Map of Premium Northern Thailand including Thailand

Get up close and under the surface of Northern Thailand

Discover a land of mouth-watering food, stunning landscapes, fascinating history and incredibly hospitable locals on a 12-day Premium journey through Northern Thailand. Get to know the innermost essence of Thai culture as you travel from city streets to mountain tops. Explore the ancient temples of Ayutthaya, spend time with Lisu hill tribes, meet the experts at an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai and uncover the country’s past in Kanchanaburi. With a local leader by your side, you’ll soon see there’s more to Thailand than what meets the eye.


Start
Bangkok, Thailand
Finish
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Destination
Thailand
Style
Premium
Theme
Explorer
Code
TTPT
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

premium accommodation

Our best accommodation and highest level of service.

premium experiences

Unusual, exceptional and authentic on-trip experiences.

premium knowledge

Led by our most experienced and highest rated local leaders.

  • Experience a different side of bustling Bangkok during an Exclusive Experience – rise early and visit a local temple where you’ll ‘make merit’ by bringing an offering to the temple’s monks

  • Stay in the beautiful Lisu lodge for your Feature Stay. This community-based project employs Lisu villagers and allows you to immerse yourself in local culture while enjoying creature comforts.

  • Cruise the waterways on board a traditional rice barge as you watch local life pass by and enjoy a delicious meal during an Exclusive Experience.

  • Support an important animal welfare initiative, speak with local experts and get close to incredible creatures at the Elephant Nature Park.

  • Unleash your creativity and learn about the history of Benjarong, a traditional style of painted Thai porcelain, with a visit to a Benjarong ceramics community.

Is this trip right for you?

  • You will visit a number of temples which require a level of modesty. All travellers will need to bring clothes that cover the arms and pants or skirts that go past the knees. The heat can be challenging, especially in April and May, so please pack accordingly.

  • This trip includes a cycling tour around Sukhothai Heritage Park, so a level of confidence on a bicycle will be required. The roads are quiet with minimal traffic and within the confines of the park it will be easy going so it is certainly a leisurely ride.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2023 to 31 Dec 2023.
View the 2022 itinerary
Welcome to Thailand! Your journey begins in Bangkok, where you’ll be collected at the airport and transferred to your hotel. After settling into your room, an important welcome meeting will take place at 6pm. Please check for the Intrepid Premium noticeboard in the reception area of the hotel. If you arrive early, take some time to enjoy Bangkok’s irresistible energy. By day you’ll encounter a city steeped with history and tradition, but by night Bangkok is taken over by a flood of music and neon lights. Watch torrents of tuk tuks zip by while traditional khlong boats slowly wind down the Chao Phraya River. After your meeting, join your small group for a welcome dinner at an excellent local restaurant where your leader will introduce you to a food scene that’s bursting with local flavour.
Accommodation
  • Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside Hotel Bangkok or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Bangkok - Welcome Dinner
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
The arrival transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through us. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 14 days prior to travel, as we may not be able to confirm a request made within 14 days of travel.
Rise early for an optional exclusive experience away from Bangkok’s well-trodden tourist track. Join the locals at sunrise for to a visit to a temple along the Chao Phraya River, where you’ll ‘make merit’ by bringing an offering to the temple’s monks – a truly unforgettable moment. Today your leader will take you for a day of sightseeing and activities in lively Bangkok. Tour Wat Po, a larger-than-life temple complex in the city - home of the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Also visit the majestic Grand Palace and learn about the site which has been the official residence of the kings since the 1700s, and enjoy a boat tour of the city's canals as your leader shows you how Bangkok’s locals live today. The afternoon is free to do as you wish, perhaps check out the art collection at the Jim Thompson house or relax with a Thai massage.
Accommodation
  • Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside Hotel Bangkok or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho
  • Bangkok - Khlong boat canal tour
  • Bangkok - Temple Sunrise Merit Making
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB200
  • Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note when visiting the Grand Palace clothes covering your shoulders and knees are a requirement for entry.
Unleash your creativity and learn about the history of Benjarong, a traditional style of painted Thai porcelain, with a visit to a ceramics community. The name literally means ‘five colours’ (although it’s not unusual to see up to eight) and artists use enamel to create intricate floral and geometric designs. This morning you’ll get to paint your own mug or teacup which will be fired and sent to you to take home as a unique and very special souvenir. There will be time to buy lunch if you wish, before you continue to Kanchanaburi to visit to the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. This prisoner of war cemetery was one of the first museums to attempt to educate the public and keep the memory of the Asian and POW workers who died constructing the infamous Death Railway alive.
Accommodation
  • U Inchantree Kanchanaburi or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Benjarong - Ceramics Workshop
  • Kanchanaburi - Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 3.5 hours.
Start your day with a visit to Erawan National Park where you can explore the park’s famous seven-level waterfall or simply swim and relax. The falls are regarded as some of the most beautiful in the country, with glacial blue waters rushing through the forest into bamboo-shaded pools perfect for a refreshing dip. After you’ve had time to relax, visit the infamous 'Bridge on the River Kwai'. Many Allied prisoners of war and conscripted Asian labourers were engaged here to help build a rail route to Myanmar (Burma), including the passage infamously known as Hellfire Pass. Visit the memorial museum of the pass where your leader will provide more information about this chapter in history. Take a historical train journey across a portion of this 'death railway' along the Kwai Noi River and travel over the original wooden viaduct, known as the Bridge on the River Kwai, constructed by the allied POWs. Pass through peaceful and naturally beautiful scenery as you learn of those who lost their lives building this rail route. The evening is yours to explore the town.
Accommodation
  • U Inchantree Kanchanaburi or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kanchanaburi - Erawan National Park Visit
  • Kanchanaburi - Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 3 hours.
This morning head to Ayutthaya, one of the ancient capitals of Siam and a World Heritage site. On the way, visit Baan Nong Khao CBT Village, an agricultural village that is famous for its Pha Khao Mah hand-weaving. Visit the community’s museum, a palm sugar field and a local house to see how desserts featuring this famous Thai ingredient are made. Of course, you’ll get to sample these delicious, sweet treats. Then watch the weavers at work as they use more than 100 colours of yarn to create traditional Thai clothing. Upon arrival in Ayutthaya, explore the photogenic 14th-century temple of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon while your leader shares knowledge of the complex’s history. Continue to the ornately decorated Wat Phanan Choeng, one of Ayutthaya's oldest temples and home to a 19-metre-high Buddha. Continue on to the 13th-century ruins of Wat Phra Mahathat and discover rows of Buddhas beheaded by the Burmese. Look out for the displaced Buddha head suspended in the roots of a Banyan tree - one of the country’s most photographed images. Tonight, the past will come to life as you board a traditional rice barge and tuck into a delicious Thai dinner. See the city lights and take in the sights of Bangkok at night as you cruise down Chao Phraya River.
Accommodation
  • Kantary Hotel Ayutthaya or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Baan Nong Khao - Weaving Community Visit
  • Ayutthaya - Temple Visit
  • Ayutthaya - Traditional Rice Barge Dinner Cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today you will leave Kanchanaburi and travel to the town of Phitsanulok by train. Sit back, relax and watch the scenery roll by. After arriving in Phitsanulok, change to a private vehicle and continue on this comfortable journey which will see you arriving in Sukhothai at approximately 5pm. The rest of the day is free for your own discoveries. You may like to relax by the pool or unwind with a Thai massage, and for dinner this evening be sure to ask your leader where you can get a bowl of Sukhothai’s famously tasty noodles.
Accommodation
  • Legendha Sukhothai Resort or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ayutthaya - Train to Phitsanuloke
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s travel time is approximately 5 hours.
Sukhothai, established in the 13th century, was one of the first ancient capitals of Siam. Start your day with an optional alms offering before visiting its famed World Heritage listed historical park, which captures the Golden Age of Thai civilisation. Visit the historical park, which spans the ruins of the town, where you will rent a bicycle and take part in a cycle tour. As you ride around, your leader will let you know more about the history of this former metropolis and its fascinating structures. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the beautiful grounds of Sukhothai Park. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore the town, or you might want to simply read a book by the pool back at your accommodation. This evening, regroup and head to the home of one of our local friends where you’ll enjoy a wonderful homecooked dinner and a unique insight into life in this part of the country.
Accommodation
  • Legendha Sukhothai Resort or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sukhothai - Morning Alms Offering
  • Sukhothai - Historical Park Visit and Bike Ride
  • Sukhothai - Dinner in a local home
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Travel from Sukhothai to the Mae Taeng region. Draped between tranquil rice fields and fruit orchards, you’ll find the enchanting Lisu Lodge, your Feature Stay accommodation. The lodge is a community-based project that trains and employs Lisu villagers from the nearby hill tribe and aims to preserve their cultural heritage. The Lisu people are a Tibeto-Burman ethnic group and one of the six main hill tribes of Northern Thailand. Meet the colourfully dressed villagers and learn more about the Lisu way of life - a truly special experience that is sure to be one of your enduring memories of Thailand. The lodge offers gorgeous guestrooms decorated in the traditional Lisu style with modern comforts. Savour unforgettable views of the surrounding hillside and valley, and enjoy a tantalising dinner of Thai food mixed with traditional Lisu dishes. You don’t have to look for a cultural experience here - it’s all around you.
Accommodation
  • Lisu Lodge or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 7 hours.
After breakfast at Lisu Lodge, it’s a quick trip to Muang Kued Village where you will meet with a local villager and enjoy a private guided tour. Learn about village life, the reforestation of the surrounding area and how produce is grown in the village orchards. Explore the organic farm and choose the ingredients for a cooking class where you’ll learn how to cook traditional Thai food. After a delicious lunch, join the villagers for a chance to learn how to weave palm leaves to create ornaments and accessories. You’ll also enjoy a tasty barbeque dinner at the nearby Mae Tamaan Base Camp.
Accommodation
  • Lisu Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Muang Kued - Village Visit, Cooking Class, and Handicraft Workshop
  • Mae Taeng - Mae Tamaan Base Camp BBQ Dinner
Optional Activities
  • Mae Taeng - Kayaking - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Travel to the Elephant Nature Park - a unique project that provides sanctuary for elephants and other animals. Be greeted by an expert local guide and learn the stories of the rescued elephants and the issues they face in South-East Asia. Feed the elephants from a viewing platform, walk with the expert staff to watch elephants bathe and play, and enjoy a vegetarian buffet lunch. On arrival back in Chiang Mai in the late afternoon, the evening is yours to enjoy your way. You may like to visit the vibrant Night Bazaar or take a stroll around the old town which is bounded by moats. Your guide can give you recommendations on where to go for dinner.
Accommodation
  • Chala Number 6 Hotel Chiang Mai or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Elephant Nature Park Half Day Trip
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Start your day with a caffeine hit and a visit to a sustainable social enterprise with a focus on all things coffee. From here, you will drive to the famous temple complex of Doi Suthep. Take in stunning views along the scenic and winding mountain road which brings you to an impressive 300-step Naga-guarded stairway. The rewards justify the ascent to the top, with one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand on display, not to mention the fantastic panoramic views of the city. Return to Chiang Mai where you will have time to relax before an exclusive farewell dinner cooked by a local chef. Dine on delicious traditional northern Thai food like kao soy, yellow wheat noodles in a curry broth, traditionally served with chicken or beef, as you reminisce about the wonderful adventures you’ve had in Northern Thailand.
Accommodation
  • Chala Number 6 Hotel Chiang Mai or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Akha Ama Coffee Social Enterprise Visit
  • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep Temple Visit
  • Chiang Mai - Farewell Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total travel time is approximately 1.5 hours.
With no activities planned for today, your adventure comes to an end after breakfast. If you would like to extend your stay in Chiang Mai we can help arrange extra accommodation (subject to availability).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

11 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

Train, Private mini van, Longtail boat, songtheaw, Bicycle

Accommodation

Hotel (4 nights), Resort (5 nights), Lodge (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Bangkok - Welcome Dinner
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho
  • Bangkok - Khlong boat canal tour
  • Bangkok - Temple Sunrise Merit Making
  • Benjarong - Ceramics Workshop
  • Kanchanaburi - Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
  • Kanchanaburi - Erawan National Park Visit
  • Kanchanaburi - Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum
  • Baan Nong Khao - Weaving Community Visit
  • Ayutthaya - Temple Visit
  • Ayutthaya - Traditional Rice Barge Dinner Cruise
  • Ayutthaya - Train to Phitsanuloke
  • Sukhothai - Morning Alms Offering
  • Sukhothai - Historical Park Visit and Bike Ride
  • Sukhothai - Dinner in a local home
  • Muang Kued - Village Visit, Cooking Class, and Handicraft Workshop
  • Mae Taeng - Mae Tamaan Base Camp BBQ Dinner
  • Chiang Mai - Elephant Nature Park Half Day Trip
  • Chiang Mai - Akha Ama Coffee Social Enterprise Visit
  • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep Temple Visit
  • Chiang Mai - Farewell Dinner

Premium Inclusions

  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Tipping for accommodation, activities and transport
  • Luggage transfer
  • Daily breakfast and signature local meal experiences
  • 24/7 on-ground support

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Premium Northern Thailand trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips that start on or before 31 December 2022 are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy.

1. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
3. Due to limited luggage space in our vehicles, please ensure that you are packing light and compact. Large, bulky suitcases are unsuitable for this trip. Please refer to the Packing section of the Essential Trip Information for details.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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