This two-week journey through Thailand and Cambodia begins with a nighttime food tour and sightseeing in Bangkok. Continue to Chiang Mai for a tuk-tuk adventure and a stay with a local family. Visit Khao Yai National Park before boating at Angthong Marina Park and snorkeling off Coral Island. Finish your trip in Siem Reap, seeing the ancient Angkor temples, day-tripping to a floating village, and catching a traditional Apsara dance performance.


  • Experience Bangkok's vibrant nighttime food scene and sample local specialties 
  • Enjoy a tuk-tuk ride through the picturesque landscapes of the Mae Wang Valley
  • Learn about local culture while staying overnight in the home of a Thai family 
  • Explore Angthong Marina Park on a speedboat
  • Snorkel with sea turtles and tropical fish off the coast of Coral Island 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bangkok (Thailand), Food Tour After Dark Bangkok
Day 2 Visit Bangkok's Grand Palace & City Temples, Cycling Tour Bangkok
Day 3 Explore Khao Yai National Park Bangkok
Day 4 Fly to Chiang Mai, Stay With Local Family Chiang Mai
Day 5 Discover Chiang Mai on a Tuk-Tuk Adventure Chiang Mai
Day 6 See Doi Suthep Temple at Sunrise & Alms Giving Chiang Mai
Day 7 Fly to Ko Samui, Free Time on the Island Ko Samui
Day 8 Explore Angthong Marina Park on a Speedboat Ko Samui
Day 9 Snorkel Off the Shores of Coral Island  Ko Samui
Day 10 Fly to Siem Reap (Cambodia), Leisure Time Siem Reap
Day 11 Discover Angkor Wat & Nearby Temples Siem Reap
Day 12 Day Trip to Kampong Phluck Floating Village Siem Reap
Day 13 Tour Phnom Kulen, Dinner & Apsara Dance Performance Siem Reap
Day 14 Depart Siem Reap  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok (Thailand), Food Tour After Dark

Bangkok's bustling night markets are a great place to try local delicacies

Welcome to Bangkok! Upon arrival, meet your guide at the airport and transfer to your hotel to settle in. This evening, you'll delve into the city's vibrant food scene. Bangkok is said to be the city that never stops eating; it's not unusual to see locals dining at midnight. Once the moon has risen, you'll go on a private food tour, visiting a series of local eateries.

Taste the local favorite kao mun kai (Hainanese chicken rice) in Pratunam and the town's best pad thai noodles in Pratuphi. You'll also stop by various landmarks and temples for a different perspective, admiring age-old buildings lit up at night and glimpsing a side of Bangkok often missed by visitors. Afterward, a driver will take you back to your hotel and to get some rest. 

Day 2: Visit Bangkok's Grand Palace & City Temples, Cycling Tour

Half Day Grand Palace And City Temples (Wat Pho & Wat Arun)
Bangkok's Wat Arun Temple takes its name from the Hindu god Aruṇa

This morning's private tour starts with a visit to Wat Pho, one of Bangkok's oldest temples. It's home to the famous Reclining Buddha and the original school of traditional Thai massage. From here, continue to the spectacular Grand Palace. The vast grounds encompass more than 100 buildings, including the Royal Residence and Throne Halls, government offices, and the renowned Wat Phra Kaew, home to the most revered Buddha image in Thailand, the Emerald Buddha.

Next, walk to the local pier and take a local ferry to Wat Arun, once the grand royal temple to King Rama II. Notice its impressive Khmer-style tower and the many detailed floral mosaics made from broken Chinese porcelain.

In the second half of the day, you'll join another private guide for a five-hour cycling tour. Stops include a non-touristy Buddhist temple, Wat Bang Krasop, with a history dating back 700 years, a Muay Thai boxing gym, a vibrant marketplace, the beautiful Srinakonkhenkan park, and a local restaurant for an authentic Thai meal. Return to your hotel in the evening to relax.

Day 3: Explore Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai National Park
Look for pig-tailed macaque monkeys in Khao Yai National Park

Today, you'll be picked up from your hotel at 7:30 am for a two-hour transfer to Khao Yai National Park, where you'll be greeted by your tour guide. Be on the lookout for gibbons, pig-tailed macaque monkeys, and great hornbills. Visit the national park's museum headquarters before taking off for a trek through the forest. Lunch will be served en route to the roaring Heaw Suwat waterfall, a memorable spot for a picnic. Return to Bangkok in the evening.

Day 4: Fly to Chiang Mai, Stay With Local Family

Learn about Thai cooking techniques from a local family during a homestay

After you check out of the hotel, your guide will transfer you to the airport for your 2.5-hour flight to the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai. Here, you'll spend a wonderful evening with a typical local family who has lived in the area for almost 150 years. Explore the family's fruit orchard and organic garden filled with fragrant herbs, where you'll gain insights into the simple Lanna way of life.

Savor a home-cooked meal featuring traditional recipes with authentic northern Thai flavors, served on the second-floor terrace of the teak wood home with panoramic views of the village. Best of all, learn about traditional culture, religion, and beliefs in an informal setting with this lovely family as their guest for the evening.

Day 5: Discover Chiang Mai on a Tuk-Tuk Adventure

1 Day Tuk Tuk Adventure
Go for a ride in a three-wheeled tuk-tuk, a Thai icon

This morning you'll transfer to the Mae Wang Valley, about an hour's drive from the city. Climb into a traditional tuk-tuk and head off on a private guided adventure. Pass through small farming villages and along twisty roads to reach your first stop—the remote temple of Wat Doi Sapanyoo, where towering Buddha statues and 360-degree views await. Then, head to Mae Sapok, known for its rice terraces, water buffalo, and elephants that gather by the local stream.

Next, arrive at a private elephant home where you'll have a tasty Thai lunch and learn about the history of the Thai elephant. You'll help the elephant handlers bathe and feed the animals before leaving the premises and continuing to a riverside dock to board a bamboo raft and enjoy a lazy ride through the forest. Climb back into the tuk-tuk, traveling down beautiful curving roads; keep your camera handy! You'll arrive back at the starting point, where the tuk-tuk trip ends. Return to the city in the evening. 

Day 6: See Doi Suthep Temple at Sunrise & Alms Giving

Sunrise Doi Suthep Temple & Alms Giving
Climb 309 steps to reach the beautiful Doi Suthep Temple 

Rise before dawn and meet your guide for the drive toward Doi Suthep and the picturesque Wat Doi Suthep, set amid the beautifully forested mountains, for a memorable sunrise. Founded in 1383 CE, Wat Phra That is considered one of northern Thailand's most sacred temples and is reached by climbing 309 steps (or for the less fitness-minded, by tram). Inside the temple compound, explore the pagodas, statues, bells, and shrines and enjoy superb panoramic views over the city.

Afterward, witness dozens of monks streaming down the mountain to the city of Chiang Mai to receive alms from the locals in a visually striking daily ritual before returning to your hotel.

Day 7: Fly to Ko Samui, Free Time on the Island

Plan your trip to Thailand
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Take a break in a secluded cove on Ko Samui 

After you check out of the hotel, your guide will meet you at the lobby and transfer you to the airport for your 2.5-hour flight to Ko Samui, an island on the Gulf of Thailand. The rest of the day is free to enjoy, exploring the island and relaxing at Chaweng or Lamai Beach. Lie in a hammock with a coconut or a cocktail and watch the day pass, or visit Fisherman's Village and Wat Plai Laem Temple. You can also drive to Namtok Hin Lat Waterfall and Namtok Na Mueang Waterfall, a bit farther afield.

Day 8: Explore Angthong Marina Park on a Speedboat

Angthong Marina Park By Speedboat
Angthong Marina Park comprises around 40 limestone islands

Today, you'll step aboard a speedboat to explore Angthong Marina Park, the country's second national park that comprises some 40 islands. Discover an enchanting wonderland of lush green islands, clear blue lagoons, mysterious caves, and strange rock formations. The islands are blanketed by four different types of forest, and one island has a mysterious sinkhole enclosed by walls of sheer rock in its center.

During today's private tour, you'll go snorkeling at Ko Wao, visit the beautiful Emerald Lake, and cruise to Ko Pa Luay, a fishing village, for lunch at a local restaurant. Relax on Song Pee Nong Beach, enjoy swimming or kayaking, then return to Ko Samui by speedboat.

Day 9: Snorkel Off the Shores of Coral Island 

Coral Island (Join-in)
Snorkel with turtles and tropical fish off Coral Island

Pack your swimsuit and sunscreen, and join a small group for today's journey to the neighboring Coral Island, located about 20 minutes away via long-tailed boat. This rustic island, with just a small village, is surrounded by coral reefs and lined with white sandy beaches. Dive into the water at the first snorkeling site near Ko Tan, spotting beautiful tropical fish, then visit Ko Madsum to enjoy swimming or relaxing on the beach. Cruise back to Ko Samui for lunch at a beachside restaurant.

Day 10: Fly to Siem Reap (Cambodia), Leisure Time

Looking out at the Angkor Wat complex in the company of local monks

Today, you'll bid Thailand farewell and transfer to the airport for your flight to the Cambodian city of Siem Reap. Enjoy your time at leisure or wander around the area. Tomorrow you'll go on organized tours of the major sights, but today is yours to enjoy Siem Reap at your own pace, from handicraft shopping or cultural performances to outdoor adventures such as hiking the nearby peak of Phnom Kulen.

Day 11: Discover Angkor Wat & Nearby Temples

The temple of Ta Prohm is at one with nature, overgrown with fig trees

Rise early and transfer by private vehicle to the west gate of Angkor Wat, where you'll start the day with a spectacular sunrise over the UNESCO-listed site. Then, follow your guide through the temple complex to explore one of the largest religious buildings in the world. Angkor Wat was built to represent the universe, and its central tower symbolizing Mount Meru, is featured on the Cambodian flag.

As crowds gather, your guide will lead you to the less-visited temples of Srah Srang and Ta Prohm. Ta Prohm is overgrown with fig trees, giving it a haunting and exotic look; the trees' roots have merged over time with the temple's huge stone blocks. The temple was built by King Jayavarman VII to commemorate his mother.

Next, travel by tuk-tuk to the former capital of the Khmer Empire, Angkor Thom, and explore its many temples. Continue to the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King, with detailed carvings winding along a narrow passageway that leads to the Baphuon. Slow down the pace midafternoon and enter the cool Wat Tang Tock to receive a traditional blessing from a monk. You'll head back to your hotel afterward.

Day 12: Day Trip to Kampong Phluck Floating Village

Siem Reap Full Day to Kampong Phluck Floating Village
The floating village of Kampong Phluck is located on the lake of Tonlé Sap

Today will begin with a short drive to the Roulous temples, which are among the oldest Khmer monuments in the area, dating back to the ninth-century reign of Indravarman I. Explore these peaceful temples with your private guide and soak up the local atmosphere away from the crowds before you continue to Kampong Phluck, located a short drive away.

This remarkable floating village hugs the shores of the vast Tonlé Sap lake, and its surrounding mangrove forest is a biodiverse haven for birdlife. You'll board a local boat and cruise the waterways, observing the authentic and diverse lifestyle of the local floating community. Disembark at a local house on stilts where a picnic lunch is served.

Day 13: Tour Phnom Kulen, Dinner & Apsara Dance Performance

Half Day Tour to Phnom Kulen
Dip in the waterfall fed by the River of One Thousand Lingas

This morning, a 1.5-hour drive north of Siem Reap will bring you to Phnom Kulen, a sacred mountain that rises over the surrounding plains. The Cambodian people regard the site as the birthplace of the ancient Khmer Empire. Marvel at the large statue of a reclining Buddha and purify your mind and body as you wash your hands at the Linga statue. Continue to visit the River of One Thousand Lingas and the thundering waterfall close by, where you can take a refreshing dip.

Later, finish the trip in style with a dinner featuring a traditional Apsara dance performance. Enjoy a delicious dinner while watching this meaningful dance which constitutes a link between the different religions prominent in Cambodia, including Animism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Notice the dancers' symbolic, elegant finger gestures and their ornate silk costumes inspired by the wall carvings of the Angkor temples.

Day 14: Depart Siem Reap

Traditionally dressed Aspara dancers in Angkor Wat

Your adventures in Southeast Asia come to a close today. After checking out of the hotel, your guide will meet you at the hotel lobby and transfer to the airport for your flight to your next destination. Safe travels!

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Map of Nature & Adventure in Thailand & Cambodia - 14 Days
Map of Nature & Adventure in Thailand & Cambodia - 14 Days
Written by Vy Pham, updated Jun 11, 2024