Day 1 - Depart London
Depart from London Heathrow today on an overnight Thai Airways flight to Bangkok.
Day 2 - Arrive Bangkok
On arrival at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport in the morning you will be accompanied through immigration and customs by our ground agents and driven to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Superior River Wing Double. 2 nights with breakfast.
Set on the banks of the Chao Phraya River or 'the River of Kings', The Mandarin Oriental is a hotel legend, frequently hosting visiting royalty, dignitaries, artists and other distinguished guests. With a world-famous spa, Thai cookery classes, swimming pool, squash court and various relaxation areas, there is no shortage of engaging activities. In the evening, enjoy award-winning Thai, French, Chinese, Italian or international cuisine in the hotel's restaurants.
Day 3 - Bangkok
After breakfast, spend the morning with your guide exploring the fascinating city of Bangkok. You will be escorted to a Buddhist ceremony of alms, an opportunity to experience a religious part of the Thai culture where, in return for alms, the monks perform a sacred chant and offer a 'saisin' - a symbolic string that has been blessed and is said to protect one from harm. From the ceremony, board a private boat for a tour of the Nonthaburi Klongs on the mighty Chao Phraya River. Criss-crossing the face of Bangkok, this network of canals highlights the traditions of the Thai way of life.
En route, you will pass the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), a structure of Khmer design, its ornate pantheon of demons, monkeys and guardians casting an eerie image across the surrounding city setting. You will also stop at the Royal Barges Museum to see the barges that were used on royal and government occasions and formerly served as war vessels. The unique design and decorative details are fine examples of the talents of local craftsmen.
Continuing on to Tchang Pier, you will disembark for a visit to the Grand Palace - one of the most beautiful examples of an ancient Siamese court - and the Emerald Buddha Temple. Founded in 1782, the Grand Palace is the royal palace of the kings of the Chakri Dynasty and is the current ruling house. Although the present royal family no longer resides here, the structure is still the official seat of the King's power and ceremonial occasions take place in the grounds. Spend the afternoon at leisure.
Day 4 - Bangkok, Chiang Rai
After breakfast, you will be driven to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport to board a Thai Airways flight to Chiang Rai.
Four Seasons Resort Chiang Rai, Luxury Tented Camp. 3 nights with Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner. On arrival, you will met by a Four Season representative and driven to the pier to board a river boat bound for the Four Seasons Resort Chiang Rai, a luxurious tented camp set amid Thailand's exotic bamboo jungles where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet.
Day 5 and 6 - Bangkok, Chiang Rai
For the next two days you will enjoy a variety of activities including elephant mahout training, Mekong River excursions, formal camp fire dinners and riverside drinks in the stilt-top bar. On your first day here, you will be trained to drive and trek elephant through the jungle, relaxing in the evening over sundowners at the Burma Bar.
On your second day in the camp there is ample opportunity to hike on mountain trails, raft down the Mekong or discover the surrounding local cultures. In the afternoon, rejuvenate with a spa treatment at the rustic salas (covered verandas) that blend with the environment.
Day 7 - Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai
After breakfast, your will be met by your representative who will accompany you on the 3½ hour drive to The Four Seasons Chiang Mai. En route you will visit The White Temple, one of the most stunning temples in Thailand. A hidden treasure, this temple is yet to be discovered by the mainstream crowds.
This is followed by a visit the Hot Springs at Maekajan, a world-famous spot, notorious for its opium trade. After lunch at a local restaurant you arrive at The Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai. In the evening explore this magical city with a walk through the vibrant Chiang Mai Night Market. Overnight in a Garden Pavilion in Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, 3 Nights
The Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is located in the beautiful Mae Rim Valley, paying tribute to Chiang Mai's artistic and cultural heritage. Clustered around working rice paddies, the resort has Mountain View and Rice Terrace Pavilion suites, each with its own private sala (verandah), polished teakwood floors and beautiful Siamese artwork.
Close to orchid and butterfly farms, hill tribe villages, elephant trekking, an interesting and eclectic collection of shops and excellent golf courses, the resort offers a variety of fascinating experiences. Meet one of the resident water buffalo, take a class in Thai cooking, enjoy a rejuvenating massage and herbal steam at the world-class Lanna Spa, a dip in the infinity pool or just stroll around the beautiful landscaped gardens filled with a diverse selection of lush plants ad flowers.
Day 8 - Chiang Mai
After breakfast, embark on a tour of the city, including a visit to the Waroros market, a lively and colourful place crammed with an abundance of fresh produce from the region. Later in the morning, take a short samlor (tricycle) ride to Wat Phra Singh. This temple has been one of the Chiang Mai's most important sanctuaries with its famed Viham Laikham. You will then be driven outside the city to Wat Doi Suthep, sitting 3,500 feet above the valley floor with a stunning view of the forested mountain slopes and the green valley below, before enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
This afternoon visit an elephant camp to take part in a mahout (elephant trainer) course which will give you the opportunity to learn the basic commands of working with elephants. You will also be invited to paint with these gentle giants, which, by holding paint brushes in their trunks and responding to your creative direction, are capable of creating surprisingly accomplished artwork.
Day 9 - Chiang Mai
After breakfast, leave the hotel by air-conditioned vehicle for Chiang Dao (75km) passing Mae Rim, Mae Taeng. Arrive at Chiang Dao and travel by private truck along a dirt road for 5km to a Lahu hill tribe village then on to a Palong (Baan Pang Daeng) hill tribe village 3km away, home to new immigrants from Myanmar.
Return to Chiang Dao and follow the main road back to your hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Day 10 - Chiang Mai, Bangkok, London
You will be met by your representative in the reception area of the hotel for a private transfer to Chiang Mai Airport. Fly to Bangkok with Thai Airways and connect with your international flight to London.
Cost per person £3,995.
This price includes
• International flights on airline and class specified on the itinerary
• All ticket taxes and air passenger duty tax
• Domestic flights as shown on the itinerary
• Hotel accommodation with private facilities on the board basis stated on the itinerary
• Any other services specified on the itinerary
• Immunisation and visa costs
• Optional sightseeing tours and excursions
• Local airport departure taxes where applicable
• Room upgrades available on request
• Items of a personal nature: drinks, laundry, telephone charges and tips
• Early check-in or late check-out from hotels
• Flights not specified on your itinerary
• Gratuities, unless specified on your itinerary