Intrepid Travel
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Essential Southern Thailand
Bangkok to Ao Nang
10 days
Tour code: TTYC

Highlights

  • Obsessed with the Tom Yam Goong at your local Thai joint? Imagine how much better it would be in Thailand, on a beach, with a cocktail, at sunset. Nice, eh?
  • Get your first super spicy taste of Thailand and see the sights in big, bold, bustling Bangkok
  • Koh Samui is a slice of paradise. Cruise the island, go chasing waterfalls and feel peachy on the beach before carving up the dance floor in one of Koh Samui's famous bars
  • Kick back for a few days in Ao Nang. Plenty of free time to fry up some noodles in a Thai cooking class, cook yourself in the hot springs or paddle to a hidden lagoon on Koh Hong island
  • More fun in kayaks, coves and canyons is to be had in the mangrove forests of Ao Thalane. Don't let the local troublemakers (macaque monkeys) steal your camera
  • Need more reasons? Here are 7 more why we love it: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/southern-thailand/

Love beaches? Love islands? Love cocktails? Love this trip! Head from buzzing Bangkok to blissful Koh Samui, snorkel, swim and hang at waterfalls. Get lost (in a fun way) in the jungle of Khao Sok National Park and finish up in the aquamarine waters of Ao Nang. Embrace your inner beach bum and come home with sand in all the wrong places. Bring SPF 30, a sense of adventure and an appetite for the delicious and strange.

What's included?

Meals

3 breakfasts, lunch

Transport

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

Accommodation

Guesthouse (5 nights), Hotel (1 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night), Resort (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Bangkok - Grand Palace
  • Ko Samui - half day guided tour
  • Ao Nang - Sea kayaking

Itinerary

Day 1
Bangkok
Welcome to Bangkok! There will be a pre-departure meeting at around 6 pm tonight. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Bangkok is a huge, buzzing city. If you arrive early, make the most of the city's bustling markets, grab some spicy noodles from a street cart or relax with a Thai massage. 

Optional activities:

  • Bangkok - Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure ($1790)
  • Bangkok - Temple & River of Kings Urban Adventure ($2465)
  • Bangkok - Bangkok by Bike Urban Adventure ($1904)
Day 2
Bangkok / overnight train
Today explore some of Bangkok's most famous sights, including the Grand Palace and the adjoining Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew). Please see important information in the 'Packing' section of the trip notes regarding strict dress code for the Grand Palace visit. There's nothing worse than being turned away from an attraction while all your buddies get to go ahead! Make an optional visit to the temple complex of Wat Pho, which houses the famous 46-metre-long statue of the Reclining Buddha. Enjoy a free afternoon to discover more of the city in your own time. This evening, head south to Surat Thani on a 13-hour overnight train. 

Included activities: Bangkok - Grand Palace

Optional activities:

  • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House ($150)
  • Bangkok - Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) ($50)
  • Bangkok - Thai Massage ($250)

Meals: breakfast

Day 3
Ko Samui
Arrive into Surat Thani this morning, continuing by public bus and ferry to Koh Samui (approximately four hours). The island of Koh Samui has been a tourist hotspot for decades, and with good reason. Swim, snorkel or relax in the waterfalls at Na Muang. Take a trip with the group around the island, visiting the 15-metre-tall Big Buddha (Wat Phra Yai). In the evening, perhaps feast on a delicious curry with the group and then join in the carnival that is Koh Samui's famous nightlife. 

Included activities: Ko Samui - half day guided tour

Day 4
Ko Samui
Spend a free day today swimming, lazing in the sun or exploring Koh Samui. 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. Join the hoards of tourists tanning on the beach at Koh 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 Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan. 

Optional activities:

  • Ko Samui - Thai Massage ($300)
  • Ko Samui - Thai Cooking Class ($1850)
  • Ko Samui - Day trip to Koh Tao ($2400)
  • Ko Samui - Ang Thong Marine Park tour ($2500)

Meals: breakfast

Day 5
Khao Sok National Park
Today travel to Khao Sok National Park by songtaew, ferry and mini van. The journey will take a total of about five hours. The park is the wettest spot in Thailand with some of the oldest jungle in the world. See loads of amazing limestone rock faces and, if you're lucky, monkeys playing here and there. Stroll along trails past waterfalls and spend the night in a guesthouse in the jungle. 

Meals: breakfast

Day 6
Khao Sok National Park
Lucky you with all this time in the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world. Your awesome jungle guesthouse sits right outside the entrance to the park, so it's pretty easy to take a hike along any of the numerous dirt trails that snake their way through the park. This place is paradise, especially if you love nature – if you're super lucky there might be a glimpse of elephants, exotic Hornbills, water-loving Langur Monkeys and even the occasional tiger deep inside the park. Head for river and waterfalls and give yourself a cooling dip.

Optional activities:

  • Khao Sok NP - entrance fee ($300)
  • Khao Sok - Night trek (min 4 pax) ($900)
  • Khao Sok - Canoeing ($800)
Day 7
Ao Nang Beach
Depart by public bus from Khao Sok to the beach town of Ao Nang (approximately three hours). On arrival, settle into your hotel and hit the local beach. Swim or snorkel in the clear water, relax on the sand with a book and sip a cocktail as the sun goes down. You have plenty of free time to do as you please.
Day 8
Ao Nang Beach
This morning head out on a half-day sea kayaking trip to Ao Thalane. Transfer from your hotel in Ao Nang to Thalane Bay in a van, passing through rural villages on the way. Paddle through mangrove forests, coves and narrow karst-walled canyons, keeping an eye out for kingfishers, herons and crab-eating macaque monkeys. Be careful with your belongings, as the cheeky monkeys can steal them. After some time on the water, return to the pier and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant with a great view over the area. After lunch, transfer back to your hotel in Ao Nang. Enjoy free time for the rest of the afternoon.

Included activities: Ao Nang - Sea kayaking

Meals: lunch

Day 9
Ao Nang Beach
Enjoy a free day to relax on the beach or participate in a variety of optional activities. Perhaps unwind with a massage or cook up something delicious in a Thai cooking class. Take a tour out to some of Krabi's naturally-formed crystal pools and hot springs, swimming in the clear waters of the Emerald Lagoon while fish nibble at your toes. You might like to take a trip out to the quiet, pristine island of Koh Hong, where you can snorkel in the shallow reefs and kayak past cliffs to a hidden salt-water lagoon.

Optional activities:

  • Ao Nang - Rock Climbing ($1800)
  • Krabi - Half day cycling trip with waterfalls ($2500)
  • Ao Nang - Hot springs & Emerald lagoon tour ($1600)
  • Ao Nang - Phi Phi Island Day Tour ($1600)
  • Ao Nang - Scuba Diving (3 dives) ($4000)
  • Ao Nang - Cooking class ($1200)
  • Ao Nang - Thai Massage ($300)
Day 10
Ao Nang Beach
Today your Thai adventure comes to an end. There are no activities planned and you are free to depart at any time.

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