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Beautiful Northern Thailand

15 Days | Thailand – the original, and for many, still the best.

4.6 out of 5 based on 65 reviews submitted.
Explorer
From
EUR €1,428
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There’s a reason this trip was the tour that started it all, and still remains one of the most popular. Discover Northern Thailand, a lush adventure destination that takes you to the heart of what it means to be Intrepid. Experience the chaotic metropolis of bustling Bangkok, trek among the hillside villages near Chiang Rai, drift down the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi and see the historic temples of the Siam Kingdom. With welcoming hospitality, local experiences, mouth-watering cooking classes and plenty of free time to travel at your own pace, come along and see why Beautiful Northern Thailand was, and still is, a benchmark for all other Intrepid adventures.

Trip overview

Map of Beautiful Northern Thailand including Thailand
Start
Bangkok, Thailand
Finish
Bangkok, Thailand
Theme
Explorer
Destinations
Thailand
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Original
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
TTSN
This trip generates 38.45 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • This is one of the original Intrepid journeys that started it all. Discover why Northern Thailand was chosen all those years back as an ideal destination to launch a world of travel experiences.
  • Experience rural Thai life with multi-day trek through scenic hilltribe villages in the remote Thai countryside, meeting welcoming locals and sharing laughs along the way.
  • Visit the home of the infamous ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’, learning about its dark history and the construction of the railway during the war.
  • Even the transport on this trip is an adventure – discover the joys of travelling on overnight sleeper trains, longtail boats, songthaew and rafthouses.
  • Indulge in an organic farm to plate cooking demonstration and lunch at a farm stay in the Mae Chan District – full of heat, spice and fresh food, you won’t go hungry!
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, EcoThailand Foundation. Donations help educate school children on important environmental issues like climate change, nature appreciation, conservation and sustainability.

Is this trip right for you?
  • The hilltribe village house stays are a wonderful opportunity to witness every day rural life. Facilities are simple and multi-share but comfortable, with mattresses, bedding and mosquito nets all provided. Some travellers are nervous about the village house experience before they arrive, but we find most end up naming this as a highlight of their time in Thailand and a rewarding, authentic experience. On occasion your accommodation may not have hot water, but you will probably be keen to cool down from the heat with a refreshing cold shower!
  • As we cover so much of the country in just over two weeks, be prepared for some long travel days. This trip includes two nights on overnight trains between Bangkok 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.
  • Temperatures and humidity can be high in Thailand, especially when walking in the countryside where, at times, there may be little shade. Be prepared by taking plenty of drink breaks and wearing appropriate skin protection. Some travellers find an umbrella handy to keep the sun off (this will also come in handy should it rain!).

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2023 to 31 December 2023.

View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2024 - 31 December 2024

Map of Beautiful Northern Thailand including Thailand

Inclusions

Meals

3 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Private minvan, Public bus, Overnight sleeper train, Songthaew, Taxi, Longtail Boat

Accommodation

Guesthouse (5 nights), Hilltribe village (2 nights), Hotel (4 nights), Overnight sleeper train (2 nights), Rafthouse (1 night)

Activities
  • Bangkok - Khlong boat canal tour
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho
  • Kanchanaburi - Erawan National Park Visit
  • Kanchanaburi - Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
  • Rafthouse - Wat Baan Tham cave temple
  • Kanchanaburi - Rafthouse experience
  • Rafthouse - Wat Tham Suea temple
  • Rafthouse - Wat Tham Khao Noi
  • Ayutthaya - Temple Ruins entrance & guided tour
  • Chiang Mai - Night Market
  • Do Mae Salong - Local market
  • Organic Farm - Farm To Plate Demonstration & Lunch
  • Chiang Rai - 3 day Hilltribe villages trek
  • Hill Tribe Trek - Lunch
  • Ar Pha Pattana Village - Community Dinner
  • Baan Yafu Lahu Village - Community Dinner
  • Chiang Rai - Wat Rong Kun (White Temple)
Add on activities
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
  • Bangkok - Chatuchak Market visit - THB100
  • Bangkok - Bangkok by Bike Urban Adventure - THB1980
  • Chiang Mai - Thai massage - THB200
  • Chiang Mai - Bicycle tour - THB990
  • Chiang Mai - Thai cooking course - THB1000
  • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB200
  • Bangkok - Chinatown Sights and Bites Urban Adventure - THB1960
  • Bangkok - Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure - THB2500

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 04 (Rafthouse),Days 05 & 13 (Overnight Train) and Days 10 & 11 (Trek) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please note that some room configurations have two single beds, although a double bed will always be requested.
2. Itinerary change for TTSN231008: due to issue of train availability, we have to change the order of destinations on this departure. The itinerary on this departure will be as follows:
1. Bangkok
2. Bangkok/overnight train to Chiang Mai
3-4. Chiang Mai
5 Doi Mae Salong
6. Chiang Rai
7-8. Hilltribe Village Trek
9. Chiang Rai
10. overnight train to Ayuthaya
11-12. Kanchanaburi
13. Rafthouse
14. Bangkok
15. Trip end
No activities will be impacted by this change. Your tour leader will be able to provide more day to day 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.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

4.6 out of 5 based on 65 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Beven · Traveled October 2023
This tour provides an excellent insight to Northern Thailand - it’s culture, the agriculture, and not the least good. All enhanced with superb guides.
Review submitted 24 Oct 2023

Aidan · Traveled October 2023
The tour guides are fantastic. However. Intrepid is clearly trying to maximise profits with this tour with meals and accommodation being of a low standard. You can do this trip cheaper and with better accommodation if you use local tours and book things yourself.
Review submitted 09 Nov 2023

Francesca · Traveled August 2023
This was a brilliant trip, with a real mix of unique experiences, adventure and culture. The food was also incredible throughout the trip and I enjoyed and embraced the different styles of accommodation we stayed in - the overnight train was an experience in itself! Our group leader Damrong was wonderful and taught us so much about his beautiful country. Don’t underestimate the hilltribe trek - I consider myself to be pretty fit but even I struggled with the first day’s hike through the jungle (not because of the distance, but the humidity, heat and mosquitos) which led to me and several other members of the group not doing the second day’s walk. This didn’t have an impact on my overall experience of the trip however and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this trip to anyone.
Review submitted 16 Sep 2023

Lina · Traveled July 2023
Travelers beware! Feels like survival camp than vacation. Intrepid overcharges for this tour with low-end accommodation and unsafe transportation using many without seat belts in busy traffic. Hotel rooms have mosquito blood stained walls, musty smells, moldy bathrooms, and cockroach in the lobby. Guesthouses don’t have elevators and you need to lug your own suitcases on steep stairs. We breathed in exhaust on the rafthouse, swarmed by bugs, and had only unsanitary river water to shower with which wasn’t mentioned in the itinerary. Train had dirty sheets and 5:45am wakeup and if you’re tall, you won’t be able to stretch out. One night of trek village has no electricity and half of our tour couldn’t complete the trek. You waste time on the 13 hours train each way as well as aboard the rafthouse, which you are stuck on from afternoon to next day with no activities planned. Save your money as it’s not a good value tour for what you pay.
Review submitted 11 Aug 2023

Cristian · Traveled July 2023
Insufficient information about the accommodations, fitness rating and travel methods was provided. If personal hygiene and overt health matters to you, this is not the trip for you.
Review submitted 12 Aug 2023
Beautiful Northern Thailand
From
EUR €1,428