Explore Northern Thailand
- 8 Days
- 8 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 970
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. Here enjoy a visit to an Elephant conservation centre, a rural village and a Khantokhi dinner.
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.
An overnight train brings you back to Bangkok.
- 8 Days
- 8 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 970
Itinerary View Trip Map
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. Thailand's bustling capital, Bangkok is famous for its tuk tuks, khlong boats and street vendors serving up delicious Thai food. Bangkok has so much to offer those with time to explore - why not 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 some Thai massage?
We take a local bus from Bangkok to Sukhothai (approx. 6 hours) with a short midway stop for a chance to stretch the legs and buy some lunch. The first ancient capital of Siam, Sukhothai was established in the 13th century. Located on a fertile plain, Sukhothai means the 'Dawn of Happiness' and is now famous for its World Heritage-listed historic park, which celebrates the Golden Age of Thai civilisation. Try a local dish such as Sukhothai noodles at the fascinating local night market
Head out to the historical ruins of Old Sukhothai, set amid beautiful lakes and gardens (approx 30 mins by songthaew). 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 we have enough free time, we'll visit a local ceramics factory.
Today we travel by private minivan from Sukothai to our Homestay for the evening (approx 4-5 hours). On the way we stop off at Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital located in Lampang. Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital is a non-government organisation in Thailand which aims to protect and conserve the welfare of elephants both domesticated and wild. We stop off at this center today to see the fantastic work this organisation is doing to care for the elephants in Thailand. Stay the night at the warm and welcoming home in a small Thai village (approx 1.5 hrs from the Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital) Accommodation is multishare and basic (there will be fold-out mattresses on the floor and shared bathrooms). In the evening, we're treated to a traditional northern Thai khantohk dinner accompanied by live music and dancing.
We say goodbye to our new friends and travel to Chiang Mai (approx 45 mins). The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. This 'Rose of the North' is also known for its beauty and the friendliness of the local people. 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 (approx 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.
You have the option of doing a half day Thai Cooking Class or a half day Cycling tour around Chiang Mai. Discover some of the secrets of Thai cuisine by joining a cookery course. Learn about the main ingredients used in Thai cuisine, how they are used and stored and what alternatives you can substitute if you can't get them at home. Questions are welcome and you are provided with a comprehensive book of recipes and ingredient details. For lunch, sit down and feast on the delicious results of your tuition. The meal is usually rounded off with a tasting of seasonal Thai fruit.
Some may prefer to jump on a half day cycling trip. After a short safety briefing and bicycle fitting, we leave the hotel for the streets of Chiang Mai. Traffic downtown is light as we begin our cycling journey south, following the Ping River. It's pleasant to ride along its green banks. We visit a former leper colony which is now a rehabilitation centre and you will get to know some more of the daily life of the missionaries who worked here over a hundred years ago. Cycling over small country roads you will discover the real rural Thailand. The trip continues along various fruit orchards and you'll encounter the Thai way of life as we meander around the villages on the outskirts of Chiang Mai. We explore the temple ruins of Wiang Kum Kam, the former capital of Lanna, before we cycle back to Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai to Bangkok
Board an overnight train for Bangkok (approx 13 hrs). We use soft sleeper class trains for all of our overnight train journeys. Multishare compartments with air-conditioning and bunk beds - sheets and a pillow are provided. Our baggage travels in the carriage with us. There's a food and drink service available on board.
Our train is scheduled to arrive in Bangkok in the early morning. We then transfer back to the joining point hotel where this trip concludes, and you are free to depart at any time. If you are booking flights or other transport out of Bangkok on this day, please keep in mind that train delays are frequent - we suggest you don't book a flight earlier than 2pm. No accommodation is included in Bangkok at the end of our tour. We have shared day rooms available for our use until 12 midday. Additional accommodation is available - please enquire at time of booking.
Selected Fridays and Sundays
- 7 nights' accommodation: 3 nights' hotel; 2 nights' resort; 1 night homestay; 1 night overnight sleeper train
- Small Group Touring (max 16 travellers)
- 3 Breakfast, 3 Lunches, 1 Dinner
- Sightseeing and activities as per the itinerary
- 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.
23 Sep 2018