Float down the River Kwai, eat at the night market in Pai, and hang out with the beautiful elephants of Chiang Mai
In Thailand, the friendly locals are famous for smiling whenever you catch their eyes. On this trip, we help you understand why the Thai people are so content. Become heroically happy when you float down the River Kwai, feel elated by the delicious treats you eat at the night market in Pai, and experience merriment as you hang out with the beautiful elephants of Chiang Mai.
We spend 8 days exploring Thailand, Laos. We visit Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Chiang Mai, Pai.
What Is Included...
Your fantastic Busabout crew for Day 2 to 8
English speaking local guide for Day 1 to 8
7 nights’ accommodation (5 nights 2/3
star hotels, 1 night overnight train, 1 night River Kwai Jungle Raft)
6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
All transport (train & private bus)
Burma Railway Centre Museum entrance
Allied War Cemetery
Visit the world famous bridge over the River Kwai
tailed boat on River Kwai
Hellfire Pass Memorial visit
Mon Tribal Village visit
A historic ride on the Death Railway Train
Coffee in Love and Pai Memorial Bridge Stop
Chiang Mai Temple
Ladyboy Cabaret Show
- Visit the world famous bridge over the River Kwai
- Experience the spectacular scenery of Pai
- Sample the varied and tasty local food of Thailand
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions in place globally, we will not be running any trips in 2021. Get more information on why this decision was made or see below for similar trips being run by our sister brands, Contiki and CostSaver.
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8 Day Itinerary
Thailand & River Kwai Adventure 8 day full itinerary breakdown and route map
Bangkok - Kanchanaburi
Your adventure begins as we depart the Thai capital of Bangkok bright and early on our way to Kanchanaburi Province to take in the scenery and delve the area’s rich history. Our first stop is at the world famous bridge over the River Kwai, this is the setting for the novel and film of the ‘50s, before continuing on to the Allied War Cemetery and Burma Railway Centre Museum. Afterwards we set sail on a long-tailed boat to our accommodation for tonight, the River Kwai Jungle Rafts. Check-in and enjoy a delicious lunch before taking a trip out to the Hellfire Pass Memorial which immortalises those who lost their lives during the brutality of the railway’s construction. Tonight we enjoy a scrumptious dinner before resting up in our traditional rafts for the night.
Kanchanaburi - Bangkok
This morning we head off to visit a traditional Mon village to better grasp this ancient culture and explore the surrounding jungles on a scenic morning trek. The rest of the morning is yours to enjoy taking in the scenery, relaxing at the rafts, or having a refreshing swim. After enjoying an included lunch we board a train and take a historical ride on the Death Railway Train and over the wooden viaduct constructed by the allied POWs as we pay homage to the 13,000 prisoners who lost their lives during the railway’s construction. This afternoon we begin our journey back to Bangkok and the tour ends upon arrival. We hope to see you again!
Bangkok to Chiang Mai (overnight transfer)
The day is yours to explore this vibrant capital! See the home of Thai royalty at the sprawling Grand Palace complex, marvel at the intricate design of Wat Pho temple, enjoy a cruise along the Chao Phraya river before visiting the splendid Temple of Dawn, or partake in some retail therapy at the weekend market of Chatuchak. Tonight, we’ll catch our overnight transfer to the northern province of Chiang Mai. Lay back, get comfy, and get some rest for the day ahead! - Breakfast included
Chiang Mai - Pai
Our overnight transfer arrives in Chiang Mai this morning and we have some time to grab breakfast, before beginning our scenic meander north to the village of Pai. As we wind along the sweeping turns en route to Pai, we have a stop at the spectacular Pai Canyon! Take a few snaps and relish the panorama before we depart for our home for the next two nights, the laid-back town of Pai. Upon arrival we head out on a short orientation walk before checking in to the hotel. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring, relaxing in a geothermal pool at the hotel, or take a stroll along the Pai River and catch a glimpse of the local elephants. We meet in reception this evening before heading into town to visit the numerous markets and sample some delicious Thai cuisine. Then it’s on to a local bar for a few relaxing drinks.
Relax by the pool, shop for some Thai treasures, kick back in one of the many fine local watering holes, try some delicious street food, or just get lost in the rich natural beauty of Pai’s surrounding wilderness. If you’d like to join us today, we have an incredible optional excursion with a trek through the jungle! See the sights and sounds of the wilderness and meet remote villagers as we make our way through the jungle and onward to explore the breathtaking Lod Caves on a bamboo raft. Later this evening, relax with a drink or two in one of the local bars. - Breakfast included
Pai to Chiang Mai
It’s time to return to Chiang Mai this morning. Along the way we’ll have a stop at an ancient temple, the oldest in the area, led by a local guide. We offer two optional excursions today, starting with a cooking class to grasp the complexities of Thai cuisine, and ending with a bone crunching Muay Thai show to get the adrenaline pumping! Afterwards, the night is yours to spend as you wish, so get some rest for the day ahead or join us at a local bar. - Breakfast included
Today is yours to soak up the sights and sounds of Chiang Mai. Spend your free time wandering the Old Town whilst shopping and exploring, head out to the gilded hillside temple of Wat Doi Suthep, or visit Catmosphere and enjoy a purrfect beverage with some furry friends. If you’d like a truly memorable experience, join the optional Ethical Elephant Experience! Learn about the animals from local experts, and spend time feeding and bathing the gentle giants. Lunch is even included! This evening we head out into the night markets for some retail therapy and a meal, before heading off for a unique Thai cultural experience with a twist at an included cabaret show. - Breakfast included
Check-out is after breakfast. We hope to see you again!