The Best of Thailand
- Duration10 Nights
- StylePrivate Tour
- When to GoOct - Apr
- Price GuideFrom $6,216 Per Person
At a Glance
- Arrive in Bangkok with fast track airport assistance and private transfer to your hotel
- Exclusive tour of the Grand Palace and Wat Pho
- Guided day trip to Ayutthaya & Bang Pa In with private rice barge cruise
- Sunset Chao Phraya River speedboat cruise & dinner at a royal villa
- Fly to Chiang Rai and private transfer to the Golden Triangle region
- Afternoon of arrival and full day at luxury elephant camp resort
- Full board meals and complimentary activities, including elephant interaction, Golden Triangle tours, cooking classes, spa and massage treatments
- Private road transfer to Chiang Mai, visiting the White Temple of Chiang Rai en route
- Walking tour of Chiang Mai old city visiting temples and local markets
- Optional private cooking class
- Fly to Krabi with private airport transfers
- Final three nights at luxurious retreat with excellent spa and facilities
- Optional island-hopping tours, jungle exploration, diving or snorkeling
- Private departure transfer to Krabi Airport
Meet Our Expert
I am totally captivated by Asia. Having lived in Singapore, Nepal, South Korea and Hong Kong, travelled extensively across all of our destinations in Asia, and worked in luxury travel for many years, curating exceptional trips comes naturally to me.
- 8 nights in 5-star boutique hotel accommodation with daily breakfast
- 2 nights in 5-star Golden Triangle lodge and elephant camp with full-board meals and activities
- 2x further lunches and 1x further dinner during mentioned tours and activities
- Private arrival and departure airport transfers
- All mentioned transfers and road transport on a private basis in air-conditioned minivans
- Elephant interaction activities at Golden Triangle lodge shared with small groups of other guests
- All other mentioned tours and sightseeing on a private basis with private driver and English-speaking local guides
- Entrance fees for any mentioned sightseeing, permits, local taxes, etc
- All mentioned regional flights in economy class, inclusive minimum 20kg per person checked baggage
- Comprehensive final itinerary and travel app
- 24/7 support from our dedicated staff
- Flexible, personalized itinerary based on your interests
What's not Included
- International flights from your country of origin
- Tips or gratuities to guides, drivers, hotel staff
- Any meals, tours, or activities other than those specifically mentioned in itinerary
- Incidental local expenses - souvenirs, laundry, taxis, etc
- Travel insurance - we strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance as soon as you have booked your trip
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: Exclusive tour of the Grand Palace and Wat Pho
This morning you’ll tour Bangkok’s two most iconic monuments: tranquil Wat Pho and the majestic Grand Palace. These two remarkable cultural treasures are key to understanding Thailand’s regal history and the deep-rooted spiritual traditions of its people.
Begin at the Grand Palace, exploring its impressive complex of temples, palaces, pavilions, and museums. One must-see attraction is the enchanting Emerald Buddha, which, according to legend, is almost 2000 years old. After the Grand Palace you’ll continue to nearby Wat Pho: Bangkok’s oldest and arguably most striking temple. Home to the magnificent 45-meter-long reclining Buddha, Wat Pho is also a place of learning, having served as Thailand’s first school of traditional medicine and Thai massage.
At the sun falls this evening you’ll be picked up and taken by luxury private speedboat along and across to the Chao Phraya River. Your destination is the Chakrabongse Villa: a riverside oasis and former home to Thai royalty. The Italian-style villa was built by Prince Chakrabongse as a retreat from his palace life, and it is now in the hands of his granddaughter Narisa. The charming villa and the garden reflects the history of her royal family, Thai art, cuisine and culture that captures all visitors the moment they enter the property. Here, experience the serene and privileged lifestyle of a bygone era with a luxurious meal showcasing authentic Royal Thai cuisine. Indulge in the meal while soaking up the spectacular view of the Temple of Dawn from the riverside terrace.
- 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 at Bang Pa In, the famed summer residence of the Thai royal family, built in the 1600s and home to an impressive collection of gardens and mansions inspired variously by European, Chinese and Thai architecture. You’ll also the eclectic temple of Wat Niwet Thammaprawat, with its distinctive Gothic architecture and stained glass windows. As late morning approaches you’ll be taken to board an elegant private rice barge. Enjoy an excellent lunch on board as you cruise down the Chao Phraya river to Bangkok. En route are opportunities to see beautiful views of Wat Chaiwatthanaram and the local lifestyle on the riverside.
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).
- 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.
Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & ResortRead More
- 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. Guests can book one complimentary activity each day, choosing from a broad menu of elephant interaction activities, hikes, cooking classes, boat tours, and more. Or for pure leisure sit back and enjoy the spa, swimming pool, or fine restaurants. Day tours can also be taken to explore the Golden Triangle region, visiting the bustling border town of Mae Sai / Tachilek, which offers a glimpse of life in neighboring Myanmar.
- 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.
- Day 7
Chiang Mai: Walking tour of the Old City
This morning head back out with your guide to explore Chiang Mai. Discover the historic center of the city on foot, beginning with a walk down to the banks of the Mae Ping River which glides gently around the old city walls. Continue to Warorot Market, a hive of activity any time of day, where you’ll observe locals busily shopping for fresh produce, exotic ingredients, and a cornucopia of goods for the home.
From here you’ll continue by rickshaw to the Ta Phae Gate: this fortified section of the walls is an icon of Chiang Mai dating back to the 13th century and is a useful landmark for navigating the city. Continue through the heart of the Old City, taking in the best of the city’s ancient temples Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phra Singh, and also passing through an eclectic mix of ancient lanes, bustling markets, crumbling city walls, and majestic royal monuments.
The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to relax and enjoy the charms of ancient Chiang Mai. Your hotel is well-equipped with facilities to aid your relaxation, while heading outside you should find the pedestrianized streets of the old city – with its many local temples, boutiques, and eateries – an extremely pleasant place to discover independently. The lush rural landscapes outside of the city are ripe for exploration: from the hilltop temple of Doi Suthep just outside town, to a bevy of elephant camps and hiking or biking trails in the surrounding hills.
- 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 teakwood 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: Private departure transfer
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. Please speak to your consultant for ideas on how to extend or tailor this tour.
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