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 Wat Mahathat, “the Temple of the Great Relic” which was once the kingdom’s most important 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.
Tree Tara Hotel or similar | Breakfast
Day 8: Lampang/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). This afternoon, journey to Phayao, a quaint lakeside town, and Chiang Saen, which borders Laos. Continue to Chiang Rai where we’ll check in to the hotel.
Phowadol Resort & Spa or similar | Breakfast
Day 9: Chiang Rai
An unforgettable and exciting 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 hill-tribe members maintain their own distinct culture, religion, and language. You’ll see the unique way of life passed down from generation to generation within this minority group. Continue to visit Wat Huay Prakan and then Wat Rong Suea Ten or the “Blue Temple,” renowned for its magnificent blue interior, colorful murals, and immense white Buddha image.
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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Call to book
Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
Single supplement applies when not sharing a room. Select a date above to see the rates for that specific departure.
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. A dress code is strictly enforced at the Grand Palace. Men must wear long pants, and women must cover their legs to just above the knee. Avoid wearing tight-fitting stretch pants or “revealing” clothing, and refrain from wearing sleeveless shirts or showing your shoulders.
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. $36 Per Person
After meeting our tour guide at the Three Kings Monument, we’ll set off on three wheels to Waroros Market, the biggest local market in Chiang Mai where locals can find everything under one roof. During Thai festivals like Songkran and Loy Kratong, people from surrounding districts and provinces come to Waroros Market to buy decorations and new clothes. This market is brimming with local food, desserts, and fruit to be savored. We’ll continue by rickshaw to Wat Puak Tam, the center of brass ornament making. We’ll learn about the history of the community and how to make a brass ornament. Next, we’ll visit Wat Srisuphan, also known as the Silver Temple thanks to its impressive handcrafted silver decorations. The temple was built around 1500 and was meant to serve as the main temple for a silversmith village. Since 2008, the temple has become completely covered in silver including the walls and roof, and displays detailed silver carvings. DUe to old Buddhist customs, women are not allowed to enter the inside of the temple and must remain outside. The surrounding Wat Sri Suphan features many small silver studios where we can see local artisans at work. We’ll return to the Three Kings Monument by rickshaw where our optional tour concludes.
AVAILABLE TO PRE-BOOK!
Note: This optional activity is available as a morning tour on Day 12.
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
Tree Tara Hotel
Chomphu, Mueang Lampang District, Lampang 52100, ThailandWebsite
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 COVID-19 travel requirements which apply to all tours regardless of destination. To learn more, click here.
Please note destination entry requirements are changing rapidly. smarTours will communicate entry requirements in your Tour Documents 10-14 days prior to departure. 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.