This itinerary carefully blends the diverse highlights of Northern Thailand at the best of its natural, cultural and spiritual diversity. At its heart, this holiday is indelibly tranquil and laid-back with all conforts but simoultaneously i twill give you the chance to participate into communities based activities with tribal communities traditional The gentle rhythm of life always delights visitors, and it’s always complemented by thick coatings of untamed nature and immersive cultural journeys. This 11-day tour unveils Northern Thailand with its spirituality, effortlessly blending natural wonder, ancient architecture, charming towns, and indigenous culture. These 11 days tour will start from Bangkok, bringing you the finest experiences in Thailand’s enigmatic capital. Taking advantage of a rich cultural heritage, exciting nightlife, stage shows, natural beauty and more than a few hidden gems, you will find plenty of ways to enrich your trip. Moreover, you will have the chance to discover Baan Bat or Monk’s Bowl Village, the small village with an age-old tradition of crafting bowls from raw steel using only their hands and a hammer. You will disccover to Damnernsaduak, Thailand’s liveliest and most picturesque floating market. A train ride on the old railway track will show you a spectacular part of the Death Railway on the river Kwai Bridge. From here you will cruise towards Ayutthaya on the Chao Phraya River, passing the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of Dawn. A traditional rice barges provide the setting for a lunch during the cruise between Bangkok and the UNESCO world heritage city of Ayutthaya. The cruise gives you an opportunity to revisit the ‘old Siam’ and see a charming way of life of local people along the Chao Phraya River. From this privileged perspective you will be able to observe the way of rural life along the river. The Unesco World Heritage site of Ayutthaya is 53 miles (85 kilometers) north of Bangkok. Ayutthaya was a thriving Siamese kingdom from 1350 until 1767, when it was captured by the Burmese. Today, Ayutthaya is know for its spectacular ruins and temples.
From here you will start explore the remote village of Pai in a resort with thermal water. Here you will have the rare chance to experience a full day of meditation retrait ina a monastry in the foresst and with a hot spring water pool.
In Pai and Chang Mai you will participate in community-based activities with Kayan and Karen tribes on the hills of northern Thailand. They offers hill tribe holidays that combine hill tribe experience with eco-friendly tours such as hiking and relaxing in hot theramal centers. Contributions from your stay will be used on community projects that will improve the local hill tribe people’s living conditions.
Registration can be requested for group travel or for self-travel. For group travel, registration is not binding. Upon reaching the minimum number of members necessary for the formation of the group, usually 4 or 6 people, you will be asked for confirmation of booking and payment of a deposit.
Day 1: Arrival Bangkok
Arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport by morning flight (Suggested flight arrive not later than 08:00 am). Meet with guide and transfer to the hotel. Check-in at the hotel. Later in the morning, you will be collected by your guide to old town, you will walk through the morning market, where you can see the liveliness of the people and vendors. You can have a late breakfast at the market as well. Then we will visit Wat Suthat Thepwararam, which was built during the reign of King Rama I, and there is also a famous mural painting about the demon. Moreover, you will learn how to pay respect to the Buddha image and learn to make merit by monk’s offering as well. After After that, we will do the Buddhist activities at Wat Theptidaram by starting with meditation for 15 minutes, then learn more about the Buddhist way of life by monk chatting. Then we will walk to the Buddha Street, in the center of the old town. Here you can explore the shops and find all sorts of unique things. After lunch continue walking to local community, Baan Bat or Monk’s Bowl Village, the small village with an age-old tradition of crafting bowls from raw steel using only their hands and a hammer. Nowadays, less than five households continue to make a living by selling their craft. Go up to Golden mount temple for the Bangkok bird eye view before transfer to the hotel.
Overnight in Bangkok
Day 2: Visit Bangkok
American Breakfast at the hotel. Departure from the hotel, travel to Wat Traimit, famous for its Buddha image made from 5.5 tons of pure gold. After crossing the bustling streets of Chinatown, you will reach the Royal Palace, built in 1782, with its roofs of gold and marble glittering in the sunshine. This tour offers an opportunity to the better understanding of the splendor of Thai architectural forms centuries past, the worship of Buddhism and the high respect Thai people hold for the monarchy. You can also visit Wat Phra Kheo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), the Tower of the Nine Planets, the Coronation Hall and Funeral Hall (Coronation Hall and Funeral Hall are close for any visit during weekends and public holidays). Proceed to Wat Po, with its stately Reclining Buddha image some 46 meters in length, also the site of the famous school for Thai traditional massage. In the late afternoon you will have a chance to experience a traditional Thai massage from visually impaired therapist. Let’s switch on your senses, here in the dark it counts for nothing whether your eyes are open or closed. Start learning with introduction workshop with blind persons. Then your guide will lead you to walk with your cane to the darkness exhibition where you will be realized the importance of perceptive senses around. The one-hour experience designed to offer an insight into how blind people live. We can say this is one of the most valuable experiences in exploring our non-visual senses and even can change our mindset. Afterward, you will be lead to experience Thai Massage by blind (selective of 60 minutes body massage or 60 minutes foot massage). We let blind therapists demonstrate their unique talent for massage therapy as they are able to fully focus on their sense of touch in a way others cannot.
Overnight in Bangkok. (B)
Day 3: visit Damnernsaduak
Bangkok – Damnern Saduak – Kanchanaburi
American Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Damnernsaduak, Thailand’s liveliest and most picturesque floating market. People from neighboring villages arrive on the waterways in their loaded sampans to sell or barter all kinds of goods including vegetables, fruit and flowers offering scenes typical of country life in Thailand. From the market, continue to visit Krasae Cave where currently housing some Buddha Statues. At 13,30 you will take a local train to river Kawai bridge. Enjoy on the a train ride on the old railway track with a spectacular part of the Death Railway running beside steep slopes of the mountain side. It is one of the most interesting part of the railway because of its wooden bridge and is still in working condition. Arrive after 1 hours at river Kwai Bridge, built by Allied prisoners of war and Asian laborers. .Upon arrival at the bridge, enjoy free time with spectacular view in the area. Have lunch in a local restaurant and later transfer to a beautiful hotel with a thermal water pool on the river. Relaxing in the hot spring bathing.
Overning in Kanchanaburi. (B)
Day 4: cruise to Ayutthaya
Kanchanaburi – Ayuthaya – Bangkok
American Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out and depart from the hotel at approximately 07.00 hrs. to Bang Pa-In Royal Palace or the Summer Palace, which is 53 km. away from Bangkok. Then we will enjoy fantastic Thai lunch on a Rice Barge cruising along the majestic Chao Phraya, “River of Kings”. After lunch, we will explore rest on the island framed by three significant rivers: Chao Phraya, Lopburi and Pasak, the historic temples, palaces and remaining architectures of the ancient kingdom of Ayutthaya are one of Thailand’s most precious historical sites. The 715-acre area has been listed the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991 as it portrays the heydays of one of the largest kingdoms in Indochina history. Then, continue the journey to Bangkok, check-in at hotel.
Overnight at Bangkok (B,L)
Day 5: TRANSFER TO PAI
Bangkok – Chiang Mai – Pai
American breakfast at hotel, check-out and depart to Bangkok domestic airport for your flight to Chiang Mai. Upon arrival at Chiang Mai. Meet your guide and transfer in the direction of Pai. Pai is a small city in northern Thailand, daughter of Mae Hong Son province. Enroute stopover for a coﬀee break at Pan Kled Coﬀee and then visit Mok Fah Waterfall, take a walk to visit this beautiful waterfall hiding in a beautiful scenery. You will have lunch at Yunnan Chinese Restaurant. Visit a historic bridge built by the Japanese army during World War II, is the bridge for the city. This bridge was built through Pai River. Afternoon, visit the center of Chinese culture of Yunnan. Some of the Chinese in Yunnan village were in the army evacuated from China 50 years ago. Here you can admire their culture and traditions. Then check in to hotel in Pai and relax in the thermal water pool.
Overnight at Pai (B,L)
Day 6: MEDITATION RETRAIT IN A MONASTRY
After breakfast, you will be transfered to Pai International Meditation center for a full day retreat program including lunch. The center is surrounded by nature and hot springs. The majestic views and peaceful surroundings make this perfect for destressing and meditation. Aside from the hot springs, a refreshing cool pool is also available. You can boost your energy levels and keep your body and mind at ease by joining a yoga classes in the morning and in the afternoon. Lunch served at the center is healthy and nutritious. Their ingredients are locally produced and some of it is organically grown by the center. After the program return to the hotel in Pai
Overnight in Pai. (B,L)
Day 7: RAFTING AT LOD CAVE
Chiang Rai Pick up at hotel in Pai and drive to Mae Hong Son. (approx 2-2.5 hours drive over the beautiful mountain road) Upon arrival at Ban Huay Deau boat landing then enjoy a long-tail boat ride along the Pai River to visit the exotic Kayan or Longneck women at Ban Huai Pu Kaeng. After lunch in a local restaurant you will take the longtail boat return to Mae Hong Son. Before heading back to Pai stop over to visit the iconic hilltop temple at Wat Phrathat Doi Kong Mu and twin temple by the lake at Wat Jong Kum Jong Klang then depart to Lod Cave. At Lod Cave, the local guide with lanterns will lead you to explore this largest cave in northern Thailand. Lod Cave contains 3 large chambers; the Giant pillar cave, the Dolls cave and take the bamboo raft to the Wood Coﬃn cave. End of the trip back to Pai.
Overnight at Pai (B)
Day 8: TRANSFER TO CHIANG MAI
After an early breakfast transfer to Chiang Mai. This city was the capital of the Lanna Kingdom (1296-1768) which later became the Kingdom of Chiang Mai from 1774 to 1939. Arrive at Chiang Mai. Check-in at the hotel. Later visit Wat Phra Singh (Temple of the Lion Buddha), one of the ﬁnest classic Lanna Style architecture in Northern Thailand where house a very highly revered Buddha image named Phra Sing Buddha. Then, visit another signiﬁcant temple at Wat Chedi Luang. The construction of the temple started in the 14th century, when King Saen Muang Ma planned to bury the ashes of his father there. After 10 years of building time it was left unﬁnished, later to be continued after the death of the king by his widow. Later Later proceed to visit Doi Suthep (1676 m. AMSL), the landmark of Chiang Mai where the beautiful pagoda of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, built in 1383 during the reign of the King “Kue-Na”, is located. From the top of the Doi Suthep, enjoy a beautiful panorama view of Chiang Mai city.
Overnight in Chang Mai. (B)
DAY 9: FEED AND BATH ELEPHANTS
Enjoy a full day visit to Elephant Nature Park; a natural home and sanctuary for elephants, buffalos, dogs, cats, birds and many other rescued animals. Your visit starts with a picturesque drive through rural countryside to Elephant Nature Park. You will hear the personal stories of rescued and orphaned elephants. See how they became a proud herd and free from abuse for the first time in their lives. Many find their visit to Elephant Nature Park rewarding and very relaxing. Observe free roaming elephants (no riding), and other rescued animals enjoying the natural surroundings of our sanctuary. Your visit helps support our regional projects and offers an invaluable opportunity of helping elephant conservation. Return to Chiang Mai and later if time is available you can experience the local’s lives by visiting a local market called “Warorot Market.
Overnight in Chiang mai. (B,L)
Day 10: DISCOVER DOI INTHANON NATIONAL PARK
Chiang Mai-Doi Inthanon National Park-Chiang Mai
After breakfast you will begin the tour by traveling (approximately 2,5 hrs) to the Doi Inthanon National Park. This park is the traditional home of the Karen people. Here you can experience Thailand’s highest mountain, Doi Inthanon, which is 2,565m tall. Next you will visit the picturesque Wachirathan Waterfall where you can have a break and freshen up for the afternoon. It is then a short drive to the village Ban Pha Mon where you will meet your local tour guide and have an authentic Karen meal for lunch. The local guide will take you on a tour to learn about and observe the life of the Karen farmers. You will see rice pounding, bamboo weaving and also the weaving of traditional Karen clothes. End of the day, return to Chiang Mai city.
Overnight in Chang Mai. (B,L)
Day 11: depart from Bangkok
American breakfast at the hotel, check-out and transfer to Chiang Mai airport in time to board your flight to Bangkok or other destinations (suggested morning flight that departure from Chiang Mai airport
All the itinerary has been designed in order to promote direct or indirect benefits for local communities, environment and cultural heritages. When possible we have selected traditional accommodations sensible to social and environmental issues, following general principles and practices of responsible tourism. During the tour you will have several opportunities to meet and interact with local and tribal communities as to get a real exposure to their culture and agricultural practices. In Bangkok surroundings you will have a chance to visit a farmers’ community, where lotus flowers are grown, that are offered in Buddhist temples. In Bangkok you will also have a chance to experience a traditional Thai massage from visually impaired therapist. Perception Blind Massage was launched in December 2014, with an aim of introducing new massage place concept to Bangkok while providing employment for blind or visually impaired therapists. We let them demonstrate their unique talent for massage therapy as they are able to fully focus on their sense of touch in a way others cannot.
In Pai you participate in a community based program in suppor of Kayan (long neck) community and In Don Inthanon National Park you will experience local community based activities with Karen tribes. Contributions from your stay will be used on community projects that will improve the local hill tribe people’s living conditions. Tribal community will welcome you showcasing their village, through homestead gardens and paddy fields.
In Chang Mai you will be visiting an elephant camp which is dedicated to providing care and assistance to Thailand’s captive elephant population through a multifaceted approach involving local community outreach, rescue and rehabilitation programs, and educational ecotourism operations.
Moreover, your contribution of 50 euros will support development projects in favour of one of the most marginalised tribal Communities of Thailand who are still at the margin of Thai society.
A conscious approach to travel requires a considerable capacity and willingness to adapt and adjust to the local environment and culture. If you wish to travel with us we request you to be open enough to experience local culture, religious and traditions without bias and pre-conceived ideas you might have before the departure and which belong to our Western cultural way of thinking. Exploring with fresh eyes, with patience and openness, you will be able to access the real essence of South Asian cultural heritages, through the places and people you are going to meet; if you are ready to do this effort you will really enjoy the beauty of a completely different cultural tradition, the extraordinary of the nature, the solemnity of Buddhist temples, the holiness of the waters of countless rivers and oceans that flow through this magic land…
While travelling in Thailand, despite being famous tourist destinations, it is advised that you following carefully a code conduct which respects local culture to avoid any hassles or unwanted troubles along your journey. In particular, avoid to show affection in public places, such as hugging, kissing etc., as this behaviour is not appreciated by local people. Thailand is a wonderful place full of wonderful people. For this reason we would like to enlighten you about a few cultural points that will make your stay here more enjoyable and comfortable for both travelers and locals:
Buddhist monks are a common sight all over Thailand and are easily recognized with their orange robes and shaved heads. It is strictly forbidden for male monks to have direct physical contact with women, this includes handing them something. It is acceptable for women to offer a gift by placing it on the ground in front of a monk and backing away, or by giving it to a man to offer for the woman. Men can come in direct contact with monks. Please treat monks with the utmost respect, to speak to them respectfully and ‘wai’ when greeting, saying goodbye and thank you.
You are advised to follow a certain dress code. There are basically two reasons why it is recommended to be careful about what clothes you wear while traveling to the area. The first reason is to prevent you from hurting the sentiments of the local people and second, to protect you from the varied weather conditions prevailing in seasons. One more thing to keep in mind is mosquitoes…it is advised to keep your arms and legs covered because it provides protection (however, don’t forget to bring with you mosquito nets and repellents, especially for river cruises). Thailand’s time zone is GMT/UTC +7, so chances of jet lag cannot be ignored. It is advised that you get onto this time zone as soon as you leave home and try to eat and sleep according local time. Also, if you reach Thailand early in the day, try to stay awake – this will help the body’s internal clock to reset.
If you are staying less than 30 days, you will not need a visa to Thailand in advance. You can have your passport stamped when you arrive. It is free and you don’t need to bring extra passport photos. However, this is only valid for 30 days and you must show your return ticket upon arrival to show that you plan to leave.
We selected beautiful and traditional heritages resorts with all the facilities throughout the tour. When possible, resorts have been selected carefully according to criteria of social and environmental impacts. In Kanchanaburi and in Pai we have selected beautiful resort with hot theremal pool.
A river cruise in Ayutthaya, in an elegantly restored crafted rice barge including an lunch on board. For all over the tour private vehicles o mini-buses with AC will be used according to the number of participants.From Bangkok to Chiang mai one internal flight is included.
Although the climate varies throughout Thailand, you can visit all year round. The best time to travel is during the cool and dry season between November and early April. The climate of most of Thailand is governed by three seasons: rainy (roughly May–Oct), caused by the southwest monsoon dumping moisture gathered from the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand; cool (Nov–Feb); and hot (March–May).