Explore the highlights of Thailand from Bangkok to Chiang Mai to the beaches of the South. This unique tour incorporates the delicious culinary scene, vibrant urban experiences, culture & history, as well as relaxing beach time. Visit the less crowded beach destination of Yao Noi, which is not as known as others but equally beautiful. Get to know the "Land of Smiles" in so many exciting and different ways!
Experience vibrant Bangkok & charming Chiang Mai
Taste the differences between Southern & Northern cuisine
Relax on the less populated, pristine beaches of Koh Yao Noi
Visit ancient temples, the Grand Palace & other intriguing cultural sites
This morning your guide will pick you up from your hotel for an unusual walking tour in the old part of the buzzing capital. The tour starts with a fun transfer by local tuk-tuk to the city’s Giant Swing. We then go to Lak Muang, Bangkok’s City Pillar Shrine, as Thai cities always house a pillar to host the guardian spirit or deity of the city. Next is Saranrom Park, a botanic garden and public park, and a walk along Trok Wisutbeside a khlong to end up at Wat Suthat Thepwararam. Walk from Dinso Road through several alleys to Tanao Road, cross Ratchadamnoen Klang and head towards a decades old local restaurant, which offers great food and is virtually unknown by tourists.
Continue to Wat Po, one of Bangkok’s oldest and largest temples. Next visit the Grand Palace Complex, which includes the Temple of The Emerald Buddha - unquestionably a "must" for every visitor to Bangkok. The Grand Palace - built in traditional Thai architecture mixed with European designs - was once the official home of the Kings of Siam. The tour ends here. You have the opportunity to explore the riverside on own, jump on a local ferry to cruise down the Chao Phraya River or simply head back (on your own) to your hotel. Afternoon is at your leisure.
In the early evening, enjoy a mouth watering exploration of Bangkok's 200-year-old Chinatown district by visiting various tasty eateries. These range from sit-on-the-pavement vendors to charming restaurants. Walk through some of Chinatown's most characteristic alleys, and then enjoy the magnificent views of the river from a local rooftop bar. Here, you'll be given a short briefing by your guide while enjoying a drink and watching the sunset. Your unique tour starts with sampling all kinds of dishes such as dim sum, dumplings, fresh seafood, local desserts and more! Throughout the evening your knowledgeable guide will explain the background of all the different foods and drinks you are tasting. At the end of the night, you can choose to head back to your hotel, explore a bit more of this fascinating area, or watch the hustle and bustle of Chinatown from a lovely open air bar. Enjoy your final night in Bangkok.
Free time until your transfer to the airport to catch your flight to Chiang Mai, the cultural capital of Northern Thailand. On arrival to Chiang Mai, meet your guide and driver for a private transfer to your hotel. Settle into your hotel and relax on your own.
Get an early start at the Chiang Mai Gate Market, a traditional market where you will find fresh vegetables, fruit, fruit-shakes, spices, cooked chicken, fish, sweets, coffee and other food products. Your guide will let you sample some typical Thai snacks! Witness the monks making their daily alms rounds. Afterwards return to your hotel for breakfast.
Following breakfast we take a “songtaew” to the larger, riverfront Worarot Market. Be ready for colorful flowers, unfamiliar smells and friendly crowds. Textiles, hill tribe clothes, silks, hats and beads can be found as well. From the market we go to Thapae Gate, one of the four original city gates, where we will continue by rickshaw! Visit multiple temples along the way, and have the opportunity to talk with an English-speaking monk. Afterwards, enjoy a traditional Thai foot massage! Enjoy a local lunch of“Khao Soi” - the world famous North Thailand noodle soup.
Drive along a scenic, winding mountain road to the impressive 300-step naga-guarded stairway of Doi Suthep. The rewards justify the climb with one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand on display, not to mention fantastic panoramic views of the city and the opportunity to listen to hypnotic evening chanting by resident Buddhist monks. Our last stop of the day is to head back into the center of town and barter at the bustling night markets!
This morning you will visit the ancient city of Wiang Kum Kam. It is believed to be the earliest historical settlement in the Chiang Mai area established by Mon settlers. Archaeological remains excavated at the site include stone tablets with Mon inscriptions, pottery, earthenware, and Buddhist sculptures all dating back to the 8th century Haripunchai era. We will explore Wiang Kum Kam in the old style by horse cart - the perfect way to visit the sites. We will enjoy a special picnic lunch amongst the ruins in one of the forgotten corners of Wiang Kum Kam. Following this feast, it’s time to say goodbye to Wiang Kum Kam and return to the hotel.
Free time until your transfer to the airport for your flight to Phuket. Upon arrival, meet our representative for a private transfer to the pier. There you will hop on a speedboat (join-in) to reach Koh Yao Noi. The island still remains a quiet refuge that feels far removed from the crowds of Phuket. Furthermore, it gained worldwide attention in 2002 after receiving the World Legacy Award for Destination Stewardship from Conservation International and National Geographic Traveler magazine for the eco-friendly programs offered to visitors. Check-in on arrival with the rest of the day at your leisure.
This morning, prepare yourself for a great cooking experience! Khun Mina inhabits a lovely traditional Thai house in a quiet neighborhood just outside the market. Mina is an expert cook and a gracious hostess. She’ll show you how to make some classic Thai dishes, such as a variety of curries, stir fried dishes and a local spicy salad. If you prefer relaxing, feel free to do so in her large garden while taking in amazing views of the surrounding ocean and rice fields! Enjoy the delicious Thai lunch that you cooked at Mina's traditional Thai house!
Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.