Journey Highlights at a Glance
- Bangkok: highlights of the capital, including the Grand Palace and floating market
- Chiang Mai: enjoy the Yi Peng Festival at Air Sport Farm (Chiang Mai CAD Khomloy Sky Lantern Festival)
- Chiang Mai:ethnic group culture experience,elephant-bathing at a conservation camp
- Phuket: relaxing on the beach
A complete journey route
- Vehicle transfers and an English-speaking tour guide
- All-guided sightseeing, as detailed in the itinerary
- Hotel accommodation mentioned in the itinerary
- Breakfasts at hotels and lunches on every guided day
- Service charges and government taxes
- The ticket(s) to Chiang Mai CAD Khomloy Sky Lantern Festival
Itinerary in detail
In 2020 the Yi Peng Festival celebration will fall on Oct 31th or Nov 1th and we will make sure you are there on the day.
Day 1 27th Oct, Arrive in Bangkok
Welcome to Thailand: the land of smiles, the land of joy!
Today your professional local guide will greet your group at the airport and your driver will take you to the hotel by a private van.
Day 2 28th Oct, Bangkok | Notable temples and day-today life
Your guide will pick you up at the hotel lobby after breakfast, then head to Thailand's most sacred place, The Grand Palace.
Once a royal residence, the Palace is best-known for Wat Phra Kaew, with the greatly revered Emerald Buddha, dating back to the 14th century. Thai kings stopped living there around the turn of the 20th century, but the palace complex is still used for all kinds of ceremonies and auspicious events.
Not far from the Grand Palace is Wat Pho, regarded as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. It is the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok, with the largest single Buddha image, the Reclining Buddha (Phra Buddhasaiyas).
Take a break and have lunch at a local restaurant, before taking a water taxi to visit the legendary Wat Arun, also known as The Temple of Dawn. This is one of the best-known landmarks of Bangkok and one of its most published images.
After exploring Wat Arun, board a long-tail boat on the Chao Phraya River and you will pass by temples, riverbank markets and ordinary neighborhoods.
Return to your hotel for a good night’s rest.
Day 3 29th Oct, Bangkok–Chiang Mai | Local Markets and Fly to Chiang Mai
Floating markets and railway markets are special sights you can only witness in SE Asia! This morning, you will visit Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, known for its size and fascinatingly chaotic vibes; and Maeklong Railway Market to see how locals shop even as trains pass by. .
After lunch at a nearby local restaurant, you will be taken to the airport. Take an hour-long flight north, to Chiang Mai. Sit back and relax on the way from the airport to your hotel downtown. Enjoy some leisure time in this lovely graceful town.
Day 4 30th Oct, Chiang Mai | Mountain Doi Suthep & White Meo Hill Tribe
Depart at around 08:30 to visit some local Meo hill tribe villages. The Meo, a subgroup of the Hmong, still wear traditional costumes and maintain a lifestyle unchanged in centuries.
Notice how Meo houses sit right on the ground (not on stilts), with the main floor resting on an open space for food storage. Interact with villagers, as your guide serves as interpreter.
Drive approximately an hour to Doi Suthep Mountain, enjoying spectacular views of northern Thailand as you head past mountains and forests, towards Wat Phra That, one of the north’s most sacred temples.
Founded in 1383 AD, the temple is reached by climbing 309 steps (though for the less fitness-oriented, a tram is available for a small surcharge). The climb is rewarded by a superb panoramic view over the city. Return to Chiang Mai, stopping en route for lunch at a local restaurant.
Dress code: out of respect for the local culture, ladies should cover their shoulders with a short-sleeved top and full-length trousers or a knee-length skirt. Gentlemen should wear trousers and a short-sleeved shirt.
Day 5 31th Oct, Chiang Mai | Elephant Jungle Sanctuary and Yi Peng Festival
You will be picked up in the early morning from your hotel and will drive for approximately 1.5 hours for the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. Meet your English-speaking guide there and learn a little about the elephants, before changing into traditional Karen clothing.
You will spend your whole morning with the elephants. Activities include feeding, applying a healthy cosmetic mud treatment to elephants’ skin, bathing, brushing, interacting with the elephants at your leisure while learning about their lifestyle and behaviors. There are lots of good photography opportunities as well.
Around lunch time, eat some snacks and seasonal fresh fruit, before enjoying once again the impressive rural scenery on your way back to the hotel.
Yi Peng Festival celebration, Enjoy the sky lantern release
In the afternoon around 3:30 pm, you will meet with your guide and driver at the hotel lobby. Drive to the festival venue at Chiang Mai Air Sport Farm (Chiang Mai CAD Khomloy Sky Lantern Festival )and enjoy VIP access to your seats.
After the celebration, your tour guide and driver will escort you back to the hotel at around 10 pm (the exact time will be advised).
Asia Highlights Exclusive VIP Experiences
A VIP ticket to the Yi Peng Festival at Air Sport Farm, with VIP seat, plus you will have:
- Round-trip transfer between your hotel and the event venue
- 2 sky lanterns for each traveler
- A VIP souvenir
- Buffet dinner at VIP dining area
If you would like to upgrade to premium ticket or go to Maejo Location to celebrate the festival, please tell us in your inquiry form and we will arrange it for you.
Day 6 1th Nov, Chiang Mai | Free day to explore the ancient city
Chiang Mai, regarded by some as the best city in the world to live, deserves more time for you to explore it. Your guide will give you plenty of suggestions about what to see.
Day 7-Day 9 2th-4th Nov, Chiang Mai – Phuket | Fly to Phuket
Take an afternoon flight to Phuket and start a relaxing getaway on its beautiful beach.
Phuket has a lot to offer. What beats a couple of relaxing days, taking it easy by the pool?
Day 10 5th Nov, Departure from Phuket
May the free days in Phuket be a happy conclusion to your holiday!
Arrange your own flight to leave Phuket, either back to your happy home, or on to your next destination. Thanks for creating a beautiful journey together with Asia Highlights!
Asia Highlights handpicked hotels
Thailand never goes short of hotel choices yet it is not an easy task to find a nice hotel that fits your tasts, interests and budget. Here's a list of Asia Highlights' picks for great value hotels; selection is made on a balanced mixture of traditional style and modern comfort, easy access to everything yet quiet enough for a good night's sleep.
- Swimming pool on the rooftop.
- Centrally located in Sukhumvit, subway stations and malls nearby.
- Superior Room, 28sqm, higher floors and better city views.
- Lanna decorated hotel.
- Located inside the Old City of Chiang Mai, walking distance from the night market
- Pool Access Room, 25sqm with an en suite bathroom.
- Directly across from beautiful Surin Beach.
- Ideal place for romantic getaways, beachside and great services.
- Deluxe Room, 32sqm with pool view.
- Yi Peng Festival CelebrationChiang Mai CAD Komloy Sky Lantern Festival at Chiang Mai Air Sport Farm is our preferred choice. If you want to upgrate the location to Mae Jo with a little extra expense, please tell us in your inquiry form.
Children under the age of 8 are recommended not to attend the event, to avoid potential fire hazards for kids.
- Itinerary arrangements This is a totally private tour. We strongly recommend you secure your seat as soon as possible because of the limited VIP tickets. Once tickets are released, it will be sold out in just a few days.
As this is a private tour, please feel free to tell us your ideas and needs while we customizing your itninerary. For example, if you would like to have a free day in Chiang Mai instead of visiting the elephant sanctuary, we can do that; if you wish to have a room with views of the Chao Phraya River, we can offer other hotel options. Price will be fluctuated based on your adjustments.
- MealsDaily breakfast at hotels and a lunch for days with sightseeing are included, so are some dinners as mentioned in the itinerary. For meals that are not included, your tour guides will suggest where and what to eat.
Food in Thailand is mainly rice-based and you will eat a lot of vegetables, fish, chicken and beef. If you would like to make special arrangements, such as Halal or Kosher food, or none-dairy, please inform your travel consultant at the time of inquiry. We will do our best to accommodate you.
- Responsible travelTravel avails you with special experiences. Somehow its impact on the local community can be more beyond imagination and what Asia Highlights wishes to do is leading the impact onto a good path, a path that helps the local people (not only your tour guides) boarden their outlook and the local communities develop.
With that being said, detours to so-called factories or specialty workshops are strictly prohibited. We make sure your tour guides earn enough to support their families without squeezing commissions out of you.