(Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Krabi)
Explore Bangkok’s vast Royal Grand Palace and its dazzling Emerald Buddha; witness city life from the water on a long-tail boat cruise of Chao Phya River; visit a breathtaking mountain temple that boasts incredible views over Chiang Mai; discover the ancient city of Lamphun that dates back to A.D. 700; take on the slopes of Thailand’s highest mountain; and explore the soaring limestone islands off the coast of Krabi by sea canoe.
From enjoying a traditional Thai massage in an ancient temple setting and eating your way through Bangkok's famous Chinatown, to interacting with elephants in their natural habitat and visiting Karen Hill Tribe villages, this trip is heavy on authentic experiences for a real taste of Thailand. You’ll also enjoy accommodation in world-class hotels along the way with historic villas, elegant retreats and boutique resorts all rolling out the red carpet for you.
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.
Spend half of the day visiting Southeast Asia's largest open-air market, Chatuchak. Open only on Saturday and Sunday, this market spans many miles, and is the perfect place to barter for souvenirs, eat some truly authentic Thai street food, or simply sit back, grab a drink, and watch the excitement. Your guide will accompany you through the maze of stalls and help you with your haggling skills.
After being picked up at your hotel, your guide will accompany you on a private transfer to China Town, a district full of traditional, cultural, and excellent food. Bangkok is an amazing city for its culinary side of life and there is no better place that showcases this than its myriad of street food stalls. Discover delicious and amazing tastes of authentic Thai food at Chinatown, locally called Yaowarat. Taste a variety of dishes such as Hong Kong noodles, dim-sum (pan-fried taro cake, steamed pork rib with preserved soya bean), grilled jumbo prawn with Thai seafood chili sauce, fried battered mussels, Chinese bun, traditional Chinese herbal drink, black sesame dumpling in ginger tea, and Thai tropical seasonal fruit. (Subject to change due to local condition). After the tour you will be brought back to your hotel.
Fly from Bangkok to Chiang Rai. Flight time is approximately 1.5 hours.
This morning you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to Chiang Saen, considered to be the oldest city in northern Thailand, situated on the Mekong River. Upon your arrival, you will proceed to Wat Phra That Chedi Luang monument, located in “old town” of Chiang Saen. This structure was built by King Saen Phu, the third ruler of the Lanna kingdom in the early 13th Century. Some of the other ancient sites to marvel at include the bell-shaped, Lanna-style principal Chedi, which measures 88 meters high with a base 24 meters wide, the largest such structure in Chiang Saen. From here the tour continues to the Golden Triangle on the Mekong River, where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos meet for an exclusive tour of the Opium Museum. The museum is located in the middle of Ban Sobrak (about 12 km from Chiang Saen), between various shops and restaurants. The museum houses one of the greatest collections of objects related to the cultivation and use of opium in the world. Some of the relics made available to see include various harvest tools, pipes, scales, weights, pillows, burners, and even some opium-sets made of silver. You will learn not only about the cultivation and use, but also about the history of opium as far as its relation to this area. The collection of priceless and unique items took more than 25 years to collect. A scheduled lunch will be served at a local restaurant.
Transfer from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai with a private vehicle, driver, and English speaking guide. The transfer is approximately 4 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.
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.
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 Center. 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.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
Fly from Chiang Mai to Krabi via Bangkok.
Explore the stunning natural beauty of southern Thailand's islands on this exclusive private canoeing tour. Marvel at the bright white beaches surrounded by towering limestone cliffs, the blue of the Andaman Sea, and the green of the islands lush vegetation. “Room Island,” or Koh Hong, is one of the most beautiful islands in the south. Protected by the Thai government for its wildlife, Koh Hong is full of monkeys, lizards, and a variety of birds. Take a walk on one of the islands nature trails or simply relax in the sun. Koh Hong is also known for its lagoon, which can only be accessed from the water.
Fly from Krabi 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".
The Legend Chiang Rai Resort & Spa lies along the Mae Kok River, secluded from Chiang Rai Town, yet only a few minutes by car from the city center. Nestled on the banks of the picturesque Mae Kok River the spacious studios and villas are equipped with luxurious furniture and a unique tropical bathroom. However, the luxury does not end with the rooms furnishings, but rather continues with stunning facilities. Amongst others is the infinity pool overlooking the river, the outdoor spa that brings you close to nature while securing absolute comfort and the Sala Rim Nam Thai restaurant with an exquisite choice of Thai and Western cuisine, prepared in the outdoor kitchen and creatively presented in the backdrop of the breathtaking views of the river and the mountains.
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 Tubkaak Boutique Resort has been featured in "Unseen Thailand". The Tubkaak Krabi blends distinctive southern Thai architecture with the incredible natural beauty of Krabi's landscape. Villa style accommodation combines elements of east and west, with stylish interiors and oriental bathrooms open to the sky. In a superb location overlooking the sea with inspiring views of the magnificent Hong Islands, Tubkaak Beach literally translates as Visitors Cove, where local hospitality is legendary.
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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