5-Day Isaan Hidden Treasures

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Tour type

Tour Level: Moderate

Tour Comfort: Superior

Tour Period: 5 Days

tour highlights

  • See historic ruins at ancient capital, Ayutthaya
  • Admire the Khmer sanctuary of Prasat Hin
  • Marvel at impressive Khmer temple, Phanom Rung
  • Visit prehistoric cliff paintings in Pha Taem National Park
  • Bargain for souvenirs in the Indochina market

tour details

Isaan has some of the most culturally significant sites in Thailand, often overlooked by tourists. As well as the magnificent ancient capital, Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage centre, we visit the finest Khmer monuments in the region, including Phanom Rung and Prasat Hin, in Phimai, prototypes for Angkor Wat. From earlier times, there are pre-historic cliff paintings in Pha Taem National Park, dating back 2000 to 3000 years, and in World Heritage Site, Ban Chiang, you will marvel at the world’s oldest decorative earthenware. Along the way we witness craft centres such as Dan Kwian, in Korat, famous for its beautifully crafted pottery, and learn the secrets of silk-making in Ban Nong Sang Nga. We’ll also drop into the famous Indochina Market where you can buy goods from four countries.

Depart from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, which is beautifully located on an island at the confluence of three rivers. Visit Wat Chaiwattanaram occupying a magnificent position on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. Drive through the historical part of this former capital of Siam and then continue to Phimai. En route visit of a local fruit market at Klang Dong. Lunch at local restaurant. Continue to the charming little town of Phimai northeast of Korat, known for the magnificent Khmer sanctuary of Prasat Hin. Visit the museum (closed on Monday, Tuesday and Public Holidays) and Historical Park. Return to Korat with a short stop at one of the biggest Banyan Trees in Thailand. Dinner and overnight at DUSIT PRINCESS KORAT
After breakfast, visit the pottery village of Dan Kwian. The region of Korat is famous for its beautifully crafted pottery. Continue to Phanom Rung, which is the finest Khmer Temple in Thailand and gives more than only a good idea of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Similar in layout to Phimai, both monuments are believed to have been the prototype for the famous Angkor Wat. Close by there is Muang Tam, another impressive Khmer temple predating Phanom Rung by about 120 years.
After lunch at a local restaurant, proceed to the silk weaving village of Ban Tha Sawang Village. View the art of silk-weaving with gold sequin insertion, mixed with
old royal patterns, while witnessing the amazing process of silk-weaving and learning the wisdom of natural yarn dyeing of the residents of Surin at Ban Tha Sawang Ancient Gold-Brocaded Silk-weaving Village, Mueang district, Surin province. Continue to Surin and check-in at the hotel.
Dinner and accommodation at THONG TARIN HOTEL
After breakfast, depart for Khao Phra Viharn, one of the most spectacular locations of any monuments in South-East Asia, at the top of a steep escarpment and majestically overlooking Cambodia. Although physically standing on Cambodian territory, the only practical access is from Thailand and therefore no visa is required. This unique constellation makes a visit to this hilltop temple even more challenging and fascinating. After lunch at local restaurant, proceed to Khongjiam for a boat ride on the Mekong River to your resort. Dinner and overnight at TOHSANG KHONGJIAM RESORT, located on the banks of the river.
Note: Khao Phra Viharn is currently closed due to disputes between Thai & Cambodian authorities.
Following alternative program will be provided during the closure of Khao Phra Viharn:
After breakfast, depart Surin with a short stop at a basket weaving and silk weaving village, before arriving at Prasat Sikhoraphum with its fine lintel carvings and Prasat Sa Kamphaeng Yai, which was originally built in the 11th century as a Hindu Shrine dedicated to Shiva. Continue to Ubon Ratchathani for lunch. Visit to Wat Thungsrimuang, then continue to Khongjiam, Thailand's eastern-most town, situated on the confluence of the Mun and Mekong Rivers. Boat trip along the Mekong River before checking in at the resort, which is beautifully located on the river. Dinner and overnight at TOHSANG KHONGJIAM RESORT.
After breakfast, depart to Pha Taem National Park to see the pre-historic cliff paintings, which date back some 2000 to 3000 years. After familiarizing yourself at the Visitor Center located on top of this massive rock formation, walk down the trail from where you will not only see the cliff paintings, but can also enjoy superb views of the Mekong river and neighboring Laos. Proceed to Mukdahan for lunch at local restaurant. After lunch visit the famous Indochina market where products from the Mekong countries (Vietnam, China, Laos and Cambodia) are sold to local people. Continue to Nakhorn Phanom. En route visit the famous Thai temple Wat Phra That Phanom. Arrive in Nakorn Phanom, a small and charming town on the Mekong River and check in at Nakorn Phanom River View Hotel. Dinner and overnight at FORTUNE RIVER VIEW HOTEL.
After breakfast, visit the former house of Ho Chi Minh, the famous Vietnamese hero, who lived here for 7 years in the 1920s. We then continue the journey to visit Wat Phra Thad Choeng Chum, which is an ancient Sakon Nakhon historical site. This plaster-covered brick pagoda has a square base and is 24 meters high. The chapel houses the holy Luang Pho Ong Saen Buddha image. Afterwards you will visit Phra Thad Narai Cheng Weng sanctuary, built by and named for the wife of a 10th-11th century Khmer ruler. Local people now call it "Phra That Na Weng". Originally part of a Khmer Hindu complex, the prang has exquisitely carved lintels portraying Shiva and a reclining Vishnu. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, after which you will visit Ban Chiang National Museum near Udon Thani: Ancient artifacts, including tools, utensils, pottery and jewelry, between 4000 and 7000 years old, were unearthed in the immediate vicinity. The distinctive pottery, with its fingerprint whorl decorations, is believed to be the world's oldest decorative earthenware. Nearby burial pits, left as they were after excavation, in the compound of Wat Po Si Nai, show how valuables, including earthenware pots, were buried with the dead. Evidence of primitive bronze casting technology was discovered in the area, and in 1992 UNESCO declared Ban Chiang a World Heritage Site. Continue the drive to Udon Thani town for an early dinner prior to your transfer to Udon Thani airport for an evening flight back to Bangkok. Upon arrival in Bangkok, transfer to your hotel.

includes

Our package tour prices are inclusive of -

  • Transfers and tours by air conditioned car / minibus / coach with English speaking guide
  • Baggage handling
  • Entrance fees
  • Meals as specified in the program (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Accommodation in air conditioned room with bath
  • Service charges and VAT.

excludes

Not Included -

  • Other meals than mentioned in the program
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Surcharges for compulsory gala dinners
  • Optional tours
  • Expenditures of personal nature and domestic air ticket
  • Domestic air ticket will be issued by Diethelm Business Travel and charged for separately.

notes

Note: Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on road and weather conditions and availability of rooms.
    Tour code: BKKDBIS5

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