(Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket)
Steer your canoe through the tight caves of the uninhabited limestone islands off the coast of Phuket and float into idyllic interior lagoons where wild monkeys play in the trees and you can see your reflection in the still waters.
This is just one of the many amazing experiences you’ll enjoy on this superb trip. Meet the chanting monks of ancient Thai temples and explore the jungles of Chiang Mai atop your own elephant guide. You’ll also tour the golden temples and vibrant markets of Bangkok; cruise the River of Kings in a traditional long-tail boat; embark on a rafting expedition through remote rainforest; and experience the wild nightlife and pristine island beaches of Phuket. Experienced guides and drivers will be by your side every step of the way as you explore the diverse sights of Thailand.
From participating in Thai cooking class in a traditional country-side village, to exploring the rainforest atop your own elephant guide, this hands-on trip delivers an authentic taste of Thailand. From luxury beach resorts to colonial boutique hotels, the collection of accommodation has been expertly selected to immerse you in the vibrant culture and rich history of the country.
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 Coloured Towers. It is 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 centre 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. Here, you will enjoy a 30 minute Thai massage as an excellent break after a morning sightseeing. In the afternoon, sail along the bustling Chao Phya 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 is 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 centre 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.
The two ancient cities of Lampang and Lamphun are located in the southern Chiang Mai region. One of the interesting highlights of this tour is a visit to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre. It was founded in 1993 under Royal Patronage, and cares for more than 50 Asian elephants in a beautiful forest with a relaxed non-commercial feel. Here you will learn how to care for an elephant and experience a one-hour jungle ride on top one of these majestic animals. After a delicious local lunch, the tour heads back towards Chiang Mai, stopping at Lamphun. Steeped in a history that dates back to A.D. 700, Lamphun is famous for several ancient and revered temples. Among them is Wat Prathat Hariphunchai, built in A.D. 1044 at the site of the ruins of the Royal Palace, and Wat Jamathevi, named after a 7th century queen and founder of Lampoon. Her ashes are interred in the main stupa of the Wat. The trip concludes with a fascinating ride along the old Lampoon-Chiang Mai Road.
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 is 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 Phuket 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.
Park Plaza Sukhumvit Hotel is located in the centre of Bangkok`s thriving Asoke/Sukhumvit district - the city`s most sought after business, retail and entertainment area. Its prime position makes access to Bangkok`s historic buildings, shopping centres and riverside attractions easy. The Queen Sirikit Convention Center is within easy walking distance. The hotel overlooks the picturesque Benjakitti Park and lake.
Nestling on the banks of the Mae Ping River, the Aruntara Boutique Hotel is a unique way to experience Chiang Mai. The design of the hotel is an architectural marriage between British Colonial and Northern Thai influences, this can be seen by the traditional Lanna style handcrafted teak columns and high ceilings. Every piece of furniture in the hotel is exclusively designed and traditionally handmade by Thai craftsmen which enhances the overall Lanna concept. All the rooms are portrayed by one of the four classical elements which bring peace and tranquility to this Buddhist cultural theme.
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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