When you land, we’ll pick you up at the airport and bring you back to our hotel. Depending on what time you land, you will have a free day to get to get settled and ready for probably the best group adventure in the world… TruTravels’ Northern Thailand & Full Moon Experience. In the evening we’ll go out on the infamous Khao San Road for dinner and drinks, and get to know the group better.
Leaving Bangkok in the morning, we’ll stop at Taling Chan Floating Market for our first real taste of Thailand; one of our favourite sites to see around Bangkok. Afterwards, we head north to Kanchanaburi, home to the ‘Bridge on The River Kwai’. We’ll enjoy enjoy a cruise along the river and under the famous bridge itself. Check out some of the museums in town, and watch the sunset from the bridge itself. Quite a special moment.
Just an hour away from Kanchanaburi town sits possibly Thailand’s most famous waterfall; and for a country that boasts many waterfalls both big and small, that is no small claim. Erawan waterfall has seven levels, each with different features; every one of them is jaw-droppingly beautiful. After taking a dip in the crystal clear waters we will head to our guesthouse to chill out ready for our evening drinks and dinner.
After a bit of a lie in, we get back on the road to the ancient city of Ayutthaya. This was actually Thailand’s second capital (before Bangkok) and is 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) before grabbing a bite to eat and hopping on the night train to our next destination, Chiang Mai. The train is comfortable, and everyone gets their own full-size bed with covers and pillows etc., it’s a very authentic experience. We’ll arrive nice and early in the famous and beautiful city of Chiang Mai.
After we check in to our new accommodation, you’ll have time to chill by the pool, explore or check out the oldest temple in Chiang Mai which is right opposite our hotel. In the afternoon 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 incredible and you get a panoramic view of the whole of Chiang Mai.
Today we head off to do one of Northern Thailand’s must-do activities – a jungle trek. During the two-day trek, we’ll see plenty of cool things and will spend a night in a hill tribe village home-stay, to get a real taste of what life is like for the many traditional hill tribes of Northern Thailand. We’ll do some bamboo rafting in the river and maybe even stop to have a dip by another waterfall after some long walks. This does not require a very high level of fitness but is a bit of a challenge, so you will definitely have earned the next beer we crack open when we get back to Chiang Mai!
It’s time to get your adrenaline pumping as we head to the jungle to spend the morning zip-lining through the jungle. Fly 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.
Today we are spending a day at the elephant sanctuary where you will be feeding, bathing and learning about Thailand’s friendliest giants. This is an incredible experience and something that you will not forget for a long, long time! In the afternoon we’ll jump on another minibus and follow the mountain roads to the cool and quirky little town of Pai. Beautiful scenery, chilled vibe, lovely people, good bars and excellent food. Winning!
Today we’ll take a day trip to see some of the natural features and highlights of the area. Starting at the biggest cave in Thailand (the Lod Cave), we’ll hike through one or both of the main chambers before taking a bamboo raft on the river that runs through the cave, (depending on season and accessibility). Afterwards, we take a short drive to the local hot springs, a completely natural pool in the jungle which is heated by geothermal activity. After we take a dip in the crystal-clear water, we head to a nearby waterfall with a natural slide and beautiful view. We finish off high up at the Pai Canyon which has an even more amazing view of the surrounding mountains and jungle. In the evening, we’ll head out for dinner and drinks in to embrace Pai’s nightlife.
Spend today at your own pace, relaxing in this cool little hippy mountain town. Opt to get a massage, enjoy some traditional local cuisine. Who doesn’t love a bit of rest & relaxation?
When we return to Chiang Mai from Pai we will do yet another one of the area’s most popular activities – a Thai cooking course. Some of the most delicious food in Thailand comes from the North, so why not learn to make a few of your favourite dishes from the masters? In the afternoon, we get picked up and taken to one of the city’s most well-established cooking schools. First stop is the local market where our guides and teachers will show us how to select the freshest and tastiest ingredients. One of the best bits about it is that we will, of course, get to eat it all afterwards so don’t eat too much for lunch.
Chiang Mai’s answer to the Grand Canyon. This is an awesome place to spend the day, it’s basically an old excavation site which is now a man-made lagoon that has been turned into an adult playground. Have a swim through the refreshing waters or have a go on a paddle board and tubes. If you are brave enough you can do cliff-jumping, have a go at deep water soloing or climb on their new climbing wall.
For those who are just on the 14-day tour today is check-out day. However, you lucky 23 dayers have 10 more days of awesomeness to look forward to, starting with some free time to explore Chiang Mai, In the evening we will jump on the night train again to travel back to Bangkok.
We arrive in Bangkok bright and early and will check into our Bangkok accommodation where we’ll meet any new group members who will be joining us for the last 9 days. Board a long-tail boat and travel along the Chao Phraya River. Visit the historic & prestigious temples – Wat Arun and Wat Pho, to see the very impressive giant and gold reclining Buddha statue. You will have a free afternoon which is best spent shopping to find some awesome bargains and to try the delicious street food Bangkok has to offer. Then in the evening we meet again for dinner, drinks and more group bonding.
Enjoy a traditional Thai massage before we travel overnight on the train down towards the South. We escape the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and prepare to spend the next couple of days surrounded in the stunning Khao Sok National Park – situated in the Surat Thani province of Thailand.
Today you will arrive in paradise. Travel to our floating bungalows on a long-tail boat which is where you will be staying tonight. We will spend the rest of the day diving into the fresh-water lake and trying out some kayaking. We will spend the evening chilling with a beer in front of the stunning backdrop of this limestone mountain range.
Wake up to the beautiful views of the lake before enjoying a spot of breakfast. We will then catch a bus and then ferry to Koh Phangan. When we arrive, we go straight to a secluded paradise: Bottle Beach – Our favourite beach in the world. The beautiful, peaceful surroundings make this place so special and we pretty much get the whole place to ourselves. Relax here for the rest of the afternoon, enjoy a bit of volleyball, sunbathing or swimming. In the evening, we can enjoy dinner and some cocktails on the beach next to a campfire with our own private fire show.
Enjoy a nice chilled wake up as you will have a free morning to make the most of your surroundings. You can go kayaking, play volleyball, top up the tan, go trekking to view points or catch up on some sleep. This afternoon we are picked up and taken to a local gym to have a traditional Muay Thai boxing lesson – Thailand’s national sport. Afterwards, we head back to our awesome beach huts to freshen up and get ready for dinner.
Today we head on an adventure around Koh Phangan. Take in the views of the tropical island scenery, stop for some snorkelling at the coolest hotspots and visit Than Sadet waterfall (seasonal). When you might think it couldn’t get any better, we will also have free drinks and food throughout the day with music and lots of sunshine.
Get ready for an epic day party! Slip n Fly is one of the latest attractions of Koh Phangan. Featuring one of the biggest and craziest water slides in Southern Asia. We spend the day here so you can choose to chillax on the day beds or attempt the slides. Don’t worry if you are not a big fan of heights or water slides, this place has much more to offer. It’s actually a day party with DJ’s, games, a volley ball pool, bar, looooooads of sunbeds and chill out areas and of course the constant entertainment of watching other backpackers throw themselves down the slides. Then in the evening we will meet in our hostel for a UV painting session to get us ready for the Full Moon Experience. We will take you to the best pre-drinking spots before hitting up the full moon party in TruTravels style! Those of you hard core enough to make it to sunrise (the best bit) may even get to join us at the after party which starts at 6am! No rest for the wicked.
Depending on what time you stumble in from the party, you will probably need some of today to recover and reminisce last night’s antics. The only planned activity is to enjoy a traditional Thai massage and possibly a film and drinks at a local bar. Spend the afternoon chilling on the beach unless you are one of those crazy party animals that decided to join us at the after party!
Say your goodbyes as today is check out day. If you have not booked any onward travel then we are on hand to help plan your next footsteps; so have a chat with your group leader before you leave. Whether you want to stay longer on Koh Phangan, head back to Bangkok, or jet off somewhere else in Asia. The world is your oyster!