Essential Thailand – Sceptre

Explore the heart of Thailand

Thailand is a traveler’s treat. On this vacation, explore its two major cities: Bangkok and Chiang Mai. You’ll also have tours to a floating market, temples and an elephant sanctuary!

Unique Explorations

  • Arrive in Thailand’s capital of Bangkok, a city filled with unique contrasts.
  • Revel in the sights and smells of the famous floating market in Damnern Saduak, an essential Thai experience.
  • Fly to Chiang Mai, Thailand’s northern capital and laidback counterpoint to busy Bangkok.
  • Drive through Thailand’s stunning countryside and visit an elephant sanctuary on a full-day excursion.
  • Indulge in pad thai, curry, Tom Yum and more delicious Thai delicacies!

The dazzling beauty and culture of Thailand await! On this 7-night vacation, explore two of the country’s famed cities: Bangkok and Chiang Mai. From buzzy Bangkok in the south to laidback Chiang Mai in the north, get a true taste of Thailand as you travel from glittering Buddhist temples to lush green countryside.

Arrive in the capital city of Bangkok and spend four days exploring its culture and history. Visit three temples one day, then a traditional floating market the next. Get lost wandering the city’s passageways during the day and experience its legendary nightlife come dusk.

After the excitement of Bangkok, travel north to the calmer Chiang Mai. The former seat of the Lanna kingdom bursts with fabulous food, ancient architecture, and modern skyscrapers. Escape the city on a tour through the countryside and a lovely afternoon spent with elephants. Be greeted with a warm Thai welcome everywhere you go!

Rates shown are from JFK.

Day 1
Welcome to Bangkok!

Welcome to the City of Angels! Upon clearing Customs and Immigration, you will meet your guide carrying an ICS Travel Group sign with your name. You’ll be presented with a welcome packet including all necessary documentation and vouchers, plus all contact information of your guide and local offices.

Arrive at your hotel and spend the rest of your day acclimating to Thailand’s busy city life.

Transfer to Bangkok hotel – Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside

Luxury and comfort that goes above and beyond

Escape the bustle of Bangkok at this luxurious hotel nestled right beside the Chao Phraya River. Located just 20 minutes from Wat Pho temple and Bangkok National Museum, this sophisticated hotel marries modern luxury and traditional Thai culture.

In the mood to explore? Take advantage of free shuttle boat services and enjoy the scenic view during the ride. Enjoy a pleasant swim in the sparkling outdoor pool, lounge on the riverside sundeck with a drink in hand, or work all your stresses away in the fitness center. Pamper yourself at the tranquil on-site spa, then unwind with a pre-dinner cocktail on the outdoor terrace. Indulge in mouthwatering cuisine at one of eight uniquely elegant on-site restaurants.

After an exciting day, head up to your spacious, comfortable room and feel yourself fall into a state of pure relaxation. Take a look out your window at the stunning nighttime view, then close the curtains and unwind. Sprawl out in your large bed, watch some of your favorite TV shows, or use the hotel’s free WiFi to plan your next day of adventure.

Day 2
Bangkok

Today you will explore three Buddhist temples in Bangkok on a half-day tour.

Later, explore Bangkok’s klongs (canals) and see why the city used to be called “the Venice of the East.”

Bangkok City & Temples Tour with lunch (half-day)

Wander through three stunning and sacred Buddhist Temples in Bangkok.

Weigh in at Wat Traimit or the Golden Buddha to see the Sukhothai-sculpted 5.5-ton solid-gold Buddha image. Said to date back as far as the early 13th century, the figure is as impressive as valuable.

Next is Wat Chetuphon, home to Wat Pho, the reclining Buddha image. It is regarded as the first center of public education, decorated in mural paintings, statues, and inscriptions. Intellectuals gather there to discuss a variety of subjects such as literature, astronomy, geology, meditation, and more.

Last but certainly not least is a temple that employs the delicate combination of Italian Carrara marble with classical Thai architecture to create the lovely and unique Wat Benchamabophit. Boasting 53 Buddha images and beautiful lotus flower-filled canals that can be crossed by footbridges.

Bangkok Klong Tour (half-day)

Nineteenth-century Bangkok was laced with canals, giving the capital the nickname the “Venice of the East.” Surviving canals, as well as the Chao Phraya River itself (meaning the River of Kings), provide memorable vignettes of a traditional waterborne way-of-life that has remained essentially unchanged over the centuries.

The river and canals can conveniently be explored by public transport or via a traditional long-tailed boat. The tour will finally take you to Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), a famous Chao Phraya riverbank landmark, which is best known for its porcelain encrusted central sparkling pagoda. After a wonderful tour, you will be brought back across the river to the main starting point.

Day 3
Bangkok

Begin today with a tour of the world-famous floating market of Damnern Saduak, a heady mix of sights, sounds, and smells.

Upon your return, take a walk through Bangkok’s commercial district of Siam Square, Pratunam and Phloen Chit. This is modern Bangkok at its heart.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Tour (half-day)

Walk and haggle through the famous floating markets of Thailand. A narrow canal became the foundation of the Damnoen Saduak Market where food, produce, and souvenir shops bob along the water.

This tour will also bring you to the Nakorn Pathom, home to the highest Chedi and to the largest pagodas in Southeast Asia.

Day 4
Bangkok

Open Wednesday to Sunday, the Chatuchak Weekend Market is one of the best experiences in Bangkok and is well worth exploring. Among the largest markets in the world, Chatuchak sells everything from antiques to clothing to home decor.

You could also consider spending the day at the temple of Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace. In the midst of modern Bangkok, Wat Phra Kaew stands out from the nondescript skyscrapers for its golden hue and tall spires. Tour the temple and have a walk on the palace grounds to get a sense of the old city.

Day 5
Bangkok - Chiang Mai

Depart Bangkok today for the northern city of Chiang Mai. After settling in, spend the remainder of your day exploring the shops, restaurants and sights on Nimmanhaemin Road, Chiang Mai’s place to see and be seen.

Transfer to Bangkok aiport (BKK or DMK)

Fly to Chiang Mai!

Transfer to Chiang Mai hotel – X2 Vibe Chiang Mai Decem Hotel

Trendy hotel in Chiang Mai with views of Doi Suthep temple

This Instagram-worrthy hotel is sure to be one of your favorite Chiang Mai experiences! The X2 Vibe Chiang Mai Decem Hotel, located in the trendy Nimman neighborhood of Chiang Mai, is a bright and sophisticated hotel near all of the city’s best temples, markets, museums, and more. Grab a rental bike and get exploring.

Wake up to the glittering sight of the most famous temple in Thailand, Doi Suthep, as the hotel has views from almost every angle. The hotel’s cool design style can be seen in every area from the fun, urban style décor of the rooms to the tropical vertical garden that shelters the salt pool area. Elegant deluxe rooms provide a comfortable haven of relaxation while the blackout curtains ensure complete privacy if desired. Relax in the peaceful serenity by the pool, enjoy a buffet breakfast, and sip a cocktail as you watch the sunset dip over Chiang Mai.

Day 6
Chiang Mai

Today you’ll leave the city behind as you travel through Thailand’s scenic countryside en route to the Elephant Nature Park. Enjoy a full-day tour of the animal sanctuary and meet its friendly inhabitants!

Chiang Mai Elephant Nature Park Tour with lunch (full-day)

Drive through Thailand’s picturesque agricultural countryside along Mae Taeng Valley to your destination, Elephant Nature Park. Hear personal stories of rescued elephants as told by expert guides and learn about problems facing elephants in Southeast Asia. See how Elephant Nature Park is helping in the treatment and care of Thailand’s dwindling elephant population and have a chance to feed the elephants from a viewing platform.

Following a buffet lunch, walk with the staff to the river skirting the park and learn how to safely and properly bathe an elephant! Plunge right in and help scrub these giants as they splash around. If getting dirty isn’t your thing, watch the elephants bathe and play while you stay dry on the sandy shore. Around 5 p.m., say goodbye to the elephants before the hour-long drive back to Chiang Mai where you will be dropped off at your hotel.

Day 7
Chiang Mai

Begin your last day in Chiang Mai with a visit to Doi Inthanon National Park, one of the most beautiful spots in all of Thailand. Perched on the country’s tallest mountain, Doi Inthanon is blanketed by lush tropical forests and dotted with rivers and waterfalls. Enjoy a leisurely stroll across the park and don’t miss visiting the two chedis dedicated to Their Royal Majesties, The King and Queen.

Chiang Mai’s oldest public market, Warorot (also known as Waroros) is a great place to connect with the city’s soul and end your Thailand adventure.

Rates and schedules not guaranteed until booked.

What's Included

  • Round-trip economy class airfare into Bangkok (BKK), out of Chiang Mai (CNX)
  • Round-trip airport transfers in Bangkok and Chiang Mai
  • 4 nights in Bangkok at the Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside, or similar
  • Bangkok City & Temples Tour with lunch (half-day)
  • Bangkok Klong Tour (half-day)
  • Damnoensaduak Floating Market Tour (half-day)
  • One-way economy class flight from Bangkok (BKK or DMK) to Chiang Mai (CNX)
  • 3 nights in Chiang Mai at the X2 Vibe Chiang Mai Decem Hotel, or similar
  • Full-day Chiang Mai Elephant Nature Park Tour (with lunch)
  • Breakfast daily & 2 lunches

You can send your inquiry via the form below.