Hit the highlights of Thailand on a 15-day adventure that strikes a balance between cultural landmarks and stunning beaches, activity and relaxation. Up north, ponder the River Kwai and eat your way through Chiang Mai. Then head to the southern shores for some downtime at Koh Samui and Krabi. Along the way, bask in the radiance of golden temples, enjoy long-tail boat rides, and learn to cook authentic Thai food.
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
Travel to Kanchanaburi, home to the infamous bridge that inspired the 1950s novel The Bridge Over the River Kwai, which was later made into a film. Take a train journey over the bridge, which serves as a poignant reminder of the thousands of World War II POWs who died during its construction and of the so-called “Death Railway” from Thailand to Burma. (1B)
Explore Erawan National Park and visit one of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls, with seven tiers of cascades. Swim in the turquoise pools, snap photos from the top tier, and go for a jungle hike to spot monkeys. Next, visit the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre war museum and cemetery to learn more about Kanchanaburi’s role in a dark chapter of World War II history. This afternoon, travel to the exquisite city of Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and enjoy dinner on a converted 1930s rice barge. (1B, 1D)
Explore the former royal capital of Ayutthaya, marveling at the ruins of spectacular temples, stupas, and statues of the Buddha. Later, return to Bangkok and catch a flight to Chiang Mai. (1B)
Take a Thai cooking class at a private culinary school, including a visit to a local market with the chef. Then sit down and enjoy the delicious meal you’ve helped prepare. Visit the historic Wat Chedi Luang temple and meet one of its young monks to discuss Buddhism and daily life. Later, listen to monks chant at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, one of the most stunning golden temples in Thailand. The next day, take advantage of free time to explore on your own before traveling to a local village to have an authentic Khantoke dinner in a family home. (2B, 1L, 1D)
Fly to Bangkok, and set off on a long-tail boat ride through the city’s canals. Glide along the waterways to see skyscrapers, temples, and shops in the distance, and view the densely populated waterfront settlements up close. Then visit Wat Pho, the famed Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Spend the following day exploring Bangkok with options to visit temples, museums, local shops, or a spa. (2B)
Catch a flight to the tropical island of Ko Samui, which lies off Thailand’s east coast, fringed by coconut palms, white-sand beaches, and warm waters. Settle in at our resort hotel. This afternoon, opt to catch a tuk tuk to the beach or visit the town.(1B)
Embark on a boat tour to the islands of Koh Madsum and Koh Tan. Enjoy a local lunch on the beach and opt to kayak or snorkel. The next day catch the ferry back to the mainland and drive to Anurak Community lodge, located just outside Khao Sok National Park. Surrounded by lush rainforest, the lodge focuses on environmental sustainability and working with the local community. This evening, we take a rainforest walk with a community elder and enjoy a local campfire dinner under the canopy. (2B, 1L, 1D)
Today is free to relax at the lodge or enjoy a walk along the trails. Opt to enjoy various jungle activities. (1B)
Cross the Krabi River with a local guide by traditional long-tail boat, visiting caves and mangroves. Then jump in tricycle tuk-tuks to explore local communities and rural industries, including a rubber plantation. See tree tapping, rice fields, and a batik workshop. Learn about the culture and daily life of the rural villagers of southern Thailand. The next day, opt to visit spas and relax, rent kayaks, or snorkel. (2B)
Return to Bangkok, arriving at the airport in the late afternoon. (1B)
Never miss a Nat Geo moment
Join our curious community and you'll have access to some great features!
Personalised content reflecting your interests on the site
Watch exclusive videos before anyone else
Favourite content that you like or want to check out later
Free SMS and Email reminders so you never miss a show
Get notified when content that interests you is published
Share your photos on Snap! that could appear on TV
Share your thoughts and opinions on various matters
Receive a monthly newsletter with loads of great content