JEWELS OF THAILAND
Cultural tour of Thailand

Discover the historical and natural wonders of Thailand with this twelve-day tour from Bangkok in the center to Chiang Mai in the north. Spend three days enjoying and exploring the capital before embarking on a six-day odyssey visiting the country’s main heritage sites such as Ayutthaya and Phitsanulok, meet the real king of the jungle at an elephant camp in Chiang Mai and explore the infamous Golden Triangle, one of the world’s leading opium-producing areas. End your adventure in Chiang Mai aka the Rose of the North where you will discover its culinary delicacies.

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Tour Information
Tour Duration : 12 days
Min. Tour Size : 02 persons
Avg. Tour Size : 16 persons
Includes international air
Tour Price (from) : US$
Day 01: Arrive Bangkok
Day 02: Bangkok
(B)
Day 03: Bangkok
(B, L)
Day 04: Bangkok/Ayutthaya/Phitsanulok
(B, L)
Day 05: Phitsanulok/Sukhothai/Lampang
(B, L)
Day 06: Lampang/Phayao/Chiang Rai
(B, L)
Day 07: Chiang Rai/Chiang Mai
(B, L)
Day 08: Chiang Mai
(B, L)
Day 09: Chiang Mai
(B)
Day 10: Chiang Mai
(B, L)
Day 11: Chiang Mai
(B, L, D)
Day 12: Depart Chiang Mai
(B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Day 01: Arrive Bangkok

Arrive Bangkok international airport, meet and greet and transfer to your hotel.   Check in time starts from 1500 hrs.  Rest of the day at leisure. Perhaps you could indulge yourself with a traditional Thai Massage, surprise your taste buds with the amazing local flavors and cap off the day by enjoying sunset in any of the stylish rooftop bars which have blossomed in the city’s skyscrapers in recent years… the options are limitless.
Overnight: Eastin Makkasan Hotel, Bangkok (3 nights)

Day 02: Bangkok

Today’s tour includes three of the most important Buddhist temples in Bangkok.  Wat Traimit also known as the temple of the Golden Buddha houses a 3 meter tall statue made from solid gold and weighing 5.5 tons. You will then pass through Chinatown on your way to Wat Pho, the temple of the Reclining Buddha and home to the Chedis of the Kings. At 46 meters in length and 15 meters high the Buddha is the largest in Bangkok and illustrates the passing of the Buddha into nirvana. The Grand Palace is one of the most beautiful samples of an ancient Siamese court.  It used to be the residence of the Kings of Bangkok.  Here you will see palaces which were used for different occasions: the Funeral Palace, the Reception Palace, the Throne Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Royal Guest House, and Wat Phra Keo, the beautiful Emerald Buddha Temple. To round off the tour, we call in at a local lapidary factory and showroom where you will be able to get locally made jewellery, handicrafts and silk at competitive prices. (B)

Day 03: Bangkok

When you think of Thailand, the unique Floating Market is one of the first images that springs to mind. Experience the most famous of the floating markets at Damnoen Saduak, to the south west of the city and enjoy an afternoon of insight into Thai culture at Sanphran Riverside.  You’ll have an exciting long tail boat ride along the nearby canals to the site of the market, where you will find the locals selling everything possibly imaginable from their boats.  Plenty of shopping bargains to be found. Then it’s onto the former Rose Garden, a beautiful resort area, where lunch is taken. After lunch you will have time to wander around the gardens & the recreated Thai village with lots of interesting & varied handicrafts on display. However, there are random shows to be enjoyed that give you an idea of many aspects of the Thai way of life: Thai dancing, wedding and monk ordination ceremonies, kick boxing, sword & long pole fighting, fingernail dancing. After the show, there is a short demonstration of elephants at work, before we return to Bangkok. (B, L)

Day 04: Bangkok/Ayutthaya/Phitsanulok

Palaces, ancient ruins and temples are on the menu as your epic six-day tour from the capital to northern Thailand kicks off in style. After pick-up from your hotel head to Bang Pa-In to visit the Summer Palace of Rama V. Continue to the former capital of Ayutthaya and contemplate the ancient temples of Wat Yai Chaimongkhon, Wat Mahathat and Wat Phanan Choeng. Have lunch at a restaurant in Chai Nat before you arrive at Phitsanulok for a short orientation tour in the city.
Overnight: Amarin Lagoon Hotel, Phitsanulok (1 night) (B, L)

Day 05: Phitsanulok/Sukhothai/Lampang

Start your day with a visit to Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat temple housing one of the most revered Buddha statues in the country and join the locals on their morning prayers and offers. Depart for Sukhothai and explore this ancient city packed with historical landmarks, the most impressive being the Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the ruined temples and palaces as well as Buddha statues of all sizes. Lunch en route at a local restaurant. A short drive away are Si Satchanalai and the evocative ruins of the temple of  Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat which is reached by crossing a wooden suspension bridge. This usually quiet location offers a special spiritual interlude to the tour before arriving in Lampang for the evening.
Overnight: Wienglakor Hotel, Lampang (1 night) (B, L)

Day 06: Lampang/Phayao/Chiang Rai

Explore the wonderful Wat Phra That Lampang Luang temple, just a brief drive from Lampang, and marvel at the elaborate details of its the decorations and beautiful Buddha statues. Continue your journey north, stopping briefly at Phayao Lake for a coffee break before heading to “Wat Rong Khun” or the White Temple, which was constructed by noted Thai painter turned architect “Chalermchai Kositipat”: this is unlike any other temple you have visited so far as in it is entirely white and built by hand. Lunch en route to the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet. This natural wilderness gained an unwanted notoriety in the Sixties because of the abundant opium cultivation in the area. Visit the 212 House of Opium and stroll around its rare collection of opium paraphernalia such as weights, scales and pipes. Learn the history of this drug and about the devastating effect the trade had on local communities. Drive back to Chiang Rai and overnight in Chiang Rai.
Overnight: La Luna Resort Hotel, Chiang Rai (1 night) (B, L)

Day 07: Chiang Rai/Chiang Mai

Enjoy a lively start to the day’s activities at the fragrant and vibrant Chiang Rai morning market. A brief stop at Wat Phra Kaew, which once housed the Emerald Buddha now in Bangkok is also included. The journey out of town is on a relaxing river cruise on a traditional long tail boat to the hill tribe village of to Pha Tai (3.5 hrs). Continue by road to Tha Ton and enjoy a tasty lunch before heading to Chiang Mai and Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, one of the most revered temples in the country. Its sacred location is at the top of a mountain from where you can appreciate stunning panoramic views over the city. To reach the temple requires a climb up a 309 steps naga staircase. Alternatively, you can reach the temple by cable car (included). Depending on the arriving time, you may be able to witness the evening prayers and chants. Overnight in Chiang Mai.
Overnight: Holiday Inn, Chiang Mai (5 nights) (B, L)

Day 08: Chiang Mai

After all that culture and history, it is time for a day of wildlife and nature in the jungles near Chiang Mai. In the morning visit the Thai Elephant Care Center, which was set up to provide care for elderly elephants retired from logging and camps. There are no rides and visitors learn about how the old-timers are nutriuted with ground grass and herb balls, can feed bananas and - if time of visit is right - watch the bath-time, as well as visiting the cemetery for elephants who have died of old age. After a tasty lunch at a local restaurant, call at the “Color Factory” where you’ll be able to see full size Elephant Parade statues from cities around the world: you will be able to choose your favourite from a collection of replicas. You can also learn about Asian elephants and the work that The Asian Elephant Foundation is doing to save these magnificent but endangered animals. If you haven’t found that souvenir you are looking for, a visit to the famous Thai Lanna handicraft center of Sankampaeng is included. Here you can learn how Chiang Mai’s famous paper umbrellas, Thai silk, silver ware and teakwood carvings are made step by step. (B, L)

Day 09: Chiang Mai

Full day at leisure to either relax or to explore more of the charming old town, which is surrounded by walls and a moat. Wander through streets and alleys teeming with the lovely artisan shops and the savory food stalls. (B)

Day 10: Chiang Mai

Today you will enjoy a Cooking Course at Sarapee district in a Lanna-style teak house and learn the art of Thai cuisine from master cooks in a typical Thai kitchen. Roll up your sleeves and try your hands at cooking the most famous food and desserts of the country: gather herbs and local vegetables from the garden and prepare them to create various types of mouth-watering dishes. During the course, you will gain a sound knowledge about local herbs and ingredients. You will then be ready to prepare and cook delicious Thai food for your friends and loved ones back home. (B, L)

Day 11: Chiang Mai

Leave the city behind while relax on a cruise along the River Ping while you soak in the cool breeze and the ever changing scenery. Stop at a Farmer’s House, where you will enjoy a traditional Northern Style curry soup locally known as Khao Soy as well as seasonal fresh fruits accompanied by lemongrass and herbs based juice. Prepared with fresh yellow egg noodles, coconut milk straight from the shell and a chili paste freshly grounded according to a secret family recipe, Khao Soy is THE signature dish of Northern Thailand. Return to the hotel after a walk through the local flower and fresh food market and spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool or enjoying a Thai massage (optional). In the evening learn about northern Thailand culture and performances at a Khantoke Dinner Show. The tradition of Khantoke is an old ceremony which was presented to very honored guests only. Taking place in the cool and dark evening after sunset amid candlelight and lanterns, the event is a subtle and warm combination of food and entertainment that brings the feeling of being treated as an honored guest. (B, L, D)

Day 12: Depart Chiang Mai

After our enlightening journey through this fascinating country, we are transferred to the airport for our departure flight. (B)

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Departure Dates
English Speaking Departures (Please contact us for information on French, German, Italian and Spanish speaking departures).

2017

Every Monday from Jan 01 to Oct 31, 2017

Tour Price

We accept payment in US $ (US Dollars), CA $ (Canadian Dollars) or equivalent EURO (for clients outside North America). Bestway Tours & Safaris offers conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received, and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here

Departure(s) Per Person on Twin Sharing Single Room Supplement
2017 US$ 1295 US$ 340


Notes

Please feel free to contact us for either other set programs or to customize one that would suit your requirements.



Inclusions


Tour Price Includes
  • Accommodation as mentioned or similar, including hotel taxes
  • 20 Meals as mentioned (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All sightseeing and transfers on seat-in-coach basis
  • Services of local English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees to museums and sites included in the itinerary
Not Included
  • Any airfares
  • Insurance/visas
  • Tips/gratuities

Estimated International Airfare (International airfare is NOT included in this tour)

CANADA(West Coast)
US$ 1300

USA(West Coast)
US$ 1200

CANADA(East Coast)
US$ 1300

USA(East Coast)
US$ 1200

Participants

This tour operates on a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 16 participants

Customised Itinerary

If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.

Contact Info
You may e-mail us at bestway@bestway.com or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.