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Thailand discovery: Chiang Mai, Bangkok & Krabi

14-day tailor-made holiday from £4,530 pp incl. flights

Summary

Short description

A great-value trip taking in the best of Thailand's culture and coast

Highlights

  • Begin with historic Chiang Mai, gateway to north Thailand's jungles and hilltribes
  • Head south to enjoy Bangkok's 24-hour buzz
  • End with ten nights of tropical relaxation on Krabi's golden sands
  • Stay throughout in hotels chosen for their superb location and value for money

In Brief

  • 4 Nights Bangkok
  • 2 Nights Chiang Rai
  • 2 Nights Chiang Mai
  • 3 Nights Krabi

About

Recommended for:
Beach | History & culture | Independent tour

Travelling from north to south, this three-centre holiday takes in some of Thailand's best bits on a budget, starting with Chiang Mai where you'll encounter hill tribes and temples in a spectacular jungle setting. From there, you'll jet south to buzzing Bangkok, Thailand's vibrant 24-hour capital before the tropical beaches of Krabi, on the beautiful Andaman Coast, bring your holiday to a wonderfully laid-back conclusion. It's an all-encompassing journey, showcasing the very best of Thailand's cities, culture and coast, all the while staying at affordable, hand-picked hotels chosen to offer the most bang for your buck.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Depart the UK

Make the most of your included airport lounge access before boarding your overnight flight to Thailand.

Days 2-5
Bangkok

Arrive into Bangkok, Thailand's pulsating capital. You'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel located on the Chao Phraya River in the in the very heart of the city. The following day is free to explore the city at your leisure, or enjoy an optional excursion. Take in the temples of Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaeo, marvel at the majesty of the Grand Palace, take a cruise on the Chai Phraya River, explore the bustling waterways of Bangkok's floating markets and delve into the city's culinary scene, where you can experience everything from mouthwatering Thai street food to some of the best fine-dining in Southeast Asia.

Next day a tour takes in two of Bangkok’s most famous temples, plus the iconic Grand Palace. Wat Traimit, a 700-year-old, three metre tall golden statue, is cast from five-and-a-half tons of solid gold which makes it the world's largest solid gold statue. Wat Pho features one of the largest Reclining Buddha images in Thailand. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, situated in the Grand Palace complex, otherwise known as Wat Phra Kaew is regarded as the most sacred temple in the kingdom. It is an architectural wonder of golden stupas, walls and pillars encrusted in shining and colourful mosaics and murals. It is home to the sacred Emerald Buddha, a dark green statue which has been carved from a single jade stone. Previously the residence of past Kings of Thailand, you will see palace buildings once used for different occasions, the Reception Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Throne Hall, the Royal Guest House. The architecture is predominantly Thai, though there are some interesting European influences. The rest of the day is yours at leisure.

Your third day in Bangkok takes you to Bang Pa-In, the former Royal Summer Residence of King Rama V. A number of impressive buildings can be found in the palace complex consists of a quaint mixture of European and Thai architecture. Continue by river to the ancient city of Ayutthaya, the former Thai capital for 417 years and one of Thailand’s major tourist attractions. Many ancient ruins and art works can be seen around the city and Ayutthaya Historical Park, which was founded in 1350 by King U-Thong. A total of 33 kings of five dynasties ruled the kingdom until it was destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. The UNESCO-listed city includes attractions such Wat Mahathat and be amazed by the famous Buddha head in the banyan tree, Wat Phra Sri Sanpetch with a three-spire pagoda; the large Buddha image of Phra Mongkol Bophit; and Wat Chaiya Mongkol. Lunch will be served and continue to cruise the waterways around Ayutthaya by long tail boat, taking in the incredible sights of the city. Drifting along the river you will pass local communities, traditional Thai style houses and more famous monuments. Return to Bangkok by road.

Fourth day Start an early morning with a visit to the Railway Market, witness the train running through the heart of the market while vendors begin to move their goods away from tracks. On the way stop for a short visit to a local coconut farm, see how they produce different products, try for example freshly cooked coconut palm sugar. There are countless floating markets throughout Thailand, but the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is the most famous. Situated 110 km from Bangkok in Ratchaburi province, you will take a long tail boat ride through the canals and witness the local communities along the riverbank, before visiting the floating market at Damoen Saduak.

At the market, you can walk around and see colorful clad merchants paddle along congested canals in sturdy canoes laden with fresh fruit, vegetables, local food, and tourist souvenirs to sell to shoppers on the canal banks. Buy some local snacks, enjoy the view of the many boats find their way along the canals and locals interact with tourists. There are lots of activities and bargaining is part of the fun of the sale

Stay: Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 6
Bangkok to Chiang Rai

Breakfast at the hotel and drive to Suvarnabhumi airport where you will board a flight to Chiang Rai.

The rest of the day is yours at leisure.

If you are looking for a high-end romantic dining experience, look no further than Favola. Located in the Le Meridien Resort right next to a tranquil river, this restaurant offers a luxurious dining experience with a gorgeous atmosphere. Dine in style as you enjoy rustic Italian cuisine and a selection of imported wines. Or opt for an exclusive chef table experience at Locus Native Food Lab, which quickly became the destination in Chiang Rai for food lovers. Many would travel to Thailand’s most northern province just to try the creative local-inspired dishes cooked up by Kongwuth Chaiwongkachon, the chef-owner who merged his experience in Japanese kitchens with a touch of local wisdom, northern produce, and inspiration from his foraging trips in Chiang Rai’s forests.

Stay: The Riverie by Katathani (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 7
Chang Rai

Breakfast at the hotel.

Visit is Wat Rong Khun or White Temple, built by Chalermchai, the renowned national artist who has made headlines for creating the magnificent temple. Even from afar, the glistening White Temple makes an immediate impression as soon as it comes into view. The white color signifies the Buddha’s purity, and the surroundings are decorated with orthodox Buddhist teachings about heaven, hell, karma and earthly sins. What you see is an ongoing project and is not expected to be completed until 2070.

The other notable temple is Wat Rong Seua Ten or Blue Temple, smaller but no less impressive. Painting in a striking sapphire blue with gold ornamentation, its exterior and interior design bears a resemblance to the White Temple because it was built by Putha the pupil of Chalermchai himself. Our last stop is the eerie Baan Dam or Black House which has over 40 black colored Thai houses and regarded as a dark place and it’s plain to the see why

Many were caught unguarded of what they were about to see; from buffalo horns and animal skulls; from large seashells to crocodile skins. The compound indeed exudes a grim atmosphere but at the same time playful. The creator is a national artist named Thawan Duchanee who is highly respected by Chalermchai.

The rest of the day is yours at leisure or feel free to join our optional tour.

Stay: The Riverie by Katathani (Deluxe)

Day 8
Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai

Breakfast at the hotel, you will drive from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai approximate 4 hours.

Chiang Mai, known as “the Rose of the North” and the former capital of the ancient Lanna kingdom. The city has a fascinatingly distinct culture and flair for cuisine. Chiang Mai has an abundance of temples and fascinating northern Thai architecture. The beautiful Buddhist temples and their ancient interior reflects architecture and faith from more than six centuries ago. Relax at one of the many luxury resorts, Chiang Mai has seen an explosion of fine dining options, handicraft shops and art galleries and first-class spas. It’s the perfect place to relax and treat yourself to a 5-star holiday.

The city of Chiang Mai has an abundance of beautiful and historic Buddhist temples, and this tour takes in the most interesting. One of the highlights is a visit to the 600-year-old temple of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, near the summit of Doi Suthep Mount. The temple is almost as famous as the Temple of Emerald Buddha in Bangkok. After a drive up the mountain’s winding road, the final climb to the site is via a magnificent Naga (dragon-headed serpent) staircase of 306 steps. Inside is an intriguing copper-plated chedi topped by a five-tier gold umbrella which contains partial relics of Lord Buddha. On a clear day, there are incomparable views over the city of Chiang Mai. Other temple visits on this tour include Wat Suan Dok, whose large central stupa contains the ashes of Chiang Mai’s royal family; Wat Chedi Luang, where the Emerald Buddha was once enshrined; and Wat Phra Singh, housing a very sacred 1,500 years old Buddha image

Stay: 137 Pillars House, Chiang Mai (Deluxe)


Day 9
Chiang Mai

Arriving into the northern city of Chiang Mai, Destination Asia Thailand fully support the work carried out at Patara Elephant Farm, especially the ‘Elephant Day Care’ program, a unique experience introducing techniques used to care for elephants. The emphasis is on the care and wellbeing of the elephants, providing guests with the chance to learn about the center’s conservation philosophy. Activities on offer here include taking part in the daily healthcare routine which includes health inspection, feeding, walking with the elephants, and washing. It is then possible to observe them interacting among their families in a natural environment. This unique experience does not include riding any elephants. It is suitable for all, especially friends and families with children.

Remark:

- Roundtrip join transfer is included in the package.

- Supplement will be applied for roundtrip private transfer from/to Patara Elephant Camp.

The rest of the day is yours at leisure.

Stay: 137 Pillars House, Chiang Mai (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 10
Chiang Mai to Krabi

Breakfast at the hotel. At the indicated time in afternoon, private transfer with English speaking guide to the airport to take the flight to Krabi. (Flight tickets not inclusive – see tariffs)

Upon arrival in Krabi, you’ll be transferred from the airport to the resort pier in order to take a long-tailed boat to Railay area.



Stay: Rayavadee, Krabi, Thailand (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Days 11-12
Krabi

Breakfast at the hotel. Make a tour around charming Krabi Town and its lively market where you can experience genuine local life and hospitality of Krabi. The town is divided into mangrove forest by the river cutting its way to the sea. Next is a visit to Wat Tham Suea aka Tiger Cave Temple with big Buddha image sitting on the top which required you to hike 1,237 steps up and those who make it will be rewarded with superb panoramic view. Part of a temple complex in which monks live and meditate in a maze of natural caves.

Inside one of the caves appears to be tiger paw prints embedded in stone. Another interesting attraction is the Gastropod Fossil Site containing 40-million-year-old fossils shells that have formed curious giant slabs jutting out into the sea. The final call is to the Nopparat Thara Beach in the National Park to view the untouched three-km long sandy beach shaded by Casuarinas trees

Stay: Rayavadee, Krabi, Thailand (Deluxe)

Days 13-14
Departure

After breakfast, enjoy some free time before transferring to Krabi airport in time for your flight, arriving home the next day.

Meals: B

Map

Pricing

Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

14-day tailor-made holiday
from £4,530 pp incl. flights

Deluxe

01 May - 30 Sep 2024

from £4,530 pp. incl. flights

01 - 30 Apr / 01 - 31 Oct 2024

from £4,795 pp. incl. flights

02 Jan - 31 Mar 2024

from £5,125 pp. incl. flights

  • Complimentary UK airport lounge access
  • Return flights between the UK and Bangkok
  • Domestic flights between Bangkok - Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai - Krabi - Bangkok
  • Private transfers through-out
  • 11 nights accommodation staying in 5* (Deluxe) hotels with breakfast
  • Private guided Bangkok city tour
  • Private guided Royal Summer Residence and Ayutthaya excursion
  • Private guided Damnoen Saduak Floating Market tour 
  • Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai excursions



Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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