Bangkok = cocktails, markets, cheap fish pedicures. Sukhothai = bicycles, temples. Chiang Mai = more temples, massages, Asian elephants. Doi Mae Salong = relaxation, tea drinking, hilltribe market. Golden Triangle = long-tail boat rides, hilltribe markets, even more temples. Northern Thailand = awesome. It’s only a quickie, but in that time we’ll get you on a bike, a sleeper train, a songthaew, a taxi, a tuk-tuk and a bus with the locals (if you’re nice they’ll even share their snacks).
Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand. There’s a welcome meeting at around 6 pm tonight. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you arrive early perhaps take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, or head to the magnificent Grand Palace. As one of the world’s largest marketplaces, Chatuchak Market is also a great place to visit. In the evening, maybe indulge yourself with a Thai massage.
Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
In the morning, take a six-hour local bus to the small city of Sukhothai (which translates to 'Rising of Happiness'). Arrive in the afternoon and head out on a guided cycle tour of Sukhothai’s Historical Park and World Heritage-listed ancient city. Roll your bike around the temples and other archaeological relics within the area. The rest of the day is free for you to do as you please.
Start the day early with a five-hour drive in a private minivan to Chiang Mai. On the way, stop off at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital in Lampang. This is a non-government organisation that aims to protect and conserve the welfare of elephants both domesticated and wild. Arrive in Chiang Mai late in the afternoon. You'll have the evening free to explore. Perhaps check out the night market for souvenirs and some spicy street food.
Today is a free day to explore. Discover the northern city of Chiang Mai, which features over 120 temples in the centre alone. Take an optional excursion to the temple at the top of Doi Suthep, which offers fantastic views over the city. Perhaps spoil yourself with a traditional Thai massage or try your hand at a local cooking class. You might like to take part in one of our Urban Adventures, such as the 'Mind and Soul' or 'Mae Ping River Experience' day tours. To really get the blood pumping, head to the Flight of the Gibbon and negotiate the zipline and canopy course within the treetops.
Today travel by public bus and mini van to Doi Mae Salong via Mae Chan (approximately five hours in total). The atmosphere in the charming town of Doi Mae Salong is reminiscent of a small southern Chinese village. It's the perfect place to relax and kick back for the day. The region is famous for its Chinese tea traders, so make sure you enjoy a cup of tea in a traditional Chinese teahouse overlooking the mountains. Check out the interesting market, which is full of produce and crafts made by hill tribe people. For something a little more adventurous, why not climb up the 719 steps to see the town’s Buddhist temple?
In the morning take a three-hour ride in a minivan to the Golden Triangle, which is where the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos meet. Pay a visit to the House of Opium Museum for a deeper insight into this area's problematic past. Continue your travels for around two hours to Chiang Rai, where you’ll stay the night. Perhaps head to Chiang Rai's night market, which is a great place to pick up some hill tribe handicrafts.
This morning visit the impressive Wat Rong Khun (commonly known as the White Temple). Although it can be crowded with tourists, this temple is a modern wonder. Art is continually being added to it. In the afternoon, take a three-and-a-half-hour public bus back to Chiang Mai and board an overnight train for Bangkok (approximately 13 hours). Soft sleeper class trains are used for the overnight journey. The compartments are multi-share with air-conditioning and bunk beds that come with sheets and a pillow. Baggage travels in the carriage with you, and there's a food and drink service available on-board.
Your train is scheduled to arrive into Bangkok early this morning. Transfer back to the hotel where the trip started. As there are no more activities planned for today, you’re free to depart at any time. If you’re booking flights or any other form of transport out of Bangkok today, please keep in mind that train delays are frequent. We suggest not booking a flight earlier than 2 pm. No accommodation is included in Bangkok at the end of our tour, but there are shared day rooms available for use until midday.
Notes: If you require any additional accommodation (subject to availability), please let us know at least 15 days before the trip.
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