Thailand culture and beach holiday

Description of Thailand culture and beach holiday

On this incredible 14-day Thailand holiday you'll experience the history and culture of Thailand, plus you'll have time to relax on the palm-fringed beaches of Koh Samui.

Your adventure starts in Bangkok, where you'll discover sacred temples, vibrant street life and floating markets, all with a local guide. Marvel at the Grand Palace, visit the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and take a trip through the spiderweb network of canals.

Then, head west to the town of Kanchanaburi to visit the famous bridge on the River Kwai, built by prisoners of war during World War II. Kanchanaburi is also the gateway to Erawan National Park, an area of incredible natural beauty, including fairy-tale waterfalls.

Next, you'll discover the spectacular hill-tribe region near Chiang Mai in northern Thailand and visit Elephant Nature Park - a verified ethical elephant sanctuary committed to the rescue, treatment and rehabilitation of abandoned elephants.

Finally, you'll end your adventure with a few days on the tropical island of Koh Samui, on Thailand's east coast. Relax on the island's gorgeous beaches, island-hop around the Gulf islands and encounter vibrant marine life under the waves.

This cultural tour of Thailand gives a taste of the country beyond the popular tourist spots, with local guides and authentic experiences to add real flavour to your tour - ideal for an activity-packed family holiday. End with relaxation on the peaceful shores of Samui, reflecting on your Southeast Asian adventure.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrive in Bangkok - Upon arrival at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, you will be met by a representative and transferred to your chosen accommodation. Your guide will meet you at your hotel in the evening to brief you about your itinerary and recommend some great places to eat in this exciting city.
Day 2:Bangkok Private Tour - Your day will start with a guided tour of Bangkok. You値l travel like a local using transport including klong (canal) boat, public bus, the Chao Phraya River public ferry and the elevated BTS or Skytrain. Your friendly and knowledgeable local guide will take you to Bangkok痴 magnificent temples and palaces, including Thailand痴 most sacred sites: the opulent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The Grand Palace is without doubt the city's most famous landmark and Wat Phra Kaew, known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is regarded as the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand.
Day 3:Floating Markets - This morning you値l visit Damneon Saduak floating market, approximately 12 kilometres south of Bangkok. This is the most popular floating market in Thailand and here you値l see hundreds of longtail boats along the narrow canals with vendors selling everything from exotic fruits, to traditional desserts and noodles cooked right on the boat. In the afternoon and evening you値l have free time to discover Bangkok. A boat cruise on the Chao Phraya is a wonderful way to view the city痴 main attractions, including the Grand Palace and Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn).
Day 4:Transfer to Kanchanaburi - Today you値l be driven west to the town of Kanchanaburi, which is known for the Death Railway, built during World War II. You値l visit the famous bridge on the River Kwai and Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, before boarding the train along the Death Railway. There is a fantastic museum, the Thai Burma Railway Museum, where you can learn more about the POW痴 experiences, as well as viewing a section of the infamous Burma Death Railway. Later in the afternoon, you値l board a longtail boat to your accommodation which is a stylish tented camp set on a cliff overlooking the famous River Kwai.
Day 5:Erawan National Park - This morning you値l head to the beautiful Erawan National Park, near the Myanmar border. The park is known for its picturesque waterfalls, particularly Erawan Falls, which cascades down seven tiers. It's also known for its limestone caves including Phartat Cave, which has stalactites and stalagmites, Ta Duang Cave which features rock paintings, and Wang Bah Dan Cave which has two levels with a stream in its lower chamber.
Day 6:Transfer to Chiang Mai - This morning you値l check out of your Kanchanaburi accommodation and then you値l be driven to Bangkok airport to board a short flight to Chiang Mai. Upon arrival in Chiang Mai, you will be met by a local guide who will accompany you to your hotel. Later in the afternoon, you値l explore the old town by trishaw and you値l finish your tour with a walk around the famous Chiang Mai night market.
Day 7:Elephant Nature Park - Today you値l visit the Elephant Nature Park, 60 kilometres from Chiang Mai. Elephant Nature Park focuses on education and conservation, and offers the opportunity to see ex-working elephants up close without exploiting them. Your family will learn about elephants, plus you値l have a chance to interact with them. Your visit helps to improve the lives and conditions of elephants. This evening your guide will take you out for a traditional Kantoke dinner.
Day 8:Explore Chiang Mai - It's an early start this morning as you値l head to the base of Chiang Mai Hill to watch the Buddhist monks descending into the city as the sun rises, to collect their alms for the day. If there is sufficient time you can walk up the mountain to Wat Prah That Doi Suthep. You値l then visit a local farm outside Chiang Mai where you値l collect the ingredients that you値l need for your Thai cookery lesson, and then you値l prepare an authentic Thai meal for your lunch. After lunch, you値l head into the hill tribe region outside of Chiang Mai, taking in spectacular views before arriving at your accommodation. This evening you値l enjoy a delicious buffet dinner and a traditional Hmong song and dance performance.
Day 9:Transfer to Surat Thani - After breakfast, you値l check out of your lodge and you値l be transferred to Chiang Mai Airport. En route you値l stop at the famous Doi Suthep Temple where you can take photos of the spectacular views over Chiang Mai. This afternoon you値l take a flight to Surat Thani in southern Thailand and from here you値l take a boat to the idyllic island of Koh Samui.
Day 10-13:Explore Koh Samui - You have three days to explore Koh Samui at your leisure. You may wish to discover the beautiful beaches of Chaweng, Maenam, Choeng Mon, Lamai, and laid-back Haad Bophut (Bophut Beach) which is located on the north coast. Bophut Beach offers great swimming, stunning views across to Koh Pha Ngan and an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and bars in the Fisherman痴 Village. There are also a number of dive shops offering scuba lessons or day trips to Ang Thong Marine Park, Sail Rock or Koh Tao Island. Or, you may wish to take a ferry over to the island of Koh Phangan. Koh Phangan is famous for its full moon parties which take place on Sunrise Beach in Haad Rin, however there痴 much more to this beautiful island than its world-renowned monthly parties. You can hike through the lush tropical jungle mountains and visit beautiful waterfalls, or if you池e feeling adventurous you can trek to the top of Khao Ra at 627 metres. You can also hire a long-tail boat and visit some of the island痴 30 beaches, and you can snorkel or dive on the colourful coral reefs.
Day 14:Sadly, your Thailand cultural tour and beach time on Koh Samui is drawing to an end. After breakfast this morning you値l check out of your accommodation and you値l be driven to Koh Samui airport for your flight home.

Travel Team

If you would like some help or advice, or just want to discuss your ideas for your next trip, do give us a call.

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Thailand culture and beach holiday

Environment

As with all of our luxury holidays, this itinerary has been crafted to ensure that it positively effects the local communities and environments visited.

This itinerary includes trips to some of Thailand's protected areas of natural beauty, including Erawan National Park and the UNESCO-listed city of Chiang Mai. By visiting these sites (all entrance fees are included in your luxury tour), you are supporting the protection of these areas, and indicating to authorities that tourists are interested in protecting Thailand's incredible natural environments.

Whilst exploring areas of natural beauty, such as national parks and beaches, please ensure that you don稚 leave any litter everything you carry in, you must carry out. Aside from the environmental damage, litter can be harmful to wildlife.

We also make a special effort to recommend activities and accommodation providers which have responsible and sustainable initiatives. For example, Elephant Nature Park is an ethical elephant sanctuary which rescues, treats and rehabilitates elephants previously used for logging, riding and entertainment purposes. A trip here helps provide much-needed funds for the elephants (many of which suffer health problems as a result of their mistreatment, leading to them being abandoned by their previous owners) and makes you an ambassador for elephant welfare, educating friends and family about your trip and the ethical ways to interact with elephants in Southeast Asia.

Community

All the local guides referred to in this itinerary are paid a fair wage. We believe that using local guides is important, as it helps generate local incomes and creates jobs, plus it offers a more authentic travel experience for travellers.

We recommend independent local hotels, lodges, guesthouses and campsites, rather than international chain hotels, which helps support local communities and allows you to experience true Thai hospitality. For example, at Raming Lodge in Chiang Mai, guests can learn about traditional Thai cuisine by joining a cookery course at the Cooking School, which uses organic food, made from ingredients grown locally.

This Thailand holiday also includes the option for cultural experiences learning about local traditions with trips to hill tribe villages, where you can engage in cultural exchange. What's more, getting to know a destination and the diverse people who live there means that you will have a more authentic and meaningful travel experience.

Popular similar holidays

Thailand tailor made holiday, elephants, jungle & beach

Thailand tailor made holiday, elephants, jungle & beach

Elephant encounters, jungle treehouses and stunning Thai islands

From 」1149 14 days excluding flights

Thailand family holiday, tailor made

Thailand family holiday, tailor made

Activity packed family holiday in the land of smiles

From 」7800 - 」12500 13 days excluding flights

Thailand cultural tour, floating market & beach

Thailand cultural tour, floating market & beach

Get a taste of rural Thai life and traditional cuisine

From 」690 4 days excluding flights

Northern Thailand and Laos cultural holiday

Northern Thailand and Laos cultural holiday

Discover remote Northern Thailand and Northern Laos

From 」2750 - 」2950 15 days including UK flights

Convert currencies