Bangkok ~ Ayutthaya ~ Chiang Mai
This tour starts in Bangkok and ends in Chiang Mai. These are your arrival and departure airports.
Friendly and food-obsessed, hedonistic and historic, cultured and curious, Thailand tempts visitors with a smile as golden as the country’s glittering temples and tropical beaches.
It’s the contradictions that provide the City of Angels with its complex, multifaceted personality. Here, climate-controlled megamalls sit side by side with 200-year-old village homes; gold-spired temples share space with neon-lit strips of sleaze; slow-moving traffic is bypassed by long-tail boats plying the canals and riverways; Buddhist monks dressed in robes shop for the latest smartphones; and streets lined with food carts are overlooked by restaurants perched on top of skyscrapers. As Bangkok races towards the future, these contrasts are only poised to increase and intensify, even while supplying the city with its unique and ever-evolving notion of Thai cosmopolitanism.
Enigmatic temple ruins are strewn across the modern city of Ayutthaya (อยุธยา), whispering of its heyday as one of the world’s wealthiest and most cosmopolitan cities. Once replete with gilded temples and treasure-laden palaces, this island capital of Siam was brutally sacked by the Burmese in 1767. Today, dozens of ruins remain from this period of thriving trade and art and offer a tantalizing glimpse into its glorious past. Standing among towering stupas, it’s easy to imagine how international merchants visiting from around the globe were left in awe.
A sprawling, modern city has grown up around ancient Chiang Mai (เชียงใหม่). The historic centre of Chiang Mai still feels overwhelmingly residential, more like a sleepy country town than a bustling capital. If you drive in a straight line in any direction, you’ll soon find yourself in the lush green countryside and pristine rainforests dotted with churning waterfalls, serene wát and peaceful country villages – as well as a host of markets, farms and tea plantations.
A Bountiful Table
Adored around the world, Thai cuisine expresses fundamental aspects of Thai culture: it is generous, warm, refreshing and relaxed. Thai dishes rely on fresh, local ingredients – pungent lemongrass, searing chillies and plump seafood. A varied national menu is built around the four fundamental flavours: spicy, sweet, salty and sour. Our roving appetites will visit noodle shacks, floating markets, the Chines Quarter and eat fresh seafood caught that day.
Tammie Day is an Australian retreat leader, tour organiser, yoga and nia teacher, world traveller and founder of Vibrant Women Travel, Training and Homestay. Tammie is constantly sourcing the most enchanting places to run her Inspirational Journeys, places that truly capture your heart and imagination, Thailand is a must for anyone who loves exploring spectacular places, with like-minded people. Local guides will be present throughout our tour as well so you get the most out of your adventure.
This tour has a $500 deposit and the remainder is due 75 prior to departure.
What is not included
This tour has a lot of walking and requires a moderate level of fitness. There are steep stairs, uneven roads and getting on and off boats and buses. Sites are large and sometimes hot, you may need to walk several kilometres around a single site. You need to be fairly fit to attend this tour.
Day 1 Bangkok (no meals)
Upon arrival at Bangkok airport, you will be met and transferred to the hotel (the room is available from 14:00).
Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, is a large city known for ornate shrines and vibrant street life. The boat-filled Chao Phraya River feeds its network of canals, flowing past the Rattanakosin royal district, home to opulent Grand Palace and its sacred Wat Phra Kaew Temple. Nearby is Wat Pho Temple with an enormous reclining Buddha and, on the opposite shore, Wat Arun Temple with its steep steps and Khmer-style spire.
Today is your day to relax after your flight. You will be met at the hotel by a Vibrant Women representative and settled in.
*Please note there are no activities planned for this day however we can recommend booking a treatment at the “Health Land Spa Asoke” just around the corner. Specialising in Ayurvedic and Traditional Thai wellness treatments, this is the place to start relaxing on your holiday.
Happy from 5 – 7 pm at a small bar around the corner $5 Mojitos 😉
Accommodation: Arte Hotel or similar
To add our Chiang Rai Womens Wellness Retreat to your Thailand tour you require one extra nights accommodation at Museflower Retreat Centre for the night of the 12 December 2022 and a 3.5 transfer from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai the price of this is $150AUD for a single room and $100AUD per person for a twinshare room. You can add this extra night and transport to your booking during the registration process.
This retreat is for women seeking time out and to refresh for the New Year (or before the craziness of Christmas). An all-inclusive pampering package for mind, body and soul located in peaceful Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand.
Up until 75 days before the start of the tour a $500 non-refundable deposit will be retained. For between 75 days and 45 days, 50% of the final payment, this is in addition to the non refundable deposit will be forfeited. For less than 45 days or for no shows the entire amount will be retained as we would have already had to pay for accommodation, transport, flights and activities, and this money will not be returned to us. Once the tour has commenced no monies will be returned to you. This is why travel insurance is compulsory.
The Trip Notes on this link are always the most up to date version. When booking a tour in advance things can change, please always refer to these notes on the website as the most recent version of trip notes for your tour.
Please visit this page HERE for the most up to date information relating to Covid 19 and your travel including vaccinations requirements and what will happen if you get contract Covid whilst overseas.
In terms of entry requirements to Thailand, you will be given up to date information on this closer to the departure time as things are changing regularly.
Our rates do not include any kind of travel insurance and each guest must make sure to arrange their own necessary insurance prior arrival to Thailand. We will do everything possible to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. However, all travel involves some degree of risk we strongly recommend that you take out appropriate travel insurance for your adventure.
Your insurance protection should include cover for cancellation, medical, in particular Coronavirus and repatriation expenses, personal injury and accident, death and loss of personal baggage and money and personal liability. Insurance cover offered by credit card companies or reciprocal medical cover agreements are often not comprehensive please check this before travelling. Or contact our preferred Travel Insurance provider CoverMore
Previously Australians and 63 other countries could travel to Thailand Visa free for 30 days. At the moment things are changing regularly so please visit the Thai Consular for more details of what it currently applicable.
Note transport arrangements below. You will be allocated one seat per guest. It is not possible or feasible for us to social distance on our tours when using private transport.
- From 1-7 pax : we use 1 van (Toyota Commuter).
- From 8-14 pax : we use 2 vans (Toyota Commuter).
- From 15-21 pax: we use 3 vans (Toyota Commuter).
- Our standard baggage allowance per person is 1 big bag (76x48Cm) + 1 Hand carry (which clients might need to carry with them on seat) *This is just to and from the airport
- In case if the clients exceed this assigned baggage allowance then company hold the right to add another van or luggage truck with additional supplement charge (which have to be settled by directly by the clients) based on requirement to provide a better & comfortable experience to our clients.
For our domestic flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai Economy class passengers are allowed to check in 20 kg of baggage and 7 kg hand luggage. *If you exceed this the individual client will have to pay the baggage excess.
For our ground transportation our standard baggage allowance per person is 1 big bag (76x48Cm) + 1 Hand carry (which clients might need to carry with them on seat) *This is just to and from the airport.
In case if the clients exceed this assigned baggage allowance then company hold the right to add another van or luggage truck with additional supplement charge (which have to be settled by directly by the clients) based on requirement to provide a better & comfortable experience to our clients.
Tourists from every part of the world are always given the warmest welcome from Thai people. However, there are things visitors should pay attention to when traveling to Thailand.
- Dressing properly and neatly when visiting temples and pagodas.
- Showing respect to the King and his royal family.
- Making taxi-fare deals are illegal.
- Don’t rub the head of another person.
- Don’t express affection exaggeratedly in public.
- Don’t speak loudly in public.
Tourists should consult your Family GP or Travel Health Clinic at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect.
The following vaccines are highly recommended by the Pasteur Institute: Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Poliomyelitis, Hepatitis B, Meningitis A, C, Hepatitis A, Malaria Treatment.
Passport, Journal, Camera, Prescription Medication, Converter Plug & Chargers. Swimmers, sunscreen and hat. Shorts, t-shirts, dresses and comfortable walking shoes. Also weather may be cool especially overnight and early mornings. Bring long pants and cardigans and clothes that can be layered as it heats up during the day.
The official Thailand currency is the baht, which consists of 100 satang. One baht is worth approximately four cents in Australian dollars, with an average meal costing around 150 baht. In 1897, Prince Mahisorn devised the decimal system which King Chulalongkorn used to replace a previously more complicated system. It was this decimal systems that established the one baht equivalent of 100 satang. However, coin denominations were still issued in the older units up until 1910, with 25 satang (cents) and the corresponding coin still known as the salueng.
Thailand currency is comprised of coin denominations that range from 1 satang to 10 baht and banknotes that start at 20 baht and go as high as 1000 baht. Coin denominations are 1 satang, 5 satang, 10 satang, 25 satang, 50 satang, 1 baht, 2 baht, 5 baht and 10 baht. Coins range in physical size and are made from aluminium and magnesium compounds, aluminium bronze, copper plated steel and nickel plated steel. Each coin features the likeness of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on one side and a rendering of iconic temples throughout the country on the other.
Thailand currency also features banknote denominations of 20 baht, 50 baht, 100 baht, 500 baht and 1000 baht. All notes feature the King Bhumibol Adulyadej on one side and are colour coded. The 20 baht is green and features King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII) on the reverse while the 50 baht is blue and features King Mongkut (Rama IV) on the reverse. The 100 baht is red and features King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) and King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) on the reverse while the 500 baht is purple and features King Nangklao (Rama III) on the reverse. Finally, the 1000 baht is brown and features King Bhumibol Adulyadej; Pa Sak Jolasid Dam on the reverse.
ATMs are widely available which is convenient for you to withdraw some Baht wherever and whenever you want.
Credit and debit cards are accepted in large businesses, hotels, and restaurants in Thailand. However, you might find that smaller stores and cafes don’t take cards or in the other case, your card is blocked by anti-fraud software; therefore, these unpredictable circumstances certainly cause serious inconvenience while traveling. The best course of action would be to carry some cash on you at all times.
Thai cuisine is divided into five regional cuisines, corresponding to the five main regions of Thailand namely Bangkok cuisine, Central Thai cuisine, North-Eastern Thai cuisine, Northern Thai cuisine and Southern Thai cuisine. Each region has its own gastronomic characteristics, which contributes to the diversity of Thai cuisine. While traditional southern foods are well-known for herbs and spices, Northern Thai cuisine mainly includes numerous ingredients such as sticky rice, Nam Prik (spicy chili paste), fresh vegetable, and soup. Northeastern Thai meals are famous for their spicy, sour dishes and an essential condiment Pla Ra (fermented fish sauce).
The cuisine of Thailand has been greatly influenced by those of Indian, Indonesian, Malaysian, Vietnam, Cambodia and especially of China.
Thai cuisine is well known for its spiciness. The secret of Thai culinary traditions, however, is a perfect balance of five flavors: sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy.
In Thai cuisine, salt is mostly replaced by fish sauce. This means the ones who are allergic to this sauce, salt should be required if necessary.
*Please let us know of any allergies **Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate complex dietary requirements only anaphylaxis allergies. To travel with us if you have specific dietary needs you will need to be able to manage these yourself without it impacting on the rest of the group.
Thai power sockets have two prongs so if coming from Australia you will require an adapter. The voltage is slightly different by 10 volts but most electrical devices will tolerate this. All travel shops and airports will have these adapters for sale.
Please remember to take enough prescribed medication for duration of the tour. Chemists are very easy to access and things such as anti-biotics are generally available over the counter.
A moderate level of fitness is required to enjoy all the sites we visit. Some of the days we are out and about all day you do need to be able to walk up to 5km a day and sometimes at pace if we are heading somewhere we need to be on time for like a ferry crossing. Other times its more of a stroll however please consider if you think you would hold the group up. We cannot unfortunately have women travel with us who require asistance to walk, for example if you use a walking stick you will not be able to get to many of the sites we visit.