Day 1 Depart USA
- A day of adventure in Bangkok, using public transportation and letting your private guide show you the real Bangkok
- Watching the preparation of and sharing a Thai meal with the villagers of Mae Kampong
- Spending time with the Akha Hill Tribe at the summit of Doi Sa Ngo Mountain
- The idyllic beauty of Koh Samui as enjoyed from your private villa at the Four Seasons
You board your aircraft for the overnight flight to Thailand and its capital, Bangkok.
Day 2 En Route
During your flight you will cross the International Date Line technically "losing" a day but you will regain it on your return flight.
Day 3 Welcome to Thailand
Arriving in Bangkok you will be met by our representative as you exit the plane. They will facilitate your expeditious move through customs and immigration and assist you with the retrieval of your luggage. Once in the arrivals hall you will be introduced to your personal guide and escorted out to your car where your driver is waiting. Arriving at your hotel, your guide will assist with check-in and coordinate the next day's agenda. You then are free to relax in your room with a delightful view over the Chao Phraya River. This evening enjoy a quiet dinner in the hotel and a good night's rest.
Day 4 A Novel Way of Seeing Bangkok
After breakfast you will meet your guide in the lobby but the driver has the day off since you will be seeing the sights using all varieties of public transportation for only in this way will you truly experience Bangkok. You first take a public boat to Tha Thien pier where you disembark to visit Wat Po, the home of the reclining Buddha. After a visit you continue to the Grand Palace. The Royal Grand Palace is the nation's landmark and the most revered royal monument and home to the Emerald Buddha. After a tour of the palace you have the choice of walking or taking a Tuk-Tuk which is a three wheeled covered vehicle powered by a motorcycle and carrying two passengers along with a driver. We recommend the Tuk-Tuk. You will cross the royal fields to Khao San Road which is the gathering spot for backpackers from around the globe. Continuing in your Tuk-Tuk you drive down Rachadamnoen which is the Thai Champs Elysees to the Sorndaeng Methavalai where you enjoy a delicious lunch with a 1950's backdrop. After lunch you board a bus boat for Jim Thompson's House Museum dedicated to the American who re-invented the Thai silk industry after WW II. After the visit you return to the hotel by boat. In the evening you will be taken to Suan Lum Night Bazaar, Bangkok's best and busiest night market where you enjoy an al fresco dinner at Joe Louis restaurant situated in the heart of the market.
Day 5 The Thai Market and Village Experience
After breakfast your guide and driver will be ready to take you out of the city to explore some country life. You will be heading south to Samut Songkram province which will allow you a diverse look at country life. You first stop will be local train station where you board a train for a short ride to an amazing country market that has sprouted along the railway tracks. Here you will witness the dexterity and speed of the vendors as they quickly pack their stalls away whenever the trains approach bringing shopping to a brief halt. It is a standard practice and stall holders have learnt the art of disassembling and reassembling their wares at a moment's notice. You will then visit one of the many floating markets in the area where you can observe authentic local trading. You will take a fascinating paddleboat journey through the maze of klongs (canals), cruising past plantations and Buddhist temples before stopping to enjoy a glass of palm sugar syrup and a chat with a friendly local family. Following lunch at a local restaurant you will visit a Thai style garden pavilion museum displaying artifacts from the early Rattanakosin era and a landscaped garden filled with native flowers. An easy bike ride through the orchards completes the village experience. In the evening, your guide will meet you and take you to a hotel shuttle boat which will take you to a pier where you will board the Manohra Rice Barge. This barge has been converted into one of Bangkok's finest dining venues offering you a sumptuous five-course dinner as you cruise the Chao Phraya River enjoying the sights.
Day 6 Flight to Chiang Rai
Your guide and driver will be waiting to take you to the airport for the flight to Chiang Rai. Upon arrival you will be met by your new guide and driver who will first of all take you to lunch before taking you on an overview of Chiang Rai. You will visit the main market area to get a feel for local life in Chiang Rai. Continue your exploration with visits to some of the temples in the area including Wat Phra Kaew with its beautiful brass and copper Buddha image and Wat Rong Khun with its unique "kanok" architecture. In the late afternoon you head out to the Golden Triangle area, the intersection of Thailand, Laos and Burma and your superb hotel.
Day 7 Elephants, Hill Tribes and a Side Trip to Laos
After breakfast you will trade in your car for an elephant and your driver for a mahout. Safely ensconced on the elephant you trek through bamboo forest, woodland and grassland habitats, spotting the seasonal birdlife and mammals. You will eventually reach the Ruak River and the Burmese border where you will meet your next mode of transport, a long tail boat which will take you on an exhilarating ride to the mighty Mekong and a quick stop at the Laotian village of Don Sao. You continue by ox-cart through rice paddies and farmland before stopping for a picnic lunch by the San Thung Reservoir. After lunch continue uphill until you reach Akha Hill Tribe Village on the top of Doi Sa Ngo Mountain. You will witness the tribal life and enjoy stunning views of the Mekong River. On the way down, you will visit the old capital of Chiang Saen on the steep banks of the Mekong River before returning to your resort. In the evening, immerse yourself in Lanna traditions with a private Khantoke Dinner at your resort. A feast of Northern Thai cuisine is served on special, low, circular tables called "toke", and accompanied by the soft melody of a khim, a local instrument. After the dinner you will light a "khom loy" paper lantern in the cool night air following a local belief that misfortune will be floated away.
Day 8 Overland from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai
In the morning you leave the Golden Triangle and head southwest towards Chiang Mai. After a brief stop at Wat Rong Khun known as the "Silver Temple". You arrive at Khun Kon forest park in the Mae Suay district and home to the Khun Kon Waterfall which at 210 feet is the highest in the province. You leave your vehicle and trek through the dense wood until you reach the waterfall. You will have a picnic lunch and then have time to swim in the natural pool at the base of the falls. After a refreshing dip you return to your vehicle and proceed to Chiang Mai, also known as the "Rose of the north".
Day 9 Artistic and Historic Chiang Mai
You have the morning free to relax over a leisurely breakfast or do some shopping. After lunch you will be taken to Studio Naenna to see the display of the finest textile arts of South East Asia. Studio Naenna is the marketing arm for a woman's weaving group which was founded in Northern Thailand in 1986. Known as the Weavers for the Environment, this group was initiated by Patricia Cheesman Naenna an expert in antique Lao and Thai textiles. After your visit you then proceed to Wat Phra Thad Doi Suthep which was built in 1348 and considered to be the most sacred temple in Northern Thailand. The temple is situated 3,500 feet above sea level and offers spectacular views of the city. This evening enjoy typical Thai cuisine at the charming Gallery Restaurant nestled on the western banks of the Ping River. After dinner, jump into a tuk-tuk and head to Chiang Mai's famous night bazaar for a stroll among the colorful stalls.
Day 10 Village Life in the Mae On District
After breakfast you will drive through the scenic countryside of Chiang Mai on the way to Mae Kampong Village in the Mae On District. On the way, you stop at a local market to select the ingredients for your lunch. Upon arrival at the village you are met by the villagers and have a chance to walk through the community forest passing tea and coffee fields. You return to the village in time to watch lunch being prepared by your host family allowing you to see how Thai food is prepared in the countryside. After sharing lunch with your hosts you can relax with a traditional Thai massage and take a walk around the village to see the processing of fermented tea leaves and various products that are handmade in the village. Later in the afternoon drive back through the mountains to Chiang Mai. Tonight we will take you to your choice of Chiang Mai's hottest eating venues, the elegant Mahanaga or the trendy "The House" in either case we will help you select a perfect Thai Fusion cuisine menu for your enjoyment.
Day 11 The Island of Koh Samui
You have the morning free before having lunch at the hotel and then heading to the airport for your flight to the island of Koh Samui. Upon arrival you are met by our representative who will arrange for your transport to your hotel. You have a private Villa reserved at the elegant Four Seasons so prepare to be indulged.
Days 12- 13 Relaxing on Koh Samui
You have two days to enjoy all the facilities of the resort and the island. To give you greater flexibility you have a credit at the hotel to cover lunch and dinner. Should you decide to have lunch or dinner in town you can use the credit towards a spa treatment or some other resort activity.
Day 14 Return to USA
Your guide will meet you at the hotel to assist you with your transfer to the airport where your flight to Bangkok awaits. Upon arrival in Bangkok you connect to your international flight headed for the USA where you regain your day and arrive back that same afternoon.
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Personalised Luxury Tours - Land of Smiles ULTH05 Location and other villas and tours nearby
Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
Tour Location / Places Visiteds
Bangkok, Golden Triangle, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui
Additional Pricing Information
- Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
- Private Transfers to and from the airport at destination
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
- Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
- Entrance fees to all museums, attractions and other venues as indicated on the daily itinerary
- Baggage handling at all hotels
- All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
- International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
- Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
- Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
- Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
- Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
- Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest informationregarding passports and visa requirements)