Treasures of Thailand with The Golden Triangle

River Kwai, Thailand
15 Days

Promising all of Thailand's treasured sights, from Bangkok's markets to the Bridge over the River Kwai, this extended trip also journeys into the legendary Golden Triangle. 

You'll enjoy Insider moments like… spending time with communities barely changed by time or tourism, like the Lahu hill tribe of Banyafu, who still live in traditional wood and bamboo stilt houses.

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Tour Pace: Leisurely
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  1. Board your overnight flight to Asia (not included).

  2. Welcome to Vietnam. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel before meeting your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception with drinks and local appetizers.
    hotel:Melia Hanoi
  3. Start the day with a visit to the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, an imposing monument where the preserved body of 'Uncle Ho' resides. A short walk from here is Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts, a Cultural Insight, where he lived intermittently between 1958 and 1969. Continue to the Temple of Literature, the first university for the sons of Mandarins, for an overview of Hanoian culture. After lunch enjoy a walking tour through the Old Quarter to embrace the bustling local life. In the evening, see a traditional water puppet performance, a Cultural Insight. This northern Vietnamese art form beautifully illustrates scenes of rural life and natural history.
    meal(s):BB, L
  4. This morning, drive through green rice paddy fields to Halong Bay to board your Authentic Accommodations, a traditional Vietnamese Junk sailing boat. Cruise among the hundreds of islets of Halong Bay, a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage listed site. Mid afternoon visit Vung Vieng fishing village by rowing boat, to get a closer look into the lives of the local fishermen. Drop anchor later in the evening for a Regional Meal and a peaceful overnight stay.
    meal(s):BB, L, RM
    hotel:Bhaya Cruise Authentic Accommodations
  5. Begin your day as the locals do during a morning T'ai Chi class with a Local Specialist, on the deck of the traditional Junk boat. Then explore Sung Sot grotto where stalactites hanging from the high ceiling take on numerous shapes and forms. Return to the boat to indulge in a delectable brunch as you continue cruising amongst the islands. Disembark and drive back to Hanoi, stopping at the Dong Trieu Ceramic factory, a Cultural Insight. Later enjoy early dinner; a delicious Regional Meal at Thanh Chuong Palace, an architectural gem. Continue to Hanoi Airport for your evening flight to Hue, and transfer to your hotel upon arrival.
    meal(s):BB, RM
  6. Start from your hotel with a cyclo ride to the Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage designated site. From here drive to Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue's best-preserved religious monument. Standing on the riverbank with its seven-storey tower, it is an amazing sight. Then take a local dragon boat trip along the Perfume River to the house of the former Princess Ngoc Son for a Be My Guest lunch. It is one of the great remaining garden houses of Hue and although no longer owned by royalty the current owners have maintained it largely in its original form. Chat with a family member to get a glimpse of their life in this historic house and enjoy lunch prepared by the family. This afternoon enjoy some free time or take part in an Optional Experience.
    meal(s):BB, BG
  7. This morning depart Hue and drive over the scenic Hai Van Pass stopping en-route at Red Beach where American Marines first landed in Vietnam during the war before continuing to Danang. On arrival visit the Cham museum, a Cultural Insight, to learn about the ancient Champa civilization. Continue to the ancient town of Hoi An and your resort hotel. This afternoon join a Vietnamese cooking class including a boat trip to the schools location on the banks of the An Hoa River and learn about the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food. After the class take the opportunity to savor the dishes you have prepared for your own Regional Meal. The rest of the evening is yours to wander the peaceful lantern lit streets of this picturesque town.
    meal(s):BB, RM
    hotel:Royal Hoi An
  8. This morning enjoy a walking tour around the ancient town of Hoi An. Today this ancient UNESCO World Heritage designated town boasts well-preserved buildings, pedestrianized streets, narrow lanes and a colorful market, a Cultural Insight. See the old merchants houses and the 400 year old Japanese Covered Bridge. Later visit Tra Que Organic Village for a Cultural Insight. Spend some time helping local farmers and learning about their daily working routines, before indulging in a relaxing foot massage. After lunch return to Hoi An for the rest of the day and evening at leisure.
    meal(s):BB, RM
  9. This morning enjoy some free time to relax at the hotel or explore Hoi An further. In the afternoon your choice of activities gives you two Cultural Insight opportunities: to join a Lantern Making Workshop or a Fishing Life Tour (subject to weather conditions) to learn about the lives of the local fishermen and have a go at casting your own fishing net.
  10. This morning, fly to Vietnam's largest metropolis, Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Upon arrival enjoy some free time to stroll around the city before lunch at KOTO restaurant; a non profit social enterprise that provides training to disadvantaged young people in the hospitality industry. Meet a senior staff member who will explain more about the work of KOTO and enjoy a meal served by some of the senior trainees who are on their internship within the training program. Next transfer to Dong Khoi Street for the start of a walking tour. See the Opera House and the former Hotel de Ville. Wander up to the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Central Post Office, designed by the French architect, Gustave Eiffel. Continue to visit the War Remnants Museum for a vivid glimpse of the war through the eyes of the locals. Conclude the day at Ben Thanh market before arriving at your centrally located riverside hotel this evening.
    meal(s):BB, L
    hotel:Renaissance Riverside
  11. Today take a day trip to My Tho situated in the Delta of the Mekong River. Transfer to a small sampan boat and discover the maze of small canals before stopping for a Regional Meal of delicious Mekong Delta specialties. Take a short walk along village roads to visit the house of a former soldier, a Local Specialist who survived fighting the Khmer Rouge. Now he and his wife live on making rice paper and have some fascinating stories to tell. Later return to Ho Chi Minh City for an evening at leisure.
    meal(s):BB, RM
  12. Depart this morning for Chiang Rai and en route visit an Ahka village, a Cultural Insight. The Akha are known for their bright headdresses and are among the poorest of Thailand's ethnic minorities. Visit Doi Tung a pilgrimage site for Thai, Shan and Chinese Buddhists and once a cultivating site for opium. The Doi Tung Development Project was initiated by the late Princess Mother of Thailand to help the struggling local people to educate and empower themselves to be economically self-reliant. Take a stroll through the beautifully landscaped flower garden at the villa. Make a brief stop at the unique white temple of Wat Rong Khun before continuing to Chiang Rai and your hotel for a relaxing evening.
    meal(s):BB, L
    hotel:The Legend
  13. Today start the day with a City Tour of Chiang Rai visiting some of its amazing sights like the Clock Tower and Wat Phra Kaew. Afterwards visit the little known village of Banyafu where the houses are made of wood and bamboo and the Lahu hilltribe people live their lives according to their traditions, a Cultural Insight.
    meal(s):BB, L
  14. This morning visit Chiang Saen, the former capital of the first Thai Lanna Kingdom. Travel by boat on the Mekong River towards the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos converge. Stop in Laos and visit the Don Sao Island Markets, which have an abundance of local handicrafts. After lunch visit the Hall of Opium, situated in the heart of the Golden Triangle, which provides an excellent Cultural Insight into the opium trade, so prevalent in this area over the past century. Later return to your hotel in Chiang Rai.

    meal(s):BB, L
  15. Transfer to Chiang Rai Airport for your onward flight.

30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

Add air to your reservation

Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

Meal Summary

All features per Treasures of Thailand itinerary. , 13 buffet breakfasts, 10 lunches, 5 dinners.

Included Highlights

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.
  • As per the Treasures of Thailand itinerary plus:

Cultural Insight

  • See the Akha and Lahu hilltribe people, visit the Doi Tung Development Project and the Hall of Opium.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City Tour of Bangkok and Chiang Mai
  • Visit Wat Pho Temple, the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Damnoen Saduak floating market, the ancient city of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai Heritage Park
  • See the Bridge over the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi
  • City Tour of Chiang Rai
  • See the Clock Tower in Chiang Rai
  • Visit the unique white temple of Wat Rong Khun, the village of Banafu, Wat Phra Kaew in Chiang Rai and the Don Sao Island Market in Laos
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
4 Feb 17 18 Feb 17 $3,795$3,416pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,795 $3,416 pp
4 Mar 17 18 Mar 17 $3,795$3,416pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,795 $3,416 pp
25 Mar 17 8 Apr 17 $3,795$3,416pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,795 $3,416 pp
12 Apr 17 26 Apr 17 $3,775$3,398pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,775 $3,398 pp
22 Apr 17 6 May 17 $3,775$3,398pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,775 $3,398 pp
20 May 17 3 Jun 17 $3,750$3,375pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,750 $3,375 pp
17 Jun 17 1 Jul 17 $3,750$3,375pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,750 $3,375 pp
16 Sep 17 30 Sep 17 $3,695$3,326pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,695 $3,326 pp
30 Sep 17 14 Oct 17 $3,695$3,326pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,695 $3,326 pp
18 Nov 17 2 Dec 17 $3,875$3,488pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,875 $3,488 pp
9 Dec 17 23 Dec 17 $3,950$3,555pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,950 $3,555 pp
16 Dec 17 30 Dec 17 $3,995$3,596pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,995 $3,596 pp

Solo Travelers: These dates offer a discounted single supplement rate. 

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $1,294.

Room Share: Guaranteed Room Share is not available on this trip. 

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here. 

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation. 

Special Discounts: At times we offer discounted departures. These discounts are valid for new bookings only and are not combinable with any other discounts other than our Frequent Traveler Discount and $100 AARP Member Discount. Other restrictions may apply, please call for details

  • U.S. citizens traveling to Thailand must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering Thailand.

  • The currency in Thailand is the Baht. The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM or debit card at local banks in Thailand. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local food, and Thai cuisine is one of the most popular in the world.   You’ll find an emphasis on lightly prepared dishes and interplay of flavors including sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy.  Glass noodles, curries, and hot and sour soups are popular meals and are usually served family style.  You’ll also encounter a delicious selection of exotic fruits in Thailand such as lychee, durian, papaya and jackfruit.

  • We suggest bringing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that can be layered for your trip. Sturdy walking shoes are important for sightseeing excursions; a hat, lightweight jacket, and shawl or scarf could also come in handy. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Tipping in Thailand is not expected but always appreciated.  It is common to leave extra change at most bars and restaurants. At nicer restaurants it is appropriate to tip your waiter 5-10 percent.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.


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