Classical Highlights of Thailand

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13 Days
Min Age : 18

Classical Highlights 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 and begin your journey by visiting Wat Po, one of Bangkok’s oldest and largest temples. You will arrive there just in time to hear the monk chanting (they start at 09:00am). Next, visit Lak Muang, Bangkok’s city pillar, a not often frequented place by tourists. The highlights of this morning’s program are the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Pra Kaew), the most revered shrine in the Kingdom.

After a break of a typical Thai lunch at a local restaurant, board a longtail boat to explore the ‘klongs’, Bangkok’s maze of canals and waterways. You will see parts of Thai traditional life, which have disappeared from most of Bangkok. Back on the Chao Phraya, end the day with a visit of Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn.

Dress code for the Grand Palace: No miniskirts or shorts and shoulders must be covered. Please bring a shawl if you plan on wearing a revealing top.

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

Early this morning, drive to the famous floating market Damnoen Saduak, a place well known as the largest floating market in the kingdom. An early start this morning you will embark on a long tail boat from the pier to reach the market. The colorful vendors at this lively market paddle along in their canoes overflowing with fresh fruit, vegetables and souvenirs to sell to shoppers on the banks. There is lots of chatter and activity – bargaining is common – that’s all part of the fun but don’t expect to get the price down more than a few baht!

Walking along the canal, you will see Lao Tak Lak Market on the opposite side of Damnoen Saduak. The Lao Tak Lak or Pak Khlong Lat Phli Floating Market is the first one of its kind in Thailand. At present, this Market still preserves its way of life along the canal with over 140-year-old architecture.

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.

The rest of this day is at leisure. In the evening, meet your guide and start your exploration of the city by tuk-tuk. Driving around Chiang Mai in the evening is cooler and more peaceful than during the day and gives you a chance to see the city in a very different light. Explore the old city walls and moat, making stops at Chiang Mai landmarks such as the Iron Bridge, the Three Kings Monument and some of Chiang Mai’s oldest temples. Transfer back to your hotel.

  • Accommodations: Rati Lanna
  • Meals Included: (B)
Day 6: Chiang Mai

Be ready for a very early visit to Chiang Mai Gate Market, a traditional market where we find fresh vegetables, fruit, spices, fish, cooked meats and all sorts of ready-made dishes. The monks from local temples make their alms rounds here early in the morning, so it’s an opportunity for you to make an offering of food to them. At a nearby temple, witness the monks taking part in an early morning chant. Afterwards, return to your hotel for breakfast followed by a songthaew ride to Warorot Market. Enjoy a short workshop making traditional flower garlands at the beautiful flower market on the Ping River. From the market, head to Thapae Gate and continue by rickshaw to the ancient temples of Wat Chiang Man, Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phra Singh. Enjoy lunch at one of the local restaurant.

In the evening, transfer to our friend’s family home for a cooking class. Use traditional home recipes with authentic Northern Thai flavors that differ from standard dishes offered in commercial cooking classes. Select fresh ingredients from the garden to add to today’s cooking extravaganza. Take full advantage of the opportunity to get to know a real Thai family, be their houseguest for the evening and enjoy a delicious home cooked dinner with them.

  • Accommodations: Rati Lanna
  • Meals Included: (B,L,D)
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: Rati Lanna
  • Meals Included: (B,L)



Day 8: Chiang Mai

This 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. (B,L)

  • Accommodations: Rati Lanna
  • Meals Included: (B,L)
Day 9: Chiang Mai - Phuket

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

The contribution of foreign influences has produced a cuisine in Phuket that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Arab and Indian merchants, Portuguese and French, and later the Chinese immigrants all brought their part in this amazing mix of culture and taste. Enjoy a tour of hidden food vendors only the locals know about. Indulge in a scrumptious breakfast of dim sum behind the fresh market. Walk the charming streets of the city center to try some delicious roti with curry. Have a meal of Sino-Thai cuisine with a feast of noodles and local delicacies you will never forget.  

Along the way we will also visit the local fresh market where you will become familiar with some of the unique products of Thailand. Explore the shrines and sights of old town.

  • Accommodations: Vijitt Resort Phuket
  • Meals Included: (B,L)
Day 10: Phuket

Meet your guide and transfer to the northeast of Phuket, a part of the island that has remained largely untouched. The only surviving track of rainforest is located here at the Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Sanctuary. Amid this lush jungle is the Gibbon Rehabilitation Center, a private enterprise that aims to reintroduce gibbons back into the wild. Many of the gibbons at the center were used as ‘props’ for tourists to take photos with and have been poorly treated by their illegal owners. The center hopes to reintroduce these maltreated animals back into the wild.

Enjoy a hike up to the Bang Pae Waterfall, take a relaxing swimming here.

After lunch, transfer back to your hotel for the rest of the day at leisure.

  • Accommodations: Vijitt Resort Phuket
  • Meals Included: (B,L)
Day 11: Phuket

In the early morning, meet your guide and driver then transfer to Bangrong pier. Take a private long tail boat to explore Phan Nga Bay. When we reach Koh Panak and Koh Hong, enjoy a canoe trip in the clear waters. In each canoe there are space for two persons and one guide. We will take you closer to the limestone rocks and explore the natural beauty and caves from the canoes. Stop at the local fishing village on Panyee Island for lunch.

In the afternoon, visit James Bond’s Island and explore the coastline around the island before heading back to Phuket.

  • Accommodations: Vijitt Resort Phuket
  • Meals Included: (B,L)
Day 12: Phuket

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: Vijitt Resort Phuket
  • Meals Included: (B)
Day 13: Phuket - Bangkok - U.S.

In the morning, transfer to the Phuket 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
  • Shrines and Temples
  • Snorkeling

    • 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 accommodations as per program
    • All entrance fees
    • 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