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Thailand food has become famous around the world for its light, elegant, and fiery cuisine. From the bustling urban markets of Bangkok to rural restaurants in the north and northeast, this amazing tour allows you to discover the ancient art of Thai food from sourcing the ingredients to cooking your own authentic dishes. Welcome to Thailand and be ready to your culinary experience!
You will stay at the hotels mentioned in the itinerary on twin or double sharing basis. Single rooms are available at a supplement.
During this holiday, you will travel across the country to explore many cultural and historical influences that have combined to shape the country’s famous dishes.
You will be picked up and transferred from Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) to the hotel for welcome drinks and introduction to the tour. After check-in, Spirit Journeys Worldwide will take you on a half day sightseeing of the old heritage of Siam. The tour will start with the Royal Grand Palace, Bangkok’s number one 'must-see' attraction as well as Thailand’s most important landmark.
You will visit the main sites including the magnificent throne halls and the Emerald Buddha. Then, you will continue to visit Wat Pho. This Bangkok’s oldest temple is home to the magnificent reclining Buddha as well as the first school of traditional medicine and Thai massage and is also regarded as Thailand’s first university.
After a day of touring in this vibrant metropolis, a relaxing evening beckons with a drive through Bangkok’s old quarters that delivers sights of an illuminated Grand Palace, the Royal Ground, temples, and the lit-up Ratchadamnoen Avenue. As dinner time approaches, you will drop by Krua Apsorn Restaurant for an appetizer known as “Somtam”, a light papaya salad. If you are feeling adventurous, you can try the version with raw crab.
For the main course, you will make a stop in the older parts of Bangkok to try a classic Thai dish. The Pad Thai at Long Pha is cooked in an old-fashioned way on a charcoal grill and you will not be disappointed. Then, you will stroll along the flower market to see the myriad varieties of exotic orchids and sweet smelling flowers. The buzz in this market is best experienced at night during which busy vendors load their wares up and down their mopeds.
A potential shopping opportunity awaits you at an adjacent local night market along the memorial bridge that overlooks the Chao Phraya River, where you can rummage for handicrafts or souvenirs to bring back home for your family and friends. You will stay overnight at Shanghai Mansion in a deluxe room with breakfast. Distances from Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) to Bangkok and the journey time are 35 kilometers and 45 minutes.
At just an hour drive south of Bangkok, Samut Songkhram Province offers you a glimpse into Thai countryside life. You will start the day with a stop at a local train station to experience a short regional train ride bounding for an amazing country market that has sprouted along the railway tracks.
Here, you will witness the dexterity and speed of the vendors as they quickly pack their stalls right before 9:45 a.m. when the train approaches; hence, bringing shopping to a brief halt. It is a standard practice and stall holders have learned the art of assembling and reassembling their wares at a moment’s notice.
From here, you will take a boat ride on the canals out to a small coastal village, where you learn how traditional coconut desserts are made, join hands with the knowledgeable host in this homestay setting, and try cooking your own dessert, making a perfect snack for the way back to Bangkok. You will have lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, you will explore the best kept secret alleys of street food experience through Bangkok’s old town on foot. You can troll through local food stalls and market to enjoy the diversity of local Thai delicacies and Thai culture. Sample various kinds of local food, old-style Thai coffee and Thai sweet desserts, and learning from the shop owners about their secret recipes are waiting for you.
After that, you will visit Wat Suthat, as well as the tall standing two pillars Giant Swing for a quick photo opportunity. This is a perfect walking tour that will give you a good mix of all local Thais, from food, culture, to lifestyle. You will stay overnight at Shanghai Mansion in a deluxe room with breakfast. Distances from Bangkok to Samut Songkram and back to Bangkok are 160 kilometers and the journey time of this day is two hours.
You will check out from the hotel in Bangkok and drive north towards Ayutthaya where you will visit some of the most significant historical places and try a ride in the Kermit tuk-tuks, the symbolic for and only found in Ayutthaya. Your lunch will be served at a local restaurant where you enjoy boat noodles, a signature noodle dish made famous in Ayutthaya.
Apart from the main temples you pass along the way, highlights include Wat Tuk, the temple with the one-eyed dog and the Temples of Sins, where you will be constantly reminded of how the wrongdoings in this life will come back to haunt you in the next. You also visit a local blacksmith at his workshop where some of the most beautiful swords (Dab) and knives are made by hand.
For the dinner, you will travel to a local little cozy restaurant called Baan Kun Pra, situated just by the river. Arguably, some of the best seafood in Ayutthaya can be found here. In the evening, you will stroll the night market west of Bang Lan Road for a glimpse of the local life and some unique food tasting opportunities. You will stay overnight at Iudia on the River in Courtyard Ville with breakfast. Distances from Bangkok to Ayutthaya are 83 kilometers and the journey time is one and a half hours.
Today, the route takes you east to the valleys of Pak Chong and Khao Yai. Before the lunch, you will enter Khao Yai National Park. Here, you will walk a trail and try to spot some wildlife. Many birds can be seen and with some lucks, you might also spot larger mammals. Your lunch will be served at a local restaurant.
Upon arrival at the GranMonte vineyard and winery, you will meet with the daughter of the founder, Nikki, an internationally renowned wine master, who will, during this privately guided tour, teach you how Thai wine is made and the secrets behind producing world-class quality wine in a tropical country. Next, you will sip through the wide selection of locally produced wines, tour the vineyards, and take in the tranquil and relaxed atmosphere.
For your dinner, it is a special experience with some of the best local food and wine. You will stay overnight at Phuwanalee Resort in a superior room with breakfast. Distances from Ayutthaya to Khao Yai are 110 kilometers and the journey time is two hours.
You will leave Khao Yai and the beautiful valleys heading towards Nakorn Ratchasima on route two. After a few hours, you will stop for lunch by the Phi Mai temples, an 11th century Khmer compound and enjoy a local specialty, the Pad Mii Korat. If you are well versed in Thai cuisine, you probably heard of the renowned Pad Thai, a quite basic fired noodle dish. Pad Mii Korat is its sibling, cooked in a slightly different way and obviously best enjoyed right here in Korat.
After the lunch, you will continue the ride and arrive Khon Kaen in the afternoon for an Issan-style cooking class held in a garden. Experiencing and learning the techniques how local food is cooked and what distinguishes the north-eastern kitchen from the rest of Thailand is really interesting. Later, you will drive into the town of Khon Kaen to visit the lake and watch the sunset at the One Pillar Pagoda.
Dinner at Hug Hang restaurant will be served, offering an interesting fusion menu. You will stay overnight at Wishing Tree in a deluxe room with breakfast. Distances and journey times from Khao Yai to Phi Mai are 166 kilometers in two hours and 54 minutes and from Phi Mai to Khon Kaen are 153 kilometers in two hours and 10 minutes.
You will enjoy a local picnic breakfast out in the open at a rice field before the journey takes off towards Phitsanulok. Heading west from Khon Kaen, you will leave the northeast and travel back to the central plains of Thailand. After passing several national parks, you arrive in Phitsanulok town for a daring tasting experience at the local market. Insects and bugs are both local delicacies here. For those who prefer just regular lunch, a local restaurant hosts you for a Phitsanulok meal.
After your lunch, you will visit Wat Mahatat or Wat Yai. Situated by Naresuan Bridge, this temple is home to what many consider to be the most beautiful golden Buddha image in the Kingdom, unknown to most tourists. You will continue to visit Cha Thawee Folk Museum, where a historic collection of local tools from the past reflecting local lifestyle is displayed. You will stay overnight at Patara Resort in a superior room with breakfast. Distances from Khon Kaen to Phitsanulok are 321 kilometers and the journey time is four hours and 30 minutes.
In the afternoon stop by a local community just by the historical park Si Satchanalai. In this village, elephants end up after getting rescued from abusive working and living conditions. You will hear about the stories of the elephants and how their fate brought them to this village. Apart from the elephants, the community also makes handcrafted wooden and silk products.
Upon arrival in Sukhothai, you will check in at the hotel situated by Sukhothai Historical Park, the UNESCO world heritage site. You will stay overnight at Legendha in a deluxe room with breakfast. Distances and the journey time from Phitsanulok to Sukhothai are 61.6 kilometers and 55 minutes.
Following the breakfast, you will transfer from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai. For those interested, you will visit the Sukhothai Historical Park before departure to Chiang Mai. After a four-hour ride north, you will arrive Saraphi, a small district south of Chiang Mai town. Your lunch is served in an authentic yet comfortable and modern teak house homestay, where you also will spend your night. Your hosts are great entertainers and a friendly couple, which means plenty of good laughs together.
In the afternoon, you will explore the surroundings by foot and get close up to the Thai countryside. Rice fields, small villages, rivers, and lots of local temples is a guarantee. While in the area, you should not miss the ordained old Lamphun road with its trees wrapped in orange ribbons, protecting the trees from being cut down. The trees and the road are supposedly sending out a romantic vibe and the location has been the shooting place for many emotional scenes in Thai love movies.
Before watching the sunset over the plains of Chiang Mai, you will enjoy a home cooked barbeque with northern Thai native eats. You will stay overnight at Golden Teak Home, a homestay. Distances from Sukhothai to Saraphi are 306 kilometers and the journey time is four hours.
After a short 30-minute drive to the city of Chiang Mai, you will enjoy a breakfast at a cozy little food stall. You will continue to a renowned Thai gourmet coffee shop where the coffee is treated like art for a cup of freshly brewed cup of your choice. After the breakfast in the city, you will visit an authentic Chiang Mai market filled with fresh groceries from nearby farms.
You are guided by a television chef showing you her best tips and advice when picking out ingredients for the Thai dishes. Loaded with vegetables, meats, and fresh fruits for dessert, you will take on the mission trying to cook a Thai dish to perfection. After the cooking class, you will travel on the back of a local songtaew (pickup truck) to the underground temple Wat Umong. Making merit at this unique temple and then coming back to the city as a better person.
You will go back to the hotel for a refreshing shower and maybe a quick nap. In the evening, you can visit a local market in Chiang Mai, where you will find both genuine and odd products sold by the locals. Staying overnight at 99 Gallery in a deluxe room with breakfast. Distances and the journey time from Saraphi to Chiang Mai are 20 kilometers and 30 minutes and from Chiang Mai to Wat Umong and back to Chiang Mai are 12 kilometers in 25 minutes.
After the breakfast, you will check out from the hotel and start the journey northeast towards Chiang Rai. After about a three-hour drive, including a one-hour scenic drive through a national park, you will stop at an Akha Hilltribe and visit a homestay to see how the locals live on the hillside of the mountain. After another hour in the van, it is time for lunch at Cabbages and Condoms Restaurant in Mae Chan.
This community initiated restaurant is part of the chain of Cabbages and Condoms restaurants around Thailand, educating locals about reproductive health. After lunch, you will transfer to the resort and relax at leisure for the rest of the day. You will sleep at Manee Dheva in a villa with breakfast. Distances and the journey time from Chiang Mai to Mae Chan are 232 kilometers and four hours.
Following the breakfast at the hotel, you will check out and transfer to Mae Fah Luang - Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI) for drop off. Distances from Mae Chan to Mae Fah Luang - Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI) are 49 kilometers and the journey time is one hour.
During this tour, you will visit the Royal Grand Palace, Wat Pho temple, Grand Palace, the Royal Ground, temples, and the lit-up Ratchadamnoen Avenue as well as the local night market along the memorial bridge on day one. On day two, you will take a boat ride on the canals out to a small coastal village, enjoy street food in Bangkok’s old town, and visit Wat Suthat.
You will visit some of the most significant historical places in Ayutthaya and try a ride in the Kermit tuk-tuks, visit Wat Tuk, the Temples of Sins, and a local blacksmith, and spend your night at a night market in the west of Bang Lan Road on day three. Your fourth day will begin with a trail walk to spot some wildlife in Khao Yai National Park.
On day five, you will visit Phi Mai temples, the lake, and watch the sunset at the One Pillar Pagoda. Wat Mahathat and Cha Thawee Folk Museum will be your destination on day six. You will take a short tour to the historical park Si Satchanalai on day seven. On day eight, you will explore Sukhothai Historical Park, rice fields, small villages, rivers, and lots of local temples in Chiang Mai. Visits to a local market in Chiang Mai on day nine and Akha Hilltribe on day 10 are your last places during this holiday.
The tour will take place in Thailand.
During this holiday, you will be served a dinner on day one, breakfasts and lunches for day two, six, seven, nine, and ten, three meals on day three, four, five, and a breakfast on the last day of the tour included in the prices as well as food and drink sampling.
Please book your flight to arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). Transfer from and to the airport is included.