Northern Thailand & Beaches

An incredible 21-day experience covering all the best bits of an amazing country. From rivers, waterfalls and ancient temples in central Thailand, to the jungles and mountains in the North, and the amazing lakes, islands and beaches of the South. This trip has something for everyone and is almost certainly the best full country group tour of Thailand around. We start in Bangkok and finish on the island paradise of Koh Phangan, stopping at so many varied and beautiful destinations you will not believe they are all in the same country. You will do more adventure activities than you can shake a bit of bamboo at, and have the best time of your entire life as you’re whisked around paradise with a new group of friends.

What's Included

Airport Pickup
(Up to two days before tour)

Travel Ninja
Your Guide! Like travelling with your best mates & one of them happens to know where they're going!

Transport
All Transport Included 2 x Overnight Trains Private Vans Ferry to Koh Phangan

Accommodation
20 Nights Accommodation Hotels Floating Bungalows Bottle Beach Bungalows

Activities
Erawan waterfalls Elephant sanctuary Khao Sok National Park Muay Thai Class

TruExclusives
Hill Tribe Homestay Bottle Beach Experience
TruFlexibility
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Low Deposit
Stupidly low deposits so you won't have to raid the piggy bank to lock in your trip.
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Free date changes
In case shit happens and you can't make it.
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Payment Plans
Have something to look forward to & pay us when you can.
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Unrivalled Support
The best 1 on 1 support before, during and after your trip.
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Lifetime Deposits
Never lose out. Your deposit is good for life, even if plans change.
Bucket List
Care For Elephants
A picturesque group photo at Khao Sok national park by the floating bungalows
Khao Sok National Park
Creating flames from the wok in a cooking class in Chiang Mai Thailand
Thai Cooking Class
A girl about to go on the zip line in Chiang Mai Thailand
Zip-lining

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14 Day 15 Day 16 Day 17 Day 18 Day 19 Day 20 Day 21
Day 1

Airport Pick Up

We will be there to greet you when you arrive (into either Bangkok airport) and will take you straight to our hotel, just a stone’s throw away from the famous backpacker hotspot of Khao San road. Even if you arrive one or two days before the start of the trip we will still pick you up, will introduce you to any other early arrivals and give you some ideas for things to do and see in Bangkok before the tour starts.There are no activities planned for day one so you have time to get settled in, meet your new travel buddies and get ready for one of our best: The Northern Thailand and Beaches tour. In the evening we’ll take you to one of our favorite restaurants and then for a few drinks on Khao San road so we can all get to know each other over an ice cold beer (or two).

Bangkok
Airport Pick Up
Groups enjoying a drink sat around a pool raising their arms to cheer with a busy market street in the background
3 people laughing in tuk tuk in Thailand using a gopro to take photo
A lively photo of a crowd enjoying the nightlife in Bangkok
Day 2

KANCHANABURI, KAYAKING ON THE RIVER KWAI

Leaving Bangkok in the morning by private mini bus, we’ll get a real taste of Thailand as our first stop is Taling Chan floating market, possibly one of the coolest sites to see around Bangkok. After a bit of sightseeing and shopping, we head on to Kanchanaburi where we take part in another water based activity as we jump on a boat and cruise down the river Kwai exploring your new surroundings. We head to the famous ‘Bridge Over the River Kwai’ for sunset.

KANCHANABURI
FLOATING MARKET & BRIDGE OVER KWAI
1x (B) 2x (L) 1x (D)
A group by the stunning view of the river in Kanchanaburi Thailand
Group standing on the bridge over the river Kwai in Kanchanaburi Thailand
group of young people standing with beautiful scenery of lakes and mountains in the background in Thailand
A happy group photo at the idyllic bridge on river Kwai
Day 3

ERAWAN WATERFALLS

Just an hour away from Kanchanaburi sits possibly Thailand’s most famous waterfall, and for a country that boast many waterfalls both big and small, that is no small claim. Erawan waterfall has seven tiers with different features and every one of them is jaw-droppingly beautiful. Make sure you bring a towel and your swimming costume because you will undoubtedly want to take a dip in the crystal clear water on some, if not all, of the levels as we trek from one to the next. When we arrive back at our guesthouse you will have a few hours to explore the town or chill by the pool before we catch up in the evening for dinner and a few drinks.

KANCHANABURI
ERAWAN FALLS
1x Lunch
People sitting in waterfall in Erawan Falls Thailand
Group sitting amongst a waterfall with hands in the air
Day 4

AYUTTHAYA, ANCIENT RUINS & HISTORY

After a bit of a lie in we get back on the road to the ancient capital city of Ayutthaya. It’s absolutely dripping in history and culture. We’ll explore the ancient city ruins by bike, take in the incredible sights of the UNESCO world heritage site and learn a little about the fascinating history of this place, and indeed the Kingdom of Siam (Thailand). After grabbing a bite to eat, we hop onto the night train to our next destination, Chiang Mai. The train is a true Thai experience, everyone gets their own berth, complete with fresh sheets and linen. You can use the time on the train to catch up on sleep or take in the views. We’ll arrive nice and early the following day in the beautiful northern city of Chiang Mai.

Overnight TRAIN
TEMPLES & BIKE RIDE
1x Lunch
Girl standing in front of some flower offerings laid down next to a giant reclining buddha in ayutthaya, Thailand
Group with hands in prayer position in front of large reclining buddha statue in Thailand
Four girls sitting on bikes with basket on the front with temples faintly showing in the background and green trees behind them
A serene group photo beside the reclining buddha in Ayutthaya
A group photo in front of the ruins in Ayutthaya Thailand
Day 5

CHIANG MAI – TEMPLES & CULTURE

After we check into our new accommodation, which is ideally situated between the old and new areas of Chiang Mai, you’ll have time to chill by the pool, explore your new surroundings, or check out the oldest temple in Chiang Mai (which is right opposite our hotel). After some lunch we jump in a cab up to the most famous temple in Chiang Mai – Wat Pra Maha Doi Sutthep (or just Doi Sutthep for short) – This beautiful temple is situated way up high on the side of a mountain, so the views from the top are just incredible and you get a panoramic view of the whole of Chiang Mai below.

CHIANG MAI
TEMPLES & CULTURAL DAY
1x Lunch
A group photo in front of Wat Phra That Chiang Mai
A group photo at the beginning of the 300 steps at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai Thailand
A group photo at the temple Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai Thailand
Day 6

JUNGLE TREK & HILL TRIBE

Today we’re off on a jungle trekking expedition to a local hill tribe village! It is a long trek, but don’t be put off by that! We stop at waterfalls along the way for a cheeky swim and lunch! Learn about the local’s culture and we’ll set up camp for the night. If you’re looking for a once in a lifetime experience, this is it. Get a real taste of what it’s like to live in a traditional hill tribe; their customs & traditions haven’t changed for generations.

HILL TRIBE HOMESTAY
JUNGLE TREK, WATERFALLS & BAMBOO RAFTS
1X LUNCH,1x Dinner
TRU Exclusives
HILL TRIBE HOMESTAY
A group hiking in Chiang Mai Thailand wearing hats made out of banana leaves
A girl on a bamboo raft trip with an elephant in the background bathing in the river in Chiang Mai Thailand
Bamboo raft trip in Chiang Mai Thailand
Day 7

WATERFALLS & BAMBOO RAFTS

After a night of blissful sleep under the stars, we head back to Chiang Mai. But don’t stress, your trekking days are over. We’re heading back via bamboo raft! Yeah you heard us a BAMBOO RAFT. Cruise down the river with the wind in your hair before we stop off for a dip at another beautiful waterfall. Freshen up in the clear waters after an insightful evening with the hill tribe, dry off and we’re on our way back to Chiang Mai! Note: This trek doesn’t require a high level of fitness, but can be challenging in some places; you’ll have definitely earned that cold beer once you complete it though!

CHIANG MAI
WATERFALLS & BAMBOO RAFTS
A girl on a bamboo raft trip with an elephant in the background bathing in the river in Chiang Mai Thailand
Bamboo raft trip in Chiang Mai Thailand
Day 8

ZIP LINE THROUGH THE JUNGLE

Chiang Mai is often referred to as the adventure capital of Thailand. There are loads of cool activities to do up here, and our absolute favourite of these (and probably the most popular) is ziplining; an amazing experience certain to get the heart racing and adrenaline pumping. Soar from platform to platform through the canopy of the jungle up to 50m above the ground, throw in some rope bridges and a few abseils and you’ll experience the jungle in an entirely different (and much faster) way than walking through it at ground level.

CHIANG MAI
ZIPLINING
1x lunch, 1x dinner
A group photo on the truck before going to the zip line in Chiang Mai Thailand
A group taking part in the zip line in Chiang Mai Thailand
A couple having a moment on the zip line in Chiang Mai Thailand
Day 9

ELEPHANT SANCTUARY

Today we will get to know some of the planet’s most amazing and majestic creatures. At this sanctuary, all of the elephants are free to roam and are not forced to do anything unnatural. When we arrive we will be given a quick briefing and learn about some of the resident elephants, then we can feed them some sugar cane and banana (which they love) and get to know them a bit before we wander with them down to the river for a swim and bathe. In the afternoon we’ll jump in a minibus and follow the mountain roads to the cool and quirky little town of Pai. It’s about three hours outside of Chiang Mai and is now a very popular backpacker destination for a number of good reasons. Nice scenery, cool stuff to see and do, very chilled vibe, lovely people, good bars and excellent food. Winning!

PAI
ELEPHANT SANCTUARY
1x Breakfast
Meeting the elephants with buckets of bananas ready to feed them in Chiang Mai Thailand
Feeding the elephants bananas in Chiang Mai Thailand
Walking with the elephants at the sanctuary in Chiang Mai Thailand
A group photo with the elephants in Chiang Mai Thailand
A group at the elephant sanctuary mashing bananas to feed the elephants with in Chiang Mai Thailand
Day 10

LIFE OF PAI – CAVES, CANYONS & HOT SPRINGS

We’ll explore the surrounding areas of Pai today. Starting with Lod Cave, Thailand’s biggest cave; we’ll either trek through the main chambers, or float through on a bamboo raft (depending on the season and accessibility). We’ll then make our way to the hot springs, crystal clear and heated by geothermal activity. Use the clay to give yourself a natural facial, and relax in the perfect temperature water. Finish off at Pai Canyon for some impressive views of the surrounding landscape, as we watch the sunset.

PAI
HOT SPRINGS
1x Lunch, 1x Dinner
Day 11

NICE AS PAI: CHILLING

Today is yours to spend as you like; time for some free time. Opt to spend a bit more time in bed in the morning; and then head to Fluid Swimming Pool Bar where most of the backpackers in the area head to socialise, cool down and relax. We’ll head over to the local Chinese Village for a tea tasting later in the day.

PAI
POOL CHILL & Tea tasting
girls in bikinis sat by large pool in Thailand
3 girls chilling by a pool in Thailand having drinks
A couple in the pool in Pai
Day 12

BACK TO CHIANG MAI & COOKING COURSE

We’ll head back to Chiang Mai today; where we’ll stuck into a cooking class. Thai cuisine is incredible, and it’s your turn to learn from the masters how to cook your favourite dishes at a local cooking school. We’ll visit a market first, where you’ll be taught everything there is about the ingredients they use. The best part of the whole thing, is that you get to eat the feast you’ve all cooked as a group. It’s a very authentic Thai experience, and definitely a way of impressing family and friends at home when you whip up these dishes for them when you’re back.

CHIANG MAI
COOKING CLASS
A group photo on the bridge at the cooking class in Chiang Mai Thailand
Creating flames from the wok in a cooking class in Chiang Mai Thailand
A group taking a cooking class in Chiang Mai Thailand
A group experimenting with flames in the wok at a cooking class in Chiang Mai Thailand
Day 13

CHIANG MAI CANYON

Chiang Mai’s very own Grand Canyon. It’s an old excavation site which is now a man-made lagoon that has been turned into an adult playground, great place to spend a day. There are floaties to chill on in the water, paddle boards, tubes; and if you are brave enough, you can have a go at cliff jumping, deep water soloing, or climbing on their new climbing wall. In the evening we head out into town for our last night here.

CHIANG MAI
WATER PLAYGROUND
Group sitting on rock outside the Grand Canyon waterpark in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Going through the water course at grand canyon Chiang Mai Thailand
A scenic group picture on a boulder at Grand Canyon
Day 14

TRAVEL TO BANGKOK

After checking out, you’ll have plenty of time to relax, hit the markets, or explore Chiang Mai a little more; before jumping onto the overnight train back to Bangkok.

overnight train
A group photo from the windows on the overnight train to Khao Sok National Park Thailand
Group hanging out from bunk beds on an overnight train in Thailand with one girl sitting on the floor.
Day 15

EXPLORE BANGKOK

Time to explore the country’s capital - Bangkok. Zip around the city in tuk tuks, visiting two of Bangkok’s prestigious temples - Wat Arun and Wat Pho, where you’ll see the giant, gold reclining Buddha. We’ll then ditch the tuk tuks for a longtail boat as we see the city from the Chao Phraya River. You’ll have the rest of the afternoon to explore your new surroundings, grab a bite to eat from the numerous street vendors, or try your luck at bartering at the markets. In the evening we’ll meet for dinner, then head out for drinks on Khao San Road - the backpacker Mecca of the city.

BANGKOK
TEMPLES, RIVER CRUISE
A group photo outside of Wat Pho in Bangkok Thailand on a sunny day
group standing in front of temple in Bangkok
People riding down the river in a colourful longtail boat in Thailand
Day 16

MIDNIGHT SPECIAL

Tonight we hit the tracks as we travel on an overnight train down south, so indulge yourself in a tradition Thai massage before we board to really relax before our journey, as we swap the hustle and bustle of Bangkok for the tranquil lakes of Khao Sok National Park which is situated in the Surat Thani province of Thailand.

OVERNIGHT TRAIN
A group waiting for the sleeper train from Bangkok to Surat Thani
A group picture on the sleeper train from Bangkok to Surat Thani
Day 17

KHAO SOK FLOATING BUNGALOWS

Picture a freshwater lake surrounded by lush rainforest; this is home for the night. We will be staying in the floating bungalows of Khao Sok tonight for a real once-in-a-lifetime experience. Before the sunset, try your hand at some kayaking or chill with a beer in a tube in front of the stunning backdrop of this limestone mountain range. This place has always been one of our personal favourites.

KHAO SOK
KAYAKS, TUBING, FLOATING BUNGALOWS
Group photos on the doughnuts in front of beautiful mountains in Khao Sok Thailand
Three people in doughnuts facing the incredible views of Khao Sok in Thailand
Group Photo with the amazing landscape of Khao Sok Thailand
Day 18

BOTTLE BEACH EXPERIENCE

We are up bright and early today to enjoy breakfast on the lake before we head on to Koh Phangan, where we make our way straight to a paradise that is so secluded it’s like no where you’ve seen before. Welcome to Bottle Beach, a true TruTravels favourite! Only accessible by boat, this place is insanely beautiful, and we pretty much get the whole beach to ourselves! Laze around on the beach, have a game of volleyball or head out for a swim before this evening’s dinner and cocktails, which we enjoy campfire style right on the sand, just a stone’s throw away from our beachfront huts.

BOTTLE BEACH, KOH PHANGAN
fire show, beach volleyball
TRU Exclusives
bottle beach exclusive
A group photo with crystal clear waters at bottle beach Koh Phangan Thailand
Four girls sitting on a swing at bottle beach Koh Phangan Thailand
A couple at enjoying time at bottle beach Koh Phangan Thailand
A group photo on a speed boat at bottle beach in Koh Phangan Thailand
Fireshow on bottle beach in Thailand and people having drinks at tables in the background
Day 19

MUAY THAI LESSON

This morning you will wake up to the sound of the rolling waves of bottle beach and feel totally chilled. Kayaking, topping up your tan or seeing the view points on a trek, whatever you do just make the most of it, because early afternoon we will be picked up and taken to a local gym to try your hand at Thailand’s national sport, Muay Thai boxing. Workout over, it's time to make our way to out awesome accommodation for our final couple of nights.

KOH PHANGAN
Muay Thai LESSON
The top of the view point at bottle beach in Koh Phangan Thailand over looking incredible views
A group using a selfie stick at the top of the view point at bottle beach in Koh Phangan Thailand overlooking the lush greenery and blue sea
group learning how to do muay thai in Thailand with knee up to elbow
A group practicing their Muay Thai moves in Koh Phangan Thailand
A group taking a muay Thai lesson in Koh Phangan
Day 20

ISLAND BOAT TRIP

Today we set off on an island boat trip around Koh Phangan. We spend the day stopping off at some of the best snorkelling spots, taking in the amazing exotic scenery and stopping off at some of the best beaches on Koh Phangan to play a game of volleyball and cool off in the sea. You might think it couldn’t get any better but it does, you'll have a free drink (+ paid bar onboard) when arriving onto the boat & a spot of lunch on us accompanied by some music throughout the day.

After a fun-filled day in the sun, we head back to our accommodation for a dip in the pool, before heading out in the evening for a night out to enjoy the island’s lively nightlife.

Koh Phangan
ISLAND BOAT TRIP, SNORKELLING
A fun group photo on a boat in Koh Phangan Thailand
Beach party in Koh Phangan with islands in the background
A group photo on the boat in Koh Phangan Thailand
Day 21

chilled check out

Today we say goodbye, but we can help you sort out all of your onward travel from Koh Phangan, whether it’s back to Bangkok for a flight home or the next leg of your Thailand/Asian adventure!

Help with onward travel
A group picture on a picturesque beach in Thailand.

Trips Departure Dates

Reviews

FAQS

Where does the trip start & Finish?

The trip begins in Bangkok and finishes in Koh Phangan

Which airport do I need to fly into?

You will need to fly into Suvarnabhumi (BKK) which is the main international airport or alternatively we can also collect you from Don Muang (DMK).

What is the closest airport to the end destination?

The closest airport is Koh Samui which is a 45 minute ferry ride away from Koh Phangan. The ferries run regularly.

How do I get back to the start destination and is this included in the price? If not, how much is it?

No it is not included but we can assist you with booking it all. You will need to get a joint ticket which consists of a ferry from Koh Phangan to the mainland and then a bus to Bangkok. The cost is around £25-30. Please be aware this can be quite a long journey of around 12 hours’ door to door. Alternatively, you can fly from Koh Samui however this option is more expensive and would cost in the region of £100 but saves time.

What kind of accommodation is included on this trip?

The accommodation for this trip is a mixture of twin share private dorm rooms.

How much is a pre night’s accommodation?

A pre night’s accommodation is 35GBP, 42EUR, 47USD, 61CAD, 67AUD. If you would like to arrange a pre-night please email info@trutravels.com

What is the currency?

The currency in Thailand is Thai Baht (THB)

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