Cultural Thailand with Chiang Rai | Yampu Tours

Custom Travel Experiences Since 1998


Cultural Thailand with Chiang Rai


FROM £$ 2628

Private Tour Highlights

  • Get guided through glamorous streets and temples
  • Float along intricate waterways
  • Visit the rural cities of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai
  • Enjoy visits with the mythical hill tribes
  • board a rowing boat and make way through the small canals to buy fresh produce
  • Hike through scenic lush, green valleys
  • Visit a floating market and peruse goods on sale
  • See the region’s fascinating architectural and art history
  • Visit an entertaining exhibition which traces opium's history
  • Enjoy a leisurely boat ride over the Mae Kok River and enjoy stunning scenery
Interested in this tour?   Let us build you a customized quote based on your budget.

Tour Overview

Dive right into the culture of Thailand by spending a few days in Bangkok. Here you will explore the wonders of the Grand Palace and the floating market of Damnoen Saduak. The remainder of your trip will be spent in the border region of Chiang Rai visiting the rural villages of the infamous hill tribes, including the iconic longneck women of the Karen Tribe. This tour offers a rare insight into the culture of these locals and lifestyles along the border of the Mekong River.

Bangkok, meaning “city of angels”, the capital of Thailand is a dynamic, independent and influential city. From modern skyscrapers and shopping malls to centuries old temples and palaces, Bangkok is filled with intriguing contrasts. During this brief tour you will experience many aspects of this fascinating and vibrant metropolis.

Chiang Rai is often referred to as the gateway to the Golden Triangle, the point at which the borders of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand meet along the Mekong River. Once home to the famed Emerald Buddha that now resides in Bangkok, Wat Pra Keow remains the city’s most esteemed Buddhist temple. The city itself is situated in a valley surrounded by mountains that are home to many villages of varying ethnic minorities, called the “hill tribes.” An excursion to one of these villages introduces visitors to their rural lifestyles.

Price Includes:
Round trip domestic airfare from Bangkok to Chiang Rai, Accommodations with daily breakfast, All private transfers and activities by air-conditioned car, An English speaking guide to escort all transfers and tours, All entrance fees and activities as mentioned, Meals where specified (food only), Government tax and services charge

* For Day 3, it is recommended that for religious reasons, ladies have their shoulders covered and do not wear shorts or very short skirts. No sleeveless top and the sleeve have to be part of the top. Gentlemen should wear trousers and short sleeved shirts. Shoes must be removed before entering the Emerald Buddha Temple. Full length trousers and pants are required.

* Additional supplements may apply between 19 December – 7 January with a set minimum of consecutive nights required for bookings between 23 – 5 January. Special conditions apply between 30 December – 2 January.

* Additional supplements may apply during the weeks immediately preceding and following the Lunar (Chinese) New Year. The dates vary each year, but fall sometime between January 21st and February 20th:
2016 – Monday, February 8th
2017 – Saturday, January 28th
2018 – Friday, February 16th

* Guests staying over the night of 31 December are subject to a compulsory Gala Danner at an additional cost.
Best Time to Travel

Best Good Consult

Pricing Details
  3-Star 4-Star 5-Star Luxury
Double £$2171 £$2628 £$3213 £$5335
Single £$3623 £$4610 £$5773 £$10024

Prices shown above are per person. Hotel categories do not adhere strictly to international ratings; Yampu has evaluated the hotels according to destination and availability. Prices include local airfare (where applicable), hotel accommodation including daily breakfast; all transfers with baggage handling, all guided tours in English and all entrance fees.

Please note that prices are subject to change based on availability and seasonality, especially during the holiday season from December 20th through January 5th each year. Please contact a Yampu Travel Specialist for more information on best times to travel.

Trip Type:

All our trips are operated on a private basis unless specified otherwise. This is only a sample itinerary; your Yampu Tour Consultant will personalize this trip for you according to your available dates, interests and type of hotels. This is your trip and we will work on making it perfect!

Tour Itinerary


International flight to Bangkok

Overnight international flight to Bangkok.

Overnight international flight to Bangkok.


Arrival in bangkok

Upon arrival in Bangkok, airport reception and transfer to the hotel. Depending on the arrival time, spend the remainder of the day at leisure.

Upon arrival in Bangkok, airport reception and transfer to the hotel. Depending on the arrival time, spend the remainder of the day at leisure.


Bangkok – Wat Pho

After breakfast, drive to Wat Pho in time to experience the monks' morning chanting ritual. One of the oldest and most extensive temples in Bangkok, Wat Pho is home to the famous 45m Reclining Buddha. It is also the original school of traditional Thai massage. Next, visit the Grand Palace, the most important and spectacular royal palace in Thailand. The palace is an architectural wonder of golden stupas, walls and pillars encrusted in shining and colorful mosaics. Previously the residence of the Kings of Thailand, there are multiple palaces within the complex which were used for different occasions; including the beautiful Wat Phra Kaew, which houses the most revered Buddha image in Thailand: The Emerald Buddha. Continue with a walk to the public ferry pier for a short boat ride to Wat Arun, once the grand royal temple to King Rama II. After exploring, eat lunch (not included).

Then proceed with a visit to Vimanmek Mansion, the largest teakwood mansion in the world. Also referred to as Teakwood Palace, it was built in 1900 by King Rama V as part of the Dusit Palace Complex. In 1982, Queen Sirikit was granted permission from King Rama IX to renovate the building for use as a museum. Today, the museum holds an impressive collection of photographs, personal art, and handicrafts that were all personally collected by King Rama V.

Continue with a visit to the Thai-style house of Jim Thompson, the legendary American businessman who came to Thailand at the end of World War II and rediscovered the Thai silk industry. His house is now a museum filled with fascinating Asian antiques and historical memorabilia. It consists of six separate Thai teakwood houses from the Ayutthaya period put together as one. Jim Thompson's mysterious disappearance in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia remains a mystery to this day. After the tour, return to the hotel for the evening.

Note: Wat Arun Temple in under renovation so travelers will be able to walk around the temple, but will not be able to climb up the stupa. Ladies should wear a short-sleeved shirt with pants or a knee-length skirt and gentlemen should wear pants and a short-sleeved shirt for religious reasons. Sandals and flip flops are not allowed. If the trip starts on a Saturday, the Vimanmek Mansion part of the tour will be replaced with a tour of Suan Pakkad Palace Museum. less


Journey to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Depart early morning for the 2-hour drive to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. This vibrant market features numerous small boats laden with colorful fruits and vegetables, paddled by Thai women wearing bamboo hats. For the best experience of the market atmosphere, board a rowing boat and make way through the small canals to buy fresh produce from the vendors. This is the only place to see the traditional way of selling and buying goods in Thailand.

Afterwards, visit the Nakorn Pathom; the site of the highest Chedi in Thailand called "Phra Pathom Chedi", which is the largest pagoda in Southeast Asia. Enjoy an excellent buffet lunch at the picturesque Samphran Riverside. After lunch, there will be Thai cultural performances, including the colorful Buddhist ordination procession, an elegant fingernail dance, a Thai boxing demonstration, Hill Tribe dance performances, sword fighting, elephants, charming folk dances, a traditional Thai wedding ceremony and more.

This evening, be picked up from the hotel and transferred to Manohra Pier (or Saphan Taksin Pier), where travelers will board a boat for an evening cruise. Learn more about Bangkok and the Chao Phrya River, a truly magnificent waterway and one of the great rivers in Asia. The river has been a principal factor in the development of Thai heritage, culture, and economy, and is considered the nation's life and soul.

Cruise down the Chao Phrya River and enjoy a delicious Thai dinner and watch the panorama change to reveal fantastic treasures from the country's rich past, as well as fascinating modern architectural creations. The Manohra Luxury Cruise will take travelers to the King Rama VIII Bridge, where the boat will turn around and head back to the pier. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. less


Wat Pho – Chiang Rai

Transfer

Transfer to the airport for a flight to Chiang Rai. Upon arrival, airport reception and transfer to the hotel. After check-in, enjoy an afternoon tour of the city. Founded in 1262 AD, Thailand's most northern city boasts a fascinating architectural history with a mix of Thai and Burmese styles. Begin the tour at the ancient temple of Wat Phra Kaew, original home of the Emerald Buddha which is now housed in Bangkok.

Continue to Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong and observe its large gold stupa. Next, visit Wat Rong Khun, which is different from any other temple in Thailand. In contrast to the ancient temples, this temple was built in 1997 and was designed using white glass. Return to the hotel after the tour.

Note: Wat Rong Khun is under construction, so one can view the outside only. Ladies should wear a short-sleeved shirt with pants or a knee-length skirt and gentlemen should wear pants and a short-sleeved shirt for religious reasons. Sandals and flip flops are not allowed. less


Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

This morning, transfer approximately 1.5 hours through scenic agricultural areas, hills, and forest to the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. On arrival, receive an introduction on the elephants and then change into traditional Karen clothing. After being allocated bananas and sugar cane to feed to the elephants, walk through the Sanctuary, where one will find free-roaming elephants and hear their individual stories. Visitors can touch, feed, photograph, and interact with the elephants at leisure while learning about their lifestyle and behaviors. After meeting all of the elephants, accompany them to a nearby mud spa. Get muddy with the elephants while applying a healthy cosmetic mud treatment to their skin. Next, walk them to a nearby river and join them in the water for a refreshing bath. Take a swim and help bathe and brush the elephants while they wade through and play in the water. Once the elephants are clean, take some final photos with them, and then it will be time to part ways and change into some dry clothes. Eat some snacks and seasonal fresh fruit, before leaving. less


Visit to the Akha village

Start the day by visiting traditional Akha and Yao hill tribe villages. The Akha originated in Tibet, while the Yao originated in China. The Yao are heavily influenced by Chinese traditions and still use Chinese characters to write their language. Although different in many ways, they have managed to live peacefully alongside each other for decades.

Continue to Chiang Saen, a small crossroads town on the banks of the Mekong. Scattered throughout the town are the ruins of the Chiang Saen Kingdom, founded in 1325 AD, including chedis, images of Buddha, and earthen city ramparts. From there, go to Mae Sai, the northernmost point of Thailand, and one of the very few official land crossing points between Thailand and Burma. Many Burmese come over during the day from Thakhilek to work or do business and return home before sunset. Lacquer ware, gems, jade and other goods from Laos and Burma are sold in shops along the main street. Enjoy lunch here and then return to Chiang Rai in the late afternoon. less


Golden Triangle Tour

The Golden Triangle used to be infamous as one of the largest producers of opium in the world. Various Thai organizations led by the Royal Project and Doi Tung Development Project have spent decades battling this trade. As part of this campaign, the Hall of Opium was built to educate people about the dangers of the drug through an entertaining exhibition which traces opium's history from its first use 5,000 years ago to current issues of drug abuse and addiction. Many publications regard this as one of the best museums in Thailand. The Hall of Opium is incorporated within the 40-hectare landscape of the Golden Triangle Park. The total size of the exhibition area is about 5,600 square meters. After the tour, return to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. less


Intenrational Flight Home Via Bangkok

Transfer to the airport for the connection to Bangkok and flight home or continue with the Yampu Tours add-on of choice.

Transfer to the airport for the connection to Bangkok and flight home or continue with the Yampu Tours add-on of choice.

Bangkok Thailand

Chiang Rai Thailand

Places You'll See

  • Chiang_Rai_Temple

    Chiang Rai

    Established during the reign of King Mangrai, Chiang Rai is a beautifully historic city in northern Thailand. Visit the many temples, churches and museums, such as the Baan dam Museum, or the Presbyterian Chiang Rai First Church. Take a hike in Lion Hill, a natural cavern and site of a Buddha Cave. Or watch local performers, and buy merchandise at the night bazaar.

  • Bangkok_Temple


    Dubbed the “World’s Best City” by Travel + Leisure, Bangkok is home to a plethora of attractions, and activities. Enjoy a variety of shopping and dining experiences, or the city’s bustling night life. Or immerse yourself in the city’s rich culture by visiting the Grand Palace, any of the several Buddhist temples, or the Bangkok National Museum.

Hotel Options

3 Star Properties

Bangkok : Adelphi Suites

Bangkok : Chatrium Residence Sathon Bangkok

Bangkok : Shanghai Mansion Bangkok

Bangkok : U Sathorn Bangkok

Chiang Rai : Wangcome Hotel

Chiang Rai : Imperial Golden Triangle

Chiang Rai : Chiangkhong Teak Garden Hotel

4 Star Properties

Bangkok : Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa

Bangkok : Ariyasomvilla

Bangkok : Hotel Muse Bangkok Langsuan

Bangkok : Pullman Bangkok Hotel G

Chiang Rai : Katiliya Mountain Resort & Spa

Chiang Rai : The Legend Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai : Le Patta Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai : The Imperial River House Resort

5 Star Properties

Bangkok : The Okura Prestige

Bangkok : Shangri-La Hotel

Bangkok : Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok

Bangkok : Sofitel So Bangkok

Chiang Rai : Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort (Grand deluxe)

Luxury Properties

Bangkok : Mandarin Oriental

Bangkok : The Peninsula Bangkok Hotel

Bangkok : The Siam Hotel

Chiang Rai : Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort (Grand Suite)



Traveled February, 2014

I will always remember this trip

We have had opportunities to review our photos and share stories with family and friends, I will always remember this trip! Bangkok hotel and tour guide was fabulous. As soon as we got to the hotel they upgraded all of us to unbelievably fantastic rooms! Our guide met us at the airport and between her and the driver all went so smoothly. Due to the protest and closed streets, our guide helped us around the city using public transportation (upon our request), so no sight was unseen. The guide treated us as friends, sharing the local market place food and making sure we were safe at all times. Chiang Mai was great. Our hotel was in a perfect location. The hotel staff, food, and our guide were excellent.In Siem Reap, the hotel and surprise birthday celebration was fantastic, great location and fantastic staff! The guide and driver were kind, knowledgeable, accommodating and very flexible! Magical is a good word for Koh Samui. The hotel was perfect and would highly recommend it. I saw a few children, but not a place I would suggest for family with young kids. I must say that our guide showed us incredible places on the island that were not on the planned itinerary and that was beautiful. This guide had such a love for Koh Samui, which was a big plus! This guide saw we loved nature and added some unique experiences for us, like climbing a fantastic waterfall. In most of the locations the included lunches were not very good and in some cases bad. Maybe people should be given a chance on tour packages to upgrade to more of a local experience not a place all the tour buses go to. The first meal in Cambodia was fine but it went downhill fast from that one.I am so grateful for the chance to get check one place off my bucket list, Angkor Wat. Seeing Angkor Wat at sunrise completed one of my dreams.

Traveled To

Lillian B

Traveled November, 2012

The vacation was wonderful.

The vacation was wonderful. My husband and I had a great time. We really enjoyed the services you had arranged. A few things really stood out to us. 1. The Tour Guide at Bangkok Tanat, I believe his name is, was the superman of accommodation. He not only fitted our wishes or demands in helpful ways, but put in extra effort in many small aspects of the trip. We were completely satisfied with his service and would recommend him to any customers. Pass on the compliment if you can. 2. The Adelphi Suites in Bangkok- Fantastic hotel. Great location, friendly staffs, clean rooms, in room internet, affordable rate. I can’t ask for better. 3. Service and Hotel in Chiang Mai. Although in comparison to what we received in Bangkok, the accommodation lacked magic sparks. But everything was to our satisfactory. The tour guide there was able to arrange for a last minute cooking class when we asked. That turned out to be an outstanding experience. 4. Phi Phi Island Spa and Resort – I cannot describe how scenic Phi Phi island is. And the resort did a wonderful job presenting it to their guests. The beach is small, but private. The view off to the ocean calms one’s soul. The staffs are friendly and helpful. The Spa service lives up to its name. The only two problems are super expensive mediocre food and mosquito breeding ground. But we were able to overlook them. It was a nice get away from the cities’ hustle and bustle. Thanks for making our trip memorable. I definitely would like to work with you again on my next adventure.

Traveled To

Rosalie W.

Traveled November, 2014

Though our time was short, our agent was able to include all our requested stops

A friend & I just completed a 10 day tour of Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand) that was compiled by Yampu Tours. Though our time was short, our agent was able to include all our requested stops while adding some very interesting side tours, all within our budget. Everything and everyone we encountered were great: guides, hotels, flights, train, food, tours, and service.

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