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Boats on a Phuket beach

Best of Thailand

Example 10 Day Tour
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This 10 day highlights tour gives you a taste of the best that Thailand has to offer. Explore Bangkok including the Grand Palace and floating markets. Experience Chiang Mai and northern Thai culture, connect with elephants, and spend time on the beaches of Phuket for some relaxation time at the end of the trip. Choose this main highlights Thailand tour for a fantastic introduction to natural and cultural wonders of the country.
Aerial view of the city of BangkokThai elephant playing in the waterDoi Suthep in Chiang MaiDamnoen Saduak Floating MarketGrand Palace in BangkokPad Thai noodle dishFloating Market in BangkokReclining Buddha at Wat PhoWat Chedi Luang in Chiang MaiDramatic landscape of PhuketWat Chiang ManBoats on a Phuket beach
Highlights
  • Visit Wat Pho & view the monks' early morning chanting ritual
  • Wander the bustling Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
  • Feed and bathe elephants at the Elephant Nature Park
  • Sail through lagoons, mangroves, and karst formations in Phang Nga Bay
Places Visited
Activity Level: Easy Active
Moderately active but not overly strenuous. This level includes activities like casual cycling, yoga, or excursions/activities that typically last 3-5 hours total each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive Bangkok

Upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, a representative/guide with a signboard displaying your name awaits in the guide pickup area near Door 6. The arrival Gate B should be behind you as you exit the Arrival Hall.

If assistance is needed to locate the representative/guide, the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) desk at Door 4 can help find the representative/guide. Presentation of travel documents and information about your name, hotel, and local agent is required. The ATTA attempts to locate the representative/guide to arrange a meeting at the ATTA counter. Transfer to your accommodation.

Day 2: Heart & Soul of Bangkok

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel.

Explore Bangkok's most significant cultural highlights and cruise the khlongs (canals) by longtail boat. Visit Wat Pho, one of Bangkok's oldest temples with the largest reclining Buddha (45 m, 150 ft) in the country. Continue to Lak Muang City Pillar by tuk-tuk, representing the foundation stone of Bangkok. Step into the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Pra Kaew), the most revered shrine in the Kingdom.

Enjoy lunch at Riverside Restaurant.

After a break for a typical family-style local Thai lunch, board a longtail boat for a cruise through Bangkok's maze of ancient canals. Marvel at the waterways lined with floating wooden shopfronts, weathered teak homes, and quiet Buddhist temples. Make a stop at the fascinating Artist's House (Baan Silapin), a centuries-old teak house turned into a gallery with local artwork and photography. Back on the Chao Phraya River, end the day with a visit to Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, the most iconic of the more than 31,000 across the country. Ascend the steep and narrow steps of this Khmer-style tower for a panoramic view across the river before returning to the accommodation.

Day 3: Bustling Vibrant Markets

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel.

Begin your day with an invigorating visit to the famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market before venturing to the intriguing Maeklong Train Market.

Get an early start, traveling past rice paddies and shrimp farms (approx. 50 kilometers/ 30 miles) to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Board a longtail boat and cruise the maze of canals towards the lively market filled with vendors selling fresh fruit, vegetables, souvenirs, and more. Continue on foot to the nearby Lao Tuk Lak market, a smaller, more traditional market, and hear stories about the local community who frequent it.

Enjoy an iced coffee Thai style before traveling to the Maeklong Train Market. Walk along the tracks and listen for the arrival of the train. Witness the stall holders rush to remove their goods from the track, only to replace them as soon as the train passes by. Return to Bangkok and stop en route at a family-operated coconut palm sugar factory. Observe the production process unfold and taste some of the tantalizing snacks made from palm sugar (similar to jaggery).

Note: Pick up time is between 06:30 hrs.

Day 4: Tour Chiang Mai

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel and check out. Transfer to Suvarnabhumi Airport and board a flight to Chiang Mai.

Hike a section of the Monk's Trail before encountering pilgrims at the most revered temple complex, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.

Depart the city to reach the starting point of the hiking trail known as the Monks Trail and imagine the monks who walked this same path to the top of Doi Suthep mountain before the road was built. Occasionally, orange robes may be seen wrapped around the branches to indicate the way as was done hundreds of years ago. Although not difficult, there are a few short challenging sections before you arrive at the peaceful Wat Pha Lat (Monastery at the Sloping Rock) at the end of the walk. Explore this tranquil jungle temple with old stone buildings featuring intricate carvings and notable statues before continuing to the top of Doi Suthep by road.

Climb the 308 steps up the mythical Naga serpent staircase to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, where views of the city below are your reward. Listen to the chants of the monks, absorb the atmosphere, and immerse yourself in the spirituality of this revered temple complex. Engage with the pilgrims from across Thailand, and discover pagodas and statues dedicated to Buddhism with Hindu influences. Learn about Buddhism and its impact on the culture and daily life of Thai people.

Day 5: Kanta Elephant Sanctuary

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel.

Spend time with these amazing animals, listen to stories shared by the park ranger guides about the individual rescued elephants, and assist with feeding and bathing, all while learning how the sanctuary is offering positive change.

Journey to the outskirts of Chiang Mai, passing rural landscapes, and deep into the forest to the acclaimed Kanta Elephant Sanctuary (approx. 45 kilometers / 28 miles). Established by a local Not for Profit Organization, the sanctuary provides an education-focused home and rehabilitation center for rescued animals, predominantly for the tourism and logging industries. Take the opportunity to learn from the professional and passionate ranger guides about the ongoing issues facing wild elephant populations across Southeast Asia. Change into traditional clothing and assist with the preparation of their special daily diet of sticky rice and fruits. Meet the elephants, take part in the feeding, and spend time observing these incredible animals from a safe environment. Enjoy a sumptuous buffet of Asian and International dishes, then watch a safety briefing before accompanying the guides as you head down to the river for their elephant's afternoon scrubbing. Be prepared to get wet as you lend a hand to scrub them clean with your newly learned skills.

Day 6: Walking Tour of Chiang Mai

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel.

Set on a behind-the-scenes exploration of the Old City with your local insider, strolling on foot. Along the way, listen to stories of Buddhism, sustainable Thai food, and rehabilitation programs for women prisoners. Engage with local vendors as fresh produce and local trinkets are set up for the day ahead at one of the city's main markets. Seek out the new breed of chocolate makers and coffee roasters using locally sourced sustainable beans. Peek inside the oldest temple, Wat Chiang Man, built in 1297 by the first king of the Lanna Kingdom. Continue to the Three Kings Monument, a sculpture said to be the founding fathers of Chiang Mai. Venture inside the interesting Lanna Folk Life Museum and learn about the culture and history of this ethnic group of people in Northern Thailand. Experience 30-minute foot massage offered by female prisoners from the Chiang Mai Women's Correctional Institution and see firsthand how this rehabilitation program trains inmates, providing them with the necessary skills for when the prisoners are released. Admire the imposing chedi (pagoda) of the 14th-century Wat Chedi Luang, originally much higher but reduced in size following an earthquake in the 16th century.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant (Chicken rice or Khao Soi).

Visit a Lanna family home, enjoy a culinary journey of age-old family recipes, glimpse the traditional lifestyle of people who migrated here generations ago, and learn about their traditions and way of living. Step inside and engage with your hosts sharing the history of generations of their families that have called this village home. Appreciate the architecture and building of their home, using teak wood whilst maintaining the natural surroundings. Stroll through their orchard identifying the various fruits grown including banana, mango, and coconut, before selecting fresh herbs to be used in the cooking later. Watch them weave a small bamboo basket and take the opportunity to try your hand at this craft. Take your basket of herbs and other ingredients from the garden and delight in the opportunity to prepare authentic Northern Thai dishes using traditional cooking techniques and clay pots, which impart an additional flavor element. Afterward, sit down to a mouthwatering meal prepared together having gained a personal connection to the descendants of the first people of Northern Thailand, the Lanna people.

Day 7: On to Phuket

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel.

Free leisure time in the morning and check out, then transfer to Chiang Mai Airport and take a flight to Phuket.

Transfer from Phuket Airport to Hotel. Then free leisure.

Day 8: Explore Phang Nga Bay

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel.

This morning, meet the guide and depart to Bang Rong pier. Take a private longtail boat to explore Phang Nga Bay. Once reaching Koh Panak and Koh Hong, enjoy paddling in the clear waters. In each canoe, there is space for two persons and one guide. Get closer to the limestone rocks and explore the nature and caves from the canoes. Lunch on the beach and enjoy the beautiful view of Phang Nga Bay. In the afternoon, visit James Bonds Island and explore the coastline around the island before heading back to the mainland. Be transferred back to the mainland hotel.

Day 9: Free day in Phuket

Enjoy a free day on your own. Arrange for an optional activity such as snorkeling or kayaking, spend the day on the beach, explore island attractions such as the rum distillery, or take part in a cooking class.

Day 10: Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Continue on to your next destination today, or arrange to fly home via Bangkok.

Accommodations

Phuket - Hotels

Bangkok - Hotels

Chiang Mai - Hotels

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$2,036

Notes

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Rates may vary based on current exchange rate.

Included
  • 6 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 1 Dinner
  • 9 Nights Accommodations
  • 5 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Carbon Offset Fee 
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Internal Flight: Bangkok - Chiang Mai
  • Internal Flight: Chiang Mai - Phuket
  • Internal Flight: Phuket - Bangkok

Map

When to Go

Jan
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Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.
Typically not offered during this period because of weather conditions.

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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