Itinerary Details: 8 days/7 nights
Day 1: Bangkok Arrival
Welcome to Bangkok! Upon exiting customs, meet our representative and transfer to your hotel. Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is a bustling and vibrant city of contrasts. Evening at leisure and overnight in Bangkok.
Day 2: Bangkok – Ayutthaya – Pitsanuloke
After breakfast, drive from Bangkok to Ayutthaya and explore this first capital of Thailand by Tuk Tuk (unique motorized 3-wheeler) to discover the magnificent ruins and ancient temples in the historical park. Stop to sample the traditional sweets and view Buddha's head entrapped by the roots of an overgrown banyan tree, an iconic of Ayutthaya at Wat Maha Dhat. Continue to Lopburi for lunch and visit Narai Raja Nives Palace, the Prang Sam Yod (Sacred Three-Spired Pagoda) and Monkey Temple. Then, continue to Pitsanuloke and transfer to your hotel. After dinner, take a trishaw ride to explore the city night market. See the famous food vendors and sample the diversified delicacies. Overnight in Pitsanuloke.
Day 3: Pitsanuloke – Sukhothai
After breakfast, visit Wat Maha Dhat with Thailand's most beautiful Buddha image, Phra Buddha Jinaraj. Depart for Sukhothai, Thailand's first capital (1257-1379) and visit Sukhothai Historical Park. It was once a walled city surrounded by a moat and has been declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The park contains almost 200 ruined chedis in remarkable condition. Visit the Sangkhalok pottery village to see local artisans throwing and hand-painting dishes and other objects made in ancient kilns. You will have an opportunity to learn and practice your hand painting on the pottery dishes. Continue to Sri Satchanalai, a northern outpost town of the Kingdom of Sukhothai, built by King Ramkamhaeng. Visit Wat Chang Lom, Wat Chedi Jet Thaew, Wat Nang Phya and Wat Phra Sri Ratana Maha Dhat on the site of the Khmer fort "Chalieng." Evening at leisure and overnight.
Day 4: Sukhothai – Chiang Mai
After breakfast, drive to the Sukhothai Organic Agriculture Farm. See the demonstration rice planning workshop and Thai rice farmers' traditional way of life. You can participate in the organic rice farm transplanting, rice seedlings, harvesting, or milling. There is also an opportunity to plough the paddies with water buffalo. Then, enjoy a local organic lunch in traditional Thai style at the open Sala overlooking the rice field. Continue to Chiang Mai via Lampang. Visit Wat Phra Dhat Lampang Luang, housing the only Emerald Buddha other than the one at Wat Phra Keo in Bangkok. Evening at leisure in Chiang Mai, or visit the bustling night market. Overnight in Chiang Mai.
Day 5: Chiang Mai
An early start and a wonderful chance to make merit with the monks at a neighborhood temple. Thai Buddhists believe that by making merit, they earn happiness, peace in life, and the chance to progress in their next life. This sacred experience creates a harmonious way to start the day. Enjoy a ½ day temple tour. Drive up the serpentine road to the magnificently situated Wat Doi Suthep. Perched on a forested mountain, this most sacred Chiang Mai temple (3,280 ft) provides a superb view over the city, as well as a wealth of images and frescos. You will then pass the city's biggest market, Talat Warorod, before visiting two important temples - Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phra Sing. Overnight in Chiang Mai.
Day 6: Chiang Mai – Thathorn
After breakfast, depart Chiang Mai to visit an orchid farm. Proceed to Thatorn via Chiang Dao and Fang. En route, visit Chiang Dao Cave at Wat Tham Chiang Dao. The caverns are full of sacred Buddha images and natural formations. The main cavern is illuminated by electric lights, while deepest recesses can be explored with oil lanterns. Later, arrive in Thatorn, a small village just a few kilometers from the Burmese border. Evening at leisure and overnight.
Day 7: Thathorn – Chiang Rai
Depart Thatorn to visit Ban Lorcha, a Phami Akha hilltribe community center. The community-based tourism development project promotes sustainable, self-reliant development to improve the quality of life of villagers of the Akha community. Drive to Ban Pha Tai and board a motor-powered traditional boat for a three-hour journey down Kok River, passing tiny hill tribe villages and bamboo huts in the jungle. Arrive in Chiang Rai and transfer to your hotel. Later, visit the famous Wat Rong Khun or White Temple, with its unique "kanok" architecture and fantastical sculptures designed by National Artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. Continue to the statue of King Mengrai who built Chiang Rai City and a local market before returning to the hotel. Overnight in Chiang Rai.
Day 8: Chiang Rai – Bangkok and Departure
After breakfast, depart Chiang Rai to visit the Golden Triangle where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos meet. Also enjoy a short boat ride on Mekong River. Later, transfer to the Chiang Rai airport for your flight to Bangkok. Upon arrival, connect for your onward flight. Bon Voyage!