See the best that Thailand has to offer its visitors! Start with discovering the charming Bangkok, from the Golden Buddha, the Reclining Buddha to Grand Palace and Thai houses, each speaks a different story about the Thai’s life and belief. Visit Ayutthaya, where lies the impressive Ayutthaya Historical Park with hundreds of Buddha statues. Explore ancient grand temples in Chiang Mai, together with a special trip to Elephant Nature Park and a cooking-class experience. Travel to Phuket for gorgeous beaches, striking landscape and the historic Old Town with remarkable buildings, this tropical island is a full package for any travelers, not to mention its stunning neighbor islands!
- Day 1: Bangkok Arrival
- Day 2: Bangkok tour of Grand Palace and Wat Pho
- Day 3: Bangkok – Ayutthaya Day tour
- Day 4: Bangkok – Flight to Chiang Mai
- Day 5: Chiang Mai – Day trip to Elephant Nature Park
- Day 6: Chiang Mai Half-day Cooking Class
- Day 7: Chiang Mai – Flight to Phuket
- Day 8: Day trip to Phang Nga Bay by Sea Canoe
- Day 9: Phuket full day city tour
- Day 10: Phuket free day
- Day 11: Phuket free day
- Day 12: Phuket - Flight to Bangkok – Departure
- This itinerary is a privately guided tour, designed just to show you what is possible.
- We can tailor this trip, it's inclusions and the accommodations, to meet your requirements, budget, and interests.
Bangkok ArrivalDay 1
Arrive in Bangkok, be welcomed by your private guide and driver, and then transferred to your hotel. Check in and enjoy your time of leisure. All meals will be on your own arrangement.
Overnight in Bangkok
Bangkok tour of Grand Palace and Wat PhoDay 2
After breakfast at the hotel, you will start to discover Bangkok with your private tour guide and driver.
A ride through interesting parts of Bangkok will take you to your first stop at the Golden Buddha. The statue, which can be disassembled into nine pieces, was housed in a wat in Ayutthaya until the mid 19th century, and its provenance from Ayutthaya excludes the possibility of it having been made after about 1750.
Your next visit will be to the Reclining Buddha.
The chapel and the reclining Buddha (Phra Buddhasaiyas,} were built by Rama III in 1832. The image of the reclining Buddha represents the entry of Buddha into Nirvana and the end of all reincarnations. The posture of the image is referred to as sihasaiyas, the posture of a sleeping or reclining lion.
After lunch, you will visit the Grand Palace. Probably the most visited and remembered landmark of Thailand, the Grand Palace in Bangkok is where every visitor must pay a visit at least once in their lifetime. The Grand Palace served as a significant royal residence until 1925 and is now used for ceremonial purposes only.
Explore the Coronation Hall, Funeral Hall and the famous Emerald Buddha.
Your trip will continue with a long-tail boat ride along the canal to see Thai houses and typical rural life as well as a visit to the Temple of Dawn before ending your day.
Overnight in Bangkok.
Bangkok – Ayutthaya Day tourDay 3
After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll drive north to Ayutthaya.
Your first visit will be to Wat Phu Khao Thong, originally built in 1387 by the second king of the Ayothaya kingdom, an impressive monument in North-western part of Ayutthaya. When the Burmese took over Ayutthaya in 1569, the Burmese king built a Mon-style chedi (or pyramid) on top of the former temple to celebrate his victory over Ayutthaya and the Siamese.
Continue to the Ayutthaya Historical Park and visit the ancient palace ground. Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, once a royal temple lying beside the Grand Palace, was once the most significant temple during Ayutthaya period. Adjacent to Wat Phra Sri Sanphet is Viharn Phra Mongkolbopit, an impressive building that houses a large seated bronze Buddha image. Its rebuilt pristine hall was believed to be a replica of the old Assembly Hall of Ayutthaya.
After a delicious Thai lunch, you’ll move on to Wat Lokaya Sutha to see the largest reclining Buddha of Ayutthaya at 8 meters high and 42 meters long. The Buddha image was made of brick and covered with plaster.
You will continue to Wat Mahathat, a classic temple ruin of Ayutthaya and famous for the picturesque Buddha head engulfed by the Bodhi tree roots. The foundation size, remaining prangs, and towers attest the significance during its time.
Late in the afternoon, you’ll take your ride back to Bangkok and check in the hotel for the night.
Overnight in Bangkok
Bangkok – Flight to Chiang MaiDay 4
After breakfast and check-out of the hotel, you will take a short flight to Chiang Mai. Get welcomed in Chiang Mai Airport then transferred to your hotel.
Take a Chiangmai City tour. The tour includes Wat Pra Singh, which is one of over 200 ancient Buddhist temples located around the city, one of the most well-regarded examples of Lanna architecture; and Wat Chedi Luang – The temple is the within site of an enormous pagoda, originally 280 feet high, and which was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1545. At one time, Wat Chedi Luang housed the revered Emerald Buddha image now enshrined in Bangkok’s Wat Phra Kaeo.
Back to the hotel in the late afternoon and check in. You may want to discover the Chiang Mai Night Market after dinner time.
Overnight in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai – Day trip to Elephant Nature ParkDay 5
Today you will enjoy a full day visit to Elephant Nature Park; a natural home and sanctuary for elephants, buffalos, dogs, cats, birds and many other rescued animals.
Your visit will start with a picturesque drive through the rural countryside to Elephant Nature Park. You will hear the personal stories of rescued and orphaned elephants. See how they became a proud herd and free from abuse for the first time in their lives.
Many will find their visit to Elephant Nature Park rewarding and very relaxing. Observe free roaming elephants (no riding), and other rescued animals enjoying the natural surroundings of our sanctuary.
Your visit helps support our regional projects and offers an invaluable opportunity of helping elephant conservation.
Overnight in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Half-day Cooking ClassDay 6
Today you will learn to cook some of the most famous Thai dishes at Asia Scenic – one of the best cooking schools in Chiang Mai.
After you select the menus you want to cook, you’ll get started with a local market tour to select the freshest and best ingredients for your menu.
Enjoy the guidance of the chef and prepare your own meal, then evaluate yourself by having what you have cooked for lunch!
The afternoon will be free for your own leisure.
Overnight in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai – Flight to PhuketDay 7
Today you’ll take your flight back to Bangkok, then another connecting flight to Phuket.
Arrive in Phuket, be welcomed by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Check in and enjoy this cheerful beach city!
Overnight at Phuket
Day trip to Phang Nga Bay by Sea CanoeDay 8
Phang Nga Bay is famous for its limestone “Sea Mountains”. On your trip today, you will discover the flora of this amazing landscape at Koh Panak and Koh Hong while learning more about the bay. You’ll pass along Koh Hong on the way to Koh Tapu and pay a visit to Pinggan Island.
You will explore Tapu Island, also known as “James Bond Island” the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun” was partially filmed. Lunch will be served on board.
Enjoy the sea and weather. Transfer back to your hotel in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Phuket
Phuket full day city tourDay 9
You’ll start your day with a drive along beach roads through Patong, Karon, Kata, and Rawai. Visit the Three Beaches viewpoint where you can take in a great vista of the beautiful bays of Kata Noi, Kata, Karon and Kho Pu Island, at one of the best scenic spots on the island.
Explore Old Phuket Town; the historical district is a must-see in the city. Check out the yesteryear of Phuket’s old Sino-Portuguese buildings, built more than 100 years ago, these buildings portray Thai characteristics and heritage although architecturally a blend of Chinese and European styles.
Enjoy scenic views from Khao Rang Hill. A great view of Phuket Town, the southern part of the island, and some of the offshore islands can be obtained by going to the top of Kao Rang Hill, on the city’s northwest side.
After lunch, you’ll start the afternoon tour by visiting Wat Chalong, Phuket’s most beautiful and renowned monastery.
Savor a quick break to visit a cashew factory to taste a famous local product of Phuket. As a result of Phuket’s favourable climate, the cashew nuts here are of better quality than those grown elsewhere in the world. Various kinds of cashew products are on sale.
After that, you will see the Phuket Butterfly Garden & Insectarium which is the most authentic butterfly garden in Thailand. The butterfly enclosure encompasses about 1 acre with more than 10,000 free-flying butterflies per month. In the breeding room, you will be surprised how a small caterpillar can transform into a pupa and finally a butterfly.
If time permits, you may tour another destination such as the Phuket Aquarium, Phuket Seashell Museum, Phuket Zoo, or Snake Show
At around 18:00 PM, you will have the opportunity to witness the brilliance of Phuket’s sunset from a hilltop overlooking the famous Phromthep Cape, which is situated adjacent to Nai Han Beach and Rawai Beach, at the southernmost point of Phuket.
Back to the hotel to rest for the night.
Overnight in Phuket
Phuket free dayDay 10
Today will be at your own leisure to enjoy the beach.
Overnight in Phuket
Phuket free dayDay 11
Another free day to enjoy the beach.
Overnight in Phuket
Inquire this trip
We are a member of:
We are a fully licensed company:
License No: 01-327/2014/TCDL-GPLHQT
This tour is built upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best choices available. The price of this trip varies depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and availability of ground services. Please click on REQUEST A FREE QUOTE (above) and supply the required information, enabling us to send you your personalized quote within 24 hours!
Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suite your requirements.
- Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
- Private Vehicles and Drivers
- Private English Speaking Guides (Other languages if available, upon request)
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
- Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
- Service Charge & Government Taxes
What’s Not Included?
- Your International Flights to and from Thailand
- Thailand entry Visa Fees (contact us for further information)
- Personal Expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
- Any bank fees or charges at your end
- Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
- Personal Travel Insurance
- Tips for guides and drivers
How to Plan a successful Trip to Thailand, Step-by-Step
Why to Visit Thailand
Where to Go
When to Go
Obtain a Thailand Visa
How to book a tour
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Why to Visit Thailand
Thailand, the wondrous kingdom, the most popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia, and the only Southeast Asian nation that has never been colonized by a European power. With endless attractions for visitors of all budgets and interests, Thailand is the paramount beacon beckoning travelers from all over the world to Southeast Asia.
For those wanting to learn more about Thai culture, take a stroll through the impressive Buddhist temples, and join a cooking class to learn Thai culinary arts. More of a nature person? Explore the spectacular islands and bask on world-class beaches, see some exotic wildlife, and tour the country’s landscapes. Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui offer life in paradise with their miles of pristine sand and crystal water. Looking for a more modern experience? Shopaholics will find Bangkok a heaven with its millions of product types, brand names and prices at every corner, either at an affordable market or a luxury mall. The nightlife is also guaranteed to please the party crowd. Most importantly, everywhere you go, you will be warmly greeted by the Thai locals, whose dazzling smiles established Thailand as the ‘land of smiles’.
From five-star pampering, adrenaline-fueled activities, shopping in stylish boutiques, sun tanning on some of the best beaches in the world, to taste the fantastic cuisine, Thailand has something for everyone.
Where to Go
Most popular sites of Thailand
• Bangkok – visit temples by day and bar hop by night
• Phuket, Pattaya and Koh Samui – relax on beaches with white sands and crystal-clear waters
• Hill tribes in the north – trek with the locals
When to Go
The climate varies throughout this country, makes it possible to visit all year round. The best time to visit Thailand is between November and February when the weather is at its best. Much of the country experiences a typically tropical climate consisting of two seasons: dry and wet.
In northern Thailand, the dry season with cooler temperatures falls between November and May, with heavy rainfall between June and October.
In the south, the climate differs between the east and west coasts. The weather on the east coast is good for most of the year, with the lowest rainfall in January and February, and the highest in November. The west coast is more favorable during the winter months when diving and snorkeling will be at its best.
Obtain a Thailand Visa
Passengers arriving via an international airport will be given a 30-day visa exemption stamp, however, those with back-to-back visa exempt entries might be questioned. As of December 31st, 2016, the number of visa exemption entries at a land border has been limited to two per the calendar year, for a maximum of 30 days each time. For those who would prefer to get a visa, a valid tourist visa offers a maximum of a 60-day stay.
The Thai visa photo criteria are 6 cm high x 4 cm wide with a bright background color.
The citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Thailand for a certain amount of time:
- Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, South Korea (maximum stay of up to 90 days)
- Laos, Macau, Mongolia, Russia, Vietnam (maximum stay of up to 30 days)
- Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Brunei, Belgium, Canada, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia(unlimited), Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Slovak, Slovenia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom and USA
(maximum stay of up to 30 days when entering Thailand at an airport, plus 2 extra 30-day exemptions at a land border in a calendar year)
Visa on Arrival (VOA)
The citizens of countries that are eligible for a VOA to enter Thailand can NOT enter Thailand at any Thai / Cambodian border: Andorra, Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
All other foreign citizens must obtain a Thai visa from their nearest Thai embassy/consulate.
Note: It is recommended to keep a copy or record with your camera, your passport, visa, most recent entry stamp, and your embarkation card.
How to book a tour
Booking your holiday with Indochina Pioneer cannot be easier! Follow our 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Browse our website www.indochinapioneer.com for tours, cruises and other destination information.
Should you find something that matches your interest, fill in the REQUEST A FREE QUOTE forms. Can’t find something that fits your needs? Then fill the BUILD YOUR OWN TRIP or CONTACT US form and click SUBMIT.
Then sit back! One of our travel experts will get back to you shortly with our customized package and most favorable offer!
In a hurry? Don’t like filling forms? Then call +84 982 116 630 (Mr. Lam) or +84 983 145 799 (Mr. Quyen). We’re available 24/7 and would be more than happy to talk! Certainly, your request will be carefully noted and a nicely crafted package with a pleasant price will follow!
Step 2: Reviewing/ Customizing our offer!
It’s your holiday so everything should be exactly what you want! We encourage your careful review of what we offer, letting us know what changes you would like to make. We’ll be more than happy to fine-tune the tour to fit best your interests, budget and time! This step may require several emails/call exchanges until perfect!
Step 3: Confirming/Paying/ Packing for the trip!
Once you’re satisfied with the customized tour, please let us know and Indochina Pioneer will need a few working hours to place reservations for all of the tour services. As soon as the availability and reservations of the services are confirmed, we will request a deposit. Please refer our Payment Guide for more details.
Once your deposit is received by Indochina Pioneer, we will send you the service voucher which confirms all the services of the tour and provides ground contact details and a guide for the final payment schedule.
And then you start counting down the day for your most fabulous trip!
Booking Amendment & Cancellations:
Booking Amendment: Flexibility is our strongest point. You can amend your booking even after it is made. Just contact your salesperson or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your booking number. Our reservations team is glad to amend your booking with your preferable alternatives. Please kindly note that you will be responsible for any change of the final price caused by your amendment requests.
Travel smart with Indochina Pioneer!
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Packing Checklist – Be sure to check them all 😉
- Travel documents (passport, visas, travel insurance certificate, air tickets, tour voucher)
- Money (cash, credit card, debit card, traveler’s cheques and money pouch)
- Day pack for your personal needs during the day
- Camera and extra memory cards and batteries
- Cell phone and cell phone charger
- Laptop charger (if you are bringing your laptop)
- Travel plug/international adapter
- Medication (including a doctor’s letter if you are carrying a large amount of medication)
- Prescription glasses / contacts and if necessary, contact lens solution
Best to bring along
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Refillable water bottle with filter
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Comfortable clothing, either light or heavy options, depending on the season you are travelling
- Clothes suitable for visiting temples (long pants / skirts, long sleeved tops)
- Waterproof jacket / raincoat / umbrella
- Hat & sunglasses
- Bathing suit
- Ear plugs & eye mask
- Sleep sheet for home stays / trains
- Lightweight travel towel
- Local language phrasebook
We are committed to giving our customers unforgettable experiences in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and beyond, not just something staged for tourists. Read reviews written by our customers about their experiences in Indochina after they have returned home. These include the ratings and comments on attractions, guides, activities, hotels and food.
"Great Experience in Vietnam and Cambodia"
Our family of five just got back from a wonderful experience exploring Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Saigon, the Mekong Delta, and the Angkor temples. Kata Tran customized a tour based on our interests (and not only kept in touch with us via WhatsApp during our visit but also took the time to meet us in Hanoi), the local guides were knowledgeable and spoke excellent English, and the drivers delivered us safely to our destinations (no small feat given the often challenging traffic patterns) and kept us hydrated. Highlights were the Hanoi street food tour with Trang, visiting the Ba Na Hills Golden Bridge with Snow, biking through rice fields with Toan and a cooking class at the Kumquat Hoi An restaurant, crawling through Cu Chi tunnels and exploring Saigon and the Can Tho floating markets with Hiep, and ascending to the “Heaven” level of Angkor Wat with the assistance of Mister Pasquale.
We wanted a trip for 2 of us, somewhat last minute, and didn’t feel like putting in all the effort to plan it. Hien skyped with us and put together a trip that was AMAZING. We loved Cambodia, but suggest 2 half-day tours of the temples instead of one or two all-day tours. You will get templed-out. Everything will blur together. Definitely try The Bug Cafe. It’s definitely something to talk about later. Our favorite city in Vietnam was Hoi An and we wouldn’t have thought of it if it wasn’t for Hien. Bring your favorite dress and they will remake it for you in 48 hours, buy leather, and try all the delicious food. We highly suggest adding on a cooking class or a lantern class. Hien even came and met up with us at the end of our trip to meet with us personally.
All excellent. Fantastic travel agent. Elena was fantastic and very kind. A great professional. No doubt highly recommended.
"Very enjoyable tour by Indochina Pioneer!"
Used agent Lizzie who looked after us very well from start to finish. We wanted boutique hotels with pools as like to steer clear of large multinationals and each one selected was superb. We had done our research prior so knew where we wanted to stay so Indochina Pioneer was flexible. Coming from NZ, we found Halong Bay disappointing – polluted water and too many boats. But loved Luang Prabang, Laos just a 45 min flight from Hanoi. It was the highlight for us. No large tour groups & lovely colonial French architecture. Quieter than Viet’s hot spots. Buddhist culture, elephant conservation, serene waterfalls.
Lizzie kept in touch the whole way & adapted our itinerary as requested. Our guides in Hanoi and Laos were excellent. Use a Vietnam based agent like Indochina Pioneer to plan your land content. Nothing beats the local knowledge and back up if things go wrong. Thanks Lizzie & Indochina Pioneer for a great trip.
"Fulfilled Promises – Use Indochina Pioneer when traveling to Asia"
For about a month, I solo traveled through Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia and enjoyed the most beautiful trips of my life. Although nervous about doing this trip alone, Mr. Lam Duong promised my safety came first. Each guide in each city took care of me like I was family. Everywhere I went throughout SE Asia, the guides and the locals make you feel at home. The sights are one thing, but the culture is true beauty. I had a blast every single day knowing I was safe, and knowing that I had a full itinerary every day. Each guide was flexible to the itinerary as well. If you are ever planning on traveling to Asia, I 100% recommend using Indochina Pioneer. My itinerary was fantastic, my guides took care of me, and the hotels were beautiful. Thank you again for all of your help Lam!
Must See Destinations: Hoi An, Sapa, Siem Reap, Luang Prabang.
Simon TeevanSaudi Arabia
"10 out of 10!"
Just back from a fantastic 2 weeks in Cambodia & Vietnam, all organised by the fantastic Kata Tran in Indochina Pioneer. Cannot recommend them highly enough. They gave us great options from which to choose in terms of places to visit, hotels to stay in, tours to take, etc. And, they were very flexible regarding any changes we wanted to make. All guides were great – all locals with great English and very knowledgeable. 10 out of 10!
"Amazing Vietnam private tour"
This is the 1st time we’ve been to Vietnam and we absolutely love it.
Big thanks to Kata (our tour organiser), who has been very accommodating to our requests. The tour was well organised and everything flowed smoothly.
We stayed in Hanoi (2 nights), Halong Bay (1 night) and Hoi an (2 nights), wished we could have stayed longer. Great hotels with delicious breakfast, excellent halong bay cruise and friendly tour guides (Tony from Hanoi and Snow from Danang) and drivers.
Big thumps up to Indochina Pioneer.
Hermish KumarUnited Kingdom
"Wonderful stress free tour of Vietnam"
We had such a great holiday with Indochina Pioneer.The whole trip was so much fun and we saw and experienced so many beautiful things. Our guides were great Viet in Hanoi was superb – he spoke and understood English really well and took us to some different local places as we had discussed with him Yao in Sapa also spoke and understood good English and was really helpful on the trek
Banh in Hoi An / Hue had good English and was very informative
Sam in Ho Chi Minh had average English but he is so knowledgeable, helpful and easy to be with.
Pascal in Cambodia was really great and took us to some great locations for different photo opportunities
The hotels were also very good.
Boss Legend Hanoi – great
Sapa – rooms were a bit cold and we had to request a heater but much better the second night
Halong Bay – a fantastic trip would have loved to have stayed for longer!
Hoi An – lovely modern hotel – superb location
Hue – originally we declined a room on the 9th floor which we had been told would be noisy and were given a room on floor 6 – this was dark and we were moved the next day to a balcony room on floor 8 which was perfect.
Ho Chi Minh – lovely hotel and location
Siem Reap – lovely hotel and pool area
Overall everything Indochina Pioneer had booked for us went really smoothly and made our trip so enjoyable
We have already passed your details on to several friends back in the UK who are also contemplating a trip to Vietnam
I hope we will be able to use ICP services again on our future trips to Myanmar, Laos and China
"Enjoy the Indochina Pioneer Experience"
I have used this company twice to book a trip to Viet Nam and a 2nd trip to Viet Nam and Cambodia.
I have also recommended this company to many local friends. I was so happy and pleased with meeting my agent Kata Tran. She is wonderful person, extremely organized and so trustworthy. All of the recommendations that I made to friends were also thrilled with Kata’s service and the professionalism of Indochina Pioneer.
Not only do they provide competitive prices but they have private drivers and guides who are locals. As a result, tourists get a local perspective from very well trained professional guides. The accommodations, food and cars were top notch. Please don’t miss the Indochina Pioneer experience you will not be disappointed.
"Our fantastic Vietnam trip with Indochina Pioneer"
A couple of our close friends, my wife and I were planning to visit Vietnam for a while, but were not sure if we should do this on our own, or to use one of the travel agencies in Vietnam. A month or two later, a friend of my wife mentioned that she has just come back from Vietnam, used Indochina Pioneer to advise her on the itinerary and get trip organized. She told us she was totally impressed with them. Before contacting Nam Duong, we did some research and were fully impressed, as Indochina Pioneer’s reviews were outstanding. To make long story short, we asked Nam to prepare the itinerary for a two weeks tour of Vietnam. The response was prompt, we loved Nam’s proposal and two weeks later we were on our way.
Everything from the pickup at the airport, hotel choice, vehicles and especially the team of local guides were superb! We spent two weeks sightseeing and learning the history of Vietnam while visiting Saigon and Mekong delta, Hue, Hoi An, Danang, Hanoi and Ha Long Bay. We took millions of pictures and left with unforgettable memories of wonderful people we met during our trip and are grateful to Nam Duong and his team for getting this organized. We strongly recommend Indochina Pioneer. They did absolutely superb job. Thank you, Nam and your team!