Map of Real Thailand including Thailand

From the hills to the beaches, experience authentic Thailand on this 16-day trip.

Leave behind bustling Bangkok streets and go deeper into the parts of Thailand that most travellers never see in Doi Inthanont National Park. Here, you'll find Hilltribe villages, waterfalls and jungle. And from there, it just keeps getting better. Sure, you’ll see the vaunted beaches of Koh Samui and Ao Nang, but you’ll also spend a night in a rafthouse in Khao Sok National Park and partake in a Muay Thai Class in Chiang Mai. Now THIS is Thailand.

This trip is for 18 to 29-year-olds

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.


Start
Bangkok, Thailand
Finish
Ao Nang, Thailand
Destination
Thailand
Style
Basix
Theme
18 to 29s
Code
TTYDC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18, Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Travel solo, together

You're never alone when travelling solo with Intrepid

Why you'll love this trip

  • Feel like one of the locals on overnight train journeys throughout this trip. Grab some snacks from the on-board vendors, utilise your phrase book, rub shoulders with the locals and embrace this unique journey.

  • Taste the best of Thailand. 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 with plenty of free time to take up optional activities! Cook some food in a Thai cooking class, cook yourself in some hot springs or paddle to a hidden lagoon on Koh Hong island.

  • Get your street food fix in bustling Bangkok and tuck into some of the tastiest eats in all of Asia. Did someone say 'mango sticky rice'? Yes, please!

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip includes a two-day hillside trek, and can involve a lot of walking. Please ensure you bring sturdy walking shoes and comfortable clothes. To make the most of the trip, it's best if you have at least a moderate level of fitness.

  • Accommodation can be basic, especially in the hillside village, but, don't worry, it's always comfortable.

  • We use hostels on this trip in Chiang Mai, so think dorm beds and shared bathrooms. It’s modern, comfortable and has some great communal spaces to hang out with your new mates.

  • 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 overnight trains, 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.

Itinerary

Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand. Your adventure kicks off with a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight. If you arrive early, there's plenty to keep you occupied until then - perhaps take a walk around Chinatown and explore the vibrant streets, or head to the magnificent Grand Palace. Then, after tonight's important welcome meeting, it’s time to dig into some traditional tastes of Thailand. Bangkok is known for its street food, so you'll get the chance to head out with your leader and check out some roadside stalls around Khao Sarn Road. Later on, discover Bangkok’s nightlife and head out to one (or more) of the best local bars. Ask your guide for directions or grab your new travel mates and attempt to navigate the MRT subway train.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bangkok - Khao Sarn Road
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
  • Bangkok - Bangkok Temple & River of Kings Urban Adventure - THB2900
  • Bangkok - Bangkok Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure - THB2500
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting 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).
Good morning, it's time for an adventure. Take a train from Bangkok to Ayutthaya this morning. Ayutthaya was the capital in the Kingdom of Siam, but now the ruins of this old city form the Historical Park: an archaeological site that contains palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries and statues. Take local tuk tuks on a visit to the Ayutthaya temple site, stopping by Wat Panan Choeng (adorned with a huge 19 metre Buddha image), Wat Yai Chai Mong Kol (with its 62 metre Victory Pagoda), and the famous Wat Maha That (the Buddhist temple with a striking figure head swallowed by tree roots). You’ll have the chance to buy some of Ayutthaya's famous Boat Noodles’ soup – trust us, they’re delicious. After your day exploring, hop on an overnight train up to Chiang Mai. You’ll have a few day-use rooms to share in Ayutthaya to freshen up before your train ride.
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ayutthaya - Historical Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Arrive in Chiang Mai in the morning and transfer to your hostel. Even though check-in is at 2 pm, you’ll still be able to use the facilities, if you’d like. Chiang Mai is the perfect entrance to the Thai highlands, with misty mountains and colourful hillside villages awaiting you to explore. This will be your base for the next few days, as you’ll return here after your hillside trek. Today, spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing and exploring the city, then at night, why not get a group of you together and visit the night markets or the trendy bars in the happening Nimman area? You're on holiday, after all.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Night Bazaar & Anusarn Market
Optional Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Thai massage - THB200
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning at around 8 am, leave Chiang Mai and head to Mae Malai Market to stock up on some delicious fresh snacks for your trek. Then continue on to the start point of today’s 8km hike. Your destination for this evening is the Lahu Hilltribe Village of Pong Ngan Lahu (approximately 5-6 hours trekking time). Walk along the mountain ridge and take in the views of the natural forest and remote scenery. Enjoy a packed lunch in the beautiful surrounds of Huey Nam Dang National Park before continuing on to meet your local hosts. Pong Ngan Lahu Village is located beside the Mae Taeng River and you will arrive here late afternoon. Tonight, experience a local home-cooked dinner by the campfire, then take a walk around the village to chat with the locals. This is a really special opportunity to experience rural Thai life first-hand.
Accommodation
  • Hilltribe Village House (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Huey Nam Dang - Hilltribe Trek – 2 Days
  • Hilltribe Trek - Mae Malai Market Visit
  • Hilltribe Village - Home-cooked Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
All meals are included while trekking, but you'll need to purchase and carry your own water and snacks. Please allow approximately US$10 to cover your water for the trek. Accommodation is multishare, sleeping on roll mats on the floor of the wooden huts typical of the villages. There are shared squat toilets and basic washing facilities (a hose or water pipe) in most villages. You may also be able to wash in a nearby stream. Warmer clothing and sleeping bags are recommended from November to January, as the nights are usually quite cool during this period.
The best thing about being deep in the jungle in the morning is to enjoy the natural wake-up sounds of wildlife calls. After breakfast, you’ll have the opportunity to buy some handicrafts from local enterprises to help support the community. Then begin today’s trek through the storybook landscape of farmland and jungle (approximately 4-5hours, 10km), exploring other hilltribe villages along the way. Reach Mae Sae Village at approximately 2pm, where you’ll meet your transfer and drive down to Mok Fah Waterfall. After two long days of hiking, relax your legs by the gorgeous falls or take a dip in the water – there’s no rush this afternoon! Arrive back in Chiang Mai around 5pm and check into your accommodation. The rest of the day is free to relax and explore the city.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Huey Nam Dang - Hilltribe Trek – 2 Days
  • Hilltribe Trek – Mok Fah Waterfall
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today, head out on an orientation walk with your leader. Then you're free as a bird for the rest of the day in charming Chiang Mai. There are plenty of optional activities for you to consider today. We highly recommend checking out Wat Prasingh and Wat Chedi Luang temples. After this, perhaps stop by Chuan Chom Vocational Training Center for lunch or a massage. Here you'll learn about the work that they do to train the women from the correctional institution with skills to go back to society. Alternatively, head to Doi Suthep or try your hand at a local cooking class. It's totally up to you! At night, why not get the gang together and party the night away at a local bar.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Orientation Walk
Optional Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Bicycle tour - THB990
  • Chaing Mai - Baan Thai Cookery School Half Day Course - THB1000
  • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep temple complex - THB50
  • Chiang Mai - Wat Chedi Luang Temple - THB40
  • Chiang Mai - Chuan Chom Vocational Training Centre - Massage (from) - THB250
  • Chiang Mai - Wat Prasingh Temple - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
With another day to explore Chiang Mai, you’re spoilt for options. Included for today is your chance to learn one of the world legend Martial arts, Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) this morning. Spend 1.5 hours exercising and learning the basics of Muay Thai with the pros, plus how to adapt yourselves to be the weapons and guard. Later in the evening, board an overnight train for Bangkok (approximately 13 hours). Soft sleeper class trains are used for the overnight journey, and they’ve got all you’ll need! The compartments are multi-share with air-conditioning and bunk beds that come with sheets and a pillow. Baggage travels in the carriage with you, and there's a food and drink service available on board.
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Muay Thai Class (Thai boxing)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your train is scheduled to arrive into Bangkok in the early morning on Day 8 of the trip. The rest of the day is free to explore thecity as you wish. 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. We encourage you to attend this meeting, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Bangkok Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure - THB2500
  • Bangkok - Bangkok Temple & River of Kings Urban Adventure - THB2900
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today, explore some of Bangkok's most famous sights. Take an included visit with your group to the temple complex of Wat Pho, which houses the famous 46-metre-long statue of the Reclining Buddha – he sure looks comfortable. And how will you get there? Take a public boat down the Chao Phraya River and observe the beautiful scenery, getting off at Tha Tien Pier - within easy walking distance of Wat Pho. Afterwards, the afternoon is free for you to discover more of the city, like the Grand Palace or Jim Thompson House (or just more food, up to you). In the evening, be ready to head south on an overnight train to Surat Thani.

Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
  • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB200
  • Bangkok - Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) - THB50
  • Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Arrive into Surat Thani this morning, continuing on an approximately 4-hour journey by public bus and ferry to Ko Samui. The island of Ko Samui has been a tourist hotspot for decades, and with good reason. You can swim, snorkel or relax in the waterfalls at Na Muang. Take a trip with the group around the island, visiting the 15-metre-tall Big Buddha (Wat Phra Yai). In the evening, perhaps feast on a delicious curry with the group and then join in the party atmosphere that is Koh Samui's famous nightlife.
Accommodation
  • Resort (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ko Samui - half day guided tour
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Spend a free day today however you’d like – swimming, lazing in the sun or more exploring. You may like to take an optional day tour to Ang Thong Marine National Park by either slow boat or speedboat. The park is an archipelago of over 40 islands in the Gulf of Thailand, featuring pristine beaches, jungle, mangroves and limestone mountains rising out of the sea. Take a swim at popular Ko Mae island and check out the saltwater lagoon of Thale Nai (Emerald Lake). For a quieter experience and some great snorkelling opportunities, head to the nearby islands of Ko Tao and Ko Nang Yuan. Ko Samui is also home to an elephant sanctuary, and you are able to come close to these gentle giants if you please. Watch them bathe, roam the fields and socialise with other elephants, all knowing that they are in a caring and peaceful environment.
Accommodation
  • Resort (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • 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
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning, head from Ko Samui to Khao Sok National Park. Take a songtaew and catch an early ferry from Samui Pier for a 1.5-hour journey to reach Don Sak Pier. Then, jump in a private vehicle to Chiew Larn Lake (approximately 2 hours), and take a traditional longtail boat for a calm 1-hour journey to reach your rafthouse. Keep your eyes out for wild bull elephants, gibbons and Spectacled langur (dusky leaf monkeys). Khao Sok National Park is the wettest spot in Thailand with some of the oldest jungle in the world. See loads of amazing limestone rock faces and, if you're lucky, monkeys playing here and there. Later on, take an evening safari with your group, where you’ll head by longtail boat deep in the jungle, keeping an eye and ear out for more animals. This is when they're most active. Afterwards, enjoy a traditional southern Thai meal at the rafthouse with your group.
Accommodation
  • Rafthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Khao Sok National Park – Longtail Boat Wildlife Safari
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
Your raft house will be basic and situated above the water, with wooden walkways connecting the huts and the land. There are simple shared bathroom facilities on the land. Be sure to bring your mosquito repellent, and a net if you prefer, and your sense of adventure.

There are two seasons in Khao Sok National Park – dry and rainy. The dry season runs from January to March, and the rainy season from April to December. During the rainy season, walking trails will be muddy and slippery and harmless leeches are everywhere, but the scenery is lush and green. Be sure to bring closed, waterproof shoes with a good grip.

Lucky you with a morning in the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world. Your awesome jungle rafthouse sits right inside the park, so you’ll have time this morning to catch the mist drifting along the lake as you search for wildlife in the jungle on a longail boat. Before lunch, take a jungle hike around the park, and depending on the season, see cascading waterfalls or head up high to a panoramic viewpoint. This place is paradise, especially if you love nature – if you're lucky there might be a glimpse of elephants, exotic Hornbills and water-loving Langur Monkeys deep inside the park. After lunch, you'll leave the rafthouse and head back to the pier on another longtail boat. Then, take a private vehicle to Ao Nang, on the Andaman Sea. Get ready, ‘cause you’ve arrived in a seaside paradise.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Khao Sok National Park – Waterfall Hike
  • Khao Sok National Park – Longtail Boat Wildlife Safari
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Ao Nang beach is on the southern Thai coast and is bursting with white sand and laidback vibes. One of the most popular places to go chill out is nearby Railay Beach, but this is an interesting one to get to. Even though it’s connected on the coast, the massive limestone karsts that surround the bay make it virtually impossible to access via land. That being said, take a longtail boat journey for a matter of minutes, and you’ll be washed up on the pristine shores. There’ll be some time to swim and relax on the sand. This place is thai-riffic, if you ask us.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ao Nang - Transport to Railay Beach (round trip)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is as clear as the emerald waters surrounding Ao Nang. Enjoy a free day to relax on the beach or participate in a variety of optional activities. Perhaps unwind with a massage or cook up something delicious in a Thai cooking class. Take a tour out to some of Krabi's naturally formed crystal pools and hot springs, swimming in the clear waters of the Emerald Lagoon while fish nibble at your toes. You might like to take a trip out to the quiet, pristine island of Ko Hong, where you can snorkel in the shallow reefs and kayak past cliffs to a hidden salt-water lagoon. The best thing is you can choose to do whatever you please, so soak it all up!
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Ao Nang - Rock Climbing - THB1800
  • Krabi - Half day cycling trip with waterfalls - THB2500
  • Ao Nang - Hot springs & Emerald lagoon tour - THB1600
  • Ao Nang - Phi Phi Island Day Tour - THB1600
  • Ao Nang - Scuba Diving (3 dives) - THB4000
  • Ao Nang - Cooking class - THB1200
  • Ao Nang - Thai Massage - THB300
  • Ao Nang - Ko Hong Day Tour - THB1500
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
With no activities planned for today, you are free to depart the accommodation at any time. But that doesn’t mean that your Thailand adventure has to come to an end! Pull up a towel on Ao Nang beach, catch some rays and relax into the day. You deserve it.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

10 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Public bus, Private vehicle, Taxi, Overnight sleeper train, Songthaew, Tuk-Tuk, Boat, Ferry

Accommodation

Guesthouse (6 nights), Hotel (2 nights), Overnight sleeper train (3 nights), Resort (2 nights), Rafthouse (1 night), Hilltribe Village House (1 night)

Included activities

  • Bangkok - Khao Sarn Road
  • Ayutthaya - Historical Park
  • Chiang Mai - Night Bazaar & Anusarn Market
  • Huey Nam Dang - Hilltribe Trek – 2 Days
  • Hilltribe Trek - Mae Malai Market Visit
  • Hilltribe Village - Home-cooked Dinner
  • Hilltribe Trek – Mok Fah Waterfall
  • Chiang Mai - Orientation Walk
  • Chiang Mai - Muay Thai Class (Thai boxing)
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho
  • Ko Samui - half day guided tour
  • Khao Sok National Park – Longtail Boat Wildlife Safari
  • Khao Sok National Park – Waterfall Hike
  • Ao Nang - Transport to Railay Beach (round trip)

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

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.

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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 2,7,9 (Overnight sleeper train), Days 3,5,6 (Hostel), Day 4 (Hilltribe Village House), Day 12 (Rafthouse) and Day 13,14,15 (Guesthouse) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. Please note that some room configurations have two single beds, although a double bed will always be requested.

Essential trip information

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