Thailand is a delightful country in which to travel. The Thais are consistently charming, the food is unfailingly delicious, and orchids grow like weeds. Above all, you are constantly aware of being surrounded by an utterly different culture. Thailand is a devoutly Buddhist country, and everywhere, you see the spires of wats (monasteries) and lines of saffron-robed monks with their alms bowls. Few cities contain finer hotels than Bangkok.
With this itinerary, you will explore markets, wats and museums in addition to visiting many of Thailand's major cities.
Day 1 : Welcome to Thailand
Day 2 : Relax
Today you are free to relax and enjoy the resort after your long international flight.
Day 3 : Sightseeing in Bangkok
Following breakfast at the hotel, meet your private guide and then visit Wat Po to listen to the monks' morning chant and to see the giant golden reclining Buddha.
Afterward, continue to the National Art Gallery. The main collection, spread over two floors, focuses on national artists, beginning in the 17th century. The more temporary modern exhibitions in the gardens and the special collections building are worth exploring, as are the displays in the Garden and the courtyard.
Following lunch at a traditional riverside restaurant, spend the afternoon at the Museum of Contemporary Art. MOCA aims to preserve and protect Thai contemporary art and culture and to give visitors an opportunity to admire the works created by Thai artists. The well-presented collection is spread out over five floors and includes paintings, sculptures and artworks by artists from different generations.
After your day of sightseeing and visiting museums, return to the hotel with the remainder of the afternoon and evening at your leisure.
Day 4 : Outside Bangkok
After breakfast, meet your private guide and driver and embark on a full-day excursion outside of Bangkok. An hour-and-a-half-long drive south of the city, passing an area known for salt production, will take you to the Railway Track Market. This is one of Asia's most unusual markets, where vendors line and cover the railway track. When the train arrives, they retract their stalls very quickly before reassembling as if nothing happened. It is one of the most unique scenes and experiences for visitors to Thailand. After exploring the Rail Track Market, meander through the adjacent wet market, which sells meat and produce.
Afterward, continue to Wat Bang Kung to explore a small chapel that is completely enclosed within the roots of a banyan tree.
Traveling by boat, visit the King Rama II Memorial Park and Museum, which houses art objects of the 18th century in four buildings that feature classical Thai architecture. Each of the four rooms displays exhibits on court life during this period.
Day 5 - 11 : Koh Samui
After a leisurely breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Koh Samui.
Upon arrival at Koh Samui's small international airport, meet your driver from the resort. Then transfer to the beautiful Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui for check-in. You'll have the remainder of the afternoon and evening at your leisure.
For the next five days, relax, enjoy the resort and explore Koh Samui.
Where to Stay
Day 12 : Chiang Mai
On arrival in Chiang Mai, meet your English-speaking guide and transfer to your award-winning resort on the outskirts of the city. The remainder of the afternoon and the evening are at your leisure.
This evening, explore Chiang Mai's famous Night Bazaar. Although now a modern city of commerce, this market is the legacy of the original Yunnanese (Chinese) trading caravans, which stopped here along the ancient trade route between China and the Burmese coast. A fine array of traditional, contemporary and tribal crafts can be found.
The Four Seasons Chiang Mai resort offers a courtesy shuttle to and from Chiang Mai throughout the evening.
Day 13 : Explore Chiang Mai
This morning, meet your guide and begin your exploration of the area with a visit to the riverfront Warorot Market, known for its colorful flowers, pungent spices and friendly, bustling crowds. Stroll the alleys next to the market, filled with excellently priced textiles, hill tribe clothes, silks, hats and beads.
From the market, take a ride in a samlor (a three-wheeled rickshaw) along Thapae Road down the city wall, passing important residential and government buildings around the city and enjoy lunch at one of Chiang Mai's local restaurants.
Next, visit a few of Chiang Mai's most revered Buddhist temples and shrines, including Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Suandok and the Wat Sri Suphan. Afterward, visit the Chiang Mai University Art Museum. The museum displays temporary exhibitions of contemporary Thai and international artists. If you would like to visit the local galleries, your guide can suggest numerous options.
Return to the resort late this afternoon with the evening at your leisure.
Day 15 : Return Home
This morning feel free to relax and prepare for your flight home.
Contact an Andrew Harper Travel Advisor to book this itinerary or to customize your own! Call (800) 375-4685 or submit the form below.