Secrets of Thailand - 2015

4 out of 5 stars

10 days

from US$2825 pp

Trip available from Sep 2015 to Mar 2016.
"An experience of a lifetime"
Hsiao Ling Caroline Chai , Jun 2014

The temples and tuk tuks of Bangkok give way to the lush forests of Kanchanaburi and ancient traditions of Chiang Mai, on this in-depth exploration of Thailand.

It's Insider moments like… winding through the countryside on your way to meet the village chief's family at Ban Mae Kampong. Observing local people making handicrafts and bamboo furniture, you enjoy their hospitality with a meal that includes aromatic dishes made with fresh regional produce. It's admiring ornate gold leaf and traditional wooden carvings before easing out the stresses with a massage at Wat Pho temple, and joining in with the locals at Lumpini Park as you learn the ancient practice of Tai Chi.

Trip type:
Country Explorer
Trip code:

Large Map

Trip Itinerary

  • 1.


    Welcome to Bangkok! Transfer to your centrally located riverside hotel and relax before meeting your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Welcome Reception drink with local appetizers.


    Welcome Reception


    Royal Orchid Sheraton

  • 2.


    For the early risers, start your day with a visit to Lumpini Park to join the locals and participate in the Local Speciality of T'ai Chi. Alternatively enjoy a leisurely start to the day before joining your fellow travellers on your city tour starting with Bangkok's most well known fruit and flower market, Pak Klong Talad. Continue by local Tuk Tuk to Wat Pho, Bangkok's oldest temple which features the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand. Wat Pho is also famous for Thailand's first University, and is a centre for traditional Thai massage. Enjoy a Thai massage, a Local Speciality, in the grounds of the temple. Take a ferry across to Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) and its impressive ceramic covered Pagoda. Tonight perhaps take an optional dinner cruise on the historic Chao Phraya River aboard a beautifully restored 50-year-old rice barge.


    Buffet Breakfast

  • 3.


    This morning, learn about the cultivation processes at a palm sugar plantation, a Unique Insight. Continue on to the floating market at Damnoen Saduak, for an early morning visit before the crowds arrive. The colourfully clad merchants at this lively market paddle along the congested canals in sturdy canoes laden with fresh fruit and vegetables to sell to shoppers on the banks. Later continue to the Grand Palace which served as the official residence of the Kings of Thailand from the 18th to the mid 20th century. The most famous building on the palace grounds is Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand.


    Buffet Breakfast,Lunch

  • 4.


    Travel to Kanchanaburi for a visit to the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum; a facility dedicated to presenting the history of the famous railway line built during the second world war by the Imperial Japanese army using Allied prisoners of war alongside Asian labourers. Visit the War Cemetery, the final resting place for over 6,000 Allied prisoners, before reaching the world famous Bridge over the River Kwai. After lunch at a local restaurant, board the local train, a Unique Insight, for a thrilling ride across wooden viaducts offering fantastic scenery along the Kwai River. Transfer to the tranquility of your resort hotel for the rest of the day at leisure.


    Buffet Breakfast,Lunch


    Felix River Kwai Resort

  • 5.


    After breakfast at your hotel head back to Bangkok for your flight to Chiang Rai. On arrival continue to Doi Tung for a visit to the Royal Development Project. The late Princess Mother of Thailand initiated this project to help the struggling  local people to educate and empower themselves to be economically self reliant. Visit an Ahka village to see the local people wearing their bright colourful headdresses, before continuing to your hotel in the Golden Triangle for dinner and your overnight stay.


    Buffet Breakfast,Dinner


    Imperial Golden Triangle Resort

  • 6.


    Today drive to Chiang Saen, the former capital of the first Thai Lanna Kingdom. Transfer to a long-tailed boat and cruise along the Mekong River towards the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos converge. Stop in Laos and visit the Don Sao Island Markets, which have an abundance of local handicrafts. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit The Hall of Opium, situated in the heart of the Golden Triangle, providing an excellent Unique Insight into the opium trade so prevalent in this area over the past century. Later return to your hotel in the Golden Triangle for an evening at leisure.


    Buffet Breakfast,Lunch

  • 7.


    Depart early in the morning with a brief stop at the unique white temple of Wat Rong Khun. Proceed to Chiang Mai, which has a rich cultural and agricultural heritage, and is famous for the production of high-quality handicrafts. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the villages in Sankampheng before continuing to Wat Doi Suthep. The temple is located near the top of Doi Suthep (Mt. Suthep) and was built as a Buddhist monastery in 1383. This evening perhaps gather together to enjoy an optional traditional Kantoke dinner with a presentation of Northern Thai dances or simply relax at your Authentic Accommodation.


    Buffet Breakfast,Lunch


    De Naga Authentic Accommodation

  • 8.


    Today depart in small vehicles to Ban Mae Kampong village, which is 1,300 metres above sea level. On arrival meet the village chief, or a member of his family, who will talk about the culture and way of life on these remote settlements before joining the family for a Be My Guest lunch. After lunch, take a village tour to observe Local Specialities such as the making of local hats, bamboo furniture, handicrafts, herbal products and the process of fermenting old tea leaves. Observe the village's way of life at a local school and temple. See the Mae Kampong waterfall before transferring back to Chiang Mai for a free evening.


    Buffet Breakfast,Be My Guest Dining

  • 9.


    Enjoy a day at leisure or join an optional experience visiting the Chiang Dao Elephant Camp and the Long-necked Karen Hill Tribe at Baan Tong Luang. This evening enjoy a delightful Farewell Dinner with your fellow companions and Travel Director at a local restaurant.


    Buffet Breakfast,Farewell Dinner

  • 10.


    Your journey ends with a transfer to Chiang Mai Airport to catch an early morning flight back to Bangkok Airport for your onward flight home.


    Buffet Breakfast

The Trafalgar Difference

  • Authentic Accommodation

    Relax at your boutique accommodation close to the fascinating canal in Chiang Mai's Old Town.
  • Be My Guest

    Experience warm Northern Thai hospitality at Ban Mae Kampong.
  • Hidden Treasure

    Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure experience, unique to your itinerary, courtesy of your expert Travel Director.
  • Local Speciality

    Tai Chi exercise in Lumpini Park.
    Thai massage at Wat Pho temple.
    Villagers making handicrafts in Ban Mae Kampong.
  • Unique Insight

    Learn about the cultivation processes at a palm sugar plantation.
    Train ride on the bridge over the River Kwai.
    Visit the Hall of Opium.

Find out what makes Trafalgar different.

What's Always Included

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour of Bangkok and village tour of Ban Mae Kampong.
  • Cruise along  the Mekong River.
  • See the Bridge over the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi.
  • View the Golden Triangle where Myanmar, Thailand and Laos converge.
  • Visit Wat Pho Temple, the Grand Palace, Damnoen Saduak floating market in Bangkok, and the Hall of Opium.


  • 9 buffet breakfasts.
    3 dinners: (including Welcome Reception, dinner and Farewell Dinner).
    5 lunches: (including Be My Guest and 4 lunches).

Travel Highlights

  • Expertly sourced accommodations - always with private facilities.
  • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing.
  • Complimentary keepsake photo and map.
  • All your hotel tips, charges and local taxes - including porter service.
  • All your transportation and airport transfers.
  • A travel wallet with your travel documentation.

Airport Transfers

Specific transfer information can be found on the airport transfers page

Optional Experiences


Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.



    Adult Price: $95.00 Perfect for guests transiting in Bangkok on the way home. The representative will greet you at the drop off point and personally assist you with check in, immigration formalities, VAT refund and duty free purchases. You will then be escorted to your airline departure lounge or gate at departure time. VIP lounge service in transit or in the international departure hall includes light refreshments, fresh fruit, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, internet Wi-Fi connection, newspapers and magazines. (Maximum 2 hours). NB. The above price is in US dollars.

    Adult Price: $40.00 Jim Thompson House is one of the best examples of traditional Thai residential architecture and houses a breath-taking collection of Southeast Asian art. Jim Thompson, born in Delaware in 1906, fell in love with Thailand while posted as an intelligence agent in Bangkok during WWII. He later made it his permanent home and started a business supplying fine Thai silk to overseas fashion houses, single-handedly saving what had been a dying cottage industry. His silk company continues to flourish today. With the proceeds of his success, Thompson collected an impressive range of art works, and sections of teak houses, assembling them into a museum complex set in a lush garden alongside central Bangkok’s Saen Saep Canal. The main house is full of tastefully displayed Asian art and curios including Buddha images, paintings, ceramics and antique furniture. The living areas have been preserved as they were when Thompson lived there before his mysterious disappearance. There is also a Thai restaurant and bar plus, a sizeable boutique selling quality silk items, books and prints. NB. The above price is in US dollars.

    Adult Price: $110.00 Experience Bangkok at its best while cruising along the historic Chao Phraya River, aboard the "Manohra" or "Manohra Moon". The 50-year-old rice barges have been completely re-built and beautifully restored for dining and cocktail cruising. Savour Thailand’s finest regional specialties, whilst passing some of Bangkok’s most famous cultural and majestic landmarks. Seating is set for only 40 guests to ensure an intimate experience. Take your hotels complimentary shuttle service to Taksin Public pier where you will embark on your glorious evening cruise. NB. The above price is in US dollars.

    Adult Price: $85.00 Siam Niramit combines an authentic Thai meal with a world class stage show depicting Thailand's historical and spiritual heritage. Travel back through time into the history and culture of the Kingdom of Siam. With over 150 dazzling performers and state-of-the-art special effects, it's a captivating journey. In addition to the dinner and show there will also be time to stroll through the replica villages from the country's rural regions where Thai handicrafts may be purchased or simply just soak up the atmosphere. NB. The above price is in US dollars.

Chiang Mai


    Adult Price: $50.00 The Old Chiang Mai Cultural Centre was set up over 25 years ago to preserve and promote the history and culture of the ancient northern kingdom of Lanna. Enjoy a Kantoke dinner, the customary northern Thai style of eating with food served on large platters whilst seated comfortably on cushions on the floor (table seating is also available if required). Then watch a spectacular traditional northern Thai performance by a renowned troupe of dancers. To end the evening, there is a special hilltribe show performed by various members of Yao, Lahu, Meo, Lisu, and Akha hilltribes. NB. The above price is in US dollars.

    Adult Price: $100.00 Arrive at Chiang Dao elephant camp after a picturesque drive weaving through the jungle high above the Mae Ping River. Watch the elephants take their morning bath and demonstrate some of their skills. Situated in a beautiful valley is the hilltribe village of Ban Tong Luang, home to the Long Neck Karen hilltribe from Myanmar (Burma). The Padaung women wear heavy copper neck rings, a ritual starting from when they are girls of 5 or 6 years of age. A delicious Thai buffet lunch is also included during the day. NB. The above price is in US dollars.
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