- Tour the canals of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok
- Take a stroll through Bangkok's Lumphini Park
- Explore the sea caves and hongs of Phuket's Phang Nga Bay
- Visit Phuket's Big Buddha
|Arrive in Bangkok
|Backwaters of Bangkok & Temples
|Free Day in Bangkok
|Fly to Phuket, Thailand's Largest Island
|Hong by Starlight
|Free Day in Phuket
Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok
Welcome to Thailand! Your guide and driver will be waiting for you when you land and will take you straight to your accommodation. After a long journey, take some time to relax before you embark on the adventure of a lifetime.Bangkok, Thailand's capital, is a large city known for its ornate shrines and vibrant street life. The boat-filled Chao Phraya River feeds its network of canals, flowing past the Rattanakosin royal district, home to the opulent Grand Palace and its sacred temple of Wat Phra Kaew. Nearby is Wat Pho, with an enormous reclining Buddha, and, on the opposite shore, Wat Arun with its steep steps and Khmer-style spire. You can choose to regroup at the hotel today or step out to explore some of the city sights.
Day 2: Backwaters of Bangkok & Temples
Today's tour begins on one of Thailand's long-tail boats, a type of watercraft originating in Asia and built specifically for river travel. Head down Bangkok's main river, the Chao Phraya, taking in the amazing morning views of the city skyline before entering the canals or khlongs. Sometimes referred to as the "Venice of the East," the khlongs offer a look into a more traditional style of Thai living, with wooden stilt houses, clothing drying in the sun, and Thai music filling the air.Your first stop will be the temple of Wat Khun Chan, where the postmodern temples will inspire you on one side and the feeling of the old days on the other, all intersected by the beauty of the river itself. From there, it's on to the Artist Village, with its old wooden walkways, barber shop, vintage posters, and a small stupa (shrine). You'll have a chance to stop and feed holy catfish, who will surface in the hundreds to enjoy a snack!
The river tour ends with lunch near the pier, then you'll head out to visit two of the most important sightseeing landmarks in Bangkok. Built in 1782, the Grand Palace consists of several stunning examples of Thai architecture that you'll be able to explore, including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which is considered to be one of Thailand's most sacred temples. After the tour, your guide will bid you farewell, and you'll be free to walk around Bangkok's Old Town or make your way back to your hotel.
Day 3: Free Day in Bangkok
Today you'll have the opportunity to explore Bangkok at your own pace, taking in the sights and sounds of this exuberant city. Hop in a tuk-tuk and let yourself be carried away by all that Bangkok has to offer! You can start your day with a visit to Lumphini Park, located in the center of the city. This quiet haven of greenery is a nice respite from the city's decidedly urban vibe, with a man-made lake in the middle that offers swan-shaped paddle boat rentals. From there, head over to Chinatown for amazing restaurants, food stands, and fun souvenir shops.
If your free day happens to fall on a weekend, you won't want to miss the Chatuchak Weekend Market. With more than 15,000 stalls, it is one of the largest outdoor markets in the world, and you can both eat and shop to your heart's content. This evening, head back to your hotel for a good night's rest before the next leg of your journey.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Fly to Phuket, Thailand's Largest Island
The next part of your adventure awaits on the island of Phuket. Situated just over 500 miles (867km) south of Bangkok, Phuket is known for its blue waters, sandy beaches, and secluded coves. It is also surrounded by multiple smaller islands that make for great day trips, including the nearby Phi-Phi Islands, Ko Hong, and Ko He (Coral Island). You'll take a quick 1.5-hour flight to the island, and your guide will transport you to your hotel.After check-in, the day is yours. If you'd like some sun and fun, spend the afternoon at Kalim or Freedom beaches, popular with tourists and locals alike. Adventurers can seek out a 4WD tour of the island or, if you're an animal lover, take a trip to Monkey Hill, where you can interact with playful primates. In the evening, head over to Bangla Road for food, drinks, and a taste of Thailand's nightlife.
Day 5: Hong by Starlight
Today takes you on an exploration of the coast and Phuket's sea caves. The tour begins with lunch on a catamaran, after which you'll transfer to kayaks and head into the "Tidal Nape" sea caves that can be found inside Phang Nga Bay. Here, you'll discover the beauty and tranquility of the hongs, Thai for "rooms," which are actually sinkholes within the cliffs and are only accessible through the sea caves.The cliff-lined lagoons are home to a variety of wildlife, including macaques, water monitors, kingfishers, sea eagles, and Brahminy kites—so keep your eyes peeled! As the light fades, you'll find yourself floating in the hongs in your own self-made flower krathong, where you can experience the natural light show created by bio-luminescent plankton. The tour closes with a delicious buffet dinner before you return to your hotel for the evening.
Day 6: Free Day in Phuket
For your final full day in Phuket, you're again free to pursue any activities you'd like. You can start with a trip to Karon View Point, where you'll see the whole city laid out in front of you and photo-worthy vistas of Phuket's beaches. Follow up with a visit to the Big Buddha, a giant image nearly 150 feet (45 m) tall and considered one of the island's most important landmarks. Stop in at the monastery of Wat Chalong, or head over to the Old Town district, where you can visit one of the markets or dine at one of their many restaurants.
Day 7: Depart Phuket
It's time to say goodbye to Phuket and Thailand. After breakfast and check-out from your hotel, your driver will transport you back to Phuket International Airport for your flight. Safe travels!