Day 1: from modern Bangkok to ancient Ayutthaya
During the first day of your Authentic Thailand tour, you are picked up at your hotel in Bangkok and embark on a journey through 18th century Thailand – first stop: the city of Ayutthaya.
By bike, you explore this ancient capital of the once mighty Kingdom of Siam and breeze past majestic ruins of Khmer temples and pagodas. Visiting the Ayutthaya floating market, you dive into the bustle of this colourful bazaar and witness life in old Siam during a performance of traditional Thai theatre – Lakohn.
Leaving the city you venture further into the countryside for an exclusive visit to the Tai-Yuan Culture Centre.
This complex of classic stilted houses on the Pa-Sak River paints a candid picture of how Thai people lived until only a few decades ago. Take a stroll around the area with its old-world tools, ox carts and fishing boats, or simply relax on one of the many verandas and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere.
The highlight of the visit is a lavish dinner of authentic Thai cuisine and a performance of traditional Thai folk dance. Enchanted by the oriental sounds of classical Salaw-Saw-Seung music, the graceful flowing movements of the dancers, and the rich flavours of the food you watch the sun set over the quiet river.
After a day in Thailand’s past, you return to modernity and get to rest at a comfortable hotel.
Day 2: From the stuff of legends to the jungles of Khao Yai National Park
Day two of your Authentic Thailand tour is packed with more exciting activities introducing you to the world of Thai myths and legends, as well as the adventurous beauty of Khao Yai National Park.
You start easy by visiting the local weaving centre where cheerful women dressed in sarongs practice this old handicraft amidst vivid textiles and the rhythmic back and forth of their looms. Then things get mystical.
Myths and folk tales are woven into the fabric of Thai life even today. Uncover the story behind one of the treasures of the area – the Luangpho Thongkham Golden Buddha statue whose 20-karat form is wrapped in legend.
Next, you visit the Crying Pillar – Sao Hai – after which the entire region is named and get to know its mystic history.
After a refreshing lunch at the local market, you set out for Khao Yai National Park. One of the most popular and beautiful wildlife sanctuaries in Thailand, this tropical forest preserves for its visitors an authentic image of what Thailand used to be: a sprawling jungle, abundant with exotic species that lived side-by-side with the natives of the country.
The Haew Suwat waterfall – made famous in the movie The Beach – is your first stop here. Watch its waters thunder down from 20 meters above and take that obligatory holiday picture at Thailand’s most visited waterfall.
After a quick dinner at your hotel for the night, you set out for the final activity of the day: the Khao Yai night safari. By jeep, you embark on a 1-hour journey through the nocturnal world of wild cats, snakes, deer, porcupines and even small herds of elephants before returning to your hotel for some well-deserved rest.
Day 3: Monsoon forest and a final legend
During the final day of your Authentic Thailand tour you take to the jungle for real.
A guided trekking tour takes you through the undergrowth of Khao Yai National Park – one of the largest remaining monsoon forests in mainland Asia. As the smell of damp foliage fills your nostrils and the sounds of wilderness accompany your walk, you venture into the thicket of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Monkeys, barking deer, great hornbills and the Malayan sun bear are just a few of the protected species you may spot as you enjoy the amazing beauty of this untouched natural habitat. Rumour has it that even a small population of wild tigers is still roaming the mountain ranges of the jungle – and while few have actually seen them, watch out for the odd paw print or the echo of a distant roar.;-)
With three days of unforgettable experiences added to your travel bag, you make your way back to Bangkok.
All transfers are by airconditioned mini-van or similar. Changes to the program can be made without notice as necessary based on local conditions or unforeseen events.