(Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket)
Breathe in the crisp mountain air as you climb the 300 stairs to watch the golden sunset over Thailand’s rural north from the region’s most sacred mountain temple.
Here at Wat Prathat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai, you’ll not only take in incredible views of the city, but also feel the deep spirituality of the country’s major religion as you gaze upon a holy relic of the Lord Buddha. Elsewhere in Chiang Mai, you’ll trek through the rainforest atop an elephant, visit the country’s most famous monk schools and soak in the timeless grandeur of the city’s 14th-century temples. It’s an experience that’s echoed as you explore the vast temple network of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat at sunrise, and discover the spiritual life of bustling Bangkok in its opulent temples and royal palaces. You’ll also witness Thailand’s natural coastal beauty as you explore the pristine beaches and remote islands of Phuket’s Phang Nga Bay.
While you’ll enjoy all the modern conveniences of a premium collection of four-star hotels, the focus is firmly on providing an authentic experience. From exploring Bangkok’s quiet canals in a traditional long-tail boat and attending cooking lessons at a genuine village school in Chiang Mai, to exploring the rainforest atop an elephant and accessing the remote island caves of Phang Nga Bay by sea kayak, you’ll discover the real ebb and flow of life in South East Asia.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
During this tour you will visit the Royal Grand Palace - the nation’s landmark and most praised royal monument in Thailand, with the enclosed and dazzling Wat Phra Keo with its revered Emerald Buddha, the Golden Chedi, the Pantheon of the Chakri Kings, and the Eight Colored Towers. It's considered by many to be a living example of classical Siamese Court, being the former residence of the kings of Thailand. Wat Po is also regarded as the first center of public education and is sometimes called ‘Thailand’s first university’. Mural paintings, inscriptions, and statues found in the temple served to educate people on subjects such as literature, warfare, archaeology, astronomy, geology, and meditation and is considered to be the home of Thai traditional massage. In the afternoon, sail along the bustling Chao Phraya River and the quiet klongs in a long tail boat. A stop will be made at Wat Arun - the “Temple of Dawn”. Finally, a visit to the flower and vegetable market will round off the day. Located close to the Chao Phraya River, this part of Bangkok brings you to a rural piece of Bangkok where you will find a vast selection of flowers, especially orchids and tropical flowers and see how the merchants create very special flower garlands.
Photography is permitted in the Royal Palace Grounds and in the compounds of the Emerald Buddha Temple, but not inside the buildings. Please dress respectfully (no bare shoulders, knees or strapless-heel shoes) when visiting the Grand Palace and temple complex. Shoes must be removed before entering the temple buildings as a matter of respect. The Palace may be closed without prior notice during Royal ceremonies and officials or head of state visit.
Fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Flight time is approximately 1.5 hours.
On this tour you will visit the most sacred temple in northern Thailand: the Wat Pra That Doi Suthep. It's the most sacred temple in Chiang Mai and contains a holy relic of the Lord Buddha. Tucked away in the mountains at an elevation of 3,520 feet, the temple is reached using a Naga (7- headed dragon head serpent) railing rising along both sides. The temple compound – accessible via a 300-step staircase – offers an exhilarating view of Chiang Mai and the surrounding countryside. Drive back down to the city center to visit some of the other impressive temples of. Wat Suan Dok is one of them, which dates back to the 14th century when it served as the pleasure gardens to the Thai monarchy. Nowadays it houses several white Chedi’s containing the ashes of Chiang Mai’s former Royal family. This temple also houses one of the most famous monk schools in all of Chiang Mai and the Wat Jedyod, also known as the Temple of Seven Spires. Please dress respectfully by not wearing sleeveless T–shirts, shorts or strapless sandals when visiting the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.
Experience the beauty of the north on this tour. Your first stop will be at a beautiful orchid nursery and the butterfly farm in the Mae Rim District. Then, continue your journey through the hilly, and forest area, just north of the city to see the elephants at work at the Mae Tan Elephant Camp. Here, you will be given the chance to ride through the forest on the back of these gentle animals. The ox-cart is another traditional means of transportation and you will experience a 30 minute ox-drawn cart bringing you at a leisurely pace past rural villages. Lunch will be provided. The afternoon is reserved for a 5 kilometer ride down the beautiful Mae Taeng River on a bamboo raft before heading back into Chiang Mai. This is pure adventure all the way but during some parts of the rainy season, this tour may not be operational subject to high water levels.
Today you will go to a Lanna style school located in a countryside village, just 15 minutes from the city of Chiang Mai. The school offers lessons on how to cook delicious Thai food, Thai sweets, fruit carving, and presentation. When cooking Thai food, various local spices that enhance your health and physical well-being are used as ingredients. It's the ideal school to learn how to cook Thai food to preserve it for generations to come. The atmosphere surrounding the school is filled with warmth, sympathy, and helpfulness, all representing ancient, traditional Lanna custom and culture.
Fly from Chiang Mai to Siem Reap, Cambodia via Bangkok.
Tonight you will enjoy a traditional Khmer dance show and dinner.
Meet your private guide at your hotel and set off for a day of memorable Cambodian sightseeing. Visit the South Gate of Angkor Thom, the Bayon temple complex, as well as Takeo and Ta Prohm temples. Travel from the South Gate of Angkor Thom to Bayon temple by elephant.The walled and moated city of Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Angkorian empire. It was built to protect against invaders in the 12th century. The Bayon is a state temple, erected in the center of the city. In the afternoon, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Continue with a visit to Angkor Wat complex and watch the sunset from Phnom Bakheng. Afterwards you will be brought back to your hotel.
Today, you will get up at 4 AM to head to the temples and enjoy sunrise at Angkor Wat, then return back to your hotel for breakfast. After breakfast you will transfer about half an hour outside the city to visit one of the more remote temples, Banteay Srei. After touring around this temple with your guide, you will head back towards Siem Reap, and en route you will stop for a quick visit to the Landmine Museum. This museum was opened in 1997 by Aki Ra, a former child soldier, and proceeds go toward clearing landmines across Cambodia. It's a safe and educational place to learn about the impact that these devices have had on Cambodia, and what is being done to rid the country of their threat. Transfer back to the city for lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch, head to one of Siem Reap's lively local markets where you can buy small gifts to bring along to one of the schools for local orphaned children near Wat Bo. Play with the children, tour the facilities, sit in on a lesson, and interact with the local community along with your guide. Later in the afternoon, transfer back to your hotel in Siem Reap. ***A portion of the tour cost will be donated to both the Landmine Museum and Orphanage, of course, further donations are welcome!
Fly from Siem Reap to Phuket, Thailand via Bangkok.
This full day of adventure and excitement begins as you depart from Laem Sai Pier and head off to Phang Nga Bay on a cruiser boat. Upon arrival, you will receive a safety briefing from a team of professional canoeists. You can then explore sea caves, tunnels, and lagoons by special sea-canoes. Afterwards, return to the cruiser to enjoy a Thai buffet lunch while slowly heading to Lawa Island. Here you can enjoy swimming, canoeing or sun-bathing on the sandy beach before returning to Phuket.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
Fly from Phuket to Bangkok. Flight time is approximately 1.5 hours.
Welcome to the Ariyasom Villa located in the heart of Bangkok – step back in time to a more leisurely lifestyle. The villa was built in 1942 and is still in the hands of the original family who built it. With beautifully appointed rooms and suites, Na Aroon Restaurant, room service, swimming pool, spa, library, and meditation hall makes them well equipped to look after guests while they stay in the "City of Angels".
Tamarind Village is a unique and charming boutique property that nestles in the heart of historic Chiang Mai. Surrounded by ancient temples and quaint shopping streets, it takes its name from the magnificent 200 year old tamarind tree that shelters the hotel. Set around a series of garden courtyards, the guest rooms and suites reflect the rich ethnic diversity of northern Thailand by using fabrics and patterns drawn from various tribes of the region. Intimate, serene and relaxing, Tamarind Village is an oasis of calm and tranquility, the perfect base for exploring Chiang Mai and beyond.
The Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa provides a sense of serenity with the nostalgic comfort and elegant refinement of the French Art de Vivre in the heart of Siem Reap. The building's graceful colonial architecture of the 1930's provides a sense of peaceful tranquility. The hotel is located within close proximity to World Heritage listed Angkor Temples, the quaint old market town of Siem Reap, and the international airport. Featuring a Victorian touch, air conditioned rooms and suites come with dark furnishings, all with private balcony facing the pool, tropical garden or the Royal Park. International, Asian, and local Khmer dishes are served at L'Escale restaurant, while Le Bistrot de Siem Reap presents modern French gastronomy, complemented by the finest wines. L'Explorateur Bar and Le Pool Deck feature light meals, exquisite cocktails, and refreshing beverages. Surrounded by tropical garden, the hotel houses a magnificent outdoor saltwater pool with a spa tub. Relaxing massages, facial and body treatments are available at the Victoria Spa.
Following extensive renovations to all accommodations, Boathouse now offers a refreshing blend of its original elegance with modern luxuries and tropical flare. Their architects respected the most loved aspects of this iconic Phuket resort and successfully updated the classic with contemporary amenities to enhance your Thai beachfront holiday. Whether your palate prefers authentic Thai cuisine or sophisticated French cuisine, savor leisurely lunches and fine dinners. Enjoy the award-winning wine cellar, distinguished by prestigious Wine Spectator Awards since 1995. All guestrooms at the Boathouse look upon the captivating blue hues of the Andaman Sea. Sleep soundly, just steps from the powdery soft white sand, in whichever you choose among the classic yet entirely refreshed Asian retro-style guestrooms and substantial suites.
Olive Ramchand ,
June 03, 2014
"I have to admit, this was the BEST vacation I ever had. The tour was nothing less than Fantastic! The hotels were great, the guides were great, the transportation was great, the places were great, the people were great, the food was great and last but not least China, itself was out of this world. I'm so glad I booked this tour and would recommend this to anyone. Thanks so much for all your help, your interest and your recommendations. Steve in China was so attentive, he called constantly to make sure everything was fine. We really had a fabulous time and even my jaded husband who normally only seems to care about where the nearest golf course is, was impressed and had a wonderful time.
Thanks again, and unto the next vacation (although I don't know how we would top this one!!)
Jeanne Tarvin ,
April 21, 2014
"The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!"
January 15, 2014
"We just returned on Monday from our wonderful trip to South Korea, Bangkok and Phuket. I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work in planning our tours and adventures. Everything was spot on, from our arrivals at the airports, to the guides and the tours. I would not hesitate to recommend you and your company. It was truly a wonderful vacation. Thank you again.
Bob Feldman ,
November 19, 2013
"I wanted to let you know that our trip to China was great! Everybody enjoyed themselves. When planning a trip I am always concerned about the itinerary, the vehicles and the guides. All 3 of these were great. The guides were particularly good and in this case really made the trip a pleasure. Overall a great trip. Thanks for all you did."
Gloria DeWeese ,
October 10, 2013
"A wonderful trip and everything went like clockwork. Thank you so very much for all your assistance. I hope I will have a chance to work with you again."
Wayne Gavioli ,
September 04, 2013
"We just returned from our thailand/cambodia trip. It was fantastic. You did a great job. The guides were excellent as was the drivers. We loved the Victoria Hotel you selected in Siem. Wish we had more time. Thailand met our expectations but our expectations for Cambodia were low and they exceeded them. Loved the places selected for the included lunches. Certainly would use Kensington again"
Santo Filice ,
August 30, 2013
"Thank you for arranging our guided trip to Thailand - Vietnam. It was a memorable, and pleasant trip - a 1st for us with Kensington tours and a most enjoyable one. We found that we were able to maximize our visit of the the area without the concern of booking hotels, airline, finding parking and understanding the local language. "
Tim Mesarch ,
August 02, 2013
"Alexis helped us fit in all of the sites we wanted to see on our trip to Thailand and Cambodia, and suggested some more. It was valuable talking with someone who had been there and done that. The planning went pretty smoothly, and so did the trip. The local guides were all top-notch! "
July 25, 2013
"I highly recommend Kesington Tours. The planning of our trip to Cambodia was outstanding. Our advisor Alexis Mayer was unbelievably patient, knowledgeable and responsive. We planned the trip in every possible detail and Alexis was extraordinary during the whole process. Once we were in Cambodia, we had a tiny issue with the car. I was able to get in contact with Alexis right away and the problem was instantly solved. The trip itself was fantastic. Everything was very well planned and perfectly organized. The local guides and drivers were great. The hotels were very well chosen.
Great trip. I would definitely travel again with Kensington Tours."
Pennie Quintana ,
August 07, 2013
"Thank you so much for the amazing trip we enjoyed!! All our guides were fantasy. Joseph in Jakarta, July in Jojakarta and Deon in Borneo!! Wow!! Bless you for all your attention to detail and the outstanding communication to all my questions. You made me feel so taken care of and tended too!! "
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