• a large stone statue in front of a brick building

Classic Thailand Tour

Experience Thailand with our Classic Thailand tour, which combines unique cultural sights and intriguing nature-centric surroundings. From the contrasting bustling city of Bangkok to the mountainous jungle landscapes near Chiang Mai, we’ve put together a fascinating tour of this diverse and beautiful country.

Culture lovers will be spoilt for choice on our short six day tour, which manages to pack in a wide variety of historic sights, cultural landmarks and fascinating points of interest. Explore a variety of Buddhist temples, including ancient temples such as Wat Yai Chaimongkhon and Wat Mahathat. You’ll also see temples that are still used to this day for spiritual purposes and prayers. These include Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat and Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. Next, unearth the ancient palace, temple and statue ruins in the historic city of Ayutthaya.

Nature lovers are also well looked after on our Classic Thailand tour. You’ll be able to spend a day with the elderly elephants at the Thai Elephant Care Centre and learn more about the centre’s important conservation work. Nature enthusiasts can also take to Doi Inthanon National Park and observe over 360 different bird species. Don’t miss the impressive waterfalls that are ready for you to explore, including Mae Klang Falls and Siriphum Falls.

Duration
6 days

Guide Price

 £1,999  pp
Options
Private or Group basis, Escorted
Start your journey
a small boat in a body of water

Trip highlights

  • Discover the ancient ruins of Ayutthaya, including stunning palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries and statues
  • Visit an array of temples, including Wat Phra Kaew, and witness the different architectural designs
  • Spend a day at the Thai Elephant Care Centre and learn about these beautiful pachyderms
  • Explore Chiang Mai at your own pace and check out Doi Inthanon National Park

Expect the first day of your classic Thailand tour to be packed to the brim with plenty of fascinating things to explore and see.

First up, pay a visit to the Summer Palace of Rama V. This is the only palace in Thailand that is located on an island, and it is filled with exhibits dedicated to the history of the palace and the family who once resided there.

Onwards, travel to the former capital of Ayutthaya, which is home to the ancient temples of Wat Yai Chaimongkhon, Wat Mahathat, and Wat Phanan Choeng. These impressive temples were built from 1357 A.D. and were used by Buddhist monks who returned to the area after studying under influential Buddhist teacher, Phra Vanarat Maha Thera.

Stopping for a spot of lunch at a restaurant in Chai Nat, you will be invited to sample some Thai cuisine and get a feel for the culture. After lunch, it’s time travel to Phitsanulok, where you can take part in a short guided tour of one of the oldest cities in Thailand.

Once you’ve explored this beautiful historic city, you can then check into your hotel for the night, and spend a quiet evening in Phitsanulok.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Amarin Lagoon or similar
Wat Suthat Temple

Kick start your morning by joining locals in their morning prayers at Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat temple. The temple, which was founded in 1357 by King Phaya Lithai, is home to a golden Buddha known as Phra Buddha Chinnarat, and is one of the most revered Buddha statues in all of Thailand.

After morning prayer and some exploration of the temple, head onto Sukhothai, where you can unearth some of the ancient city’s historical landmarks such as Wat Traphang Ngoen and Wat Sorasak. Spend some time exploring the UNESCO World Heritage site that is Sukhothai Historical Park, which is filled with fascinating ruined temples and palaces, and an array of Buddha statues.

After lunch at a local restaurant, travel onto Si Satchanalai to discover the ruins of Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Chaliang, which was constructed in 1237. To visit this tranquil area, you will cross a wooden suspension bridge.

Finish the day in Lampang, where you can check into your hotel and browse through all the photos you’ve taken today.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Wieng Lakor or similar
Wat Suthat Temple

Day three is filled with more wonder and adventure, as you take a short drive from Lampang to marvel at the Wat Phra That Lampang Luang temple. Explore the ancient Buddhist compound and be sure to check out the elaborate details of the various temples, including the wooden Lanna temple and the Buddha statues.

Next, travel to Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple), but before you arrive, stop off at the picturesque Phayao Lake for a coffee break. Wat Rong Khun is unlike any temple you’ve seen thus far. It’s a modern temple that was constructed in 1997. As its name suggests, it is entirely white and was built by hand by the Thai visual artist Chalermchai Kositipat.

Enjoy lunch as you travel onto the Golden Triangle, which is where three countries - Thailand, Laos and Myanmar - all meet. You will visit the 212 House of Opium and learn all about the history of this natural drug derived from poppies, and understand why the Golden Triangle gained an unwanted bad reputation, as well as learn about the devastating effects the opium trade had on local communities.

After this visit, it’s time to travel back to Chiang Rai, where you can reflect on your day before you enjoy a well-deserved sleep.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Laluna or similar
Chiang Mai Trip
Wat Phra Singh

From Chiang Rai, this morning you will travel to Chiang Mai, but not before you venture into the lively and vibrant Chiang Rai morning market. Before arriving in Chiang Mai, you’ll also stop off at Wat Phra Kaew, where the Emerald Buddha once lived before moving to Bangkok.

Enjoy a relaxing journey from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai as you take a traditional long-tail boat ride to the hill tribe village of Pha Tai. The boat journey takes three and a half hours and offers plenty of stunning scenic surroundings. At Pha Tai, continue by road to Tha Ton where you will stop for a traditional Thai lunch.

Upon arrival into Chiang Mai, it’s time to embark on a journey to Wat Prathat Doi Suthep. This is one of Thailand’s most revered temples and is famous for its sacred history. Wat Prathat Doi Suthep is situated on top of Doi Suthep Mountain, which provides excellent panoramic views over the city of Chiang Mai. Test your fitness by climbing up over 300 steps to reach the temple, or opt for an easier route by boarding the cable car.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Holiday Inn Chiang Mai or similar
a small elephant standing next to a body of water

Today you can get in touch with nature in one of the jungles near Chiang Mai where you can help take part in caring for elephants at the Thai Elephant Care Centre. The centre was set up in 1976 to provide care for elderly elephants who retired from elephant shows and logging camps. Enjoy learning about the elephants, take part in feeding them bananas, and observe the caregivers at the sanctuary as they bathe the elephants.

After working up an appetite, you can then enjoy a delicious lunch at The Colour Factory, a local restaurant that is filled with full-sized elephant statues from all around the world. Once you’re full to the brim with Asian elephant knowledge, you can then visit the Lanna Handicraft Centre and try your hand at making colourful parasols, silk, silverware, and teak wood carvings, after learning how they are all made by some local craftspeople.

Tonight, you might like to take part in an optional traditional Khantoke dinner evening. Alternatively, find a local restaurant where you can treat yourself.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Holiday Inn Chiang Mai or similar
Wiang Tha Kan

Fill up on a refreshing breakfast this morning before you spend your final day exploring the wonders of Chiang Mai at your own pace. Discover the city’s culture, charm and history by visiting some of its key attractions, such as taking a trip to Chiang Mai Old City, or exploring the ancient city of Wiang Kum Kam, which dates back to the 8th century.
You can also take part in a spot of bird-watching at Doi Inthanon National Park, which is home to 362 different species of birds.

Once you’ve unearthed some of Chiang Mai’s best attractions and sights, it’s time for you to be taken to Chiang Mai International Airport for your next destination.

Included

  • Cost of accommodation (double room based on two people sharing) for a total of 5 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
  • Meals included as detailed. Breakfast is usually a Western-style buffet in your hotel, while most other meals are taken in local restaurants
  • Private/small group (air-conditioned) transport / transfers
  • Assistance and porterage: meeting and assistance on arrival/departure at airports and hotels
  • English-speaking local guides for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees (excluding video camera fee) for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary

Not included

  • Visa arrangements and fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses, such as alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel
  • Video and professional still camera fees during excursions
  • Gratuities for drivers, tour directors, local guides, naturalists and hotel staff
  • Meals (unless specified)
  • Optional attractions and excursions (unless specified)