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Save $1,000 per couple | $500 solo

Hill Tribes of Thailand (2020 Itinerary)

12 days

Never more than 16 guests. Guaranteed.

Overall Rating
based on 36 Reviews

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Our Distinctive A+R Style

+ Visit the unusual Railway Track Market, where vendors and shoppers alike have to scramble fast to avoid passing trains – up to 8 times per day!
+ Join Chiang Mai residents for a moving daily ritual – providing food to monks walking silently through the street.
+ Local farmers will teach you how to plant rice before you sit down to an al fresco lunch overlooking their emerald rice paddies.
+ Spending time with resident monks at a Buddhist meditation center promises rich insight into their daily life, cultural traditions and the meditation techniques they practice daily.
+ Spend two nights in a lavish floating villa on the River Kwai.
+ With 11 nights in first class and deluxe hotels; 25 meals with wine at lunch and dinner; comprehensive sightseeing; all transfers; one internal flight; and all gratuities except Trip Leader.

Visit 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites c
 

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On arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the deluxe Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn.

Your morning tour begins with the glittering halls and pavilions of the magnificent Grand Palace, including Coronation Hall and the Royal Guest House. At Wat Phra Kaew, home to the famed Emerald Buddha, you’ll discover one of Thailand’s most venerated Buddhist temples. Continue to Wat Pho, one of the city’s largest temples. In addition to being one of the country’s oldest institutions of learning, this spectacular complex is home to beautiful murals, ornate architectural detail and an enormous 150-foot long gilded image of a reclining Buddha. Your guided touring ends with an excursion along Bangkok’s famous Klongs; venturing out in a traditional long-tail speed boat is a delightful way to experience the sights and sounds of life along the city’s bustling canals. Then step off at the Temple of Dawn and have lunch at the Supatra River House. The rest of your afternoon is free to relax, shop and explore as you wish. Dine this evening at your hotel.  Meals B+L+D

Day
3

Remarkable Markets + On to Kanchanaburi

The Float House River Kwai - Thailand

Leaving the busy capital behind, our first stop this morning will be Thailand’s famous Railway Track Market. Here you’ll be amazed by the sight of local merchants who come daily to set up their stalls along 100 yards of train track! Up to 8 times per day, vendors and shoppers alike have to scramble fast to avoid the passing trains. This is an active rail network, so you’ll have to pay close attention to your guide and surroundings! Continuing into Ratchburi Province, we’ll visit the floating market at Damnoen Saduak, one of the country’s busiest and most colorful. Hundreds of vendors ply the canals in their traditional wooden boats selling everything from tropical fruits and produce to daily staples and even souvenirs.
 
Then journey into the lush forests of Kanchanaburi Province, the site of the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai – immortalized in book and film. Begin your exploration here at the Thailand-Burma Railway Center and then visit the Allied Cemetery to learn more about the thousands of prisoners of war who lost their lives during the construction of the Bridge and the Death Railway.
 
You’ll have a chance to see the world-famous bridge before traveling by boat to the Float House River Kwai. Here on the edge of the gently flowing river against a forested mountain backdrop, you’ll check in to your unique and spacious floating villa. Take some time to enjoy your private terrace on the river and the extraordinary setting of our evocative resort. Later this afternoon, rejoin your guide to venture by boat through spectacular river gorges into the jungle to visit a Mon tribal village. Enjoy dinner and a performance of Mon music and dance at our resort before retiring to your floating room.   Meals B+L+D

Day
4

Sai Yoke Yai National Park + The Infamous Death Railway

The Float House River Kwai - Thailand

Lush forests of evergreens, bamboo, teak and other deciduous trees cover the slopes that rise steeply from the banks of the River Kwai. This is the captivating scenery that will surround you on our morning expedition upriver into Sai Yoke Yai National Park. The wildlife here can be elusive and the tropical vegetation is thick and lush – making the wildlife hard to spot. But with good luck and sharp eyes, you might observe some of the Park’s denizens including macaques, large sambar deer, gibbon and even elephants! We’ll cruise all the way to the lovely Sai Yoke Yai Waterfall before returning to shore for lunch.

In the afternoon, you’ll board the Death Railway at the River Kwai Bridge Station. As you make the journey toward Nam Tok, you’ll discover some of the region’s most spectacular scenery. Captivating though these landscapes are, this rail adventure also offers a powerful look into World War II history. In particular, as the train makes its way through rocky gorges dug at the cost of numerous POW lives and over the original wooden viaducts that hug the steep cliff walls, you’ll gain a very personal understanding of this tragic chapter of the War.  Meals B+L+D

Day
5

After breakfast, you’ll embark on a scenic journey through the fertile farmlands and jungle-clad mountains that lie along Thailand’s eastern border with Myanmar. Our destination this morning is Ayutthaya c, where vast ruins bear witness to the splendor of the ancient kingdom of Siam that flourished from 1350 until 1767. Here in this erstwhile royal capital, you’ll delve into fascinating history and explore fabulous ruins including Wat Phra Sri Sanphet. This was the holiest temple on the site of the ancient Royal Palace and its still intact stupas attest to Ayutthaya’s former glory!

After lunch, you’ll continue on to Phitsanulok to visit Wat Yai, beloved for its golden statue of Buddha. Then check in to the Pattara Resort here in Phitsanulok with time to refresh before dinner. Later this evening, set out in a traditional samlor to visit the city’s bustling and exotic Night Market. Filled with everything from souvenir t-shirts to exotic tropical fruits, the energetic and colorful Phitsanulok market is famous – or infamous! – for its wide variety of edible insects that the adventurous may wish to try!  Meals B+L+D

Day
6

Phitsanulok + Sukhothai c + Chiang Mai

U Chiang Mai, Thailand

Check out after breakfast and travel to Sukhothai, the venerated first capital of the Kingdom. Recognized as a World Heritage Site, its fabulous ruins date back to the 13th century. With our expert guide, we’ll explore this evocative archaeological site set in a tropical landscape of sweeping lawns, waterways and forests. We’ll also explore the lively historical center of the nearby town of Sukhothai to learn about its thriving arts scene that includes everything from traditional ceramics to vibrant street art.
 
After lunch, continue overland to Chiang Mai. Embraced for its beauty as the Rose of the North, it’s beloved by the Thai people for its long heritage of art, culture and deep spirituality. This evening’s Khantoke Dinner features the region’s Lanna-style cuisine and the music and dance of the northern hill tribes. Enjoy two nights at the lovely U Chiang Mai Hotel.  Meals B+L+D

Day
7

In and Around Chiang Mai

U Chiang Mai, Thailand

This morning we’ll take you into the countryside to spend time with local farmers. Learn the many steps of rice cultivation as practiced for centuries throughout the region, and even try your hand at planting this important staple. Then sit down to a delightful al fresco lunch surrounded by sweeping rural vistas and rice paddies. In the afternoon, we’ll hop aboard a traditional Songthaew, a popular form of local transport, and travel deeper into the countryside. Spending time at a White Hmong village offers an intimate look into their daily life – and how it has changed since the Thai Royal Family introduced initiatives to eradicate opium cultivation and replace it with other sustainable agriculture. Next we’ll visit the lavish Doi Suthep Temple; set on a hill top at an elevation of 3,500 feet, this venerated complex offers spectacular views of Chiang Mai and the surrounding valleys.
 
This evening, our guests will enjoy a very special cultural encounter at Wat Suan Dok. Dating back to the 14th century when it was built by a local King as a retreat for a revered monk from Sukhothai, this historic complex is now home to Buddhist meditation center. Engaging with the resident monks offers enriching, personal insight into their daily life, cultural traditions and the meditation techniques they practice daily.  Meals B+L

Join Chiang Mai residents early this morning as they "gain merit" with food offerings to young saffron-robed monks walking silently through the city streets; it's an ancient ritual that offers rich insight into an enduring facet of Buddhist culture. After breakfast, you'll travel into the lushly forested, mountain landscapes of Chiang Dao National Park where an experienced guide will show you the impressive stalactites, stalagmites and other geological formations of the Chiang Dao Caves. Venerated for centuries by local residents, the entrance to these caverns is marked by statues and other Buddhist offerings. In a nearby hill tribe village, you'll experience the daily life and cultural traditions of the Hmong people. Then continue on to the Legend Chiang Rai, our enchanting resort overlooking the Mae Kok River.  Meals B+L+D

After breakfast, we’ll take you deeper into the rolling countryside outside of town to spend time with Akha villagers, whose ancestors originated in Tibet. Then at Baan Dam, you’ll discover an extraordinary complex created by Thawan Duchanee, a famous 20th century Thai artist. Built around a large wooden temple, you’ll tour other structures exhibiting his unique artwork. After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll visit Wat Rong Suea Ten, renowned for its magnificent blue interior, colorful murals and an immense white Buddha image. Your sightseeing ends at the unusual Wat Rong Khun. Also known as the White Temple, this contemporary, extravagantly embellished Buddhist and Hindu complex was designed by the famous Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat in 1997. Its white plaster walls are embedded with pieces of glass, so that the structures sparkle brilliantly in the sunlight. Then return to your luxury hotel where the evening is free to enjoy and dine as you wish.  Meals B+L

Venturing over land and by long-tail boat is a delightful way to explore the tranquil and pastoral beauty of the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Burma, Laos and Thailand come together. The region, of course, was once infamous as the center of Southeast Asia’s poppy cultivation and the opium trade. Now you’ll find farmers growing a variety of food crops and residents selling souvenirs and handicrafts from small shops along the road. Ascend to a hilltop vantage point for sweeping views over the countryside and then hop aboard a traditional long-tail boat for a delightful excursion along the lovely Mekong River. Then explore Chiang Saen, a charming riverside town rich with historical artifacts including temple carvings and ancient Buddhist statues. Return to our hotel in Chiang Rai where the rest of this afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy.  Meals B+L

After breakfast, we’ll take you to the airport for your included flight to Bangkok. Upon arrival, you’ll be met and escorted once again to the deluxe Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn.  Meals B

Day
12

Depart Bangkok

You’ll be escorted to the airport today for your onward flight. Meals B

Extend Your Trip

Travel on to Angkor Wat

4-Day Post-Tour Extension from $1099

The magnificent jungle ruins of the ancient Khmer Empire are the perfect addition to this trip. We include your international flight from Bangkok to Siem Reap, 3 nights at your choice of deluxe or luxury hotel, daily breakfast and extensive sightseeing including the major temples, important lesser-known sites and Tonle Sap Lake.

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Day
12

Bangkok to Siem Reap

We take you to the airport today for your included flight to Cambodia. Upon arrival in Siem Reap, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to your choice of hotel: The deluxe Victoria Angkor or the luxury Sofitel Phokeethra Golf Resort & Spa. This afternoon, our expert guide will show you the imposing majesty of Angkor Wat – the largest temple complex in the world. Late in the day, you’ll be led to a prime vantage point to witness the sun set over the jungle ruins of Angkor – a magnificent and unforgettable spectacle.  Meals B

Day
13

Temples of Angkor

This morning, you’ll tour Angkor Thom – the last capital of the Khmers – with its Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. At Bayon Temple, you’ll behold a 12th-century masterpiece of architectural grandeur and symmetry. After visiting the extensive monastic complex at Preah Khan, you’ll have a break to relax and enjoy lunch on your own.

In the afternoon, your sightseeing focuses on some of the less-visited by equally impressive sites of Angkor including Chau Say Tevoda, Prasat Kravan and Ta Keo. You’ll also tour the oft-photographed Ta Prohm; dedicated in 1186, this vast temple complex has been largely left in its natural state, surrounded by the massive roots and limbs of the encroaching jungle.  Meals B

Day
14

Farther Afield at Angkor

After breakfast, a scenic one-hour drive brings you to Banteay Srei – considered by many to be the “jewel in the crown” of all the Angkor temples. Also known as the Citadel of Women, this delicately carved, pink sandstone temple is ornamented with hundreds of figures cut into the walls and lintels. Not far away, you’ll also tour Banteay Samre, a complex with impressive towers and balustrades that evoke the grandeur of Angkor Wat. Return to your hotel in the afternoon and enjoy the rest of this day at leisure.  Meals B

Day
15

Life + Nature along Tonle Sap Lake

After breakfast, we’ll take you to the shores of Tonle Sap Lake to embark on a guided boat excursion to Kompong Phluk. Comprised of three villages built on wooden stilts over the water, this isolated Khmer community is home to about 3,000 residents who farm fish and raise vegetables on floating platforms. It’s an excursion that promises fascinating insight into the enduring traditions and daily life of rural Cambodia. The tour also shows you the mangrove forests that thrive along the edges of the lake; it’s a unique ecosystem home to unusual wildlife including crab-eating macaques. In the afternoon, you’ll be escorted to the airport in Siem Reap for your onward flight.  Meals B

Private Tour Add-Ons

Luang Prabang

Our 4-day FreeStyle Travel package features a choice of fine hotels, 5 meals, chauffeured airport transfers and in-depth sightseeing with your own personal car, driver and guide.

Be A Hong Kong Insider

Our resident guide will take you around town like a savvy insider to discover facets of Hong Kong which few visitors ever glimpse! We include transfers, a choice of fine city-center hotels, our exclusive Be a Hong Kong Insider full-day private tour, and more!

Singapore In-Depth

Our 4-day FreeStyle Travel package features a luxury hotel, 4 meals, chauffeured airport transfers and city sightseeing with your own personal car, driver and guide, and our exclusive, uniquely-designed cultural excursions

Thailand MapSearch

Travel with us to the Lantern Festival  

Travel on our Oct 26, 2020 departure for the Loy Krathong Lantern Festival! You’ll join Chiang Mai residents to release your own candle-lit lanterns - down the river and into the autumn sky.

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DepartureReturnFromAvailabilityDeparture Note
26 October 202006 November 2020$4,799AvailableLantern Festival
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First Class Accommodations$4,799Available
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14 November 202025 November 2020$4,799Available
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First Class Accommodations$4,799Available
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16 November 202027 November 2020$4,799Available
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First Class Accommodations$4,799Available
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07 December 202018 December 2020$4,799Available
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First Class Accommodations$4,799Available
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Prices are per person, land only. Holiday surcharges may apply. We offer air on Cathay Pacific. Add extra nights.

Pay-In-Full

Save $1,000 per couple + $500 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you pay-in-full at time of booking.

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Combine our limited-time pay-in-full discount with our Family & Friends offers and save even more:
  • Save $50 more per person when 3 guests go
  • Save $100 more per person with 4 people
  • Save $150 more per person with 5 people
  • Save $200 more per person with 6 or more people!

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