Thailand Rediscovered

Thailand Rediscovered

Our Destination Specialists are experts at tailoring bespoke itineraries just for you, but what would their own perfect holiday look like? We asked Thailand Specialist Ann what she would include in her own ideal trip, and the result is Thailand Rediscovered. Designed to carry you away from the well-trodden trail to local hidden gems, lesser-known mid-city spots and remote beaches, this trip is ideal for second-time visitors or anyone keen to see a different side of Thailand.


  • Pick tea in Fang’s mountainous fields
  • Cruise to riverside villages by longtail boat
  • View sculptures by a renowned local artist
  • Meet rescued elephants in their natural habitat
  • Kayak along Bangkok’s historic canals
  • Snack on streetfood at a Chiang Mai nightmarket
  • Listen to monks chant at sunset
  • Camp on a lake in a floating tent
  • Relax on lesser-visited island beaches

Chiang Mai, Fang, Chiang Rai, Bangkok, Khao Sok National Park, Koh Pha Ngan

Sample Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Chiang Mai, evening street food tour

On arrival in Thailand, you'll be met by your private guide, who will accompany you to your hotel. 

Your day will be at leisure until early evening, when your guide will take you out to sample Chiang Mai’s streetfood delights in a local market. The variety on offer can be overwhelming, and you’ll be navigating some incredibly tempting aromas! Our favourite dishes include pad thai (there’s nothing quite like eating the real deal in situ!), deep fried taro and noodle soup, khao soi curry, kanom krok coconut pudding, and sweet mango with sticky rice. Your guide will introduce you to many local dishes, and teach you how to order. Once you’ve made your selection, pick a seat, sit back, and savour the flavours and the atmosphere.

Day 2
City Safari & Doi Suthep

Take several unusual means of transport on a city safari through Chaing Mai’s highlights and further off the beaten track. Ride a songthaew to the old trader community of Wat Gatekaram for a stroll around the alleyways, and on to the lost city of Wiang Kum Kam. Explore the ruined temples by bike, before taking a cruise on the Mae Ping River. Back on dry land, hop on a samlor (trishaw) and ride to the spectacular ruins of Wat Chedi Luang, which once housed the renowned Emerald Buddha. Continue by tuk tuk to Warorot Market to join the local bustle for lunch, then step into the secret jungle temple of Wat Phalad. Make a final stop at Phra Thad Doi Suthep, the most sacred wat in Northern Thailand, to wonder at its impressive chedi and beautiful murals. As dusk approaches and the tourist crowds leave, stay and listen to the monks’ evening chanting - a really special moment.

Day 3
Explore Chiang Mai independently

Enjoy a day at leisure, taking in Chiang Mai’s temples, history, and foodie culture at your own pace.

Day 4
Drive to Fang via Chiang Dao caves & hot springs

Head north from Chiang Mai towards the Myanmar border, stopping en route at the impressive Chiang Dao cave complex to explore its dark tunnels. Pause at Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park for a dip (if you wish) in its famous hot springs, which bubble up from the granite far below. In Fang, you'll be staying at the charming Phumanee Lahu Hotel, a family-run property with a fascinating history; the family’s inspirational endeavours won the support of the former King of Thailand (Bhumibol Adulyadej) himself.

Day 5
Doi Pu Muen village & forest trek

Take a 4WD deep into the forests and hills of Doi Pha Hom Pok, Thailand’s northernmost national park. At Phu Muen waterfall, continue on foot along a jungle trail which looks out over lush green surroundings, to the remote Lahu village of Doi Pu Muen, 1,300 metres above sea level. Its fascinating back story involves several visits from the Thai King, and the eradication of opium - but we’ll leave that one to the guide to explain! Meet one of the friendly village residents, and learn how the villagers now make a living through the organic cultivation of tea. Try your hand at tea-picking and traditional basket weaving, both of which are harder than the expert locals make them look!

Day 6
Longtail boat cruise, drive to Chiang Rai

Leave Fang for Chiang Rai, stopping en route at Tha Ton, a small town with a relaxed vibe on the banks of the Kok River. Board a longtail boat for a gentle cruise along the wonderfully scenic river, stopping to visit a couple of thatched-hut villages on the riverbanks. Disembark for the final drive to Chiang Rai, through typically picturesque Northern Thailand scenery. Pause at Baan Dam, also known as the Black House - an unusual art installation showcasing the unique work of local artist Thawan Duchanee. Expect sculptures made from cow horn, buffalo bones, rock and stone, alongside African masks and Lanna woodcraft, all housed in Lanna-style pavilions made from black wood. Once you reach Chiang Rai, the rest of your day is yours to spend as you please. We really recommend heading for the market in the early evening to sample the huge array of northern Thai dishes - join the locals, grab a table, and tuck in!

Day 7
Elephant Valley Project

Spend a fantastic day at Elephant Valley, Chiang Rai’s first elephant sanctuary. Spread over 40 acres of prime elephant habitat, the project is (currently) home to four former Mae Sot elephant ‘loggers’. Closely modelled on the practises and ideas of the renowned Elephant Valley Project in Cambodia, the sanctuary puts elephant care and conservation at the heart of its ethos. There's no riding, tricks or shows; the elephants are free to wander and graze, break down trees, and play in the mud. It’s a unique chance to experience these amazing animals up close. You'll meet the elephants, and spend the morning learning about each individual by observing them in their natural habitat. After a local-style lunch, it’s all hands on deck to maintain and re-establish this thriving habitat. This is a major part of the project, and can be a mammoth task (pun intended!), so any assistance from visitors is much appreciated. You'll help to plant and harvest crops for the elephants' meals, tidy up the site, and feed the elephants before heading back to Chiang Rai.

Day 8
Fly to Bangkok, Tuk tuk street food tour

After a gentle morning, catch your flight to Bangkok. The rest of your day will be at leisure until late afternoon, when your guide will meet you with a tuk-tuk for a tour of the city’s finest streetfood. Zigzag through the city, stopping to savour local dishes from different parts of Thailand, fresh from the stalls. Sput-sput past the Grand Palace Temples and stop to admire Wat Pho, beautifully lit up at night, before a drink at one of our favourite hidden bars. There’s time for plenty more food, finishing with one of the best pad thais you’ll ever eat. Head back to your hotel with your appetite fully satisfied (and waistbands at bursting point!).

Day 9

Bangkok was once known as the ‘Venice of the East’ due to its vast network of klongs (canals), and there’s no better way to discover the true heart of the city than by exploring its waterways. Although you can do this in a long-tailed boat, paddling through the klongs in a kayak gives you an alternative, leisurely perspective. Start your journey away from the city centre on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, where you’ll instantly notice the slower pace of life. Pass by old teak houses and temples, tropical fruit orchards, vendors selling vegetables from wooden boats, and children splashing at the canal edge. Meet the local shipwright who builds and repairs boats for a 200-year old community, and pause at a Chinese shrine.

Day 10
Fly to Phuket, drive to Khao Sok National Park, meet the elephants

Take a morning flight to Phuket to meet the Elephant Hills team, who’ll transport you to the jungle camp in Khao Sok National Park. Spend time with the camp's resident Asian elephants, learning about their welfare and upkeep via the expert tutelage of the Elephant Hills guides and resident mahouts. It’s a very hands-on experience, and you’ll have the opportunity to get up close to these incredible animals, but riding them is not allowed. In the evenings there are cooking demonstrations, and dance performances by a local school which the camp and its clients help to support. Sleep in a top quality safari tent, complete with comfy beds, an en suite hot shower, and western-style loo. The tents are well ventilated, with mosquito netting and canvas flaps to keep insects and reptiles at bay. Blankets are always on hand to ensure you stay snug in the cooler evenings.

Day 11
Longtail boat to the Rainforest Camp, kayak & trekking

Head to Cheow Larn Lake, deep in the national park, where you’ll board a traditional longtail boat to cruise across the water. Your destination is the Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp, where safari tents are pitched upon floating platforms, moored to the lake’s shore. During your time here, you can hop in a kayak to spot wildlife close to the banks, and look for primates high in the canopy. Trek out to see an incredible variety of exotic plants, learn about the ecology of the rainforest, and visit caves deep in the jungle. If you fancy a cool dip when you return, the lake is excellent for swimming too!

Day 12
Drive to Surat Thani, boat to Koh Pha Ngan

Wake early to the chatter of gibbons and other wildlife along the lake shore. They say that the early bird catches the worm, and navigating the lake and tributaries by kayak before full light can provide exceptional wildlife spotting opportunities. See hornbills fly overhead and primates gather at the water’s edge before they return deeper into the rainforest. There will also be plenty of time to enjoy a swim or simply relax at the camp. After lunch, drive to Surat Thani to board the ferry to Koh Samui, and then on to Thongsala on Koh Pha Ngan's west coast. Settle in to your remote beach resort, where the rest of your day will be at leisure to bask in your serene surroundings.

Days 13 & 14
Relax on the beach...

Spend a couple of days taking things at your own pace, exploring the island, snorkelling in the shallows, and chilling out on the sand.

Day 15
Depart Koh Samui

Returning by boat to Koh Samui, head to the airport for your onward flight.

Booking Policy

English speaking, local guide
All accommodation listed
Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
Any domestic flights listed (unless marked otherwise)
All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
All meals listed

Entry visas
International airport departure taxes
Any meals not listed in the itinerary
Drinks, other than water on activity days
Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
Travel insurance
All other services not listed in 'inclusive'

Personalised design
We’ll plan your trip around your specific interests, tastes and preferences, providing helpful tips and honest advice based on firsthand knowledge of the destionation.
Authentic Experience
Our expert guides and brilliant travel concierges are hand-picked to provide a genuine experience, bringing you destination to life with care and passion.
Responsible Travel
Our luxury trips are designed with responsible travel principles that priorities travel experiences that are both good for you and good for the planet.
It is easy to customize your Thailand Rediscovered tours with us

What our clients say about us

Feb 2023
star star star star star
An amazing trip out together by Stephen at My Way Travel! This was our second trip ( went to Vietnam and Cambodia 2019). Stephen is great to work with- very flexible and listens to what we wanted to do. This trip was originally scheduled for April 2020. A honest company that asked if I wanted my deposit back and I said no - that I would use it in a future trip! How many companies around the world did this???? We had great guides In Bangkok and Chiang Rai and Chiang Rai. Fon was full of energy and fun in Bangkok. Ann was one of the best guides I have ever had- she took us to a couple of places not noted on the tour. We went for a hike at a waterfall and visited the cave where the Thai boys were rescued in the cave. Both Ann and Fon gave us wonderful suggestions for restaurants. I would absolutely recommend Stephen and My Way Travel! We plan to use him again in planning Bali!
April 18, 2023
star star star star star
Our group of 26 people traveled to Japan & Thailand with My Way Travel, and had an incredible time. This was our third trip with My Way Travel and the trip was planned perfectly with every detail accounted for. Our tour guides were exceptional in every way. They exuded a warmth and friendliness that immediately put us at ease, making our trip more enjoyable. Not only were they amiable, but they also had extensive knowledge about the places we visited. We would highly recommend My Way Travel to anyone planning a trip to Asia.
July 28, 2023
star star star star star
We have just returned from a 16 Day/15 Night trip to southeast Asia including stops in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand planned by Stephen at My Way Travel. We reached out to My Way Travel with quite a tall order asking them to arrange a trip for us that included visiting 9 cities in 15 nights! From the first point of contact, our experience with My Way Travel was absolutely fantastic. Stephen was very attentive and let us customize our tour however we pleased. All of the hotels he booked for us were incredible and the tour guides and drivers made us feel like family. It was very easy to keep in touch with Stephen throughout our trip via Whatsapp. The only thing we really needed during our trip was to add baggage for one of our flights and he was able to take care of it the day before we arrived at the airport. All the drivers/guides showed up on time and made transferring from airport to hotel to tour to wherever extremely easy. I will definitely recommend this company to anyone that plans on traveling to Asia.
Rated 4.8 out of 5 based on 3247 reviews on