
Day 3: Bangkok
Spend the morning exploring the old part of the city, Rattanakosin. Visit the Temple of Dawn - Wat Arun, the magnificent Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha , before continuing to nearby Wat Pho to see the reclining Buddha. Have the afternoon at leisure to relax, or perhaps explore the city on foot or using the efficient Skytrain.
Day 4: Bangkok
Visit Khlong Lat Mayom, an authentic floating market that sees few foreigners. Watch locals selling goods from traditional boats. Afterwards, return to the city and take a longtail boat on the klongs – the backwaters of Bangkok.
Day 5: Bangkok, Kanchanaburi
Travel by car to Kanchanaburi. Located about 3 hours west of Bangkok towards the border with Myanmar, Kanchanaburi is a small town known largely for the famous bridge over the Kwai river. In addition to visiting the bridge, go to a war museum, a war cemetery, and take a train ride on the ‘death railway’.
Day 6: Sukhothai
In the morning, travel by railway from Hualumpong to Phitsanalouk. The train ride takes about seven hours and the scenery is fascinating, as it changes from the urban, to scenes dominated by lush green tropical vegetation. On arrival early afternoon, travel by car to nearby Sukhothai.
Day 7: Sukhothai, Chiang Mai
Sukhothai was Siam’s original capital and the dynasty went on for 200 years. Dating from the 13th century, there are now around 21 historical sites, and the area is listed by UNESCO. Spend the day exploring the fascinating sites with your guide on foot, or you may prefer to travel by bicycle.
Day 8: Sukhothai, Chiang Mai
Take an excursion to the mountain temple of Doi Suthep, one of northern Thailand’s most sacred temples. Next, visit a Hmong hill tribe on Doi Pui. The afternoon’s sightseeing features the city temples of Wat Suan Dok, Wat Chiang Man and Wat Phra Singh.
Day 9: Chiang Mai
Explore Chiang Mai old town. The walled city of the the former Lan Na capital holds many temples and historical buildings. Visit Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chedi Luang, and Wat Chiang Man. Travel outside of the city to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a temple situated on top of a mountain. The sacred temple is beautiful as are the views from the temple.
Day 10: Chiang Mai
Have a day to explore the city at leisure. There are some interesting markets in Chiang Mai that you may like to visit.
Day 11: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai
Travel along a mountain road for about three hours to Chiang Rai, gateway to the Golden Triangle. The journey is scenic, and you may like to stop along the way to take photos.
Day 12: Chiang Rai, Bangkok
Spend the day exploring the Golden Triangle region, where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet. The area was once infamous for the cultivation of opium, and there is a strong connection with this today. Visit the impressive Opium Museum.
Day 13: Chiang Rai, Bangkok
A day of gentle trekking visiting villages inhabited by different hilltribes such as the Akha and Yao people. Your guide can adjust the level of trekking to suit your preference and ability.
Day 14: Chiang Rai, Bangkok
Spend the day at leisure before an evening flight to Bangkok, and onward flight to UK, arriving the following day.
This 15-day trip costs from £2745 per person.