Thailand is known for an excellent beach destination and profound Buddhism cultures yet there is so much more worthy exploring. Set up your camping tent at Khao Yai National Park and trek through the jungles, you will encounter wildlife roaming freely; take a boat on the river where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet together and learn about the dark history ruled over by opium industry; attend a home-cooking class in Mae Sa Valley of Chiang Mai before you relax on the beach of Phuket. This tour is ideal for families and travelers with a heart for real exploration.

Interesting Experiences

  • Hop on a tuk tuk to whizz around the city of Bangkok with a massage at Wat Pho
  • Trekking, night safari and camping at Khao Yai National Park
  • Get on the hilltop to view the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet
  • Offering alms in the early morning and talk to a monk in Chiang Mai
  • Beach free days in Phuket

Interesting Experiences

  • Private transfers and English-speaking tour guide in every destination
  • All guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
  • Hotel accommodation mentioned in the itinerary
  • Internal flights including taxes and fuel as specified in the itinerary
  • Breakfasts at hotels, lunches for every guided day and simple dinner at the camping site of Khao Yai National Park
  • Governmental taxes

Price per Person in US Dollars

Nov.1 - Mar.31 Handpicked Comfort Luxury
2-5 People $2,698 $3,308
6-9 People $2,478 $3,158
Apr.1 - Oct.31

2-5 People $2,698 $3,308
6-9 People $2,478 $3,158

Note: We will guarantee you get the price as showed above except that there will be a price fluctuation in festival seasons (such as National Day, Thai New Year, King's Birthday and etc).

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1Bangkok Arrival

Your journey begins when your flight lands in Bangkok. Transfer to hotel and time to adjust from jetlag.

- Entry flight and visa:

Bangkok is connected directly with major cities in the Europe, Australia and New Zealand; if you are flying from the United States, Canada or South America, we suggest you make transit via Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or other Asian international hubs.
All nationalities are granted Visa-on-Arrival at different costs ranging from USD30 to USD50 for single entry.
For more information regarding this trip, please go to our Tour Information at the bottom of this page.

Accommodation:

4 nights at Holiday Inn Bangkok Sukhumvit (Handpicked Comfort) / Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit (Luxury) (for nights on Day-01,02,04 and 05)

Day 2 Bangkok

Begin today with a visit to the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buhdda, followed by an adventure around the city in a tuk tuk.
Besides the temples and shrines, you get to visit a quirky market selling amulets (some of them are made of bones!) and take a longtail boat ride on the Chao Phraya River. Feeling a bit wore out? Enjoy a foot massage at Wat Pho!

Highlights of Today: Bangkok from a Different Angle
Bangkok can get clogged very easily especially during the rush hours. Thus, local transportation becomes more of an ideal way of travel.
Today you will take the Skytrain to visit Bangkok's landmark, the Grand Palace and Temple of Emerald Buddha. Walk to the surreal Amulet Market for some eye-opening hunts for trinkets.
Take a longtail boat along the Chao Phraya River before you reach Wat Pho, where a foot massage is in order as this is the birthplace for Thai massage. Ride on a tuk tuk to view the city from a different angle.

What makes it special for me?
- Travel like the locals: Skytrain, tuk tuk and longtail boat are all important tansportation means for locals and you get to blend with them today. Also, this is a good way to reduce your carbon emission.
- Guided by an insider: You want something that nobody's seen before? You need more than a guidebook, you need a real insider who knows every corner of Bangkok. You get to update your Ins with some real cool pics of the Amulet Market or from a local market.

ride a tuk tuk in bangkok
Day 3 Bangkok - Khao Yai National Park (3 hours by car)

Make your way to Khao Yai National Park, where you will spend two days trekking through jungles, going on night safari, searching for wildlife and camping under the stars.
Itinerary is pretty flexible and you will not miss out the major attractions inside the park, including Haew Suwat Waterfall, Haew Narok Waterfall, Bat Cave, night safari and jungle trekking.

Highlights of Today: Camping and Night Safari
After some easy trekking during the day, you will be taken to the camping site and set up your camp. Afterwards, get to the Bat Cave to watch thousands of bats flying out of the dark chasm in hunt for food.
Get out your flashlight and hiking gear when darkness wraps up the park, time for a night safari for nocturnal animals.

What makes it special for me?
- All essence in a good time: Most travel companies offer one-day trip to Khao Yai National Park, which makes your visit rather hectic considering one-way driving from Bangkok takes 3 hours alone. We suggest an early start in the morning from Bangkok and spend the rest of today trekking at an easy pace.
- Guided camping to break the crowds: The park gets crowded during weekends and we will arrange your visit in weekdays if possible. Your private tour guide shares his wealth of knowledge as he knows the best view spots and short cut trails.
- Quality time together: This trip is especially good for families with kids as you can set up camping tents together, go on night safari for kirk animals and insects that your kids have only seen in books or TV. Also a good chance to get closer to nature and admire the art of the creator.

Accommodation:

1 night in camping tent

trekking through jungles of khao yai national park Long pants and long-sleeve tops are must for trekking through dense woods
Day 4Khao Yai National Park - Bangkok (3 hours)

Rise up early in the morning and have some simple breakfast. Continue your exploration to search for wildlife including deers, Asian elephants, gibbons and various birds. Visit another waterfall before lunch and you will hit the road back to Bangkok.
Spend the rest of today at leisure.

asian elephants roaming freely in khao yai national park Don't scream or yell when you find elephants roaming or you will startle them
Day 5Bangkok

Enjoy a lazy morning in Bangkok. After your breakfast (or maybe a brunch?), your tour guide will take you to a seafood market where you can see how the locals haggle with the vendors. (Note: If seafood market is not your thing, we can change to another local market, for example Train Market or Chatuchak Weekend Market).
Travel to the famous Dannomsaduak Floating Market, 2 hours away from Bangkok and feel up the vibe.
Spend the rest of today free at leisure.

vendor rowing boat at dannomsaduak floating market
Day 6 Bangkok to Chiang Rai (1h20min by air)

Take an afternoon flight to Chiang Rai up in the northern part of Thailand.
Short break upon arrival before a 3-hour city discovery by rickshaw. The rickshaw, or Samlor, takes you to the King Mengrai Monument, Wat Phra Kaew Temple and a local market.

Accommodation:

1 night at Le Patta Hotel Chiang Rai (Handpicked Comfort) / Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort (Luxury)

Day 7Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai (3 hours by car)

Chiang Rai has a notorious history regarding the opium trade and plants back in the old days. Today you will pay a visit the Hall of Opium Museum and the Golden Triangle. Get up to the hilltop for a good view of the point where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet together.
Get down to the riverbank and take a boat trip to get on one of the islands belonging to Laos. Afterwards, transfer to Chiang Mai and stop for the famous White Temple en route.

Accommodation:

3 nights at Bodhi Serene, Chiang Mai (Handpicked Comfort) / Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai (Luxury)

boat trip in the golden triangle Take a boat trip along the river of the Golden Triangle
Day 8Chiang Mai

Start your day with an alms-offering experience at a community temple by the river. Take a boat trip along the Mae Ping River to visit a flower market. Get invited to a local fisherman's house and have a simple noodle lunch with the family.
Head to Wat Chedi Luang Varavihara and get back to your hotel in the late afternoon.

Highlight of Today: Chiang Mai Life in Live
Alms-offering is an important daily routine of local Buddhists and is believed to be valubale contribute to their afterlife. Today you will experience their faith by being one of them at the Wat Chai Mongkol Temple. They march at quite a speed and the locals dispatch food one spoon at a time swiftly, try to keep up!
Following up, get to the interesting Warorot Market, the largest market in Chiang Mai that sells everything you have seen in other markets but at better prices. Later, find yourself lost in the fragrance of Ton Lam Yai Flower Market.
Visit the major landmark of Chiang Mai: Wat Chedi Luang Varaihara, the primary temple complex that was originally made up of 3 separate temples: Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Ho Tham, and Wat Sukmin. Chat with the monks and learn about their life.

What makes it special for me?
- Primary seat of Buddhism: Chiang Mai holds a deep root of Buddhism in many denominations. If you wish to experience a day of Buddist, look nowhere else. Besides alms-giving in the morning, you get to talk to a monk and understand his life philosophy.
- Vibrant and friendly: You will get to the place where people shop, eat and exchange gossip, not being an outsider but part of their daily life. The locals are nothing but friendly, which makes interesting memories and photos that you will remember for a long time.

alms-offering in chiang mai

Day 9Chiang Mai

Home to many ethnic minority groups, Chiang Mai treats its travelers with variety of landscapes, cultures, lifestyles and cuisine. Today you will be taken to a village in Mae Sa Valley. A friendly host will teach you how to make traditional Tom Yam Soup or Pad Thai.
Get back to your hotel and spend the rest of today free at leisure.

cook pad thai in chiang mai Learn to cook Pad Thai in Chiang Mai
Day 10 to Day 12 Chiang Mai - Phuket (2h10min by air), Phuket Free Days

Fly to Phuket and enjoy your free days on Kata Beach.

Accommodation:

3 nights at Novotel Phuket Kata Avista Resort and Spa (Handpicked Comfort) / Katathani Phuket Beach Resort (Luxury)

free days in phuket
Day 13Phuket - Bangkok (1h25min by air), Bangkok Departure

There are many flights between Phuket and Bangkok every other 30 minutes. Make your way back to Bangkok and connect with the departure flight.

Tour Map

map of essence of thailand tour

Asia Highlights Handpicked Hotels

Asia Highlights chooses hotels with a balanced mixture of traditional style and modern comfort, easy access to everything yet quiet enough for a good night's sleep. Room type in bold letters are what we choose especially for you.

Bangkok - Holiday Inn Bangkok Sukhumvit

- Winner of Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor, ranked 97/872.
- Downtown part of Sukhumvit, close to BTS station.
- Premium Room is 32sqm, higher floor; good breakfast and pool.

Khao Yai National Park - Camping Tent

- New and clean tent rented on the site.
- Accommodate 2 adults and 1 child under 6.
- Public toilet buildings, tapping water faucets and a restaurant on site.

Chiang Rai - Le Patta Hotel Chiang Rai

- Winner of Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor, ranked 3/108.
- Quiet corner of inner Chiang Rai, close to night market.
- Deluxe Room is 32sqm with private balcony, extra bed allowed.

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.

Phuket - Novotel Phuket Kata Avista Resort and Spa

- Ranked 6/56 of hotels in Kata, Certificate of Excellence.
- Private beach, 3 pools, 2 restaurants and 1 pool bar.
- 43sqm Superior Room has a private balcony, allows extra bed.

Note: Your comfort counts! It's totally possible to change hotels based on your interests and budget. Just let us know your preferences and we will help you choose.

Tour Information
  • Seasonal information:
    This tour is designed for all-time, especially good for families with kids on school vacation.
    During the peak season, namely late September to next March, great weather brings out the best colors of Thailand. Although it can be a bit hotter and rainier during summer time, namely April to September, trekking in Khao Yai National Park gets you better chances to see wildlife.
    Typhoon hits the coast during July to October, which sometimes might compromise your experience in Phuket.
    However, everything can be tailor-made, remeber? If your plan doesn't fall in the "best time to Thailand", our travel advisors can still make it possible by adjusting activities, destinations and etc. Specify your travel time and let us work the magic.
  • Thailand Visa:
    Most nationalities are required to obtain tourist visa for Thailand and Visa-on-Arrival is both possible and easy. The cost ranges from USD30 to USD50 per person for single entry up to 30 days.
  • Special dietary requirements:
    Daily 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.
    As you will spend one night at Khao Yai National Park, the food will be simple such as instant noodles, bread, fruit jacks and milk. But for special dietary requirements, it is subject to the availability of food ingredients on the date you travel.
  • Transportation:
    You will have a private car in each destination; our cars are within 5 years of usage and your private drivers will be polite and drive with strong regard for safety. As for your Halong Bay cruise, a shuttle bus from the cruise company will take you to the certain port for boarding. Of course, private transfer between Hanoi and Halong Bay is also available upon request.
    Internal flights are operated by Thai Airways or Bangkok Airways. Safe, punctual and good service, make them our go-to choice for your trip, although airfares might look slightly higher compared to other airlines such as JetStar, Nok Air, Air Asia and Smile Airlines. All flights include 20kg of check-in luggage plus a 7kg carry-on for each adlut passenger.
  • Arrangements of the tour:
    Sightseeing, activities and accommodations that are mentioned in this tour you are looking at are just for your inspiration.
  • Responsible travel:
    Travel 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 lead 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.
    During your trip, you will take Skytrain in Bangkok instead of private car, staying at camping tent (no A/C) at Khao Yai National Park and hiring a local rider for your rickshaw trip in Chiang Rai. All this is helping the locals with better environment and better working chances. (Of course, no pressure!) Taking baby steps one at a time, we highly appreciate you would like to be part of it.
    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.
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  • Duration: 13 days
  • Tour Code:AH-20
  • Tour Type: Private Tours
From: $2,698 Price details
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