4 Days Northeast Thailand
Discover the wonders of Isan, from historical Khmer temples
to bustling local markets and sacred shrines,
WHY THIS TOUR?
This journey explores the temples and heritage of Thailand’s north-eastern provinces in four action-packed days. Along the way, we explore the wonders of nature in the Khao Yai National Park and witness the culture and lifestyles of the Isan region, from bustling markets to sacred shrines, historical battle sites and extraordinary Khmer temples.
This programme received the 2023 Thailand Tourism Certificate Award
in recognition of its contribution to responsible and sustainable tourism.
Bangkok – Khao Yai [L, D]
The day’s adventure starts with us leaving Bangkok by private car, minibus. or coach for Saraburi, a central Thai province renowned for its collection of ancient Buddhist temples. We will stop at Phra Buddha Badh, home to a shrine of the holy footprint of Buddha and a large number of temple bells that surround the temple compound. We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Saraburi before continuing to Khao Yai National Park, home to more than 50 km of hiking and biking trails and several waterfalls including 150 metre high Haew Narok and the famous 20-metre-tall Haew Suwat that featured in Danny Boyle’s Hollywood hit The Beach. The park is also home to a diversity of flora and fauna, including bears, gibbons, elephants and hornbills. On the way, we stop at the hillside temple of Wat Theppithak with its huge seated Buddha and fruit market at Klang Dong. Dinner at hotel.
Khao Yai – Korat [B, L, D]
The day starts exploring some of Khao Yai National Park’s natural beauty with a visit to impressive Krong Keo Waterfalls that are home to a bamboo suspension bridge. We then stop at Thao Suranaree Memorial, built in commemoration of Khunying Mo, wife of the town’s second in command, who rallied her people to defeat Laotian invaders in 1826 under the reign of King Rama III. Next, we visit Wat Sala Loi, where the main chapel is constructed in the shape of a Chinese junk using local materials in the form of the famous earthen tiles from Daan Kwien. We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Korat before continuing to Pimai to visit the museum and magnificent Khmer temples, dubbed the Angkor Wat of Thailand, that are believed to have been built by King Jayavarman VI in the 11th century. Before returning to Korat, we visit Sai Ngam Banyan Grove, home to Thailand’s largest banyan tree. Dinner at hotel.
Korat – Surin [B, L, D]
We start the day with a trip to the village of Daan Kwian, famous for its beautiful earthenware. Set on the Moon River, it is home to a quaint collection of pottery studios, stores and museums to explore. We then continue to Prasat Phnom Rung, the most important Khmer temple complex in Thailand. Perched atop a small hill, this complex comprises a stunning monumental staircase and its sanctuary is one of the best examples of Khmer architecture in the country. We also visit Prasat Muang Tham, a Khmer temple that dates back further than Prasat Phnom Rung, with a collection of well-preserved bas reliefs. After a local lunch, we set off to the northeast province of Surin. Dinner at hotel.
Note: The Surin Elephant Round-Up is held every year on the third weekend of November. Tour programmes available on request, surcharges apply.
Surin – Bangkok [B, L]
We leave for Si Saket, famous for its Khmer ruins. We visit Prasat Wat Sa Kamphaeng Yai, an 11th century Khmer-era temple built to honour Hindu god Shiva before switching to a Mahayana Buddhist temple built in the 13th century. We continue to Prasat Wat Sa Kamphaeng Noi, which comprises a laterite stupa and chapel with a lotus pond at the front. We drive on to Ubon Ratchathani, one of the four major cities of Isan. After lunch, we continue to Ban Pa Ao, one of the oldest villages in Ubon Ratchathani, whose residents are said to have migrated from Vientiane, Laos during the reign of King Siri Bun San. This area is famous for its skilled artisans who create bronzeware and handwoven silk. We then visit Ban Kan Lueang archaeological site. In 1992, an excavation of the site unearthed a range of artefacts that date back 2,000 years. We then drive to Ubon Ratchathani Airport to fly to Bangkok.