Private Tour

Thailand Explorer - 12 Days / 11 Nights

Enjoy a more in-depth experience with this trip that highlights quaint local neighborhoods and off-the-beaten-path villages around the Golden Triangle of North Thailand. From the bustling urban city, invigorating nature hikes to sea kayaking around stunning sea caves, you can anticipate some of the most impressive yet diverse aspects of Thailand.

Private, Local Guides!

Whether you are a single person, a couple, or a group, you'll have your own guide and driver for all airport pickups, drop offs, and daily excursions.

Choose Your Dates!

This is not a fixed-departure-date tour. Just let us know the dates that work best for you and we will arrange everything.


Need more time? Less time? Want to see or do something that isn't included? The options are unlimited, so talk to us about the different possibilities and our recommendations.

Great Accommodation!

We've scouted the best hotels in the best locations of all categories. We'll recommend accommodation to suit your budget and travel style.
  • Unique Foodie Tour in Bangkok at our Secret Local Neighborhood
  • Off Beaten Path Bike & Hike around Hill Tribe Villages of Golden Triangle
  • Breathtaking Hikes at Doi Inthanon, Highest Peak in Thailand
  • Memorable Private Experience at a Responsible Village-Run Elephant Camp
  • Night Sea Kayaking Experience at Picturesque Phang Nga Bay
  • Authentic Foodie experience at Phuket Old Town, a UNESCO’s City of Gastronomy since 2015
Private Tour

Thailand Explorer - 12 Days / 11 Nights

Enjoy a more in-depth experience with this trip that highlights quaint local neighborhoods and off-the-beaten-path villages around the Golden Triangle of North Thailand. From the bustling urban city, invigorating nature hikes to sea kayaking around stunning sea caves, you can anticipate some of the most impressive yet diverse aspects of Thailand.

  • Day 1Arrive Bangkok

    Upon arrival, you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel. The evening is at leisure to relax and rest up from your long flight.

    Overnight at Bangkok

  • Day 2Grand Palace & Temple Tour, Evening Foodie Tour

    This morning or afternoon, explore the famous Grand Palace and Temples followed by a unique foodie tour in a traditional neighborhood known only to locals.

    Constructed in 1782, the Grand Palace in Bangkok was a former residence for King Rama I to King Rama V of the Rattanakosin Kingdom. Today, the place is used for hosting royal ceremonies and welcoming the king’s guests, State guests, and other foreign dignitaries. Your visit includes the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the former royal residence.

    Located south of the Grand Palace, Wat Po is the most iconic temple in Bangkok and also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It houses the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand and the famous 150 ft. long reclining Buddha. It is also the birthplace of traditional Thai massage which is still taught and practiced in the temple.

    Then take a short tuk tuk ride around the old town past some iconic sights. At sundown, visit The Golden Mount, known locally as Wat Saket Temple. Climb up 300 short steps on a wide stairway that spirals up and around the sides of the mount. It is not a strenuous climb as the slope is gentle and there are areas to stop and rest. You’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the city once you’re at the top!

    This evening, get off the beaten path with a special dinner foodie tour at our secret local neighborhood frequented only by locals. This is a charming neighborhood filled with many traditional old shops and restaurants, most are run by descendants of Chinese immigrants who moved here generations ago. Explore various streets on foot and feast at different places, including a street vendor listed in the 2018 Michelin Bib Gourmand Listing. Your final stop is Ice Cream Mor Fai with your choice of exotic ice cream flavors served in a hot pot.

    Overnight at Bangkok

  • Day 3Yaowarat Chinatown, Sriracha Shop, Canal Boat Cruise

    This morning wander around the vibrant wholesale markets at Yaowarat, a historic district with over 200 years of Thai-Chinese heritage. Explore the narrow alleys dotted with street vendors and shops selling a huge range of items from fresh produce, clothing, household items, Chinese medicine and delicious street snacks. Stop at a famous old coffee shop, Eiah Sae who has been churning out their traditional coffee recipe to an endless array of chain smoking regulars, elderly Chinese men and hip youngsters for over 60 years.

    Stop by a small historic shop who created an award winning Sriracha Sauce since the 1930s. Meet the family and listen to their fascinating heritage.

    Afternoon, travel by a long tail boat to discover traditional neighborhoods hidden along the banks of Bangkok’s winding river canals. Visit centuries old communities with a delicious lunch at Baan Sakulthong, a family restaurant whose roots can be traced back to the  Portuguese settlers who migrated here from Ayutthaya in the 18th century. Feast on unique dishes with Portuguese influences passed down from generations.

    Take an easy stroll through the backstreets to explore the “Kudeejeen” neighborhood, a 200-year-old community of mixed Thai-Portuguese ancestry. Stop by a Catholic Church, a Chinese Shrine and a small folk museum that showcases the ties between the Kingdom of Siam and Portugal. Sample the famous “Kanom Farang Kudeejeen”, Portuguese style cupcakes.

    Final stop is Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn. This iconic pagoda encrusted with colored faience had existed since at least the 17th century.

    Overnight at Bangkok

  • Day 4Fly Bangkok to Chiang Rai, Black House, Blue Temple, Artisan Dinner

    Take a short flight today to the far north city of Chiang Rai, gateway to the famous Golden Triangle.

    Afternoon, two unique landmarks in the city. Starting at the famous Baadam Museum, also known as the Black House, this is a sprawling complex built and designed by the Thai National Artist Thawan Duchanee. There are around 30 Black Houses at present and the buildings are in a variety of styles. Most have been made with the color black predominant and you can see some interesting woodcarvings on the buildings. Continue to the beautiful but lesser known “Blue Temple” (Wat Rong Suea Ten) that was just rebuilt in 2016.

    This evening, dinner will be served at a famous restaurant that is often booked up months ahead. Featuring a local celebrity chef, his kitchen serves only a single group of diners each night (up to 20 people max) using only local produce from hill tribe villagers and Royal Agricultural Projects. Over a 10- course tasting menu, the Chef will personally share the story behind each dish he recreated, traditional Thai techniques without any modern gastronomy gimmicks.

    Overnight at Chiang Rai

  • Day 5Biking & Hiking Around Hill Tribe Villages

    Today is a fun day of biking, cruising and hiking to explore an ancient cave and remote hill tribe villages. Start at Baan Du Market to see local produce and shop for ingredients to prepare your hill tribe lunch. Then continue by mountain bike on a partly dirt road though the countryside, passing villages, rolling hills and paddy fields. Arrive at Ancient Monks Cave about 6km out of town, see various Buddha images inside the cave where King Rama VII used to visit and a peaceful garden along the riverside.

    From here, take a 45min local long tail boat ride to remote areas to visit various hill tribe villages. Visit a local hill tribe home where a simple but delicious northern Thai lunch and unique hill tribe snacks are served. After lunch, enjoy more hiking through the countryside to visit a waterfall and some other hill tribe villages before returning to your hotel.

    Overnight at Chiang Rai

  • Day 6Drive about 3h to Chiang Mai via White Temple, Doi Suthep Temple

    This morning journey to Chiang Mai, the Rose of the North. Along the drive, stop over at the unique Wat Rong Khun, also known as the White Temple.

    This famous temple is a spectacular architecture designed by local artist Chalermchai Kositpipat and it’s one of its kind in the entire country. There is also a small art gallery where you can see the works of this artist.

    Upon arrival at Chiang Mai, enjoy a bowl of “Khao Soy”, a yummy North Thailand noodle with curry gravy, chicken and pickled cabbage.

    Before sunset, drive up the mountain to Wat Doi Suthep and climb the 309 steps of the Golden Naga staircase (or take an elevator) to reach its golden pagodas. After admiring the beautiful sunset and panoramic views of Chiang Mai, stop by one of the best-kept secret temples of Chiang Mai, Wat Palad, known as the Temple below the Temple. This temple is significant to Chiang Mai’s history with its temple grounds dated beyond 650 years old.

    This evening is free to explore the bustling night markets on your own.

    Overnight at Chiang Mai

  • Day 7Full Day Doi Inthanon Hike

    This morning journey about 2 hours towards Doi Inthanon National Park, the highest peak of Thailand at at 2,565 m (8,415 ft) above sea level.

    Complex mountain ranges and mild climate characterize an area with moist and dense forest which is the source of important tributaries of Mae Ping River. Stop by Wachirathan Waterfalls, the most impressive waterfalls in this park at about 80m (200ft) tall. Then head out for an easy down hill hike along Pha Dok Siew Trail for about an hour along picturesque lush jungle trail and passing through terraced rice paddy fields.

    Arrive at small Karen hill tribe village to see their way of life, you can also sample a cup of Arabica coffee from hands of friendly hill tribe farmers. A simple lunch will be served picnic style before visiting the twin chedi built to honour King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit, and the summit where the shrine of Chao Inthawitchayanon, the former prince of Chiang Mai is located.

    Afternoon, you can choose 2 challenging trails. A 2-hour trek along Michael’s Trail offers a beautiful experience of the true natural beauty of Doi Inthanon National Park. Or opt for a more challenging 2-hour trek along the Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail, the most fertile nature trail in this area.

    Pa Dok Siew and Michael’s Trails are moderate, most of the area is flat terrain or slight slopes. Kew Mae Pan Trail requires more level of fitness with steeper uphill and downhill slopes.

    Overnight at Chiang Mai

  • Day 8Karen Village Hike & Private Elephant Camp Experience

    Depart early morning for about 2 hours drive to a small village elephant camp. Your guide will take you first to a local market to buy some feeding food for your elephants.

    Then continue on a scenic drive along rolling hills, charming villages and temples around the countryside. Stop by Maewang Waterfalls, one of the most beautiful places inside Maewang National park. Continue to the dazzling chapel of the Wat Tham Phranon, known as the cave of the reclining Buddha.

    Then take an easy hike (45min or 2 hours or drive, up to you!) in the jungle passing by rice fields to visit the Karen hill tribe people at Baan Thung Luang village. Here you will learn about the Karen culture and their life style, then experience a special “jungle” picnic lunch where food will be cooked served in bamboo stems and banana leaves.

    Afternoon, proceed to the village’s elephant camp for a special private experience. The Karen people are experts with elephant training, meet an instructor to learn some basic commands as you learn more about the background story of your elephants. Accompany the elephants for a stroll along the beautiful trail in the forest while they feast on grass and sugarcane. Finally, take a bath in the river with your elephant in the river before bidding your friendly hosts farewell.

    Overnight at Chiang Mai

  • Day 9Fly Chiang Mai to Phuket

    Take a short flight to the tropical island of Phuket in South Thailand.

    Upon arrival, you will be welcomed and transferred to your beach resort. For the rest of your stay, you can choose to relax at your beachfront resort or arrange additional activities with the resort. This area offers a range of activities catering to all fitness levels from snorkeling, diving or island hopping.

    Overnight at Phuket

  • Day 10Sea kayaking Trip

    Spend the day at Phang Nga Bay for a day of cruising and sea kayaking. Enjoy a light lunch onboard the boat while cruising towards the spectacular bay dotted with limestone hills. Afternoon, explore the bay and several sea caves by a kayak paddled by a professional guide as you enjoy the scenery and take photos. As night falls, head back on your kayak and participate in a spiritual ritual by releasing your self-made flower “Kratong” inside an inner lagoon. Dinner will be served back on the boat as you cruise back to port. Your driver will transfer you back to your hotel after the tour.

    Overnight at Phuket

  • Day 11Free Day at Phuket, Evening Foodie Tour

    Today is free to relax or arrange your own activities with the resort.

    Evening, you will be treated to an authentic foodie experience at Phuket Old Town, a UNESCO’s City of Gastronomy since 2015. Discover, a cluster of multi-culture cuisines, offering Southern Thai, Chinese, Muslim, and even a mix of every culture known as Peranakan. As you walk between eateries and street vendors that are popular among locals diners, you will also discover this historic heritage architecture and learn about various ethnic cultures living here. Your tour finishes at the night market where you can pick up cute hand-made souvenirs.

    Overnight at Phuket

  • Day 12Depart Phuket

    Transfer to Phuket Airport for your onward journey.

Private Tour

Thailand Explorer - 12 Days / 11 Nights

Our private tours include the things that make it so you don’t have to worry about logistics for your trip.

This Tour Includes

  • Airport Transfers
  • In Country Flights
  • Accommodation, including all Taxes and Service Fees
  • Private, Local, English-speaking Guides for Tours and Activities
  • All Tours and Activities as described
  • Entrance Fees to Sights

This Tour Does Not Include

  • International Airfare
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips for Guides and Drivers

Itinerary Add-Ons to Consider

Consider a pre- or post-tour extension to this itinerary in either Cambodia or Laos depending on which city your international flight is routed through. It’s quite easy to add a couple of days at Luang Prabang, former Royal Capital City of Northern Laos or Siem Reap, home to the majestic Angkor Wat temples and Tonle Sap, biggest freshwater lake in South East Asia. 

Angkor and Siem Reap Highlights

Starting Price : $1200 / Person

Explore various famous archaeological sites including Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, and other lesser known ones along with fascinating cultural activities in and around Siem Reap such as the floating villages of Tonle Sap Lake, a cooking class with a celebrity chef, and the creative arts scene like the Phare Circus, and Bambu Stage puppet shows.

Luang Prabang Highlights

Starting Price : $1000 / Person

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the sleepy town of Luang Prabang showcases some of the most charming French colonial era architecture and beautiful Buddhist temples. Head out to the countryside for a dip in spectacular water falls or meet friendly villages in authentic tribal villages.

Private Tour

Thailand Explorer - 12 Days / 11 Nights

Here’s an explanation of what to expect and the planning process with a Red Lantern Journeys travel consultant.

The price for this trip will vary based on many factors including:

  • Dates of travel – high vs. low vs. shoulder season
  • Your preference of hotel standards – 3, 4, or 5-star categories. We’ve scouted the best hotels and the best locations in each category and will make our recommendations based on your budget and travel style. We’ll even try to book specific room categories to avoid street noise or other inconveniences.
  • The number of people in your group
  • Customization of tours and activities
  • How far in advance you book the trip
  • Personal Travel Consultant

    Your personal travel consult to work with you to prepare your itinerary, recommend tours and activities and accommodation and explain the reasoning behind every aspect of your tour.

  • Private Vehicles with Driver and Guides

    You'll have your own private, chauffeur-driven vehicle for all of your airport transfers and daily excursions. These will also include your personal, English-speaking guide who is licensed and will provide the insights to make each of your tours an exceptional experience.

  • Hotel Recommendations

    We've scouted the best hotels and the best locations in each category and will make our recommendations based on your budget and travel style. We'll even try to book specific room categories to avoid street noise or other inconveniences, or to get the best view from your balcony!

  • Activity Recommendations

    We have access to a wide range of activities to make your trip truly memorable. Activities range from visiting iconic sights to meeting local personalities and artists, adventure sports, and exclusive dining experiences!

Private Tour

Thailand Explorer - 12 Days / 11 Nights

The Best Time to Do This Itinerary

November through February are the best times to travel to the destinations in this itinerary. However, hotel rates are higher during this peak time and the main tourist sights will be quite busy.


Other Good Times To Travel in Thailand

October is the tail end of the monsoon season, so things are still quite humid but improving throughout the month. March is also ok, but there’s risk of smoke in the north due to forest fires and agricultural burning, while other areas are starting to get oppressively hot.


Times to Avoid
The End-of-Year Holiday Season

Unless this is the only time you can travel, we recommending avoiding Thailand from December 20th to January 3rd. Hotel rates skyrocket during this peak season and many beach resorts require a minimum 3 to 7 night stay, depending on the resort. Some hotels and resorts also have mandatory gala parties on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve that can cost from $50 to $300 per person.

The Monsoon Season

The monsoon season lasts from June through September. During this time, it’s hot and humid and with near-daily thunderstorms, which can actually bring a bit of relief from the heat. The seas on the Andaman (west) coast of the country will be rougher and snorkeling and diving won’t be good unless you’re in protected areas like Phang Nga Bay near Phuket. During this time, we recommend beach stays at the islands off the east coast such as Koh Samui.

The Burning Season

March through May is the burning season in Northern Thailand. Fields are burned during this time creating very smoky conditions with low visibility until the monsoon rains arrive in June. Air quality can get so bad at times that it can be hazardous to health, especially to people with respiratory issues. Read this web site for comprehensive information about the fire season in Northern Thailand.


Availability at Hotels

Some of our favorite hotels in Thailand are the smaller luxury boutique hotels in great locations that have between 20 and 100 rooms. These can fill up well in advance of the bigger hotels that have hundreds of rooms…so plan accordingly.


How Far in Advance Should You Book?

For travel during the peak season of November through February, book at least 6 months in advance. For travel in the shoulder seasons, book at least 4 months in advance.  For travel in the monsoon season of June through Septemberbook at least a month in advance.

Private Tour

Thailand Explorer - 12 Days / 11 Nights

Customize This Itinerary

Starting From: $4800 / Person
Call us at 206-568-0710 or fill out the form below. We’ll get back to you within 1 business day!

Please provide as much information as you can to help us prepare before contacting you. For example:

  • Number of travelers – adults and children with ages
  • When you want to travel – are your dates fixed or flexible?
  • Destinations of interest – country or countries, plus destinations within a country
  • Activities of interest – like beaches, wildlife, hiking, shopping, art, local culture, adventure, etc.
  • Purpose of trip and Special Occasions – holiday, honeymoons, important birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
  • Approximate budget per person

Submit Your Inquiry Here

Have A Question?

Call us at 206-568-0710 or email us at Click Inquire Here to fill out and submit a form.

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