Begin your journey through Thailand with a visit to the country’s vibrant capital. All year round, this city is abuzz with colorful food and flower markets, bustling off-the-beaten-path adventures, and a mix of old meets new. After disembarking your flight, meet your private driver for your drive to check into your first stay: The Siam. On the way, catch a glimpse of the dynamic landscape this city is set upon: with everything from winding waterways to a combination of traditional temples and contemporary skyscrapers ripe for exploring.
Known as the “Land of Smiles,” this Thailand travel itinerary ushers you through this Southeast Asian country’s rich culture, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine.
From bustling cities to serene beaches, Thailand offers something for every traveler. Shaped by its deep reverence for Buddhist culture, this country is known for its majestic temples and art pieces. You can also discover a colorful tapestry of Southeast Asian culture, evidenced by the various rituals, festivals, dances, and cuisine. In this hyper-customizable itinerary, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the most iconic destinations in Thailand.
Begin with a flight via renowned airline Qatar Airways before touching down and exploring the vibrant street life of Bangkok. Then, visit Chiang Mai and Phuket’s ancient temples and bustling markets before relaxing on Koh Yao Noi’s pristine beaches. At every turn, you can indulge in the elevated takes on Thai cuisine that has made Thailand a culinary paradise. As always, our curated selection of SmartFlyer-vetted properties is yours to call home base at every stop on this destination. From restored mansions from the age of explorers to your very own private island villa, every accommodation guarantees you a place to recharge for your next day of discoveries. So grab your pack, lace up your boots, and let’s journey into #AmazingThailand.
Eight nights, nine days
Culture enthusiasts and intrepid travelers with a nomadic heart.
A cultural expedition through Thailand’s vibrant history, from ancient temples to contemporary art.
Reading up on a brief history of Thailand will make visits to these historical monuments twice as enriching. And make sure to save room in your luggage to bring back plenty of Chiang Mai handicrafts and textiles.
Welcome to an urban sanctuary on the Chao Phraya riverside. Designed by the legendary Bill Bensley, the suites and private pool villas each have their own style and character while the owner’s private collection of art and antiques brightens up every corner. Featuring a striking glass-covered courtyard and views of the river, a stay at The Siam incorporates nods to local culture with its own Muay Thai boxing ring as well as a range of Ayurvedic treatments at the spa. Foodies will sink into rituals as locals at the on-property traditional Thai teak house restaurant – think honeyed pork ribs and wok-fried sea bass – before finishing off the evening at the art deco bar, located right along their private pier on the river.
Hidden among the meandering streets of an old Chiang Mai neighborhood, 137 Pillars surrounds an old teak house that once belonged to the East Borneo Company, headed by Louis Leonowens in the late 19th century. Featuring large terraces, high ceilings, and traditional European furniture, each suite is a haven of tranquility surrounded by a lush and beautifully landscaped garden. The Nitra Serenity Centre offers a comprehensive treatment menu ranging from rejuvenating facials to invigorating massages, as well as private lessons on the timeless Thai techniques.
Nestled on the peaceful Ping River, Anantara Layan Phuket Resort is a chic contemporary property built around a 100-year-old heritage house that once belonged to the British Consulate. The rooms and suites are housed in a sleek, modern building decorated in a simple yet sophisticated style with elements of Thai design. The resort's infinity pools found across the property are aquatic sanctuaries, while their restaurants offer rooftop cocktails and tapas to high-end grilling experiences.
Overlooking the spectacular seascapes of Phang Nga Bay, Six Senses Koh Yao Noi an all-pool villa retreat where tropical island living meets chic contemporary style. Designed to look like lavish treehouses, its private villas feature rustic wooden accents with thatched roofs accompanied by dreamy views of the limestone archipelago and neighboring rubber tree plantations. Six Senses takes it to the next level with its sustainability concept, including conservation efforts for native wildlife and clean water initiatives for local neighborhoods. Complete with a range of international restaurants and Thai-inspired treatments at the spa, the resort is an idyllic seaside haven.
- Enjoy a seafood lunch at a local market Day 1
- Venture through the remote tropics via self-drive tuk-tuk adventure to an elephant sanctuary Day 4
- A private morning drive to a picturesque sacred forest temple Day 5
- Discover Phuket’s rows of beautifully painted shophouses, quaint cafés, and local boutiques in the colorful old quarter Day 6
- Arrive to your private villa at Six Senses Yao Noi and take in the views of the surrounding limestone formations Day 7
- Experience the secret Viking Caves of the Thai archipelago Day 8
After checking into your hotel, take some time to freshen up before meeting your private driver and guide to head for lunch at a local floating market. Getting here is half the fun: you’ll board your private boat and enjoy a leisurely ride down the canal while observing this unique way of life along the quiet waterway. As you weave through the floating market, you’ll find locals feasting on fresh seafood lunches, as well as vendors crafting traditional Thai desserts and roasting up local delicacies. Your local guide will be sure to carve out time so you can make a stop on the way to one of the local temples to experience a traditional Buddhist blessing. Close out the evening with sunset drinks at Baan Rim Naam, a two-century-old warehouse overlooking the Chao Phraya River, before tucking in for the night.
The gallery filled with exclusively Thai artists will ignite all of your senses…
Enjoy a slow-paced morning beginning with a traditional Thai breakfast. If you are seeking a wellness experience, then indulge in The Siam’s many activations, from a spa treatment featuring Sodashi’s 100% chemical-free products to a round of training in their Muay Thai boxing ring. In the afternoon, we recommend lunch at Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River’s Yu Ting Yuan – the city’s only Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant, followed by a midday pick-me-up at BKK Social Club. As one of the top-rated bars in the world, this bar blends 1970s and 80s Buenos Aires and Bangkok aesthetics while serving up refreshing signature drinks like the Evita: plantation pineapple rum, campari, aperol, citrus mix, bay leaf, and cinnamon syrup.
Your next stop today is an exclusive art, starting at ART Space by MOCA. In collaboration with Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok and MOCA BANGKOK, Creative District co-founder David Robinson will walk you through a rotating, curated collection of the city’s exciting modern art scene. The gallery filled with exclusively Thai artists will ignite all of your senses with striking plumes of jasmine cascading down the walls and filled with natural light.
Afterwards, you’ll be guided to the hidden corners of the city. Robinson is a wellspring on knowledge, helping you discover the stories behind these historic heritage buildings, funky street murals, and innovative local designers. With a mission towards architectural preservation and creative arts projects, his non-profit provides Bangkoks emerging art scene a home by shaping this riverside community into a contemporary open-air gallery. From longstanding shophouses to art galleries, street food vendors, and chic local eateries, the community has a unique artistic vibe that puts the city’s young artists and creators front and center. Explore a range of local designers, uncover alleys filled with street art, and provide insight into the exclusive designer shops found throughout the area.
Ride that creative spirit into the evening when your private driver takes you south to dine at the freshly opened The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon. For prime views of the city, take a ride to the 76th floor of the hotel where its on-property restaurant, Ojo Bangkok, is decked out in The Standard’s signature modern retro-glam design. Once seated, you’ll dine on authentic Mexican dishes with a creative twist by award-winning chef, Francisco Paco Ruano as evidence that your Thailand experience will be nothing short of a multicultural and sensory-provoking adventure.
Dinner was just a tease of the main event of the evening: relishing Bangkok’s nightlife scene. Work with your SmartFlyer travel advisor to book a private electric tuk-tuk tour to get you around with hyper-efficiency. These traditional three-wheeled vehicles will act as your key to exploring the old town as you pass through the bustling Yaowarat district. We recommend a nightcap in the Flower Market where you can sip on well-crafted cocktails found at the various rooftop bars spread amongst contemporary floral studios.
Following breakfast, transfer to the airport via private car for your flight to Chiang Mai. In comparison to Bangkok’s urban skyscape, this city is a land of misty mountains where ancient kings once held court. Even as you descend into the city, you’ll be able to glimpse the various temples built between the 13th and 18th centuries that adorn the land, framed by crumbling red-brick city walls, distant rice fields, teak forests, and the Ping River in the east.
Local designers create surprising, chic, innovative items…
After transferring and checking in to 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai at the city’s center, freshen up and head over to lunch at Kiti Panit. Located in a century-old teak tree mansion, this restaurant serves contemporary takes on traditional Lanna cuisine, featuring complex dishes such as hang le (northern Thai curry) and grilled chicken salad with coriander by chefs Aom and Paper from Bangkok’s Saawaan restaurant. Following lunch, join a Chiang Mai insider for a tour through the city’s local community of artisans. Your guide will take you into lowkey boutique shops and craft studios where local designers create surprising, chic, innovative items using traditional and contemporary techniques. Close your day out with dinner at Palette, 137 Pillars House’s premiere restaurant boasting a farm-to-kitchen concept.
Today, awaken your senses with a thrilling day of adventure. After a forty-five-minute transfer to the Mae Wang district, you and your expert guide will take to the countryside for an exciting tuk-tuk expedition in the remote hills of northern Thailand. The Thai countryside is magical and filled with scenic mountain trails, farming villages, picturesque fields, and rice terraces. The vehicles are classically-design and custom-built with added legroom for a more comfortable ride. For full immersion, we highly recommend requesting a self-drive option which can be granted upon completion of a one-hour of training and passing of a brief driving assessment.
Breaking from your tuk-tuk tour, your guide will introduce you to a local ethical elephant sanctuary. There, you can enjoy a homemade lunch and soak in the local way of life while watching the elephants roam, play, and bathe in the river. For the adventurous type, you can also opt to take a guided, traditional bamboo raft ride down the river following lunch. This journey winds you through the region’s local culture, all while your expert rafter negotiates the landscape’s natural bends. After returning to dry land, return via private car back to the hotel for a cozy garden dinner at Baan Rai Yam Yen.
Begin your midpoint through your Thailand trip with an early morning adventure to breakfast in northern Thailand’s sacred mountains. Your private car will drive you up the mountain path to visit Wat Palad, Chiang Mai’s sacred mountaintop temple overlooking the city dedicated to monks like the revered Khruba Siwichai. On the way up, stop at a mountainside monastery nestled within the forest for a picnic breakfast beside a small creek. While there, you can fully experience the beauty of the local almsgiving tradition known as Tak Bart. These ceremonies are an integral part of the Thai way of life, including small offerings of food to people and animals alike. While walking through the local landscape, you’ll finally come across this sacred forest temple lined with intricate sacred statues and adorned with scarlet and gold.
This famous marketplace known for its bustling flower stalls and street.
In the afternoon, your local guide will lead you into town for a guided walk through Waroros market. Locals refer to this famous marketplace known for its bustling flower stalls and street snacks as “Kad Luang.” After exploring the variety of flavors Chiang Mai has to offer, follow your guide on a private tour on a songthaew: a red, open-air passenger vehicle popularly used for public transportation. Along the way, your guide will provide insight into Chiang Mai’s distinct landmarks.
Dinner tonight is at the esteemed Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, an oasis tucked among emerald rice fields in the scenic Mae Rim Valley. One of our favorite dining experiences on this itinerary is private dining at the property’s exclusive Rice Barn. Here, you’ll be treated to a five-course meal as the moon rises over the rustic landscape. This is an ideal way to close out your final day in Chiang Mai: feasting on wok-fried seafood by flowers and candlelight.
Following breakfast, your private driver will usher you to the airport for your air transfer over to the sparkling island of Phuket. Framed by the Andaman Sea, this island is a haven of tropical beaches, idyllic rainforests, and mountainous landscapes. Upon arrival, you’ll be met by a private guide before transferring and checking in to Anantara Layan Phuket Resort. Once you’ve taken the time to freshen up, hit the streets with your private guide as they introduce you to the stunning streets of Phuket’s Old District. Your SmartFlyer travel advisor can even arrange a shoot with a local photographer via our friends at Flytographer, helping you capture the moment while staying fully immersed in the local cutlure.
Today’s lunch is at Blue Elephant, a female-led kitchen and restaurant located in the Phra Pitak Chinpracha Mansion. After lunch, your guide will welcome you to Phuket’s Chalong Bay Rum Distillery. This establishment is the ideal place to pick up some original handcrafted rum – all made using sustainable processes that combine traditional French techniques with the rich sugarcane heritage of Thailand. Your private guide will teach you about the art of distilling rum with a brief tour of the facilities. Then, learn how to prepare three unique rum-based cocktails in an entertaining cocktail-making session in an open-air workshop. Afterward, your private driver will transfer you back to your hotel where you can enjoy an evening on the island at your leisure.
This property is a sustainability standout thanks to its discerning approach to environmental responsibility.
After enjoying breakfast by the beach, check out of your pool villa and take a private car to Ao Por Grand Marina. There, you’ll board your personal speedboat for transfer in style to your next stay at the legendary Six Senses Yao Noi. This property is a sustainability standout thanks to its discerning approach to environmental responsibility. Located in a secluded island cove, Six Senses Yao Noi’s ultra-private Treehouse Villas are linked together by a network of suspension bridges – each is equipped with private plunge pools and blends perfectly into the jungle. For an epic romantic retreat, we highly recommend working with your SmartFlyer travel advisor to book The View; this 2,422-square-foot specialty villa offers 360-degree views across Phang Nga Bay with an infinity-edge pool and a private cinema.
After you check into your private villa, you can revel in Six Senses’s emblematic take on island living as you explore the resort. You’ll find a wide range of experiences to enjoy, from a half-day nature tour through the neighboring ecosystems to Indonesian Batik painting classes. If you’re looking for a way to give back to the island, Six Senses has partnered with Koh Yao Elementary School to provide guests with volunteer opportunities where you can directly learn from the local community. Dinner tonight is at the property’s The Chef’s Table where you’ll be treated to a dining spectacle enhanced by a vibrant take on local Thai cuisine.
For your final day in Thailand, rise early and follow your private guide sourced by Abercrombie & Kent out early for a tour through Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands via private boat. Your first stop will be at Maya Bay, an iconic beach featured in the legendary 007: The Man With The Golden Gun. Afterward, your guide will sail you to Pileh Lagoon for picturesque views of an emerald lake surrounded by tall limestone cliffs. Nearby, you can also experience a snorkeling spot particularly rich in biodiversity where a myriad of tropical fish and corals thrive.
Your next stop is one of the most notable natural sites in the archipelago. Viking Cave is a limestone landmark adorned with wall paintings. These pictures of Viking boats are believed to have been created by the Vikings themselves, once using the cave as a shelter from the storm. Now, merchants come here to harvest swiftlet birds’ nests for the signature ingredient for the local specialty: bird’s nest soup. Afterward, your private guide will introduce you to a local seaside restaurant serving family-style traditional Thai island flavors. You can also take a moment to fully unwind on the remote beaches and take in the warm Phi Phi sun. Your guide will cap off the trip with a ride back to the resort where you can enjoy an evening at your leisure.
As they say, all good things must come to an end – and this epic cultural adventure is no different. After checking out of your private villa, you’ll take a private boat ride back to Phuket where you’ll fly back to Bangkok for your flight home. For maximum comfort, we recommend spending one more optional night at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok before your final departure. With an eighteen-hour flight ahead of you, there’s no better way to prepare than to spend a day at Mandarin Oriental’s spa. We love the two-hour Inner Strength treatment, as well as a private mediation session.
The next day, your private driver will transfer you back to Bangkok International Airport for your departure home. We recommend closing out this adventure with a flight via Qatar Airways’s Business Class: the Qsuite. Your flight will also include a delicious spread of gourmet food, including a fully plant-based menu for vegan flyers. If you’re making the trip back home with a group of four, we recommend working with your SmartFlyer travel advisor to book a seat in their Double Suite category. With plenty of legroom and storage space, this category also features a plush place for you to rest.
As the peaks of the mountains and ancient temples disappear from view, you can recount all the stories from your trip as you contact your SmartFlyer travel advisor to do what else? Plan the next one.
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