ITINERARY BY DAY
Day 1: Arrival Bangkok
On arrival into Bangkok you will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your chosen hotel. The rest of the day will be at leisure to relax or explore the city. Dinner will be at a selected local restaurant.
Day 2: Bangkok
Explore Bangkok’s iconic temples, starting with the Grand Palace, considered one of the most sacred sites in the Kingdom. The palace consists of several buildings and pavilions and is said to house the ashes of former kings. Then it’s on to Wat Po, one of the largest and oldest temples in Bangkok which houses the impressive reclining Buddha. After the temples, cruise on a private boat through the canals and get a glimpse of local life amongst traditional stilt houses. Lunch is at Supatra River House situated on the river banks of the Chao Phraya River and known for its fresh seafood prepared to authentic Thai recipes. Return to the hotel and relax. Dinner tonight is in a Thai style wooden house where fine Thai food is served alongside traditional music and dancing.
Day 3: Bangkok
Thailand is famous for its markets and today your senses will come alive as you explore Bangkok’s best. After breakfast, you will head to Pak Klong Talad, the city’s biggest flower market full of vibrant colours and smells, before you continue on to Chinatown to weave through the tiny networks of streets and have lunch in a local restaurant.
Day 4: Bangkok
Sharpen your knives and put on your apron as you have your first cooking lesson at the Blue Elephant Cooking School. Set off early today to Bang Rak Morning Market, where your chef guide will show you the exotic fruits, vegetables and fragrant spices used in Thai cooking. Then head to the school for a hands-on class where you will prepare a four-course meal. Taste your wares over lunch before returning to the hotel.
Day 5: Bangkok
Whet your appetite with another cooking lesson at the Amita Cooking School, nestled on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Choose a cooking station and discover the taste of Thai food, and how to balance salty, sweet, sour and spicy. You will also be shown how to substitute ingredients so that you can make at home. After lunch take a quick look at the amulet market, where locals come to buy charms to ward off evil and bring good luck. Then hop on the ferry and cross the river to the Wang Lang market with its delicious desserts made from tapioca and coconut.
Day 6: Bangkok – Chiang Mai
Fly to Chiang Mai and check in to your hotel. The regional specialty is Khao Soi a curried noodle dish made with chicken and topped with fried noodles, and garnished with an assortment of shallots, herbs and pickled mustard greens. Yum! After lunch drive to Doi Suthep a sacred landmark of Chiang Mai. Climb the stairs to the top for impressive views over the valley. Tonight’s dining experience is a Kantoke dinner with a cultural dance performance. Kantoke is the local style of eating where diners sit on the floor around raised trays of food.
Day 7: Chiang Mai
It’s another culinary day as you discover northern cuisine at the Cooking@home Thai Culinary School on the outskirts of Chiang Mai. After a market visit to purchase your ingredients head to the class which is set in an open-air Thai style kitchen surrounded by herb gardens and overlooking rice paddies. Lunch is served at the cooking school and after the class you get a full colour guide to Thai cookery to take away with you.
Day 8: Chiang Dao Elephant Camp
Today learn how to ride an elephant at the Chiang Dao Elephant Camp. Watch how the mahouts care for their charges and the importance of elephants in the Thai culture. Take a ride along a jungle path to the river where you can have a swim and try a spot of bamboo rafting. Visit an orchid farm and see exotic beauties in bloom on the return to Chiang Mai.
Day 9: Chiang Mai
See the sights of Chiang Mai on a samlor (cyclo) as you are pedalled past local produce markets bursting with vegetables, fruits and flowers. Continue to two magnificent temples Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phrasingha and end your ride at the City Art and Cultural Centre, for a look into Chiang Mai’s history, culture and traditions.
Day 10: San Sai
Get out of town for an easy cycle around small villages where you will see artisans at work. Stop at a pottery factory, chat with a lantern maker and see coconuts turned into clever creations. The highlight is lunch in a locals home, where you have the opportunity to chat and try some home cooking. This evening farewell your culinary adventure with dinner at The Gallery. This renowned restaurant was built in 1892 and has won awards for its architecture and food alike.
Day 11: Depart Chiang Mai
This morning you will transfer to Chiang Mai airport and your onward flight.