9 Days / 8 Nights
Day 1, SUN. Arrive Bangkok (-)
Meet & Greet at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, transfer by air conditioned vehicle to your hotel for check in.
Day 2, MON. Bangkok (B)
Home of the Kings of Siam of the Chakri Dynasty, originally built by King Rama I, it served as the royal residence until 1946. Today the palace is still used on certain occasions for visiting royalty or special guests of the Kingdom. Adjoining the Grand Palace you will find the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Keo), this is probably the best known of the royal temples. It is regarded as the most important temple in all Thailand and it is the venue of many of the numerous religious ceremonies in which the King participates, especially at the beginning of each of the three seasons when His Majesty personally changes the elaborate robes of the Buddha image, carved out of a single piece of emerald-green jasper.
Day 3, TUE. Bangkok – Ayuthaya – Phitsanuloke (B/L)
Early morning pick up passengers from various Bangkok hotels, drive to Bang Pa In for a scenic boat trip to Ayutthaya. Visit Wat Panangchoen, Wat Yai Chaya Mongkol and the ancient ruins of Wat Chai Wattanaram. Then continue to Wat Sakaeo in Bang Sadet village. This temple was constructed in 1699 when it was originally named Wat Sakae. Wat Sakaeo also serves as an orphans care center with over 1000 children under supervision. Within the temple area is a center for hand woven fabrics, a project initiated and established in 1981 by Her Majesty the Queen. Here, hand woven fabrics and products can be bought at reasonable prices. In front of the temple is the Pa Mok Cultural Center, providing demonstration of weaving, silverware and court doll production. After lunch at a local restaurant, continue to Phitsanulok. Visit Wat Maha That and its highly revered Buddha statue, Phra Buddha Jinaraj.
Day 4, WED. Phitsanuloke – Sukhothai – Lampang (B/L)
Drive to Sukhothai, where you will visit the ancient ruins at Sukhothai Historical Park; a short ride on a traditional ox-cart brings you to Wat Sri Chum with it's gigantic Buddha statue. Continue to Sri Satchanalai for lunch at Gaeng Luang Restaurant. Upon arrival in Lampang, we take you on a horse carriage ride through town with photo stops at two interesting temples, each which its own architectural style and history: Wat Don Tao, Wat Pratu Phong. We will also visit Baan Sao Nak, a 100-year old teak-wood mansion.
Day 5, THU. Lampang – Golden Triangle – Chiang Rai (B/L)
Drive to the Golden Triangle. After lunch at the Imperial Golden Triangle Hotel, take a boat ride on the Mekong River, where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos converge. Continue to Mae Sai, the northern most city bordering Myanmar.
Day 6, FRI. Chiang Rai – Chiang Mai (B/L)
Early morning depart for Chiang Mai with a brief photo stop at Wat Rong Khun, which is very different to any of temple you are likely to see in Thailand. The temple is almost entirely white – no other colours are used at all. Arrive in Chiang Mai at noon and check in at your hotel. Lunch at Empress Hotel. In the afternoon, visit Wat Doi Suthep, a famous landmark of the city, tucked away in the mountains at an elevation of 1,056 meters. The temple is reached by climbing 290 steps, flanked by a naga balustrade on both sides.
Day 7, SAT. Chiang Mai – Phrao (B/D)
Visit a jungle area north of Chiangmai where there is an Elephant camp. You are shown how the elephants are trained from young age onwards. The “pupils” will then demonstrate what they have learned. Afterwards a visit to an Orchid farm is on the program.
Transfer to Khum Lanna where you'll be greeted by the local Lanna people. A tasty welcome drink (herbal tea or fruit juice from the garden) will be served. We will give you a briefing and provide Thai farmer shirts for the guest use during their stay. You will receive a “Khum Lanna Thai Recipe Book” that explains many delicious recipes, plus the herbs used and the health benefits of each. Get an introduction to Thai language (which will prepare you for your market shopping the next day). Enjoy a full 4-course sit-down Thai dinner with your host and friends. Watch a million stars beside a campfire in the garden (arranged during Nov – Feb only)
Day 8, SUN. Phrao (B/L/D)
Coffee/tea will be brought to your room for your wake-up call before we start our sunrise biking trip along the rural country road via San Kwang village to Phrao to visit an early morning local market where local coffee is available. With the help of your guide you may buy local cookies and flower garlands for the temple offering on the way back.
Then walk to visit a farmer’s rice and traditional tools shop, chat with the owner, and learn more about the rice legends and differences & properties of the varieties of rice. Your local escort will translate. Cycles back to Khum Lanna with a stop to visit Wat Pa. Pay respect to the Buddha image under the sacred tree. Continue biking to Khum Lanna along the local canal with a stop in the rice fields to get more information about the rice-growing process and the place of rice in Thai life. Upon return, refreshment or shower before a local Lanna-style breakfast which is set on the riverside.
Khum Lanna’s concept is “Rice for Life”. You will be given an orientation of this concept and also learn about the history of rice cultivation, the types, the equipment used in the past and the future needs. Try your cooking skills out by steaming the Thai sticky rice and following this take a casual walk to the organic garden where we have a variety of produce including the different rice harvesting stages. You will also have the opportunity to collect herbs and vegetables from the garden and use these in your cooking class. Lunch will include a country style Barbeque, sticky rice that you prepared earlier, and all the scrumptious dishes to complement.
In the afternoon you can choose one of the following activities:
- A Guided biking tour around Khum Lanna country side.
- Creative Fruit (or vegetable) carving
- A local herbal steam bath to relax and rejuvenate your body.
- A therapeutic Hot-pressed herbal massage (consisting of 8 kinds of herbs: ginger, zingier, lemon grass, plantain, tamarind leaves, soap pod, camphor and Aom Kiew).
A second additional 1-hour activity can be booked at a nominal charge but as a free activity you are welcome to go cycling by yourself. We will give you a road book of recommended itineraries.
Late afternoon at leisure until the last Thai cooking class starts in the early evening. In this last lesson, you will learn to prepare and cook your gatherings from the garden and enjoy making 3 new Thai dishes. Then, enjoy a full 4-course sit-down Thai dinner with your host and friends. Digest it all beside a campfire in the garden while star-gazing far from the city lights (Arrange during Nov – Feb only).
Day 9, MON. Depart Phrao – Chiang Mai – Train (B/L)
Around 7 am you have the option to take a walk to the temple and join your host in the traditional alms offering, giving food to the monks for merit. As a symbolic gesture the guests must make this small purchase themselves.
Light cycling to the rural village in the morning. See the incredible accumulation of beehives on the sacred tree at Ban Nam Phrae and get information about the need for bees and the reasons for local conservation. Continue biking to Wiang Phrao Wung Hin (the ancient city 30 years older than Chiang Mai) to visit a temple and Phra Chao Lan Tong, the most significant Buddha Image in the Phrao district. Here, King Mengrai (1259-1317) assembled the villagers and trained them as soldiers to defend the city. Bikes to Wat Tham Dork Kum and visits to different Buddha stucco figures and the huge reclining Buddha. Picnic lunch will be provided on the orchard hill, which has a fantastic overview of the entire Phrao valley and Khum Lanna. Cycles back to Khum Lanna.
Refreshment or shower before checkout. Receive your Thai Cooking Diploma and a gift from the owner. Transfer to Chiang Mai Railway Station & board an air-conditioned train with second-class sleeping berth to Bangkok.
TOUR DEPARTURE DATE
Every Sunday - please email us for specific dates.
||Amarin Lagoon Resort
||Lampang River Lodge
||Empress Chiang Mai
Accommodation as stated
Sightseeing tours and transfers as outlined
Meals as mentioned
English speaking tour guide
Air-conditioned private vehicles
Services not mentioned
Expenses of a personal nature
Tips and porterage
Domestic flights in Thailand
International flights to/from Thailand