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 passing train in the Mae Glong railway market, slurp noodles alongside the locals in Bangkok, whip up a local feast in Suphanburi, 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.


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 albeit delicious dishes of 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 specialties just outside of Chiang Mai, and live Thai life from a local's perspective with a village homestay.

  • Experience 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 the regional specialties of Suphanburi 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 endeavour 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

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2019 itinerary
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. Thailand's bustling capital, Bangkok is famous for its tuk tuks, khlong boats and street vendors serving up delicious Thai food. Your food adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm. Bangkok has so much to offer those with time to explore, so perhaps arrive a day or so early to uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in some Thai massage. After the meeting tonight, hit China Town 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 your booking agent or visit urbanadventures.com/destination/bangkok-tours for more information.
Head to the Mae Glong Railway Market (approximately 1.5 hours) after an early breakfast this morning 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 paddle boat to explore the waterways further. The area is well known for coconut palm sugar production and along the way you’ll stop past 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 the Ratchada Train Night Market. This vibrant market is a great place to sample some local street food, so ask your leader for their 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 - Ratchada Train Market visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Eat breakfast at the hotel then drive to Suphanburi (approximately 2 hours). Stop in at Wat Pa Lay Lai Temple for a guided tour and a glimpse of the golden Buddha. Continue to Baan Laem – a small community located on the Tha Jeen River – to experience local life. Tour the agricultural centre and learn about their sustainable fishing and farming practices before heading inside to start cooking! Under the supervision of an expert local, you'll work together to prepare some regional specialties for your lunch today. This is how the local families eat, so the dishes are likely to be a different style that you might have had before. Feast on your creations while you cruise down the river this afternoon and take in your surroundings. Afterwards, it is back to the kitchen. In an afternoon cooking class, you'll explore Thai Dynasty cuisine. Learn about the royal's influence on the region's food and prepare a meal. Say goodbye to your hosts and drive back to Suphanburi (40 minutes). Relax this evening or maybe join your leader for a walk around the town market. If you still have some room, there is plenty of street food to try!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Suphanburi - Thai Dynasty cooking class
  • Suphanburi - Tha Jeen River cruise
  • Suphanburi - Regional specialties cooking class
  • Suphanburi - Wat Pa Lay Lai Temple entrance & guided tour
  • Suphanburi - Baan Laem Community Agricultural Centre tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This morning, travel to Ayutthaya (1 hour), the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai, and once one of the most powerful cities in Asia. Stop past 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 combination of fragrant pork broth, roasted slices of meat, Thai-style pork balls and crackling skin, sliced morning glory stalks, fresh green onion and a choice of rice noodles served in Ayutthaya is thought of as the original and best. While no longer served from sampans on the river, these narrow rowboats adorn the roadside eateries as a marker of 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
  • Ayuthaya - 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 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 just be home to many of your favourite Thai dishes. Lunch today is khao soi: a curry noodle dish that is acclaimed 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 by a restaurant specialising in the local delicacy of fermented rice noodles for lunch. 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 – quite literally! Over the years, a khantohk dinner has become a traditional way to welcome guests. Khantohk refers to a raised tray used for serving food in northern Thailand. Eleven dishes are featured on this traditional Khantohk menu, so roll up the sleeves and spend a fun afternoon learning the ins and outs of this northern Thailand 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 & tomato chilli paste) while listening to local musicians sing and dance 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 atmosphere of chanting Buddhist monks and 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 of daily life in northern Thailand, as well as some of the ingredients and snacks unique to northern cuisine. Taste your way through the stalls and be sure to try sai ua (Chaing Mai sausage) or bamboo worms.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Khao Soi Lunch
  • 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 so, 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 - Ratchada Train Market visit
  • Suphanburi - Thai Dynasty cooking class
  • Suphanburi - Tha Jeen River cruise
  • Suphanburi - Regional specialties cooking class
  • Suphanburi - Wat Pa Lay Lai Temple entrance & guided tour
  • Suphanburi - Baan Laem Community Agricultural Centre tour
  • Ayuthaya - Temple Ruins entrance & guided tour
  • Ayutthaya - Roti Sai Mai demonstration & tasting
  • Chiang Mai - Wat Chedi Luang entrance
  • Homestay - Khantohk Cooking Class
  • Chiang Mai - Khao Soi Lunch
  • 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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