With its popular and well-loved destinations, Thailand has much more to offer than its bustling cities and exotic beaches. Known by few, Thailand has an array of areas that hold a multitude of hidden treasures that you wouldn’t necessarily know about until advised. From secret temples to hidden caves and floating market to magnificent national parks and best-preserved beaches and corals, this tour is a true inspiration for your next Thai escape…For those looking for sanctuary and seclusion away from the traditional tourist hotspots, this 10 days tour combining city, beach and jungle, could well be the answer.
The Journey will start from Bangkok, bringing you the finest experiences in Thailand’s enigmatic capital. Taking advantage of a rich cultural heritage, exciting nightlife, stage shows, natural beauty and more than a few hidden gems, you will find plenty of ways to enrich your trip. Moreover, you will have the chance to discover a farmers’ community in Bangkok surroundings, where lotus flowers are grown, that are offered in Buddhist temples. From here you will discover Thailand’s liveliest and most picturesque floating market and one of the most ancient and iconic, riding a train along the Death Railway route to River Kwai Bridge. From Bangkok you will venture inland to the wondrous 738-sq-km Khao Sok National Park. Extraordinary, stunning Khao Sok National Park is composed of 400+ square miles of rugged limestone mountains and lush tropical rainforest. One of Thailand’s hidden treasures; its relative remoteness helps insure its status as an off-the-beaten-track, undiscovered treat. The centerpiece is vast Chiaw Lan Lake. Over 100 miles long, it was created by the Ratchaprapha dam in 1982. Often called Thailand’s Guilin for its karst landscape, it is characterized by limestone outcroppings, similar to those in more famous Phang-Nga bay. Many believe this lowland jungle (Thailand’s rainiest spot) dates back 160 million years, making it one of the world’s oldest rainforests, and it’s interspersed by hidden waterfalls and caves. Khao Sok National Park is a huge national park in Thailand which belongs to one of Thailand’s best-hidden gems. The park is home to wild elephants, gibbons, hornbill birds and even black tigers! During a Khao Sok National Park tour, you will stay in a floating bungalow on Cheow Lan Lake, a man-made lake, originated by flooding the jungle to build a dam which now creates power for the entire region. Spend your day taking in the amazing scenery, jungle hiking, exploring caves and over 100 islands with towering limestone cliffs that give the lake its fairy-tale swimming, and relaxing at the floating bungalows.
During this journey you will have the chance to unwind and discover one of the most well preserved paradise of our planet down to Ko Surin National Park for a really unique lifetime experience. The Islands are still the ideal place to get away from it all. Its lovely opaque emerald waters are surrounded by primeval jungle and mangrove forest, and snow-white beaches that melt under flame-and-purple sunsets. At the same time this itinerary offers a unique opportunity to experience the way of living of one nomadic community, the Moken, known as sea gypsy. One of the few remaining hunter-gatherer populations in Southeast Asia, the Mokens have made the sea their home, foraging food from oceans and forests, trading fish and shells for other necessities, and traveling by boat across the waters of southern Burma and Thailand, the Moken have maintained a self-sufficient, nomadic way of life along the andaman coast for hundreds of years. The discovery of Moken life style and the emerald green Andaman islands starts from Ko Surin in Thailand. Ko Surin National Park is a paradise of fine white sandy beaches, thick jungle, crystal-clear waters, and the most extensive coral reef in Thailand. It is also home of the Moken. who have lived in the waters of the Andaman sea for centuries. Ko Surin National Park is the ideal place to go for people wanting to experience nature in its most beautiful and pristine form, and connect with a culture that can still practice some of its traditions in this modern world. The journey will end with a day tour to discover the Similan Islands, national park in 1982 which represent in all respects one of the most pristine marine environments in Thailand.
Registration can be requested for group travel or for self-travel. For group travel, registration is not binding. Upon reaching the minimum number of members necessary for the formation of the group, usually 4 or 6 people, you will be asked for confirmation of booking and payment of a deposit.
1° Day: arrival Bangkok
Arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport by morning flight (Suggested flight arrive not later than 08:00 am). Meet with guide and transfer to the hotel. Check-in at the hotel Later in the morning, you will be collected by your guide to experience a Canal tour, starting from the Mahasawat canal’s pier. The canal tour now begins, you will be taken on a local boat along the canal to the attractions that start from Lotus Farm or Water Lilly Farm, you can pick lotus flower by yourself and get a chance to try boat paddling with the beautiful scenery. Then we will go to learn how to cook Rice Crackers and try the best local snack here and have Lunch at Local Restaurant. After lunch, we continue our journey by taking a local boat to visit an Organic Fruit Farm. Taking a local tractor we will ride into the fruit orchards where fruit is organically grown and free from pesticides and other chemicals. You can enjoy a tasting of whatever fruit is in season. (Local Tractor riding is subject to availability). On the way back, visit Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), built in the Khmer-style and return to the hotel by coach. Overnight at hotel.
Overnight in Bangkok (L)
2° Day: visit Bangkok
Departure from the hotel, travel to Wat Traimit, famous for its Buddha image made from 5.5 tons of pure gold. After crossing the bustling streets of Chinatown, you will reach the Royal Palace, built in 1782, with its roofs of gold and marble glittering in the sunshine. This tour offers an opportunity to the better understanding of the splendor of Thai architectural forms centuries past, the worship of Buddhism and the high respect Thai people hold for the monarchy. You can also visit Wat Phra Kheo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), the Tower of the Nine Planets, the Coronation Hall and Funeral Hall (Coronation Hall and Funeral Hall are close for any visit during weekends and public holidays). Proceed to Wat Po, with its stately Reclining Buddha image some 46 meters in length, also the site of the famous school for Thai traditional massage. In the late afternoon you will have a chance to experience a traditional Thai massage from visually impaired therapist. Let’s switch on your senses, here in the dark it counts for nothing whether your eyes are open or closed. Start learning with introduction workshop with blind persons. Then your guide will lead you to walk with your cane to the darkness exhibition where you will be realized the importance of perceptive senses around. The one-hour experience designed to offer an insight into how blind people live. We can say this is one of the most valuable experiences in exploring our non-visual senses and even can change our mindset. Afterward, you will be lead to experience Thai Massage by blind (selective of 60 minutes body massage or 60 minutes foot massage). We let blind therapists demonstrate their unique talent for massage therapy as they are able to fully focus on their sense of touch in a way others cannot.
Return to the hotel for an Overnight. (B)
3° Day: visit Damnoen Saduak
Bangkok – Damnoen Saduak – Kanchanaburi
American Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Damnoen Saduak, Thailand’s liveliest and most picturesque floating market. People from neighboring villages arrive on the waterways in their loaded sampans to sell or barter all kinds of goods including vegetables, fruit and flowers offering scenes typical of country life in Thailand. From the market, continue to visit Krasae Cave where currently housing some Buddha Statues. Along the way, walking on the old railway track with a spectacular part of the Death Railway running beside steep slopes of the mountain side. It is one of the most interesting part of the railway because of its wooden bridge and is still in working condition. Have lunch at local restaurant. Then, take a train along the Death Railway route to River Kwai Bridge. River Kwai Bridge, built by Allied prisoners of war and Asian laborers. Upon arrival at the bridge, enjoy free time with spectacular view in the area. Chek in at the hotel in Kanchanaburi.
Overnight in Bangkok. (B, L)
4° DAY: CRUISE IN AYUTTHAYA
Khanchanaburi – Ayutthaya – Bangkok
Check-out and depart from the hotel at approximately 07.00 hrs. to Bang Pa-In Royal Palace or the Summer Palace, which is 53 km. away from Bangkok. Then we will enjoy fantastic Thai lunch on a Rice Barge cruising along the majestic Chao Phraya, “River of Kings”. After lunch, we will explore rest on the island framed by three significant rivers: Chao Phraya, Lopburi and Pasak, the historic temples, palaces and remaining architectures of the ancient kingdom of Ayutthaya are one of Thailand’s most precious historical sites. The 715-acre area has been listed the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991 as it portrays the heydays of one of the largest kingdoms in Indochina history. Then, return to Bangkok and Check-in at hotel. Overnight in Bangkok (P)
5° Day: TRANSFER TO KHAO SOK
Bangkok – Phuket – Khao Sok
After breakfast transfer to the airport and fly to Phuket. Transfer from Phuket airport to Khao Sok National Park. Arrive to the Khao Sok National Park area and bask in the fairy-tale scenery of the vividly coloured limestone mountains that rise sharply above the untouched forests. The jungle here is over 20 million years old and is home to a vast variety of flora and fauna species, and a perfect place for an eco-adventure and relaxation in beautiful nature. After lunch join a local community group for a canoe trip down a gentle river while floating by towering limestone cliffs to take in the scenery. Stop and enjoy a hot drink from a handmade bamboo cup with your local guides. Learn how your trip and these guides help to conserve this local environment. Return to the jungle resort for the evening and enjoy dinner at the restaurant In the evening go on a scheduled Night Safari included in your program. Explore the jungle at night to learn about the many nocturnal animals and insects that come to life in the dark!
Overnight at jungle resort in Khao Sok (B/L/D)
6° Day: BOAT RIDE IN CHEOW LAN LAKE
Enjoy a full breakfast and go on an overnight trip to Cheow Lan Lake. Joining with a guide and 8-10 other guests, take a boat ride through incredible scenery to a raft house where you will have lunch. In the afternoon, swim in the emerald waters and go jungle hiking or spend some time kayaking. After a fresh dinner spend the night in a floating bamboo bungalow.
Overnight: Floating bamboo bungalow at khao Sok (B/L/D).
7° Day: TRANSFER TO KURABURI
Khao Sok – Kuraburi
Wake up early for a morning mist safari, and look for giant hornbills, monkeys, and gibbons feeding in the trees before breakfast. Check out of your room and relax, swim, or kayak until lunch, then take a boat to Rajaprabha Dam. Transfer to Kuraburi check in in the eco-resort and relax.
Overnight at Kuraburi (B).
8° Day: FOREST HIKE KO SURIN NATIONAL PARK
Kuraburi – Ko Surin National Park
After breakfast transfer to Kuraburi pier where you will meet your guide and get your snorkelling gear, transfer to Ko Surin and check in the National Park. Meet your local guide take a long tail boat to Moken village. A tour around village insight into the intricate relationship between the Moken and their surrounding environment. Learn about the brightly coloured “Spirit Poles” and Moken homes, built on wooden silts directly on the beach. Participate in a handicraft workshop and learn the traditional art of Moken weaving. Use forest Pandanus leaves to weave a natural bracelet. Keep it as a souvenir and show off to your friends at home. Forest hike – your Moken guide will highlight useful plants, including medicinal herbs, edible species, and those used in construc4on of traditional houseboats. Snorkelling – coral reef exploration with Moken guide. Your guide will take you to a wonderland of colourful tropical fish and allow you to witness the impressive Moken swimming techniques. End your day with your Moken guide and return to the park headquarters to relax and enjoy the sunset from the white sand beach.
Overnight in Ko Surin National Park (B/L/D).
9° Day: SNORKEL TOUR KO SURIN NATIONAL PARK
Ko Surin – Khao Lak
After breakfast meet your Moken guide and take a snorkel tour to see the underwater life of the sea gypsies, how they have adapted to living in. Return to the park headquarter to have a Thai style buffet lunch. Hop back on the long tail boat to go visit special Moken places around the islands and learn how they have lived here for generations. Back at the park headquarters enjoy free time to walk the beach, relax. In the evening, transfer to Khao Lak and check in at the hotel.
Overnight in Khao Lak (B/L/D).
10° Day: SIMILAN ISLANDS
Khao Lak – Similan Islands – Khao Lakhi
After breakfast, departure for a day tour to discover the Similan Islands. Similan is the Malay language meaning “nine”, referring to the original nine islands that make up the archipelago. This group of islands is protected as a National Park to maintain its original tropical beauty. The Similan Islands offer many opportunities to snorkel in crystal clear waters, relax on pristine beaches or admire lush vegetation that is unique in the world. They represent one of the few remaining places where it is possible to admire a breathtaking natural untouched environment. In the evening return to Khao Lak for overnight.
Overnight in Khao Lak (B, L)
11° DAY: DEPART FROM PHUKET
Khao Lak – Phuket
After breakfast transfer to Phuket airport for your international flight.
All the itinerary has been designed in order to promote direct or indirect benefits for local communities, environment and cultural heritages. When possible we have selected traditional accommodations sensible to social and environmental issues, following general principles and practices of responsible tourism. During the tour you will have several opportunities to meet and interact with local and tribal communities as to get a real exposure to their culture and agricultural practices. In Bangkok surroundings you will have a chance to visit a farmers’ community, where lotus flowers are grown, that are offered in Buddhist temples. In Bangkok you will also have a chance to experience a traditional Thai massage from visually impaired therapist. Perception Blind Massage was launched in December 2014, with an aim of introducing new massage place concept to Bangkok while providing employment for blind or visually impaired therapists. We let them demonstrate their unique talent for massage therapy as they are able to fully focus on their sense of touch in a way others cannot.
We are committed to providing local people with a complimentary source of income while still continuing their traditional way of life. We also directly support the communities in which we work by putting excess revenue back into village. Proceeds from our private tours are donated to the Moken Community Fund which servers the Moken and their greater needs. Funds can go towards community improvements, health emergencies and elderly care. The villagers – the guides, host families, handicraft cooperatives – receive fair wages as stipulated by the community-based tourism committee. We ensure that a majority of the money from each trip goes directly to the villagers and contributes to the community fund. This creates jobs to help families stay together instead of working in towns far away, and supports scholarships, youth activities, and other initiatives. There are few economic opportunities for the Moken, so if you can, rent a Moken long-tail boat to visit the island. An easy way to contribute is to purchase their hand-woven pandanus leaf mats and bracelets or their intricate model kabang boats. Don’t be tight and haggle — they are very cheap already. With the people that you see, make eye contact and smile, as you are a guest in their village, not in a museum. Also ask about the Chok Madah Nature/Culture Trail in the Interpretive Center at the Moken village, Large Bon Bay. This is an educational trek across the island highlighting Moken ethno botany, which describes many of the plants traditionally used by the Moken for everything from medicine and food to tools and boat building.
Moreover, your contribution of 50 euros will support development projects in favour of Moken located in Ko Surin and other Thailand islands through Community Fund as to address their major needs.
A conscious approach to travel requires a considerable capacity and willingness to adapt and adjust to the local environment and culture. If you wish to travel with us we request you to be open enough to experience local culture, religious and traditions without bias and pre-conceived ideas you might have before the departure and which belong to our Western cultural way of thinking. Exploring with fresh eyes, with patience and openness, you will be able to access the real essence of South Asian cultural heritages, through the places and people you are going to meet; if you are ready to do this effort you will really enjoy the beauty of a completely different cultural tradition, the extraordinary of the nature, the solemnity of Buddhist temples, the holiness of the waters of countless rivers and oceans that flow through this magic land…
This itinerary promises to be a memorable experience, offering opportunities for cultural exchange, adventure, hiking, relaxation, snorkelling, swimming, birding and wildlife spotting. However
it is not fit for everyone, a willingness to adjust to sleep in simple tents on the beach in Ko Surin National Park where there are not medical facilities. Because of the climate and general lack of medical facilities, you should be reasonably fit before setting off the tour. Inform your doctor where you are going to see if there are any special concerns. However, we recommend advising that to buy medical evacuation insurance which provides for helicopter rescue on their own before starting the trip. The purpose of insurance is to provide proper coverage suited to the specific needs of Adventure Travel and in the case of an emergency case, works quickly and efficiently. The insurance should also cover accidents, health and loss or damage to the personal effects. Luggage is hand-carried at various stages in the trip for long distance. We strongly recommend you limit your weight to 15 kilos.
While travelling in Thailand, despite being famous tourist destinations, it is advised that you following carefully a code conduct which respects local culture to avoid any hassles or unwanted troubles along your journey. In particular, avoid to show affection in public places, such as hugging, kissing etc., as this behavior is not appreciated by local people. Thailand is a wonderful place full of wonderful people. For this reason we would like to enlighten you about a few cultural points that will make your stay here more enjoyable and comfortable for both travelers and locals:
Buddhist monks are a common sight all over Thailand and are easily recognized with their orange robes and shaved heads. It is strictly forbidden for male monks to have direct physical contact with women, this includes handing them something. It is acceptable for women to offer a gift by placing it on the ground in front of a monk and backing away, or by giving it to a man to offer for the woman. Men can come in direct contact with monks. Please treat monks with the utmost respect, to speak to them respectfully and ‘wai’ when greeting, saying goodbye and thank you.
You are advised to follow a certain dress code. There are basically two reasons why it is recommended to be careful about what clothes you wear while traveling to the area. The first reason is to prevent you from hurting the sentiments of the local people and second, to protect you from the varied weather conditions prevailing in seasons. One more thing to keep in mind is mosquitoes…it is advised to keep your arms and legs covered because it provides protection (however, don’t forget to bring with you mosquito nets and repellents, especially for river cruises). Thailand’s time zone is GMT/UTC +7, so chances of jet lag cannot be ignored. It is advised that you get onto this time zone as soon as you leave home and try to eat and sleep according local time. Also, if you reach Thailand early in the day, try to stay awake – this will help the body’s internal clock to reset.
If you are staying less than 30 days, you will not need a visa to Thailand in advance. You can have your passport stamped when you arrive. It is free and you don’t need to bring extra passport photos. However, this is only valid for 30 days and you must show your return ticket upon arrival to show that you plan to leave.
We selected beautiful and traditional heritages or eco-resorts with all the facilities throughout the tour. When possible resorts have been selected carefully according to criteria of social and environmental impacts. In Kuraburi we have selected a beautiful eco-resort for 2 nights (before and after the tour in Ko Surin). In Ko Surin National park only campsite with tents (bedding is provided; electricity generated from 6-10 pm) on the beach are available at the headquarters of the Park.
Private vehicles o mini-buses with AC according to the number of participants from Phuket to Khao Sok and from Khao Sok to Kuraburi. From Kuraburi to Ko Surin National park we have arrange for a speed boat.
Although the climate varies throughout Thailand, you can visit all year round. The best time to travel is during the cool and dry season between November and early April. The climate of most of Thailand is governed by three seasons: rainy (roughly May–Oct), caused by the southwest monsoon dumping moisture gathered from the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand; cool (Nov–Feb); and hot (March–May).