Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Siem Reap (Angkor Wat)
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
The allure of Southeast Asia is set within its magnificent shores and marveled history, where gilded temples fill the open air and are draped over by the sprawling jungle. Elephants march through the trees while markets float down the serene river. On this custom tailored tour through Thailand and Cambodia you will witness the diverse beauty of culture and the grandeur of natural landscapes, wonderful history and original modernity, perfect for those that want to visit Asia for the first time...
Bangkok – Terrific Thailand
Welcome to the electric city of Bangkok, capital of Thailand. The rush of the city swirls up and around you, from the riverbanks and into the horizon, within the temple spires and rising into the sky. The diversity of modern and ancient mixes into a beautiful and sometimes overwhelming example of what Thailand is and can be. A private transfer will take you to your luxurious accommodations where that haste starts to make sense; the world slows down beneath the high-rises and swooping traffic. Hidden behind the façade of the city is the grace and charm of its history, where golden temples continue to accept pilgrims and visitors alike, where the quiet streets are brushed with the scent and shade of Banyan trees. Painters sit beside the road and capture the serenity of the leaves draping over the shops and people. The streets calm, the air is filled with the fragrance of fresh noodles and basil. Everything feels possible, beautiful, mystical, and yours.
Bangkok – Along the City Streets
Step into the city on a tour that will take you through the luxuries and continued grandeur of Bangkok with a visit to the Grand Palace. The complex sits beside the river where the water trickles in a gentle sound, lapping at the riverbank. The palace itself is a gilded wonder, topped with concentric spires that smooth and point into the sky, flashing its sheen in the sunlight. The pristine white shade wraps around the central structure with bursting blue windows decorating the façade. Within the grounds you can see the golden pillars and swooping dragons that line the pagodas.
In the afternoon you will visit the famous Golden Mount at Wat Saket. The low hill is crowned with a shimmering chedi, a Buddhist stupa. The mount is a sacred worshipping site in November and stands at the top of 300 steps that coil around the base. Mature trees rise and suspend their foliage around the structure giving a natural fragrance to the pristine glimmer of the temple. The elegance of the colors and immaculate designs feel at home beneath the shadow of fresh leaves, where the balance between the natural and the constructed are in harmony.
Bangkok – Where Roses Glide
The morning light is just peaking over the horizon, not yet shining off of the spires of the palace. You meet your guide and are taken outside of the city to witness the famed Floating Markets. Within the calm river, boats are smothered with colorful goods, ranging from mountain melons that are bobbling over the side, to sensational fresh flowers that give a perfume to the water. The energy is palpable, boisterous and alive, filled with people that want to buy and sell, shop and watch. Produce and just caught seafood, fresh made pastries and arranged flowers, there is never an end to the splendor on display at the market. Reach out, point to what you want, hold up your fingers, haggle the price. The hustle fades with the day but the scents, flavors, and energy of the market are always remembered.
Bangkok – Remarkable Leisure
The morning often brings the fresh scent of pineapple and the luscious flavors of the tropical jungle, from coconut to coffee, for you to indulge in. The day is yours to spend time exploring the city as you see fit. Siam Square is an area much like Bangkok itself, full of diversity and hidden beauty. Walking through the square gives you an air of individual expression, where style is both shaped and created within the open-air shopping district. Handmade and tailored suit stores are interspersed throughout the streets; boutique shops show dresses made of vibrant colors and lacy textures making Siam Square a virtual center of inventiveness and awe.
Chiang Mai – Atop the Clouded Mountains
Today you will venture outward and onward, away from the sparkle of Bangkok and into the lush jungle city of Chiang Mai. Be transferred to your hotel, where you can settle into the luxuries of morning surrounded by the natural calm of nature. The hotel is filled with opulent marble shimmering beneath the light like a palace. The private luxuries of your room will look over the glistening green mountains where you can see the legendary Doi Suthep temple in the distance.
On what is considered a mountain throne sits Wat Suthep, also known as Doi Suthep, at the summit that is used as the temple’s base. The temple was built in the early 14th century. Climbing up 306 steps, the temple is guarded by twin dragons that snarl in their vibrant hue by the first stair. Within the temple’s immaculate complex is a decorated white elephant, which the legend says chose the location. The spectacular green of the mountain canopy sits beneath the temple, waving in the breeze. On the second-floor terrace, you can find the golden chedi that houses the Buddha relic within its magnificent effervescence.
Chiang Mai – The Delicate Tastes of Thailand
The marvelous scents of Thailand have compelled and allured you since landing in Bangkok. The herbaceous basil and mint, the luscious yellow curry, and so much more have swirled in the air and decorated the city as much as the Grand Palace and opulent temples have. Today you will venture into a wondrous cooking class in the food capital of the country, where the delicate blend of fresh flavors is yours for the tasting…and the making. Begin with a visit to the local market where the fresh produce and goods are sold.
The charm of the market is in its continued legacy, feeling like a farmers market you have visited back home due its farm to table nature and its rich scents of spices and flora. Once the goods are collected you will journey into the kitchen where your guide and instructor will teach you the basics of Thai cuisine, from spring rolls to green curry, wan tom soup to mango sticky rice. The kitchen is absorbed with flavorful aromas, some sweet, some spicy, others tangy and all delicious. When the cooking is completed you can sit, revel in your creations, and enjoy a fabulous meal.
Chiang Mai – Grand Grace
Against the backdrop of the jungle rests the sensational beauty of the wildlife, from the orchids that blossom within the trees to the elephants that roam within the brush. Today you will visit the elephants that are famous for their grace, loyalty, and a storied history within the borders of Asia. When the elephants begin to display their varied skills and loyalty to their companions you notice how effortlessly they seem to move; even within their large berth they seem to glide along the forest floor, swaying with ease and, sometimes, even standing on their hind legs as if reaching for the cookie jar on the top shelf of a two-story building. Their playfulness is captivating, their intelligence inspiring. Trumpets and foot stomps are interspersed, one giving a beat to the air, the other giving a bounce to the ground. They once were prized for their power and speed; today they are revered as a part of the county’s history and, often, a connection to the religion and tribes of the jungle’s past.
Siem Reap – Where Towers Rise
Today you will depart from the rolling mountains that surround Chiang Mai and venture into Cambodia for a visit to the jungle city of Siem Reap. Settle into the quaint luxuries at Journeys Within Bed and Breakfast, where colorful flowers and exotic trees surround the pristine, cool pool. There are only beautiful views of the pool and the surrounding trees, giving you a sense of the sensational wonders to come as you sit beside the ancient city of Angkor Wat. In the evening you will enjoy a dinner filled with traditional Cambodian charm. The classic Khmer culture is spread across the dance floor while you dine on rich and delightful fare. Tall, gilded crowns are worn, which imitate the temple spires that you have come to know. Elegant costumes display pristine whites and lavish reds, glowing against the background of the ancient, lost city. From the calm, choreographed motions of a folk dance to the cartoon movement of Shadow Theater, the legends and histories of Cambodia are told with unparalleled charm alongside tempting delicacies.
Siem Reap – Between the Ancient Leaves
The morning rises over the ancient lost city of Angkor, the gentle orange peaks above the famed Angkor Wat, stretching through the jungle canopy, bringing the daylight to the wondrous complex. The temple is reflected in the pond resting within the main plaza. The main chedis stand over the vast complex, textured and tethered to the temple, creating opulence and elegance within the stony, storied antiquity. The decline of the empire is unknown but is thought to have been tied to the diminished water resources in the area. The temple complexes continue to inspire awe within their intricate reliefs and powerful frames. Stories of the empire’s history are carved into the walls while stairs wind in and out of the temple, creating hidden niches, private places of prayer, and wondrous open views to a piece of ancient history. The jungle surrounds the temples like a natural wall, having protected the ruins of the city for centuries. In the evening you can climb to the top of Phnom Bakeng to watch the sun fall behind the trees, bringing the serene night to the jungle landscape that often hides the Lost City.
Siem Reap – Finding the Roots
In the outer reaches of the ancient city are the ruins of Banteay Srei. The temple has low walls that surround the peaked structures built sometime in the 10th century. The dark stone has aged well; delicate reliefs have been carved into the ominous sandstone, adorning the entire façade. The carvings depict detailed accounts of Hindu folklore. The awe is in the details where you can look into ornately etched borders that wind along the pediments, chiseled with horses and people, gods and temples all along the large gables. Six stairways lead to the sanctuary platform, each guarded by two statues of human figures kneeling, topped with animal heads. The diversity of the temples is as unique and captivating as Cambodia itself.
Phuket – From Jungle to Shore
The temple ruins of the Lost City will fade into the distance as you journey to the airport, arriving on the illustrious shores of Phuket, Thailand. You will be transferred to your hotel where the beauty of the island looks more like postcards, giving you the remarkable splendor of Phuket wrapped into something as effortless as the view. The waters are crystal as they lap at the immaculate sands. The jungle brush recedes into the center of the island giving an eclectic touch to Phuket’s flair, from refreshing beaches to a forest for trekking, where every step you take is steeped in majesty, offering another site to explore along the magnificent island.
Phuket – Island Luxuries
The day is at your whim to explore or relax, adventure or refresh; no matter what you decide to do there is no limit to the luxuries of Phuket. Discover the history and beauty of Phuket Town, where the history and beauty of the island is captured in Old Town. The streets are lined with what remain of a colonial style, harkening back to the 19th century when the world was shrinking into a collection of colonized countries. Phang Nga Road is lined with tailors and candy stores, giving a divine style and sweet scent to the sidewalks. Art galleries offer rainbows of creativity to the side streets, displaying the splendid art of locals, paintings and drawings of their daily lives and the sites of the island.
On Krabi Road you can see Baan Chinpracha, an elegant colonial mansion lined with detailed tiled designs along the inner courtyard. The open yard was once the heart of colonial housing; now it is an embellishment on a remnant of a luxurious past. However, the thick but open walls keep the mansion cool in the summer heat. All along the island, whether within Old Town or sitting beneath the grandiose legs of Big Buddha located at the summit of Nakkerd Hills, the allure of the island is always close at hand.
Phuket – Crystal Bays and Shining Waters
Off the coast of the magnificent shores of Phuket is the famous beauty of Phang Nga Bay. Today you will cruise along the crystal waters, making wakes in your path, as you venture to see the incredible wonder of Koh Ta-Pu, also known as James Bond Island. The location was used for its panoramic view in The Man with the Golden Gun, where limestone karsts give a white sheen to the morning beneath the vibrant green brush. The sweet scent of the fresh sea mixes with the rocky earth of the limestone karsts, centered beneath inspiring trees of the rising pinnacles. The water is warm and refreshing, a clear blue that allows you see as far down as the sunlight can shine. Whether you choose to dip into the water with a snorkel or relax on the serene deck of the boat, you are surrounded by endless wonder, in the caves, along the cliffs, and within the water. There will come a time when you will return to Phuket, but for now you can settle into the serenity of the bay, touch the cool limestone of the hongs, and let the day wash over you in majesty.
Phuket – Pristine Departures
The morning brings with it the gentle waves brushing against the beach, the creamy fragrance of coconut, and the memories of your holiday. After breakfast you will have a semi-private transfer to the airport where you will begin your journey home. Your time in Thailand and Cambodia has brought you to the brink of history, steeped in fabulous culture, witnessing the grand mix of ancient and modern along riverbanks and beaches, cities and jungles. It may have been your first journey to Southeast Asia but you know it won’t be your last.
- Witness the divers beauty of Bangkok, Thailand where history meets modernity
- Visit the historical palace and temples of Thailand set along the riverbanks of Bangkok
- See the vibrant life and culture at the famous Floating Markets
- View the jungle around Chiang Mai with a visit to fabulous Doi Suthep Temple
- Delight in a cooking class that will give you the flavors and memories of Thai cuisine to take home with you
- Enjoy a visit with the spectacular elephants of the northern jungle
- Discover the unparalleled wonders of Angkor Wat and its history
- Indulge in the beauty of Phuket Island
- Explore the majesty of Phang Nga Bay, known for its role in the James Bond movie, The Man with the Golden Gun
Discover the unparalleled majesty of Thailand and Cambodia on this 14-day excursion meant for first timers, second timers, want-to-be-explorers, and anyone who has ever had a desire to visit or revisit Southeast Asia. The beauty of Thailand and Cambodia is spread through the landscapes where the trees are as exceptional as the temples they often hide. The panoramas atop the mountains offer a vast expanse of countries filled with endless diversity that is never less than alluring. Whether situated within the bustle of Bangkok or within the calm of islands, your time in Southeast Asia will fill your eyes and heart with splendor.
Your splendid holiday begins with your arrival in Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand. The Grand Palace and opulent temples are positioned near the riverbanks where the ancient waterway has fed the city for millennia. Tour through the palace complex and within the ancient temples where Buddha can be seen shining in various ways, from jade to gold, reclining and blessing. Stand beside the riverbanks where you will be able to visit the famous Floating Markets that bring vibrancy and luster to the waterway, filled with freshness, from the fruit to the flowers, and all those in between. On the return journey to Bangkok you will stop in at the Rose Garden where you can have a sneak peak at Thai celebrations and traditions. A day at your leisure in the metropolis gives you ample opportunity to discover the hidden and not so hidden treasures of the city before venturing north to Chiang Mai.
Within the northern delights of the jungle is the second largest city in Thailand, Chiang Mai, with the size of a city but the feel of a village, you will view its grandeur from the top platform of Doi Suthep where the magnitude of the mountainside, the temple, and the city meet. Enjoy a day at the market where you will have the delightful flavors of a cooking class within the food capital of the country. The next day you will visit with the elegant elephants of the jungle, loyal, lovely, and friendly. Arrive in Siem Reap where the majesty of Angkor Wat is at your fingertips; the ancient city is layered with wonder, from its carvings to its temple mounts, a place where no matter how long you spend, it may never seem like enough. Transfer to the fabulous island of Phuket, Thailand where you can bask along the clear waters of the beach before venturing out to see the remarkable landscapes of Phang Nga Bay, where limestone karsts rise from the crystal waters. Your journey will bring you back to the comforts of home where your first visit to Southeast Asia may end but your next visit is already in the works.
$2,795 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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