Thailand is located at the meeting point of the two great cultural systems of Asia, Chinese and Indian. In everyday life, Chinese culture has mixed very well with the Thai, whereas in Thai court culture, which has been based mainly on Buddhism and Brahmanism, India has exerted a strong influence. Thai culture can be divided into 3 aspects: linguistic culture, court culture, and traditional culture.
Day 1: Arrival - Bangkok. On arrival at Don Muang Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel. The glorious history of Thai Capital, Bangkok is much interwoven with the Chakri dynasty which still reigns but no longer rules Thailand. In the midst of dynamic modern growth, this bustling metropolis still preserves plenty of cultural heritages making it the national treasure house. No activities planned for this afternoon; however our guide is on hand to advise some available options. Overnight in Bangkok.
Day 2: Bangkok – City Tour. Today we commence our tour of Bangkok with a longtail boat excursion along the Chao Phraya River and the many lively inner canals which offer some fantastic views of the local life close up. Along the way we make stopover at Wat Arum, the temple of Dawn, before continuing to the Grand Palace, dedicated to the Thai Royal Family’s ceremony. Nearby is the magnificent Wat Phra Kaew, which is famous for the Emerald Buddha Image. After seeing this complex we drive through the many vibrant streets of China Town to some of the most significant temples in Bangkok. The landmark of Wat Traimit is well known as the Golden Buddha Temple while Wat Po houses a gigantic Reclining Buddha. We visit these sights as well as the magnificent Marble Temple. Overnight in Bangkok. Includes: (B)
Day 3: Bangkok – Ayuthaya – Bangkok. Heading out of the town we drive to Ayuthaya, the ancient capital of Siam from 1350 to 1767 AD. This glamorous city was all but ultimately destroyed by the hands of Burmese; however it is still fascinating to explore the ruined temples. Among these is Wat Phra Sisanphet, an impressive monument that was used as the royal temple by several kings. The following sight is Wat Chai whose the constructing patterns are very interesting. We continue to Bang Pa In, which was served as the summer palace for many Thai monarchs. This structure has a captivating collection of marvelous pavilions in a variety of Thai, Chinese, Italian and Victorian architectural styles. We embark on a luxury boat at Wat Potangtai Pier and cruise down the river to Bangkok, a perfect way to observe the rural landscape. Overnight in Bangkok. Includes: (B)
Day 4: Bangkok – Chiang Mai. The journey northwards begins as we board a flight to Chiang Mai. After checking into hotel we drive west towards the famous Doi Suthep Mountain and embark on a walk leading us to Wat Prathat Temple near the summit. At an elevation of over 1,000 m, the temple grounds affords a panoramic view over the surrounding countryside. We follow this with a visit to the old and new parts of the town featuring the great diversity. The Rose of the North, Chiang Mai has been always noted for exquisite handicrafts whose the combination with the traditional wares of the hill tribe people offers fantastic shopping opportunities. We drive this afternoon to the neighboring villages of Sankampaeng and Borsarng to see the various cottages industries including silk weaving, wood carving, silver ware and umbrellas making. Overnight in Chiang Mai. Includes: (B)
Day 5: Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai. An early morning departure to Chiang Rai. The drive is long but views are fantastic. On arrival we embark on a longtail boat for a thrilling trip upstream on the Mae Kok River, passing through many breathtaking mountain landscape to a Karen hill tribe village. This ethnic group originated from Burma, but had settled there long time ago, forming the largest tribal population in northern Thailand. After seeing a traditional house we enjoy a two hour elephant ride back through the jungle to the Yao and Akha Hill tribes, who still retain their age old cultural traditions and are recognizably distinct from each other by their dress. Overnight at Chiang Rai. Includes: (B)
Day 6: Chiang Rai – Goldin Triangle – Bangkok. The royal capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Saen is nestled on the Mekong riverbank which is now the border between Thailand and Laos. Today we travel by roads to Chiang Saen with a stopover at Ban Kiu Kaan, a white Hmong ethnic minority village close to Chieng Khong. Arriving in Chiang Saen we visit the town's major sights, including Wat Phrathat Jom Kitti, Wat Chedi Luang and a nearby museum. Heading out of the town we drive through some verdant and rugged mountain scenery to the famous Golden Triangle in which powerful warlords have fought for control the opium trade. After exploring the border town of Mae Sai we return to Chiang Rai for flying back to the capital city. Overnight in Bangkok. Includes: (B)
Day 7: Bangkok – Departure. There is a free time for your own exploration of the town and catching up on some shopping areas. The trip ends after transfer to airport for departure. Includes: (B)
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Thailand History Whiz Archeology/History Cultural Journey