· Discover the famous bridge over the River Kwai
· Experience the Thailand-Burma Railway interactive museum
· Enjoy a ride on a traditional wooden long-tailed boat along Mae Klong river
· Take in the views of spectacular jungle landscapes
· Discover the world famous floating market of 'Damnern Saduak'
· Visit The Grand Palace, a historic royal mini city located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River
· Discover the ancient capital city of Siam-Ayutthaya
· Embrace the Thai and Burmese borders in the North
· Experience the traditional Northern Thai cuisine
· Enjoy the experience of a life time visiting the elephant camps in Chiang Mai
· Spend 6 nts at the end relaxing in Koh Samui at a beautiful boutique hotel
Day 1 Fly from Larnaca to Bangkok (via Doha)
Day 2 Arrive in Bangkok and transfer to the Phachara Suites for a 5 night stay on a B&B basis
Day 3 Day at leisure in Bangkok
Day 4 Full day tour to the Bridge over the River Kwai (including lunch) - In this excursion you can get away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and discover the famous bridge over the river kwai, only 100 kilometers from the city. This trip will take you to the province of Kanchanabury, located to the West of Bangkok. Visit the Thailand-Burma Railway Center, an interactive museum, information and research facility dedicated to presenting the history of the Thailand-Burma Railway, continue to visit the war cemetery where more than 9,000 allied soldiers are buried as well as a reconstruction of a POW camp that also houses a museum. Enjoy a ride on a traditional wooden long-tailed boat along the Mae Klong river to visit the world famous Bridge over the River Kwai, a part of the Death Railway constructed by allied POWs. Discover the Bridge over the River Kwai , notorious for being built by allied POWs during the Second World War. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. Take a train across the river along the original 'death railway' while you enjoy the views and spectacular jungle landscapes. Enjoy this popular and unrepeatable experience while a knowledgeable local guide provides a fascinating commentary about this famous and spectacular place.
Day 5 - Half Day Floating Market Tour - Start your day at the world famous floating market of 'Damnern Saduak', which is located about 100 km southwest of Bangkok. There are countless floating markets throughout the country, many within a couple of hours of the capital. The colourfully clad merchants at these lively markets paddle along congested canals in sturdy canoes laden with fresh fruits and vegetables to sell to shoppers on the banks. There is a lot of chatter and activity - bargaining is common - that's all part of the fun - but don't expect to get the price down more than a few baht! From fruits to flowers to everyday needs, its leaves nothing to be desired, although it is now somewhat over commercialised. You visit the lively market as its best, early in the morning, before the crowds arrive and the days heat breaks. This is an exciting and fun way to see the local life and to go bargain hunting.
Day 6- Half Day Grand Palace Tour - The Grand Palace is the historic royal mini-city located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. It comprises dozens of buildings, courtyards, halls, temples, pagodas, garden and even a miniature mountain. The palace was the residence of the kings of Siam from 1782 to 1925 and among the attractions are the Funeral and Coronation halls while another big draw is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, where a 45cm statue of Gautama Buddha was carved from one piece of solid translucent jade. Adjacent to the Grand Palace is the city's oldest temple, Wat Pho, which is famed for the Reclining Buddha. This is 43 meter long figure is covered in golf leaf and reaches up to 15 meters at its highest point. There are also more than 1,000 images of the Lord Buddha as well as scared tree. Conclude the tour at the Wat Traimit temple, which is home to a 5.5 tonne solid gold Buddha with an intriguing tale to tell. The Golden Buddha is believed to be about seven centuries old and at some point it was covered in plaster to hide its true value. Overtime, this was forgotten and it was only when it fell in 1954 that its true composition was discovered.
Day 7 - Today you leave Bangkok and embark on our Soot Sanuk tour to Northern Thailand - This morning the tour begins from Bangkok as we drive north out of the city to Bang Pa In, a lavish royal Summer Palace set in beautiful gardens. The Palace combines an exotic mixture of Thai and European architecture. Admire the beautiful Thai set in the middle of a lake,and an elegant house constructed entirely out of wood, and see some immaculate Thai topiary - bushes cut into shapes of elephants! After we proceed to the ancient capital city of Siam-Ayutthaya. The city was ransacked by the Burmese but evidence of its splendor remains. Explore ruined temples and palaces, and admire the extensive canal and river network which helped Ayutthaya to flourish. You will have time to browse around numerous stalls selling Thai handicrafts. Lunch will be at a local restaurant.
After lunch, we will then drive through scenic countryside to Lopburi, the former summer capital of Siam. Artifacts of the Neolithic and bronze Ages have been found in quantity in Lopburi, testifying to the antiquity of the city. From the 6th to 11th century, during the Dvaravati period, it was a major town. You will see the magnificent stone carvings of Phra Prang Sam Yod, which is a 13th century laterite block shrine with three spires. Also included is a stop at the Kala shrine of Sarn Prakarn, which was a Buddhist sanctuary in the mid 13th century. Hundreds of monkeys have made this temple complex their home! In the afternoon, you will drive further north to the town of Phitsanuloke which is spread along the banks of the Nan River, where numerous houseboats are moored. The shrine of Wat Mahathat Phitsanuloke is venerated throughout Thailand and will provide you with an idea of the ancient style of Thai religious architecture.
Day 8 - Phitsanuloke-Sukhothai-Sri Satchanalai-Chiang Rai - After breakfast, we visit Sukhothai the ancient capital of Thailand is the 13th century. The city was protected by no less than three rows of earthen ramparts and two moats, which enclosed the inner city. Admire beautiful standing Buddha statues as you explore the many ruined temples and monasteries. About 55 km further north, we will visit Sri Satchanalai, which was Sukhothai's twin city. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. This afternoon's drive takes us through rural Thailand and further north through jungle-clad hills. You will stop at the small town of Phayao, which dates back to the 11th century, to enjoy refreshments beside a lovely lake. We will then proceed in our journey, arriving in Chaing Rai in the late afternoon.
Day 9 - Mae Salong-Mae Sai-Golden Triangle-Chiang Saen - North Thailand is famous for its colourful hill tribes and this morning we will board 'pick up' vans to climb narrow mountainous roads and visit several villages. The scenery is magnificent and we will enjoy mountain views fro Doi Mae Salong, a Chinese settlement founded by Kuomintang soldiers who fled from China after Mao Tse Tung's victory in 1949. Some interesting Chinese hotel medicines are on sale here! Stops are included at Akha and Yao Hill Tribe Villages, where the people continue to wear their fascinating traditional costumes and follow a very simple way of village life.
Return to the valley for lunch before driving to Mae Sai, Thailand's northernmost town near the Burma border. You can watch Thai and Burmese locals walking across the bridge separating the two countries. There are excellent opportunities to buy Burmese handicrafts at reasonable prices.
Day 10 - Chiang Rai-Chiang Mai - After breakfast, we depart from Chiang Rai for Chiang Mai stopping on the way at Mae Ka Chan, famous for a hot spring which is a favourite bathing place for local people who believe it relieves their aches and pains. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, you will drive through splendid mountain scenery and tropical jungle to the 'Rose of the North' - Chiang Mai.
Before arriving in the town, it will be your turn to work! Climb 290 steps to visit the hilltop temple of Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep which offers spectacular views of the Chiang Mai area (the less energetic will be pleased to know there is a cable car up the hill!). Tonight, you will be treated to the ceremonial northern Thai dinner, known as Kantoke. Traditional dishes will be served while you watch elegant dancers performing a series of folk stories. Colourfully dressed, Hill tribes will perform their own traditional dances after dinner.
Day 11 - Chiang Mai - A full day to enjoy the delights of Chiang Mai! In the morning we will visit one of the elephant camps where skilled 'mahouts' show how elephants have worked in the jungles for centuries. You will be amazed by their strength and deftness. There will also be the chance to see the elephants relaxing as they bathe in the river! We will have lunch at a local restaurant before heading out of town to the district of Sankam-paeng, home to Chiang Mai's famous cottage industries.
Watch how artisans continue to make their products by hand and you will of course have the opportunity to hunt for that perfect souvenir! See silk worms and the process of spinning silk as well as the art of using hand-looms to make intricate patterned silk fabrics. Marvel at the transformation of bamboo, silk and paper into hand painted multi-coloured umbrellas and at skilled potters creating distinctive Thai celadon. Wood carvers are chipping away busily at teakwood to produce elegant ornaments and furniture. The process of making lacquerware is fascinating to watch too. They even use egg shells to create unusual designs. And of course there are silver items plenty to tempt even the cautious shopper!
Day 12 After breakfast today we transfer you to the airport for your flight to Koh Samui. Upon arrival we transfer you to the Rocky's Boutique Resort for 6 nights of pure relaxation on a B&B basis.
Days 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17 At leisure in Koh Samui!
Day 18 & 19 Transfer to the airport for your flight back to Larnaca via Bangkok and Doha or Dubai
We combine a 5 night stay in Bangkok with a 5 night organised tour, that can be done privately or as part of a small group, to the Northern districts of Chang Rai and Chang Mai, where you will get to meet the Elephants! In Bangkok, we include excursions to the Grand Royal Palaces, the floating markets and the bridge over the River Kwai.
At the end of the tour we fly you to Koh Samui for an incredible 6 night stay at the stunning Rocky's Boutique resort, one of the Top 25 Hotels in Thailand as voted by Tripadvisor for 2017.
If the hotels details below for your tour are not available, hotels of a similar standard will be used.
- Bangkok: Phachara Suites - Click here for hotel gallery
- Phitsanuloke: Amarin Lagoon - Click here for hotel gallery
- Chiang Rai: The Teak Garden Spa Resort - Click here for hotel gallery
- Chiang Mai: Empress Hotel - Click here for hotel gallery
- Koh Samui: Rocky's Boutique Resort - Click here for hotel gallery
Check availability: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Quoting Soot Sanuk Thailand. All prices are per person and are based on 2 people sharing a room/cabin. Single supplements do apply. All prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.