From the hills to the beaches, experience authentic Thailand on this 17-day trip.
Leave behind the hordes of backpackers in crowded Bangkok and head into parts of Thailand that lots of travellers never see. By the time they’re up and ready to shake off last night’s hangover, you’ll be on your way to Sukhothai, a tiny city also known as the Dawn of Happiness. From there, it just keeps getting better. Sure, you’ll see the vaunted beaches of Koh Samui and the Golden Triangle, but you’ll also meet gorgeous elephants in Chiang Mai and sip tea with locals who live in the hills of Doi Mae Salong. Now THIS is Thailand.
Some of our under-30 travellers prefer to get around with people their own age. If that’s you, you’re in the right place!
Over 29? We’ve got over 900 other great adventures to choose from for solo travellers, friends, families, food lovers, hiking enthusiasts, and more.
Dumbo isn't the only elephant that needs saving. Travel by private minivan to the Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital and witness the awesome work these guys do on a daily basis
Bike? Check. Shades? Check. Wind in your hair? Check. Sukhothai's Historical Park is the kind of dreamscape you don't have to wake up from
Swing 'til your winning and zip through the canopies at Flight of the Gibbon, an optional activity that will get your heart racing. This is just another brilliant excuse to act like a cheeky little monkey
Feel like one of the locals on an overnight train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. Grab some snacks from the on-board vendors, utilise your phrase book and embrace this unique journey
Obsessed with the Tom Yam Goong at your local Thai joint? Imagine how much better it would be in Thailand, on a beach, with a cocktail, at sunset. Nice, eh?
Koh Samui is a slice of paradise. Cruise the island, go chasing waterfalls and feel peachy on the beach before carving up the dance floor in one of Koh Samui's famous bars
Kick back for a few days in Ao Nang. Plenty of free time to take up optional activities like, cook some food in a Thai cooking class, cook yourself in some hot springs or paddle to a hidden lagoon on Koh Hong island
More fun in kayaks, coves and canyons is to be had in the mangrove forests of Ao Thalane. Don't let the local troublemakers (macaque monkeys) steal your camera
Need more reasons? Here are 7 more why we love it: intrepidtravel.com/adventures/southern-thailand/
We visit a number of temples on this trip, which requires a certain level of modesty. Please bring clothes that cover the arms and pants/skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.
This trip involves some long journeys on the road, lots of public transport (songthaews, public buses) and an overnight train, which can be tiresome. Although conditions are basic, overnight trains are a true local experience and the best way to travel long distances, meet locals and maximise time at your destinations. Occasionally passengers of different genders will be required to share a compartment and/or you'll be sharing with locals or travellers from other groups. For your own security, take a lock for your luggage.
As this is a Basix trip, the majority of activities are optional and you'll have lots of free time. This means you're able to do your own thing at your own pace.
Accommodation can be simple but it's always comfortable.
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Real Thailand trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. A Single Supplement to have your own room is bookable on this trip, subject to availability, and excludes Day 7 & Day 9 (overnight train).