TOUR CODE: CLATHA
Trip Type: Independent Journey
Travel to Thailand on this 13-day tour to experience the cultural splendor, friendly people, delectable cuisines, and excellent beaches of this great country. Delve into the “Land of Smiles” and experience the hustle and bustle of the colorful markets, golden temples, and mouth-watering cuisine. Spend a day in Ayutthaya, the former Siamese capital, before venturing to the north. Admire the beautiful mountainous scenery in Chiang Rai and see the Golden Triangle on a longtail boat trip along the Mekong river. Uncover the history and effects of the opium trade at the Hall of Opium. In Chiang Mai, we spend a day at an elephant sanctuary and explore the city’s impressive temples. End your tour relaxing on world-class tropical beaches in the untouched Thailand paradise in Kho Jum.
Upon arrival in the Thais capital known in Thai as Krung Thep (City of Angels), we transfer directly to our hotel, where you can rest well for your upcoming tour.
OLD TOWN TUK-TUK ADVENTURE (B/D)
After time to rest this morning, have lunch on our own and get ready for this afternoon adventure. First, we explore the glittering Wat Pho before closing time for a more peaceful viewing of the gigantic Reclining Buddha. Then hop on an iconic tuk-tuk, cruise through the backstreets and alleys of Old Bangkok to small street vendors and eateries where Bangkokian eat. Taste various savory menus, including the favorite local Northeastern Thai Food (Esan Food), the town’s best Pad Thai, and famous home-style Thai snacks. Depending on your hotel location, the evening may wind up at either one of the famous red-light market districts or a riverside rooftop bar for a beautiful illuminated view of Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), or even the Bohemian backpacker community of Khao San Road.
CITY, TEMPLES & THE GRAND PALACE (B)
Today’s first stop is Wat Arun (Temple Of Dawn), located on the Thonburi west bank of the Chao Phraya River and one of Bangkok’s most iconic structures. The main feature is the imposing 219 feet Khmer-style spire made from broken, multihued Chinese porcelain. You can see the winding Chao Phraya River, the Grand Palace, and Wat Pho opposite from the top of the tower. We cross the river by public riverboat to explore the splendid Grand Palace complex, the most important and impressive royal palace in Thailand. Your guide will show you the courts used for different occasions, including the Funeral Palace, the Reception Palace, the Throne Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Royal Guest House, and the mysterious Emerald Buddha, the most venerated Buddha image in Thailand. Appropriate dress is required.
ANCIENT AYUTTHAYA/CHIANG RAI (B/L)
The Siamese capital of Ayutthaya was the crowning glory of the kingdom from 1350-1767. Preserved in history, Ayutthaya remains a magnificent sight to be visited. We depart early morning travel to Ayuthaya, about 56 miles north of Bangkok. First, we visit Wat Phu Khao Thong, known as the Monastery of the Golden Mount, located just outside Ayuthaya. Then, venture to the ancient palace and Wat Phra Si Sanphet, the holiest temple on the old Royal Palace’s site. Capture incredible photographs of the three chedis (or stupas) before heading over to Viharn Phra Mongkol Bopit, where you can witness one of the most massive bronze Buddha statues in Thailand. After lunch, continue your tour to Wat Lokayasutharam, home to an impressive reclining Buddha statue. Also, step into the famous Wat Mahatat where you can marvel at the remarkable Buddha image situated right in the middle of a bodhi tree. Finally, visit the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace built during the Ayuthaya era. Learn about how it was the famous summer palace of King Rama V and showcases an eclectic collection of buildings that blend European, Khmer, Thai, and Chinese architectural styles. At the end of the tour, transfer to the airport for your flight to Chiang Rai, the northernmost major city in Thailand.
THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE (B/L)
Chiang Rai is the northernmost province in Thailand, bordering Myanmar (Burma) to its northwest and Laos and the Mekong River in the northeast. With rugged hills, spectacular mountains, and enchanting rural villages. Accompanied by your guide, we travel to the northern Thai border into Myanmar (formerly Burma). Once we cross the border into Tachileik, hop in a three-wheeled tuk-tuk and head off for a tour of this border town. Admire the typical Burmese temple architecture at the Maha Muni pagoda before continuing to a gilded stupa replica of Shwedagon Pagoda that showcases a giant golden Buddha flanked by statue disciples. After lunch, head off to the border market to practice your bargaining skills. Return across the border into the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet at the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong rivers. We board a traditional longtail boat to cruise the Mekong passing the impressive Golden Buddha statue. Continue to the Hall of Opium, a private museum on the former opium trade.
DOI MAE SALONG (B/L)
Today, we drive up to Doi Mae Salong for some tea tasting and a bit of easy hiking through terraced tea plantations and local villages.
Doi Mae Salong, one of Thailand’s most stunning destinations, a dramatic mountain region settled first by indigenous hill-tribe groups such as the Akha and Lahu peoples, and more recently by Chinese settlers who fled the Communist Revolution in China in 1949. Once an opium country, Doi Mae Salong, is now home to Thailand’s premier Oolong tea production. We arrive early enough for a nice nature hike through tea plantations and terraced rice paddies, taking in hill-tribe villages and rolling mountains around the Doi Mae Salong area. Then return to Chiang Rai for the evening.
CHIANG RAI/CHIANG MAI (B/L)
In the morning, visit the stunning Rong Khun, known as the White Temple. Admire its unique decor made of glass, sculptural pieces, and murals designed by a famous Thai artist. It’s off to Chiang Mai after lunch, where we will stay for the next three nights. Settle in for an afternoon of driving; getting between the two cities takes about 4 hours.
CHIANG MAI (B)
We spend the morning exploring the highlights of Chiang Mai on a private air-conditioned vehicle with your tour guide. Visit Wat Chedi Luang with its towering, ruined Lanna-style chedi and Wat Prah Singha, or Silver Pagoda, which houses a sacred Buddha image, dominated by an enormous, mosaic-inlaid wihan (sanctuary). Then, drive out of the city to Doi Suthep, home to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, one of northern Thailand’s most sacred shrine. This spiritual location features a steep flight of over 300 steps flanked by greenery and guarded by a 16th Century Naga serpent carving. You can either brave the climb or opt for a more gentle funicular train adjacent to the stairs. Atop the mountain, the views from here are nothing short of stunning.
CHIANG MAI (B/L)
We spend a day with elephants at an elephant sanctuary in a lush tropical jungle outside Chiang Mai. The landscape offers elephants their natural surroundings, and the animals are free to roam around. After lunch, walk with your tour guide and the elephants to the river bank and observe the elephants socializing in their herds and playing in the mud pit. Getting up close and personal with the elephants is an experience that you will never forget.
KOH JUM – THE BEACHES OF THAILAND (B)
We board a morning flight to Krabi. Upon arrival, take a twenty-minute drive to the resort’s private pier, followed by a 30-minute boat ride (weather permitting).
Koh Jum is a small island paradise in the Andaman Sea, about thirty minutes by boat from Krabi mainland. With its magnificent beaches and ultra-relaxing atmosphere, the island has been mostly left untouched and has few visitors, which makes it an idyllic island for a hideaway holiday.
*Ground transportation and boat transfers from Krabi to Koh Jum is on a shared basis.
KOH JUM (B)
Today is a free day to plan your adventure or relax at the resort’s sandy beach.
Spend your free day experience the island’s natural beauty and explore the diversity the island has to offer. Snorkel at the isolated island of Koh Loga just north of Koh Pu and Koh Lola in the south of Koh Jum. Stop at Koh Jum Village to gain insight into the local culture and feel the community spirit that exists on the island.
KOH JUM (B)
A day at leisure to relax.
Perhaps, put on your beach-fun clothes and prepare to enjoy a world-class paradise. Enjoy sun, sand, and sea on this gorgeous island. Activities in the region are abundant. Explore Railay Bay by longtail boat, kayaking the blue waters, enjoy a relaxing massage (optional) or cozy up with a book soaking up the sun on the beach.
KOH JUM DEPARTURE (B)
Transfer to Krabi Airport for your homeward flight.
Meals: B= Breakfast L= Lunch D= Dinner
Per person, based on double occupancy
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Please click this link for airline’s baggage information: EVA Air (BR)