Classic Thailand Tour from Bangkok: First Touch of Thailand

With the vibrant Bangkok, historical Kanchanaburi, and northern cultural Chiang Mai plus the fabulous island of Phuket, this tour leads you to the top four destinations you can’t miss for your first-time trip in Thailand. From the celebrated palace and amazing temples in Bangkok to the famous Bridge over the River Kwai and historical railway, and from a close encounter with elephants and a local home cooking experience in Chiang Mai to the fantastic beach, you will have an opportunity to discover the charm of Thai culture and history as well as to enjoy the country’s beautiful natural scenery.

Journey route

thailand map


  • Walk into the magnificent Grand Palace and photogenic Wat Arun.
  • Take a historical train ride across the famous Bridge over the River Kwai.
  • Have a close encounter with elephants in the jungle of Chiang Mai.
  • Take a Thai home cooking experience and sample northern dishes.
  • Enjoy a panoramic view of Chiang Mai at the famous Doi Suthep.
  • Relax by the beautiful beach in Phuket.

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

Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok(4-star)/Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel(5-star)

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.

Day 2 City Exploration and Visit Bangkok’s Top Attractions

breakfast and lunch

A Palace and Temples, Ancient Canal Cruising
Experience the morning chanting ritual at Wat Pho, which is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok. Take a tuk tuk ride via Pak Khlong Talat flower market to the Grand Palace. Continue with a long-tail boat ride along the ancient canals of Thonburi to get a flavor of the local life. Stop at the iconic Wat Arun, which was once the grand royal temple of King Rama II. After lunch at a local restaurant, you will cross the Chao Phraya River and be driven to Chinatown for a glance at Old Bangkok.

The Famous Wat Pho The Famous Wat Pho
breakfast and lunch

Visit Bridge over the River Kwai and Take a Historical Train Ride
Located in downtown Kanchanaburi, Bridge over the River Kwai was built by prisoners of war during World War II, overseen by the Japanese. Board the train and take an hour’s ride along the Death Railway over the River Kwai, traveling over the original wooden viaduct (Bridge over the River Kwai) that was constructed by the Allied POWs. Pass through magnificent scenery and spend a moment reflecting 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 Take a historical train ride along the Death Railway over the River Kwai
Bodhi Serene (4-star)/Rati Lanna Riverside Spa Resort (5-star)

Get up late, have a leisurely breakfast, then take a private transfer to the airport and fly to Chiang Mai. Upon your arrival, your private tour guide and driver will welcome you in the airport and then transfer you to your selected hotel in Chiang Mai. Enjoy a free afternoon — you may like to consider going to a spa or visiting the local market.

Chiang Mai City Gate The Old City Gate of Chiang Mai
breakfast and lunch

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 a day program at Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, 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.

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Have a Close Encounter with Elephants in the Jungle
breakfast and lunch

Amazing Temples in Chiang Mai
In the morning, head out of Chiang Mai city for about 20 minutes to the famous Doi Suthep. Despite the stunning natural beauty, the main reason many visitors go to Doi Suthep Mountain is to visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Built in 1382, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is one of the most holy Buddhist sites in Thailand. Many Thai people go on a pilgrimage there, especially during the Buddhist holidays. Later, return to downtown Chiang Mai and visit Wat Chedi Luang. It is one of the six most important temples in Chiang Mai. It attracts a lot of Thai people who worship there each year as it was once the home of the Emerald Buddha.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Learn How to Make Thai Dishes from a Local Family

In the afternoon, visit a local family — the host will welcome you and walk you through her organic vegetable garden to collect the different kinds of herbs and vegetables that will be used in the variety of Thai food that you will be preparing. You will learn how to make some of the best home-cooked dishes that you can easily cook for your family when you return home. During the class, in addition to cooking, you will also sample dishes from the north, northeast, and central regions of Thailand.

cooking class The Materials Preparing for a Cooking Class
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa (4-star)/ Novotel Phuket Kata Avista Resort and Spa (5-star)

After a leisurely breakfast, take a private transfer to the airport and fly to Phuket. Upon your arrival at Phuket International Airport, take a private transfer to your beautiful hotel.

Phuket Spend your free afternoon at leisure by the beach

This day is free for you to spend at leisure by the beach. You may consider taking a speedboat trip to the many nearby tropical paradises, including the famous Phi Phi Islands, or enjoy a serene cruise around the mystical Phang Nga Bay. All of these tours can be easily booked at your hotel.


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


After breakfast, transfer to Phuket International Airport, 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.
hotel in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Bodhi Serene, Chiang Mai
  • Winner of Certificate of Excellence of TripAdvisor, ranked 35/386.
  • Traditional Lanna style, garden setting and rooftop pool.
  • 32sqm Grand Deluxe Room is on higher floor, terrace with pool view.
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa
Phuket Island Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa
  • Winner of Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor.
  • Centrally located in Karon area, within walking distance to shops and restaurants.
  • Deluxe Room, 55sqm, with gardern and pool 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.
  • 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.

Local guide

thailand tour 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

thailand car
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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