THAILAND CLASSIC ( PRIVATE TOUR )

  
visit asia - tours to asiaCode TH09D
ONLY £1,795

A 9 day private tour packed with the most authentic Thai life scenes. Boat rides on Bangkok klongs, a train journey with the locals, visits to the Wats, elephant camp, Lisu tribal village… will unfold the amazing Thai history & culture.

BANGKOK – DAMNOEN SADUAK FLOATING MARKET – BRIDGE OVER RIVER KWAI – AYUTHAYA ANCIENT CAPITAL – CHIANG MAI – LAMPANG – LAMPHUN – MAESA ELEPHANT CAMP – LISU LODGE.

Price includes: Airport/hotel transfers, 5 star hotels with daily breakfast, main meals as stated, air conditioned private car,  train, boat trips, guided sightseeing, excursions, admission fees, internal flight Bangkok/ChiangMai.

Price excludes: International flights to Bangkok and from Chiang Mai *, insurance, tipping, optional entertainment and any service not specified.


Day 01 : Departure from the UK

Day 02: Bangkok (-/-/D) visit asia - tours to asia
Arrival in Bangkok. Welcome to Thailand! Meeting with your guide and transfer to the hotel. Take a moment to relax before a leisurely introduction starts. Bangkok, like most Thai cities, was built around canals and rivers and the best preserved neighbourhoods are still right there, on the water edge. By boat you explore Chao Phraya River and the lesser known canals and slide through these quite, green places where local families still live like in the past. That feeling continues in Wat Arun, ‘the Temple of Dawn’ which you can climb to have a great, welcoming view across the Chao Praya River and the Grand Palace on the other bank. Welcome Dinner at a Thai restaurant. Overnight at 5* Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel.

Day 03: Bangkok (B/L/-) visit asia - tours to asia
Discover Bangkok in style with your own expert guide and private car to calmly find your way from highlight to highlight. You will learn of the history of the City Pillar on Ratchanakosin island where Bangkok was founded, enter the always bustling Wat Po; home to the 45 meter long Reclining Buddha and the perfect place to make your offering for your wish to be granted. Explore the lanes and stalls of China Town, full of smells and colours, traditional products and Chinese temples.
Marvel at the sea of flowers on the orchid market where house wives come pick the best flower to put on their family-alter at home. Cross the river to the Temple of Dawn to enjoy the view across the river and of course the majestic Grand Palace; a glistering spectacle of colours and the most photographed sight of Bangkok. Discover a local community in wooden houses around the Mahakan fort before climbing up into sky on Golden Mount Wat Saket. Thai lunch during visits.
The end of the afternoon is at leisure to maybe sip a fresh mango juice while people-watching around Nana station, do some shopping on Siam Square or dive into the well known Patpong Night bazaar. Overnight in Bangkok.

Day 04: Bangkok - Kanchanaburi by train (B/L/-) visit asia - tours to asia
visit asia - tours to asia visit asia - tours to asia Hidden in a street market across the river you discover a set of rusty train tracks. You join the locals and their merchandise of chickens, vegetables and gold fish in plastic bags to find out where they lead to. You will bump along the rails between the houses of people who seem to live right on the tracks and stop at every station there is. The scenery becomes greener and the air smells like salt; you reach the Gulf of Thailand and disembark right into one of the country’s biggest fish markets! Enormous shrimp, bright red lobsters, tons of squid and big, big fish actually caught in Burmese waters. No tourists here, people go about their daily affairs and smile at us, posing for your camera. This is a delta area, criss-crossed by canals, highly fertile and full of coconut plantations and fruit orchards. Green and wet. By boat we navigate narrow canals and enter the floating market of Damnoen Saduak, where old ladies sell noodle soup, pomelo, rambutan and other colourful fruit and of course souvenirs from their little wooden boats. Take a moment to step behind the souvenirs stalls to discover wooden houses and bridges still lining the waterways from the past.
Dark side of history comes to life in the Museum and war-cemetery in Kanchanaburi on the river Kwai. A chance to learn about the hardships of the prisoners before walking across the notorious railway bridge. Enjoy a cold beer at a riverside bar after a day filled with fantastic impressions! Overnight at the Floating House River Kwai.

Day 05: Kanchanaburi – Ayuthaya - Bangkok/Chiang Mai (B/L/-) visit asia - tours to asia
Make a leisurely start this morning before driving into the central plains which are filled with sugar cane or corn depending on the season. Trucks are piled up high and workers ride on top of them. Make sure to ask for a stop and taste a refreshing freshly pressed sugar cane juice. Arrive in the former royal capital of Ayutthaya, where Unesco declared the ruins of temples and surrounding structures a world heritage site. Wat Chai Wattanaram is particularly beautiful and was built in the same style as the famous temples in Angkor, Cambodia. Your guide transforms the ruins into their former glory when explaining what happened when the Burmese army sacked and destroyed the place, taking away all the gold once covering the temples to Burma. After this begins your journey miles up north to in another world, by a short flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. On arrival meeting with your local guide and transfer to Ratilanna Riverside Hotel.

Day 06: Chiang Mai (B/L/-) visit asia - tours to asia
Chiang Mai has two sides; the city and the province. You will start by exploring the south of the province, the historical towns of Lampang and Lamphun. Lampang which feels more like a provincial town then a city, especially along the river in the center where the low-rise wooden houses dominate. The back streets and Don Tao temple which once held the Emerald Buddha are fun to explore by horse cart. In the south where rivers full of clay are abundant, you visited temples made out of brick. Here in the north the supply of wood determines how houses and temples are built and a fine example of a teak wooden house in Ban Sao Nak. A temple busy with pilgrims is the Lanna-style Wat Pha That Lampang Luang. Lamphun is a sleepy little place built around the beautiful and small Wat hariphunchai, which is a fine example of Lanna-style northern architecture. The region around Chiang Mai is famous for traditions and creativity. Combine these and you will see beautifully crafted painted umbrellas, carvings and silk weavings. San Khampaeng Village is a major centre for traditional handmade products in Northern Thailand. Make sure to take a peek into the workshops in the narrow alleys away from the main street. This is the perfect spot to bring original and authentic souvenirs back home. Overnight in Chiang Mai.

Day 07: Chiang Mai (B/L/-)
“Mae Sa Elephant Camp” is home to one of the largest assembly of elephants in northern Thailand. The philosophy of the camp is to create a natural and healthy environment for the elephants while working to conserve and breed them, due to the dwindling number of Asian elephants left in the wild. Orchids shine in all colours and varieties in the jungle; marvel at them from upclose at an orchid farm on the way today. The Lisu tribe is one of the smaller tribes home to northern Thailand. You will support them by visiting the community-based, award winning Lisu Lodge, aimed at teaching visitors about the Lisu culture and daily life, and help the local people learn about modernization and benefit from tourism. The Lisu have settled in this part of Thailand after having migrated down from Tibet through southern China and Burma. Guided by a Lisu villager you will walk you through the village to visit the Ton Lung temple and the herb garden. You will have a cup of tea with the shaman or ‘miracle doctor’ at his house to learn about his life, his curing rites and the Lisu traditions. In the small cultural centre you will find many local tools and household items used by both Lisu and Akha people. Tonight you should browse the night bazaar in Chiang Mai, famous for all kinds of souvenirs and many different flavours of local food. Overnight in Chiang Mai.

Day 08: Chiang Mai - Departure (B/-/-) visit asia - tours to asia
Overlooking Chiang Mai is Doi Suthep and its golden pagoda. Driving up the winding forest road, but the last bit you do on foot on a long staircase framed by multi headed snakes. The temple is a beauty and always buzzing with religious activities. Make sure to walk around the chedi in clock-wise direction and burn your incense sticks for good luck. Then, enjoy a spectacular view over Chiang Mai and the surrounding area. Exploring the centre and its maze of lanes and alleys dotted with temples is best done on foot. The northern style is a feast for the eye and camera.
Afternoon is at leisure until your transfer to Chiang Mai airport for flight home or beach extension in PhuKet, Koh Samui, Krabi, Hua Hin etc...

Day 09 : Arrive home.