Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
Embark on a thrilling, scenic journey that will take you from Thailand's vibrant cities, majestic mountains, ancient temples and scenic waterways, across the border to Myanmar's Kengtung, a colorful, age-old culture with a fascinating assortment of hilltribes. You'll fly, drive, hike, and boat through Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and finally Kentung. Expect this exciting 11-day journey through the past and present of these two similar, yet different cultures to leave you with incredible insight into Southeast Asia and its friendly people.
Arrive in Thailand's throbbing capital, Bangkok, and transfer to one of Bangkok's best hotels – The Siam, the Peninsula, or the Mandarin Oriental, all perched on the banks of the River of Kings, the Chao Phraya. Once settled in, head out on a half-day tour of the city, checking out some of its top sits, from the shining Grand Palace, to the much-adored Wat Arun, to Wat Po, resting place of the Reclining Buddha. In the evening, take a stroll through the colorful and fragrant flower market. If time allows, squeeze in a Thai cooking class before retiring to your hotel to relax for the night.
Learn the revered and culturally-important art of Thai kickboxing this morning. Many say it's the toughest workout they've ever done, so be prepared to sweat. The afternoon is spent leisurely meandering Bangkok's romantic canal system on a private boat, followed by a visit to the well-known Jim Thompson house. Head back to your hotel for the evening, or stay out to experience some of Bangkok's world-famous nightlife.
Hit the road today, driving from capital to ancient capital, Ayutthaya. Take a stroll, or ride on the back of an elephant, through the city's ancient ruins, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and imagine what life must have been like when they were in their prime. You can't leave without trying some of the city's famous giant river prawns – enjoy them at a local restaurant before returning to Bangkok and your luxury hotel for the night.
Board a plane for Chiang Mai today, known as the capital of the North. You'll be transferred to your luxury hotel, either the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, or the Four Seasons Chiang Mai. You'll get right into Chiang Mai's local culture with a trip to Doi Suthep village, nestled into the bottom of the majestic mountain. Move on to the powerful Huay Kaew Waterfall, before heading back to your hotel to freshen up for the night ahead. You'll be sitting down to a Khantoke dinner, an entertaining feast that is characteristic of northern Thailand. End the night on a high note, literally, as you make a wish and release a lantern into the sky.
Get up-close and personal with fearsome creatures today – Chiang Mai's Tiger Kingdom is a place where you can pet a fully-grown tiger in safety. Wat Umong is your next stop, an ancient Buddhist temple at the feet of Doi Suthep. Learn about local industry and even do some shopping, moving from a local textile workshop to Chiang Mai's night bazaar. Return to your hotel for a restful sleep.
Take a roadtrip to Chiang Rai today, enjoying the rugged and stunning landscape you pass along the way. You're now in what's known as the Golden Triangle, connecting Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. Begin your Chiang Rai experience by checking in to one of two luxury hotels that have gone the extra mile to blend in with their natural surroundings, either Anantara Golden Triangle, or Four Seasons Tented Camp. Once settled in, head to the Hall of Opium, for insight into the local opium trade. Next, you'll learn to ride and care for an elephant in a mahout training class, followed by a trek through the mystical jungle of the north.
Start your day in fresh, mountain air at Doi Mae Salong, and take in the incredible panorama offered by this viewpoint. Lunch with a local hilltribe family, and learn about their traditions and day-to-day life. Later in the afternoon, explore a tea plantation, breathing in the fresh, fragrant air. Return to your hotel to relax for a final night in Chiang Rai.
Check out of your Chiang Rai hotel today. You'll drive to Mae Sai, where you'll cross the border to Tachilek in Myanmar. Enjoy a three-hour scenic drive from here to Kengtung, winding your way through Myanmar's epic countryside. Kengtung possesses a unique culture, populated by Tai people, and the influence of both Burmese and Thai cultures is apparent. Check in to your room at the New Kyaing Tong Hotel, and get acquainted with your new surroundings, exploring the town at your leisure.
Enjoy personal encounters with tribe members in Akhu, Lahu, and other nearby areas this morning. Next, trek through the countryside to meet the Loi tribe, noting their longhouses made of wood, often housing more than one family. Continue your journey, this time up Hokyin Mountain, to Wanpauk, home of the Silver Palaung hilltribe, and learn about their daily life and customs. Drive back to Kengtung at sundown and relax at your hotel this evening.
Start your day off with a trip to the Akhu village of Wan Sai, where centuries-old traditions are still practised today. Your journey to the next hilltribe will take you through some picturesque nature, including lush rice and vegetable fields. Your next destination is the home of the animistic Ann tribe. Spend some time with them to gain insight into their unique culture. Return to Kengtung once again for a final night.
After breakfast, head to the local market, where you'll walk past stalls upon stalls of fresh produce and other nutritional staples used in local cuisine. You may even choose to pick up some souvenirs like silver coins or a traditional headdress. Finally, it's time to say goodbye to Kengtung, as you drive back to Chiang Rai, and fly to your next onward destination.