Suggested Thailand Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive Bangkok, Thailand
Day 2: Bangkok
Day 3: Bangkok
Day 4: Bangkok / Chiang Mai
Day 5: Chiang Mai
Day 6: Chiang Mai
Day 7: Chiang Mai / Bangkok / Depart
Custom Travel Options
Chiang Rai (4 days)
Culturally rich Chiang Rai is the gateway to renowned mountain hill tribes and artisan villages of Thailand.
Mae Hong Son (3 days)
Mae Hong Son offers spectacular scenery, hill tribe societies and soft adventure activities such as an elephant-back tour and a boat trip in the Pai River.
Phuket (4 days)
Limestone cliffs, white-powder beaches and tropical forests combine with luxury resorts, superb cuisine and a roster of outdoor activities to make this a stellar island escape.
Hua Hin (4 days)
Formerly a small fishing village, Hua Hin is an ideal beach retreat. One of Thailand’s oldest resorts, it was discovered by the King of Thailand in the early 1920s.
Nakorn Ratchasima, Khao Yai & Amphawa (7 days)
Ruins of Khmer kingdoms date back to the 11th century. Khao Yai National Park has more than 3,000 species of plants, wild elephants, gibbons, bears and deer.
Lampang, Phitsanulok & Sukhothai (4 days)
Northern Thailand’s sacred temples and ruins from the 12th to 15th centuries are worth exploration.
About Thailand Travel
Bangkok: Bangkok has been the capital of Thailand since 1782. It began as a small trading post at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River in the mid-14th century. Its most notable landmark is the brilliant Grand Palace, with gilded spires, elaborate halls, pavilions and murals. The Chapel of the Emerald Buddha adjoins the palace. Its exquisite 31-inch-high Emerald Buddha was carved from a single block of jade and is one of the country’s most revered icons. Temples such as the reclining Buddha, the Golden Buddha and Wat Trimitir dot the cityscape. Vendors come to Damnoen Saduak and its floating market with boatloads of exotic foods. Bangkok is rapidly changing, and its exciting blend of Thai, Chinese, Indian, Buddhist, Muslim and Western cultures is shaping it into a global city.
Chiang Mai: Chiang Mai is the largest city in the north and is becoming increasingly modernized. It remains a culturally significant city, and has more than 300 Buddhist temples, about 20 churches and 13 mosques. The city was once an important center due to its strategic location on an ancient trade route. It was founded in 1296 to succeed Chiang Rai as capital of the Lanna kingdom. To protect it against raids from Burma, the city was surrounded by a moat and a defensive wall. With the decline of Lanna kingdom, the city lost importance; so much so that it was abandoned between 1776 and 1791. Quite a contrast to today’s Chaing Mai, gateway to renowned mountain hill tribes and artisan villages of Thailand.
Chiang Rai: Chiang Rai province is the northern most province of Thailand. The city was founded in 1262 and became the capital of the Mangrai dynasty, but soon lost its status to a new city built at Chiang Mai. Chiang Rai was then conquered by then-Burma and remained under their control for several hundred years. In 1432, the small Emerald Buddha, Thailand’s most revered Buddha statue, was discovered when an earthquake or lightening, depending on the storyteller, cracked open the stupa at Wat Phra Kaeo revealing the beautiful jade figurine. Chiang Rai is a good place from which to explore the area’s vintage temples, local museums, lush forests and waterfalls. A memorable boat ride travels to the hilltribe village of the Karen, a gentle, hardworking people distinguished by their woven attire and a profusion of beaded jewelry.
Mae Hong Son: The town of Mae Hong Son rests in a deep valley surrounded by high mountain ranges. It is covered with mist throughout the year. The main cultural group is the Shan, whose ancestors came from Burma. Detailed patterns incorporated into the temples reflect a unique blend of Shan and Burmese architectural styles. In nearby mountains, hill tribe communities were isolated from the outside world for long periods of time so lifestyles changed little. This is also an area suitable for training elephants. In the camps, young elephants and their mahouts, handlers, forge lifelong relationships. Travelers come to Mae Hong Son for the spectacular scenery, hill tribe societies and soft adventure opportunities such as an elephant-back tour and a boat trip on the Pai River. The hill tribes include Karen, Lisu, Mhong, Lahu and Lua, each with its own distinctive customs.
Phuket & Phi Phi Islands: Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, has been dubbed Pearl of the Andaman for its tropical golden beaches embraced by the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea. Its historic towns are steeped in Thai, Chinese and Malay culture. The rocky limestone cliffs, powdery beaches, tranquil bays and tropical forests make this south Thailand’s wealthiest and most popular island. Lodgings range from world-class resorts to discreet tropical bungalows. Seafood lovers can sample the island’s famous lobster. The Phi Phi Islands are known for plunging limestone cliffs, secret caves and breathtaking beaches. The enormous Viking Cave is filled with stalactites, stalagmites and rock paintings. These islands boast outstanding snorkeling and scuba diving.
Hua Hin: For more than 70 years, Hua Hin has been a beachside resort town. Thailand’s oldest resort lures both foreign and Thai visitors. King Rama VII visited this humble fishing village in the early 1920s and thought this would be an ideal escape from Bangkok’s steamy summers. In 1928, the king built a summer palace here, which remains one of the royal residences. Siam’s upper class and nobility followed, building summer homes along the beachfront. A railway line from Bangkok insured the area’s easy access for nearly everyone. In addition to water sports, golf, and spas, the area is rich in natural assets, with great parks, mysterious caves and serene waterfalls. From Thai cuisine to luxurious resorts, Hua Hin has the ideal recipe for a relaxing stay in an exotic setting.
Lampang & Sukhothai: Lampang is a pastoral town with well-preserved temples. It was once the center of the 9th-century Hariphunchai Kingdom. The gold-topped Wat Hariphunchai is one of the most sacred temples in northern Thailand. Adventurers may ride an elephant through the ruins. Si Satchanalai was a thriving spiritual center from the 13th to 15th centuries. Its grandeur is evident in the impressive remnants of its temples. The past comes alive in the detailed carvings of floral designs and poetic human figures on the temple walls. Sukhothai, capital of the first independent Thai kingdom, was established in the 12th century. The dynasty flourished for more than 150 years, during an era that many consider as Thailand’s Golden Age. Its legacy lingers in the more than 20 remaining shrines, including Wat Mahathat, which is still used for religious ceremonies. Nearby is a training camp for young elephants, where visitors learn about the lifelong relationships between elephants and their trainers.
Nakorn Ratchasima, Khao Yai, & Amphawa:
Nakorn Ratchasima, commonly known as Korat, was once an important gateway into the Khmer kingdom. This is reflected at the nearby Prasat Hin Phimai National Historical Park. Prasat Hum Phimai was connected to Angkor Wat by an ancient ‘royal’ road dating from the end of the 11th century. The original settlement of Phimai occupied an artificial island on the Mun River. This park is home to Thailand’s largest number of Khmer buildings. The principal sanctuary stands inside walled boundaries richly decorated with sandstone carvings of Hindu subjects. Khao Yai National Park is Thailand’s first national park, and is spread over four provinces encompassing a range of geography from deciduous forest to savanna. Some 3,000 species of plants have been identified. Wildlife in the park includes about 200 wild elephants, some rare tigers, gibbons, bears, deer, bats, wild pigs and a major bird population including a wide variety of hornbills. Amphawa District is steeped in history waiting to be explored. Marukhathaiwan Palace, Khao Wang (Hill Palace), 13 antique wooden houses, represent is a mix of Thai and European architectural influence. Amphawa’s waterways allow boats to travel to once-hidden temples and visit traditional wooden homes. Amphawa Floating Market, unlike some of the more visited water markets, remains an authentic market and may be the best kept secret in Thailand.