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Destination:  Thailand
Travel Style: Local Expedition
Accommodation: Hotels and overnight train
Activity Level:  • • 3 • • (Medium)
Group Size: Min 1, Max 16
Age Range: 18 to 65+

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Itinerary Overview

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Join us on a journey across Northern Thailand, and experience the culinary delights as well as the exquisite detail of the stunning temples. We will start in Bangkok and make our way up to Chiang Mai. Along the way we will experience all Thailand has to offer.

Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok

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Arrival Airport: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK)

Welcome to Thailand! If you arrive early today, you should explore the area near your hotel to get your bearings in the city. There are restaurants, bars and convenience stores within walking distance of your hotel. Ready to head out? How about trying a relaxing Thai massage, or exploring the city's vibrant street food. As the day becomes night, the city becomes a lively hive of smells,sounds and tastes

Accommodation: Bangkok Centre Hotel or similar

Day 2: Bangkok Tour

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Our tour guide will meet us at the reception area of our hotel, where we will board an air-conditioned vehicle and get to know Thailand’s capital Bangkok. No trip to Thailand is complete without seeing key sites of the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Phra Kaew. After lunch you will walk towards the pier, where you will board a traditional wooden long tail boat for an exciting trip down the mighty Chao Phraya River. Your guide will point out places of interest as you glide through smaller khlongs witnessing everyday life. Expect to see smiling locals and hear shouts of ‘sawad dee' – hello — from children as you pass by. The late afternoon is free for you to enjoy the swimming pool at the hotel, check out, and prepare snacks for tonight’s minivan ride to Kanchanaburi. You will arrive at your hotel in Kanchanaburi around 9 p.m.

Accommodation: Royal River Kwai Resort or similar

Day 3: Kanchanaburi Excursion and Erawan Waterfall

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Your guide will meet you in the reception of the hotel, where you will head out on a full day of sightseeing, starting at Erawan Waterfall. Erawan Falls has been described as one of the world's most beautiful waterfalls. Its seven tiers offer a unique experience as you walk through the trails and climb to the top tier. As the falls are situated in a national park, you should expect to see and hear howler monkeys, colorful birds, and a variety of unique flora and fauna of the region's central plains. Take in a piece of World War II history on this visit, as we explore the harrowing JEATH War Museum, before heading to the centerpiece of Kanchanaburi: the Bridge over the River Kwai, with its majestic and imposing structure and its fabulous views of the river below.

Accommodation: Royal River Kwai Resort or similar

Day 4: Ayutthaya Tour, UNESCO World Heritage Site

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On arrival in Ayutthaya, you will visit the ruins of Ayutthaya, which served as Thailand’s capital from the 14th to 18th centuries, when it ranked as one of the most magnifIcent cities in the world. Located just 53 miles (86 kilometers) north of Bangkok, these ruins include stunning pagodas and Buddha images. You will arrive late in the afternoon, so you will have limited time to explore some of the top must-see ruins within the Old City. Don't worry though as tomorrow we have a full day exploring what we do not cover today!

Accommodation: Classic Kameo or similar

Day 5: Ayutthaya Tour and Chiang Mai Transfer

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Spend a full day exploring Ayutthaya before boarding an overnight train to Chiang Mai. Your guide will meet you at your hotel where you will transfer out first to Bang Pa. Known as the Summer Palace, this complex was a former palace of Thai kings arrived in the regal Royal Barges from Bangkok. You will then head to the Old City, where you will explore key temples and ruins by bicycle. Our first stop will be at Wat Chaiwatthanaram, a restored, picturesque 17th-century temple located on the riverside. You will then head to Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, one of the most important temples in Ayutthaya. This is an active temple where local monks live, and it is a popular location for Buddhist meditation and chanting ceremonies. Next, you will head to Wat Na Phra Men, with its unique holy Buddha statue which is dressed up depending on the season. You will explore Wat Phra Ram with its Khmer architecture, an interesting ruin built for the father of former Thai King Ramesuan. Around 4:30 p.m., you will transfer to the train station, purchase snacks, and eat a quick local Thai meal near the train station before boarding the overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai. Your guide will help you find the right seats before the train departs. Prepare for a comfortable night’s sleep on the train.

Accommodation: Overnight sleeper train

Day 6: Chiang Mai Tour and Doi Suthep

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You will head out in the afternoon to explore Doi Suthep. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a golden Buddhist temple outside of Chiang Mai on top of Mount Doi Suthep. Climb 300 steps to reach the temple, and be rewarded with unforgettable panoramic views. Admire the many Buddhist relics at this sacred temple and visit the white elephant shrine. Legend has it that the location of the temple was chosen after a white elephant carried a relic to the mountain and trumpeted three times before dying on the spot. And with a little luck, you may even witness the chanting of the monks.

Accommodation: Chinda Hotel or similar

Day 7: Depart from Chang Mai

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After a delicious breakfast, we will check out of our hotel and continue to the airport to catch our international flights back home or, if you have chosen to extend your adventure, continue on another adventure in Southeast Asia!

Departure Airport: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK)

Trip Inclusions

  • Travel Style: Local

  • Service Level: Simple (comfortable and clean accommodations; public and private transport)

  • Route: Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, and Chiang Mai

  • Accommodation: Hotels and overnight train

  • Transport: Air-conditioned van, train

  • Meals Included: One meal (breakfast) per day


Expedition Route

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This Acanela Local Expedition © offers an affordable experience for those looking for clean and simple accommodations, with lots of experiences and adventure. Embark on this small group exploration and have hands-on encounters with local people, culture, cuisine, wildlife, and nature.

Dates & Prices

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From $800 / person | Comprehensive package including accommodation for all nights; in-country transport by private bus, train, or flight; lecture and instruction materials from our expert driver guides; all activities as listed in the itinerary; and one meal per day. *International Airfare and Visa Fees are not included. 

+7 Day Cambodia Extension: From $800 / person

+7 Day Thailand Island Hopper Extension: From $800 / person

+ Single Room Supplement: $300 / person

Please note: Solo travelers are required to choose a single room when they make their booking.

Single Room Supplements and Extension add-ons become available after you select Book Now and hit continue. *Extensions are not eligible for discounts or promotions

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Frequently Asked Questions

+ Do your tours include international airfare?

Travelers arrive from all over the world to begin our tours, and it is not possible to include international airfare in our prices. We would be happy to help you arrange flights. Just ask for an air quote when making your booking.

+ What vaccinations should I get before my trip?

It's important that you receive the most accurate and up-to-date travel health information for the region you will be visiting. The only one qualified to provide you with this advice is your family physician or a specialist from a Travel Health clinic. We can provide some general guidance on what websites to check, but these websites are no substitute for a personal consultation with a qualified medical professional.

+ Can you help arrange my travel visas?

Requirements for travel visas vary widely depending on your nationality and your destination. Although we are unable to arrange visas on your behalf, we are able to help determine if visas are required for the countries you are visiting. If you do require a visa, you can arrange it by yourself or use the services of a travel agent or visa processing company.

+ What clothing should I bring for my trip?

We always recommend packing as light as possible; however, the specific requirements for your tour will vary widely depending on where and when you are traveling. Prior to each trip we provide a suggested packing list. The checklist is tour specific and based upon the experience of our ground staff.

+ I'm a solo traveler — will I be charged a single supplement?

We can (and do!) accommodate single travelers, but we will add a single supplement charge to your total price.

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