Flavours of Thailand

Flavours of Thailand

price from £13,750 per person

Culinary Holidays Thailand

YOUR ESCAPE 

Thai is one of the most popular takeaways in the UK, but why get a takeaway when you can learn the skills firsthand to create your own Thai dishes. On this immersive journey through Thailand learn about the flavours, spices and ingredients that are used to make some of your favourite meals. Visit markets picking fresh ingredients, return to cook with locals in their homes, using only traditional utensils. Chop, stir and steam in the kitchen to make your Thai creation!

Not forgetting the city tour of Bangkok, connecting with elephants in their natural environment, visiting Buddhist monks and learning traditional weaving techniques to name but a few. This itinerary is packed full of family fun!

HOLIDAY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Private Tour of Bangkok
  • Bangkok Street Food Tour
  • Local Dessert Workshop
  • Elephant Encounter
  • Traditional Thai Massage
  • Hike & Gourmet Picnic
  • Local Hosted Dining
  • Interactive Cooking with Locals
  • Visit Royal Initiative Project
  • Private Long Tail Boat Cruise
  • Blue Elephant Cookery Session
  • Immersive Thai Experience

All essential escapes itineraries are exclusive and designed by our experts to offer a truly unique experience. We can create any itinerary around your personal requirements so please let us know your wish list and we will be delighted to curate something completely bespoke for you.

Day 1 | Arrive in Bangkok | Hotel: The Siam

  • Upon arrival at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, you will be met and greeted by our representative who will fast-track you through the immigration process. Then be escorted to your private luxury vehicle for the transfer to your hotel.

Day 2 | Bangkok | Hotel: The Siam

  • Look beyond the crowded streets of the metropolis and discover the local side of Bangkok.
  • Take advantage of the city’s network of public transportation for a full day excursion of the capital, seeing the main sites but also getting a closer look at the traditions and lifestyles of the Thai people.
  • The last leg of today’s Bangkok full day tour is on a ‘bus boat’ through the city’s canals. Rarely used by tourists, this ride provides an up-close look at the ways of life of the local people who live alongside the canals.

Day 3 | Bangkok | Hotel: The Siam

  • Drive through the old town of Bangkok to City Hall where your street food tour begins!
  • Before sampling the first bite, stop at Wat Suthat, one of the oldest and largest Buddhist temples in Bangkok. Then make a quick photo stop at the Giant Swing, located at the front of the temple.
  • Wander down quiet side streets to a small, historic coffee shop for a cup of ‘kafae boran’, the old-style Thai coffee.  Venture onwards to a small stall making ‘khanom thua paep’ and sample this unique rice crepe mixed with mung bean. Then, just a few steps away, continue to another local stall to sample ‘gui chaii’, a dumpling stuffed with various vegetables like bean sprouts and spinach.
  • Enjoy a truly wonderful dinner cruise experience. Pass through the Chao Phraya River, taking in the wonderful views whilst tucking into a 6-course Thai dinner.

Day 4 | Bangkok | Hotel: The Siam

  • Travel away from Bangkok’s city centre for a visit to local markets and countryside neighbourhoods. Take a one-hour drive, leaving the high-rises behind and entering a land of lush landscapes and traditional wooden houses.
  • Visit the famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.
  • In the afternoon, proceed to Khlong Khone Community. Take a private longtail boat around the Mangrove Forest, and stop at the community to see how to make “Kapi” or shrimp (krill) paste, one of the emblematic ingredients of many Thai dishes.

Day 5 | Prachinburi| Hotel: Arthit Tara Resort

  • After breakfast at the hotel, check out and drive about 2 hours to Prachinburi, heading straight to the Arthit Tara Resort.
  • Upon arrival, you will receive a warm welcome from the royal family who will give you a brief insight of the resort and its history. After lunch, spend time exploring the resort or enjoy some optional activities like waterskiing or a Thai organic oil massage (an additional charge to be paid locally).
  • Just before dinner, enjoy a sunset walk around the rice field whilst sipping on a fresh cocktail or glass of champagne. Learn how to cook a local recipe guided by the local chef and then sample your creation. After dinner release your mind with some meditation before retiring to your room.

Day 6 | Prachinburi| Hotel: Arthit Tara Resort

  • Drive to visit the Buffalo camp, which is a conservation area, where you will prepare yourself and your cloth to wash the buffalo. The farmer will assist you how to wash them safely.
  • In the afternoon, join a local dessert workshop for either Khanom Kluay (Banana Pudding) or Khanom Tarn (also made from Banana), followed by a Thai garland and Krathong workshop. Learn how to make a beautiful floral garland which in Thai tradition is presented as a token of welcome, respect and good health.

Day 7 | Ayutthaya | Hotel: The Siam, Bangkok

  • You will be driven to Ayutthaya, Thailand’s ancient capital and cultural heartland. Dating back to the 14th Century, the morning is spent exploring the breathtaking temple-studded landscape by a unique Kermit tuk-tuk, visiting the highlighted temples of the city.
  • In between temples visits, get a taste of local life with a visit to a vibrant market. Take an interesting walk through the town’s Muslim Quarter which offers the opportunity to sample an unusual local delicacy, candy floss roti.

Day 8 | To Chiang Rai| Hotel: Pa Sak Tong

  • After breakfast at the hotel, check out and transfer to Bangkok Airport for your onward flight to Chiang Rai.
  • Arrive at the resort, relax at own leisure walking around this beautiful villa and surrounding. Or you may opt for rubber and tea plantations walking trail from the backdoor of the villa that passes through a variety of rural locations. The views are beautiful throughout the entire hike.
  • In the evening, relax and enjoy your own private traditional Thai show with the best dancers in the country accompanied by traditional Thai musicians playing northern Thai songs on historic instruments.

Day 9 | Chiang Rai| Hotel: Pa Sak Tong

  • After breakfast at the hotel, explore the hill tribes around Chiang Rai with a hike.
  • The jewel of our hiking experience is the trek on nearby Doi Chang (Elephant Mountain). In conjunction with the local hill tribes, Pa Sak Tong Estate has created its own trails on the top of this mountain landmark.
  • Carved out of a combination of old hunting and game trails, you can experience trekking on untouched trails through virgin forests. Your experienced guide, an elder in the nearby village, leads you over the trials while describing not only the flora and fauna of the area, but also many of the unique customs of the Lisu people.
  • The hike finishes with a gourmet picnic overlooking untouched valleys. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience and to see a hidden part of the real Thailand.

Day 10 | Chiang Rai| Hotel: Anantara Golden Triangle

  • Arrive to the resort and meet the resident elephants. Journey into the jungle with the elephants and their mahouts on their daily walk. Then watch as these gentle giants splash in the river or play in the mud, snack on leaves from nearby branches and socialize with one another.
  • In late afternoon, enjoy yourself at one of the world’s most breathtaking jungle spas, renowned for its healing northern Thai traditions. Sip detoxifying ginger and honey tea on muslin-draped daybeds overlooking three countries.

Day 11 | Chiang Rai | Hotel: Anantara Golden Triangle

  • Head towards a Hloyo Village, a small community of Akha hill tribes where you can experience a traditional Thai lifestyle.
  • Be welcomed into the village by Mr. Johan and his family at his Hloyo mud house. As a host, Mr. Johan will give an informative introduction to the Akha people and their beliefs, religions, traditions and ways of life.
  • Walk through the village, seeing traditional bamboo houses constructed by hand. Meet with local artisans and help them create handmade crafts. Then step into the kitchen for a cooking class. Prepare and cook typical Akha dishes using fresh ingredients and traditional techniques passed down from generation to generation. Sit down and enjoy this freshly prepared meal, exchanging stories with the host while dining.
  • Visit local farms and see how the farmers rely on the land’s resources for their livelihood. Learn how the Akha make use of the forest’s natural resources and appreciate how human, animals, and the environment co-exist in this part of Thailand.

Day 12 | To Chiang Mai | Hotel: 137 Pillars

  • On the way to the Mae Kampong village, stop at a local market to pick up fresh ingredients that will later be used to prepare lunch.
  • Upon reaching Mae Kampong, meet with some of the village residents. Take a light hike through the surroundings and explore plantations growing tea and coffee, two of the village’s main crops. Learn about how the tea leaves and java beans are grown, harvested and distributed for sale.

Day 13 | Chiang Mai | Hotel: 137 Pillars

  • Get a true taste of Thai life. Spend a day far removed from the tourist areas of Chiang Mai and be immersed in local culture.
  • Venture out of the city centre to the local district of Hang Dong to meet Mr. Prapat and his family. Explore the property of Mr. Prapat to encounter local architectural styles and uniquely traditional ways of life. There may be an opportunity to witness basket weaving, a handmade process that has remained unchanged for centuries.
  • Next up is a visit to Mr. Prapat’s gardens to browse his vibrant array of vegetation. Select some fresh ingredients, grab an apron and head inside to begin the interactive cooking experience!
  • The family will share their recipes and demonstrate the traditional techniques needed to prepare delicious northern Thai dishes. Share stories of food and family while cooking today’s lunch. Afterwards sit down with the family and dine on the tasty meal.

Day 14 | Chiang Mai | Hotel: 137 Pillars

  • Meet with the monks and proceed to the workshop area where silver plates are made. Learn how to make these silver plates and create a personalised one using patterns taught at the workshop.
  • In the afternoon, drive out of Chiang Mai town to Ban Pong Huai Lan, a local village as part of the Royal Initiative Project, where local people live their life in a sustainable way. Enjoy various local activities for a day while interacting with locals.
  • Then get hands on experience by doing the traditional handloom weaving, thread spinning and all the weaving processes from the professional women group of the village which helps preserving traditional handicraft and local wisdom.
  • Watch and learn from locals who demonstrate how to make wicker/weaving crafts, and try to create a rice box as a memorable souvenir to take home.

Day 15 | To Phuket | Hotel: Anantara Layan Residences

  • After breakfast at the hotel, check out and be picked up by a private luxury transfer to Chiang Mai Airport for your direct flight to Phuket.
  • Once you’ve arrived at the resort, you’ve got the afternoon at leisure to spend time relaxing.

Day 16 | Phuket | Hotel: Anantara Layan Residences

  • Set off after breakfast aboard a private speedboat and travel away from the busy beaches of the main island and head toward Koh Yao Noi. Unlike Phuket and Krabi, Koh Yao Noi is a sleepy island where the locals rely on fishing, farming and other small businesses for income.
  • Spend a full day on Koh Yao Noi, meeting with the friendly residents. Walk through a rubber plantation to see how the trees are tapped for sap, a process done entirely by hand. Then head to a small workshop and witness the time-consuming process of batik making.
  • Around midday, head to a family home where you will enjoy a lunch of home-cooked dishes, and you will also take part in this home cooking experience, learning from this local family. Besides the experience and a delicious meal, this is also a special way to gain insight into the lives of the southern Thai people.

Day 17 | Phuket | Hotel: Anantara Layan Residences

  • Start with a dim sum breakfast, washed down with a cup of locally-grown coffee. Visit a local shop to learn about the concept of khao kaeng, Thai food served on trays. Then explore a stall piled high with colourful curry pastes and learn about their different uses.
  • Continue into the old town, stopping in at the informative Post Office Museum for a short visit. Then return to the food trail stopping to taste items like the Malaysian-influenced roti breads and Chinese-style Hokkien noodles. Learn about the origins of these foods which were introduced by immigrants in the 19th century.
  • Round out the morning with some typical southern Thai snacks including a local rendition of a crepe and exotic tropical fruits.

Day 18 | Phuket | Hotel: Anantara Layan Residences

  • Spend a day in paradise. Leave the crowded beaches of Phuket aboard a private, long tail boat that has been customized for ultimate comfort. Cast off and head to turquoise waters during this full day boat trip to Phang Nga Bay.

Day 19 | Phuket | Hotel: Anantara Layan Residences

  • After breakfast at the hotel, your Thai culinary journey will begin with a visit to Phuket’s morning market. Learn to select and buy the perfect Thai ingredients for your personal cooking lesson at Blue Elephant Cooking School.
  • After a morning market, the theory class will be conducted where the instructor will explain the artfully culinary techniques and demonstrate each dish at a time. Then you will begin to learn how to cook a variety of popular dishes with a qualified Thai chef.
  • The class is followed by a meal in Blue Elephant’s delightful restaurant sampling your own cooking as well as additional Thai dishes.

Day 20 | Phuket | Hotel: Anantara Layan Residences

  • Breakfast at the hotel. Free day at leisure.

Day 21  | To London | 

  • After breakfast at the hotel, check out and transfer to Phuket Airport by private luxury transport for your onward flight.

REVIEWS

‘I’ve always loved Thai food, but now I have a much deeper appreciation’ – Dawn

Essential Information

When is the best time to go

Although the climate varies throughout Thailand, you can visit all year round. The cool and dry season is between November and early April. In the south, the climate differs between the eastern and western coasts.

passport/visa requirements

British passport holders arriving by air or land can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa – this is known as a visa exemption. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Thailand

Need to Know

In order to enjoy all of the activities we recommend packing sensible footwear and clothing. We’d also recommend trainers or walking boots for the treks, walks and hikes.