Adventure Tours

Thailand: Real Food Adventure

From €1,237pp tour-only
Depart From
Tour starts from Bangjkok, Thailand
Departure Date
Departures throughout the year
Duration
8 days
Destination
Thailand
Price
From €1,237pp tour-only
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Take a tantalising culinary journey through Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

Indulge in the complex flavours, fresh aromas and heavenly spices that make Thai food so addictive. Explore bustling markets and taste tropical fruits and aromatic dishes whipped up in front of your eyes.

Learn the trick behind making palm sugar, experience the thrill of cruising through Tha Kha Floating Market by paddleboat, slurp noodles alongside locals in Bangkok, enjoy some home-cooking with a family in Chiang Mai, sit down to a khan tok feast and tour all the must-see sights of Thailand. This is an incredible culinary journey through one of South East Asia’s most addictive food cultures.

Learn how to prepare and present the traditional 11-dish Northern Thai speciality khan tok and experience Thai life from a local's perspective at a village homestay.

See dishes whipped up before your eyes, like kaeng som, spicy fish cakes at a community farm and roti sai mai at a market food stall in Ayutthaya.

Cruise Bangkok’s floating market on a paddleboat and sail aboard a longtail boat to an island Buddhist temple in Ayutthaya

Tuck into your favourite iconic Thai dishes and discover new ones along the way: guay-tieo-ruea (boat noodles), roti sai mai, khao soi, som tum, larb and more.

Dine on a plant-based meal at a Chiang Mai restaurant that sources organic, local vegetables for their daily array of delicious meals.

By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, EcoThailand Foundation. Donations help educate school children on important environmental issues like climate change, nature appreciation, conservation and sustainability.

The cuisine of Thailand includes a lot of meat and seafood. For vegetarians and vegans we recommend reviewing the itinerary and inclusions to ensure that you will be able to fully participate and enjoy this trip. We also have many other trips to Thailand which can accommodate a range of dietary requirements.

This trip includes an overnight train between Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai. Accommodation is simple but comfortable – soft sleeper class multishare compartments with air conditioning and bunk beds, with sheets and a pillow provided.

There is one night at a homestay on this trip, a wonderful opportunity to witness everyday Thai life. Facilities can be basic and multishare, with fold-out mattresses on the floor and shared bathrooms. The rewards of such an authentic local experience are immeasurable.

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 5pm, 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, head out with your group for dinner at popular restaurant Krua Apsorn. After dinner, explore the area and sample some Thai sweets with your leader and fellow travellers.

 Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

 Meals: Dinner

 Included activities

  • Bangkok - Welcome Dinner

 Add on activities

  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500

Special information: It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

Day 2: Bangkok

After an early breakfast, visit Tha Kha Floating Market. 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, head to Chinatown for a walking tour. This is a great place to sample some local street food, so ask your leader for their insight and recommendations. You might also like to join other members of your group to enjoy live music at one of the lively bars in the area.

 Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

 Meals: Breakfast

 Included activities

  • Bangkok - Tha Kha Floating Market tour
  • Bangkok - Palm Sugar Demonstration
  • Bangkok - Chinatown walking tour

Day 3: Ayutthaya

After breakfast leave Bangkok and travel by private vehicle 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!

 Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

 Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 Included activities

  • Ayutthaya - Regional Specialties Cooking Class
  • Ayutthaya - Homemade Dessert Making Lesson
  • Ayutthaya - Chao Phraya Long Tail Boat Cruise
  • Ayutthaya - Wat Niwet Thamma Prawat Visit

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).

 Accommodation: Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

 Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 Included activities

  • Ayutthaya - Temple Ruins entrance & guided tour
  • Ayutthaya - Roti Sai Mai demonstration & tasting

Special information: You will be accommodated in soft sleeper class on the overnight train to Chiang Mai. Multishare compartments have bunk beds with sheets and a pillow provided, as well as air conditioning. Your baggage travels in the carriage with you. There's a food and drink service available on board but you might like to purchase some snacks before the journey.

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. 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 a plant-based meal at a popular local restaurant that sources organic vegetables from nearby farms for their daily array of delicious meals. Afterwards, take an orientation walk around the streets of the city, stopping at Wat Chedi Luang and enjoying a pick me up at Akha Ama – a social enterprise created by a member of the Akha tribe who wanted to highlight the produce of his community and provide an income source to its coffee growers. Take time to relax and refresh before an included dinner at a local restaurant. If you’re keen to explore further, the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar beckons, full of local handicrafts and fabulous Northern street food dishes.

 Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

 Meals: Lunch, Dinner

 Included activities

  • Chiang Mai - Wat Chedi Luang entrance
  • Chiang Mai - Leader-led Old Quarter orientation walk
  • Chiang Mai - Coffee stop

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 khan tok menu, so cut, chop and sizzle the day away, then tuck into dishes like nam prik ong (chilli paste with tomatoes), deep fried vegetables, hung leh (curry) and mushroom larb (spicy mushroom salad). Enjoy the fruits of your labour against a backdrop of local musicians singing and dancing.

 Accommodation: Homestay (1 night)

 Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 Included activities

  • Homestay - Khan Tok Cooking Class

Special information: You can leave your main luggage at the Chiang Mai hotel and pack an overnight bag for the homestay. As we will be staying in a traditional rural community, please be mindful to pack and wear conservative dress. The accommodation tonight is multi-share and basic, but the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. Beds are fold-out mattresses on the floor and bathrooms are shared.

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 lunch of khao soi: a curry noodle dish that is renowned in the region. 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.

 Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

 Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 Included activities

  • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep Temple Visit

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 doesn’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).

 Meals: Breakfast

Please note: itinerary may be subject to change.

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. Please note that some room configurations have two single beds, although a double bed will always be requested.


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.

Ask about our Comfort Experience Tours.

What makes a Premium Tour different?

  • PREMIUM ACCOMMODATION: Our best accommodation and the highest level of service.
  • PREMIUM EXPERIENCES: Unusual, exceptional and authentic on-trip experiences.
  • PREMIUM KNOWLEDGE: Led by our most experienced and highest-rated local leaders.

Subject to availability, Premium Tours can also include:

  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Tipping for accommodation, activities and transport
  • Luggage transfer
  • Daily breakfast and signature local meal experiences
  • 24/7 on-ground support

Ask us for more information: call 021 4277094, email info@shandontravel.ie, or fill out the enquiry form below.

Price is per person, based on 2 adults sharing, and includes the following:  

  • 8-day Thailand Real Food Adventure tour
  • 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 night)
  • Included activities:
    • Bangkok - Welcome Dinner
    • Bangkok - Tha Kha Floating Market tour
    • Bangkok - Palm Sugar Demonstration
    • Bangkok - Chinatown walking tour
    • 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
    • Chiang Mai - Leader-led Old Quarter orientation walk
    • Chiang Mai - Coffee stop
    • Homestay - Khan Tok Cooking Class
    • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep Temple Visit

Please ask us about adding great value:

  • Flights from Ireland- we'll find the best fares for your chosen departure date and airport
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travelling solo? Get your own room with a single supplement (where available)
Subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply.

For more information please call us on 021 427 7094 or 01 696 5135, email info@shandontravel.ie, request a call back using the red button, or submit an enquiry through the form below.

Enquire about this holiday

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