Day 1: Bangkok Arrival and Dinner Cruise. You will be met at the airport by our representative and transferred to your hotel for check-in. Rest for a few hours and at 6pm you will be taken to the pier for the Manohra Dinner Cruise. Take in the sites and ambiance of the Chao Phraya River while cruising in style on a restored rice barge and enjoying a delicious Thai dinner by candlelight. Includes: (D).
Day 2: Culinary Delights of Bangkok. After a light breakfast at your hotel, your guide will take you to a Thai fresh market, where you will meet locals doing their morning shopping, learn about the ingredients used in Thai cooking and sample some tropical fruits. Continue to a century-old food market, one of the oldest and most significant in inner Bangkok. Then enjoy a delectable lunch, wrapping up the meal with sarim, a popular Thai dessert made of colorful vermicelli and coconut milk.
A short tuk-tuk ride takes you to a university area where you can sample the wide array of tasty snacks and drinks sold by vendors near the campus. A boat ride along the Chao Phraya River leads to Yaowarat, Bangkok’s Chinatown famed for its abundance of Chinese delicacies sold along the streets. End your day with pad thai from a famous restaurant that has been selling nothing but this stir-fried noodle specialty for the past sixty years. If you are lucky you might even have a chance to try a bite of fried insects - a local treat! Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 3: Grand Palace and Klongs of Bangkok. Your guide will meet you at your hotel after breakfast and take you to the Grand Palace. Visit the main sites including the magnificent throne halls and Emerald Buddha. Continue to Wat Po, Bangkok’s oldest temple and home of the magnificent Reclining Buddha. This afternoon enjoy an exhilarating long-tail boat ride through Bangkok’s klongs (canals) to Nonthaburi in the far north of the city, where the cityscape turns into countryside and the skyscrapers give way to teak houses, noodle shops, fruit orchards and rice fields.
Walk through a bustling local marketplace and discover a riverside temple far from the tourist crowds. We often stop for fresh coconut juice and chat with the locals before cruising back into town. In the evening, we suggest you visit the famous Suan Lum Night Bazaar. Enjoy food vendors and restaurants and stroll through the bazaar seeking Bangkok’s best bargains. Includes: (B).
Day 4: Private Home Cooking Class. This private cooking class introduces you to Thai cuisine under the expert guidance of Angsana Anderson, a Thai homemaker with years of experience teaching Thai cooking in her kitchen. Starting with a visit to the market, Angsana will take you shopping for ingredients. Return to her residence for a hands-on cooking session. Then, savor your mouth-watering creations before leaving with a satisfied palate and an expanded culinary repertoire. Includes: (B, L).
Day 5: A Pleasant Day in the Countryside. An hour’s drive south of Bangkok, visitors get a glimpse into Thai country life. We start the day with a short regional train ride to an amazing market that has sprouted along the tracks. Here, witness the dexterity and speed of the vendors as they quickly pack their stalls away whenever the trains approach, bringing shopping to a brief halt. Then we visit Tha Kha, an authentic floating market in the area.
We take a fascinating paddleboat journey through the maze of klongs, cruising past plantations and Buddhist temples before stopping to enjoy a glass of palm sugar syrup and chat with a friendly local family. Following lunch at a local restaurant, proceed to King Rama II Memorial Park, which houses a museum and a landscaped garden filled with native flowers. An easy bike ride through the orchards provides great fun and completes the village experience. Visit artisans who produce exquisite hand-painted Benjarong porcelain and pottery before returning to Bangkok in the late afternoon. Includes: (B, L).
Day 6: Private Home Cooking Class. A new day brings a new menu to cook with the guidance of Angsana Anderson. Includes: (B, L).
Day 7: To Chiang Mai – City Tour. Tour guide will meet you at your hotel in Bangkok and assist with your transfer to the airport for your flight to Chiang Mai. Arrive in Chiang Mai and meet your guide at the airport. Then we explore the ancient and modern city of Chiang Mai including its old city walls, gates and moat, markets, residential areas, and Tapae, Chiang Mai’s main street. Continue with a drive up the mountain to Wat Phra Thad Doi Suthep, the most sacred temple in Northern Thailand, with a panoramic view of the city.
This evening, we take you to a restaurant aimed at elevating "Khao Soy" curry noodles from its street food status to its rightful place as the signature dish of northern Thai cuisine. Each meal is served in specially designed Khao Soy sets, consisting of 8 small ceramic condiment dishes, laid around a large Khao Soy bowl and set on an artist’s palette. After dinner, set off to the nearby Night Bazaar for a stroll among the colorful stalls. Includes: (B, L).
Day 8: Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School. As you have learned, the delicate blend of exotic herbs, spices, fruits and fresh ingredients makes Thai food stand out as one of the world’s most flavorful cuisines, striking a perfect balance of sweet, spicy, sour, and savory tastes. Today, join an expertly presented cooking lesson at the Thai Cookery School run by Thailand's international TV chef Mr Sompon Nabnian. You will prepare six dishes, which will become your delicious lunch. Cookbook included. Bon appetite! Includes: (B, L).
Day 9: Lifestyle Tour and Khantoke Dinner. After breakfast, your guide will take you to a local farmhouse in Mae Rim on the outskirts of Chiang Mai. Then board a long-tail boat and enjoy a short cruise along the rural Mae Ping River, seeing traditional wooden houses and modern residences. Visit a fresh food market and take a trishaw ride along Tapae Road past City Walls to Wat Phra Singh. Return to your hotel and spend your afternoon at leisure. Later, enjoy an evening out at a traditional Khantoke Dinner. You will be served delicious Northern Thai cuisine accompanied by Northern Thai folk dancing. After the dinner, light a "khom loy" lantern and launch it in the cool night sky, and let your troubles float away in true Thai fashion. Includes: (B, D).
Day 10: Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School. Expand your Thai cooking repertoire with another class from Chiang Mai Thai Cooking School. Includes: (B, L).
Day 11: Chiang Dao Young Elephant Camp. Depart your hotel for the Chiang Dao Young Elephants Training Camp. Enjoy an elephant ride into the thick forest before watching the elephants take their morning bath. Then the trainers and elephants will demonstrate a number of their skills for you. Next, meet your bamboo raft driver for a leisurely ride down the Mae Ping River. After lunch at a local restaurant you will visit a beautiful orchid nursery and a butterfly farm. Includes: (B, L).
Day 12: Handicraft Villages. Chiang Mai is famous for the quality and uniqueness of its local handicrafts. Visit several villages and see local artisans making silk, paper, umbrellas, traditional-fired stoneware, lacquer ware, teak-wood carvings, jewelry and silverware. This half-day tour shows you how Chiang Mai craftsmen produce their crafts by hand, and gives you an opportunity to take home authentic souvenirs from Chiang Mai. Includes: (B).
Day 13: Chiang Mai departure. Your guide will pick you up at your hotel and assist you with checking in for your flight home. Includes: (B).
Pricing is based on choice of accommodations, time of year, and availability. Thailand has three main travel seasons:
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