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Hill Tribes of Thailand

12 days

Never more than 16 guests. Guaranteed.

Overall Rating
based on 29 Reviews

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Our Distinctive A+R Style

+ Expertly guided throughout, our expert Thai Trip Leader shows you more of the history, culture and tribal villages of this exotic land.
+ 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.
+ From an unusual market on an active railway track to a Buddhist meditation center, we’ll show you the many facets of Thai life today.
+ 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

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You’ll be met on arrival 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 the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Coronation Hall. Then set out in a traditional motor launch to explore along the city’s canals past serene family homes and bustling temples. You’ll see the beautiful Royal Barges before disembarking to visit Wat Arun, the amazing Temple of Dawn.

After lunch at the Supatra River House, your guided sightseeing continues at Wat Pho, one of the city’s largest Buddhist 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. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure and dine this evening at your 5-star hotel.  Meals B+L+D

Day
3

Damnoen Saduak Market + On to Kanchanaburi

The Float House River Kwai - Thailand

Leaving the busy capital behind this morning, we’ll take you to Ratchburi Province. The floating market here at Damnoen Saduak is 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 at the JEATH Museum, highly regarded for its unique collection of photographs and memorabilia from World War II. Nearby, at an Allied Cemetery, you’ll learn more about the thousands of prisoners of war who lost their lives during the construction of the Bridge and the Death Railway.

After lunch, check in to your unique and spacious floating villa at the Float House River Kwai, set on the edge of the gently floating river against a lushly forested mountain backdrop. 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 trishaw 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 + Chiang Mai

U Chiang Mai, Thailand

Check out after breakfast and travel to Sukhothai c, the venerated first capital of the Kingdom. Recognized as a World Heritage Site, its fabulous ruins date back to the 13th century. 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

After a leisurely 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 and 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. Continue into the forested mountains to visit a Meo hill tribe village before ascending to 3,500 feet to visit the lavish Doi Suthep Temple. Your tour of this venerated complex has been specially timed to coincide with the magical evening chants of Buddhist monks. Receive a private blessing from one of these resident monks and then take in the mesmerizing nighttime views of the city. Return to your hotel in Chiang Mai for another tranquil night.  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 the nearby village of Ban Huay Luek, you’ll experience the daily life and cultural traditions of the Hmong people.

From Thaton, a northern province along the border with Myanmar, you’ll embark on a one-hour boat excursion along the Mae Kok River to Baan Mai. Then travel overland through the beautiful countryside to visit a Karen village. The women of this tribe are famous for the brass rings which they wear around their elongated necks. Visiting with Lahu, Akha and Yao tribal villagers offers deeper insight into the traditional ways which endure here in the mountainous regions of northern Thailand. Continue to Chiang Rai and check in to the Legend Chiang Rai River Resort & Spa. Overlooking the Mae Kok River not far from the heart of town, our enchanting 5-star resort offers wonderful views of the verdant countryside.  Meals B+L+D
 

This morning, you’ll tour 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.
 
After lunch at a local restaurant, continue your guided sightseeing at Wat Phra Kaew. In striking contrast to the White Temple, this 14th-century Royal Temple is one of the oldest in Chiang Rai. It is also venerated as the site where the Emerald Buddha was discovered. According to legend, this 2,000-year-old image of Buddha arrived in northern Thailand from India and was hidden inside a Chedi here at Wat Phra Kaew. In 1434, the Chedi was struck by lightening and part of the stucco fell away – revealing the Buddha image. Though carved from green jade, the villagers believed it to be made of the precious green gem - and they named it the Emerald Buddha.
 
Back in the heart of town, you’ll explore a local market before returning to your riverside resort. This evening is yours to enjoy and dine as you wish.  Meals B+L
 

Visit Mae Sai, the northernmost town in Thailand where a bridge over the river connects the country with Burma (Myanmar). From here, venture deeper into the Golden Triangle, the region where the borders of Burma, Laos and Thailand come together. After lunch, explore Chiang Saen, a charming town along the Mekong River rich with historical artifacts including temple carvings and ancient Buddhist statues. Return to your hotel in Chiang Rai where you can dine at your leisure.  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 $799

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

Act Now...  

  • Free Companion Air in Economy
  • $1,000 Off Companion Fares in Business and Economy Plus
  • Solo Travelers Save $500 on air

Pay in full at booking by 11/30/19
+ Travel anytime through 2021

Save $1,000 Per Couple
+ $500 Solo

Pay in full at time of booking.

Exclusive Offer for
Dec 5, 2019

On this special date, solo guests pay
No Single Supplement. Cannot be combined with other offers.

Travel with us to the Lantern Festival  

Travel on our Oct 26,2020 or Nov 14, 2020 departures 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.

Nancy E. of Jacksonville, FL
Loved Hill Tribes of Thailand!

This was my second trip with A+R and both were outstanding. With this company, you have a chance to visit less known places, which is so very interesting and of course less crowded. We had a full size bus for the 15 of us, and were very comfortable. All the hotels were excellent, some amazing. The meals were very good. I do not like spicy food and always had many choices that I could eat. I had been to Bangkok before so was expecting gold temples and Buddhas, which are amazing, but the north of the country was a delight. How good can it get! Love the group sizes and the extraordinary value for the price.

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DepartureReturnFromAvailabilityDeparture Note
31 October 201911 November 2019$4,299Sold Out
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First Class Accommodations$4,299Sold Out
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06 November 201917 November 2019$4,299GuaranteedLantern Festival
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05 December 201916 December 2019$4,299Guaranteed
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17 January 202028 January 2020$4,799Guaranteed
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07 February 202018 February 2020$4,799Guaranteed
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13 February 202024 February 2020$4,799Guaranteed
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05 March 202016 March 2020$4,799Guaranteed
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26 October 202006 November 2020$4,799GuaranteedLantern Festival
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14 November 202025 November 2020$4,799Guaranteed
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16 November 202027 November 2020$4,799Guaranteed
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07 December 202018 December 2020$4,799Guaranteed
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18 January 202129 January 2021$4,799Guaranteed
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25 January 202105 February 2021$4,799Guaranteed
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08 February 202119 February 2021$4,799Guaranteed
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22 February 202105 March 2021$4,799Guaranteed
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08 March 202119 March 2021$4,799Guaranteed
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First Class Accommodations$4,799Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
14 November 202125 November 2021$4,799GuaranteedLantern Festival
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First Class Accommodations$4,799Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking

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!

Special

Additional Savings when you pay-in-full at time of booking on Hill Tribes of Thailand Dec. 5, 2019.

Free Companion Air

Available for Economy Class travel when you pay in full at booking by Nov 30, 2019 for any 2020-2021 departure. If you prefer Economy Plus or Business Class, take $1,000 off your companion’s airfare. Solo travelers enjoy $500 savings on air! Applies to new bookings made between Oct 1 and Nov 30, 2019 and cannot be combined with our ongoing pay-in-full discount. Any airline charges for advance seat assignments are not included. Cancellation penalties and other requirements and conditions may apply.

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