• a large stone statue in front of a brick building

Classic Thailand Tour

The ideal way to experience the atmosphere of vibrant Bangkok, and the contrast of the mountainous jungle landscapes of northern Thailand, our Classic Thailand tour combines shopping and sightseeing with ancient ruins and great cultural heritage. Before returning home, why not spend a few days relaxing on one of Phuket or Koh Samui's gorgeous beaches?

Departure Dates

Group tours depart Bangkok every Monday - we recommend staying for three nights in the city prior to this tour to really see the true contrasting nature of this fascinating country. Speak with your destination expert about which hotel in Bangkok is the most suitable for you.

Private departures are available daily upon request – please call our Destination Specialists for more information.

6 days

Guide Price

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

Trip highlights

  • Shopping and sightseeing in Bangkok
  • Discover the ancient ruins of Ayutthaya
  • Try exciting bamboo rafting in Chiang Mai
  • Visit the vibrant markets in the Golden Triangle
  • Interact with elephants at a special sanctuary near Chiang Mai

First stop today is a visit to the sumptuous Summer Palace of Rama V. Continue to the former capital of Ayutthaya and discover the ancient temples of Wat Yai Chaimongkhon, Wat Mahathat and Wat Phanan Choeng. Have lunch at a restaurant in Chai Nat before you arrive at Phitsanulok for a short orientation tour in the city. Check-in at your hotel and overnight in Phitsanulok.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Amarin Lagoon or similar

Start your day with a visit to Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat temple, housing one of the most revered Buddha statues in the country, and join the locals on their morning prayers and offers. Depart for Sukhothai and explore this ancient city packed with historical landmarks, the most impressive being the Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the ruined temples and palaces, as well as Buddha statues of all sizes. Lunch en route at a local restaurant. A short drive away are Si Satchanalai and the evocative ruins of the temple of Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat which is reached by crossing a wooden suspension bridge. This usually quiet location offers a special spiritual interlude to the tour, before arriving in Lampang for the evening.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Wieng Lakor or similar

Explore the wonderful Wat Phra That Lampang Luang temple, just a brief drive from Lampang, and marvel at the elaborate details of it's decorations and beautiful Buddha statues. Continue your journey north, stopping briefly at Phayao Lake for a coffee break before heading to Wat Rong Khun or the White Temple, which was constructed by noted Thai painter turned architect Chalermchai Kositipat. This is unlike any other temple you have visited so far as it's entirely white and built by hand. Lunch en route to the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet. This natural wilderness gained an unwanted notoriety in the sixties because of the abundant opium cultivation in the area. Visit the 212 House of Opium and stroll around it's rare collection of opium paraphernalia such as weights, scales and pipes. Learn the history of this drug and about the devastating effect the trade had on local communities. Drive back to Chiang Rai, and overnight in Chiang Rai.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Laluna or similar

Enjoy a lively start to the day's activities at the fragrant and vibrant Chiang Rai morning market. A brief stop at Wat Phra Kaew, which once housed the Emerald Buddha, now in Bangkok, is also included. The journey out of town is on a relaxing river cruise on a traditional long-tail boat to the hill tribe village of Pha Tai (3.5 hours). Continue by road to Tha Ton and enjoy a tasty lunch before heading to Chiang Mai and Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, one of the most revered temples in the country. It's sacred location is at the top of a mountain, from where you can appreciate stunning panoramic views over the city. To reach the temple it requires a climb up a 309 steps naga staircase. Alternatively, you can reach the temple by cable car (included). Depending on the arrival time, you may be able to witness the evening prayers and chants.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Holiday Inn Chiang Mai or similar

After the previous day of culture and history, it's time for a day of wildlife and nature in the jungles near Chiang Mai. Get up close and personal with the animal kingdom at the Thai Elephant Care Centre, which was set up to provide care for elderly elephants retired from elephant shows and logging camps. There are no elephant rides, but visitors learn about how the elderly elephants are fed with ground grass and herb balls, and can feed them bananas and – time allowing – watch their bath-time.

Afterwards you'll enjoy a tasty lunch at a local restaurant called The Colour Factory, where you can view a selection of full-size elephant parade statues from cities around the world and choose your favourite from a collection of replicas. You can also learn about Asian elephants and the work the Asian Elephant Foundation is doing to save these magnificent but endangered animals. Also visit the Lanna Handicraft Centre on San Kamphaeng Road and learn how they make colourful parasols, silk, silverware and teak-wood carvings. An optional traditional Khantoke dinner is available in the evening.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Holiday Inn Chiang Mai or similar

After an invigorating breakfast, enjoy the freedom of Chiang Mai. Explore the city at your own pace, and catch the sights and attractions of this city, teeming with green spaces and popularly known as the Rose of the North. The day is yours to do as you wish until your transfer to Chiang Mai airport for your onward travel.


  • Accommodation as detailed with private facilities. In case of early transfer breakfast cannot be guaranteed. Hotels are subject to change.
  • Meals included as detailed. Breakfast is usually a Western-style buffet in your hotel, while most other meals are taken in local restaurants.
  • Services of an English-speaking guide, transfers and tours on a seat-in-coach basis.
  • All entrance fees and government taxes as appropriate.
  • International and domestic flights.

Not included

  • Beverages during meals.
  • Optional excursions.
  • Tips for the guide and driver.
  • Domestic and international departure taxes.