The Maldives islands are home to some of the very best scuba diving in the world. Even if you’re not a diver, snorkelling in the warm waters offers wonderful opportunities to spot a wide variety of marine life. Some resorts have their own diving schools, whilst others have their own reefs and you may even see whale sharks.
Thailand is well known for its tropical beaches, opulent royal palaces, ancient ruins and ornate temples
Friendly and fun-loving, exotic and tropical, cultured and historic, Thailand radiates a golden hue from its glittering temples and tropical beaches.
This fantastic 19 night tour explores the food and highlights of Thailand featuring Bangkok, magnificent elephants in the Golden Triangle region and relaxation at Koh Lanta where you can snorkel and sunbathe in a truly tropical paradise.
This is the perfect trip to combine the food, culture, history, wildlife and beaches of Thailand.
During the first few days spend time in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, with opportunities to explore the city and get acquainted with local markets and bazaars.
Take a food tour in Bangkok to sample Thai cuisine, one of the world’s most popular foods, and visit Bangkok’s Royal Grand Palace.
Leaving Bangkok, fly to Chang Rai and enjoy a stay at Elephant Camp in the Golden Triangle region where you can watch the elephants bathing, join them on walks into the jungle and take part in a basic elephant help check with the resident vet.
Following this visit, journey south to the charming old city of Chang Mai and observe a hill tribe which dates back over 500 years. End your Thailand tour with nine nights of relaxation in Koh Lanta where the walking and snorkelling are second to none.
Bangkok’s famous food markets
Bangkok’s Royal Grand Palace
Elephant Camp in Golden Triangle region
Cookery course at Elephant Camp
Chang Mai guided tour
Relaxation in Koh Lanta
Itinerary in brief
Bangkok x 3 nights
Golden Triangle Elephant Camp x 3 nights
Chang Mai x 3 nights
Koh Lanta x 9 nights
Day 1 – Depart UK
Depart UK and fly to Bangkok international airport via Singapore.
Day 2 – Arrive Bangkok
Arrive in Bangkok, transfer to your hotel then enjoy dinner in the city. Overnight in Bangkok.
Day 3 – Escorted full day Bangkok tour
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before being met by your guide to start your day tour. In the morning visit the Royal Grand Palace, the nation’s landmark and most praised royal monument in Thailand. Next visit Wat Pho, regarded as the first centre of public education where you can admire mural paintings, inscriptions and statues. Have a 30 minute Thai massage then lunch. In the afternoon take a river boat along the Chao Phya River passing residential areas and stopping at the Temple of Dawn. Overnight in Bangkok.
Day 4 – Escorted tour of floating markets and food tour
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before a morning escorted tour of some of the largest floating markets in Bangkok. You can take great photos from the bridge which crosses the canal and the market is bustling with activity from very early morning until about 11am. Stop for lunch followed by a food tour of the city which will take you over the river by local ferry to try local dishes. Your evening is at leisure. Overnight in Bangkok.
Day 5 – Fly to Chiang Rai & Elephant Camp
Leave Bangkok and transfer to the airport for your flight to Chiang Rai. On arrival transfer to Elephant Camp. Become a Mahout trainee for the day and learn how to drive an elephant, trek along beautiful nature trails on the neck of your elephant and take part in the river bathing ritual. Overnight at Elephant Camp.
Day 6 – Elephant Camp
This morning take a cookery course which will immerse you in Thai cuisine. Visit a local market to buy produce, cook it under expert tuition then eat it for lunch. This afternoon take part in an Elephant Learning Experience which is a fun, educational and interactive session learning about elephants. Afterwards, help the resident vet to conduct a basic elephant health check followed by feeding and helping to bathe an elephant. Overnight at Elephant Camp.
Day 7 – Elephant Camp
Journey into the jungle today with the elephants and mahouts on their daily walk. Watch as the elephants splash in the river, play in the mud, snack on leaves and socialise with their herd. Learn more about these wonderful creatures from the resident vet. Overnight at Elephant Camp.
Day 8 – Chiang Mai
Enjoy a morning at leisure before leaving Elephant Camp and transferring to Chiang Mai. The three hour drive provides outstanding views of the beautiful landscapes with plenty of photo opportunities. Stop en route at the famous White Temple, a contemporary Buddhist temple, then have lunch at Boonrawd Farm. Check in to your hotel and spend the evening at leisure. Overnight in Chiang Rai.
Day 9 – Guided walking tour of Chiang Mai
Spend the day exploring the charming old city of Chiang Mai with your guide. Begin at Somphet Market, a daily fresh market selling vegetables, spices, meat, fish and sweets. Visit the oldest temple in the city followed by the Lanna Folk Life Museum, the Correctional Museum and the Vocational Training Centre of the Women’s Correctional Institution. End the day with a meal in a local restaurant before returning to your hotel. Overnight in Chiang Mai.
Day 10 – Chiang Mai hill tribe visit
An early start today to drive to the mountain temple of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, situated 1,676m above the city. Continue up the mountain, stopping for a cup of locally grown coffee, before continuing to the White Hmong village of Chang Khien where the 800 inhabitants still wear their traditional hill tribe clothes and practice a culture that dates back 500 years. Your afternoon is at leisure. Overnight in Chiang Mai.
Day 11 – Koh Lanta
Leave Chang Mai and fly to Krabi, be driven through the lush countryside to Ban Hin jetty then take a speedboat to your beachside resort. The rest of your day is at leisure. Overnight in Koh Lanta.
Day 12-19 – Koh Lanta
At leisure for further 8 days. Koh Lanta is a collection of small islands in the Andaman Sea and is less developed than many of the surrounding areas. The beaches are white and pristine and the sunsets are breathtaking. Overnight in Koh Lanta.
Day 20 – Leave Thailand and fly home to UK
Leave Koh Lanta this morning and fly from Krabi to Bangkok then back to the UK via Singapore.