The tour departs from South Africa on 24 January 2015 flying via Singapore to Bangkok, where 2 nights will be spent exploring this vibrant and exotic city.

From here the tour proceeds through Central Thailand to Saraburi for a night visiting the ancient capital of Ayutthaya en route. The following day, we’ll continue on to Khao Yai National Park where we’ll have the opportunity of game viewing on elephant back.

Travelling through Lopburi, once an important capital of the Khmer Empire and later the Lanna and Ayutthaya kingdoms, we’ll head on to Sukhothai for two nights. We’ll base ourselves here to explore the Old Town, the Historical Park, containing 200 ruined chedis and visit the local community.

Next on the itinerary is Phrae and Nan. These towns are authentic Lanna towns packed with traditional Thai architecture, eclectic wats and quiet lanes.

In the far north of Thailand, beyond Chiang Rai and situated on the Burmese, Lao and Thai borders, is Lanjia Lodge, part of an ethnotourism project. We’ll spend two nights in the community with local guides. The lodge is situated on the Mekong River and is a truly unique experience.

From Lanjia Lodge it’s a short drive to Fang for a night and then on to Pai in the highlands for two nights. Tea is the main cultivar in Pai and we’ll learn how to pick tea and enjoy a very special bamboo lunch with the Lahu people.

The itinerary continues on to Mae Hong Son, Thailand’s most remote mountain village, where we’ll spend two nights. Here we’ll explore the Mekong on “long-tailed” boats. Mae Hong Son is on the border of Myanmar and its community is a cultural melting pot of Thai and Shan people with Lisu, Lahu, Karen and Hmong hill tribes populating the surrounding mountain regions.

Our last stop on the programme is Chiang Mai where we’ll base ourselves for two nights with plenty of time to visit the beautiful temples and participate in a Thai cooking class in a private Thai home with the family.

From Chiang Mai our Cathay Pacific flight flies us via Hong Kong back to South Africa.

Liz Cotton will be accompanying the group from South Africa and professional local guides will be escorting the group from arrival in Bangkok throughout.

This is a very special tour to discover the gentle heart and soul of Thailand in an authentic way. The itinerary has been very thoughtfully put together by our agents to encapsulate the “essential” culture of Northern Thailand. Each hotel/guesthouse/lodge, restaurant and excursion has been specifically identified as being memorable and an important facet in these fascinating mixing pot of cultures. This is not a standard “tourist route” tour, it’s so much more than that!

If you travel with an open mind and heart, this tour will be one that will stay in your heart and memory forever.

Contact us by phone or email for further details