Thailand North to South for Blind Travellers
Explore Bangkok and the ancient city of Ayutthaya before heading north to Phayao to experience Northern Thai culture and hospitality. Phayao gets very few foreign visitors and offers great opportunities to get close to the local people, with wonderful homestays and friendly communities to explore, plus ancient temples and boat trips on Phayao Lake. Then head down South and well off the normal tourist trail to explore the culture and great natural beauty of Phatthalung province. Learn about its traditional handicrafts, take a boat trip to learn about the lives of the local fishermen and then complete your adventure relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Ko Sukon.
Day 1: Arrival – Bangkok (-/-/D)
Arrive at Bangkok Airport at and transfer to your Bangkok hotel. Check in and the rest of day at leisure.
Group meeting at 17.00 and then have dinner at a nearby local restaurant.
Day 2: Discover Bangkok (B/L/D)
After breakfast visit Wat Po, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, home of traditional Thai massage. Maybe have a massage if time permits. Afterwards visit the flower market, Pak Klong Talat. After lunch take the 1 1/2-drive to Ayutthaya, the former capital of Thailand.
Check in to the Vassana Design Hotel. In the evening enjoy a dinner cruise on board a converted teak rice barge.
Day 3: Ayutthaya Exploration (B/L/D)
After breakfast take a tour of the Ayutthaya Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the major sites in the Historical Park, including Wat Na Phramen to pay respects to the Buddha with candles, incense, lotus flowers and gold leaf. Have lunch at a local restaurant during the day and also enjoy a break for some refreshing coconut water. Return to the hotel late afternoon to freshen up before taking the night train to Chiang Mai, with 2nd-class air-conditioned sleeping berths.
Day 4 : Ayutthaya – Chiang Mai (B/L/-)
Arrive Chiang Mai in the early morning and transfer to the Ratana Hotel.
Check-in and relax until mid-morning and then set off for an elephant camp to learn about these magnificent beasts with a chance to get up close to them. In the evening explore the night bazaar and sample some excellent street food for dinner.
Day 5: Chiang Mai – Phayao (B/L/D)
In the morning take a walk around the old city to visit some of its historic temples. Late morning drive to Baan Dok Bua in the adjacent province of Phayao, a drive of about 1 ½ hours, with a stop on the way for lunch. Meet your host families and check in to your homestays. Have dinner at the homestay with your host families and members of the local community.
Day 6: Baan Dok Bua (B/L/D)
After breakfast, explore Ban Dok Bua, winner of a national award for self-sufficiency and learn about their organic farming methods and self-sufficient lifestyle. Take a leisurely walk and then a farm tractor around the village to meet other members of the community. Learn about the local handicrafts and try some easy basket weaving. Enjoy lunch at home with one of the families. Dinner at your homestay.
Day 7: Baan Dok Bua – Phatthalung (B/L/D)
After breakfast, visit a temple in the hills and afterwards transfer back to Chiang Mai for the flight to the South. The drive will take about 4 hours with a stop on the way for lunch. Arrive in Phatthalung at about 17.00 and transfer to the Siva Royal Hotel. Check in and relax before having dinner at the hotel.
Day 8: Phatthalung (B/L/D)
In the morning we will experience the richness of the Southern Thai culture. Learn about the making of traditional Pon drums, shadow puppets and the magnificent costumes worn for the ancient Manhora dance. Have lunch at the Bamboo Garden and learn about the cultivation of this amazing plant and the many uses to which it can be put. If this is market day there will be much activity there and so a local guide will be on hand to show you around. Dinner at a local restaurant.