10 days

Thailand Unearthed

Thailand Unearthed

Chiang Mai's Night Bazaar - Lanna handicrafts and traditional wares of the hilltribes

The reclining golden Buddha of Wat Po

Chiang Mai cooking school on northern cuisine

The bridge over the River Kwai at Kanchanaburi

Rice barge cruise and dawn monk procession in the former capital of the Siamese empire - UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ayuthaya

Bangkok's Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha

Bike ride among the ruins of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Sukhothai - Thailand's first capital

Kanchanaburi and Bridge of River Kwai

Trip rating
  • This is a Thailand trip jam-packed with experiences and destinations that ventures beyond where other trips go. Thailand's stunning beauty and charismatic culture are ever present on this adventure - discover the exquisite 'Land of Smiles' in style. Thailand conjures up images of spicy delicacies, majestic elephants, golden Buddhas, colourful hilltribe villages, fantastic shopping and exotic hideaways - and we experience it all on this trip. Witness traditional hilltribe life in a H'mong village, support the rehabilitation of the endangered Asian elephant, step back in time in the ancient kingdom of Sukhothai and try your hand at creating some gastronomic delights. This is your chance to capture the adventure and essence of timeless Thailand. 

    Why we love it

    • This is a Thailand trip jam-packed with experiences and destinations that ventures beyond where other trips go.
    • Thailand's stunning beauty and charismatic culture are ever present on this Intrepid adventure - discover the exquisite 'Land of Smiles' in style.
    • Thailand conjures up images of spicy delicacies, majestic elephants, golden Buddhas, colourful hilltribe villages, fantastic shopping and exotic hideaways - you will experience it all.
    • Witness traditional hilltribe life in a H'mong village, support the rehabilitation of the endangered Asian elephant, step back in time in the ancient kingdom of Sukhothai and create gastronomic delights.


    Day 1-2 - Bangkok - overnight train

    • Sa-wat-dee! Welcome to Thailand.
    • Upon arrival you will be collected at the airport by one of our transfer representatives and taken to your hotel. Your Thai adventure will begin with an important meeting at 6pm. You will find details of the meeting venue at the hotel reception.
    • Bangkok is the colourful and frenetic capital of Thailand. Characterised by its iconic tuk tuks, fragrant street vendors and the traditional khlong boats that wind down the Chao Phraya River, it a wonderful city to explore.
    • You will enjoy a city tour of Bangkok. You will visit the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), a must for first-time travellers to Bangkok.
    • Visit Wat Pho, home of the famous Reclining Buddha. (When visiting temples and palaces in Thailand, please dress conservatively in order to respect the local culture.)
    • A long-tail boat trip along the canals is another lovely way to enjoy the natural scenery and buzz of daily life in Bangkok.
    • In your free time you can visit the chaotic tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or prepare for the journey ahead with a relaxing Thai massage.
    • You will depart Bangkok on an overnight train journey in the evening of Day 2, which will carry you north to Chang Mai. You will be accommodated in a shared, air-conditioned sleeping berth with a bunk bed arrangement. Sheets and pillows will be provided and there will be a food and beverage service on board. (Train travel: approximately 13 hours).
    Nouvo City Hotel or similar

    Day 3-4 - Chiang Mai

    • Chang Mai is a vibrant city situated in northern Thailand. It is awash with famous temples and quaint cafes, and is known as one of the friendliest cities in the country.
    • You will have the opportunity to take part in a local cooking class today where you will uncover the secrets of aromatic Thai cuisine. You will learn everything from the most important ingredients and what to use in their place if you can’t access them at home, to preparing dishes from a comprehensive book of recipes (that you will be able to take with you).
    • Sitting down to feast on the fruits of your labour at lunch is the perfect way to finish the class.
    • After lunch you will go on a scenic, winding drive up a mountain to the famous temple complex of Doi Suthep (approximately 45 mins). On arrival you will be met with an impressive 300-step naga-guarded stairway to reach the temples.
    • The climb is well worth the effort, this is one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand. The sweeping views of the city and the hypnotic chanting by the resident Buddhist monks combine to make this a memorable experience.
    • You will awake to a free day for independent exploration on Day 4. Your leader can help you to arrange optional activities - you might like to hire a bike and ride to a nearby temple, or indulge in a Thai massage or spa treatment, or simply relax by the pool.
    • As evening falls, you will enjoy a traditional Khantohk Dinner while being entertained by Akha, Yao, Lahu, H'mong, Lisu and Karen tribal dances.
    Imperial Mae Ping or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 5 - H'mong Hilltribe

    • You will drive through the picturesque, undulating countryside today, to reach the H’Mong Hilltribe Lodge.
    • The H’mong are an ethnic minority in Thailand. They originated in the south of China and today make up the second largest hilltribe group.
    • In the evening you will enjoy a barbecue dinner along with a cultural show by the H’mong people.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 6 - Lampang - Sukhothai

    • You will depart the hilltribe village this morning and head on to Lampang (approximately two hours).
    • Lampang is considered to be one of the last remaining paradises in Thailand, and is referred to by locals as mueang rot ma – Horse Carriage City.
    • In Lampang you will visit the Friends of Asian Elephant Hospital, the first elephant hospital in the world to be established, before driving on to Sukhothai, where you will spend the night (approximately 3.5 hours).
    Sukhothai Heritage Resort or similar, Sukhothai

    Day 7-8 - Sukhothai - Kanchanaburi

    • Sukhothai was established in the 13th century and was the first ancient capital of Siam. It is famed for its World Heritage listed park that captures the Golden Age of Thai civilisation; its name literally translates to Dawn of Happiness.
    • You will hire bicycles upon arrival at the park, before embarking upon a cycle tour that overviews the history of this fascinating wonderland.
    • A home-cooked picnic lunch will be enjoyed at some stage throughout the tour.
    • You then drive on to Kanchanaburi (approximately 6 hours), where the Khwae Yai and Khwae Noi rivers meet. This is also where the infamous Bridge Over the River Kwai is housed. On your first night here, you enjoy an included dinner at the Felix River Kwai Resort.
    • On your day trip around Kanchanaburi you will visit the Hellfire Pass Memorial. It commemorates the allied prisoners of war and Asian conscripts that died while building the most dangerous and challenging sections of the Thai-Burma Death railway.
    • To complete this experience, you will take a ride along the historic tracks of the railway. Boarding at Nam Tok, the main terminal, you will wind along the scenic riverside tracks before crossing the original, POW-built wooden viaduct over the River Kwai.
    Felix River Kwai Resort or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 9-10 - Bangkok

    • On day 9 we travel back to Bangkok where we spend our final night.
    • A relaxing river cruise with dinner along the grand Chao Phraya River as evening falls makes for a memorable end to the trip.
    • You will have the final day free so you can choose to depart at your leisure.
    • Your trip ends after breakfast on Day 10.
    Nouvo City Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of an expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour, and local guides at some sites.
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Kanchanaburi - Bridge over the River Kwai, Hellfire Pass and a section of the Burma Death Railway
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep Temple
    • Cycle tour around the archaeological site of Sukhothai
    • Visit the elephant hospital in Lampang
    • Arrival transfer.
    • Accommodation: 7 nights comfortable hotel, 1 night lodge, 1 night overnight train
    • Meals: 9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners.

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Airport departure taxes
    • Visa
    • Departure transfer
    • Insurance
    • Other meals
    • Any optional tours and activities during free time
    • Tips
    • Items of a personal nature
    • Departure transfer

    Safety Information

    It is recommended that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information prior to your departure.Peregrine strongly recommends the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Please leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Most of our hotels will have a safety deposit box, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

    Your tour leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your tour leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and Peregrine makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your tour leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING CONDITIONS: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Be aware that traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home.

    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    SWIMMING POOLS: You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.

    BALCONIES: Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

    SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.

  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Thailand Unearthed

    Peter - Australia, 21 Jan, 2014
    Overall Rating

    I really appreciated the flexibility offered in travelling with a small group. It was nice to be on a tour with passengers from many different countries. Having a local guide really helps to get the most out of this travel experience.

    Thailand Unearthed

    Glenys - Australia, 21 Jan, 2014
    Overall Rating

    This was a wonderful tour. Jane, our Guide, was very helpful and ensured that everything went very smoothly at all times.

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PAAT
Start City: Bangkok
End City: Bangkok
Style: Small Group

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