• Undiscovered Thailand

  • Undiscovered Thailand

  • Undiscovered Thailand

  • Undiscovered Thailand

Beyond Bangkok: From Sukhothai to the Andaman Sea

Days: 17 | From: $7,820/per person

  • Includes hand-picked accommodations at boutique hotels
  • Expert private guides make Thailand come alive
  • Dive deep into Thailand, exploring this vibrant country's epic natural landscapes, colorful culture, ancient history, and mouthwatering cuisine

Journey through Thailand on an itinerary that contrasts modern and ancient, jungles and oceans, skyscrapers and rice paddies. Experience the contemporary art scene and glittering temples of Bangkok before traveling North for a deep dive into the Golden Triangle. Try your hand at traditional Lanna cooking in Chiang Mai and then set a course for Sukhothai, the first capital of Thailand. Cycle the quiet roads of Sukhothai as your expert guide brings this ancient city to life before your eyes. Trade two wheels for train wheels as you ride the rails to Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage site and an archaeological marvel. Fly South to Khao Sok National Park, a land of enchanting lakes, waterfalls, and mystical rock formations. Finish your Thailand trip at the pristine and secluded beaches of Khao Lak, a sleepy coastal area on the Andaman Sea where you can snorkel at the Similan Islands, visit local fishing villages, or simply relax beneath the swaying palms.

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1 (510) 335-8229

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: Dive deep into Bangkok
  • Chiang Rai
    3 nights: Visit the Golden Triangle and marvel at the White Temple
  • Chiang Mai
    3 nights: Explore temples, markets, and tribal villages
  • Sukhothai
    2 nights: Cycle through age old ruins and rice paddies
  • Ayutthaya
    1 night: Ride the rails to Ayutthaya, a UNESCO site and ancient Thai kingdom
  • Khao Sok
    2 nights: Kayak, hike, and swim in Khao Sok National Park
  • Khao Lak
    3 nights: Top off your trip with a secluded beach town and world class snorkeling

  • 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
1 (510) 335-8229

Sample itinerary

Day 1:

Welcome to Thailand!

Beautiful panoramic sunset view of the skyline of Bangkok, Bang Rak and Sathon district, Thailand, along the Chao Phraya river

Arrive in Bangkok a vibrant city blending modern innovation and timeless Thai allure. Situated along the Chao Phraya River, Thailand’s capital offers everything from majestic golden wats to towering skyscrapers. Everywhere you turn, the city juxtaposes the old and the new, while tantalizing street stalls offer a range of aromatic delicacies. Welcome to Bangkok!

Accommodations: Ariyasom Villa, 2 nights

Ariyasom Villa is a beautiful boutique hotel nestled in the midst of Bangkok, surrounded by tall trees and tranquil gardens. This quaint hotel offers 1940s style and charm, boasting Thai heritage antiques and tasteful design. Guests can enjoy a shady outdoor pool, an organic restaurant boasting vegetarian and seafood dishes, and can be pampered in the on-site spa. This hotel is perfect for guests looking for a more intimate experience while remaining in the heart of busy Bangkok.

Upgrades and alternatives: The Siam, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Riva Surya Bangkok, Avani+ Riverside Bangkok, Capella Bangkok
Day 2:

Behind the Scenes in Bangkok

Phra Thinang Dusit Maha Prasat in Royal Palace Bangkok, Thailand

Today is a day of contrasts Explore some of Bangkok’s iconic sites before delving into Bangkok’s booming art scene. Start your day by immersing yourself in the serene morning ritual of monks’ chanting at Wat Pho, Bangkok’s oldest temple. Marvel at the colossal reclining Buddha before visiting Lak Muang City Pillar, symbolizing Bangkok’s foundation. Explore the magnificent Grand Palace and behold the revered Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Pra Kaew), a cherished shrine dating back to the early 18th century.

After lunch, join a passionate local insider who will take you on a journey through Bangkok’s vibrant art scene, from cutting-edge galleries and unique studios to the vibrant murals that add a dash of color to the streets and reflect the spirit of each neighborhood.

Accommodations: Ariyasom Villa, 2 nights

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3:

Fly North to the Golden Triangle

Guan Yin statue in Wat Huay Pla Gung, Chiangrai Thailand.

Bid a fond farewell to Bangkok, charting a course for the North of Thailand. Chiang Rai is a city near the Northern border that is surrounded by stunning landscapes. Quieter than its neighbor, Chiang Mai, Rai is renowned for its White and Blue Temples. However, it offers so much more beyond these temples, presenting opportunities to explore local markets, interact with hill tribes, and discover the Golden Triangle. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for the next three nights, a unique glamping experience that allows you to appreciate the cultural and natural beauty of this region.

Accommodations: Visama Lodge Mae Chan, 3 nights

Chiang Rai's gorgeous new accommodation Visama Lodge Mae Chan offers a unique "glamping" experience where modern comforts blend seamlessly with the surrounding natural beauty. Each spacious tent is meticulously designed, offering you an unparalleled level of comfort and tranquility. Fall asleep under a canopy of stars, surrounded by the sounds of nature, and wake up to breathtaking views of the mountains. Visama Lodge Mae Chan not only boasts exquisite service, but also has a spacious swimming pool, spa and wellness center, a craft cocktail bar, and a restaurant featuring Thai and international cuisines prepared with locally sourced organic ingredients.

*Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

Upgrades available: Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort
Day 4:

Explore the Golden Triangle

Doi Mae Salong in Northern Thailand

Discover the Golden Triangle on a full day exploration of the culture, nature, and history of this fabled area. Your morning begins with a visit to Doi Mae Salong, a hilltop village home to the ethnic Chinese KMT who have lived here in the mountains of Northern Thailand for generations. Famous for their high altitude oolong tea, you’ll have the chance to learn about the entire tea process – from leaf to cup.

Visit two other local villages, home to Akha and Yao hilltribes, as you travel onward to Mae Sai and the Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle is where the Ruak River and the Mekong River converge, marking the borders of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos. Explore the excellent House of Opium museum, which charts the history of the regions’ infamous drug trade, before venturing to the ancient city of Chiang Sean, offering a glimpse into the past of this fascinating region.

Accommodations: Visama Lodge Mae Chan, 3 nights

Chiang Rai's gorgeous new accommodation Visama Lodge Mae Chan offers a unique "glamping" experience where modern comforts blend seamlessly with the surrounding natural beauty. Each spacious tent is meticulously designed, offering you an unparalleled level of comfort and tranquility. Fall asleep under a canopy of stars, surrounded by the sounds of nature, and wake up to breathtaking views of the mountains. Visama Lodge Mae Chan not only boasts exquisite service, but also has a spacious swimming pool, spa and wellness center, a craft cocktail bar, and a restaurant featuring Thai and international cuisines prepared with locally sourced organic ingredients.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5:

Cycle the Countryside

Life in Northern Thailand moves at a relaxed pace. Today, you’ll sync up with the local lifestyle and embark on a biking trip through the countryside, slowing down to better understand everyday life. Pedal through villages and rice fields, tracing the downstream path of the Lao River. The ride showcases the lush greenery along the river, offering glimpses of rural Thai life on the city’s outskirts. Traverse fruit orchards and rice fields, immersing in the authentic local lifestyle. Lunch is at a local restaurant. After lunch, the afternoon is free to enjoy all that your lodge has to offer.

Accommodations: Visama Lodge Mae Chan, 3 nights

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6:

Blue and White Temples

The spectacular Blue Temple of Chiang Rai

Onward to Chiang Mai! Bid farewell to Chiang Rai and start the three hour drive to Chiang Mai. Enroute, stop to visit Chiang Rai’s most famous attractions – the Blue Temple and the White Temple. Both temples were designed by the same architect and are a stunning visual blend of traditional Thai style with contemporary design. Continue on to Chiang Mai and check into your hotel for the next three nights.

Optional: street food adventure: This evening, explore markets, meet food artisans, and savor an array of delectable regional cuisines. Discover the art of ordering and unveil the secrets of time-honored recipes, some cherished across generations. By the end, relish your newfound ability to distinguish between dishes like Gaeng Hang Lay Moo and Khao Soy Mae Sai.

Accommodations: Raya Heritage, 3 nights

Raya Heritage offers a clean, contemporary take on traditional Thai design. Beautifully curated, one-of-a-kind furniture pieces, artifacts and accessories sourced from (and often created by hand by local craftspeople) are featured throughout. The resort concept stems from northern Thai culture’s simple, elegant approach to life and art, and the social value placed on living in balance with nature and the surrounding community. Immersed in tranquil natural surroundings on the banks of the Ping River, Raya Heritage's serene atmosphere makes it the perfect base for discovery.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7:

Chiang Mai

Traditional Hmong fabric

Visit Ban Mae Sa Mai today the largest Hmong community in Northern Thailand. Visit the small Hmong museum to learn more about the history and traditions of the Hmong people before taking a beautiful three-hour nature walk on the slopes of Doi Suthep. A local Hmong guide will guide you along the trails, pointing out various local plants along the way. After the trek, descend into the Mae Sa Valley where you can visit a Royal Project in the Hmong village Nong Hoi. Today, this project is one of the largest producers of vegetables for the Royal Project, as well as a research center for herb and vegetable production. A picnic lunch will be provided during the excursion. Free afternoon to explore Chiang Mai city on your own.

Accommodations: Raya Heritage, 3 nights

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8:

Woks and Wats

Learn to make traditional Lanna style dishes at a fun, interactive cooking class

Experience a visit to a Lanna family residence embarking on a culinary journey through treasured ancestral recipes. Before breaking out the wok, your hosts will show you their home and delve into the village’s history. Wander through the orchard, learn about their teakwood home, identify diverse fruits like bananas, mangoes, and coconuts, and handpick fresh herbs for the upcoming cooking session. Using the garden-fresh ingredients, immerse yourself in preparing authentic Northern Thai dishes using time-honored cooking methods and clay pots. At the end of the cooking lesson, sit down all together for a family style meal and toast “chok dee” to a delicious meal.

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: Raya Heritage, 3 nights

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9:

Chiang Mai to Sukhothai


Travel back in time today as you transfer from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai. Meet your private driver and guide for an overland adventure to Sukhothai, the first capital of Thailand. You’ll pass through rural Thailand, offering amazing landscapes and a unique view into everyday life. Enroute, you’ll have the chance to visit Wat Phra That Lampang Luang, known as northern Thailand’s most magnificent temple. Have lunch in the quaint town of Lampang before heading to Si Satchanalai historical park, situated north of Sukhothai. Originally a 12th-century Khmer outpost, Si Satchanalai evolved into a royal residence during the Sukhothai era and was a vital pottery center. Visit the park’s highlights, including Wat Chedi Chet Thaeo—a mausoleum housing the remains of ruling families—and Wat Chang Lom, a well-preserved temple complex.

Accommodations: Sriwilai Sukhothai Resort & Spa, 2 nights

Sriwilai Sukhothai was built overlooking the endless rice fields and natural landscape of countryside Thailand. Sriwilai was designed with the sentiment of harmony, unifying humans and nature, enabling guests to immerse themselves in the time of kings and poets. Sriwilai supports the local community and businesses by sourcing local products ranging from textiles, potteries, local ingredients, and hiring local musicians/artists for events and ceremonies.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10:


Wat Mahathat Temple in the precinct of Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Thailand

Sukhothai offers the perfect environment for cycling – flat, quiet roads that link various historical zones together. Today’s cycling tour starts at Ban Khuai, a village on Sukhothai’s outskirts. Passing rice paddies with scenic mountain views, the route includes a visit to a wood furniture factory and travels along small irrigation canals through rural villages. At the Eastern Gate, explore ancient ruins like Wat Chang Lom, Wat Si Chum, and Wat Mahathat, showcasing exquisite Buddhist and Hindu architecture from Thailand’s Golden Era. This experience delves into Sukhothai’s history, architecture, and Buddhism. After a delightful local lunch, your ride continues to the southern area of Sukhothai before returning to the hotel.

Accommodations: Sriwilai Sukhothai Resort & Spa, 2 nights

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11:

Ride the Rails to Ayutthaya

Landscape Ayutthaya Historical Park in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Travel like a local boarding the train to travel from Sukhothai to Ayutthaya. More than a hundred years have passed since Thailand’s inaugural train line was built, from Bangkok to the former royal capital of Ayutthaya. Since then, rail lines have been expanded across the country and have become an integral form of transportation for Thai residents. In our opinion, scenic railway routes remain one of the best ways to see the country. Transfer to the station for your three-hour train journey through the countryside, arriving in Ayutthaya in time to see some of the main temple sites with your expert guide. Ayutthaya is a UNESCO Heritage Site and exploring both Sukhothai and Ayutthaya gives you an in depth understanding of Thailand’s impressive history. Transfer to your riverside hotel and relax over sunset views of the historical park.

Accommodations: iuDia Hotel

Located among the ancient ruins of temples and old palaces, this boutique property faces the Ayutthaya World Heritage Park. Offering rooms with free Wi-Fi, it also features a café and an outdoor pool. The hotel offers air-conditioned facilities including river view suites, standard and deluxe guest rooms with a splendid view of heritage ruins, an internet espresso café, happy hour terrace, and intimate Siamese courtyards. Guests can take advantage of the free bikes on offer to explore the surrounding area.

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 12:

Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park is a nature lover's paradise tucked away in Southern Thailand. Take a hike through the jungle, kayak through jaw-dropping rock formations, embark on a wildlife safari, or relax on the deck of your floating bungalow.

Begin your journey to Thailand’s South, meeting your private driver to transfer to the airport for your flight to Surat Thani. After a short flight, arrive in Surat Thani and transfer to Khao Sok National Park. Khao Sok boasts breathtaking natural beauty, rich biodiversity, and unique floating bungalows on the emerald waters of Cheow Lan Lake. Board a longtail boat and head into the park, passing amazing Guilin rock formations on the way. Have some time to check-in to your floating abode before enjoying a delectable Thai dinner.

Accommodations: Panvaree Resort, 2 nights

Panvaree Resort is an exceptional floating hotel located on Ratchaprapha reservoir in Suratthani (Cheow Lan Lake), and can be reached in 45 minutes by boat. Each floating cabin offers sensational views and are fully equipped with all amenities necessary for a luxurious, comfortable stay. Guests can enjoy the on-site Thai restaurant and bar, can partake in adventure activities such as kayaking and hiking, and unwind with a book while taking in the surrounding landscape.

*Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13:

Explore Khao Sok

Explore caves, jungles, and waterways in Thailand's majestic Khao Sok NP

Free morning to relax and enjoy this unique part of the world. Take a plunge off the deck of your bungalow, paddle around in a kayak, or simply enjoy the view from your deck. In the afternoon, depart for a guided hike to Khao Sok’s highest viewpoint, walk to a local waterfall, or head deep into one of Sok’s signature caves (seasonal activity).

Accommodations: Panvaree Resort, 2 nights

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14:

Jungle to Beach

The pristine beaches of Khao Lak, a secluded coastal town on the Andaman Sea.

Begin your day with a morning safari, the best time to see Gibbons, Macaques, and Dusky Langur Monkeys. Return to the raft house for breakfast and some free time before check-out. After your longtail ride back to shore, head south towards Khao Lak and the Andaman coast. After the one hour drive, arrive at Khao Lak, your home for the next three nights. Your hotel overlooks the turquoise sea and a stunning white sand beach.

Accommodations: The Sarojin, 3 nights

Located in Khaolak, The Sarojin offers a lush tropical garden setting with direct access to a secluded beach area. Surrounded by national parks and rainforests, it's located 1-hour by car from Phuket. The rooms at The Sarojin are set within landscaped gardens of local flowers and exotic fruits. Each room is equipped with a bluetooth speaker and free WiFi access. Afternoons can be spent lazing at the Thai-style outdoor pavilion while enjoying drinks from the minibar. The Sarojin is conveniently located 1-hour away by boat from Similan and Surin Islands (ideal for scuba diving), and only 40 minutes away from the spectacular caves and lagoons of Phang Nga Bay.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Days 15-16:

Khao Lak

The beautiful and remote Surin islands

Free time to enjoy Khao Lak and relax on the beach.

Optional activities include full day excursions to snorkel or scuba in The Similan Islands or the Surin Islands:

The Similan Islands are a renowned archipelago in the Andaman Sea, celebrated for its stunning natural beauty and diverse marine life. Opt to take a speedboat out to the National Park and spend the day snorkeling and exploring the archipelago.

The Surin Islands are 5 dreamlike islands, about 100 km north of Khao Lak. Known for their colorful coral reefs, the islands are an untouched paradise. Explore three separate snorkel sites and pass by a local fishing village where your guide will tell about life on the islands. The Surin islands are the only inhabited archipelago in this area and they’re very protective of their way of life.

Accommodations: The Sarojin, 3 nights

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 17:


reclining in buddha Wat Pho temple Bangkok Thailand

After a final relaxing morning on the coast bid farewell to Khao Lak and transfer to the airport. Fly to Bangkok and onward home or continue your journey elsewhere in Southeast Asia

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 explore 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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Why Travel with Vaya?

We're TRUE specialists

We’ve not only traveled there, we’ve lived there. Our smart and engaging specialists are all current or former expatriates with years of experience in the region.

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From the first phone call to after you get back, we're here for you every step of the way. We listen, create, customize and advocate for you, and design experiences that go beyond the expected.

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Our discerning sensibility and good taste go beyond just choices in hotels and top guides; we have a walk the walk commitment to the environment and are genuine leaders in conservation efforts.