Day 1: Bangkok
Arrive in Bangkok and have a day at leisure.
Day 2: Bangkok
Start early to explore Bangkok’s best temples and landmarks. Highlights include the Grand Palace and Wat Po, one of the largest and oldest temples in Bangkok which houses the impressive reclining Buddha. It’s also the home of Thai massage and medicine. Then head to China Town and Wat Trimitr with its Buddha statue of pure gold! After lunch in a Thai restaurant, board a long-tail boat and cruise down the Chao Phraya River to see the Temple of Dawn which is said to be composed of pottery from a shipwreck.
Day 3: Ayuthaya – Phitsanuloke
Discover the grandeur of Ayutthaya the former capital of the Kingdom of Siam. Hear the tales of palaces filled with gold, lavish ceremonies and decorative monasteries that were the envy of old world Europe. Walk the grounds of the Summer Palace before heading to Phitsanuloke.
Day 4: Phitsanuloke – Sukhothai – Phrae
Travel to Sukhothai, a magnificent historical park and a masterpiece in early Siam architecture. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is filled with more than 193 ruins that date back to the 13th and 14th centuries. Many of the temples have been restored by Thailand’s department of Fine Arts. Later, explore the Burmese-style temples of Wat Chom Sawam and Wat Phrathat Chor Hae in the township of Phrae.
Day 5: Phrae - Chiang Rai
Start your day with a visit Baan Pratabjai, a house with teak pillars built in traditional Thai style. Then it’s on to Ban Tung Hong, a village that’s well-known for making products made from a common local fabric. You’ll also see Phae Muang Phee, a network of spectacular sandstone formations known as Thailand's Grand Canyon. Some say it’s haunted, and that has rendered it inhabitable. Continue on to the northern city of Chiang Rai, stopping along the way at Wat Sri Kom Kam and Gwan Pha Yao Lake.
Day 6: Chiang Rai - Akha Village - Golden Triangle – Chiang Mai
Explore the upland villages of the Akha and Yao ethnic-minority groups and take a peek into their way of life. Continue on to Chiang Sean, a small ancient town on the banks of the Mekong River followed by the infamous Golden Triangle, which is known internationally as the epicentre of the illicit opium trade. From a local hill, see the place where Laos, Myanmar and Thailand all meet. Then drive on to Mae Sai, the northernmost point of Thailand. Many Myanmar citizens come here as day labourers. Then drive four hours to Chiang Mai arriving late in the afternoon.
Day 7: Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep
Meet the gentle giants at the Mae Sa Elephant Camp and learn about how they are cared for. After a few quick tips, take and elephant ride along a jungle path. Visit an orchid farm and see the exotic flowers in bloom, then stop at the most revered temple of Doi Suthep, a Chiang Mai landmark.