Explore Northern Thailand: Bangkok to Chiang Mai
- 8 Days
- 8 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 1,145
MODERATE | SMALL GROUP: The north offers places which are perhaps the true Thailand such as the ancient capital, Sukhothai, the traditional temple town of Lampang and the “Rose of the North’, Chiang Mai.
The north of Thailand offers a totally different experience and perspective to the country after visiting Bangkok and the beaches of southern Thailand. Departing from Bangkok, travel overland to Sukhothai, a small city in Lower Northern Thailand famous for the ruins of the ancient city of Sukhothai which translates as "the dawn of happiness". It was the Thai capital during the 13th Century and was the first capital of Siam. The temples and monuments have been restored and Sukhothai Historical Park is an area with numerous sites of historical interest which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Highlights here will be the night market and a bicycle tour of the temples. .
Continuing north, arrive at Lampang famous for its horse-drawn carriages. It boasts a long history of human settlements, some of which dating back more than 1,000 years. It is rich in archaeologically evidenced in ancient civilizations.
Next is Chiang Mai, Thailand's cultural capital, a thriving city in the country's north. There is much to see and do, Visit beautiful temples dotted throughout its old town, see the local markets, enjoy a cooking class and take a cruise on a bamboo raft. You'll also visit ChangChill Elephant Sanctuary.
Your tour will conclude after your time in Chiang Mai.
- 8 Days
- 8 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 1,145
Itinerary View Trip Map
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand's bustling capital. Bangkok is famous for its tuk tuks, khlong boats and street vendors serving up delicious Thai food. With no planned activities until your important welcome meeting at 6 pm, why not head out and explore. You could take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in a Thai massage. After the meeting tonight, perhaps gather your fellow travellers together and tuck into some into world famous street food.
This morning, leave the current capital of Thailand and head north by train (approx 6 hours) and private mini van (approx 1 hour) to one of the first ancient capitals of Siam, Sukhothai. Located on a fertile plain, Sukhothai was established in the 13th century, and the name means the 'Dawn of Happiness'. It's now famous for its World Heritage-listed historic park that celebrates the Golden Age of Thai civilisation. Tonight, be sure to head to the fascinating local night market and try the local dishes, like Sukhothai noodles.
Head out to the historical ruins of Old Sukhothai, set amid beautiful lakes and gardens. The religious art and architecture of the Sukhothai era are considered to be the most classic of Thai styles, and the Sukhothai Historical Park contains the remains of 21 historic sites, with awe-inspiring Buddha images and four large ponds often filled with stunning lotus flowers in full bloom. Upon arrival at the park, hire bicycles and enjoy a few leisurely hours feeling the breeze in your hair and learning about the history of this fascinating place. Enjoy a home-cooked picnic lunch somewhere along the way, and if you have enough free time, visit a local ceramics factory.
|Meal Plan||Breakfast and Lunch|
Travel by private minivan from Sukothai (approx 4 hours) to the warm and welcoming home of Intrepid's long-time friends in a small Thai village where you'll spend the night. Accommodation at the homestay is multishare and basic (there will be fold-out mattresses on the floor and shared bathrooms), but there is no better way to better understand a country and its people. In the evening, you'll be treated to a traditional northern Thai khantok dinner, accompanied by live music and dancing.
|Meal Plan||Breakfast and Dinner|
Travel to Chiang Mai
In the morning, jump on some bikes and cruise around the homestay village. This is a great opportunity to see how the locals live, and you'll make a few stops along the way to see small country industries in the area. Cycling past the rice fields and breathing in the fresh country air, with beautiful mountains in the distance, makes this morning a picture-postcard experience. Say goodbye to your new friends and travel on to Chiang Mai (approximately 45 minutes). The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. Renowned for dazzling beauty and extremely welcoming locals, the 'Rose of the North' will leave you spellbound. Chances are, you won't want to leave. Tonight, why not head to the famous vibrant night markets!
|Meal Plan||Breakfast and Lunch|
Today you can enjoy a Thai cooking class! If you're a foodie, then you'll discover some of the secrets of Thai cuisine, learn the key ingredients, how to use them, and what to use in their place if you can't get them at home. As well as taking your own comprehensive recipe book with you after the class, you'll feast on the fruits of your labour for lunch. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Chiang Mai at leisure. Perhaps explore the famous temple complex of Doi Suthep. Drive along a scenic, winding mountain road that ends at an impressive 300-step naga-guarded stairway (approximately 45 mins). 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. Or maybe wander markets, meet monks, cruise the river, and slurp noodles on a Mae Ping River Experience.
Today, you'll have a pretty special time visiting the ChiangChill elephant experience. Take a 1.5-hour drive out of Chiang Mai to ChiangChill, where you'll begin to learn how this organisation supports the protection, conservation and lifestyle of free roaming elephants in the region. You'll observe the daily patterns of these jungle giants from a safe distance, seeing how they graze and socialise with their other friends. The expert local guides will be able to give you a 'live lecture' on the elephants themselves, its sustainable tourism practices and conservation efforts in the area. Enjoy some refreshments nearby the elephant's mud pit but be careful not to get a spray! Be treated to some lunch in a riverside sala (pavilion) alongside your giant friends, who will be enjoying a meal too. Return to Chiang Mai where the rest of the time is at leisure.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Chat with one of our Asia Experts for any extensions.
Selected Fridays and Sundays throughout the year
- 1 night moderate hotel accommodations in Bangkok
- 2 nights moderate resort accommodations in Sukhothai
- 1 night basic multishare Thai village homestay accommodation
- 3 nights moderate hotel accommodations in Chiang Mai
- Transportation: Private Minibus, Public Bus, Songthaew, Taxi, Train, Tuk Tuk and Bicycle as per itinerary
- Sukhothai - Night Market, Historical Park bike tour, Home-cooked picnic lunch
- Village Homestay - Cultural performance, Khantok dinner, Cycling tour, Home-cooked lunch
- Chiang Mai - Thai Cooking Class, ChangChill Elephant Sanctuary with Lunch
- 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 1 dinner
- Travel insurance
- International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
- Visa fees if applicable
- Meals and beverages not specifically indicated
- Optional excursions
- Items of a personal nature
TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS:
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite.
Occasionally these itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and research. Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so being flexible is key. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.
29 Nov 2020