An excellent blend of culture and beach, activities and relaxation, this 15-day adventure hits all the Thai highlights. Up north, ponder the River Kwai and eat your way through Chiang Mai. Then head to the south's stunning beaches for some downtime at Koh Samui and Krabi. Include some visits to golden temples, cooking classes, long-tail boat rides, and priceless time immersed in local village life, and you've got two outstanding weeks you'll reminisce about for years to come.
Enjoy an authentic khantoke dinner in a local village, visit Wat Chedi Luang and chat with a monk, take a Thai cooking class and enjoy your creation for lunch, travel like a local with long-tail boats and tuk tuks, step back into history at "The Bridge on the River Kwai"
Private bus/minivan, tuk tuk, tricycle, boat, train, plane, walking.
Hotels (12 nts), lodge (2 nts).
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Meet with Monks at Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Traditional Thai Guesthouse & Home Dinner, Chiang Mai National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Rainforest Eco-Walk & Dinner, Khao Sok National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Krabi Village Excursion, Krabi Hands-On: Cooking Class, Chiang Mai. Arrival transfer. Entrance to Thai-Burma war museum and train ride. Visit to Erawan National Park. Guided tour at Ayutthaya Historical Park. Dinner on a converted rice barge. Bangkok boat tour of the klongs (canals) and Wat Phra Kaew temple. Koh Madsum and Koh Tan Excursion. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Day 8 Bangkok (1B)
Enjoy the day in bustling Bangkok. Option to visit temples, museums, a spa, or go shopping.
Day 9 Bangkok/Ko Samui (1B)
Catch a flight to the tropical island of Koh Samui. Settle in at the resort hotel and relax at the pool bar or opt to visit the beach or town.
Day 10 Ko Samui (1B, 1L)
Embark on a private traditional longtail boat and travel off the tourist trail to the pristine islands of Koh Madsum and Koh Tan. Savour a local lunch on the beach and opt for included kayaking and snorkelling experiences.
Day 11 Ko Samui/Khao Sok (1B, 1D)
Catch the ferry back to the mainland and drive to Anurak Community Lodge, located just outside Khao Sok National Park. Surrounded by lush rainforest, the lodge focuses on environmental sustainability and working with the local community. This evening, we take a rainforest walk with a community guide and enjoy a campfire dinner under the canopy.
Day 12 Khao Sok (1B)
Today is free to relax at the lodge or enjoy a walk along the trails. Opt to partake in various jungle activities.
Day 13 Khao Sok/Krabi (1B)
This morning, drive to Krabi. On arrival, cross the river by private longtail boat past mangrove forests, visiting the Khao Khanab Nam caves to view prehistoric paintings and limestone formations. Later, on Koh Klang, jump in tricycle tuk-tuks to explore local communities and rural industries, including a rubber plantation to see tree tapping, rice fields, and a batik workshop. Learn about the culture and daily life of rural southern Thailand villagers.
Day 14 Krabi (1B)
Enjoy the day to relax in paradise. Opt to catch a tuk tuk to Aonang Beach, visit spas, rent kayaks, or snorkel.
Day 15 Krabi/Bangkok (1B)
Return to bustling Bangkok. The tour ends at the airport.
Day 1 Bangkok
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
Day 2 Bangkok/Kanchanaburi (1B)
Travel to Kanchanaburi, home to the "Bridge on the River Kwai." Take a train journey over the bridge and marvel in a piece of World War II history.
Day 3 Kanchanaburi/Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya (1B, 1D)
Enjoy a morning visit to Erawan National Park and waterfall then visit the Thai/Burma War Museum and War Cemetery. This afternoon, travel to Ayutthaya and enjoy dinner on a converted 1930s rice barge.
Day 4 Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya/Chiang Mai (1B)
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ayutthaya Historical Park, which served as Thailand's capital from the 14th to 18th centuries, when it ranked as one of the most magnificent cities in the world. Later, return to Bangkok to catch a flight to Chiang Mai.
Day 5 Chiang Mai (1B, 1L)
Visit the local markets with a chef to collect ingredients to use in our Thai cooking class at a private culinary school, the results of which we'll enjoy for lunch. Later, we'll visit the historic Wat Chedi Luang and sit down with one of the young monks to discuss daily life and Buddhism. Listen to monks chanting at Doi Suthep Temple, one of the most stunning golden Temples in Thailand.
Day 6 Chiang Mai (1B, 1D)
Enjoy a free day to explore or participate in some optional activities. Later, we travel to the countryside, visiting a local village and enjoying an authentic khantok dinner in a family's home.
Day 7 Chiang Mai/Bangkok (1B)
Fly back to Bangkok for a klong riverboat ride through the city's canals and a visit to Wat Po, the famed Temple of the Reclining Buddha.