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I am totally captivated by Asia. Having lived in Singapore, Nepal, South Korea, and Hong Kong, traveled extensively across all of our destinations in Asia, and worked in luxury travel for many years, curating exceptional trips comes naturally to me.
- from $5,380 PP
- 11 Nights
- Oct - Apr
- 12 hrs from London / 20 hrs from NYC
Experience the very best of the Land of Smiles on this enthralling 11-day itinerary. You’ll travel through pulsating cities, ancient ruins, lush forests, and majestic beaches, along the way meeting a colorful and authentically Thai cast of street food vendors, Buddhist monks, graceful elephants, and our very best hand-picked local guides. You’ll begin – where else – in the Big Mango: Bangkok. Spend a few days exploring the city in depth, and also take a trip up the Chao Phraya river to former capital of Siam, Ayutthaya. You then head north, spending two nights at a luxury elephant camp in the dense jungles of the Golden Triangle, then a further two in the magical northern capital Chiang Mai. Round out the trip in style amongst the soaring karst peaks and pristine beaches of Krabi.
Our Flexi - Promise
Low Deposit To Book
Book your trip with us and pay a reduced deposit with the rest 90 days before your departure
If you are not comfortable travelling, you have the right to cancel and get a refund up to 45 days before your departure
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Your trip with us is fully financially protected by our travel insurers. Peace of mind guaranteed.
No Change Fees
We will not charge you any admin fees if you would like to change your travel dates or destination with us
- 13 nights in 5-star accommodation
- Daily breakfast throughout plus other meals as per itinerary
- Full board meals at luxury Golden Triangle camp
- Private transfers and tours throughout, accompanied by private English-speaking guides
- Domestic flights as described
- 24/7 support from our dedicated staff
- Flexible, personalized itinerary based on your interests
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Bangkok: Arrival into Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport
You’ll be met in the arrivals hall of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport by a private guide, who will then lead you to a private vehicle in which you’ll be transferred to your downtown hotel. In typical traffic, this will be a transfer of around 45 minutes.
Thailand’s bouncing capital is one of the world’s great cities. Sitting at the mouth of a tropical river delta, facing the Gulf of Thailand, the ‘Venice of the East’ is bisected by the languorous Chaophraya river and riddled with natural and manmade canals. You’ll find the city caught between the past and present with modern shopping malls, galleries, and spas, sitting alongside atmospheric temples, glittering palaces, and ancient canal-side neighborhoods. Bangkok is a cacophony of sights and sounds, and the fun here is just diving into the nonstop action, while sampling some of the world’s best cheap eats along the way.
Day 2 Bangkok: Full day city tour by boat, tuk-tuk, and Skytrain
Today’s full-day tour of Bangkok will see you discover the city like a local, taking advantage of the city’s varied public transportation network to cover all the main sites while also getting a closer look at the traditions and lifestyles of the Thai people.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel around 8.00am and take you down to the nearby launch on the Chao Phraya. Here you’ll board a public ferry, traveling up along the river and watching the city skyline slip by. Disembark at the iconic Wat Pho and Grand Palace, Bangkok’s cultural icons, and spend the remainder of the morning exploring these two remarkable sites, learning about the country’s regal history and of the deep-rooted spiritual traditions of its people.
Hop aboard a tuk-tuk, the ubiquitous Thai three-wheeled moto-taxis, used by locals across the country. Zip through quieter city streets to Soi Ban Batra, where you’ll visit a family-run workshop that produces monks’ alms bowls. Witness the artisans at work and learn about the daily lives of the Buddhist monks who wake early to collect alms offerings from the city’s residents.
The final leg of the tour is on a ‘bus boat’ through the canals which cut right through the heart of the city. Rarely used by tourists, this mode of transport provides an up-close look at the ways of life of the local people who live right up against the edge of the canals. Disembark and take a short walk up to the Jim Thompson House. Take an insightful tour of the compound’s tranquil gardens and traditional buildings, which showcases the history of the mysterious American silk merchant.
Afterward, stroll to the nearby modern shopping malls on Rami I Road for some retail therapy, then return to the hotel via Skytrain, Bangkok’s modern elevated railway which whistles through the city up above its busy traffic-clogged streets.
Day 3 Bangkok: Chao Phraya river cruise to ancient Ayutthaya
Today you’ll discover ancient Siam with a day trip to Ayutthaya, Thailand’s former capital, situated around 70km north of Bangkok. Your guide will meet you early in the morning and you’ll then set off by road. The transfer will take around 90 minutes, moving out from the urban sprawl of Bangkok and then into scenery of lush tropical countryside.
Arrive in Ayutthaya, the erstwhile capital of the Ayutthaya Kingdom – also known as Siam – between the 14th and 18th centuries. Once the largest and grandest city in Asia, much of this area was destroyed by the Burmese invasion of 1767, but more than enough remains to showcase its former grandeur.
Your guide will tour you around the most significant of the city’s UNESCO Heritage ruins including Wat Phra Sri Sanphet (with its 16m tall golden Buddha), Wat Mahathat (featuring a famous stone Buddha image, now enveloped within an overgrown tree), and Wat Yai Chaimongkol (with its numerous seated Buddha images). You’ll also enjoy a short walking tour through contemporary Ayutthaya, with its lively local market and bustling Muslim Quarter.
Another short transfer then takes you to the banks of the Chao Phraya river at Nonthaburi, where you’ll board a comfortable river cruise all the way back down to Bangkok. A delicious buffet lunch is served immediately after boarding, after which you can sit back and watch the lazy banks of the river slip by. You’ll begin pulling into the northern suburbs of Bangkok around 3pm, passing by the colorful Royal Barges House, then later the majestic Grand Palace and the Temple of Dawn. Disembark back in central Bangkok around 4pm, where you’ll be met by a private AC vehicle and dropped back at your hotel.
Optional: Bangkok Street Food tour
Your guide will meet you at the hotel in the early evening, and you’ll then set off together on a voyage of culinary discovery. Traveling by tuk-tuk, you’ll whizz through the buzzing city streets and sample the best street food the city has to offer, including an authentic Isan (northern Thai) restaurant, a Michelin-listed chicken noodle stall, and a vendor who claims to serve up the best pad thai in the city.
In between bites, you’ll enjoy an intriguing nighttime visit to Wat Pho, and a walk through the colorful flower market nearby. The evening finishes with a drink at a secret bar down on the river bank, facing the glittering Temple of Dawn. Your guide will drop you back at your hotel – unless of course, you prefer to stay out and keep the night rolling!
Day 4 Golden Triangle: Fly to Chiang Rai; Transfer to Luxury Elephant Camp
This morning your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel and then drop you back at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport, where you’ll board a 90 domestic flight up to the far northern city of Chiang Rai. Upon arrival you’ll be met by a private guide and transferred around an hour north to your luxurious lodge in the jungles of the ‘Golden Triangle’.
Situated close to the tri-border area of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar, the Golden Triangle has an infamous history as the world’s most productive opium-growing region. It’s largely a very relaxed and peaceful part of the world these days, housing several excellent upscale resorts amongst its dense forests, placid waterways, and herds of wild elephants.
You’ll be staying two nights here, and once checked in you have a wide range of activities and excursions to choose from. On your day of arrival, we recommend taking in an activity at the onsite elephant camp, where you can choose from an elephant learning experience, a walk with giants through the forest, or become a mahout for the day as an elephant guardian. Also included is the chance to enjoy the onsite Thai cookery school, your choice of luxurious spa packages, free yoga or pilates sessions, and full-board meals.
Day 5 Golden Triangle: Full day activities at Luxury Elephant Camp
You have a full day to enjoy the outstanding facilities and rural immersion experiences available at your lodge. With your full day in camp, we recommend partaking in a full-day tour of the Golden Triangle region.
You’ll need your passport as you set out on this day trip across three countries – Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos. Traveling by a mix of private car, tuk-tuk, and longtail boat, you’ll stop at various local markets, temples, and isolated jungle ruins. An accompanying private guide will ensure all the various border crossings are taken care of.
Once back at camp, you can continue enjoying the spa, swimming pool, or fine restaurants.
Day 6 Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai city tour, then scenic transfer to Chiang Mai
You have the option of joining in an early morning yoga or pilates session before breakfast, before checking out, and meeting your guide for a scenic transfer down to Chiang Mai.
Before leaving the far north of Thailand you’ll take a short tour around Chiang Rai. Thailand’s northernmost city is a real hidden gem, tucked among lush hills and boasting its own distinct cuisine, culture, and architecture. The city’s key site is the glittering Wat Rong Khun, the ‘White Temple’, constructed with pristine white stone and thousands of tiny fragments of mirrored glass. You’ll also visit the ‘Black House’ Museum, where local teacher Thawan Duchanee has spent nearly three decades building up a huge museum devoted to local folk art and crafts.
Continue down to Chiang Mai, a private road transfer of around three hours through lush northern scenery. Thailand’s second city and capital of the north, Chiang Mai is an absolute must for first-time visitors to Thailand. Its higher elevation means it enjoys a cooler climate than Bangkok, and it has a more laid-back atmosphere too, with more of a sleepy town feel than a bustling capital. The historic city interior houses over 300 temples, and you’ll also find lively markets, cooking classes, craft stores, and fantastic street food. You’ll arrive mid-afternoon; your guide will provide a brief orientation of the city, and then after checking in you have the remainder of the day free to relax at the hotel or explore independently.
Optional: Evening tour of Chiang Mai
Meet your guide around 5.30pm to enjoy a nighttime discovery tour of Thailand’s northern capital. Travel by tuk-tuk to a local temple, arriving to see the evening prayers as the sun sets and the temple is illuminated like a glistening diamond. Continue through the busy city streets, your guide providing a background on the city along the way, to arrive at Warorot Market. Even at this late hour the local market is a hive of activity, with stalls selling fresh flowers, clothes, and mouthwatering street food.
You’ll then be taken to a fabulous local restaurant on the banks of the Ping River, where you’ll sample the best of northern Thai cuisine while enjoying great views of the ancient city. After dinner, a short walk takes you to a local rooftop bar, where you can round of the evening in style with cocktail in hand.
Day 7 Chiang Mai: Selection of tours in and around Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is certainly smaller and more laidback than Bangkok, but it boasts an equally diverse and exciting array of tours and activities. There’s so much to see and do here, so we like to give you a few ideas and then continue the conversation with our knowledgeable consultants as you plan out your tour.
Staying in town, you might enjoy a walking tour through the various temples and historic buildings of the old city, or a cycling tour through the lanes of the semi-rural city suburbs. Alternatively, head out in the lush countryside which surrounds, perhaps enjoying a day trip to a nearby ethical elephant conversation center, a tuk-tuk tour into the hills, or a gentle rafting trip through the herb gardens and forests along the Ping River.
Day 8 Krabi: Morning Thai cooking class; Afternoon domestic flight to Krabi
We recommend a light breakfast this morning, as shortly afterward you’ll be picked up for and taken out to the city suburbs for a private cooking class. You’re chef-guide will first take you to a lively local market to pick up fresh ingredients, and you’ll then travel to their beautiful, traditional teak wood home to begin the class. You’ll be introduced to exciting new ingredients, spices, and cooking techniques as you prepare a selection of delicious northern dishes. When all is ready, sit down in the verdant garden to enjoy a sumptuous lunch.
You’ll then be transferred straight to Chiang Mai Airport, where you’ll board your 90-minute flight down to Krabi. On the eastern side of beautiful Phang Nga Bay, Krabi offers extraordinary natural beauty with unspoiled white sand beaches edged by crystal-clear azure waters, all towered over by staggering limestone karst scenery. The district is also known for its dense mangrove forests and more than 100 offshore islands.
From Krabi Airport it’s a further transfer of around 40 minutes – half by road, and then half by exhilarating speedboat transfer along the coast – to your luxurious beach resort. Check-in, and enjoy the rest of the day to soak up your magnificent surroundings.
Days 9-10 Krabi: Days at leisure in Krabi
You have two days to immerse yourself in the extraordinary beauty of Krabi. Spend this time relaxing and enjoying the facilities of your luxury hotel.
We have a few suggestions should you be feeling active. Boat trips from Krabi are highly recommended, taking in the staggering peaks and turquoise waters of Phang Nga Bay and the Phi Phi islands. A jungle hike to Dragon Crest Mountain takes in cascading waterfalls and sightings of macaques and monitor lizards. From your hotel you can arrange diving, snorkeling, or rock climbing trips, or enjoy cultural activities such as batik painting, village walks, or another cooking class.
Day 11 Krabi: Departure day
Today your adventures in Thailand must come to an end. At the appropriate time, you’ll be transferred privately from your beach resort to Krabi Airport, arriving in good time to check in for your onward flight.
What's not Included
- As we have clients from all over the world. Our itineraries do not include flights. If you would like us to include flights in your trip, we are happy to do so. Please speak to your travel specialist at the planning stage to include them.
- Gratuities for local guides
- We strongly advise that all guests purchase comprehensive travel insurance
- Visas if required
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