Soak up the contrasting cultural splendor of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, with city tours revealing ancient ruins, distinctive markets, intimate temple experiences, and hidden charms
Indulge in the riverside exclusivity of a renowned elephant camp, the natural wonder complimented by a spa in the jungle and an elegant long-tail boat journey along the Mekong
Visit an authentic hill tribe village and then spend a leisurely afternoon rafting down the Mae Tang River
Get blessed together in an ancient temple, swirling incense and chanting monks completing the feeling of spiritual immersion
Discover the secrets of Thai cuisine as an organic cooking course reveals the magic behind the subtle flavors and nuanced textures
Trek to Thailand's highest peak and gaze down on the effervescent greenery of Northern Thailand, the stupendous views complimented by continual serenity in Doi Inthanon National Park
(Day 1): Elegant Relaxation in Chiang Rai
(Day 2): The Golden Triangle and an Exclusive Luxury Camp on the Riverside
(Day 3): Thrilling Elephant Mahout Experience and Sailing along the Mekong
(Day 4): An Intimate Journey to Chiang Mai
(Day 5): Serene Enchantment in Chiang Mai
(Day 6): Fabulous Thai Organic Cooking Course
(Day 7): A Day of Natural Wonder in Doi Inthanon
(Day 8): Farewell to the Land of Smiles
At first glance, Northern Thailand seems like it's been artificially enhanced by a Hollywood studio. The landscape contains an astonishing vibrancy, mingling and juxtaposing colors offering glimpses of both natural and cultural wonder. The greens are exuberant, reds shimmer with ebullience, and the aesthetic splendor is supplemented by impressive sounds and sensual smells. This unforgettable landscape is an idyllic destination for romance. Carefully tailored for the escaping couple, this itinerary blends the unique and exclusive experiences that emanate throughout the region. It's not a standard sightseeing vacation. Take a private Thai cooking lesson with a renowned chef, get blessed in an exclusive temple ceremony, enjoy an intimate spa in the jungle, learn how to ride and control elephants, and soak up the prodigious brilliance of some of Thailand's finest accommodation. This is an evocative romantic escape, unveiling the best of Northern Thailand for couples eager for a shared adventure.
Start in Chiang Rai, a quaint mountain town surrounded by luxuriantly green mountains. Jungle clad valleys roll beyond the horizon, spiritual temples gesture you both forward, and your first day showcases the rich cultural history of Northern Thailand. After this rich culture comes indulgent nature, an exclusive riverside elephant camp your base for the next two days. Enjoy an open-air spa amidst the jungle and enjoy private long-tail boat journeys along the Mekong River. It's these elegant journeys that reveal local Thai life along the riverside. And you won't just be riding elephants here; you'll learn to guide the pachyderms with an elephant mahout course. Expect plenty of thrills and intimate moments, not least when a sumptuous dinner is served in a jungle clearing, the silhouettes of elephants dancing through the surrounding trees.
On day four you weave through the mountains to Chiang Mai, Thailand's cultural heart. En route, visit a long-necked hill tribe village and take a private rafting journey down rivers that imbue serenity. Chiang Mai is a justifiably popular destination and this itinerary ensures you get to experience its intimate and original side. Enjoy a private blessing ceremony in a jungle covered temple, the spiritual resonance complimented by archaic architectural brilliance. Savor the smells and tastes of authentic Thai cuisine with an organic cooking lesson. Participate in a sunrise alms ceremony and join the monks in soft evening chants. Like everything on this itinerary, these are private experiences that compliment your feeling of pure escapism.
Explore the rich tapestry of Chiang Mai's culture and then head to Thailand's highest peak. The majestic Doi Inthanon National Park bursts with adventurous hiking trails and staggering panoramas. Hidden waterfalls, resplendent temples, fabulous open-air markets, weaving mountain roads; your guide helps to reveal the untamed highlights of a whole region around Chiang Mai. Yet romantic reverie and privacy always come at the top of the agenda. After eight days you wave farewell to Northern Thailand, coasting above the sublime landscape that's provided such indelible memories.
Every facet of this itinerary is fully customizable. Additional destinations can be added and some couples may wish to extend this North Thailand adventure with a few days of postcard perfect bliss on one of Thailand's tropical islands.
Day 1: Elegant Relaxation in Chiang Rai
Land in Chiang Rai and soak up the panorama. Jungle clad mountains dominate the landscape, a thousand shades of green mingling amidst rugged rock and gaping valleys. Smiling locals wave hello and the quaint town blends into its natural surroundings. Welcome to Northern Thailand, a place where harmony and vibrancy combine with enthusiastic locals and elegant experiences. Your experienced driver guide is waiting in arrivals and it’s just a short transfer to Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort, the town's only five-star accommodation. This peaceful riverside paradise is ideal for recuperating from your international flight; soak up the elegant views from your private veranda, indulge in sumptuous gastronomic feasts, and allow the magic of Northern Thailand to slowly soak into your senses.
Today enables you to explore Chiang Rai at your own pace. The guide and vehicle are at your disposal and the guide will be full of suggestions depending on your mood. Chiang Rai sparkles with authentic culture; the town is imbued with a deep sense of spirituality and ancient relics. Explore vivid local markets, weave into the mountains for stunning vistas, and experience the resplendent brilliance of Wat Rong Khun. Admire the unique kanok architecture of Wat Rong Khun and learn about the region's history at the Hill Tribe Museum. Or simply sit back and settle into the region's serene rhythm.
What's Included: overnight at Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort, airport transfer, private driver guide
Day 2: The Golden Triangle and an Exclusive Luxury Camp on the Riverside
As the sun rises, the mist clears; the Chiang Rai landscape is filled with an evocative sense of mystique. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and then weave into the green valleys towards the Golden Triangle. Decorous scents guide you through the Doi Tung Royal Flower Garden and then the road winds towards the Mekong River. Look across the jungle valley. Over there is Myanmar. To the right is Laos. And before you is Chiang Saen, the last remains of an ancient kingdom along the irrefutable river. Relics are lost in the sand, the temple ruins standing in a wonderful sense of decay. Yet some pagodas stand revitalized and restored, proud monuments that recreate the feeling of a once powerful city. Wander through these remains and absorb the 500 year old narrative from your guide, then stop at the Opium Museum for an insightful look at the region's battle with addiction and illegal crops.
The Mekong River is flanked by beauty, the jungle extending from the shore and the mountains dominating the horizon. Board a long-tail boat and gently head into the wilderness, the charms of local life ever-present along the riverside. Your destination is the Four Seasons Tented Camp, an exclusive retreat in the heart of untamed nature. Settle into your secluded luxury tent, the canvas exterior ensuring nature's resonant soundtrack accompanies your every moment. The interiors are like a five-star hotel, the custom wooden furnishings and huge beds carefully completing the submersion in nature. Now it's time to really relax...in one of the world's only open-air jungle spas. An indulgent 90 minute treatment is included for both of you. With the renowned therapists working on your body and elephants dotting the horizon, this is unrestrained Thailand luxury at its most unique.
What's Included: overnight at the Four Seasons Tented Camp, 90 minute spa therapy, tour of Golden Triangle and Chiang Saen, all meals
Day 3: Thrilling Elephant Mahout Experience and Sailing along the Mekong
Elephants wake you from slumber, their trumpeted calls floating through the trees. Birds sing from the treetops and the call of monkeys adds another voice to nature's soundtrack. Head into the deep jungle and meet your elephant, the two-ton friendly giant greeting you with a wave of the trunk. Elephant trekking is popular all over Northern Thailand but today's mahout experience offers a more intimate involvement with nature. A mahout is an “elephant driver,” a trained expert who can control an elephant's movements with verbal commands. After a lesson in elephant language you sit on the pachyderm neck, this aerial vantage point offering fresh impressions of the jungle. Guide your elephant through the trees and towards its bathing space. Stay on board as the water spurts out of trunks and you use thick brushes to clean their immense frames.
Return to the camp and enjoy a leisurely lunch, the calming charms of the riverside providing the complimentary visuals. This afternoon you take another traditional form of transport, a private long-tail boat cruising along the Mekong River. Admire the local life by the riverside; men fish from tiny wooden canoes, women wash clothes in the shallows, and waving children seem to come at increasingly regular intervals. Cruise along to the exact point where three countries meet and then explore a local market, the baritone shouts of traders floating between stalls of fresh produce. There's even time for a temple visit before you return to the Four Seasons Tented Camp.
Every romantic escape should include some memorable candlelit dinners. Tonight you walk into a jungle clearing and sit down amidst the trees, elephant silhouettes wandering in the distance and soft moonlight accompanying the bliss. A sumptuous five-course dinner is served as nature's organic chorus accompanies this private piece of paradise.
What's Included: overnight at the Four Seasons Tented Camp, private elephant mahout experience, private long-tailed boat cruise to the Golden Triangle, luxury private dinner in the jungle, all meals
Day 4: An Intimate Journey to Chiang Mai
Wake again to the sounds of nature and savor the last moments in this tranquil tented camp. After a short long-tail boat journey you rejoin your guide for the spectacular journey to Chiang Mai. Meander through the mountains, each corner bringing fresh vistas and ongoing beauty. There's half a dozen stops en route, each concealed from the road and lost amongst the trees. Wander through a forest clearing to the Mae Kong hot spring, visit local factories specializing in Thai silk, and admire the soothing elegance of temples hidden in the greenery. There's always picturesque brilliance along the riverside, so stop to relish the vistas and enjoy lunch.
Just on the other side of Chiang Mai is the Padong Long Neck Hill Tribe village. Dazzling brass rings cover women's necks here, the gleaming metal contrasting colorful pieces of cotton that dangle from hair and arms. Girls as young as five wear the rings, this unique practice maintaining a millennia-old tribal tradition. Explore this small village and wander past the quaint wooden houses, ubiquitous children's smiles accompanying almost every turn. Then keep wandering to the nearby Mae Tang River where a cute bamboo raft floats you downstream to the waiting vehicle. You're lost in the wilderness, cruising through untamed jungle at a pace that befits the rural beauty of Northern Thailand.
You'll arrive in Chiang Mai by mid afternoon and the first stop is the luxuriant Chedi Chiang Mai hotel. It might be the last stop for the day, a romantic deluxe room the perfect place to relax for the evening. But your guide and vehicle are always waiting outside should you wish to explore Chiang Mai in the evening.
What's Included: overnight at the Chedi Chiang Mai in a deluxe room, guided journey to Chiang Mai with hill tribe visit and bamboo rafting, breakfast and lunch
Day 5: Serene Enchantment in Chiang Mai
Early risers are rewarded in Chiang Mai, your 6 am wake-up call bringing the city's most evocative sight. Red-robed monks wander barefoot in the dawn light, a procession of spirituality moving through the streets. Participate in this daily alms giving ceremony by placing food into the monks' bowls, then continue the spiritual slant by climbing the 309 steps of the Golden Naga staircase. You're now standing above Chiang Mai at Wat Doi Suthep, one of Thailand's most famous temples. Admire the fabulous murals and pagodas, feel the enchantment of incense filled temple rooms, and listen to the monks' soft chanting as it floats on the mountain breeze.
The tour continues at Wat Umong, a mysterious temple hidden beneath moss and trees, standing in an indelible sense of decay. Slowly wander beneath the greenery and through the transcendent hallways, holding hands as you follow the incense smell to a darkened temple room. A monk waits for you, softly reciting mantras and conducting a private blessing ceremony. This unique and rare experience brings the architectural relic to life, epitomizing the blend between aesthetic exterior and hypnotic interior. Return to the Chedi Chiang Mai for lunch and a leisurely afternoon. Then an evening discovery tour unveils further enchantment; join the monks in their nightly chanting, stroll through the vivid stalls of the Warorot Market, and then dine at the fabulous Pillars 137 colonial house, where gastronomic brilliance merges with graceful surroundings.
What's Included: overnight at the Chedi Chiang Mai in a deluxe room, guided morning Chiang Mai tour, private blessing ceremony in Wat Umong temple, evening discovery tour, dinner at Pillars 137, all meals
Day 6: Fabulous Thai Organic Cooking Course
Thai cuisine will already have made a rich impression during this trip and the secrets to its sumptuousness are revealed with today's organic cooking course. Like always, this is an exclusive experience and the two of you will be the only participants; so there's no interrupting the private reverie. Start in a local market where fresh ingredients and fragrant spices are bought. Continue to the chef's own herb garden and snip the most fragrant leaves to add panache to your culinary masterpiece. It's a hands-on cooking lesson, the renowned local chef starting with how to make your own curry paste. After you've had fun in the kitchen, settle down to your own creations and allow them to melt in your mouth.
The rest of the day is at your leisure and your guide will be full of suggestions depending on your mood. Relax in the stunning surroundings of the Chedi Chiang Mai or explore further cultural relics in this fascinating city.
What's Included: overnight at the Chedi Chiang Mai in a deluxe room, private organic Thai cooking class, breakfast and lunch
Day 7: A Day of Natural Wonder in Doi Inthanon
Northern Thailand's landscape has revealed its intimate beauty, the last six days filled with journeys into the wilderness and through the jungle. For your final day it's time to appreciate the scale of the landscape. Drive to Doi Inthanon and it's just a short hike to the nation's highest peak. Look left and green valleys effortlessly roll beyond the horizon. Look right and it's the same view. In fact, spin around with the camera and take in the 360 degrees of natural splendor in all its vivacious glory. Dozens of hiking trails head off through the park and the two of you can decide which is best suited. Whether it's 20 minutes or two hours, expect every corner to bring more astonishing vistas and jungle clad valleys.
While the itinerary is extremely flexible in Doi Inthanon National Park, there are a few enigmatic highlights that are difficult to miss. Nestled between the trees is the King Kunavichayanont Stupa, a captivatingly unique monument lost in the jungle. Wander to the Vachiratharn Waterfall, an idyllic spot for a picnic in the wilderness. As you descend from the mountains and wind back to Chiang Mai, there's time to stop at the Doi Suthep, a hilltop temple and one of Northern Thailand's most famous. The evening is free so soak up the enchantment of Northern Thailand for one final night; your guide is always full of ideas for indulging in personal romantic revelry.
What's Included: overnight at the Chedi Chiang Mai in a deluxe room, excursion to Doi Inthanon National Park, breakfast and lunch
Day 8: Farewell to the Land of Smiles
This morning you transfer to Chiang Mai airport for your onward flight. All facets of this itinerary are fully customizable and you may wish to extend the vacation with some tropical beach bliss on one of Thailand's renowned islands.
What's Included: airport transfer, breakfast
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