Thailand’s history is both surreal and sublime. It is a tale of ruined cities, extravagant tastes, inspiring temples, and unforgotten stories. You can journey to the heart of this history and culture with evocative days in Thailand, which includes Bangkok, Sukhothai, the Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, and Chiang Mai. You can expect personal connections and a keen sense of former times.
Bangkok – Long-Tail Boating on the Back Canals
Bangkok can initially appear as an overbearing metropolitan area. Thick glass towers, bustling streets, and seemingly endless traffic. However, beneath the surface, there is a legendary city to find that unfolds around canals and ornate temples. After an airport transfer, you will check into a hotel along the river. After some time to refresh, you will set off towards Ratchaburi, which is located on the west end of the city. You will switch to a private long-tail boat and snake into winding canals.
Small bamboo houses will line the water as boats chug tenderly towards the market. Many of the long-tail boats are punted or paddled, especially as you get deeper into the canals. Some of these are not just modes of transport, but also market stalls that are thickly laden with piles of bananas, pineapples, oranges, ropes, cooking bowls, Buddha images, motorcycle tires, and just about everything you can imagine. You can grab a snack or fresh coconut juice from one of them, or haggle with traders in wooden canoes that will be overstocked with tropical fruit.
A floating market that is as old as anyone can remember is an exotic introduction to Thailand’s culture. From here, you will twist slowly back towards Bangkok, using the back canals to explore life along the water. There is contemporary energy and vitality, yet history remains omnipresent as shown by the small temples that dot the banks. As you get closer to the hotel, you will stop at Wat Arun, the towering Temple of the Dawn, where incense swirls and bells are often chiming. You will be back at the hotel before sundown and the evening is left free, which is an opportunity to try one the city’s superb fine dining restaurants, or for a chance to experience a night market and street food.
Bangkok – Exploring the Fabulous Ruins of Ayutthaya
Sukhothai – Best of Two Contrasting Capitals
Chiang Rai – Ornate Temples and Serene Forest
Chiang Rai – Villages and Hill Tribes Around the Golden Triangle
Chiang Mai – The White Temple, Sacred Caves and Pre-Eminent Thai Spirituality
Chiang Mai – Historical Highlights of Chiang Mai and Departure
- Discover the fabulous and once lost-in-jungle remains of Ayutthaya, which is a city where Buddha heads are tangled in tree roots
- Visit a selection of hill tribe villages in northern Thailand, as you learn the culture of people like the Karen
- Explore the Dawn of Happiness, the magnificent historical park and former capital known as Sukhothai
- Spend a day in the Golden Triangle, connecting the unique cultures of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos
- Marvel at the postmodern White Temple, as you compare the experience with Doi Suthep, one of Thailand’s most spiritual temples
- The journeys are magical and will take you to sacred caves, hidden villages, jungles, and rice paddies
- Uncover old Bangkok with a long-tail boat cruise through the back canals that include a floating market
- Indulge in Thailand’s most iconic historical highlights discovered during a morning in Chiang Mai and also Bangkok
The highlight of Thailand’s history is its ability to influence modern culture. Of course, there are magnificent ruins and ancient cities here, which means that you will never need to travel far to find photogenic landmarks and streets. This history does not standalone as locals still worship in the old temples, and traditions are proudly kept alive, yet often in a distinct, tribal-specific way. As you explore Thailand, you will also find that history is not clear cut, as the country’s modern boundaries are studded with influence from Burma and Laos, among others.
With seven days to find history in Thailand, you must make an efficient loop through the North of the country, which is where many of the historical landmarks are located. You will spend the first 48 hours in Bangkok. On day one, you will relax along the back canals, and then on day two, your guide will take you to the ruins of Ayutthaya. On day three, you will have an early morning that will showcase Bangkok’s world-famous highlights. Later that day, you will fly to Sukhothai, where you will spend an afternoon in the ancient city. Day four will take you North through hill tribes and Burmese temples where you will spend two nights in Chiang Rai. This is a base for a Golden Triangle day trip before you will transfer on a beautiful road south to Chiang Mai, which is the country’s key, cultural hub.
Thailand is a nation with a long and complicated history. However, it is possible to discover much of old Siam and its culture in just seven days. With local flights and private tours, you can stitch together different storylines that cover the classic old cities, the most iconic sights, and the culturally rich village life. Although such a tour must be fast paced, it does not need to be rushed. At each destination, you will have time to slow down and really absorb what is going on, from a Buddha statue entwined in tree roots to the emotional atmosphere of a hilltop temple.
This private tour is handcrafted for the curious, or those who want to get beneath the skin of Siam’s history. Siam is the old name for Thailand, which was the only country in the region not colonized by Western forces. Exploring old cities like Ayutthaya and Sukhothai will give a strong sense of past grandeur. By meeting locals and visiting villages, you will see how history and tradition are preserved. You will travel to back canals and hidden places within popular destinations for a chance to see how Thai culture really is away from tourism. With seven days in Thailand, there are also many untold stories to find in addition to the secrets of Siam that can come alive during a private tour. Interested in learning more by seeing some of our travelers’ Thailand vacation tour reviews? Click here for more.
$1,535 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
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
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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