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Northern Thai Highlights

4.7
86 reviews
See full itinerary

The one that takes you from bustling Bangkok to the rolling hills of north Thailand

Travel Style

In-Depth Explorer

Take your time and explore in-detail each destination on this trip. Find out more

  • Duration

    8 days

  • Places

    6 places

  • Meals

    6 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 1 Dinner

  • Transport Style

    Mini-Coach

  • Group Size

    Average 24 people

  • Team

    Expert Trip Manager and Local Guides

Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Overnight Train to Chiang Mai, Pai, Chiang Mai, Ayutthaya

Top Experiences

7 included & 3 free time add-ons available to add later

  • Visit infamous Death Railway & the Bridge on the beautiful River Kwai, Kanchanaburi

    Included

    Kanchanaburi

  • Swim in the breathtaking Erawan waterfalls in Thailand

    Included

    Kanchanaburi

  • Muay Thai boxing experience

    THB 980.00

    Pai

Northern Thai Highlights

7 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • Locally guided tour of the Grand Palace with tour of the Klongs (canals)
  • Visit infamous Death Railway & the Bridge on the beautiful River Kwai, Kanchanaburi
  • Floating Raft Special Stay
  • Swim in the breathtaking Erawan waterfalls in Thailand
  • Take a scenic bike ride across Ayutthaya
  • Overnight train to Chiang Mai
  • Elephant Nature Park

3 Free Time Add-Ons

Optional experiences that you can choose from and pay for on your trip

  • Muay Thai boxing experience THB 980.00
  • Zip around Chiang Mai's street food scene in an evening Vespa food tour THB 2750
  • Learn how to make Pad Thai & more at a cooking school in the rolling hills of Chiang Mai 800 THB

Where I'll Stay?

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • 7 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    5 nights in Hotel, 1 night in Special Stay - Floating Raft Hotel, 1 night in Overnight Train

    Most nights see you snuggled up in comfy twin-share rooms in a hotel with facilities you've been dreaming of. We've also lined up a floating jungle raft stay and an overnight sleeper train. Not your average sleeps here!

About this trip

The North of Thailand is a haven for travellers, and it's easy to see why. Venturing into this part of the world sees you explore bustling cities and picturesque highlands. Expect to see a side to Thailand that most of people miss, like staying overnight in a floating jungle raft, learning to cook the local cuisine like a pro, basking in the gilded Grand Palace, and eating your way around the Pai night markets. And that's just a sprinkling of what we have in store for you.

Buy With Confidence

  • Only $99 deposit to book*

    For a limited time, reserve your space now with a deposit of only $99, pay the rest 45 days before departure

  • Pay over time, interest free

    Can't pay in full? We've got you covered with our Part Pay Program

  • No booking fee, no change fees

    Change your travel dates or even your trip for free

  • Financing available with UpLift

    Book now, pay later when you're eligible for Uplift

Map & Itinerary

  • Start location
  • End location
  • Trip day
  • Via location
  • River route
  • Plane route

Nights spent per location

  1. 1 1 night

    Bangkok

  2. 1 1 night

    Kanchanaburi

  3. via via

    Ayutthaya

  4. 1 1 night

    Overnight Train to Chiang Mai

  5. via via

    Chiang Mai

  6. 2 2 nights

    Pai

  7. 2 2 nights

    Chiang Mai

DAY 1 - Bangkok

Bangkok

The heat and hustle of Thailand's capital will hit you the moment you land, with 9 glorious days of adventure stretched out ahead of us. After checking into our hotel you're free to do some DIY exploring, treat your muscles to a soothing massage or just lie by the pool soaking up the first rays of that sweet Thai sunshine. Later we'll rendezvous as a group so you can hear what's in store for the trip, then the night is yours to take to the streets for some authentic pad Thai and nightlife on Khao San road.

Stay

Nouvo City Hotel (or similar)

DAY 2 - Bangkok to Kanchanaburi

Bangkok

This morning we'll enjoy a locally guided visit to Bangkok's glittering Grand Palace.  After a tour of the klongs (canals), we're swapping the big city for the sleepy town of Kanchanaburi.

Kanchanaburi

Here it's about living local. We'll start with visiting iconic historic sites including the WWII Cemetery, for a glimpse at darker past times, and the famed Bridge on the River Kwai. Since we all know there's nothing quite like local transport to make you feel really alive, this afternoon we'll pop into a boat along the River Kwai where we'll reach our home for the night: The Floating Jungle Raft Hotel. This place is every bit the dream Thailand location you've imagined, so you may have to pinch yourself as you're greeted with rooms lit by candlelight, followed by a delicious local dinner at dusk. If you're game, which of course you are, you can even jump into the river directly from your room. #Travelgoals, check!

Stay

Jungle Raft Hotel Special Stay (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Locally guided tour of the Grand Palace with tour of the Klongs (canals)

  • Visit infamous Death Railway & the Bridge on the beautiful River Kwai, Kanchanaburi

  • Floating Raft Special Stay

DAY 3 - Kanchanaburi to Chiang Mai via Ayutthaya - Overnight Train

Kanchanaburi

We’ll start our day with a visit to the breathtaking Erawan Falls, one of the most famous National Parks of Thailand, made up from seven levels of incredible waterfalls. Take a quick dip in the emerald-hued ponds, dive into the clear waters & get an unreal FOMO Insta shot before we head off to our next stop Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya

We’ll make a stop in the UNESCO listed city of Ayutthaya, once the capital of the Kingdom of Siam before being destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th Century. Here we’ll grab bikes & cycle past ornate temples, towering spires, and quaint villages. Tonight, we forgo a hotel to board our overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai.

Overnight Train to Chiang Mai

Stay

Overnight Train

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Swim in the breathtaking Erawan waterfalls in Thailand

  • Take a scenic bike ride across Ayutthaya

  • Overnight train to Chiang Mai

DAY 4 - Chiang Mai to Pai

Overnight Train to Chiang Mai

We'll pull into Thailand's northern capital of Chiang Mai bright and early, but we're going to keep this adventure going as we roll on into Pai this morning.

Chiang Mai

Pai

Prepare to fall in love with this picturesque mountain town. The rest of the day is yours to explore this traveller's paradise your way. Head out on foot or by bike, and adventure down Pai's little streets that pack some punch.  Be sure to head out to experience Pai by night - an experience to rival that of its big sister Khao San Road in Bangkok.

Stay

Baan Krating Pai Resort (or similar)

DAY 5 - Pai

Pai

With another full day in this charming town, be sure to have a strong shot of Thai espresso from one of the local cafes to get up and get going again. Just try to save some juice in the tank for an optional afternoon Muay Thai skills class with an expert, before we head out for our final night in Pai.

Stay

Baan Krating Pai Resort (or similar)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Muay Thai boxing experience

    THB 980.00

DAY 6 - Pai to Chiang Mai

Pai

This morning we're Chiang Mai bound, but we're treating ourselves on the way with a visit to the Elephant Nature Park. This Park is an elephant rescue and rehabilitation centre that not only provides a sanctuary for the elephants, but gives us the once in a lifetime chance to get up close to these gentle giants. You'll have a chance to feed the elephants and watch them splash around on the river bank.

Chiang Mai

Tonight, there's a chance for you to spend the evening zipping around on a Vespa as we explore the small streets and alleyways of Chiang Mai. We’ll see some iconic street art and monuments in between food stops at family restaurants and street vendors. Taste the amazing flavours of Tom Kha Gai and BBQ skewers before topping it all off with some live music in the market district. Just ask your Trip Manager for the best tips on where to head and what to do.

Stay

Empress Hotel (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Elephant Nature Park

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Zip around Chiang Mai's street food scene in an evening Vespa food tour

    THB 2750

DAY 7 - Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

Today is yours to make the most of the laid-back city of Chiang Mai. Maybe head out into the city's heart on foot and explore the old town, or treat yourself to a traditional Thai massage. Later this evening, you have the chance to dabble in the art of authentic Thai cooking so you can wow everyone back home with a mean Pad Thai.

Stay

Empress Hotel (or similar)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Learn how to make Pad Thai & more at a cooking school in the rolling hills of Chiang Mai

    800 THB

DAY 8 - End Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

This morning we say fond farewells before going our separate ways. Dry those tears, because no doubt we'll make big plans to reunite somewhere special soon.

Want to see more of Thailand? Check out Total Thailand for the full trip

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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions group

Are flights included in my trip?

International flights to/from the destination your trip starts and ends in are not included in the cost of the trip, and must be purchased separately. You can book these independently if you want to shop around for the best quote, or through your travel agent.

Any flights you take during your Contiki are included in the cost of your trip. On certain Asian trips we use planes to get you from A to B as quickly as possible, and all of this is included.

What documents do I need to travel?

Depending on your nationality, you may require visas to enter certain countries on your trip. In Asia, some visas – but not all – can be purchased at the border with US$ or local currency. You are fully responsible for obtaining all necessary visas that are required prior to the departure of your trip. Contiki is not legally permitted to knowingly allow anybody who does not have a valid visa to join a trip. Visa & other entry & exit conditions (such as currency, arrival/departure taxes, customs & quarantine regulations) do change regularly.
Your passport must have at least six months’ validity remaining when you arrive. Local immigration authorities may deny entry & deport people who do not meet this requirement, even if they intend on staying only for a short period. Important to consider:
1. Visas can take up to six weeks & a fee is normally charged.
2. Failure to obtain all necessary visas could cause you to
miss part of your trip & will result in you incurring considerable expense & inconvenience.
3. It is better to apply for all visas through your travel agent before you leave home. Be aware that some visas can be purchased & arranged on arrival.
4. It is very important that the entry & exit dates are correct on the visa. Your travel agent will contact Contiki for full details. In these cases passport photos and US$ will be required and your Trip Manager will explain the process.

What are the luggage restrictions?

On our Asia trips, you can bring one bag or suitcase of 73cm x 50cm x 25cm (29” x 20” x 10”), with a max weight of 20kg (44lbs) – 15kg in India – plus one piece of hand luggage suitable as a carry-on for flights.

What do the Contiki team do?

People are at the heart of everything we do, and our team is what makes our trips the best. Our worldwide On-Road Team, locally based staff & network of Local Guides are all extensively trained & widely travelled, & are the best in the business. But we know it’s not just about training, it’s about passion & our team have it in their blood. 
Your Trip Manager is like your walking, talking guidebook – just for you. They plan your itinerary every day, organise your food and accomodation and book your Free Time Add ons, and because they know everything about where you’re going, you will too. Local Guides provide specialist knowledge when you need it and will always help you avoid the tourist traps.

What's not included that I should budget for?

There are loads of great things to spend your money on while you’re in Asia – from a trip to an offshore island, to a special dinner or an outfit that you just can’t resist... So how much money should you bring?

Remember your trip already includes plenty of things such as breakfast every day, many meals, lots of sightseeing, guided tours & activities & much more


Before you travel, it’s a good idea to read up on and get an idea of the Free Time Add-Ons you think you’ll want to do on trip, as these will form part of your overall budget. We’d advise doing some research on your chosen destinations beforehand, looking at things like:
 
- Cost of a local lunch
 
- Cost of a local dinner
 
- Cost of a local taxi
 
- Cost of entry to a sightseeing spot
 
Remember, there’s a big budgetary difference between a country like Japan & a country like Thailand, so do your research.

Will I be able to access WiFi on my trip?

Contiki Asia is mostly hotel accommodation with great amenities like WiFi. We have also included accommodation that reflects Asian culture, too. Like a family-run Guest house in the Mekong, a traditional junk boat in Halong Bay & an authentic local guesthouse in Laos. At these Special Stays, take the time for a digital detox and soak in all of that natural beauty.

What are Contiki’s sustainability credentials?

We believe that travelling sustainably and consciously, matters. Contiki Cares is our commitment to protecting the communities we visit, the wildlife we interact with, and the planet we all share. Our founding partner, the TreadRight Foundation was established 10 years ago as a not-for-profit organisation focused on promoting sustainable tourism within The Travel Corporation’s family of brands. From the Dhonk centre in India to the COPE visitor centre in Laos, our projects in Asia are all about giving something back. Find out more at https://www.contiki.com/uk/en/about/contiki-cares.

How do I pay for my Free Time Add Ons?

Free Time Add Ons in Asia are paid for in cash with local currency and USD only. Payments with other currencies (eg. AUD) or credit card cannot be accepted.

How do I redeem the % off deal?

Our great deals and offers are only in market for a limited time are subject to pay in full deadlines. If you cannot pay in full by the specified date shown alongside the offer/deal you can still  lock in the trip date of your choice at our Standard Price where normal payment terms of pay in full 45 days prior to your trip departing apply.  Visit the deals page for the full terms & conditions. Discounts apply to the land portion of your trip price only (this excludes taxes, included flight costs, extra accommodation & optional activities. Your trip price does not include the costs of international flights that start or end your trip).