Thai Experience - 2019
18-25 days from £1,249
- Dance ‘til the sun comes up at one of Southern Thailand’s hedonistic beach parties
- Explore bustling Bangkok with long-tail boat rides, temple tours and a night out on crazy Khao San Road.
- Spend 2 days bathing, feeding and caring for Asian elephants in an authentic elephant village
- Trek through the jungle and go bamboo rafting in Northern Thailand
- Kayak and snorkel in the jewel-like waters of Ang Thong Marine Park
Discover the wonders of Thailand on this epic group adventure. With neon-soaked nights in Bangkok, an unforgettable 2 days living with elephants in a rural village, wild beach parties, a jungle-hike around Chiang Mai, and some serious bliss on the dazzling white sands of the southern islands, it’s the trip of a lifetime – no filter needed.
Interested and want to find out more? Download more trip information and detailed itinerary HERE!
Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok
Arriving in Thailand’s bustling capital, you’ll be greeted by our friendly team at the airport before heading off to your accommodation in the famous backpacker hub, Khao San Road. Meet the rest of the group and your tour guide this evening before heading out to sample the local food and drink.
Day 2: Bangkok City Tour
Take to the canals and view the city on an awesome long-tail boat tour. We’ll visit some of the city’s best bits, including Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Dawn and take an optional tour of the majestic Grand Palace later on. This evening, head out for another evening at the city’s best hidden hangouts.
Day 3: Bangkok on Two Wheels
Explore the city highlights on two wheels today on a guided bicycle tour through Bangkok. You’ll ride through busy streets and narrow lanes to get up close to national treasures and various temple sites, passing by riverside communities and discovering the magic that makes Bangkok so memorable.
Day 4: Free Time in the City
Today is yours to do with as you please, and there's plenty to see and do in Bangkok, so head out into the city and have a day of unique discovery! Why not hit the streets with a guided tuk tuk tour, get a traditional Thai massage, or check out Lumpini Park? At the end of the day we’ll catch the overnight train or bus to Chiang Mai.
Day 5: Chiang Mai
In the heart of Thailand's culture capital, we’ll check into our guesthouse and either head straight for the pool or take a look around Chiang Mai centre. Later on the group will take part in an authentic Thai cooking class and eat whatever we make. Discover Chiang Mai’s famous night bazaar this evening.
Day 6-7: Elephant Project
Heading out of Chiang Mai and through the surrounding countryside, we’ll arrive at a wonderful ethical elephant project to learn about these magnificent animals and spend time walking them down to a nearby river and helping to bath and feed them. Please note we do not allow customers to ride the elephants. During your time here, you’ll be staying on site in simple huts and be surrounded by beautiful scenery. It’s an incredible part of the trip.
Day 8-9: Hill Trekking
Day eight sees us setting off on a rural adventure as we trek through the jungles and mountain terrain of northern Thailand. We’ll hike the rough trails beside rice paddies, rivers, and waterfalls as before reaching our overnight retreat. The next day we’ll go rafting on traditional bamboo rafts before completing the rest of our hike and then heading back to Chiang Mai.
Day 10: Head South
Today we'll make our way to the airport to jump on a flight down to Krabi – gateway to some of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches and islands. On arrival, if time allows we'll take the short transfer to the beach, a fun tourist spot for soaking up sun and enjoying the more bustling side to beach life.
Day 11: Railay Beach
We'll enjoy Railay Beach today, for a more laid-back beach experience. Taking a boat ride to get there, we'll be met by exquisite white sand surrounded by limestone cliffs. Spend your time in the clear blue waters, snorkelling or simply splashing about.
Day 12-14: Koh Phi Phi
Our next stop is the undisputedly beautiful tropical island of Koh Phi Phi. We'll make the journey by ferry, which is a lovely trip in itself. This little island paradise is notoriously chilled out, so go with the flow and take everything in your stride. While we’re here, we’ll walk up to the island’s best viewpoint for spectacular views and hit the waves with an island boat tour, stopping to snorkel at some beautiful locations.
Day 15: Koh Samui
Today we'll travel across to Koh Samui. Spend some time chilling out on the beach, swim in the sea, or go on a short walk through the island’s gorgeous inland forests. In the evening, enjoy drinks in town at an awesome party at the Ark Bar.
Day 16:Ang Thong National Marine Park
Setting sail for Ang Thong Marine Park today, we'll tour some of the 42 tropical isles in this magnificent archipelago – known for its fantastic marine life, tropic waters, and startlingly bright vegetation. You'll get the opportunity to lower yourself into the warm waters for a spot of snorkelling, kayaking, or just a splash about.
Day 17: Free Time on Koh Samui
Today’s your chance to soak up some of Samui’s laid-back beach vibes and let your hair down with some free time to do whatever you like. Why not head for those clear blue waters and spend the day swimming and snorkelling? Or, if you’d rather keep your feet on dry land, you could take a wander up to the colourful temples of Wat Plai Laem or Wat Khao Chedi, book yourself onto an island safari, take a longtail to Koh Madsum, or spend the day at Crystal Beach.
Day 18: Farewell
It’s the last day of your Thai Experience today, so once you’ve checked out, you’re free to make your way back to the mainland to continue your travels or head home. A return transfer isn’t included, but your friendly tour guide will be able to help you arrange this.
Day 18: Head to Koh Pha Ngan
Hop aboard another boat to Thailand’s party isle – Koh Pha Ngan. Known the world over for its epic full moon parties, you can expect a lively atmosphere as we get geared up for one of the island’s full moon, black moon, or half moon parties. Our accommodation is in a great location right on the beach in the Ban Tai area and comes with its own pool and restaurant – the perfect place to unwind in.
Days 19-20: Koh Pha Ngan
Take the next couple of days at your leisure. After some serious night time partying, you might want to chill out on the beach or by the pool or if you’ve got the energy, go and explore. On day 20, we’ll treat you to a temple steam session, where you’ll get to sit in the herb-infused steam in the temple’s sauna.
Days 21-24: Koh Tao
Arriving on the idyllic tropical island of Koh Tao, you’ll get to take it easy shore-side on the gorgeous Sairee Beach. Grab your swimming gear, take a dip in the bright blue waters, then chill under the palms with a cocktail or cold beer. If you’re feeling inquisitive, take a wander to explore the town centre or book yourself onto a diving experience. On our final night, we’ll hit the town and enjoy the brilliant party atmosphere on the beach.
Day 25: 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. A return transfer isn’t included, but your guide will be able to help you arrange transport.
Please note, activities and itineraries are subject to change.
- Personal airport meet and greet on arrival at Bangkok
- Transfer from the airport to your Khao San Road accommodation
- Buddy list prior to departure
- 17 or 24 nights’ accommodation
- In-country transport (including internal flight from Chiang Mai to Krabi)
- Bangkok city tour and long-tail boat ride
- Bangkok bicycle tour
- Some meals
- 2-day hill trek in Northern Thailand
- Bamboo rafting
- Chiang Mai night market and temple tour
- Cookery class in Chiang Mai
- Ethical Elephant home experience
- Ko Phi Phi viewpoint visit
- Koh Phi Phi boat trip with snorkelling
- Ang Thong National Marine Park visit
- Koh Tao beach break (25-day option only)
- Koh Tao boat and snorkel trip (25-day option only)
- Koh Pha Ngan stay (25-day option only)
- Koh Pha Ngan temple steam (25-day option only)
- 24/7 emergency support
- For the 2020 itinerary inclusions please view our Thai Experience 2020 itinerary
- Travel insurance
- Meals and drinks
- Return transfer
- Entry fee and transport to the moon party on Koh Pha Ngan
- Transport and taxis to optional activities and nights out
- Entry fee to the Grand Palace in Bangkok
- Optional activities
You’ll stay in a variety 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 let us know if you’re travelling with a friend or partner so we can make sure you’re in a room together.
In Bangkok, you'll stay in a guesthouse in the lively Khao San Road district – hugely popular with backpackers and locals alike; perfect for a bit of party atmosphere.
At the Elephant project you'll be staying in traditional rural Thai huts. The accommodation is basic but comfortable and makes for a unique experience when you're in such close proximity to the elephants.
In Chiang Mai, you'll stay in a clean and comfortable guesthouse in the heart of the city where you'll be just a short walk away from the night market and Tha Phae Gate area.
In Krabi you'll stay at a comfortable guesthouse in a good location and will have Wi-fi access, air-conditioning, and an en-suite bathroom.
On Koh Phi Phi you'll stay at a great little resort close by to the ferry port and beach and even has its own swimming pool.
On Koh Samui, your accommodation is right in the centre of the laidback area of Bangrak, close to the dam building project. A 20-minute tuk tuk ride will get you to the main beach.
On Thailand's party island, Koh Pha Ngan, your accommodation has its own pool and overlooks Baan Tai Beach – a hop, skip, and a jump to the action for half moon and black moon parties, with just a 20-minute tuk tuk ride to get you to one of the island's full moon parties.
Your accommodation on Koh Tao also has its own pool and is just a few minutes' walk from the gorgeous local beach.
Please note: All accommodation is subject to change dependent on group size, season and other factors
Most food isn’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 local cuisine. 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 a variety of 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.
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.
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; we recommend that you arrive before 3pm, if possible, so that you are able to join the first night out with the group.
If you choose the 18-day trip, your trip finishes on Koh Samui on your programme end date (day 18). If you choose the 25-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.
The minimum age for this trip is 18 years.
It is your responsibility to obtain the necessary visas for your time away. 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.
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 Asian 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. The maximum group size on this trip is 22.
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 £1-£5 for meals, and between 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 £10 to £100 depending on what you want to do – it’s always best to look into costs before you travel. As a rough guide, £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 Phangan’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. £15-20.