Our guide to Thailand
Thailand in Depth
Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, Khao Sok, Khao Lak
based on 16 nights
Price based on two people sharing one room with private transfers, selected tours and daily breakfast. Please note around public vacations and festive seasons this price will increase.
At a Glance
A trip that covers ancient history and also explores Thailand's role in one of the biggest global occurrences of the 20th Century - World War II
This can be completely tailored to your interests, be that in wildlife, active pursuits, or fitting in as many temples as you can!
A perfect first timer's trip to a variety of unique locations in Thailand, or perfect for returners who want a more in-depth look at this fascinating country.
Take in two of Thailand's biggest cities, Bangkok and Chiang Mai, before heading out into the countryside to visit Kanchanaburi and Ayutthaya, going deep into a national park, and finally finishing on one of the pristine west coast beaches.
A great itinerary for those who don't want to take too many domestic flights, as most of the transfers are by private car
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
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.
A lovely two-week itinerary taking in ancient temples, 20th Century history and breathtaking vistas, all whilst staying in some of the country's most characterful hotels.
Days 1-3: Bangkok
Your tour begins in Thailand’s vibrant capital, Bangkok. Filled with colorful markets, tantalising street food and glittering temples rubbing shoulders with skyscrapers, this metropolis has something for everyone. We certainly recommend spending some time exploring yourself either on foot, by bike or on a ferry through the ‘klongs’, the canals that wind their way throughout the city, but we have included a half day guided tour of two of the most iconic sites; Wat Pho and the Grand Palace. Start your day early listening to the morning chanting of the monks, before heading inside to wonder at the vast 45m (147ft) reclining Buddha. Your guide will then escort you to the Grand Palace to explain the deeply loving relationship Thai people have with their Royal Family and will be able to show you around the throne chambers, and rooms filled with priceless artifacts.
Accommodation: Chakrabongse Villas (2 nights)
Days 3-7: Chiang Mai
From Bangkok a short flight takes you north to Chiang Mai, Thailand’s second city. This cultural hub is a firm favorite of many visitors to Thailand, boasting fabulous markets, ancient ruins and streets lined with trendy boutiques and eateries. You will embark on a guided tour of the city’s most famous temples, learning about the complexities of Lanna (Northern Thai) architecture and silver craftwork. We also thoroughly recommend embarking on a waterfall hike with your guide, heading out into Doi Inthanon National Park to meet local hilltribes and try and spot some of Thailand’s wildlife, including gibbons, civets, giant flying squirrels and serows. Four nights here will be plenty of time to really get to grips with local Thai life, and soak up the atmosphere of this cultural capital.
Accommodation: 137 Pillars House (4 nights)
Days 7-9: Kanchanaburi
From Chiang Mai your journey takes you back to Bangkok, where you will be collected by your driver to embark on a scenic 4-hour drive towards Kanchanaburi. This area is known for its pretty countryside and poignant World War II history. We have included a guided tour of the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum and the Bridge over the River Kwai, a fascinating if sobering experience learning about the thousands of POWs who lost their lives in that area during the war. Optionally, you could also take a boat trip to visit beautiful waterfalls, venture into mysterious caves, visit Angkorian temples or pop into a floating market. Staying at the Floathouse, actually on the river, is an experience in itself!
Accommodation: The FloatHouse River Kwai Resort (2 nights)
Days 9-11: Ayuthhaya
From Kanchanaburi, it’s a three to four-hour drive to Ayutthaya, one of Thailand's ancient capitals. Spend the day exploring the ancient temple complexes with your guide and enjoy lunch on a private rice barge. We also recommend a stroll through the Muslim Quarter where you can sample some of the most brightly colored candy floss you will ever see!
Accommodation: Sala Ayutthaya (2 nights)
Days 11-14: Khao Sok National Park Thailand
Two hours’ drive back to Bangkok and a short flight takes you to Phuket. From here you will embark on a three-hour drive into Khao Sok National Park, home to Thailand’s last remaining area of primary rainforest. Here you will find Elephant Hills, a luxury tented camp split across two areas, with some tents in the rainforest just outside the park, and some on Cheow Larn Lake within the National Park boundaries. Here you can relax and enjoy three nights of adventure, trekking in the hills and meeting Thailand’s largest inhabitants. Explore the lake and rivers by canoe, visit a local market in a longtail boat and of course spend time trekking with, feeding and washing the elephants.
Accommodation: Elephant Hills Tented Camp (3 nights)
Days 14-17: Khao Lak
Finally, it’s time for some well-earned relaxation after your adventures, with a short final drive to the coast, to the luxurious Sarojin. Here you can unwind and reflect on your trip for three blissful nights, perhaps spoiling yourself at the spa, indulging in a cooking class at the foot of a waterfall or taking a kayak out to explore the coast. Or you could simply sit back with a good book and soak up the incredible views from the tropical beach, of course with a cool drink in hand!
Accommodation: The Sarojin (3 nights)