Essential Thailand

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Short on time but want to taste some unforgettable Thai treats? Jump on this express tour of northern Thailand for an out-of-this-world experience in a country that boasts centuries of rich history and colourful culture. Throw yourself into the vibrant metropolis of Bangkok and check out timeless Chiang Mai, the take-off point for a three-day trek into the rural hilltribe areas of the far north. With a little shopping and lots of local cuisine thrown in, this will truly be a week to remember.

Itinerary

Days 1-2 Bangkok

Get acquainted with Thailand's steamy capital on an introductory walking tour. In free time, amble through the Grand Palace, admire the enormous gilded Buddha at Wat Pho or graze your way through the day at the many street food stalls. A ride in a tuk-tuk is a quintessentially Thai experience so make sure to flag one down to get around town.

Day 3 Chiang Mai

Thailand's beloved northern capital is filled with enough peaceful temples, exotic markets and delicious food options to keep everyone happy. Perhaps book into a cooking class to learn the secrets of Thai cuisine, temple-hop within the city's moat boundaries or catch the sunset from Doi Suthep. The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is a must, but be sure to bargain hard. The town also has a thriving bar scene, so perhaps end a great day with a tasty Thai beer.

Days 4-6 Hilltribe Trek

Trekking Thailand's rugged hills is the absolute highlight of any northern adventure. The hilltribes that live here each have their own unique language, traditions and dress. The hike between lush rice paddies and along small tracks takes us to remote village homestays for a taste of the hospitality these tribes are famous for. Sleep in huts, mingle with the tribespeople and get a sense of life in this remote corner of the world.

Day 7 Chiang Mai

There's time for a final spot of shopping or a relaxing Thai massage before boarding the train back to Bangkok.

Day 8 Bangkok

The adventure comes full circle in the capital. Why not stay a bit longer? Floating markets, Chinatown, temples and street stalls - Bangkok has it all.

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