Taste of Thailand Culinary Vacation in Southeast Asia | The International Kitchen
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Taste of Thailand
Bangkok, Chiang Mai

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About the location: Thailand, the fabled land of Siam, is rife with attractions from bustling modern cities to golden tropical beaches and a world-famous cuisine.  It is a famously friendly country, known as "The Land of Smiles" for the hospitality of the Thai people. From the northern mountains to the Gulf of Thailand in the south, this tropical land is a verdant paradise for the culinary traveler. Thai cuisine is some of the most popular, healthiest (and most delicious) in the world, combining, like much Southeast Asian cuisine, the five fundamental tastes of sweet, sour, spicy, bitter, and salty.

The capital city Bangkok is a bustling place, with roads packed with cars and noisy tuk tuks, pavements crammed with ramshackle food stalls, and shrines laden with fragrant flowers. In the north Chiang Mai is surrounded by hills and exhibits its distinctive Lanna inheritance through its architecture, handicrafts, and cuisine. Considered Thailand’s cultural hub, Chiang Mai is home to silk weavers, artists, and wood carvers. 

Your accommodations will be in 4-star or 4-star superior hotels with private bathrooms. In both Bangkok and Chiang Mai, the hotels are ideally located and ofter many amenities and amazing views. Please see our hotel photo gallery for details about the specific hotels. (Upgrades to 5* hotels also available on request.)

Pair it with our Cooking and Culture in Southeast Asia itinerary for a full Southeast Asia experience!

Taste of Thailand Itinerary

Day 1

Order of activities subject to change.

  • Arrival at Bangkok airport and transfer to your hotel.
  • Free time to rest or explore, with dinner on your own.
  • Overnight in Bangkok.

Day 2

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Today, depart around 8:30 am to see the highlights of Bangkok. (Please note that proper attire is required: no bare shoulders or knees, no strap-heeled shoes. You will be required to remove shoes before entering all temples.) You will visit two of the most important sights of Bangkok, the Reclining Buddha at Wat Po—a giant supine Buddha covered in gold leaf—and the Grand Palace, a “must see” for every visitor to Thailand. Located near the banks of the Chao Phraya River, the Grand Palace is the perfect example of an ancient Siamese court. Within the compound you will find the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Pra Kaew).
  • Lunch in a Thai restaurant.
  • This afternoon, travel on the Chao Phraya River (The River of Kings) and on through the canals (Klongs) of Thonburi. You will be able to observe and photograph serene family homes and temples along the waterways, which gave the city the name “The Venice of the East.” You will also stop at one of the most photographed sites in Bangkok, the Wat Arun. The majestic shrine has a pagoda 76 meters high, decorated with glazed ceramics that reflect the rising sun and give the temple its name. (Note that the temple may still be undergoing renovation, but the temple compound remains open.)
  • Back to your hotel to refresh.
  • Pickup from your hotel in the afternoon and transfer to Chinatown for a walk along the narrow streets filled with thousands of vendors and food stalls. Taste various dishes — from Hong Kong noodies and Dim-Sum, to grilled jumbo prawn and fried battered mussels — and learn about the food, history, culture, and religion of Chinatown before returning to your hotel.
  • Overnight.

Day 3

  • Breakfast at the hotel, then transfer to the Bangkok airport for a flight to the lovely northern city of Chiang Mai.
  • Arrival at Chiang Mai airport, meet and greet with your guide, and transfer to the hotel.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • This afternoon, meet your guide for a tour of Chiang Mai. You will visit the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, a sacred temple with a challenging flight of stairs flanked by Naga serpents, as well as Wat Chedi Luang, the site of a formerly massive pagoda that was destroyed in the great earthquake of 1545. Next, return to the city center to visit additional impressive temples, such as Wat Suan Dok, which once was home to the Thai monarchy in the 14th century; today it’s home to the ashes of several white Chedis as well as a famous Monk school. Lastly, visit Wat Jedyod, also known as the Temple of Seven Spires.
  • Transfer back to your hotel, and dinner on your own.
  • Overnight in Chiang Mai.

Day 4

  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • This morning, visit a jungle area to experience the Elephant Care Centre. After a brief about safety, you’ll spend the morning at the camp participating in a variety of activities; in addition to interacting with the elderly elephants, you can learn how to make ground grass, feed the elephants bananas, make herb balls, and even bathe with the elephants. You may also visit the elephant cemetery.
  • This afternoon, transfer to the outskirts of Chiang Mai for a great Thai cooking experience. The Lanna-style school is located in a countryside village. Learn about Thai ingredients, and use them during your cooking lesson. Dinner to follow, transfer back to the hotel.
  • Overnight.

Day 5

  • Breakfast at your hotel, and transfer to the airport. (If you would like, we can arrange a return flight to Bangkok for an additional US$125 per person.)