• Thailand: North to South

  • Thailand: North to South

  • Thailand: North to South

  • Thailand: North to South

The highlights of Bangkok, northern Thailand, and the southern beaches

Days: 10 | From: $5,560/per person

  • Includes hand-picked accommodations at best in class luxury hotels
  • Expert private guides make Thailand come alive
  • Choose from a range of unique, optional tours and local experiences

This exciting itinerary kicks off in Bangkok, a bustling and exciting city that is covered in gorgeous temples, markets, and Thai architecture. Get to know the city by sailing on a traditional longtail boat through its canals, passing temples, vendors selling flowers and fruits, and explore traditional community markets. Enjoy iconic temples such as War Arun and visit the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market before flying north to Chiang Mai. Here, get lost in the famous night bazaar as you admire local arts and handicrafts, as well as taste traditional Thai street foods. Visit the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Burma and Laos meet, and take a cooking class in a traditional Lanna village. After your time in the north, fly down to Southern Thailand to cap off your trip on Phuket’s world-renowned glittering beaches. Relax on a day trip to Coral Island, explore Phuket’s old town, and watch the sunset from Promthep Cave.

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We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.

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At a glance

  • Bangkok
    2 nights: Experience the buzzing metropolis of Bangkok
  • Chiang Mai
    3 nights: Explore temples, markets, and tribal villages
  • Phuket
    4 nights: Discover the Old Town, tropical islands and glittering beaches

  • All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.

Customize this trip
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Sample itinerary

Day 1:

Welcome to Bangkok!

Wat Arun temple gold lighting after sunset with blue sky

Fly into the bustling metropolis of Bangkok, a city that fuses cutting edge modernity with old Thai charm. Set on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, the capital of Thailand has a bit of everything: from golden wats (temples) to soaring skyscrapers, the old and the new can be found everywhere, with delectable street stalls hawking aromatic delicacies in between.

Board a traditional longtail boat to explore the city’s crisscrossing khlongs (canals), passing temples and communities along the water’s edge. Stop to visit the Baan Silapin Artists’ House, located in a centuries-old traditional teak family home, to see the photography and artwork within.

Continue to Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn, one of the best-known temples in Thailand, and bid farewell to your longtail. Stroll the pavilions, ascend one of the iconic prangs (towers), and learn about the influence of Buddhism on everyday life. Board a local ferry for the short crossing to the far bank and a local restaurant, where you can enjoy a Thai cocktail and soak up the sunset with a view across the River of Kings.

Accommodations: Riva Surya Bangkok, 2 nights

Riva Surya Bangkok is a luxurious urban oasis along the banks of the Chao Phraya River, offering a touch of style and charm. This modern boutique hotel provides a lavish experience and true Thai hospitality, along with 68 beautifully designed rooms, elegant dining options, a riverside swimming pool, and leisure facilities.

The hotel’s idyllic location makes it well connected via Chao Phraya Express boats, MRT, and Skytrain, while it’s also the perfect starting point to visit sights such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, China Town, and other popular destinations.

*Includes: Breakfast

Upgrades and alternatives: Ariyasom Villa, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, The Siam, Avani+ Riverside Bangkok
Day 2:

Temples and Prayers

Phra Thinang Dusit Maha Prasat in Royal Palace Bangkok, Thailand

Join the local community in the ancient tradition of offering morning alms to the saffron-robed monks, just before sunrise. This sacred ritual, known as tak bat, carries deep significance, allowing Thais to accrue merit by presenting food offerings of cooked rice, fruits, and other provisions. Enjoy observing as this timeless tradition unfolds before you.

After, delve deeper into the rituals and daily life of a monk, starting with a visit to a local neighborhood temple. Here, you can make your own offering, light a candle or burn fragrant incense. Receive the blessing of a monk and explore the art of prayer within a Buddhist pagoda. Then, partake in a monk bowl-making activity within a community that crafts these symbolic vessels for a living.

Stop for breakfast at a local restaurant. Then, step out with your knowledgeable guide to explore the main temples and monuments of Bangkok, discover a few hidden gems and gain an insightful introduction to Thai culture and its fascinating history. First, visit Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and Bangkok’s oldest temple, housing the country’s largest reclining Buddha at 151 ft long and 50 ft tall. Proceed to Lak Muang, the City Pillar Shrine, which represents the founding of Bangkok over 220 years ago. Next, step into the Grand Palace, the official residence of the royal families from 1782 until 1925 before admiring the early 18th century Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Pra Kaew), the most revered shrine in the Kingdom.

Afterward, have lunch at a local restaurant before returning to your hotel. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to relax or explore on your own.

Accommodations: Riva Surya Bangkok, 2 nights

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 3:

From Floating Markets to Chiang Mai

Floating Market in Bangkok

Discover the famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market this morning. Traveling first by car, and then by longtail boat, cruise the maze of canals and observe vendors selling fresh fruit, vegetables, souvenirs and more. Continue on foot to nearby Lao Tuk Lak market, a smaller, more traditional community market. Stop for a traditional Thai iced coffee before heading to the fascinating Maeklong Train Market, where you can walk along the tracks and listen for the arrival of the train. Watch as the stall holders rush to remove their goods from the track, only to replace them as soon as the train passes by.

Return to Bangkok in the early afternoon, stopping en route at a family-operated coconut palm sugar factory. Watch the production process unfold and taste some of the tantalizing snacks made from palm sugar. After a quick stop to collect your luggage, head to the airport for your flight to Chiang Mai, where you will be met for private transfer to your hotel.

Accommodations: Rachamankha Hotel, 3 nights

Situated in the heart of historic Chiang Mai old city, the 25-room and suite Rachamankha is next to Wat Phra Singh, justifiably the city's most famous temple (cir. 1345). The hotel's distinctive aesthetic is inspired by the eleventh century northern Thai architecture. Rachamankha was designed in a residential style to encourage a genuine feel for the history and culture of Chiang Mai. A leisurely walk reveals hidden courtyards and gardens where unexpected surprises and captivating spaces are to be found on every turn. The library at Rachamankha exudes old world charm and character; it houses over 2,000 books ranging from novels to works on Thai history of art, architecture, design, and culture. The library lounge is a relaxing place for conversation and refreshments. The enchanting open-air massage pavilion overlooks a tranquil 20-meter pool where drinks and light snacks are served pool-side throughout the day. Rachamankha's cuisine honors the many local historical cultures. Traditional dishes celebrating Lanna, Burmese, and Shan cuisines are prepared in a simple yet elegant style.

*Includes: Breakfast

Alternative lodging options: 137 Pillars House, and others
Day 4:

Chiang Mai Markets and Monks

Vihara of Liang Pu Mun in Chiang Mai city, Thailand. Old ancient religion building, spiritual place. Big snake statue before temple. House is placed near Wat Chedi Luang temple.

Visit Chiang Mai Gate Market, a traditional fresh-foods market, early this morning. Sample some typical Thai snacks with the assistance of your guide. You will also see the monks making their alms rounds. Return to your hotel for a relaxed breakfast before taking a “songtaew” to the riverfront (& much larger) Worarot Market. From the market, head to Thapae Gate, one of the four original city gates, and continue to Wat Chiang Man, Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Suan Dok where you can meet an English-speaking monk. Return to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure.

This evening, set off on an exciting food adventure, traveling to a number of bustling neighborhood markets by Songthaew with your local expert foodie to indulge in a feast of Northern Thai street foods. Learn how to order food and uncover the ingredients behind recipes, some passed through generations.

Accommodations: Rachamankha Hotel, 3 nights

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 5:

Chiang Mai Handicrafts

Selective focus. Stairs of Doi Suthep Temple, Chiang Mia, Thailand. Empty stairs of Doi Suthep temple

Hop on a samlor, a Thai tri-wheeled pedicab, and set out to discover Chiang Mai’s handicrafts. Enjoy a ride around Kamphaeng Din Road, which follows the path of the former outer wall of the city. Arriving to Pradtoo Korm Market, stroll through the stalls before continuing on to Wat Nantaram, a temple that used to be at the center of the lacquerware industry. Pedal through the temple on your way to one of the city’s oldest factories, where they still produce lacquerware using traditional methods first introduced 200 years ago by migrants from the Shan State in what is now Myanmar.

Cross the moat to enter the Old City through the Suan Prung Gate, heading toward the Chiang Mai Gate Market. Sample local delicacies before pedaling to your last stop, the fascinating Wat Sai Moon Myanmar. This is the main temple for the Burmese (Myanmar) community in Chiang Mai. The architecture and atmosphere are different from Thai temples, and few outsiders visit Wat Sai Moon Myanmar. Here, you will meet one of the Burmese monks for a chat before heading for the Thapae Gate to eat lunch.

In the afternoon, drive to Doi Suthep Mountain to observe local pilgrims climbing the 308 steps up the mythical Naga serpent staircase to the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Join them in the climb, and at the top, enjoy sweeping views of the city below. Listen to the chanting of the monks, drink in the atmosphere and immerse yourself in the spirituality of this revered temple complex. Mingle with the pilgrims from across Thailand and discover pagodas and statues devoted to Buddhism with Hindu influences. Learn about Buddhism and its impact on the culture and daily life of Thai people as you tour one of northern Thailand’s most sacred temples.

Accommodations: Rachamankha Hotel, 3 nights

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 6:

Lanna Village Tour & Cooking Class

Traditional Thai Food - Khao Soi.

The Lanna Kingdom, known as the “Kingdom of a Million Rice Fields,” ruled over Northern Thailand from the 13th to 18th centuries. Visit a Lanna village and explore its traditional architecture, which incorporates teak wood and reflects the natural beauty of the area. Stroll through the orchard and learn about the fruits grown here, including banana, mango, and coconut, and learn how to weave a traditional bamboo basket.

Use your basket to collect herbs and other ingredients from the garden, then work with your hosts to prepare authentic Northern Thai dishes using traditional cooking techniques and clay pots. Afterward, enjoy the fruits of your labor!

This evening, hop an evening flight to Phuket. Private transfer on arrival to your hotel.

Accommodations: The Surin Phuket, 4 nights

A long-established resort with a unique story, The Surin is a luxury hotel that boasts an idyllic beachfront location on the exclusive Pansea Beach. The hotel is nestled amongst towering coconut palms and rolling hills on the west coast of Phuket Island. Featuring 103 luxurious cottages and suites, the understated elegance of The Surin shines with its beautiful design. The range of personal amenities and thoughtful touches make the hotel a true luxurious tropical getaway. Enjoy a delicious array of culinary options from one of the hotel’s three outstanding restaurants. The peaceful setting of the Surin spa was created with thoughtful intention, in harmony with the natural surroundings where each spa cottage with double treatment beds is nestled around huge granite boulders and lush jungle foliage. Committed to the environment and keeping the beach and Andaman Sea pristine, the hotel offers complimentary non-motorized water sports activities.

*Includes: Breakfast

Alternative lodging options: Trisara, and others
Day 7:

Discover Old Town Phuket

thai food at the market in Phuket. noodles, tom yam soup, salads and traditional street food of Thailand on display.

Discover the spirit of Phuket’s old town on foot as it comes to life, early this morning, with your local guide. Listen to stories about the wealth earned by the tin and rubber barons and discover the colorful historic Sino-Portuguese shophouses and mansions from that time. Learn about traditional herbal medicine, visit an old-style barber shop and explore an area where everything seems frozen in time. Engage with the owners of old Indian cloth stores and printing shops, where typewriters can still be seen. Step inside and observe the morning rituals at a local shrine as residents from the neighborhood come to offer their daily prayers. Stop by local food stalls and taste the noodles, roti bread, or Phuket sweets made from recipes passed down through generations. Breathe in the aromas and take in the vivid produce on display at the local markets, a fitting way to complete your behind-the-scenes tour of Old Town Phuket.

After, return to the hotel with the remainder of the day at your leisure.

Accommodations: The Surin Phuket, 4 nights

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 8:

Coral Island & Promthep Cape

The Thai traditional wooden longtail boat and beautiful beach in Phuket province, Thailand.

Escape to tropical Coral Island for the afternoon. Your private guide and driver will take you to Chalong Pier, where you board a private longtail boat to Coral Island, or Koh Hey, a small island located south of Phuket. Spend the afternoon relaxing on the white sand beach and splashing in the aqua blue water.

Before sunset, head to Promthep Cape and catch one of the best sunset spots in Thailand. Soak up this beautiful moment with a bottle of wine or some soft drinks, listening to the ocean waves as the sun dips below the horizon. Afterward, sail back to Phuket and have a private transfer back to your hotel.

Accommodations: The Surin Phuket, 4 nights

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 9:

Free Day In Phuket

Beach with palm trees, island.

Today, you have a day at leisure to relax, unwind, and enjoy the local ambience.

Accommodations: The Surin Phuket, 4 nights

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 10:

Farewell Phuket

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or to your next destination.

Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary

  • Choose from a selection of carefully curated, best in class hotels to fit your individual travel style.

  • Consult with your Vaya Specialist and expand your trip to combine with another destination on the continent for a true in-depth look at Southeast Asia.

  • Take a short flight and spend the day exploring the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

  • Contact us to learn about more options for designing and customizing your trip!

Call us to start planning your journey today:

1 (510) 335-8229

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