The Land of Smiles awaits on this exquisite journey. We begin in Bangkok, wandering the Grand Palace and devouring the street food. We’ll then explore the famous temples of Northern Thailand, spend time with Chiang Mai’s Asian elephants, and learn about the once-bustling poppy industry at the Hall of Opium. To wrap up our adventure, we hit the island of Phuket, where restaurants and nightlife compete with the beaches. Please note: our December departure coincides with New Year’s Eve, and includes an extra night of accommodation in Phuket to round it off as a fantastic 11-day adventure!
– Delve into the cuisine of Bangkok on a Private Food Tour
– Explore the Grand Palace, home to the King of Siam
– Immerse yourself in the famed nightlife of Silom
– Cook your own three-course meal in Chiang Mai
– Shop for the perfect souvenir at the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
– Learn about, and spend time with, the majestic Asian Elephant
– Witness sunset from Doi Suthep Temple
– Lounge poolside at luxurious, hand-selected lodges and hotels
– Visit the Doi Tung Royal Villa in Chiang Rai
– Explore the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet
– Live it up on Phuket, Thailand’s famous beach island
Day 1 Bangkok
Sawadee Krap! Welcome to Thailand. Our trip begins with a short ride via BTS Skytrain to a streetfood tour to fuel the many adventures ahead. We then head for Silom – the financial district that let its hair down after sunset – to scope out the gay scene.
Day 2 Bangkok
Bangkok is even more breathtaking from the river, our unusual avenue to the gleaming spires of the Grand Palace by local river boat. Here, the Emerald Buddha awaits, highly regarded as the Palladium of the Kingdom of Thailand. We’ll then venture to Wat Pho to marvel at the majesty of the Reclining Buddha, and feast on a local lunch before some free time by the infinity pool.
Day 3 Chiang Rai/Thai Highlands
This morning we fly to the chilled-out town of Chiang Rai, where we’ll visit Doi Tung Royal Villa, once home to the Princess Grandmother Srinagarindra, affectionately known by the hill tribe people as “Royal Mother from the Sky”. Here we’ll take in the royal gardens, and sweeping views – before continuing to Choui Fong Tea plantation for more views, and, you guessed it – tea. We’ll then visit Wat Rong Suea Ten, also known as the Blue Temple, before checking in to our lovely hotel for some free time. This evening we’ll enjoy an included dinner at, or near our hotel.
Day 4 Chiang Rai
After breakfast we’ll drive to the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet on the Mekong River. We’ll explore this epic waterway by boat tour, then head to the Opium Museum to glean some highlights about how this region was once the hub of the poppy-growing industry. We’ll enjoy an optional lunch before we visit Wat Phra That Pha Ngao temple for some sweeping views of the countryside, then end our day with an an optional dinner and a relaxing evening.
Day 5 Chiang Mai
Today begins with a 3-hour drive to Chiang Mai, Thailand’s lively northern capital. We’ll stop at the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) on our way, an essential site on any visit to the Golden Triangle. Upon arrival we’ll enjoy an orientation walk, then leave you the afternoon to explore on your own. Then things get cooking with a culinary lesson that turns into a dinner to savour over sunset. Enjoy the rest of the evening in solace, or join us out for drinks.
Day 6 Chiang Mai
Another day forward, and we’ve stepped back in time: get a taste of the Lanna Period at Doi Suthep temple, replete with chanting monks and a sultry sunset from the mountain where copper-plated stupas populate the sweeping views. Today’s lunch is included. In the evening we’ll stroll the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar for some friendly haggling and souvenir-hunting.
Day 7 Chiang Mai
Prepare for the biggest day of our adventure, which will be spent with one of the world’s kindest beasts: the Asian Elephant. We’ll learn about their health, then join them on a walk through the jungle with lunch included. This evening you may relax or stroll around the hotel with fellow travelers.
Day 8 Phuket
The famous beach island of Phuket is our final stop on this tour, and a perfect place to celebrate the end of our holiday. We’ll transfer to our resort-style hotel, then head out for an optional lunch before we visit the gay beach. Beware there is nothing serene or secluded about Phuket: this global destination features tons of restaurants, nightlife galore, and beaches teeming with people. This evening we’ll enjoy an optional dinner, and if you’re up for it, the island’s epic nightlife!
Day 9 Phuket/Sea Kayaking
Escape the hustle and bustle of Patong Beach on our final excursion. We’ll transfer to the other side of the island to explore the caves of Phang Nga Bay by sea kayak. No experience is necessary, as you’ll be captained by an expert local. We’ll explore hidden bays and caves and even make our own krathong (buoyant, all-natural decorated baskets). Launched after sunset, they may even stir up the bioluminescent plankton, causing the water to glow gorgeously. After heading back to land, we’ll freshen up for Farewell Drinks. (Please note: if you’re interested in our December tour, today is NYE. You’ll have the entire day to yourself and we’ll reconvene for a gala dinner and celebration in the evening. Days 10 & 11 of the December tour will reflect Days 9 & 10 of this itinerary.)
Day 10 Phuket/Departure
There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart at your leisure.
– Domestic Airfare
– Arrival/Departure transfers to/from accommodation booked through OUT Adventures
– Group leader from beginning to end of tour
– 9 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
– 4-star or higher accommodation (9 nights)
– Grand Palace & Wat Pho tour, including Queen Sirkit Textile Museum (Bangkok)
– Local food tour (Bangkok)
– Temple Visits (Chiang Rai)
– Golden Triangle Local Boat Ride (Chiang Rai)
– Opium Museum (Chiang Rai)
– Wat Rong Khun/White Temple (Chiang Rai)
– Elephant experience (Chiang Mai)
– Doi Suthep Monastery (Chiang Mai)
– Thai cooking class & dinner (Chiang Mai)
– Temple Tour by Songthaew (Chiang Mai)
– Sea Canoe Full-Day Excursion (Phuket)
– Travel insurance package covering medical, trip interruption & baggage loss
– International Airfare
– Departure Transfer
– Meals and activities not outlined in itinerary
– Gratuities for Tour Leader ($50-$100 USD)
– Gratuities for drivers, hotel staff, porters (approximately $30-$50 USD)
Our Thailand Temples and Beaches Tour is renowned for overwhelming the senses: the sights, sounds, smells, colours and flavours will make you feel alive. But all that invigoration also warrants a wonderful retreat to recuperate for the next round. So here’s a sneak peek at where we’ll slumber during our adventure…
A truly serene escape awaits in the heart of Thailand’s big city, this five-star property offers a sexy infinity pool, luxurious designer touches and a boutique vibe.
Chiang Rai #1
Nestled on the side of Mae Kok River, is our lush and luxurious hotel. You’ll love the inviting pools and private gardens. Aesthetically, the hotel can only be described as tropical chic.
Chiang Rai #2
You’ll find our third hotel in the heart of Chiang Rai, allowing us to feel the pulse of the northern city. The hotel is quaint, comfortable and welcoming. Grab a free bike and peddle through the streets.
Settle into this impressive resort featuring a pool, gorgeous garden and a convenient fitness centre. Architectural and design elements are a celebration of Northern Thailand.
On a party island devoted to living large, we’ll be pampered at a beach resort that’s over-run with amenities. Even better, it’s not too far from the island’s famous nightlife.
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