Food Trails of Thailand

Summary

If you are passionate about food then this culinary tour will be a perfect opportunity to practise your cookery skills under the guidance of a school whilst enjoying local street food, authentic restaurants, wildlife, luxurious accommodation and all the beautiful scenery that this beautiful country has to offer. Take a bite out of Thailand with an authentic culinary experience. Step off-the-beaten-track to savour the Kingdom’s best dishes at hidden spots only known to locals. Develop a deep connection with Thailand, seeing historical highlights and cultural wonders but with a distinct foodie twist. 

  Duration

12 Days

  Tour Includes

  • Economy class international and domestic flights 
  • Accommodation & breakfast throughout
  • Meals as detailed
  • Food & drink sampling
  • English speaking local guide
  • Tips for drivers & porters
  • Transfers and transportation 
  • Airline departure taxes

Price

From $3,582.43 per person based on two adults sharing*

Best time to go

November to April is best time to travel with the best weather throughout the country.

Tour Highlights

  • Explore Thailand’s wine culture with a tour of Grand Monte vineyard with a wine expert
  • Learn the secrets of Isaan food with a village cooking class
  • See UNESCO World heritage sites
  • Watch a market set up on a train track that moves everytime a train passes
  • Prepare a traditional meal with a celebrity chef
  • Sample exotic fried bugs to freshly prepared street food to east-meets-west fusion

Day 1

Overnight flight to Bangkok.

Day 2: Bangkok

Upon arrival at Bangkok airport you will be met and transferred by private vehicle to your hotel for welcome drinks and introduction to the tour. After check-in, you will be taken on a half day sightseeing tour to the old heritage of Siam. The tour will start with the Royal Grand Palace, Bangkok’s number one ‘must-see’ attraction as well as Thailand’s most important landmark. You will visit the main sites including the magnificent throne halls and the Emerald Buddha. Then continue to visit Wat Pho, Bangkok’s oldest temple home to the magnificent reclining Buddha as well as the first school of traditional medicine and Thai massage and regarded as Thailand’s first University.

After a day of touring in this vibrant metropolis, a relaxing evening beckons with a drive through Bangkok’s old quarters that delivers sights of an illuminated Grand Palace, the Royal Ground, temples and the lit-up Ratchadamnoen Avenue. As dinner time approaches, drop by Krua Apsorn Restaurant for an appetizer known as “Somtam”, a light papaya salad. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the version with raw crab!

For the main course, we make a stop in the older parts of Bangkok to try a classic Thai dish. The Pad Thai at Long Pha is cooked in the old-fashioned way on a charcoal grill and won’t disappoint! Then stroll along a local fresh market in the famous area of Bangkok, “Pak Klong Talad”, one of the biggest fresh markets in the region to glimpse varieties of orchids and sweet smelling exotic flowers, and various kinds of fresh vegetables, ingredients and herbs. A potential shopping opportunity awaits you at an adjacent local night market along the Memorial Bridge that overlooks the Chao Phraya River, where you can rummage for handicrafts or souvenirs to bring back home for your family and friends.

Accommodation: Shanghai Mansion [Dinner]

Day 3: Bangkok

At just an hour’s drive south of Bangkok, Samut Songkhram Province offers visitors a glimpse into Thai countryside life. We will start the day with a stop at a local train station to experience a short regional train ride bound for an amazing country market that has sprouted along the railway tracks. Here, you will witness the dexterity and speed of the vendors as they quickly pack their stalls right before 08:30 am when the train approaches; hence bringing shopping to a brief halt. It is a standard practice and stall holders have learnt the art of assembling and reassembling their wares at a moment’s notice! From here, we will take a boat ride on the canals out to a small coastal village, where we learn how traditional coconut desserts are made, join hands with the knowledgeable host in this homestay setting and try cooking your own dessert, making a perfect snack for the way back to Bangkok. Lunch will be at a local restaurant.

In the evening, explore the flavours, spices and aromas of the city’s Village of Love—the historic Bang Rak neighbourhood. Experience how the locals live, eat and shop as you take part in unique local food tastings each packed with authentic history and intimate stories of the neighbourhood. Our local experts have hand-picked food that is guaranteed to tickle your taste buds, and their intimate stories of Bangkok and Thailand’s everyday culture will fill your minds with amazement. Fill your stomach with all the scrumptious street food as your dinner.

Accommodation: Shanghai Mansion [Full Board]

Day 4: Bangkok - Ayutthaya

Check out from the hotel in Bangkok and drive north towards Ayutthaya where we will visit some of the most significant historical places and try a ride in the Kermit tuk-tuks, symbolic only found in Ayutthaya. You will stop for lunch at Krua Pak Wan Restaurant. Then head for a trip to the town's Muslim Quarter which offers the opportunity to sample an unusual local delicacy, candy floss roti.

Apart from the main temples we pass along the way, highlights include Wat Tuk, the temple with the one-eyed dog and the Temples of Sins, where you will be reminded of how the wrongdoings in this life will come back to haunt you in the next. We also visit a local blacksmith at his workshop where some of the most beautiful swords (Dab) and knives are made by hand. 

For dinner, travel to a local little cosy restaurant called Baan Khun Pra, situated just by the river. Arguably some of the best seafood in Ayutthaya can be found here. In the evening, stroll the night market west of Bang Lan Road for a glimpse of the local life and some unique food tasting opportunities.

Accommodation: Ludia on the River [Full Board]

Day 5: Ayutthaya – Khao Yai

Today, the route takes us east to the valleys of Pak Chong and Khao Yai. Before lunch, enter Khao Yai National Park, here we walk a trail and try to spot some wildlife, many birds can be seen and with some luck, we might also spot larger mammals. Stop for lunch at Lookkai Restaurant, a local fine dining restaurant in Khao Yai. Post lunch you will head for a vineyard visit. 

Upon arrival at GranMonte Vineyard, meet with the daughter of the founder, Nikki, an internationally renowned wine master who will during this privately guided tour teach us how Thai wine is made and the secrets behind producing world-class quality wine in a tropical country. Sip through the wide selection of locally produced wines, tour the vineyards and take in the tranquil and relaxed atmosphere. For dinner, the vineyard puts together a special experience with some of the best local food and wine.

Accommodation: Phuwanalee Resort [Full Board]

Day 6: Khao Yai – Khon Kaen

We leave Khao Yai and the beautiful valleys heading towards Nakorn Ratchasima on route 2. After a few hours, you will stop for lunch by the Phi Mai temples, an 11th century Khmer compound and enjoy a local speciality, Pad Mii Korat. If you’re well versed in Thai cuisine you probably have heard of the renowned Pad Thai, a quite basic fried noodle dish. Pad Mii Korat is its sibling, cooked in a slightly different way and obviously best enjoyed right here in Korat.

Continue the ride and arrive in Khon Kaen in the afternoon for an Issan-style cooking class held in a garden. Experience and learn the techniques of how local food is cooked and what distinguishes the northeastern kitchen from the rest of Thailand. Later, drive into the town of Khon Kaen to visit the lake and watch the sunset at the One Pillar Pagoda.

Dinner tonight will be at The Concept Restaurant, offering an interesting fusion menu.

Accommodation: Wishing Tree [Full Board]

Day 7: Khon Kaen – Phitsanulok

Start your day with a lovely picnic breakfast made from local delicacies out in the open at a rice field before the journey takes off towards Phitsanulok. Heading west from Khon Kaen, we leave the northeast and travel back to the central plains of Thailand. After passing several national parks, we arrive in Phitsanulok town for a daring tasting experience at the local market. Insects and bugs are both local delicacies here. For those who prefer just regular lunch, a local restaurant hosts us for a Phitsanulok meal.

After lunch, visit Wat Mahatat or Wat Yai. Situated by Naresuan Bridge, this temple is home to what many consider to be the most beautiful golden Buddha image in the Kingdom, unknown to most tourists. Continue to visit Cha Thawee Folk Museum, where a historic collection of local tools from the past reflecting the local lifestyle is displayed.

Accommodation: Pattara Resort & Spa [Half Board]

Day 8: Phitsanulok – Sukhothai

After breakfast at the hotel, check out and transfer onwards to Sukhothai. Upon arrival in Sukhothai, check in at the hotel situated by Sukhothai Historical Park, the UNESCO world heritage site, which contains almost 200 ruined chedis in remarkable conditions. Explore the park on a bike. Enjoy some local delicacies for lunch at a restaurant chosen by one of our food experts. 

The rest of the day is free at leisure.

Accommodation: The Legendha [Half Board]

Day 9: Sukhothai – Chiang Mai

Following breakfast, transfer from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai with an en-route stop at a local community, “Ban Na Thon Chan”, the 2012 PATA Gold Award Winning Project’s tourist attraction in Si Satchanalai District, in the heritage and culture category. Established over 200 years ago, Ban Na Thon Chan is a local tourism-based community offering the balance of natural and cultural heritage for visitors. Most villagers are descendants of the ancient Lanna kingdom, and everyday life is based on their daily tasks and customs while conserving their local heritage. Here, you will have a chance to visit the local families and befriend them, followed by a local noodle bowl famous for Sukhothai, whose name is called after the province, “Sukhothai Noodle”.

After lunch, drive up north about 3.5 hours to Chiang Mai, check-in at your hotel and after that enjoy a lively night in Chiang Mai town, wandering through the South Gate of the old city to the traditional street food market that opens every evening. During the walk, guests will be tempted by the heady aromas emanating from the various food stalls and simple carts, and the guide will be on hand to introduce the many local dishes on offer. Of course, you will be able to try whichever dishes take their fancy. Some of the most delicious dishes on offer include deep fried pancakes, deep fried taro, kanom jin (rice noodles with curry soup), kanom krok (Thai coconut pudding), noodle soup, pad Thai, and the summer favourite of sweet mango with sticky rice. You can also sample the local rice whisky.

Accommodation: 99 Gallery [Full Board]

Day 10: Chiang Mai

After breakfast at your hotel, visit an authentic Chiang Mai market filled with fresh groceries from nearby farms, we are guided by a TV –chef showing us her best tips and advice when picking out ingredients for Thai dishes. Loaded with vegetables, meats and fresh fruits for dessert we take on the mission of trying to cook a Thai dish to perfection.

After the cooking class, travel on the back of a local songtaew (pickup truck) to the underground temple Wat Umong. Make merit at this unique temple and come back to the city a better person! In the evening, enjoy a nice dinner at the beautiful 137 Pillars House.

Accommodation: 99 Gallery [Full Board]

Day 11: Chiang Mai – Mae Chan

After breakfast, check out from the hotel and start the journey northeast towards Chiang Rai. After about a 3-hour drive, including a 1-hour scenic drive up Doi Mae Salong, and continue to visit the Akha Mudhouse Mae Salong, at “Hloyo Community”. A small community of Akha tribe with 58 households. Its authentic way of life promotes a very strong bond with the nature that is well preserved till today. This community is located on the Mae Salong hill close to the Myanmar border. Enjoy the cool breeze almost all year round perfect for a nice weekend getaway. Enjoy a home-cooked lunch in Akha style here.

After lunch, transfer to the resort and relax at leisure for the rest of the day. Dinner will be served at the hotel.

Accommodation: Katiliya Mountain Resort [Full Board]

Day 12: Departure

You will be transferred by private vehicle to Chiang Rai airport in time for your daylight flight to London via Bangkok.  

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Tour Excludes

Visas, Other meals where not mentioned in the programme, Drinks, Overweight luggage, Personal expenses, Food tasting expense on Day 3, Travel insurance

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These itineraries are samples of itineraries we have created for our guests. Speak to one of our travel experts at 020 7843 3531 or email at info@clevelandcollection.co.uk to create your perfect holiday based on your travel requirements.

* This is a guide price, based on travel in low season


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