Beaches, culture, elephants, parties, trekking and more!
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Group Size: Max 22
Trip code: THAN
Duration: 18 or 25 days
Travel Thailand like a boss with this incredible group adventure, exclusive to Gap 360! Kick off in Bangkok with temple visits and neon-lit nights on Khao San Road. Then head north where you’ll get to know the eles at an awesome elephant project and spend two days trekking through hill tribe country. Southern Thailand is all about chilling out on sugar-white beaches, snorkelling, and partying under the stars on Koh Phi Phi, Samui, Phangan, and Tao, as well as an unforgettable night in a traditional floating bungalow in Khao Sok National Park. It’s the ULTIMATE Thai adventure!
- Help feed and bathe the elephants at an ethical elephant project
- Sleep on the water in a traditional Thai ‘float-house’ in Khao Sok National Park
- Go off-grid with a jungle trek and bamboo rafting in Northern Thailand
- Kayak through the atmospheric mangrove forests of Bor Thor
- Easy arrival and departure with 25 day option - start and finish in Bangkok!
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Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok. Touchdown in tropical Thailand! Meet your guide and the rest of your group and learn all about the incredible adventures we’ve got in store as well as Thailand’s culture and customs! Then head out to neon-lit Khao San Road.
Day 2: Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Start the day with a boat ride down the city’s canals. Glide past saffron-robed monks and vendors selling exotic delicacies – it’s a fabulous insight into daily life. Stop at Wat Arun and Wat Pho to see the famous reclining Buddha. Tonight we’ll snuggle down on the VIP overnight bus to Chiang Mai.
Day 3: Chiang Mai to the Ethical Elephant Project. Wake up as we roll into Chiang Mai before transferring to the elephant camp. This amazing centre is all about the welfare of the animals. You’ll help feed them and walk them to the river to bathe in the cool water.
Day 4: Hill Trek. Spend the next couple of days hiking through the spectacular scenery of Northern Thailand. We’ll walk for 4 – 6 hours, stopping at a secret waterfall that only the locals know about, and spending the night in an authentic hill tribe village where we’ll enjoy a jungle party and a meal under the stars.
Day 5: Hill Trek and Chiang Mai. We’ll continue our trek this morning before jumping on bamboo rafts and drifting down the river. You might get a wet bum but it’s all part of the fun! After, we’ll share a yummy lunch before transferring back to Chiang Mai.
Day 6: Chiang Mai Cookery Class. Today we’ll make traditional Thai dishes at a cooking class, before tucking into what we’ve made! This evening, go bargain-hunting at the famous Chiang Mai night market.
Day 7: Chiang Mai to Koh Phi Phi. Fly down south and transfer to the beautiful island of Koh Phi Phi. Dump your bags at the hostel before grabbing a cocktail on the beach and watching the sun go down over the bay.
Days 8 - 10: Koh Phi Phi. Spend the next few days blissing out in paradise - top up your tan, swim in the warm, clear waters and enjoy the nightlife. On day 9, we’ll hike to the viewpoint to see the famous twin bays of the island from above and on day 10, we’re off on a snorkelling boat trip exploring islands and bays including Shark Point and Monkey Beach.
Day 11: Phi Phi to Ao Nang. Transfer to the mainland, where we’ll be staying in lively Ao Nang. We’ll tickle our taste buds tonight with a guided street-food crawl. Chow down on fresh-from-the-pan pad thai and flavoursome chicken skewers, before stopping for some ice-cold drinks.
Day 12: Ao Nang & Bor Thor Mangrove Forests. Kayak through the wildlife-rich mangrove forests of Bor Thor this morning – a really unique experience. Glide through the water, looking for monkeys and birds, before stopping at a cave where we’ll see 3,000 year old paintings!
Day 13: Paradise Island Boat Trip. You’ll enjoy a boat trip today to a number of Robinson Crusoe islands. Think turquoise seas, gently swaying palms and white sand for days. Bronze your bod, take some sea-selfies, or strap your snorkel on and marvel at the reefs – bliss!
Day 14: Ao Nang to Khao Sok. Head inland today to the magnificent scenery and ancient rainforests of Khao Sok National Park. We’ll be spending the night in a ‘float-house’ – an amazing raft-built bungalow on Cheow Lan Lake! This afternoon, we’ll explore this spectacular area by boat.
Day 15: Khao Sok to Koh Samui. Wake up with the sounds of the jungle as the sun rises over the lake. If you’re up early, why not take an early boat safari to see wild elephants and maybe the elusive sun bear? Later we’ll transfer to Koh Samui, where we’ll check in to our boutique hostel before going out out in Chaweng!
Day 16: Koh Samui Beach Day. Today’s yours to spend as you please. Catch up on some zzzzs, kick back on the palm-fringed sand, or sit in the shade at one of the beach bars, slurping a smoothie.
Day 17: Ang Thong Marine Park. Fancy spending the day in one of the most beautiful places on Earth? Ang Thong is an exquisite stretch of shimmering water, scattered with gem-like islands. We’ll spend a heavenly day kayaking, cooling off in the crystal-clear sea and drinking in the mind-blowing scenery. This is picture-postcard perfection, so make sure you bring your camera!
Day 18: Koh Samui to Koh Phangan (25-day tour only). If you’re on the 25-day tour, prepare to swap one paradise island for another! Take the ferry to Phangan where you’ll be staying in a snazzy hostel in the lively Haad Rin area. If you’ve taken the 18 day option, your adventure ends here.
Day 19 - 20: Koh Phangan. The next few days and nights will pass by in a glorious haze of beach, sleep, repeat. Spend your daylight hours chilling out on the ivory shores of this beautiful island, and your nights dancing with the sand between your toes.
Day 21: Koh Phangan to Koh Tao. Today we’ll hop across to dinky little Koh Tao. It’s the classic Thai island with blinding white sands, palm trees and clear blue seas, but its trump card is the world-class diving, just off its shores. Dump your stuff at the hostel and stroll down to the beach to explore.
Day 22 – 23: Koh Tao. Lap up your last few days on the Thai islands. Take a diving course, train in Muay Thai, rent a kayak, or just bum about on the sublime beach. On day 22 we’ll take a boat trip that loops round the entire island and stops at the best snorkelling and kayaking spots as well as the unique island of Koh Nang Yuan – swoon-worthy!
Day 25: Trip End. It’s time to pack your bags, swap numbers and hug your new friends goodbye – your amazing Thai Adventure has come to an end. Sawasdee-ka!!
On this trip you will have some free time to explore on your own or with others in your group. During your free time, you decide how to spend your time. Some travellers like to go out in the evenings for a meal and then carry on the party but there is no expectation to do so. If you prefer to chill and wake up with a clear head, then there are plenty of great options too!
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Cheapest flights between London and Bangkok for the next 6 months
Most expensive: £1,520 April, 2023
Arrive in to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) where you’ll be met and taken to your starting accommodation in the city. There are no activities planned for today, apart from a welcome meeting this evening, so arrive whenever suits you best. However, please note that airport transfers are only available between 6am and 10pm on day 1. If you arrive outside these hours, or at Bangkok’s smaller airport (Don Muang), you will need to take a taxi to your hotel, which is very easy to arrange.
If you’re on the 25 day trip, your itinerary takes you on a full loop and ends in Bangkok, so the departure airport is the same as arrival. You can depart at any time on your end date. Return transfer from your Bangkok accommodation to the airport is not included however your guide can organise this for you if you like.
If you’ve taken the 18 day option, your trip ends on Koh Samui. You can fly direct from Samui to Bangkok and this is easy to arrange. Ask one of our travel advisors for more information. If you’re staying on in Asia we can also help with any onward travel.
Accommodation is included for the full duration of the tour – 17 nights if you’re on the 18 day trip and 24 for the 25 day option. Most nights will be spent in hostels. Rooms are a combination of single-sex and mixed-sex dorms. We’ve hand-picked an incredible selection of premium hostel accommodation, perfect for travellers looking for an upscale look, and a sociable atmosphere. Rooms are dorm-style (usually 4-12 per room) with a Thai-chic feel and all your creature comforts taken care of.
Accommodation at the elephant project is in simple huts close to the camp! Rooms are simple and rustic with dorm-style beds and mosquito nets. On the overnight trek we’ll be staying in a basic local accommodation and in Khao Sok National Park, we’ve got something really special lined up with a night in a ‘float-house’ – a Thai bungalow built on a raft! The facilities may be basic, but the setting is out of this world.
Please note: In some of the hotels along the way, you may be asked to pay a security deposit of £15 - £20. This is standard practice across Thailand. This is fully refundable on departure, as long as there’s no damage to your room.
5 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 3 dinners are included on this trip. You’ll have to buy the rest of your meals yourself. This allows you maximum flexibility to eat when and where you want and is a really important part of your cultural experience. We tend to eat together as a group as sharing the experience is part of the fun, but there’s no obligation to do so.
You must be at least 18 years old to join this trip. This trip is designed for 18-35 year olds.
British passport holders arriving by land or air can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months following your date of entry to Thailand. Entry is usually refused if you have a passport which is damaged or has pages missing.
Please note, until 31st March 2023, British passport holders will receive a 45 day visa exempion instead of 30 days.
If you need to stay longer, it’s possible to extend your stay once, for up to 30 days. If you plan to stay in Thailand longer than 30 days you must get a 60 day tourist visa before you travel. Visa rules are subject to change and you should check the latest information with the embassy before you travel.
This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:
Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.
Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.
Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.
Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.
Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.
Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.
Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.
24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.
It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.