Thailand Beaches: Bangkok to Phuket
Tour Commences: Bangkok | Tour finishes: Phuket | 9 day itinerary | From £935pp
Clear blue waters, white sands, swaying palm trees and a bungalow on the beach – they don’t call it Thai-riffic for nothing. Come and explore Thailand’s capital, relax in the sun and try some of the choice food this region is renowned for. Exploring capital Bangkok, Ao Nang, Khao Lak and Phuket, you’ll be hitting the best of the best in Thailand, getting all the time you need to hit the bustling streets and manic markets, or just basking on the shores of some of the best beaches in the world. It’s all fun and games that await, so jump right into the heart of Thailand’s best.
Why you’ll love this trip
- Ease into the beach-loving lifestyle and enjoy various sea activities of snorkeling and kayaking to explore the amazing limestone cliff and caves, colorful coral reefs and mangrove forests
- Get deep in the community vibes of Baan Nai Nang village by spending time with the locals, enjoying a hearty home-cooked lunch and learn about their organic fruit orchids
- Meet some furry friends and learn about the great work done at the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre to reintroduce this species sustainably back into the wild
- Discover a true slice of paradise on an included sea kayaking trip through the stunning inlets, caves and hidden lagoons of the Ao Thalane mangrove forests
- Oh, did we mention the beaches? Just some of the most striking stretches of sand with sparkling sapphire waters and palm-fringed shores – no biggie
Day 1 - 2: Bangkok
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. Bangkok is a vibrant mix of ancient traditions and slick modernity, where markets (obviously bustling) and world-class cuisine are only the beginning. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. If you do arrive early, kudos to you! How about acquainting yourself with this frenetic city of tuk tuks, street food and traditional khlong boats winding down the Chao Phraya River and just having a walk around. After your important meeting, you might want to experience the unique tourist mecca of Khao San Road with some of your new travel crew.
You’ll start today with a visit to Wat Arun – Temple of the Dawn. Named after the Indian God of Dawn – Aruna, this impressive landmark of Bangkok sits on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The rest of the afternoon is free for optional activities, and this city has so much to offer – perhaps head next door to the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Pho, home to the country’s largest reclining Buddha and keeper of the magic behind Thai massage. You may want to take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, or travel by longtail boat down the Chao Phraya River to explore the famous ‘khlongs’ (canals) of Bangkok. Life along these canals seems a world away from the chaotic streets of the capital. Tonight, board an overnight train southbound for Surat Thani (approximately 13 hours).
Day 3 - 4: Ao Nang/Krabi
Arrive into Surat Thani this morning and continue by bus (approximately 2.5 hours) to the resort town of Ao Nang in Krabi Province. Ao Nang has a main street with open-air restaurants, shops that light up the sidewalk and bars perfect for kicking back with a beer. It’s also in a great position to hop on longtail boats to places like Railay Beach and the idyllic islands surrounding the bay. There’s plenty of free time to relax on the beautiful beaches and get into the spirit of southern Thailand. You also might want to take advantage of some of the optional activities on offer, like a cycling trip that takes you on back country tracks, gets you close to local culture, and rewards you with a lovely afternoon dip in a beautiful waterfall. Otherwise, consider a relaxing massage on the beach (no kidding), or just sit back with a good book and a cool cocktail to watch the sun slip beneath the horizon. This is living.
In the evening, join in a local family for some home-cooked feast. Here is also an opportunity to assist with the preparation of tonight’s meal – learn some of the delicious secrets of southern Thai cooking and enjoy a dinner that tastes all the better thanks to your handiwork! This is a wonderful opportunity to absorb some of the daily rituals of Thai culture.
This morning, head out to Ao Nang beach and on board a long tail boat to start today’s exploration. Immerse in the beauty of the coast line with stops at Phra Nang Cave, Railey Beach, Koh Tup, Koh Gai and discover the amazing coral and tropical fish through snorkelling in the crystal clear water. Enjoy a day of swimming and snorkelling and return back to Ao Nang beach in mid-afternoon. Tonight, why not grab some travel pals and stroll down the main drag to find a seafood restaurant.
Day 5 - 6: Khao Lak
Say goodbye to Ao Nang this morning and continue your journey to Khao Lak. On the way, stop at a great Community-based tourism initiative at Baan Nai Nang village (supported by Mangrove Action Project) and you’ll spend a better half of the day here, experiencing the amazing nature and learning about local culture. Get active and venture out in a kayak to explore the amazing water, limestone cliffs and mangrove forests at Khao Ka Rot. Return back to the village and enjoy a hearty home-cooked lunch after a good workout, then learn to prepare and taste the organic local mulberry leaf tea. Head out for a walk in the village and its organic fruit orchards after lunch before hopping back on your bus and continue to Khao Lak (approx. 3 hours).
Enjoy a free day at Khao Lak. There are plenty to do in Khao Lak. Why not visit Lam Ru National Park and Ton Chong Fa Water Fall, or make it a day trip to Similan Islands or Surin Islands? Your tour leader will be on hand to help you make the best of the day.
Day 7 - 9: Phuket
This morning leave for the tourist haven of Phuket, Thailand’s largest and most visited island. This island is certainly a brasher, more vibrant extrovert to the mellower sibling of the last few days. If a little modern pizazz is what you’re after with your dose of sunshine exotica, look no further – this island offers a little something for everyone. It’ll take about 3 hours to get to Phuket. When you arrive on the island, you’ll stop by the last untouched rainforest remaining on the island at the Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Sanctuary. Here you can drop into Bang Pae Waterfall for a refreshing swim and then pay a visit to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre. The centre takes in formerly captive gibbons and rehabilitates then for reintroduction to the wild. Operated by a local NGO, the project works to help ensure the continued existence of these furry little friends on the island. Then it’s another hour to Kata beach. You’ll stay in the heart of Patong, where everything from shops to restaurants to nightclubs awaits.
Phuket is ringed with beaches, each with their own distinct personalities, from a party vibe to perhaps something quieter and more romantic. If you can pull yourself away from the beautiful beaches and curving coasts, Phuket also has a range of activities to fill your day, from Thai boxing exhibitions to cabaret shows. If you love getting out on the water and exploring the islands, then perhaps use your last day to take a day trip out to the stunning Phi Phi and Khai Nok, a tiny island surrounded by white sandy beach perfect suitable for swimming and snorkelling. If you want to spend some time with Thailand’s magnificent elephants, take a visit to the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary. You will get to see the elephants in the safety and security of their natural home and get an insight into the behaviour and personal history of each elephant. Perhaps gather together your fellow travellers tonight and enjoy a celebratory dinner.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. That doesn’t mean your adventure has to end! If you’d like to continue to soak up the very best of Phuket, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).
Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes day 02 (Overnight train) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
This 9 day tour starts at £935 per person and includes…
- Meals – 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
- Transfers – Overnight sleeper train, private minivan, taxi, longtail boat, songtheaw
- Accommodation – Hotel (3 nights), overnight sleeper train (1 night), resort (4 nights)
- Bangkok – Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
- Krabi – Home-cooked dinner
- Ao Nang – Four Islands Snorkelling
- Baan Nai Nang CBT village – village walk
- Khao Ka Rot – sea kayaking
- Ao Makham Beach – home cooked lunch & Mulberry leaf tea tasting
- Phuket – Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre
- Phuket – Bang Pae waterfall
- Phuket – Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Sanctuary
Price based on selected departures (please note prices & availability are subject to change).
Please enquire below and one of Intrepid Travel’s destination experts will be in contact to discuss this trip.