Tour Thailand on this 10 Day Suggested Itinerary
From the golden temples of Bangkok and the verdant beauty of Kanchanaburi, to the mysterious jungle in the Golden Triangle this suggested itinerary will enable you to discover in a limited number of days some highlights of Thailand. With its rich heritage and lush tropical landscapes, the exotic Thailand offers a wealth of cultural and sensual contrasts for the traveler.
Day 1 Bangkok
Start your exciting tour of Thailand by exploring Bangkok. Visit the Grand Palace, Chakri Maha Prasad, the former residence for the Thai Kings. Admire: the Reception Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Funeral Hall and the beautiful Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Keo. One can easily visualize the splendor and pageantry of the past. Visitors are required to dress suitably.
Other important temples to visit are; Wat Po, the temple of the resting Buddha; the Buddha statue is covered in gold, 46 meters long and 12 meters high and thus the largest Buddha statue in Thailand. Wat Traimitr, with a Buddha statue made of gold and weighing 5 tons. The statue was made in the Ayutthaya period, and its value was discovered by chance during construction work in the 1950th, when the outer covering, made of plaster to protect it from invading Burmese troops, broke off. The Marble Temple, Wat Benchamabopitr, was built by order of King Chulalongkorn with a view to show a classic example of religious architecture. White marble from Carrara was used for wall covering and flooring.
Travel by motor launch on the picturesque Chao Phraya River and klongs (or canals) to observe the serene family life and temples along the waterways, which gave Bangkok the name “Venice of the East”. Stop at the Royal Barges Museum where you can witness excellent samples of Thai craftsmanship. On the return journey, end your canal tour at Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, whose 79 m, multi-colored porcelain-studded tower spire silhouette has become a landmark in Bangkok.
Day 2 Kanchanaburi – River Kwai
Heading westwards from Bangkok, visit first visit the Floating Market of Damnoen Saduak, approx. 80 km west of Bangkok. The locals dressed in their colorful costumes sell all kinds of goods – fruits and vegetables, flowers and handicrafts. Riding along the canals of Damnoen Saduak in longtail boats you can watch the colorful life. Onward to the town of Kanchanaburi, on the banks of the River Kwai that has become famous by the construction of the well known River Kwai Bridge during World War II. On the program is a visit to the cemetery and the JEATH Museum of War. An unforgettable train ride crossing the famous bridge takes you to the waterfall station.
Day 3 River Kwai
Raft the River Kwai and have a picnic lunch on the river. Spend a night or two at the Jungle Rafts,a little piece of paradise in the heart of the jungle, and a stay at this floatel moored along the historical river is a unique opportunity to step out of your everyday world into the harmony of nature. Rooms are basic.
Day 4 Ayutthaya – Lopburi
Leaving the River Kwai, travel via rural areas in northeastern direction. Stop at Bang Pa In, the summer residence of the Kings of Ayutthaya built in the 18th century. The Royal Palace amidst beautiful extensive park grounds is an exotic combination of Thai and European architecture. The Thai pavilion built in the middle of a lake will catch the visitorsâ€™ eye as well as the Chinese-style palace Vihat Chamrun. Another attraction is the bushes trimmed in elephant shape.
A short boat ride on the Chao Phaya River will bring you to Ayutthaya, which used to be the capital of Siam from 1350 to 1767. The city was completely destroyed after an invasion by the Burmese in 1767 and today only the remains of the once so impressive temples and palaces remind us of its glorious past. Then we continue via Saraburi to the picturesque mountain valley in Lopburi province.
Day 5 Lopburi – Phitsanuloke
Lopburi, the former summer residence and second capital of the Ayutthaya period, had its peak during the Daravati period. Especially worth visiting are Phra Prang Sam Yod, a temple with three towers and impressive ornaments (some of them still intact) as well as the shrine of Hindu Goddess Kala at the Sarn Prakarn Temple. In ancient times the temple used to be a Buddhist sanctuary.
Travel further north to Phitsanuloke, an important exchange point at the River Nan. Many houseboats can be found along the river. Visit of Wat Mahathat with its famous shrine. The complex gives a good impression of the ancient religious Thai architecture.
Day 6 Sukhothai – Sri Sathanalai – Lampang
Old Sukhothai is one of Asiaâ€™s most important historic sites and first capital (13th century) of the Thai Kingdom. Through Kampheng-Hak-Gate enter these historic grounds. For protection against enemy attacks the inner part of the city was protected by no less than three rows of earthen walls and two moats. After a visit of the temples Wat Sa Sri and Wat Sri Chum continue to Sri Satchanalai, the former sister town of Sukhothai, and visit its interesting temples. Onwards to Lampang.
Day 7 Lampang – Chiang Rai
Visit Wat Phratat Lampang Luang. This temple lies 20 km south of the city and is one of the Northâ€™s finest. The chedi towers above surrounding trees. To the left of the chedi is a wihan with a carved wood facade and double level roofs. Harmonious proportions and exquisite interior decoration make this temple one of the best examples of Northern style religious architecture. Another impressive building is the Wat Chedi Sao, attractively set in an open rice field. Drive on to pay a visit to the famous Emerald Buddha of Ko Kah. From there continue via Phaya, visiting Wat Sri Kom Kam, to Chiang Rai.
Day 8 Chiang Rai – Mai Sai – Golden Triangle
Northern Thailand is well known for its hilltribes with their colorful costumes. In the morning discover some of the hilltribe villages. The drive on narrow hilly roads will take you through beautiful landscapes with spectacular views.
Doi Mae Salong was founded by Chinese Kuomintang Soldiers who fled from China after the takeover by Mao Tse Tung in 1949. People sell traditional Chinese medicine made purely from herbs. Onwards visit the villages of the Akha and Yao hilltribes, who still wear their beautiful traditional costume and live a simple life following the rules of tradition.
On to Mae Sai which is geographically the most northern town of Thailand on the border with Burma. The two countries are connected by a bridge over the Mae Sai River, which allows a lively cross border traffic between the Thais and Burmese (foreigners do require a special visa).
From there take off to the center of the Golden Triangle, meeting point of the borders of Burma, Laos and Thailand. To come even closer to the border of Burma and Laos, take a boat ride on the Mekong River. Visit the Opium Museum and then proceed to the provincial town of Chiang Saen, which is located at the scenic borders of the Mekong River. There are still some relicts of the original town left such as very valuable carvings, Buddha statues and old temples.
Day 9 Chiang Mai
On your journey to Chiang Mai start with a 3 hrs boat ride on the Kok River through unspoiled mountainous landscape, passing hilltribe villages of different ethnic groups. From there continue your trip through scenic hillsides and jungles to Chiang Mai, the Rose of the North, where you can explore the city of Chiang Mai. Visit Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep on top of a hill outside of the city. 290 steps will take you to the top where you can enjoy a panoramic view over Chianf Mai and its the surroundings.
Experience a traditional Khantoke dinner; typical Thai dishes from the northern region are being served while elegant Thai dancers are performing.
Day 10 Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is the main center for high quality handicrafts. In San Kampaeng the handicrafts are being produced in small to middle sized family businesses. Visitors are always welcome to watch them while working and of course to purchase some of their goods. You can watch all steps of the production of the famous Thai Silk as well as of the colorful paper umbrellas. Skilled hands form the well-known Celadon Ceramics. Other craftsmen transform teakwood into elegant furniture with delicate carvings. It is also fascinating to watch the production of lacquer ware; even eggshells are being used to achieve unusual designs. Explore Chiang Mai on your own and do some shopping in the street markets.
Visit an elephant camp, Mahouts, will show you how elephants are working in the jungle for the past centuries. It is fascinating to watch how easily and precisely these elephants handle the huge logs. After the work is done they enjoy a bath in the river. You can take a jungle trek on the back of an elephant.
Day 11 Bangkok
Fly back to Bangkok and have some time for leisure and shopping.