Save up to £150 per person

Thailand Guided Walking Holiday

Thailand - Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple - AdobeStock_61088310.jpg
Duration: 12 nights
Type: Worldwide Multi-Centre
Walking Grade: 2
from £2,999pp with flights

From the vibrancy of Bangkok to the rural heartlands of the north, this tour encapsulates many of Thailand’s stunning facets. Dazzling white temples, fascinating history, remote villages and bustling markets enrich your experience of this wonderful country as you explore on foot. A highlight of the trip will undoubtedly be our time with the elephants in the jungle and the warmth of the welcome from the Thai people we meet as we travel through this beautiful country.

Holiday Highlights

  • Explore Bangkok's maze of streets and sample delicious Thai food
  • Hikes which explore Thailand’s lush interior
  • Stay at the serene Lisu Lodge, north of Chiang Mai
  • Visit Chiang Rai and its Opium Hall
  • Meet and walk with elephants

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

On arrival and after you’ve collected your luggage, head to Bangkok airport’s arrivals’ hall on the second floor where your local guide will meet you. You’ll then transfer as a group to the hotel. This evening experience the vibrant city and its incredible food scene by tuk tuk. Bangkok is said to be ‘the city that never stops eating’ so a visit for dinner to some of the favourite places of Bangkokians to eat seems a fitting introduction.

Try the local favourite kao mun kai (Hainanese chicken rice) as well as the best pad thai noodles. Our evening will also include a visit to some of the city’s old town landmarks and temples, such as the Marble Temple, Anantasamakhom Thorne Hall and Pak Klong Talad flower market, before we return by tuk tuk to our hotel.

Navalai River Resort - Thailand

The Navalai River Resort in Bangkok offers riverside serenity combined with the convenience of proximity to the city, which makes it ideally located to explore this vibrant capital.


This morning, we’re collected from the hotel’s pier by a boat to cruise the Chao Phraya River. We pass through the Kudichin neighbourhood, an area established before the city’s official founding, and we’ll see the locals going about daily life.

We’ll explore the local area on foot. We walk to Wat Kalayanamitr and on to Kian Un Keng Shrine. This is one of the area’s oldest shrines and houses a statue to the goddess Guanyin. We continue to Santa Cruz Church, one of Bangkok’s many old Catholic churches, before we enjoy a delicious lunch at a family-owned Thai-Portugese restaurant. The set menu of appetisers, main course dishes and a dessert will showcase how the Portuguese greatly influenced Thai cuisine.

Afterwards, we’ll return to our hotel by boat. In the afternoon, we visit the Royal Grand Palace, the most important and spectacular of all Thai monuments. Now used only by the King for ceremonial occasions, the palace is made up of more than 100 buildings. Explore the complex and learn more about its architecture and history on a guided visit before we return to the hotel, where the remainder of the day is at leisure.

Navalai River Resort - Thailand

The Navalai River Resort in Bangkok offers riverside serenity combined with the convenience of proximity to the city, which makes it ideally located to explore this vibrant capital.


We depart from Bangkok to Kanchanburi. Enroute we’ll visit Damnoen Saduak floating market, where we’ll see the traditional Thai way of life. We continue to Kanchanaburi, where we have a walking tour. We’ll visit the infamous bridge over the River Kwai and the Death Railway, built by thousands of Allied prisoners of war captured by the Japanese during the Second World War. We’ll also visit the cemetery where those who lost their lives during the railway’s construction are buried.

There will be time to explore the Death Railway Museum, which features photographs and objects from the period, before we take a ride on a train along the infamous railway through the lush jungle. This is sure to be a poignant but fascinating day. We continue to the hotel, where any remaining time is at leisure before dinner.

Away Kanchanaburi Dheva Manta Resort - Thailand

In Kanchanaburi relax at the Away Kanchanaburi Dheva Manta Resort, a luxurious 5-star resort set in a serene tropical paradise. World class facilities ensure you a comfortable stay.


After breakfast, we’ll visit the Hellfire Pass Memorial, part of the Death Railway, where walking trails now exist along with a museum dedicated to the Allied prisoners of war and Asian labourers who suffered and died both here and elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region during the war. 

We drive to Erawan National Park, well known for its beautiful and spectacular waterfalls with turquoise water. Here, we’ll walk through the park’s tranquil wilderness to hidden caves before continuing our journey to Ayutthaya via Suphan Buri through fertile farmland and past jungle-clad mountains, stopping enroute for lunch.

Once arrived in Ayutthaya, any remaining time is at your leisure.

Kantary Hotel - Thailand

During our time in Thailand’s ancient capital, Ayutthaya, enjoy a stay at Kantary Hotel: a modern, elegant property with exceptional accommodation.


Wake early to see the sunrise over the stupas at Wat Phra Sri Sanphet then return to the hotel for breakfast. We then enjoy a walking tour to explore Ayutthaya Historical Park, visit temples and Bang Pa In, the former summer residence of the kings of Ayutthaya set amidst extensive park grounds and built in an intriguing and exotic mix of Thai and European architectural styles.

This afternoon we transfer to Bangkok airport and fly to Chiang Mai in the north of the country. On arrival, meet your local guide at the information booth and transfer as a group to the hotel.

Bodhi Serene Chiang Mai Hotel - Thailand

The Bodhi Serene Chiang Mai Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel situated within the old walls of downtown Chiang Mai. Nestled amongst old temples it showcases a fusion of Lanna tradition and culture with modern conveniences.


Our morning walk takes us through Doi Suthep-Pui National Park and its beautiful forests. We’ll drive from our hotel to the park, where we will visit Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, a mountain-top temple which attracts Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world and which offers panoramic views over Chiang Mai and the Ping Valley.

From the temple we’ll walk downhill to the national park headquarters and continue to the Mon Tha Than waterfall, where you can enjoy a refreshing swim in its cool waters. We follow a trail which meanders through bamboo forests, tall hardwood trees, a variety of brightly coloured flowers and a rich diversity of birdlife. This is a moderate walk, but the views, quiet grandeur and serenity make it an incredible experience.

We return to the hotel and later head out to explore Chiang Mai’s cottage factories and workshops. Chiang Mai is Thailand’s main centre for handicrafts, and we’ll visit several villages and districts around the city to observe the intricate processes and skilled talents of the craftspeople in the production of silk and cotton, hand-painted paper umbrellas, ceramics, lacquerware and silverware.

Tonight, enjoy a delicious feast of northern Thai cuisine as we watch various traditional dances from the ancient Lanna culture.

Bodhi Serene Chiang Mai Hotel - Thailand

The Bodhi Serene Chiang Mai Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel situated within the old walls of downtown Chiang Mai. Nestled amongst old temples it showcases a fusion of Lanna tradition and culture with modern conveniences.


We depart early from our hotel and drive through the agricultural landscapes of northern Thailand, where we can glimpse rural life. After about 2 hours we’ll arrive at a Karen village in a densely forested mountain region. Our guide will walk us through the village, where we’ll learn more about the local way of life and the elephant sanctuary. The sanctuary is an ethical and sustainable eco-tourism project borne out of local concern for the welfare of elephants in Thailand and which is now home to over 30 Asian elephants.

Change into traditional Karen clothing and prepare to meet the sanctuary’s residents! In small groups you’ll be able to meet and interact with the elephants as you learn more about them: you can touch, feed and photograph the elephants before we head to the river to bathe and brush them. While they play in the river, enjoy lunch on a platform overlooking the river and surrounding jungle.

Reunited with our gentle giant friends, we head into the jungle to walk alongside them through the forest and rural countryside. This will undoubtedly be a special experience and a highlight of your trip. We bid farewell to the elephants and return to the village and change before we return to Chiang Mai through picturesque scenery.

There are no formal timings or schedules for our time at the sanctuary to allow you to spend as much time as possible with the elephants. The jungle walk is approx. 1½ hours and the distance is variable.

Bodhi Serene Chiang Mai Hotel - Thailand

The Bodhi Serene Chiang Mai Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel situated within the old walls of downtown Chiang Mai. Nestled amongst old temples it showcases a fusion of Lanna tradition and culture with modern conveniences.


We depart Chiang Mai and drive north to the Mae Tang District and Lisu Lodge, where we’ll meet and spend time with the Lisu people, one of Thailand’s most remote tribal groups.

Join your Lisu guide on a walk from the Ton Lung temple to visit a herb garden and explore the village, where we’ll visit a shaman’s house to learn about his life, beliefs and Lisu traditions. We’ll return to the lodge for lunch then visit a cultural centre before enjoying an afternoon activity of your choice: you may enjoy a steam bath, a massage, or a guided walk and visit to a tea plantation. The remainder of the day is at your leisure before we enjoy a Thai dinner with a traditional Lisu dance show.

Lisu Lodge - Thailand

North of Chiang Mai, we stay at Lisu Lodge. Managed by the Lisu villagers and built in a traditional style, guest cottages are set within lush gardens and offer ensuite facilities. The lodge offers us a truly authentic stay in this part of Thailand: as such, it is a little more basic than our other accommodation.


Enjoy an early breakfast then head out on today’s walk. We hike through the Lisu village community then head into the jungle and head uphill through untouched rainforest to the summit of the mountain, with spectacular views as you walk. We descend on the other side of the mountain and pass through similar scenery to a newer hill tribe community and return to Lisu Lodge.

There’ll be time to freshen up before we enjoy lunch and return to Chiang Mai, where you can enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.

Bodhi Serene Chiang Mai Hotel - Thailand

The Bodhi Serene Chiang Mai Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel situated within the old walls of downtown Chiang Mai. Nestled amongst old temples it showcases a fusion of Lanna tradition and culture with modern conveniences.


An early departure gets our full-day trip started. We begin with a visit to the high-altitude village of Mae Kampong, which lies 30 miles east of Chiang Mai.

We’ll drive through picturesque countryside along a winding road to this beautifully rustic village at over 4,000 feet above sea level. Here, we’ll walk through the beautiful community forest where the villagers grow tea and coffee, and visit a local’s home to learn more about some of the local traditions. We’ll enjoy lunch and depart for Chiang Rai.

Enroute to Chiang Rai we’ll stop to visit the famous Wat Rong Khun. Also known as the White Temple, the temple is an unconventional and privately-owned art exhibit in the style of a Buddhist temple. You’re sure to find its brightness and design striking and memorable.

Once in Chiang Rai, enjoy the rest of your day and evening at leisure.

Le Patta Chiang Rai - Thailand

Amid city life, the Le Patta Chiang Rai hotel offers a peaceful atmosphere. Rooms are cosy and comfortable with modern conveniences, and the hotel features an outdoor salt water pool.


This morning we drive to Chiang Saen and visit the ancient city at Wat Chedi Luang, built in the early 13th century during the classical era of Chiang Saen.

We’ll walk through the town, along the river front and on to the Hall of Opium Museum at Golden Triangle Park. Carved into a hill, the museum presents the history of opium and its global journey along trade routes and the renowned Opium Wars.

After lunch at a local restaurant, we travel to the northernmost point of Thailand, Mae Sai. Here, you can view the border bridge between Thailand and Myanmar and shop the local handicrafts, including items from nearby Myanmar. We return to Chiang Rai where this evening we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner and a chance to reminisce about our holiday experiences at a local restaurant.

Le Patta Chiang Rai - Thailand

Amid city life, the Le Patta Chiang Rai hotel offers a peaceful atmosphere. Rooms are cosy and comfortable with modern conveniences, and the hotel features an outdoor salt water pool.


After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our return flight home.


Thailand Itinerary Map

Navalai River Resort - Thailand

The Navalai River Resort in Bangkok offers riverside serenity combined with the convenience of proximity to the city, which makes it ideally located to explore this vibrant capital.

Away Kanchanaburi Dheva Manta Resort - Thailand

In Kanchanaburi relax at the Away Kanchanaburi Dheva Manta Resort, a luxurious 5-star resort set in a serene tropical paradise. World class facilities ensure you a comfortable stay.

Kantary Hotel - Thailand

During our time in Thailand’s ancient capital, Ayutthaya, enjoy a stay at Kantary Hotel: a modern, elegant property with exceptional accommodation.

Bodhi Serene Chiang Mai Hotel - Thailand

The Bodhi Serene Chiang Mai Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel situated within the old walls of downtown Chiang Mai. Nestled amongst old temples it showcases a fusion of Lanna tradition and culture with modern conveniences.

Lisu Lodge - Thailand

North of Chiang Mai, we stay at Lisu Lodge. Managed by the Lisu villagers and built in a traditional style, guest cottages are set within lush gardens and offer ensuite facilities. The lodge offers us a truly authentic stay in this part of Thailand: as such, it is a little more basic than our other accommodation.

Le Patta Chiang Rai - Thailand

Amid city life, the Le Patta Chiang Rai hotel offers a peaceful atmosphere. Rooms are cosy and comfortable with modern conveniences, and the hotel features an outdoor salt water pool.

What to Bring

As you’ll be carrying your own luggage at airports and between your transport and hotels we recommend you try to keep your luggage to a minimum. These items are a general suggestion of what to pack for an active outdoor and walking holiday; depending on your destination, you may need more of some things and less – or none! – of others. You’ll know best what you prefer to wear when out walking or while taking part in other outdoor activities.

  • Walking boots (worn in), with good ankle support and non-slip soles and spare bootlaces
  • Walking socks
  • Waterproof trousers and jacket
  • Shorts and short-sleeved t-shirts
  • Long trousers and long-sleeved light-coloured shirts with collars to protect from the sun
  • Lightweight fleece, scarf/buff, hat and gloves; small torch/head torch
  • Comfortable clothes and shoes for evenings and sightseeing – please see note below
  • Sun protection – sun hat, sunglasses, high factor sunscreen and lip protection
  • Water bottle – at least 2-litre capacity
  • Small/medium rucksack (30 litre) and a liner or cover to keep contents dry
  • Insect repellent
  • Personal first aid kit including: personal medication, tissues, plasters, blister kit, painkillers, antiseptic wipes, Imodium, rehydration sachets; hand sanitiser

We recommend wearing walking boots on all our walks, as these provide the best ankle support and grip. Modern ‘approach shoes’ offer appropriate levels of grip and may be worn on some low-level walks, but users should be aware that they offer less ankle support. Lightweight trainers are not recommended for any walks.

Your clothing should ideally be pre-treated with insect repellent and in-built sun protection (available from specialist clothing stores such as Rohan, Cotswold Outdoor).

Essential

  • Passport (and copies)
  • Booking confirmation
  • Insurance cover note
  • HF Holidays’ registration form.

Optional 

  • trekking poles
  • camera
  • umbrella
  • binoculars
  • high energy food bar
  • swimming costume and towel
  • small Tupperware box for snacks
  • walking sandals

Please note that your HF Holidays’ leader reserves the right to refuse to take any guest on a walk should they consider that a lack of suitable clothing/footwear may affect safety.

Sightseeing clothes:

Some sites we’ll visit – for example, the Royal Grand Palace – have strict clothing requirements. It is recommended that you wear:

Women: short-sleeved tops with full-length trousers or knee-length skirt

Men: full-length trousers and short-sleeved shirts

The following are strictly prohibited when visiting the Grand Palace:

  • Shorts, culottes, ¾ length trousers, jogging bottoms, mini- or short skirts, tight-fitting trousers, and tights
  • Flip-flops and sandals without ankle or heel straps
  • See-through shirts/blouses, sleeveless shirts/vests, rolled-up sleeves, sweatshirts

There will be opportunities to buy any essentials in both Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-member associate fee: £10 per person.

These departure dates can be booked with flights or as land only holiday options. All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised flight prices are based on UK flights departing from London. Regional departures and/or connections to London, if available, can be requested. Cabin upgrades may also be available on request.

Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
21 Feb - 04 Mar 2020 Itinerary £2,999 Available Book Now
16 Oct - 28 Oct 2020 Itinerary £2,999 Available Book Now
20 Nov - 02 Dec 2020 Itinerary £2,999 Available Book Now
Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
22 Feb - 04 Mar 2020 Itinerary £2,299 Available Book Now
17 Oct - 28 Oct 2020 Itinerary £2,299 Available Book Now
21 Nov - 02 Dec 2020 Itinerary £2,299 Available Book Now

Important Information

  • Single room supplement: £499
Duration:
12 nights
Type:
Worldwide Multi-Centre
Walking Grade:
2

12 nights from £2,999pp with flights

Save up to £150 per person

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

Add to wishlist Added to wishlist