Day 1 Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand.
Welcome to Thailand! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 2 Bangkok.
Today’s PRIVATE GUIDED TOUR starts with a BOAT RIDE through the klongs, Bangkok’s canals, to see family homes, temples, and the way of life that gives this city the nickname “Venice of the East.” Stop at Wat Arun, the TEMPLE OF THE DAWN, whose 260-foot-tall spire has become identified with Bangkok. Continue on to the GRAND PALACE, comprised of the Funeral Palace, the Reception Palace, the Throne Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Royal Guest House, and the TEMPLE OF THE EMERALD BUDDHA. Also visit the TEMPLE OF THE RECLINING BUDDHA, the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in Bangkok. It houses more than 1,000 Buddha images, including the 49-foot-high and 151-foot-long massive Reclining Buddha. (B,L)
Day 3 Bangkok.
Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore on your own. Your Local Host can help with suggestions to help maximize your time. (B)
Day 4 Bangkok–Chiang Rai.
Fly to Chiang Rai. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B)
Day 5 Chiang Rai.
Your PRIVATE GUIDED SIGHTSEEING this morning includes a TRISHAW RIDE, the favorite local mode of transportation, through the city’s residential area and LOCAL MARKET. Also visit WAT PHRA KAEW, which once hosted the Emerald Buddha (now in Bangkok). The afternoon is at your leisure. (B)
Day 6 Chiang Rai–Ban Thaton.
Today, your PRIVATE GUIDED TOUR includes an AKHA VILLAGE, a hill tribe known for gorgeous headdresses decorated with silver coins. Then, take a BOAT RIDE on the Kok River before continuing on to your hotel by private car. (B,L,D)
Day 7 Ban Thaton–Chiang Mai.
Start your day with a fascinating PRIVATE GUIDED TOUR of a KAREN VILLAGE, home to the PADAUNG LONG-NECKED WOMEN. Early in life, brass rings are placed on the necks of the village girls and as they mature, additional rings are added. This pushes the collarbone down and compresses the rib cage, creating the illusion of stretching their necks. Continue on to Chiang Mai, Thailand’s second-largest city, by private car. (B,L)
Day 8 Chiang Mai.
Your PRIVATE GUIDED TOUR begins with a visit to Wat Phra Singh with its famous Buddha image, and WAT DOI SUTHEP, a temple tucked away in the mountains. For the final ascent to the temple, you can take a tram car or walk up the Naga (dragon-headed serpent) staircase, with over 300 steps. On a clear day, you will enjoy spectacular views of Chiang Mai. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B)
Day 9 Chiang Mai.
Today is free for independent exploration. Your Local Host is happy to make recommendations. (B)
Day 10 Chiang Mai–Bangkok.
Fly to Bangkok. (B)
Day 11 Bangkok.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)