Thailand Express

6 Days, from AU $1,916

Jetset through northern Thailand visiting the must-see attractions of Bangkok and Chiang Mai in five days flat! If you’ve got less than a week and you want to be whisked around without any fuss, this is the Thailand itinerary for you. Our guides and support staff will do all the hard work to ensure that you get the most out of Thailand in this fast paced trip.

Our Express itineraries cover the must-see attractions with a priority on enjoyment and convenience. All itineraries can be customised to suit your personal tastes. Discuss itinerary options and extensions with our Asia Travel Experts.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Bangkok

You will meet your guide on arrival, transfer and check-in to your hotel. During the drive your guide will provide an introduction to Bangkok, answer any questions you have, and make arrangements for the following day. Enjoy free time for the remainder of the first day.

Situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok, also known as the City of Angels, is a vibrant city with many and varied charms. From grand historic buildings to peaceful temples, from exciting markets to ritzy shopping malls and from towering skyscrapers to Chinese shop-houses, Bangkok is cosmopolitan and full of sharp contrasts.

Explore the streets by tuk-tuk, view the city by Skytrain or take to the water and cruise the river and its canals to experience traditional riverside life. Bangkok is never dull. Orange robed monks mingle with shoppers and businessmen, tuk-tuks weave in amongst limousines and fish is unloaded from wooden boats as the river flows through the centre of the city. In the evenings the streets are transformed into bustling markets and outdoor restaurants. The food choices are endless and range from fine dining in stylish contemporary restaurants to snacking with the locals at street hawker stalls.

Bangkok has many great restaurants, night markets and bars. Ask your guide for personal recommendations. It is also possible to unwind from your flight with a traditional Thai massage. Again your guide can advise you of options.

Itinerary Option: If you’re arriving to Bangkok in the morning, discuss additional day 1 activities with our staff.

Day 2: Bangkok

Accompanied by your guide explore the sights of the city. The day starts with a drive to Wat Po in time to experience the monks’ morning chanting ritual. One of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok, Wat Po is home to the famous reclining Buddha, over 45 metres (150 feet) in length, covered in gold leaf with ornately inlayed mother-of-pearl feet. The temple also houses the original school of traditional Thai massage. From here, experience a tuk-tuk ride via Pak Klong Taland Flower Market towards the Grand Palace or Wat Phra Kaeo, the most important and spectacular royal palace in Thailand. Built in 1782, the palace was the official residence of the Kings of Siam for 150 years and also housed the Royal Court and the administrative seat of government. Within the Grand Palace complex, Wat Phra Kaeo Royal Chapel houses the famous jade Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Thailand, dating back to the 14th century. Thai people believe that as long as they remain keepers of the Emerald Buddha, their country will be safe.

Continue with a walk to the pier for a long-tailed boat ride along the “klongs” (canals) of Thonburi to get a flavour of local life. Stop at Wat Arun, also referred to as the Temple of Dawn, one of the most striking riverside landmarks of Thailand and once the grand royal temple to King Rama II. Constructed between 1809 and 1851, the Buddhist temple is decorated with pieces of porcelain previously used as ballast by boats coming to Bangkok from China.

Lunch is served at one of the riverside restaurants. Cross the river for the drive to Chinatown to get a first-hand look at old Bangkok. Walk along Yaworat Road with its many interesting shops selling everything imaginable. Enjoy a cup of Chinese tea with the locals at an ancient teashop before exploring the bustling Talad Kao market, where a variety of food, fresh and dry fruits and Chinese herbs are on offer. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.

Day 3: Kanchanaburi

After breakfast, leave Bangkok and head to Kanchanaburi province. The provincial capital of Kanchanaburi is set in a lush landscape on the banks of the river and framed by limestone hills.

On the way, drop into the vibrant floating markets to see the traditional way of selling and buying goods in Thailand. Board a boat with your guide, and row around the canals in amongst the many small boats laden with colourful fruits and vegetables, paddled by Thai women wearing bamboo hats.  Enjoy the light hearted entertainment as the various vendors offer their wares from fruit and vegetables to snacks, hats, shirts and handbags.

On arrival at Kanchanaburi, visit the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai and the Death Railway, built by Allied Prisoners Of War (POWs) under brutal Japanese occupation. After lunch at a riverside restaurant, continue to the Second World War Cemetery, the final resting place of nearly 7,000 Australian, British and Dutch POWs who lost their lives during their incarceration and forced labour. Afterwards visit the Thai-Burma Railway Museum to gain an insight into their daily hardship experienced by the POWs. Take a historic one hour train ride through the thick jungle on the infamous Death Railway before returning to Bangkok this evening.

Itinerary Option: Your itinerary can be altered to include the Buddhist Monk Tiger Temple. Discuss options with our staff.

Day 4: Chiang Mai

This morning fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and meet your guide on arrival. During the drive your guide will provide an introduction to Chiang Mai.

Located in the north of the country, Chiang Mai is the ancient walled provincial capital. It has been an important Buddhist centre since the 14th century and is home to over 300 temples. Surrounded by mountains it offers spectacular scenery for trekking on foot and by elephant, with opportunities to raft on jungle rivers and meet the colourful hill tribe minorities that inhabit the area. Many visitors come to Chiang Mai to attend meditation retreats, massage classes or yoga lessons. For those interested in handicrafts there are centres which specialise in silverwork, wood carving, pottery making and weaving. The renowned Night Bazaar comes alive in the evenings, a great place to sample the distinctive northern Thai cuisine.

Start today’s trip with a transfer to Wat Suan Dok, just outside the ancient city walls of Chiang Mai. The temple was built in the 14th century by King Keu Na of Lanna to accommodate important priests visiting from Sukhothai, as well as a place for local monks to shelter from the rain. There is a 48 metre (157 feet) high Sri Lankan style bell shaped chedi or pagoda and an open sided prayer hall. Continue to Wat Chedi Luang where the Emerald Buddha was once enshrined. This impressive temple was built between the 14th and 15th centuries and nowadays houses a replica of Thailand’s most important Buddha relic.

Wat Phra Singh, with its impressive prayer hall, is the next stop, perhaps the largest and most interesting of the temples in Chiang Mai. Built over 600 years ago, it was carefully restored in 2006 and now houses a very sacred 1,500 year old Buddha image. The prayer hall has an intricately carved front and there is a small library built on a high stone base with beautiful carvings. End the trip with a visit to Wat Phrathat on Doi Suthep Mountain, which was founded in 1383 AD, and which is probably Chiang Mai’s most well known temple. Built as a Buddhist monastery in 1383, it is still a working monastery today. Funds raised by donations support the monks and the maintenance of the temple buildings. The temple is crowned by an elaborate golden chedi and is reached by climbing the 309 steps of the Naga Serpent Staircase or by taking a cable car for a small surcharge. The climb to the top is rewarded with a superb panoramic view over the city.

Late in the afternoon return to Chiang Mai. Your guide will assist you with check-in and make arrangements for the following day. With an abundance of restaurants and bars as well as the Night Bazaar, Chiang Mai has plenty to see and do. Ask your guide for personal recommendations.

Day 5: Chiang Mai

Today the focus is on elephants, Thailand’s most loved animal. Travel north of Chiang Mai to the Chiang Dao Elephant Training Camp, passing through the spectacular mountainous scenery that surrounds Chiang Mai. Arrive at the camp and watch the elephants taking their morning bath in a mountain stream, before seeing a demonstration which shows how elephants work in the jungle nearby and the kinds of tasks they undertake. Next it is time to enjoy a one hour elephant ride through the jungle that surrounds the camp, followed by lunch.

In the afternoon climb aboard the bamboo raft trip and float down the river taking in the tranquillity and beauty of the area. Set foot again on the mainland and transfer back to Chiang Mai.

Itinerary Option: Optionally upgrade to a visit to the Elephant Conservation project for the day where you spend time learning about the elephants, including bathing and feeding them.

Day 6: Chiang Mai

On your last day enjoy free time until your departure transfer.

Personalise Your Trip

Phone now to discuss options to personalise your itinerary.

Ideas to upgrade or extend your itinerary:

  • Bangkok: Options include cooking classes, street food tour, meditation class, Thai kick boxing show, cycling, hiking & rickshaw outskirts tour, visits to specific museums, and Vimanmek Mansion and Jim Thompson’s house.
  • Kanchanaburi: Extend your trip to Kanchanaburi to include Hellfire Pass and staying overnight in a riverside hotel surrounded by jungle.
  • Chiang Mai: Visit Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle in a day trip from Chiang Mai.
  • Chiang Mai: Enjoy a traditional Khan Toke evening meal with Northern Thailand cultural dancers providing entertainment.
  • Chiang Mai: Other options include cooking classes, visiting a tiger zoo where you can get up close with the tigers, a guided shopping tour, ancient ruins of the Wieng Kum Kam city and surrounds, and a tour of Chiang Mai's handicraft villages.

Travel Styles

All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.

Standard:from AU $1,916
Superior:from AU $2,220
Deluxe:from AU $3,090

All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!

Important Information

Accommodation:

Hotels each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day). All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us. Upgrades are available for this itinerary.

Inclusions:
  • All breakfasts at your hotel each morning.
  • All airport transfers.
  • All internal airfares and transport on tour.
  • All itinerary attractions including fees or permits.
  • Professional tour guides for all airport pickups, day tours and activities.
  • Lunch and dinner as indicated on trip notes. We do not include lunch or dinner where it is practical for you to make your own choices, as we find that GetAboutAsia customers prefer the freedom of eating what they want, which is one the of joys of travelling.
Notes:

This trip package includes 1 internal flight (Bangkok - Chiang Mai ) which retails at about 200AUD.

Price Dependent:

Availability of accommodation and season.

Trip Information

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