See monks in an off-the-beaten-track temple
Cultural Tour of Thailand
Real Thailand

This 2-week tour of Thailand is an immersive adventure for those who want to really get under the skin of the country. This is for the really cultural adventurers only (though not a physically-active itinerary, and you will get a couple of days at the end at a boutique beach resort). It is very similar in itinerary to our cooking holiday, the Lemongrass Trail but without all the cooking (still lots of eating!)

You'll start in Bangkok where you'll stay with a friendly family who will help you get the inside track to the bustling city, and you will find out about the lives and ways of different people, including the Mon (yes, Mon not Hmong). You'll also do some classic sightseeing with one of our guides.

Then you will visit the Central Plains, the agricultural heart of the Thailand, known as the 'rice bowl' where you will be staying in a traditional Thai village.

Next on your trip, Isan, in the northeast of the country. Though it takes up more than a third of the country, very few tourists venture here.

Final stop, the Andaman Coast. You'll be staying on a small island, just off the mainland where people still make their living from fishing and farming. Finally, a couple of days to relax in a boutique beach resort on the most beautiful beach on the mainland.

Day 1: Overnight flight from London Heathrow to Bangkok with Eva Air or Thai Airways. It is also possible to book this trip without flights.

Day 2: You will be picked up by one of our drivers and taken to a residential area. Settle into your private guesthouse and have a walk around the local area with your hosts who live in the main house, before a delicious homecooked dinner.

Day 3: A leisurely start before a day with one of our professional guides who will take you to the main sights like the Grand Palace. If you have been to Bangkok before, you can choose to spend the day differently. Then you'll meet your driver and you can explore Bangkok in the evening as you wish. Have a look in your Tell Tale pack for a map and tips.

Day 4: You'll be taken to an island in the Chao Praya river today, where you will cycle around this car-free land of fields. You'll stop by a pottery workshop and a place where they specialise in Thai desserts.

Day 5: Time to pack up and leave. First stop, Bangkok's vast agricultural market then onto the rural Central Plains. You'll meet the headman and his wife and have a boat ride along the canal, stopping at the local temple. Traditional dinner tonight.

Day 6: The headman's wife will take you to her local market where she'll pick out the best produce of the day. Spend the afternoon relaxing with a book on your terrace by the canal or enjoy a cycle ride alongside the rice fields.

Day 7: Time to pack up and say goodbye to your new friends. You'll be driven to Bangkok airport for a short plane ride to the northern part of Isan. Then you'll have a 2 hour drive to a village at the edge of a forest. A bit more comfort here - there's a pool you can enjoy before a walk around the village to meet the friendly locals. This village is close to the border with Laos and you can tell by the people.

Day 8: Day sightseeing, visiting a beautiful temple (worth visiting for the views alone) and local villages to see local handicrafts being made. This evening, you'll visit Mukdahan, a town along the Mekong River where you can take in the night market selling silk and other local handicrafts.

Day 9: This morning, you will meet the local children in the village. Then you'll go foraging in the forest with a monkey. In the afternoon, you'll have time to relax by the pool.

Day 10: You'll be driven back to the airport in Isan to fly to Bangkok and change planes for another short plane to Krabi in the south of the country. You'll be picked up and taken on a short boat trip to a nearby island where the locals make their living through farming and fishing rather than tourism. Meet a local family then settle into your rustic but charming chalet next door to the main house.

Day 11: Private boat trip around the Andaman islands; snorkel and swim among the tropical fish. At the end of the day, why not join the locals in a game of volleyball?

Day 12: Your hostess, Su, will take you to the mainland to Krabi market to check what's on offer and catch up on the latest gossip. You can have a breakfast of curry and roti in the market and see the fresh seafood and luscious fruit from the area. You can spend the afternoon lazing in a hammock, or learning how to make spicy southern-style dishes with Su.

Day 13: Time to pack up and say goodbye to your new friends. You'll be taken to the mainland and on a 30-40 minute drive to an idyllic boutique hotel, right on the beach called the Tubkaak. Afternoon at leisure.

Day 14: Day at leisure.

Day 15: Transfer to Krabi airport and short flight (1 hour) to Bangkok for an official connection to your daytime flight back (arriving in Heathrow approximately 7pm UK time).

This cultural tour, Real Thailand, costs from £1,900 per person, based on two people sharing a private tour (price applies most of the year except peak summer and Christmas). The price includes direct flights from London with Thai Airways or Eva Air, accommodation, activities/excursions, transfers in private chauffeur-driven cars, and most meals. For full details, click the download button below.

Download Real Thailand

If you have any questions or would like to customise this itinerary, call us on numbers below or send us a message.

  Tell Tale Travel
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