North Thailand Experience

Northern Thailand, Thailand

Close Chiang Mai. Once known as the Kingdom of a Million Rice Fields, or "Lanna" in Thai.

North Thailand Experience

The Golden Triangle is a region where Thailand, Laos and Burma meet in Chiang Rai Province, north Thailand. Golden Triangle was once the world's most prolific opium producers, until poppy-growing in Thailand was made illegal in 1959. Today you can follow the opium trail as it winds down the spine of the Triangle to the West. View scenery around the golden triangle by boat, along the Mekong River from Sop Ruak to Chiang Saen, the 14th-century Lanna capital, dotted with temples and historic ruins. 

This Northern Thailand tour begins with a comprehensive tour of Bangkok. Visit its Buddhist temples including Wat Trimitr with its invaluable Golden Buddha, the Grand Palace, and the famous Jim Thompson house. Travel to Chiang Rai, in the Golden Triangle. Visit Mae Taeng for an elephant safar and interact with animals. In Chiang Mai, visit beautiful and historic Buddhist wats (temples) and offer alms to the Buddhist monks.

And, experience its best cities, beautiful beaches and rural countryside.

We Love
  • This 11-day tour can be customised for any travellers; adventure enthusiasts or romantics
  • At the Mandarin Oriental, we like the Wilbur Smith Suite based on Africa, the setting of his many books
  • Working with the elephants at Asia’s premier Elephant Camp in the Golden Triangle is a once in a lifetime experience
Need to Know
  • AwimAway can book your international and domestic flights.
  • We strongly recommend that you take travel insurance for this holiday

North Thailand Experience This private tour features the best of Thailand’s two cities and rural countryside with an emphasis on regional culture, history, arts and cuisine.
Bangkok, Golden Triangle, Chiang Mai
(11 Days – Travel Any Day)

Day 1 – Arrive
Bangkok Meet and greet on arrival at Bangkok International Airport. After a warm reception, our representative will escort you to your hotel for 3 nights stay. The rest of the day will be organised based on your arrival time and how tired you feel.

Dinner Cruise on a Luxurious Rice Barge: Experience Bangkok at its best by cruising the historic Chao Phraya River aboard one of the beautifully old rice barges that were completely re-built and restored for dining and cocktail cruising. Enjoy an authentic Thai cuisine served with courses of classical music and traditional dances from different periods in Thai history. Seating is limited to ensure an intimate experience.
Mandarin Oriental (D)

Day 2 – Tour
Bangkok Begin with a comprehensive tour in Bangkok. With your private guide explore Bangkok’s most unusual Buddhist temples to include Wat Trimitr with its priceless Golden Buddha (5 ½ tonnes of solid gold), Wat Po, the most extensive temple in Bangkok, with its colossal Reclining Buddha and the Chedis of the Kings.  

Later, spend your day on a private long-tail boat tour through Bangkok's canals, the colourful markets and shop for exquisite Thai silks and art work. Enjoy a fascinating, private long-tail boat tour through Bangkok's canals, the colourful markets and shop for exquisite Thai silks and art work. In the evening dine aboard a luxurious rice barge on some of Southeast Asia’s best cuisine or check out one of the fascinating roof-top bars.
Mandarin Oriental (B, L, D)

Day 3 – Tour
Bangkok Today, we travel to view the floating market of Damnoen Saduak that come alive in the morning with vendors selling vegetables and fruit grown in the surrounding fertile grounds. A short trip by long-tail boat will provide plenty of photo opportunities.

Afterwards, visit the Grand Palace, a lavish, awe-inspiring monument of tapering gilded spires, majestic pavilions, dazzling murals and brilliant colours. The architecture is vibrantly Thai though there are some European features as well.

In the afternoon visit the Jim Thompson house, one of the best examples of traditional Thai residential architecture and a breathtaking collection of Southeast Asian art collected by an American national. Now a museum, it is well worth a visit.  
Mandarin Oriental (B, L, D)

Day 4 – Transfer
Chiang Rai Continue to Chiang Rai, near the Golden Triangle, and stay at an exclusive safari-style tented camp. While there, explore the valleys and waterways where Laos, Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) meet along the Mekong River. Discover religious temples, military fortifications, the indigenous peoples and artistic artefacts, not forgetting the culinary delights.
Four-seasons safari-style tented camp, (B, L, D)
Anantara Resort & Spa Golden Triangle.

Day 5 & 6 – Experience
Chiang Rai Visit an elephant camp and spend time with a professional mahout (elephant handler) and learn to ride and work with these fascinating animals; bathing them in the river and learn from the local vet on how to see if an elephant is healthy. Then journey by boat along the Mekong River. Alternatively, enjoy a massage or a Spa.

Experience cultural activities of your choice with local experts like fishing, bird watching, cruising the Mekong, shopping for handicrafts or enjoy sunset cocktails in scenic spots, relax by the jungle pool and enjoy fine dining.
Four-seasons safari-style tented camp, (B, L, D)
Anantara Resort & Spa Golden Triangle.

Day 7 to 9 – Explore
Chiang Mai After a private tour to Mae Sai – the northernmost point of Thailand – drive to Chiang Mai, passing tiny hill tribe villages, bamboo huts and jungle scenery. The city of Chiang Mai has a wealth of beautiful and historic Buddhist wats (temples) and the royal family’s Winter Palace. You will have enough time at leisure to browse craft markets or enjoy the resort's spa, cooking school, golf or pool. You have various options available here:

Option 1: Eco Soft Adventure. Depart Chiang Mai by 4-WD Land Rover to the hill tribe museum at Mae Rim. Then continue to Mae Taeng for an elephant safari through the rain forest. After lunch at the elephant village, embark on an inflatable raft to enjoy a thrilling rafting adventure on the unspoiled Mae Taeng River for about an hour (on bamboo rafts during the dry season between February to August). The tour ends with a visit to the Orchid Farm.

Option 2: Doi Inthanon National Park. Doi Inthanon is Thailand's highest mountain and towers over 2,500 metres. Complex mountain ranges and a mild climate characterize an area with moist and dense forest, which is the source of important tributaries of the Mae Ping River, one of northern Thailand's major waterways. Various streams descend, forming beautiful waterfalls throughout the park. Hmong and Karen hill tribes inhabit the park.

Visiting the Doi Inthanon National Park is possible throughout the year. The best period for viewing waterfalls is May to November, while the wild flowers are at their best from December to February, and the best months for ornithologists are from November to March. The drive to the summit offers some fine views, especially during November and December, before the dry season haze has become well established.

Option 3: Khum Lanna cooking class. Kum Lunna is a beautiful, large teak wood house in the rural heart of northern Thailand, surrounded by emerald green rice fields and tropical orchards with an exotic and charming ambience. The local chefs here will share their years of experience to prepare some of the most loved and best-known Thai dishes. Learn how to cook authentictasting Thai food and deserts. Later take a short cycling tour.
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi (B, L, D)

Day 10 – Transfer
Bangkok Transfer to the Bangkok airport and transfer to your hotel. Last minute shopping or touring.
Sukhothai Hotel (B)

Day 11 – Depart
Bangkok Transfer to the Bangkok airport for your onward journey.
Meals (B)

North Thailand Experience Northern Thailand, Thailand

Make this your holiday

  • Exclusive Tour: your own private multilingual guide throughout the trip  
  • Price Guarantee: costing 25-30% less than similar tours of the same flexibility and quality
  • Tailor Made: customised itinerary to create your dream holiday
  • Duration: shorten or lengthen the tour to suit your wishes
  • Dates: depart and return whenever you choose
  • Hotels: change hotel grade to suit your budget
  • Group Discounts: call 020 8350 6199

Getting There Thailand has four international airports; in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Hat Yai, but Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport is the country's major gateway. Practically every airline carrier that flies to Asia also flies into Bangkok. This means there are plenty of services and the competition on the routes helps to keep the ticket prices down. There are now a throng of low-cost-carriers serving Southeast Asia, led by KL-based AirAsia. It can be cost effective to fly from your home country to Bangkok, Singapore or KL with a traditional carrier, then pick up a LCC flight to your final destination. 

When to go The best time to visit most of Thailand is between November and February as it is the coolest time of year and it rains the least. March-Jun brings the hot season when sightseeing is best scheduled for morning or late afternoon. The best way of cooling off during hot season is to join the Thai Water Festival generally held in mid-April. Rains start in July through October. The temperature during these months tends to be cooler, tourists are fewer and the landscape is lush and green. The rain isn't permanent though - it comes in bursts and cools things down after it has gone.