Go beach-hopping through sunny Phuket, often regarded as one of the best seaside locations in Thailand (if not the world!). Sink into the slower pace of Khao Lak – a realm full of ambient charm and calming coastlines. Trek through thick jungle landscape to serene waterfalls in the midst of the jungle – finding tiny pockets of serenity hiding under the trees as you go. An island hopping trip through Koh Gum, Koh Kangkaw, Koh Yeepoon offers an incredible insight into Thailand’s stunning coastal environments. Explore them further from above and below the water on beach-walks and snorkelling adventures
From the pearly white shorelines of Phuket’s Patong and Nai Harn beaches to the lost islands of Koh Gum, Koh Kangkaw and Koh Yeepoon, Southern Thailand offers a splendid balance between resort-like charm and hidden excitement. Plunge headfirst on an adventure to soak up both sun and culture, spending time relaxing on the ambient shores of Khao Lak or bumping arms with the locals in the markets at Ranong. Lose yourself in the jungle or find tropical fish in the ocean – just remember that discovery comes naturally in a place as full of life as this.
Breakfast Included: 7 Lunches Included: 1 Dinner Included:
Welcome to Phuket! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Just ask the hotel reception where and when it will take place, or check the notice boards. Your insurance details and next of kin information will be collected at this meeting, so please ensure you have these to provide to your leader. Known as one of the world’s finest beach destinations, this paradise of white sands, swaying palm trees and glittering seas offers a fantastic range of things to see and do. Night one of this adventure is spent at a relaxing resort and spa location in Patong, sitting a mere 10 minutes walk from one of the most popular beaches the island has to offer. You might want to kick things off by sharing a cocktail with your group or taking a dip at the ocean.
Go beach-hopping with a local guide while exploring some of the finest sights Phuket has to offer. Start off at Phuket’s Big Buddha, one of the island’s most important and revered landmarks. The huge 45 metre tall (147 feet) statue sits atop the Nakkerd Hills like a beacon in the distance – enjoy stunning 360-degree views and a few cheeky photos once you arrive at the base of the statue itself. Travel onwards to Nai Harn Beach, arguably one of the prettiest in the area thanks to undeveloped tree-covered mountains clasping the shores on each side and clean, clear waters. While the secret about Nai Harn is out, it’s still less crowded than other beaches and remains a favourite for people in the know. Next stop – Kata Noi Beach. The pristine sands, turquoise waters and unhindered view of the Andaman Sea have earned this beach a reputation among locals as an excellent place to kick back and relax, made even better by the less-developed feel it offers in contrast to neighbouring Kata Yai Beach. Swimming is a fairly popular activity here, as is chucking the frisbee or grabbing a massage – dabble in any of these at your own leisure after a restaurant lunch with the group.
Continue travelling towards Khao Lak in a private minivan on a 2-hour drive. Spend a bit of time appreciating the natural splendour of the region with a stop-off at the Ton Chong Fa waterfall, located in the Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park. Soak your feet in the pool at the base of the timid falls, possibly catching a glimpse of the sun peeking through the canopy as it casts an illuminated view of the waters, rocks and surrounding forest. After jumping back in the minivan and pushing on to Khao Lak, drop off all your luggage at the resort. Perhaps head down to the beach afterwards, located an easy 3-minute walk away from your accommodation.
From the tiny sandy beaches with their awning mangroves to the isolated lighthouses sitting perched on rocky outcrops, the Khao Lak shoreline offers a serene ambience that softly washes over you like an inviting tide of its own. Sink into its mellow groove with a free day to stroll along the beach or bask by the pool. Alternatively, if you’re feeling more adventurous then there’s plenty to do. Consider taking an optional snorkelling day trip to Koh Ra and Koh Khai, travelling out to the Similan Island for a tour or take part in a Thai cooking class set by a tropical fruit plantation. Just speak with your leader and they’ll be able to arrange the rest.
The islands are calling, and in order to answer you’ll need to be up bright and early (around 7 am) for a private minivan journey to Ranong. Cool down with a dip at Koh Kam beach en route and arrive at Bang Ben Pier at around 10 am. Board a slender longtail boat and embark on an island-hopping adventure, sailing between Koh Gum, Koh Kangkaw and Koh Yeepoon. These three relatively unspoiled isles offer a raw glimpse into Thailand’s pristine, natural beauty. First up is Koh Kangkaw, where you’ll stop for a a spot of snorkelling. Afterwards, head to Koh Gum, which boasts a soft beach shaped like a buffalo horn. Spend a bit of time here taking photos or swimming among the coral and beautiful fish before heading inland for a lunch under the trees. Cruise onwards to Koh Yeepoon, which formerly housed a Japanese military base. Bask in the sun on the white, powdery beach before returning to Ranong at around 5 pm. Transfer to your hotel and spend the evening however you please.
Gain a greater understanding of Ranong’s local culture on a sightseeing trip throughout the area, meeting up with Thai communities as you go. Learn about the famous mining town of Had Som Paen, pay respects to the Buddhist monk Luang Por Klai, hop in a songthaew and see Klong Had Som Paen Reservoir, and visit one of Ranong's two mining factories. Later, taste traditional desserts and herbal drinks while enjoying a folk dance show at a learning centre. Try your hand making ceramics or mining for tin at Haad Som Pan, a great community visit that will give you a better understanding of the local industries in this rural area. With free time in the afternoon, choose to either wander around the area at your own pace or take an optional trip to the Raksa Warin hot spring for a lovely soak in the warm waters. The hustle and bustle of a late night visit to the Ranong Burmese Night Market offers a lively insight into the local community – perhaps snack on some of the street food with the group to round out a big day of cultural engagement.
Jump back in a public bus and return to Phuket. After a 5-hour drive, the afternoon is yours to enjoy. Consider taking an optional sightseeing walk through the streets of Old Phuket City, taking in the Spanish and Portuguese inspired architectural marvels and shopfronts that capture an air of old times. Either that or hit the beach again for a bit more sun and surf – both are great options. As the evening rolls in, consider sharing a final meal with your new friends along Patong’s beachfront.
Your Southern Thailand tour comes to an end today. You're free to depart at any time.