Get your street food fix in bustling Bangkok and hit the nightlife in cruisy Chiang Mai, where the Nimman area is swarming with hipster bars and lounges.. Trek deep – super deep – into the northern Thai hinterland staying in a traditional hilltribe village, eating and laughing with the locals.. Learn the art of Muay Thai with a class in Chiang Mai. You’ll be defending yourself in no time!. Khao Sok National Park is like stepping into another world. Cruise along the Cheow Lan Lake and spend a night on the banks in a rafthouse.
This 21-day epic takes you from the bustling streets of Bangkok to the hectic jungle of Khao Sok and ends in ultra-modern Singapore. Sleep on a raft, kick back at Krabi and eat your way through Penang and Singapore. If this trip was a dish it would taste like Singapore’s chilli crab. Hot enough to keep you on your toes with a whopping great serve of salty ocean on the side.
Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand. Once you’ve hit Khao San Road, you’re officially on holiday. There’s a welcome meeting at around 6 pm tonight. If you do arrive early, perhaps take a walk around Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, or head to the magnificent Grand Palace. Once you’ve had your important meeting, it’s definitely time for food. Bangkok is known for its street food, so be sure to check out some roadside stalls for a delicious coconut curry, tom yum goong or pad thai. Later on, get wild in Bangkok’s nightlife and head out – some good places are Bed Supper Club or Vertigo. Ask your guide for directions or grab your new travel mates and attempt to navigate the Skytrain.
Ayutthaya - Overnight Train
Good morning! Time for an adventure. Take a train from Bangkok to Ayuthaya in the morning. Ayuthaya 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 Ayuthaya temple site, stopping by Wat Wanan Choeng (adorned with a huge 19 metre Buddha image), Wat Yai Chai Mong Koll (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 Ayuthaya’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 Ayuthaya to freshen up before your train ride.
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 some of the trending bars in the happening Nimman area? You are on holiday, after all.
Chiang Mai - Hilltribe Trek
This morning at around 8 am, leave Chiang Mai in a songthaew (approximately 2 hours). Head to Wachirathan Waterfall, then on the way up to the mountain, visit Hmong Hilltribe Market at Baan Khun Klang. Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant. After lunch, start trekking at Doi Pha Tang, trekking for 2-3 hours along a relatively smooth trail, mostly walking downhill through the natural forest. On the trail, you will pass the Mai Phai waterfall which is a great spot to take a break. After a bit more of a hike, arrive at a Karen hilltribe village called Baan Tin Tok, where you’ll be staying for the night. Around 20 Christian families of Karen people live in this village. Enjoy dinner cooked by your host, then take a walk around the village to chat with the locals, perhaps checking out their art of naturally dyed clothes. You’ll stay in a wooden house, surrounded by an organic vegetable farm, with shared facilities. This is special.
Hilltribe Trek - Chiang Mai
The best thing about being deep in the jungle in the morning is to enjoy the natural wake-up sounds of wildlife calls to stir your sleep. After a hearty breakfast (you’ll need it!), get back on board for today’s hike. It’s a pretty easy walk through local agricultural practice and farmland for a couple of hours, before arriving at Mae Ya Waterfalls, the biggest waterfall in Doi Inthanont National Park. Lunch will be provided today as well – yeah! Then, you will also have time to visit Wat Phradhatu Sri Chom Tong Voravihara, which is highly respected because of the sacred Buddha relic that is enshrined here. The Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong was constructed halfway through the 15th century located where the Buddha relic was found. The oldest structure is the chedi, which was built around 1450. The chedi is a large golden structure with a square base and a spire on top of that. Afterwards, continue back to Chiang Mai (approximately 2 hours), arriving around 4 pm and checking into your accommodation. The rest of the day is free to relax and explore the city.
Today you're free as a bird in charming Chiang Mai. There’s a heap of optional activities to check out today, and you’re free to choose. Maybe take an optional excursion to the temple at the top of Doi Suthep, which offers fantastic views over the city. Perhaps spoil yourself with a traditional Thai massage or try your hand at a local cooking class. It's totally up to you. What is recommended is, at night, get the gang together and check out Chiang Mai’s famed night markets, where you’ll find everything from souvenirs to sweet treats on offer.
Chiang Mai - Overnight sleeper train
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 2 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.
Your train is scheduled to arrive into Bangkok early this morning. Transfer back to the hotel where the trip started. As there are no more activities planned for today, Enjoy a free day in Bangkok. Check out the areas you missed the first time around, and a chance to eat some more delicious Bangkok street food!
The composition of your group might change today. Meet your new leader and group at the meeting at approx. 6 pm tonight.
Bangkok – Overnight Train
Good morning! Today, explore some of Bangkok's oldest neighbourhoods on a walking tour with your leader. Begin after breakfast and head to Wat Tri Mit temple – the site of the world’s largest solid gold seated Buddha from the Sukhothai era, measuring nearly 5 metres tall and weighing 5.5 tonnes. Here you will learn about the history behind the Buddha, as well as visit the Chinatown Heritage Museum. Along the way, you’ll be able to stop by some food stalls on Sukorn Alley for some snacks. Onto the Odien Circle intersection and the Chinese Temple, and finishing with a walk through the bustling daytime Sampeng wholesales market. You’ll have an included lunch at the famous Labour Egg Noodle (or similar), so tuck into some Fish Ball Noodles or Tom Yam Pork Noodles – they’re to die for. This afternoon is up to you. Perhaps visit the local Talad Noi Market, Chinese Temple and find hidden street art installations. Pass by Wat Pho and perhaps stop in to see who can spot the most images of Buddha (rumour has it there are up to 1000) Tonight, board your overnight train to Surat Thani (approximately 13 hours).
Khao Sok National Park
Arrive in Surat Thani early in the morning, then transfer by private mini van (approx. 2 hours) to Khao Sok National Park. It's an amazing environment, so colourful and vivid it almost looks like it's fake! When you reach Ratchaprabha Lake Pier, hop on to a long tail boat for another hour to reach a raft house on Chiew Larn Lake, where lunch will be served. These dense rainforests are humming with exotic animals and plants, and some walking trails lead to awesome waterfalls alongside the huge Cheow Lan Lake. Cruise along it and see the limestone cliffs set against the jungle backdrop. There’s a chance for your group leader to take a hike to a nearby cave or waterfall, as well as an evening safari on the lake, when the animals are most active. In the evening, enjoy a traditional southern Thai dinner, and stay in a simple raft house, which is literally on the lake. Wait till you see the view when you wake up!
This morning, take a longtail boat back to the pier (approximately 1 hour) and then travel to Ao Nang in Krabi province (approximately 2.5 hours) in a private mini van. Home to sweet white-sand beaches and limestone karsts jutting out of cerulean waters, Krabi is a picture-perfect paradise. The main street of this lively beachside town has heaps of bars and restaurants to enjoy. As the sun begins to set, take a quick 15-minute trip out of Ao Nang to a local Thai family’s home. Sit down to the table and share a dinner, along with laughs, and a heart-warming evening experience.
That's the trouble with paradise – there's too many ways to enjoy it. Today is free for you to explore, so that means time to kayak or climb the karst rock formations that surround this place. Your group leader will recommend a trip to Railay Beach, which is definitely a must when visiting Krabi. This bay is only accessible by a short 15-minute long tail boat trip because of the limestone cliffs that surround the bay. It’s an extraordinary sight to see, and a perfect place for a relax and a swim. Otherwise, you might like to take an optional kayaking activity you can head to Ao Thalane and paddle through mangrove forests, coves and narrow karst-walled canyons, keeping an eye out for kingfishers, herons and crab-eating macaque monkeys.