Thai Boutique Experience
Thailand has beautiful landscapes, national parks, traditional hill tribes, exotic cuisine and a rich Buddhist culture. All of these can easily be explored giving you an all-round insight into the country and heritage that make Thailand such a popular destination to explore.
This itinerary aims to take you through all the highlights of Bangkok and northern Thailand with a focus on its buzzing cities, culture, history, scenery and local people. We've included a superb range of luxury hotels and excursions to ensure you experience the local Thai people and see many of their famous temples, ruins, monuments and museums. In Bangkok explore its buzzing markets and gold-tinged temples, before moving on to interact with Elephants and the local hill tribes in the North, where you'll have glimpses of Laos and Myanmar in the distance.
- Economy class international and domestic flights
- Accommodation & breakfast throughout
- Meals as detailed
- Local English speaking private guides throughout
- Tours & transfers
- Entrance fees for mentioned visits
- Airline departure taxes
PriceFrom $4,389.00 per person based on two people sharing*
Best time to go
November to April is the best time to travel with amiable weather throughout the country.
- Ancient and culturally significant Wats (temples)
- Antique cities steeped in history
- Discover the culture and people of Thailand first hand
- Thai nature including waterfalls, forests and rural areas
- Local markets with fascinating articles and produce
- Thai culinary experiences
- Long Tail boat rides
Day 1 : UK Departure
Depart on your overnight flight to Bangkok from London Heathrow.
Day 2: Bangkok
Arrive at Bangkok International Airport. Meet with local guide and transportation for private transfer to the hotel. Free for relaxing at the hotel.
Afternoon visit to Wat Pho. Bangkok’s oldest temple is home to the magnificent reclining Buddha as well as the first school of traditional medicine and Thai massage and is also regarded as Thailand’s first University. Continue to the Royal Grand Palace is Bangkok’s number one ‘must see’ attraction as well as Thailand’s most important landmark. See many majesty building, the throne halls and the mysterious Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Thailand.
Accommodation: Sala Rattanakosin
Day 3: Bangkok
Start the day at Wat Saket where vsiitors can acquire some insights into Buddhism as well as witnessing the monks chant their morning prayers. Partake in the offering of alms to the monks and receive blessings for a healthy and safe trip. Afterwards take a short climb up to the temple’s golden mount. From there enjoy the panoramic view of Rattanakosin Island while listening to the chimes of hundreds of temple bells.
Continue with a drive through the historical districts of Bangkok, passing some of the city’s most beautiful landmarks and temples. Stop along the way to buy some supplies for “Sangkatarn” – a special kind of offering for monks at Wat Ratchabophit. Visitors to Wat Ratchabophit will be amazed by the perfect blend of Thai architectural exterior with exquisite European influenced interiors. The tour will cap off at the Tiger God Shrine, one of the oldest Taoist temples in Bangkok renowned for being the most popular place of veneration amongst the Chinese community in the country.
Continue to lunch at Steve Restaurant and Cuisine by the river.
Art and Culture of Bangkok’s Klong. Start the tour early afternoon, board a private long tail boat taking guests onto the peaceful Klong Bang Luang. Pass by shop houses, local temples and vendors on this waterway which was once a major trading route and lined with impressive homes of aristocrats. The guide will point out local landmarks and cultural idiosyncrasies of the area. After observing this lively area the boat stops at Baan Silapin, a 100 year old renovated house now home to an art gallery. Here stop for up to two hours to enjoy the gallery, take part in an art workshop or explore the local community, before experiencing a unique puppet show performed by puppeteers trained under the Joe Louis School of puppetry. Enroute back to the city stop to visit the Temple of Dawn – Wat Arun, arriving back early afternoon.
Time: 13.00 – 17.00
Note: By long tail boat only. Puppet show is not available on Mondays and Tuesdays. Extra fee will be charged for the optional art workshop.
Accommodation: Sala Rattanakosin [Half board]
Day 4: Bangkok - Ayutthaya - Saraburi
Depart from Bangkok and drive to Ayutthaya. This was the capital of Thailand for more than 417 years before it was sacked by an invading Burmese army.
First stop at Bang Pa-In Summer Palace and explore the majestic royal mansions which are usually quiet in the afternoons. Continue to Wat Niwet Thammapravat, one of the most distinctive Buddhist temples with its remarkable Gothic style architecture and stained glass windows.
In the afternoon, hop onto a “Kermit” Tuk Tuk (a special type of motorized Tuk Tuk available only in Ayutthaya and Trang province in the South) to discover the magnificent ruins and ancient temples in the historical park. Briefly stop near the Muslim quarter and sample one of the most famous delights of Ayutthaya – candy floss roti.
Continue to Saraburi in the late afternoon where you will stay the night.
Accommmodation: Ndol Villa [Breakfast]
Day 5: Saraburi - Khao Yai
Breakfast at Ndol Villa.
Drive into the National Park and partake in a 3km walk through the forest to Nong Phug Shee Tower, located near Nong Phug Shee pond, the main water source for many kinds of animal. There is a fair chance of seeing elephants and other wild animals here. Then head to the famous waterfall in the film “The Beach” and have lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, it is time to explore the beauty of the waterfall.
In the late afternoon, the tour heads to Lonely Cliff to visit the highest mountain within the national park and the beautiful surroundings.
In the evening enjoy dinner and a wine tasting at GranMonte, one of Khao Yai’s famous vineyards.
Accommodation: Greenery Resort [Full board]
Day 6: Khao Yai - Saraburi - Lopburi - Sukhothai
Depart early morning for a visit to the temple of the Buddha footprint in Saraburi before continuing onto Lopburi.
Lopburi was an important part of the Khmer Empire and later a part of Ayutthaya kingdom. It was Ayutthaya's second capital under the reign of King Narai The Great. Visit the area famous for hundreds of crab eating macaques that run free within the Old Town. They are especially plentiful in the area around Phra Prang Sam Yod and Phra Kaan Shrine.
In the afternoon, drive to Sukhothai and stop over at Sukhothai Historical Park. Explore by bike in this park containing around 200 abandoned chedis that are still in remarkably good condition.
Accommodation: Tharaburi Resort in Sukhothai [Breakfast]
Day 7: Sukhothai
Discover the 2012 PATA Gold Award Winning Project’s tourist attraction in Si Satchanalai District, in the Heritage and Culture category, “Ban Na Thon Chan Community”.
Established over 200 years ago, Ban Na Thon Chan is a local tourism based community offering a balance of natural and cultural heritage to visitors. Most villagers are descendants of the ancient Lanna kingdom Their everyday life is based on daily tasks and age old customs while conserving their local heritage. Take this opportunity to visit the local families and enjoy a delicious local lunch with the host family.
The afternoon will be at leisure with the freedom to explore independently.
Accommodation: Tharaburi Resort [Half board]
Day 8: Sukhothai - Nan
Drive to Nan, with an en route visit to Phrae, one of Thailand’s oldest cities and one of the most authentic Lanna towns.
Phrae is packed with traditional Thai architecture in the form of beautiful teak houses, eclectic wats and quiet lanes as well as several large colonial period teak mansions. Spend some time visiting Vongburi House, a large two storey teak mansion built in 1897 for a family that held a large teak concession in the area.
Continue to Nan, and enjoy sightseeing the city of Nan including Wat Phumin and the National Museum. Make a brief stop at the Riverside Gallery with paintings and sculptures of local artist Winai Prabripoo.
Accommodation: Nan Boutique Hotel [Breakfast]
Day 9: Nan - Chiang Khong
Head out of the city for an encounter with the Malbri, also called “Spirits of the Yellow Leaves“. This is a unique opportunity to meet one of the most mysterious and rare hill tribes of South East Asia. Expert estimates are that there are as few as 150 tribesmen left.
Continue drive along the mountaineous route to the Chiang Khong area of Chiang Rai for arrival at Lanjia Lodge in the afternoon.
After enjoying your welcome drink, you will be informed, by means of a video presentation, of the various tribal people residing in Thailand. The main focus ofthe presentation will be the Hmong and Lahu tribes who ae also your hosts at Lanjia Lodge. Another presentation will give you insights on the various activities affecting the lives of people living by and from the Mekong River over decades. The second information session covers the famous Giant Catfish (locally known as Pla Buek), the world’s largest freshwater fish. The species can still be found in the Mekong river.
Enjoy a sumptuous dinner with local delicacies, followed by a performance of both Hmong and Lahu music and dances.
Accommodation: Lanjia Lodge [Full board]
Day 10: Chiang Khong
Prepare for an adventurous day with an early morning breakfast in the lodge. A local guide will then guide you through the Hmong and Lahu village adjacent to the lodge, called “Baan Kiew Karn”.
Learn about the many traditions, beliefs and daily way of life of these two tribes. In addition enjoy a hands on local Batik making experience taught by an extremely skillful Hmong woman. Afterwards the Shaman of the village will be pleased to answer all your questions regarding the role a Shaman plays in the local community.
Later in the day, travel to the close-by village of Baan Muang Karn. From here you board a local boat and cruise down the famed Mekong River to the city of Chiang Khong. Lunch will be at a local restaurant right by the river.
Take a guided walk after lunch, through parts of this charming border town. Visit two temples along the way before heading to the village of Ban Had Krai. Here the fishermen have had personal encounters with the fames Giant Catfish. They tell fascinating, unique stories about the adventures they have had.
The last stop for the day, before returning to the lodge is a visit to Wat Phra That Jom Meng temple on the mountain top with a scenic view over the Mekong River basin and Laos.
Arrive back in the lodge in time to relax and prepare for another meal showcasing the unique flavors of the local cuisine.
Accommodation: Lanjia Lodge [Full board]
Day 11: Chiang Khong - Fang
After breakfast visit a small waterfall where you have the opportunity to swim in the pool in the middle of a tropical forest. We will bring along a wonderful picnic lunch for you to enjoy before returning to the lodge in the early afternoon.
Refreshments will be served at Lanjia Lodge before you continue driving down hill to the Fang District of Chiang Mai Province. Check in at Phumanee Lahu Home Hotel and spend the entire late afternoon cycling or walking through the local community and to temples in the area.
Accommodation: Phumanee Lahu Home Hotel [Full board]
Day 12: Fang - Pai
The day starts at 6am with a visit to the local market in Fang town. Explore the fresh market to buy some ready cooked food, fruits, drinks and flowers as an alms offering and then continue on the off road trail to the hill top Doi Pu Muen. Because it is a very early start, a breakfast box will be taken along for the excursion.
Doi Pu Muen is a mountain and highland which is 1,306 metres above sea level with cool temperatures almost all year round. Upon arrival see the village of Lahu. They are a rare Christian Tribe who mainly grows tea and coffee as their main source of income. Visit tea plantations and have fun learning how to pick tea leaves alongside the locals. Continue on with the process of tea making through heating and drying the tea leaves. Then a tea tasting to sample the fruits of your labour. This is followed by a very special bamboo lunch at Pu Muen Waterfall.
In the late afternoon, drive to Pai District of Mae Hong Son Province. Pai is a colurful town of just over 2000 people set in a picturesque mountain valley. Their culture is strongly influenced by the Shan people (from Myanmar) which is very visable in the social circumstance of Pai.
In the evening enjoy a stroll through the colourful Pai night markets for a snack or some hill tribe inspired crafts and gifts.
Accommodation: Phu Pai Art [Half board]
Day 13: Pai - Mae Hong Son
Following breakfast, continue further north to Tham Lod cave in the small town of Soppong (1.5 hours). This must see historic cave is explored by bamboo raft via a tiny river that winds through the cave. Disembark the raft 2- 3 times to explore, with a guide, the huge caverns that contain remains of ancient teak coffins that date back over 2500 years and simple cave paintings. Tham Lod is considered a good example of community based tourism. All of the guides at the cave are from the local Shan village.
Continue on to a local restaurant for lunch and then travel to Mae Hong Son stopping at Tam Pla park. The park features a number of creeks running out of a cave and the waters are filled with Soro Brook Carp fish. After the visit, resume your drive to Mae Hong Son.
Mae Hong Son is Thailand’s most remote town. Nestled in a scenic mountainous setting with the Pai River as its thoroughfare. Mae Hong Son shares a border with Myanmar and as such its population is a cultural melting pot of Thai and Shan people with Lisu, Lahu, Karen and Hmong hilltribes populating the surrounding mountain regions.
Continue to Wat Phra That Doi Kong Moo constructed by Phaya Singhanatracha, the first King of Mae Hong Son. The temple dominates the provincial city affording wonderful views over the city and surrounding mountains and valleys. Also visit the Burmese style temples Wat Chong Klang and Wat Chong Kham. Apart from the glass paintings depicting Buddhism and simple lifestyle of the villagers which draw much attention from visitors, there are over 30 wood carved dolls from Myanmar. Situated in front of the temples is a big natural pond called Nong Chong Kham, which used to be the bathing area for elephants.
Accommodation: Fern Resort [Breakfast]
Day 14: Mae Hong Son
Begin with an early morning to visit the market area where an exotic aray of foodstuffs can be bought including crickets, worms and ant eggs!
Then embark on an exciting “long-tail” boat journey down the Pai river through jungle landscape passing small villages perched high upon the river banks and lush green rice fields. This scenic boat ride brings us to a small market on the Myanmar border, selling an eclectic variety of goods from Myanmar and Thailand.
Accommodation: Fern Resort [Breakfast]
Day 15: Mae Hong Son - Chiang Mai
Depart from Mae Hong Son to Khun Yuam. Stop on the way to see some authentic Burmese & Mon influenced temples such as Wat Muay Tor and Wat Tor Pae. Continue by road on a beautiful montaineous route to the small charming town of Mae Cham for lunch. After lunch it is an afternoon drive to Chiang Mai.
Visit Wat Palad, the old meditation centre, in the late afternoon. It is one of three temples in Doi Suthep National Park dated at more than 500 years old. Depart down the hill to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, The Temple on the Mountain which is the most sacred in Northern Thailand. The stairs lead you to its impressive chedi and beautiful murals. At this time the tourist masses have already left the temple grounds and dusk will give a very special atmosphere. End the day with the spectacularly romantic evening view over Chiang Mai with its myriad of twinkling lights.
Optional: Chiang Mai Night Discovery
This city really comes alive at night! We start the evening at a local temple to join monks in their nightly chanting of prayer. Light some incense or burn a candle and experience this wonderful Buddhist event. From here, it’s time for dinner at the beautiful and elegant Rachamankha Hotel. Following this, we drive to the lively Waroros market. This market is the hub of local life and bursting with fresh flowers and local street food stalls. Your guide will explore the market with you and sample some local Thai sweets to finish off your wonderful night.
Time: 17:00 - 21:00
Accommodation: Makka [Half board]
Day 16: Chiang Mai
Today is planned to be a spcial one! Experience a typical day in the life of a Thai person. No tourists, no sightseeing... Just real life home cooking in a real Thai neighborhood.
Join Mr. Prapat in his family car and transfer 20 minutes to Hang Dong to spend the day with your ‘Thai family’. In true Thai style, slip into a pair of local ‘fisherman’s pants’ discover the architecture of a traditional Thai house and rice barn. Your Thai family will also demonstrate their basket weaving skills, a tradition that has been in Thailand for centuries. Stroll around the small, family orchid and select fresh ingredients to add to the days cooking extravaganza. You will learn to cook traditional home cooked recipes with authentic Northern Thai flavors that are different from standard dishes offered in commercial cooking classes. Best of all you will have the opportunity to get to know a real Thai family and be their house guest for the day. Enjoy a delicious home cooked lunch with your family (cooked together). In the afternoon, go for a stroll around the neighborhood to see some cottage industry goods being made before returning to Chiang Mai.
Accommodation: Makka [Breakfast]
Day 17: Departure
After breakfast, transport will be provided back to the airport in Chiang Mai for your flight to London Heathrow via Bangkok.
Meals other than mentioned above, visa and visa services, camera/video entrance fees, personal expenses, travel insurance, tips, any services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above.
These itineraries are samples itineraries for previous clients. Speak to one of our travel experts at 020 7843 3531 or email at email@example.com to create your perfect holiday based on your travel requirements.
* This is a guide price, based on travel in low season.