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Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai

This is a comprehensive tour of northern Thailand. After taking in the sights and sounds of Bangkok it’s north to Chiang Mai and your gateway to a jungle adventure featuring some forest walks, stays at local hill-tribe villages, and a remote elephant ride. Then its on to the border areas of Thailand's 'Golden Triangle' for more river boat trips, villages and the town of Chiang Rai. Read more


  • Day 1:
  • Arrive in Bangkok

Your tour starts on arrival in Bangkok airport where we greet you and transfer you to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, we can arrange an introductory tour of the local area.

  • Day 2:
  • Bangkok tours. Train to Chiang Mai

You start today with a tour of Bangkok's splendid Grand Palace complex and the Royal Temple of the Emerald Buddha where varied styles of Thai architecture are delicately woven together.In the afternoon you take a cruise along the canals of Bangkok’s surprisingly rural western suburbs and enjoy the natural scenery and observe the daily lives of the people who live along the canals. In the evening we board the sleeper train to Chiang Mai. Internal flight upgrades are available on request.

  • Day 3:
  • Chiang Mai, Doi Suthep & handicraft tours

Chiang Mai is a lively, bustling city and its charming character makes the province “a must” to visit. Today we will take a trip up to the highly revered Doi Suthep Temple. Here you learn about the importance that Buddhism has to the Thailand people and culture. The afternoon is spent visiting local villages to observe the manufacture of silks, hand-made cottons, the traditional techniques still employed in wood carving, and in the production of silverware, lacquer-ware and paper umbrellas.

  • Day 4:
  • Jungle trek & hill-tribe villages

You leave Chiang Mai and head to the Huay Nam Dang National Park. After visiting a local market and nearby waterfall, you walk for a couple of hours (5-6km) through the forest to a nearby Karen hill-tribe village. Tonight you share small bamboo huts in the Karen village. Note: This tour is normally arranged an a sharing basis with other travellers, but we can arrange it privately if you prefer.

  • Day 5:
  • Jungle trek, elephant ride

Today you walk further (7-8km) through the hilly, forested terrain where the guide will teach you about the local flora & fauna, and about how the local villagers live within and manage the forests. After lunch, enjoy an elephant ride through the forest for around 1-1.5 hours (3-3.5 km) to another Karen village. We feel this is the best way to experience an elephant ride - right in the middle of the forest on small paths & trails, and crossing rivers and streams. Your second night is again in a village bamboo hut..

  • Day 6:
  • Chiang Mai

After breakfast you return to Chiang Mai and the day is free with various options available including bike rides, a Thai cookery course, or relaxing with a traditional Thai massage. You can also explore Chiang Mai's famous night market in the evening.

  • Day 7:
  • Mae Salong, Chiang Saen

You leave Chiang Mai and drive north via Ban Lorcha to Mae Salong, previously home to refugees who fled from the Chinese revolution. Once centre of the infamous opium trafficking Golden Triangle, Mae Salong is now renowned for its tea and coffee. You take time to visit the Princess Mother Pagoda and have some free time to explore, relax or visit the Chinese Martyr’s Memorial Museum, before continuing on to Chiang Saen.

  • Day 8:
  • Golden Triangle tour

Overlooking the mighty Mekong River the infamous Golden Triangle covers the Thailand, Burma and Laos borders. Today we stop at Yao & Akha hill-tribe villages and visit the town of Mae Sai on the border with Burma where lacquer ware, gems, jade and other goods from Laos and Burma are sold in the shops along the main street. If we have time we will make a stop at the Hall of Opium museum in Sop Ruak en route back to Chiang Saen.

  • Day 9:
  • Chiang Saen & Chiang Rai

Situated on the banks of the Mekong River, the old city of Chiang Saen was once the ancient capital of the Lanna Kingdom and makes a great base for exploring the surrounding countryside. This morning we take you on a tour of the town, including a visit to Wat Pa Sak, one of the town’s most impressive temples. You then transfer to Chiang Rai, where you visit the Wat Doi Thong (lak muang) and have some free time to explore.

  • Day 10:
  • Boat trip to Thaton

From Chiang Rai you board a long-tail boat for a morning cruise up-stream along the Mae Nam Kok River to Thaton. The afternoon is free to climb through gardens to the Wat Tha Ton and to explore this picturesque riverside town and the beautiful surrounding countryside.

  • Day 11:
  • To Chiang Mai, sleeper train to Bangkok

A local bus journey takes you back to Chiang Mai for some more free time before taking the overnight sleeper train back to Bangkok.

  • Day 12:
  • Bangkok

Various options are available for your last day in Bangkok, including visits to more temples, cycling tours, cooking courses, or you can explore yourselves and do some final sightseeing and shopping. In the evening we include dinner onboard a deluxe converted rice barge while cruising along the Chao Phraya River. The spectacular sights along the river make an impressive backdrop to the meal.

  • Day 13:
  • Bangkok. Departure airport transfer

We transfer you back to airport in time for your flight home. A range of beach extensions can be added to the end of the tour for some time relaxing on one of Thailand's beautiful beaches and islands.

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Tour facts

User rating:
Group size: (what's this?)
Bangkok sightseeing; Hill-tribe trek; Elephant ride; River raft; Chiang Mai sightseeing; Golden Triangle; Longtail boat ride
Private AC minivan, sleeper train, longtail boat, local pickup
Group departures:
Private tour; minimum age 5
Local payment: (What's this?)
Meals: (What's this?)
Breakfast: 10 | Lunch: 2 | Dinner: 3


We use a range of carefully selected hotels for our private departures. If you have specific requests for hotels, please ask for a tailor-made tour.


Customer feedback

"A++, everything was perfect and we are still blinded by all the luxury at he Lebua hotel."

Katja Topfer (Thailand tailor-made)

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