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Images of Thailand

Bangkok street-life, sunset at World Heritage Sukhothai and the serene mountain landscapes and remote villages of the far north

A 2-week, guided photography tour of Thailand

Our Thailand photography tour – ‘Images of Thailand’ – will take you from hectic yet fascinating Bangkok via the ruined, ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sukhothai to Chiang Mai, Thailand’s charming northern capital. From here we’ll continue into the mist-shrouded mountains and forests and remote hill-tribe villages of the infamous Golden Triangle Region.

A wealth of photographic subject matter then includes the famous sights of Bangkok as well as everyday life in its back streets, colourful markets and along its canals; evocative ruins and lotus ponds of Sukhothai, the narrow lanes, ancient temples and street bazaars of Chiang Mai as well as the traditional hill-tribe villages amid the magnificent forests and mountains of the far north.

The tour, fully accompanied by one of our professional travel photographers, aims to include scenes of everyday life – whether in rural settings, city street photography or local markets – as well as the famous sites and iconic images. It is also intended to be  accessible to photographers of any level and experience from beginners to budding pros with advice, hands-on assistance and tips covering both the technical and ethical aspects of travel photography as well as editing and post-production while for the already experienced we’ll make sure we get you to the right place at the right time!

Thailand

Itinerary

Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.

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Day 1 - Bangkok - arrival and time to explore the area

Arrival in Bangkok and check in to a comfortable, downtown hotel in the City’s Banglamphu district. Orientation and introduction talk by our photographer with time to relax, recover from your jet-lag by the pool or try out some images of the area’s lively markets and street-life.

Photo themes: introduction and orientation, street-life, markets

Overnight: Bangkok Transport: Walk,  Meals: D, 

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Day 2 - Bangkok - street photography and some of the sights

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 them! Visits will include; the Grand Palace, fabulous Wat Phra Keow – ‘Temple of the Emerald Buddha – plus local markets and scenes of everyday life.

Photo themes: temples, architecture, markets, ‘hidden Bangkok’ and nightlife

Overnight: Bangkok Transport: Train, Taxi, Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 3 - Amphawa - canals and floating markets

Into the suburbs for a day exploring the canals, traditional wooden stilt houses and floating markets of Amphawa district. En-route, we’ll stop by the famous Maeklong ‘Railway Market’ as well as taking in some of the area’s local industries such as salt production and parasol fabrication.

Photo themes: markets, traditional lifestyles, architecture, canal life

Overnight: Amphawa Transport: Minibus, Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 4 - North up the Chao Phraya Valley

Early morning canal tour through Amphawa before a departure overland across the Central Plains and their emerald green rice paddies to the town of Suphanburi and its famous Sam Chuk, or Hundred Year Market – a highly picturesque and photogenic spot set in a maze of narrow lanes and wooden riverside walkways. In the afternoon we’ll continue to Uthai Thani for a boat trip to its unique floating raft house settlement – thought to be one of the last remaining in Thailand.

Photo themes: architecture, landscapes, local life

Overnight: Uthai Thani Transport: Minibus, Boat,  Meals: B, 

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Day 5 - Across the central plains to Sukhothai

A leisurely morning with perhaps a stroll along the waterfront taking in the local market and an island temple in the middle of the river. Afternoon departure across the lush plains of the Chao Phraya River and arrival in Sukhothai in time for some sunset views.  Some night photography with a tour of the bustling evening market completes the day.

Photo themes: countryside, markets, sunset, temples, night photography

Overnight: Sukhothai Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 6 - Sukhothai - World Heritage ancient city

Cycle or tuk-tuk tour of the nearby, ancient city and now UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sukhothai – former capital of Siam – which, with its crumbling sandstone temples,  ancient carvings, towering Buddha statues and lotus-covered ponds, is one of the country’s most sacred and evocative sites.

Photo themes: historical sites, temples

Overnight: Sukhothai Transport: Minibus, Bike, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 7 - Heading north; Sukhothai, Lampang and on to Chiang Mai

Scenic drive through the mountains to Chiang Mai. with stops at the unusual Elephant hospital, a lively local market plus a stroll to discover the wonderful period architecture of historic Lampang Town. Arrival in Chiang Mai and time to relax by the pool or explore the area before an evening tour of the town’s famous night bazaar.

Photo themes: landscapes, ‘on the road’, elephants, architecture, markets

 

Overnight: Chiang Mai Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 8 - Chiang Mai - walking tour of the old city

Morning walking tour of the old city; its lanes, ancient temples and local markets with an afternoon at leisure. Explore and hone your street photography skills or perhaps try out one of the famous traditional massages?

Photo themes: markets, ancient temples of Chiang Mai, street life

 

Overnight: Chiang Mai Transport: Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 9 - Chiang Mai to Mae Salong - across the mountains

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

Overnight: Mae Salong Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 10 - Mae Salong - the former opium town

A day exploring Mae Salong – off limits for many years due to its role as a centre for the opium trade but now known for tea plantations and spectacular scenery as well as being the centre for the local hill-tribe peoples. Discover the plantations, markets and unique architecture of this picturesque town.

Photo themes: landscapes, village life, hill-tribe peoples

Overnight: Mae Salong Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 11 - Chiang Rai

Early visit to the very traditional style morning market before heading to the fabulous Doi Tung Botanical Gardens. In the afternoon we’ll explore some of the sites of Chiang Rai Town including Baan Dam – the ‘Black House park and exhibition centre – Wat Rong Suea Ten, (the Blue Temple) and the sprawling, souk-like old market.

Photo themes: landscapes, fauna, temples, markets, street-life

Overnight: Chiang Rai Meals: B, 

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Day 12 - Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai - scenic return drive

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 before a local-style farewell dinner.

Photographic themes: scenery, temples, Chiang Mai street scenes, night life

Overnight: Chiang Mai Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, D, 

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Day 13 - Chiang Mai - morning at leisure and end of tour

Morning at leisure in Chiang Mai. Post-production and editing assistance is on hand for those who wish or take the opportunity to check out the local markets for some last minute shopping? Tour ends. at your convenience.

Photographic themes: processing and editing, markets, local people

Extra nights in Bangkok prior to or Chiang Mai after your tour are available on request.

Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package. If you purchased your own flights, airport transfers can be arranged on request.

Overnight: Departure Transport: Walk,  Meals: B, 

Print Itinerary

Details

The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.

Thailand, Chiang Mai, Chinatown

Just a few of the many highlights

From Bangkok's canals and floating markets to World Heritage Sukhothai, the historic lanes and ancient temples of Chiang Mai and on to the serene mountains of the far north

  • 2-week, fully guided photography tour for anyone from beginners to budding pros
  • Visit Bangkok - famous sites, temples, markets, museums and canals as well as the hidden parts that few visitors ever see
  • Colurful hill-tribes, remote villages and magnicifcent landscapes of Thailand's spectacular northern mountains
  • Explore the picturesque ancient capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sukhothai
  • Combine inages of everyday life, street scenes and local markets as well as the iconic sites
  • Discover the ancient temples, bustling markets and quiet lanes of Thailand's charming northern capital, historic Chiang Mai

Air Departures (UK)


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  • 16 January 21 GBP
  • 31 January 21 GBP

Land Departures

  • 17 January 21 GBP
  • 1 February 21 GBP

Guaranteed Places Left Special Price Solo Traveller Closed

*Air departures are from the UK. Land departures start from

*Land departure dates correspond to the FIRST day of the itinerary.

We choose our hotels based on a combination of location, comfort and convenience. Here is a *selection of the types of hotel/rooms you can expect to stay at on this tour...

Nanda Heritage Hotel, Bangkok view

  • Based around a beautifully restored 1920s teak family villa
  • The award winning design combines traditional and modern
  • Great central location for restaurants, cafes and shopping

Foresto Sukhothai view

  • Delightful, tropical garden setting with pool
  • Central yet quiet location in Sukhothai Town
  • Boutique style with a fusion of modern & traditional Lanna

20 Lodge, Chiang Mai view

  • Delightful lush garden setting & pool
  • Quiet location in the Old City
  • Small, friendly and a welcoming family style

Ban Hom Muen Lee Resort, Mae Salong view

  • Chinese-style decor in the old Kuomintang base of Mae Salong
  • All rooms with private balconies and stupendous views
  • Mountain-top location in this quaint and quirky town

Laluna Resort, Chiang Rai view

  • Comfortable individual chalets in a stunning tropical garden
  • 5 minute tuk-tuk ride from the town's lively night bazaar
  • Pool, spa, massage and excellent in-house restaurant

*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.

Visa Info & Notes

Visas: While most nationalities receive an automatic 30-day stamp on arrival, so you can dispense with visa on arrivals, e-visas etc – in terms of the small print and variations to the rule Thailand has some complex regulations and there are still a few details to watch out for plus various bilateral arrangements between Thailand and other nations do throw up a lot of anomalies. Firstly, 6 months passport validity is required and while we can’t find any specifications regarding number of blank pages, as usual in these parts, you’re better off with at least 2 available.

The following nationalities benefit from a visa waiver or exemption scheme and passport holders will automatically receive 30-day stamps on arrival at any Thai international airport: Australia, Canada, UK, US, certain EU countries plus citizens of other Asean member states. Generally, citizens of western and central European EU countries are included while those of some newer, particularly eastern EU nations aren’t. Conversely, several South American nationalities receive 90-day visas so do check in advance. A full visa exemption list can be found here.  Note this is a visa waiver and not a tourist visa.

Importantly, and this can, in theory, go for airports too, you may be asked for proof of onward travel and proof you have sufficient funds for your stay. We reckon these are more aimed at long-stay visitors and though we haven’t come across either rule being applied to casual tourists they are specified on the Thai immigration site and they do have these rules in their armoury.

Furthermore, citizens of states not covered by the visa waiver system can also apply for a visa on arrival at an international airport. This is a 30-day one costing 2,000 baht payable in Thai currency only. Again you may be asked for proof of onward travel and funds.

The above can be construed as unnecessarily complicated and furthermore regulations do change on a regular basis so again, please check beforehand if you’re not a passport holder from one of the usual suspects Canada, France, Germany, UK, et al. We have in the past come across smaller Thai embassies providing inaccurate or out of date information and anecdotal travellers’ tales are – well anecdotal – so the official Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs site should, in theory, be your best source. 

Tipping: we recommend a kitty system for smaller, daily tips such as hotel/restaurant staff and local drivers. Amounts inevitably vary with group size but would generally be in the region of 100 baht ($2-$3) per person per day. For your guide/tour-leader tip – who will accompany you for the duration of your tour – we’d recommend approximately $20-30 per person total for the former though of course, this is always discretionary and performance related. (Local currency or USD are fine.) 

Meals: Although Thailand’s world-renowned cuisine needs no introduction its highly varied regional cooking – firey southern-style, Chiang Mai and northern specialities, Bangkok and central Thai fare plus the ubiquitous I-san (northeastern) cuisine – is far less known. Also, bear in mind that authentic local food in Thailand may be considerably different from your neighbourhood Thai restaurant at home. Our emphasis will be on local-style food – including market and street food – including aforementioned regional specialities while chilli tolerance levels will, of course, be taken into account by your tour leader.

Breakfasts are either buffets or a la carte in smaller hotel; lunches on the road are typically simpler dishes such as variations on noodles or fried rice while your tour-leader will generally order more elaborate-style dinners consisting of a selection of local fare. Both vegetarians and vegans are very easily catered for. For any other likes and dislikes please remind your tour-leader at the start of the tour.  A number of meals are not included, which allows you to ‘do your own thing’ or take a break if you’re feeling ‘riced out’.

Accommodation: all choices fall into the comfortable 3* range, with an emphasis where possible on the smaller, ‘boutique-style’, and are en-suite and air-conditioned with, where possible, pools. We have posted a selection of sample accommodation on the lefthand hotel tab but please note that as we try and avoid the larger hotels, availability, in high season particularly, means we use several options in each destination. 

Activities: note that no activities are compulsory and that any offered, including trekking, can be tailored for any fitness level or alternatives suggested.

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