Beautiful Northern Thailand

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

4.7 out of 5 based on 77 reviews submitted.
Explorer
From
EUR €1,488
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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 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 take the chance to learn a few cooking tips from the village chef in the Akha Hilltribe, for an unforgettable meal 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

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 (Entrance) - Free
  • 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

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.

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

4.7 out of 5 based on 77 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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Tessa · Traveled January 2024
Fantastic trip - exceeded my expectations. Well thought through itinerary to cover a lot of ground with variety of culture, nature, activity and relaxation, felt we got away from the tourist traps and got to understand a bit about Thai culture. Amazing food. Loved the sleeper trains. Helped that we had a great group!
Review submitted 01 Feb 2024

Anja · Traveled January 2024
I can highly recommend this varied itinerary of Northern Thailand. Our leader Maled and the group made this an unforgettable experience with great food, both active days with the hill tribes as well as chill time on the raft house. We hired a truck to carry luggage on our 3-day trek, which made it more flexible.
Review submitted 22 Jan 2024

Meg · Traveled January 2024
Fabulous trip! Well-chosen, varied itinerary. Delicious food. I loved our experiences and learned a lot about the Thai culture
Review submitted 24 Jan 2024

Thomas · Traveled December 2023
All in all a great all round trip, I loved Thailand, the immersion you get from doing northern Thailand and going off the tourist trail is wonderful. Try the hill tribe walk it’s a really great experience.
Review submitted 22 Jan 2024

FIONA · Traveled December 2023
I've just returned from my fourth Intrepid trip ( northern Thailand this time). Again, a wonderful experience that will stay in my heart and mind forever. Oat was an excellent Tour Leader, so calm, organised and inclusive. We are already planning our next Intrepid trip... Africa
Review submitted 22 Jan 2024
Beautiful Northern Thailand
From
EUR €1,488