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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. In the afternoon, climb the many stairs up to Doi Suthep and watch the sunset.