Trip Inspiration

Romantic Thailand: 12 Days in the Land of Smiles

Cuisine + History + Relaxation

A complete Thai experience. Immerse yourself in the rich history of temples and learn to not only appreciate, but cook, a wide variety of cuisine. Wander pristine beaches and marvel at the impressive rock formations towering above. From exploring the hidden gems of Bangkok to the underwater world of Koh Lanta, this journey brings you the best of what the country has to offer.

Trip Highlights

Locations

  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Koh Lanta, Thailand

Activities

  • Mouth-wateringly delicious food tours
  • Exploring ancient temples and historical landmarks
  • Authentic cultural encounters
  • Visiting pristine beaches and geologically fascinating islands
What does “Trip Inspiration” mean?

At Travel Beyond, we believe your trip should be designed just for you, not for the masses. Our travel consultants create a custom itinerary for each client, offering recommendations for places and experiences that best fit your style. The itinerary below was planned for a past client, but we’re sharing it for travel inspiration and as an example of what a trip to Thailand might look like. Let us know when we can design a trip just for you!

Day 1

Arrive Bangkok, Thailand

Welcome to Thailand! Upon arrival in Bangkok, you will be escorted through an exclusive customs line and to your driver for your private transfer to The Siam Hotel.

Situated on the Chao Phraya River and within three acres of lush gardens, The Siam Hotel offers visitors an urban sanctuary within the bustle of the city. Both private and luxurious, it is the perfect location from where to explore Bangkok’s historical and cultural attractions.

Here you will spend three nights, enjoying a delicious breakfast each morning and days filled with adventure. For those looking for rejuvenation and relaxation, a full fitness center and infinity pool are also available. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure!

The Siam Hotel Meals: N/A

Day 2

Bangkok

This morning after breakfast, you will set off with your private guide to explore the city’s canals and crafts, encountering some of Bangkok’s hidden natural treasures along the way.

 First, you will visit Champa Temple, an ancient structure built more than 2000 years ago, during the Ayutthaya era. Standing below its intricate porcelain gables, you can almost feel its majesty and interesting past radiating throughout the complex. Continuing on foot, you will stop at a traditional Thai house (only open on the weekend) to learn the art of Thai vintage powder garlands. Inside, a master takes you through each step of the process while explaining the history behind this ancient craft.

Upon completion, a tasty lunch prepared by the local community awaits! As part of the meal, you will make delicious Thai banana cake with the elder matriarch of the community. What better way to appreciate the flavors of the city’s food than attempting a dish yourself, using ingredients fresh from her garden!

You will then transfer to the pier for a khlong excursion. There’s truly no better way to observe local canal life or come to understand the importance of these waterways to the city than aboard a long tail boat. Along its bank, you will visit an artist community known as Khlong Bang Luang. Here, well-preserved wooden homes and historic temples meet smaller art studios, vintage antique galleries, hole-in-the-wall noodle shops, and several family-run establishments. The centerpiece of the Khlong Bang Luang community is Baan Silapin. This Artists House occupies a traditional two-story wooden building and is centered around a more than 300-year-old chedi, or stupa.

Following a stop at Wat Arun, a major landmark on the Chao Phraya River, your day will conclude with a Dinner Taittinger Cruise, including a welcome drink by Champagne Taittinger, 6-course traditional Thai menu selected by Supanniga Eating Room and drinking water. Reflect upon on each of today’s experiences and take in the nighttime views of Bangkok while enjoying dinner onboard a brand new 40 seat boat. The cruise will last approximately 2hrs 15mins.

Following your cruise, you will be transferred back to the hotel to enjoy the remainder of your evening at leisure.

The Siam Hotel Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

 

 

Day 3

Bangkok

Today is a day filled with food, so bring an empty stomach!

Your morning starts with an authentic Thai cooking class led by Mrs. Aoy in the village of Nakhon Pathom. Passionate about all things food, you can count on Mrs. Aoy to help you prepare and beautifully present multiple dishes with only the freshest produce.

Your lesson kicks off  with a visit to the floating market of Don Wai, where you will select the ingredients for today’s class. In a boat steered by Mrs. Aoy herself, you will learn about regional farm practices and enjoy the fresh river breeze. Passing local homes and lush river vegetation, you will feel truly immersed in your surroundings and arrive at her tropical riverside home energized for what’s to come.

In her hands-on cooking lesson, you will learn to prepare from scratch two of Mrs. Aoy’s favorite Thai dishes. In her studio kitchen, prepare to chop vegetables, pound spices, and laugh as you cook together. Mrs. Aoy’s passion proves contagious and you’ll leave with not only knowledge of Thai spices but an appreciation for every aspect of the cuisine.

Later this evening, you will set off once again, this time for a mouth-watering exploration of Bangkok’s 200-year-old Chinatown. From visiting street vendors with tables on the sidewalk to atmospheric family restaurants,  this excursion provides the opportunity to sample local Chinese-Thai cuisine and experience, first hand, the breadth of the neighborhood’s culinary offerings.

You begin with a stop at a local rooftop bar, where you will sip your drinks while enjoying a magnificent panoramic view of the river. As dusk falls, you will board a tuk tuk and head into the labyrinth of Chinatown’s side streets and alleyways where the smell of spices hangs permanently in the air. You’ll get to sample all kinds of eats, such as the local dim sum, dumplings, fresh seafood, fragrant desserts and more. Later in the night, return to the meeting point, where you can sit back and watch the vibrant nightlife of the streets of Chinatown.

Following your foodie experience, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your evening at leisure.

The Siam Hotel Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 4

Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Today, after breakfast, you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the Bangkok Airport for your flight to Chiang Mai.

Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to 137 Pillars House where you will spend the next four nights. A beautiful teak building once home to the Borneo Trading Company, the property has been restored to embody this history.

This evening, you will have an opportunity to stretch your legs with a cycling food tour, inclusive of dinner. Alongside your local private guide, you will head off the beaten path to discover the wonders of traditional Chiang Mai cuisine, also known as “Muang food.” Riding the city’s side backstreets and alleyways, you will stop at food stalls and markets sampling these mouthwatering flavors, entirely distinct from typical Thai food. You will also get to try some Shan or Tai Yai food, finishing your excursion  with a spot of tea and a unique traditional dessert on the banks of the Ping River. You’re certain to return to your hotel with full bellies and unforgettable memories.

Back at 137 Pillars, enjoy the remainder of your evening at leisure.

137 Pillars House Meals: Breakfast / Dinner

Day 5

Chiang Mai

This morning after breakfast, you will be met in the hotel lobby by your local private guide for a full day excursion to Mae Kampong, a typical northern Thai village with a unique culture. Here, locals identify themselves as Khon Mueang, a separate ethnic group, with its own distinct beliefs and traditions.

Your journey begins on a very scenic but curvy road along which you will stop at Stone Garden, Teen Tok Royal Project and Pha Num Lord Cliff to see some of the natural history of the area. Take in the scenery of Northern Thailand, its lush and mountainous landscape, as you pass through.

Upon arrival, you will meet with a local village guide who is a native resident of Mae Kampong. In his charge, you will discover  the ins and outs of this small commune, exploring small paths through the village and the surrounding forest areas. You’ll observe residents engaging in handicrafts and other age-old traditions which have been handed down from generation to generation. Some of these include the making of hats, bamboo furniture, herbal products and tea processing and fermentation. If time and interest allow, a visit to tea and coffee plantations, the seven-level waterfall and a local temple are also possible.

Following your excursion, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

137 Pillars House Meals: Breakfast / Lunch

Day 6

Chiang Mai

This morning after breakfast, you and your local private guide will head out for an unforgettable day at Kanta Elephant Sanctuary.

A 50 minute car ride, through rolling hills, forests and local farming areas, bring you to Kanta, where you will change into traditional mahout clothing. After preparing fruit for the elephants, you will have the opportunity to feed, touch and play with the pachyderms until lunch.

Following your meal, you will cook a mixture of sticky rice and herbs (an afternoon snack for the elephants) while learning more about their background, health care and behavior. The remainder of your time will be spent with the elephants, be it feeding them rice balls, taking them for a walk to the river, or helping them bathe. Nothing is likely to bring more joy than watching them interact with you and each other, throwing dirt, spraying water, or rubbing themselves in mud.

After a tea and coffee break, you’ll bid farewell to Kanta Elephant Sanctuary and return along the same road to Chiang Mai and your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

137 Pillars House Meals: Breakfast / Lunch

Day 7

Chiang Mai

After an early morning wake up,you and your local private guide will embark on a shared hot air balloon excursion, inclusive of breakfast.

Before sunrise, transfer to the outskirts of the city and enjoy a hot cup of coffee as your balloon is inflated. With the first rays of sunlight, you’ll lift off of the ground and spend the next hour or so slowly floating over the undulating countryside of the Mae Ping Valley. There is no better way to appreciate the Thai countryside than from a balloon. Slowing drifting, you will enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of mountains, terraced rice paddies and the beautiful temples that have made Chiang Mai so famous.

Upon completion of the ride, enjoy a champagne breakfast and then continue on to explore the trails of Doi Suthep National Park.

Starting at the observatory, you will take a short nature walk through oak and evergreen forests until you reach  Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, the most famous temple of Chiang Mai. After visiting the complex, reveling in its size and splendor, you will head to the park headquarters. Here you will stop briefly at a tree nursery and then continue ambling along the well maintained trails lined with towering trees and various palms.

Following your excursion, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

137 Pillars House Meals: Breakfast / Lunch

Day 8

Chiang Mai to Koh Lanta

Today, after breakfast, you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the Chiang Mai Airport for your flight to Krabi.

Upon arrival, you will be met by your local private guide and transferred to the Pimalai Resort and Spa, your home for the next four nights.

Nestled within the mountains and right along the beach, Pimalai’s secluded property is a Koh Lanta gem. Focused on the idea that peace with nature fosters a peaceful property, every aspect of Pimalai strives to compliment its surrounding, undoubtedly rekindling guests’ love of the natural world. Whether you partake in complimentary spa services or  the plethora of water-based activities, you’ll find yourselves relaxed, rejuvenated and one with the surrounding ecosystem.

Pimalai Resort and Spa Meals: Breakfast

Day 9

Koh Lanta

Today after breakfast, you and your private guide will set off by speed boat to explore the Phi Phi Islands, just west of Koh Lanta.

No other islands on earth represent the perfect bliss of Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Ley. With sun-bleached coral beaches, remarkably clear water and thousands of fish species, they are truly picture perfect! Impressive limestone-cliffs rise hundreds of feet vertically out of the water, covered in bushes and trees in all variations of green. An initial sight that surprises most visitors on arrival.

Your first landing is on Phi Phi Ley’s Maya Bay. Glistening white sand beaches sprawl before you and palm trees line the horizon, a perfect compliment to the crystal clear water. This cove is undoubtedly is the world’s most beautiful, and hence was the setting for the Hollywood blockbuster The Beach.  You will also visit the Viking Cave and learn all about the local art of bird-nest picking.

This afternoon, following lunch, you will make your way to additional beaches on Phi Phi Don Island. Here you can also find many shops at Tonsai Bay. Spend some time wandering the town or soaking up the sun before returning to your hotel.

Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

Pimalai Resort and Spa Meals: Breakfast / Lunch

 

 

 

Days 10-11

Koh Lanta

Enjoy your days at leisure to explore Koh Lanta and the multitude of activities offered on property. Spend time kayaking or paddle boarding on calm turquoise water, take a sunset cruise along the shoreline, or lounge poolside. Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

OPTIONAL ADDITION

This morning, you will be met in the lobby by your guide for a diving excursion at Koh Haa. Traveling by private speedboat, the tour includes two dives, a light breakfast, lunch, diving equipment, drinking water, fresh fruits and the marine park fee. Please note that this excursion is offered for those with all levels of diving experience, including beginners. It is only operated from October 16 – May 14.

Beneath its beautifully crystal-clear water, you will immerse yourself in Koh Haa’s unparalleled marine life and interesting geological formations. The area is renowned for both “the Cathedral,” consisting of two huge caverns, and “the Chimney,” which drops 42ft through a hole in the reef and opens up on the sandy bottom. You’re likely to also encounter underwater pinnacles, drop-offs, walls, boulders, and interconnected chambers through which you can swim.

The picturesque, protected lagoon is ideal for less experienced divers and snorkelers! It offers a safe and relaxed starting point and the bay slopes gently onto the reef, allowing you to progress into your first dive effortlessly. The marine life that can be found at Koh Haa varies, from rare ghost pipefish, octopus, turtles and even eagle rays. You can’t predict exactly what you’ll see, but it’s always a pleasant surprise!

 The snorkeling in the lagoon is among the best in the area, with breathtaking corals at only a few feet depth, you can appreciate much of the marine life effortlessly as you float in the turquoise waters.

Following your excursion, you will be transferred back to the hotel to enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

Pimalai Resort and Spa Meals: Breakfast

Day 12

Koh Lanta to Bangkok

Today, after breakfast, you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the Krabi Airport for your journey home.

 

Pimalai Resort and Spa Meals: Breakfast