- Explore bustling Bangkok by boat
- Help care for Asian elephants at an ethical elephant project
- Explore the jungle trails and emerald waterfalls of Erawan National Park
- Sun yourself on the white sands of Koh Tao, Phangan and Samui
- Take in the surreal beauty of Ang Thong Marine Park
- Enjoy a sunset boat cruise round Phi Phi island
Experience the wonders of Southern Thailand with up to 3 blissful weeks on the islands. Exclusive to Real Gap Experience, this incredible tour starts on the vibrant streets of Bangkok, with stops at an amazing ethical elephant camp in the jungle, a pristine national park and then on to the islands. Enjoy snorkelling, sunset boat trips and legendary beach parties, plus some of the most exquisite beaches in the world.
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Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok. Sawasdee-ka! You’ll be met at the airport by one of our team who’ll take you to your accommodation near the famous Khao San Road! Settle in or explore the local area before meeting the rest of your group this evening for some Singhas on Khao San!
Day 2: Bangkok. Cruise down the city canals on a boat tour. Stop at some of the most important temples and see daily life taking place on the water. We’ll visit Wat Arun and Wat Pho, with the famous reclining Buddah. Later you can choose to take a tour of the impressive Grand Palace.
Day 3: Bangkok to Kanchanaburi. Swap the busy streets of Bangkok for the tranquil countryside of Kanchanaburi. You’ll have the afternoon to take it easy at your guesthouse or to explore the local area, before heading out for a laid-back evening with your group.
Day 4: Kanchanaburi Elephant Camp. After breakfast we’ll make our way to an amazing ethical elephant project set in the lush Kanchanaburi countryside. Spend some time with these majestic animals, feeding and bathing them in a local river (no riding) before heading back to Kanchanaburi.
Day 5: Kanchanaburi and Erawan National Park. Travel to Erawan today to visit one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand. Hike the park trails or relax by the crystal-clear pools at each of the falls’ seven levels. Then spend the afternoon exploring Kanchanaburi.
Day 6: Kanchanaburi to Koh Tao, via Bangkok. Spend the morning chilling by the river in Kanchanaburi, before travelling back to Bangkok. Then hop on the overnight bus to the unforgettable beaches of the South.
Day 7: Koh Tao. Settle into the beach life on laid-back Tao. This dinky little island is all azure seas, coconut palms and some of the best diving in the world. Stretch out on the sands before checking out the nightlife.
Day 8: Koh Tao Viewpoint Excursion and Freedom Beach. Strap on your walking shoes – we’re hiking up to a high point on the island today for spectacular views across Tao. This afternoon we’ll discover Freedom Beach – a gorgeous cove with clear blue water and great snorkelling.
Day 9: Koh Tao Snorkelling Trip. Today we’re off for a fabulous boat trip round the island. We’ll stop at all the best snorkelling spots to look for tropical fish and colourful reefs. Sail back tired but happy and get ready for a night out at the local beach bars.
Day 10: Koh Tao to Koh Phangan. Travel over to the original home of the Full Moon Party - Koh Phangan and explore the beaches and nightlife.
Days 11 – 12: Koh Phangan. Phangan is legendary for its hedonistic parties and there’s plenty of that over the next few days if that’s what you’re into. If you’re feeling more low key, there’s still lots to do – why not take a yoga class or visit one of the quiet coves in the north of the island?
Day 13: Koh Phangan to Koh Samui. Board the boat to Samui. One of the largest islands, Samui has something for everybody. Chill on Ban Rak or Crystal Beach, make your way to Hin Lad waterfall or go on a temple tour.
Day 14: Samui and Ang Thong Marine Park. Spend the day sailing between the 42 islets of this jaw-dropping tropical archipelago. Admire your surroundings from the deck and jump into the crystalline waters for a snorkel. Tonight, we’ll go out in Chaweng, including the famous Ark Bar.
Day 15: Samui to Ao Nang (21 day trip only). If you are on the 21 day trip travel to Ao Nang by boat and bus. Dump your bags and explore the town. If you are on the 15 day trip option your trip comes to end this morning. You can fly out of Samui airport at any time.
Day 16: Free Day in Ao Nang. Get to know Ao Nang better today. There’s a nice beach and plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants in the town to keep you busy. If you’re in the mood for an excursion, book yourself a boat trip or take a kayaking trip to the mangrove forests of Bor Thor.
Day 17: Ao Nang and Railay Beach. Take a long-tail round to Railay Beach. Railay is a real beauty with sugar-white sand, and rugged limestone headlands smothered in jungle. Soak up the sun, splash about in the sea, or try your hand at rock climbing.
Day 18: Ao Nang to Koh Phi Phi. Board the ferry to Phi Phi today. Kick back on the epic beach, play some volleyball, or grab a smoothie from one of the beach bars. Tonight watch the fire dancers light up the beach.
Day 19: Phi Phi Viewpoint Trek. We’re climbing high today with a hike to one of the island’s best viewpoints. Scramble up the hill. It’ll be sweaty work but it’s worth it for the incredible vista! This evening, enjoy the laid-back beats at one of the beachside reggae bars.
Day 20: Phi Phi Sunset Boat Trip. You’ll have plenty of free time to enjoy the island this morning. Then board the boat for our sunset tour. We’ll drop anchor at 3 - 4 locations to allow you to snorkel in the warm water. Your amazing day finishes with a sunset barbecue – yum!
Day 21: Trip End. It’s time to part company today - your incredible Thailand Island Hopping adventure has come to an end.
Please note activities and itineraries are subject to change.
- 14 or 20 nights’ accommodation
- Airport pick up and transfer
- Experienced tour guide
- Bangkok tour
- Elephant project experience
- Erawan Falls excursion
- Koh Tao viewpoint and Freedom Beach day
- Koh Tao snorkel boat trip
- Koh Phangan Moon Party
- Ang Thong Marine Park tour
- Long-tail boat trip to Railay Beach
- Phi Phi viewpoint trek (21 day trip only)
- Phi Phi sunset boat trip (21 day trip only)
- All in-country transport
- 24-hour emergency support
- Meals, snacks and drinks
- Travel insurance
- International flights
- Return airport transfer
- Optional activities
- Entry to Grand Palace in Bangkok
- Entry to Full Moon Party on Phangan
14 or 20 nights’ accommodation are included on this trip. You’ll stay in traditional Thai guesthouses in twin-share rooms. We’ll place you in singe sex rooms but let us know when you book if you’re travelling with a friend or partner, and we can make sure you’re in a room together. All accommodation includes air-conditioning, WIFI access and western-style private bathrooms.
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.
Meals are not included on this trip. This allows you maximum flexibility to sample Thailand’s delicious cuisine in as many different places as you wish. You’ll find both traditional and western restaurants in most locations and meals are typically great value, especially street food.
You’ll need to arrange your flight to arrive in to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) on your trip start date, between 6am and 10pm. We recommend that you arrive before 3pm if possible so you can enjoy the first night with your group. One of our local team will meet you and take you to your starting accommodation in the city. If you arrive outside 6am and 10pm, or at Bangkok’s smaller airport (Don Muang), you will need to take a taxi to your hotel, which is very easy to arrange.
For this 21 day trip, you will finish on the islands of Phi Phi. The nearest airport is Phuket and we recommend flying out of Phuket airport. Alternatively you can book a boat/bus transfer service to travel overland back to Bangkok, which takes around 15 hours.
If you book the shorter 15 day option your trip ends on Koh Samui. You can depart from Koh Samui airport at any time on day 15.
The minimum age for this trip is 18 years.
British passport holders arriving by air can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa. Please ensure your passport is valid, with six months' validity remaining on the date of your planned return, and that you hold a valid return flight, or onward travel, ticket. If you plan to stay in Thailand for more than 30 days you will need to apply for a visa before departing the UK, which will be issued as a 60-day tourist visa so long as you’re not planning on taking paid work during your stay.
Do I Need Any Vaccinations?
We’re not qualified to offer you medical advice, so you should visit your GP well ahead of time to find out what inoculations you might need. Remember to tell them exactly where you’re travelling to as vaccination and medication requirements vary between different Indian regions. You’ll also need to make sure you have enough of any prescribed medication to see you through the duration of your trip.
How Much Spending Money Should I Bring With Me?
Food and drink is relatively cheap in Thailand, so budget around 40THB-200THB/£1-£5 for meals, and between 20THB-150THB/50p-£3.50 for drinks. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of money for extra activities, such as kayaking, scuba diving, excursions, and entrance fees to tourist attractions, which can range anywhere from 500THB/£12 to 3500THB/£82 depending on what you want to do – it’s always best to look into costs before you travel. As a rough guide, 6500THB/£150 per week should allow you to do most things.
Do I Need To Bring A Mosquito Net?
You can do if you like as nets won’t be provided at most places we stay in. Although if you keep windows and doors closed in your room you shouldn’t be bothered by mosquitoes.
Due to Covid-19, many of our partners and suppliers across the globe are putting in place new procedures and policies regarding health and safety in response to the outbreak. These new measures will adapt and change as the state of travel evolves, and the policies and procedures will vary depending on each trip. Some changes that you may experience on our trips are:
Updated safety & hygiene procedures
Health and safety measures will be adapted by our partners and suppliers, dependent on local laws and restrictions.
Different transport & accommodation
You may find yourself on transport or in accommodation that would not typically be used, such as hostels that are more secluded, or on more private transport. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Most trips include a meeting on arrival with the guide or local team to discuss the trip, and this is an opportunity for you to ask any questions. You should arrive in time to attend these briefings.
Emergency support 24/7
We have a UK based 24/7 emergency phone line if you have a genuine urgent matter that you need attending.
Knowledgeable & Trained Staff
We can help answer any questions or concerns you may have before you depart. Whilst travelling the guide or local team on our trips are there to help, and to ensure the smooth running of our trips.
Should you require medical assistance whilst travelling, the local team or guide will be able to help you get to a point of care. Medical facilities and standards can vary across the glove, so you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place.
Varying group sizes
To begin with, many trips will run with amended group sizes, so you may find smaller groups than would be typical. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Whilst there may be changes on our trips, it is vital that you make travelling safer for yourself, your travel companions, the local staff and guides, and the people of the country you are visiting. You should follow all local laws and restrictions, and follow the guidance of the local team. In addition, you can help make travel safer by bringing and using your own face coverings/masks and hand sanitiser, social distance where appropriate, wash your hands frequently, and cover your face when coughing or sneezing.