Day 1: Welcome to Bangkok!
Welcome to Bangkok – a paradise for intrepid foodies. The bustling lanes of this metropolis offer an explosion of flavours you won’t find anywhere else. Your private transfer will take you to the hotel for check in. Take the afternoon to explore the city at your own pace. Once you have assimilated the myriad sounds, sights and smells of Bangkok, the playfulness of the city will soon take over. Stroll through the serene Lumpini Park, an oasis of tranquillity and fresh air in the centre of the city.
Day 2: For Starters (Bangkok)
Start your journey through island with an exploration of Bangkok. Visit the Wat Pho, also called the Temple of Reclining Buddha, to hear the morning chanting that brings in devotees from around the city. The graceful reclining Buddha stretches over 120 feet long with adornments glittering all along the temple walls. Walk through the Grand Palace, which will bring you to the exquisite Emerald Buddha, the most celebrated and ornate statue in Thailand. In the afternoon, we visit the neighbourhood of Bangrak which offers some of the best local food at Bangkok’s finest restaurants, which have brought Thai cuisine to the forefront of the international palette.
Day 3: Royal Palettes (Bangkok)
After breakfast, we will drive down to the historic Blue Elephant restaurant, opened in 1980 and known for bringing Royal Thai cuisine to the world. Meet your guide for a tour of the local market in search for ingredients. Try out the freshest produce of the area, before picking some up for a cooking class at the restaurant. The Blue Elephant is located within a historic mansion that reflects the days of colonial architecture, featuring arched window and tiered roofs. Learn about the subtle art of cooking local dishes as you savour the flavours, guided by your instructor. In the evening, dine at Alzamendi at Iniala, a three-Michelin-star restaurant that carefully brings together some of the best culinary traditions of the city.
Day 4: Silk and Spices (Bangkok)
Today, we visit the fabulous house of Jim Thompson, an American who settled in Thailand after World War II and helped rebuild and restructure the Thai silk industry. His home is a grand combination of eastern and western architecture, sitting beneath the dangling shade of banyan trees. Next, take a tour of the Mandarin Oriental with a three-hour cooking class, offering a unique exploration of Thai cuisine.
Day 5: Temple Towns (Chian Mai)
After breakfast, take a flight to Chiang Mai, an exquisite and laid-back Thai town, known for its beautiful temples and relaxed atmosphere. Meet your private transfer to drive down to your luxurious hotel for check-in. On the way, we will explore Wat Suan Dok, a 14th century temple standing just outside the ancient city walls and the Doi Suthep temple, known for its 309 steps that ascend beneath the marvelous dangling forest.
Day 6: Country Life (Chiang Mai – Khum Lanna)
Sweeping rice fields are an abiding image of South East Asia and today, we will journey outside Chiang Mai to the Thai countryside for a dose of nature. Khum Lanna was founded in the 13th century and is surrounded by mountains. Enjoy the flavours of the country as your guide takes you around the land to pick and try fresh ingredients. Later, your instructor will prepare five diverse dishes, displaying the techniques and nuances of regional cooking. After lunch, ride a bicycle along the paddy fields to visit a traditional healer, who will tell you about the traditional herbal medicines of the region.
Day 7: Colours of Thailand (Chiang Mai)
After breakfast, journey along the fabulous San Kamphaeng district, the heart of the silk and cotton industries, where you can watch the intricate weaving process and see the splendid colorful final products. Wander through “Umbrella Village,” at Bor Sang, followed by a cooking class in the afternoon at “A Lot of Thai”, a family-run class established in 2001. Your instructor blends science and traditions to bring the flavours and culture of the food to life. This exploration will add a whole new depth to your understanding of Thai curries and flavours.
Day 8: To the Ocean (Phuket)
Make your way to the airport to catch your flight to the stunning island of Phuket. Your private transfer will take you for an exploration of the city – including the Phuket Viewpoint where you see panoramic views of the island and the pristine water glittering in the sunlight below. Afterwards, visit a cashew factory to experience the delights and importance of the nut in various Thai dishes. The visit will open your palette to the subtle flavours of the nut in Thai food. Later, we walk through the streets of the centuries-old Phuket Town, before driving down to the hotel for the night.
Day 9: Open Waters (Phuket)
Today, you can take an optional adventure to the sensational Phang Nga Bay. And cross the James Bond Island, named for its cameo in The Man with the Golden Gun. On Panak Island and Hong Island, explore the labyrinth of mangrove swamps. This is a whole new flavour of Thailand for all your senses.
Day 10: Bay Watch (Phuket)
At the edges of the Phang Nga Bay National Marine Park, you can paddle through the bay in a canoe that will glide through the maze of islands, allowing you to explore the varied grottos and hidden lagoons up close. In the evening, savour one final taste of Thailand cuisine at Aziamendi in Iniala where the essence of tradition gives a decadence to the light flavors.
Day 11: Farewell Thailand
Say goodbye to the myriad flavours of Thailand as we drive back to the airport for your onward flight.