Indulge on this luxury Thailand holiday, exploring Bangkok, Chiang Rai the idyllic island of Koh Yao Yai. Start with a couple of days in Bangkok, admiring the golden temples and enjoying the mouth-watering restaurants before heading north to Chiang Rai, on the border with Myanmar and Laos. Here you’ll stay at Anantara Chiang Rai Golden Triangle Elephant Camp, learning about these gentle giants, meeting them up close and staying in the famous Jungle Bubbles. Finish your holiday in style at the Santhiya Resort in Koh Yao Yai, swimming in your private pool overlooking the ocean and admiring the spectacular landscape of Phang Nha Bay.
This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport.
On arrival in Bangkok, you will be met at the airport and driven to your hotel. Along the way, your guide will welcome you to Bangkok and explain some of the history of the city. Arriving at your hotel, you’ll check-in for three nights.
After an early start, you’ll head to Bangkok’s most famous temple, Wat Pho, for a half-day tour. In the mornings the monks begin their ritual of chanting, an uplifting and private experience within the temple grounds before marvelling at the 45-metre-long Reclining Buddha, with intricate mother of pearl feet and stunning golden skin.
Next, you’ll explore the Grand Palace, where the majestic buildings are encrusted with golden tiles and ruby mosaics, with spiky roofs pointing into the sky. Here you’ll enter the holy sanctuary of the Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in the country, where many local people come every day to worship.
Enjoy lunch at The Eatery Sala Rattanakosin, overlooking the Chao Phraya River. In the afternoon you’ll head to Wat Saket, making the short climb to the top of the Golden Mount to enjoy a panoramic view of Rattanakosin Island, listening to the chimes of hundreds of temple bells in the breeze. Finish your tour with a visit to Jim Thompson’s mansion, to explore the house and antiques. This teak mansion was home to the charismatic American silk millionaire who spent years filling it with beautiful antiques before disappearing in mysterious circumstances.
Spend some time relaxing in the pool at your hotel before heading to the Metropolitan Hotel for dinner at Nahm, ranked 22nd on a list of the World’s Best Restaurants. Thai cuisine is showcased using market-fresh products and rare ingredients from all over Thailand.
After breakfast in Bangkok, you’ll be picked up in a private luxury car for a day trip to Ayutthaya, Thailand’s capital for more than 400 years before it was sacked by the Burmese army in 1776. First, you’ll visit the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, built during a time of growing European influence in Thailand. You can admire the Italian-inspired palace and the surrounding temples, as well as Wat Niwet Thammaprawat, a gothic inspired temple beside the river.
Drop in at The Wine Ayutthaya, a contemporary restaurant with unique design, where you can grab a glass of local wine to taste. In the afternoon you’ll board a traditional rice barge and enjoy a private lunch cruise on the Chao Praya River with views of the surrounding temples. Spend an hour or so wandering amongst the ruined temples, admiring the magnificent architecture and statues, including Wat Mahathat, where a Buddha face is entombed in a tree root.
After breakfast, you’ll meet your guide in lobby and be driven back to the airport for the short flight north to Chiang Rai. On arrival, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel, the Anantara Chiang Rai Golden Triangle Elephant Camp. After settling into the comforts of the hotel, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the secret history of this region on a visit to the Hall of Opium, or simply relax at the spa.
Spend the morning observing the behaviour and playful interactions of the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation’s rescued elephants. You’ll learn about elephant behaviour and intelligence, before heading down to the camp to meet them up close! Have fun playing in the water with the elephants and bask in the presence of these magnificent beasts.
After lunch, you can spend your time at leisure enjoying the hotel, before embarking on your evening adventure. This evening you’ll spend an unforgettable night observing the majestic elephants in their natural habitat from the comfort of your fully furnished Jungle Bubble. Perched on a wooden deck above the forest, your luxurious bubble offers uninterrupted views of the elephants, as well as the twinkling stars above. Your dinner will be served here before sitting back and enjoying a peaceful night of wonder.
After breakfast, this morning you’ll need to bring your passport and your sense of adventure! In this corner of the country, you have the chance to visit 3 countries in one day – Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. Crossing the border to Tha Khi Lek in Myanmar, you’ll hop into a tuk-tuk and head to the food market, the perfect place to meet the locals and try new dishes. Visit the golden Shwedagon Pagoda before taking in the mountain scenery at the Jade Temple. Head back to the border to practice your bargaining skills at the eclectic Chinese market and cross back into Thailand to visit the ancient Lanna Kingdom Capital, Chiang Saen.
Explore the scattered ruins of sacred temples, reliving the rise and fall of this historic town before boarding a longtail boat to cruise along the Mekong. Heading directly across the torrential river, you’ll see Laotian children playing on the water's edge. Visit the enormous Golden Buddha statue and the exact point the three countries converge before heading back to the hotel.
After breakfast, you’ll be driven back to the airport for your flight to Phuket. On arrival, you’ll be taken to the pier and catch the resort’s private speedboat to Santhiya Resort on the island of Koh Yao Yai.
Nestled in the stunning landscape of Phang Nha Bay, Koh Yao Yai is a large island that sits next to its sister island Koh Yao Noi (‘Noi’ means north and ‘Yai’ means south). If you’re looking for a relaxing escape, then this island is perfect for you – it is still relatively undeveloped, with quiet beaches, mangrove forests bursting with life and swaying coconut plantations.
While the many pretty beaches are a huge draw, we also really recommend spending a day exploring the local villages – many of the locals are Muslim, and the serene call to prayer sings through the air from mosques around the island. Laem Had Beach is one of our favourites – with a pure white sandbank jutting out into the clear water, this is the island that you’ve been dreaming about.
After breakfast, you’ll be met and taken by boat back to the mainland, and on to the airport. Here you’ll catch your flight back to the UK.
Monsoon season in Bangkok goes from May to July and lasts into November. This is then followed by a dry period from November to May which provides lower temperatures until mid-Feb followed by much higher temperatures until May. August and September are the rainiest months with chances of flooding.
The Southern region of Thailand has two seasons ‘wet’ and ‘dry’. On the west coast, most rain falls between April and October and on the east coast from September to December with dry and sunny weather typically for the rest of the year.
This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.