Perfectly described by Lonely Planet as “friendly and food-obsessed, hedonistic and historic, cultured and curious” Thailand tempts visitors with “a smile as golden as the country's glittering temples and tropical beaches" but outside the cities and towns lies Thailand's rural heartland, a mix of rice paddies, tropical forests, and villages. These are places where life is dominated by the rhythms of the pastoral seasons and in the north, the forests and fields bump up against blue mountains decorated with silvery waterfalls and honeycombed by deep caves.
The celestial world is a close confidant in this Buddhist nation, and religious devotion is colourful and omnipresent. Luminous temples and golden Buddhas frame the beautiful landscapes. This is a place where ancient banyan trees are ceremoniously wrapped in sacred cloth to honour the resident spirits, a place where Buddhist philosophy blends with mysticism and superstitions and spirit houses decorate humble homes as well as monumental malls.
We start our journey in Krung Thep, “the city of angels”, as Bangkok is known to its inhabitants. This is a city where the familiar and the exotic collide and there are few cities in the world that reward exploration as generously as Bangkok does. We'll get lost in the tiny lanes of Chinatown, dine after dark on the Chao Phraya and lead you through Silom, where the nightlife scene reveals a cosmopolitan and vibrant city.
We glide along the picturesque scenes of Thai river life, the uninterrupted lines of buildings, markets, warehouses, shops, and magnificent temples as well as the continuous flow of boats going about their daily routines to a place once replete with gilded temples and treasure-laden palaces. Here we discover the enigmatic temple ruins that are strewn across the city of Ayutthaya. Dozens of ruins remain from this period of thriving trade and art and offer a tantalising glimpse into its glorious past.
Continuing north we head to a sprawling modern city that has grown up around its ancient town. This dichotomy is best appreciated within the moat-encircled old city, which retains much of the fortified wall that once protected the city centre as well as the four main gates that provided access to the former Lanna capital city.
It is from this 'Rose of the North' that we venture far off the hard beaten tourist trail and where our real adventure begins. Using our trusty tuk tuk's we explore the lush green countryside and pristine forests dotted with churning waterfalls, serene wáts, and peaceful country villages.
WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US ON OUR ULTIMATE NORTHERN THAILAND ADVENTURE!
SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER: SAWADEE KAP THAILAND: BANGKOK
SUNDAY 4 OCTOBER: BANGKOK
MONDAY 5 OCTOBER: BANGKOK & AYUTTHAYA
TUESDAY 6 OCTOBER: CHIANG MAI
WEDNESDAY 7 OCTOBER: TUK TUKS, ELEPHANTS & BAMBOO RAFTING (MAE WANG)
THURSDAY 8 OCTOBER: MOUNTAINS, HILL TRIBES & THE MARKET VILLAGE OF SAMOENG
FRIDAY 9 OCTOBER: REMOTE VILLAGES, CAVES, HOT SPRINGS & THE MOUNTAIN TOWN OF PAI
SATURDAY 10 OCTOBER: CHIANG MAI
SUNDAY 11 OCTOBER: CHIANG MAI
MONDAY 12 OCTOBER: CHIANG MAI
TUESDAY 13 OCTOBER: WÁI JEE GAN - GOODBYE'S ARE NEVER EASY
Having spent the better part of the last decade crafting unique, highly tailored and exceptional journey’s for their clients, it was a natural progression for these two self-proclaimed slow travel junkies and global nomads to want to share the best of their own travels with others. Together for almost 17 years and traveling the world as ‘digital nomads’ for the last 6, Lance and David van den Heever-Liebenberg are the ultimate travel geeks.
Established in 2011, Marmalade Toast bespoke travel was born from the belief that travel holds limitless possibilities. Inspired by the flawless expectations that their private client culture brings, they believe that the ‘luxury’ is subjective and can be as much about disconnecting from the digital world and spending quality time with family and friends as it is about sumptuous linens in the world’s most luxurious hotel suites.
At the heart of all their tailored journeys and itineraries you will always find a celebration of the people they meet, the destinations that they personally visit and the cultures they encounter as well as the natural wonders of the world that they discover. Lance and David constantly strive to live a life less ordinary.
Having lived in Thailand for the better part of three years and with numerous extended visits to the Kingdom since the start of their ‘wanderlust-inducing’ nomadic journey, it only seemed fitting that their inaugural 'small group tour' would be to the Land of Smiles. Determined to show a different side to this incredibly beautiful and diverse country, it is important to Lance and David to show their guests to travel with intent and that if you scratch below the surface you will be rewarded with some of life’s most exceptional experiences. Designed to offer a unique perspective to a country that Lance and David hold so dear to their hearts, this sojourn through Northern Thailand is guaranteed to reward you with some of the greatest adventures and experiences you will ever have.
Spanning four continents, Lance's illustrious career has included logistics management of large scale international events in the United States, Africa, and South America, a stint in the restaurant trade in Sydney, Australia as well as time working in the media industry including television and film and entertainment public relations.
David has spent his life in the travel industry having worked for large tour operators, international airlines as well as working the corporate machine in-house at a global private bank, servicing a multimillion-dollar portfolio of multinational accounts.
Lance and David hold a reputation for unmatched attention to detail and together run and manage Marmalade Toast bespoke travel servicing their global client base from where ever they find themselves in the world. Driven by exceptional service, their business has grown exclusively through word of mouth.
Marmalade Toast bespoke travel specialises in elite experiential travel management for both the leisure and corporate markets.
Striving to bring equality to travel Marmalade Toast bespoke travel is a member of IGLTA and is proud to serve the LGBT+ community with integrity and dignity.
PACKAGE PRICING AND INCLUSIONS
Priced from R63'593 per person sharing (terms and conditions apply, subject to availability) departure ex-Johannesburg
US & European departures available from US$4'820 per person
Set departure of the 2nd of October 2020 (maximum group number 10 guests)
Deposit required to secure (terms and conditions apply) with the balance payment due 16 July 2020
Airport meet & greet services (Johannesburg OR Tambo departure check-in assistance & lounge access; Bangkok Suvarnabhumi arrival immigration & security fast track)
All flights (international flights ex-Johannesburg, New York or Atlanta & internal flights in Thailand. All flights in economy class)
Marmalade Toast bespoke travel standard flight concierge services including online check-in, pre-seating (subject to availability) and meal selection (if required)
Marmalade Toast bespoke travel hosts travelling with you, managing all daily aspects of itinerary and sharing insider insight and tips to the destination
10 nights' accommodation comprised of 3 nights Bangkok (5*), 4 nights in a Chiang Mai (5*), 1 night Mae Wang, 1-night Samoeng and 1 night Pai
Meals as specified in the itinerary (10 x breakfast, 5 x lunch, 9 x dinner)
Tours as specified in the itinerary (including entrance fees where applicable, English speaking guides, drinking water, and transport as specified)
Tuk tuk adventure including fuel, drivers, support vehicle, guides, and insurance
Thailand tourist SIM (complimentary wifi 'on-the-go' is also available at all times that you are out and about with your Marmalade Toast hosts in Thailand)
Full comprehensive travel insurance for South African departures (compulsory)
Electronic travel document distribution (via email) including destination guide (what-to-pack, weather, customs, hotel details and things to look forward to)
Meals not specified, drinks, items of a personal nature (such as laundry), visas if required (South African passport holders are granted entry for 30 days on arrival in Thailand at no charge), domestic flights to and from your departure point (Johannesburg, New York or Atlanta, if required these can be arranged by our team at an additional cost)
Please note that due to some of the activities and excursions on this trip we have a minimum age requirement of 21 years of age and participants wishing to drive their own tuk tuk's must have a valid drivers license and IDP - International Drivers Licence