Sixteen days, four countries, eight flights, and six hotels without a hitch.
Ralph & Orn - New York, NY

An Exploration of Temples and Ancient Relics in Northern Thailand

The north of Thailand makes a perfect haven for those with an appreciation of culture and a taste for adventure and authenticity. Delve into its history to learn about the ethnic minorities of the hill tribes and witness the remnants of the Lanna Kingdom. Stroll through vibrant markets, spend time in traditional villages, cruise down rivers, discover ancient ruins and relics, observe monks deep in prayer at Wat Tilok Aram and spend a day interacting with elephants throughout your incredible journey.

Highlights   Pricing
  • Visit the Hill Tribes of Ban Rong Hi located near Kwan Phayao
  • Discover the intriguing stone ruins of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Interact with majestic Asian elephants in Chiang Mai
  • Visit a temple enshrining relics of the Buddha
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Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1
Uthai Thani

Depart Bangkok and journey to Ayutthaya, where you will visit a historically significant spot that was once the capital of Siam and explore the temples of Wat Mahathat and Wat Phra Sri Sanphet by tuk tuk. Continue to Wat Chai Wattanaram, and then head up north to Uthai Thani, stopping in Angthong to see the reclining Buddha.

Day 2

Today you’ll explore Uthai Thani and a traditional village, enjoy a cruise along the Sakae Krang River and witness the unique glass interior of Wat Chantaram (Wat Tha Sung). Take a stroll through the local market and after lunch drive to Kamphaeng Phet to visit the historical park. Roam around the Kamphaeng Phet National Museum before your arrival in Sukhothai for the evening.

Day 3

Delve into Thai history at the Sukhothai Historical Park while exploring ancient ruins in the city (the name of which translates as "Dawn of Happiness”). Visit the three famous temples – Wat Mahathat, Wat Sri Chum and Wat Sri Sawai – peruse the Ramkhamhaeng Museum, and then drive north to the Si Satchanalai Historical Park, where the residence of the Crown Prince was located in the 13th and 14th centuries.

Day 4

Depart Sukhothai and visit an authentic Lanna town en route to Phrae. In Phrae, explore Vongburi House, a two-story teak mansion, and then make your way to the highly revered Phra That Cho Hae – founded in the Sukhothai era, this royal temple is believed to hold relics (hair elements) of the Buddha. Continue to Nan and drive up to Wat Phra That Khao Noi for sunset, where you’ll enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Day 5

Stroll through the bustling morning market in Nan before spending the day exploring the city on foot, where you can visit the stunning temples of Phra That Chae Haeng, Wat Phumin, and Wat Sri Panton. Enjoy the evening perusing the wares and handicrafts in Nan’s vibrant night market.

Day 6

Depart Nan for Phayao and visit the Hill Tribes of Ban Rong Hi located near Kwan Phayao. Visit an ancient house, explore Wat Tilok Aram and watch the sunset at Kwan Phayao lake before visiting the night market located in Rob Wiang Pratu Klong Road. Take the opportunity to taste a wide variety of street food dishes and browse the stalls for souvenirs.

Day 7

Depart Phayao and drive to Chiang Mai. Once checked in at your hotel, enjoy the evening at leisure. Relax in your accommodation or roam the historic old town and participate in a wide array of activities – a night market lined with delicious street food stalls, a Muay Thai stadium, and a plethora of unique bars and restaurants.

Day 8

Spend the whole day interacting with majestic Asian elephants. You’ll learn commands in the Thai language from the mahouts (trainers), help care for the elephants, and aid in their feeding and bathing routine.

Day 9

After a relaxing breakfast, transfer to the airport and fly onward to your next destination.


Suggested Accommodations

Legendha Sukhothai, Sukhothai Heritage Resort

Legendha Sukhothai

Modelled on a traditional Thai village, the Legendha Sukhothai is located near the heart of the old town and is adjacent to the beautiful Chedi Wat Chang Lom temple. This boutique resort boasts 62 fully-equipped rooms with classical teakwood furniture. Nham Khang restaurant offers classic Thai dishes in an authentic environment, and has a nightly traditional dance show. The resort also has an open-air saltwater swimming pool and spa.

Sukhothai Heritage Resort

Scenically situated amidst organic ricefields midway between the airport and the city, Sukhothai Heritage Resort is designed to blend seamlessly with Sukhothai’s ancient architecture and consists of 68 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, including luxurious Jacuzzi Suites. Traditional Thai fare is available at the Lotus Restaurant and Sala Sukhothai, while the Vanda Bar is the perfect place for a relaxing drink beside one of the resort’s two swimming pools.
Four Seasons Chiang Mai

Four Seasons Chiang Mai

The Four Seasons Chiang Mai blends with its natural surroundings seamlessly, with trees growing between and around the resort, overlooking terraced rice fields and the mountains of the Mae Rim Valley. The resort has 64 boutique pavilions, each with a private veranda, as well as 16 private luxury residences. The Sala Mae Rim serves Thai cuisine and offers sweeping views of the valley below, and the Terraces have international dishes with a view of the Doi Suthep mountain range. The hotel has a health club with state of the art equipment, including a sauna, herbal steam room, whirlpool, cold plunge pool, 20-meter infinity edge swimming pool, a business center and wi-fi access. There are also mountain bikes available for use, along with maps of trails through the surrounding forest. The Spa at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai has seven treatment suites with rain shower massage tables and private herbal steam rooms. Professional spa therapists can help you choose the best treatment package for your needs. The hotel is 25 minutes from Chiang Mai International Airport.

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From Travelogues
Trinity Nguyen will never forget feeding baby elephants by hand in Chiang Mai, and the charm & history of ancient capital Sukhothai.
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