Day 1 BANGKOK, THAILAND.
Welcome to Thailand’s capital city. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 2 BANGKOK.
Bangkok is an exhilarating blend of historic and religious monuments, chic modernity, exciting shopping and friendly culture. An exciting day of sightseeing is ahead, taking in the city’s principal landmarks such as the splendid TEMPLE OF THE GOLDEN BUDDHA and the spectacular TEMPLE OF THE RECLINING BUDDHA, the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in Bangkok. You will also visit the gleaming GRAND PALACE, Thailand’s most sacred monument; and the spectacular TEMPLE OF THE EMERALD BUDDHA. This evening, enjoy a special THAI DINNER, accompanied by Thai classical music and dancers. (B,D)
Day 3 BANGKOK.
Visit the legendary DAMNOEN SADUAK FLOATING MARKET, where traders sell all manner of items from their boats, including exotic fruits, vegetables, silks, and toys. Later, visit the world’s tallest Buddhist pagoda, PHRA PATHOM CHEDI, before returning to Bangkok. (B)
Day 4 BANGKOK.
Explore Bangkok at leisure, perhaps enjoying the great-value shopping, lively market, and delicious Thai cuisine. (B)
Day 5 BANGKOK–KANCHANABURI.
Travel to Kanchanaburi on the banks of the Kwai River, famed for the River Kwai Bridge, built during WWII. Visit the ALLIED FORCES CEMETERY and spend time in the fascinating THAILAND-BURMA RAILWAY CENTRE. Today’s highlight is a TRAIN RIDE across the famous bridge to Wang Po Station. This afternoon, visit HELLFIRE PASS MEMORIAL, part of the Death Railway that cuts through the mountains. Today, it houses a museum detailing life of the Allied prisoners and Asian laborers who helped build the railway, and subsequently suffered or died at Hellfire Pass. (B,L)
Day 6 KANCHANABURI–SAI YOK NATIONAL PARK–AYUTTHAYA.
Start the day with a stop in SAI YOK NATIONAL PARK to see SAI YOK YAI WATERFALL. Then, head to Ayutthaya, ancient capital of Siam. Here, you will visit BANG PA-IN PALACE, which was built in the 18th century as a summer residence for the Kings of Ayutthaya. (B,L)
Day 7 AYUTTHAYA–UTHAI THANI–PHITSANULOK.
Depart Ayutthaya to Uthai Thani, a small town on the Sakaekrang River, and visit WAT THA SUNG, an impressive temple with its Crystal Hall and Golden Grand shrine. Take a 1-hour CRUISE along Sakaekrang River, enjoying the local life. Later, drive to Phitsanulok, one of Thailand’s oldest cities, founded over 600 years ago. This evening, consider an optional rickshaw ride to experience Phitsanulok’s colorful night market. (B,L)
Day 8 PHITSANULOK–SUKHOTHAI–CHIANG RAI.
Journey to Sukhothai, Thailand’s 13th-century former capital, and admire the atmospheric, moated Old Town. Here, you will visit SUKHOTHAI HISTORIC PARK, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and explore ruined temples and monasteries, including WAT SI CHUM with its stunning seated Buddha. Later, travel through rural countryside to Chiang Rai. (B,L)
Day 9 CHIANG RAI. GOLDEN TRIANGLE EXCURSION.
Enjoy breathtaking vistas as you journey to Doi Mae Salong and visit a TEA PLANTATION. Continue to Mae Sai, Thailand’s northernmost town, and on to the renowned GOLDEN TRIANGLE, where the borders of Thailand, Burma, and Laos meet. You may consider an optional boat tour on the Mekong River. (B,L)
Day 10 CHIANG RAI–CHIANG MAI.
Today’s journey takes you to Chiang Mai. Visit WAT RONG KHUN and the hot springs at MAE KA CHAN, which locals believe relieve a host of ailments. After lunch, continue through lush jungle to Chiang Mai, a fragrant mountain retreat known as the “Rose of the North” for its refreshing climate. Upon arrival, visit SAN KAMPAENG to see local craftsmen make Thailand’s traditional lacquerware and teakwood furniture. Tonight, enjoy a traditional KHANTOKE DINNER and DANCE SHOW. (B,L,D)
Day 11 CHIANG MAI.
Spend the morning at an ELEPHANT SANCTUARY, where over 30 elephants roam freely in a safe and sustainable environment and are not subjected to mistreatment (including rides). Here, you have the chance to touch, feed, photograph, and interact with the elephants at your leisure while you learn about their lifestyle and behaviors. You will also have a chance to interact with the Karen tribe, home to the PADAUNG LONG-NECKED WOMEN. (B,L)
Day 12 CHIANG MAI.
Today is free for you to enjoy this dynamic city. You may opt to join our optional Thai cooking class and learn the secrets of traditional dishes. (B)
Day 13 CHIANG MAI.
Your tour ends with breakfast this morning. (B)