Always dreamed of traveling through Thailand? Time to make this dream come true. On your programme? An exploration of the cultural highlights of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle and a blissful few days at the beach in the royal seaside town of Hua Hin. The emphasis is on actively experiencing the real Thailand. You get a chance to scrub elephants and feed them, give alms to monks just like the Thai, meet hill tribes, cycle through rice fields ... and all that under the expert guidance of a local tour guide and a Belgian destination specialist. Fixed departure dates apply. Ready for adventure? This is the opportunity of a lifetime.
Day 1 - Brussels - Bangkok
Rendez-vous at Brussels Airport where you are introduced to your fellow travelers. Check in for your flight to Bangkok aboard the prestigious Thai Airways, the way to immediately enjoy the legendary Thai smile and hospitality.
Day 2 - Bangkok - Chiang Mai
You land in Bangkok and hop aboard your connecting flight to Chiang Mai where your Belgian tour leader and Thai tour guide both welcome you heartily. Your transfer to the hotel awaits. Before you set out on your exploration a delightful lunch is served, your intro to the local Thai cuisine. Next on your programme is an absolute highlight: the Wat Phra That Doi Suthrep temple, possibly the most important shrine in northern Thailand. You are spared the effort of climbing the 309 steps leading to the temple and are dropped off by van on the hilltop. Take your time to visit this Buddhist place of worship in typical northern style as well as the views.When the evening comes you are invited to enjoy a Thai welcome dinner. A blessing for all your senses. That the way to a man's heart passes through his stomach is an insights they seem to have mastered ages ago in Thailand.
Day 3 - Chiang Mai
Today you swap the centre of Chiang Mai for the countryside where nature and Asian elephants are central to your programme. Along the way the tour guide outlines the how and why of the particular elephant project you are about to visit. Then it's time to confront these delicious mastodons face to face and open yourself to the stories of their fortunes. All elephants roam freely here. You assist in the preparation of their meals and feed them. After your delicious Thai lunch it's time for the elephant's bath. You walk along the river and give the elephant a frantic, refreshing scrub. In the late afternoon you return to Chiang Mai.
Day 4 - Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai - Mae Salong
Before you drive to Chiang Rai you go on an narrated stroll through the old city and visit the Tha Pae Gate, Wat Chedi Luang and Chinatown in Chiang MaiThen you drive on to Chiang Rai. After lunch time the equally famous Wat Rong Khun awaits your presence. This modern and quirky, white temple was built at the initiative of the famous local artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. n the late afternoon you arrive at your stunningly located hotel amidst the Mae Salong mountains. You spend the night in an impressive suite with unforgettable views. What a setting! What a treat!
Day 5 - Mae Salong - Golden Triangle - Mae Salong
Via a narrow, hilly road with spectacular views you drive north through an impressive natural setting towards Lanjia Lodge. A villager welcomes you in front of this residence built in traditional Hmong style and takes you on a tour of the local mountain tribes' village. During the tour evidence that the Mekong River acts as a lifeline is consistent and clear. You also visit the house of the medicine man who introduces you briefly to the traditions of the Hmong and Lahu hill tribes. Then a delicious lunch with delightful views over the Mekong River awaits. Finally you reach the Golden Triangle where you board a boat which will transport you on the famous Mekong River to the border triangle spot between Myanmar, Thailand and Laos, nicknamed The Golden Triangle. After a visit to the Opium Museum you return to your hotel.
Day 6 - Chiang Rai - Phayao - Sukhothai
Today you rise bright and early as you are about to be part of a unique experience. You will join the locals and partcipate in the traditional "Tak Baht', the giving of food donations to monks. The reward is a blessing from the monks who wish you a life of eternal happiness. After this spiritual experience you enjoy breakfast yourself and take some time to relax. Then the coach heads southwards and a lunch stop is foreseen at Lake Phayao, a stunning backdrop to enjoy a meal at. In the afternoon you'll continue towards Sukhothai where you will spend the next two nights.
Day 7 - Sukhothai
Breakfast this morning is succeeded by a bike tour during which you can burn all those extra calories. You ride through numerous picturesque villages in-between rice paddies. The scenery is breathtaking and the villagers greet you with a warm smile. After a delightful Thai lunch you visit the famous historical site of Sukhothai by bike as well. This first capital is generally regarded as the cradle of Thai culture. Numerous relics dating back to the 13th century. At Wat Sri Chum you see one of the largest sitting Buddha statues in the country.
Day 8 - Sukhothai - Ayutthaya
Today another main destination, a 4-hour bus drive southwards si scheduled: Ayutthaya. Ayutthaya is the former capital of Siam and this UNESCO World Heritage site will pampers you with important temples such as Wat Chai Wattanaram, Wat Phra Si San Phet and Wat Mahatat. At times it may require some imagination to form a clear picture of the grandeur of yesteryear even if the ruins are well-preserved, but the site is impressive. Lunch is provided. In the late afternoon you exchange the coach for a longtail boat trip on the canals of Ayutthaya along picturesque places and beautiful temples. Keep your camera at the ready! In the evening you'll arrive at your hotel.
Day 9 - Ayutthaya - Bangkok
You start your day with a visit to the summer residence of the Chakri kings in Bangpa-In. This palace with its beautiful buildings and gardens creates an oasis of peace and quiet. Then the time has come to drive to Bangkok, Thailand's present capital. Here you will enjoy lunch and board a river boat for a trip on the Chao Phraya River and its klongs. Klongs are narrow canals and affluents of the mighty Choa Phraya river which will reveal to completely different picture of Bangkok. While local scenes of life glide by, the reason for Bangkok's nickname, the Venice the North, will become apparent and tangible. Wat Arun or The Temple of Dawn and a stroll through the authentic alleys of Chinatown where you will visit a Chinese temple round off your day's programme.
Day 10 - Bangkok
Today is all about Bangkok's cultural heritage. You will visit two of the country's most important temples: Wat Po and the Royal Palace. Wat Po is renowned for its 15 m high and 45 m long, fully gold plated reclining Buddha.The Royal Palace is part of a vast and colourful temple complex which bears witness to the wealth of Siam (the ancient name of Thailand). The most venerated statue in Thailand, the Emerald Buddha, is housed here.
After lunchtime you go on a guided visit of the "Pa Klong" flower market., a feast for your senses, before heading back to your hotel and enjoying all its facilities.
Day 11 - Bangkok - Hua Hin
Breakfast. The day is fully dedicated to trains and special markets. A first stop is foreseen at a cocunut farm where you will learn about the production of cocnut related produce. Then a unique, not to mention peculiar setting awaits: the closing umbrella or Rom Hub rail market. Its name is derived from its specfic location litterally on train tracks!
The rail market is the place for a recurring spectacle: a train whistle and signals the market vendors to quickly muster their stuff. Often they seem to succeed only seconds before the bumper of the locomotive hits! Once the train has passed, all items are displayed again. This action-reaction is repeated gain and again and again with each passing train. It is truly mind-boggling!
Later today, at the floating market of Damnoen Saduak, this organized chaos seems to repeat itself as you witness how the colourful vendors skillfully steer their boats to avoid collision.
Days 12 - 13 - Hua Hin
Time for a staycation at Hua Hin beach. Your local guide is available for all your questions. Those who are interested in an excursion will find themselves spoiled for choice. A nice an relaxing way to round of this fascinating journey.
Day 14 - Hua Hin - Bangkok
Too early the last day has come around. An entire day though to enjoy Hua hin, its sunshine and its beach. Tonight your transfer to Bangkok airport awaits in time for your direct return flight to Brussels.
Day 15 - Brussels
Hotels & Meals
Thai cuisine blends five fundamental tastes: sweet, spicy, sour, bitter, and salty. Some common ingredients used in Thai cuisine include garlic, chillies, lime juice, lemon grass, and fish sauce. The staple food in Thailand is rice, particularly jasmine variety rice (also known as "hom mali" rice) which is included at almost every meal. Thailand was long the world's largest exporter of rice, and Thais domestically consume over 100 kg of milled rice per person per year. Over 5,000 varieties of rice from Thailand are preserved in the rice gene bank of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), based in the Philippines. The king of Thailand is the official patron of IRRI.
Belgian travellers (babies and children included) must be in possession of an international, machine readable passport, with at least 2 blank pages, valid for 6 months after return. A 30-day tourist visa can be obtained at arrival free of charge.Please verify the latest updates on travel advice, documents and requirements on https://www.evisa.gov.kh.
Travelers with a non-Belgian nationality and / or travelers travelling on a foreign passport are invited to spontaneously report this matter to the Connections travel consultant and shall contact their respective embassy or Consulate to obtain the latest updates concerning all current travel requirements and documents.
Have a safe and carefree trip: travel fully insured with our Protections travel insurance! Our Protections insurance policies offer various formulas in order to offer you the widest possible cover (with even a fly-on-time, natural catastrophes and epidemics) for both single journeys or for the entire year. We guarantee you the best protection at the best price.
No mandatory vaccinations. To verify the latest updates on health requirements, please surf to www.itg.be
+ 6h (Winter), + 5h (Summer).
Thaise Baht; 100 THB = 2,79 EUR and 1 EUR = 35,60 THB (01/05/2019)
Cash euros can be exchanged at most places and credit cards are widely accepted as form of payment. AtMs are available in all tourist centres.
Thailand is a year-round destination with a tropical climate, influenced by monsoon winds. On the mainland the rainy season extends from May to October. Then it's warmer and you get, usually at the end of the day, hard but short rain showers. On the island of Koh Samui the rainy season runs from November to January. Up North you can count on cool temperatures during winter.
Average Temperatures (°C):
- Your return flight Brussels-Bangkok on Thai Airways
- Your domestic flight Bangkok - Chiang Mai on Thai Airways (day 2)
- All airport taxes
- 13 nights in the listed hotels or equivalent in room with breakfast
- Welcome dinner on day 2 in Chiang Mai
- Lunch en-route days 2 to 9
- Accompanied by Belgian destination expert with 10 years of Thailand experience and local Thai guide
- All scheduled transfers by luxury coach
- All listed visits and admission fees
- Price per person sharing based on double occupancy
What's not included?
Optional excursions (not mentioned in the programme), beverages during meals and meals not mentioned, tipping and personal expenses,
The surcharge for a single room (1 person): € 399,
File costs (€ 14 / person).
Standard Price per person