fbpx

Real Thailand

Sale!

Real Thailand

Was From $ 1,650 AUD
Now From $ 1,568 AUD
Sale!

Description

Take on an epic journey through Thailand and make loads of new friends along the way – the islands are calling! On this 15-day adventure, you’ll check out the night markets and bars in Bangkok, trek the hillside outside of Chiang Mai, chase waterfalls and maybe go searching for elephants. Go kayaking and soak in some gorgeous natural scenery that you’d only see from local hilltribe villages, plus enjoy loads of free time to go snorkelling, swimming or ziplining. With a local leader who has all the insider knowledge, you’ll hike, learn about turtles, sail on rivers, bliss out on the beach and get your safari fix in the jungle of Khao Sok National Park. Eat your weight in noodles, find your new fave nightlife spots and end it all in bustling Phuket with a banger sunset.

Trip Name
Real Thailand
Last Updated
2024-06-16
Days
15
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • Step into another world in Khao Sok National Park – an essential experience in Thailand, nature-lover or not (but how could you not be?). You’ll go wildlife spotting and waterfall hiking through some of the oldest jungles in the world.
  • Trek deep – super deep – into the northern Thai hinterland with two days of trekking and two nights staying in a traditional hilltribe village, laughing with the locals and learning about their lifestyle.
  • Immerse yourself in some of the most beautiful landscapes in all of Thailand, from cascading waterfalls and mountainside views to a kayaking adventure on Mae Taeng River (followed by a spot of white-water rafting if you dare) to get a new perspective.
  • Get your street food fix in bustling Bangkok and cool Chiang Mai and tuck into some of the tastiest eats in all of Asia. When you’ve had your fill (is that even possible?), be treated to traditional homecooked dinners during your hilltribe village homestays.
  • Visit the Royal Thai Navy Sea Turtle Conservation Center and learn how they work with local organisations and educational facilities to rescue leatherneck turtle eggs (and other local turtle species) and provide the community with environmental training.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Bangkok
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand. Your adventure kicks off with a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight. If you arrive early, there's plenty to keep you occupied – maybe take a walk around Chinatown and explore the vibrant streets or head to the magnificent Grand Palace. Tonight, it’s time to dig into some traditional tastes of Thailand. Bangkok is known for its street food, so maybe head out with your leader and check out some roadside stalls around the Sukhumvit area. Later, maybe discover Bangkok’s nightlife and head out to one (or more) of the best local bars. Ask your guide for directions or grab your new travel mates and attempt to navigate the BTS skytrain and MRT subway.
Day 2 - Bangkok - Overnight Train
This morning, you have a free day in Bangkok before your overnight train this morning. Maybe start off with a relaxing Thai massage – the perfect way to limber up and start your day. Then, maybe check out Talad Noi by bike, take on the Bangkok Temples or book yourself on the River of Kings Urban Adventure (just see urbanadventures.com). After your day exploring, hop on an overnight train up to Chiang Mai.
Day 3 - Chiang Mai
Arrive in Chiang Mai in the morning and transfer to your guesthouse. Then, you’ll head out on an orientation walk to get your bearings. Chiang Mai is the perfect entrance to the Thai highlands, with misty mountains and colourful hillside villages waiting to be explored. This will be your base for the next few days, as you’ll return here after your hillside trek. Today, you’re free to relax or explore the city. Maybe get active and go ziplining or cycle around the city. Take on a cooking class to learn some local flavours (and pick up some mad skills to take home) or just wander around on foot and visit Doi Sethep Temple and a couple of the cool cafes around the area. Tonight, why not get your group together to go bar hopping or explore the night markets in the happening Nimman area?
Day 4 - Chiang Mai - Hilltribe Trek
This morning at around 8 am, leave Chiang Mai and head to Mae Malai Market to stock up on some delicious fresh snacks for your trek. Then, visit Mok Fah Waterfall for a cheeky dose of natural beauty. Sit down for some lunch to refuel with your group at a local restaurant, then continue to the starting point of today’s hike. Your destination for this evening is the Mae Ma Nai Hilltribe Village. Walk along the mountain ridge and take in the views of the natural forest and remote scenery. When you arrive, enjoy a local home-cooked dinner by the campfire to celebrate a successful day. Later, take a walk around the village and chat with the locals. This is a really special opportunity to experience rural Thai life first-hand!
Day 5 - Hilltribe Trek
The best thing about being deep in the jungle in the morning is waking up to the natural sounds of wildlife calls. After breakfast, begin today’s trek through the storybook landscape of farmland and jungle, exploring other hilltribe villages and seeing how life differs between them. Your whole trek is the perfect nature photo op, so make sure you’ve got your camera handy! Enjoy lunch along the way and reach Pong Ngan Lahu Village this afternoon. After two long days of hiking, relax your legs and soak in some natural scenery before an included home-cooked dinner tonight.
Day 6 - Chiang Mai
The Mae Taeng River awaits you this morning, as you head off on a kayaking adventure towards Sop Kai Village. Paddle downstream as you're immersed by gorgeous surroundings for 2 to 3 hours, taking in the lush green scenery. From here, you can choose to head back to Chiang Mai via private transfer and enjoy a leisurely evening or opt to take to the rapids for some whitewater rafting. Paddle further down the river and get the adrenaline pumping before you head back to Chiang Mai for the night. When you arrive, maybe refresh and recharge or head out to explore the Wat Prasingh and Wat Chedi Luang temples in your free time. Tonight, ask your leader for the best spots for a pad thai or a khao soi.
Day 7 - Chiang Mai - Overnight sleeper train
Today is a free day to explore Chiang Mai and you’re spoilt for options. Maybe take the chance to learn one of the world’s legendary martial arts, Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) this morning. Spend 1.5 hours learning the basics of Muay Thai with the pros, plus how to adapt yourselves to be the weapons and the guard. You could also visit the Chiang Chill Elephant Sanctuary and witness these majestic animals roaming the valley and chilling in nature. Or maybe stop by Chuan Chom Vocational Training Center for lunch or a massage. Here, you'll learn about the work that they do to train the women from the correctional institution with skills to go back to society. Later, board an overnight train for Bangkok.
Day 8 - Bangkok
Your train is scheduled to arrive in Bangkok early this morning. When you arrive at the station, say goodbye to the members of your group who are leaving today and head to your accommodation. The rest of the day is free until a second group meeting at 6 pm tonight. Bangkok is a huge, buzzing metropolis, so while you wait for the meeting, why not make the most of the city's bustling markets, grab some spicy noodles from a street cart or relax with a Thai massage. After your meeting, get the new gang together and head out for dinner or ask your local leader for the best spots to soak in some local nightlife – cocktail, anyone? 
Day 9 - Bangkok - Overnight Train
Today, you’ll explore some of Bangkok's most famous sights. Take the skytrain to Taksin station, then hop on a public boat on the Chao Phraya River to see the temple complex of Wat Pho, which houses the famous 46-m-long statue of the Reclining Buddha. Soak in the gorgeous scenery and then head back to Tha Tien Pier. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to discover more of the city, like the Grand Palace or Jim Thompson House. Tonight, you’ll head south on an overnight train to Surat Thani.
Day 10 - Ko Samui
Arrive in southern Surat Thani this morning and then board a bus and ferry to Ko Samui. From here, it’s waterfalls, swimming, sunbathing and snorkelling all day, every day (for the next two days). When you arrive, you’ll go on a half-day guided tour of the island on a songthaew (traditional Thai bus) with your group and local leader and see the iconic 15-m Big Buddha along the way (Wat Phra Yai). Due to the gorgeous scenery and natural wonders, the island of Ko Samui has been a tourist hotspot for decades. This afternoon, maybe relax in the waterfalls at Na Muang. Tonight, feast on a delicious curry and then join in the party atmosphere in Ko Samui's famous nightlife.
Day 11 - Ko Samui
Spend a free day today however you’d like – swimming, lazing in the sun or actively exploring. You may like to take an optional day tour to Ang Thong Marine National Park by either slow boat or speedboat. The park is an archipelago of over 40 islands in the Gulf of Thailand, featuring pristine beaches, jungle, mangroves and limestone mountains rising out of the sea. Swim at popular Ko Mae Island and check out the saltwater lagoon of Thale Nai (Emerald Lake). For a quieter experience and some great snorkelling opportunities, head to the nearby islands of Ko Tao and Ko Nang Yuan. Ko Samui is also home to an elephant sanctuary, and you can come close to these gentle giants if you please. Watch them bathe, roam the fields and socialise with other elephants, knowing they are in a caring and peaceful environment.
Day 12 - Khao Sok National Park
This morning, head from Ko Samui to Khao Sok National Park (don’t forget your camera today, this place is gorgeous!). Take a songthaew and an early ferry from Samui Pier to Don Sak Pier. Then, jump in a private vehicle to Chiew Larn Lake, where you’ll hop in a traditional longtail boat for a calm sail to your raft house. Keep your eyes out for wild bull elephants, gibbons and spectacled langur (dusky leaf monkeys). Khao Sok National Park is the wettest spot in Thailand with some of the oldest jungles in the world. See loads of amazing limestone rock faces and, if you're lucky, monkeys playing here and there. Later, take an evening safari with your group, where you’ll head by longtail boat deep into the jungle, looking (and listening) out for more animals. After, you’ll head to your raft house accommodation and be greeted by your welcoming hosts. Enjoy a homecooked traditional southern Thai meal with the locals and take the opportunity to get to know their lifestyles and stories before falling asleep to the relaxing sound of the jungle outside.
Day 13 - Khao Sok National Park - Phuket
This morning you’ll wake up in the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world. Your awesome jungle raft house sits right inside the park, so you’ll have time this morning to catch the mist drifting along the lake as you search for wildlife in the jungle on a longtail boat. Before lunch, take a jungle hike around the park, and depending on the season, maybe see cascading waterfalls or head up high to a panoramic viewpoint. If you're lucky there might be a glimpse of elephants, hornbills and langur monkeys. After, you’ll say goodbye to the jungle and make your way to Phuket. Along the way, visit the Khao Lak Tsunami Memorial for some sobering history of the area’s past tsunamis and their victims. Then head to the Royal Thai Navy Sea Turtle Conservation Center in Phang Nga. Learn about how the Navy rescues eggs from surrounding beaches, where the necessary environment is no longer guaranteed, and about their environmental efforts to not only ensure the conservation of turtles but also to preserve the environment with local communities, schools, universities, government organisations and other NGOs. Later, check in to your accommodation and enjoy a free evening in Phuket to grab a couple of drinks, watch the sunset and hit the beach.
Day 14 - Phuket
Today is a free day in Phuket, giving you a full 24 hours to beach hop and immerse yourself in all the sun-soaked coastal views around you. Maybe take a day trip to Phi Phi and Koh Khai or head to the white sands of Banana Beach on Coral Island to bliss out somewhere new. Speaking of day trips, why not set off for glorious Similan for some bright azure waters and snorkelling options. Tonight, maybe hit the beach bars and have a few cocktails with your travel buddies to toast to a trip well-travelled.
Day 15 - Phuket
Your adventure comes to an end this morning, and with no activities planned, you’re free to leave the accommodation at any time. If you’d like to stay in Thailand for longer (we wouldn’t blame you), just speak to your booking agent. Pull up a towel, catch some rays and relax into the day. You deserve it!

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
14-07-202428-07-2024AUD $ 1,725-
11-08-202425-08-2024AUD $ 1,620-
15-09-202429-09-2024AUD $ 1,635-
13-10-202427-10-2024AUD $ 1,665-
27-10-202410-11-2024AUD $ 1,568-
03-11-202417-11-2024AUD $ 1,880-
10-11-202424-11-2024AUD $ 1,825-
17-11-202401-12-2024AUD $ 1,980-
24-11-202408-12-2024AUD $ 1,805-
15-12-202429-12-2024AUD $ 1,805-
29-12-202412-01-2025AUD $ 1,980-
05-01-202519-01-2025AUD $ 1,840-
12-01-202526-01-2025AUD $ 1,840-
19-01-202502-02-2025AUD $ 1,840-
02-02-202516-02-2025AUD $ 1,840-
16-02-202502-03-2025AUD $ 1,770-
09-03-202523-03-2025AUD $ 1,770-
23-03-202506-04-2025AUD $ 1,770-
13-04-202527-04-2025AUD $ 1,770-
11-05-202525-05-2025AUD $ 1,705-
01-06-202515-06-2025AUD $ 1,705-
15-06-202529-06-2025AUD $ 1,705-
29-06-202513-07-2025AUD $ 1,705-
06-07-202520-07-2025AUD $ 1,770-
13-07-202527-07-2025AUD $ 1,770-
20-07-202503-08-2025AUD $ 1,770-
27-07-202510-08-2025AUD $ 1,705-
10-08-202524-08-2025AUD $ 1,705-
24-08-202507-09-2025AUD $ 1,705-
07-09-202521-09-2025AUD $ 1,705-
12-10-202526-10-2025AUD $ 1,770-
02-11-202516-11-2025AUD $ 1,770-
09-11-202523-11-2025AUD $ 1,840-
16-11-202530-11-2025AUD $ 1,840-
23-11-202507-12-2025AUD $ 1,840-
30-11-202514-12-2025AUD $ 1,840-
14-12-202528-12-2025AUD $ 1,840-
21-12-202504-01-2026AUD $ 1,705-
28-12-202511-01-2026AUD $ 1,615-
04-01-202618-01-2026AUD $ 1,660-
11-01-202625-01-2026AUD $ 1,660-
18-01-202601-02-2026AUD $ 1,660-
01-02-202615-02-2026AUD $ 1,660-
15-02-202601-03-2026AUD $ 1,660-
08-03-202622-03-2026AUD $ 1,660-
22-03-202605-04-2026AUD $ 1,610-
12-04-202626-04-2026AUD $ 1,610-
10-05-202624-05-2026AUD $ 1,610-
31-05-202614-06-2026AUD $ 1,610-
14-06-202628-06-2026AUD $ 1,610-
28-06-202612-07-2026AUD $ 1,610-
05-07-202619-07-2026AUD $ 1,610-
12-07-202626-07-2026AUD $ 1,610-
19-07-202602-08-2026AUD $ 1,610-
26-07-202609-08-2026AUD $ 1,610-
09-08-202623-08-2026AUD $ 1,610-
23-08-202606-09-2026AUD $ 1,610-
06-09-202620-09-2026AUD $ 1,610-
11-10-202625-10-2026AUD $ 1,610-
01-11-202615-11-2026AUD $ 1,610-
08-11-202622-11-2026AUD $ 1,610-
15-11-202629-11-2026AUD $ 1,690-
22-11-202606-12-2026AUD $ 1,690-
29-11-202613-12-2026AUD $ 1,690-
13-12-202627-12-2026AUD $ 1,690-
20-12-202603-01-2027AUD $ 1,690-

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights),Overnight sleeper train (3 nights),Hilltribe Village House (multi-share) (2 nights),Resort (2 nights) Rafthouse (1 night)

Transport

Private vehicle,Overnight sleeper train,Songthaew,Tuk-tuk,Shared Boat,Public bus

Map