Immerse yourself in Thailand's world famous beach culture

Clear blue waters, white sands, swaying palm trees and a bungalow on the beach… Thailand has the ideal ingredients for a holiday in paradise. Come and explore Thailand's beautiful southern islands, relax in the sun and try some of the special Thai food this region is famous for. These are just some of the pleasures that await you on this relaxing tour of Thailand's beautiful beaches.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2016:
On the 13th of October 2016 the Thai Government announced the passing of his majesty, the King of Thailand. Following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej a 1 year mourning period has been declared in Thailand. In the first 30 days all government offices will fly the Thai flag at half-mast and there will likely be restrictions on the opening hours or selling of alcohol at entertainment venues including pubs and clubs. I. As this is an emotional time for Thailand and its people we ask that our travellers wear dark coloured clothing over the next 30 days as a mark of respect to the much loved King.


Start
Bangkok, Thailand
Finish
Phuket, Thailand
Country
Thailand
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
TTZT
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Discover a true slice of paradise on an included sea kayaking trip through the stunning inlets, caves and hidden lagoons of the Ao Thalane mangrove forests

  • Get into the indulgent beach-loving life on the still untouched, chilled out island of Ko Yao Noi and, armed with a snorkel, explore the surrounding islands and waters on an included boat trip

  • Travel like the locals do on an overnight sleeper train, the best way to travel long distances, meet locals and maximise time at destinations

  • Meet some furry friends and learn about the great work done at the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip includes free time for flexibility and space for making your own discoveries. There are lots of recommended optional activities if you wish, or just time to soak up the sun and kick back on the countless beautiful beaches.

  • Experience travel in a variety of different ways, using private mini vans and local transport like overnight sleeper trains, longtail boats, speed boats, and even kayaks!

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. Bangkok is a heady mixture of ancient traditions and slick modernity, where bazaars (obviously bustling) and world-class cuisine are only the beginning. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm today. 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. Have your insurance details and next of kin information on hand for collection. With free time, acquaint yourself with this frenetic city of tuk tuks, street food and traditional khlong boats winding down the Chao Phraya River. Tonight you might want to experience the unique tourist mecca of Khao San Road.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Temple & River of Kings Urban Adventure - THB2465
  • Bangkok - Chinatown Food Discovery Urban Adventure - THB2149
  • Bangkok - Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure - THB1790
  • Bangkok - Bangkok by Bike Urban Adventure - THB1904
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
You’ll start today with a visit to Wat Pho, home to the country's largest reclining Buddha and keeper of the magic behind Thai massage. Wat Pho is one of the ‘trinity’ of Bangkok temples, located practically next door to the Grand Palace, and inside lies a 46-metre long gold-plated Buddha. Even the feet of this statue are incredible, three metres long and intricately decorated with mother of pearl. The temple grounds are equally fascinating, filled with beautifully decorated stupas, halls, and shrines. The complex is considered the first public university in the country, and is home to the world famous Wat Pho massage school, the centre of the traditional practice. The rest of the afternoon is free for optional activities, and this city has so much to offer – perhaps head next door to the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, or travel by longtail boat down the Chao Phraya River to explore the famous 'khlongs' (canals) of Bangkok. Life along these canals seems a world away from the chaotic streets of the capital. Tonight you will board an overnight train southbound for Surat Thani (approximately 13 hours).

Notes: Sleeper trains are clean and air-conditioned, and beds are multi-share compartments with bunk bed padded berths with sheets, pillow and blanket provided (although some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet). Please note that you may be sharing compartments with locals of the same or opposite gender. Your baggage will travel in the carriage with you. There's also a food and drink service available on board.
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho Temple
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - National Museum - THB200
  • Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
  • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB150
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive into Surat Thani this morning and continue by bus (approximately 2.5 hours) to the resort town of Ao Nang. A lively beachside town in Krabi Province, Ao Nang has a main street with open-air restaurants, shops that light up the sidewalk and bars perfect for kicking back with a beer. It’s also in a great position to hop on longtail boats to beaches like Railay and idyllic islands. There's plenty of free time to relax on the beautiful beaches and get into the spirit of southern Thailand. Enjoy a relaxing massage on the beach, or simply sit back with a good book and a cool cocktail to watch the sun slip beneath the waves. Rather than relaxing today you also might want to take advantage of some of the optional activities on offer, like a cycling trip that takes you on backcountry tracks, gets you close to local culture, and rewards you with a lovely afternoon dip in a beautiful waterfall. The area around Krabi is also home to some of the most spectacular climbing routes around. Whether you're a novice or a pro, being securely tied high up a limestone cliff-face looking down on jungle and crystalline seas is unforgettable.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Ao Nang - Longtail Boat Taxi to Railay Beach - THB100
  • Krabi - Cycling Trip including waterfall visit - THB3000
  • Ao Nang - Thai Massage - THB300
  • Ao Nang - Rock Climbing - THB1800
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning you’ll enjoy an included sea kayaking trip to the mangrove forest of Ao Thalane. About half way along the coast between Than Bok Khoranee and Krabi town is a bay of mangroves that might just be the most beautiful bay in Thailand. Surrounded by towering karst formations and many small offshore islands, move slowly through the bays and canyons that are like passageways, discover inlets, caves and hidden lagoons, and check out the local wildlife up-close – the birds overhead and monkeys in the trees. If you have time today (or possibly on Day 3), you could explore the beautiful underwater world around Ao Nang with some scuba diving, which includes three dives. Maybe absorb Thai culture through the tastes of a Thai cooking class this afternoon. In the evenings, you can stroll the beaches or sample local fare at a seafood restaurant.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Krabi - Sea Kayaking
Optional Activities
  • Ao Nang - Scuba Diving (3 dives) - THB4000
  • Ao Nang - Thai Cooking Class - THB1300
Meals Included
  • Lunch
Transfer by vehicle and longtail boat to the island of Ko Yao Noi (approximately 2 hours). Set in the heart of Phang-Nga Bay, the chilled-out island of Ko Yao Noi is a great place to relax away from the tourist trail and absorb its natural wonders. It has unspoilt shorelines, beaches and coves, a dramatic mountainous backdrop, fantastic views back across to the limestone islands of Ao Phang-Nga, and friendly locals. The afternoon is free to take an island tour, along roads that may still be dirt, past dense green forest to visit fishing villages and rubber plantations to meet the locals, or perhaps simply appreciate the islands serenity and beauty, coupled with some swimming in the crystal clear waters.

Notes: In the event of unfavourable weather conditions, we may be unable to travel to Ko Yao Noi. Alternative arrangements will be made to stay on Phuket Island.
Accommodation
  • Resort (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Koh Yao Noi - Island Sightseeing Tour - THB1000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today you’ll experience the beautiful underwater world that surrounds Ko Yao Noi with an included boat and snorkelling trip around the islands. Phang Nga Bay is filled with the small islands and dramatic limestone rock formations that are, for many, the iconic image of Thailand. Venture out into the bay to snorkel in the turquoise waters filled with ever-changing colours of coral and fish, and swim in the tropical sun. Enjoy a proper island-style picnic lunch on the beach at one of the many islands that are scattered around the bay, and follow it up with more swimming and snorkelling – what a tough life!
Accommodation
  • Resort (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Koh Yao Noi - Snorkelling
  • Koh Yao Noi - Phang Nga National Marine Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today you’ll leave the quiet and secluded nature of Ko Yao Noi for the tourist haven of Phuket, Thailand’s largest and most visited island. Travel James Bond style (who visited the nearby island of Ko Phing Kan in 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun) by catching a speedboat to Phuket (approximately 1 hour). This island is certainly a brasher, more vibrant extrovert to the mellower sibling of the last few days. If a little modern pizazz is what you’re after with your dose of sunshine exotica, look no further – this island offers a little something for everyone. When you arrive on the island you’ll stop by the last untouched rainforest remaining on the island at the Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Sanctuary. Here you can drop into Bang Pae Waterfall for a refreshing swim and then pay a visit to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre. The centre takes in formerly captive gibbons and rehabilitates then for reintroduction to the wild. Operated by a local NGO, the project works to help ensure the continued existence of these furry little friends on the island. You’ll stay in the heart of Patong, where everything from shops to restaurants to nightclubs awaits.
Accommodation
  • Resort (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Phuket - Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre & Bang Pae Waterfall
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Phuket is ringed with beaches, each with their own distinct personalities, from a party vibe to perhaps something quieter and more romantic. If you can pull yourself away from the beautiful beaches and curving coasts, Phuket also has a range of activities to fill your day, from Thai boxing exhibitions to cabaret shows. If you love getting out on the water and exploring the islands, then perhaps use your last day to take a day trip out to the stunning Phi Phi and Khai Nok, a tiny island surrounded by white sandy beach perfect suitable for swimming and snorkelling. Perhaps gather together you fellow travellers tonight and enjoy a celebratory dinner as your Thailand west coast beach adventure comes to an end.
Accommodation
  • Resort (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Phuket - Phi Phi & Khai Nok Island Day Trip - THB2800
  • Phuket - Thai kickboxing exhibition - THB600
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

4 breakfasts, 2 lunches

Transport

Overnight sleeper train, Songthaew, Speed boat, Van

Accommodation

Guesthouse (2 nights), Hotel (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (1 night), Resort (4 nights)

Included Activities

  • Bangkok - Wat Pho Temple
  • Krabi - Sea Kayaking
  • Koh Yao Noi - Snorkelling
  • Koh Yao Noi - Phang Nga National Marine Park
  • Phuket - Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre & Bang Pae Waterfall

Dates & availability

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Important notes

A single supplement is available on this trip, please see trip notes for further information.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Thailand Beaches West Coast (Nov - Apr) trips score an average of 4.7 out of 5 based on 10 reviews in the last year.

Thailand Beaches West Coast (Nov - Apr), April 2016

Carmel McCormack

Thailand Beaches West Coast (Nov - Apr), April 2016

Chris Mack