Bangkok has plenty of appeal. With towering skyscrapers pressed up against Chinese shop-houses and brand-new Mercedes squeezing past vendors with pushcarts, this is a city of distinct contrasts. Culture fiends will delight in the city’s countless pagodas, while shoppers could spend weeks sifting through Bangkok’s malls and open-air markets. Whether you’re eating cuisine in a plush 5 star hotel restaurant or sampling fried crickets on the side of the road, prepare to have all of your senses engaged. This is the place to eat, drink and be merry. You will be met on arrival at Bangkok Airport and transferred to your hotel. You are welcome to arrive at any time on day 1, but please note that hotel check-in time is 12 noon. At 6pm there will be a group meeting where you will meet your Chief Experience Officer (Tour Leader) and fellow travel companions and go over the logistics of the upcoming adventure. Following the meeting your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will take you for your first experience of delicious Thai food. Our hotel tonight is centrally located in Bangkok near a number of great restaurants and markets. Each room is air conditioned and is twin/double share with attached shower and ensuite. The hotel has many facilities including wifi, a swimming pool and gymnasium.
On the morning of Day 2 we set out to explore the must see sights of Bangkok with the help of our experienced and informative local guide. Enjoy an intriguing long tail boat tour through the heart of Bangkok's famous klongs, or canals. A guided visit through Wat Po will introduce you to the Thai and Buddhist culture. Wat Po is also considered the birthplace of traditional Thai Massage where you have the chance to ease those cramped muscles after your flight. Think of it as yoga where you don't have to do anything! We also visit the halls and murals decorating the Grand Palace, built in 1782. In the afternoon our private minivan will transfer us to Kanchanaburi via the seven tiered waterfalls of Erawan National Park where we soak in the coolness of the pools at the base of the falls. The highest fall is said to resemble Erawan, the three-headed elephant of Hindu mythology. Spend the afternoon relaxing by the water, trekking through the jungle, climbing through the local caves, or just relaxing in the reviving shade before continuing to our hotel. On Day 3 we visit the Allied War Cemetery, built to commemorate the POW's who died building the Thai-Burmese railway. We’ll also visit the Thai-Burmese Railway Museum, JEATH Museum and then experience a train ride over the Bridge on the River Kwai and through the Kwai Noi Gorge on the Death Railway, taking a step back in time to WWII. Our accommodation in Kanchanaburi is located by the River Kwai with a fusion of Thai and Balinese style rooms and a tropical garden setting to relax by the pool. Each room is twin/double share, has air conditioning and an attached ensuite. Approx travel time: Bangkok to Kanchanaburi by private minivan: 3 hours.
We travel by private minivan to Ayutthaya and explore the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Ayutthaya Historical Park on bicycle. Ayuthaya served as Thailand’s capital from the 14th to 18th centuries, when it ranked as one of the most magnificent cities in the world. Late in the 17th century its population reached one million, and foreign visitors wrote awestruck accounts of its size and splendor. This evening, we enjoy a remarkable cruise around Ayutthaya on a converted 1930's rice barge taking in the incredible sites of the city at night while enjoying a sumptuous Thai set dinner. Our accommodation tonight is in traditional Thai wooden chalets. Each room is double/twin share, is equipped with air conditioning and has an attached ensuite bathroom. Approx travel time Kanchanaburi to Ayutthaya by private minivans: 2 hours.
This morning we travel to Sukothai. After checking into our hotel we visit another of Thailand's UNESCO World Heritage sites, Sukhothai Historical Park, which we explore with our local guide. The city of Sukhothai, literally translated as; Dawn of Happiness, was the original capital of Thailand's first kingdom and is viewed as representative of the Golden Age of Thai civilization. The religious art and architecture of the Sukhothai era are considered to be the most classic of Thai styles. The Sukhothai ruins contain the remains of 21 historical sites with awe-inspiring Buddha images and four large ponds often filled with stunning lotus flowers in full bloom. Our hotel in Sukhothai is very comfortable and centrally located to the temples in the area. The hotel has a swimming pool amongst many other facilities. Each room is double/twin share, comes equipped with air conditioning and has a private ensuite bathroom. Approx Travel Time Ayutthaya to Sukhothai by private minivans: 4 hours.
Day 6 will see us northbound to Chiang Mai. Along the way we will visit the Elephant Conservation Center at Lampang. All the money the center raises goes towards the care of these gentle giants. We tour the facility and learn about the regal history of elephants in Thailand. We also take a ride on an elephant and imagine living life in the hill tribes of Northern Thailand. A short 1 hour drive through scenic countryside then takes us to the ancient capital of north, Chiang Mai, where we check into our hotel before we have a traditional Khantoke dinner with cultural performances from the ancient Lanna Kingdom. Late morning on Day 7 our local guide will take us up the mountain to Doi Pui Village, where we get to experience aspects of hill tribe Hmong culture including a visit to the school and lunch with the kids. Following this we continue up to the famous temple complex of Doi Suthep for spectacular views over the city. If we are lucky we can witness the resident monks perform their evening chants. Day 8 is yours to explore this magical city, take an optional cooking class, massage class, yoga or perhaps a half day cycling tour of the countryside. Surrounded by rolling hills, Chiang Mai offers both natural ambiance and historical architecture. Enclosed by a moat and crumbling walls, the old city features great cafes, shops and accommodations. An important Buddhist centre since the 14th century, Chiang Mai is home to more than 300 temples. It is also a center of handicraft production, with a long history of silverwork, woodcarving, pottery-making and weaving. Not to be missed is the Night Bazaar, a series of covered markets, shops and stalls that offer the best selection of handicrafts in Thailand. Our hotel in Chiang Mai is located just next to the historical Thapae Gate, close to the both the night bazaar and the old city. The hotel has wifi and a swimming pool amongst many other facilities. Each room is double/twin share, comes equipped with air conditioning and a private bathroom ensuite. Approx Travel Time Sukhothai to Lampang by private minivans: 6+ hours Lampang to Chiang Mai by private minivans: 2.5 hours
We fly early on the morning of day 9 to Bangkok and from here travel to Hua Hin, a beautiful beach area conveniently located within easy distance by road. Favoured in past times as a Royal retreat, Hua Hin provides an ideal escape from the pressures of the city at the end of an adventure-filled holiday. Spend 2 nights in this tropical paradise taking boat rides, exploring its many beaches and participating in all the water sports Hua Hin has to offer. Famous for delicious fresh seafood, indulge yourself on plentiful fish, crab and squid whilst soaking up the warm tropical sunshine overlooking the Gulf of Siam. The hotel in Hua Hin is perfect to relax in for the tail end of the journey. It is close to the beach, has a swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, tennis court and free wifi amongst other facilities. Each room is double/twin share, has air conditioning and a private bathroom ensuite. Approx Travel Time: Chiang Mai hotel to airport: 20 minutes Flight from Chiang Mai to Bangkok: 1 hour 15 minutes. Transfer from Bangkok Airport to Hua Hin: 3 hours.
Today we return to bustling Bangkok for last minute shopping followed by an evening river cruise and dinner. Use your time this afternoon to see some of the sites of the city that you missed first time around. You may want to see Jim Thompson's House, shop on the street markets of Sukhumvit or explore the temples dotted throughout the city. Our hotel tonight is centrally located in Bangkok near a number of great restaurants and markets. Each room is air conditioned and is twin/double share with attached shower and ensuite. The hotel has many facilities including wifi, a swimming pool and gymnasium. Approx Travel Time: Hua Hin to Bangkok by private minivans: 3 hours.
You are free to depart anytime today. Please note that check out time is 12pm. We look forward to receiving your evaluation regarding this tour itinerary and your CEO's performance. We value your input into what we could improve to make this trip even better and of course love hearing about what we are already doing well! You will be sent a post tour email on your return with details on how to go on line and fill in this simple form. Thank you so much in advance.