Thailand's Discovery Experience

Thailand's Discovery Experience

8 Days/7 Nights

Price fromRequest

• Bangkok • Chiang Rai • Chiang Mai

For many travelers, Thailand is the gateway to Southeast Asia. Bangkok is a modern city that retains its authentic charm with beautiful temples, pagodas, spirit houses, historic sites, food markets and typical chaotic street scenes amidst the skyscrapers and overhead expressways.

Thailand's Discovery Experience map

Day 1: Arrive Bangkok On arrival into Bangkok Airport, you will be met by your English speaking guide and transferred to your hotel by private car. (The regular check-in time for all hotels is 2:00 pm. Early check-in is not included.

Accommodation: 4 star: Dusit Thani Hotel/Deluxe 5 star: Sofitel So Bangkok/So Comfy

Day 2: Bangkok (B,L) Depart your hotel this morning to visit a landmark of Thai cuisine, the Blue Elephant, located in an historic mansion. Meet your instructor and visit a local market to learn about the ingredients you'll be working with today. Return to the school and receive instruction as the instructor demonstrates and explains each dish. Next you will get a chance to try your hand at cooking several dishes. Enjoy the tasty Thai lunch that you prepared!

Spend an afternoon traveling through the bustling Bangkok streets to visit two of the city's most famous temples - Wat Trimitr, which houses a huge five-ton solid Gold Buddha, and Wat Po, which houses the enormous reclining Buddha and the Chedis of the Kings, and is the spiritual home of traditional therapeutic Thai Massage. Your journey to the temples and the experiences you will have when you arrive provide a fascinating snapshot of the two sides of Bangkok - the modern city of shopping malls and skyscrapers on one hand, the centuries-old Buddhist tradition on the other, which continues to thrive despite the rapid modernization of the Thai capital. Return to hotel after tour. (Ladies should wear short-sleeved top with full-length trousers or knee-length skirts. Gentlemen should wear trousers and short-sleeved shirts for religious reasons)

4 star: Dusit Thani Hotel/Deluxe 5 star: Sofitel So Bangkok/So Comfy

Day 3: Bangkok > Chiang Rai (B) After breakfast, enjoy your free morning until the transfer with your guide to the airport for your departure flight to Chiang Rai. Upon arrival, your guide will meet and transfer you to your hotel.

4 star: The Legend Chiang Rai Hotel/Superior Studio 5 star: Le Meridien Chiang Rai Hotel/Deluxe River View

Day 4: Chiang Rai (B,L) Founded in 1262AD, Thailand's most northern city boasts a fascinating architectural history in a mix of Thai and Burmese styles. Begin your tour by visiting the ancient temple of Wat Phra Kae, original home of the Emerald Buddha which is now housed in Bangkok. A replica was made and placed in the same spot where it was found. Continue with a visit to Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong with its large gold stupa. Visit Wat Rong Khun, which is different from any other temple in Thailand - in contrast to the ancient temples, this temple was built in 1997 and was designed using white glass. While travelling through the city, observe the influence of the city's Chinese ethnic minorities. Return to hotel after tour. Note: An earthquake affected to Wat Rong Khun recently and this temple is under constructions so we can visit from the outside only.

After lunch, you will then drive to visit the infamous Golden Triangle, renowned for centuries as the centre of the opium trade. From a hilltop viewpoint, marvel at the splendour of the mighty Mekong joining with the Ruak to form the actual "Triangle" with Laos, Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand. Continue to Mae Sai, the northernmost point of Thailand, the perfect spot to observe border life and what goes on when local tribes and others engage in trade. Mae Sai is one of the very few official land crossings between Thailand and Burma and is therefore an important trade hub. Many Burmese come over daily from Thakhilek to work or do business and hurry back before the sun sets. Burmese lacquer ware, gems, jade and other goods from Laos and Burma are sold in shops along the main street. Return to your hotel by car.

4 star: The Legend Chiang Rai Hotel/Superior Studio 5 star: Le Meridien Chiang Rai Hotel/Deluxe River View

Day 5: Chiang Rai > Chiang Mai (B,D) After breakfast this morning, enjoy your free leisure time until transfer with your guide to Chiang Mai.

It was not until 1953 that Khan Toke became a social gathering when a local politician invited honored guests to sit with him and enjoy this special dinner. The "Khan Toke" dinner is traditionally related to the people of the northern region. Dinner is served in small bowls, known in Thai as Khan. Guests are seated on cushions at a low table, known as Toke in Thai. The cuisine served is northern Thai and during dinner, entertainment is provided by beautiful dancers, who will perform the Forn Leb, known as the finger dance, Forn Thien, known as the candle dance, Ramwong, referred to as the circle dance and the Ram Dab, known as the sword dance. Opt for an additional hill tribe show from various members of Yao, Lahu, Meo, Lisu, and Karen tribes when you finish dinner.

4 star: Ratilanna Riverside Spa Resort/Deluxe 5 star: Anantara Chiang Mai/Deluxe Room

Day 6: Chiang Mai (B) Start the trip with a transfer to Wat Suan Dok, just outside the ancient city walls of Chiang Mai. The temple was built in the 14th century by King Keu Na of Lanna to accommodate important priests visiting from Sukhothai, as well as a place for local monks to shelter from the rain. Continue to Wat Chedi Luang where the Emerald Buddha was once enshrined. This impressive temple was built between the 14th and 15th centuries and nowadays houses a replica of Thailand's most important Buddha relic. Wat Phra Singh, with its impressive prayer hall, is the next stop. Built in the 14th century, it was carefully restored in 2006 and now houses a very sacred 1,500 year old Buddha image. End the trip with a visit to Wat Phrathat on Doi Suthep Mountain, which was founded in 1383 A.D. In 1935 a road was built to the top, but nowadays people climb the 309 steps from the car park to the top or take a tram for a small surcharge. The climb up is rewarded with a superb panoramic view over the city. Return to the car park for the transfer back to Chiang Mai.

The remainder of the day is free at leisure.

4 star: Ratilanna Riverside Spa Resort/ Deluxe 5 star: Anantara Chiang Mai/ Deluxe Room

Day 7: Chiang Mai (B,L) Share cooking secrets in a family atmosphere with a well-known local chef. Over the course of years as a trekking guide, Chef Sawat observed how travellers were interested in preparing food with him. His passion for cooking and continuous feedback from travelers on his cooking talent inspired him to set up an organic farmhouse where he takes care of a spacious garden full of Thai herbs and tropical fruits. At the chef's farm home, you will visit his organic garden, pick some fresh herbs and continue with a hands-on cooking experience where you will experience how to pound curry paste and how to make authentic Thai curry. Create a dessert with the sweet fruits you picked right from the trees. Enjoy the reward of your efforts for dinner. Return after dinner to the hotel in Chiang Mai.

The remainder of the day is free at leisure.

4 star: Ratilanna Riverside Spa Resort/Deluxe 5 star: Anantara Chiang Mai/Deluxe Room

Day 8: Chiang Mai (B) After breakfast, enjoy your free leisure time until the transfer with your guide to the airport for your departure flight.

• Independent tour with local English speaking guides • 7 nights in your selected category of accommodation • Transfers & transportation • Economy class seat Bangkok > Chiang Rai • Sightseeing & entrance fees • Cooking Class • 7 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 1 Dinner

Pricing (per person) $AUD

Type

Please enquire for 2017 pricing

Departs

Daily

Booking conditions

Surcharges apply during Songkran - Thai New Year.

Please refer to World Journeys terms & conditions.