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19-day Isaan & Old Siam Exploration Tour

Step back in time and discover a Thailand steeped in history and oozing with charm. Get off the tourist trail with an overland adventure through Thailand’s Isaan & old Siam province. Leave the frantic energy of Bangkok behind and travel through national parks, former capitals and rural villages. Experience the slower pace of life in the countryside and embrace the rich traditions of Thailand. Marvel at prehistoric wall paintings, come face-to-face with Asian elephants, see awe-inspiring temples, and be enchanted by the rich culture of the Isaan & old Siam people in 19 days.


Various activities on sites

  • Cycling to explore the wine trail of Khao Yai National Park, the home to many Thai wine brands.
  • Local interaction and learning about its local culture and lifestyle
  • Visiting various culture and history sites to learn about the life of local people in the past.
  • Exploring the nature of northeastern Thailand especially in Loei & its surrounding

Unforgettable moments

  • Admiring the amazing Prasat Hin Phimai, the most beautiful Khmer Temple Complex in Thailand
  • Visiting the Silver Khwaosinarin Village and learn how the most beautiful Thai silverwares are made
  • Staying closed to the elephant and feeling its breath
  • Admiring the nature and culture of local people in Nong Khai & Loei

Nature exploration

  • Venturing into the nature of Khao Yai National Park & the wine trail.
  • Exploring the nature of northeastern most district of Khong Jiam, which locates on the Mekong & Mun River
  • Exploring the mountainous province of Loei in Dan Sai province.

Culture experience

  • Experience the old history and culture of Khmer empire left in Korat and Surin
  • Learning more about the combination of Lao-Thai culture in the border provinces of Nakhon Phanom & Nong Khai
  • The peasant culture of people living in the mountainous area of Dan Sai, and old Siam cities.


Detailed schedule

Day 1 - Welcome to Bangkok

Upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Sonasia’s guide & driver will pick you up and transfer directly to the hotel in the old quarter of Hanoi.
Same same, but different. This Thailish T-shirt philosophy sums up Bangkok, a city where the familiar and the exotic collide like the flavors on a plate of pàt tai.
At noon, we leave the hotel by walk and take the skytrain to the river. We board a private long-tail boat taking guests onto the peaceful Klong Bang Luang floating market. Pass by shophouses, local temples and vendors on this waterway which was once a major trading route and lined with impressive homes of aristocrats. 
The guide will point out local landmarks and cultural idiosyncrasies of the area. After observing this lively area, the boat stops at Baan Silapin, a 100-year old renovated house now home to an art gallery. 
Here stop for up to two hours to enjoy the gallery, take part in an art workshop or explore the local community, before experiencing a unique puppet show performed by puppeteers trained under the Joe Louis School of puppetry (puppet show performance not guaranteed due to short notice changes). En-route back to the city stop to visit the Temple of Dawn – Wat Arun.  
Begin your nice dinner this evening onboard with Supanniga Cruise, a brand-new modern cruise that will give you a whole new perspective on Chao Phraya River. 
The dinner cruise is designed for those who would like to indulge iin a 6-course dinner of genuine and exquisite Thai taste while enjoying the grande nighttime view of the river. Back to hotel by transportation.
Overnight in Bangkok.

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Day 2 - Jim Thompson Museum & Muay Thai evening

You will be picked up at either 08:00 or 13:00. Begin with a visit to the Jim Thompson House. Located along a canal in the city centre, this beautiful teak mansion was the former residence of Jim Thompson, the charismatic American silk merchant. Wander around the leafy compound, exploring the traditional teak buildings to learn more about the man himself, his involvement in the silk trade and his mysterious disappearance. Admire the priceless antiques on display while gaining insight into Thai heritage and tradition.
After the tour of Thompson’s home, cross the canal to Baan Krua Thai Silk Weaving Community. This Cham Muslim community is home to remarkable local artisans, many of whom used to weave for Jim Thompson. Today, two original weaving families still remain. Visit their local workshops and witness artisans producing high-quality Thai silk products. Learn about their traditional methods and browse the impressive gallery of fabrics.
Following this insightful tour of Baan Krua, transfer back to the hotel to refresh and prepare for the evening of action.
You will be picked up at the hotel at either 16:30 or 17:00. Get ready for a memorable night out! Transfer from the hotel to Rajdamnoen Stadium, Bangkok’s historic indoor sporting arena, for a night of Thai kickboxing.
Enjoy the pre-fight atmosphere as musicians play lively traditional music and local fans come to fill the bleachers. The local guide will give background information into the sport, which originated in the 16th century, and the rules of the competition.
Then the fights begin! Witness the boxers going through an elaborate pre-fight ritual. Called the wai kru, this combination of slow-moving dance steps and praying is meant to pay homage to the boxers’ teachers and to bless the fighters. After a short introduction by the referee, the fights will begin.
Watch several fights during the course of the evening, joining the locals as they cheer on their favorite boxer. Watch – and learn – the incredible tactics used by the fighters to bring down their opponents.
Following the final match, transfer back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.

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Day 3 - Bangkok - Khao Yai Wine Trail Cycling

Starting in Bangkok we drive north for two hours and arrive at Bonya Lit Temple. Here we will get on our bikes and start riding on a quiet country road. 
The road is a mixture of dirt and asphalt with lots of potholes as the road winds and undulates through small dairies, tamarind orchards and even a sheep farm. 
After 6 km we will turn off onto a shaded gravel road that skirts a pond and will leads us to a dirt road. 
Here we will be without vehicle support for 4 km as we ride through mango orchards and fields of sugar cane. 
After a rest stop by a lake, we will ride on to Khao Yai Winery and lunch at the Hornbill Restaurant complemented by a glass of wine. 
We will then take a tour of the vineyard and taste some Thai wine. We then have just 4 more kilometres to cycle to our resort. The pool has a wonderful view and it is a great way to cool down after a day of cycling.

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Day 4 - Khao Yai Wine Trail Cycling

After breakfast we have a short transfer to our start point. 
Today you will be climbing a bit on the bike as well as off the bike! We start by cycling on yet another very quiet road, passing tapioca fields and a rock quarry. 
Your climbing will be rewarded by a long downhill to Wat Tam Tien. Here you can climb the 145 stairs up to a cave. 
After a look around it is time to get back on the bikes and we ride through sugar cane fields, passing a Chinese meditation center with three distinctive statues. 
Then it is just a few more turns of the pedals to the Prapatsorn Grape Farm. 
Here you can taste their local grapes and if you have a sweet tooth the candies, they make from them. 
You will have a perfect view of the White Buddha on the hill. He is sitting 112 meters above ground level on the hilltop and is made entirely from concrete.
If you are up for the challenge a walkway with 1,250 steps leads to the base of the statue and the views are well worth the effort. After all that climbing a hearty lunch is in order. Sated with our thorough ride through Asoke Valley.
From there, transfer back to your resort for the second night here.

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Day 5 - Khao Yai - Buriram

After breakfast, depart for Buriram, which is famous for its dozens of ancient Khmer ruins. En route, stop at Wat Khao Angkan, an ancient lesser-known temple and site of an extinct volcano. 
Lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, visit Phnom Rung Historical Park, one of the most impressive of all Khmer monuments in Thailand. Following this, visit the nearby Prasat Muang Tam, an older Khmer temple built by King Jayavarman V.
Overnight in Buriram.


Korat –Wat Khao Angkan (124 km): 1.50 hr Wat Khao Angkan - Phanom Rung Historical Park (18.7 km): 30 min Phanom Rung Historical Park – Buriram (71.6 km): 1 hr

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Day 6 - Buriram - Surin

Breakfast at the hotel, check out and depart for Surin, approximately a one-hour drive.  
Upon arrival in Surin, drive to Silver Khwaosinarin Village, where “Pa Kuen Krub Ban”, traditional Thai silverware, is meticulously crafted with beautiful lines. During the visit, you can witness how this beautiful and unique artform is done, also have a chance to purchase some beautiful silverware. This is the only place where one can find this style, that makes it an amazing souvenir.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, visit Ban Tha Sawang in Surin Province. Here, take a look at the ancient style of silk weaving process that locals use to weave beautiful silk products. This weaving project is supported and promoted by the Bureau of the Royal Household and Her Majesty the Queen's Foundation and is well-known for being an outstanding form of cultural preservation.  
Overnight in Surin. 


Buriram – Surin (63.2 km): 1.10 hr

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Day 7 - Surin - Ubon Ratchathani - Khong Jiam

After breakfast at the hotel, check out and drive to Tha Tum Elephant Village. Here, visit the “Surin Project”, a project which aims to create a world-class elephant sanctuary to provide better living conditions for rehabilitated elephants.  Visiting here is an opportunity to learn much about elephants and their conservation.
After a few hours at the Elephant Village, head to Ubon Ratchathani. Along the way, a stop is made at Sikhoraphum Sanctuary to see a Khmer temple and the only Apsara sculptures found in Thailand. 
Lunch will be at a local restaurant.
The drive to Ubon Ratchathani provides the opportunity to visit the local temples in town including Wat Thung Sri Muang, built in a very unusual mixture of Thai, Lao and Burmese styles. Later in the afternoon, venture to the easternmost town of the Siamese border – Khong Jiam District, located on the Mekong and the Moon Rivers.
Overnight in Khong Jiam. 


Surin Town – Tha Tum Elephant Village (57 km): 54 min Tha Tum Elephant Village – Sikhoraphum District (87.9 km): 1.20 hr Sikhoraphum District – Wat Thung Sri Muang (138 km): 1.54 hr Wat Thung Sri Muang – Khong Jiam District (73.2 km): 1.20 hr

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Day 8 - Khong Jiam - Phataem - Mekong - Khong Jiam

Today’s adventures begin with a journey to Pha Taem National Park, where a number of prehistoric paintings can be seen. Although these paintings are between 5,000-7,000 years old, most of the figures of fish and animals can be clearly seen.  
The Fine Arts Department has some interesting theories, but not much is known about the origins of these paintings or the people who drew them. In addition to the fascinating cave paintings, the park also features unusual sandstone rock formations which can be visited with a moderate hike.
(Note: Appropriate clothing and footgear needs to be worn for the hike on the partially rocky surface.)
Lunch at a local restaurant.
The drive then heads down to a village on the Mekong River, just below the cliffs, where there is a beautiful Lao-style temple. Here, board a local boat and proceed along a narrow and interesting part of the Mekong River to Khong Jiam. 
Upon arrival, a car awaits to drive to Kaeng Tana, the biggest cataract in the middle of the Moon River. The cataract itself is a big stone platform lying across the Moon River, causing the water flowing through Kaeng Tana to take the form of beautiful waterfalls.
(Note: Kaeng Tana is best seen during dry season)
Return to the resort for dinner.
Overnight in Khong Jiam. 


Khong Jiam – Pha Taem National Park (51.5 km): 1.19 hr

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Day 9 - Khong Jiam - Nakhon Phanom

Enjoy a relaxing breakfast at the hotel, before driving north through beautiful Mekong mountain scenery following the river to Mukdahan. 
Stop en route for lunch at a local restaurant near Indochina Market, overlooking the Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge across the Mekong River. 
Visit a traditional Lao-Isaan village on the Korat Plateau, where age-old customs and crafts are still very much a part of everyday’s life. The villagers are more than happy for visitors to sit and try their hand at any of the steps of the process. 
Lastly, make a stop at Phra That Phanom, a highly revered sacred monument for both the Thai and Laotian people for centuries.
Dinner and overnight in Nakhon Phanom.  

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Day 10 - Nakhon Phanom - Nong Khai

This morning, the first visit is to the House of Ho Chi Minh at Najok Village in Nakhon Phanom, a Thai community of Vietnamese origin. The place is of great historical importance because President Ho Chi Minh stayed here for seven years (1924-1931), when he was the leader of the resistance movement against the French. 
Lunch on the way to Udon Thani.
Continuing to Udon Thani, visit Ban Chiang Archeological Site. A UNESCO World Heritage Site of History since 1992, the village is best known for the beautiful pottery the villagers used to make in ancient times, but there are many more types of artifacts that came from this fascinating site, including metal, stone, soil, charcoal, animal bone, and human skeletons.
In the late afternoon, a visit is paid to “Wang Nam Mok” Homestay – the award-winning village of preserving natural resources and developing occupations for local people. 
Upon arrival, the villagers offer a warm traditional welcome, before checking in at the homestay house. 
A relaxing afternoon is spent walking around the village situated amidst the rice paddies, there are plenty of opportunities for interaction, whether chatting with the locals or taking part in their activities - even helping with the preparation of the dinner.
Tonight, the villagers perform the impressive traditional Baci Ceremony, blessing visitors for safe travels, health and good luck. The ceremony is followed by dinner together, dining on delicious local specialties.
Overnight at the Wang Nam Mok Homestay.


Nakhon Phanom – Najok Village (2.8 km): 6 min Najok Village –Ban Chiang Archaeological Site (197 km): 2.50 hr Ban Chiang Archaeological Site – Wang Nam Mok (162 km): 2.31 hr

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Day 11 - Nong Khai - Chiang Khan - Dan Sai

Today begins with an early start, joining the homestay host for alms-giving in the morning. During this traditional daily ritual, Buddhists donate food and other daily commodities to monks as a good deed, and as a means of earning good karma. 
Afterwards, return to the house for a typical local breakfast. After breakfast, visit the cultural route at some local temples and a famous Buddha image, “Phra Chao Lan Thong”, followed by a visit to the Nam Mok local village experience. 
Lunch at the village before saying goodbye to the host family. 
Then, continue driving to Loei Province. Along the way, stop to take a boat trip along the Mekong River at Chiang Khan and visit the charming riverside town characterized by rows of teak wood shop houses.
Continue to Dan Sai District in Loei for overnight.
Dinner and overnight in Dan Sai.


Wang Nam Mok – Chiang Khan District (Loei) (147 km): 2.22 hr Chiang Khan District – Dan Sai District (140 km): 2.16 hr

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Day 12 - Dan Sai exploration

Breakfast is served at the hotel. The first item of the day is a visit to Phra That Sri Song Rak, located on the bank of the Moon River. This large Lao-style pagoda similar to that of Phra That Phanom houses relics of the Lord Buddha. 
Although it is a great place to see throughout the year, it really comes to life during the Phi Ta Khon celebration held annually in May or June. After, a visit is made to the Dansai Folk Museum with an excellent display on the history, culture and costumes of the Phi Ta Khon Festival as well as the old tradition of Dansai District. Getting hands-on experience with the mask painting is an exciting way to learn more and also provides a memorable handmade souvenir to take home.
A short stop is taken at Wat Neramitt Vipatsana with its beautiful hall and pagoda both constructed of laterite (red soil), and products created by the monks and novices.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
Driving to Phu Rua High Altitude Agricultural Research Station offers some superb views. Phu Rua's summit is a large plain at 1,365 meters above sea level. Stop at Chateau de Loei and Vineyard, one of the first entrepreneurs in the region that has succeeded in building its own brand based on solid, internationally accepted quality wines. 
Visitors can sample the grapes, try the passion fruit juice and nibble on fresh vegetables from the orchard and farm – and of course there’s wine tasting! (Chateau de Loei is open daily from 08:00 – 17:00)
Dinner and overnight in Dan Sai.

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Day 13 - Dan Sai - Phitsanulok - Sukhothai

The day of departure begins with breakfast at the hotel, followed by a drive through spectacular mountain scenery to Phitsanulok. Visit Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, commonly known by the inhabitants as “Wat Yai”, which is the most important monastery of Phitsanulok, and also the home of the famous Phra Phuttha Chinnarat. The monastery was built in the reign of Phra Maha Thamma Racha I (Phraya Lithai) in 1357 A.D. It houses Phra Phuttha Chinnarat, regarded as the most beautiful Buddha image in Thailand.
After that, we continue further to the ancient town of Sukhothai, and take a short visit to Sukhothai Historical Park ruins which are one of Thailand’s most impressive World Heritage sites. The park includes the remains of 21 historical sites and four large ponds within the old walls, with an additional 70 sites within a 5km radius. 
Then transfer to your hotel in Sukhothai.
Overnight in Sukhothai


Dan Sai District - Phitsanulok (147 km): 2.056 hr Phitsanulok – Sukhothai (84.2 km): 1.15 hr

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Day 14 - Sukhothai - Uthai Thani

Start the day with a wholesome breakfast before venturing out by private car to Si Satchanalai Historical Park that lied on the bank of the Yom River. The natural park is less touristy, which is better for you to have some free time of cycling and temple exploring around. After having lunch at a local restaurant, you will be led to the weaving village at Baan Haad Siew. Local aborigines are Thai Puan, migrated from Lao for many years.
After that we continue the road further south to Uthai Thani, which abundant in natural resources, such as forests and wildlife. 
We will arrive in the town of Uthai Thani just in time to catch the sunset.
Overnight in Uthai Thani


Sukhothai - Uthai Thani (230km): 3.5hrs

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Day 15 - Uthai Thani - Kanchanaburi

After breakfast, visit Wat Chantharam (Wat Thasung) with its magnificent crystal hall, before continuing to the local marketplace for a stroll through the village to experience natural rural life. There is also an opportunity for a bike ride around a small island to meet up with local people.
This afternoon, enjoy a lunch cruise on Sakaekrang River. There are very few tourists passing through this part of Thailand and guests will get a strong feeling for the natural rhythm of Thailand. Following a drive to Kanchanaburi, guests can visit the “Bridge on the River Kwai” and the Railway Museum before transferring to their hotel. After freshening up, enjoy a delicious dinner at the hotel.
Overnight in Kanchanaburi.


Uthai Thani – Wat Tha Sung (9.4 km): 13 min Uthai Thani – Kanchanaburi (228 km): 2.57 hr

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Day 16 - Kanchanaburi - Erawan National Park

After breakfast, depart for Erawan Waterfall - a beautiful seven-tiered waterfall. Located in Erawan National Park, the best time to visit is during rainy season from May until September. 
Walking up to see each of the picturesque falls, it is best to bring good walking shoes. Also, guests should remember to bring their swimming suit if they wish to swim in the fall’s natural pools.
After lunch at a local restaurant, take a short train ride along the infamous ‘Death Railway’ through Kwai Noi gorge.
Return to the hotel and dinner at the hotel.
Overnight in Kanchanaburi.

  • Depending on the circumstances the guide will decide whether it is safe enough or not for swimming in the waterfalls. Guests should always respect and follow his decision.
  • Erawan waterfall is a famed attraction for locals as well as tourists, hence expect it to be busy during weekends and Thai public holidays
  • Kanchanaburi town – Erawan National Park (87.8 km): 1.07 hr
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Day 17 - Kanchanaburi - Amphawa

After breakfast, visit Prasat Muang Singh Historical Park - a Khmer temple complex dating back to the Angkorian period. Walk around the peaceful historical ruins and explore the history and culture of the area, then drive to the garden province of Samut Songkhram in the Mae Klong river delta area. First, *visit a unique country market along the railway tracks. Lunch at a local restaurant. Then continue the afternoon by strolling around the fruit orchards and visiting some interesting temples in the area. Check in at the resort in the afternoon and enjoy an evening dinner in Amphawa.  
If the visit falls on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, the upcountry trip will be spiced up with a visit to the weekend evening floating market, which is full of vendors selling local delights. (Note: An optional boat ride along the river to see the glittering fireflies at night.)  
Overnight in Amphawa.


Kanchanaburi – Mae Klong Samut Songkram (109 km): 1.28 hr Mae Klong – Amphawa (16.8 km): 19 min

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Day 18 - Amphawa - Bangkok

In the early morning, freshen up and ‘make merit’ by giving alms to the local Buddhist monks (by the river or in front of the resort, depending on where guests stay).
Then, visit Tha Kha**, one of the many floating markets in the area where guests can observe authentic local trading. Take a fascinating paddle boat journeying through the maze of klongs (canals), cruising by plantations before stopping to enjoy a glass of palm sugar syrup and a chat with a friendly local family. Following lunch at a local restaurant, proceed to King Rama II Memorial Park which houses a Thai-style pavilion museum displaying artifacts from the early Rattanakosin era and a landscaped garden filled with native flowers. Visit artisans who produce exquisite hand-painted Benjarong porcelain and pottery before returning to Bangkok in the late afternoon.


The Tha Kha market is held every Saturday and Sunday. Weekday availability is 5-6 times a month depending on the lunar cycle calendar. On the days when Tha Kha is not open, we will head to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Although quite touristy today, the market remains the best example to showcase how a floating market originally was like decades ago.

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Day 19 - Bangkok departure

You are free before transferring to the airport for departure flight

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We believe you have the right to arm yourselves with as much information as possible before making any decision.

Check below our detailed tips & guide for every places to visit in Thailand, recommendation regarding the inclusion in each theme you prefer, and what you can do based on the time frame you have.

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Unique experience combined with top-notch services

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The combination of some must-see experience and the cruise tour along the mighty rivers

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Taking a cruise on the fascinating Mekong River offers a unique and memorable travel experience. The Mekong River, one of the longest rivers in Asia, flows through several countries, including China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Each destination along the river offers its own distinct cultural, historical, and natural attractions. In this article, we will go over what you can expect when cruising the Mekong River. 


International travelers to Thailand will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination or ATK test results from October 1st, 2022 onward.

In a new move to attract travelers during peak season, Thailand is doing away with the requirement of needing vaccination certificates or Covid-19 negative results in the case of unvaccinated passengers. Additionally, those infected with Covid-19, but have mild symptoms don’t need to isolate from next month. The same applies to those who test positive but display no symptoms.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced these changes on Thursday after the National Communicable Diseases Committee (NCDC) had a meeting on Wednesday.

Instead of isolating those who have contracted the disease would be required to wear a mask, socially distance themselves from others and wash their hands frequently for the first five days. They also need to stay away from those who are immunocompromised and vulnerable.

Dr. Sophon Iamsirithaworn, deputy director-general of the Department of Disease Control, informed that since the present Covid-19 mutation doesn’t cause serious symptoms in most people, disease control measures can be relaxed.

National Security Council secretary-general Supoj Malaniyom added that the new measures are being put in place to help improve the economic conditions of the country.

“The primary aim will be to ensure the economy is back on track so people could earn their livelihoods once more,” he said.


How long to spend in Thailand may seem like a ridiculous question to address, but if you have plenty of time and aren’t sure how much to dedicate, this blog will definitely help you out. 

How long can you stay in Thailand? 

Well, as long as you like! From 10 days to a month, there are various ways you can travel across Thailand and uncover its secrets. Advising an ideal trip length for Thailand is a bit of a complex challenge, as it depends on several factors such as the places you wish to visit, the activities you plan to join, or if you want to combine Thailand with its neighbor countries. 

Stay tuned! We are going to sort all these things out including the step-by-step guide to create the best itinerary in Thailand.

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There's a magic about this charming yet confounding kingdom that casts a spell on visitors. In Cambodia, ancient and modern worlds collide to create an authentic adventure.
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It's a new era for this extraordinary and complex land, where the landscape is scattered with gilded pagodas and the traditional ways of Asia endure.
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