Day 1. Bangkok
Arrival to Bangkok, reception and transfer to your hotel, the Oriental Hotel. Spend the day relaxing and recovering from your flight.
Day 2. Bangkok (B & L)
After breakfast, our guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the Wat Pho Temple in time to experience the monks early morning chanting ritual (chanting starts at 9am). As one of the oldest temples in Bangkok, Wat Po is home of the famous 45 metre reclining Buddha as well as being the original school of traditional Thai massage. Continue to The Grand Palace, the most important and impressive royal palace in Thailand. Your guide will show you the palaces used for different occasions - the Funeral Palace, the Reception Palace, the Throne Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Royal Guest House, and of course the mysterious Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Thailand. Appropriate dress is required (or can be rented on site). Lunch at "The Deck" Restaurant at Arun Residence overlooking the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun).
In the afternoon, take an exhilarating long tail boat ride, starting in Bangkok, towards the north of the city through the labyrinth of "khlongs" (canals). Experience the sights, sounds and smells of Bangkok river life as you head into Nonthaburi and the cityscape turns into countryside. Stop to walk through a bustling local market place where foreigners rarely venture, also to visit a waterside temple with an impressive reclining Buddha. Continue by boat back into the heart of Bangkok and transfer to your hotel.
Day 3. Bangkok (B & L)
After breakfast, we will take you out of the city to Samut Songkram province where you will discover an amazing country market along the railway tracks as well as one of the many floating markets of Thailand. Take a fascinating boat ride through the maze of canals stopping along the way to visit Buddhist temples and meet local Thai people before arriving at Rama II Park with its Thai style Pavilion Museum. Return to your hotel.
Day 4. Bangkok (B & L)
After breakfast we again head out of Bangkok to the ancient city of Ayutthaya and spend the morning exploring the incredible archaeological site. The kingdom of Ayutthaya was a Thai kingdom that existed from 1351 to 1767. In the sixteenth century, it was described by foreign traders as one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the East. The court of King Narai (1656-1688) had strong links with that of King Louis XIV of France, whose ambassadors compared the city in size and wealth to Paris. You will also see the stately Bang Pa, before taking a gentle cruise back down the Chaophraya River to your hotel in Bangkok.
Day 5. Bangkok - Chiang Rai (B)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to Chiang Rai. Drive to the golden triangle area in the far north of Thailand and to your hotel the Anantara Resort & Spa Golden Triangle.
Located on the Mekong River, the hotel boasts exquisite views across Laos and Burma. Enjoy the view while sipping cocktails by the pool or take time out for a relaxing spa.
Day 6. Chiang Rai (B & L)
Today, spend a day in the jungle travelling by elephant, boat and ox-cart through bamboo forest, woodlands, rice paddies and farmland. Enjoy a picnic by the river and discover a remote Akha hill tribe village on the top of Doi Sa Ngo Mountain with stunning views of Mekong River. Also visit the old capital of Chiang Saen (AD 1260) on the steep banks of Mekong River before returning to your resort.
Day 7. Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai (B & L)
Today we drive through the mountains to Chiang Mai. Choosing the most scenic route, your guide will take you to see the royal palace and gardens at Doi Tung as well as stopping to visit some of the lesser visited tribal communities. Accommodation at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai.
Day 8. Chiang Mai (B)
The morning is free for you to enjoy the luxurious surroundings of your hotel. In the afternoon we will take you to visit Studio Naenna, a woman's weaving group founded in 1986 by Patricia Cheesman Naenna, an expert in antique, Lao and Thai textiles. Not only will you see the fabulous textiles but also meet Patricia or her daughter. In the late afternoon we will take you up the mountain to visit Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, the most famous and sacred temple in Northern Thailand. Return to your hotel.
Day 9. Chiang Mai (B & L)
Today we will visit the Mae Kampong village set in a beautiful Thai village perched amongst the hills of Mae On district just outside Chiang Mai. You spend the day learning about Thai culture, how people live and work in the countryside; you will cook and eat with your hosts, visit tea and coffee plantations, walk through the forests and try Thai traditional massage. This is real-life experiential tourism. Late this afternoon drive back through the mountains to Chiang Mai and your hotel.
Day 10. Chiang Mai - Bangkok (B)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to Bangkok. Overnight stay in Bangkok.
Day 11. Bangkok - Siem Reap (B & L)
After breakfast at your hotel, transfer to the airport for the short flight to Siem Reap, the base for exploring the fabled temples of Angkor and the ancient capital of the Khmer empire.
Arrival and transfer to your hotel, The Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor
Lunch will be served at your hotel and then you will set off to the South Gate of Angkor Thom, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and 4 giant faces. This will take you to three major temples - Bayon, the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. The scope and grandeur of these temples will amaze you and their impressions will leave an indelible mark in your memory.
Day 12. Siem Reap (B & L)
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before you explore more ancient temples, starting with Ta Prohm, originally constructed as a Buddhist monastery and now embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers. What follows will undoubtedly be the highlight of the trip - Angkor Wat, the massive three-tiered pyramid crowned by five lotus-like towers rising 65 metres from ground level and an architectural wonder that is nothing short of breathtaking.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant and then you will prepare for more fun: a tethered helium balloon ride 200 metres straight up for an amazing aerial view of Angkor Wat and other ruins amongst the surrounding jungle and rice paddies. Refresh with cocktails at the Angkor Café Restaurant before finishing your adventurous day with an elephant ride at Phnom Bakheng. Reflect upon the adventures of your day.
Day 13. Siem Reap (B, L & D)
Breakfast will once again be served at your hotel, followed by an excursion to Chong Khneas, the floating village at the edge of the Tonle Sap Lake. A picnic lunch will be served on a floating house before continuing to the pink sandstone temple of Banteay Srey, home to some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art.
Upon returning to Siem Reap, you will enjoy dinner at Meric Restaurant in Hotel De La Paix.
Day 14. Siem Reap - Bangkok (B)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the return flight to Bangkok and your connecting flight home.
End of Services.
Our price Includes:
The price includes international return flights from London in economy class, accommodation in 5 star deluxe hotels, all tours and transfers in private with an English speaking guide, meals as indicated in the itinerary, all domestic flights in economy class, international return flights from Bangkok to Siem Reap and all taxes.
Our price does not include:
Meals not specified and travel insurance are not included. Business class and First class air ticket quotes provided upon request.