Itinerary Type: Historical and architectural tour
No. of days: 6nights/7days
Places Covered: Bangkok – Ayutthaya (2nights) – Phitsanulok (1night) – Sukhothai(1night) – Si Satchanalai – Chiang Mai(2nights)
Highlights: This tour takes you to the different capitals and royal retreats of Thailand over different periods of time. You will visit Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, and Chiang Mai. Ruins of the yesteryear capitals will be seen at all these places.
Day 1: Bangkok – Ayutthaya: Arrive at Bangkok International Airport and start right then for Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage site of Thailand. Check into a hotel there.
There are ruins in the old city of Ayutthaya, which served as the second capital of old Thailand, from 14th to 17th Century. One must visit Ayutthaya Historical Study Center and the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum to have better insight about the period. Most of the remains are temples and palaces. Of these the most striking is Wat Phra Mahathat, located in the city center. Wat Phra Si Sanphet, with its three slender stupas, is another noticeable landmark. You can explore far off ruins on boat.
Catch a nice meal at the colorful Chao Phrom Night Market or at one of the city’s little floating restaurants. The ruins are illuminated in the evening. A night tour to these ruins is also a worthwhile option. Overnight in Ayutthaya.
Day 2: Ayutthaya – Bang Pa-In – Lopburi – Ayutthaya: After breakfast at the hotel set out to explore some old historical places nearby Ayutthaya. One such place is Bang Pa-In, which served as a royal retreat. This was particularly popular in the reign of King Chulalongkorn (1868-1910). The ruins here show a unique mix of Thai and Western colonial architecture. This is so different from what we see at the ruins of Ayutthaya.
Go further north to explore Lopburi, another favorite royal retreat in the era of King Narai. You should visit King Narai’s Palace and the museum on the grounds. Look at Ban Vichayen, once home of Constantine Phaulkon, King Narai’s Western advisor. Also look at Phra Prang Sam Yot. Afterwards, head back to Ayutthaya.
Have a nice leisure evening walking around the streets of Ayutthaya. Take a well deserved rest after a nice dinner. Overnight in Ayutthaya.
Day 3: Ayutthaya – Phitsanulok: Check out early and start for Phitsanulok. Enjoy the view of paddy fields all along the way. Once you reach Phitsanulok, check into a hotel, and then go for a leisurely walk to Wat Yai, the town’s only must-see attraction. In the evening, take a stroll downstream beside the Nan River to explore the Night Market.
Day 4: Phitsanulok to Sukhothai: Start for Sukhothai, the first capital of Thailand. Check into a hotel once you reach Sukhothai. Rent a motorbike, if you can, and explore Sukhothai Historical Park for rest of the day.
You can begin with Ramkhamhaeng National Museum and subsequently visit the ruins of Wat Phra Mahathat, Wat Traphang Tong, and Wat Si Chum. Go for light and sound show at the historical park (if it is available that day). Afterwards go and grab dinner at a restaurant.
Day 5: Sukhothai – Si Satchanalai – Chiang Mai: Start early after breakfast. Head towards Chiang Mai. On the way, stop at the ruined temples of Si Satchanalai. The main temples to see here are Wat Chang Lom and Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat.
Afterwards, continue journey to Chiang Mai, capital city of North Thailand. Check into a hotel on reaching the city. Just take a leisurely walk in the Night Bazaar and grab dinner at one of the several eateries there. Places are also there to party till night, if that is what interests you. Overnight in Chiang Mai.
Day 6: Chiang Mai: Full day sightseeing of Chiang Mai.
You can take a walk from the northeast corner to the southwest corner of the old City to get a sense of the city’s long history. Some prominent temple ruins to explore here include Wat Chiang Man, Wat Chedi Luang, and Wat Phra Singh. Grab a lunch somewhere and after some rest head to the river for a boating trip. You can also visit an elephant camp and a hill-tribe village.
Some of the guests do like to indulge in learning the tricks of Thai dishes. Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School is the perfect destination for such people.
Go for the cultural show at the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center. Once can choose to dine on northern specialties along with watching traditional dancing. The show finishes at 9:30pm, allowing time for some last-minute shopping at the Night Bazaar. Those interested in drinking can indulge in one of the many riverside bars.
Day 7: Chiang Mai – onward destination: Check out after breakfast and drive to Chiang Mai International Airport for flight to your desired onward destination. Chances are the flight to your respective places will be through connecting flights from Bangkok.