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.This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.
• Ancient Wats: From the ruins of Sukhothai to the quaint temples of Nan and Phayao, each wat has a unique story.
• Hill Tribe Heritage: Northern Thailand is home to a multitude of ethnic groups whose traditions continue to endure, despite the hardships of their complex histories.
• Elephant Encounters: Due to the country's historic logging industry, Thailand sadly has more captive elephants than anywhere else in Asia. Remote Lands' expertise in this field ensures travelers visit only the most ethical of elephant sanctuaries.
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.
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.
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.
After a relaxing breakfast, transfer to the airport and fly onward to your next destination.
The expansive Iyara Lake Hotel is surrounded by a picturesque landscape a short drive from the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary. The five types of its 362 beautifully decorated contemporary guestrooms feature Thai design aesthetics and luxurious amenities such as silk sheets, a private Jacuzzi tub, or even a sauna box. Two on-site restaurants with sweeping views of the surrounding scenery offer Thai and international dishes, many of which are served à la carte. Additionally, a KTV bar is available along with more relaxing options such as a revitalizing spa, expansive swimming pool, pool bar, and fitness room. A number of ballrooms and meeting spaces are available and staff can help to arrange various activities from bicycling to jet ski excursions.
Nestled in a verdant valley on the border of Laos, Nan is a haven for travelers seeking to explore the natural beauty and rich cultural heritage of northern Thailand. The resort's nine Lanna style bungalows and villas are constructed with teak wood and feature local aesthetics while offering a variety of modern amenities such as Wi-Fi access along with expansive views from the balconies. The Thai chef at Lemongrass Restaurant serves Thai fusion and Southern Thai dishes paired with world class wines. There is an inviting pool on-site where guests can enjoy a massage or relax and admire the surrounding beauty.
Situated upon the expansive Kwan Phayao wetland rests Phayao, a relaxed city of northern Thailand with unbounded greenery. The ZEN Home Resort and Garden represents a concentrated cocktail of the city’s most desirable traits with architecture elements inspired from both minimalist concepts and Japanese Zen aesthetics, its beautiful sun terrace and garden provide ideal locations for both business and leisure travelers to let the hustle and bustle of the city melt away. Each of the nine comfortable, air-conditioned lodges are equipped with an LCD television, free Wi-Fi, a private bathroom with a bathtub or shower, and complimentary toiletry essentials. Some of the rooms even include a sitting area and terrace. Guests are also given access to the shared kitchen and dining area. The hotel is nearby attractions like Phayao Lake, Wat Analayo Thipphayaram, and the Cultural Exhibition Hall.
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.
Located in the heart of Wat Gate, an area in Chiang Mai that was formerly designated to foreigners by the government, 137 Pillars House sits idyllically along the Ping River, adjacent to Wat Gate Khar Rham Temple. Combining the regality of traditional Thai elegance with modern luxury, this boutique hotel offers amenities including high-speed wireless internet access, laundry service, a 24-hour on-call medical professional, babysitting services, a spa, outdoor swimming pool and a fitness facility. The Dining Room offers classic Thai cuisine, one of the many dining options offered at the hotel. 137 Pillars House is approximately 25 minutes by car from Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX).
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
An Asia-focused magazine brought to you by Remote Lands – a platform for adventure, luxury, and authenticity from experts and explorers around the continent.
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