Thailand: Top to Tail

Here at Black Tomato we aren’t content with just seeing one hotel in one city. We think the best way to experience a country is to actually get out there and see all of it on your holiday, not just your resort (even if the view is beautiful). This amazing holiday will take you the length of Thailand where you’ll find yourself hunting the markets of Bangkok for the best bargains, travelling north to ride elephants in the hills of Chiang Mai and coming down south to rest on the white sands of Phang Nga. Below is just a taster of what awaits: we put you in the right direction, the rest is up to you.

River-roads of Bangkok

Once you’ve landed in Bangkok to kick off your trip, our VIP transport will be on hand to whisk you through customs. It’s then straight to your hotel, the stunning riverside Peninsula. Take it as slow as you’d like on your first night in the capital; we recommend sitting outside at the River Bar and sipping a cocktail for a relaxed start to your trip, but from then on the city is yours to explore. Whichever you choose, the next day it’s all go. Soak in the sights, sounds and smells that make up Bangkok in all its vibrancy as your guide takes you through the streets and shops as well as some more off-the-beaten-track activities. Cut past the traffic by chartering a canal boat to the Grand Palace and Erawan Shrine or ride a tuk-tuk through the Khlong communities of Bangkok Noi.

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Hone your haggling in the floating markets

Spend the next day roaming around the city at your leisure or relaxing in your hotel, but in the evening you’re in for a treat. We’ll take you out on a guided night stroll across Bangkok, visiting the night markets and snacking on delicacies. Be sure not to fill up on fried grasshoppers (but you’ve got to try at least one) as you’ll be having dinner at one of the city’s signature restaurants before you wind up in Patpong, the legendary red-light district, to end your evening. Rest well, because the next morning you’re off to the floating market of Tha Kha to try your hand at haggling for some bargains and to sample some more Thai food. Trust us, you’ll want to try everything. Later, board a traditional longtail boat to cruise through the palm plantations and visit Talad Rom Hoob, the train station doubling as a market and in the evening we’ll transfer you to the airport for the next stage in your trip.

Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle

Land in Chiang Rai and head to your beautiful bolthole for the next few days – the Four Seasons Tented Camp. Luxury and style collide in this extraordinary camp set amidst the natural landscape on the banks of the Ruak river. Immerse yourself in the local culture, accompanied by your guide and head over to Doi Mae Salong and the Golden Triangle for a gentle hike through the sloping tea plantations and hill tribe villages. As the sun dips below the horizon, return to your hotel for some serene spa treatments and dinner. The next morning we’ll privately drive you to our favourite portion of the trip: elephant riding in Chiang Mai.

Elephants and Waterfalls in Chiang Mai

Drive through the hills back down south and take to the city for a tour of its highlights. From the Doi Suthep and Wat Chedi Luang temples to the night bazaar, there’s more than enough to keep you enthralled. The fun truly begins the next day, with a visit to the Patara Elephant Sanctuary. Here you’ll take on the role of elephant trainer for the day as you learn how to feed, command, and best of all, ride your very own elephant. Amble along, 12 feet off the ground, through forest paths and up hillsides as you make your way towards the nearby waterfall for a spot of bathing with the elephants. It’s one thing to say you’ve ridden an elephant. It’s another to say you’ve swum with one and the sight of a grown elephant fully submerging itself in the pool is not one you’ll readily forget. Once you’ve pried yourself away from these intelligent creatures, it’s back to your hotel and then on to Phuket the next day.

Downtime at the Sarojin

After all the temples, markets, boat rides and elephants, we reckon you’ll have deserved some time off. Luckily, the Sarojin Resort in secluded Phang Nga is designed to perfectly accommodate all your needs. Think infinity pools, long stretches of beach, even jungle dining beside the resort waterfall… If you’re still feeling adventurous, spend your last few days in Thailand exploring the nearby National Park of Khao Lak, or take a dip on the Surin Islands, one of the world’s top ten dive sites. In the evenings, dine on the beach and finish your trip feeling relaxed, pampered and with a brilliant photo album to show it.

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