Rainforests, Ruins and Islands on Classic Thailand East Coast Adventure

Starts: Bangkok, Thailand
Finishes: Phuket, Thailand

Accommodation: Moderate

Activity: Elephants, Local Culture & Cuisine, Hot Springs, aboriginal, muay thai, biking, snorkel, Swimming, Wildlife, temple, palace, ancient ruins, national parks, cooking, indigenous tribes, Local Food, Walking Tour

Overview

Book

Combining the best of the north and south, this is the definitive Thailand tour. Travel from the clamour of the capital to the serenity of steamy rainforests, from atmospheric ruins to relaxed sun-drenched islands. Tour temples in Bangkok, bargain-hunt in lively Chiang Mai and then swim, snorkel or simply kick back on the divine beaches of the southern coast. This adventure is the perfect chance to visit the many attractions and treasures of Thailand.Trip HighlightsChill out on perfect beachesCruise to idyllic Thai islandsDiscover Buddhist relics in Bangkok cityExperience culture in chilled out Chiang MaiExperience the amazing Thai hospitalityExplore the heaving streets of BangkokSee the stunning ruins of SukhothaiStay with village friends in rural ThailandTrip InformationStart: Bangkok, ThailandFinish: Ko Samui, ThailandGroup size: Min 1 , Max 12Ages: Min 15Included activitiesBangkok - Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)Chiang Mai - Baan Thai Cookery School half-day course or Half-day cyclingKo Samui - Ang Thong Marine Park tourKo Tao - Day tour & snorkellingLampang - Friends of the Asian ElephantSukhothai - Historical park guided cycle tour & home-cooked picnic lunchTrip NotesA single supplement is available on this trip.Small Group Experiences - Traveling is often made even more exciting by sharing the experience with others. Small groups range from 6 to 15 people in size, making for a trip filled with camaraderie, adventure, and the personal attention of a trained guide.

Highlights

    • Chill out on perfect beaches
    • Cruise to idyllic Thai islands
    • Discover Buddhist relics in Bangkok city
    • Experience culture in chilled out Chiang Mai
    • Experience the amazing Thai hospitality
    • Explore the heaving streets of Bangkok
    • See the stunning ruins of Sukhothai
    • Stay with village friends in rural Thailand

Trip Details

The Trip

Product Code: 128758
Accommodation: Moderate
Guide Language: english

Starts: Bangkok, Thailand
Finishes: Phuket, Thailand
Duration: 16 days
Departures: Guaranteed
Physical rating: Basic

Includes

  • Meals: 9 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 1 dinner
  • Accommodation: Bungalow (2 nts), Guesthouse (2 nts), Homestay (1 nt), Hotel (4 nts), Overnight sleeper train (2 nts), Resort (4 nts)
  • Transport: Bus, Ferry, Minibus, Overnight sleeper train, Public bus, Songthaew, Taxi

Excludes

  • Visas
  • Optional activities
  • Departure tax
  • Emergency funds: USD 400
  • Travel insurance is compulsory
  • Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip: USD 320
  • If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate

Price

Price person (sharing double) $2075 ($130/day)

Deposit:

$250 per person for bookings made 57 days or more prior to departure

Full Amount for bookings made less than 57 days prior to departure

Cancellation: Super Strict

Trip Notes

Price does not include airfare (to the Trip start & from the end location)

Trip Price may include accommodation, transport/transfer, activities, services of a professional guide & more. (Please refer to the include/excludes section for details)

Tour packages spare you the hassles of trip planning, a la carte booking, organizing and managing the logistics at a foreign location.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Make the most of a day in bewitching Bangkok city

Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.

Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

Thailand's bustling capital, Bangkok is famous for its tuk tuks, khlong boats and street vendors serving up delicious Thai food.

Bangkok has so much to offer those with time to explore - why not take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in some Thai massage?

Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Thai kickboxing exhibition - THB2200
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
  • Bangkok - Thai massage - THB250
  • Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Bangkok Chinatown Food Discovery - THB1870
  • Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Tuk Tuk city tour - THB1400
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 nt)

Days 2-3: Enjoy the tranquillity of Thailand's first capital, Sukhothai

We take a local bus from Bangkok to Sukhothai (approx. 6 hours) with a short midway stop for a chance to stretch the legs and buy some lunch.

The first ancient capital of Siam, Sukhothai was established in the 13th century. Located on a fertile plain, Sukhothai means the 'Dawn of Happiness' and is now famous for its World Heritage-listed historic park, which celebrates the Golden Age of Thai civilisation.

Try a local dish such as Sukhothai noodles at the fascinating local night market.

Head out to the historical ruins of Old Sukhothai, set amid beautiful lakes and gardens (approx 30 mins by songthaew). The religious art and architecture of the Sukhothai era are considered to be the most classic of Thai styles and the Sukhothai Historical Park contains the remains of 21 historic sites with awe-inspiring Buddha images and four large ponds often filled with stunning lotus flowers in full bloom.

Upon arrival at the park, hire bicycles and enjoy a few leisurely hours feeling the breeze in your hair and learning about the history of this fascinating place. Enjoy a home-cooked picnic lunch somewhere along the way, and if we have enough free time, we'll visit a local ceramics factory.

Included Activities
  • Sukhothai - Historical park guided cycle tour & home-cooked picnic lunch
Accommodation
  • Resort (2 nts)


Day 4: Be treated to a traditional khantohk dinner accompanied by live music and a dance

Today we travel by private mini van from Sukothai to our Homestay for the evening. On the way we stop off at Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital located in Lampang.

Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital is a non-government organisation in Thailand which aims to protect and conserve the welfare of elephants both domesticated and wild. We stop off at this center today to see the fantastic work this organisation is doing to care for the elephants in Thailand.

Stay the night at the warm and welcoming home of Intrepid's longtime friends in a small Thai village (approx 1.5 hrs from the Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital) Accommodation is multishare and basic (there will be fold-out mattresses on the floor and shared bathrooms). In the evening, we're treated to a traditional northern Thai khantohk dinner accompanied by live music and dancing.

Included Activities
  • Lampang - Friends of the Asian Elephant
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 nt)

Days 5-7: Rise early to offer alms to the monks before travelling to Chiang Mai

In the morning we jump on local bikes and cruise around the homestay village. This is a great opportunity to see how the locals live and we make a few stops along the way to see small country industries. Cycling past the rice fields and breathing in the fresh country air with beautiful mountains in the distance makes this morning a picture postcard experience.

We say goodbye to our new friends and travel to Chiang Mai (approx 45 mins)

The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. This 'Rose of the North' is also known for its beauty and the friendliness of the local people.

Explore the famous temple complex of Doi Suthep. Drive along a scenic, winding mountain road that ends at an impressive 300-step naga-guarded stairway (approx 45 mins). The rewards justify the climb with one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand on display, not to mention fantastic panoramic views of the city and the opportunity to listen to hypnotic evening chanting by resident Buddhist monks.

You have the option of doing a half day Thai Cooking Class or a half day Cycling tour around Chiang Mai

Discover some of the secrets of Thai cuisine by joining a cookery course. Learn about the main ingredients used in Thai cuisine, how they are used and stored and what alternatives you can substitute if you can't get them at home. Questions are welcome and you are provided with a comprehensive book of recipes and ingredient details. For lunch, sit down and feast on the delicious results of your tuition. The meal is usually rounded off with a tasting of seasonal Thai fruit.

Some may prefer to jump on a half day cycling trip. After a short safety briefing and bicycle fitting, we leave the hotel for the streets of Chiang Mai. Traffic downtown is light as we begin our cycling journey south, following the Ping River. It's pleasant to ride along its green banks. We visit a former leper colony which is now a rehabilitation centre and you will get to know some more of the daily life of the missionaries who worked here over a hundred years ago. Cycling over small country roads you will discover the real rural Thailand. The trip continues along various fruit orchards and you'll encounter the Thai way of life as we meander around the villages on the outskirts of Chiang Mai. We explore the temple ruins of Wiang Kum Kam, the former capital of Lanna, before we cycle back to Chiang Mai.

Our accommodation clean, comfortable in Chiang Mai is located by the famous night markets and has ensuite bathrooms and air conditioning.

Board an overnight train for Bangkok (approx 13 hrs). We use soft sleeper class trains for all of our overnight train journeys. Multishare compartments with air-conditioning and bunk beds - sheets and a pillow are provided. Our baggage travels in the carriage with us. There's a food and drink service available on board.

Included Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Baan Thai Cookery School half-day course OR Half-day cycling
Optional Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Thai massage - THB200
  • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep temple - THB50
  • Chiang Mai - Urban Adventures - Mae Ping River Experience - THB2105
  • Chiang Mai - Urban Adventures - Mind & Soul - THB2300
Accommodation
  • Hotel (2 nts)
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)

Days 8-9: Fast-paced and fascinating, Bangkok's chaotic streets are a traveller's delight

Loud, bright, chaotic and delightful, Bangkok is a city of modern excesses intermingled with simple traditions, all wrapped up in the famous smiles of the locals.

We pay a visit to Wat Arun - the 'Temple of the Dawn' . Named after the Indian God of Dawn - Aruna, this impressive landmark of Bangkok sits majestically on the westbank of the Chao Phraya River.

As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.

We head southbound for Surat Thani on an overnight train, accommodated in air conditioned sleeping berths (approx 13 hrs). Multishare compartments have bunk beds; sheets and pillow provided. Our baggage travels in the carriage with us. There is a food and drink service available on board.

Included Activities
  • Bangkok - Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Thai massage - THB250
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho temple - THB200
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
  • Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Bangkok Chinatown Food Discovery - THB1870
  • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB100
  • Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Temple & River of Kings - THB2200
  • Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Tuk Tuk city tour - THB1400
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 nt)
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)

Days 10-11: Visit fishing villages, discover temples or swim under refreshing waterfalls

Arrive into Surat Thani and continue by bus (approx 1.5 hrs) and boat (approx 3 hrs) over to Ko Pha-Ngan.

The beautiful island of Ko Pha-Ngan is a perfect spot for relaxing on the beach or exploring the island's fishing villages, temples and waterfalls.

While here you can try a delicious seafood barbecue by the beach.

Optional Activities
  • Koh Pha Ngan - Thai Massage - THB300
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (2 nts)

Days 12-13: Soak up the best of beach life on the white sandy shores of Ko Tao

From one island paradise to another - it's about 2 hours by boat to Ko Tao.

Famous for its spectacular coral reefs, the delightful little island of Ko Tao is the place for immersing yourself in tropical waters and relaxing on the beach under swaying coconut palms - what a tough life!

Take a snorkelling trip to explore around the island. With coral and fish aplenty and the remote chance of seeing timid reef sharks amongst mesmerising coral formations, Ko Tao is undeniably one of the jewels in southern Thailand's crown.

In the evenings, you can stroll the beaches or sample local fare at a seafood restaurant. Ko Tao also has a small but lively scene for those who are interested in some dancing and socialising on the beach.

Included Activities
  • Ko Tao - Day tour & snorkelling
Accommodation
  • Bungalow (2 nts)

Days 14-16: Travel across to Ko Samui and enjoy long white beaches and ancient temples

Take a boat over to Ko Samui (approx 2.5 hrs).

Known simply as Samui by locals, Thailand's third largest island is rich with white sandy beaches, coral reefs and coconut trees. There's also the Big Buddha, waterfalls, a mummified monk, great shopping opportunities and a lively nightlife. There's something for everyone on this cosmopolitan island.

Take a day trip to Ang Thong Marine National Park - an idyllic archipelago of around 40 islands - where you have the opportunity to explore some of the islands and do some snorkelling. Please note that if weather conditions are not suitable, an alternative activity will be substituted.

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.

Included Activities
  • Ko Samui - Ang Thong Marine Park tour
Accommodation
  • Resort (2 nts)

Do
Elephants, Local Culture & Cuisine, Hot Springs, aboriginal, muay thai, biking, snorkel, Swimming, Wildlife, temple, palace, ancient ruins, national parks, cooking, indigenous tribes, Local Food, Walking Tour

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