This budget-minded tour through Thailand highlights the country’s rich history, fascinating culture, and religious monuments. In Bangkok—Thailand’s current capital—visit the Temple of the Golden Buddha; the Temple of the Reclining Buddha built in 1832; and the Grand Palace, the royal residence begun in 1782 where you’ll see the Emerald Buddha, Thailand’s most sacred Buddhist sculpture. In Ayutthaya, Thailand’s ancient capital, your sightseeing includes a visit to Bang Pa-In Palace, which was built as a summer residence for the Kings of Ayutthaya. In Sukhothai, Thailand’s 13th-century capital, visit Sukhothai Historic Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with ruins of palaces, temples, and homes.
But that’s not all…take a train ride over the famous River Kwai Bridge, part of the infamous Death Railway built by prisoners during World War II. Visit Hellfire Pass Memorial, which houses a museum detailing the life of the Allied prisoners and Asian laborers who helped build the railway. Explore a night market by rickshaw. Travel to the “Golden Triangle,” where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet and visit a local tea plantation. You’ll also visit an elephant hospital, and learn about their conservation efforts for this wonderful animal. Your budget-travel to Thailand is rich in experiences, sights, and welcoming people you’ll long remember!
- Train Ride, River Kwai Bridge
- Sukhothai Historic Park
- White Temple, Chiang Rai
- Golden Triangle
- Rickshaw ride, Phitsanulok
DAY 1: BANGKOK, THAILAND.Welcome to Thailand’s capital city. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
DAY 2: BANGKOK.Bangkok is an exhilarating blend of historic and religious monuments, chic modernity, exciting shopping, and friendly culture. An exciting day of sightseeing is ahead. Take in the city’s principal landmarks such as the splendid Temple of the Golden Buddha and the spectacular Temple of the Reclining Buddha, the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in Bangkok. You will also visit the gleaming Grand Palace, Thailand’s most sacred monument, and the spectacular Temple of the Emerald Buddha. (B)
DAY 3: BANGKOK.Today is yours to explore Bangkok at leisure, perhaps enjoying the great-value shopping, lively markets, and delicious Thai cuisine. You may opt to join an optional excursion to the legendary Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, where traders sell all manner of items from their boats, including exotic fruits, vegetables, silks, and toys. (B)
DAY 4: BANGKOK-AYUTTHAYA-KANCHANABURI.Today, head to Ayutthaya, ancient capital of Siam. Here, you will visit Bang Pa-In Palace, which was built in the 18th century as a summer residence for the Kings of Ayutthaya. Then, travel to Kanchanaburi on the banks of the Kwai River, famed for the River Kwai Bridge, built during WWII. (B)
DAY 5: KANCHANABURI.Today’s highlight is a train ride across the famous bridge to Wang Po Station. Also visit the Allied Forces Cemetery and spend time in the fascinating Thailand-Burma Railway Centre. This afternoon, visit Hellfire Pass Memorial, part of the Death Railway that cuts through the mountains. Today, it houses a museum detailing life of the Allied prisoners and Asian laborers who helped build the railway, and subsequently suffered or died at Hellfire Pass. (B,L)
DAY 6: KANCHANABURI-PHITSANULOK.Today’s full-day drive takes you to Phitsanulok, one of Thailand’s oldest cities, founded over 600 years ago. This evening, enjoy a rickshaw ride to experience Phitsanulok’s vibrant night market. (B,L)
DAY 7: PHITSANULOK-SUKHOTHAI-LAMPANG.Journey to Sukhothai, Thailand’s 13th-century former capital, and admire the atmospheric, moated Old Town. Here, you will visit Sukhothai Historic Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and explore ruined temples and monasteries, including Wat Si Chum with its stunning seated Buddha. Then, travel to Lampang. (B)
DAY 8: LAMPANG-CHIANG RAI.This morning, spend time at a local elephant hospital, which works to conserve and protect the welfare of the magnificent Asian elephant. Then, visit Phayao Lake and Wat Phra That Lampang Luang. Built in 1476, this ancient Buddhist temple is often thought to be the oldest-standing wooden structure in the country. After lunch at a local restaurant, continue through rural countryside to Chiang Rai. Upon arrival, visit Wat Rong Khun, also known as the White Temple. (B,L)
DAY 9: CHIANG RAI. GOLDEN TRIANGLE EXCURSION.Enjoy breathtaking vistas as you journey to Doi Mae Salong and visit a tea plantation. Continue to Mae Sai, Thailand’s northernmost town, and on to the renowned Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos meet. You may consider an optional boat tour on the Mekong River. (B,L)
DAY 10: CHIANG RAI-CHIANG MAI.Travel through lush jungle to Chiang Mai, a fragrant mountain retreat known as the “Rose of the North” for its refreshing climate. Upon arrival, visit San Kampaeng to see local craftsmen make Thailand’s traditional lacquerware and teakwood furniture. (B,L)
DAY 11: CHIANG MAI.This morning, visit Wat Phra Singh with its famous Buddha image, and Wat Doi Suthep, a temple tucked away in the mountains. For the final ascent to the temple, you can take a tram car or walk up the Naga (dragon-headed serpent) staircase, with more than 300 steps. The afternoon is free for you to enjoy this dynamic city. (B)
Images courtesy of Globus Family of Brands
COS – 2780