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(Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi)
Stroll among the monkeys that have overtaken the ancient temple city of Phra Prang Sam Yod and watch as the resident Buddhist monks feed their wild companions.
This is just a short drive from Bangkok and close to other breathtaking attractions including the former capital of Ayutthaya where the Summer Palace looms large, and the Phra Narai Ratchaniwet palace which is a stunning monument to the European-Khmer architecture of the 15th century. Elsewhere, you’ll 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 offering alms to Buddhist monks, 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.
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 25 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".
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. Experience an afternoon trip along the bustling Chao Phya River and the quiet klongs in a long tail boat enjoy scenes of life by water. You'll be introduced to a serene, more traditional way of living, away from the high-rise and modern buildings of Bangkok City Centre, as you gently pass Thonburi residential areas. 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.
The first stop on today’s tour will be the former capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya, situated approximately 75 kilometres north of the city. You will stop at the Summer Palace of the late King Rama V, commonly known as Bang Pa-In. Continue on to Lopburi where you will visit Sarn Prakarn, an ancient Khmer sanctuary. It has been told that in ancient times there were many gigantic fig or Krang trees, where monkeys had lived. Later, people brought food and fruits to make a votive offering to the shrine. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Next, proceed to Phra Prang Sam Yod, another ancient Buddhist compound comprised of 3 prangs linked to one another by a corridor. Today, the sanctuary and surrounding city have been overtaken by monkeys coming in from the nearby jungle as local monks continue to feed them. As visitors you can wander the grounds watching the lively action on the temple, and explore the markets nearby where the monkeys continue to live. The next stop is Phra Narai Ratchaniwet, a palace built in the 1600’s. Although the buildings were designed by with the contributions of French architects, the Khmer influence was still strong. The palace was a perfect blend of both worlds, a mixture of Khmer-European styles. After the tour you will head back to Bangkok and arrive at your hotel in the late evening.
Fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
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.
Hidden behind a bamboo wall and opening onto the picturesque Mae Ping River in Thailand’s charming northern city, Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa is a luxurious sanctuary of striking contemporary style, accented by traditional Thai and colonial elements. Relax on your balcony, admiring the peaceful flow of Thai river life. Find more tranquil seclusion at the waterfront pool or indulge in exotic spa rituals and revitalizing yoga. Savour refined culinary journeys, from impeccable Indian, Thai, and western cuisine, gourmet tapas and high tea experiences, to the sophisticated pleasures of their colonial bar.
This morning’s tour will take you on one of the most unique experiences in Thailand, a visit to a Buddhist temple to offer alms to the Buddhist monks. Each morning before dawn the monks put on their distinctive saffron robes and quietly pad in their bare feet along the streets, carrying alms bowls and receiving boiled rice and condiments from the citizens of Thailand. In return people receive the monk’s blessings. You can participate in this very special Thai custom by personally presenting alms; a brief exploration at the Sri Soda temple may be made as well, religious festivals permitting, including seeing the monks pray in the early morning.
The two ancient cities of Lampang and Lamphun are located in the southern Chiang Mai region. They offer a different experience for visitors and are in total contrast to the beaches and sea resorts of the south. 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 beasts. 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.
Begin your tour with a scenic drive through the mountainous countryside to the Doi Inthanon National Park, home to a preserved forest and Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand (8,514). The tour continues with a visit Phra Mahathat Napha Methanidon and Phra Mahathat Naphaphon Phumisiri, twin pagodas which were built to commemorate the fifth cycle birthdays of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit. Both pagodas share similar bases as well as a two-level walking paths that surround them. The pagodas enshrine Lord Buddha’s ashes and Buddha images and overlook the magnificent scenery of Doi Inthanon. Later you will visit the Karen Hill Tribe Village and the Royal Project, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. Upon descending, guests will stop at the beautiful Vachiratharn waterfalls then drive to Baan Ta-Wai’ (Hang Dong District) a village that produces everything from woodcarving and pottery to classical Thai artworks.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
Fly from Chiang Mai to Krabi via Bangkok.
The Tubkaak - 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.
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 reached from the water.
Fly from Krabi to Bangkok.
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!! "
Denise Abadi ,
June 21, 2013
"We have just returned from our trip to Malaysia and wanted you to know how much we enjoyed the itinerary you put together for us. Our guides were personable and very knowledgeable about the various places we visited. We were amazed by the sights, sounds and friendliness of the people we encountered. Needless to say, it was a most memorable trip and one of the
highlights of our traveling careers!
July 11, 2013
"Sunita, my wife and I had a wonderful time in China. The hotels were superb. Our guides were excellent. They spoke good English, were knowledgeable, and flexible. It was a wonderful trip. We particularly enjoyed the Yangtze River cruise. We will certainly consider your firm for international travel in the future."
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