BANGKOK, CHIANG MAI, CHIANG RAI, GOLDEN TRIANGLE & PHUKET ISLAND
On this Amazing Thailand and Phuket Island tour with airfare included, we immerse you in multifaceted cultures and bring you to some of the most beautiful places this country has to offer. Travel through bustling Bangkok, a city brimming with impressive temples and Thai architecture. In Northern Thailand, discover the Golden Circle, an intersection of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos. Then, visit Chiang Rai and it’s famous night market and explore temples of Chiang Mai. Here you’ll also enjoy an elephant experience and Thai cooking class! Lastly, head to Phuket for a leisurely and scenic stay on Phuket Island—relax at the beaches, go shopping, or visit Phang Nha Bay and the famous “James Bond Island”.
For COVID-19 updates, please scroll down to our Before You Depart section.
Did you know that you can make this tour private? Find out about pricing and options for groups of 10 or more travelers.
- 4 nights in Bangkok
- 1 night in Phitsanulok
- 1 night in Lampang
- 2 nights in Chiang Rai
- 3 nights in Chiang Mai
- 3 nights in Phuket Island
- Round-trip airfare from Los Angeles (LAX)
- Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
- Intra-Thailand flights and ground transportation
- Accommodations at Superior First Class hotels
- 17 meals: 14 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
- Sightseeing tours as per itinerary and all transfers
- Professional English speaking Tour Director in Thailand from day 2 through 13
- English speaking tour host in Phuket
Click the Day by Day itinerary above (or swipe on mobile devices) to see the experiences that await on each day of your tour.
Day 1: Depart USA
Take off for Bangkok! Airfare from the U.S. is included in your tour package.
*Passengers who did not purchase flights will join the tour in Bangkok on Day 2.
Day 2: Arrive Bangkok
Land in Thailand’s capital, the “city of angels,” in the evening. Your Tour Director will be waiting at the airport to meet you and escort you to our home base for the next four nights.
Menam Riverside Hotel or similar
Day 3: Bangkok
After a special orientation breakfast, we’ll tour some of Bangkok’s most impressive Buddhist temples. We’ll see the White Marble Temple, one of the finest examples of Thai architecture.
Marvel at the five-ton solid gold statue of Buddha at Wat Trimitr and the colossal 150-foot-long reclining Buddha at Wat Po. Spend the afternoon at your leisure or hop aboard an optional canal boat ride across the river for a glimpse of daily Thai life. Your first full day in Thailand ends with a welcome dinner.
Menam Riverside Hotel or similar | Breakfast, Dinner
Note: Depending on your arrival time in Bangkok on Day 2, you may enjoy your welcome dinner on Day 2 instead of Day 3.
Day 4: Patom Organic Village
After breakfast, explore one of Bangkok’s floating markets! It’s great fun watching merchants selling food, produce, baskets, and other wares from their boats. Photo ops abound! Later, we’ll travel to Nakhon Pathom province on the outskirts of Bangkok. Here we’ll visit Patom Organic Village, a family-run eco-cultural project on the banks of the idyllic Tachine River. Immerse yourself in this organic living concept and participate in a wide range of engaging hands-on workshops where we can learn about soil, seedling, planting, compost, and fertilizer. Afterward, we’ll visit the traditional kitchen where farm-to-cooking workshops are hosted. We’ll see how they turn raw organic ingredients into traditional Thai foods and then enjoy lunch. We’ll stop by the organic coffee shop before we return to Bangkok with the afternoon at leisure to discover Thailand’s vibrant capital independently.
| Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5: Bangkok
With a day at leisure to discover the vibrant, exotic city of Bangkok, what will you choose to do? Your Tour Director is full of ideas for independent exploration to match your pace and interests. You can also take advantage of five optional tours and dinners that are specially priced for smarTours travelers, including a trip to the floating market, a tour of the Grand Palace, an afternoon on the canals, and two unforgettable dinner excursions. See Optional Tours for specific details.
Day 6: Bangkok/Ayutthaya/Phitsanulok
Our travels through amazing Thailand continue as we venture into regions rich with culture, history, and stunning landscapes. First: the ancient capital of Ayutthaya, which was one of the world’s largest cities in 1700. We’ll see some of its former glory in the giant bronze statue of Wat Mongkol Borpith and the three ancient pagodas at Wat Phra Sri. Our Thai adventure continues to Lopburi to view the magnificent stone carvings of Phra Prang Sam Yot and the mischievous inhabitants of the Monkey Temple. Our drive winds past rice paddies to Phitsanulok, the gateway to Northern Thailand, where Buddha images are made in an authentic way.
Topland Hotel or similar | Breakfast
Day 7: Phitsanulok/Sukhothai/Lampang
Before leaving Phitsanulok, we’ll stop at the famous Buddha Foundry where Buddha images are made in an authentic way. Afterward, we’ll continue to two UNESCO World Heritage sites featuring imposing temples and monument ruins. First: Sukhothai, the capital of the first kingdom of Siam in the 13th and 14th centuries. Next, we head to its sister city, Sri Satchanalai where we’ll view a unique private textiles museum before traveling to our final stop of the day: Lampang.
Wienglakor Hotel or similar | Breakfast
Day 8: Golden Triangle/Chiang Rai
This morning we’ll visit Thalor Village where we’ll stop at the Apple Saa Paper shop, famous for making paper from mulberry bark. We’ll have the chance to create our own original Sa Paper canvas (delivered to the hotel in Chiang Rai). Continue to Chiang Rai where we’ll check in to the hotel.
Phowadol Resort & Spa or similar | Breakfast
Day 9: Chiang Rai
Spend the morning at leisure. You can also take an optional boat trip on the Mae Kok River to visit hill tribe villages. Learn about their culture and see how these hill-tribe villagers live in a contemporary setting. This afternoon, journey to Phayao, a quaint lakeside town, and Chiang Saen, which borders Laos. Here we’ll take a short boat ride on the Mekong River to the Golden Triangle, the meeting point of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos.
Day 10: Chiang Rai/Chiang Mai
This morning, we’ll visit the White Temple, one of the most recognizable temples of Thailand. Afterward, we’ll drive on to Chiang Mai, the “Rose of the North.” Your hotel is centrally located and only a short walk to the renowned night market. You’ll have a free afternoon to explore or relax. In the evening, you can take advantage of the proximity to the night market or partake in an optional Khantoke Dinner and performance. See Optional Tours for details.
Empress Premier Hotel or similar | Breakfast
Day 11: Chiang Mai
Today we meet Thailand’s beloved national animal, the stately elephant at a world-famous Elephant Nature Park. This top-rated Elephant Reserve has rescued elephants all over the country and serves as a sanctuary not just for elephants, but for hundreds of cats and dogs as well.
Day 12: Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai has no shortage of temples; in fact, there are over 300! Take an optional morning city tour to see some of the city’s most interesting ones, including the regal Wat Phra That Doi Suthep which sits on a mountaintop overlooking Chiang Mai, where you’ll have the opportunity to take part in morning offerings and prayers with the local monks. (See Optional Tours.) In the evening, we explore the balanced flavors of Thai cuisine with a cooking class. Whether you participate or watch, you’ll enjoy the delicious results of our labors at our farewell dinner.
| Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13: Chiang Mai/Phuket
Today fly to Phuket where the balance of the day is at leisure. Your hotel is ideally located at Patong Beach, overlooking the ocean.
Novotel Resort or similar | Breakfast
Day 14: Phuket
Two full days at leisure to relax, shop or tour this scenic island. Perhaps head to Phi Phi Islands offering breathtaking scenery or go by boat and bus to Phang Nha Bay and the famous “James Bond Island.”
Day 15: Phuket
Continue your leisurely stay on your magnificent Phuket island!
Day 16: Phuket/Bangkok
Final day at leisure for shopping or independent pursuits. Late today, fly back to Bangkok.
The tour will end for passengers who did not purchase flights today, on Day 16, upon arrival in Bangkok.
Day 17: Bangkok/USA
Connect in Bangkok for your flight home. Your magical journey ends as you arrive the USA later today.
Prices listed as “with flights” below include round-trip airfare from Los Angeles (LAX). Travelers may choose to purchase the tour only, and arrange their own arrival in destination. Please note this may change your tour start date.
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Rates are per person based on double occupancy. Supplements for single occupancy may be seen by selecting departure dates above.
Reservations and Payments
Reservations can be made online or by phone (1.800.337.7773) and will be confirmed upon receipt of your non-refundable, non-transferable deposit, which must be received at the time of reservation. Deposits are $300 per person. Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Space and prices subject to availability. Please see the smarTours Terms and Conditions for complete booking information.
Optional Tours Customize your trip with these optional tours.
Enhance your trip with our recommended optional tours. Indicated optional tours are available to pre-book when you reserve your trip and can be added to your reservation up to final payment. This is the best option to guarantee your spot on your preferred optional tour! Optional tours require a minimum number of participants. Optional tours are non-refundable unless they do not operate.
Some optional tours can be purchased in-destination and may cost extra. The payment methods and currency information to purchase tours in-destination will be provided on final documentation.
The Klongs (Canals) Afternoon Tour
- From approx. $50 Per Person
Discover why Bangkok has been nicknamed the “Venice of the East!” Depart your hotel to Thornburi, situated on the right bank of the river, where you’ll board a private motorboat and ride along the canals to get a firsthand impression of the scenic life along the city’s waterways. A stop will also be made at the Royal Barge Museum.
AVAILABLE TO PRE-BOOK!
Note: This optional activity is available as an afternoon tour on Day 3.
The Imperial “Grand Palace” Tour
- From approx. $40 Per Person
This not-to-be-missed morning guided tour takes you to the Imperial Grand Palace, one of the most beautiful examples of ancient Siamese architecture. Former residence of the Kings, the mile-square palace grounds contain the greatest concentration of Thai arts and architecture in the country, including the Temple of the “Emerald Buddha.”
AVAILABLE TO PRE-BOOK!
Note: This optional activity is available as a morning tour on Day 5.
Mae Kok River Boat Trip & Hilltribe Tour
- Chiang Rai
- From approx. $35 Per Person
An unforgettable and exciting morning awaits as you board a longtail boat for a ride up the Mae Kok River. En route visit a temple located in a beautiful cave. Proceed to the Karen Hilltribe village at Baan Ruam Mid for an unforgettable visit. The hilltribe members maintain their own distinct culture, religion, and language.
AVAILABLE TO PRE-BOOK!
Note: This optional activity is available as a morning tour on Day 9.
Khantoke Dinner and Entertainment
- Chiang Mai
- From approx. $32 Per Person
Enjoy a dinner featuring local specialties, followed by a breathtaking performance of songs and dance by members of local hilltribes dressed in traditional garb.
AVAILABLE TO PRE-BOOK!
Note: This optional activity is available as an evening tour on Day 10.
Local Life: Chiang Mai Rickshaw Explorer
- Chiang Mai
- From approx. $31 Per Person
New for 2022! Explore the charming city of Chiang Mai without leaving a carbon footprint – ride on a traditional Rickshaw, which has been used in Thailand for over 60 years. These three-wheeled bikes have evolved greatly over time and continue to prove to be a very useful mode of local transportation. The meeting point is at Tha Pae Gate. From the vantage point of a rickshaw, ride leisurely through the colorful narrow streets towards Wat Puak Tam community. Walk around this unique artisan village, where they make beautiful brass ornaments and regalia. Look out for the detailed golden parasols found in many Southeast Asian temples. Visit and learn more about the story behind a unique local restaurant also known as Chiang Mai Woman Correctional Institution. Enjoy a Thai snack served by women prisoners who learn more skills to continue their lives more meaningful after released. Paddle to Wat Chiang Man, the oldest temple in Chiang Mai where we’ll encounter the old and important Buddha images. Wander through the bustling local food stalls of Waroros market and end the journey with fruit tasting at this lively spot.
AVAILABLE TO PRE-BOOK!
Note: This optional activity is available as a morning tour on Day 12.
Ban Hmong Mae Sa Mai & Orchid Farm
- Chiang Mai
- From approx. $38 Per Person
On our optional tour, we’ll depart this morning and travel approximately 25 miles to Hmong Mae Sa Mai. We’ll begin at the Hmong Mae Sa Mai Learning Center where we’ll meet a staff member and learn more about the Hmong people from their history, way of life and beliefs, and equipment and tools for agriculture. Afterwards, we’ll walk through the village to observe their way of life. Afterwards, stop at the orchid farm en route back to Chiang Mai.
Note: Please bear in mind that the villagers may not be at home as they might be in fields, farms, or town for their own work. Even those who are home may not dress in their traditional costume or may wear part of their traditional costume. Only the staff at the learning center will dress up in full.
AVAILABLE TO PRE-BOOK!
Note: This optional activity is available on Day 13.
Menam Riverside Hotel
Set on the Chao Phraya River, Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Bangkok Menam Riverside features luxury rooms, free shuttle boat, spa and pool.
2074 Charoenkrung Road, Bangkorlaem, Bangkok, 10120, ThailandWebsite
Topland Plaza Hotel
Conveniently located with spa and outdoor pool.
68/33 Akathodsarod Road, A. Muang, Phitsanulok, 65000, ThailandWebsite
Lampang Wianglakorn Hotel
138/38 Paholyothin Road, Suandok
Lampang, 52000, Thailand
Phowadol Resort & Spa
This relaxing haven welcomes with an outdoor pool and Bodhi Tree Spa, offering traditional Thai massage and more.
183 Moo 3 Rimkok Subdistrict, Muang, Chiangrai, 57100, ThailandWebsite
Empress Premier Hotel
199/42 Chang Klan Rd., Chiang Mai, 50100, ThailandWebsite
Novotel Phuket Resort by the Beach
Phuket, 83150, Thailand
Departing the U.S.: For the safety of everyone in the group, smarTours has implemented some COVID-19 travel requirements which apply to all tours regardless of destination. To learn more, click here.
Returning to the U.S.: In accordance with U.S. entry requirements, smarTours will arrange testing for the group in destination. Full details and requirements can be accessed here. More details including cost will be added when available.
Note: If you are traveling with us on a land-only basis please share your travel plans with us and let us know if you will also need to be tested with the rest of the group.
Please note entry requirements are changing rapidly. For up-to-date information, please click the links below.
- Entry requirements
- State Department Travel Advisory Updates (Thailand)
- Center for Disease Control Updates & Information (Thailand)
Your flights from the USA to Thailand and back are on the following airlines with the corresponding schedules. You are expected to arrive at your departure airport at least 3 1/2 hours before your scheduled departure.
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Please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing immigration and customs if you are planning a connecting domestic flight. We recommend at least 3 ½ hours. Please keep in mind that flight schedules are always subject to change.
ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT AND FREQUENT FLYER MILES
The above airlines do not assign seats in advance. Please note that smarTours is not involved with your seat assignment. It is between you and the airline! Seat assignment can only be arranged upon check-in at the airport. Also, please note that Air China does note give frequent flyer miles for passengers traveling on a group fare and therefore, you will not be able to accrue miles on this trip.
International flights to/from the U.S. are not included. Land-only travelers are responsible for arranging the entry and exit flights, as well as their arrival and departure transfers. smarTours cannot be held responsible for any damage caused by air schedule changes and delays. Unused land services are non-refundable.
Main Tour: Land-only services start upon independent check-in at Bangkok hotel on Day 2 of the itinerary listed on the tour page. Land-only services end upon arrival at Bangkok airport on Day 16 of the itinerary as listed on the tour page.
PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION
You must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. American citizens do not require a visa for Thailand. If taking the Angkor Wat extension you may obtain visa upon arrival in Cambodia for a cost of US$20 . To obtain your visa on arrival you’ll need to present one visa application form (attained upon arrival at the airport) and a passport sized photo. Non U.S. citizens should check with the respective consulates for current visa requirements to all their travel destinations. You’ll need to mail smarTours one photocopy of your passport with your final payment. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.
TICKETS AND FINAL DOCUMENTS
Your airline tickets along with final instructions and additional travel tips will be sent to you 7 – 10 days before the scheduled departure of your tour.
Immunizations are NOT currently required; however, you may wish to consult your personal physician or local public health authorities as to their suggestions.
You may expect daytime high temperatures ranging from the 80’s and 90’s. Chiang Mai is about 10 degrees cooler.
NON-INCLUDED MEALS AND SIGHTSEEING
The hotels used on this tour have several dining choices from coffee shop to specialty restaurants. Average cost for dinner (excluding drinks) in the coffee shop is about $15 – $20 per meal per person. Optional sightseeing tours and evening activities will be offered and should be reserved and paid for directly to your guide while on your travel to Thailand. Your hotel will accept credit cards for your non-included meals. Optional tours can be paid with by credit card or with cash.
CREDIT CARDS AND LOCAL CURRENCY
Hotels and some stores accept major credit cards. However, for “street shopping” you will need local currency or U.S. Dollars. Your hotels will be able to exchange for you cash to local currency. It is recommended that you bring along cash in small denominations.
Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (suitcase maximum 44 pounds) and one carry-on piece. The carry on must not exceed 18” x 10” x 8”. We recommend that you do not over-pack and that you take a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.