Spend a few weeks in paradise, otherwise known as Southern Thailand

Squeeze through crowded markets in Bangkok, then calm yourself down on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. From chaos and honking horns to sand and snorkels, this 16-day trip is the perfect way to see both sides of Thailand.

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Terms & Conditions

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

Why you'll love this trip

  • See Bangkok with a mixture of included activities and free time. You can explore at your own pace in this often overwhelming – though exciting – city.

  • Soak your feet in the pool at the base of a waterfall in Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park for the best foot spa ever.

  • See the best of Phuket, from 360-degree views of the island from the base of the Big Buddha to the clear waters of mountain-clasped beaches.

  • Do some island hopping between Ko Kangkaw, Ko Gum and Ko Yeepoon, travelling by longtail boat.

  • See the Thailand of postcards with a visit to Phang Nga Bay, where small islands and dramatic limestone rock formations dot the ocean.

Is this trip right for you?

  • There's a bit of driving on the trip for those who get fidgety or carsick, but it shouldn't be too excessive – the longest you'll drive at a time will be five hours

  • Passengers who suffer sea-sickness should also be made aware that a whole day trip at sea might set them off. It would also be wise to pack enough sunscreen to prevent a nasty sunburn from ruining your adventures

  • 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, longtail boats, and even kayaks!

Itinerary

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 Arun – 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. 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 or Wat Pho, home to the country's largest reclining Buddha and keeper of the magic behind Thai massage. You may want to 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. Some may find the air conditioning on the train quite cold overnight so best to pack a jumper and some long pants.
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bangkok - Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - National Museum - THB200
  • Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho - THB200
  • 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 back country 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. As the sun begins to set, take a quick 15 minute trip out of Ao Nang to a local family’s home. Sit down to the table and share a dinner, along with laughs, stories and a heart-warming evening experience.
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
  • Dinner
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
  • Ao Nang - 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 dinner on the beachfront.
Accommodation
  • Resort (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Phuket - Phi Phi & Khai Nok Island Day Trip - THB2800
  • Phuket - Thai kickboxing exhibition - THB600
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a free day in Phuket before you meet your new leader and any new travellers joining your group this evening. Maybe make the most of the incredible food on offer, searching out a bowl of local favourite tom yam goong (spicy and sour prawn soup) or some classic dim sum. Make sure you are back at the hotel by 6 pm for a welcome meeting, where you will hand your insurance and next of kin details over to your new leader and get acquainted with the new group. After the house keeping is out of the way, you might want to kick off this leg of your adventure by sharing a cocktail with your group or taking a dip at the ocean.
Accommodation
  • Resort (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Go beach-hopping with a local guide while exploring some of the finest sights Phuket has to offer. Start off at Phuket’s Big Buddha, one of the island’s most important and revered landmarks. The huge 45 metre tall (147 feet) statue sits atop the Nakkerd Hills like a beacon in the distance – enjoy stunning 360-degree views and a few cheeky photos once you arrive at the base of the statue itself. Travel onwards to Nai Harn Beach, arguably one of the prettiest in the area thanks to undeveloped tree-covered mountains clasping the shores on each side and clean, clear waters. While the secret about Nai Harn is out, it’s still less crowded than other beaches and remains a favourite for people in the know. Next stop – Kata Noi Beach. The pristine sands, turquoise waters and unhindered view of the Andaman Sea have earned this beach a reputation among locals as an excellent place to kick back and relax, made even better by the less-developed feel it offers in contrast to neighbouring Kata Yai Beach. Swimming is a fairly popular activity here, as is chucking the frisbee or grabbing a massage – dabble in any of these at your own leisure after a restaurant lunch with the group.
Included Activities
  • Phuket - Full day Island tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Continue travelling towards Khao Lak in a private minivan on a 2-hour drive. Spend a bit of time appreciating the natural splendour of the region with a stop-off at the Ton Chong Fa waterfall, located in the Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park. Soak your feet in the pool at the base of the timid falls, possibly catching a glimpse of the sun peeking through the canopy as it casts an illuminated view of the waters, rocks and surrounding forest. After jumping back in the minivan and pushing on to Khao Lak, drop off all your luggage at the resort. Perhaps head down to the beach afterwards, located an easy 3-minute walk away from your accommodation.
Accommodation
  • Resort (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Khao Lak - Lam Ru National Park & Ton Chong Fa WaterFall
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
From the tiny sandy beaches with their awning mangroves to the isolated lighthouses sitting perched on rocky outcrops, the Khao Lak shoreline offers a serene ambience that softly washes over you like an inviting tide of its own. Sink into its mellow groove with a free day to stroll along the beach or bask by the pool. Alternatively, if you’re feeling more adventurous then there’s plenty to do. Consider taking an optional snorkelling day trip to Koh Ra and Koh Khai, travelling out to the Similan Island for a tour or take part in a Thai cooking class set by a tropical fruit plantation. Just speak with your leader and they’ll be able to arrange the rest.
Accommodation
  • Resort (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Khao Lak - Snorkeling Day Trip to Koh Ra & Koh Khai - THB2800
  • Khao Lak - Similan Island Tour - THB3800
  • Khao Lak - Pa-Kin-Na-Ka Thai Cooking Class - THB2000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The islands are calling, and in order to answer you’ll need to be up bright and early (around 7 am) for a private minivan journey to Ranong. Cool down with a dip at Koh Kam beach en route and arrive at Bang Ben Pier at around 10 am. Board a slender longtail boat and embark on an island-hopping adventure, sailing between Koh Gum, Koh Kangkaw and Koh Yeepoon. These three relatively unspoiled isles offer a raw glimpse into Thailand’s pristine, natural beauty. First up is Koh Kangkaw, where you’ll stop for a a spot of snorkelling. Afterwards, head to Koh Gum, which boasts a soft beach shaped like a buffalo horn. Spend a bit of time here taking photos or swimming among the coral and beautiful fish before heading inland for a lunch under the trees. Cruise onwards to Koh Yeepoon, which formerly housed a Japanese military base. Bask in the sun on the white, powdery beach before returning to Ranong at around 5 pm. Transfer to your hotel and spend the evening however you please.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ranong - Koh Kam Beach Hopping Day Trip
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Gain a greater understanding of Ranong’s local culture on a sightseeing trip throughout the area, meeting up with Thai communities as you go. Learn about the famous mining town of Had Som Paen, pay respects to the Buddhist monk Luang Por Klai, hop in a songthaew and see Klong Had Som Paen Reservoir, and visit one of Ranong's two mining factories. Later, taste traditional desserts and herbal drinks while enjoying a folk dance show at a learning centre. Try your hand making ceramics or mining for tin at Haad Som Pan, a great community visit that will give you a better understanding of the local industries in this rural area. With free time in the afternoon, choose to either wander around the area at your own pace or take an optional trip to the Raksa Warin hot spring for a lovely soak in the warm waters. The hustle and bustle of a late night visit to the Ranong Burmese Night Market offers a lively insight into the local community – perhaps snack on some of the street food with the group to round out a big day of cultural engagement.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ranong - Community visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Jump back in a public bus and return to Phuket. After a 5-hour drive, the afternoon is yours to enjoy. Consider taking an optional sightseeing walk through the streets of Old Phuket City, taking in the Spanish and Portuguese inspired architectural marvels and shopfronts that capture an air of old times. Either that or hit the beach again for a bit more sun and surf – both are great options. As the evening rolls in, consider sharing a final meal with your new friends along Patong’s beachfront.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your Southern Thailand tour comes to an end today. You're free to depart at any time.
Accommodation
  • Resort (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

11 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Private minibus, Long tail boat, Public bus, Songthaew, Taxi, Train.

Accommodation

Hotel (3 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night), Resort (9 nights), Guesthouse (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Bangkok - Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
  • Ao Nang - Sea kayaking
  • Koh Yao Noi - Snorkelling
  • Koh Yao Noi - Phang Nga National Marine Park
  • Phuket - Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre & Bang Pae Waterfall
  • Phuket - Full day Island tour
  • Khao Lak - Lam Ru National Park & Ton Chong Fa WaterFall
  • Ranong - Koh Kam Beach Hopping Day Trip
  • Ranong - Community visit

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Important notes

A single supplement is available on this trip, please contact your sales agent if you would like to book a single supplement. The following days are excluded from the single supplement: Day 2 - Overnight Train

Essential trip information

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