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Thailand World Heritage | Isan Tour

Northeast Thailand, a rich culture, superb landscapes and 3,000 years of history

UNESCO sites of Ayuthaya, Khao Yai and Phnom Rung

Our Thailand World Heritage tour takes you from the bustling and vibrant modern-day capital of Bangkok, via the ancient Siamese capital, now UNESCO-listed, Ayutthaya into the rarely visited northeastern reaches of the kingdom, commonly known as Isan.

Varied destinations and activities along the way begin with a tour of some of Ayutthaya’s many spectacular historical sites by boat and a jungle hike plus a 4WD wildlife safari in World Heritage Khao Yai National Park. From here we continue east for a visit to the well-preserved Angkor-period temple of Phnom Rung, perched atop an extinct volcano, and the picturesque 11th-century site of Muang Tam amid its lily ponds (both currently on UNESCO’s tentative list). A stay in the small, scenic riverside town of Khong Chiam and a trek through Pha Taem National Park, overlooking the Mekong Valley in the far east of the country – offering spectacular views, flora and fauna and well-preserved 3,000-year-old cliff paintings – complete this highly original itinerary.

This 1-week tour is designed as a stand-alone tour, perhaps with the addition of our unusual Bangkok Behind the Scenes add-on and or an island extension to unspoilt Koh Mak or Koh Chang in the Gulf of Thailand. For those with more time on their hands, there’s the option of continuing over the border from our finishing point in Ubon Ratchathani into southern Laos and northern Cambodia to join our Emerald Triangle Tour. Finishing in Cambodia’s Siem Reap, this extended tour includes the landscapes of the Boloven Plateau, the charming 4,000 Islands and Khone Phapaeng Falls as well as the additional World Heritage Sites of Wat Phu Laos, and dramatic cliff-top Preah Vihear in Cambodia.

As we said then, 3,000 years of history on our Thailand World Heritage tour as well as truly spectacular landscapes, exotic flora and fauna plus the fascinating street life, local markets and, of course, local food.

Since airfares are fluctuating wildly at present, as well as varying considerably from period to period, our ‘with flight’ prices, below, are approximate only.



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

Day 1 - Bangkok - arrival

Our tour begins with a late morning check-in to an award-winning, boutique-style hotel situated in the city’s bustling Banglamphu District. The afternoon is at leisure – with activities depending upon arrival time – but could include, for instance, a walking tour of the narrow alleys, street cafes and street art of fascinating Chinatown before a local-style welcome dinner.

Extra nights in Bangkok available on request

Overnight: Bangkok Transport: Walk,  Meals: D,

Day 2 - Ayutthaya - ancient capital of Siam

Departure upcountry for the ancient city of Ayutthaya, the Siamese capital between the 14th and 18th centuries, and once one of the largest and wealthiest cities in Asia. Tour of some of the myriad historical sites by boat and on foot before an afternoon transfer to Pak Chong town, our base for nearby Khao Yai National Park.

Overnight: Pak Chong Transport: Minibus, Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, L,

Day 3 - In the jungle - Khao Yai National Park

Day tour of the World Heritage site includes morning and afternoon safaris to spot some of the park’s rich fauna including gibbons, hornbills and with luck wild elephants. We’ll also take you on a jungle hike and visit one of Khao Yai’s most spectacular waterfalls. (An optional night safari can also be arranged.)

Overnight: Pak Chong Transport: Walk,  Meals: B, L,

Day 4 - Phnom Rung - atop an extinct volcano

Heading east to Buriram Province our first stop will be the charming 11th-century site of Muang Tam with well-preserved Angkor-period temples set amid picturesque lily ponds. later in the afternoon, we’ll climb up to {Phnom Rung another spectacular site (now on UNESCO’s tentative list) set atop an extinct volcano.

Overnight: Surin Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D,

Day 5 - Khong Chiam

This morning’s stops include the small town of Sikorapum with a lively local market and another beautifully restored Angkor site, as well as the picturesque Sirindhorn Lake. Afternoon arrival at the small town of Khong Chiam on the banks of the Mekong River, overlooking Laos, with some time at leisure to take in the scenery from our well-placed riverside resort.

Overnight: Khong Chiam Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L,

Day 6 - Pha Taem National Park

Our day trip to nearby Pha Taem National Park includes a forest hike to discover the spectacular cliff paintings and unusual ‘mushroom rock’ features for which the park is famous. Take in the magnificent Mekong vistas from the clifftops with a return to Khong Chiam by boat down the Mekong River.

Overnight: Khong Chiam Transport: Minibus, Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D,

Day 7 - Ubon Ratchathani and departure

Our tour ends with a transfer to nearby Ubon Ratchathani Airport for either a return to Bangkok or flight to Trat for a few days’ extension on an island in the Gulf of Thailand. (We recommend Koh Mak for the November to April period and Koh Chang any time of the year.) Alternatively, if you have more days to spare you could perhaps have a morning at leisure before transferring over the nearby border to Pakse Town to link up with our south Laos tour?

Transport: Minibus,  Meals: B, 

Print Itinerary


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

Thailand, Prasart Sikhorapum

Just a few of the many highlights

Bangkok street life, ancient cities, lush jungle and exotic wildlife. National parks, an Angkor temple on the summit of an extinct volcano and 2 of Thailand's 5 World Heritage sites.

  • Explore the ancient, now UNESCO-listed, Siamese capital of Ayutthaya on foot and by boat
  • The spectacular and well-preserved Angkor-period temples of Phnom Rung and Muang Tam
  • 2-night stay in a garden resort on the banks of the Mekong River
  • Jungle hike, waterfalls and wildlife safaris in World Heritage Khao Yai National Park
  • Hike in Pha Taem National Park to discover the curious rock formations, cliff paintings and awe-inspiring views
  • ...and of course the delicious, varied and world-renowned Thai cuisine

The map is currently being updated...

Air Departures (UK) *From

  • 25 January 23 1,595 GBP
  • 22 February 23 1,595 GBP
  • 24 March 23 1,595 GBP
  • 26 May 23 1,595 GBP
  • 23 June 23 1,595 GBP
  • 28 July 23 1,695 GBP
  • 25 August 23 1,595 GBP
  • 29 September 23 1,595 GBP
  • 27 October 23 1,625 GBP
  • 24 November 23 1,625 GBP

Land Departures

  • 26 January 23 845 GBP
  • 23 February 23 845 GBP
  • 25 March 23 845 GBP
  • 27 May 23 845 GBP
  • 24 June 23 845 GBP
  • 29 July 23 845 GBP
  • 26 August 23 845 GBP
  • 30 September 23 845 GBP
  • 28 October 23 875 GBP
  • 25 November 23 875 GBP

Guaranteed Places Left Special Price Solo Traveller Closed

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

*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

Peerada River View Resort, Kong Chiam view

  • Chalet-style accommodation in a garden setting
  • Situated on the banks of the Mekong River itself
  • Convenient location a short walk from Kong Chiam village

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

Visa Info & Notes

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