Insider’s Tour of Thailand

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104
13 Days
Min Age : 18

Insider’s Tour of Thailand

Day 1-2: U.S - Thailand

Depart from the USA on your flight to Thailand. Cross the International Date Line and arrive in Bangkok on the following day. Meet your local guide and check into your hotel.

The rest of this day is at leisure.

  • Accommodations: Riva Surya Hotel
  • Meals Included: Meals Aloft
Day 3: Bangkok

In the early morning, meet your guide at the Giant Swing on Bamrung Muang Road and enjoy a walking tour to explore the hidden sights of old Bangkok. From the Swing via Romanni Nart Park, wander through small alleys, encounter wooden houses, guardian spirit signs, fresh markets, and more. At the City Pillar Shrine and Amulet Market, learn about ancient superstitions prevalent in Thailand.

Transfer to the pier and hop on a long tail boat on a khlong tour, a great way to observe local life along the canals and stop at a one of a kind local artist community, Khlong Bang Luang. Century old wooden homes join smaller art studios, vintage antique galleries, hole-in-the-wall noodle shops, tiny guesthouses and several family-run cafes. The centerpiece of the Khlong Bang Luang community is Baan Silapin, which occupies a traditional two-storey wooden building set beside the canal and centered around a 300-plus-year-old chedi.

Head to Wat Arun, or Temple of Dawn, a Khmer-style Buddhist temple and major landmark on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River.

In the evening, transfer to Anantara Riverside hotel to board a dinner cruise. This dinner cruise takes you on a luxurious culinary journey down the Chao Phraya River while the illuminated sights of the capital pass you by. Transfer back to your hotel.

  • Accommodations: Riva Surya Hotel
  • Meals Included: (B,L,D)
Day 4: Bangkok

Early this morning, drive to Nakhon Pathom (about 2 hours). On arrival, you will be greeted by your cooking teacher for the day.

Board a local boat and head to the authentic floating market of Don Wai where you will select the ingredients for today’s class. The market is known for its wide variety of vegetables and Thai snacks. As you shop together, your guide will show you regional fruit and vegetables at their preferred vendors in the market. After learning about the local produce and farming community you will board a boat to your guide’s tropical riverside home.

Enjoy a welcome drink in the calm of your guide’s garden oasis. Then join your guide in their professional kitchen studio for your cooking class. In this hands-on cooking lesson, you will learn to prepare from scratch two Thai dishes.

If this touring day doesn’t take place on a Monday, then enjoy a mouth-watering exploration of Bangkok’s 200-year-old China Town district by visiting various tasty eateries. You’ll be able to sample all kinds of dishes (and a few local drinks too!) from the likes of dim sum, dumplings, fresh seafood, local deserts, and more! Throughout the evening your knowledgeable guide will explain the background to all the different foods and drinks you’ll taste, as well as giving their own insight into the local area.

  • Accommodations: Riva Surya Hotel
  • Meals Included: (B,L,D)
Day 5: Bangkok - Chiang Mai

In the morning, transfer to Bangkok International Airport for your flight to Chiang Mai (about 1.5 hours, economy class). Upon arrival, meet your local guide and transfer to your hotel.

Enjoy a cycling food adventure off the beaten tourist path to discover the wonders of traditional Chiang Mai cuisine. Traditional Chiang Mai cuisine, or Muang Food, is mouthwatering and distinct from regular Thai food. In addition to Muang Food you will also get to sample some Shan or Tai Yai food. Your food & bike tour will finish with a spot of tea and a unique traditional dessert on the banks of the River Ping.

Please note: The cycling takes place at night and in market areas, this tour is not suitable for children under 12 years old riding alone, however children in baby seats or riding a tag-along are welcome to join.

  • Accommodations: Na Nirand Boutique resort
  • Meals Included: (B,D)
Day 6: Chiang Mai

Depart in the morning from your hotel and being your journey to Mae Kampong village via the scenic route (about 1 hour).  On the way to the village, stops are made at Stone Garden, Teen Tok Royal Project and Pha Num Lord Cliff to see some of the natural history of the area. Upon arrival at Mae Kampong Village, you will meet with a local village guide who is a native resident of this small commune and will show you the ins and outs along small paths through the village and a surrounding forest areas.

Ban Mae Kampong is typical of Northern Thai villages and possesses a unique Northern Thai culture. Local villagers speak a distinct dialect and identify themselves as Khon Mueang, a separate ethnic group from the central Thai people, having their own distinct cultural beliefs and traditions.

During the time spent in the village you will observe a range of residents who are engaged in handicrafts and other age-old skills and traditions which have been handed down from generation to generation such as the making of hats, bamboo furniture, herbal products, as well as tea processing and fermentation.

A visit to the Seven Level Waterfall and Temple are also possible. Transfer back to your hotel in the early evening.

  • Accommodations: Na Nirand Boutique resort
  • Meals Included: (B,L)
Day 7: Chiang Mai

In the morning, transfer to Kanta Elephant Sanctuary, about 1 hour outside of Chiang Mai. Change into traditional clothing and prepare fruits for the elephants’ breakfast. Spend the morning feeding and playing with these beautiful animals.

After lunch, prepare and cook sticky rice mixed with herbs for the elephants. Learn about their background, health care, and the behavior of Asiatic Elephants.

Enjoy more time roaming, feeding, and taking the elephants for a walk to the river to enjoy a bath with them.

Take a tea and coffee break before returing to Chiang Mai.

  • Accommodations: Na Nirand Boutique resort
  • Meals Included: (B,L)
Day 8: Chiang Mai

This morning, visit a Buddhist temple to offer alms to the Buddhist monks. Each morning before dawn the monks put on their distinctive saffron robes and quietly pad in their bare feet along the streets, carrying alms bowls, and receiving boiled rice and condiments from the citizens of Thailand. In return people receive the monk’s blessings. You can participate in this very special Thai custom by personally presenting alms. A brief exploration at the Sri Soda temple may be made as well, (religious festivals permitting), including seeing the monks pray in the early morning.

Visit Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, the most famous temple of Chiang Mai. Walk to the national park headquarters where you will stop briefly at the tree nursery of FORRU, the forest restoration unit of Chiang Mai University. Embark on a nature walk through evergreen forest. You will hear the remarkable story of the giant fig tree and enjoy the towering wild banana, ferns, Pandanus, and various palms.

After lunch return to your hotel for the rest of the day at leisure.

  • Accommodations: Na Nirand Boutique resort
  • Meals Included: (B,L)
Day 9: Chiang Mai - Krabi

In the afternoon, transfer to the Chiang Mai airport and fly to Krabi (about 2 hours, economy class).

Transfer to your hotel. The rest of this day is at leisure.

  • Accommodations: Amari Vogue
  • Meals Included: (B)
Day 10: Krabi

This day is at leisure for independent exploration. You can consult your guide the day before about local sites to visit or spend the day relaxing on the beach.

  • Accommodations: Amari Vogue
  • Meals Included: (B)
Day 11: Krabi

In the morning, transfer Ao Thalane Pier for a long tailed boat ride to Hong Island (about 45 minutes). The scenery around Hong Island is very unique with different rock formations. When you arriv, enjoy a kayak trip around the island or if you think the paddling is too hard, you may also relax on the beach, feed the fish, or swim in the clear water of the Andaman Sea. There are lots of shallow coral reefs and breathtaking lagoon (the symbol of the island) to see.

In the afternoon, we explore Ao Thalane, surrounded by towering karsts formations in complex channels and canyon-like passageways. Several species of Kingfishers, little Herons, and Crab-Eating Macaques are almost guaranteed to be seen in this area. Transfer back to the hotel to relax.

  • Accommodations: Amari Vogue
  • Meals Included: (B,L)
Day 12: Krabi - Phi Phi Island (Day Trip)

In the morning, transfer to the pier for a boat ride to Phi Phi Island (about 45 minutes). Visit Maya Bay, the most famous beach on Phi Phi Island, Pileh Cove, Monkey Beach, and Tam Phaya Nak. “Tam Phaya Nak” means the cave of Naga, the great serpent of Buddhist legend. It is a place much revered by the local people who came here to collect the swift’s nests that were used to make Bird Nest Soup. Enjoy your time on Phi Phi Island sightseeing, snorkeling, and swimming.

After lunch, enjoy swimming or snorkeling off the white sandy beaches of Bamboo island.

Transfer you back to your hotel to relax.

  • Accommodations: Amari Vogue
  • Meals Included: (B,L)
Day 13: Krabi - Bangkok - U.S.

In the morning, transfer to the Krabi airport for your flight back to Bangkok (about 1 hour, economy class). Transfer to your international flight back to the USA. (B, Meals aloft)

Tour Destinations
  • Thailand
Tour Highlights
  • Adventure
  • Amazing Architecture
  • Animals
  • Beaches
  • Beautiful Landscapes
  • City Touring
  • Delectable Cuisine
  • Hiking
  • Monuments
  • Shrines and Temples
  • Snorkeling
  • Traditional Markets

    • Domestic U.S. and international airfare
    • Excess baggage charges
    • Gratuities to local guides and drivers on main tour
    • Liquor, wine, & beer, and other items of a personal nature
    • Meals not included in the tour
    • Passport Fees
    • Travel insurance
    • Visa processing

    • Airport Transfers
    • All meals listed in itinerary
    • All sightseeing, entertainment, and cultural activities listed in itinerary
    • All transfers and transport as per program
    • Double occupancy accommodations
    • English speaking guides
    • preparatory materials