Our guide to Thailand
A Week in Thailand
Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya & Chiang Mai
- 7 nights
- from $2400 per person
At a Glance
Stay on the River Kwai in a floating river camp, explore the city streets of Bangkok and wander through colorful markets in Chiang Mai. This route is the perfect way to embrace the vibrant culture of Thailand.
This itinerary visits Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya the ancient capital, Chiang Mai, the cultural second city, and Kanchanaburi which is the site of the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai.
The specific activities in each area can be completely tailored according to what interests you, but overall this trip suits anyone wanting an overview of all aspects of Thai culture, covering ancient and modern history, religion, countryside and cities.
This is a well-rounded itinerary, taking in both ancient and modern history, as well as local culture and nature
The contrast of the concrete jungle of Bangkok with the lush rainforest of Northern Thailand is a fantastic way to show off both the modern and traditional sides of the country.
Kanchanaburi will be particularly interesting for history buffs or children studying World War II at school.Lucy Bailey
If you don't fancy the 290 step climb to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, there is a gondalaLucy Bailey
We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on 858 345 1762 to start planning your vacation.
Your exciting week in Thailand starts with three nights in Bangkok, the country’s capital. In this sprawling metropolis there is much to do and see, so allow our experienced guide to introduce you to just the tip of the iceberg with a half day tour of the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, home to the famous 45-meter (148-feet) reclining Buddha. Buddhism and the Royal Family are very important aspects of Thai culture, so your guide will be able to explain the deep relationship Thai people have with their religion and rulers. With two nights in Bangkok, you’ll be able to explore the city in your own time by car, tuk tuk or even by boat, venturing deep into the tangled maze of ‘klongs’ or canals that wind through the capital.
From Bangkok you have a four-hour transfer by road to Kanchanaburi. This is the location of the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai and 'Death Railway', where thousands of Prisoners of War and local laborers died building the line during the Japanese Occupation in World War II. Whilst in Kanchanaburi, we’ve included a guided opportunity to learn more about the poignant history of the area by visiting the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum and the adjacent War Cemetery. You could also take a boat up the river and walk over the Bridge, as well as visiting Hellfire Pass, named for the torches that lit the canyon throughout the night. Stay at Hintok River Camp in one of their luxury tents for two nights as you explore this deeply historical area. It is possible to go on bike rides to local villages, and to take boat trips up the river to visit caves and waterfalls.
Transfer by road to the ancient city of Ayutthaya to spend one night in the simple yet stylish Sala Ayutthaya with views across the Chao Phraya river to the crumbling ruins of the Historical Park. Spend a day with your guide visiting magnificent temple complexes and majestic ruined palaces, exploring the site by car, boat, golf buggy and even cable car. From Bangkok airport, just a two-hour drive from Ayutthaya you can fly north to Chiang Mai. This is often visitors’ favorite city in Thailand, with a laid-back, welcoming atmosphere. There is also plenty to keep the everyone entertained, from elephant experiences, cooking classes, cycling trips or as we have included here, spending one final half day taking in Chiang Mai’s best known and most impressive temples including Wat Phra Singh, home to the beautiful Lion Buddha image.
Location & Directions
Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya & Chiang Mai
When to go
Thailand remains tropical and humid for most of the year and overall the best time to visit is between November and February when temperatures are more manageable and rain is less common. There are three main seasons, the cool season (mentioned above) when temperatures in the North are lower for longer, the rainy season from May to October when warm humid air brought from the Indian Ocean causes the south to be wettest (low season and when fewer tourists travel) and the hot season from March to May. There are of course regional variations across the country, however generally there is little difference in temperature across the center and the south of the country, related to its proximity to the equator.