AMAZING THAILAND

Length

7 DAYS

Type of tour

CULTURE/NATURE

Type of service

PRIVATE

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TRIP OVERVIEW

   A week itinerary to the main historic highlights of Thailand, from the ancient capital Ayutthaya to the highlands of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai.

Explore the Ancient Kingdom of AyutthayaUNESCO World Heritage City, once the most populous and impressive city in the world, precursor of the modern Thailand. 

Head north till the Golden Triangle, once the largest opium-producing areas, and visit along the way several unique art complex including Sukhothai Historical Park, the temples in Lampang, in  Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, the iconic White Temple and Black House, the great Mount Suthep and minority villages.

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

Amazing Thailand tour - map © In Asia Travel

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY

Length : 7D 6N
From : BANGKOK
To : BANGKOK
Destinations  : Ayutthaya, Lop Buri, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Lampang, Chiang Rai, Golden Triangle, Chiang Dao caves, Chiang Mai

ITINERARY

01. TRANSFER TO AYUTTHAYA

Wat Mahathat - AyutthayaWat Mahathat – Ayutthaya

Welcome by our staff at your hotel (or at Bangkok international airport). Today awaits us the unforgettable visit to an UNESCO World Heritage City, once the most populous and impressive city in the world, existed from 14th till the Burmese invasion in 1767, and considered to be the precursor of the modern Thailand: the Ancient Kingdom of Ayutthaya

We visit the most important monuments of the archeological site such as Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, or Summer Palacecomplex formerly used by the Thai Kings.

We continue through green rice fields to Wat Phanan Choengone of the oldest temple of Ayutthaya, and proceed to the Monastery Wat Yai Chai Mongkol built in 1357, know also as Victory Temple, famous for its history and for its great stupa visible from far away.

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 continue to Wat Mahathat, known for the iconic head of a sandstone Buddha entrapped in tree roots, and to the nearby
Wat Ratchaburana famous for the paintings inside of a 2-level crypt beneath the stupa. At the end transfer to the hotel in Ayutthaya.

Included : Hotel, tour guide, tickets and private transportation

02. LOPBURI - PHITSANULOK

Prang Sam Yot temple - LopburiPrang Sam Yot

In the morning transfer to Lopburi, once know as Lavapura (“city of Lava”) whose history dates back over 1000 years ago.

We visit King Narai’s Palace, or Phra Narai Ratchaniwet, ruins of a former palace built in 1666. Continue to Prang Sam Yot, an Angkorian temple built in the 13th century by the great Jayavarman VII, the first buddhist king of the Khmer Empire. The temple is famous for its notable resident population of long-tailed macaque which are believed to be disciplined by a spirit which protects the city. Nearby we visit San Phra Kan Shrine, a small shrine built in dedication to God Vishnu.

Afterwards we continue to Phitsanulok at Naresuan Bridge where we visit the royal temple Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, or Wat Yai, a buddhist sanctuary built in 1357 on the east bank of Nan River. It houses one of the world’s most beautiful gold-covered statue of BudddhaPhra Phuttha Chinnarat, which receive the highest worship among Thai people. Later we transfer and checkin at the hotel in Sukhothai.

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

03. SUKHOTHAI - LAMPANG

Wat Mahathat - SukhothaiWat Mahathat – Sukhothai

After breakfast transfer to Sukhothai. We take a bicycle trip around the Historical Park of the Kingdom of Sukhothai existed as an independent state from 13th to 14th century, before it became part of Ayutthaya.

We visit some of the most important temples including Wat Mahathat, the most impressive compound in Sukhothai where relics of the Buddha were kept. We continue to Noen Prasat or The Palace Hil where archaeologists found the “Manang Kasila Throne” a throne belonged to King Ram Khamhaeng the Great. We continue the visits to Wat Si Chum, outside the city wall, which enshrines the famous 700-year old Buddha image, seated inside of a square brick.

Later we our journey to a organic farm in Sukhothai  where we can experience the local lifestyle of the farmers and learn about the organic farming through various activities, including transplanting rice seedlings, harvesting in a demonstration field, husking paddy rice and riding on a water buffalo.

Afterwards we continue to Lampang and visit Wat Phra That Lampang Luang, built in Lanna architectural style, the most impressive and well-preserved temple in the province.  The temple is said to enshrine a relic of the Lord Buddha such as ashes gathered after the cremation. 

At the end check-in at the hotel in Lampang.

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

04. LAMPANG - CHIANG RAI

White temple - Chiang Rai © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelWhite temple

In the morning visit the inner of Lampang by horse-cart which is one of the most memorable symbols of the town. 

We continue to Ban Sao Nak, or “the house of many pillars”, one of the most outstanding architectural houses in Lampang built in Thai-Lanna style with 116 teak wood pillars more than a century ago. Visit to the iconic The Luise House, once home of Luis Thomas Leonowens a citizen of the British Empire who served as an officer with the Siamese Royal Cavalry and founded a Thai Trading Company. We proceed to Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao where the Emerald Buddha enshrined at this temple from 1434 to 1468, before being transferred to Chiang Mai.

Later we leave Lampang and head to Chiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand. On the way we stop at Wat Rong Khun, better known to foreigners as The White Templeas it is totally white on the outside. Created by the visionary painter Chalermchai Kositpipat this contemporary temple is an interesting visit with an impressive artistic contrast. Although the Wat is considered Buddhist and Hindu, it has been partly criticised by the indigenous peoples as being considered against tradition. The entire complex, the plaster sculptures on the outside, the images reproduced inside the pagoda, and its splendid arts in the gates of hell and heaven, were conceived in a provocative tone in order to ethnographically enhance, and therefore freely interpret, the influence of modern myths and “brands” consumerist on generations. 

In the evening is worth a visit at Chiang Rai Night Bazaar for a relaxed dinner and for shopping.

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

05. GOLDEN TRIANGLE

Golden TriangleGolden Triangle

After breakfast we head to Doi Tung, a steep mountain approximately 50 km from Chiang Rai. Upon arrival we visit Doi Tung Royal Villa, a former residence of Princess Srinagarindra, the mother of the present king, who worked for a reforestation project in this area. Adiacent the Royal Villa there is the beautiful Mae Fah Luang Garden which contains different kinds of temperate plants and colourful flowers. The area was home to Akha hilltribe which later moved to a new village nearby.

Later we proceed to Wat Phra That Doi Tung, at the summit of Doi Tung, a thousand year old temple located on the extraordinary location right on the cliff close to the summit of the mountaintop. 

Afterwards we drive north east to the Golden Triangle, located 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,  refer to an area of almost 1M square which once was one of Asia’s two largest opium-producing areas. Visit to the Opium Museum  built to educate people about the dangers of this type of drugs. 

Later we return to Chiang Rai and visit Wat Phra KaewDiscovered in 1434 when a bolt of lightning hit the top of the temple’s main stupa, the temple is famous throughout the country as the original home of the translucent green Buddha which graces the Emerald Buddha Temple in Bangkok’s Grand Palace. 

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

06. CHIANG DAO CAVE - MINORITIES

Black House Chiang RaiBlack House

After breakfast we visit the surreal and artistic Baan Dam, commonly known as “The Black House“, a construction that is undoubtedly unique in its kind created by the artist Thawan Duchanee. The Black House is not just a structure, but a collection of around 40 buildings of various shapes and sizes scattered across a peaceful garden. An eclectic mix with references to the Thai artistic style, traditional and elegant on the outside, with teak woodwork. Inside, unusual art installations including animal skulls and buffalo horns. The complex reflects the artist’s interpretation of Buddhist philosophy, which has inevitably aroused much controversy and criticism over the years.

Later we visits the Village of Ethnic Minorities known as Hill Tribes or Mountain Peoples as they usually live in the mountainous area. Nowadays we can still find many tribes women and men wearing traditional dress here in some villages of Chiang Rai.

Afterwards we continue our journey on the famous scenic Highway 107 through several areas, which are famous for its natural and cultural beauty, including the rural areas of Mae Ai and Chiang Dao, surrounded by breathtaking sceneries, beautiful mountains, paddy fields, and local villages. 

We stop at the peaceful Ban Thaton area to visit Wat Thaton, a large temple complex adjacent the Mae Kok River consisting of nine levels, starting from the ground floor to the top of the edge of a mountain range and includes four huge statues of the Buddha, in typical Thai-style and Chinese influence. The interior design is decorated by a number of stone guardians, images of revered monks, and a dragon spiral staircase. On the walls paintings depict the life story of Buddha, from his birth until entering Parinirvana. On the eighth floor houses the monastery and various shrines. We visit Phra Chedi Kaew, or the Crystal Stupa, which is actually a large building containing image replicas of Lord Buddha, which most are performing a different gesture. 

We continue our journey to the beautiful Chiang Dao Complex Cave which stretches more than 10 km through the Chiang Dao mountain. Only a small portion of the complex is easy to explore on our own. 

Later we head further south to Chiang Mai and check-in at the hotel.

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

07. CHIANG MAI - DEPARTURE

Wat Chedi Luang - Chiang MaiWat Chedi Luang

We spend the day at the surrounding of Chiang Mai, center of Lanna culture since the late 13th century, today perfect blend of old charm and contemporary society.

In the morning we head to Mount Suthep, a steep mountain behind the city. We drive up to almost the summit and than we continue on an elevator to the sacred temple Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the most well-known monastery in town, due to the fact that the temple itself can be seen from almost anywhere from the city.

Later we return back to town and visit Wat Chedi Yod, the impressive temple built in 15th century to host the eighth World Buddhist Council. Contrary of other temples at the center instead of a prang or stupa, we find a giant Bodhi tree, a sacred symbols that represent where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment in Bodhgaya, India.

Afterwards we visit Wat Chedi Luang, in the historic center of Chiang Mai, which hosted the Emerald Buddha image for 70 years, and now houses a giant stupa supported by elephant caryatids. We proceed 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, the best examples of the classic Lanna architecture. 

In the afternoon we stroll around Warorot Market where we find lower, groceries and fashionable items to Lanna traditional clothing.

Transfer to the airport in time for your departure flight.

Included : Breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation

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Angkor, Battambang and Phnom Penh

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