Overland to the North of Thailand

4 Nights

Chiang Mai

Travel through the heart of Thailand and into the Northern Lanna Kingdom. Visit the glorious ruins of Thailand Ancient Capital cities of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai; hilltribe and Elephant Camp in Chiang Mai; Thailand's northernmost town of Mae Sai on the Myanmar Border and the Golden Triangle.

From £797pp
Download

Highlights

- The Ancient Capital City of Ayutthaya with its interesting ruins and extensive river network
- Temple visits to some of Thailand's most photographed
- Visit Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Take a Sonthaew to visit the White Hmong hill tribe people in their village
- Admire spectacular views of Chiang Mai from the temple of Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep
- Experience a half day elephant experience at an elephant care centre
- Wat Rung Khun, the famous White Temple
- Golden Triangle

  • Day 1 - Bangkok - Ayutthaya - Uthai Thani - Phitsanuloke
  • Day 2 - Phitsanuloke - Sukhothai - Chiang Mai
  • Day 3 - Chiang Mai
  • Day 4 - Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai
  • Day 5 - Mae Sai - Golden Triangle - Chiang Rai Airport
  • Additional Information

Early morning, meet with your English speaking guide at your hotel in Bangkok then drive north out of the city to the Ancient Capital City of Ayutthaya, with its interesting ruins and extensive river network. You will visit Ayutthaya Historical Park which was once one of the largest and most properous empires of its time. The ruins of of many impressive temples and palaces give an impression of the wealth of the ancient Kingdom. One of the Wat Mahathat temple ruine's most photographed objects is the head of a stone Buddha image entwined in the roots of a tree.

Continue to Uthai Thani, a small town on the Sakaekrang River, rarely visited by foreign tourists where you will visit Wat Chantaram, an impressive "golden" temple was built during the Ayutthaya period and is well known for its roof made of mirrors and crystals. Inside shiny columns and a huge golden Buddha image. Lunch will be at riverside restaurant.

In the afternoon, you will drive further north to Phitsanuloke, a major regional commercial centre spread along the banks of the Nan River. Visit the much-venerated shring of Wat Mahathat, which is home to Thailand's most beautiful Buddha image. It is one of the most highly revered images in the country, which makes the temple an important pilgrimage site for Thai Buddhists.

Continue to your hotel for check-in and overnight.

Meals Included: Lunch

Pattara Resort & Spa

Pattara Resort & Spa is a newest luxury resort in the city centre of Phirsanulok. They offer 4 different spacious room types as well full facilities such as a large infinity swimming pool, gym, library and spa.

After breakfast at your hotel, proceed to Sukhothai, the first capital (13th century) of the Thai Kingdom. Visit Sukhothai Historical Park which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in a beautiful setting of lawns, lakes and trees in north-central Thailand, Old Sukhothai Historical Park was the capital of the Sukhothai kingdom beginning in 1238. Admire beautiful standing Buddha statues as you explore the many ruined temples and monasteries. After lunch at a local restaurant, you will head towards to Chiang Mai, "The Rose of the North". If time permits, make a photo stop at a local market or take a break for some refreshments on the way.

Check in at your hotel and spend the afternoon at leisure.

Option: Chiang Mai Foodie Tour or Khantoke Dinner (Additional charge)

Meals Included: Breakfast & lunch

The Empress Hotel Chiang Mai

The Empress hotel offers guest rooms and suites in a high-rise city tower situated in the centre of Chiang Mai within quick distance of the iconic Night Market, the airport and the train station. A certified four-star luxury hotel with a five-star standard - they aim to bring you the best that Thailand has to offer through "Empress Impressive Service".

After breakfast, you will drive up the mountain's winding road of Doi Suthep, where you will change vehicles to travel the remainder of the journey by "Songthaew" local transport which is a pick up utility truck with a covered area and two rows of seats in the back. You will travel by songthaew along a rough dirt track to visit the White Hmong hill tribe people in their village. King Bhumibol visited Hmong communities in Doi Suthep and initiated a project to help the Hmong tribal people to eradicate opium cultivation and to start growing other cash crops. This was the beginning of the Royal Project that can be considered one of his lasting legacies. The aim was to lift tribal and other disadvantaged communities out of poverty. Witness with your own eyes how the hill tribe culture has developed over the years and how they live their present life. There may be a chance to visit the village school here if it is open (depending on seasonality and school hours).

On the return journey, pay a visit to the temple of Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep which offers spectacular views of Chiang Mai and the surrounding valley, from its mountain side location. The temple is a beautiful example of northern Thai architecture, reached via a large staircase flanked by mythical serpents; the climb is intended to help devotees accrue Buddhist merit. Lunch at a local restaurant and spend the afternoon at leisure.

Option: Local Life Along Ping River by Boat & Samlor (additional cost)

Meals Included: Breakfast & lunch

The Empress Hotel Chiang Mai

The Empress hotel offers guest rooms and suites in a high-rise city tower situated in the centre of Chiang Mai within quick distance of the iconic Night Market, the airport and the train station. A certified four-star luxury hotel with a five-star standard - they aim to bring you the best that Thailand has to offer through "Empress Impressive Service".

After breakfast, drive to the Thai Elephant Care Centre (or alternative) for a half day elephant experience. This small elephant camp, about 25km northwest of Chiang Mai, was set up to provide care for elderly elephants retired from logging camps and elephant shows. there are no rides and visitors prepare the food with their own hands and feed these beautiful giants with ground grass, herb balls and bananas. The program starts with a briefing about the Asian Elephant. You have a chance to interact with the elephants and the highlight is bathing time with the elephants. Visit the cemetery for elephants who have died of old age.

Then you will drive through beautiful mountain scenery to Chiang Rai via Wiang Pa Pao with a stop for lunch en route. Before you check-in at your hotel in Chiang Rai, you will make stop by Wat Rung Khun - better known as the White Temple, a contemporary, unconventional, privately-owned art exhibit in the style of a Buddhist temple. The white colour signifies the purity of the Buddha, while the glass, sparkling in the sun symbolises the Buddha's wisdom and the Buddhist teachings. The rest of the evening is free at leisure.

Meals Included: Breakfast & lunch

The Legend Chiang Rai Resort

A scenic resort with its ever-changing riverside panorama, secluded and peaceful, yet only a few minutes drive from the city centre. Enjoy the restaurants, the pool, the herbal spa and fitness centre. Explore the tree-shaded pathways, lotus ponds and flower-filled gardens. Your enjoyment matters to the Resort and there is much to see and do in this lovely corner of the world, close to the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar known as "Golden Triangle".

After breakfast, drive to Mae Sai - Thailand's most northernmost town on the Myanmar border. Walk around the bustling border market where there are many handicrafts from Burma and imported goods from China. From Mae Sai, drive to the renowned Golden Triangle where the Ruak and Mekong Rivers meet. The Golden Triangle was formerly known as the world's major producer of opium, which was later improved thanks to the works of the Royal projects. Enjoy views over Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and the mighty Mekong River.

After lunch at a local restaurant, you will visit the colourful Wat Rong Seua Ten, also known as the Blue Temple. A relatively new temple, well known for its magnificent blue interior, colourful painted murals and white Buddha statue. Explore Baan Dam, the so-called Black House isn't just one structure, but a collection of around 40 buildings of varying shapes and sizes dotted around a peaceful garden. Part art studio, part museum, part home - Baan Dam is an eclectic mix of traditional northern Thai buildings interspersed with some outlandish modern designs made of animal skins and bone structures.

Depart from Chiang Rai en route back to Bangkok.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Notes:
- Packaged rates are based on 4* category hotels or similar
- Starting in Bangkok and ending in Chiang Rai

Services included:
- 4 night accommodation as mentioned or similar in a twin share/double Standard rooms with daily breakfast
- Pick up and drop off services by private air-conditioned vehicle with English speaking local guide and entrance fees at places listed
- Meals as specified in the itinerary excluding drinks
- Bottled water and cool towel is provided on transfers and sightseeing
- Portage fee
- VAT Government tax and service charge

Services not included:
- All Airfares and taxes, unless otherwise specified
- Visa expenses, processing and issuance fees
- Accommodation in Bangkok
- Land services and transportation in Bangkok on Day 5
- Meals other than specified as included
- Festive dinners, seasonal room supplements and meals other than specified as included (Additional charge for festive dinners will be added and charged)
- Travel Insurance or expenses of a personal nature (souvenir, phone calls, laundry etc.), alcoholic beverages, drinks with meals and entrance fees for any extra sightseeing or optional activities
- Tips or gratuities to guides/drivers/porters/hotel, restaurant or boat staff etc.