SHORTLIST

Thailand Real Food Adventure

Indulge in the complex flavours, fresh aromas and heavenly spices that make Thai food so addictive. Explore bustling markets spread out over land and water and taste exotic fruits and aromatic dishes whipped up in front of your eyes. Learn the trick behind making palm sugar, experience the thrill of a train passing through in the Maeklong Railway Market, slurp noodles alongside locals in Bangkok, enjoy some home-cooking with a family in Chiang Mai, sit down to a khan toh feast and tour all the must-see sights of Thailand. This is an incredible culinary journey through one of South East Asia’s most seductive food cultures.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 4 (Overnight Train) and Day 6 (Village Homestay) where you will be in shared accommodation, and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. While we endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. Please advise us of any dietary requirements at the time of booking so that we can ensure you’ll enjoy this trip.

Tour details
Tour Provider Intrepid Travel
Price From
$1,876
Number of Days
8
Start Location
Bangkok, Thailand
End Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Age Range
Avg. 30+
Group Size
1 to 12
Tour Style
Standard
Tour Themes
Food
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Itinerary Open all
Day 1: Bangkok
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand's capital, Bangkok – famous for its tuk-tuks, khlong boats, and street vendors serving up delicious Thai dishes. Your food adventure begins this evening with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm, but Bangkok has so much on offer that you might like to arrive a day or so early to explore: perhaps uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in a Thai massage. After the welcome meeting, hit Chinatown for an introduction to the city's famous street food scene and get to know your fellow travellers over a few drinks at a local bar.
Day 2: Bangkok
After an early breakfast, head to the Maeklong Railway Market (approximately 1.5 hours) to arrive in time for today's first snack. Sample the local favourites khnom krok (rice pudding) or khnom gui chai (fried Chinese chives rice cake). Prepare for stalls to be quickly pulled to one side when the train quite literally passes through the centre of the market. Continue by minivan to swap tracks for water at the Tha Kha Floating Markets. Walk past canals filled with sellers hawking their colourful fruits and wares at this authentic local market, then board a paddleboat to explore the waterways further. The area is well known for coconut palm sugar production and you’ll stop in at a riverside operation to see how it is made. Afterwards, travel back to Bangkok, where you will have a free afternoon to shop, sightsee or simply relax at a cafe. Tonight, you'll take a private minivan to a traditional night market. This vibrant shopping hub is a great place to sample some local street food, so ask your leader for their insight and recommendations. You might also like to browse the vintage stalls for a unique souvenir or enjoy live music at one of the quirky bars.
Day 3: Ayutthaya
After breakfast leave Bangkok and drive (1 hour) to a local village and community farm for an epic day of cooking Central Thai regional specialities and feasting with your hosts. Learn about the age-old agricultural traditions still being practised today and enjoy the freshest ingredients straight from the garden. You will help to prepare a home-cooked lunch of local delicacies, such as kaeng som (green papaya soup), spicy fish cakes and watercress salad with chicken, followed by multiple desserts using ingredients like coconut, rice milk and crispy noodles! Later this afternoon board a longtail boat and cruise the Chao Phraya River to visit a Buddhist temple located on a small, remote island. Head to Ayutthaya city for a free evening to explore and – of course – eat more!
Day 4: Ayutthaya / Overnight Train
Today we explore Ayutthaya, the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai, and once one of the most powerful cities in Asia. Stop by a street food stall for a demonstration and tasting of roti sai mai, a dish synonymous with the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. It consists of a thin pancake wrapped around delicious, fine strands of thin-spun cotton candy. Lunch today is a steaming bowl of guay-tieo-ruea, or boat noodles. The Ayutthaya take on this classic combo of fragrant pork broth, roasted slices of meat, Thai-style pork balls, sliced morning glory stalks, fresh green onion and a choice of rice noodles is considered the original and best. While the food is no longer served out of sampans on the river, the narrow rowboats are used as decoration at roadside eateries to indicate what's on the menu. See the remains and reminders of Ayutthaya’s golden age with a guided tour of the picturesque ruins and temples spread across the town. The rows of headless Buddhas at Wat Phra Mahathat, sacked by the Burmese in the 18th century, are very atmospheric, and a Buddha head surrounded by Banyan tree roots is perhaps the most photographed site in all of Ayutthaya. Freshen up at a hotel and grab a bite to eat before boarding your overnight train to Chiang Mai (approximately 13 hours).
Day 5: Chiang Mai
Arrive in Chiang Mai by mid-morning. The most vibrant city in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. Renowned for its dazzling beauty and extremely welcoming locals, the ‘Rose of the North’ will leave you spellbound – chances are, you won’t want to leave. Most importantly, Chiang Mai is famous for its Northern Thai cuisine and may well be home to many of your favourite Thai dishes. Lunch today is khao soi: a curry noodle dish that is renowned in the region. Afterwards, enjoy some free time to relax. Meet up with your leader in the early evening and wander through town to Wat Chedi Luang temple. Visit a local restaurant for an included dinner. Afterwards, you might like to check out the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, full of local handicrafts and fabulous Northern street food dishes.
Day 6: Village Homestay
Today you’ll travel to a small Thai village where you’ll meet Aoi, your gracious host for an incredible overnight homestay experience. On the way to Aoi’s village, stop for lunch at a restaurant specialising in the local delicacy of fermented rice noodles. Next, visit some local producers – including a mushroom farm where you'll pick up ingredients for a Northern Thai cooking class. Over the years, a khan tok dinner has become the traditional way to welcome guests in Northern Thailand, with the term ‘khan tok’ meaning both the meal and the raised tray on which it’s served. Eleven dishes are featured on this delicious plant-based khan tok menu, so cut, chop and sizzle the day away, then tuck into dishes like nam prik ong (chilli paste with tomats), deep fried vegetables, hung leh with tofu (curry) and mushroom larb (spicy mushroom salad). Enjoy the fruits of your labour against a backdrop of local musicians singing and dancing.
Day 7: Chiang Mai
Wake up and enjoy a sumptuous Northern Thai breakfast of gai tod (fried chicken), fried rice, sweet sticky rice and egg custard. Bid farewell to your homestay hosts and take a scenic, winding drive (1.5 hours) to one of the country's most stunning temple complexes: Doi Suthep. A 300-step naga-guarded stairway leads you to the temples, and the climb is well worth the effort. The hypnotic chanting of Buddhist monks and the sweeping views of the city make for a memorable experience. Head back into town for a delicious local lunch recommended by your leader. This afternoon you might like to check out the bustling Warorot Market (Kad Luang). One of Chiang Mai’s largest markets and a thriving social hub, this is the perfect place to get a glimpse into daily life, as well as experience some of the ingredients and snacks unique to the regional cuisine. Taste your way through the stalls and be sure to try sai ua (Chiang Mai sausage) or bamboo worms.
Day 8: Chiang Mai
There are no activities planned for today, and your delicious Real Food Adventure comes to an end this morning. You are free to leave at any time, but this dsn’t mean your own adventure has to end! If you would like to spend more time in Chiang Mai, we’ll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Inclusions
  • Meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Transport: Private Vehicle, Boat, Overnight Train, Songthaew
  • Accommodation: Hotel (5 nights), Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night), Homestay (1 nightt)
  • Bangkok - Chinatown street food tour
  • Bangkok - Tha Kha Floating Market tour
  • Bangkok - Palm Sugar Demonstration
  • Bangkok - Mae Klong Railway Market tour
  • Bangkok - Night Market visit
  • Ayutthaya - Regional Specialties Cooking Class
  • Ayutthaya - Homemade Dessert Making Lesson
  • Ayutthaya - Chao Phraya Long Tail Boat Cruise
  • Ayutthaya - Wat Niwet Thamma Prawat Visit
  • Ayutthaya - Temple Ruins entrance & guided tour
  • Ayutthaya - Roti Sai Mai demonstration & tasting
  • Chiang Mai - Wat Chedi Luang entrance
  • Homestay - Khan Tok Cooking Class
  • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep Temple entrance and guided tour
Departure dates
Start End Availability Price NZD
16 Jul 2022 23 Jul 2022 11 $1,975
17 Sep 2022 24 Sep 2022 9 $1,975
08 Oct 2022 15 Oct 2022 11 $1,876
22 Oct 2022 29 Oct 2022 7 $2,015
12 Nov 2022 19 Nov 2022 11 $1,975
17 Dec 2022 24 Dec 2022 12 $1,975
24 Dec 2022 31 Dec 2022 11 $1,975
18 Feb 2023 25 Feb 2023 10 $2,075
11 Mar 2023 18 Mar 2023 8 $2,075
15 Jul 2023 22 Jul 2023 12 $2,075
16 Sep 2023 23 Sep 2023 11 $2,075
07 Oct 2023 14 Oct 2023 12 $2,155
21 Oct 2023 28 Oct 2023 12 $2,155
11 Nov 2023 18 Nov 2023 12 $2,155
16 Dec 2023 23 Dec 2023 12 $2,155
23 Dec 2023 30 Dec 2023 12 $2,155