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North Thailand Experience

Hill tribes, treks, temples and elephants!

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Group of people in Northern Thailand with viewpoint of mountains

Group Size: Avg 15-20

Trip code: TTNT

Duration: 14 days

Culture, history & cities
Hotels with pools
Village home stay

While Thailand’s tropical south has an appeal that’s undeniable, it’s the mountainous North that’s got our heart. With lush jungle trails, sparkling waterfalls, elephants, and authentic hill tribe villages that haven’t changed in generations, it’s where you’ll find the ‘real Thailand’. This 14 day group trip is the perfect combo of city fun, natural beauty and traditional culture. Soak up laid-back hippie vibes in Pai, meet the elephants in Chiang Mai, visit the silver-screen famous bridge on the River Kwai, go ‘out out’ in neon-lit Bangkok, step back in time in historic Ayyuthaya, get your sizzle on at a Thai cooking class, and take a hill trek to a rustic village to meet the locals. 

Trip Highlights

  • Meet Thailand’s gentle giants at an ethical elephant rehabilitation centre.
  • Go bamboo rafting in the biggest cave in Thailand, and soak in some hot springs in hippie Pai.
  • Head out on a scenic hill trek, followed by a night in an authentic hill tribe village.
  • Fly through the treetops on an epic jungle zipline in Chiang Mai.
  • Party the night away with your travel buddies on neon-lit Khao San Road.
  • Go chasing waterfalls with a dip in the bright blue waters at Erawan Falls. 
Gap 360 Trip Notes

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What's included
  • 13 nights’ accommodation
  • 2 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 1 dinner
  • Local tour guide
  • Airport pick up
  • All on-trip transport
  • Khao San Road nightlife
  • Taling Chan Floating Markets
  • River Kwai boat cruise
  • Erawan waterfalls
  • Bike ride around Ayutthaya ruins
  • Chiang Mai temples
  • Jungle trek and hill tribe homestay
  • Jungle ziplining
  • Elephant sanctuary
  • Hot springs and waterfalls in Pai
  • Lod cave & Bamboo rafting
  • White Buddha temple
  • Thai cooking class
  • 24 hour emergency support
What's not included
  • Visas
  • Flights
  • Return airport transfers
  • Some meals
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Optional activities
Further trip information

Day 1: Bangkok. Well hello Bangkok! One of the team will whisk you from the airport to our accommodation by the legendary Khao San Road. Take a dip in the pool before getting ready for a big night on the buckets on KSR - what happens in Bangkok stays in Bangkok!

Day 2: Bangkok to Kanchanaburi. Sleep off the night before, then head west to leafy Kanchanaburi. Flex your haggling muscles at a local floating market, before taking a cruise down the River Kwai to see the famous bridge and watch the sun set - just wow.

Day 3: Erawan Waterfalls. We’re chasing waterfalls as we head to Erawan Falls today. Make sure you’ve packed your swimmers – it’s an epic place for a dip! Refuel with some lunch by the falls before heading back to Kanchanaburi for some pool time.

Day 4: Ayutthaya & overnight to Chiang Mai. Enjoy a free morning before hitting the road to historic Ayutthaya. Take a bike tour of the city’s best bits. Then grab a bite to eat before hopping on the overnight train to Chiang Mai. Snuggle down in your bunk and let the train rock you to sleep. Zzz. 

Day 5: Chiang Mai. Wake up as the train rolls into Thailand’s second city. Chill by the pool, or check out the oldest temple in Chiang Mai, which is literally over the road! Then pay a visit to Wat Pra Maha Doi Sutthep, Chiang Mai’s finest. The afternoon’s yours – see you for sundowners!

Day 6: Hill trek & home stay. A hill trek is a total ‘must do’ while you’re up north. We’re talking panoramic views, waterfalls, and rustic villages that have barely changed for generations. Spend tonight in a village homestay where you’ll get to know the locals while enjoying a few drinks around the fire.

Day 7: Waterfalls, bamboo rafting & Chiang Mai. Rise and shine campers! We’re headed back to the city today but not before a quick stop at another beaut of a waterfall for a swim. Then hit the river for a cheeky spot of bamboo rafting ahead of a night out in Chiang Mai. SangSom all round!

Day 8: Chiang Mai jungle zipline. Get your adrenaline pumping with a jungle zipline experience today.  Chuck in a rope bridge, and an abseil or two and you’ll see why Chiang Mai is known as Thailand’s adventure capital! As the sun goes down, grab a well-earned beer or two with your buds.

Day 9: Elephant sanctuary & Chiang Mai to Pai. We couldn’t come to northern Thailand without visiting our fave gentle giants at a dedicated elephant rehabilitation centre. We’ll watch the eles roaming freely and get the chance to feed them before boarding the bus to hippie Pai.

Day 10: Pai caves, canyons & hot springs. Take a bamboo raft into the biggest cave in Thailand today, before a soak in some local hot springs. Then we’re off to a waterfall with a natural slide! Round off the most incredible day at Pai Canyon, the best place in the area to catch sunset.

Day 11: Free day in Pai. While we love a day packed with activities, we’re all about a chill day too. Catch up on some shut-eye, lounge around by the pool, or do a spot of souvenir shopping in town. This afternoon, slurp a cuppa or two with a tea tasting at the Chinese village.

Day 12: Pai to Chiang Mai. Bye Pai! We’re travelling back to lovely Chiang Mai, where we’ve set up a mouth-watering activity at a local cooking school. Pick up the freshest ingredients at a local market before a step by step tutorial. Then it’s time for the best bit, eating your creations of course!

Day 13: Chiang Mai Canyon. Pay a visit to Chiang Mai’s own Grand Canyon today! A former quarry, the canyon has been turned into an awesome waterpark with slides, floating chairs and tubes. Grab some lunch before returning to Chiang Mai for a final dinner and drinks. Sniff, sniff.

Day 14: Trip end. We’ve loved having you, but it’s time to see goodbye. Head home with the most amazing memories and a gang of mates for life. 

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Booking options

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Flights from £357

Cheapest flights between London and Bangkok for the next 6 months.

*Prices updated every 72 hours

Cheapest: £357 April, 2024
Most expensive: £809 July, 2024
Arrival information

This trip begins in Bangkok on day 1. You’ll need to fly into Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) where one of our friendly local team will be waiting to pick you up and whisk you through the city streets to our starting hostel right next to the legendary Khao San Road! There are no activities planned until the evening so arrive at a time that suits you. If you’d like to come a day or two before your trip begins, you can still take advantage of the airport transfer, providing you’re staying in our accommodation. Speak to your travel advisor for more information.

The trip ends in Chiang Mai on day 14. Return airport transfers are not included. You can take a flight from Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX), which is a 15 minute taxi ride from the centre. You’ll need to arrange your own onward travel, but your travel advisor or tour guide can help with this. 

Accommodation & meals

Accommodation

13 nights’ accommodation is included on this trip. You’ll be staying in a hand-picked selection of hotels with pools in twin-share rooms.  For the village home stay, you’ll be in a shared dorm room.

  • Bangkok: You’ll find our cool hotel right next to the famous Khao San Road – it’s the perfect party location! Spend your nights partying under the neon lights, and your days exploring nearby attractions like the Grand Palace, or chilling by the hotel pool.
  • Kanchanaburi: Nestled in a lush tropical garden on the banks of the River Kwai, this hostel has a lively bar, lagoon-shaped pool, and a restaurant overlooking the river.
  • Chiang Mai: With a gorgeous sun terrace and massive pool, this accommodation is a super stylish option while you’re staying in Thailand’s second city.
  • Village home stay: Spend a night in dorm-style rooms in rustic accommodation in an authentic hill tribe village.
  • Pai: Just a stone’s throw from Walking Street, and close to Pai’s stunning temple, this lively hostel is in the heart of all the fun. Take advantage of the sun terrace, cooling pool, and massage services.

Meals

2 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 1 dinner are included on this trip. You’ll need to pick up the rest of your meals yourself. 

Minimum age & eligibility

You’ll need to be a minimum of 18 years old to take part in this trip. This trip is designed for those aged 18-39.

British passport holders arriving by land or air can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa. Your passport needs to have at least 6 months remaining from your date of entry in Thailand.

Please note: Visa rules are subject to change. Please check for the most up to date information before you travel.

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