You haven't really 'done' Thailand until you've been north, south, and round the islands for good measure. We take you under the skin of old Siam with hand-picked inclusions so you get to experience it all, from world-famous cities to quaint mountain villages, lush green jungles to palm-fringed islands, and all the roads less travelled in between. Visit the night markets of Chiang Mai and Pai, experience an elephant sanctuary, and lounge by the tropical turquoise waters of Koh Lanta, Krabi and Koh Phi Phi. Relax, take your time - we've allowed a full 24 days to cover the Land of Smiles.
The heat and hustle of Thailand's capital will hit you the moment you land, with 24 glorious days ahead of us. After checking into our hotel you're free to do some DIY exploring, treat your muscles to a soothing massage or just lie by the pool soaking up the first rays of that sweet Thai sunshine. Later we'll rendezvous as a group back at base so you can hear what's in store for the trip, then the night is yours to take to the streets for some authentic pad Thai and nightlife on Khao San road.
With so much to see there's no time to waste, so we'll jump right into it this morning. After a quick breakfast, we set out on a locally guided visit to Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, before catching a local ferry to make our journey to visit the Grand Palace. Finally we'll finish up our morning with a tour of the Klongs (canals), watching locals go about their day living life along the river. This afternoon you're free to head to a local rooftop bar to toast the beginning of your trip with your new Contiki fam. Have one for us!
Bangkok you've been a dream, but we're ready to rock and roll on. This morning we're swapping the big city for the sleepy town of Kanchanaburi.
Here it's about living local. We'll start with visiting iconic historic sites including the WWII Cemetery, for a glimpse at darker past times, and the famed Bridge on the River Kwai. Since we all know there's nothing quite like local transport to make you feel really alive, this afternoon we'll pop into a boat along the River Kwai where we'll reach our home for the night: The Floating Jungle Raft Hotel. This place is every bit the dream Thailand location you've imagined, so you may have to pinch yourself as you're greeted with rooms lit by candlelight, followed by a delicious local dinner at dusk. If you're game, which of course you are, you can even jump into the river directly from your room. #Travelgoals, check!
We’ll start our day with a visit to the breathtaking Erawan Falls, one of the most famous National Parks of Thailand, made up from seven levels of incredible waterfalls. Take a quick dip in the emerald-hued ponds, dive into the clear waters & get an unreal FOMO Insta shot before we head off to our next stop Ayutthaya.
We’ll make a stop in the UNESCO listed city of Ayutthaya, once the capital of the Kingdom of Siam before being destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th Century. Here we’ll grab bikes & cycle past ornate temples, towering spires, and quaint villages. Tonight, we forgo a hotel to board our overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai.
We'll pull into Thailand's northern capital of Chiang Mai bright and early, but we're going to keep this adventure going as we roll on into Pai this morning.
Rise and shine from your railway slumber and prepare to fall in love with this picturesque mountain town. The rest of the day is yours to explore this traveller's paradise your way. Head out on foot or by bike, and adventure down Pai's little streets that pack some punch. Be sure to head out to experience Pai by night - an experience to rival that of its big sister Khao San Road in Bangkok.
With another full day in this charming town, be sure to have a strong shot of Thai espresso from one of the local cafes to get up and get going again. Just try to save some juice in the tank for an optional afternoon Muay Thai skills class with an expert, before we head out for our final night in Pai.
This morning we're Chiang Mai bound, but we're treating ourselves on the way with a visit to the Elephant Nature Park. This Park is an elephant rescue and rehabilitation centre that not only provides a sanctuary for the elephants, but gives us the once in a lifetime chance to get up close to these gentle giants. You'll have a chance to feed the elephants and watch them splash around on the river bank.
Tonight, there's a chance for you to explore the buzzy night markets that make Chiang Mai so legendary. Just ask your Trip Manager for the best tips on where to head and what to do.
Today is yours to make the most of the laid-back city of Chiang Mai. Either head out into the city's heart on foot and explore the old town, or if you're feeling a little more adventurous and want to make something special of your last full day, how does ziplining through the tree tops sound? Later this evening, you have the chance to dabble in the art of authentic Thai cooking so you can wow everyone back home with a mean Pad Thai.
This morning we say goodbye to Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand as we return to the bustling city of Bangkok.
Hot, hustling, manic & magical - welcome back to Bangkok. Your night is wide open in this vibrant city and how you fill your time is up to you. Catch a tuk-tuk to hit the Patpong Night Markets, or make your way to one of the many lively rooftop bars, buzzy nightclubs or cocktail lounges to toast the halfway point in your Thai adventure.
Shortly after breakfast we'll be taking our included flight to the beautiful Khao Sok.
Welcome to Khao Sok! After arriving in Surat Thani, we'll head to Cheow Larn lake for a day trip. We'll cruise the oldest lake in Southern Thailand, kayaking, swimming & soaking up the sun. From there we'll make our way into the Khao Sok jungle where our riverside accommodation awaits.
Today, you have a full free day to enjoy the lush surroundings. You're free to spend your afternoon swimming and tubing in the river, grabbing a paddle for a river canoe ride, or getting a selfie in front of the limestone cliffs with a fresh juice in hand.
The beach is calling and we know you're ready! We're jumping in a van and taking a ferry to the palm-fringed island of Koh Lanta this morning.
Ultimate tropical vibes await us on the charming island of Koh Lanta. Slipping contently into island life, we'll have time to snorkel, swim & bathe in the sun while sipping fresh coconut juice.
Stay on island time with a free day to do whatever makes you happy. If lying in a hammock gets old, you can sign up for a snorkelling cruise exploring the rich marine life in crystal clear waters surrounding the Koh Lanta coast.
It's back on the boat this morning, we're heading to Phuket where we continue to our last stop on your ultimate Thai trip.
You've got time to squeeze in a traditional Thai massage this afternoon before we hit Bangla Road this evening, where the bright lights kick things up a level.
Now that we're done bouncing through Bangla Road, today choose to explore coastal caves & limestone karsts. You're free to hit the beach again in the afternoon, or brush up on those bartering skills and squeeze in some shopping while marveling at the Chinese architecture in Phuket Town.
This morning we farewell some of our Contiki fam while the rest of us continue on our trip. Now it's time to experience those Insta-perfect Thai beaches, starting with Phuket.
Eight days of exotic islands and those much-hyped Thai beaches stretch ahead of us. The high-on-life vibes will be inevitable as we touch down on the shores of Phuket and slip into island time. Hotel hangs and pool time will be top of the agenda.
Well good morning explorers, it's your first full day so time to get movin' and shakin'. If you'd rather take to Phuket Town and admire the Chinese influenced local architecture. Swing high or lay low, the choice is entirely yours. The bright lights and wild antics of Bangla Road can take things up a notch this evening, even a famous cabaret show!
It's day 19 and 'mai pen rai - don't worry, be happy' is now pretty much the group mentality. Enjoy a lazy breakfast and catch some rays before we hit the Andaman Sea in search of one very famous beach...
Arriving in Koh Phi Phi will leave you in a daze of love and happiness. More scenic than your wildest dreams, this island is home for the next few days. Glorious long salty days, balmy nights and endless ocean explorations are calling. Dine on the herb-filled rice salad with grated coconut that is khao yam, watch the sunset from Koh Phi Phi's highest vantage point, or stroll postcard beaches alongside playful monkeys. Definitely an evening you won't be forgetting in a hurry.
The island is your playground and the days are yours to do whatever your heart desires. Make time to visit THAT beach - it seriously won't dissapoint. Grab a camera and strike a pose; Leo may finally have won his Oscar, but this is YOUR movie moment. Do anything the alluring ocean has been distracting you from, or - what the heck - have another beach day, coconut in hand. Squeeze in one last beachside stroll with the flickering island lights as your backdrop, soaking up the island sounds and Pad Thai smells...this is what we call living.
Although we're leaving Kho Phi Phi and heading to mainland Thailand today, our salty seadog spirit won't change a bit. The exotic paradise of Krabi is calling our names, and who are we to resist...
This afternoon we'll soak in the small town feels of Ao Nang. Friendly locals, massage haunts, local markets and seaside cocktails can perfect your day like kaffir lime to a mojito.
Krabi may look like the ultimate chill zone, but a wealth of adventure awaits those with itchy feet. March the 1260 steps to Tiger Cave temple (relax - it's no longer filled with tigers) and marvel at the beauty of Buddhism or shop up a storm of traditional Thai trinkets.
Rise and shine, you have a full free day to make the most of everything Krabi has to offer! Maybe explore the giant rainforest-covered boulders of Phi Phi, chillax on Railay beach, or take advantage of the optional rock climbing activity. Tonight is our last night together as a Contiki collective; best organise a team dinner and have one last evening of mischief.
After one final morning in paradise it's back on the coach to Phuket where our paradise adventure comes to an end. Have one final love-in with your travel fam, then take our transfer either to the airport or back to our start hotel.
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Trip Name: Total Thailand + Thai Island Hopper West
Duration: 24 Days
From Price: £2,975
Supplier Tour ID: 301/233884
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