This itinerary includes vibrant Bangkok, northernmost Chiang Rai, cultural Chiang Mai, and historical Sukhothai. You will have an in-depth cultural discovery experience and have real encounters with local people in this private tour.
The tour will take you from the palace and ancient canals in Bangkok to the Golden Triangle and hill tribe villages in Chiang Rai, from the holy temples and a home cooking experience in Chiang Mai to Thailand's first elephant hospital in Lampang, and from the impressive historical ruins in Sukhothai to a local experience where you will make a krathong (floating lantern) in the birthplace of Thailand's lantern festival (Loi Krathong).
- Admire the splendor of the magnificent Grand Palace and Wat Pho in Bangkok.
- Learn about the border culture and northern rural life in the Golden Triangle.
- Enjoy a panoramic view of Chiang Mai at the famous Doi Suthep Mountain
- Take a local home cooking class and taste some delicious Thai food.
- Explore the capital of Siam's golden age - Sukhothai, which means 'Rising of Happiness'.
- Learn how to make a traditional krathong (floating lantern) from local people.
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I had booked Chiang Mai Yi Peng Sky Lantern Festival
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Thank you Iris Wang & Bella Liu
I thought “no hope” in getting the tickets to Yee Peng Festival organize by CAD. Fortunately, together with Bella Liu, I managed to secure all our tickets. No one left behind. This trip to Chiang Mai will be a memorable one.More
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Itinerary in Detail
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 your day is free to spend at your leisure.
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.
Bangkok's Chinatown is a popular tourist attraction and a food haven for gourmands who flock there to explore the vibrant streetside cuisine, especially after sunset.
Hall of Opium and the Akha & Yao villages
After breakfast, take a private transfer to the airport and fly for about an hour to reach Chiang Rai. Upon your arrival, your private tour guide and driver will welcome you at the airport, then take you straight to the Golden Triangle.
Have lunch in a local Thai restaurant.
Overlooking the Golden Triangle from an archway on a hillside, get some nice photos while you learn about the history of this area from your guide. Then stop at the Hall of Opium, which is a museum that showcases how opium is made, used, and distributed, and how this evil trade ruined the lives of thousands of families living around this area. Discover the lifestyle of northern rural Thai people by visiting two villages: the Akha and Yao villages.
On the way back to Chiang Rai, visit Baan Dam Museum. Informally known as the Black House, Baan Dam Museum is one of the most popular Chiang Rai temples. It is actually more of a museum than a temple although it does contain some shrines. The building and its contents are a masterpiece and collection by the Thai painter and architect Thawan Duchanee.
Wat Rong Khun
After breakfast, visit Wat Rong Khun, better known as the White Temple, it is one of the most recognizable temples in Thailand. It attracts a large number of visitors, both Thai and foreign, making it one of Chiang Rai's most visited attractions. Wat Rong Khun was designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat, a famous Thai visual artist. It is an unconventional and contemporary art exhibit in the style of a Buddhist temple.
Transfer to Chiang Mai and have lunch in a local Thai restaurant. Enjoy your free time in the afternoon.
Unique Temples in Chiang Mai
In the morning, head out from Chiang Mai city for about 20 minutes to reach 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.
Learn How to Make Thai Dishes with 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 different kinds of herbs and vegetables that will be used in the various Thai dishes 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 the cooking aspect, you also will sample dishes from the north, northeast, and central regions of Thailand.
A Lanna-Style Temple and the First Elephant Hospital in Thailand
Leave Chiang Mai for Sukhothai and stop in Lampang on the way to visit Wat Phra That Lampang Luang and Friends of the Asian Elephant, which is an elephant hospital.
Founded in the 13th century, Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is one of the most highly revered temples and one of the best examples of Lanna-style architecture in Thailand. It has been preserved in its original state.
Friends of the Asian Elephant was established to protect and conserve the welfare of elephants in Thailand. It provides free medical care for sick and injured elephants, as well as education for keepers.
Upon your arrival in Sukhothai in the late afternoon, enjoy some free time and relax. You may consider walking around the hotel and cycling through the historical park.
Walk in Sukhothai Historical Park
Located in a beautiful setting of lawns, lakes, and trees in north-central Thailand, Sukhothai Historical Park was the capital of the Sukhothai Kingdom. Founded in 1238, Sukhothai was the first unified kingdom of Siam. The kingdom flourished for 200 years, during which time its capital at Old Sukhothai was a highly influential political and religious center. Sukhothai began to decline in the 14th century as Ayutthaya's power was on the rise. The most important sights in the historical park are Wat Si Chum, Wat Si Sawai, Wat Mahathat, and Wat Sa Si.
A Local Experience of Making a Thai Krathong (Water Lantern)
Thailand's most famous Loy Krathong (Lantern Festival) began in Sukhothai. So during your stay in Sukhothai, there is no better way to appreciate the local culture than to make a Krathong floating lantern yourself.
Spend time with local Thai people learning how to make a traditional Thai and Sukhothai style Krathong. During the lantern-making process, you will learn how locals use natural materials such as banana leaves and stems to make a beautiful lantern in many different shapes. You will also learn about the history of the lantern festival and how the local Sukhothai people celebrate it. Once it is dark, release your floating lantern on a pond or river and don't forget to make a wish.
We have selected hotels with different styles and for different budgets. Let us know your preferences and we will help you find the right one.
Our Service Includes:
- Private transfers and English-speaking tour guide
- All guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
- Hotel accommodation mentioned in the itinerary
- Breakfasts at hotels and lunches for every guided day
- Governmental taxes
Tour code: ah-52
Why Travel with Asia Highlights During the Pandemic
- Tailor-made experience: All of your ideas/needs will be carefully considered to create your ideal trip.
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