This 7-day tour of mainland Thailand explores its natural and historical highlights, but also adds some off-the-path gems from central and northern Thailand. While much of the journey is by cool, air-conditioned vehicle, you'll also travel by boats, tuk tuk, and trishaw for an authentically Thai experience. Departing from Bangkok, you'll visit Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and more, help cultivate rice, visit an Elephant POOPOO PAPER Park, and discover Thailand's traditional Buddhist culture and handicrafts.
Day 1: Bangkok-Ayutthaya-Phitsanulok (L,D)Depart from Bangkok at 6:30am for Ayutthaya to tour the remains of the ancient city aboard a classic three-wheel tuk tuk. Next, head to Lopburi to see the famous Monkey Temple and Prang Sam Yot before checking in to your hotel in the city of Phitsanulok. After dinner, clamber aboard a pedal-powered trishaw for an evening ride around the night market.Overnight in PhitsanulokDay 2: Phitsanulok-Sukhothai (B,L,D)In Phitsanulok, visit the Wat Mahathat, a royal temple that’s home to one of the most beautiful Buddha images in the country, before setting out by road for Sukhothai. On arrival, explore the highlights of ancient Sukhothai and visit the Sangkhalok pottery village. End the day by visiting Si Satchanalai, the striking remains of the northern outpost of the historic Sukhothai Kingdom.Overnight in SukhothaiDay 3: Sukhothai-Lampang-Chiang Mai (B,L,D)The day begins with a live presentation on rice cultivation, where you'll get to try your hand at growing rice. Next, set out for Lampang to admire Wat Phra That Lampang Luang, housing the country's only Emerald Buddha other than the one in Bangkok. Finally, drive to Chiang Mai, Thailand's cultural capital, where you'll check in to your hotel and enjoy dinner at a riverside restaurant that doubles as an art gallery.Overnight in Chiang MaiDay 4: Chiang Mai (B,L,D)Start the day with an early-morning visit to a nearby temple to give alms to the monks — a common practice in Thailand's Buddhist culture. After breakfast, drive the steep road to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a sacred temple with superb views over the city. Continue to the Talat Warorot, Chiang Mai’s largest market, then ride a rickshaw to Wat Chedi Luang, one of the city's most celebrated temples. In the San Kamphaeng handicraft district, watch artisans practicing ancient Thai arts and crafts, and learn more about the generations-old traditions. For dinner, eat khan toke style, dining off low tables while seated on the floor, as you watch a performance of live music and traditional dance.Overnight in Chiang MaiDay 5: Chiang Mai-Chiang Dao-Thaton (B,L,D)The day begins with a drive to a sustainable elephant camp outside Chiang Mai, where you'll learn how elephants are used in the timber industry and their role in Thai heritage. A side-trip to a nearby orchid farm will give you a stunning impression of just a fraction of Thailand's rich variety of orchids. En-route to your hotel in Thaton, stop to explore the dramatic Chiang Dao cave complex. Overnight in Thaton