Ascend to the realm of the gods, Angkor Wat. Descend into hell at Tuol Sleng Prison. With a history both inspiring and depressing, Cambodia delivers an intoxicating present.
Here is how you will spend your time
Day 1: Arrival At Bangkok And Transfer To Ayuttthaya
Late morning, private van transfer from your hotel in Bangkok to Hua Lampong Railway station. 10:05hrs depart by train to Ayutthaya (~ 1hr20min). Just across the railway station is your hotel, where you will deposit your luggage and take lunch, before exploring the UNESCO World Heritage site by bicycle. Late afternoon, relax your muscles during a 2-hour Thai traditional massage. In the evening, board a converted rice barge for a dinner cruise around Ayutthaya. Overnight at Krungsri River Hotel
Day 2: Ayuttthaya To Sukhothai
09:43hrs board the train to Phitsanuloke – this leg of the journey traverses the “rice bowl” of Thailand. Arrival in Phitsanuloke is scheduled for 13:20hrs. Lunch at a local hotel, then visit the most important sites of the city including Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, also known as Wat Yai. This famous temple is home to Phra Buddha Chinnarat, regarded as one of the most beautiful Buddha images in Thailand, cast in 1357. The beautiful mother-of-pearl inlaid doors were added by King Bornkot in 1756. Also visit the Sgt. Maj. Thawee Folk Museum, a private collection of antique items representing Thai rural life (closed on Mondays). They include indigenous arts, pottery, farming and trapping equipment and household items. Old photographs revealing Phitsanuloke's good old days are also on display. Across the street small bronze Buddha image casting foundry (closed Mondays & Tuesdays), which is the only of its kind in the province. The foundry allows visitors with the opportunity to witness skilled crafts men working on the reproduction of Phra Buddha Chinnarat images. It is possible to actually walk along the production line to see the entire bronze-casting process. In addition, huge Buddha images are also cast here. Late afternoon, private van transfer to Sukhothai. Overnight at Sukhothai Treasure Resort or similar.
Travel from Ayutthaya to Sukhothai
Train to Bangkok Don Muang, fly to Phitsanulok, line 829 bus
Train to Bangkok, fly to Sukhothai
Train, line 829 bus
Day 3: Sukhothai Sightseeing
Today visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sukhothai by bicycle. You’ll be able to appreciate the beautifully restored monuments at a slow pace – biking is on flat, mostly surfaced routes and frequent stops will be made to snap photos and admire the ancient temples dating back to the 13th century. After lunch, return to the resort to freshen up and then continue your tour of the remote sites by skylab, the local version of a motorized tuk tuk. Stops will be made at Wat Chetupon and Wat Sapan Hin, an impressive Buddha statue located on a hill-side (please wear appropriate footwear - you won’t be able to ascend on flip flops or high heeled sandal!). The last destination today will be Wat Sri Chum, depicting an enormous seated stucco Buddha over 11 meters in width, called Phra Achana. The mondop is 32 metres square, 15 metres high and the walls are 3 metres thick. The final highlight today will be a ride on carts pulled by oxen back to the resort. Overnight at Suhkothai Treasure Resort or similar.
Day 4: Sukhothai To Lampang
After breakfast, depart by private van to Si Satchanalai, yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located about 53km or 1 hour drive north of Sukhothai, the major sights include Wat Chang Lom, Chedi Chet Thaeo Temple and Nang Phaya Temple, just to name a few. Again, you will use environmentally friendly bicycles to tour the park. However, if you do not feel up to the challenge, your private van is on stand-by to shuttle you around. You will also visit the Centre for Study and Preservation of Sangkhalok Kilns. Within a distance of 1 kilometer, more than 500 kilns have been excavated up to now. Numerous celadon wares in perfect and broken conditions have been discovered. There are also exhibitions on artifacts, academic documents, and on the evolution of ancient ceramic wares. After lunch at a local restaurant, transfer to Uttaradit Railway station, where you board the train at 14:45hrs for the 3.5 hour trip to Lampang. Transfer to Wienglakor Hotel by local songthaew. Overnight at Wienglakor Hotel.
Travel from Sukhothai to Lampang
Line 829 bus, line 876 bus
Line 829 bus, train
Day 5: Lampang To Chiang Mai
In the morning, tour the city on horse-drawn carriages. Stops will be made at the most interesting temples, each which its own architectural style and history: Wat Si Rong Muang, Wat Pratu Phong and Wat Phra Kaeo Don Tao. You will also visit one of the oldest teak wood houses, Ban Sao Nak. After an early lunch, transfer to the train station, where you board the local train (non-air-conditioned) at 12.40hrs train bound for Chiang Mai. Upon arrival at 14:45hrs, private van transfer to Empress Hotel for check in. Rest of day at leisure. Overnight at Empress Hotel.