Thailand Island Hopping

From £739.00

Highlights

Crystal clear water in Koh Tao

Trip Highlights

  • Enjoy 15 days visiting some of Thailand’s best beaches
  • Chill out with fellow backpackers and Thai travellers
  • Snorkel in the clear waters off the sandy coastline of Koh Tao
  • Party on Koh Phangan, the home of the Full Moon Party!
  • Relax on the stunning Railay Beach 

Trip Summary

Jump into this amazing trip and experience the best of Thailand without breaking the budget! This adventure will take you to Thailand’s gorgeous beachside spots, where you’ll be blown away by serene island scenes! You’ll get to experience that unmissable Moon Party, relax on unbeatable beaches, and experienceKoh Tao, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui and Koh Phi Phi – 4 of Thailand’s most blissful beaches! You’ll have the expertise of a local guide along the way but there’s also plenty of free time to explore with your friendly group, so this trip is ideal if you want the support of a guide while having the freedom to tailor-make your memories!

You’ll also get to head to Bangkok, one of the world’s liveliest cities. This mesmerising metropolis offers travellers a glimpse the cool and contemporary capital, and there’s endless fun to be had in this stunning city. This trip is the perfect way to discover Thailand, so what are you waiting for? Jump into this incredible Island Hopping adventure!

Interested and want to find out more? Download more trip information and detailed itinerary HERE!

Trip itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in Bangkok

Today Bangkok welcomes you! You’ll arrive into Bangkok Airport, where you’ll be met by your guide team. It’s best to arrive in the morning, as this will give you more time to relax after your flight and meet your fellow travellers. Your Bangkok accommodation is situated close to the captivating chaos of Khao San Road, so if you have time head out to the surrounding streets to add your face to the crowd of locals and backpackers!

Day 2
Discover Bangkok

This morning after breakfast you’ll meet with your group at around 10:00am, and a tour of bustling Bangkok awaits you! Your guide will brief you on the day ahead, and you’ll then enjoy a canal boat trip where you’ll get a glimpse of some of Bangkok’s more traditional communities.

You’ll be visiting Wat Arun today, a beautifully ornate temple featuring an elaborate tower! You’ll also head to Wat Pho, which houses Bangkok’s iconic golden Reclining Buddha. The Grand Palace will be next on your list, an imposing palace complex surrounded by gorgeous gardens. Please note that the entrance fee to the Grand Palace is not included in the price of your trip.

Once you’ve experienced these enchanting temples you’ll be transferred back to your hotel to freshen up before you head off on your overnight coach journey to the amazing Koh Tao!

Day 3
Hello Koh Tao!

You’ll arrive in Koh Tao on the morning of Day 3. Prepare yourself for one of the most stunning islands you’ll have witnessed firsthand!  The island of Koh Tao is surrounded by lustrous tropical terrain and features golden bays and tranquil shores. You’ll be happy to call Koh Tao your home for the next few days, so kick back and sample the best that this mesmerizing island has to offer!

Days 4 to 6
Discover Koh Tao

The island is yours to explore over the next three days. Head out for a swim, explore the island, and take full advantage of the great nightlife – the opportunities are endless! To sample some invigorating views, hike through the forests, or for a truly relaxed day embrace the leisurely beach lifestyle and spend your time lounging in a beach bar with your new friends. You can also head East or North to explore the rocky coves and even a shipwreck or two! Your guide will be on hand to advise you and help you to get the most out of Koh Tao.

On day 5 you’ll head off on a great snorkelling tour (weather permitting!) to get up close and personal with some of Koh Tao’s beautiful coral and tropical fish and experience those crystal clear waters for yourself.

Koh Tao is famed for its vibrant nightlife, so after a chilled day sample a bar or club to make some memories. Sampling the nightlife is a fantastic way to meet the locals – and of course find your favourite Thai beer! Please note that any activities you choose to participate in during your free time in Koh Tao are optional extras and you are responsible for any resultant costs.

Day 7
Transfer to Koh Phangan

Today you’ll transfer by boat to Koh Phangan, home of the world famous Moon Parties. This island has much more to offer than just moonlit celebrations, however, and now is your chance to discover everything that makes Koh Phangan a dream destination. After a short transfer from the pier you’ll settle into your beachside accommodation (complete with swimming pool!) and get ready to enjoy the island!

All our Island Hopping tours are planned to coincide with a Full Moon Party, Black Moon Party, or New Year’s Party. Whichever party you experience, it’ll be a jolt of adventure, with travellers and locals taking to the beach for a euphoric night of fun. You’ll get to meet new people and party against the backdrop of Thailand’s magically moonlit shores!

Please note that our trips dates are always designed to coincide with a Full Moon party, Black Moon party or New Year’s Party. However in rare cases there may be unforeseen circumstances outside of our control that result in the party not going ahead or being changed without prior notice.

Day 8 - 9
Free Time on Koh Phangan

Days 8 and 9 are for you to tailor-make your experience of Koh Phangan! Exploring Koh Phangan’s diverse islands are a fantastic way to spot some spectacular scenery and really familiarise yourself with this beautiful destination. Some of Koh Phangan’s most beautiful bays include Bottle Beach, Haad Salad and Koh Ma.

It’s also well worth discovering the North of the island where you’ll uncover hidden bays and get a little further away from the tourist buzz. Sightseers will delight in Nam Tok Phaeng, a beautiful waterfall, and Guanyin Temple, an ornate Chinese temple dedicated to the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy.

Culinary connoisseurs may want to check out the atmospheric Fisherman’s Restaurant, where seafood platters can be enjoyed along with views of Koh Phangan’s mystical sunset, or visit one of the Night Markets for a taste of affordable and delicious Thai cuisine.

Your guide will be on hand throughout your time on the island to advise you on the best places to go and help you to arrange any optional extras you’re interested in. Please note that any activities or excursions you participate in during your free days in Koh Phangan are not included in your itinerary and you will be solely responsible for covering the costs of these yourself.

Day 10
Hello Koh Samui

Today you’ll head to Koh Samui by boat. First, you’ll have a relaxed morning on Koh Phangan, soaking up the island’s awe-inspiring atmosphere. Once you see Koh Samui you’ll fall in love with the island’s beautiful golden beaches and postcard worthy panoramas. Perhaps head to the legendary Ark Bar with your group for some good drinks and great company!

Day 11
Get to know Koh Samui

You’ll have a free day today! Koh Samui showcases some of Thailand’s best nightlife, bars and shops, so there’s plenty to do – though you may simply want to find the perfect spot on the beach and top up your tan!

Ang Thong National Park is a great place to visit, where you’ll see fantastic jungles. Perhaps head to Wat Plai Laem, a beautiful Buddhist temple where you can relax and soak up the spiritual vibe, or head to the ‘Big Buddha’ golden shrine. To get a firsthand feel for Koh Samui’s stunning landscape, head off on a trekking trail and find some amazing viewpoints!

Your guide will be on hand to help, so make sure you ask for any advice that you need!Please note that any activities or excursions you participate in during your free days in Koh Samui are not included in your itinerary and you will be solely responsible for covering the costs of these yourself.

Day 12
Koh Phi Phi Transfer

This morning, begin your journey to Koh Phi Phi! You’ll first board a ferry before taking to the road to travel across the West of Thailand!  Then there’s another ferry and you’ll be on the island hotspot of Koh Phi Phi! The island combines gorgeous jungle with sweeping beaches, a magical mix of stunning terrain. You’ll be checked into your accommodation and be able to relax and recharge on the island you’ll be calling home for the next few nights!

Days 13–14
Discover Koh Phi Phi

The last couple of days are yours to enjoy Koh Phi Phi at your own pace. Monkey Beach is a pull for many travellers – you’ll be able to get up close and personal with Thailand’s wildlife!

You’re in the perfect adventure spot, so perhaps spend a day snorkelling or kayaking, or trek to the iconic Koh Phi Phi viewpoint! Make sure you get in plenty of beach time, too! There are many beautiful islands surrounding Koh Phi Phi, so you may want to take a boat tour and experience them all!

Spend your evenings in one of Koh Phi Phi’s many lively bars where you can experience island party life and round the blissful beach days off in style!

Day 15
Farewell

Your trip ends today, and you’ll be travelling onwards or heading home. Your guide will be able to help you with onward travel, and getting a coach or flight back to Bangkok to start your return journey is very straight forward. Make sure you swap details with your fellow travellers and get ready to plan your next epic experience!

Please note: The trip finishes in Koh Phi Phi and therefore any arrangements after this are at your own cost.

Destination Information

If you’ve got the travel bug, Thailand is a must-see destination renowned for its varied landscape (the country combines dramatic mountain ranges with miles of uninterrupted beach, tangled city streets and stunning forests) and captivating collision of peaceful temples and buzzing party spots. This makes for a unique mix of the historical and the contemporary, and Thailand has earned a well deserved reputation as one of the most popular destinations for young travellers. It is the ideal location in which to spend a gap year, with an inexhaustible list of things to see and do, and enough uninterrupted terrain to ensure you’ll be able to beat the bustle and paint your own picture of Thailand.

Thailand has around 65,000,000 people and stretches more than 1,500KM from North to South, covering a range of landscapes and climates (although other than the mountain regions in the West and North it’s never very cold). Thailand’s currency is Thai Baht (THB) and the national language is Thai.

This trip will introduce you to Thailand with a magical spell in Bangkok, the captivating capital city. Established in 1782, the city has become the social, cultural and culinary capital of Thailand. Bangkok is home to glittering skyscrapers, colourful floating markets and dizzying nightlife, and has to be seen to be believed. With an approximate population of over 10 million people, you’ll be immersed in a whirlwind of hectic streets, so be ready to soak up the sights, sounds and sensations of non-stop Bangkok and its vibrant population. Culture vultures can visit inspiring temples to find their inner Buddha all while enjoying the irresistible lure of Bangkok’s cosmopolitan vibe. Bangkok has been dubbed ‘the city of angels’ by its inhabitants, and we’re sure you’ll find this incredible place to be a little slice of heaven!

Koh Tao – a blissful beach base. Fast becoming one of the most popular destinations for young travellers, and with an official population of only 2,000 people the island has a leisurely vibe and you’ll easily find your pace. This stunning island likely be one of the most beautiful places you’ve witnessed first-hand and it will soon become your playground! Kick back on a strip of uninterrupted beach, or dive in the island’s glittering waters. Get the lowdown on the highlife and experience tropical living first hand at one of Koh Tao’s many laid back beach bars. With an array of activities ranging from trekking to vibrant nightlife, you’ll quickly put your stamp on Koh Tao.

Koh Phangan is Thailand’s 4th largest island with a population of around 12,000 people, though this increases depending on visitors and of course, party seasons! While it’s most famous for its legendary Full Moon parties, Koh Phangan has a host of other fantastic attractions for you to enjoy. Thousands of young thrill seekers flock to the island to party beneath the light of the moon, so get ready to don your day- glo paint and join them on the shores of Haad Rin beach. When not bathed in a sea of neon revelry, Koh Phangan is a serene spot in which to find some secluded bays, and there are plenty of small neighbouring islands to hop over to!

Like many of Thailand’s islands, Koh Samui is a beautiful haven of gleaming water and golden sands. While it is tranquil by day, by night it is home to a range of buzzing party spots! Koh Samui has been a tantalizing tourist hotspot for many years now, drawing in laid back beach lovers and excited partygoers alike, however there’s always the opportunity to step back and experience authentic Thailand. The South and West regions of the island feature some fabulous family run restaurants showcasing the best of authentic Thai cuisine, and Ang Thong National Marine Park is a striking locale where you’ll find small islands, towering cliffs and lustrous flora.

The Phi Phi islands are known for their laid back ambience and awe-inspiring scenery. That’s not to say they don’t have plenty of energy, though – there’s the opportunity for adventure with scuba diving, snorkelling and speed boating! Koh Phi Phi is famed for its unbeatable viewpoint, where travellers can enjoy pretty panoramas across the golden sands, and you can easily spend a day exploring its many beaches and bays. Bamboo Island and Maya Bay are particular traveller favourites where lush beaches unite with tropical terrain to make unbeatable relaxation spots! Koh Phi Phi is a must visit destination on any beach lover’s list!

Trip Notes

What's Included

  • Pick up from Bangkok International Airport (BKK)
  • Transfer to Bangkok accommodation
  • Breakfast on day 2
  • All activities listed in your itinerary
  • Transfers between destinations
  • The services of a qualified and registered Thai tour guide throughout your experience
  • 24/7 in-country emergency assistance phone line

What's Not Included

  • International flights
  • Visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals
  • Transfer back to the airport or onward travel on your programme end date
  • Entry fee to the Moon Party on Koh Phangan
  • Entrance fee to the Grand Palace during the Bangkok tour
  • Any optional activities

Additional Information & FAQ's

Minimum Age & Eligibility

Minimum of 18 years, maximum dependent on health of participant.

 

Accomodation & Meals

You’ll stay in a range of different styles of accommodation throughout your trip and everywhere is chosen with careful thought. We take the feedback of hundreds of previous travellers into account to ensure that your accommodation is chosen with safety, comfort and location in mind!

In Bangkok you’ll stay in twin / triple shared rooms in a simple but clean and well run Guest House just a five minutes stroll from the vibrant bustle of Khao San Road. You’ll be in the midst of this backpacker hub on a street that features some great restaurants and bars. All rooms will have air-conditioning, en-suite bathrooms with western style toilets and hot water showers, and access to Wi-Fi. Please note that the Wi-Fi service may not be as fast and reliable as you are used to at home.

In Koh Tao you’ll stay in a lovely resort close to Sairee Beach. You’ll be sharing on a twin or triple basis in rooms with air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms. There’s a pool at your resort and you’ll have Wi-Fi access.

On Koh Phangan you’ll be staying in the Ban Tai area in a fantastic beachside resort. There’s no better place to be – you’ll get to enjoy a refreshing swimming pool and lovely restaurant, and will have direct access to the sand! Rooms are on a twin, triple and quad basis, and all have air-conditioning and en-suite bathrooms.This is the perfect base from which to explore Koh Phangan.

In Koh Phi Phi your accommodation is located close enough to the nightlife to ensure you’ll be able to enjoy a great night out easily, but set back enough that you’ll be able to get away from the bustle and relax. You’ll be sharing on a twin or triple basis in rooms with air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms, and there will be Wi-Fi available.

We will ensure that you share a room with a member of the group of the same sex. If you are travelling with a friend or partner please do let us know, and we will do everything we can to accommodate you in the same room as them.

Meals listed in the itinerary are included. Most meals are not included, and this will give you a fantastic opportunity to sample a range of Thailand’s culinary delights. Your guide will always be able to suggest different places to eat and we’d encourage you to be adventurous. Although food may look a little different to what you’re used to at home (and will be very different from any Thai takeaways you’ve had!) the flavours are phenomenal and it’s well worth eating some local authentic dishes.

You’ll find that eating out in Thailand is usually cheaper than eating out at home, but you’ll probably spend more if choosing Western dishes over local Thai cuisine. Noodle and rice based meals are easy to find and can be purchased from around 50THB – 75THB. Expect to pay around 75THB – 200THB for larger evening meals.

‘Western’ food in Thailand ranges in both price and quality. Usually you’ll ‘get what you pay for’, as cutting back on the cost of Western meals will usually compromise the quality. We suggest that you will be looking at anything from 150-200THB per meal up for Western style food.

We recommend some of these well-known (and more adventurous!) dishes to try during your stay:

  • Pad Thai: A well-known Thai noodle dish with zesty notes of lime. A must try for most travelers!
  • Khao Pad (fried rice): A rice staple that can be ordered with just about anything, from meaty chicken and pork dishes, to seafood and vegetable based dishes.
  • Massaman Curry: A mild yet rich, fragrant curry with complex and exciting flavours. Sangkhlaburi is famous for its tasty Massaman!
  • Moo Yang: Succulent grilled pork paired with a spicy dipping sauce
  • Gai Yang: A street food staple of perfectly marinated grilled chicken, often served with sticky rice.
  • Moo Gratha: This is the common term for Thai style BBQ eating. You can expect to pay anywhere between 150 and 250THB for delicious ‘all you can eat’ fare. Most places will offer a range of meats, shellfish, vegetables and more. As you cook everything yourself at your table, this is a fantastic and social way to experience Thai cuisine and culture.

We understand that everybody has personal food preferences and that some travellers may have allergies or intolerances, and our team in Thailand will always do their best to accommodate for this. Please do note, however, that not all preferences or intolerances are fully understood in Thailand, as Thai people tend not to suffer from the same set/level of allergies and intolerances that we do in the West. Of course, intolerances and allergies won’t hold you back from travelling, but while your guide will do all that they can to accommodate for this, we ask that you be patient and understanding of differences surrounding culture and food preparation. Please also be aware that foods may not be rigorously labelled.

FAQs

Will I Have A Guide?

Absolutely! You’ll have the support of an experienced guide along the way, who will be able to give you great recommendations about things to see during your travels! This trip is perfect for travellers who want to enjoy the security and expertise of a guide while having the freedom to enjoy lots of free time in these amazing destinations and tailor make their trip!

Will I Have Free Time?

One of the best things about this trip is the fact that you’ll have plenty of free time to explore the best that these destinations have to offer! Although you’ll have room to tailor make your experiences, your guide will always be on hand to give you any information you need and help you to plan optional activities. You’ll also be part of a friendly group, so there’ll be fellow travellers to explore with!

Is Thailand Safe?

Thailand is safe to visit, especially when you have guides and coordinators who know the country well, as you will for this Real Gap Experience. As is the case when visiting any new country, you should remain aware and alert and ask your guide for safety advice. Please ensure you read our Safety Advice for some tips on personal safety.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Thailand?

Thailand is stunning all year round so whenever you go we doubt you’ll be disappointed! A lot of travellers choose to visit Thailand during the cool and dry season, which is between November and early April.

Do I Need To Bring A Sleeping Bag?

You can choose to bring a sleeping bag if you would prefer to, however one is not required and all bedding will be provided.

Do I Need To Bring A Mosquito Net?

This is your choice – mosquito nets won’t be provided, but if you take care of your room and keep windows closed you shouldn’t be bothered by mosquitoes. You can opt to purchase one before you travel, or in Thailand where they tend to be cheaper.

Extra Notes

FLIGHTS

Your flight to Thailand should arrive at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) on your programme start date between the hours of 6am and 10pm. The trip ends in Koh Phi Phi and you are free to arrange your return flight or onward travel on the final day; there is no airport in Koh Phi Phi, the nearest airports to the island are Phuket or Krabi airports. If you wish to travel back to Bangkok overland and fly from there, you should arrange your flight for the day after your programme end date to allow enough time for the journey back to Bangkok. For further information and advice on travelling back to Bangkok at the end of your trip, please refer to the 'Additional Arrival Information'.

To receive the included airport pick up transfer from Bangkok Survarnabhumi Airport  (airport code BKK) to your accommodation your flight will need to arrive between 6am and 10pm on the programme start date.

To book your flights, please contact our flight specialist on 01892 277037 who will do their best to get you the best deal on the day. Please provide them with your full name as it is stated in your passport. Before you make the call please make sure you have your required departure dates, return dates and other details you may require.

It is important that once you have booked your flights you add these details to your online account or alternatively you can contact us with your departure date, the flight number and arrival time at your destination. 

Please note: This programme requires a minimum to run. Please contact us to confirm whether the minimum numbers have been met for your start date, we recommend that you do not book your flights until we have confirmed these numbers and the programme will be running.

INSURANCE

Please note that you must have adequate cover in place before your trip begins. Whether you’re travelling for two weeks or two years, insurance is an essential part of your adventure and will help you enjoy your travels, secure in the knowledge that you have the protection you need. Of course you are free to buy insurance from any provider, however at Real Gap Experience, we have travel insurance that has been specifically designed to meet the needs of global travel that’s far from run-of-the-mill. If you think you’re already covered by an existing policy, such as those provided by credit card providers, check the policy very carefully to ensure it covers you for your Real Gap Experience, specifically; for the duration you require and for the activities you’re planning on doing. If you would like some further information about our insurance options please speak to one of our travel advisors.

PASSPORTS AND VISAS

Citizens of the UK, the USA, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and most European countries will automatically receive a 30 day tourist visa when entering Thailand. You may also be asked for proof of onward travel (e.g. a return ticket or onward air ticket) and the Thai Embassy requests that your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 months from your date of entry into Thailand.

You should ensure that you have a full passport that is valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. For stays of between 31 and 60 days you can obtain a 60-day tourist visa for a fee from a Thai embassy or consulate before you travel. For stays of up to 90 days, you can extend the 60-day visa for a further 30 days while you are in the country, for a fee. Please note that overstaying your visa in Thailand can lead to serious consequences at immigration so it is essential that your visa is valid for the full duration of your stay.

We suggest that you refer to the advice relating to your specific country of nationality for information regarding visas and entry into Thailand.

Visa information is liable to change, so it is advisable that you regularly check the information advertised by the embassy of your destination to ensure that your visa information is up to date.

On arrival in Thailand
For use filling in your immigration cards on arrival or if you apply for a 60 or 90-day visa and the application form/s require references, please use the information below:

The Green House Guest House
84 Soi Rambuttri
Banglampoo
Bangkok
10200

If you plan to extend your time in Thailand beyond your visa exit date you must extend your visa. Overstaying your visa is not advised. For questions on this, contact your relevant embassy or use a visa courier service as below.

Visa courier service

For those of you who would prefer a specialist company to take care of your visa needs, we have teamed up Visa Central who can offer you assistance and advice when arranging your visa/s for your time away; making your preparations for your trip easier and more straight forward.

To investigate costs for this service click here to select the country or countries that you wish to travel to.

WIFI             

Wi-Fi is available at all the accommodation that you’ll be staying at throughout your trip but please do note that in some locations you will need to pay a small fee. The Wi-Fi service throughout Thailand can be unreliable and bandwidth is often limited. Social media sites and email sites are usually fine, but Face Time and Skype may experience glitches, so do let your friends and family know.

If you do not have a phone, tablet or electronic device with you there are internet cafes in most locations to enable you to keep in touch online. Prices are usually very affordable.

TELEPHONE

The international dialling code to call a Thai number is +66, so if you’re calling a Thai number from a UK phone you’d simply put +66 in front of the Thai number.

To call the UK from Thailand you’ll need to put +44 in front of the UK number.

If you have a UK or other country mobile with you, you can usually get a signal throughout most of Thailand.  Please note that while you are trekking this can’t be guaranteed and from time to time signals may be relatively week. The costs of calls to the UK or other country will vary depending on your mobile phone provider – but be careful, charges are often GBP 1.50 and up per minute, so do check beforehand!

You can get a Thai SIM card very easily in Thailand (convenience stores such as 7-11 sell them) and it’s very easy to put credit onto these SIM cards. Your guide can help you to find somewhere selling Thai SIM cards and show you how to set it up. Do note however that some UK handsets that are tied into a contract are ‘locked’ and therefore won’t allow you to use a different SIM. However, you can pick up a basic mobile phone handset very cheaply (around GBP 15) which is a good way of keeping in touch via text / SMS and phone calls.

Do remember to let your family know that you’ve arrived safely – you’d be surprised at how many calls we get from families worrying when you’re busy making new friends and have forgotten to let people know you’ve arrived.

LAUNDRY

As a rule it’s not possible to do your own washing at the accommodation you will be staying in unless you use your shower or sink, but everywhere you go there are very well priced washing services available. Do note however that in the rainy season (roughly June / July to September / October) it can take longer than normal for clothes to dry so don’t send your clothes to be washed the day before you’re moving to a new location.

LOCKERS

Some of your accommodation will have lockable drawers in the rooms, but you are advised to leave high value items at home. It’s best not to carry too much cash with you, only enough as you’ll need for each day. There are ATM machines across the country, so you’ll have access to cash. If you’re worried about any items your guide can help you to find a safe place in which to store them.

ELECTRICITY

There are plug sockets at all accommodation so it’s simple and easy to charge your phone or devices. You’ll need to remember to bring a travel adaptor, and it’d be best to purchase one before travelling to Thailand as they’re much easier to find at home or at the airport. Do be careful not to overload sockets with too many devices! Sockets in Thailand accommodate plugs with two horizontally opposed flat or round pins, and the country uses 220V AC electricity.

Note: from time to time throughout rural parts of Thailand, and even occasionally in Bangkok, there are power cuts. Everything will be done to ensure the power is back up and running as soon as possible in the event of a power cut, but in the meantime there is nothing the hotels or your guide will be able to do about this!

TIME

Thailand is 7 hours ahead of GMT.

MONEY MATTERS

The unit of currency in Thailand is the Baht (THB; symbol). There are 100 Satang to the Baht and coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 Satang or 1, 2, 5 and 10B. Paper bills come in 20B (green), 50B (blue), 100B (red), 500B (purple) and 1000B (beige). US Dollars are the other most widely accepted currency and credit cards can be used for a fee in most large cities or at resort hotels but are not often accepted by small locally run businesses. ATMs are found in all major cities and almost all provincial banks.

CULTURAL CONSIDERATIONS

Religion

Thailand is a religious country, and the main religion is Buddhism. Around 4% of the population is Muslim, and there is a small Christian population.

Clothing                            

Thailand is a very conservative country in terms of clothing. Away from beaches, people tend to dress smartly and conservatively. Please do remember to cover up and try not to show too much flesh. A man walking around without a top on is frowned upon and may even draw the attention of the police in urban areas. Girls should try to cover their knees and shoulders and not expose too much flesh. When visiting a temple it is absolutely necessary that you cover up in trousers or long skirts, and ensure shoulders, midriffs and backs are covered. Footwear must be removed and left at the door before you enter a temple.

Do ensure that you bring beachwear, bikinis, swimsuits, swimming shorts and flip flops etc.

Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs

Smoking and drinking is acceptable in Thailand and is widely available. However, you must respect others and be aware that smoking is not permissible in people’s homes. Anti social behaviour will not be tolerated.

It is absolutely forbidden to carry drugs into Thailand and being caught in possession of drugs can lead to at least a prison sentence and a hefty fine. Please note that there is still the very real threat of the death penalty for carrying drugs in Thailand. Always keep an eye on your luggage while travelling, and under no circumstances should you bring anybody else’s luggage through customs.

Bathroom Facilities

You will experience a range of different bathroom facilities during your stay in Thailand. Outside of hotels there will rarely be hot water. While the cool water takes a little getting used to it is usually very welcome after a hot day! Toilets will be a combination of Western and Asian – remember to place toilet tissue in the bins provided and not in the actual toilet.

You may find that some places don’t have toilet tissue or soap in the bathrooms, so it may be useful to carry a small bottle of antibacterial hand wash and a packet of tissues.

SAFETY

Please take heed of the following information, which is designed to ensure that you feel safe on your travels!

  • Always keep personal items such as passport, money and camera with you and in a safe place.
  • Always walk around in groups, do not go off with strangers under any circumstances.
  • Be wary of strangers who seem to friendly or overly helpful or familiar too quickly.
  • Never go out alone after dark.
  • Refrain from getting into fights or arguments with local Thais. We cannot ensure your safety and it may cause future ill feeling against tourists.
  • There have been reports of drinks being spiked on Thai islands. Never leave your drink unattended and do not accept drinks from strangers. If you do end up leaving your drink unattended – even briefly – it is best to discard it.
  • Stick with the escorted trips. If you do go out in the evening unescorted you do so at your own risk. You should make sure that you tell your guide where you are going and what time you will be back, and you will have to sign a release form.

Most tourists travel through Thailand with no safety concerns. This information is merely a guideline so that you come to Thailand feeling prepared! Thailand is renowned for its warm and friendly locals, who have a hospitable culture and love to welcome travellers. We suggest that you check your government’s advice before travelling abroad. Please find the relevant links below:

UK: www.fco.gov.uk                                                                                   

USA: www.travel.state.gov

Australia: www.smartraveller.gov.au

Thailand Terrorist Advice

Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for visitors to Southeast Asia. Most visitors enjoy a trouble-free stay. However, Thailand does have a history of political instability and has experienced a number of military coups since 1932. The political future of the country remains uncertain, though the situation remains stable. Over the past 3-4 years there have been a number of political demonstrations in Bangkok and some other urban areas. Tensions rise and fall but other than in 2010, most protests are usually peaceful and Thais still go out of their way to be hospitable to visitors. However, it’s always advisable to avoid large gatherings and listen to the advice of the team in country.

LANGUAGE

Here are some useful phrases to remember when you get to Thailand. You may also want to buy a language guide before you travel and familiarise yourself with some key phrases.

  • Hello (Male speaker) - sawatdee krup
  • Hello (Female speaker) - sawatdee kaa
  • How are you? - sabai dee reu
  • Thank you - kop koon
  • I can’t speak Thai - phoot Thai mai dai
  • I don’t understand - mai kao chai
  • Do you understand? - kao chai mai
  • Where is the rest room? - hong nam yoo tee nai
  • How much does this cost? - nee tao-rai
  • What is this? - nee aria
  • Good-bye - la gon
  • Sorry/Excuse me - kor thoad
  • The bill please - Gep taang

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

When planning your trip, you should be aware of the major national holidays celebrated throughout the country. However, although businesses and government offices are closed on public holidays, tourist attractions and shops are almost never closed. The main impact on the tourist of these holidays is the increased competition for travel and accommodation from Thais who use long weekends to get away from the big city.

WEATHER                                     

Thailand’s ‘summer period’ is from March to June, where temperature hover around 34 degrees, and may reach heights of 40 degrees. Many travellers visit Thailand from November to February when the heat is punctuated with a cool breeze. Monsoon season is from July to October when Thailand sees most of its rainfall and can become very wet. During monsoon season, weather can be unreliable, however downpours are by no means constant, and the weather remains warm.

HEALTH AND VACCINATIONS

Risks to your health while travelling will vary depending on your age, general health, and the type of activities you will be participating in during your holiday. We strongly advise you to consult your General Practitioner or a reputable Travel Medical Advisory Service before you travel. By doing this you can ensure that your general health is assessed and you’ll be able to find out more about any particular health risks. You will also be advised on vaccinations, necessary medication, and any precautions you should take.

A useful website to visit is http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk              

Zika Virus                                                                                                                         

The Zika virus is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, and while the illness often occurs without symptoms it can cause an illness similar to dengue fever. There has recently been reported a possible link between exposure to the Zika virus in pregnancy and microcephaly and other congenital malformations. Investigations are ongoing. We suggest that you consult the FCO website and select your destination country for the latest travel advice prior to booking.

If you are already pregnant we suggest that you seek medical advice from your GP as The National Travel Health Network and Centre advises that pregnant women should consider avoiding travel to areas where Zika virus outbreaks are currently reported.

SUPPORT AND ADVICE            

Your safety is paramount which is why all our programmes have been visited and assessments have been conducted to ensure any major risks have been minimised. In addition, you will have access to a 24 hour emergency contact number so you can contact one of our UK staff at any time should you need to. In addition our overseas partners and coordinators are on hand in-country to assist you. You may also want to consider our one day Gap Year Safety Course so you are well prepared for your overseas adventure find out more at www.realgap.co.uk/safety-course

FINANCIAL SECURITY

We know that the last thing you want to worry about when you’re planning your trip of a lifetime is whether your money is in safe hands. As a leading global gap year provider it’s our job to make sure your finances are secure, so when you book with us you can be confident that we do just that.

Real Gap Experience is part of Gap 360 Ltd. The owners of Gap 360 have been providing gap years and adventure holidays for young people since 2003.

Your money is safe and secure when you book with Real Gap Experience. Our membership of ABTOT (The Association of British Tour Operators Trust) means that you can rest assured that that the monies you have paid to Real Gap are completely secure. Gap 360 has provided a financial bond which will cover you in the event of the financial failure of the company.

TRIP NOTE DISCLAIMER

The information contained in this trip note has been compiled with great care and is provided in good faith. Any itinerary featured is correct at time of release. However, our itineraries may change as make improvements that result from travellers’ comments, our own research or from time to time as a result of Foreign and Commonwealth Travel Advice.

You can rest assured that it is always our goal to provide you with the most rewarding trip and experience ever!

OUR DETAILS

If you have any questions about this trip please do not hesitate to contact us and we'll be happy to answer them.

Phone: 01892 277040

Email: [email protected]

Post: Real Gap Experience, Top Floor, 121-123 Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1QR

Web: www.realgap.co.uk

Reviews

Overall Rating: (9/10)

31 Reviews

I've done this trip

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Lily Collings

How would you rate your overall experience?

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What were the highlights of your trip?

Koh Tao was amazing, take advantage of how much less touristy it is. Our favourite night unanimously was when we went to see the Lady Boys on Koh Tao and then headed to the beach party. Visiting Waterfalls on Koh Samui is a must.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

More daytime activities, our guide, Ben was very helpful in helping us organise our own though. A longer period in Bangkok or planned visits to temples on the islands would have been good. It was amazing but once we got to the islands it wasn't such an interesting cultural experience. I know we could have done that ourselves but it would be a nice addition to the itinerary.

Tips for other travellers?

Don't be afraid to travel alone, a girl on our trip did and she had an amazing time. Don't be afraid to venture out on your own, visiting the waterfall which we organised along with our guide was our highlight. Don't overpack, you won't need as much as you think and washing is relatively cheap in Thailand, around 60 bhat a load which is about £1.50.

Ella Tarrant

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What were the highlights of your trip?

Meeting loads of amazing people, met some friends for life. The amazing views, parties, and koh phangan challenge, visiting waterfalls just about everything we did!!!

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

A few days on Phi Phi Island and a few more organised trips

Tips for other travellers?

I took way too many toiletries, there are 7/11s and pharmacies pretty much everywhere which sell everything you need (7/11 also sell amazing toasties). It is super muggy so a mini fan was my saviour in Bangkok, get one!!!!

Any other comments?

Would like to thank our tour guide Ben for being so much fun and an amazing guide....

Shannon Spittles

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What were the highlights of your trip?

The highlights of my trip were visiting the Nanagyum view point in Koh Tao, visiting Maya bay in the Phi Phi islands and visiting the Angthong National Marine park. Nanagyum was an amazing view point and definitely worth the trek up. I also had a great group of 16 people which made the trip with our tour guide Paris, who was great at giving us advice on what to do on our free days such as were to eat and if we wanted to do any further activities.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

I wish more food was included within the price that we paid and to have stayed on the Phi Phi Islands.

Tips for other travellers?

Do all of the activities, you will not regret it! But budget yourself for about three weeks, I took 600.

Safya Megnin

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What were the highlights of your trip?

The 7 islands tour in Krabi and all the laughs and memories made with such an amazing group of people!!

Tips for other travellers?

Make sure to make the most of all the excursions offered to you on the islands, especially the 7 islands tour in Krabi- do it, its worth the money! Do most of your shopping in Bangkok, it is slightly more expensive on the islands so don't be afraid to buy lots on your first few days! Don't pack too much!!

Any other comments?

So privileged and lucky to have met such an amazing group of people. Our tour guide JJ was absolutely amazing and never failed to make us laugh! Don't be afraid to travel alone- everyone is so friendly and you meet an amazing bunch of people :) thank you Real Gap!

Emma Cleasby

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What were the highlights of your trip?

Getting to know new people and having a laugh with JJ and the group. Also seeing Monkey's on Railay beach and climbing view point.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

I think maybe an trip should be included as there's so many extra ones you can do its hard to be able to afford them all when you're there.

Tips for other travellers?

*Don't take tooamy clothes - you can buy them dirt cheap in Bangkok! *Budget more than 80-100 pounds per week if you want to do extra trips etc *Throw yourself into everything there is to do!

Any other comments?

Thank you JJ for an amazing time! He looked after us at the airport and really took good care of us!

jessica Simou

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What were the highlights of your trip?

Elephant tracking in koh phangan, snorkelling and the viewpoint in koh Tao and the waterfall and whitewater rafting in krabi. Also

Tips for other travellers?

1. Pack light! 2. Say yes to it all 3. Stay safe with your money

Any other comments?

Our tour guide - Mickey- was amazing. Knowledgeable, friendly, caring, helpful and so much fun :)

angela davies

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What were the highlights of your trip?

I've enjoyed every moment. Really enjoyed all the trips and activities.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

Shark diving.

Tips for other travellers?

1.travel light - would of been easier and cheaper to buy clothes out there. 2.take first aid kit and tablets you may need. Also a high bug repellent! 3.enjoy yourself! Make friends. Be open and friendly.

Any other comments?

Our tour guide was amazing!

charlene leuty

How would you rate your overall experience?

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What were the highlights of your trip?

The trekking to the different viewpoints. The adventure day in Koh Phangan and the evening organised out

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

More adventure trips!

Tips for other travellers?

Pack light! (Reusing and wearing the same outfit more than once is acceptable!) Take more money than you think (drinking fund) Do it whilst you still can! :)

Daniel Clitheroe

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

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How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

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What were the highlights of your trip?

Pool party on koh tao

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

Less railey and maybe phi phi instead.

Tips for other travellers?

Don't pack loads as you can get clothes and stuff so cheap out there. The exchange rate is a lot better out there so wait until your there to get currency. Party hard.

danny cunningham

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

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How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

Snorkelling on Koh Tao, Koh Tao pub crawl, watching the sunsets, cheap beer and making great friends.

Tips for other travellers?

1. Take more money with you, budget double what is stated in the travel guide. Cash machines charge about £3 for a withdrawal by the time your bank has added on exchange fees. 2. Do everything you can, even if you are hungover! 3. Just enjoy it

Any other comments?

Make sure to book your flight from Krabi at a time that suits your return flight to the UK or wherever you go next, otherwise you could spend ages in Krabi or Bangkok airport and there's not really much to do! Oh, and bring some Imodium!

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