Airport Pick up
Bangkok baby, your 27 day adventure begins! So you’ve made it to this lively and vibrant city, our amazing TruNinja will meet you at the airport before heading off to the accommodation! You’ll have the first day to settle in and relax, wash off all that travelling, meet the rest of your group aka TruFam, and explore the local area. Maybe see a few markets or try some street food, whatever ya fancy! In the evening, it’s time for our welcome dinner at one of our favourite restaurants on the one & only Khao San Road! Get to know your fellow travellers over sharing a bucket or two (or any drink of choice, you do you). Holiday mode is ON and warning, you may never want to turn it off!
KANCHANABURI: BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI
So you know the film Bridge Over River Kwai? Well, today we are going to see the bridge over River Kwai (surprise)! Before we head off to the river, we hop off to do some shopping and not at just any market, but a FLOATING one! Sick right? Have a browse at the stalls, selling all sorts of food, clothing, souvenirs and even homeware! Once we’ve done our browsing the market by long-tail boat, it’s off to Kanchanaburi! When we have arrived, we get on another boat and cruise down the River Kwai enjoying the sight of the bridge (an insta worthy moment fo’ sho’). It’s sunset o’clock and what a better place to watch the sunset than the bridge over River Kwai! Get those poses ready for all the 10/10 shots you’re going to get because trust us, you won’t want to miss this photo op. The view is incredible and is definitely bucket list-worthy!
FLOATING MARKET & BRIDGE OVER KWAI
Imagine, a 7 tier, crystal clear blue waterfall surrounded by lush greenery, sounds unreal right! Erawan falls, just an hour away from Kanchanaburi, is basically what you imagine paradise to look like. Something you would expect to see on the television and not in real life, but it is real life! We know TLC said don’t go chasing waterfalls but ya know, I think we can be excused this once because just look at how beautiful it is? Make sure you have your swimmers as you’ll want to take a dip, and check this out, there are 7 tiers for you to cool off in. Don’t say we don’t spoil you! It is a little bit of a walk to the top but trust us when we say it is TOTALLY worth it. We’ll have some lunch at the waterfalls, gotta stay hydrated and energised from all that walking & swimming ya feel! Then we head back to Kanchanaburi, where you can either chill by the pool or explore the town before we meet for dinner and drinks! Buckets, anyone?
AYUTTHAYA: ANCIENT RUINS & HISTORY
Today you have the morning free before we hit the road again! So choose to spend this morning how you please, whether that’s by the pool or exploring the town some more. Next, we are off to Ayutthaya, an ancient capital city, that is dripping with culture and history! We’ll hop on some bikes and cycle around the world heritage site, giving us fantastic views. We’ll also learn about the fascinating history of Ayutthaya and of course, the kingdom of Siam which is what Thailand used to be called (fun fact for ya, go tell your friends!). Time to grab a bite to eat and then it’s all aboard the night train to Chiang Mai! The train is comfortable, you get your own bed with pillows and covers, comfort is key! So it shouldn’t be too hard to get a decent night's sleep ready to take on a new place in the morning. The overnight train is defo an experience in itself and should be on your bucket list, a fantastic and different way of seeing Thailand too. Chiang Mai, we’re coming in strong.
CHIANG MAI: TEMPLES & CULTURE
We check into our guesthouse, which is ideally situated between the old & new areas of Chiang Mai (winning). You’ll have some time to relax by the pool or do some exploring and check out the oldest temple in Chiang Mai, which is literally right opposite our accommodation (winning x2!). Now it’s time to visit the most famous and possibly the most beautiful temple in Chiang Mai, Wat Pra Maha Doi Sutthep. The views are incredible, situated high up on the mountain, you’ll get a panoramic view of the city. There is a hefty set of stairs (300 roughly) but think of the panoramic views, so worth it. Trust, you’ll feel on top of the world (literally). Once you’ve taken your snaps of the insane views and got some for the gram (it’s gotta be done), you have the afternoon free to do whatever you would like, before we meet later on, in time for dinner! You can lounge by the pool, take a little nap (having fun is tiring right?), or continue to explore Chiang Mai!
JUNGLE TREKKING & HILL TRIBE HOMESTAY
Did someone say TruExclusive? Hell yeah, we did! You won’t find this experience anywhere else. We are off to do one of the most popular activities in Northern Thailand, a trek through the jungle. The trek doesn’t require a high level of fitness, but it is a bit of a challenge SO beers will be very well deserved afterwards! We’ll spend one night in a hill tribe village homestay so that you can experience what life is like for the many traditional hill tribes of Northern Thailand. You’ll see their lives have not changed an enormous amount for generations. This truly is an amazing and once in a lifetime experience, definitely one you’ll cherish forever. Expect to see all kinds of nature and wildlife when on the trek, maybe even a waterfall or two, amazing scenes as well as photo opportunities (important stuff, duh). Once we get to the hill tribe village, our hosts will cook us a lovely traditional meal, and once our stomachs are full, we can sit around the fire and play some games or exchange some stories. Whatever we do, it's time to chill after a busy day!
WATERFALLS & BAMBOO RAFTS
Rise and shine! Enjoy your morning in the jungle before it’s time we head back to Chiang Mai, but of course, we have a trick up our sleeve, and we are using a much better mode of transport, bamboo rafts! Sick right? We’ll float down the river with a cheeky stop at a waterfall because ya know, we can’t get enough of those things. Marvel at the wildlife and nature from your raft, see what you can spot. You might see some elephants along the way if your lucky so keep yo’ fingers crossed! Trekked through the jungle? Took a bamboo raft down the river? COMPLETED IT MATE! Once we get back to Chiang Mai, rest up in time to continue our Northern adventure tomorrow!
Waterfalls & Bamboo Raft Trip
ZIP LINE THROUGH THE JUNGLE CANOPY
Did you know that some people call Chiang Mai the adventure capital? Well, with today’s activities we can see why! Today is one of our favourite activities, that’s very popular with tourists, and it’s ziplining through the jungle! This is going to get your heart racing and adrenaline pumping, you’ll practically be flying through the jungle while looking down at it all (if you dare)! Now is your chance to release your inner child and pretend that you can fly! Throw in a few rope bridges and abseils, and that’s experiencing the jungle in a way you never could by foot! You can thank us later, once you’ve made all your friends and fam jealous, obvs. This is truly an unforgettable experience! Hey, keep a lookout for monkeys too, you might spot a few in the treetops! After our energetic day in the jungle, we have the evening free. Why not check out the night markets? Get your hands on some fab food and have a browse around the gift market, a great place to buy souvenirs for friends and fam, or yourself.
Today we’re to visit an elephant sanctuary here in Chiang Mai, animal welfare is extremely close to our hearts, and we visit a dedicated elephant rehabilitation sanctuary. The elephants here are free to roam and not here for the entertainment of tourists. We visit to educate ourselves on one of Thailand’s most famous native animals but to also redistribute funds to programmes that do good. Well, have a short briefing on arrival to learn about some of the elephants here. We’ll even get the chance to feed them some sugarcane or fruit. Trust us, they go bananas for it! Although left to roam freely, they can be rather cheeky with their trunks, so count this as your warning! They may steal an extra banana or two. This is a once in a lifetime experience, a memory you’ll cherish forever, no doubt. Unfortunately, the time has come to part ways with our new mates and hop on a bus to the hippie town of Pai! Just 3 hours outside of Chiang Mai, a trendy backpacker destination, and we can see why! Filled with cool retro bars, market stalls, excellent food and wonderful people from all walks of life. Guaranteed a great time. Ahh, the life of Pai (sorry we had to!)
Day trippin’ time! Today we’ll head out to see some of Pai’s highlights, and it’s surrounding areas! Starting at the biggest cave in Thailand, Lod cave, we’ll hike through the main chambers and then take a bamboo raft along the river which runs through the cave (depending on season and accessibility). It’s like something out of a movie, incredible stuff. Indiana Jones, who? It’s now time to give your muscles a break, as we head to the hot springs which are situated in the jungle and are heated by geothermal activity. Take a dip in the crystal clear water, treat yourself to a clay mask and just have the ultimate relaxation session in the warm temperatures. We’ll then head to the waterfall nearby with an amazing view! Who needs a waterpark when we have one better, a waterfall with a natural slide! We’ll finish off our day at Pai Canyon which means even more amazing views of the surrounding mountains and jungle, and even better, we’ll be there at sunset! *cue Sunset Lover by Petit Biscuit* So take yo’ pics and take in the insane view before heading back to Pai town. In the evening we’ll head to a nice restaurant and a few chilled bars where we can mingle with other backpackers too. After all, we deserve it after the day of sightseeing we’ve had!
PAI: CHILL OUT DAY
Chill day lets goooo! After a bit of a lie-in, we head to Fluid Swimming Pool Bar, where many backpackers like us head to. Either when wanting to cool down and relax by the pool or are feeling a little hungover and fancy a chill day. The vibes are immaculate! Spend your day lounging, swimming, playing a few games, reading a good book or having a snooze in the sun. The choice is yours (don’t forget to sun cream up though). Once we’ve had our relaxation fill, we’ll head to the Chinese village for some tea tasting. How tea-riffic (ok we promise that’s the last one!).
This morning it’s time to head back to Chiang Mai! We hope you’re ready to become the new Thai Masterchef as we are off to a cooking school to learn about some of Thailand's traditional dishes and then have a go at making them ourselves! Most of Thailand's delicious food comes from the North, so there’s no better way than to learn from the masters themselves, right? First, we’ll head to the market where our guides and teachers will show us how to select the freshest & tastiest ingredients, they have that insider knowledge ya feel? Now it’s time for us to turn those ingredients we picked into some mouthwatering meals! Don’t fret, you’ll be shown how to cook the recipes step by step! Now for the best bit, tasting what you’ve cooked, so make sure you’re paying attention when cooking! A fantastic experience, and you’ll get to go home with new recipes and new skills, so tell all your friends and fam to get ready! Winner winner chicken dinner (Quorn if your veggie)!
CHIANG MAI CANYON
So we all know the Grand Canyon but do you know of Chiang Mai’s very own Grand Canyon? Well, if not, don’t worry as you’ll get to know very soon! This is an old excavation site, where they would dig out sand for building. However, now it is a man-made lagoon which has turned into an adult playground, we LOVE to see it! The adult playground of dreams. There are countless slides, floating chairs to lay in, paddleboards, tubes and then for the brave-hearted, have a go at cliff jumping, deep water soloing or climbing on their climbing wall. Take yo’ pick! There’s a restaurant on-site, so we can grab our lunch, refresh and energise ourselves after using our energy being 10 years old again. Living our best life. It’s now time for our last evening in Chiang Mai, so cheers TruFam!
TRAVEL BACK TO BANGKOK
After checking out of our hotel in Chiang Mai, you’ll have some free time to explore Chiang Mai, hit up the markets and temples one last time or spend time relaxing by the pool. Back onto the overnight train, take this time to recharge and relax as it’s back to the hustle & bustle of Bangkok baby!
EXPLORE BANGKOK BY TUK TUK
We are back in Bangkok, and it’s time to explore the capital even further! We’ll hop into a tuk-tuk and head to Bangkok’s most prestigious temples, Wat Arun and Wat Pho, which is home to the infamous gold reclining Buddha. We will then ditch the tuks tuks for long-tail boats, as we admire the views of the city from the Chao Praya River, a different way of seeing Bangkok. Take a look into the water and try to see if you can spot the fish, they aren’t usually very shy! You’ll have the rest of the afternoon to explore at your own pace, you can grab a bite to eat from the street vendors, do a bit of shopping at the market and try your best at bartering (our TruNinjas can give you some tips don’t fret). In the evening, we will meet for dinner and then head out for drinks on Khao San Road, which is full of backpackers, some may say it’s backpacker heaven. We’ll let you decide that for yourself. Either way, it’s a good time, you can’t go to Bangkok and not go to Khao San Road.
TEMPLES, TUK TUKS & NIGHTLIFE
NIGHT TRAIN TO KHAO SOK
Alexa, play Don’t Stop Believing by Journey. Yes, you are taking the midnight train but not just to anywhere! Goodbye Bangkok and hello Khao Sok national park. So we arrive into Surat Thani, but we are off to the serene lakes which are situated in the national park. Get those sleeping masks on as it’s time to catch some Zzzz’s.
KHAO SOK NATIONAL PARK
Now if we had a list of the 7 Tru Wonders of the World, Khao Sok would be on it. After pulling up early into Surat Thani train station and taking a short car ride to the national park, we board a longtail boat on the lake and cruise through some of the most breathtaking scenery you've ever seen. Picture low clouds floating over the limestone mountains which surround the emerald green lake. Dreamy right? The temperature is perfect for taking a dip, so that's exactly what we’ll do en route to the floating bungalows. Yeah, that's right, we said floating bungalows. Tonight we are staying at an actual floating resort on this amazing lake that looks like something from Jurassic Park. Told you we don’t do average. The afternoon you’ll have free time to relax by the lake, float around in a tube with a beer or drink of choice in hand, read a book, or explore the lake in kayaks. After sundown, we are treated to a delicious Thai buffet dinner in the floating restaurant and bar. Doesn’t get much better than this. Or does it? Stay tuned to find out!
KAYAKING, SWIMMING & TUBING
ARRIVE ON KOH PHANGAN
What’s better than a floating resort on a crystal clear freshwater lake surrounded by mountains and jungle? I dunno, but our next destination comes pretty close. Bottle Beach, one of our favourite beaches in the world. It’s a stunningly beautiful little beach that is only accessible by boat (or jungle road if you have a badass 4x4) so we pretty much get the place to ourselves and another room with a view! Did we mention this is a TruExclusive? Very few people actually stay here and experience it as you should. And even fewer get to experience it in Tru style. It’s almost impossible to describe how cool this place is. So here is some of the shit that you can do here in paradise with your new pals (apart from lazing on the beach): you can play volleyball, go for a swim or a kayak, hike to the viewpoint or frolic on the beach with one of the friendly resort dogs. In the evening we’ll have dinner on the beach (obviously) followed by some cocktails next to a beach campfire with our own private fire show. Luckily the bar here stays open as long as we stay up so we can take it easy and enjoy a good nights sleep next to the ocean or keep the private beach party rocking until the early hours. Get those dancing shoes on, beaches! Could it get any better than this? No, probably not but never say never.
BOTTLE BEACH, KOH PHANGAN
MUAY THAI LESSON
The sounds of the waves breaking on the beach will probably be the first thing you hear when you wake up (unless you have a noisy roommate). We have a lovely lazy morning planned so as always there’s no need to stress about a thing. Sleep in, enjoy the beach, trek through the jungle or up to that viewpoint, and generally make the most of your idyllic surroundings and recharge those batteries. In the afternoon, we’ll head to a local gym, where we get an intro lesson to the ancient art of Muay Thai (Thai Boxing), Thailand’s national sport. Once the trainers have made future champs of us all and we have worked up a bit of a sweat, we’ll check in to our new home where we can freshen up and relax, or jump in the pool or sea, or even into bed for a quick nap! Naturally, the resort we stay in is a fab little place right on the beach with a perfect Koh Phangan island vibe. Good job we’re here for the next two nights. With a great selection of restaurants, bars, parties, beaches, we can eat, drink and do what we like for the next few evenings. Koh Phangan has got it all! Enjoy.
ISLAND BOAT TRIP
Today you’re a pirate. Well, you can pretend to be if you want, cos we’re getting on a big ol’ pirate ship, which has rum (priorities) and taking you on a tour of this wonderful island. There’s a reason so many of the TruCrew live here on Koh Phangan. We’ll sail around the coast of the island, we’ll stop off at one of the small islands off the coast of Phangan for some beach shenanigans and at a snorkelling spot to check out the sea life and cool down. Lunch is provided on the boat, there's plenty of space to spread out and soak up some rays with some nice tunes playing all day to wrap it all up. We get back to land around sunset, just in time to refresh for dinner and drinks on our last night in Koh Phangan. The island is well known for its party scene so if the group’s up for a boogie on the last night in Koh Phangan, we can find something that suits, alternatively a quiet night by the pool/beach bar can also be arranged. The opportunities are endless!
Wave goodbye to the magical island of Koh Phangan, and say hello to its pretty little neighbour Koh Tao. Here’s a fun fact for you, Koh Tao stands for turtle island! Until relatively recently Koh Tao was pretty much just coconut farms and fishing villages, so it is still relatively undeveloped and like Koh Phangan is bursting with nature. Things changed for Koh Tao when scuba diving became a thing, and people discovered an array of phenomenal dive sites and coral reefs around the little beauty. Now many people visit Koh Tao for the diving, beautiful beaches and laid back lifestyle. When we get to the island, we check in to our hotel near Sairee Beach, which is now lined with cool little restaurants and beach bars (and plenty of dive schools of course). Spend the afternoon by the pool, exploring the town or on the beach. In the evening we will hit some of the beach bars and maybe even the infamous Koh Tao Pub Crawl if you and your fellow TruTravellers are feeling up for a party.
KOH NANG YUAN DAY TRIP
Today we get to see what all the fuss is about with the snorkelling and scuba diving in Koh Tao (It is what the island is famous for after all), plus we get to visit a beautiful island called Koh NangYuan. We provide snorkelling gear, lunch and drinks on the boat but if you would like to arrange a scuba diving session instead then speak to your Travel Ninja (Elite, bad-ass tour guide) or another one of the Tru Crew in advance, and we will sort it out for you. If you would prefer to top up your tan on the boat then on exploring the wonders of the ocean below the boat, then you do you, anything goes! You can also hike up to the viewpoint to get some insta envy-inducing snaps or bronze your body on the beautiful beach. In the evening we’ll go for dinner at one of the island's lovely restaurants and have a few beers (or cocktails, even waters if you prefer) at one of the many little bars lining Sairee Beach. What a day!
RELAXATION & NIGHT BOAT
Our last day on this little paradise and fortunately we got options. We are off to Tanote Bay for anyone who wants to come to spend the day at this little gem of a beach. If you would rather keep the adrenaline flowing, we can help you arrange one of Koh Tao’s extreme activities. From rock climbing to the more common and much wetter activities like scuba diving or water sports, the choice is yours. Or you can stay in bed until check out. We won’t be, but it’s your trip friend ;-). In the evening we’ll catch a ride over to the west side of the Kingdom of Thailand, starting with the night boat. Which just like the overnight train, is an experience within itself. Followed in the morning, by our private minivan where you can listen to our banging playlists, watch a film, stare out the window or talk to your new travel fam. The last leg is a short and picturesque ferry ride over to our next little island paradise. Koh Phi Phi Don. Which is good s$*t. Trust us.
When we have arrived, checked in, chilled out, and done whatever else we need to do after the long journey here, you have some free time to do whatever the hell you like. We can trek up to the viewpoint for some eye-popping pics that would make The Rock wish he had your insta account… Maybe. Or, why not have a wander around town and get to know the island, chill on the beach or get drunk at a beach bar. It’s your trip, we don’t judge, we join in! The evenings are always interesting when in Phi Phi, like Koh Tao, it has a very chilled, “islandy” vibe but also a lot of young backpackers and beachgoers, so the nightlife is lively with beach parties that often go on into the early hours. So what goes down is up to you and the rest of the TruFam (What happens in Phi Phi, stays in Phi Phi).
PHI PHI BOAT TRIP
Who loves Leo? And we don’t mean the Thai beer. Although we do love that too. We mean Leo Dicaprio, and you can admit it, you love him. Well, so do we, and today you will get to walk in his beautiful footsteps for the day. After a chilled morning, we will jump on another boat to visit a stunningly beautiful spot called Maya Bay, which was made famous by Leo’s renowned film, “The Beach” which was filmed here many moons ago. SICK, right? Don’t worry, it’s our claim to fame too. Other than that, we’ll do some more snorkelling, visit some other cool spots like the Viking Cave and Monkey Beach (yes there are actually monkeys there) as well as lunch and watching the sunset from the boat. Another epic day brought to you by TruTravels. You’re so very welcome.
Monkey beach, maya bay & snorkelling
No, we did not just swear. Phuket (pronounced Puket or pooket) is another Thai Island. The biggest one, in fact. Well, this tour is called total Thailand, so what did you expect? We end our trip on this crazy island for two main reasons. One because it has an airport and looooads of hotels and transport, so it makes your life easier. Two because you have to experience it once when you come to Thailand. It is a MUST. We stay near Patong Beach, which is a lively center of activity with many tourists and many locals buzzing about on motorbikes and taxis. There are lots of things to do, and the last afternoon is free to chill, explore and get ready for the last night out with the group. Who are now your BFFL’s (best friends for life), and probably longer, so you can be sure it’s gonna be a really, really good night. Cheers to you and your last night in Thailand.
shopping & Phuket Nightlife
CHECK OUT DAY
Last day. Tears all round. Can’t even type any more…
If you must leave us after the trip to go home or somewhere else on your travels then we will, of course, help you with everything, just let us know where you gotta go and when. But obviously, we would rather you stay with your new TruFam in this wonderful part of the world. The last 27 days have been unreal, and we hope to see you again soon for another adventure. Total Thailand, completed it mate! Until next time, TruFam.