Day 1: Welcome to Thailand
Right from the start you’ll experience the difference. We’ll be waiting when your plane touches down, brush off the airline peanut shells and welcome you to the "Land of Smiles". We’ll escort you to your home away from home and introduce you to your surroundings. Upon check-in you’ll receive your personalized "Adventure Kit", containing a custom-designed "Adventure Guidebook", lots of useful tidbits and your own mobile phone. Prior to your arrival we’ll inform you by email of your phone number during your time in the kingdom so friends and family are easily able to contact you. The phone is yours for your entire journey; a handy tool to have when you’re out exploring. Today sit back, relax, enjoy a swim and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
Day 2: Bangkok Multi Transport Adventure
Today we’ll tick-off five must-see sites, while using all forms of urban transport (tuk-tuk, motorcycle, rapid train, boats and taxi) in a citywide blitz of temples, alleyways, rivers, canals and fine eats to give you a true appreciation of the "City of Angels". Today you’ll see the Golden Mount, the stunning Grand Palace, Wat Pho (reclining Buddha), curious corners of old and new Bangkok and the tranquil urban-canals of Bangkok Noi, to name but a few of our stops. Meals: (B) and (L).
Day 3: Headlights (evening)
Enjoy the day relaxing by the pool, exploring on your own and get ready for tonight’s main event – Headlights. This is your chance to experience "one night in Bangkok". It’s out for an incredible Thai meal, then your customized night on the town. Depending on group interest we’ll explore lots of interesting nooks and crannies, market hotpots, Bangkok’s highest rooftop bar "Vertigo", perched atop a roof 61 floors up, slide into a spectacularly lit temple and perhaps even snack on a well-seasoned local delicacy - fried grasshoppers! Finally, we’ll wind things up at legendary Patpong, where night markets collide with colorful characters. Meals: (B) and (D).
Day 4: Ancient Ayutthaya
Prior to its sacking by the Burmese in 1767, Ayutthaya was the crowning jewel of Siam. We’ll board a private shuttle for our short journey 90km north from Bangkok then use Mary-Poppins-style bicycles to explore the ancient ruins and stone palaces that make up this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The best part is there are no ropes between you and sites, affording an up close and personal look at Thailand’s most famous historic temples. After our day exploring we’ll shuttle back to Bangkok and catch an early evening flight to the country’s northernmost province, Chiang Rai.
Arriving at Chiang Rai just after sunset sets the ideal tone for the next five days. Take in a cerebral evening in your luxurious villa along the Mae Kok River and drift into the northern groove. Enjoy the herbal spa, a dip in the infinity pool or perhaps a traditional Thai massage. We’ll spend the next two nights of our odyssey at The Legend, a stunning boutique riverside resort. Riding: 20 km. Meals: (B) and (L).
Day 5: Bikes, boats and elephants
Hang on for a day you’ll never forget. Using bicycles then a longtail boat we’ll head up-river to a Karen hilltribe elephant camp. Mount your very own pachyderm, ride through the hills then snack on a light lunch along the river. We’ll then set off on a beautiful country cycle back to Chiang Rai city, passing through quaint villages and quiet temples. This active, yet unobtrusive means of transport provides a natural glimpse into Chiang Rai’s enchanting rural communities. Tonight we’ll celebrate with a dinner of champions at a charming outdoor restaurant. Afterwards it’s up to you - peruse the Night Bazaar and maybe even treat yourself to a well-earned traditional Thai massage to soothe those legs. Biking: 20-55 km. Bicycles are high-performance, with front suspension, helmets, gloves and safety light provided. Non-cyclists can enjoy all of today’s activities by private van/jeep transport. All meals are included.
Day 6: To Chinatown
With our comfy private van we’ll make a spectacular ascent to a stunning Chinese mountain village. For those who wish to summon their sense of adventure…strap on a helmet and learn how to ride a Thai motorscooter! We’ll lead you through a comprehensive and safe training program then head off on our hogs and accompanying van to one of the Kingdom’s most exquisite destinations – Doi Mae Salong. Riding roughly 75 km, stopping at will for great photo-opps, we’ll ride up and over dramatic mountain passes and past hilltribe villages to this enchanting retreat. Once opium country, Doi Mae Salong is now home to Thailand’s premier Oolong tea production and Yunanese who fled China during the Cultural Revolution. This charming township exudes a special, quiet energy that will leave you reflecting on your time here for years to come. We’ll spend tonight in a beautiful Chinese villa, perched on the mountainside, overlooking terraced tea plantations. Van/scootering: 75 km. All meals are included.
Day 7: Over the Hills and Far Away
It’s back on mountain roads for a spectacular day of upcountry cruising. This 105 km ride takes us places most visitors simply don’t make it to. We’ll enjoy a royal feast at Doi Tung, the country’s premier royally-initiated development project where spectacular mountaintop botanical gardens are one of many attractions. This afternoon we’ll wind up, down and around a twisty mountain road that straddles the Thai-Myanmar border to Mae Sai – Thailand’s northernmost point. This fascinating town where traders from countries around the Golden Triangle converge to ply their wares and eek out a living is the perfect place to pick up interesting souvenirs and people watch. In the early evening we’ll shuttle to The Greater Mekong Lodge situated at the world famous Golden Triangle, where we’ll spend the night. Van/motorscootering: 105 km. Non-motorcyclists can enjoy all of today’s activities by private van/jeep transport. All meals are included.
Day 8: Golden Triangle
The morning is free to take in the brand new 'Hall of Opium' museum and learn the historical importance of this distinctive region and the role this illicit drug played. Next we’ll enjoy a relaxing riverside lunch along the mighty Mekong, then gear up for some real excitement. We’ll board a high-speed longtail boat and blast our way (60 km/hour) down the legendary Mekong River to a Laotian market, then on to the charming town of Chiang Khong. Tonight we’ll rest our heads at a wonderful Thai-style resort perched along the river's edge. Boating: 75 km. All meals are included.
Day 9: Mekong Life
Chiang Khong sits on the banks of the Mekong River with Laos facing her from the east. This sleepy town serves as a border crossing point between the two countries. It’s also home to uniquely delicious food and authentic fun. You’ve heard of tableside dining; we’ll introduce you to a personalized Mekong riverside cookout! We’ll take a private boat to a secluded sandy beach between Thailand and Laos, grill up some delicious northern treats, watch the magic and mystery of the Mekong go by and maybe even tube down the river. A reflective afternoon on the Mekong rounds out this northern Thai experience and affords an opportunity to get up close and personal with the many colorful characters that call this region home. An early evening private shuttle takes us to the Chiang Rai airport for your flight back to bustling Bangkok. All meals are included.
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