Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
BANGKOK, THAILAND. Welcome to Thailand’s capital city. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
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. Take 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.
BANGKOK–EXCURSION TO KANCHANABURI. Today’s full-day excursion takes you 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)
BANGKOK. Today is yours to explore Bangkok at leisure, perhaps enjoying the great-value shopping, lively market, and delicious Thai cuisine. You may opt to join an optional excursion to the legendary Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, where traders sell all manner of items from their boats, including exotic fruits, vegetables, silks, and toys.
BANGKOK–AYUTTHAYA–PHITSANULOK. Today, 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. 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)
PHITSANULOK–SUKHOTHAI. 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.
SUKHOTHAI–LAMPANG–CHIANG RAI. This morning, travel to Lampang. Here, visit Phayao Lake and WAT PHRA THAT LAMPANG LUANG. Built in 1476, this ancient Buddhist temple is often thought to be the oldest-standing wooden structure in the country. After lunch at a local restaurant, continue through rural countryside to Chiang Rai. (B,L)
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)
CHIANG RAI–CHIANG MAI. This morning visit WAT RONG KHUN, also known as the White Temple. Then, 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.
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. This afternoon, visit 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 more than 300 steps. (B,L)
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.
CHIANG MAI. Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.