Duration: 11 days / 10 nights tour incl. Elephant Experience at Ran-Tong Elephant Camp
Overview: Bangkok – Bang Pa-In – Ayutthaya – Lopburi – Uthai Thani – Phitsanuloke – Sukhothai – Lampang – Chiang Mai – Phuket – Bangkok
Day 1: Bangkok
Arrival at Bangkok airport. Transfer from the airport to the hotel in Bangkok.
Rest of the day at leisure in Bangkok.
Overnight in the Century Park Hotel – superior room.
Day 2: Bangkok
Pick up from your hotel at around 8:30 a.m. First we visit Wat Traimitr, the Temple of the Golden Buddha. Then we drive through Chinatown to Wat Pho, the temple with the reclining Buddha, which is also a school for traditional Thai massage. Although the Royal Palace is no longer inhabited by the king, it is still regarded as the emblem of the country. Visit the most important buildings, such as the coronation hall, and much more. The Wat Phra Keio is well known for its Jade Buddha statue, the numerous magnificent Chedis, Sallas and other buildings.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant by the river, and then we’ll drive in a long tail boat through the canals of Thonburi, the sister city of Bangkok. For an hour you will pass by housing estates, vegetables, fruit, green spaces and orchid gardens. The last attraction of the day is temples called Wat Arun, which has a total of 5 Prang (temple towers in Cambodian style) – one big in the centre and 4 smaller prangs on the outside corners. You can climb on the big prang up to approximately 30 meters high and have from there a beautiful view of the opposite temples Wat Pho and Wat Phra Keio. With the public ferry you will go back to the Bangkok side of the river. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.
Day 3: Bangkok – Uthai Thani
At around 8 am you will be picked up at your hotel in Bangkok. We will drive some 80 km to the north from Bangkok to Bang Pa-In, to see a former Royal Palace which is now used by the king as a Summer Residence.
Next we take you along the Chaophaya River in a long-tail boat, to Ayutthaya, the last capital of Thailand which was destroyed 1767 by the Burmese army. Here you can visit the most important temples, including Wat Phanan Choen, Wat Yai Mongkol and Wat Rachaburana.
Then we drive through the central plains to Lopburi, also called the city of apes. In the centre of the city, there is an old Hindu-shrine, that is the home to many monkeys. These monkeys are found throughout the city and most restaurants have sticks ready to scare them away. Further on we will visit an old Khmer temple, Wat Prang Sam Yoth, which is located in the city of Lopburi.
Overnight at the Uthai River Lake Resort – superior room.
Day 4: Uthai Thani – Phitsanuloke – Sukhothai
Departure at 7.30 am. We will drive further in northerly direction to Nakorn Sawan. 10 km east of the town is a huge swamp area Bungboraphet, where we will use a small boat to discover wetland plants and birds. Continue through the rice plains, up to Phitsanoloke. Here is an old temple, Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat. Local believers from all over Thailand come here to worship the Buddha’s image inside the temple. Outside the Temple grounds you will find many soothsayers reading palms. From Phitsanoloke to Sukhothai is another hour long drive.
Sukhothai was the first capital of the former Kingdom of Siam in the 13th & 14th Centuries. You will visit some ancient temple ruins, such as Wat Sra Sri and Wat Sri Sawai. During the visit of this huge park area, you may walk or otherwise you may use bicycles, which our driver can rent for you. Overnight at Sukothai Treasure Hotel – superior room.
Day 5: Sukhothai – Lampang – Chiang Mai
In the morning after breakfast we will drive through the mountains to Lampang, where you will visit a typical northern-style temple – the Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang, which was built using mostly the teakwood.
After another 20 km you will reach the market in Tungvien. You can have a walk through the market where the people from nearby mountain villages sell various exotic animals, vegetables and other things. Arrive in Chiang Mai in the late afternoon.
Overnight in the Kampaeng Ngam Hotel – deluxe room.
Day 6: Chiang Mai
After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of the northern capital Chiang Mai, which includes an ancient temple in the old part of the city and the Doi Suthep mountain temple, the landmark of Chiang Mai.
This temple is about 900 metres above sea level and during good weather you will have fantastic views of Chiang Mai and its surrounding area.
Then you will visit a bustling local market. After a trip to the ruins and temples of the former Mon city, we will visit some of the traditional handicraft factories, such as umbrella paintings, silverware, lacquer ware etc. In the late afternoon you will be back at your hotel in Chiang Mai.
Day 7: Chiang Mai – Ran-Tong Elephant Camp – Chiang Mai
Tourists visit this park on a daily basis to interact, feed and bathe the elephants bringing to the elephants peace and joy after their long suffering in the past. We are trying our best to convey the message about the hard life that the elephants have had. Here at Ran-Tong camp WE DON’T use heavy chains, hooks or sticks which others used to beat the elephants. They are only for the joy of the tourists. WE DON’T use elephants for tricks such as painting, dancing or other unnatural positions. WE DON’T separate the elephant babies from their mother. We are adopting a friendly method that no other camps are using. At Ran-Tong camp we are really trying to ensure a better quality of life for the elephants in their natural environment, providing the right amount of food, water and not long hours of hard labour. Taking care of them is a really costly and strenuous process and we appreciate all the help we can get.
08:00 08:30 am: Pick you up from your hotel / guesthouse in Chiang Mai
09:30 am: You will start your elephant school, where you will learn all about the camp and these incredible creatures
10:30 am: Feeding.
11:00 am: Riding the elephants through the forest.
12:00 pm: Lunch.
13:00 pm: Take the elephant to bathe.
15:00 pm: Arrive to the camp.
16:00 pm: Return to Chiang Mai.
Overnight in the Kampaeng Ngam Hotel.
Day 8: Chiang Mai – Phuket
Transfer to the airport and flight from Chiang Mai to Phuket Island by Air Asia.
Transfer from the airport to your beach hotel in Phuket.
3 nights at the Eden Bungalows – superior room.
Day 11: Phuket – Bangkok
Transfer to the airport and flight from Phuket to Bangkok by Bangkok Airways.
Optional tour from Phuket to James Bond Island is possible, depending on weather conditions.
- Hotels as listed above
- Meals as mentioned above.
- Transfers in air-conditioned vehicles
- English speaking guide during sightseeing
- Entrance fees and activities as listed
- Domestic flights
Services not included:
- Meals not mentioned above
- Personal expenses
- Optional cruise to James Bond Island, incl. lunch – 3800 THB
Price per person in double room: 52,500 THB (Thai Baht) = 1490 USD*
Single room surgarge – 10,000 THB = 285 USD*
*Based on the exchange rate from Thai Baht at the time of publishing.