Thai Experience

18-29 days from £1,069

£49 Deposit
Group photo in front of a temple in Bangkok, Thailand

Tour Thailand from north to south!

Tour Thailand from north to south!

Feeding an elephant
Koh Tao view point, Thailand
+38
Ready for the Full Moon Party
Visit 7 stunning locations
Packed with fun activities
2 internal flights included

Trip Highlights

  • Explore Bangkok by bicycle and boat and discover the city’s most exquisite landmarks, from the Grand Palace to Temple of the Dawn
  • Get to live and work alongside magnificent Asian elephants at a project that promotes elephant welfare and educates the community
  • Trek through the astounding northern Thailand landscape, passing rivers, waterfalls, and mountains on your way to a remote retreat
  • Discover why Chiang Mai is known as Thailand’s cultural capital as you tour the area’s top spots
  • Hop from island to island in the country’s vibrant south and stay at gorgeous tropical destinations from Railay Beach, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Pha Ngan
  • Extend your trip to spend more time on Koh Pha Ngan before heading to Koh Samui and Koh Tao, and dance all night at an epic full moon party

Trip Summary

Travelling before 6th April? Click here! Travelling between 6th April and 5th June? Click here!

If you’re looking for a Thailand experience that ticks all the boxes, then our Thai Experience programme is the one! Kicking things off in Bangkok with city tours and fun nights out, you’ll then travel through the surrounding countryside to spend time caring for the gentle giants at an amazing elephant village and hike through mountains and jungles on an epic trekking adventure. Then you’ll head to the country's culture capital, Chiang Mai, to discover more about Thai traditions. We’ll fly back to the capital (on one of two included internal flights) and take a canal boat tour for a different perspective of the city. From Bangkok, we’ll fly south to stay on some of the country’s most irresistible tropical islands. From Railay Beach to Koh Phi Phi and the party isle of Koh Pha Ngan, we’ll take part in project work in the forests, go on snorkelling adventures and enjoy some beachside living as well as plenty of partying and dancing until dawn. Extend your trip to the 29-day option and get to stay on Koh Samui and Koh Tao as well.

 

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

Trip Info

Day 1: Arrival

Arriving in Thailand’s bustling capital, you’ll be greeted by our friendly team at the airport. Settle in and unpack, and explore the local streets before meeting up with the rest of your group and your tour guides. Tonight, head out into the city to try out some of Bangkok’s coolest drinking haunts.

Day 2: Bangkok

Explore the city highlights on two wheels today on a guided bicycle tour. Ride through busy streets and narrow lanes to get up close to national treasures and various temple sites, and discover the magic that makes Bangkok so memorable. Later we’ll catch an overnight train or bus to Chiang Mai.  

Day 3: Chiang Mai

Wake up in Thailand’s beautiful northern landscape as we arrive in Chiang Mai. We’ll head for the pool to splash about and catch some rays, or take a look around Chiang Mai centre. Later on the group will take part in an authentic Thai cooking class where we’ll learn to cook between three and five separate dishes. In the evening, enjoy the Chiang Mai nightlife.

Day 4: Elephant stopover

Heading out of Chiang Mai this morning, we’ll make our way through the countryside to a wonderful elephant home – a project that cares for Asian elephants. You’ll spend the day getting to know the elephants, walking them to a nearby river and bathing them, feeding them, and helping out at the centre.

Day 5-6: Hill trekking

Trek through the jungles and mountain terrain of northern Thailand. We’ll hike the rough trails beside rice paddies, rivers, and waterfalls as we make our way to our overnight retreat. The next day we’ll go rafting on traditional bamboo rafts before completing the rest of our hike back to the elephant village.

Day 7-8: Chiang Mai

Spend the morning with the elephants on day seven, before saying goodbye and making the journey to Chiang Mai. We’ll arrive in the afternoon, which will give you plenty of time to get out into the centre to explore. The next day we’ll visit Doi Suthep to see Wat Phra That, and tour Chiang Mai’s famous night bazaar.

*Please note, any optional activities you choose to do in Chiang Mai are at your own cost.

Day 9-10: Bangkok

Leaving the north, we’ll head to the airport and catch a flight back to Bangkok to enjoy a fun night out in the city. On day ten we’ll take to the canals and view the city on our own long-tail boat tour. We’ll visit Wat Pho and take a tour of the majestic Grand Palace. In the evening we’ll head out for an evening in Khao San's best hidden hangouts.

Day 11-12: Krabi to Railay Beach

On day 11, we’ll board another flight, this time to Krabi. On arrival, we'll take a short drive and jump on a boat to Railay Beach, where we’ll head to the beach for sunset drinks. The next day we'll explore the area by boat on a trip that’ll take us around some of the most beautiful caves and islands in the area, with a few snorkelling stops on the way.

Day 13-15: Phi Phi

Take a look around Koh Phi Phi and get to know the place. In the evening, visit the beachfront and hop from one lively bar to the next. The next day we'll go on an island boat tour, sailing around all the nooks and crannies and close by islands, including Maya Bay – the location used in the film The Beach. On our last day on the island, we’ll walk to the  best viewpoint for spectacular views as the sun sets.

Day 16-17: Koh Pha Ngan

Next stop is Thailand’s party isle, Koh Pha Ngan. Our accommodation is right on the beach in the Ban Tai area (the location for the island's black moon and half moon parties – full moon parties are held on Haad Rin Beach, which is a 20-minutes tuk tuk ride from your accommodation). We'll visit the secret beach and enjoy a traditional Thai massage, and then party until dawn at one of the island’s famous moon parties*.

*We aim to time our Koh Pha Ngan visit to coincide with one of the island’s epic moon parties, but we can’t always guarantee this as parties are arranged by the local authorities and unforeseen circumstances and cancellations are completely out of our control.

Day 18: Farewell or travel on

If you’ve booked onto our 18-day trip, you’ll be saying your goodbyes today. You’ll need to check out of the accommodation by 11am and make your own arrangements for onward travel. Your tour guide will be more than happy to help you arrange transport.

If you’ve booked onto our 29-day trip, you’ll spend another couple of days on Koh Pha Ngan, so chill out for the rest of the day and plan your evening activities from the beachside.

Day 19-20: Koh Pha Ngan 

Take the next couple of days at your leisure; chill out on the beach or by the pool or go and check out the surrounding temples, or dip your toes in the cool waters of Nam Tok Phaeng waterfall.

Your tour guide can help you plan activities and daytime excursions on Koh Pha Ngan, but any activities you arrange in your free time are at your own cost.

Day 21-23: Koh Samui

On arrival at Koh Samui, we’ll make our way into the forest to take part in a fantastic dam building project. Help build small dams using rocks, sand, pipes and cement to aid the water management on the island. In the evening, enjoy some well-deserved drinks in town at an awesome party. The next couple of days are yours to do with as you please, so enjoy a bit of laidback beach living.

Day 24: Ang Thong Marine Park

Setting sail for Ang Thong Marine Park, we'll tour some of the 42 tropical isles in this magnificent archipelago – known for its fantastic marine life. You'll get the opportunity to go snorkelling, kayaking, or simply enjoy a splash about.

Day 25-28: Koh Tao

Arriving on the idyllic tropical island of Koh Tao, we’ll head straight to our resort near beautiful Sairee Beach. Take a dip in the bright blue waters, chill under the palms, or make use of the accommodation’s pool. On day 27 we'll head out on a boat tour to visit the incredibly scenic Koh Ngan Yuan, with some snorkelling and kayaking in between.

Day 29: Farewell

It’s time to say goodbye. Check out of the accommodation and swap digits with your new pals before making your way back to Bangkok. You can do this by ferry and coach or by ferry and internal flight, which your guide will be more than happy to help you arrange.

Your guide will be able to help you arrange travel back to Bangkok at the end of your trip, if you are flying out of Bangkok we recommend arranging this for the day after your programme end date to give you plenty of time to make the journey back up. Alternatively, you may wish to fly from Phuket which is a short ferry journey away from Koh Phi Phi. 

If you are joining this trip between 16th January and 6th June 2018, you will follow a different itinerary to the above - please contact us for more details!

Please note activities and itineraries are subject to change. 

More Trip Info

What's Included

  • Arrival transfer from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport
  • Bangkok city tour
  • 28 or 17 nights’ accommodation 
  • In-country transport (including internal flights)
  • Some meals
  • 2-day hill trek in Northern Thailand
  • Chiang Mai night market and temple tour
  • Cookery class in Chiang Mai 
  • Elephant home stopover
  • Canal boat tour
  • Tuk tuk ride
  • Bamboo rafting
  • Railay boat trip
  • Maya Bay boat trip with snorkelling and kayaking
  • Thai massage
  • Dam building project on Koh Samui (29-day option only)
  • Ang Thong National Park visit (29-day option only)
  • Koh Tao beach break (29-day option only)
  • 24/7 emergency support

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Food and drinks
  • Return transfer
  • Entry fee to the Moon Party on Koh Pha Ngan
  • Transport to Moon Party
  • Transport and taxis to optional activities and nights out
  • Entry fee to the Grand Palace in Bangkok
  • Optional activities

More Whats Included

Reviews

I've done this trip

Write review

Overall Rating 9/10

Imogen Hoyle

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

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

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

Would you recommend Real Gap Experience?

Yes

What were the highlights of your trip?

Amazing ! Great tour guide and friendly people Really enjoyed the islands and Elephant Haven Wish I could go back!!

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

no

Tips for other travellers?

Take enough money to be able to do the extra activities

Any other comments?

Would definitely recommend it was amazing!!!

Eve Buckley

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

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

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

Would you recommend Real Gap Experience?

Yes

What were the highlights of your trip?

Going ziplining across the jungle, holding a baby leopard, riding elephants, the jungle treck

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

longer cooking class less temples

Tips for other travellers?

take a suitcase for Thailand experience have extra money for the last week buy insect repellent there not in england

Any other comments?

Should stay in hostels so we can cook our own food

More Reviews

Accommodation & Meals

You’ll stay in a variety of different types of accommodation throughout your trip, each having been selected with location, comfort, and safety in mind. The majority of the places you stay in will be based on two to four people in the group sharing a room – you will always share with travellers of the same sex, but if you’re travelling with a friend or partner let us know when you book so we can make sure you’re in a room together. All accommodation on this trip has Wifi access, and western-style bathroom facilities, and air-conditioned rooms, with the exception of your accommodation at the elephant park, which will be in basic, but comfortable shared huts on site. Two of the guesthouses have pools, which you’ll have full access to in your downtime.

Please note, some guesthouses and hostels might ask you to pay a security deposit of around £15 to £20, which is pretty standard across Thailand. These deposits are fully refundable on departure, as long as there is no damage to your room.

Most meals aren’t included on this trip, other than meals at the elephant village and during the hill trek, which offers you a fantastic opportunity to sample a range of Thailand’s delicious food. You won’t be short of places to choose from and your guide will always be able to suggest different places to eat – be adventurous and try out some of the local dishes. Do let us know if you have any dietary requirements when you book, and let your tour guide know if there’s anything specific you can’t eat while you’re in Thailand.

More Accommodation & Meals

Flights

Thailand flights from: £424

You will need to arrange your flight to Thailand to arrive at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) on your programme start date between the hours of 6am and 10pm.

If you choose the 18 day trip, your trip finishes on Koh Pha Ngan on your programme end date (day 18). If you choose the 29 day trip, your trip will finish on Koh Tao. Transfers back to Bangkok are not included in your trip but are easy to arrange and your local guide will be able to help you with this.

There are a few of options for returning to Bangkok after your trip, the most common options are a combination of a ferry and coach or a ferry and flight. Please allow plenty of time for your travel back to Bangkok in order to catch an international flight, we recommend arranging onward travel for the day after your programme end date to allow time for delays.

To arrange your flights, contact our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037 or email them at [email protected] They will be able to search for the best flight offers to your chosen destinations, so you can plan and organise your trip in one place. Just make sure you give them your full name, as stated in your passport, along with your chosen departure dates, return dates, and any other details you want to include.

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.

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Our Frequent Airlines

More Flights Info

Eligibility & FAQ's

The minimum age for this trip is 18 years.

British passport holders arriving by air can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa. Please ensure your passport is valid, with six months' validity remaining on the date of your planned return, and that you hold a valid return flight, or onward travel, ticket. If you plan to stay in Thailand for more than 30 days you will need to apply for a visa before departing the UK, which will be issued as a 60-day tourist visa so long as you’re not planning on taking paid work during your stay.  

Do I Need Any Vaccinations?

We’re not qualified to offer you medical advice, so you should visit your GP well ahead of time to find out what inoculations you might need. Remember to tell them exactly where you’re travelling to as vaccination and medication requirements vary between different Indian regions. You’ll also need to make sure you have enough of any prescribed medication to see you through the duration of your trip.

I’m Travelling With A Friend, Can We Stay Together?

Yes! Let us know when you book and we’ll make sure you both get to stay in the same rooms.

How Many People Will Be In My Group With Me?

Group sizes vary from trip to trip, to check the number of people on your start date please contact one of our travel advisors.

Do I Need To Bring A Sleeping Bag With Me?

All bedding is provided so there’s no need to bring a sleeping bag with you for this trip.

How Much Spending Money Should I Bring With Me?

Food and drink is relatively cheap in Thailand, so budget around 40THB-200THB/£1-£5 for meals, and between 20THB-150THB/50p-£3.50 for drinks. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of money for extra activities, such as kayaking, scuba diving, excursions, and entrance fees to tourist attractions, which can range anywhere from 500THB/£12 to 3500THB/£82 depending on what you want to do – it’s always best to look into costs before you travel. As a rough guide, 28000THB-37000THB/£650-£850 should be a good amount, depending on personal spending habits.

What’s The Difference Between A Full Moon, Black Moon, And Half Moon Party?

All of Koh Pha Ngan’s moon parties are pretty epic events, and you’ll be dancing on the island’s beaches from nightfall to sunrise if you like! But they’re all in slightly different settings and are separated mainly by the type of music played at each. Whilst we do try and plan all of our dates to coincide with a Moon Party, this is not always possible, so please contact us for more details on your trip date.Full Moon Parties are held at Haad Rin Beach (around a 20-minute tuk tuk ride from your accommodation – £2-3 per person each way if sharing) and you can expect anywhere upwards of 10,000 party goers all culminating on the beach! You’ll find everything from trance to reggae being played at these events. Entry costs approximately £2-3 per person. Black Moon Parties are thought of as one of the island’s best outdoor parties and consist of a night filled with the latest trance music from Thai and international DJs. Entry costs approximately £2-3. Half Moon Parties are pretty cool gigs and attract top DJs from all over the world. And set against the backdrop of the island’s forest gives these events an intimate, off the beaten track vibe. Entry costs approx. £20-25.

More Eligibility & FAQ's

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If you are travelling between the 16th January and 6th June 2018, you'll follow a different itinerary - please contact us for details!

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