Ancient cities, Khmer ruins, age-old crafts, flowing rivers, jungle-clad mountains and mysterious caves – these are just some of the highlights to be found not far from Bangkok. This tour will take you on a journey through Central Thailand taking in the natural beauty of Khao Yai National Park, Korat, Ayutthaya, the infamous River Kwai … and more.
We’ll depart from the hotel and set off to Khao Yai National Park which covers over 2,000 square kilometers and is blessed with a landscape of low steep-sided mountains, tropical rainforest, cascading waterfalls and a rich diversity of plants and animals.
Along the way we’ll stop at Thailand’s biggest milk farm at Phak Chong (everyday except Monday).
On arrival at Khao Yai National Park there’s the chance to stretch our legs with a hike to the scenic Nakhon Nayok waterfall.
Overnight in Khao Yai.
In the morning, we’ll leave the national park behind and set off to Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) to see how the famous high quality Mutmee Silk is produced. More local crafts can be seen in Dan Kwian, a village famous for its local ceramics.
We’ll continue to Phanom Rung, an impressive Khmer temple set on the rim of an extinct volcano at 402 meters elevation.
After lunch in a local restaurant we’ll visit Phimai, an important temple from the Angkor period. This well-preserved and intricately decorated temple complex is similar to Angkor Wat, although older, and was once connected to it by an ancient highway. In the afternoon we’ll return to Nakhon Ratchasima and check into our hotel.
After breakfast, our first stop of the day will be at Wat Salaloi to see the boat-style ordination hall. Our journey continues to Saraburi where a highly revered footprint of the Lord Buddha can be seen in the temple of Phra Buddha Bat.
On arrival in Lopburi we’ll spend some time walking through Sanpakarn Park on the lookout for the wild monkeys.
After lunch we’ll arrive at Ayutthaya – an ancient Siamese capital and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th century, the impressive ruins of ancient statues and Buddhist temples still reveal the past splendor of this once-glorious city. We’ll explore famous sites such as Wat Mongkol Bophit, Wat Sri Sanpetch and Wat Mahathat.
Overnight in Ayutthaya.
Today’s destination is Kanchanaburi. We’ll depart after breakfast and stop at Wat Pa Lay Lai in Suphanburi along the way.
Kanchanaburi is located at the confluence of the rivers Kwai Noi and Kwai Yai, and is perfect for both nature lovers and history buffs. We’ll see reminders of the past in the War Museum and the War Cemetery. And of course, we’ll spend some time at the notorious Bridge over the River Kwai to get photos of the bridge and the surrounding riverside scenery.
After lunch we’ll continue to the hotel by car and boat.
In the evening we can enjoy dinner while watching a cultural Mon dance show.
Overnight in Kanchanaburi.
After breakfast in the hotel we’ll set off on a short hike to explore the mystical Lawa Cave. The cave is one of the largest in Thailand and boasts some dramatic stalagmites, stalactites and rock formations. We’ll then continue to Hellfire Pass, a railway cutting on the former Burma Railway where many lives were sacrificed. At the Hell Fire Pass Memorial we can learn more about the somber history and how the POWs were forced to carve through the rocky mountain using just hand tools.
After lunch in a local restaurant, we’ll continue on to the old city of Nakhon Pathom, home to a giant pagoda – the highest Buddhist building in Southeast Asia.
From here we’ll proceed either to the airport or the hotel in Bangkok.