The Best Luxury Tours of Thailand 2021
Many people visualize Thailand as endless expanses of beautiful beaches, lush jungles with exotic wildlife, and cosmopolitan cities with a vibrant culture. Thailand is all that, and a lot more. It is an ancient Buddhist country full of gentle traditions and rituals that evoke the nation’s glorious past.
What will you experience on the best Thailand Tours? Gorgeous gilded Wats (temples), incredible street food, breathtaking scenery, elephant experiences, colorful night markets, Bangkok’s famous nightlife, and resorts and, of course, the amazing beaches that draw millions of visitors every year.
Our Thailand Luxury Tour Packages focus on all of the above, but also give you opportunities to immerse yourself in the unique culture by including experiences other tour companies do not offer. We stay away from markets that have more tourists than locals, and avoid hokey experiences such as some of the paid Monk Chats and touristy weaving villages.
That Thailand is really the Land of Smiles will be obvious to you the minute you arrive, and soon you will find yourselves joining in, spending most of your day with a grin permanently plastered on your face! The Thai are an easygoing people, and the hospitality and warmth you will experience is only matched by a couple of other Asian nations.
The Thai people are justly proud to be the only nation that was not subjected to European Colonial rule in the last four centuries. This allowed their culture to develop more indigenously, although remarkable progress and modernization have occurred over the last few decades, leading to a higher average standard of living when compared to most other Southeastern Asian nations. + Read More
All tours are not created equal, nor are all travel companies. The best Thailand tours and packages should include experiences that delight and amaze you every day of your exploration. This can only be achieved by a boutique agency with local expertise.
Easy Tours was born in 2004 with one guiding principle – to be the best tour company in Thailand and Asia for explorers from North America. We have not sacrificed our quest on the altar of growth – in 2017 we guided under 2000 people in the nine Asian countries we now call home.
Although roughly 40% of our guests today are repeats and referrals, it is possible that Easy Tours will not be a good fit for you. If the following features of our tours are what you are looking for, please take the time to review some of our detailed itineraries.
1. Genuine interactions with locals
2. Boutique upscale and luxury hotels with excellent cuisine and service.
3. Small Group Tours: Asia’s best Accompanying Tour Directors.
4. Private Tours: Immersive cultural tours that include daily flexibility on the fly.
5. USA and Thailand based Specialists to answer questions and make suggestions.
The best Thailand tour packages?
After 14 years of facilitating group and private tours in Thailand and Asia, Easy Tours knows what makes for a truly memorable exploration. The three most important parts of the best Thailand tours are well planned itineraries, great guides, and boutique upscale hotels.
We understand what seasoned explorers enjoy. Our guests like a diverse mix of culture, local colors, history, and insights into the everyday lives of the locals. Because we know a satiated appetite and a good night’s sleep are an integral part of the finest travel experiences, so we use the best luxury hotels in Thailand and great restaurants.
We have refined our Thailand Tour Packages for 2020 & 2021. We include more genuine local cultural experiences, instead of just rushing you between sights and experiences. We have done away with most journeys that are tediously long and/or uninspiring, and almost eliminated very early morning starts.
Thailand is very diverse and has a lot to offer to explorers of all kinds. Besides its amazing cultural, natural, and historical diversity, Thailand is also home to some of the world’s best upscale and luxury hotels. This website offers a plethora of information for upscale travelers, including information on the best beach resorts in Thailand and when to visit them.
Easy Tours uses the term Packages to include the best Thailand tours (group travel) and luxury vacation/travel packages (private tours).
We offer a large selection of Thailand tours and vacation packages that combine Thailand with neighboring nations. You can select from Thailand and Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, and Myanmar and Thailand tours and vacation packages. Our Best Tour of Southeast Asia includes Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand and the Best Places to Visit in Southeast Asia includes Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar.
Passion leads to excellence, and our guests interact with people deeply committed to their satisfaction all through the reservation and travel experience. This is a key reason why about 40% of our guests are repeat and referral travelers, and our reviewers consistently state that we are not just the best tour operator in Thailand, we are unmatched in the world!
Please take a minute or two to read some of our guest reviews. You will notice that almost all our guests, during their exploration, develop relationships with Easy Tours’ guides, chauffeurs, and travel facilitators. We have many guests from over a decade ago that, even today, maintain relationships with our Southeast Asia based colleagues.
The best Thailand Luxury Tours have a combination of interesting destinations and authentic cultural experiences, great hotels, well planned itineraries that keep uninspiring travel to a minimum, as well as passionate guides and other support staff.
Some people mistakenly believe that a luxury tour is like a pair of branded jeans – that all of them will fit the same. This is completely incorrect, and guest that have traveled with us and with other companies are well aware of this.
Your guides and chauffeurs must have a passion for, and a deep knowledge of, their homeland. It is human interactions that make up discerning explorers fondest memories, not how many sights, or cities, they visited while touring. Our guests often shed tears when they part from our colleagues and wax poetic about them in their reviews!
You will benefit from doing a little bit of quality research about your tour company, as opposed to rapidly clicking on different search results. Take the time to actually go through a detailed itinerary or two as you research. The best explorations touch your heart – your itinerary should make you really want it to start tomorrow!+ Read More
Legal Residents of the United States and most western nations do not require a visa for stays up to 30 days in Thailand. For longer stays you can obtain a visa before you arrive, or pay for an extension on your passport while you are there.
This website has more information on travel in Asia (and its main destinations) than the next 10 websites combined.
There are tour itinerary pages with many links to outside resources, and over a thousand pages with individual destination information & more links.
You could surf websites for days and get really confused, or you can use this site and the links it contains and get all the information you need. You can also tell us when you'd like to start your visit, or select from available group tour dates in most Tour Pages.
You can combine two, or more tours, or tell us to design a tour around your preferences. Ask for information if you have any remaining concerns or questions. Once you've decided what you'd like to do during your visit to Asia, fill out and submit the Reservation Inquiry Form in the relevant tour page.
After confirming availability (and figuring out the other logistics if you're not opting for any advertised tour dates) we e-mail (or fax, if you prefer that) you a "Confirmation of Availability Package". We hold your reservations for 3 business days from that day, and if you don't respond, we reserve the right to not offer you the same dates or pricing.
After you confirm your approval of the itinerary and other details in that package to us, and pay us the required deposit, your reservations are confirmed, subject to the terms and conditions you agree with in your acceptance of the C.O.A.P.
A link to this package (a page hosted on our website) is e-mailed to you shortly after you decide to visit Asia as our guests. For people booking over the phone and not wanting to use the web, expedited mail or fax processing is used to send the C.O.A.P., instead of e-mail processing. There is a small handling fee for mailed copies.
Reservations are not confirmed until your initial deposit or payment is processed, and we have received the completed C.O.A.P. (whether fax, mail, or e-mail based). The Confirmation of Availability Package includes the following four items:
(1). A itinerary of your visit with us, with a unique Guest Identification, that you can refer to in all further communication.
(2). Terms & Conditions that you are required to review and accept, including our policies relating to payments, cancellations, and refunds.
(3). A Cancellation Form that you can use to inform us, in the unfortunate event that you have to cancel your visit.
(4). A link to our secure payment processing pages. Once you've reviewed all the contents of the above, and agreed to the relevant sections; you will be directed to our secure payment processing center to pay the balance due at that time.
(1) making various reservations for your travels in Asia
(2) processing your payments through the Banks and Credit Card transaction institutions (all located in the United States) that we deal with.
From time to time, we may send you information on our specials. You will always have the option to stop us from doing that whenever you choose.
We do not accept complete payments till you confirm acceptance of the itinerary, and the "Terms & Conditions", included in our "Confirmation of Availability Package". You pay an initial deposit when you select one of the available group tour dates, or at the time of your acceptance of our proposed itinerary for your visit.
This deposit may not be refundable, in whole or in part, in the event you choose to cancel or alter your reservations. Part of this deposit covers our costs for arranging all the initial details, including credit card or check transaction fees, making reservations for you, and other administrative costs.
Last minute reservations on one of our advertised group tours or specials may require immediate payment in order to secure an opening for you. Your reservations are valid (subject to our terms and conditions) when your initial payment is processed, and then received by our bank. All payment processing is done by secure servers and your protection is guaranteed by the merchant banks processing the transactions.
What should you pack for your trip?
You can dress as you normally do while exploring most attractions in the big cities and while you are at your hotels. However, when visiting a few religious monuments, such as the Grand Palace Complex in Bangkok, both ladies and men can sometimes be required to keep their legs and shoulders covered, and shorts or mid length skirts are completely unacceptable. In smaller towns and rural areas, women may want to wear a shawl or scarf that covers their upper torso. For men, short-sleeved shirts are more respectful than wearing t-shirts. Formal clothing is not required at dinner at even the top luxury hotels in Thailand. Natural fabrics are highly recommended and it is a good idea to dress in layers in winter due to the temperature variances between the morning and afternoon.
Please bring a sturdy and comfortable pair of walking shoes, sneakers or sandals.
A high level of medical care is available everywhere in Thailand, except for rural areas and very small towns. Almost all the Hotel’s that Easy Tours’ uses in these cities have experienced doctors on call that will pay a visit to your room for a very nominal charge. Although medicines with similar active ingredients to what are found overseas are available in pharmacies in Thailand’s larger cities, you should bring an adequate supply of whatever medicines you usually need. Please note that the civil aviation authority in Thailand has strict rules for liquids and medical paraphernalia for carryon bags and it is your responsibility to conform to these regulations.
High quality shampoo and conditioner are provided by all Hotels used by Easy Tours, and most of them also provide additional items such as moisturizers and hair dryers, while toothbrushes and paste, razors etc. are provided upon request.
Anti-bacterial hand wipes are useful for some situations. We recommend that you take a small quantity of your favorite mosquito repellent. If you wish to use any electronic devices from other nations, you will need an adaptor plug that also modulates voltage (if required), which almost all hotels provide upon request, if it is not already placed in your room. These adaptors work well for almost all regular chargers such as phones, cameras, and laptops, but they are not designed to work with heavy duty items such as game consoles. The adaptors do develop problems after some use so you are encouraged to have the Hotel replace them if they do not function well. Easy Tours’ staff will be happy to assist you in purchasing your own adaptor, if required. For those with a need to charge multiple electronic items, we recommend that you pack a power strip that can be plugged into the adaptor, allowing you to charge multiple devices simultaneously.
You are received by your Visit Facilitator at your choice of location. From then on, anything you need becomes a priority for our staff in Asia.
You are provided with (for each destination during your visit) descriptions of monuments and places of interest. A Visit Facilitator or Tour Director may accompany you on your journey between destinations. If they don't they'll be with you till you board, and be waiting when you deplane. They will help you with your hotel check-ins and check outs (these are already expedited by our planning and contacts).
Local explorations are conducted in comfortable air conditioned transportation, - usually one of our comfortable air-conditioned vehicles. After breakfast each morning, your guide or Tour Director familiarizes you with the days agenda, your options, and other relevant details about the local attractions.
Do I discuss flights to and from Asia with you?
We will be more than happy to counsel and assist you with international flights once you are satisfied with your tour’s details.
We recommend that our guests arrive in Thailand a day before they start touring so as to rest and recuperate. If you are well rested soon after arrival, Bangkok is an amazing city to explore by yourself, and the area around your hotel will be an ideal starting point.
You can spend a significant amount of time researching your travels plans, which is something that many explorers enjoy. Please note that a lot of the information out there, both on the web and in print, is outdated, or just incorrect. If you are going to use a premier tour company to facilitate your tour of Thailand, select one that has real Thailand specialists who can guide you and make recommendations. Such specialists should have travelled extensively in Thailand themselves, and most of the large companies that sell the world do not have such specialists, despite their claims to the contrary.
Bangkok Luxury Travel Information
Bangkok is Thailand's largest and most densely populated city with 10 million residents (over 15 percent of the country's population lives within the city limits). Divided into 50 different districts, the country's sprawling capital covers over 600 square miles. Unlike many Southeast Asian countries, Thailand was never colonized by the West. Today, the city is a unique blend of dynastic heritage and modern development that offers a distinct flavortravelers on luxury tours of Thailand avidly consume.
A modern mecca for tourism and business, there's a plethora of sights and activities for travelers on Thailand tours to experience. The amazing sights and experiences in the Bangkok region include The Grand Palace, The Thonburi Canals, Wat Pho or the temple of The Reclining Buddha, Wat Arun, the Royal Barge Museum and Wat Phra Kaew.
Best Time to Visit Bangkok: Bangkok is a busy, international city that draws throngs of visitors year-round for tours and business. The high season runs from November through February, but the rains in July and August are a welcome relief from the high summer temperatures for travelers and the natives alike.
How to get to Bangkok: Serviced by two airports, Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Muang Airport, providing international and domestic flights, Bangkok is well connected to the rest of the world.
Bangkok Highlights: Bangkok is a must for any international traveler. Offering a mix of distinct cultural heritage and modern convenience, Bangkok's streets hold wonders waiting to be explored.
Chiang Mai Luxury Travel Information
The capital of Chiang Mai Province, and the economic seat of power for the Golden Triangle Region (where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet), Chiang Mai’s history dates back to the 13th century when the capital of the Lanna Kingdom was moved here by King Mengrai.
Travelers here enjoy the luxury and opulence found in Bangkok while experiencing the distinctive cultural flavors of Northern Thailand. The food and architecture, influenced by trade with China, Myanmar, and Laos, is as distinct as the Northern Thai dialect spoken in outdoor bazaars by the vendors on Walking Street.
With the lush, green mountains as a backdrop, visitors have access to a plethora of activities in Chiang Mai. The amazing sights and experiences in the Chiang Mai region include Doi Inthanon National Park and Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.
Best Time to Visit Chiang Mai: The best time to visit is November to February to enjoy the surprisingly brisk weather near the mountains. August through September rains make the jungle bloom with life.
The Songkhran festival, April 13-15, is particularly popular time to come to Chiang Mai for the Thai lunar calendar New Year. For three days the so called ‘Rose of the North’ celebrates the end of the summer heat with a city-wide water fight.
How to get to Chiang Mai: Located in Northern Thailand, the best way to reach Chiang Mai is via flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai International Airport.
Chiang Rai Luxury Travel Information
Heralded as the gateway to the North, Chiang Rai province and the city of Chiang Rai are cultural strongholds for hill tribes and other ethnic groups in Northern Thailand. These distinct cultural flavors can be found in the food, language, and faces of the people here.
The amazing sights and experiences in the Chiang Rai region include Wat Rong Khun and the Hill Tribe Villages.
Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) is a particularly unique monastery created just before the millennium by a Buddhist artist turned architect. From a distance, this modern reimagining of a traditional Thai temple looks like an ice sculpture.
Best Time to Visit Chiang Rai: The rains June through October are light. The best time to visit is during the temperate season running from November through January as the highest temperatures are February through May.
How to get to Chiang Rai: Thailand’s northernmost province and its capital city are best accessed via a flight from Bangkok to Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai International Airport, which is just a few miles outside of the city.
Chiang Rai Highlights: Cultural enthusiasts looking to sample the distinct flavors of Northern Thailand spiced with hints of China, Myanmar, and Laos find this destination particularly attractive on their Thailand tours. The relaxed atmosphere makes Chiang Rai a great place to see by bike.
Ayutthaya Luxury Travel Information
The stone temples and palaces of the former city were the only structures to survive the fires set by the Burmese. Today travelers come to Ayutthaya to explore what remains of what was one of the world's greatest trade cities.
Travelers stroll through this UNESCO World Heritage site leisurely feeling the presence of antiquity on their luxury tours of Thailand. Not far from the city, The Ayutthaya Historical Park houses 100 full-scale replicas of the ancient city's temples and palaces.
Best Time to Visit Ayutthaya: Although it is hot from April to June, and rainy from July to September, it is okay to visit the area anytime of the year but best to visit from October through March for the best weather during a luxury tour in Thailand.
How to get to Ayutthaya: About 30 miles north of Bangkok along the Chao Phraya River, Ayutthaya is best reached by private car using Thailand's modern roads.
Ayutthaya Highlights: Rich in cultural antiquities and natural wonders, guests on Thailand tours feel like they could spend weeks in Ayutthaya and leave still wanting more.
Kanchanaburi Luxury Travel Information
The amazing sights and experiences in the Kanchanburi region include Death Railway Bridge, usually referred to as the Bridge over the river Kwai, and the Erawan National Park. Full of ecological and geographical wonders, Kanchanaburi Province is home to splendid conservation areas. Visitors on tours of Thailand can enjoy elephant treks, swimming in clear pools beneath waterfalls, and river cruises while staying in Kanchanaburi.
The province also played a pivotal role in Japan’s war efforts during World War II. The area is home to the Bridge over the River Kwai, immortalized by a book and film of the same name, and the Thai-Burma Death Railway. Hurriedly constructed by the Japanese using Allied prisoners of war and conscripted laborers from Southeast Asian countries, thousands of workers died building the bridge due to the brutal and unsanitary living conditions.
Best Time to Visit Kanchanaburi: Rains falling in July and August, and high temperatures from March through June mean fewer crowds and easier bookings. Kanchanaburi’s high season runs from October to February with the best weather.
How to get to Kanchanaburi: About a 3 hour drive north from Bangkok, Kanchanaburi is best reached using a private car on Thailand's modern roads.
Kanchanaburi Highlights: The wealth of ecological sites draws travelers from across the globe to the beautiful national parks found here.
Phuket Luxury Travel Information
Thailand’s richest province, and largest island, Phuket is home to a diverse range of activities available to travelers on luxury tours of Thailand. The many spas in the area are heralded as some of the best in the world, and throngs of Thai and international tourists come here for pampering.
The emerald waters of the Andaman Sea make snorkeling, diving, yachting, and surfing popular and readily available maritime activities. The island also offers numerous beaches ranging from secluded to bustling depending on guests’ tastes.
Off the beach, nature preserves like Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Park lure travelers on Thailand tours into the jungle to visit waterfalls and see diverse wildlife. Elephant treks and jeep safaris into the deeper forests are popular excursions. Phuket’s Big Buddha (an alabaster statue nearly 150 feet high) sits quietly atop the Nakkerd Hills offering a stunning view of the island.
Family oriented attractions are plentiful on the island. Dinner shows like Phuket FantaSea’s pyrotechnic-filled animal extravaganza is a popular itinerary item on tours of Thailand, and Splash Jungle (Thailand’s largest water park) features water cannons, slides, and a wave pool that will have children and adults squealing in delight.
Best Time to Visit Phuket Beach: The island’s best weather is from November to March when the beaches sparkle like gold in the sun. Annual rains fall from April to October and can cause the seas to be choppy, but the forests are at their lushest during this time of year.
How to get to Phuket Beach: Lying in the Andaman Sea off the coast of southern Thailand, Phuket Island can be reached by private boat launching from beach destinations on the mainland like Krabi, or domestic and international flights to Phuket International Airport.
Phuket Beach Highlights: With a range of activities both luxurious and family friendly, Phuket has been the top beach destination in Thailand for decades that no traveler on a tour of Thailand should miss.
Krabi Luxury Travel Information
Krabi is small, only 25,000 residents call the town home, but it’s a busy place due to its proximity to popular destinations like the Phi Phi Islands and Ao Nang City. Ferries and chartered boats launch regularly from here heading towards the 150 islands in the archipelago chain offshore.
Though not off the beaten path, Krabi is still a quaint Thai town with an authentic atmosphere. The local motto “Lively town, friendly people” perfectly defines the perceptions of travelers on luxury tours of Thailand as they stroll down the quiet side streets, and take in the leisurely pace of life here.
Wat ThamSeua (Tiger Cave Temple) is a popular destination just outside of town. The hill and cave temple is a sprawling complex of shrines and Buddha images hidden in limestone enclosures. Diving, snorkeling, and kayaking are popular and readily available activities in Krabi, and it’s not uncommon for travelers on Thailand tours to see climbers scaling Krabi’s famous karst rock formations.
The many waterfalls and caves of Khao PhanomBencha National Park are also popular destinations for tours in Thailand. The jungle forests of this park team with wildlife and the buzz of insects, and the trails that wind through this 20 square-mile national park are a rare treat for nature enthusiasts. .
Best Time to Visit Krabi: The best time to visit Krabi is during the temperate season running from November to March when the beaches are the most beautiful. The heaviest rain falls from April to October and can cause choppy seas.
How to get to Krabi: Krabi Town is the capital of Krabi Province in Southern Thailand. It’s best reached by flight from Bangkok.
Krabi Highlights: While Krabi is often used as a stepping stone to reach the hundreds of bleach-blonde beaches in the Andaman archipelago, travelers often modify their Thailand tour itineraries to enjoy this quiet and scenic town longer.
Koh Samui Luxury Travel Information
One of Thailand’s most developed islands, Koh Samui’s activities and beaches are as diverse as the travelers who flock to this well-established tropical paradise. Manicured golf courses are almost as common as palm trees, and there are more opportunities for sea kayaking, day cruises, and spa pampering than can be easily counted.
Nearby islands Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan are easily reached from Koh Samui, and the bright coral reefs and shimmering multi-hued schools of fish residing in the blue-green waters make for some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving the Gulf of Thailand has to offer.
The interior of the island has several excellent viewpoints worth hiking to, and The Secret Buddha Garden is a popular stop filled with intriguing sculptures of Buddhist legends.
Enjoying the sunset from a luxury catamaran, and boat tours of Ang Thong Marine National Park are two popular excursions that no luxury tour of Thailand would be complete without.
Best Time to Visit Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s beaches and sea are largely unaffected by monsoons, which means this busy, year-round destination is the perfect place for a little fun in the sun regardless of the season.
How to get to Koh Samui: Just a few miles off the coast of Surat Thani Province in Southern Thailand, Koh Samui is easily accessed by flight to Koh Samui International Airport.
Koh Samui Highlights: A range of family friendly and sun-soaked activities make Koh Samui a top destination on tours of Thailand.
Koh Lanta Luxury Travel Information
Koh Lanta is possibly the most under rated beach destination in Thailand. Located near the southern end of Krabi province, it is a large island that maintains a very relaxed vibe. Lanta is a very good destination for families to visit for two reasons. (1) It has some the calmest water you will find anywhere in Thailand. Most of the beaches are rock free and have very gradual grades into the water. Swimming is both enjoyable and safe for kids. (2) It maintains a relaxed and conservative atmosphere. While nightlife is certainly present on the island, it is not pervasive as in many destinations. The best beaches hence most of the development is on the west side, while the east side is home to several traditional Thai villages.
Koh Phangan Luxury Travel Information
Just a 30-minute ferry ride from the major tourist hub of Koh Samui is the home of the famous Full Moon Parties. These are rather wild affairs with people partying until early morning. As such, the island tends to carry a party vibe during all phases of the moon; i.e., all the time. Ironically, the other thing Phangan is known for is wellness programs. There are several resorts on the island that cater to guests seeking to recharge their body and mind and participate in cleansing / detoxification programs. The island is not much smaller than Koh Samui, but far less developed. The topography is mountainous, and traveling around the island can be somewhat of an adventure as the road infrastructure is not modern.
The Grand Palace
The palace was founded in 1782 by Rama I as the first structure of the king’s new dynasty. Having won his crown from quelling the rebellion that unseated King Taksin of Thonburi, Rama I moved to Bangkok to found the capital city of his dynasty that still reigns today. The royal family no longer lives on the palace grounds, but it is still used regularly for both political and religious ceremonies.
The palace grounds are massive, and feature a mix of traditional Thai architecture and more modern buildings with Western style facades. With dozens of small structures spread throughout the rambling complex, travelers on luxury tours in Thailand can spend hours traversing the palace without taking in everything.
The palace grounds are divided into multiple courts, some of them of still functioning offices for the royalty. The Emerald Buddha resides in its own temple, and is an especially popular among the many holy sites inside the Grand Palace for visitors. Local tradition says the holy relic is the source of the country’s prosperity, and the Thai king, or an emissary in his stead, dresses the statue in a specially crafted set of gold clothes for each season as a supplication to continue the country’s good fortune.
Best Time to Visit Grand Palace: Open year round, the palace is almost guaranteed to have crowds of visitors at any hour of the day, but the best time to visit is between November and January to beat the high temperatures.
How to get to Grand Palace: Located in the heart of the historic Rattanakosin district in Thailand’s capital Bangkok, The Grand Palace sits on the Eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River that bisects the city. Private car service makes this historic destination easy to reach and depart.
Grand Palace Highlights: Massive, opulent, and historically significant, no visit to Thailand would be complete without visiting the former home of Thailand’s ruling dynasty.
While the Reclining Buddha dwarfs the other religious icons -- the statue is a little over 150 feet long and 15 feet high -- there is a wealth of historic and religious items for travelers on luxury tours of Thailand to enjoy.
The massive grounds of Wat Pho cover some 000,000 square feet and house almost enumerable Buddha statues, stupas and shrines housing the ashes of royalty, monks, and a few said to contain remains of Lord Buddha.
Wat Pho has also been the epicenter for learning Thai Massage since King Rama III made the temple a public learning institution in the early 19th century to preserve ancient medical techniques.
Best Time to Visit Wat Pho: The rains in July and August will do little to quell the number of guests at this busy religious and educational temple, but most visitors on tours in Thailand come through between November and February to enjoy the balmy weather as they walk through the grounds.
How to get to Wat Pho: Adjacent to the Grand Palace in Bangkok’s historic Rattanakosin cluster of districts, Wat Pho can be accessed easily using private car service, or Bangkok’s modern rail systems.
Built over the remains of another temple during the 19th century reign of Rama II, Wat Arun is named for the Hindu god Aruna, whose dominion is the rising sun. Built in the Khmer style found in Cambodia, Wat Arun stands apart architecturally from the vast sea of temples visited throughout Bangkok by travelers on luxury tours of Thailand.
Though named for the dawn, Wat Arun is particularly beautiful with the setting sun as a backdrop. Once full dark falls on the city the entire temple glows a brilliant gold, lit by lamps on the temple grounds.
Best Time to Visit Wat Arun: The temple grounds are open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., but the best time to view Wat Arun’s unique architecture is with the setting sun as a backdrop.
Most travelers come to Bangkok between November and February to evade the heat in the summer months, and the heavy rains in July and August.
How to get to Wat Arun: Across the Chao Phraya River from the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, Wat Arun can be accessed by private vehicle, but most visitors take a short boat ride across the water from the Western bank.
Wat Arun Highlights: Architecturally unique, the sharp edifice of Wat Arun silhouetted by the setting sun is a sight no traveler on tour in Thailand should miss.
The Canals of Thonburi
Navigating the canals on the Eastern side of the Chao Phraya River that bisects Bangkok by boat, travelers gain access to the Klong Lad Mayom, Taling Chan, and Wat Sai floating markets where Thai vendors still proffer their wares from boats resting on the water the way their ancestors did.
Wat Arun, The Temple of Dawn, and The Royal Barge Museum are also in this area of the city, and easily reached while exploring Bangkok’s ancient canals on a tour of Thailand.
Best Time to Visit The Canals of Thonburi: The highest temperatures run March through May, and the heaviest rainfall is from June through August.
The best time to visit is between October and February to enjoy the balmy weather.
How to get to The Canals of Thonburi: The Canals of Thonburi run west of the River Chao Phraya that bisects Bangkok. A short trip across the river from the city's Rattanakosin historic area, the Thornburi's water ways are best accessed and navigated using a chartered private boat.
The Canals of Thonburi Highlights: Drifting leisurely down the canals in a private boat is an excursion no one's luxury tour in Thailand would be complete without.
Royal Barge Museum
These long, thin boats are intricately decorated with gold carvings, and each barge’s masthead is uniquely splendid. Suphannahong, the king’s personal barge, features a golden swan’s head carved into its prow. Other barges include dedications to Hanuman, the Hindu monkey deity, and the seven-headed serpent, Naga. No luxury tour of Thailand would be complete without seeing these ancient and stunning watercraft.
While the barges were originally used for military purposes and daily transport, today the boats usually only see the open waters of the Chao Phraya River during holidays.
Best Time to Visit Royal Barge Museum: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Museum is a hot itinerary destination throughout the year on Thailand tours. Seasonal rains come in June and August, and the highest temperatures are in March and May. The best weather is from October to February.
Travelers heading to Bangkok in late October and November might miss the barges at their docks when they are being prepared for the flotilla ceremony that marks the end of the rainy season, but they can catch them in the ceremonial flotilla on the canals with a little planning.
How to get to Royal Barge Museum: The museum is in Bangkok's Thonburi canal district, and best reached using a chartered boat.
Royal Barge Museum Highlights: The barges and their amazingly detailed mastheads are something almost every luxury tour in Thailand includes on the itinerary. It’s a must-see for Bangkok.
Wat Phra Kaew
Located in Bangkok’s historic Rattanakosin area, The Temple of the Emerald Buddha covers some 200 acres with its grounds, and has hundreds of small structures enshrining a plethora items including royal ashes. With over 200 years of royal architectural experimentation neatly displayed on its grounds, the temple is a must see on every Thailand luxury tour itinerary.
An artifact with a history in many countries around Southeast Asia, The Emerald Buddha has been a part of Bangkok since Rama I came to the shores of the Chao Phraya River to found the Chakri dynasty in 1782.
Three times a year - during the winter, summer, and rainy seasons - King Rama IX of Thailand dresses the statue in specially crafted gold clothing as part of a ceremony that local legend says guarantees the country’s prosperity.
Best Time to Visit Wat Phra Kaew: July and August rains offer visitors relief from the high summer temperatures, but the best time to visit the area is during the November through February high season. Early risers can expect to beat some of the crowds by visiting temple when it opens at 8:30 a.m.
How to get to Wat Phra Kaew: Resting in Bangkok’s historic Rattanakosin within the grounds of The Grand Palace, The Temple of The Emerald Buddha can easily be reached using private car service or the modern rail system in Bangkok.
Wat Phra Kaew Highlights: A sight with rich historical and cultural implications, Wat Phra Kaew’s proximity to other historical places in Bangkok mean it’s a place no one on a luxury tour of Thailand should miss.
Hill Tribe Villages
Comprised of multiple ethnic groups, the hill tribes have distinct languages, styles of dress, and cultures from one another. The Akha, Lahu, Karen, Hmong, Mien, Paduang and Lisu tribes can be found in the mountains of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. The bright clothing, hand crafted goods, and intriguing culture of these hill tribes entice travelers on luxury tours of Thailand to visit the sleepy villages of these indigenous people.
Of these tribes, the famous “long-necked” women of the Paduang are probably the most recognized. As part of the Paduang culture, women begin wearing a series of interlocking brass rings around their necks at an early age, and add an additional ring each birthday. .
Best Time to Visit Hill Tribe Villages: The best weather for tours of Northern Thailand is during the temperate November through January season. The heaviest rain falls June through October, and the highest temperatures run February through May.
How to get to Hill Tribe Villages: Hill tribe villages dot the Northern Thailand mountain ranges. The most traveler friendly villages lie in the northernmost province of Chiang Rai. These villages are best accessed by a private vehicle.
Hill Tribe Villages Highlights: Cultural enthusiasts on tours of Thailand are particularly fond of experiencing the simple life style of the hill tribes. The distinct dress, cuisine, languages, and hospitality of these indigenous groups leave lasting impressions on visitors.
Wat Rong Khun
Most Thai temples have centuries of history, but Wat Rong Kun’s story only started in 1997. The creation of artist turned architect Chalermchai Kositpipat, Wat Rong Kung’s grounds hold far more unusual features than the irregular white color scheme.
Visitors on luxury tours of Thailand enter the temple by first crossing a footbridge spanning a lake of grasping concrete hands meant to represent the hell of desire. Passing two sword-wielding giants glinting like porcelain in the sun, travelers on tours of Thailand gain access to the inner sanctum, where traditional Thai decorative styles found in other temples has been fused with contemporary images. The walls weave together images of Superman, Neo from The Matrix, and the International Space Station into a modernized version of the traditional depiction of the Buddhist cycle of life and rebirth, Samsara.
Best Time to Visit Wat Rong Khun: The White Temple is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Chiang Rai’s best weather comes November through February. The highest temperatures in the province are March through May, and the light rainy season runs from June to October.
How to get to Wat Rong Khun: About 7 miles south of Chiang Rai City, Wat Rong Khun is best reached by private vehicle.
A flight from Bangkok to Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai International Airport is the best way to visit Thailand’s northernmost province.
Wat Rong Khun Highlights: A popular destination among domestic Thai tourists, the temple's unique design aesthetic also draws throngs of travelers on tours in Thailand. Cultural and art enthusiasts are particularly fond of the chance to see modern interpretations of ancient Thai Buddhist style.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Legend has it that the temple was founded after the ruler of the Lanna Kingdom placed a remnant of Buddha’s body on the back of a white elephant, and followed the animal through the jungle. When the elephant reached what are now the temple grounds, the creature trumpeted three times and died on the spot. King Keu Naone promptly built the golden chedi and temple to house the holy relic.
Today, Wat Doi Suthep is one of the most highly revered holy places for Buddhists in Thailand, and this busy temple offers meditation courses to travelers on luxury tours in Thailand.
Best Time to Visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep: The best weather in Chiang Mai runs from November to January. June to October Rains turn the surrounding area to a lush green dotted with bright flowers, and the highest temperatures fall March through May.
How to get to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep: Near the summit of Doi Suthep Mountain, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is best reached by private vehicle from nearby Chiang Mai City. From the parking area, visitors can either surmount the 300 plus steps guarded by the twisting bodies of twin golden Naga carvings, or take a cable car to the monastery.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Highlights: Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is one of the most important religious sights for Buddhists in Thailand, and the well-kept temple grounds and pristine forests surrounding it are popular destinations for the devout and travelers on tours of Thailand.
Doi Inthanon National Park
Travelers on luxury tours of Thailand flock here to enjoy the splendid views of Chiang Mai province, and the mountain park is equally popular with Thai tourists who relish the chance to experience the significantly cooler temperatures and the uncommon temperate forests at higher elevation.
Numerous waterfalls like Nam Tok Mae Klang twist through the mountain forests of Doi Inthanon National Park, and 400 species of birds call the park home. Dozens of animal species reside within the park’s 186 square-miles of protected forests like Assamese macaques, and there are hundreds of temperate flowers and lichens that are unique to the national park.
On the road towards the summit, Phra Mahathat Naphamethanidon and Nophamethanidon are popular temples to visit that were dedicated to the King and Queen of Thailand on their respective 60th birthdays.
Best Time to Visit Doi Inthanon National Park: The park’s best weather is from November through January. Rains fall from June through October, and March through May temperatures are significantly lower on the mountain than on the plains below.
Year-round, the park is a great destination for Thailand tour itineraries.
How to get to Doi Inthanon National Park: Doi Inthanon National Park is about 37 miles west of Chiang Mai City, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand.
The park and its various attractions are best reached and navigated using a private vehicle service.
Doi Inthanon National Park Highlights:The unique plant and wildlife in the park, and the spectacular views for the summit make Doi Inthanon a nature lover’s paradise.
Death Railway Bridge
Built as an alternative supply line for the Japanese during their invasions of Southeast Asia during World War II, the bridge spans about 1,000 feet across the Khwae Yai River. Constructed almost entirely by conscripted laborers and POWs, the bridge and rail line’s grueling conditions and hazardous work claimed thousands lives during World War II.
Best Time to Visit Death Railway Bridge: The best time of the year to visit the area is October through February. The highest temperatures are March through June, and the heaviest rain fall is in July and August.
Travelers who plan their luxury tours accordingly can watch the annual memorial light and sound show that commemorates the allied bombing of the bridge. The show starts the last week of November and runs through the first week of December.
How to get to Death Railway Bridge: The bridge lies about a mile north of Kanchanaburi Town, and is best accessed via private vehicle.
Death Railway Bridge Highlights: At odds with the peaceful veneer of Kanchanaburi, this World War II landmark is one of many historical sites, like the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre, that draw travelers on tours of Thailand.
Erawan National Park
Named for the three-headed elephant that carries the Hindu god Indra, the seven tiers of Erawan Falls spread for a nearly a mile through deciduous forests filled with birds, monkeys, and other diverse wildlife.
The park is also home to several complex cave systems. The glittering limestone stalactites and stalagmites of Mi, Pha Lun, Phartat, Wang Bahdan and Rua caves are popular destinations within Erawan National Park. There’s also a mix of moderate and easy hiking trails like the 5 kilometer Khao Hin Lan Pee Nature Trail, which ends at the 5th tier of Erawan Falls.
Best Time to Visit Erawan National Park: The falls are particularly beautiful during the rainy season running June to October after the dry season running from March to May.
The high season for the park runs from October through February, and the first few tiers of the falls are particularly busy this time of the year.