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Want to see only the best of Thailand? Learn what to expect...

Make your way to Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui. Thailand’s essence gets better interpreted in special experiences including cycling in Bangkok’s green lung, Lanna private cooking and chat with a monk in Chiang Mai, perfecting it up with some unwinding in Koh Samui —- only for the most discerning travelers like you.
  • Chao Phraya River Cruise passing by illuminated landmarks of Wat Arun and the Grand Palace
  • Cycling in Bangkok’s Green Lung with local dwellers greeting you
  • Boat through the bustling Amphawa Floating Market in Samut Songkhram
  • Early morning alms-giving ritual and afternoon chat with a local monk in Chiang Mai
  • Learn about Lin's secret ingredients for Khao Soi (Chiang Mai Noodles)
  • Put your feet up on the beach of Koh Samui

Journey route

tour map of bangkok,Chiang Mai, Ko Samui

What's included

  • Private transfers and one English-speaking tour guides
  • All guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
  • Hotel accommodations mentioned in the itinerary
  • Breakfasts at hotels and lunch for every guided day as detailed in the itinerary
  • Governmental taxes

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 | Sprig Bangkok

Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok

Feel the heat wave once you land in Bangkok. Meet up with your private tour guide whose first word might be Sawadee-ka (Hello in Thai).
Transfer to your hotel in a private car and free at leisure for the rest of today.

Day 2 Bangkok | Highlights and a Less-Seen Side of Bangkok

Escape the chaos and touts to another less-seen side of Bangkok. Today you will start a 3-hour cycling journey in Phra Pradaeng, recommended by CNN Travel as Bangkok’s Green Lung. The cycling trail on this lovely peninsula weaves your way through vibrant neighborhoods, offering views into real daily life of Bangkok locals. You will also find a small yet interesting floating market here: Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market, which doesn’t focus on tourists but rather for local dwellers.
Get to the open-air food court at the Commons Market. Suggested by name, this is the place where local common people dine, leisure and share fun moments with a mixture of restaurants serving international cuisine. Choose a restaurant you prefer and you will have a fusion lunch and a chance for people watching.
Hide away from the afternoon heat inside the National Museum, which offers an extensive collection of Thai arts and cultures as well as precious historic relics.
As the Grand Palace is always crowded, it wouldn’t hurt much to make it your last stop of the day. Step inside and learn about interesting stories of the royal court. Visit the adjoint Temple of Emerald Buddha, which is believed to be the corner stone of Thailand’s prosperity.
Perfect today with an evening boat ride on the Chao Phraya River. Temples and residential buildings by the riverbanks are illuminated brightly after nightfall, including the famous Temple of Dawn.
You will be taken back to your hotel before 0700pm.
Tailor-made Guidelines:
- As only an alternative and break stop for your cycling, you may skip Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market as you got Amphawa scheduled for the next day.
- If time allows, you may also visit Wat Pho with the gigantic reclining Buddha image. A 30-minute foot massage is also available (extra cost on your own expense) at this birthplace for Thai massage.

statues of golden garuda at the temple of emerald buddha Garuda is a fictional creature of half human and half bird in Buddhism

Day 3 Bangkok - Chiang Mai | Markets and Root-Encased Temple

Private transfer Domestic flight Bodhi Serene Chiang Mai

When it comes to floating market visits, Damnoen Saduak seems like the go-to choice. It is certainly a safe option as suitable all year around. However, not far away from its touts, a more authentic appreciation of floating market cultures lies at Amphawa Floating Market.
Vendors clear out their stalls as a train slowly approaches with wheels running just some inches above their on-sale jackfruit crackers — a clip from a video of Maeklong Railway Market that you must have seen on Youtube. Be there to watch it live. Your first stop in Amphawa are is this interesting market built on rail tracks. Rather than a make-up tourist attraction, it is actually where locals shop for their daily meals.
Proceed to Amphawa Floating Market after a one-hour visit at this railway market.
2 to 3 hours of driving from Bangkok, Amphawa used to be the transportation and commercial center of the Samut Songkhram Province. Unlike Damnoen Saduak, its canals are wider and merchandise are more of locally-produced rather than tourists trinkets sold at Damnoen Saduak. Take a rowing boat along the waterway to watch people haggle.
After lunch at a nearby restaurant, you will get to Khai Bang Kung Fort along the riverbank of the River Maeklong. This Ayutthaya-era site consists of the fort and the namesake temple, demonstrating a fierce 18th century battle between Siam and invaders from Burma. There is an interesting serial of life-size Thai boxing (Muay Thai) statues on the temple ground, displaying the basic moves of this traditional art. This complex is also famous for the temple chambers encased by branches of banyan trees, which jibes in style as the more-famous Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya (with a Buddha head wrapped in roots and branches).
You will be on the way to the airport in the afternoon. After 2 hours of driving (up to 3 hours depending on the traffic), you will board the flight to Chiang Mai.
Arrive in Chiang Mai at night. Transfer to hotel and enjoy a restful night.
Tailor-made Guidelines:
- If you are catching a flight before 0600pm, we will skip the Khai Bang Kung complex. You may also skip it if you are going to Ayutthaya.

amphawa floating market and its vendor boats Vendor boats along the canal of Amphawa Floating Market

Day 4 Chiang Mai | Old Town and Monk Chat

Time just kinda slows down in Chiang Mai. Ease your mind with a late morning breakfast at your hotel. Your tour guide will pick you up at around 1000am.
Visit the three primary shrines inside Chiang Mai Old Town, namely Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Signh and Wat Lok Molee, each expresses different aspects of Lanna aesthetics.
After lunch at a local restaurant, get inside the interesting Tribal Museum, displaying items and documents regarding origins, traditions and daily life of the ethnic minority people dwelling in northern Thailand.
Driving out of Chiang Mai, we will make it in time to catch a monk chat at Wat Suan Dok, a campus of MCU Buddhist University. During a 2-hour informal conversation with a monk (or a novice) gets you deeper into his life. You might be amazed with his personal experiences through the spiritual journey and even gain some new insights for your own daily life.
After this meaningful meet-up, you will enjoy a nice dinner at Xanadu rooftop restaurant not far away from Wat Suan Dok (set menu of five courses). Return to your hotel before 0900pm.
Tailor-made Guidelines:
- There are a lot of nice temples inside the Old Town and the three mentioned above are our picks. Your tour guide might adjust or substitute accordingly to your interests or crowdedness of each temple. Of course, the list can also be shrunk down or extended upon your request.
- Monk Chat at Wat Suan Dok is available every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 0500pm to 0700pm. For other days, you will be taken to another place available.
- Set menu dinner at Xanadu excludes drinks and wine, as well as tipping to the waiter/waitress. Requirements for special dining shall be made beforehand.

a novice walking in rain in an old temple of chiang mai A novice is walking in fine rain in an old temple of Chiang Mai

Day 5 Chiang Mai | Alms-Offering and Lanna Cooking

In the early morning at 0500am, you will be sitting by the roadside waiting for monks on their daily alms collection. As a must-do for any Thailand trips to Chiang Mai, Alms-Offering is both important for the monks and the participants: by offering the freshly cooked rice to monks who only consume two meals a day is good karma archived for the givers.
Return to your hotel for breakfast and free at leisure.
In the afternoon at 0345pm, you will meet up with Lin at your hotel lobby.
As a local Lanna cuisine gastronomist, Lin spent her childhood in the kitchen helping out her mother before getting professional training at a cooking academy from her 20’s. She returned home for this project with the passion to share Lanna finest with the world.
After one hour at the local market, you will be on the way to the class room set in a organic garden 20 minutes away from Chiang Mai in Hang Dong Town. Learning about the ancient cooking tools such as mortar (for grinding spices), grater (for craving and balling hard ingredients such as coconut and papaya) and basket bowls (for containing and serving rice or other sizzling platters) is part of the fun.
During the course, you will learn how to cook three classic Lanna dishes, choosing from Keng Hung Lay (Chiang Mai Curry), Sai Aao (Chiang Mai Sausage), Keng Care (local vegetable and chicken curry), Khao Soi (Chiang Mai Noodle), Tom Som Kai Bai Makham (Hot and Sour Chicken Local Soup with Tamarind Leaf) and Taam Kanoon (Jackfruit Local Salad). One dessert is also included.
Lin hires her crew locally. During dinner time (devouring your own fruit of labor), you may exchange stories with these lovely locals. Delicious food, refreshing drinks and interactions with the locals, all adds up to a night to remember.
Bring home a cookbook You will be taken back to your hotel by Lin (or one of her crew) before 0900pm.

preparing a table of lanna cuisine with lin Preparing a table of Lanna cuisine with Lin the Lanna kitchen master

Day 6 Chiang Mai - Koh Samui | Flying to the Beach

Domestic flight Chaweng Beach Regent Resort

Free at leisure in the morning and take an afternoon flight to Koh Samui.
Known as the one of world’s finest beach destinations, the entire island of Koh Samui is under remarkable preservation for natural landscape, traditional lifestyles and a wide selection of upscale hotels and resorts cannot be more tempting.
Check in your hotel/resort and free at leisure.

Day 7 to 9 Koh Samui | Unwinding on the Beach

Enjoy your days kicking back on white sandy beach of Koh Samui or get geared up for various water sports it has to offer.

beautiful beach lined with palm trees in koh samui Enjoy your beautiful beach holiday in Koh Samui

Day 10 Koh Samui - Bangkok Departure | See you, Thailand!

Domestic flight

Take a morning flight back to Bangkok and connect with your international departure flight.
Thanks for traveling with Asia Highlights and we hope to see you again soon!

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.
deluxe room at bodhi serene hotel in chiang mai
Chiang Mai Bodhi Serene, Chiang Mai
  • Winner of Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor.
  • Located inside the Old City, garden setting and quiet.
  • Deluxe Room, 40sqm with balcony and garden view.
premier room at chaweng beach regent resort
Koh Samui Chaweng Beach Regent Resort
  • Winner of Certificate of Excellence and #1 on TripAdvisor.
  • Private beach and close to town center, great services.
  • Premier Room, 50sqm, semi-outdoor bathtub and balcony.

Journey information

  • Best time for this trip: Unlike other beach destinations in Thailand, Koh Samui's rain season runs through May to early December, with the peaks at September, October and November. Rainfall can be heavy and rapid, accompanied with strong wind that forces flights to cancellation in case of typhoons. However, temperature is mild all year around, floating from 26 to 30c and this makes it a pleasant choice as long as you choose a nice hotel that compensates being held out to outdoor activities.
    This particular journey is designed for all times as little of the activities are to be compromised by the weather and they can always be replaced with something else.
  • Meals:Daily breakfast at hotels and lunches for days with sightseeing are included. And for some early mornings, we will have a fund for you to grab some simple brunch. Some dinners are also included and they are chosen carefully to enhance your experiences.
    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 advisor at the time of inquiry. We will do our best to accommodate you.
  • 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.
    For internal flights, we will choose Thai Airways or Bangkok Air for their superb safety and punctuality as well as outstanding services. Luggage of 15 to 20kg per person is also included. Nevertheless, sometimes we can also change to local private firms such as Nok Air and Thai Lion Air.
  • Arrangements Sightseeing, activities and accommodations that are mentioned in this tour you are looking at are just for your inspiration. Every detail can be changed to your own palate. Flexibility always applies.
    Discovery your way, Asia Highlights' motto suites you the best.
  • 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) borden their outlook and the local communities develop.
    Your chat with the local monk will help him with oral English, which can be useful for his further education. Also, your time with Lin contributes to her goal of spreading Lanna culinary cultures. You are traveling to help preserving cultural legacies of Thailand.
    Taking baby steps one at a time, we highly appreciate you would like to be part of it (of course, we can make other arrangements if needed).
    With that being said, detours to so-called factories, specialty workshops or gimmick visit to hill tribes are strictly prohibited. We make sure your tour guides earn enough to support their families without squeezing commissions out of you.
10 Days from $2,081p/p (Based on a 2-people private group)

Local guide

picture of asia highlights 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

picture of asia highlights car used in thailand
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

ah-traveler feedback
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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