Loading
EXO Travel
NEW TRAVEL ENQUIRY
Exo Travel

OVERVIEW

Phuket / Bangkok / Mae Kampong / Chiang Mai / Ayutthaya

Welcome to Thailand- a land of rich history, incredible culture, friendly people and some of the world’s best food. See the country’s iconic sites and experience deep-rooted traditions while exploring Bangkok, Chiang Mai and the lands in-between. Then travel south to Phuket for some seaside. 

Exo Travel

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Tour Highlights for Essential Thailand
Get an in-depth look at Bangkok

Get an in-depth look at Bangkok

Explore the capital and its surroundings, visiting local neighbourhoods, small villages and floating markets steeped in tradition. 

Visit Mae Kampong village

Visit Mae Kampong village

Explore the farms and fields of Mae Kampong and meet with the locals to learn about their typical rural lifestyles. 

Explore authentic Phuket

Explore authentic Phuket

Meet with the Moken sea gypsies, explore Muslim neighbourhoods and slurp Chinese-style noodles with an in-depth Phuket excursion.

Exo Travel

ITINERARY

Essential Thailand - 12 Days / 11 Nights

DAY 1 - Bangkok – Arrival MealsMEALS [D]

Exo TravelBangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport - Bangkok city (approx. 40 km): 40 min

Upon arrival in Bangkok, meet with Exo Travel guide and transfer to the hotel.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Evening Glittering Bangkok

Begin this Bangkok evening tour just as the sun begins to set, around 18:00. Bangkok, a city known for its bustling streets and vibrant atmosphere, is a place that truly comes to life after dark. The sights, sounds and smells associated with the city’s iconic street life are amplified under the glow of its streetlights. Meanwhile, as the late afternoon light gives way to the glimmer of the early evening, the city’s ancient temples and palaces take on a whole new beauty.

Transportation will be provided to the Rattanakosin area of the old city, meandering along the past the floodlit Grand Palace and Wat Pho.

After a cool, relaxing cocktail at the boutique, riverside Riva Arun hotel, take a short walk to where an exquisite dinner awaits. Indulge in a delicious, Thai-style meal on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, with the majestic Wat Arun acting as the backdrop. Following dinner, take a stroll to the temple grounds of Wat Pho to soak up the beauty of its glittering chedi at night: an incredible photo opportunity.

Please note: the Reclining Buddha is not open at night.

Afterwards, drive to the final stop of the evening, the bustling Khao San Road area. A famous backpackers haunt, this eclectic region comes to life at night with various activities, night markets and entertainment venues to choose from. Enjoy a wander through the streets of Khao San to experience the unmistakable energy of this area. (D)

Time:                  18:00 – 22:00

Departure:          Daily

Blackout dates for dinner on 31 Dec, 14 Feb, and Loy Krathong (Date 18: TBA) due to the hotel arranging only gala dinner.

Note:

  • Riva Arun has no elevator, so clients need to walk up the stairs to the rooftop, alternative sky bar can be used in case needed at Sala Rattanakosin.
  • Traffic can be bad during rush hour 17.00-20.00 hrs, so this tour is not recommended for clients staying at hotels in the Sukhumvit area
  • Reclining Buddha is not open at night.
  • The table will be pre-booked outside, but if raining, it will be assigned inside.
  • Children between 2 and 11 years at the time of travel will receive a 15% discount.
  • One glass of cocktail included at Riva Arun.

Overnight in Bangkok.

DAY 2 - Bangkok - Sightseeing MealsMEALS [B|L]

An early start will get you to Wat Pho in time to experience the monks early morning chanting ritual (chanting starts at 09.00 Hrs). After this uplifting and often private experience, visit the temple grounds and the famous 45-metre reclining Buddha. Continue to The Grand Palace, Thailand’s most important landmark, where you will be awed by the grandeur and majesty of the building and its throne halls. Then, of course, marvel at the mysterious Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Thailand. Delicious lunch is served at the delightful Never Ending Summer, a Thai rustic restaurant, situated by Chao Phraya River.

After lunch, board a long-tail boat sailing up the majestic Chao Phraya river before entering the Khlong that takes us away from the normal tourist trail. Inside the network of Khlongs guest will stop at Wat Khun Chan which is an interesting temple area rarely visited by tourists. Crossing a small footbridge leads into the old alleys where a cold coffee can be enjoyed before entering Wat Paknam or the white stupa with a hidden museum.

Back in the boat and continue on a beautiful part of the Khlong with a mix of old wooden houses and new modern mansions until reaching an orchid and fruit farm where guest will have time to walk around and see the many types of orchids on display. On the way back to Saphan Taksin pier, a stop will be made to feed the holy catfish in the Khlong.

Overnight in Bangkok.

DAY 3 - Bangkok - Countryside TourMealsMEALS [B|L]

Exo TravelBangkok – Samut Songkhram (approx. 80 km): 1 hr Mae Klong Market – Tha Kha Floating Market (9.3 km): 21 min Tha Kha Floating Market – Amphawa District (9.3 km): 17 min

After breakfast at the hotel, take just a short drive from the bustling streets of Bangkok, the high-rise urban landscape dissolves into a lush green rural idyll. This full-day trip to Samut Songkhram Province, only an hour outside the capital, allows guests to experience the traditional charms of the Thai countryside.

The day starts with a trip to a local railway station where a bustling country market has sprouted up along the tracks. When a train pulls in or out of the station, the vendors quickly clear their stalls, only to set them up again moments later when the train has passed! From here, the journey continues to very famous touristic Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Although quite touristy today, the market remains the best example to showcase how a floating market originally was like decades ago.

A relaxing paddle boat ride through the labyrinth of canals offer the chance to see the old part of the floating market and local lifestyle along the canal side.

Off the boat, it is time to enjoy strolling around the colourful floating marketplace bustling with boats and vendors selling tropical fruits and other delights.

For visits falling on a Saturday or Sunday, the tour offers the option of an exploration choosing between visiting Damnoen Saduak or the smaller and less touristy floating market Tha Kha where a short paddle boat tour in the backwaters offering a visit to an old Thai house making coconut palm sugar. Lunch will be enjoyed at a local restaurant at the floating market.

The tour continues by a long-tail boat to a local Buddhist temple and the King Rama II Memorial Park, with its ornate collection of Thai-style pavilions. For visits falling on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, the end of the tour will be spiced up with an exploration of the weekend floating market at Amphawa.

Overnight at Bangkok.

DAY 4 - Bangkok - Ayutthaya - BangkokMealsMEALS [B|L]

Exo TravelBangkok – Ayutthaya (83.3 km): 1.03 hr Ayutthaya Historical Park – Bang Pa-In Summer Palace (21.9 km): 28 min

Breakfast at the hotel. The day then begins with approximately one hour and a half drive from Bangkok to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Ayutthaya, passing through verdant countryside and lush paddy fields. Having arrived in Ayutthaya, which dates back to the 14th Century, the morning is spent exploring the breathtaking temple-studded landscape visiting the highlighted temples of the city from Wat Yai Chaimongkol, Wat Mahathat (where the Buddha face is naturally emerged out of the tree), and strolling through a local market to get to Wat Phra Srisanphet. Proceed on a trip to the town's Muslim Quarter which offers the opportunity to sample an unusual local delicacy, candy floss roti.

After lunch at a local restaurant, the tour continues with a leisurely one hour long-tail boat ride down the Chao Phraya River. This boat trip commences at Wat Niwet Thammaprawat, one of the area's most distinctive Buddhist temples, featuring remarkable Gothic-style architecture and stained glass windows. Then take the cable car across the river and go by golf car to visit Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, the majestic mansions of Thailand's Royal family. When visit is done at Bang Pa-In, you return to Bangkok by van, approximately one hour drive.

Overnight in Bangkok.

DAY 5 - Bangkok – Chiang MaiMealsMEALS [B]

Exo TravelChiang Mai Airport – Chiang Mai Town (4.7 km): 10 min

Transfer to airport with your guide (time to be confirmed the day before) for your flight to the northern capital of Thailand “Chiang Mai”.

Upon arrival in Chiang Mai, you will be met and greeted by our Exo Travel guide for your transfer to your hotel.

After checking in at the hotel, travel thirty minutes by vehicle north of Chiang Mai city to a long-tail boat dock, where you will take a leisurely stroll around the grounds with an herbal garden. Then board a long-tail boat and enjoy a 30-minute cruise along the rural Mae Ping River. Along the river banks, you will see traditional wooden houses and modern residences. Arrive at a boat landing and walk for about 10 minutes from the landing to Waroros fresh food market for a visit, experiencing the Northern Thai way of life. 

After the tour, transfer back to your hotel or to one of the restaurants for our own dinner.

Overnight in Chiang Mai.

DAY 6 - Chiang MaiMealsMEALS [B|L]

Exo TravelChiang Mai City – Chiang Dao (70.9 km): 1.04 hr

After breakfast at the hotel, head towards Elephant Discovery Camp, passing the most beautiful route of Chiang Mai with fantastic local road and panoramic views.

Upon arrival, meet an elephant mahout, be introduced to the elephants, and learn about their story and daily lifestyle. Interact and play with the elephants under mahouts’ supervision and form a bond with them. Enjoy a walk alongside them and watch them play in the mud pond. Learn to communicate with them and prepare nutritional food and desserts for them using various natural ingredients. Have fun bathing the elephants in a big pond. Lunch is served at the camp.

(Note: The elephant activity is join-in.)

In the late afternoon, return back to Chiang Mai.

Overnight in Chiang Mai.

DAY 7 - Chiang MaiMealsMEALS [B|L]

Exo TravelChiang Mai City – Wat Phra That Doi Suthep (17.2 km): 39 min Wat Phra That Doi Suthep – Wat Umong (14.9 km): 33 min

Depart your hotel at 06.00 am (Note: Take away breakfast from the hotel) and arrive at the foot hill of Doi Suthep mountain, in time to buy offerings and join the locals during the daily alms giving ceremony. This is a serene Buddhist procession where dozens of monks walk barefoot through the street collecting food and everyday items. Continue up the mountain to Wat Doi Suthep and climb the 309 steps of the Golden Naga staircase to reach its golden pagodas. After a visit to Doi Suthep, continue to discover one of the best-kept secret temples of Chiang Mai, Wat Palad, known as the Temple below the Temple. This temple is a significant element of the Chiang Mai area’s history with its temple grounds aged beyond 650 years old. 

Next, proceed to Wat Umong, built in the 14th century, a heavily forested temple covered by moss and small plants offering a unique yet charming sense of natural decay. After a walk through its mysterious tunnels you reach the Viharn of the temple to experience your own private blessing ceremony.  After that, enjoy this lovely day with a delicious bowl of Khao Soy. This famous Northern Thai dish is a combination of coconut cream, crispy noodles and plenty of spice that is sure to delight!

In the afternoon, continue to visit the Three Kings Monument, followed by Chiang Mai City Arts and Culture Center, located in an old building of elegant architectural design built in 1927. Standing on the location of a former royal hall, the building was used as the central administrative office of Phayap administrative unit of Siam, and later as the Provincial Hall of Chiang Mai. (Note: Chiang Mai City Arts and Culture Center is closed on Mondays and during Songkran festival. Open from Tuesdays – Sundays: 08:30 – 17:00)

Overnight in Chiang Mai.

DAY 8 - Chiang Mai - Mae KampongMealsMEALS [B|L]

Exo TravelChiang Mai City – Mae On District (31.8 km): 44 min

Depart for Mae Kampong village in the Mae On district and drive through the picturesque countryside of Chiang Mai. En route a stop is made at a local market to select ingredients for your lunch. Continue to Mae Kampong village where you are met upon arrival by villagers before beginning a stroll through the community forest, passing tea and coffee fields. Return to the village in time to watch lunch being prepared by your host family to see how Thai food is prepared in the countryside.

After lunch, relax with Thai traditional massage and take a walk around the village to see the processing of fermented tea leaves, and various products which are handmade in the village. In the late afternoon, drive back through the mountains to Chiang Mai.

DAY 9 - Chiang Mai - PhuketMealsMEALS [B]

Exo TravelPhuket Airport – Phuket Town (32.5 km): 30 min

Free at leisure in Chiang Mai city until the guide picks you up from the hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight to Phuket. Upon arrival, meet up with Exo Travel guide and transfer to your hotel.

Free afternoon at leisure to relax on the beach.

Overnight in Phuket.

DAY 10 - Phuket - SightseeingMealsMEALS [B]

Breakfast at the hotel.

Today’s tour will begin at 08:30. Get to see a different side of Phuket with this insightful excursion to the city’s lesser-known corners.

Start with a visit to a rubber plantation, one of the main industries in Phuket, along the roadside. Our guide will explain how the rubber sap is collected from the trees and is processed after Continue further away from the shore to Tong Sai National Park, a lush expanse of jungle teeming with wildlife. Meet with a volunteer from the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project (GRP) and learn about the centre’s activities to protect the native gibbon population and their natural habitations. Take a stroll around and see some of the many gibbons being nursed back to health at the centre. Refuel with a cup of local Phuket coffee and some snacks before continuing the excursion.

Take a closer look at Phuket’s past with a visit to the small, but informative Kathu Mining Museum. Get a glimpse of the former glory of Phuket, its people, its economy and its history while learning about the island’s mining industry.

Then stop at a cashew nut factory, another major industry in Phuket. See the process of extracting the nut from the fruit, gaining a better appreciation for why these are some of the most expensive nuts on earth! The half-day Phuket tour concludes with a visit to Wat Prathong, one of the oldest temples in Phuket.

Gain a deeper insight into Buddhism while watching local devotees praying at this sacred monument.

Free afternoon at leisure to relax on the beach.

Overnight in Phuket.

DAY 11 - PhuketMealsMEALS [B]

Day free at leisure to relax on the beach or you may wish to book optional excursions with Exo Travel.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Phuket Old Town E-Bike Tour.

Today’s tour will begin at either 08:30 or 13:00. Explore the old town on this electric bike tour of Phuket. These battery-powered bicycles are the perfect way to cruise around the city’s streets and small laneways.

Learn about the island’s past while exploring different architectural styles. See former Chinese schools that are repurposed into museums and restaurants as well as Chinese shrines. Pedal to Sino-Portuguese buildings that stand in testimony to the influence of the migrants who came to Phuket during the tin mining days of the 19th century. See the home of the island’s former governor, a majestic building that echoes of its glorious past.

Take a closer look at the past with a visit to Thavorn Museum. Located in the hotel of the same name, this museum boasts an impressive collection of old calculators, typewriters, tin toys and more. Seeing these relics gives a better sense of what life was like on Phuket in earlier times.

The electric-bike exploration culminates with a visit to a downtown fruit market. Explore the array of exotic tropical fruits on sale and sample some of the fresh seasonal items before transferring back to the hotel.

Time:                    08.30 – 11.30 / 13.00 – 16.00

Departure:          Daily

Note:                   

Max. 4 persons
When booked please provide height of each client as this information is essential to secure the right bike size for the trip.

Overnight at Phuket.

DAY 12 - Phuket - DepartureMealsMEALS [B]

Exo TravelPhuket Hotel – Phuket Town (between 20 and 50 km): 20 - 50 min

Our guide will meet up with you at the hotel and transfer you to the airport for your departure flight to your onwards destination. 

Exo Travel

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Our Services include:

  • Accommodation in selected hotels.
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner).
  • English speaking guide.
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle.
  • Join elephant activity on Day 6
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits.
  • Tips for driver and hotel porters
  • Drinking water

Our Services do not include:

  • Other meals than mentioned.
  • Other services than mentioned.
  • International and domestic flights.
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature.
  • Tips for guide, travel insurance.

Creating Unique Touring Experiences

All the touring itineraries on this website have been carefully crafted by our in-country management teams and represent a series of experiences we can certainly recommend. However, we understand that every travel experience should be as unique and individual as each traveler. Our consultants are waiting to hear from you so that we can tailor or custom design a Thailand tour to your individual specifications.

Tour

SIMILAR TOURS YOU MAY LIKE

Not quite right or still need some more inspiration? Take a look at the journeys below and discover what other people who liked this tour also looked at!

Exo travel get in touch

GET IN TOUCH

We love to talk travel. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We're here to help!

EXO Travel

LET’S GET SOCIAL

For inspiring experiences, real-time updates, the latest trends or casual conversation, explore our social networks for all things travel.