Best of Thailand
This 21-day whirlwind experience of Thailand brings together all the cultural beauty of the north with the stunning nature of the south. Discover the gorgeous temples of ancient Ayutthaya, roam the bustling streets of Bangkok, and swim in the idyllic waters of the south’s coastal paradise. See Thailand the right way on this journey of a lifetime.
Klong boat tour (Bangkok). Wat Po guided visit. Erawan Falls and Bridge on the River Kwai visit (Kanchanaburi). Rafthouse stay. Temple ruins tour (Ayutthaya). Thai Burma Railway Centre visit. Doi Suthep temple visit (Chiang Mai). Local cooking class and meal (Chiang Mai). Mae Sai visit (Chiang Rai). Opium Museum visit. Local community homestay (Lampang). Bicycle tour (half-day, Sukhothai). West Coast: Beach barbecue (Koh Lanta). Half-day boat trip (Koh Ngai) Free time on spectacular beaches. East Coast: Snorkel trip. Free time on spectacular beaches. Internal flight. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Explore magnificent temples and palaces, sleep in a floating rafthouse, learn about the somber history of Kanchanaburi, get inspired with a local cooking class, snorkel amongst colourful marine life, enjoy quiet beaches and spectacular the scenery.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
G Adventures requires your passport number and date of birth before we can confirm your booking. Please make sure you give this information to your travel agent.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our CEOs, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 15, avg 12
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap.
Train, local bus, private vehicle, bicycle, longtail boat, longtail boat, ferry, plane, walking.
About our Transportation
Land Transfers & Included Tours/activities: Many of the land transfers and included tours will be by private van, car or taxi, while others may be shared with other travellers depending on availability, nature of the activity and destination. For transfers, you may have a local non English-speaking driver only, for included tours, you will be accompanied by an English speaking local guide.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels/guesthouses (16 nts), rafthouse (1 nt), sleeper train (2 nts), homestay (1 nt).
Please remember that hotel/lodge/resort standards can be different from what you are used to in your home country, which is part of the appeal of adventure travel. Porterage is not included, but can be arranged directly at most hotels.
When arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport (pronounced ‘su wan na poom’) in Bangkok proceed to the Arrivals Hall where you can change money into Thai Baht. (You may be approached by nicely dressed, official looking touts offering an expensive limousine service to your hotel; ignore these offers.)
You have three transport options; public bus, the Airport Train & MRT or public taxi. All transportation is located on the ‘ground’ floor.
The Airport Bus operates 4 bus routes to downtown for a cost of 150 Baht for the entire route. Bus AE2 goes to Banglamphu and Bus AE4 goes to Hua Lamphong train station. Our hotels are located in both the Bang Lamphu and Hua Lamphong areas.
The airport is located 30km’s away from downtown Bangkok. Approach the taxi counters, advise them where you are going and they will write this information down for you along with the taxis registration details. Taxis should always use the meter and you are required to pay a 50 Baht airport surcharge on top of the metered fee plus any tollway fees (approx 75 Baht depending on the route taken). Total journey will cost between 350 THB – 500 THB, depending on traffic and toll fees.
The expressway is substantially faster, so tell the taxi driver to use the expressway, you can say either ""kuen ton-way"" (from ‘tollway’) or ""kuen taang duan"" in Thai (but most understand Tollway/express way in English).
If you are staying at the Centra Central Station Bangkok, you can take the Airport Train. Board the express airport train at a cost of 150 THB to the City Air Terminal; Makkasan. Here you will need to disembark and change to the MRT (subway) Blue line, boarding at Phetchaburi Station. From Pethaburi Station travel to the last stop, Hua Lamphong, and follow the signs for Exit 1. Once out, walk 2-3 minutes. The hotel is located across the road.
Arrival Transfers If you have paid for an arrival transfer when you booked your trip then please proceed to the Airport Information Counter near entrance 3 and look for the driver who should be holding a G Adventures sign.
Please note, the hotel lobby is located on the top floor of the building. When arriving at the Hotel Centra Central Station Bangkok, take the elevators up to the top floor, check in and then proceed to your room.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574
From within Thailand: 02 381 5574
After hours emergency number
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
What you need to bring depends on the trip you have chosen and the countries or regions you are planning to visit.
Most travellers prefer to carry a softbag or rolling bag of small to medium size can be suitable. If you have combined Independent trip with some other G Adventures trip (basic or standard) we recommend you to travel with a backpack. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones.
If you don’t know what type of clothes to bring, you can check different weather web sites. We also recommend you to bring sun protection creams (better to buy them at home, because ones in Thailand are produced for local types of skin).
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- USD cash
- Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
- G Adventures vouchers and dossier
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Playing cards or other favourite games
- Reading/writing material
- Light waterproof jacket
- Rain gear
- Rain jacket or poncho
- Warm clothing
- Fleece jacket or warm layer
- Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry
- Small towel and swim wear
- Day pack for hike
- Sun hat
- Hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
- 1 pair hiking pants/track pants
- Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes
- Toiletries (biodegradable)
- Watch or alarm clock
- Refillable water bottle
- Pocket knife
- First-aid kit (should contain motion sickness medication, lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.
Thailand: Most nationalities including Australian, New Zealand, British, Canadian, American, Belgian, Swedish, German, Dutch and Danish passport holders do not require a visa for a stay of 30 days or less. If staying in Thailand for more than 30 days, you will be required to obtain a tourist visa in advance.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
During this tour the local currency you will use is the Thai Baht. As currency exchange rates in South East Asia do fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates: www.xe.com for each of the above mentioned currencies. The best way to carry your money is in debit cards, withdrawing cash in local currencies from ATM machines. ATMs are found throughout South East Asia and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible in case of loss or problems with one card, you will have a back up. Please note, your bank will charge a fee for overseas withdrawals. USD Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. You should bring some cash with you for emergency situations (please refer to our trip dossier) but carrying only cash is a high safety risk. ATM card/s and some cash is the ideal mix. Travellers cheques can be tricky, timely and expensive to exchange. While we do not recommend that you bring them as your primary source of funds, it is great to have one or two cheques in case of emergency. Thomas Cook or American Express travellers’ cheques in US currency are the easiest to exchange. Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time consuming and tend to have high fees attached.Credit cards can be used at some upmarket restaurants, and at some larger stores if shopping for big items. If you are bringing US Dollars, please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 2003, or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $250 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1.5-$3.5 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
There are no specific health requirements for this trip. However, you should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information about before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org
Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)
In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites.
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout.
Allow USD210-275 for meals not included.
18 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners
PRODUCT_LINE: ATHT, ID: 23643
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.
Day 1 Bangkok
Arrive at any time.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Bangkok/Kanchanaburi (1B, 1D)
Enjoy a klong boat tour of Bangkok including a visit to Wat Po. Travel to Kanchanaburi and head to your floating rafthouse accommodation. Enjoy free time to explore.
Klong Riverboat Tour
Wat Po Visit
Overnight Rafthouse Excursion
Private Vehicle (2.00-3.00 hours, 129km)
Day 3 Kanchanaburi (1B)
Enjoy a day of sightseeing at Erawan Falls and the Bridge on the River Kwai. Explore the Allied War Cemetery, the Thai-Burmese Railway Centre and the JEATH War Museum to learn more about the area’s history.
Erawan Waterfalls Visit
Bridge on the River Kwai Visit
Thai/Burma Railway Centre and Allied War Cemetery Visit
Enjoy a short drive to view the beautiful Erawan Waterfalls. (1-2 hours per direction)
Private Vehicle (1.00-2.00 hours)
Day 4 Kanchanaburi/Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya (1B)
Travel to Ayutthaya and visit the historical sites of the old capital city. Opt to visit Chan Kasem National Museum and Chao Sam Phraya Museum.
Temple Ruins Tour
Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s), 150km)
Day 5 Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya/Chiang Mai (1B)
Spend a full day exploring Ayutthaya before boarding an overnight train to Chiang Mai.
Overnight train (beds) (12.00 hour(s))
Day 6 Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is a vibrant city with heaps to see and do. Famous for its night market, cooking classes, and Muay Thai, it’s a feat to fit it all in.
Doi Suthep Temple Visit
Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))
Day 7 Chiang Mai (1B, 1D)
Enjoy free time to explore Chiang Mai. Opt for a bicycle tour, a visit the Mae Sa waterfall, shopping at the night market, or getting a traditional Thai massage. Enjoy a local cooking class with dinner.
Day 8 Chiang Mai/Chiang Rai (1B)
Travel to Chiang Rai and start exploring.
Private Vehicle (4.50-5.00 hours, 274km)
Day 9 Chiang Rai (1B)
Visit the town of Mae Sai and the Opium Museum.
Mae Sai Visit
Opium Museum Visit
Day 10 Chiang Rai/Lampang (1B, 1D)
Continue on to Lampang and enjoy a homestay in a traditional Lanna village. Participate in craft demonstrations and opt to help prepare a local meal.
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 315km)
Day 11 Lampang/Sukhothai (1B, 1L)
Take in traditional morning activities, followed by lunch in the village. Travel to Sukhothai and enjoy a free afternoon.
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 213km)
Day 12 Sukhothai (1B)
Take a half-day guided bike tour of Sukhothai Historical Park and explore the area with some free time.
Sukhothai Bicycle Tour
Day 13 Sukhothai/Bangkok (1B)
Travel to Bangkok and enjoy some time for last minute shopping.
Local bus (6.00-7.00 hours, 422km)
Day 14 Bangkok/Ao Nang (1B)
Fly to Krabi and drive to nearby Ao Nang. Enjoy free time exploring the small town or relaxing on its beautiful beaches.
Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s))
Plane (1.00 hour(s))
Day 15 Ao Nang (1B)
Spend a free day in the area. Opt for a day trip to idyllic Railay Beach, to head out on a snorkelling trip or go rock climbing on the limestone karsts. This area boasts plenty of activities such as kayaking, diving, snorkelling, jungle trekking, whitewater rafting and quad biking.
Day 16 Ao Nang/Koh Lanta (1B, 1D)
Take a ferry to the secluded island of Koh Lanta. Spend some free time before a beach barbecue for dinner.
Ferry (2.25 hour(s))
Day 17 Koh Lanta (1B)
Opt for a day trip to nearby Koh Rok where you can snorkel at Koh Rok’s national park, trek to a view point and enjoy a picnic lunch.
Day 18 Koh Lanta/Koh Ngai (1B)
Travel to tiny Koh Ngai and experience more of Thailand’s pristine paradise. Opt to relax, snorkel or trek rainforest trails to deserted beaches.
Ferry (1.00 hour(s))
Day 19 Koh Ngai (1B)
Enjoy an included snorkelling trip to nearby Koh Chuek and experience the amazing Emerald Cave of Koh Mook.
Island Snorkelling Tour
Day 20 Koh Ngai/Bangkok (1B)
After a lazy beach morning, travel back to the mainland and board an overnight sleeper train for Bangkok.
Ferry to Pakmeng Pier, and continue on to Trang in a private transfer.
Ferry (2.00 hour(s))
Overnight train (beds) (15.00 hour(s))
Day 21 Bangkok
Arrive at Bangkok station in the morning. Trip ends on arrival.
Departure Day (Activities)