Day 1: Bangkok
Your guide will meet you upon arrival in Bangkok and transfer you to your hotel for check-in.
Day 2: Bangkok City Tour & Riverboat Ride
After breakfast, your guide & driver will pick you up to visit the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, and take a walk through one of Bangkok's most extensive flower markets. Then take a local-style, long-tail boat and visit the "klongs" (canals) of Thonburi. Return to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 3: Bangkok – Ayuthaya Ruins – Phitsanuloke
Check out of the hotel after breakfast and transfer to Ayuthaya to visit the ancient ruins. This ancient capital of Thailand flourished for several hundred years (1350 - 1770), was sacked by the Burmese, and then taken over again by the Thais. It was the last location of the capital before the government based itself in Bangkok. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in the city, and in the afternoon, continue to Phitsanuloke. En route, your guide will pick a village where you can stop for refreshments, and a short walk to explore "real life" in a Thai village. Check in to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 4: Phitsanuloke – Sukhothai & Sri Satchanalai Ruins – Phrae
After breakfast, check out and continue on to Sukhothai, to visit the historical park and ruins, many of which have been restored now by the Thai Fine Arts Department. This ancient capital preceded the later Ayuthaya period, and one can tell because the architecture is markedly different. The first site where we stop is in the centre of the town of Sukhothai. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Proceed to Sri Satchanalai, a similar & contemporary ruins, but with fewer tourists. Then continue to Phrae town. The Burmese-style temples of Wat Chom Sawan and Phrathat Shoe Hea are notable among other attractions we will visit today before checking in at the hotel. Dinner on your own.
Day 5: Phrae – Mekong Riverboat Golden Triangle – Chiang Rai
Check out after breakfast and visit Wat Baan Pratabjai, which is a house of beautifully carved teak pillars in the graceful “Lanna” Thai style. Proceed to Phayao with stops en route. Lunch is at a local restaurant. Then take a boat trip on the Mekong with a local Mekong Riverboat to visit the famous Golden Triangle. Continue to Chiang Rai to the hotel. Dinner on your own.
Day 6: Chiang Rai – Akha Village – Burma Border – Chiang Mai – Night Bazaar
Check out and drive to Ban Lorcha, an Akha Village. The community based development project here run by the villagers is very good, and here you can visit the Akha way of life in a respectful fashion. Continue to Mae Sai town, the northernmost town in Thailand, on the Burmese border. Border markets are usually interesting, and this one is no exception. Sometimes the border is open for visitors to shop on the Burmese side of the market (no visa necessary, dependant on local conditions). After lunch at a local restaurant, continue your drive to Chiang Mai. Check in at the hotel, and relax or explore on your own until dinnertime. Enjoy a traditional Northern "Kantoke dinner" with entertainment. After dinner visit the famous Night Bazaar.
Day 7: Chiang Mai – Doi Suthep Mountain Temple – Elephant Camp – Bangkok
After an American breakfast in the hotel, you will visit Wat Doi Suthep, a mountain temple on the edge of town. Continue on to visit an Elephant Training Camp. Enjoy meeting the huge, friendly pachyderms! You can feed them bananas and fruits that are available on site. Then take a short elephant safari into the jungle. Riding elephants is bouncy, but very exciting! Enjoy lunch in local restaurant and visit a local farm specializing in varieties of the Orchidea family (Orchids), some bred for perfume, others for beauty. Transfer to Chiang Mai airport for flight to Bangkok.