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Overview

Be immersed in the rich fabric of Thai life on an unforgettable family holiday. Venture through Bangkok’s colourful markets, meet exotic hilltribes in Pai and spend a day with a family in Chiang Mai. Every day brings a new experience that is sure to delight both kids and adults. 

Trip Highlights

Thailand Family Experience

Travel at a kid-friendly pace

Spend three nights in each destination and relax with leisure time to ensure the whole family has an enjoyable holiday.

Explore Pai and surroundings

See remarkable waterfalls, ancient Tham Lod cave and hilltribe villages located in the hills around Pai. 

Meet with a local family

Spend a morning with a local family, shopping, cooking and exploring the neighbourhood for a better understanding of Thai culture. 

Itinerary

1

Bangkok - Arrival

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport- Bangkok Hotel (36.3 km): approx. 50 minutes

Upon arrival at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, be greeted by the local guide and transfer to the hotel.

Later in the afternoon, after freshening up, take a half-day trip to discover one of the least-known-by-foreigners street areas in Bangkok, in Bangrak District. Once in the area, sample some local street food snacks while the guide explains how to use local modes of transportation like tuk tuk or local buses. Cool down with a local Thai iced coffee ‘Kafae Boran’ or frozen fruit shake. After that, hop on a tuk tuk to River City Shopping Complex Pier and take a ferry-crossing to Khlongsan District to explore the local market in the area.

End the day’s walking tour at the Jam Factory, a small industrial-design complex with a modern book café and a unique furniture shop by a famous Thai artist. Located in the complex is The Never Ending Summer Restaurant, a cool industrial-style Thai restaurant with authentic Thai tastes. Enjoy a nice dinner in a cozy atmosphere (client expense). After dinner, transfer back to the hotel.   

Overnight in Bangkok.  

2

Bangkok

After breakfast at the hotel, drive just an hour south of Bangkok to Samut Songkhram, the province that offers visitors a glimpse into Thai countryside life. We will start the day with a stop at a local train station to experience a short regional train ride bounding for an amazing country market that has sprouted along the railway tracks. Here, witness the incredible speed of the vendors as they quickly pack their stalls right before 08:30 when the train approaches; hence bringing shopping to a brief halt. It is a standard practice and stall holders have learnt the art of assembling and reassembling their wares at a moment’s notice!

Then we will visit Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and take a longtail boat ride through the canals to see how Thai people live alongside a labyrinth of canals in the area. Arrive at the famous Damnoen Saduak Market and stroll around the colourful floating marketplace bustling with boats and vendors selling tropical fruits and other delights.

Return to Bangkok and enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

Overnight in Bangkok.

3

Bangkok

Breakfast at the hotel, and free day at leisure.

PM OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Art and Culture of Bangkok’s Khlong

Start the tour early in the afternoon and board a private longtail boat to Klong Bang Luang. Pass by shop houses, local temples and vendors on this waterway which was once a major trading route and lined with impressive homes of aristocrats. The guide will point out local landmarks and cultural highlights of the area. After observing this lively area the boat stops at Baan Silapin, a 100-year old renovated house now home to an art gallery. Here, stop for up to two hours to enjoy the gallery, take part in an art workshop or explore the local community before experiencing a unique puppet show performed by puppeteers trained under the Joe Louis School of puppetry. En route back to the city, stop by the Temple of Dawn – Wat Arun. Ascend the incredibly steep steps up to the top of the stupa there -a Bangkok rite of passage- and then head back to the hotel.

Time:                    13:00 – 17:00

Note:                    Puppet show is not available on Mondays and Tuesdays (subject to change without notice)

Overnight in Bangkok.

4

Bangkok - Chiang Mai - Pai

Bangkok Hotel – Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (36.3 km): approx. 50 min Chiang Mai Airport – Pai (132 km): 2.40 hr

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for a flight to Chiang Mai. (Suggested morning flight).

Upon arrival in Chiang Mai, be greeted by the local guide and transfer to the hotel in Pai.

En route to Pai, stop by the impressive 60-metre tall Mok Fah Waterfall and Pong Duad Hotsprings in Huay Nam Dang National Park. This natural wonder spurts up from under the ground at a temperature of 99 degrees. Locals believe that the water’s chemical properties are good for skin.

Arrive in Pai late in the afternoon and check in at the hotel.

In the evening, enjoy a stroll through the colourful Pai Night Market for an evening snack or some hilltribe-inspired crafts and gifts.

Overnight in Pai. 

5

Pai

Following breakfast, depart and continue south to Mae La Na (45 minutes), arguably one of the most picturesque valleys in Mae Hong Son Province. Here, visit two communities; Baan Ja Bo (Lahu) and Baan Mae La Na (Shan). Situated 30 minutes walking distance from one another, we will have the unique privilege of being invited into the homes and communities of these tribes to meet the people and learn about their unique and distinct cultures.

The Lahu people of Baan Ja Bo are colourful, flamboyant and welcoming. They’re known for their traditional medicine and wild traditional hilltribe food. Here, a local village guide will explain all the important cultural sites and introduce local craftsmen and craftswomen who will explain the the many different meanings of the colours of their traditional clothes. Then, follow the guide’s lead while hiking up the mountain to visit Coffin Cave -considered to be a sacred site by the Lahu people. Learn about the local beliefs and how to behave in the caves. Then, head to the local rice fields and learn about the traditional rotational rice farming method that locals use in order to maintain harmony with nature. Enjoy a local lunch prepared by the villagers at Baan Ja Bo.

From here, enjoy a downhill walk (30 minutes) or drive through a stunning valley of majestic limestone cliffs to Baan Mae La Na. Be met by a local village guide and follow his or her lead on a trail to visit the beautiful Coral Cave. During the trek, take in beautiful views of a healthy deciduous forest area, as well as a large herbal plantation that locals use for growing traditional medicine.

Please note: These villages are part of a program called “Project for Recovery of Life and Culture” which helps communities prepare for meaningful community-based tourism projects that share culture, raise funds to conserve natural resources, train community guides and create income for local members.

Return to Pai for overnight.

(Note: The program is not suitable for children under 7 years old.)

6

Pai

Following breakfast, continue further north to Tham Lod Cave, in the small town of Soppong (1.5 hours). This must- see historic cave is explored by bamboo raft via a tiny river that winds through the cave. Disembark the raft 2- 3 times to explore huge caverns that contain the remains of ancient teak wood coffins dating back some 2,500 years. Also, see some cave painting. All the while, follow the soft glow of the tour guide’s kerosene lantern as he or she explains the area. Tham Lod is considered to be a fantastic example of community-based tourism as all of the guides at the cave are from the local Shan village.

Continue to a local restaurant for lunch and then travel onwards to Tam Pla Park (1.5 hours). The park features a number of creeks running out of a cave, and the waters are filled with soro brook carp fish -some of them are more than a metre long! Return to hotel late in the afternoon.

Overnight in Pai.

(Note: The program is not suitable for children under 7 years old.)

7

Pai - Chiang Mai

Pai – Chiang Mai (146 km): 2.50 hr

Breakfast at the hotel. Check out and transfer from Pai to Chiang Mai.

Upon arrival in Chiang Mai, explore the old and modern city, including its old crumbling city walls, gates, moat, eclectic markets, residential areas, and Tapae Road -one of Chiang Mai’s main streets, and a hive of activity. Continue with a drive up to Doi Suthep Mountain for a visit to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Built in 1384 AD, it’s the most sacred temple in Northern Thailand. Inside the temple, see one of the most sacred and impressive stupas in all of Thailand. Also, be sure to enjoy the fantastic panoramic views over Chiang Mai.

In the early evening, meet with the guide at the hotel and transfer by a local songtaew and then by foot to explore a number of the evening street food markets around Chiang Mai City. Try a multitude of northern Thai delicacies and attempt learning how to order food in Thai language. The tour wraps up around 21:00.

Overnight in Chiang Mai. 

8

Chiang Mai

Breakfast at the hotel.

Today promises to be a memorable one. Experience a typical day in the life of a Thai person- no tourists, no sightseeing -just real life home cooking in a real Thai neighborhood.

Join Mr. Prapat in his family car and transfer 20 minutes to Hang Dong to spend the day with his family. In true Thai-style, slip into a pair of local ‘fisherman’s pants’ and discover the architecture of a traditional Thai house and rice barn. The Thai family will also demonstrate their basket-weaving skills -a tradition that has been in Thailand for centuries. Stroll around the small, family orchard and select fresh ingredients to add to the day’s cooking extravaganza. Learn how to prepare traditional home-cooked recipes with authentic Northern Thai flavours that are different from standard dishes offered in commercial cooking classes. Best of all, have the opportunity to get to know a real Thai family and be their house guest for the day. Enjoy a delicious home-cooked lunch with the ‘adopted’ family while cooking together. In the afternoon, go for a stroll around the neighbourhood to see some cottage industry goods being made before returning to Chiang Mai.

Overnight in Chiang Mai.

9

Chiang Mai

Breakfast at the hotel. Free day at leisure or enjoy an optional activity.

Half Day Cycling - Wiang Khum Kham to Ban Tawai

Pick up from the hotel in downtown Chiang Mai and transfer to Wiang Khum Kham. This cycling tour will be an introduction to Thai culture while visiting temples and markets as a local.  While exploring the ancient city of Wiang Khum Kham, which dates back to the 13th century and was only excavated in the 1980’s after being buried by mud from the river during a massive flood, the guide will explain the importance of Buddhism in Thai culture. Then, visit an ancient temple which is said to house the spirit of a former king.

Pass beautiful traditional teak wood houses and say hello to Thai fishermen along the Ping River. Then, stop for some fruit and a cool drink at a spacious grassy park before heading south to Ban Tawai, which is also known as the Village of Handicrafts -one of the largest handicraft markets in Thailand.

End the cycling tour at a leisurely pace while following the Ping River. The cycling distance is approximately 25 km on good quality flat tarmac roads. We stop often to refuel with water and fresh fruit. The tour ends at Wiang Khum Kham for a transfer back to the hotel.

Time:                    08:00 – 12:30 or 13.00 – 17.30

Departure:          Daily

Note:                   

  • Cycling distance is approximately 25 km on good quality flat tarmac roads.
  • The tour is not suitable for children under 6 years old.
  • Child is charged as an adult.
  • When booked please provide height of each client as this information is essential to secure the right bike size for the trip.
  • Minimum 2 persons.

Overnight in Chiang Mai. 

10

Chiang Mai Departure

Chiang Mai Hotel – Chiang Mai Airport (10.8 km): 15 min

Breakfast at the hotel, check out and transfer to Chiang Mai Airport for the onward flight. 

Important Information

  • Accommodation with daily breakfast at the selected hotels
  • Meals as mentioned (B = Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • English speaking guide (except Day 5 and 6)
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits
  • Other meals than mentioned
  • Other services than mentioned
  • International and Domestic Flights
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Tips, Travel insurance

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