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Essential Southern Thailand

8 Days | Fall in love with southern Thailand on a nature-focused adventure

5 out of 5 based on 21 reviews submitted.
18 to 29s
EUR €482
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This trip is for the 18 to 29 year olds

Love beaches? Love islands? Love cocktails? Well, you’ll love this trip! Head from buzzing Bangkok to blissful Ko Samui and dynamic Phuket on this eight-day southern Thailand adventure. With loads of free time to go snorkelling, swimming and waterfall-chasing, you’ll also enjoy loads of awesome included activities, like hiking, learning about turtles, cruising, blissing out on the beach and getting your safari fix in the jungle of Khao Sok National Park. Stay in a traditional raft house and be treated to some classic Thai hospitality, then end it all in vibrant Phuket.

Trip overview

Map of Essential Southern Thailand including Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand
Phuket, Thailand
18 to 29s
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Min 18 - Max 29
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
This trip generates 33 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.
Bucket list destinations

Tick off all the popular spots and enjoy unique local experiences

Great value

Affordable trips with the freedom to choose how you spend your time

Responsible travel

You book, we donate to help support local communities

Why you'll love this trip
  • Discover a real slice of paradise in Ko Samui. Cruise the island, go chasing waterfalls and relax on the beach before heading out to one of Ko Samui's famous beach bars.
  • Step into another world in Khao Sok National Park – an essential experience in Thailand, nature-lover or not (but how could you not be?). You’ll go wildlife spotting and waterfall hiking through some of the oldest jungles in the world.
  • Eat your weight in pad Thai, mango sticky rice, roti bread, street snacks and homecooked dinners (at your raft house stay) then wash it all down with a cocktail or two – yum!
  • Explore vibrant nightlife, beach bars and beach clubs in Bangkok, Ko Samui and Phuket with new like-minded friends and a local leader who knows all the best spots.
  • Visit the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation in Phuket and learn how they work with local organisations and educational facilities to rescue leatherneck turtle eggs (and other local turtle species) and provide the community with environmental training.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, EcoThailand Foundation. Donations help educate school children on important environmental issues like climate change, nature appreciation, conservation and sustainability.

Is this trip right for you?
  • Travel with the locals! This trip involves some long stints of travel using local transport, including a 13-hour overnight train to Surat Thani. Although conditions are basic, overnight trains are a great 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.
  • 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 will be basic but is always comfortable.
  • The weather in Thailand can be hot and sticky, so ensure that you pack accordingly. Please also wear sunscreen and a hat and drink plenty of water.


This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2024 to 31 December 2024.

View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2023 - 31 December 2023

Map of Essential Southern Thailand including Thailand



3 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner


Boat, Ferry, Public bus, Private vehicle, Overnight sleeper train, Songthaew


Hotel (3 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night), Resort (2 nights) Rafthouse (1 night)

  • Bangkok - Wat Pho
  • Ko Samui - half day guided tour
  • Khao Sok National Park – Longtail Boat Wildlife Safari
  • Khao Sok National Park - Rafthouse Stay
  • Khao Sok National Park – Waterfall Hike
  • Khao Lak - Tsunami Memorial
  • Phuket - Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation
Add on activities
  • Bangkok - Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure - THB2500
  • Bangkok - Temple & River of Kings Urban Adventure - THB2900
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
  • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB200
  • Bangkok - Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) - THB50
  • Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
  • Ko Samui - Thai Massage - THB300
  • Ko Samui - Thai Cooking Class - THB1850
  • Ko Samui - Day trip to Koh Tao - THB2400
  • Ko Samui - Ang Thong Marine Park tour - THB2500
  • Ko Samui - Samui Elephant Sanctuary - THB3500
  • Phuket - Phi Phi & Koh Khai Island Day Trip - THB3500
  • Phuket - Banana Beach & Koh Mai Ton Day Trip - THB2500
  • Phuket - Similan Day Trip - THB3500
  • Phuket - Surin National Marine Park Day Trip - THB3500
  • Phuket - Elephant Sanctuary - THB3500

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available if you'd prefer not to share a room on this trip. The Single Supplement excludes Day 2 (Overnight Train) and day 5 (Raft house). Please note that some room configurations have two single beds, although a double bed will always be requested.

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.

Read Essential Trip Information


5 out of 5 based on 21 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Roshae · Traveled October 2023
The Essential Thailand trip was the perfect mixture of activities and I enjoyed it so much. Our tour guide Ole was so knowledgeable and friendly.
Review submitted 30 Oct 2023

Matthew · Traveled September 2023
Traveling through Southern Thailand with Pepae as our guide was an absolute delight! From the moment we met her, her warm smile and genuine enthusiasm set the tone for the entire trip. Pepae's passion for the region and its culture was infectious, and it truly enriched our travel experience. Pepae's deep knowledge of Southern Thailand was evident at every turn. Whether we were exploring bustling markets, relaxing on pristine beaches, or hiking through lush jungles, Pepae provided us with fascinating insights, historical context, and fun anecdotes that brought each destination to life. Her storytelling ability made every place we visited feel like a living, breathing part of the Thai story. Beyond her expertise, Pepae's dedication to our group's safety and well-being was unwavering. She effortlessly handled all logistics, ensuring that we could focus on enjoying the journey without any worries. Pepae's attention to detail and problem-solving skills were truly commendable. One of the highlights of our trip was the incredible food we enjoyed, thanks to Pepae's recommendations and introductions to local delicacies. She led us to hidden gems and street food stalls that we would have never discovered on our own. Exploring the diverse flavors of Southern Thai cuisine with her was a true gastronomic adventure. Pepae's friendly and approachable demeanor made her more than just a guide; she became a friend and a trusted companion on our journey. She encouraged us to embrace new experiences, connect with the locals, and immerse ourselves fully in the culture. Her genuine interest in getting to know each member of the group made our trip feel personalized and unforgettable. In summary, Pepae was not just a tour guide; she was the heart and soul of our Southern Thailand adventure with Intrepid. We left with a profound appreciation for this beautiful part of the world, and we owe much of that to Pepae's expertise, passion, and genuine kindness. We wholeheartedly recommend her to anyone looking to explore the wonders of Southern Thailand, and we're immensely grateful for the memories she helped us create. Thank you, Pepae, for making our trip an extraordinary and memorable experience that will stay with us forever
Review submitted 02 Oct 2023

Estella · Traveled July 2023
I had the time of my life! Thailand is so beautiful and the people so friendly. The group of fellow travellers on the tour could not have been more fun and the whole trip was such an amazing bonding experience. Sasha, the tour leader was the best. I'd say it was the trip of the lifetime, but I'm already planning my next one........Thank you, Intrepid!
Review submitted 22 Jul 2023

Anna · Traveled July 2023
I really enjoyed the trip and the adventure. I saw and experienced things that I would not have experienced otherwise. I had a wonderful group and never felt alone and always felt safe. I recommend to everyone who doesn't want to travel alone and wants to experience the trip with a lot of extra information.
Review submitted 10 Jul 2023

Sian · Traveled June 2023
So many fun experiences in a compact 9 day trip. The range of accommodations and transport experiences made for such a fun, diverse and authentic experience. Would recommend!
Review submitted 19 Jun 2023
Essential Southern Thailand
EUR €482