- 5-day Thailand culinary tour from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
- Eat your way through bustling Bangkok and Chiang Mai at tasty food stalls and bigger restaurants
- Explore the Tha Kha Floating Market on a paddleboat and be amazed as a train rolls through the Maeklong Railway Market
- Learn to make a variety of dishes for a khan tohk (festive meal) while taking a cooking class at a homestay near Chiang Mai
- Watch how Chiang Mai’s famous noodle soup khao sawy is made at a restaurant that specializes in this savory favorite
- Offer alms to the monks at Ton Payom Market (Suthep Market)
- Have free time to see the highlights of Bangkok and Chiang Mai at your leisure
Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour
Travel with a passionate local guide who can find those hidden food spots, known only by locals. Better yet, they'll be able to explain what you're eating!
What You Can Expect
Meet your guide at 5pm in the lobby of the Viengtai Hotel in Bangkok for the opening feast of your 5-day culinary tour through Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Have your appetites ready because tonight you’ll enjoy a progressive dinner party through the vibrant streets of Bangkok!
Follow your guide to a modest restaurant that is renowned for its pork satay. Tuck into these savory morsels for your appetizer. Afterward, take a short walk to dine at one of Bangkok’s most popular restaurants where you'll sample specialty dishes such as stir-fried green curry with fish balls and tom yum (hot and sour soup) with prawns. Make sure to leave room for dessert! Around the corner you'll find the evening’s last stop: a small shop with unusual desserts that Bangkok residents seek out for its tasty fare.
Once you have enjoyed your evening’s fill of Bangkok’s eats, choose a short taxi ride back to the hotel or you can enjoy a 15-minute walk to return to the hotel.
Overnight: Viengtai Hotel or similar
Day 2: Bangkok – Chiang Mai (B, L, D)
Head to the outskirts of Bangkok early this morning to visit several local markets. Your first stop is the colorful Tha Kha Floating Market, a small and authentic market where vendors sell their wares from narrow boats filled with fruits and vegetables. Bangkok was once a place where canals flowed throughout the city and were heavily used for transport and commerce. You’ll experience this tradition as you embark on a paddleboat and glide through the market. Get great photo ops of vendors selling their goods, including meals cooked fresh in the boats!
After taking in the tranquil market on the river, you’ll get a totally different experience at the Maeklong Railway Market. Vendors set their stalls along the railroad tracks, quickly pulling back their awnings and goods to let the trains pass, a commotion that occurs several times a day. Marvel at this amazing interaction between the train and the vendors, everything quickly returning to normal after the train has squeezed through the market.
Once the train has passed, you'll head to the Amphawa market to enjoy a favorite local lunch of noodles and satay. Then return to Bangkok where you can take a few hours at your leisure to explore the city or relax at the hotel. In the late afternoon you'll get familiar with food from eastern Thailand as you dine in a restaurant that specializes in this region's cuisine. Your guide explains the characteristics of the flavors as you try delicious dishes at the restaurant.
After dinner, you’ll catch the overnight train to Chiang Mai. Overnight trains are a great way to cover long distances and experience travel like the locals! Sleeper trains typically have seats that convert into sleeping bunks. A pillow, sheet and blanket are provided, although some travelers like to bring their personal sleeping sheet. You will be sharing the simple and clean quarters with other passengers.
Overnight: sleeper train
Day 3: Chiang Mai outskirts (B, L, D)
In the morning you’ll roll into northern Thailand’s captivating capital, Chiang Mai. Have a chance to freshen up at a local hotel before you’re driven 45 minutes outside of the city to a simple and comfortable homestay where you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the food and culture of northern Thailand with a local host.
After being welcomed and oriented to your local host's home, follow your guide and local host on a tour of traditional food producers and markets. Enjoy learning about the ingredients favored by northern Thai chefs as you stroll through the market and shop for this afternoon’s cooking class. After perusing the bounty of fresh produce and foods at the market, take a break to eat lunch at one of the delicious food stalls and try the specialties on offer. Your guide can recommend or explain any of the dishes that catch your attention!
Once you have fueled up, head back to your local home and get ready to cook a traditional khan tohk feast! ‘Khan tohk’ translates as low table, referring to the round table that holds the food for a festive meal. Spend the afternoon learning to make more than ten delicious northern Thai dishes in a hands-on cooking class with your expert chef Aoi teaching you the secrets of Thai cuisine. You'll make regional favorites like northern-style laab (spicy pork salad), gai tod (fried chicken), som tum (papaya salad) and sticky rice. You���ll have help at every step as you chop and cook the ingredients for your feast! In the evening, enjoy your meal while listening to northern Thai music performed by local musicians. After dinner, watch a traditional dance performance and enjoy an evening relaxing among your friends and fellow food-lovers.
Days 4: Chiang Mai (B, L, D)
Enjoy breakfast at your homestay before saying farewell to your local host and returning to Chiang Mai. Check in to the hotel and choose to spend the morning relaxing or exploring before you visit a local restaurant for northern Thailand’s famous noodle soup khao sawy. The rich curry broth is topped with crispy noodles and a side of condiments such as lime, crushed peanuts and chili paste. You’ll have a mini-class on how this famous northern Thai noodle soup is made before slurping up a hearty bowl for lunch.
After savoring the khao sawy, you’ll have the option to explore Chiang Mai in the afternoon, perhaps with a visit to the revered temple Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, which sits on a mountain overlooking Chiang Mai. In the evening you'll meet your guide and hit the Malin Night Market for another incredible meal. More of a local haunt, the Malin market boasts numerous food choices and excellent people-watching. Your guide will show you around the market and explain which places serve which dishes, while you taste some of the amazing street food that makes Thailand a culinary joy.
Overnight: People Place Hotel or similar
Day 5: Chiang Mai (B)
Start the day early at Ton Payom market where you witness the locals offering alms to the monks who walk through the street carrying alms bowls. Your guide explains the customs behind offering alms and how to do so properly. Once you have experienced this ritual, you’ll have a tasty Thai breakfast nearby. As you wrap up the last morning of your Thailand culinary tour, your guide will return you to the hotel and bid you farewell.
If you plan to stay in Chiang Mai longer, you’ll find a multitude of options to explore, such as sightseeing in the old city, treating yourself to a traditional Thai massage, hearing live music at one of several excellent music venues, checking out art galleries, and further feasting at the markets.