All tours are not created equal. If you are searching for great value on an excellent tour that includes top rated boutique lodging, we strongly recommend that you take the time to read the detailed itinerary below.
Day 0: Depart from the United States. You can make your own International flight reservations, in which case arrival and departure transfers can be reserved with your guest relations manager, who is assigned to you after you book your tour - no surcharge applies. You can also choose to use flights booked through Easy Tours as part of your complete package.
We strongly recommend that our guests consider arriving a day earlier, as this allows you to recuperate from jetlag, and serves as insurance against international flight delays and cancellations. Even if your flight is not delayed, and jetlag does not affect you, this allows you to explore fascinating Hanoi on your own.
An additional night hotel stay at Siem Reap can be added as part of the process as you reserve your tour. If you are arriving a day earlier, your airport to hotel transfer will be provided a day earlier.
Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok and you are greeted at the airport and ushered to a vehicle. You are then driven to your hotel for assisted check-in.
The giant metropolis of Bangkok is a fascinating blend of modern skyscrapers, congested traffic, beautiful and ornate Wats (temples), incredible street food, and a lot more. The colorful Thai culture and the easygoing local lifestyle make this unique city even more interesting. Your hotel is known as one of the finest Bangkok has to offer, boasting a riverfront location and fantastic views of the River of Kings. It offers luxury accommodation and great dining options, including a large and diverse selection of delicious western and eastern breakfast options.
The hotel offers their classic boat shuttle, departing every 15 minutes between 6am and midnight, across the river to the Tak Sin pier, where you can catch other boats that service the Chao Phraya. The pier is also the location of the Tak Sin BTS station, which gives you access to Bangkok’s Metro, the fastest way to traverse the city.
In the Tak Sin are there are multiple dining options available, ranging from great street food to upscale dining. There is great Thai and Chinese food, western cuisine, pizza and hamburgers, or anything else that you may want. The BTS can quickly take you to the nearby Patpong Night Market, with its infamous nightlife.
Very near your hotel you can find multiple ATM’s and a few Thai 7-Elevens where you can buy pretty much anything that you desire, ranging from snacks, drinks, sim cards, to a selection of western spirits.
Day 2: Bangkok. Starting in the morning, you are assisted in boarding your boat to the Grand Palace complex, which has been the state residence of Thai royalty since 1782 and is still used for official events. Your tour guide will show you some of the more interesting highlights of the complex. The collection of buildings serves as a nice introduction to Thai architecture and provides many great photo opportunities. Just one of the several stops you will make within the complex is Wat Phra Kaew, also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This is the most sacred Buddhist temple (wat) in all of Thailand. Except for the Thai King, no other person is allowed to touch this statue. The King changes the statue’s cloak three times each year to correspond to the summer, winter, and rainy seasons.
Next, you will visit Wat Pho, known also as The Temple of the Reclining Buddha, adjacent to the Grand Palace. This large statue is 50 feet (15 meters) high and 140 feet (43 meters) long and is covered in gold leaf. The bottoms of the feet are inlaid with mother of pearl, divided into 108 panels depicting the 108 auspicious symbols used by the Buddha.
A colorful interlude during this morning’s exploration will be a walk-through Bangkok’s wholesale flower market, where millions of colorful displays are spread throughout. Flowers are an integral part of Thai society, and the plethora of fragrant colors amidst the extremely busy shops and stalls are a delight to experience.
After lunch you will enjoy an urban excursion by long-tailed boat to discover the canals of Thonburi. The people of Thailand, including the residents of Bangkok, have always lived a riparian lifestyle. You will explore the intricate network of canals, or Khlongs as you cruise past colorful homes and other structures. Unlike the tourist areas that you stay in with most tours, this adventure will offer great insights into how the locals live. You will see women washing clothes and utensils in the water, children swimming, locals throwing food to teeming schools of fish (considered a religious offering), and a lot more.
Stop at Baan Silapin (Artists House), the beautifully decorated centuries-old structure on a residential canal, for a brief visit. This succession of buildings is a whimsical art gallery showcasing local creative talents. Your last stop in the canals will be a quick visit to the hidden Museum of Royal Barges, which houses a few of the ornately carved and painted barges used by Thai Royalty.
As you pull out of the canals into the river for your cruise to your hotel, you will enjoy great photo opportunities of beautiful Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn), Bangkok’s iconic riverside monument. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon to relax for a short while.
Manohra Dinner Cruise on the River of Kings. Your guide will escort you on the hotel barge to a spot near where you will board your beautiful wooden dinner cruise boat. A large variety of Thai dishes and set menus are available for dinner, including vegetarian options: Here is a cruise description from the operator.
Relax in luxurious tranquility, admiring the River of King’s illuminated banks and striking landmarks at night, from the bustle of Asiatique the Riverfront to the strikingly illuminated Temple of Dawn and glittering Grand Palace. Step aboard a beautifully restored antique rice barge and cruise in old world elegance along the majestic Chao Phraya River. Pass along famous royal sites, exquisite temples and striking modern landmarks as you dine on fine Thai cuisine at one of the best river dinner cruises Bangkok has to offer. Float down the River of Kings on a beautifully restored rice barge. Revel in old world splendor over two unforgettable hours of fine cuisine and magnificent culture. Savor exquisite tastes and cocktails accompanied by a unique view of Bangkok.
Day 3: Bangkok. Continue your exploration of Thailand with an excursion to a fascinating area located a little over an hour away to the southwest of Bangkok. If this day is Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, you will visit our recommended Amphawa Floating market as the last experience of the day. If it is a weekday, you will start with the morning floating market at Damnoen Saduak. You will experience the famous Maeklong Railway Market, locally known as the Umbrella Pulldown Market! This name is derived from the fact that the vendors spread their wares and awnings to cover the railroad tracks, and then everything is pulled back when a train passes through. The market is one of the largest fresh seafood markets in Thailand and also sells a host of other local food specialties, as well as other goods, including clothing and souvenirs. From here you will be driven nearby to Amphawa, stopping briefly for a photo opportunity at a very unique rural house of worship, Wat Bang Kung, or the Banyan Tree Temple. Dating back to the ancient Ayutthaya Period, this small temple’s exterior has been completely enveloped by a couple of massive Banyan Trees. It is an active place of worship for the local villagers and its ancient history makes it all the more sacred to the locals.
You will visit the picturesque Amphawa Floating Market, which is a treasure trove of photo opportunities. From little wooden stalls overloaded with fruits, vegetables and orchids to serene Thai women gently paddling with graceful slow motions, making their way smoothly to the banks where they will sell their goods. Your tour guide will escort you on the banks of the canals and will give you insights into all the activities taking place. After the floating market you will enjoy the scenic drive back to Bangkok.
Day 4: Bangkok - Chiang Mai. You are driven to the airport to board your late morning flight to Chiang Mai. Arrive in Chiang Mai and you are greeted at the airport and driven to your small boutique resort, where you will enjoy lunch.
After lunch you will be assisted with check-in to your rooms. You are at leisure until the evening. Your resort has among the best locations in the city on the riverfront in a quiet upscale area, yet only a 10 to 15-minute walk (or 5-minute tuk-tuk ride) to Chiang Mai’s famous night market, the area where there are scores of cafés, restaurants, and bars. It is a truly boutique property and widely recognized as one of the most charming accommodations in the city. The view of the river is framed by a beautiful ancient tree on the resort grounds.
Located on the Ping River, Chiang Mai was once the capital of the Lanna Kingdom, which flourished in northern Thailand between the 12th - 15th centuries. The city is the second largest city in Thailand, and the cultural capital of the north. Possessing great natural beauty and a host of outdoor activities and parks on its outskirts, the city itself is a fascinating combination of unique architecture, ancient history with its associated rituals, and a modern metropolis. Chiang Mai is one of Asia’s best cities to explore on foot, with a bustling street food scene.
Join your guide this evening for an excursion to Chiang Mai’s most exciting and extensive night market. This market has a really fascinating street food scene and is another one of Southeast Asia’s amazing photo opportunities.
Day 5: Chiang Mai. This mid-morning you will explore the historic walled city of Chiang Mai. Included are visits to some of the iconic old temples of ancient Chiang Mai, including Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Chiang Man. This tour demonstrates the architectural diversity and blending of styles that the Lanna were known for. It is also a great way to get familiar with the city, should you decide to go out during the evenings and explore. Return to your resort for some leisure after lunch.
In the late afternoon you will proceed on a drive up to Doi Suthep, the mountain on the edge of the city that dominates the Chiang Mai skyline. Once at the top, you will find the 309 stairs up to Wat Phra That, which are flanked on each side by beautiful Nagas, which run the entire length of the stairs. You also have the option of taking a large elevator (which does usually have a line) up to the Wat. Once at the top, enjoy the spiritual ambience of one of Thailand’s most holy places, as well as some superb sunset views of the city. You will see devout Thai’s circling the main stupa in a ritualistic manner, and many others on their knees in deep prayer. Walk down the stairs and you are driven back to your resort.
Day 6: Chiang Mai. You have the option to either enjoy a full day excursion to the Doi Inthanon region, or experience one of Northern Thailand’s best Elephant Camps, which takes a total of about seven hours, including drive time. This decision needs to be made soon after you reserve you tour. You can also opt to spend the day in town with your guide, enjoying your boutique resort and more of the charming city of Chiang Mai.
Doi Inthanon Excursion: Proceed for a guided visit to the most photographed attractions in Northern Thailand, located in the Doi Inthanon region. You will also visit other major attractions inside Doi Inthanon National Park, which is a proudly protected area that is home to the highest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon.
Doi Inthanon is a huge and superb national park full of majestic waterfalls, lush green valleys, terraced paddy fields, fruit, flower and vegetables crops, and ethnic communities living prosperous, free and happy in their natural environment. Once at the peak you will admire the views and then enjoy an easy trek through the mist laden virgin forest and be fascinated with the unique flora that is found here.
After a break for lunch, there will be two more not-to-be-missed experiences on your way back to Chiang Mai.
The subject of the most gorgeous and popular photos that travel journals and websites use for the Chiang Mai region are actually situated close to the peak of Doi Inthanon. Phra Mahathat Naphamethanidon and Naphaphonphumisiri are two gorgeous and colorful Chedis, dedicated to the Beloved Late King and the Revered Queen, located in a magical spot with spectacular views. The immaculate terraced gardens with unbelievably beautiful flowers that surround the Chedis would be an attraction by themselves, but the massive and beautiful Chedis facing each other at the center of this breathtaking locale, make this a true treat for your eyes and your soul.
A fascinating stop as you head down the mountain is the Royal Projects Highway Market run by the Hill Tribes of the Doi Inthanon region. You will stop and walk around the outdoor stalls selling fruits, produce, nuts and other items organically grown by the simple and now prosperous tribal locals, some of whom will be dressed in their unique clothing. This market, its wares, and the tribal people that grow and sell here are a growing testament of the success of the Late King’s vision and efforts. In the 1960s, poppy fields were widespread in the mountains of Northern Thailand, and hill tribe villagers were working as laborers for opium producers and smugglers. King Bhumibol (Rama IX) initiated drastic reforms in the region to put an end to it. It was the beginning of the ‘Royal Projects’. These projects were highly profitable to the whole region and to the ethnic communities who were literally slaves of the drug barons and addicts to opium.
The Hill Tribes were given land to cultivate, provided with free seeds, tools, and all kinds of resources to make them succeed in becoming successful natural farmers. Now, over half a century later, the results of the Late King’s vision have brought happiness to everyone involved. Arrive back in Chiang Mai in the early evening.
The Elephant Sanctuary experience is orchestrated by the camp operator and you will be joined by others while interacting with the gentle giants. Unlike other tour operators, your round-trip transfers are solely for Easy Tours guests and provided by Easy Tours, thereby saving you time and inconvenience.
Elephant Sanctuary (No Elephant Riding). After breakfast join your chauffeur and local guide and you are driven out to the mountains to enjoy some time with Thailand’s iconic animal - the elephant. You will be spending the day at one of the finest elephant camps in Northern Thailand and taking part in a hands-on experience that will allow you to truly interact with these majestic animals. Baanchang Camp stopped offering Elephant Riding a while back, and even when they did offer that activity, they never used cages for riding. The “Elephant Day Care” is an interactive and personalized program that aims to spread knowledge about elephant conservation efforts while creating a unique and special experience for everyone who joins.
The schedule, as per the camp operator, is as follows:
Arrive at Baan Chang Elephant Park, change into traditional clothing.
Prepare fruits for the elephants and meet the elephants. Feeding, roaming, touching, and playing with elephants.
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Prepare and cook sticky rice in order to be mixed with herbal stuff for the elephants. Learn about the background, health care and behavior of elephants.
2:00 pm Enjoy more time roaming, feeding and taking the elephants for a walk to a clean water pond where they will cool themselves off and you will have a chance to observe and join them in bathing as well. Feed sticky rice balls and fruits to the elephants.
This part is focused on taking your time and allowing the elephants to enjoy each moment of their freedom, scratching, rubbing, and throwing dirt on their backs, an activity that is good for their skin.
** Tea and coffee break.
Visit and play with the baby elephants in the Nursery Zone.
At about 3 PM you will join your local guide and chauffeur and be driven directly to your Chiang Mai resort, arriving at about 4 PM. You are at leisure for the balance of the day.
Day 7: Chiang Mai - Bangkok - International Flight. You are assisted with your check-out at any time before noon, depending on the time of your international flight. and driven to the Chiang Rai airport where you will be assisted in boarding your flight to Bangkok. As Easy Tours only uses the best airlines available on our tours, your options are between multiple morning, one late afternoon flight, and a couple of fairly late evening flights.
Arrive at Bangkok, collect your baggage, and check-in for your international flight.
We strongly recommend that travelers who book their own international flights use caution about their international flight departure time. Please note that international flights have check-in requirements that require you to be at their check-in counter approximately 2.5 to 3 hours (for coach), and 2 hours for premier classes, before that flight departs. Please also allow for unexpected delays on the Chiang Rai to Bangkok flight.
If you used Easy Tours services for your international flights, we will factor the above when booking your Chiang Rai to Bangkok flight. If your flights timing requires an extended period at the airport, a stay at the only hotel connected to Bangkok Airport, the upscale Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport, can be added during the reservation process.
Our services end at the Chiang Mai airport.
* Breakfast daily
* Lunch on Days 3, 4 and 7
* The Best Dinner Cruise on the River of Kings in Bangkok
* Flexible Activity Choices in Chiang Mai
* Ground transportation via upscale private vehicles
* Representative for assistance on departure / arrival transfers per the itinerary
* Services of the best guides as per the itinerary
* Applicable monument entrance fees as per the itinerary
* Bottled water during sightseeing
* Hotel accommodation as listed above
* All Boat Fees/Fares per the itinerary
* International travel unless you opt for the flight as part of your tour
* Any expenses of a personal nature, such as tips, laundry, phone calls, drinks etc.
* Meals other than those specified on itinerary
* Travel insurance, visas, etc.