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Premium Northern Thailand


Discover a land of mouth-watering food, stunning landscapes, fascinating history and incredibly hospitable locals on a 12-day Premium journey through Northern Thailand. Get to know the innermost essence of Thai culture as you travel from city streets to mountain tops. Explore the ancient temples of Ayutthaya, spend time with Lisu hill tribes, meet the experts at an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai and uncover the country’s past in Kanchanaburi. With a local leader by your side, you’ll soon see there’s more to Thailand than what meets the eye.

12 days, from

$3,523

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: TTPT
Style: Premium
Theme: Explorer

Details

Countries Visited:  Thailand
Accommodation: Hotel (4 nights), Resort (5 nights), Lodge (2 nights)
Transportation: Train , Private mini van , Longtail boat , Songtheaw , Bicycle
Included Meals:

  • 11 breakfasts
  • 4 lunches
  • 6 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Experience a different side of bustling Bangkok during an Exclusive Experience – rise early and visit a local temple where you’ll ‘make merit’ by bringing an offering to the temple’s monks

  • Stay in the beautiful Lisu lodge for your Feature Stay. This community-based project employs Lisu villagers and allows you to immerse yourself in local culture while enjoying creature comforts.

  • Cruise the waterways on board a traditional rice barge as you watch local life pass by and enjoy a delicious meal during an Exclusive Experience.

  • Support an important animal welfare initiative, speak with local experts and get close to incredible creatures at the Elephant Nature Park.

  • Unleash your creativity and learn about the history of Benjarong, a traditional style of painted Thai porcelain, with a visit to a Benjarong ceramics community.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Bangkok

Welcome to Thailand! Your journey begins in Bangkok, where you’ll be collected at the airport and transferred to your hotel. After settling into your room, an important welcome meeting will take place at 6pm. Please check for the Intrepid Premium noticeboard in the reception area of the hotel. If you arrive early, take some time to enjoy Bangkok’s irresistible energy. By day you’ll encounter a city steeped with history and tradition, but by night Bangkok is taken over by a flood of music and neon lights. Watch torrents of tuk tuks zip by while traditional khlong boats slowly wind down the Chao Phraya River. After your meeting, join your small group for a welcome dinner at an excellent local restaurant where your leader will introduce you to a food scene that’s bursting with local flavour.

Day 2: Bangkok

Rise early for an optional exclusive experience away from Bangkok’s well-trodden tourist track. Join the locals at sunrise for to a visit to a temple along the Chao Phraya River, where you’ll ‘make merit’ by bringing an offering to the temple’s monks – a truly unforgettable moment. Today your leader will take you for a day of sightseeing and activities in lively Bangkok. Tour Wat Po, a larger-than-life temple complex in the city - home of the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Also visit the majestic Grand Palace and learn about the site which has been the official residence of the kings since the 1700s, and enjoy a boat tour of the city's canals as your leader shows you how Bangkok’s locals live today. The afternoon is free to do as you wish, perhaps check out the art collection at the Jim Thompson house or relax with a Thai massage.

Day 3: Kanchanaburi

Unleash your creativity and learn about the history of Benjarong, a traditional style of painted Thai porcelain, with a visit to a ceramics community. The name literally means ‘five colours’ (although it’s not unusual to see up to eight) and artists use enamel to create intricate floral and geometric designs. This morning you’ll get to paint your own mug or teacup which will be fired and sent to you to take home as a unique and very special souvenir. There will be time to buy lunch if you wish, before you continue to Kanchanaburi to visit to the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. This prisoner of war cemetery was one of the first museums to attempt to educate the public and keep the memory of the Asian and POW workers who died constructing the infamous Death Railway alive.

Day 4: Kanchanaburi

Start your day with a visit to Erawan National Park where you can explore the park’s famous seven-level waterfall or simply swim and relax. The falls are regarded as some of the most beautiful in the country, with glacial blue waters rushing through the forest into bamboo-shaded pools perfect for a refreshing dip. After you’ve had time to relax, visit the infamous 'Bridge on the River Kwai'. Many Allied prisoners of war and conscripted Asian labourers were engaged here to help build a rail route to Myanmar (Burma), including the passage infamously known as Hellfire Pass. Visit the memorial museum of the pass where your leader will provide more information about this chapter in history. Take a historical train journey across a portion of this 'death railway' along the Kwai Noi River and travel over the original wooden viaduct, known as the Bridge on the River Kwai, constructed by the allied POWs. Pass through peaceful and naturally beautiful scenery as you learn of those who lost their lives building this rail route. The evening is yours to explore the town.

Day 5: Ayutthaya

This morning head to Ayutthaya, one of the ancient capitals of Siam and a World Heritage site. On the way, visit Baan Nong Khao CBT Village, an agricultural village that is famous for its Pha Khao Mah hand-weaving. Visit the community’s museum, a palm sugar field and a local house to see how desserts featuring this famous Thai ingredient are made. Of course, you’ll get to sample these delicious, sweet treats. Then watch the weavers at work as they use more than 100 colours of yarn to create traditional Thai clothing. Upon arrival in Ayutthaya, explore the photogenic 14th-century temple of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon while your leader shares knowledge of the complex’s history. Continue to the ornately decorated Wat Phanan Choeng, one of Ayutthaya's oldest temples and home to a 19-metre-high Buddha. Continue on to the 13th-century ruins of Wat Phra Mahathat and discover rows of Buddhas beheaded by the Burmese. Look out for the displaced Buddha head suspended in the roots of a Banyan tree - one of the country’s most photographed images. Tonight, the past will come to life as you board a traditional rice barge and tuck into a delicious Thai dinner. See the city lights and take in the sights of Bangkok at night as you cruise down Chao Phraya River.

Day 6: Kanchanaburi to Sukhothai

Today you will leave Kanchanaburi and travel to the town of Phitsanulok by train. Sit back, relax and watch the scenery roll by. After arriving in Phitsanulok, change to a private vehicle and continue on this comfortable journey which will see you arriving in Sukhothai at approximately 5pm. The rest of the day is free for your own discoveries. You may like to relax by the pool or unwind with a Thai massage, and for dinner this evening be sure to ask your leader where you can get a bowl of Sukhothai’s famously tasty noodles.

Day 7: Sukhothai

Sukhothai, established in the 13th century, was one of the first ancient capitals of Siam. Start your day with an optional alms offering before visiting its famed World Heritage listed historical park, which captures the Golden Age of Thai civilisation. Visit the historical park, which spans the ruins of the town, where you will rent a bicycle and take part in a cycle tour. As you ride around, your leader will let you know more about the history of this former metropolis and its fascinating structures. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the beautiful grounds of Sukhothai Park. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore the town, or you might want to simply read a book by the pool back at your accommodation. This evening, regroup and head to the home of one of our local friends where you’ll enjoy a wonderful homecooked dinner and a unique insight into life in this part of the country.

Day 8: Mae Taeng

Travel from Sukhothai to the Mae Taeng region. Draped between tranquil rice fields and fruit orchards, you’ll find the enchanting Lisu Lodge, your Feature Stay accommodation. The lodge is a community-based project that trains and employs Lisu villagers from the nearby hill tribe and aims to preserve their cultural heritage. The Lisu people are a Tibeto-Burman ethnic group and one of the six main hill tribes of Northern Thailand. Meet the colourfully dressed villagers and learn more about the Lisu way of life - a truly special experience that is sure to be one of your enduring memories of Thailand. The lodge offers gorgeous guestrooms decorated in the traditional Lisu style with modern comforts. Savour unforgettable views of the surrounding hillside and valley, and enjoy a tantalising dinner of Thai food mixed with traditional Lisu dishes. You don’t have to look for a cultural experience here - it’s all around you.

Day 9: Mae Taeng

After breakfast at Lisu Lodge, it’s a quick trip to Muang Kued Village where you will meet with a local villager and enjoy a private guided tour. Learn about village life, the reforestation of the surrounding area and how produce is grown in the village orchards. Explore the organic farm and choose the ingredients for a cooking class where you’ll learn how to cook traditional Thai food. After a delicious lunch, join the villagers for a chance to learn how to weave palm leaves to create ornaments and accessories. You’ll also enjoy a tasty barbeque dinner at the nearby Mae Tamaan Base Camp.

Day 10: Chiang Mai

Travel to the Elephant Nature Park - a unique project that provides sanctuary for elephants and other animals. Be greeted by an expert local guide and learn the stories of the rescued elephants and the issues they face in South-East Asia. Feed the elephants from a viewing platform, walk with the expert staff to watch elephants bathe and play, and enjoy a vegetarian buffet lunch. On arrival back in Chiang Mai in the late afternoon, the evening is yours to enjoy your way. You may like to visit the vibrant Night Bazaar or take a stroll around the old town which is bounded by moats. Your guide can give you recommendations on where to go for dinner.

Day 11: Chiang Mai

Start your day with a caffeine hit and a visit to a sustainable social enterprise with a focus on all things coffee. From here, you will drive to the famous temple complex of Doi Suthep. Take in stunning views along the scenic and winding mountain road which brings you to an impressive 300-step Naga-guarded stairway. The rewards justify the ascent to the top, with one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand on display, not to mention the fantastic panoramic views of the city. Return to Chiang Mai where you will have time to relax before an exclusive farewell dinner cooked by a local chef. Dine on delicious traditional northern Thai food like kao soy, yellow wheat noodles in a curry broth, traditionally served with chicken or beef, as you reminisce about the wonderful adventures you’ve had in Northern Thailand.

Day 12: Chiang Mai

With no activities planned for today, your adventure comes to an end after breakfast. If you would like to extend your stay in Chiang Mai we can help arrange extra accommodation (subject to availability).