INCREDIBLE THAILAND

Length

15 DAYS

Type of tour

CULTURE/NATURE

Type of service

PRIVATE

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TRIP OVERVIEW

  A comprehensive 2-week itinerary to Thailand’s most important historical sights, from the cosmopolitan Bangkok to the mountains of Chiang Rai, with a beach extension in Krabi.

Discover the Grand Palace complex and the main temples Wat Arun, Wat PhoWat Phra Kaew and Wat TraimitImmerse yourself in the chaotic and picturesque Damnoen Saduak floating market and at the Umbrella Pull-down Market built on the railway tracks.

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Kingdom of Ayutthaya, once the most populated and remarkable city in the world, the precursor to modern Thailand.

Explore Northern Thailand, as far as the famous Golden Triangle, once one of Asia’s largest opium production areas. Along the way visit incredible art complexes such as the Sukhothai Historical Park, the temples in Lampang, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, the iconic White Temple and The Black House, the great Mount Suthep and ethnic minority villages.

Relax on the stunning beaches of Krabi on the west coast of southern Thailand, popular for its gorgeous offshore islands and dense mangrove forests.

This example itinerary can be customised according to actual travel needs and can be combined with other routes. 

Incredible Thailand tour - map © In Asia Travel

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY

Length : 15D 14N
From : BANGKOK
To : BANGKOK
Destinations  : Bangkok, Damnoen Saduak floating market, Railway Market, Ayutthaya, Lop Buri, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Lampang, Chiang Rai, Golden Triangle, Chiang Dao caves, Chiang Mai, Krabi

ITINERARY

01. ARRIVAL IN BANGKOK

Arrival in Thailand, the “Land of Smiles“.Welcome meeting by our staff at Bangkok international airport and transfer to the hotel.

Included : Private transportation and hotel 

02. BANGKOK CITY TOUR

Wat Phra KaewWat Phra Kaew

After breakfast we begin an unforgettable day trip to the main historical highlights of Bangkok.

Visit Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, the Buddhist complex built in the 17th century, one of the country’s most important historical landmarks for its impressive central Prang encrusted with colourful porcelain.

Afterwards, we cross the Chao Phraya River by ferry and proceed to Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, the religious complex housing Thailand’s largest collection of Buddha images, including the 46-metre-long Reclining Buddha statue. It is considered the earliest centre for public education and houses the School of Thai Medicine and the School of Traditional Thai Massage.

Our tour continues with the visit to the Grand Palace, the building complex at the heart of the capital, official residence of the monarchs of the Kingdom of Siam since 1782, followed by the Wat Phra Kaew, also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Built in 1783 within the perimeter of the Grand Palace, it is considered the most sacred Buddhist temple in the country. Nearby we pay a visit to Tha Phrachan’s Amulet Market, one of the largest and most important amulet markets in Thailand.

We then proceed to the Chinatown district, one of the liveliest and most colourful areas of the capital. Visit Wat Traimit, or the Temple of the Golden Buddha, which houses the largest solid gold statue in the world weighing 5.5 tonnes and 3 metres high.

Return to the hotel. The afternoon is free at your leisure.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

03. DAMNOEN SADUAK AND RAILWAY MARKET

Maeklong Railway MarketMaeklong Railway Market

Early morning transfer to Damnoen Saduak, 90 km from Bangkok in Ratchanaburi province.

Upon arrival we embark on a traditional boat to explore the artificial canal built over 150 years ago and its remarkable floating market, where vendors on small wooden boats sell a variety of local products such as Thai snacks, vegetables, colourful fruits, desserts and handicraft items.

Over the years, the floating market has become a popular tourist attraction. Nonetheless, it is such a characteristic slice of day-to-day life that it is worth a visit.

Afterwards we go to the coconut sugar farm, specialised in processing coconut and its derivatives, to watch the production process and taste some exquisite products.

Next, we visit the Maeklong Railway Market, also known as the Umbrella Pull-down Market, the most picturesque and authentic Thai market built in 1905 literally on railway tracks still in use today. At the time, the local authorities decided to build this railway line to transport goods quickly. Today, eight times a day, when traders hear the approaching train, they remove goods and parasols from the rails with astonishing rapidity to enable the train to pass. Right after that, they reset everything and carry on selling until the next train ride.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide and private transportation 

04. AYUTTHAYA

Wat Mahathat - AyutthayaWat Mahathat – Ayutthaya

Today a memorable visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site awaits us. The most populated and remarkable city in the world from the 14th century until the Burmese invasion in 1767, considered the precursor of modern Thailand: The Ancient Kingdom of Ayutthaya.

We visit the most important monuments in Ayutthaya including Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, or Summer Palace, the complex once home to Thai monarchs.

We continue through the rice fields to Wat Phanan Choeng, one of the oldest temples in Ayutthaya, and then on to Wat Yai Chai Mongkol Monastery built in 1357, or Victory Temple, known for its history and its large stupa visible from afar.

Later we continue to Wihan Phramongkhon Bophit and Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, the Temple of the Holy,  among the most visited in this area. 

In the afternoon we carry on visiting Wat Mahathat, known for its iconic stone Buddha head encrusted in tree roots, and nearby we visit Wat Ratchaburana which is famous for the paintings found in a 2-level crypt under the stupa.

Following the visit, transfer to your hotel in Ayutthaya.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation

05. LOPBURI - PHITSANULOK

Prang Sam Yot temple - LopburiPrang Sam Yot

After breakfast transfer to Lopburi, formerly known as Lavapura, ‘the city of Lava’, with a history dating back over 1000 years.

We visit the ruins of King Narai’s Palace, or Phra Narai Ratchaniwet, built in 1666.

We continue to Prang Sam Yot, the Angkorian temple built in the 13th century by the great Jayavarman VII, the first Buddhist sovereign in the history of the Khmer Empire. The temple is famous for its large population of long-tailed macaques, which, according to local beliefs and superstitions, are disciples of the spirits that protect the city.

Nearby we visit the San Phra Kan, a small shrine dedicated to the Hindu deity Vishnu.

Afterwards, we continue our trip to Naresuan Bridge in Phitsanulok  where we visit the royal temple Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, or Wat Yai, the Buddhist shrine built in 1357 on the eastern bank of the Nan River. It houses Phra Phuttha Chinnarat, one of the world’s most beautiful statues of the Buddha covered in gold, highly worshipped by local believers.

Once the visit is over, transfer to your hotel in Sukhothai.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation

06. SUKHOTHAI - LAMPANG

Wat Mahathat - SukhothaiWat Mahathat – Sukhothai

We start our morning bike ride in the Historical Park of the Kingdom of Sukhothai, an independent state from the 13th to the 14th century before becoming part of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya.

We visit the most important temples including Wat Mahathat, by far the most impressive complex in Sukhothai where the relics of the Buddha were kept. We continue to the Noen Prasat, or ‘the Palace Hil’, where archaeologists have found the ‘Manang Kasila Throne‘, the throne that belonged to King Ram Khamhaeng the Great. We then move outside the site walls to Wat Si Chum, which houses the famous 700-year-old Buddha image.

Afterwards, we visit the Sukhothai organic farm where we experience the local farmers’ lifestyle and learn about organic farming through various interesting activities including planting, hulling rice, and riding a water buffalo.

Arriving in Lampang, we visit the Wat Phra That Lampang Luang, built in Lanna architecture, the most impressive and well-preserved temple in the area. Supposedly housing some of Buddha’s relics including ashes collected after cremation.

Lastly, transfer to the hotel in Lampang.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation

07. LAMPANG - CHIANG RAI

A visit to Chiang Rai Night Bazaar in the evening is worthwhile for a relaxing dinner and for some shopping.White temple - Chiang Rai © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelWhite temple

In the morning we visit Lampang city centre in a horse-drawn carriage, one of the most memorable symbols of Lampang.

Next up is Ban Sao Nak, or ‘the house of many pillars’, one of Lampang’s most outstanding works of architecture built in Thai-Lanna style over a century ago with 116 teakwood pillars.

We visit the iconic The Luise House, which belonged to Luis Thomas Leonowens, a citizen of the British Empire known for serving in the Royal Siamese Cavalry and for founding the Thai Trading Company.

We then go to Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao, home to the famous Emerald Buddha from 1434 to 1468 before transferring to Chiang Mai.

We continue our journey towards Chiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand. On the way, not far from the city, we visit Wat Rong Khun, better known as The White Temple, due to the colour of its exterior.

Created by the visionary painter Chalermchai Kositpipat, this contemporary temple is worth a visit for its striking artistic contrast. Although The Wat is considered both Buddhist and Hindu, it has been the subject of strong criticism from the indigenous people as it is considered against tradition.

The entire complex, the plaster sculptures on the outside, the images reproduced inside the pagoda, and its splendid arts at the gates of hell and paradise, were conceived in a provocative tone to exalt ethnographically, and thus to free interpretation, the influence of modern myths and “brands” symbolising consumerism.

A visit to Chiang Rai Night Bazaar in the evening is worthwhile for a relaxing dinner and for some shopping.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

08. GOLDEN TRIANGLE

Golden TriangleGolden Triangle

After breakfast we travel to Doi Tung, a steep mountain approximately 50 km away from Chiang Rai. On arrival, we visit Doi Tung Royal Villa, the former residence of Princess Srinagarindra, the mother of the current king, who worked on a reforestation project in this area. Adjacent to the Royal Villa is the beautiful Mae Fah Luang Garden, home to several species of colourful plants and flowers. The area was once home to the Akha tribe, who later moved to a new village close by.

Next, we climb to the top of Doi Tung for a visit to Wat Phra That Doi Tung, a thousand-year-old temple in an extraordinary location.

Afterwards, we drive northeast to the famous Golden Triangle – situated at the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong rivers where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet. The name ‘Golden Triangle’, coined by the CIA, refers to an area of almost 1 million square kilometres which for many years was one of the largest opium-producing areas in the world. Visit the Opium Museum built to educate people about the dangers of using narcotics.

We then return to Chiang Rai for a visit to Wat Phra Kaew. Discovered in 1434 when lightning struck the top of the main stupa, the temple is famous throughout the country as the original home of the translucent green Buddha that graces the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok’s Grand Palace.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation

09. CHIANG DAO CAVE - MINORITIES

areaBlack House Chiang RaiBlack House

After breakfast we visit the surreal and artistic Baan Dam, known by many as ‘The Black House‘, a one-of-a-kind construction created by the artist Thawan Duchanee. Unlike its name, The Black House is not a single structure but a complex of about 40 buildings of various shapes and sizes scattered around a quiet garden. An eclectic mix with references to traditional Thai art style and elegant teak woodwork on the outside. Inside, there are unusual art installations including animal skulls and buffalo horns. The complex reflects the artist’s interpretation of Buddhist philosophy, which has inevitably provoked much controversy and criticism over the years.

Next, we visit the village of Ethnic Minorities, known as the ‘Hill Tribe‘ because they usually inhabit mountainous areas. Nowadays in many villages in the area you can still find people wearing traditional clothes.

We then continue our journey on the famous scenic Highway 107, which passes through several areas famous for their natural and cultural beauty, including the rural areas of Mae Ai and Chiang Dao, surrounded by breath-taking scenery, beautiful mountains, rice paddies and local villages.

We stop at Ban Thaton for a visit to Wat Thaton, a large temple complex adjacent to the Mae Kok River consisting of nine levels, from the ground floor to the top of a mountain range and includes four huge statues of the Buddha in typical Thai style and Chinese influence. The interior design is decorated with numerous stone guardians, images of revered monks and a spiral staircase. On the walls, paintings depict the story of the Buddha’s life, from his birth to his entry into Parinirvana. The eighth floor houses the monastery and various shrines. We visit the Phra Chedi Kaew, or ‘Crystal Stupa‘, a large building containing replicas of Buddha images, each in a different position.

We continue our journey to the beautiful, partially explorable cave complex of Chiang Dao, which extends over 10 km through the homonymous mountain.

Following this, we return to the hotel in Chiang Mai.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation

10. CHIANG MAI

Wat Chedi Luang - Chiang MaiWat Chedi Luang

We spend the day in the outskirts of Chiang Mai, the centre of Lanna culture since the late 13th century, today a perfect blend of ancient charm and contemporary society.

In the morning we head to Mount Suthep, a steep mountain not far from the city. We drive up to the proximity of the summit and then take a lift to the sacred temple Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the most popular monastery in Chiang Mai, visible from anywhere in the city.

Next, we travel to Wat Chedi Yod, the imposing temple built in the 15th century to house the eighth World Buddhist Council. Unlike other temples, in the middle stands, instead of a prang or stupa, a giant Bodhi tree, a sacred symbol representing the place where the Buddha attained enlightenment in Bodhgaya, India.

Afterwards, we visit Wat Chedi Luang, in Chiang Mai’s old town, known for housing the Emerald Buddha image for about 70 years. We continue to Wat Phra Singh, built in 1345 in the western part of the old city. The temple houses the Phra Buddha Sihing, an important Buddha statue and one of the best examples of classical Lanna architecture.

In the afternoon, we stroll through Warorot Market where you can find almost everything from groceries, fashionable clothing and traditional Lanna clothing.

In the evening, the Chiang Mai Night Market (Mon-Sat) or the Sunday Walking Street (Sun) are worth a visit for souvenir shopping or to taste the delicious street food.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation

11. FLIGHT TO KRABI

KrabiKrabi

Free morning at your disposal for relaxation or self-guided visits.

Then, transfer to the domestic airport in time for your flight to Krabi on the west coast of southern Thailand, popular for its stunning beaches and dense mangrove forests.

Upon arrival at Krabi airport, welcome meeting and transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to spend at your own pace.

Included : Hotel, breakfast and private transportation

12. KRABI

KrabiKrabi

Free day at the beach at your own pace.

Included : Hotel and breakfast

13. KRABI

KrabiKrabi

Free day at the beach at your own pace.

Included : Hotel and breakfast

14. KRABI

KrabiKrabi

Free day at the beach at your own pace.

Included : Hotel and breakfast

15. FLIGHT TO BANGKOK - DEPARTURE

Transfer to Krabi airport in time for the domestic flight to Bangkok.

Included : Breakfast and private transfer to the airport

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