Day 1 Departure from London.
Day 2 Arrival in Bangkok - meet your tour leader and transfer to a comfortable, downtown hotel in the City’s Banglamphu district. Introductory talk by Gary with time to relax, recover from your jet-lag by the pool or explore the area’s lively markets and street-life.
(Photographic themes: introduction and orientation with Gary, street-life, markets)
Day 3 City tour with a difference - central Bangkok by riverboat, skytrain, tuk-tuk and canal boat - we’ll see the famous sites and what lies behind the famous sites! Visits will include; the Grand Palace, fabulous Wat Phra Keow – ‘Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Siam Square and the fascinating Jim Thompson House Museum.
(Photographic themes: temples, architecture, markets, ‘hidden Bangkok’ and nightlife)
Day 4 Morning departure by train; across the Central Plains and their emerald green rice paddies, to up-country Phitsanolok town – the Gateway to the North. Lunch time arrival, a visit to the local handicraft museum and transfer to nearby Sukhothai town with the afternoon to relax in our guesthouse garden or discover the local markets.
(Photographic themes: architecture, landscapes, local life)
Day 5 Bicycle tour of the nearby, ancient city and now UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sukhothai – former capital of Siam – which, with it’s crumbling sandstone temples, ancient carvings, towering Buddha statues and lotus-covered ponds, is one of the country’s most sacred and evocative sites.
(Photographic themes: historical sites, temples)
Day 6 Scenic drive through the mountains to Chiang Mai. Check in to our centrally located hotel and time to relax by the pool or explore the area before an evening tour of the town’s famous night bazaar.
(Photographic themes: architecture, ancient temples of Chiang Mai, night life)
Day 7 Departure for the far north with a scenic drive to the remote border town of Tha Ton, including a stop on the way to visit the fascinating cave temples at Chiang Dao, before checking out the spectacular views at Tha Ton Pagoda situated high on a mountain top straddling the Thai/Burmese border.
(Photographic themes: landscapes, mountain scenery, village life, country markets)
Day 8 Beginning with a descent by boat of the scenic Kok River we’ll trek on foot and by elephant through the region’s dramatic mountain scenery, passing several hill-tribe settlements, before an overnight stay as guests in a village of the Akha ethnic group.
(Photographic themes: landscapes, mountain scenery, minority peoples and village life)
Day 9 Morning transfer by truck to the nearby fascinating town of Mae Salong. Originally founded by Chinese Republican soldiers, (Kuomintang), who took refuge in the area after defeat by Mao Tse Tung’s communist forces, the town was off limits for many years due to its role as a centre for the opium trade but is now known for tea plantations and spectacular scenery as well as being the centre for the local hill-tribe peoples. Time to wander around the picturesque mountain-top town and perhaps check out participate in a tea tasting ceremony?
(Photographic themes: landscapes, village life, hill-tribe peoples)
Day 10 Opportunity for an early start to visit the morning hill-tribe market before continuing to the magnificent botanical gardens at Mae Fah Luang. From here we’ll travel north to the bustling Burmese border market at Mae Sai. A visit to Sob Ruak and the Golden Triangle itself where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Burma meet, and where we can take in the unusual ‘Opium Museum’, before a return to Chiang Rai Town for our overnight accommodation.
(Photographic themes: tropical flora and fauna, mountain scenery, markets, local life)
Day 11 Morning scenic drive through the mountains to Chiang Mai with a stop on the way to visit the spectacular Wat Rong Khun Temple. Mid afternoon arrival with time to stretch your legs or just relax by the pool.
(Photographic themes: scenery, temples, Chiang Mai street scenes)
Day 12 Day at leisure in Chiang Mai, check out the local markets, some last minute shopping or visit the famous Doi Suthep, with an evening departure for London, via Bangkok. (Note, an optional Thai cookery lesson can be arranged if desired.)
(Photographic themes: processing and editing by Gary, markets, local people)
Day 13 Arrival in London.
Note: this tour if offered with or without return flights from London. Persons not wishing to take up the flight option will join the tour on day 2 in Bangkok and depart in Bangkok on day 12. (Note return flights to Bangkok are included.)
Visa requirements: No visa in advance is required. A 30 day visa for Thailand is issued on arrival at an international airport free of charge. If entering Thailand by land crossing a 15 day only visa is issued, also free of charge.
VISA INFORMATION FOR UK & US CITIZENS ONLY – ALL other nationalities will need to consult the relevant embassies in their countries. Any visa/immigration costs are not included in the price of the tours – you will need to pay for these in addition, as indicated.
Please note these are photos of sample hotels and resorts; accommodation options may vary and are subject to availability
Hotel De Moc. A big favourite in downtown Bangkok; the Hotel De Moc’s excellent location, and excellent facilities combined with friendly helpful service and well appointed rooms make this one a winner!
Up country to Sukhothai where we stay in the charming chalet style accommodation of the Lotus Village.
The delightful Karinthip Village – lovely garden, refreshing pool and north Thai decor – an oasis in the heart of Chiang Mai City.
Yafu village – a village of the Red Lahu ethnic group spectacularly sited on a mountain top with simply awesome views over the surrounding mountain ranges.
The charming and quirky Mae Salong Villa in the old Kuomintang town of Mae Salong itself.
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Please find below a list of suggested extensions for this tour. For reservations please use the tour booking form on the same page
A fascinating and fun one day Thai cookery course at an organic farm in Chiang Mai. Learn some of the techniques and secrets of Thai more..
When the sun goes down Chiang Mai doesn’t stop, but it does slow down and the ancient Buddhist temples with their golden spires illuminated take more..