Category: Thailand Cities

Mekong Adventure Cruise

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The boat to Luang Prabang from Thailand to Laos and Mekong River Cruise ride down the Mekong River is a very popular and scenic adventure for travelers who take the slow boat to Laos.

The 3 to 4 hours journey from Houay Xai to Pakbeng is undertaken on a speed boat. These scoot along at about 60km per hour but it feels as though you are going faster!

Life jackets and helmets must be worn. Stops are made along the way at local hilltribe villages – a great way to experience the local river-side existence first hand.

The next day we change to a slow boat for a relaxing full day journey. Again, stops are made at hilltribe viallges on the way and at the Pak Ou Caves – just north of Luang Prabang.

This is a great journey … and what better way to experience the Mighty Mekong!

Elephant Riding

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No trip to Thailand’s north is complete without a ride on the back of an elephant! When visiting Chiang Mai and the remote northwest of Thailand we visit elephant training camps and watch the large creatures being washed down before climbing aboard ourselves!

Our Thailand Discovery, North Thailand Adventure and Thailand and Laos Explorer tours all feature elephant rides.

Golden Triangle

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Close to the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, the Golden Triangle is famous for its colourful tribal inhabitants, and infamous as a centre for the production of opium.

Sukhothai

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Sukhothai was Thailand’s first capital, and its Historical Park protects many of the city’s most impressive 12th-14th Century monuments.

Walk amongst the hundreds of chedis of the Wat Mahathat complex, and in Wat Si Chum see the huge seated Buddha, clothed in orange robes. Apart from showcasing the distinct Sukhothai style, widely considered the pinnacle of Thai art and design, this World Heritage-listed site is simply a fine place to wander, with its hundreds of ancient temples and Buddhist relics set amongst shady groves and ponds blanketed in lotus flowers.

We spend the night in nearby Phitsanulok, where you might like to join your TUI Tour Leader for dinner at the town’s most entertaining dining experience, the ‘flying vegetable’ restaurants on the Nan River.

Mekhala River Barge

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An overnight cruise on the famous Mekhala River Barge is one of Thailand’s most wonderful boutique experiences. The ‘Mekhala’ is a purpose-built boat, designed in rice-barge style, with luxury fittings, a relaxing front deck area, and private air-conditioned cabins. Each cabin has its own private bathroom, with a shower and toilet. The Mekhala cruises the mighty Chao Phraya River between Ayuthaya and Bangkok on an overnight journey, travelling at a leisurely speed. Because of its shallow draft the boat is able to to drift close to the river bank, allowing us to get a ‘real glimpse’ of Thai river life.

One of the highlights of our cruise is a scrumptious Thai feast served on deck, under the stars – a truly unique experience. Our boat moors overnight at Wat Kai Tia, home to a number of Buddhist monks. An early morning rise allows us to see dawn offerings at the monastery, and gives us the chance to interact with the resident monks.

Travel time on the Mekhala is approximately four to five hours on each of the two days. Time flies on this wonderful boat and you will disembark wishing your cruise lasted a little longer ..

Ayuthaya

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Thailand’s historic capital and once heralded as the grandest city on Earth, Ayuthaya today is a fascinating collection of monuments to a time when the Thai kingdom extended well beyond its present day borders.

With TUI, explore the remnants of the Ayuthaya kingdom by foot and by boat along the Chao Phraya River, from where temple towers dominate the landscape. In the World Heritage-listed Ayuthaya Historical Park, we visit several of the 14th and 15th century wats and royal compounds, including Wat Phra Si Sanphet, with its huge temple ruins that once housed a 250 kilogram gold Buddha.

We cruise back to Bangkok, passing the graceful spires of the classic Ayuthaya style on route before reaching the city outskirts and returning to Bangkok.

Khao Sok National Park

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Khao Sok National Park in southern Thailand is an area of extraordinary natural beauty, rich in biodiversity and home to precious flora and fauna. Khao Sok is home to the world’s second largest flower – almost one meter in diameter – and to endangered animals such as tiger, guar, tapir and bear. Dense tropical rainforest and rugged limestone karst scenery make much of the park inaccessible to humans, however TUI clients use the park headquarters as a base for guided nature walks into the forest, and canoe trips around some of the vertical cliff formations.

Phuket

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In just a few decades, Phuket has transformed from a sleepy island of forests and sea gypsy villages into a haven for international sun seekers. With its superb beaches, clear warm waters, numerous on and offshore coral reefs offering spectacular snorkeling and diving possibilities and some of the best visibility in the world, and dramatic limestone island formations, Phuket deserves its world wide reputation.

Visitors are well catered to, with direct international air connections and a range of accommodation for all tastes and budgets, from simple bungalow style accommodation in the thriving center of Patong Beach to opulent resorts situated amidst lush tropical gardens on exclusive beaches.

Cruise amongst the islands for a day, sea kayak or paraglide, snorkel or dive … for ocean activities in stunning surroundings, Phuket is sure to please.

Hilltribe Trek

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Thailand’s far north west is a region of rugged limestone landscapes, remote upland villages and fascinating ethnic diversity. Join TUI to explore the essence of this unique area. We visit villages of the Karen, Lisu, Lahu and Akha people, overnighting in simple village houses where communities practise their traditional shifting agriculture in the valleys and slopes of some of Thailand’s most beautiful terrain.

Our travels may take us by foot, open-aired vehicle, and even elephant back – a never to be forgotten travel experience. The north west’s attractions lie not only in its distinct and welcoming people. See the remarkable skills of the working elephants at the Taeng Dao Elephant Training Centre; ride a bamboo raft along the Ping River, and watch the mists rising off the charming hill town of Mae Hong Son.

And for those travellers who are journeying into neighbouring Laos with TUI, there is the excitement and exhilaration of a long-tailed boat ride into the town of Chiang Rai.

Chiang Mai

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Thailand’s vibrant and historical northern city and former capital of the Lanna Thai kingdom, Chiang Mai like Bangkok offers something for every traveller, but on a far more intimate scale than her big sister to the south.

TUI will take you to the summit of Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai’s forested peak, with its glittering gold temple Wat Phra That Doi Suthep offering sweeping views over the city and plains below. We also explore the town’s famous night market – one of the finest shopping strips in Thailand – and sample some Chiang Mai specialities like the delicious khao soi (coconut-based noodle soup).

And be sure to explore Chiang Mai by foot: the town is a fascinating blend of old and new, home to over 300 temples, numerous local markets, handicraft workshops and much more. Chiang Mai also provides a gateway to Thailand’s beautiful northwest hills with their picturesque landscapes, traditional villages and colourful ethnic minorities.