Land of Smiles Trip Notes

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

Trip code : FTTFA
Trip length : 13


  • Elephant jungle ride
  • Hilltribe homestay
  • Temples & palaces
  • White sandy beaches

Your Thailand family adventure starts in "the city of smiles" Bangkok, here you discover floating markets and glittering temples. Travel on to Kanchanaburi where you will see the legendary Bridge over the River Kwai and have a chance to swim in beautiful tropical waterfalls. Overnight train takes you to friendly Chiang Mai in Thailands northern hills. Here you ride elephants through the jungle and see them bathing and at work before visiting a village where you stay overnight in a local home for a unique insight into rural life here. Discover a community forest where herbs and medicines are grown. Your adventure ends with some seaside relaxation on the white sandy beaches of Hua Hin.




Make your way to your hotel and check in. Your welcome meeting is at 18:00 hours and you will meet your group leader and the rest of your family group then.

Bangkok is full of sights and wonders; with its many temples and busy street markets it’s not a city any adult or child is likely to forget in a hurry.

Viengtai Hotel (AAA) - 1 night - Swimming Pool (B)



This morning you tke a long tail boat trip down the Chao Phraya River and explore the famous klongs (canals) of Bangkok (approx 1 hour). Life on these canals seems a world away from the chaos of the city streets. Visit Wat Pho home of the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand.

Later you travel by local bus (approx 2 hours) to Kanchanaburi, home of the famous Bridge on the River Kwai. Check into your hotel.

The following day you will travel to Erawan National Park (approx 1.5 hours each way), here you can swim under the seven tiered waterfall. As you head back it's possible to take a kayak along the river back to town and under the infamous bridge. There are also temples to explore.

River Kwai Bridge Resort (AAA) - 2 nights - Swimming Pool (Bx2)


Overnight train

Travel by mini bus to the ancient city of Ayuthaya (approx 2.5 hours). Here you will visit the ancient temples of this World Heritage Site. This city was once the capital of Siam, you will be guided through the site which spreads across the town with picturesque ruins and temples. Great photo opportunities include Wat Phra Mahathat ruins and the Buddha head surrounded by Banyan tree roots.

Later board a comfortable overnight sleeper train (approx 11 hours) to the pleasant northern city of Chiang Mai. Dinner and drinks can be bought on the train, but most people prefer to buy a selection of local dishes from the numerous stalls in and around the station, and have a picnic dinner on board. The train is quite comfortable - sheets and pillows are provided and curtained bunks provide some privacy. Children usually love this journey!

Overnight train - 1 night (B)


Chiang Mai

Early in the morning you arrive in Chiang Mai - the Rose of the North - where the slower pace of life is immediately evident. You’ll be met at the station, and transfer straight to your guesthouse to shower and freshen up. The rest of the day is left free to wander at your own pace and soak up the atmosphere of this lively city, surrounded by impressive city walls. Chiang Mai is the most important of Thailand’s northern cities, with a history dating back to the 13th century and beyond. For 200 years the city was under Burmese control and much evidence of this period remains in both the architectural style of many buildings and in some of the rice and soup dishes found in local restaurants! You will visit the Theravada Buddhist temple an Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. In the afternoon visit Bor Sang and the traditional umbrella factory. Tonight visit the colourful night market where you can eat from the fast food stalls.

Wangburapa Grand Hotel - 1 night - Swimming Pool (B)


Village Homestay

This morning you will take an exciting elephant ride through the jungle (approx 1 hour) and see the show at Chiang Dao elephant training centre including elephants bathing and working. Then transfer to the village of Ban Hua Tung (approx 30 mins) where you have a homestay experience in a village house for this evening. Accommodation is multishare with fold out beds on the floor and shared bathrooms but the welcome more than makes up for the basic facilities. Tonight enjoy a traditional northern Thai dinner with dancing.

Village House (A) - 1 night (BD)


Chiang Mai

Explore the Hua Tung community forest at the base of Chian Dao mountain, with local guides and learn about the herbal medicines and wild foods that grow here. Return to your hotel in Chiang Mai and enjoy some free time or activities. You could hire bikes, take a cooking class or visit the Thai doll museum.

Wangburapa Grand Hotel - 1 night - Swimming Pool (B)


Overnight train

Enjoy some free time today to explore further or take optional activites or maybe just let the kids have fun in the hotel swimming pool. This evening you board your overnight train to Bangkok. (approx 13 hours).

Overnight train - 1 night (B)


Hua Hin

Early this morning you'll arrive back in Bangkok. From here, you'll transfer south (about 3 hours) to Hua Hin where you’ll slow right down for a few days at the beach. This resort is popular with domestic tourists as a getaway from the metropolis of Bangkok. Here, you can enjoy some sun-filled time playing on white sandy beaches and take a dip in the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand.

Chom View Hotel (AAA) - 2 nights - Swimming Pool (Bx2)



Today you drive (approx 3 hours) back to Bangkok. The rest of the day is free for last minute shopping and sightseeing. Visit the incredible Grand Palace and see the temple of the Emerald Buddha. Go shopping along Khao San Road or take a river boat to China town and explore the crowded streets.

Viengtai Hotel (AAA) - 1 night - Swimming Pool (B)


Tour ends

Your family adventure ends today. (B)




Ideal for those that enjoy the quirkier side of a destination without roughing it. Join inquisitive travellers of all ages for a fun, informative experience.

  • A number of included activities
  • Tourist class, family-run hotels
  • Various meals included throughout
  • Public & private transportation

This tour is operated by our partners The Adventure Company


Transport - Minibus, boat, overnight train, domestic flight. public bus

Accommodation - Hotels (8nts), basic homestay (1nt), berth on overnight train (2nts).

Meals - 10 breakfasts, 1 lunch & 1 dinner.


Any healthy child or adult should be able to take part. It’s really more a case of preparing and adjusting mentally to Asian culture and tribal life. Seasoned travellers are unlikely to have any problem with this. Minimum age: 5 years.



For your comfort we recommend you travel as light as possible; many airlines impose a maximum weight limit of 20kg – we advise you to take 10kg as you will be on the move a good deal! For domestic flights using light aircraft the usual weight limit is 15 kg.
One main piece (a soft bag or rucksack, not a hard suitcase).
A daypack (25-30 litres), large enough to carry what you need for the day including camera, water, etc.

Travel tips

There are two basic types of curry in Thailand, those based on water and those based on coconut milk. Coconut-based dishes are well known in the UK and include the classic red, green and yellow curries. Local favourites in Thailand include the water-based ‘sour curry,’ often prepared with fish and ‘jungle curry,’ which is usually very spicy.

Suggested Reading:
Phra Farang, an English Monk in Thailand – Phra Peter Pannapadipo
Borderlines: A Journey in Thailand & Burma – Charles Nicholl
Anna and the King of Siam - Margaret Landon
The Beach – Alex Garland
Bridge on the River Kwai – Pierre Boulle
An English Governess at the Court of Siam – Anna Leonowens
The Revolutionary King: The True-life Sequel to "The King and I" - William Stevenson
Your Child’s Health Abroad - Matthew Ellis and Jane Wilson-Howarth, (Bradt publications).
Travel with Children – Maureen Wheeler (Lonely Planet)

For Younger Readers:
Even a Little is Something: Stories of Nong – Tom Glass
The Girl who Wore too Much: A Folktale from Thailand – Margaret Read MacDonald

Useful Phrases:
Hello - Sawasdee
Please - Karuna
Yes – Chai
No – Mai Chai
Thank you – Khop Khun (Ka) - women / Khop Khun (Krup) - men
How Much? - Thâo Rai or Kee Baht?


Rooming Arrangements

For most trips prices are based on sharing a twin room. Therefore, if you’re a solo traveller you’ll be paired with someone from the group of the same sex, unless you decide to pay a single room supplement. Details of this supplement can be found on the Extensions & Extras tab on our website. Occasionally we use multiple-share or dormitory accommodation – particularly when stating in remote places.

Rooming arrangements – Family trips

If you’re a family of 2 you’ll be accommodated in a twin room. If you’re a family of three you will usually be accommodated in a triple room. If you’re a family of four you’ll probably be accommodated in two twin rooms and we’ll do our best to ensure they’re as near as possible. We cannot always guarantee a triple room. If a triple room is not available, an adult from your family will automatically be roomed with a fellow adult member of the group of the same sex. If you prefer to have a room of your own we can sometimes offer a single room for the entire trip or on selected nights within a trip. However a single room supplement applies, look on the Extensions & Extras tab on our website or ask our Travel Consultants for details.


Local Costs - Thailand

Approximate average costs are given for guidance only, and may vary widely according to location and type of establishment.

  • Coffee/tea UK£1.00
  • Soft drink £1.00
  • Bottle of mineral water £1.50
  • Medium beer £2.00
  • Bottle of wine £10 
  • Local snack lunch £3.00
  • 3-course dinner* £9.00

*reasonable mid-range tourist class restaurant


Visas & Permits - Thailand

Holders of UK & IRL passports do not require a visa unless stay exceeds 30 days. Nationals of all other countries should contact their local embassy or consulate. Passports must be valid for at least six months after the end date of your trip. Information can also be found at This information is given in good faith, but may be subject to change without warning. Please note that, where appropriate, obtaining a valid visa is ultimately your responsibility. Please consult a visa agency or the consular authorities 4-6 weeks before departure for the most up-to-date information.

We advise all passengers to carry photocopies of passport & travel documents & to be aware that is it a legal requirement to carry id at all times.


Vaccinations - Thailand

The following are recommended:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Tetanus Polio
  • Typhoid Malaria
  • Diphtheria NB: Yellow Fever vaccination is compulsory if coming from an infected country.

For detailed information and advice concerning vaccinations go
Vaccination requirements change periodically so we advise that you check with your nearest specialist travel clinic 4-6 weeks before departure to get up-to-date information.

International rules for carrying medicines vary. Some countries do not allow certain medicines to be imported, or require official documents, such as a doctor’s letter, to prove drugs have been prescribed by a doctor and obtained legally. It is sensible to contact the relevant embassy or high commission of your destination to check what their drug transportation rules are before you travel.



At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.

Responsible Travel is twofold. It's about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment.

Our Aims

  • It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit.
  • We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.
  • Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.

Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.


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