Food Trails of Thailand 11 Days / 10 Nights
Pick up and transfer from the airport in Bangkok to the hotel for welcome drinks and an introduction to the tour.
After check in and a warm introduction, head out on a half-day sightseeing tour to see the old heritage of Siam. The tour starts on a high note with a visit to the Royal Grand Palace, Bangkok’s number one ‘must-see’ attraction as well as Thailand’s most important landmark. Visit the main sites including the magnificent throne halls and the Emerald Buddha. Then, continuewith a visit to Wat Pho. Bangkok’s oldest temple, it’s is home to a stunning reclining Buddha as well as the first school of traditional medicine and Thai massage that is regarded as Thailand’s first university.
After a day of touring in this vibrant metropolis, a relaxing evening beckons with a drive through Bangkok’s old quarters which delivers sights of an illuminated Grand Palace, the Royal Ground, temples and the spectacularly lit-up Ratchadamnoen Avenue. As dinner time approaches, drop by Krua Apsorn Restaurant for an appetizer known as “som tum”, a light and often spicy papaya salad (they can make it as little or as spicy as wanted!). Those with an adventurous side can try it local-style with raw crab!
For the main course, we make a stop in the older parts of Bangkok to try a classic Thai dish. The Pad Thai at Long Pha is cooked in the old fashioned way on a charcoal grill and won’t disappoint! Then stroll along a local fresh market in the famous area of Bangkok, “Pak Klong Talad”, one of the biggest fresh markets in the region to glimpse varieties of orchids and sweet smelling exotic flowers, and various kinds of fresh vegetables, ingredients and herbs. A potential shopping opportunity awaits at an adjacent local night market along the Memorial Bridge that overlooks the Chao Phraya River. Here, rummage for handicrafts or souvenirs to bring back home for family and friends.
Overnight in Bangkok.
At just an hour’s drive south of Bangkok, Samut Songkhram Province offers visitors an easily accessible glimpse into Thai countryside life. Start the day with a stop at a local train station to experience a short regional train ride bounding for an amazing country market that has sprouted along the railway tracks. Here, witness the dexterity and speed of vendors as they quickly pack their stalls right before 08:30 when the train approaches; hence bringing shopping to an abrupt halt. It is a standard practice, and stall holders have learnt the art of assembling and reassembling their wares at a moment’s notice!
From here, take a boat ride on the canals out to a small coastal village where we learn how traditional coconut desserts are made. Join hands with the knowledgeable host in this homestay setting and try cooking a Thai dessert, which makes for a perfect snack on the way back to Bangkok.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
In the evening, explore the flavors, spices and aromas of the city’s Village of Love—a historic Bangrak neighborhood. Experience how the locals live, eat and shop while taking part in unique local food tastings, each packed with authentic history and intimate stories of the neighborhood.
Our local experts have hand-picked food that is guaranteed to be a delight, and their intimate stories of Bangkok and Thailand’s everyday culture will make the experience that much more special. Dinner for the evening is a feast of street food specialties.
Overnight in Bangkok.
Check out from the hotel in Bangkok and drive north towards the former capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya, where we will visit some of the country’s most significant historical places and try a ride in the kermit tuk tuks, symbolic for and only found in Ayutthaya.
Lunch at Krua Pak Wan Restaurant. Proceed on a trip to the town's Muslim Quarter which offers the opportunity to sample an unusual local delicacy, candy floss roti.
Apart from the main temples we pass along the way, highlights include Wat Tuk, the temple with the one eyed dog and the Temples of Sins. We also visit a local blacksmith at his workshop where some of the most beautiful swords (Dab) and knives are made by hand.
For dinner, travel to a cozy local restaurant called Baan Khun Pra, situated just by the river with some of the best seafood in Ayutthaya.
In the evening, stroll the night market west of Bang Lan Road for a glimpse of the local life and some unique food tasting opportunities.
Overnight in Ayutthaya.
Today, the route takes us east to the valleys of Pak Chong and Khao Yai.
Before lunch, enter Khao Yai National Park, here we walk a trail and try to spot some wildlife, many birds can be seen and with some luck we might also spot larger mammals such as sambar deer, which are known to hang out around where people are as a way to take refuge from tigers deeper in the forest interior.
Lunch at Lookkai Restaurant, a local fine dining restaurant in Khao Yai.
Upon arrival at GranMonte Vineyard, meet with the daughter of the founder, Nikki, an internationally renowned winemaster who will, during this privately guided tour, teach us how Thai wine is made and the secrets behind producing world-class quality wine in a tropical country. Sip through the wide selection of locally produced wines, tour the vineyards and take in the tranquil and relaxed atmosphere.
For dinner, enjoy a special experience with some of the best local food and wine.
Overnight in Khao Yai.
Early in the morning, after breakfast, we leave Khao Yai and the beautiful valleys heading towards Nakorn Ratchasima on route two. After a few hours, stop for lunch by the Phi Mai Temples, an 11th century Khmer compound, and enjoy a local specialty, Pad Mii Korat. Those who are familiar with Thai cuisine will have heard of the Pad Thai, a basic fried noodle dish. Pad Mii Korat is its sibling, cooked in a slightly different way and obviously best enjoyed right in Korat.
Continue the ride and arrive Khon Kaen in the afternoon for an Issan-style cooking class held in a garden. Experience and learn techniques on how local food is prepared and what distinguishes northeastern cuisine from cuisine throughout the rest of Thailand. Later, drive into the town of Khon Kaen to visit the lake there and watch the sun set at the One Pillar Pagoda.
Dinner at The Concept Restaurant, offering an interesting fusion menu.
Overnight in Khon Kaen.
Local picnic breakfast out in the open at a rice field before the journey takes off towards Phitsanulok. Heading west from Khon Kaen, we leave the northeast and travel back to the central plains of Thailand.
After passing several national parks, we arrive in Phitsanulok town for a daring tasting experience at the local market. Insects and bugs are both local delicacies here. For those who prefer just regular lunch, a local restaurant hosts us for a Phitsanulok meal.
After lunch, visit Wat Mahatat or Wat Yai. Situated by Naresuan Bridge, this temple is home to what many consider to be the most beautiful golden Buddha image in the Kingdom. It’s also a place that’s virtually unknown to most tourists. Continue to visit Cha Thawee Folk Museum, where a historic collection of local tools from the past reflecting local lifestyle is displayed.
Overnight in Phitsanulok.
After breakfast at the hotel, check out and transfer onwards to Sukhothai.
Upon arrival in Sukhothai, check in at the hotel situated by Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, which contains the ruins of some 200 ruined chedis, most of which are in remarkable condition. Explore the park by bike and imagine what the area was like back when it was a bustling ancient metropolis.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
The rest of the day is free at leisure. Explore independently or relax at the hotel.
Overnight in Sukhothai.
Following breakfast, transfer from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai with an en-route stop at a local community, “Ban Na Thon Chan”, an award-winning attraction in Si Satchanalai District. Established over 200 years ago, Ban Na Thon Chan is a local tourism-based community offering both natural and cultural heritage. Most villagers are descendants of the ancient Lanna Kingdom, and everyday’s life is based on their daily tasks and customs while conserving their local heritage. Here, have a chance to visit and befriend local families, followed by a lunch of famous local “Sukhothai Noodles”.
After lunch, drive north about 3 hours and a half hours to Chiang Mai. Check in at the hotel and, after freshening up, enjoy lively night in Chiang Mai Town, wandering through the South Gate of the old city to the traditional street food market that opens every evening. During the walk, be tempted by the heady aromas emanating from the various food stalls and simple carts, and the guide will be on hand to introduce the many local dishes on offer. Some of the most delicious dishes on offer include deep fried pancakes, deep fried taro, kanom jin (rice noodles with curry soup), kanom krok (Thai coconut pudding), noodle soup, pad Thai, and the summer favourite of sweet mango with sticky rice. Guests can also sample the local rice whisky. After the evening’s gastronomic adventure, return to the hotel with stomachs filled with delight.
Overnight in Chiang Mai.
After breakfast at the hotel, visit an authentic Chiang Mai market filled with fresh groceries from nearby farms and be guided by a TV chef, who shows us her best tips and advice when picking out ingredients for Thai dishes. Loaded with vegetables, meats and fresh fruits for dessert we take on the mission of trying to cook a Thai dish to perfection.
After the cooking class, travel on the back of a local songtaew (pickup truck) to the underground temple Wat Umong. Make merit at this unique temple and come back to the city a better person (according to local beliefs)!
In the evening, enjoy a nice dinner at the beautiful 137 Pillars House.
Overnight in Chiang Mai.
After breakfast, check out from the hotel and start the journey northeast towards Chiang Rai. After about a 3-hour drive, including a 1 hour scenic drive up Doi Mae Salong, visit the Akha Mudhouse Mae Salong, at “Hloyo Community”, a small community of Akha hilltribe people, with 58 households in total.
The authentic way of life found here promotes a very strong bond with nature that is well-preserved up to today. This community is located on Mae Salong Hill, close to the Myanmar border. While walking around the village and mingling with locals, enjoy the cool breezes found here throughout most of the year here due to the relatively high elevation. Then, join a local family and enjoy a home cooked lunch of Akha specialties.
After lunch, transfer to the resort and relax at leisure for the rest of the day.
Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight in Mae Chan.
Following breakfast at the hotel, check out and transfer to Chiang Rai Airport for drop off.