Journey back in time to the ancient kingdoms of Thailand with this enchanting four-day tour. Start your adventure in Chiang Mai, the beautiful former capital of the Lanna kingdom, before continuing to Sukhothai and Ayutthaya, two UNESCO World Heritage Sites that both served as capitals of Siam. Your odyssey ends in bustling Bangkok, the capital known as the ‘City of Angels’.
Chiang Mai: Treat yourself to coffee and cake in one of the many cool cafés that have sprung up in the city in recent years
Sukhothai: Join the locals for an early morning offering of food and alms to Buddhist monks in exchange for blessings
Nakhon Pathom: Behold the sheer scale of the stunning stupa of Phra Pathommachedi, the tallest in the world at 127 metres.
A wide range of optional excursions and pre and post-programme extensions are available on request. Please ask tour designer Daniel Gregori for rates and conditions
Chiang Mai: The fragrant ‘Rose of the North’ was capital of the Lanna Kingdom founded by Mangrai the Great in the 13th century
Sukhothai: Explore the well-preserved ruins of the former capital of the Sukhothai Kingdom
Ayutthaya: Discover the impressive ruins of what was one of the world’s biggest cities during the early modern period
Kanchanaburi: Visit the notorious ‘Death Railway Bridge’ that inspired the World War II novel and film, The Bridge on the River Kwai
Damnoen Saduak: Immerse yourself in the scents and sounds of Thailand at the colourful floating market – one of the most enchanting images of the country
Pick-up from 08:00 from your hotel in Chiang Mai city. Depart for Lamphun to visit Wat Phra That Hariphunchai, a golden temple complex whose origins have been traced to the Mon Kingdom in the eighth century, before arriving at the picturesque town of Lampang to visit the historic temple of Wat Phra That Lampang Luang. After lunch, relax with a scenic drive to Sukhothai Historical Park, arriving in the late afternoon. Explore the park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the ruins of ancient Sukhothai, which was the first capital of the kingdom of the same name.
A spiritual start to the day as you join locals in offering food to Buddhist monks during their morning alms round. Drive south and break for lunch in Chai Nat. Today’s route from Sukhothai via Uthai Thani to Ayutthaya mirrors the southward expansion of Siam, following the kingdom’s historical development. On arrival to Ayutthaya, a former capital of Siam, head to Ayutthaya Historical Park to visit the temple of Wat Phra Si Sanphet and the adjacent Viharn Phra Mongkol Bophit to contemplate the golden Buddha. Continue to the eerily enchanting ruins of Wat Phra Mahathat, with its famous statue of Buddha devoured by tree roots. Such a heavenly heritage ensemble has earned this historical park the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Drive through pastoral landscapes virtually untouched by the passage of time before arriving at Kanchanaburi, a quiet town at the confluence of the rivers Kwai Noi and Kwai Yai. It is renowned for the beauty of its natural surroundings and abundant wildlife but it also holds an unwanted place in history as the location of the notorious World War II ‘Death Railway Bridge’, immortalised in the Hollywood classic, The Bridge on the River Kwai. Visit the war cemetery, the final resting place of thousands of soldiers, and the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre to learn about the appalling conditions in which Allied POWs and Thai slave labourers worked to build a military supply railway. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon of free time with a number of activity options available.
Depart Kanchanaburi after breakfast at the hotel with a scenic drive to Nakhon Pathom to visit the temple with the magnificent 127-metre-high Phra Pathommachedi stupa, the tallest of its kind in the world. Continue to Damnoen Saduak, which is famed for its vibrant and colourful floating markets. Breathe in the fragrances of the orient as dozens of boats glide along, selling fresh fruit and vegetables as well as tasty local delicacies. The buzz of the noise and the bustle of activity are quintessential Thai experiences. Continue to Bangkok for drop off at your hotel in the city. Departure transfer to the airport not included.