Hill Tribes Of Thailand

Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai

Expertly guided from start to finish for never more than 16 guests, our expert Thai trip leader will show you more of the history, culture and tribal villages of this exotic and friendly land. Every night, you'll delight in our handpicked hotels and resorts – even your own private floating villa on the River Kwai.

Our prices start from

$ 4,599 LAND ONLY

13 Days • GUIDED • 26 Meals

Operated Tour

The Details

  • 12 nights accommodation
  • Services of a trip leader
  • All on-tour transportation and related fees, including on-tour flight
  • All gratuities are included except for your trip leader
  • Airport transfers (Restrictions apply)
  • 12 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 5 dinners

Itinerary

Engaging Experiences These special places and experiences are considered tour highlights. Look for them in the daily itineraries.

Day 1 - Enjoy Your Free Extra Night In Bangkok

Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn

Guests arrive today and will be met at the airport where our exclusive Fast Track Service offers expedited service through all immigration and customs formalities. Then you'll be chauffeured to our deluxe hotel to enjoy you complimentary pre-tour overnight.

Day 2 - Enjoy Your Extra Day In Bangkok

Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn

Breakfast Included

After breakfast, guests have this day to do as they wish. Take advantage of our hotel's wonderful city-center location to explore on your own - or simply relax. Our other guests will be arriving today.

Day 3 - Discovering Bangkok

Spend time this afternoon in Khlong Bang Luang Artist Village, a small enclave of traditional canal-side buildings that are now home to studios, galleries, cafes and shops.

Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Included

Your morning tour begins with the glittering halls and pavilions of the magnificent Grand Palace, including Coronation Hall and the Royal Guest House. At Wat Phra Kaew, home to the famed Emerald Buddha, you'll discover one of Thailand's most venerated Buddhist temples. Continue to Wat Pho, one of the city's largest temples. In addition to being one of the country's oldest institutions of learning, this spectacular complex is home to beautiful murals, ornate architectural detail and an enormous 150-foot long gilded image of a reclining Buddha. After lunch at the Supatra River House, your guided touring continues with an excursion along Bangkok's famous Klongs; venturing out in a traditional long-tail speed boat is a delightful way to experience the sights and sounds of life along the city's bustling canals. Then continue your boat excursion onto the Chao Phraya River to visit the magnificent Temple of Dawn before returning to your hotel. You'll have time to refresh and relax before dinner at your hotel.

Day 4 - The Art Of Thai Cuisine

Your private cooking class is a fun and rewarding way to learn about the exotic herbs and spices that give Thai cuisine its unique flavors and textures.

Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn

Breakfast, Lunch Included

This morning we've made special arrangements for our intimate group to enjoy a private class at the famed Blue Elephant Cooking School. After a welcome herbal drink with the chef and a review of the menu, you'll take the Sky Train to the colorful Bang Rak Morning Market where our culinary expert will introduce you to some of the fruits, vegetables and spices that you'll be using. Back at the school, a demonstration of Thai cooking techniques is followed by a hands-on class. With your own prep table and wok – and the chef on hand with guidance and assistance – you'll prepare a complete meal of traditional Thai cuisine. After a congenial luncheon featuring the dishes you've prepared, the rest of the afternoon is yours to enjoy as you wish.

Day 5 - Remarkable Markets + On To Kanchanaburi

Discover Thailand's famous Railway Track Market, where local merchants come daily to set up their stalls along 100 yards of train track! Up to 8 times per day, vendors and shoppers alike have to scramble fast to avoid the passing trains. This is an active rail network, so you'll have to pay close attention to your guide and surroundings!

Float House River Kwai

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Included

Leave the busy capital behind and journey into Ratchburi Province to visit the floating market at Damnoen Saduak, one of the country's busiest and most colorful. Hundreds of vendors ply the canals in their traditional wooden boats selling everything from tropical fruits and produce to daily staples and even souvenirs. Then continue into the lush forests of Kanchanaburi Province, arriving in time for lunch before boarding the storied Death Railway for a journey through some of the region's most spectacular scenery. As captivating as these landscapes are, this rail adventure also offers a powerful look into World War II history. In particular, as the train makes its way through rocky gorges dug at the cost of numerous POW lives and over the original wooden viaducts that still hug the steep cliff walls, you'll gain a very personal understanding of this tragic chapter of the War. Stepping off the train near the site of the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai – immortalized in book and film – you'll visit the Thailand-Burma Railway Center and the Allied Cemetery to learn more about the thousands of prisoners of war who lost their lives during the construction of the Bridge and the Death Railway. Then we'll take you to the pier, where long tail boats will take you our enchanting and unique resort. Here on the edge of the gently flowing river against a forested mountain backdrop, you'll check in to your unique and spacious floating villa. Take some time to enjoy your private terrace on the river and the extraordinary setting of our evocative resort.

Day 6 - Tailor Your Stay + Visit A Mon Tribal Village

Tailor your morning with the complimentary excursion of your choice: Depending upon your interests and taste for adventure, you might explore the area on a biking, hiking or canoeing adventure.

Float House River Kwai

Breakfast, Dinner Included

With our compliments, guests will have a chance today to join one of the activities offered by the resort. We also offer a guided excursion to Lawa Cave, filled with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Later this afternoon, rejoin your guide to venture by boat through spectacular river gorges into the jungle to visit a Mon tribal village. Enjoy dinner and a performance of Mon music and dance at our resort before retiring to your floating room.

Day 7 - Ayutthaya + Onward To Chiang Rai

Legend Chiang Rai Boutique River Resort & Spa

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Included

After breakfast, you'll embark on a scenic journey through the fertile farmlands and jungle-clad mountains that lie along Thailand's eastern border with Myanmar. Our destination this morning is Ayutthaya, where vast ruins bear witness to the splendor of the ancient kingdom of Siam that flourished from 1350 until 1767. After lunch at a local restaurant, you'll delve into the rich history of the erstwhile royal capital, exploring fabulous ruins including Wat Phra Sri Sanphet. This was the holiest temple on the site of the ancient Royal Palace and its still intact stupas attest to Ayutthaya's former glory! Then we'll take you to the airport for your included flight to the north of Thailand. On arrival in Chiang Rai, you'll be met and escorted to our delightful resort on the banks of the Mae Kok River

Day 8 - Tea Plantations + Tribal Villages + Temples

Today you can even try your hand at harvesting tea leaves as you learn about the tea plantation's community development programs to provide a livelihood for tribal villagers.

Legend Chiang Rai Boutique River Resort & Spa

Breakfast, Lunch Included

After breakfast, the start of today's guided excursion finds you traveling into the scenic rolling countryside where there are stunning clear-day views of Doi Mae Salong, an iconic peak in the Daen Lao Range that stretches across northern Thailand. Here in this splendid mountain setting, you'll spend time with workers at a tea plantation known for its fine Oolong teas. Then continue to Mae Chan to visit two distinct hill tribe communities. Spending time with both Akha and Yao villagers will offer insight into their daily lives as well as their differing traditions. Back in Chiang Rai, you'll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before visiting Baan Dam, a unique temple complex created by Thawan Duchanee, a famous 20th-century Thai artist. Our last stop of the day will be at Wat Rong Khun. Also known as the White Temple, this is a contemporary and extravagantly embellished Buddhist and Hindu complex. Returning to our resort in Chiang Rai in the late afternoon, your evening is free to enjoy and dine as you wish.

Day 9 - Hill Tribes Of The Golden Triangle

Spend some time browsing through the lively and atmospheric Mae Sai Border Market, a wonderful place to find both Thai and Burmese handicrafts.

Legend Chiang Rai Boutique River Resort & Spa

Breakfast, Lunch Included

This morning, you'll enjoy a tribal cultural experience at Lanjia, a unique community-based lodge nestled on a verdant mountain ridge outside of Chiang Rai. Learn about the Golden Triangle, its natural resources and its diverse hill tribes including the Lahu who continue to live in their traditional stilted homes, earning their living primarily through farming. In contrast, the Hmong people live in extended families in houses with roofs that descend almost to ground level. You'll meet a Hmong shaman, learn about some of their unique cultural practices, and see the beautiful silver jewelry for which they are famed. Enjoy lunch at Lanjia Lodge overlooking the scenic countryside and then continue deeper into the pastoral beauty of the Golden Triangle – where the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos come together. Ascend to a hilltop vantage point for breathtaking views over the Golden Triangle and explore Chiang Saen, a riverside town rich with historical artifacts including temple carvings and ancient Buddhist statues. After sightseeing, you'll return to your riverside resort in Chiang Rai.

Day 10 - Onward To Chiang Mai

U Chiang Mai Hotel

Breakfast, Lunch Included

After breakfast and check-out, you'll spend some time in Ban Lorcha, an Akha tribal village where the residents still live in simple huts with thatched walls. Continue your journey into the forested mountain landscapes of Chiang Dao National Park where an experienced guide will show you the impressive stalactites, stalagmites and other geological formations of the Chiang Dao Caves. Venerated for centuries by local residents, the entrance to these caverns is marked by statues and other Buddhist offerings. In the village of Ban Pang Daeng, you'll meet members of the Palong community who came to the region from Burma in the 1980's to escape the fighting between government and rebel forces. The Palong are regarded for their extraordinary weaving skills and many villagers, especially the women, still prefer their traditional, very colorful dress. Then continue to Chiang Mai for a leisurely 3-night stay at our stylish hotel. This evening is free for you to enjoy and dine as you wish.

Day 11 - In And Around Chiang Mai

Early this morning before breakfast, you'll join Chiang Mai residents as they "gain merit" with food offerings to young saffron-robed monks walking silently through the city streets; it's an ancient ritual that offers rich insight into an enduring facet of Buddhist culture.

U Chiang Mai Hotel

Breakfast, Lunch Included

This morning go into the countryside to spend time with local farmers. Learn the many steps of rice cultivation as practiced for centuries throughout the region, and even try your hand at planting this important staple. Then sit down to a delightful al fresco lunch surrounded by sweeping rural vistas and rice paddies. This afternoon's visit to a White Hmong village offers an intimate look into their daily life and traditions – and how they have changed since the Thai Royal Family introduced initiatives to eradicate opium cultivation and replace it with other sustainable agriculture. Next you will visit the lavish Doi Suthep Temple; set on a hill top at an elevation of 3,500 feet, this venerated complex offers spectacular views of Chiang Mai and the surrounding valleys. Your visit here has been timed so you can enjoy the sunset from this mountaintop setting – an experience made all the more special by the nightly chanting of the Temple's resident monks.

Day 12 - Elephant Nature Park

U Chiang Mai Hotel

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Included

After breakfast, visit the Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary highly respected for its care and protection of elephants that have been orphaned or rescued from abusive situations. Beyond this, Elephant Nature Park has been recognized for its other work, from rain forest restoration to community development and sustainability. During your visit, you'll have a chance to engage with the staff, learning about their work and watching the elephants as they go about their normal routines. You'll observe these giant animals being cared for and even have chance to help in their feeding. After a vegetarian lunch here at the Park, we'll take you back to Chiang Mai where the rest of your afternoon is at leisure – a great chance to explore on your own, do some shopping, indulge in a spa treatment, or simply relax poolside. This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner.

Day 13 - Return To Bangkok For Departure

Breakfast Included

You will be taken to the airport this morning for your included flight to Bangkok where you can connect to your homeward flight or continue with us on a privately-arranged extension.

2021 Tour Dates

October
24
|
$4,599
November
7
|
$4,599
10, 13
|
$4,799
December
5
|
$4,799

2022 Tour Dates

January
16
|
$4,799
February
6, 20
|
$4,799
March
13
|
$4,799
October
30
|
$4,799
November
15
|
$4,799
December
4
|
$4,799

Pricing is per person, double occupancy, land and on-tour flights only, based on January 24, 2021 travel date. Single supplement from $1,000. International airfare is additional. Call AAA for current airfare rates and availability. Travel on Nov 10, 2021 and experience the Loy Krathong Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai. Save an extra $600 or more per couple ($300 or more solo) when you pay in full at booking..

All this makes it AAA Vacations®

AAA Complimentary Inclusion: Complimentary pre-night, breakfast & transfer in Bangkok

Member Benefit: $115 per person savings

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