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12-Day Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui Island Family Tour

This itinerary is a good combination of culture, local people, exciting activities, great food, and stunning scenery. Cruise along the ancient canals and visit a floating market in Bangkok, visit the legendary Bridge over the River Kwai and multitiered Erawan Falls in Kanchanaburi, explore the historical ruins at Ayutthaya, learn about and interact with elephants in Chiang Mai, have a memorable Thai Krathong(floating lantern)-making & releasing experience, discover the charming island of Koh Samui, introduce your kids to a new world, and enjoy a great vacation at the same time during this family-friendly trip.

Journey route

thailand map


  • Cruise along Bangkok’s ancient canals and visit a floating market, which gives you an insight into a bygone way of life.
  • Splash in the emerald green water at Erawan Falls in Kanchanaburi.
  • Walk through the historical ruins and see the sights at Ayutthaya, witness the capital of Siam’s glorious past.
  • Have a close encounter with elephants in Chiang Mai’s jungle.
  • Enjoy a Thai Krathong (floating lantern)-making experience and a riverside dinner
  • Relax and spend some quality time at the wonderful beach in Koh Samui.

Itinerary in detail

This sample itinerary provides inspiration yet your preferences design the real journey. Following our Tailor-made Guidelines to create a wonderful Thailand holiday in your own way.

Day 1 Bangkok Arrival

Your private guide will be waiting for you in the airport arrivals area. A comfortable vehicle (non-smoking) with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel. Your guide will help you to check in.
The rest of this day is free for you to spend at your leisure.

Hotel suggestions:
Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok ****
Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit *****

Day 2 City Exploration and Visit Bangkok’s Top Attractions

A Palace and Temples
Explore Bangkok’s famous highlights in the morning when it is cooler. The landmarks of Bangkok include Wat Pho, the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the Temple of Dawn. Try out Bangkok's different forms of public transport — the public taxi boat, a long-tail boat, and the infamous Thai tuk tuk. This is a fun excursion that gives you a fantastic insight into the capital as well as the local people.

Have lunch in a local Thai restaurant.

The Grand Palace The Grand Palace

A Railway Market and a Floating Market
After breakfast, drive out for about an hour southwest of Bangkok to Maeklong Railway Market, which is a traditional Thai market selling food, such as fresh fruit and vegetables. What makes it special is that the market is located on a train line where, a few times a day, the train runs directly through the market. Later, drive for another 20 minutes to visit Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. It is the most popular floating market in Thailand and is great for photo opportunities, food, and giving you an insight into a bygone way of life.

Floating Market Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Have lunch in a local Thai restaurant.

Bridge over the River Kwai
Located in downtown Kanchanaburi, Bridge over the River Kwai was built by prisoners of war during World War II, overseen by the Japanese. Walk across the bridge and learn about how World War II affected Thailand, spending a moment to reflect on those who were forced to give their lives in the process of bending this environment to man’s will. 

Bridge over the River Kwai The Bridge over the River Kwai

Hotel suggestions:
Felix River Kuai Resort ****
The Float House River Kwai Resort *****

Splash in the Emerald Green Water in the Forest
Erawan National Park is one of the most famous national parks in Thailand. The major attraction at the park is Erawan Falls, which has emerald green ponds. Erawan Falls has seven major tiers and a few smaller tiers. All of the tiers are easily accessible by a series of trails and footbridges all the way up to the sixth tier. The last tier is a bit more challenging to access. The total distance from the trailhead up to the top tier is nearly 1.5 kilometers. There are many emerald green ponds that you are allowed to swim in, so this is a good place to visit, especially for families with children. You can enjoy some gentle trekking in the forest, splashing around in the water, and relaxing while you spot some wild monkeys.

Erawan Falls The Second Tier of Erawan Waterfalls

Have lunch in a local Thai restaurant.

Magnificent Bang Pa-In Royal Palace
Situated 60 kilometers north of Bangkok and 20 kilometers south of Ayutthaya is the illustrious Bang Pa-In Royal Palace. The original palace was built by the king of Ayutthaya in the first half of the 17th century. When Ayutthaya was invaded and destroyed by the Burmese in 1767, Bang Pa-In Royal Palace was left abandoned for almost a century. The palace was rebuilt during the reign of King Mongkut (Rama IV) in 1850. Nowadays, the palace is still used by the royal family. It is a picturesque and very photogenic place. Have lunch in a local Thai restaurant.

Bang Pa-In Royal PalaceBang Pa-In Royal Palace

Walk Through the Historical Ruins in Ayutthaya
Ayutthaya Historical Park is comprised of ruins of temples and palaces from the capital of the ancient Ayutthaya Kingdom. The park is located on an island surrounded by three rivers where the old capital used to be. During the tour in Ayutthaya, you will visit two typical temples: Wat Mahathat and Wat Phra Si Sanphet. The most famous scene you will see is a Buddha head among the tree roots in Wat Mahathat. In the evening, board the overnight train to Chiang Mai.

Ayutthaya Historical ParkFloating Market Ayutthaya Historical Park

Chiang Mai Spiritual Tour with Two Sacred Temples
In the morning, upon your arrival at Chiang Mai Railway Station, your private tour guide and driver will meet you and then transfer you to the downtown area. Have breakfast and taste some local Chiang Mai dishes.

Later, visit two landmarks in Chiang Mai. Wat Chedi Luang is one of the six most important temples in Chiang Mai. It was once the home of the Emerald Buddha, Thailand's most sacred religious relic, so it attracts a lot of Thai people who worship there each year. Doi Suthep is one of the most famous national parks in Northern Thailand. Despite the stunning natural beauty, the main reason many visitors go to Doi Suthep Mountian is to visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. It is one of the most holy Buddhist sites in Thailand. Many Thai people go on a pilgrimage there, especially during the Buddhist holidays.

Wat Chedi Luang The Famous Wat Chedi Luang

Have lunch in a local Thai restaurant.

Enjoy some free time in the afternoon — you may like to consider visiting the local market.

Hotel suggestions:
Bodhi Serene ****
Na Nirand Romantic Boutique Resort *****

A Day Program at Elephant Jungle Sanctuary
About 1½ hours’ drive away from Chiang Mai, located beside a Karen village in a densely forested mountainous region, Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is surrounded by a spectacular forest landscape. During the day program, you will get to know each of the remarkable elephants and gain a special understanding of their daily lives and behaviors. Learn how to make herbal medicine balls, feed the elephants, and then walk with the elephants to the river. Bathe and brush the elephants.

Intimate contact with elephants... Have a Close Encounter with Elephants in the Jungle

Create and Release Thai Krathong (floating lanterns) & Riverside Dinner
Loy Krathong(floating lantern festival) is one of Thailand’s most-loved festivals. During the celebration, Thai people make their own Krathong (floating lantern). On the night of the November full moon they will make a wish as they release their Krathongs to float down the river.

To offer you the opportunity to experience the local culture and tradition of Loy Krathong, we have arranged a lantern-making & releasing activity at a peaceful and secluded restaurant overlooking the Ping River.Making a lantern together will create an unforgettable moment for you and your family. First, you will learn how to design and make a Thai lantern with traditional materials. Then you will have the opportunity to make your own lantern or to make the lantern together with your family.

After creating your lantern, take a break to try some delicious northern Thai dishes while enjoying the view of the sunset over the river. Once it is dark, release your floating lantern on a pond or river and don’t forget to make a wish.

Thai lantern-making Thai lantern-making activity
Thai lantern-releasing Thai lantern-releasing

After breakfast, you will take a private transfer to the airport and fly to Koh Samui.

Upon your arrival in Koh Samui, take a private transfer to your beautiful hotel by the beach.

Koh Samui Island Koh Samui Island

Hotel suggestions:
Burasari Village Hotel (4-star)
Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui (5-star)

This day is free for you to spend at your leisure by the beach in Koh Samui.

This day is free for you to spend at your leisure by the beach in Koh Samui.

After breakfast, your driver will transfer you to Phuket International Airport where you will take a morning flight back to Bangkok and connect with your international departure flight. 

Asia Highlights handpicked hotels

Thailand never goes short of hotel choices. Only one category of hotels is used in this itinerary yet it can also be tailor-made to your own preferences.

superior sky room at eastin grand sathorn bangkok hotel
Bangkok Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok
  • #9 and granted Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor.
  • Centrally located in Sathorn, subway stations and malls nearby.
  • Superior Sky Room, 32sqm, higher floors and better city views.

Trip Notes

Every element of the tour above can be tailored. Feel free to tell us your ideas and we will be happy to make adjustment for you.

  • Customizing the Tour — According to Your Needs This tour is very flexible. We are happy to alter the itinerary with you, to extend or shorten it to suit your schedule. For example, you can extend your tour for 1 day to explore Chiang Rai from Chiang Mai or shorten 1-2 day on the beach.
  • About the Internal Transportation We recommend taking an overnight train with a first-class sleeper cabin from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai, as it is a great way to integrate the local life — please tell us if you don’t like it.
  • Accommodation Various types of accommodation are available, including famous 5-star hotel chains, 4-star hotels in the best locations, good value 3-star hotels, or boutique hotels that reflect the style of the region.
    Whatever your accommodation preferences are, our travel experts will seek out and find the perfect one for you.

Our Service Includes

  • One-to-one consultancy with our travel expert
  • English speaking local guides and comfortable vehicle
  • Hand-picked hotels suitable for family tour
  • Family friendly activities, meals listed in the itinerary
  • The booking of internal train and flights
  • A 24/7 helpline while you are traveling
12 Days from $2999p/p (Based on 2 persons & 4-star hotels for reference )

Local guide

Most of our guides in Thailand have at least 5 years of experience and their are extremely passionate for introducing you their motherland. We assign different guides in all destinations so as to better your chance blending with the locals.

Mini van

All of vehicles are in good maintenance and with A/C. Experienced, polite and professional drivers take the wheel, they will ensure you have a safe and smooth ride. We have bottled water, wet tissues, first-aid kit and baby car seat equipped with our vehicles.

What our clients say about us

My wife and I booked a private tour with Asian Highlights and they arranged a phenomenal vacation for us. Albee Ning was our Travel Agent and she took care of everything for us and did a phenomenal job... It was the perfect vacation and they handled every detail for us from meet and greet services at each airport, baggage handling, private tour guides and drivers at each location, good restaurants, and fantastic hotels throughout... Read more

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