Thailand Chiang Mai, River Kwai & Beach
Travel 01 Feb 2019 - 30 Nov 2019
Book by 31 Jan 2019
Saving £220 per person
- 3 nts x2 Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand - Breakfast
- 3 nts x2 River Kwai , River Kwai - Breakfast
- 5 nts x2 Kui Buri, Hua Hin, Cha Am & Kui Buri - Breakfast
- X2 River Kwai Resort: Receive one set dinner at The Bridge Bar & Bistro & 15% discount on food and beverages( non alcoholic) throughout stay
- X2 Kui Buri: receive one Thai set dinner at 4K restaurant & bar, 30 minute Thai Massage per person per stay, 15% food and beverage discount during stay
- Flights to Singapore and onwards to Borneo with Singapore Airlines from Heathrow, accommodation throughout, return private transfers and prepayable taxes.
- This holiday is ATOL protected 2713
Situated on the tranquil banks of the Ping River, this stunning boutique resort is also just minutes away from Chiang Mai's vibrant centre.
Located at a beautiful stretch of river and with a spectacular mountain backdrop, each room offers uninterrupted panoramic views of the river and surrounding countryside.
Enjoying a prime setting on four acres of virgin beachfront, the hotel features 23 semi-private villas, each with their own terrace and garden, and most with a private pool.
Flights to Singapore and onwards to Borneo with Singapore Airlines from Heathrow, accommodation throughout, return private transfers and prepayable taxes.
Regional Departures: Regional supplements are available from Manchester from £190, Belfast from £220, Newcastle from £190, Edinburgh from £190, Glasgow from £190. Other regional airports may be available, please ask for details.
Delve deeper into Thai culture by heading north and it will feel like you're in a different country: the landscape, the language, the architecture, the food and the people of this region are quite distinct. The "Rose of the North" and Thailand's second largest city, Chiang Mai is the gateway to the region and the most culturally significant; Chiang Rai is gateway to the infamous Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar (Burma) come together; and the sleepy market town of Mae Hong Son nestles high up in a picturesque valley surrounded by mist-shrouded hills.
Famous for its beautiful women, historic temples, distinctive festivals and handicrafts, Chiang Mai is also a great location for those seeking soft adventure such as elephant trekking, mountain biking and rafting. Its moat-encircled Old City dates back to the 13th century and it's within these narrow streets that you'll find many remarkable temples including Wat Phra Sing, which houses the highly revered Phra Singh Buddha. Not too far away is one of the most holy Buddhist sites in Thailand, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, which overlooks the city from its spectacular setting atop Mount Suthep. Dating back to the 14th century this awe-inspiring temple is crowned by a gold-plated Chedi (monument) and on a clear day has towering views over the city and valley. Adding to the prestige of Doi Suthep is Phu Phing Palace, the winter residence of the Thai royal family, whose landscaped gardens are open to the public.
Surrounded by majestic mountain scenery Chiang Rai has more than its share of natural attractions and antiquities. Thailand's most northern city, it's a peaceful and laid-back place, which is easy to explore on foot, whether you explore by the Kok River where there's even a 'beach', or head out to the nearby hills and forest parks. Alternatively bicycles are readily available to hire and the river itself is great for rafting or longtail boat rides.
Mae Hong Son is home to a number of attractive temples, the most striking being Phra That Doi Kong Mu, set high up on a hill overlooking the city. Visit at dawn to see Mae Hong Son bathed in the mist or later in the afternoon for panoramic views of the surrounding area. Other notable temples include Wat Jong Klang and Wat Jong Kham which sit beside the serene waters of Jong Kham Lake in the heart of the town. Many hilltribes can be found in the area – Shans, Lanna, Thais and Karens, each with their own unique style, language, customs, traditions and cuisine. The most popular villages to visit are those inhabited by the long neck (Padong) Karen tribeswomen, who originated from Myanmar and are so called because of the layers of brass rings worn around their necks.
Trekking is a major attraction in Mae Hong Son and can be done as part of a day tour for a few hours or even longer to fully appreciate the stunning mountain scenery. Alternatively a more leisurely option is to combine an elephant trek through the jungle with a gentle raft trip along the picturesque Pai River. As you glide along, you'll hopefully catch glimpses of the local women washing clothes in the river while children splash and play about nearby.
Chiang Mai is an area rich with cottage industries and it's possible to visit workshops to watch the artisans at work and learn about the production of umbrellas, silk, silverware, lacquerware, furniture and ceramics. At the bustling Night Market, which sprawls along the main thoroughfare, there are countless pavement stalls selling the handicrafts as well as local wares, clothing, authentic Thai cuisine and much more. It's a great place to practice your bartering skills and pick up some bargains. Chiang Rai has its own Night Bazaar, which while a fraction of the size of that in Chiang Mai, you'll still find stalls brimming with hilltribe handicrafts, clothing and souvenirs.
Escape the fast pace of city life for the province of Kanchanaburi, 150 miles west of Bangkok, where you can enjoy stunning natural scenery, unique history and soft adventure.
Kanchanaburi is renowned worldwide for its famous World War II landmarks - Bridge over the River Kwai and the Death Railway which runs to the Burmese border. Although partly destroyed from bombing during the war, the black iron bridge was rebuilt and serves as a poignant reminder of WW2 atrocities. The Death Railway, today, is one of the most scenic rail routes in the world with tracks enclosed by verdant forests which open out onto a sheer cliff before running alongside the broad and impressive River Kwai affording stunning vistas.
The Thailand-Burma Railway Centre highlights the plight of POWs, whilst the beautifully maintained cemetery, the final resting place of over 10,000 prisoners of war, provides a quiet sanctuary for reflection.
A walk down into Hellfire Pass, where the infamous Konyu Cutting was built by prisoners working 18 hour days over a period of just 6 weeks, takes you through some of the spectacular, lush countryside, whilst the Memorial Museum also offers an illuminating insight into the railway's past.
History aside, the province boasts a magnificent natural landscape of dense tropical jungles, rivers and cascading waterfalls. Bamboo rafting, trekking and cycling are all popular activities and those who stay overnight on the river will be entranced by its peace and beauty.
Just a few hours by road from Bangkok, Hua Hin is Thailand's oldest beach resort and home to the royal summer palace since the 1920s. There's an air of gentility along with a quiet ambience, long sandy beach and vibrant night market. Neighbouring Cha Am is a sleepy little fishing village which is famed for its fresh seafood and relaxing atmosphere.
Equally popular with young couples and families, tourists and Thai's, Hua Hin features a beautiful, powdery sand beach which is flanked by a range of good value hotels, luxury resorts and world-renowned spas. With three miles of attractive beach it's a delightful place to relax and unwind. While Cha Am may not rival Hua Hin for facilities, it is home to a long casuarina-lined beach, calm turquoise waters and a laid-back atmosphere.
Away from the sand there's much to see and do. Maruekhathayawan Palace is one of the most attractive royal palaces in Thailand; dating back to 1923 it offers a real glimpse of Thailand's royal past. Equally impressive is the striking architecture of the Hua Hin Railway Station, one of the oldest in the country, whose main feature is the Royal Waiting Room. Within easy reach is Pala-U Waterfall which has water cascading down several tiers amid impressive jungle, or alternatively take a day trip to Sam Roi Yot National Park. For sports enthusiasts, Hua Hin is regarded as one of the finest golfing locations in Thailand with numerous top quality courses all within a 30 minute drive.
Hua Hin's vibrant night market is not to be missed, with countless outlets selling freshly cooked food as well as colourful stalls brimming with local handicrafts, souvenirs and clothing. Alternatively visit Hua Hin Floating Market which is more upscale with many shops on the banks of a small, meandering man-made river; or Hua Hin Artist Village which has galleries of arts and antiques.
Dining options, particularly in Hua Hin, are varied and plentiful, be it fast food, Italian, authentic Thai or succulent seafood. Cha Am is all about seafood, particularly along the beachside road, but you will also find a few Thai restaurants with western choices on the menu. When it comes to nightlife, most tastes are also catered for in Hua Hin with a choice of sophisticated wine bars and casual retreats where you can relax with a glass or two of your favourite tipple, to bustling bars and late night clubs.
Kui Buri is half an hour's drive south of Hua Hin and is a peaceful, underdeveloped area home to numerous fishing villages and a gorgeous stretch of virgin beachfront.
Within an hour's drive of the resort is the littlevisited Kui Buri National Park, which protects around 300 wild elephants - the largest concentration in Thailand.