Northern Thailand is famous for its dense forests populated by ethnic hilltribes, scenic mountains, native wildlife and glistening temples. Thailand is an incredibly diverse country with much to offer and the north makes a perfect haven for those with an appreciation of culture and a taste for adventure and authenticity. The people of the north are considered some of the most friendly and hospitable in Thailand, which will make your experience of rural village life all the more interesting and enjoyable. Stroll through vibrant markets, discover ancient ruins of bygone eras and learn commands for elephants in the native tongue of their trainers throughout your incredible journey in Northern Thailand.
Depart bustling Bangkok and drive to the historic city of Ayutthaya. Explore the stone stupas of Wat Mahathat and Wat Phra Sri Sanphet via the local mode of transport – tuk tuk. Continue to visit Wat Chai Wattanaram and then begin the journey up north to Uthai Thani, stopping in Angthong to see the impressive 50-metre-long reclining Buddha.
Explore Uthai Thani and enjoy a cruise on the Sakae Krang river. Visit Wat Chantaram (Wat Tha Sung) with its unique glass pillars, then stroll through the local market and get a feel for the rural village life. After lunch, drive to Kamphaeng Phet to visit the historical park and marvel at the beautiful stone elephant carvings. Visit the The Kamphaeng Phet National Museum and then continue your journey on to Sukhothai.
Roam Sukhothai Historical Park and visit the three famous temples there – Wat Mahathat is iconic for the stone Buddha head entwined in the roots of a Banyan tree, Wat Sri Chum for the striking Phra Achana Buddha statue it houses and Wat Sri Sawai for the remarkably well-preserved Khmer Prangs (tower-like spires). Peruse the excavated artefacts at the Ramkhamhaeng Museum then drive north to the Si Satchanalai Historical Park.
Depart Sukhothai and drive north to Lampang – once a major city of the Lanna Kingdom – where a traditional horse and cart will collect you to explore the old town. Next, drive to Wat Phra That Lampang Luang, one of the best examples of Lanna architecture. Make your way to Chiang Mai, stopping for a short visit to The Thai Elephant Conservation Centre.
In the morning take a traditional method of local transport – a samlor (three-wheeled rickshaw) – to see the city of Chiang Mai. Explore the stunning temples of Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chiang Man. In the evening enjoy the famous street food from the plethora of Chiang Mai’s night markets.
Spend the entire day interacting with majestic Asian elephants at either Elephant Life Experience or Patara Farm. Enjoy interacting with these beautiful creatures by feeding them and participating in bathing with the elephants in the river; you’ll also learn Thai commands and receive traditional mahout attire that you can take home.