Take a tantalising culinary journey through Bangkok and Chiang Mai

Indulge in the complex flavours, fresh aromas and heavenly spices that make Thai food so addictive. Explore bustling markets spread out over land and water and taste exotic fruits and aromatic dishes whipped up in front of your eyes. Learn the trick behind making palm sugar, experience the thrill of a train passing through in the Maeklong Railway Market, slurp noodles alongside locals in Bangkok, enjoy some home-cooking with a family in Chiang Mai, sit down to a Khantohk feast and tour all the must-see sights of Thailand. This is an incredible culinary journey through one of South East Asia’s most seductive food cultures.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Bangkok, Thailand
Finish
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Destination
Thailand
Style
Original
Theme
Food
Code
TTZF
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Discover a world of Thai food beyond the obvious (and delicious!) pad thai and green curry – from boat noodles in Ayutthaya to khao soi in Chiang Mai, and everything in between.

  • Let your group leader guide you through the best local hawker stalls and food markets of the country’s bustling capital, Bangkok.

  • Whip up northern Thai khantohk specialities just outside of Chiang Mai, and experience Thai life from a local's perspective with a village homestay.

  • Encounter the eye-opening and surprising world of Thai food markets, filled with unpredictable tastes and found in unexpected places – on a river or set up on a railway track!

  • Cook Central Thai regional dishes and feast on your creations while you float down the river on a cruise.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip aims to give you an exciting, diverse and well-rounded experience of Thailand's cuisine. While we try to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. If you have dietary requirements, simply contact your agent at the time of booking for further information on how this may impact on your ability to take part in included activities and meals. Come with an open mind and open mouth, and you won’t be disappointed!

  • This trip includes an overnight train between Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai. Accommodation is simple but comfortable – soft sleeper class multishare compartments with air conditioning and bunk beds, with sheets and a pillow provided. Overnight trains are a real Intrepid experience and one of the best ways to come face-to-face with the country and its people.

  • There is a night at a homestay on this trip, a wonderful opportunity to witness everyday Thai life. Facilities can be basic and multishare, with fold-out mattresses on the floor and shared bathrooms. The rewards of such an authentic local experience are immeasurable.

Itinerary

Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand's capital, Bangkok – famous for its tuk-tuks, khlong boats, and street vendors serving up delicious Thai dishes. Your food adventure begins this evening with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm, but Bangkok has so much on offer that you might like to arrive a day or so early to explore: perhaps uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in a Thai massage. After the welcome meeting, hit Chinatown for an introduction to the city's famous street food scene and get to know your fellow travellers over a few drinks at a local bar.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bangkok - Chinatown street food tour
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Bangkok by Bike Urban Adventure - THB1980
  • Bangkok - Bangkok Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure - THB2175
  • Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

Keen to spend some more time in Bangkok? We'll be happy to book additional accommodation (subject to availability) as well as any Urban Adventures tours that take your fancy. Ask an Intrepid booking agent or visit urbanadventures.com/destination/bangkok-tours for more information.
After an early breakfast, head to the Maeklong Railway Market (approximately 1.5 hours) to arrive in time for today's first snack. Sample the local favourites khnom krok (rice pudding) or khnom gui chai (fried Chinese chives rice cake). Prepare for stalls to be quickly pulled to one side when the train quite literally passes through the centre of the market. Continue by minivan to swap tracks for water at the Tha Kha Floating Markets. Walk past canals filled with sellers hawking their colourful fruits and wares at this authentic local market, then board a paddleboat to explore the waterways further. The area is well known for coconut palm sugar production and you’ll stop in at a riverside operation to see how it is made. Afterwards, travel back to Bangkok, where you will have a free afternoon to shop, sightsee or simply relax at a cafe. Tonight, you'll take the train to a traditional night market. This vibrant shopping hub is a great place to sample some local street food, so ask your leader for their insight and recommendations. You might also like to browse the vintage stalls for a unique souvenir or enjoy live music at one of the quirky bars.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bangkok - Tha Kha Floating Market tour
  • Bangkok - Palm Sugar Demonstration
  • Bangkok - Mae Klong Railway Market tour
  • Bangkok - Night Market visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast leave Bangkok and drive (1 hour) to a local village and community farm for an epic day of cooking Central Thai regional specialities and feasting with your hosts. Learn about the age-old agricultural traditions still being practised today and enjoy the freshest ingredients straight from the garden. You will help to prepare a home-cooked lunch of local delicacies, such as kaeng som (green papaya soup), spicy fish cakes and watercress salad with chicken, followed by multiple desserts using ingredients like coconut, rice milk and crispy noodles! Later this afternoon board a longtail boat and cruise the Chao Phraya River to visit a Buddhist temple located on a small, remote island. Head to Ayutthaya city for a free evening to explore and – of course – eat more!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ayutthaya - Regional Specialties Cooking Class
  • Ayutthaya - Homemade Dessert Making Lesson
  • Ayutthaya - Chao Phraya Long Tail Boat Cruise
  • Ayutthaya - Wat Niwet Thamma Prawat Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today we explore Ayutthaya, the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai, and once one of the most powerful cities in Asia. Stop by a street food stall for a demonstration and tasting of roti sai mai, a dish synonymous with the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. It consists of a thin pancake wrapped around delicious, fine strands of thin-spun cotton candy. Lunch today is a steaming bowl of guay-tieo-ruea, or boat noodles. The Ayutthaya take on this classic combo of fragrant pork broth, roasted slices of meat, Thai-style pork balls, sliced morning glory stalks, fresh green onion and a choice of rice noodles is considered the original and best. While the food is no longer served out of sampans on the river, the narrow rowboats are used as decoration at roadside eateries to indicate what's on the menu. See the remains and reminders of Ayutthaya’s golden age with a guided tour of the picturesque ruins and temples spread across the town. The rows of headless Buddhas at Wat Phra Mahathat, sacked by the Burmese in the 18th century, are very atmospheric, and a Buddha head surrounded by Banyan tree roots is perhaps the most photographed site in all of Ayutthaya. Freshen up at a hotel and grab a bite to eat before boarding your overnight train to Chiang Mai (approximately 13 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ayutthaya - Temple Ruins entrance & guided tour
  • Ayutthaya - Roti Sai Mai demonstration & tasting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
You will be accommodated in soft sleeper class on the overnight train to Chiang Mai. Multishare compartments have bunk beds with sheets and a pillow provided, as well as air conditioning. Your baggage travels in the carriage with you. There's a food and drink service available on board but you might like to purchase some snacks before the journey.
Arrive in Chiang Mai by mid-morning. The most vibrant city in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. Renowned for its dazzling beauty and extremely welcoming locals, the ‘Rose of the North’ will leave you spellbound – chances are, you won’t want to leave. Most importantly, Chiang Mai is famous for its Northern Thai cuisine and may well be home to many of your favourite Thai dishes. Lunch today is khao soi: a curry noodle dish that is renowned in the region. Afterwards, enjoy some free time to relax. Meet up with your leader in the early evening and wander through town to Wat Chedi Luang temple. Visit a local restaurant for an included dinner. Afterwards, you might like to check out the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, full of local handicrafts and fabulous Northern street food dishes.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Wat Chedi Luang entrance
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today, meet Aoi, your gracious host for an incredible homestay experience in a small Thai village for tonight. On the way to the village, stop for lunch at a restaurant specialising in the local delicacy of fermented rice noodles. Next, head to the homestay via some producers – including a mushroom farm where you'll pick up ingredients for a Northern Thai cooking class. Journey on to Aoi’s home and get ready to cook up a feast! Over the years, a khantohk dinner has become the traditional way to welcome guests, the word 'khantohk' a reference to a raised tray used for serving food in Northern Thailand. Eleven dishes are featured on this traditional khantohk menu, so roll up your sleeves and spend a fun afternoon learning the ins and outs of this regional cuisine. Cut, chop and sizzle the day away, then tuck into dishes like Northern-style gai tod (fried chicken) and naam prig ong (minced pork and tomato chilli paste) against a backdrop of local musicians singing and dancing through dinner.
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Homestay - Khantohk Cooking Class
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
You can leave your main luggage at the Chiang Mai hotel and pack an overnight bag for the homestay. As we will be staying in a traditional rural community, please be mindful to pack and wear conservative dress. The accommodation tonight is multi-share and basic, but the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. Beds are fold-out mattresses on the floor and bathrooms are shared.
Wake up and enjoy a sumptuous Northern Thai breakfast of fried rice, sweet sticky rice and egg custard. Bid farewell to your homestay hosts and take a scenic, winding drive (1.5 hours) to one of the country's most stunning temple complexes: Doi Suthep. A 300-step naga-guarded stairway leads you to the temples, and the climb is well worth the effort. The hypnotic chanting of Buddhist monks and the sweeping views of the city make for a memorable experience. Head back into town for a delicious local lunch recommended by your leader. This afternoon you might like to check out the bustling Warorot Market (Kad Luang). One of Chiang Mai’s largest markets and a thriving social hub, this is the perfect place to get a glimpse into daily life, as well as experience some of the ingredients and snacks unique to the regional cuisine. Taste your way through the stalls and be sure to try sai ua (Chiang Mai sausage) or bamboo worms.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep Temple entrance and guided tour
Optional Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Warorot Market visit - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
There are no activities planned for today, and your delicious Real Food Adventure comes to an end this morning. You are free to leave at any time, but this doesn’t mean your own adventure has to end! If you would like to spend more time in Chiang Mai, we’ll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Boat, Overnight Train, Songthaew

Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights), Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night), Homestay (1 nightt)

Included activities

  • Bangkok - Chinatown street food tour
  • Bangkok - Tha Kha Floating Market tour
  • Bangkok - Palm Sugar Demonstration
  • Bangkok - Mae Klong Railway Market tour
  • Bangkok - Night Market visit
  • Ayutthaya - Regional Specialties Cooking Class
  • Ayutthaya - Homemade Dessert Making Lesson
  • Ayutthaya - Chao Phraya Long Tail Boat Cruise
  • Ayutthaya - Wat Niwet Thamma Prawat Visit
  • Ayutthaya - Temple Ruins entrance & guided tour
  • Ayutthaya - Roti Sai Mai demonstration & tasting
  • Chiang Mai - Wat Chedi Luang entrance
  • Homestay - Khantohk Cooking Class
  • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep Temple entrance and guided tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

A single supplement is available on this trip with exception of Day 4 (Overnight Train) and Day 6 (Village Homestay).

Essential trip information

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