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The Classic Northern Thailand


11 days 10 nights

Code

Category Thailand Classic Tours

  • Group Size 1-11
  • Difficulty Level 3
  • Trip Starts From Bangkok
  • Trip Ends At Bangkok
  • Type Tours
  • Destination Bangkok Ayutthaya Phitsanulok Lampang Chiang Rai Chiang Mai
Dates & Prices

Overview

A classic cultural tour of Thailand! The journey begins with the exploration of the capital city of Bangkok, travel overland on scenic roads with stops in historically and culturally notable towns of Ayuthaya, Lopburi, Phitsanuloke, Lampang, Sukothai. And visit the northernmost frontier town of Mae Sai, as well as Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. You will have a great insight into Thai history, culture, and people and enjoy the scenic beauty of northern Thailand.

Temples, palaces, and monasteries are significant attractions everywhere. But you will have the opportunity to travel off-road to some of the hill tribe villages and learn about their lifestyle, culture, and traditions. Also, visit the traditional arts and crafts workshops, take an educational trip to the elephant care center, explore the canal and riverside dwellings, taste the authentic Thai food, and enjoy the traditional cultural performance. 

Trip Cost (Land & Internal Air)

1 Apr to 22 Oct: US$ 2698 per person & Private Room Supplement US$ 670.
23 Oct-Mar 31: US$ 2798 per person | Private Room Supplement US$ 728.

Trip Dates

2019: 9 Sep, 23 Sep, 7 Oct, 21 Oct, 4 Nov, 18 Nov, 2 Dec & 16 Dec.

Trip dates don't work for you? Choose your date for a private trip.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~Arrive in Bangkok

Upon arrival in Bangkok, you will meet your guide and driver and then transfer to the hotel in the city. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Overnight: U Sathorn Bangkok
Day 02~Bangkok City, Temple and Klong Tour

Following breakfast, accompanied by your guide, you will visit the highlights of Bangkok. You will visit two of the most impressive temples in Bangkok. You begin from the Reclining Buddha at Wat Po, which is a gigantic image covered in gold leaf lying majestically on its side. Next, you will proceed to the Grand Palace, comparable to none in Thailand. Built by King Rama I in 1782 it was the center of power for more than 150 years making it a significant landmark of Bangkok today. The Palace shares the compound with the Temple of the Emerald Buddha- Wat Pra Kaew- which enshrines Thailand most precious image of the Lord Buddha carved from single jade stone.

You will enjoy a Thai style lunch at a local restaurant near the river. After that, you will travel on the picturesque Chao Phraya River, also known as 'The River of Kings.' Then go through the Klongs (canals) of Thonburi which is on the west side of the river from Bangkok. Enjoy the views of the local dwellings and temples along with the waterways. You will also visit a significant riverside landmark, the Temple of Dawn or Wat Arun. With its incredibly beautiful architecture and the highest level of craftsmanship, it makes the temple one of the most outstanding of its kind in Thailand. The spire prang, colorfully decorated with colored glass and Chinese porcelain, rises 70m high on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. You can see this beautiful temple from quite a distance.

From the temple, transport back to the hotel. The tour lasts for 5-6 hours, and you will have time to wash up and change before we proceed for the China town food tour.

Please Note the Dress Code: Temples are a national shrine. So travelers are required to wear proper attire (no bare shoulders, shorts, short skirts, or open-toe shoes, think 'business casual attire'). You must remove the shoes before entering the temple building as a matter of respect.

In the evening (5:30 p.m.), your guide will lead you through the Chinatown, locally called Yaowarat, with thousands of street food stalls. Discover delicious and authentic foods of Thailand! You will sample a variety of dishes such as Hong Kong noodles, Dim-Sum (Pan-fried Taro Cake, steamed pork rib, grilled jumbo prawn with Thai seafood chili sauce, fried battered mussels, Chinese bun, Old Chinese Herbal drink, Black Sesame dumpling in ginger tea and Thai seasonal tropical fruits.

Overnight: U Sathorn Bangkok
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 03~Drive from Bangkok to Ayuthaya

Fifty-one miles, 1.5 hours.

Our overland journey to northern Thailand begins today! Today, our destination is Ayuthaya-the former capital and an important trading port of Thailand from the 14th century through the 18th century. The main attractions in Ayuthyaha are the ruins of the old city that now form a historical park containing the palaces, temples, and monasteries. UNESCO recognizes this ancient city as a World Heritage Site.

We visit some of the most famous temples: Wat Srisanpetch, Wat Yai Chai Mongkol, and Wat Chai Watthanaram; some of which are among the most beautiful in the area. We continue to the former summer residences of the kings in Bang Pa In. The palace architectures are the combination of Thai and European style and are amidst the landscape. The Thai Pavilion in the middle of the lake and Vihat Chamrun- the Chinese style palace are impressive.

Enjoy lunch in one of the local restaurants and transfer to the hotel for check-in. Balance of the day is open for you to pursue your interests.

Overnight: Kantary Hotel
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 04~Ayuthaya-Saraburi-Lopburi-Phitsanulok

After breakfast, we check out the hotel and set off for Phitsanuloke (254 miles, 6-7 hours).

We drive via Saraburi (40 miles, 1.5 hours) where we stop to visit Phra Phutthabat Temple. This temple enshrines a massive depression, believed to be the footprint of Lord Buddha (21 inches wide and 5 feet long!).

Next stop will be in Lopburi (30 miles, approximately 1 hour) - the capital city of the Lopburi province. Here, we visit Phra Prang Sam Yot, which is a Hindu shrine and the landmark of Lopburi. Due to a large monkey population that has made the area home, the temple is also called the monkey temple! It's a Khmer Bayon style architecture with three Phrangs (tower) representing the Hindu trinity gods- Bramha, Vishnu and Shiva.

After lunch in a local restaurant, we set off on a long drive to Phitsanuloke. Time permitting, we stop to visit the Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat- the most important monastery of Phitsanuloke, the home of the famous Phra Buddha Chinnarat. 

Overnight: Topland Hotel
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 05~Phitsanulok-Sukothai-Lampang

Today, we travel to Lampang via Sukothai. Sukothai lies about 40 miles north-west of Phitsanuloke (1 hr. 30m). We visit the Sukhothai Historical Park that preserves the old glory and elegance of Sukothai. The historical park preserves the ruins of royal palaces, Buddhist temples, the city gates, walls, moats, dams, ditches, canals, and the water dike control system which was the magical and spiritual center of the kingdom.

After lunch in a local restaurant, we continue our sightseeing. Visit Si Satchanalai Historical Park- located on the bank of Yom River before heading to the hotel at Lampang for check-in (92 miles, 4.5 or 5 hrs.).

Balance of the day is at leisure. 

Overnight: Lampang River Lodge
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 06~Lampang-Chiang Rai

One hundred forty-one miles, 4 hr. 30m

Following breakfast, check out the hotel and visit Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang-one of the finest and most sacred temples of Northern Thailand that enshrines the hair relic of Buddha. Initially, a Lanna style architecture with its Vihars open on all sides, some parts were restored using modern materials and techniques. The temple is one of the best examples of Lanna style architecture in Thailand. Its Viharns that are open on all sides are typical of the early Lanna style. Whereas some temples have been restored using modern materials and modern building techniques, preserving the Wat Phra That Lampang Luang in its original state.

We continue sightseeing to Wat Phra Kaeo Don Tao situated on the right bank of Wang River. It is an old temple complex built in Burmese, San, and Lanna style. The Emerald Buddha image was housed in this temple for 34 years during the 15th century.

After lunch, we head up north to Chiang Rai with a stop in Phayao. Here we visit Wat Si Khom Kham Temple that enshrines a large seated Buddha image, 17 meters tall and 14 meters wide lap! We will also stop by Phayao Lake- a natural lagoon with clear and clean water before heading further north to Chiang Rai that lies near the border of Laos and Burma.

Overnight: The Legend Chiang Rai
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 07~Chiang Rai: Excursion of Hill tribe villages and Golden Triangle

After breakfast, with your guide and driver, proceed on a scenic drive to the villages of Akha and Yao hill tribes where we will have the opportunity to learn about their lifestyle, culture, and tradition. We continue to Mae Sai- the northernmost town of Thailand sharing a border with Burma. We will have lunch here and then head further up north to the famous Golden Triangle-the meeting point of the boundaries of Burma, Laos, and Thailand. Historically, the Golden Triangle is an area well-known for growing opium! Visit the old Opium House, a privately run small museum where you learn about the production of opium!

Our final destination today will be the Chiang Saen- the former capital of Lanna Dynasty- that was left as a ghost town for hundred years in the 19th century. We can still see the traces of old double city walls and many other antiquities in and outside the district town.

Overnight: The Legend Chiang Rai
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 08~Chiang Rai-Chiang Mai

123 miles 4 or 5 hrs.

After breakfast, check out hotel as we travel to Chiang Mai today. Before we set out on the road, we visit the Wat Rong Khun, better known as "the White Temple"-one of the most distinguished temples of Thailand and a must-see sight of Chiang Rai.

After lunch, we set off for Chiang Mai. Along the roads are cotton and silk weaver's villages, workshops for arts and crafts such as silverware, lacquerware, wood carvings, etc. We may stop in one or two places. The craftsmen are friendly people, and they are proud to show visitors around, whether they buy their wares or not. 

Transfer to the hotel for check-in. In the evening, enjoy the Kantoke traditional dinner amidst the elegant Thai dancing show.

Overnight: Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 09~Chiang Mai: Visit the elephant care center

Breakfast at the hotel; visit Thai Elephant Care Centre and learn about the elephants. You will learn to make ground grass. Feed elephants with ground grass. We will also visit the cemetery of the elephants and the night resting area of the elephant. We will have the opportunity to learn how to make the make herb balls.

Elephant bathing is quite exciting, and we do not want to miss it. If you wish, you could feed elephants the bananas.

After lunch at a local restaurant, we visit a large Orchid Nursery. Then, we drive up to Doi Suthep to visit Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep (built in A.D. 1384). It is 3,500 feet above sea-level, the most sacred temple in Northern Thailand, containing a holy relic of Lord Buddha, with a challenging flight of over 300 walking steps, flanked by enormous mythological Nagas. We can see a panoramic view of the city from here.

Return to the hotel in the afternoon.

Overnight: Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 10~Chiang Mai-Bangkok

If you can wake up early (6 a.m.), your guide can take you to a nearby temple where you can observe 'Alms Giving to the Monks'- a long Thai Buddhist tradition. Every morning at dawn, the devotees from the nearby areas come to the temple and offer alms to the monks. The alms include rice with curries and fruits. By giving alms to the monks, the devotees feel peace and happiness and also believe that they earn merits.

After breakfast, transfer to the airport in time for a flight to Bangkok. You have a free afternoon in Bangkok to pursue your interests.

 

Meals : Breakfast
Day 11~Depart Bangkok

After breakfast, transfer to the airport in time for a flight to your next destination. 

Meals : Breakfast

Trip Map

Trip Info

Trip Includes

  • Accommodation on double occupancy basis on the listed hotels or similar.
  • Daily breakfast (Some hotels provide only half breakfast) and some meals as indicated in the itinerary.
  • Private vehicle with driver for tours and transfers.
  • Other transportation such as boat or elephant as indicated on the itinerary.
  • English speaking local tour guides.
  • Sightseeing admission fees and permits as per the itinerary.
  • Internal Airfare (Chiang Mai-Bangkok).

Trip Does Not Include

  • Meals other than indicated in the itinerary.
  • Drinks, tipping, laundry, phone, internet usage, and other expenses of personal nature.
  • Extra expenses due to nature and unforeseen events.
  • Travel insurance.
  • International airfare.
  • Thai visa if applicable.

Accomodation

Bangkok: U Sathorn Bangkok 5

Ayuthaya:Kantary Hotel

Phitsanulok:Topeland Hotel

Lampang:Lampang River Lodge

Chiang Rai:The Legend Chiang Rai

Chiang Mai:Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa 5

Note: Hotels listed above are our preferred properties and are subject to availability.

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