Colourful umbrellas

Classic Thailand with a Twist

Trip code

Thailand’s most popular destinations are beloved for good reason, but sticking to the tourist trail doesn’t have to mean following the crowd.

While most visitors cram into tourist restaurants for pad thai, eat dinner in the home of a local family. While others simply snap photos at the sparkliest pagodas and go, visit a temple-based massage school for a lesson in the art. This itinerary delivers a fresh perspective on Thailand’s “must-sees”.


Price based on 3* accommodation
Price based on 4* accommodation
Price based on 5* accommodation
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Key facts

10 days / 9 nights
Experience different sides of Thai culture as you take a guided tour of Bangkok, get a traditional Thai massage, explore floating markets, eat home-cooked meals, and receive a blessing at Wat Umong Temple
Learn about Thailand’s complicated history as you visit the Bridge on the River Kwai and explore the temples of Ayutthaya historical park
Soak up scenery on a longtail boat cruise to Bang Pa-In Summer Palace and a day hike in Doi Inthanon National Park
Get some exercise on two cycling tours, one covering Bangkok’s temples and the other in the ancient city of Wiang Khum Kham
Sample stunning Thai cuisine on street food tours of Bangkok’s Chinatown and the “Village of Love”

Transport in detail

This itinerary covers just four destinations, which means only three transfers: two by private car with an English-speaking guide (three to three-and-a-half hours) and one by domestic flight.

What's great

You’ll get to see classic destinations from a different angle as you combine famous landmarks with quieter neighbourhoods and more unusual experiences

With just four stops in ten days, you’ll have plenty of time to get beneath the surface of each destination

This itinerary is easily extended with a few days on the beach

Things to consider

This is a very busy trip with lots of included experiences, but we can always trim it down if you’d like to take it slower

This trip is about seeing classic destinations from a new angle, so you won’t be straying far from the beaten path

The experience

This is a classic introduction to Thailand. If you’d like something more offbeat, let us know and we’ll plan a trip that suits you perfectly.

Day 1-3


More visited than Paris or New York, Bangkok is one of the most exciting cities on Earth. Getting beyond the TripAdvisor top ten is key, so combine classics like riverside cocktails and the Royal Palace with more unusual fare: street-food tours packed with local secrets, and cycle trips combining famous temples with flower markets, parks and amulet-makers. While most tourists will snap a picture of Wat Pho and its giant Buddha and move on, you’ll time it right to see the monks chanting, then head to a local cooperative to receive a traditional massage from a blind masseur. This is classic Bangkok, but not as most people know it.

Gold statue of man at Royal Palace in Bangkok


Sample stir-fried crab, sesame dumplings and sweet-and-sour shrimp on street-food tours of Chinatown and Bang Rak

Watch the morning chants at Wat Pho

Cycle through temples and flower markets to watch the sun go down over the Chao Phraya River

Coloured market stalls

Day 4-5


Outside of the seething mass of Bangkok, Thailand is a different world entirely. Stop at a village where railway-track market stalls scramble out of the way for passing trains, then pause at a floating market to barter over tropical fruit and trinkets. Finally, arrive in Kanchanaburi, where a laid-back rafthouse culture and stunning natural surroundings belie a dark history dominated by the Death Railway and the real-life Bridge on the River Kwai. After you’ve absorbed this sobering context, move on to more peaceful fare as you explore the flowing Erawan Waterfall in a national park outside of town before taking a ride on the railway itself through Kwai Noi Gorge.

Gently cascading waterfall in Kanchanaburi, Thailand


Visit a floating market for a classic (albeit touristy) only-in-Thailand experience

Learn about Thailand’s war history at Kanchanaburi’s Railway Museum

Take a dip in the natural pools of a seven-tiered waterfall

Boats at jetty in front of bridge over River Kwai

The finer detail

  • Breakfast every day
  • Five lunches: one at a Bangkok restaurant; one during the Bangrak street food tour; one at a local restaurant in Kanchanaburi; one at a restaurant in Ayutthaya; picnic lunch during the Doi Inthanon hike
  • Four dinners: one as part of the Chinatown street food tour; one after the sunset cycling tour; a home-cooked dinner hosted by a local family in Chiang Mai; one at a well-known Chiang Mai restaurant
  • Two full-day experiences: day at Erawan Falls and train through Kwai Noi gorge; day hike through the sceneries & hilltribe villages of Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Seven half-day experiences: tour of Bangkok's landmark temples & Grand Palace; street food tour of Bangrak; stop at a floating market; visit to the Bridge over the River Kwai & Railway Museum; tour of Ayutthaya historical park & boat trip to Bang Pa-In Summer Palace; private blessing at Wat Umong; cycle tour from Wiang Khum Kham to Ban Tawai
  • Five evening experiences: street food tour of Bangkok’s Chinatown; social enterprise massage from a blind masseur; sunset cycling tour; home dinner in Chiang Mai; evening tour of Chiang Mai
  • All entrance fees to sites included in guided experiences
  • All internal transport & accommodation

Day 1:

Car transfer from Bangkok airport to city (45 minutes)

Day 4:

Car transfer from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi (3 hours plus stops)

Day 5:

Car transfer from Kanchanaburi to Elephant World (1.5 hours each way)

Day 6:

Car transfer from Kanchanaburi to Ayutthaya (3.5 hours)

Day 7:

Car transfer from Ayutthaya to Bangkok airport (1 hour 15 minutes)

Flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (1 hour 20 mins)

Car transfer from Chiang Mai airport to hotel (20 minutes)

Day 10:

Car transfer from hotel to Chiang Mai airport (20 minutes)

  • International flights
  • Any meals not mentioned
  • Entrance fees to any sites not included in guided experiences
  • Tips for guides & porters