SWEET, SOUR, SALT AND SPICY: THAILAND’S CULTURE AND CUISINE

A food lover’s paradise, Thailand’s hot woks, cooking classes and lively local markets invite you to feast on this culture and cuisine tour.

TOUR INTRODUCTION

11 Days, 10 Nights     FROM THB57,247 PER PERSON

Sweet, sour, salty and spicy: these are the four cornerstone flavors of Thai cuisine. On this 11-day, sumptuous tour, you’ll sample the best of Thailand’s culture and cuisine from region to region. Starting in Bangkok, you’ll tour the iconic sites of old Siam and dine at restaurants where expert chefs keep discerning locals happy. Then, a whirlwind tour that ranges from the verdant valleys of Khao Yai to the misty northern reaches of the Golden Triangle follows.

Explore the famed temples of Ayutthaya and stop by the Muslim Quarter to try a candy floss roti on the way. Feeling adventurous? Just wait until we arrive in Phitsanulok, where you can try an insect or two at a local market. At GranMonte Vineyard, you’ll get a taste for the finer things when a local wine master takes you on a private tour, followed by an indulgent dinner paired with wine and remarkable views. Things will get hands-on in Khon Kaen, one of the four major cities of northeastern Thailand, in an Isaan-style cooking class. But no culinary tour of Thailand would be complete without a cooking class and a street food tour of Chiang Mai, the ancient seat of the Lanna people.

Before you finish this comprehensive Thai food tour, you’ll find that you’ve sampled all the iconic dishes of Thailand and learned how to cook a good many of them yourself!

 

“Come to Thailand hungry! We think we have the best food in Southeast Asia, and we think you’ll agree!”

May Suwansawang, Backyard Travel Thailand Specialist

THE BACKYARD TRAVEL DIFFERENCE

Enjoy a home-cooked lunch in the Akha hill tribe style at an adobe house in Chiang Rai
Take a canal boat cruise to Samut Songkhram and learn how to make coconut candy
Indulge in a wine tasting with spectacular views at GranMonte Vineyards
Learn how to cook Northern Thai favorites from a TV chef in Chiang Mai



Daily Itinerary

Daily Itinerary

  • Start
  • Day 1: Bangkok

    Welcome to your Thailand culture and cuisine tour. Upon arrival at the airport, you’ll be picked up and transferred to your hotel. Your private guide will give you an introduction to the tour while you enjoy a welcome drink.

    We won’t lose any time getting you acquainted with the heritage of old Siam. You’ll embark on a half-day sightseeing tour starting at the Royal Grand Palace, an iconic Bangkok attraction and one of Thailand’s most significant landmarks. We’ll take you to see the main sites, including the spectacular throne halls and the famous Emerald Buddha. We’ll continue to Wat Pho, Bangkok’s oldest temple and home of the massive reclining Buddha. This temple is also considered Thailand’s first university, because it was also the site of the first traditional medicine and Thai massage school.

    In the evening, enjoy a relaxing drive through Bangkok’s old quarters, where you’ll be treated to a night-time perspective of the city with the Grand Palace, the Royal Grounds and many temples illuminated. We’ll also drive down lively Ratchadamnoen Avenue.

    For dinner, you’ll sample some of the best dishes at the best restaurants. At Krua Apsorn Restaurant, we’ll try somtam, a light papaya salad that makes a lovely appetizer. For our main course, we’ll stop in the older part of Bangkok to try pad Thai, a classic Thai dish. At Long Pha Restaurant, pad Thai is prepared on a charcoal grill, the old fashioned way! Next, we’ll stroll through Pak Klong Talad, one of Bangkok’s biggest markets. Here, you’ll see a riot of orchids and exotic flowers, as well as fresh vegetables, spices and herbs. You may want to pick up some souvenirs at a nearby night market along the Memorial Bridge. Catch views of the Chao Phraya River as you rummage among handicrafts and locally made trinkets.

    Overnight in Bangkok

    Meals included: Dinner

    bangkok-skytrian-thailand
  • Day 2: Bangkok

    Today we’ll take an hour drive south into the countryside to Samut Songkhram Province. Here, you’ll get a glimpse of rural Thai life, starting at a local train station. We’ll take a short train ride through the lush region to a vibrant country market along the railroad tracks. Observe the speed and skill of the vendors as they rapidly pack up their stalls, bringing all shopping to a brief halt as the train approaches at 08:30AM. This is now standard practice and all vendors know the art of packing and unpacking at a moment’s notice!

    Next, enjoy a leisurely boat ride along a rural canal to a village where you’ll learn how coconut desserts are made. You’ll even participate in making your own dessert under the instruction of your knowledgable host. Enjoy your homemade snack on the journey back to Bangkok, and sit down for lunch at a local restaurant.

    Tonight, you’ll explore both culture and cuisine on a food tour of the historic Bangrak neighborhood, Bangkok’s Village of Love. You’ll be immersed in local lifestyles, foods and dining habits as you sample regional dishes on a multi-destination tasting tour in intimate parts of the neighborhood. Our local experts will have hand-picked the dishes on this tour and will tell you stories of Bangkok that will provide a unique, insider’s insight.

    Overnight in Bangkok

    Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

    bangkok-watpho-thailand2wat phra keo at dusk/sunset. also called the temple of the emerald buddha.
  • Day 3: Bangkok – Ayutthaya

    Today after breakfast, you’ll check out from your hotel and drive about 1.5 hours via private car to Ayutthaya, one of Thailand’s ancient capital cities. Before lunch, we’ll go for a ride in a kermit tuk tuk, which are unique to Ayutthaya.

    We’ll enjoy lunch today at Krua Pak Wan Restaurant, an Ayutthaya culinary institution. Afterwards, we’ll take a tour of the city’s Muslim Quarter, where you can sample candy floss roti, an unusual local delicacy.

    On your Ayutthaya city tour, some highlights include Wat Tuk and the Temple of Sins. We’ll also visit a local blacksmith and see him crafting beautiful swords and knifes by hand in his workshop. After your city tour, we’ll head to Baan Khun Pra, a cozy restaurant located by the river, for a dinner of some of the best seafood in Ayutthaya.

    After dinner, feel free to stroll through the night market west of Bang Lan Road to indulge in some unique post-dinner bites.

    Overnight in Ayutthaya

    Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

    Wat Yai Chai Mongkol, Ayutthaya Historical Park, Thailandhead-buddha-ayutthaya-thailandLocal Transportation At Ayutthaya Railroad Station 1000×600
  • Day 4: Ayutthaya – Khao Yai

    Today, your Thailand culture and culinary tour will take you east, to the verdant valleys of Pak Chong and Khao Yai.

    After a 2-hour drive, we’ll arrive at Khao Yai National Park, where we’ll embark on a light trek through the stunning natural scenery. Keep your eyes open for some rare wildlife.

    Today we’ll indulge in a sumptuous lunch at Lookkai Restaurant, a fine-dining venue in Khao Yai.

    After lunch, you’ll be treated to a special wine tasting at GranMonte Vineyard. You’ll meet Nikki, an internationally renowned wine master and daughter of the vineyard’s founder. She’ll teach us how Thai wine is made on a private tour of the estate. Sip on the wide selection of local wines while enjoying the tranquil, relaxed atmosphere.

    Enjoy dinner at the vineyard, a special experience that will be accompanied by some of the region’s best wine.

    Overnight in Khao Yai

    Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

    Thailand Visa: better to pray buddha sometimes - buddha hand holding an orchid
  • Day 5: Khao Yai – Khon Kaen

    Today after breakfast we’ll leave Khao Yai and enjoy a scenic, 4-hour drive to Nakorn Ratchasima. On the way, we’ll stop for lunch at the Phi Mai temples. This atmospheric Khmer compound built in the 11th century is also home to a local specialty, pad mii korat. This lovely noodle dish is a close cousin of the famous pad Thai but offers a different flavor profile and is best enjoyed here in Korat.

    We’ll continue towards Khon Kaen and arrive in the afternoon in time for an Isaan-style cooking class. Amid the lush setting of a garden, you’ll learn the distinct flavors of northeastern Thailand and the techniques of making local Isaan food.

    In the late afternoon, we’ll drive into Khon Kaen, one of the four major cities of the Isaan region. Enjoy a visit to the local lake and drink in the sunset at the One Pillar Pagoda.

    Tonight, dinner will be served at Hug Hang restaurant, a popular restaurant offering an eclectic fusion menu.

    Overnight in Khon Kaen

    Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

    bang-kok-young-thai-buddhist-woman-thailand_10.jpg
  • Day 6: Khon Kaen – Phitsanulok

    Today, you’ll enjoy a lovely picnic breakfast al fresco in an iconic Khon Kaen rice paddy before we venture roughly 4.5 hours west towards Phitsanulok in the central plains of Thailand.

    Upon arrival in Phitsanulok Town, you’ll try the most daring tasting on your Thailand cultural and culinary holiday. At the local market, you’ll find an array of insects being sold as local delicacies. Try a couple if you’re not faint-hearted! But for those who prefer a more familiar lunch, we’ll dine on regional Phitsanulok dishes at a local restaurant.

    After lunch, we’ll visit Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, also known as Wat Yai. Located near the picturesque Naresuan Bridge, this wat is home to a golden Buddha image that many consider the most beautiful in the kingdom. As it is unknown to many tourists, you’ll be getting a true insider’s experience here. We’ll head next to the Cha Thawee Folk Museum, where a collection of old, local tools reveals the regional lifestyles and cultures of the past.

    Overnight in Phitsanulok

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

    Wat Nongwang in Khon Kaen, North Thailand
  • Day 7: Phitsanulok – Sukhothai

    After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, we’ll check out and travel on to Sukhothai, the site of the first capital of Siam. It’s just a 1-hour drive to this magnificent, historical city.

    In Sukhothai, check in at your hotel, which is conveniently located by Sukhothai Historical Park. This park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains nearly 200 chedis from the 13th century. Many are still in remarkable condition, and you can opt to enjoy exploring the park by bicycle or on foot.

    After tucking into a satisfying lunch at a local restaurant, the rest of the day is free to enjoy at your leisure.

    Overnight in Sukhothai

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

    sukhothai-historical-park-sukhothai-thailandHand Buddha statue, Historical Park Sukhothai, ThailandBuddha Inside the Sukhothai Historical Park, Thailand
  • Day 8: Sukhothai – Chiang Mai

    Today your culinary and cultural tour will bring you to Chiang Mai, Thailand’s “Rose of the North.” After breakfast at your hotel, we’ll make the 4-hour drive to Chiang Mai, stopping en route at Ban Na Thon Chan. This local community is an award-winning tourist attraction featuring local heritage and culture. Established over 200 years ago, the village of Ban Na Thon Chan is now a community-based tourism outfit that showcases the region’s natural and cultural heritage. The villagers who live here are descendants of northern Thailand’s ancient Lanna Kingdom, and they preserve their local heritage by living according to the customs and daily tasks of the past. Befriend the local families, then enjoy a bowl of Sukhothai’s most famous regional dish, the Sukhothai noodles. After lunch, we’ll continue our drive to Chiang Mai.

    After checking in to your hotel, you’ll embark on a lively night tour of Chiang Mai, strolling through the South Gate into the old city, where street food vendors hawk delectable meals every evening. Your private guide will explain the many local dishes on offer. But be warned: you might have a hard time deciding which dishes to try! You’re sure to see noodle soups, pad Thai, kanom jin (rice noodles served with curry), deep fried taro, deep-fried pancakes, kanom krok (coconut pudding), and sweet mango with sticky rice.

    Overnight in Chiang Mai

    Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

    Flag-Lanna-Thai-jedrin-temple-Chiangmai-top-north-ThailandDoi-Suthep-temple-Chiang-Mai
  • Day 9: Chiang Mai

    Today after breakfast at your hotel, we’ll meet a local TV chef at a Chiang Mai market. Under her guidance, we’ll learn about the produce, spices and herbs sourced from nearby farms that are offered here. After showing us her best tips to pick ingredients for Thai dishes, she’ll lead us to the venue of our Thai cooking class. Loaded with fresh meats, vegetables and fruits, you’ll try your hand at cooking some favorite Thai dishes. For lunch, dine on your freshly prepared dishes.

    After the cooking class, hop into a songtaew (a pickup truck equipped with two long benches; a local form of transport) and ride to the underground temple of Wat Umong. Located in a forested area, this atmospheric, brick temple is unlike many of the glittering wats you’ll see in Thailand.

    Tonight, enjoy an intimate dinner at the elegant 137 Pillars House.

    Overnight in Chiang Mai

    Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

    chiagrai-four-seasons-thailand
  • Day 10: Chiang Mai – Mae Chan

    To wrap up this culinary and cultural excursion through Thailand, we’ll head to our final and northernmost destination, Chiang Rai Province. After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, you’ll check out and embark on a beautiful 3-hour drive, including a 1-hour mountain journey up the picturesque slopes of Doi Mae Salong. Here, we’ll visit the village of Hloyo just 6 kilometers from the Thai-Burmese border. This small hill tribe community of Akha people is home to 58 households. Its traditional way of life is laden with Akha customs, which promote harmony with nature. Enjoy the cool mountain breeze and tuck into a home-cooked lunch prepared in the Akha style at the Akha Mudhouse Mae Salong, a beautiful adobe house with an Akha cultural museum.

    After lunch, we’ll drive the rest of the way to your resort in Mae Chan. The rest of the day is free to relax and enjoy at your leisure. Enjoy dinner at your resort.

    Overnight in Mae Chan

    Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

    Marketplace, Thailand
  • Day 11: Mae Chan – Chiang Rai – Departure

    After breakfast at your hotel, we’ll transfer you to Chiang Rai Airport (about an hour drive away) for your departure flight.

    Meals included: Breakfast.

    bangkok-thai-mural-painting-on-the-wall-wat-phra-kaew-thailand

All of our Tours can be Tailored, Just Ask!

Local vietnamese woman

Tour Details

All of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and we’ll start planning your unique personalized trip!

Tour prices are a guideline only, and are based on two persons travelling together, sharing a double or twin room. Each tour price and can be adjusted depending on budget, activities included and standard of accommodation desired.

Tour and airfare prices include all applicable taxes and are subject to change without prior notice until services are booked.

You, your holiday and booking direct: Backyard Travel are on the ground year-round in Asia, which means you are booking direct with a local travel company, allowing you to save on the cost of your holiday. Our tailor-made tours are designed by local Travel Specialists who investigate every aspect of the trip themselves, giving you a unique view of each destination.

icon Included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary
Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicles
Service of English speaking guides in every location
Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

icon Not included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Domestic and international flights
Departure taxes if applicable
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Tips for guides and drivers
Personal travel insurance
Visa fees (contact us for further information)

Why Backyard Travel?


Our experienced travel specialists possess years of local insider knowledge, because they live here.

We have offices in all of our destinations in asia, fully staffed and open all year-round.

With backyard travel you are booking direct, allowing you to save and benefit local residents.

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Our advantage lies in having local expertise to create unique, bespoke tours. Whether you’re looking to cruise down Asia’s tranquil rivers, bike the peaceful rural roads, or eat at bustling night markets, Backyard Travel’s in-country Travel Specialists can plan your ideal trip. Send us a message about your ideas, and we'll send you our best suggestions.


 

 

 

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Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
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Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.