Best of Thailand Trip Notes
Discover the best highlights of central and north Thailand from bustling Bangkok to scenic landscapes of Northern Thailand. Explore Bangkok’s chaotic night markets, street food vendors, and rooftop bars. Visit the infamous Death Railway and Bridge on the beautiful River Kwai. Explore Thailand’s archaeological gems including the ancient ruins of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai. Embrace the natural beauty of Northern Thailand in Chiang Mai and Chaing Rai, and watch the local elephants in their habitat. This 9-day adventure travels on and off the well-worn path to discover unique cultures, landscapes, and landmarks untouched by tourist crowds.
Duration : 9 Days
Destination : Thailand
Start/Ends in : Bangkok / Bangkok
Group Size : 4-18 People
Age Req. : 18+
Trip Theme : Classic, Short Break
Hotels : 4 Star
Departs : All Year Round
Why you will love this tour
- * Discover the unmissable sites of Thailand including the Grand Palace, Floating Markets, the White Temple of Chiang Rai, and the ancient Sukhothai Kingdom.
- * Stay in carefully-selected 4 & 3-star hotels with all breakfasts and 1 lunch included.
- * Get to know each city like a local on guided walking tours in Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, Sukhothai and Chiang Rai.
- * Visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Ayutthaya. Dating back to 1350, the ancient city is teeming with royal palaces, monasteries, and pagodas waiting to be explored.
- * Prepare to be mesmerised as you feed and bathe elephants at an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai.
- * Enjoy plenty of free time in the evenings to explore each city at your own pace or relax in the comfort of premium resorts with your new travel mates.
The group welcome meeting with your guide and other travelers is held around 18:30 at the hotel lobby on Day 1 of your tour unless otherwise notified.
Meeting and Finishing Point:
The meeting and finishing point for the tour is :
Grand Mercure Atrium – 4 Star – Bangkok
Address: 1880 New Petchaburi Rd, Bang Kapi, Huai Khwang, Bangkok 10310, Thailand
Phone : +66 2 718 2000
Emergency Number: +44 (0) 208 099 75 36
Bangkok: Bangkok, Thailand’s famous capital, also knows as a large city with ornate shrines and vibrant street life. The boat-filled Chao Phraya River feeds it’s network of canals.
Kanchanaburi: Lying at the source of the Mae Klong River, the majestic bodies of water in Kanchanaburi are amongst the most spectacular defining characteristics of the town.
Ayutthaya: The history of Ayutthaya dates back to the supposed foundation in 1350, although some temples in the marvelous ancient city have been known to exist before then.
Lopburi: Lopburi is a province in the central region of Thailand. The province is divided into 11 administrative districts, and Mueang Lopburi District is the capital.
Phitsanulok: The ancient city of Phitsanulok has a long history dating back to the Khmer era, generally called “Muaeng Song Kwae” with reference to the two rivers passing through it.
Sukhothai: A town founded in the 13th century on the fringe of the Khmer Empire. The exact year is unknown, but according to the Fine Arts Office it was between 1238 and 1257.
Chiang Mai: Chiang Mai is home to hundreds of elaborate Buddhist temples, including the 14th-century Wat Phra Singh and 15th-century Wat Chedi Luang.
Chiang Rai: Chiang Rai is an idyllic town famous for its magnificently ornate White and Blue Temples. It also has a taste of indigenous culture with the cozy Akha Village.
Elephant EcoValley: That might happen to you, too! Experience elephants up-close while feeding and bathing them. Learn about herbal treatments and make their vitamin balls.
Please note that the itinerary may be subject to small changes depending on the conditions during the tour. Alternative accommodation of similar standards may be used depending on the group size and hotel availability.
Inclusions & Exclusions
The tour price covers the following services:
Accomodation : 4 Star Hotels and Resorts
Meals : 8 Breakfasts
Transportation : Private Air-Conditioned Vehicle
Guide : Services of experienced Travel Talk local guides licenced by the Ministry of Tourism
Sightseeing : Akha Village, Ayutthaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Elephant EcoValley, Kanchanaburi, Lopburi, Phayao Lake, Phitsanulok, River Kwai
River Kwai Bridge, Sukhothai, Sukhothai Archaeological Park, War Cemetery & Museum, Wat Doi Suthep, Wat Rong Khun, Wat Rong Suea Ten
What is NOT included in the tour price?
- Any flights not mentioned above
- Travel insurance
- Meals not stated above
- Items of a personal nature
- Tips & gestures
- Entrance fees to the sights and museums
- Optional activities
- Other services not stated in the itinerary
Hotels & Accommodation
Solo travellers will be roomed with another solo traveller of the same gender in a twin or triple room, or can upgrade to a solo room by paying the single supplement. You may choose the solo room option when booking online or contact us to arrange a private room. Your tour leader will allocate rooms upon arrival at the starting hotel in accordance with the rooming lists, last minute changes may not be guaranteed.
Centara Riverside Hotel – CHIANG MAI – 4 STAR
Discover Thailand’s breath-taking north at Centara Riverside Hotel, where the warmth of local traditions combines with quality. The hotel is situated in the heart of the city, only a few steps from Ping River.
LALUNA HOTEL RESORT – CHIANG RAI – 4 STAR
Laluna stands apart from the crowd with a unique feel. A collection of 79 spacious bungalows hidden away from the main road and nestled within a tropical paradise.
Grand Mercure Bangkok Atrium – BANGKOK – 4 STAR
Grand Mercure Atrium is located in the heart of dazzling Bangkok. The hotel is conveniently situated and at the same time, offers serenity with its outdoor pool & weel-being center.
FELIX RIVER KWAI RESORT – KANCHANABURI – 4 STAR
Felix River Kwai is the legendary riverside garden retreat of Kanchanaburi, built with local hard redwoods, mountainous rocks and terracotta tiles sealed to create a comfortable homey ambience.
PATTARA RESORT & SPA – PHITSANULOK – 4 STAR
Pattara Resort and Spa is the first and only resort in the center of Phitsanulok. It’s rooms are surrounded by nature in a private atmosphere. Every room can access to the infinite swimming pool.
Essential Information: Thailand
Passport & Visas
If you are a citizen of the following countries, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, you are exempt from a tourist visa and can stay in Thailand for up to 30 days without the need to acquire a tourist visa. All travelers to Thailand must hold a Passport or travel document with a validity not less than 6 months. We recommend checking the legal requirements from https://www.thaiembassy.com/thailand-visa/thailand-tourist-visa
This information is provided as guidance, we strongly advise that you check with the consulate or embassy as this information can change at any time and with little notice. It is your responsibility to make sure that all the required travel documents are ready when travelling.
We are closely monitoring the latest travel updates to Thailand and following the advice of the UK Foreign Office (FCDO). For the latest travel advice from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/thailand
We recommend all travellers to check their Government National Travel Advisory prior to their departure:
Australia – https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
Canada – https://travel.gc.ca/
New Zealand – https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/
All passengers travelling with Travel Talk are required to have personal travel insurance before participating in any of our tours. Your guide will collect your travel insurance details on the first day of your trip. It is your responsibility to make sure you have an adequate and suitable travel insurance for you in place, you may read more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/travel-insurance
Health & Safety
The health and safety of our passengers, staff and communities visited is of utmost priority. As we monitor and comply with the official advice from the UK Foreign Office, as well as World Health Organization and government authorities regularly, we have implemented several policies and precautions on our tours for your wellbeing. You may find our Safe Travels Protocols at https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels
Travel Talk Adventures has received the Safe Travels stamp by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which allows travellers to recognise companies around the world that have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so consumers canexperience ‘Safe Travels’.
Please make sure to regularly check your Government’s travel advice before travelling and be well-informed of any requirements. Your tour guide will also notify you of the regulations and protocols to follow throughout your trip with us.
Please note that if any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary or possess a potential risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to remove them from all or part of a trip.
Please consult with your doctor for the latest medical travel information and any vaccinations you may need. We recommend that you bring any personal medical requirements and medications with you as these may be difficult to obtain while on tour.
The best time to visit Thailand is during the dry season between November and April. The weather is warm, and the days are filled with sunlight around this time, offering quality time in the country’s heartland. Thailand experiences its busiest and liveliest time from January to March, hosting numerous cultural events and exciting activities. In the rainy season from May to October, nature is at its finest. The inland forests flourish, and the rivers are majestic, creating the most spectacular landscapes for photography enthusiasts. It is also less busy in popular attractions such as Sukhotai and Lopburi. May to October offers the best time to visit Thailand to experience its cultural jewels. For more, check out our Thailand weather guide.
The official currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht (THB) and 1 USD converts to approximately 36THB. Credit and debit cards are accepted at ATMs across Thailand. There is no need to dispense large quantities of THB prior to arrival in Thailand. Most travellers never require more than 20THB worth of Thai Baht on them at any one time. USD cash is also widely accepted across Thailand; however change is often given in THB. Many businesses will not accept notes larger than 20USD, so we recommend carrying small denominations of both THB and USD. Credit and Debit cards can also be used to pay for accommodation or more expensive services in Thailand’s major cities, however cash remains king. We recommend you do not exchange bulk sums of money at the airport, as the exchange rates are usually more favourable in the major cities. Your tour leader will be happy to help if you need any assistance.
Tipping is not customary in Thailand but is very much appreciated, a small tip can equate to a large portion of the daily wage for service staff. Rounding your bill to the nearest 1 USD equivalent is a small gesture that is greatly appreciated nationwide for good service. You may also consider tipping your leader and driver for outstanding service at the end of your trip.
Eating & Drinking
Thai food is one of the lightest among Southeast Asian cuisines. It makes use of various local ingredients and aims for a harmonious finish. Spices and herbs consist a pivotal part of Thai culinary arts, giving each dish a distinctive aromatic edge. It carries traces from Chinese cuisine, especially in the street food scene, with deep-fries and stir-fries among the most popular snacks. You will love the experience of browsing the food stalls for different flavors and dining multi-course at Thai restaurants. With a large number of regional variations and historical influences, Thai food may be difficult to explore. Check out our Thailand food guide for more.
Guay Teow: It is the classic broth filled with rice or egg noodles and either pork, beef, or chicken. Sadly, vegetarian versions are rare, but you can always ask.
Tom Yum Goong: Tom Yum is famous for its intense spice content, generally featuring lemongrass, galangal, and chili peppers. Lime juice and kaffir lime leaves give the dish a refreshing aroma.
Pad Thai: Pad Thai is fried noodles usually made with chicken or shrimp and seasoned with peanuts, bean sprouts, sesame, and sweet and sour sauces. You will mostly see it in street food stalls.
Thai Roti: Thai people replace waffles and pancakes with Thai Roti. It is a greasy and mouthwatering sweet dough cooked in street grills at almost every corner in Thailand. It is the signature dessert dish and a favorite quick bite for locals and travelers.
Essentials to Bring & Internet
-Face mask/cover and hand sanitiser enough for your personal use throughout the trip – See more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels/
-Travel Documents: Passport, Visa (if required), flight or transport ticket (and photocopies)
-Travel Talk Tour Voucher (printed or digital)Travel Insurance Policy (and photocopy)
-Personal medical kit and medicine
-Money (cash, credit card, travellers’ cheques)
-Reusable water bottle
-Ear plugs and eye mask
-Sun protection – hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
-Comfortable, closed walking shoes
-Wind/water proof jacket
-Warm clothes, hat, and gloves for cold weather
-Sandals, swimwear, shorts for warm weather
Many cafes, hotels and restaurants in cities of Thailand provide free Wi-Fi, but the connection may be spotty or slow. If you wish to use your own 3G/4G Data, be sure to enable data roaming on your mobile. Purchasing a SIM card for the duration of your tour may be a cost-effective alternative. Make sure that your phone is unlocked before you leave home so a local SIM will be compatible. Your local guide will be able to provide advice on where to purchase data SIMs in Thailand.
Etiquette and How to Dress
When travelling abroad it is important to be aware of the cultural etiquette of the destinations you will be visiting. If planning to visit religious or UNESCO World Heritage Listed sites in Thailand, it is essential to remember shorts and skirts above the knee as well as shirts that show bare shoulders are not allowed.
Visitors must dress modestly with long shorts or a long skirt and cover their shoulders and chest. Monks are respected in Thailand and if you wish to take a photograph of a Monk, it is respectful to ask their permission first. Women should not stand or sit too close to Monks, as Monks are forbidden from touching a woman, even for a handshake. While Thai people are warm, friendly, and patient – following these simple rules on etiquette will ensure your experience in Thailand is met with authentic and pleasant experiences with all the locals.
We have many solo travellers joining our tours. Solo travellers will be roomed with another traveller of the same gender. If you would like a private solo room, please contact us. You may see out solo travels page for more details.
Rules to Follow
We are committed to ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. We do not tolerate any form of violence (physical or verbal), bullying or harassment involving customers, partners, Travel Talk staff or locals. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a passenger are forbidden.
We will not tolerate any illegal activity, including but not limited to: use and possession of illegal drugs, trespassing, and disrupting public order. If you consume alcohol, please ensure that you drink responsibly and follow the local laws and regulations.
You must follow the advice of your tour leader and local officials regarding health and safety measures. We operate all tours under Safe Travels protocols for the wellbeing of our passengers, staff and communities visited. Please ensure that you have read the https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels/ and are fully prepared for your trip.
If someone is acting inappropriately regarding these matters, please notify your tour leader immediately or contact us on the emergency contact number provided below.
Your tour leader has the right to remove from the group anyone not abiding by these rules, with no right of compensation or refund. See more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/booking-terms/
Please remember that our travellers come from different parts of the world and will have various needs and preferences. Be understanding and patient with your fellow travellers, and always strive to be on time.
We believe that travel is a force for good and show our support through various initiatives and charity organizations, as well as keeping the principals of responsible and sustainable travel at the core of our ethos. These values are engrained in our business culture and the design of our trips just the same. Together with you, we strive to make a positive impact on local people and economies, respecting the local culture, environment, social fabric and customs; encouraging respectful and meaningful cross-cultural exchange. Read more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/responsible-travel/